after months and months, the lady sparkler and i have finally narrowed down the potential names to just three, and we’ve started to “crowdsource” them — mostly to check for any negative pop-culture allusions that we might have missed, but also to make sure we aren’t ignoring one of our own rules for baby names.

it’s technically possible that we’ll come up with something thats not on the list, but that’s unlikely … it’s been 8 weeks since we added anything new, and we certainly won’t be adding anything once labor starts. if it’s not on the list before, we aren’t sure being sleep-deprived/overly-hormonal will help avoid naming mistakes that will haunt baby sparklet for decades.

we don’t have a leading candidate (which is actually a bit maddening) and both seem to have a new favorite each week. but, here they are, listed in the order that we thought of them (the oldest one’s first).

feel free to share your thoughts.

Kate Elizabeth Parker

this one is the very first name that went on the list, maybe a month into the process. we aren’t a huge fan of the longer name (katherine) so it’s really just kate. for a long time, it was the prototypical name (ie. “we need a strong name, like ‘kate'”) before we added it formally.

popularity — ranked 243rd (1978), 139th (2008). origins — Greek, meaning “pure” (Kate, Katherine); Hebrew, meaning “consecrated to God” (Elizabeth).

pros — Title character from Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew; Evangeline Lilly’s character on “Lost”; actress Kate Beckinsdale (Underworld, Serendipity). added gravitas — Katherine the Great; designer Kate Spade; three of Henry VIII’s six wives. curiosity — Kate Winslet (of Titanic fame) is actually Kate Elizabeth Winslet by birth.

cons — “Jon and Kate plus Eight”; Kate Moss; Kate Hudson.

literary — Kate Chopin. music — Kate Nash; Kate Bush; Katy Perry; Kate Earl; Kate “Songbird of the South” Smith.

googling “Kate Parker” — 41,200 hits, including a wedding planner, a couple photographers, a florist, and lots of 18th century geneology references.

in short — fun-loving rock/movie diva.

Elizabeth Anne Parker (“Ellie”)

we came at this name sorta backwards. we loved the nickname “Ellie” but didn’t like any of the names it’s usually attached to (Eleanor, Elena) so we hemmed, hawed and came up with Elizabeth instead. which is also convenient, because we aren’t a real big fan of Elizabeth’s “actual” nicknames either, such as Liz, Lizzy, Beth, Betsy, etc.

popularity — ranked 14th (1978), 9th (2008). origins — Hebrew, meaning “consecrated to God” (Elizabeth); Hebrew, meaning “gift of God’s favour” (Anne).

pros — The wife in Pixar’s Up is named “Ellie”; Jodie Foster’s character from Contact; there’s a 2005 movie called Ellie Parker, with the title character played by Naomi Watts. added gravitas — Queen Elizabeth (I & II); Elizabeth Ann Seton (the first canonized American saint); Empress Elizabeth of Russia; the mother of John the Baptist. curiosity — “Elizabeth Anne” is the name of the girl that Tommy Lee Jones left behind in Men in Black; also, “Ellie” was the asteroid’s nickname in Deep Impact.

cons — The large, flakey wooly mammoth in Ice Age 2 (voiced by Queen Latifa) is called “Ellie”; “Elly” was the name of the dumb blonde from “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

literary — Elizabeth is the protagonist of Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice; Elizabeth Barret Browning (poet). music — “Goodnight, Elisabeth” by Counting Crows; Folk musician Elizabeth Cotten; Ellie Greenwich of the 60’s “girl groups” the Ronettes, the Shangri-Las.

googling “Elizabeth Parker” — 125,000 hits, including an artist, poet, composer, jeweler, and lots of facebook entries.

in short — holier-than-thou, daddy’s little angel.

Allison Grace Parker (“Allie”)

we aren’t really sure where Allison came from, but *everybody* seems to love the middle name Grace. seriously, no one really seams to bite when we say “Allison Parker” but say “Allison Grace” or just “Allie” and suddenly it’s the best name ever.

popularity — ranked 75th (1978), 32nd (2008). origins — Germanic, meaning “of noble birth” (Allison); Latin, meaning “a blessing” (Grace).

pros — Jane Curtin’s character from TV’s “Kate and Allie”; Rachel McAdams character from The Notebook; Jessica Biel’s character in I’ll Be Home for Christmas; Allison Janney (“West Wing”). added gravitas — Not much, though Allison Taylor was the fictional President of the USA in the television series “24.”

cons — A character on “Melrose Place,” played by Courtney Thorne-Smith, appears to have been an alcoholic; Tropical Storm Allison struck Houston in 2001, killing 41; our child will be the farthest thing from “grace”-ful; nickname (“Allie”) confusion with dirty city sidestreets (“Alley”).

literary — None. music — “Allison” is a song by the Pixies from their 1990 album Bossanova; Alison Krauss; Allison Crowe; Alison Goldfrapp (of rock duo Goldfrapp).

googling “Allison Parker” — 66,100 hits. mostly personal social media profiles, results from sports competitions, and a “famous” Australian endurance motorcycle rider.

in short — everywoman, or the smart/pretty girl next door.