The Story Behind Her Name


We get a lot of questions about Rooney's name when we're out and about. Do you know someone named Rooney? Is it after the soccer player? The band? The actress?

So here's the story.

After we saw "The Social Network" in January 2011, I saw the name Rooney Mara scroll through the credits. She had a small part in the movie (Mark Zuckerberg's ex-girlfriend), and had the coolest name I had ever heard. We love last names as first names, and uncommon names. Because she wasn't well-known, I thought it was perfect! After some research, I found out that her full name is Patricia Rooney Mara, and her mother's maiden name is Rooney. So it's not even her real first name...even better!

Before that, our top name for a girl was Kennedy. I love that it is typically a last name and Eric loves it because it was his grandmother's last name. But it was creeping up in the popularity charts (#90 I think), and we wanted something unique. Rooney was perfect, we decided. (We actually decided on this name for her a few days before we found out she was a girl. I was only looking at girl names because I was 100% sure she was a girl.)

Then, Rooney Mara was cast as the lead role in the popular film "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," which came out in December 2011, a few months before our Rooney was to be born. She was on all the talk shows. And she was up for an Oscar the weekend before we gave birth. We had announced her name started with R and were pretty sure people were going to guess it at that point. (Only one person did, and we swore her to secrecy.)

So there you have it. I am a soccer fan and we also listened to the band Rooney in college, but neither of those gave us the idea to name her Rooney. I was actually a little worried when I saw that the band Rooney's last album was titled Wild Child. Yikes.

Her middle name, Jane, is my mother's first name. I've always loved that name, and we thought it sounded pretty sweet with Rooney and gives it a more feminine feel. (We considered Mae as her middle name, but then she would have been named after two bands.)

Rooney Jane. Sounds like she could have a fashion line someday, yes?

It took us a while to get used to it after she was born, actually. To hear people say the name we kept secret for so long is weird in itself. I remember six days after she was born we were driving home from her doctor's appointment and second-guessing it. When the nurse called us back and said Rooney Williams, I thought, Who names their kid Rooney??? On the way home we decided that we can't really change it now, and we couldn't think of anything better before she was guess we'll just hope for the best.

Now that we see her personality coming out, we love that her name is Rooney. It is perfect.


Handmade ornament in photo above was won from Pretty as the Morning.