Name Origin: Lars Snyder Woolston

News to me! Naming a child is serious business. Of course I've thought about baby names my entire life, but not very seriously. There's one girl name that I've always loved but Greg isn't a fan. In regards to boy names, I had never really thought too much about it. But once we found out the gender of our baby, I was making lists and lists of potential names. I wanted to get a name picked out as soon as possible so that we could start getting to know him in the womb with his correct name. We spent hours and hours going through baby name websites, but in the end, we went with the first name we ever really talked about: Lars.


I was familiar with the name Lars but it was fresh in my mind after I married Greg. There is a movie called Heavyweights with Ben Stiller. He has an assistant from Europe named Lars. There's a part in the movie where Ben Stiller is lying down on a bed of nails and he wants Lars to put an ice block on top of his stomach, so he shouts, "Do it to it Lars!" So whenever Greg and I are getting to leave the house and I say, "Ok, are you ready to go?" He replies, "Let's do it to it Lars!"

Before we were expecting, I think we had mentioned that Lars could be a fun name since it already felt like we said that name a lot in our home. Greg also has a special place in his heart for those northern European names. He served his two year church mission in The Netherlands and so Lars is also a bit of a nod to his time there.

I really like that Lars is a short name. Woolston is 8 characters and a bit of a mouthful. Most of my other favorite boy names are long and just sounded too heavy with Woolston. I've realized the last few years that I really appreciate the Scandinavian mentality and I hope that Lars appreciates the regional origin of his name. I think they've mastered simplicity in design and lifestyle. I appreciate their aesthetic and that they're known tobe happy, even in the darkness and chill of winter. I hope that Lars appreciates the simple things too.

Both Greg and I have a Lars in our family history. I've really enjoyed family history ever since I took a class in college (and fun fact, I have been the family history consultant in my ward a few times). So I spent hours just clicking around on our family trees to see what sort of names we had in our history. It took awhile to figure out how to sync my account with Greg's, but I had a fun time doing it. And I love being able to tell people on both sides of the family where Lars came from. I also think it is nice that Lars has "Snyder" and "Woolston" from the paternal line of both families. But Lars comes from the family history of both of our mom's lines. It might be easier to just look at these screen shots of our family trees. Arla Cox is Greg's maternal grandma. His Lars lived in Denmark. Elmer Johnson is my maternal grandpa. His Lars lived in Norway.


Before we delivered, we had narrowed it down to 3 different names but we wanted to wait until we met him to make our final decision. One of the perks about the name "Lars" is that neither of us know anyone with that name, so it would be a clean slate with no bias or preconceived notions. We had about an hour alone in the hospital after the c-section when I got to meet Lars for the first time. It was a special time for our new little family and we decided that he was Lars right then and there.


As we talked about names, we had always planned on Lars being the middle name because I thought it was too unique to be his first name. But the more we talked about it, the more I wanted Lars as the first name. Because we knew he would take our surname of Woolston, we thought it would be nice if the middle name was from my side. I spent a lot of time looking at my family tree and trying to decide which name I wanted him to have. Ultimately I thought Snyder, my maiden name, summed it all up. It's the legacy of my mom's family and my dad's family and my family.


I have an unpublished blog post about my decision to take Greg's last name. I felt like it was important for the feminist in me to document that it was a process and a decision and not a blind expectation. Sharing a last name with Greg is now very special to me and I love that we share it. I don't have a middle name so my maiden name became my middle name, which I'm also very happy about. I'm glad that Lars can share in our last name too. And it's extra special for me that my son and I get to share two names. 

Not that it super matters, but I also really love that his name is like a pyramid. Lars is 4 letters, Snyder is 6 letters, and Woolston is 8 letters. The math and symmetry of it all makes me happy! 

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