Giving Thanks

Nov 26th 2008

This week, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving.  It's a lovely holiday, an occasion to gather together in appreciation and give thanks for the bounty with which we are blessed.  This seems a natural time to consider baby names rooted in the concept of gratitude.  Here's a sampling:

Bongani (Zulu, male, "give thanks")
Shakir (Arabic, male, "grateful")
Shukura (Kiswahili, female, "grateful")
Tatenda (Shona, male/female, "thank you")
Tendai (Shona, female, "be thankful")

No, I didn't intentionally avoid names of European origin.  Oddly enough, European naming tradition -- which directly celebrates many other virtues -- offers little in the way of gratitude.

Some names may seem to suggest thanks.  Grace, for instance, shares deep etymological roots with the word gratitude.  The two concepts make contemporary links in some languages whenever you give thanks (gracias, grazie), and in English when you say grace before meals.  But other powerful connotations, especially elegance and God's love, dominate the name's meaning. 

Similarly, divine gifts are celebrated in a plethora of names: Bogdan, Donato, Dorothy, Jonathan, Matthew, Theodore, Zebadiah.  The focus, though, is on the child himself as God's gift to the family.  That's a loving expression of parental gratitude, but different from a celebration of the fundamental virtue of thankfulness.

For more direct expressions of gratitude in English names, you have to look back in time.  The Puritans were known to use Thankful as a name along with Obedience, Humility and their ilk in centuries past.  And you'll occasionally -- very occasionally -- find a namesake of Saint Deogratias.

Or you could just stick with Grace.  Your daughter might be especially thankful if you did.


By Grazia (not verified)
November 26, 2008 2:00 PM

The name Mercy/Mercie seems to have a connection to thankfulness, esp. if the parents are thinking of the French "merci."

But meanwhile, new babies at the local hospital include:

GIRLS: Leila, Matilda, Candice, Lailan, Maria, Madeline, Gianna, Aleeza, Alyssa, Lana, Isabella, Tamani, Remy, Calise, Naturelle, Ailyn, Jasmin, Sydney, Haylie, Journé, Arielle, Nya, Lilliana, Layla, Camie, Helen, Natalie, and Lillian.

BOYS: Cameron, Evan, Julian, Ace, Eduardo (2), Yuma, Vincent, Avery, Antonio, Remington, Preston, Nickolas, Frank, Jake, Jayden, Xander, Travis, Ethan, Tysen, Mizael, Juan.

Main trend seems to be the L-L- names for girls--Leila, Lailan, Lillian, Lilliana, Layla.... If you're thinking any L-L- name will be unusual at the Kindergarten gates in 2013, think again!

Naturelle, hmm, names like that always sound more like a soap brand in the abstract.

November 26, 2008 2:38 PM

Did you realize that someone entered "Poop" as a sister name to Grace in Namepedia? Surely that's not someone's real name?! But if it were, I can't imagine that she'd be a sister to Grace. Maybe to Urea, though.

November 26, 2008 2:53 PM

Grazia- My first reaction to Naturelle was hand lotion! Elle is a great nn, but I'd say there are better ways to get there... Really interesting grouping, I wonder if Frank is a junior? That name stands out! Also Remy for a girl (anyone seen the disney movie ratatouille??) Tamani- which in my head sounds like Tamany (sp?) Hall of corrupt NY fame. Probably not the right pronunciation though.

I like Lana, reminds me of 1930s hollywood and not one I've heard in awhile, despite the "L"

By JN (not verified)
November 26, 2008 4:17 PM

Fascinating subject! I wonder if this has to do with how Western vs. Eastern religions influence baby naming practices. For example, maybe in Eastern religions baby naming is an opportunity to directly send a message to a higher being(s). If I had that mindset, gratitude is certainly what I would wish to convey!

November 26, 2008 5:23 PM

Grazia- thank for that list- wow, the girls' names all seemed to contain the same letters: a,l,i,n,e. (Hmm... Aline, anyone?) Also there were very few names with two consonants in a row.

