What’s in a Name?

I’ve been meaning to post for some time about the origin of the name of our little boy, Carson Elliott.


Naming babies is a thrilling and terrifying proposition. With Nora Lucile, the name came to us right away, even before we knew we were expecting a girl. We loved the old-fashioned and classic name Nora and there was never any doubt that her middle name would honor my grandmother. (Also, Steve adores James Joyce and his wife was named Nora).

With Carson, we batted around names for some time. I wanted to make sure the name was common enough that it broke the top 100 list but not too common that he would encounter many with his name for years to come. I also didn’t really want a nickname for the kid (just a weird preference).

We settled on Carson and Elliott sometime not long after finding out the gender of baby number two. However, we didn’t settle on the order of the name for some time. Until June, I was sure it would be “Elliott Carson,” but then I started worrying about the little guy’s entire life being filled with people misspelling his name. Common spellings include Eliot, Elliot, and Eliott. I liked the double ls and ts, mostly because it reminded me of one of my favorite musical artists, Elliott Smith.

We gravitated toward Carson because of its connotation with the West (Carson City, Nevada) and it didn’t hurt that our favorite character on Downton Abbey is Mr. Carson. Also, the name’s roots are Scandinavian, and I liked that the name paid homage to the heritage I mostly closely identify with.

Carson didn’t get a family name, but he has one very uniquely suited to him and is a very complimentary name to those in our family. He is most definitely a Carson and not an Elliott, but I love that his name contains both.


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