When we tell someone what Dorothy’s name is, nine out of 10 times the response is:
Wow! I love it! You don’t hear that name much anymore.
And that is immediately followed by:
Is that a family name?
It’s not a family name, though. It’s a name Mr. B and I just loved. It had risen to the top of our name list several weeks before Dorothy was born. There were a lot of reasons we liked it:
- It is a classic name that is only unique because people have sort of stopped using it. We knew our baby would be special — heck, she already was — and wanted a name that six other kids in her class wouldn’t have. But, we weren’t prepared to make one up or name her after an inanimate object.
- It has Greek origins. (The Greek version from which it came, Dorothea, means gift from God.) We aren’t Greek — well, maybe there’s some Greek in there somewhere … — but Penelope’s name is Greek. And I like that there’s something that will forever tie our girls together even though they’ll never meet.
- It’s meaning: gift from God. Because that is absolutely how we feel about Dorothy.
- It immediately brings to mind Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz” — who went somewhere over the rainbow. And our Dorothy is our rainbow baby.
But, all of these reasons aside, we didn’t choose this name for Dorothy until we met her. We had a list of a dozen or so name that were all in the running. Some of them were left on our list from when we named Penelope Joy. Some of them were recent additions. All were great names and would have made any baby happy. But, the second we saw Dorothy, we knew she would be our Dottie Lou.*
*We originally discussed Jane as a middle name, after Dorothy’s Aunt Bud. But something about Louise really stuck with us. And it sounds so lovely when we call her Dottie Lou.