Naturelle? Sounds like a feminine hygiene product.

By Melissa C (not verified)
November 26, 2008 5:28 PM

A few other names that kind of relate to Thanksgiving:

Donata- means given
Eustacia- giving fruit
Faida- plentiful
Thana- means thanksgiving
Theresa- harvest

also closely tied in with the grace idea is Carissa, Chanah and Charis all mean grace. Probably referring to a graceful person but could also be used to refer gratitude.

November 26, 2008 9:01 PM

I feel like thanks would be the second meaning of Mercy, with the first more like Angel of Mercy.

In the list Grazia posts, a lot of names strike me as African American. Tamani reminds me of Kymani as in the Kimani Tru young adult book series and Bob Marley's son Ky-mani.

By Grazia (not verified)
November 26, 2008 11:46 PM

Well, I was curious, so I looked through the baby's photos and parents' names. Most are definitely Asian or Latino (Cameron's parents, for example, both have Vietnamese names; Yuma's parents both have Japanese names; Helen's parents both have names that are mainly used by Spanish speakers). And that would match the area's demographics. I'd guess only four or five of the listed names belong to African-American newborns.

By Grazia (not verified)
November 26, 2008 11:47 PM

Oh--and the baby's middle name is also usually listed, which can help with the guess--Helen's middle name is the Spanish (and Italian) version of a popular name, for example.

By J&H's mom (not verified)
November 27, 2008 12:20 AM

I think I've mentioned before that Grace is probably the single most popular name among our immediate circle of friends and acquaintances.
Interestingly, I'd say only a few chose the name for its meaning, while most picked it simply because they liked the sound.
It's also paired with a whole variety of sibling styles.
Here's the rundown:

5ish Grace with older brother Gavin
5ish Grace (usually called Gracie) with little sister Savannah
8ish Grace with older sisters Hannah and Marie
6ish Grace with younger brother Holden
4ish Grace with younger sister Kaisa

and I know two teenage Graces, both the daughters of women, Lutheran pastors, so in their cases I'm sure the name was chosen for the meaning. Oh, and I had a great-aunt named Grace. She was born around 1909, and she definitely got the best name of the girls in the family.
I still think I'm missing someone...!

Grazia-Thanks for the list. Very spot-on with what's in style, isn't it?

Happy Thanksgiving, NEs!

By Eo (not verified)
November 27, 2008 10:39 AM

Hmmm, the immediate "Grace"'s I can think of have one Grace (six-ish) with an 8 year old sister "Sarah", and another, (eight-ish) with a three-ish year old little sister, "Julie". (I checked-- it's not "Julia", just Julie. French influence?)

Weirdly, as a sort of passionate Christian- veering-toward-mystical-but-outwardly-reserved- NE, I think it might be because it seems like a quality to be conferred by God, so a little conceited of humans to appropriate it!

Yet, I find as I get older, and as the world becomes ever more insistently and raucously secular, I've become more and more attached to names like "Christopher", "Christian", and the plain Biblicals, like the much-discussed "Paul" and "Ruth". Perhaps because to me, they quietly signal an affinity for Judeo-Christian values and tradition?

And I actually like the more homely and human virtue names like "Charity" and even "Patience" and "Prudence"...

Hubby has yet a different view. He's just as much a committed Christian, but he has the same reaction to the boy's name "Christian" as I do to Grace. He finds it's a wee bit presumptious, I think...

Happy Thanksgiving back to you, J@H's Mom, and all who celebrate!

By Eo (not verified)
November 27, 2008 10:45 AM

Oh, hubby just woke up from a long, pre-Thanksgiving sleep-in, and was able to elaborate: he said the reason he doesn't mind Grace as much as Christian, is that (as Laura points out) grace has several meanings, not all of which relate to the Deity...

