The Real Meaning Behind My Unique Baby Name: Why I Named My Kids Elspie + Django
There is a fascinating story behind every baby name. Whether the inspiration came from nature, athletes or family traditions, baby names can reveal a tremendous amount about our families and our heritage. In our new series, “The Real Meaning Behind My Unique Baby Name,” we’re talking with parents who chose creative baby names for their children. Scroll on to read about a couple who drew inspiration from people they admire.
The Creative Baby Names
Elspeth “Elspie” Broer Hellermann and Django Peterman Broer-Hellermann
The Story (and Real Meaning!) Behind the Baby Names
Bill Hellermann doesn’t consider “Elspeth” or “Django” to be creative baby names. For Bill and his wife, both of these names were ways to recognize and honor people that the couple admires. For his oldest daughter, Elspeth, Bill wanted a name that would pay homage to his mother, “Elisabeth,” and the unconventional spelling of her name (with an “s” instead of a “z”). He came across the name “Elspeth” three months before his daughter was born, and he instantly knew it was the one. Won over by the traditional, old-fashioned Scottish take on Elizabeth, Bill appreciated that the name wasn’t very popular, and he also really liked the nickname “Elspie.”
When it came to naming his son Django, Bill says a friend of his mentioned the name at a dinner party, and it stuck with him. He liked that it was a “really cool” name, but more importantly, he loved the history behind it. Before Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, there was Django Reinhardt, a French jazz guitarist, one of the most influential musicians in the history of jazz. While Bill’s wife was a fan of the name, she was concerned that the unconventional nature of “Django” might limit his career opportunities — could Django really be a stockbroker, or a lawyer? They gave Django a a second name, “Peterman,” though Bill says that it turns out stockbrokers actually love the name.
What Elspeth and Django Think
Django says that at first, “It was hard, but then I grew up and it fit.” Elspie told us that during her preteens, “I hated my name and wanted something more ‘normal,’ that wouldn’t make me different from my friends. I tried (unsuccessfully) to change it to Brooke.” However, since her teenage years, she has grown to love her name, and she only goes by “Elspie.” “My name is a part of my identity. It’s not ideal for meeting a group of people in a loud setting, but on those occasions, I usually just shorten it to El. Once people learn (and can say) it, they don’t tend to forget it.” While Elspie isn’t sure what she’d name her kids, she says she’s more drawn to unusual names.
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