Isaac O’Watkiss

I have a couple half-done posts in the hopper about our trip to Cuba last month, and how things are going now that I’m back at work full-time (spoiler: pretty good!). But I’m tired, and busy, and tired. And they have been difficult to finish.

Then, as I was lamenting my lack of posting, I remembered a story a lot of people ask about and I don’t think I’ve shared here yet. It’s also seasonally appropriate.


The story of Isaac’s middle name: Odin.

Neil has wanted a kid named Isaac for a very long time. It happens to be his brother’s middle name, and he likes the uniqueness of the double-vowels. I like that it’s a classic name without being particularly trendy or common. And we both love that it means “the one who laughs.” Picking it for his first name was easy.

But we had no idea what to choose for a middle name.

Going through web pages and books of names weren’t generating any inspiration. But inspiration did strike in an unusual place: the middle of a joke.

Depending on how my pregnancy was measured, my due date was either the 15th or 19th or March. Split the difference, and it’s St. Patrick’s day. So, I declared, should we have a St. Paddy’s day baby, we should give him the middle name “O'” (yes, O-apostrophe), so he could be Isaac O’Watkiss.

After a good laugh, we realized we really liked “Isaac O. Watkiss,” and started digging into “O” names.

Let me tell you, there are not many of those I like.

Oliver? Octavius? Oberon? Oedipus? No thanks.

We did like the cadence of how Owen fit into things, but happen to know a TON of Owens who were born recently, so weren’t super keen on using it.

Then, while paging through an old book of Gaelic and Scottish names my mother-in-law found on one of their many bookshelves and brought out as a lark, we discovered “Odin.”

Similar cadence to Owen. A little different without being too weird. We liked the juxtaposition of a name meaning “the one who laughs” with “the god of fury” – furious laughter? – and with our wanderlust and perpetually itchy feet, also liked the idea of Odin the Wanderer.

So Odin it was. And Isaac O. Watkiss he is.

And yes, he does fancy a Guinness, when his dad will share a few spoonfuls.

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One thought on “Isaac O’Watkiss

  1. Ren

    Love it when there’s a story behind a name. Love it even more when it’s a fun one!
    Happy St. Patty’s day!

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