By Megan W. (not verified)
November 27, 2008 12:07 PM

Not only have I met tons of Graces (I'm sure I'm forgetting many). I meet them in larger sib-sets

Grace (10 ish), eldest of 5, sib to Joe Jr, Evan, Grant and I forget

Grace (8 ish), eldest of 4, Sib to Evan, Katie and I forget

Emma Grace (16), youngest of 4, haven't met the sibs.

First two families devout Catholics, last I suspect is fairly secular.

Evan is the name that keeps popping up for me; I must know 5 or 6 in the under 5 set, all over New England and the Mid-Atlantic.

By Phoebe (not verified)
November 27, 2008 1:03 PM

Hey, J&H's Mom- I'm just wondering, was the Kaisa you mentioned named after the His Dark Materials character?
Also, today is actually my birthday (of course it doesn't always coincide with Thanksgiving, but it's always close), and I'm sure my parents never even considered it.

I don't think I'd like to be named after a nearby holiday, but I remember my sister Charlotte (born July 5th) found out that Koko the gorilla's full name, Hanabi-Ko, meant "Fireworks child" and wished she'd been named that for quite a while when she was a kid.

November 27, 2008 1:33 PM

Eo: What you said about "quietly signal[ing] an affinity for Judeo-Christian values and tradition" is really interesting. Sort of like as a way for Christians to represent their faith but separate themselves from the most visible sort of Christianity that we see in American politics these days? I think that's really really interesting. Although I don't know if I agree that Christian fits into this category--it feels more "in your face" to me.

November 27, 2008 6:05 PM

Born this week at our local hospital - a Lyberti and a Justice - both girls.
I'm assuming Lyberti is pronounced the same as "liberty" but I don't know for sure.

November 27, 2008 10:25 PM

I know several Graces - a Mary Grace who goes by Grace - late 50s, don;t know the sibs,
Marygrace who goes by Gracie, (6), sibs Patrick, Teresa (nn Tess) & John (nn Jack)
Grace (5ish) - baby brother Blake
Grace (8) - sibs Alex, Emily, David,Mariana, Daniel
Grace (4ish) sibs Elizabeth, Benjamin, Luke, RIta

All but the 5ish are fairly devout Catholics, although Gracie was named by her birthmom, so I am guessing they were mostly named at least partly for the meaning. My daughter is Lucy Grace Irene for the meaning too.

Eo - I also find myself drawn more to biblical names, virtue names, and being Catholic, saint's names. I have met several boys names Christian, many of them are Hispanic boys ages 10- 14. It is a little more in-your-face, I suppose, but most people don't seem to take it like that.

I never gave much thought to the lack of gratitude in Western names. Hmm

November 28, 2008 12:03 AM

I have two Graces in my church.

The 1st Grace is 12 and has two sisters named Tiffany and Joy. (I always wonder if Tiffany feels left out... as if being in the middle isn't enough already.)

The 2nd Grace is 4 and has two brothers named Owen and Ian.

My brother (has a bachelors in youth ministry) and his wife will give their new baby the mn of Grace or Karis (which means grace). I think they see it as a way to thank God for the grace He has given us. So, even if it isn't being used as the meaning "thanks," they are still thanking God by using the name.

By Rhanda (not verified)
November 28, 2008 1:00 AM

@ Jenny L3igh:

RE: Remy for a girl.

There's a character on "House" now, female, whose first name is Remy, and I also thought that was a little weird. Thought it was more of a French guy name. Unlike most boy names that get turned into girl names, I actually do like Remy for a feminine, although it sounds like a nickname.

November 28, 2008 1:30 AM

I have a friend who's dd is named Grace (2+1/2) she is twin to Sophie and sib to Mya (pron My-ah). I like the name but was never much for virtue names. I know the names Patience and Verity and the like are not made up, but they sound so in my head. The exceptions are names like Grace, Christian, Trinity, and other more flowery things. I guess that's it-Patience isn't flowery enough.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

By ET (not verified)
November 28, 2008 6:00 AM

The only Grace I can think of whose siblings names I know would be 19.
siblings: Annie, Florence and Alice.

