I wish I had a more interesting story about Drum's name, just like I always wish I had a better story about Mo's. When you give your kids uncommon names, people assume there is a good story to go with it, but what it boils down to in both cases is simply: we liked the name.
But for all you name nerds, here's a little more about how we landed on Drummond.
When you have a daughter named Moselle, you can't really follow that up with something like William. William is a great name (I know several little Williams, including my nephew!), but it is in a completely different vein than Moselle. Your second child really cements your naming style: Which way did we want to go? What was it about the name Moselle were most important to us?
When we named our first child, I determined my naming preference was to find names that were a little unusual without sounding made up. As we've lived with a Moselle for nearly three years, I've found that almost nobody has heard it before, but nobody seems to think it's ridiculous or phony. I wanted to land on that same note with the next name.
Mike and I didn't even talk about names until after we found out the sex, and then we only visited the topic every so often. Mostly I thought about names, and then occasionally presented them to Mike. Eventually we got our list down to five names: Levon, Ansel, Tennyson, Cormac and Drummond.
Levon and Ansel were names that I had liked for a long time. Mike was never crazy about either, but liked them enough to let me hang on to them all the way to the top five. But neither made the cut to the top three. The three names we took with us to the hospital were:
- Tennyson - This one started as a joke. When we used to ask Mo what we should name Baby Brother, she would always, without fail, answer "Tennis." One day Mike suggested that we name him Tennessee and call him Tennis. It was a joke, but made me think of Tennyson, and then we both realized we actually liked that name.
- Cormac - This is the only name that carried over from our list when Mo was born. It has long been Mike's favorite name, so much so that I started to resent it because he had it on a pedastal that no other name could measure up to. But it's actually a name I originally suggested years ago because I do really like it, so it was a real contender.
- Drummond - This came to me a couple years ago when I saw the name Drummer somewhere. It sparked the name Drummond for me, which never left my head.
When considering these three names, there were a few things we were hoping to accomplish:
- Nickname - We didn't want a good nickname because we believed all names should come with nickname. But we use Mo even more often than we use Moselle, and it's such a perfectly fitting name for her that it seemed to set up a precedent. We wanted a name with an equally easy and cool nickname. Tennyson had a lot of nickname potential (Ten, Tenny, Sonny), but nothing that felt natural to us. Cormac would have lead to Mac, which we loved. And Drummond lends itself easily to Drum, another good one.
- Last name compatibility - We needed something that could work with the last name he'd receive, a hyphenate of my and Mike's last names. It starts with a Z, which ruled out named ending is -s, -z or -x because it makes for awkward pronunciation.
- Middle name compatibility - The tradition in Mike's family is to give the first born son his father's name as a middle name, meaning our son's middle name would be Michael. Fortunately, that's a really easy name to work with.
- Frequency - Moselle has never been in the top 1000 in the U.S. and I like that about it. I like that the name exists, you might even hear it somewhere, but you're not going to hear it often. I wanted the same for my son's name, and all of our top three met the criteria.
One thing we didn't really take into consideration was the meaning of names. It's just never been important to us. But for those who are interested, Drummond is a Scottish name that means "at the ridge." I do enjoy the coinicidence that Moselle means "from the water" and Drummond means "at the ridge." Those two things seem to fit together somehow.
By the end, Mike's rankings were: 1. Cormac 2. Tennyson 3. Drummond. Mine were: 1. Drummond 2. Tennyson 3. Cormac. When the baby was born, we pretty quickly nixed Tennyson - it just didn't feel like his name - but we were completely torn between the other two. After about 15 hours of visitors the day he was born, during which he was just Baby Boy, we found a moment to discuss his name. We went back and forth for about an hour, testing out both names, weighing the merits of each. In the end, I told Mike my preference. I asked him if he thought we could have a son named Drummond, and he replied, "I think we already do."
We wrote it on the white board in our hospital to test it out, and texted the name to our family with the disclaimer that it wasn't official yet, and we were going to sleep on it. We woke up feeling good about it, and later that day we signed the birth certificate and it was official!
He's been Drummond for seven weeks now, and we love the name. For my family, it conjures memories of summers at my grandparents' cottage on Drummond Island. We didn't name him for the island, but it's a happy connection. We call him Drummond, Drum, Drummy, Drummer Boy, Baby Drum, Drum Drum. Sometimes I sing Little Drummer Boy to him when I'm trying to calm him. I also like that his initials are DMZM while Mo's are MDZM.
After decades of collecting names, it feels strange that I am most likely done naming children. I wonder what my 15 year old self would have thought about the names I ended up using. I think I would have been a bit surprised, but mostly impressed.
Moselle and Drummond. Mo and Drum. Mosie and Drummy. Mosie Girl and Drummer Boy. Motown and Drumstick.