Friday, April 17, 2009

What's in a Name?-Barclay's Name

Barclay Thomas George

A lot of people have wondered about Barclay's name and how we came about naming him, so I thought I'd write a little post about it.

Noah and I have always been opposite on baby names. He likes plain classic names and I like hippie names like Rain or Oak. In my head I figured I would win because I would go through labor and then beg for the name I wanted.

After we found out we were having a boy, name choosing seemed to be a little easier. I don't know what it was, but it was like we already knew our son and not having to think of girl names helped us focus.

I remember the first time I heard the name Barclay. We were having a family dinner with Noah's side of the family and I asked them what some of their family names were. They started listing names and they said the name Barclay. I remember my response was, " That sounds like a dog's name." I did end up writing it down on my infinite list of names to consider. I wrote it down as Barkley. For some reason, we kept on coming back to it and Noah and I agreed it was a nice name. Especially when I saw that it was spelled BARCLAY, I really started to like it.

I did some "research" on the name (ie typing it into google and searching for Barclays on facebook). Both yielded wonderful results. Barclay is the name of a square where concerts are performed in England, it is also a bank. On facebook, the only boy Barclay was really hot. He was a beach boy with blond hair and he was holding a fish he caught in his picture. I was so relieved my two favorite forms of research made Barclay a good choice for us.

I have always loved names to be meaningful and was a bit disappointed when I read that Barclay means "grove of birch trees". At the same time, a name book I picked up said Ding Bat was a good name for an honorable child. Hmmmm I perfer grove of birch trees myself.

I had a hard time at first because pretty much no one liked the name Barclay. It reminded people of:

But I really liked it! I decided I was going to call the baby a certain name for a day and see what felt true.
I called him Fergeson for about three days and it was nice but I felt disconnected.
I called him Eli, Samuel, Henry, Oak and they all felt strange.
The day I talked to him as Barclay, I just felt excited and like I was talking to my child! So we decided that Barclay it would be and I didn't care who didn't like it. I've been calling him that ever since.

Barclay is Noah's Great great grandfather's name, but we mostly named him for his Grandmother's favorite cousin Barclay. I found out later that Noah's mom and dad were having dinner with Barclay and his wife the night they went into labor with Noah. That made it even better.

I love the name because it is short, it is unique, and for some reason, I love last names as first names. (funny since our last name is a first name). And yes, I've already had trouble explaining it to the pharmasist.

"No, it's not George Barclay, it's Barclay George...etc"

Barclay's middle name was such a toss up. Probably because we like the first name so so so much we didn't feel the need to get another favorite name in there. We decided the day we delivered him that we would name him Barclay THOMAS George.

Thomas is a special name on both sides of our family:

My grandmother's father's name was Thomas Miller
Noah's grandfather's name was Thomas Miller George
My cousin Fergeson THOMAS was very special to me and was killed in a car accident two years ago.
I also have an Uncle Tom who I love very much.

Mostly, we named Barclay after Noah's closest childhood friend Thomas (Tommy) Huffman. Tommy was hit by a car while walking this past August and was taken to be with Jesus. I remember the awful phone call that day and seeing Noah crumple on the floor in tears. I was so sick with morning sickness and I remember holding him on the floor, puking on him, crying with him. It was just a mess. But I remember telling him that if we were having a boy, we could name him after Tommy. Tommy was a part of our family and we miss him so much. He was always sort of shy and I remember seeing him the day before he died at church. He was so sweet and asked if I was still puking and I said yes. He said he was sorry. He was just so compassionate and LOYAL. I cry pretty much every week when I think about our friend Tommy who isn't here to see Noah's son, but it gives me so much JOY to know that he has a little name sake here on earth.

This is a picture of Noah and Tommy.

And George...well I love the name George even though it isn't a negotiable name:-) It's my Dad's first name and so, even though I cannot name my children after my Dad's first name, I guess in a way, all my children will be named for him:-)

Oh, and for THE million dollar question. We pronounce Barclay's name (BAR-KLEE), even though it is spelled BarCLAY. I will only call him BarCLAY when we have tea with the queen, or if I'm feeling especially snooty one day:-)


  1. i have always pronounced it Bar-klee in my head if that makes you feel better :)

  2. Beautiful post. I love all the thought that went into Barclay's name and how special the whole name is to both of you. Jacob did not want to name our son after a family member because he didn't want other family members to feel "left out". So instead of having a child named after a favorite uncle or a grandfather, he is named after paint. We painted his room with Benjamin Moore paint and I fell in love with the name. We changed it slightly however - his middle name is Maddox :)


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