Florence and Alice are twins incase anyone was interested.

By Eo (not verified)
November 28, 2008 7:09 AM

Hi RobynT-- You ask such interesting questions. I don't think of such names as "in one's face" at all, actually. ("In-one's-face" behavior to me is things like swearing on the bus, etc.!)

Bestowing a saint's name, a Biblical name, or name like "Christian" I see as a natural manifestation of one's values, and a gentle reminder of faith, maybe akin to hearing church bells across a distant valley, seeing acts of charity, or wearing a cross? In the turbulence of daily living, I find reminders of things "bigger" than me to be positive... They may not be momentous in and of themselves, but they add up.

It's neat that secular namers have over time been drawn to the name "Christian" as well.

DRDS, I suppose they thought "Lyberti" was a more "catchy" spelling, but the original is so strong and distinctive, too bad they didn't stick with that!

By Eo (not verified)
November 28, 2008 7:10 AM

I LOVE Annie, Florence and Alice, ET!

By Eo (not verified)
November 28, 2008 10:05 AM

Had to run upstairs and record this:

C-Span is showing an interview Brian Lamb did with historians Richard Norton Smith and Douglas Brinkley. Brinkley isn't even one of my favorite historians, but Brian Lamb asked him the names of his three children, and it's always fascinating to see especially what criteria intellectuals use for naming their children...

They are all under five years of age. Anyway, their names are:
girl, "Benton"
boy, "Johnny"
girl, "Cassady"

The first girl was named for the painter Thomas Hart Benton; the boy, for an uncle killed in Guam, (and Brinkley always liked Johnny Cash), and the second girl, for Neal Cassady, of Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation fame. (I'm spelling her name Cassady with an "a" because of Neal Cassady's spelling).

Anyway, it all sounds interestingly random and personal, doesn't it? I'm liking Brinkley a bit more because of it. Would rather have known Richard Norton Smith's names for HIS kids, but for some reason I think he might be a bachelor...

November 28, 2008 1:15 PM

Eo: I guess by "in your face," I meant that the parents want us to know that this person is Christian. Like this is the most important thing we should know about him or her. Or something like that. But yeah I'm not sure if this is really true. Maybe some folks just like the sound? Or the nn Chris?

I guess I think of it as the equivalent of putting a Jesus fish on your car or bumper sticker or wearing a t-shirt announcing one's faith. That it is very important that people know it. One of my friends noted that this seems more common for Christians (in the US) than folks of other religious backgrounds. Not sure if that is just our perception, but if it is true, I guess maybe it is because part of Christianity is to spread the gospel/missionary tradition... right? Or maybe we just see more of it b/c there are more Christians in the U.S. than folks of other religious backgrounds.

Oddly I see wearing a cross as different. I see small pieces of jewelry like that as things that you can like hold and touch in times of need or something like that. Maybe this is all just based on what I can relate to or other random factors.

re: female Remy: I went to high school with a R@imi, pron like cotton ramie. Her older sisters were @kemi and @rynn (pron. Aaron), and her younger sister was Cl@rynne (pron Cla-REEN I think). I was always curious about their names. @kemi is a Japanese name and the family is Japanese American and had spent some time in Japan--I think because dad was in the (US) military. And I thought it ws interesting that Cl@rynne's name incorporated @rynn's.

Oh, there is also a character in the anime Sailormoon named Raimi, pron the same way. But with this spelling, in Japanese, it should be pronounced Ry-me. I don't get it.

By Amanda (not verified)
November 28, 2008 1:57 PM

I find myself getting sick of the name Grace, even though it is a lovely name that probably fits into my style. Here are the Grace's we know:

Kendall Grace (2yrs) *girl*

Grace Elizabeth (16mo.)

