After all the joking conversations about Pete's name here, it occurs to me to share where the real thing came from. The middle name came first: "Jacob Simpson" echoes "Jacobson," Carolyn's last name. The boy's middle name was the first decision we made and the only one on which we never wavered.
The decision on "Peter" came much later. We were tossing around a bunch of boy names. Then friends of ours set up a baby name game with a bunch of people: one group shook up a Boggle cube, and another laid out a bunch of Scrabble tiles. Both groups came up with names that were in or suggested by the visible letters. Some of the results were common names, some funny, such as "Yoda." The Boggle group listed "Kit." I thought "Kit Simpson" sounded like a wicked cool name. Later, we asked ourselves what more mainstream names had the same kind of sound. Pete! said we. Peter? asked we. I like Peter, said Carolyn. Hmm, said Erik. The rock! So do I. Let's keep thinking about that. We also liked the trochaic effect of "Peter Jacob Simpson." Now, of course, we think our little guy couldn't possibly have gone by another name.
And that's how Pip became Pete.