What’s In A Name?

When I announced that we are expecting a little baby boy, a few of you dear readers asked if we had a name picked out.

I didn’t answer right away … you see, picking out a name has been one of the hardest parts of my pregnancy. The Nerd and I just don’t agree.

We argued and debated and I’d suggest a name and he’d hate it. And then I’d suggest another and he’d hate it.

I want the baby’s name to have some meaning to us. But I also want the name to be fairly traditional. I grew up with an unusual name, and while I love my name, I don’t think I’d want my child to have to constantly correct people on pronunciation or spelling or whatever.

All of this is to say that I think we’ve settled on a name that we both love, has meaning and also has a pretty cool story behind it.

One of The Nerd’s favorite books growing up was Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Last year, he convinced me to read it and I absolutely loved it.

The story is about a young boy (I think he’s 8 years old when the book opens?) who is a genius and is sent off to space battle school to learn how to fight an alien race, called the Buggers, who are hell-bent on destroying Earth.

The main character’s name is Andrew, but everyone calls him Ender. He is the third child in his family — an unusual occurrence when having more than two children has been outlawed by the government. They made an exception for the Wiggin family, though, because the first two children were unfit for battle school.

They hoped that Ender would have all the desirable traits in a military leader — and he did.

Personally, I LOVE the name Ender. I think it’s unique and interesting and you wouldn’t have to tell anyone how to spell it.

But The Nerd didn’t like it — he said that “Ender” was a derogatory name that was used in the book to isolate Ender and make him feel inadequate. Which is true.

So, we came to a compromise. We are going to name our little baby boy Andrew. I would love to call him Ender, but I’m not sure if we will. Right now, I think Andrew suits us just fine.

We’re still working on a middle name. There are several that I love — James and Ryan are at the top of my list. Now, if I can just get The Nerd to agree…

Ok, now for the funny story behind it.

Orson Scott Card

When I was at ALA, Orson Scott Card was signing one of his newest books, Pathfinder.

I got my book signed, and told Mr. Card that I was having a baby in December and we planned to name him Andrew, after Ender in Ender’s Game.

Mr. Card stopped signing my book for a brief moment, looked up at me, and said, “Thank you. Thank you SO MUCH for not naming him Ender. That’s a TERRIBLE name for a baby!”

I just laughed.




  1. JENNIFER says:


  2. Love this story! It’s one that you will no doubt love telling Andrew when he’s old enough.

  3. OMG, I LOVE this! I am also WAY jealous that you got to meet Orson Scott Card. I absolutely ADORE all of the Ender and Bean series, and cannot wait to read Pathfinder. You just made my little nerdy heart happy!

  4. That’s a great story, and a great choice! Hopefully you’ll have a full name soon!

  5. Lori A. says:

    Great story!! My husband and I had a really hard time coming up with a boys name. Going through girl names was so easy…but when we had our son we couldn’t think of a thing. I ended up picking the name of a character from a tv show I liked..My husband HATES for me to tell people that because his name is Dylan from a character on 90210. 😉 For his middle name we just picked something that sounded good with it and we both liked.

  6. I love it! Most of all I love that it has such a meaning with you two. And just think, you already have a story to tell Andrew about his name and a really cool author!

  7. Little Andrew will be able to share this story all through his life. It’s just nerdy enough and classic. I like Ryan for a middle name. = )

    Here’s my little story about Ender’s Game. We were on the school web site yesterday registering and I noticed the summer book for kids going into high school AP English is Ender’s Game. I had never heard of it before, so I looked it up on goodreads. And then I come here and you have a post about Ender’s Game. It’s a sign Arena!

  8. I love it! Beautiful meaning too:)

  9. I love the name Andrew, it’s always been one of my favorite boy’s names. Excellent choice! Love the story with Orson Scott Card too.

  10. Ha! What a funny story to be able to share with your son! Love the name Andrew.

  11. Thanks, everyone!

    Melina – That is AWESOME! It IS a sign! Some of the things Ender has to go through are really tough… I just couldn’t believe that he was an 11-year-old boy. I forgot that while reading the book. It really makes you think. :)

  12. I love the name Andrew and the story behind it is fantastic. (I love good baby name stories.) :) With a traditional name like Andrew, you could give him an unusual literary middle name and get away with it. :) (Or make his initials spell something cool, if that’s possible.)

  13. That’s a great choice! I love all of the books in the Enderverse but Ender’s Game is my absolute favorite.

  14. Too funny!! Congrats BTW, you will LOVE being a boy mom :)

  15. The biggest fight me and my husband had was over picking a baby name. LOL! It is so hard to name somebody. I love the name Andrew, its classic and unique at the same time. What about having his middle name be Ender?

  16. Cindy Ramirez says:

    Wow… I got a kick out of the funny story!
    So, is your baby going to be named Andrew, or is it a possibility?

  17. so cute and a great story :) i named my little girl sophia like sophia mercer from hex hall lol.

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