Rylee Grace (9mo.) *girl*

Grayson Channel (19mo.) *boy* brother Maddox - I know this is not the same name at all, but I can't hear it without hearing the Grace part, especially since these are all buddies of my son and people often mishear me and confuse Grace with Grayson

November 28, 2008 2:42 PM

Some days I like Grace and others it is overused. For a while I really liked Grayson. I have a friend that named one of her triplet boys Grayson and I loved it. But I hear it as Gray-sn. (the other are Liam and Andrus) But When I hear someone say Grays-n it is totally off my list.

There was an Ian and Owen sibs set mentioned above. I just returned from a week to HI. I met twins Ian and Hannah with little bro Owen. Can someone tell me why Ian and Hannah feels oddly like different forms of the same name or repetitive or .... ??

I am looking for boys names that mean blessing or blessed or gift or something similar.

By Grazia (not verified)
November 28, 2008 3:24 PM

Ian and Hannah aren't different forms of the same name--but Ian and Hans are, which might be where the feeling comes from.

November 28, 2008 7:04 PM

Jessica-I think Ian and Hannah go quite well together because I believe both names travel well. They can slant in many different directions.

The first name to come to mind when I think blessing in a boys name is Matthew=Gift of God.

November 28, 2008 7:10 PM

Nathan means gift and Nathaniel gift of God.

By Beth (not verified)
November 28, 2008 8:28 PM

I too tire of Grace. I know two, one a 5-ish sib to Hope, Christian, and Stephen (a religious family, clearly!), and one a sibling to Eleanor, a name I love. But it does seem to be everyone's choice of a "placeholder" middle name, there because it sounds good. In that respect Grace and Rose might be the Marie and Ann of this generation; I remember when everyone was Heather Marie and Kelly Ann and Kristin Lee.

Christians. I do think there is more of a "spread the news" imperative, but I also think that differs across denominations. You rarely see a Presbyterian, for instance, with a bumper sticker talking about it.

But I like Christian as a boys' name; it seems more traditional than "in your face" to me. But perhaps a bit too much to saddle a kid with unless he/she has a strong church community.

November 28, 2008 9:50 PM

I don't know whether Christian is in your face, but it is unsubtle- but I'm not a fan of "virtue" names in general. It's too easy for the names to become a burden, exacerbating normal human faults. Amongst other things.

Grace: I know an 89-year-old, a 30-something, a couple in their late teens (both Asian, actually), and yes, many MANY Graces and Gracies in both the church nursery and in the shop I work at. My grandmother (b. before 1900) was a Grace, and as a young NE, I wanted to use it for a daughter- for her, and because I'm named for her. However, it's one that I went off fairly early too- because if I have a daughter who is like me (the clumsiest clod on earth), the name would be too ironic, plus, I don't really like the sound. And there are so many out there just at the moment that I think it'll be date-stamped 1995-2015 (yes, it's a timeless name. So are Isabella and Sophia).

November 28, 2008 10:52 PM

Like Beth mentions, it seemed to me that everyone I went to school with had the middle name of either Marie, Lynn, Lee, or Ann. (I was born in '79, in the south.)

On the same note, we are considering using Hope as the middle name of our baby girl, as I mentioned awhile back. However, I'm wondering if Hope is becoming one of those "filler" middle names, like Grace and Rose seem to be, in my opinion. Not that they aren't pretty mns, by any means. I like both very much, but we're trying to stay away from mns that are very popular right now. Opinions needed, please! :)

By Beth (not verified)
November 28, 2008 11:52 PM

Hm, well, not that you asked me in particular, but I like Hope a bit better; it seems less "filler" and more intentional. I've seen it, but not quite as often as Grace and Rose.

I suspect that almost any one-syllable name can sound filler-y, though. My daughter's mn is Jane, for a grandmother, but it sometimes looks like her name is Caroline we-couldn't-think-of-anything-else Lastname. But, you know, if you love a name, use it (which always reminds me of "if you give a pig a pancake...").

Overuse of semi-colons and paretheses. Check.

By Beth (not verified)
November 28, 2008 11:53 PM

Parentheses, dangit. This degree in English does me no good.

