Every evening, I settled my pregnant body on the sofa and opened my baby name book.

Annabel? Maybe. Muriel? No. Phoebe? Yes. Phoebe  Elvis? Definitely not.”

I pondered each name, wrote it down or moved onto the next one. My possible name list grew... and then shrunk again to nothing as I changed my mind. Finding the perfect name for our soon-to-be-born baby always seemed an impossible task. There were thousands to choose from so why couldn't I find even one that I liked? The weeks of pregnancy flew by and I imagined bringing home a child with no other name than ‘baby Elvis’.

When I went into labour with our fifth baby, I threw the baby name book into my bag as we rushed out the door to the hospital. But then…

“Charlotte Mary… How do you like Charlotte Mary?” I asked Andy, between contractions.

“Yes!” Andy agreed. "Perfect." That was a close call.

For the first few weeks or months our children were called by their chosen names. Then gradually these names morphed into nicknames. Charlotte became Sharlie. Imogen turned into Immy… It took a bit longer for Gemma-Rose to become Gebbles. All our children have a shortened form of their name or a nickname… except for Thomas.

We always call Thomas ‘Thomas’. I guess he would have become Tom if he’d lived. But then again we might have given him a more unusual nickname.  Gemma-Rose didn’t become Gemma but rather Gebbles.

Last weekend I spent a long time visiting baby name websites looking for possible names for story characters, and I discovered something very interesting.

At dinner on Sunday, I was eager to share: “I found out what Tintin is short for?” Ears pricked up. Tintin is big news at the moment in our house. We all watched the latest Tintin movie the other night and the girls have also been working their way through the comic series on DVD.

“Tintin is a French nickname for Augustine.”

“Thomas’ middle name is Augustine.”

“Tintin can be Thomas’ nickname!”

Everyone smiled. I think they like this idea.

A few months ago we gave Thomas his confirmation name which somehow we missed giving him at the right time. On Sunday he received his nickname.

What do you think Thomas? Do you like Tintin?

After we chose Thomas' confirmation name, I wrote the following in my story Introducing Thomas Augustine Joseph:

I feel I have been given a little gift from God. I thought Thomas’ story was over, nothing new to add. And now I have just given him an extra name. I am sure God stores up little surprises for us, giving us unexpected moments of joy. I wonder what other Thomas gifts God will give to me in the future. I have no doubt that God will reveal other little details of our son that I will treasure forever. 

So once again...

I’d like to introduce Thomas Augustine Joseph Elvis... otherwise known as Tintin.

“Tintin… What's Tintin's last name?” asks Sophie, thinking about the comic character.

"Does he have a last name?"

No one here seems to know. Do you?
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  1. Really sweet! We have Massimo ( Maxwell in Italian...he was born there)or Max-Max, Cheyenne is Cheyanny-pops, Josy is Josy-Posy or Josefina or Josy-Posy-Rosy-Nosy, Sanjay is Sahnjay- Mahnjay...we actually have a little silly song that we sang for him.

    Love Tintin...we just watched the movie over the weekend, nope...don't recall ANY name other than Tintin, that was something I was wondering about!

    God bless!

    1. Karla,

      I love your family's names! Repeating syllables or rhyming names seem to just happen. And yes, some children seem to have more than one nickname. Some last for a while and are replaced and some go on and on. I once wrote down all the names our children have ever been known by and the last was very long!

      God bless you!

  2. That's cute - I like it:-)

    No idea about Tintin's last name. Our children watched it recently, too, but I must admit I don't know the first thing about it. Isn't it funny, though, how a movie can absorb everyone and lead to new thoughts and interests? We watched the Philadelphia Story, the other day, but that was one of our flops. I don't know whether it was the fact that the male lead shoved the lady over, in the first scene, or that she was spoilt and not very loveable but it didn't grip us and we turned it off halfway through.

    St. Tintin - sounds like a name that could become famous!

    Have a nice day.

    God bless:-)

    1. Vicky,

      St Tintin? I like that too!

      The kids collected some Tintin comic books and read others from the library, then a few years ago I found the DVD series which they enjoyed. Duncan bought the latest movie for Sophie for her birthday.

      I haven't seen The Philadelphia Story. I must admit I don't even know anything about it. From what you are saying, it doesn't seem worth me finding out more! At least with DVDs we can press the off button. A bit more difficult when we're at the cinema and paid money to see the film.

      Enjoy your day too!

  3. I like Tintin as a name. I didn't know it was short for Augustine. (Or Augustus).

    Can you imagine if the Roman Emperor Augustus was called Tintin? He would probably have been much nicer with a name like that. Names affect peoples' characters you know.

    I used to read Tintin books as a child. Both in English and in French. Still have some books ... oh no ... yet another search throughout the house coming up!

    Why do I keep losing things? Just found my hat in the fridge!

    God bless.

    1. Victor,

      Yes, Tintin sounds like a friendly name. Names affect characters? I like that idea. It's funny how certain names make us think of certain types of people.

      I think our library has some Tintin books in French. My French isn't good enough to read them though.

      Sophie was telling me today how Herge left one unfinished book. He didn't want anyone finishing it for him after his death so we'll never know how it ends. I don't know what story she was talking about. I might go and find out more.

      Yes, find your books! You'll be able to enjoy them all over again.

  4. Sue,
    I had to google Tintin to find out what character you were referring too. At first I was thinking about The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin but this didn't seem to fit with the character you were talking about so I looked it up and saw that it was a movie that came out last year.

    I didn't know Tintin was a nickname for Augustine? It's cute too! I guess all parents have nicknames for their kids and I smiled at the name Gebbles! I call Michaela "Pumpkin" or "Boo" a lot :)

    1. Mary,

      I will have to look up Rin TinTin. That name is vaguely familiar but I don't really know anything about this character. When I found out that Tintin is short for Augustine it made sense. I had thought it was a made up name.

      Gebbles took quite some time to appear but it suits Gemma-Rose perfectly! She doesn't like to be called Gemma but loves Gebbles. Nicknames are so popular. Even our three cats have nicknames! I love 'Pumpkin'. Another name we often give to a girl is 'Possum'.

      God bless you!


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