Why We Had to Change the Baby’s Name

On Facebook on Friday, I casually let it “slip” that we would be naming our baby boy Sawyer.

Later that night, though, we decided against using that name and went with another name. (Yes, I’ll reveal it in this post. Just hang on!)

I have wanted a Sawyer since I was pregnant with Parker. It was one of our top 3 choices for names, but majority ruled, and I lost. Sawyer only received my vote, Spencer only received Ashley’s vote, but Parker received 3 votes – hubby’s, Zander’s, and Jace’s. After all, they loved the name because it represented “Spider-Man” – one of their favorite heroes.

So, I gave up the name Sawyer. And I’m glad I did, because Parker is a Parker, through and through.

When we found out we were pregnant, the first thing hubby said to me was, “Well, if it’s a boy, at least we already have a first name.” And then when we found out it looks like a boy at our most recent ultrasound, we started calling him Sawyer that same day. 

And then I discovered something.

Southerners cannot pronounce Sawyer right.

Since I first heard the story of “Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn,” I have pronounced Sawyer as SOY-er. Down here, though, it’s pronounced SAW-yer.

I hate it. 

If we gave this baby the name Sawyer, sure, we’d call him Sawyer (SOY-er) at home. And I’m certain all of our friends and loved ones would call him Sawyer (SOY-er) as well. BUT, the moment we’d ship him off to school, he would become known as Sawyer (SAW-yer), and I can’t have that.

So, after much discussion, we’ve decided the baby’s name will not be Sawyer. It breaks my heart, but I just can’t stand the way the name is pronounced down here.

Side note: I’ve never watched the show Lost, but I’m aware that there’s a character named Sawyer on there. Out of curiosity, how do they pronounce his name?

We’ve talked things over with the kids, and hubby and I have discussed this at length: the baby’s name will now be Gage.

We opted for Gage for several reasons: 1. It fits in really well with the names of our other kids, and 2. Zander has 6 letters, Jace has 4 letters, Parker has 6 letters, Gage has 4 letters – I thought it made the perfect little pattern.

Now we just have to come up with a middle name for baby Gage. And, no, we won’t be using Sawyer as the middle name. I guess we’ll figure out the middle name in another post.

Angie Vinez (2893 Posts)

Angie is a wife and mother to 8. Her life revolves around cooking, cleaning, laundry, and other household duties. She is passionate about her life in Christ and wants to encourage other mothers in their own walk of faith. Angie is active on many social media networks, loves technology, photography, and graphic design, and loves creating blog designs for other mom bloggers.


  1. 1

    …as someone who has been living the life of mis-pronounced/mis-spelled names for more than 40 years… I have to say that if his chosen name is Sawyer, Sawyer it should be… Play with the spelling… you'll get the sound 😉 So what if he can't find his name on a cup as you walk thru the store…

  2. 2

    I still like Sawyer, and they pronounced it Soy-er on Lost. Anyway, Gage is an interesting name too. So, is Gage pronounced like the gas gauge??? And what's the story behind that one. Just curious.

  3. 3
    Angie Vinez says:

    Tawnda – I just can't do the funky spelling. That's another big thing down here that kills me. One of my boys has a "Jessikuh" in his class. The Grammar Police in me cringes every time I see it. I need normal spelling and correct pronunciation. LOL. I'm a Grammar dork, I know.

    Beck – before we left Ohio, Gene and I taught a Sunday night children's class at CBT. The couple that helped us had a little boy (also in our class) named Gage, and Gene always talked about how much he loved the name. Since it's one of the only names we agreed on after Sawyer was out, I figured we'd better go with it. 🙂

  4. 4

    I'm from the South and would definitely have pronounced it SAW-yer, I have never heard it the other way! I did have to correct my Mom before my neice was born that it was Sarah-Beth, not SAY-ruh Beth. Made my skin crawl, and she did change it.

    You made the right decision because 99% of the people around here would have pronounced it the way you didn't want, and your child's name should be what you want it to be.

  5. 5
    Anonymous says:

    I am a southern girl myself but haven't lived in those parts for over 21 years…and you are absolutely right with the way it would have been pronounced I would still have said it incorrectly myself. Now with my name it use to be and still is depending on the dialect the person has trying to say Sadie "Sa-a-dy" "Sa-dy" and some other imaginative ways which me trying to spell them would be comical. Loving the name Gage and how ironic a 2 yr old boy with a great personality, who will be in my childcare starting next week is named Gage. I had not met nor heard of someone using this wonderful name, I had though heard the name from a Movie eons ago. Sadie from facebook 🙂

  6. 6

    I think on Lost it was SOY-er. Pretty sure. I totally can see why you wanted to change it. It would annoy me if everyone mispronounced my child's name all the time.

    Btw, Alexander would be a nice middle name to go with Gage. If you're looking for ideas. 🙂

  7. 7

    You. Have. Never. Watched. LOST?????????????????? Go watch it now! lol

    But there's another thing, people would be asking you if that's why you named him Sawyer and that would probably be really annoying. 🙂 I've never heard it pronounced any other way than Soy-er so I don't get that, but I really like Parker, too. 🙂

  8. 8
    Anonymous says:

    Middle name for Gage- Give the child a choice: Simply put a letter "H"? as his middle name- then he can pick one later-Holbrook, Howard, Hall, Henry, Hugh, Hartpence,ect el/ On The day he gets his first paycheck ( not from you), he earns the right to decide what his middle name will be. That way, if he's ever unhappy about his first name, he could use his chosen middle name instead.

  9. 9

    OK I am from the South. I am a little confused. Why would you pronounce saw like soy? See, in my thinking, we are saying it correctly because I mean when you see a saw (like the tool) you don't call it a soy right? Ok, I know there are accents and all that but it is just funny. I laughed so hard reading this post. Just to let you know, my name was always said wrong too. My name is Shana (like Donna) but it was always said like Dana or Hannah. Of course with the sh at the beginning.

  10. 10
    Melissa Beaver says:

    I really like Sawyer, just move back north and that will take care of that!! 😉 Gage is nice too though, can't wait to hear the middle name. I wish now I would have spelled Deakon's name with a 'c', I am forever saying 'Deakon with a k'.


  1. […] **Edited to add: Shortly after announcing the gender of our baby to be, we decided to change his name. I already had issues with calling each of the kids by each others’ names. Carter and Carly were just waaaaay too close. I’d never get him and her straight. So, we changed his name to Sawyer Michael, even though people in the South don’t say “Sawyer” properly. […]

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