Sunday, February 6, 2011

Naming Jocelyn

I’ve actually been wanting to write on this topic for awhile, and someone asked me about it via FormSpring, so I’m finally getting around to it! (This is probably a much longer answer than most of you need, but it will help me remember all the details for the future. Sorry in advance!)

How did we come up with Joci’s name?

Everyone has their own name style. My style has always been for names that sound timeless and even royal. And I prefer names that aren’t super common. I have a “princess” test. Would this name sound like the name of a princess? No offense to anyone out there, but I am not a fan of trendy names because for me I can’t imagine a “Princess Taylor” or “Princess McKayla.” I am drawn to names that seem timeless and never dated.

I don’t exactly remember the first time I heard the name Jocelyn, but I do remember a beautiful little girl with really long hair named Jocelyn. She was in my mother’s preschool when I was a tween.

I remember that the princess’s name in A Knight’s Tale is Jocelyn.

It’s been on my baby name list for years (we’ve all had them since we were about ten, right?). For some reason, I find myself especially drawn to French names because they have a certain femininity and elegance about them.

When we got the call that we had been chosen to adopt a little girl who would be born in less than a month, we went into naming hyper drive. Frankly, we don’t know how many times we will have the honor of picking a name—this may be a one shot deal. So we took it seriously! We wanted to hone in on a few names we loved, then meet our baby and discuss our name choices with the birth family and see what fit.

Our little girl decided to come early, so we didn’t really have it narrowed down. She was born on a Friday night, but we didn’t get to meet her until Saturday. I had typed out all the names I liked and put them in an envelope. While we drove across the state, I would pull out two names (a first and a middle) and we’d weed them out on the spot—“I like that one, we can keep it in the consideration envelope” or “Nah, I guess I don’t like that one as much as some others” and it would be thrown out.


arriving at the hospital with two names in mind

On that drive too, we decided to give her my mother’s name, Normandie. It is such a beautiful and very unique name. We’ve never met anyone else with that name. It’s elegant, it’s French, it’s unique but not weird (it’s based off Normandy, France).

Again, because Justin and like “princess” names, we’ve always been fond of the idea of multiple middle names. Sure, our kids will probably hate us, but we had no problem giving her two middle names. I think we would’ve done that no matter what.

We whittled down our list to two names: Jocelyn and Danielle. And then we met our baby girl and talked to her birth parents. They had no opinions or preferences for names and just totally left that up to us. (Our birth mother’s stepmom pulled us aside and asked us to name the baby after her, but it we didn’t feel that was appropriate and our birth mom didn’t even have a close relationship with her, so we politely declined.)


Hi baby. What is your name?

We found out that they had planned on naming the baby Kida/Kita/Keeda Rose (not sure how to spell that first name). We learned that Rose is our birthmom’s middle name as well as her mother’s middle name. We thought that was very pretty and we wanted a way to honor her. So now we had our middle names! Normandie and Rose.

Another interesting coincidence. The birth parents had a two year old daughter whose middle name is Danielle. How funny that that was one of the names on our list!

After spending three days in the hospital with our baby and her birth family, we just knew that she was a Jocelyn. We also liked that Jocelyn lent itself to some various nicknames such as Joci or Jo. In fact, we spelled it Josie for about a month.

(On a side note, I also like Josie for a name on it's own. It was actually on my list too. I first heard it when I read the Sunfire novel Josie. Did anyone else ever read Sunfire novels? I loved them. Anyway, We liked that we could get two names we liked by using Josie as a nickname. A lot of people have mentioned that it's a very old-fashioned name, but I guess I have never lumped it in with Blanche and Gertrude. So I guess it fits in with the Hannah, Emma, Ruby, Violet, and Grace type of "old" names that are coming back. Also, I have a great-aunt named Josie but I didn't know that until we had already named our daughter.)

The meaning of the name Jocelyn isn't anything special. It means a member of the Gaut tribe and became a surname then a boy's name, then finally a girl's name. No hidden meanings. We liked it because of the sound of it and the modern connotations with it.


As far as the order of the middle names, we just went with what seemed to flow better. There’s no hidden meanings.

So her official name is Jocelyn Rose Normandie Zierke. A princess’s name indeed.

We get compliments on her name a lot. People are always telling me what a pretty/beautiful name it is. I couldn't agree more. I thought it was a fairly original name but I have a friend whose daughter is 6 months younger and is named Joslyn and they call her Josie. There is another Jocelyn at our church the same age. So...I think I started a trend. :) The other day when Justin had surgery, the nurse asked us about our daughter and again said what a beautiful name Jocelyn is. She asked if our daughter looked like a Jocelyn, because only some girls could fit that name. Maybe I am biased, but I think she does...feminine, beautiful, regal, and with a bit of spunk.

What do you think?



6 comments:

Beckie said...

I think it fits her perfectly!!

Que and Brittany's Adoption Journal said...

Bahaha, I don't like trendy names, either. And one of my names on my Baby Girl list is Josephine, with the nickname of Josie.

I can't believe her step-mom asked you to name the baby after her! Wha?!

Mom on the Go said...

Her name definitely fits her! I love your princess test. I had a boardroom test- can I see my child with this name as the CEO of a major company in a meeting at the head of the table? We just knew with our first two as soon as we found out what we were having. The third one was hard and it took us months and months to decide.

Ashley said...

I love the name. And I love the movie. I can watch the dance scene over and over.

Frederick Family said...

Normandy Rose was a popular brand of jeans in the 80's. ( I remember Pam Wight wore them.) For this reason I think the order of Joci's name is for the best. Other wise some older women may think her middle name is after a pair of jeans:)

Ashley said...

I love the shout out to Blanche and Gertrude! :D Thanks for sharing your naming story. I think names are fascinating...when there's an actual story, unless you're like my parents who named me Ashley because they "just liked it." Boo.

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