Ok - since Janette asked... :-)
The household naming-of-a-baby routine is rather hilarious really. I have a long list of requirements.
1) The name has to be "unusual" and I have defined that as NOT being in the top 100 names on the social security website. I also like to see a trend of declining popularity if close to the 100 mark. (This was my scientific approach to determining what is unusual and what isn't. :-))
2) I prefer biblical names. I'm open to others, but it has to be a really really good name. I haven't run across one yet.
3) An appropriate meaning to the name...I don't want to name my kid "Sorrow" or "Causes Pain".
This isn't a rule per say - but something I've found. I don't like "S" names. It sounds too snakey when paired with our last name. SsssSsss...which is too bad. There are a lot of S-names I like in general. It is a pain to discount an entire letter of the alphabet.
Ok - wait that isn't a long list. BUT it seems long enough! Even with these three things it takes us forever and hundreds of names to find just the right one. Pretty much the way it goes is I start with a short list of names I really like. I email those off to William. He may pick a name he likes off of the girls' list, but will shoot down every single boy name.
This process goes on for months until we find a boy name we like (this time we had two). We had a short list of girls names (3 total). I sent him probably 30 boy names and about 10-15 girl names.
William has a conflicting interest. While I like unusual names, he likes names that are more common sounding. So finding a right balance between the two is a very difficult task. While I may like a name like "Malachi" or "Cornelius" he doesn't. He also tends to dislike names associated with anything television (and the man is a walking TV encyclopedia...). AND...sometimes I will think we have found a name that we can agree upon, and he will change his mind later on it. As we get closer to pregnancy, I pretty much just end up flinging names at him that I can live with until he finds one he can live with.
He was against the name Peter for awhile, because it reminded him of the Brady Bunch...I challenged him to find a name and he came around on the name Peter. Incidentally, God gave me the name driving down the road one day.
It is amazing our children have names. No really.
Middle names are easier. We use the middle names to honor people we love. Rebekah's middle name honors my beloved Granny. Peter honors William's line of men. Ruth honors my great Aunt who means the world to me.
And up to now we had been taking turns on who gets to pick the middle name. The first kid - if it had been a boy it would have been William's choice. Second kid both boy and girl names were of William's choosing. Third kid both were of my choosing, but I told him he could pick a boy name. I have more women who have influenced my life than men...and didn't feel strongly on a boy middle name. (William didn't either...so if Ruth had been a boy, his middle name would have been after my mother's father...whom I never met. He died before I was born.)
And so there you have it. For Ruth in particular, I also appreciate the Biblical character. She was pretty awesome. :-)