By Amy3 (not verified)
November 28, 2008 11:54 PM

I, too, know several Graces.

*9-yr-old Grace (sister Sadie)
*8-yr-old Grace (sister Lucy)
*7-yr-old Grace (sister Rose)
*7-yr-old Grace (much older brother, name unknown)

Danielle -- I think Hope makes for a nice mn, but probably precisely because it does have that "filler" feel. I'm not sure that's altogether bad. I don't know anyone with a mn Hope, though, if that helps with the popularity angle.

By Eo (not verified)
November 28, 2008 11:58 PM

It's interesting to me that very secular Europeans seem to use the traditional "Christian", particularly Germans and Scandinavians. I disagree that this highly traditional name is unsubtle, any more than "Christopher" or "Christiana" is. (I wonder where our long-time poster Christiana is? Her name always struck me as a bit fresher, more timeless I suppose than "Christine" or the Kristin/Kerstin variants.)

At any rate, "Christian" has been in use in Britain since the thirteenth century. It hasn't been as popular in the U.S., according to Dunkling and Gosling.

So interestingly, it's the chic Anglicans and other high-churchers who have given it more of a work-out than we "spread-the-news" plebes, ha. In "Beyond Charles and Diana-- An Anglophile's Guide to Baby Naming", Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran further designate it as a royal name, and one that is decidedly "U", to use Nancy Mitford's snobbish but amusing system of categorization...

I'd have a hard time deciding between it and Christopher. I like the sound of Christian better, but Christopher yields more of the nicknames I love. They share "Kit", but with Christopher you also get my beloved "Kip" as a nickname and even the quirky "Kester", etc..

Danielle, I hate to say it, but "Hope" may be slated for that filler status you so astutely describe. It does seem that one-syllable names used as middle names, tend more to lose their freshness after time.

Why is that? "Rose", for example, now bores me a little as a predictable middle name, but I still love it as a first name. Were I to choose a one-syllable middle name right now, I might go with one more far afield, like "Maud", "Tess", "Nell", "Eve", "Ruth", etc. But there are no guarantees that they won't become a middle-name cliche too! And, of course, if you have your heart set on lovely "Hope", then no one should deter you from it. Good luck!

By Amy3 (not verified)
November 29, 2008 12:07 AM

Eo -- I love your alternate one-syllable mns, particularly Tess, Maud, Nell, and Ruth. In our recent name-18-children scenario I had a daughter Matilda Ruth. And Maud and Tess are huge faves of mine. Nell is one that has snuck up on me, but I quite like it. It was Maureen's daughter Penelope (nn Nell) that got it started for me.

November 29, 2008 12:42 AM

If you really like Hope, use it I say. But I think Hope is fixing to rise. If for no other reason than that subconscious-I-have-heard-it-enough-to-be-ok-with-it from our recent political campaigning.

I think Rose as a first name starts on a totally different premise than as a mn. It can easily fall into the filler category yet as first name it is totally fresh in a world of Neveah, -aiden and -aylee.

I love the name Christian but not Christopher. But I shall never have one. edict from the dh.

I know that Ian and Hannah are not the same. Maybe it is the Ian and Hans similarity.

I am 11 wks preg. I have need of a mn that is preferably 3 syllables. I would really like it to be meaning specific. Which surprises me bc I usually don't care. But I guess if you have enough taken from you to make you realize how special a living baby is, you care a bit more about the meaning rather than just style and flow. hmmm.
Theodore or Nathaniel may be just what I need.

By Amy3 (not verified)
November 29, 2008 12:48 AM

Baby name alert -- Ch4rlie T0dd. And I think it's really "just Charlie."

November 29, 2008 1:44 AM

RE Christian--

This name shows up in medieval France as well, an example being the poet Chretien de Troyes who gave us the Lancelot-Guinevere love story at the behest of Marie de Champagne. During the Middle Ages, the name Christian/Chretien was often given to converts to Christianity.

November 29, 2008 2:43 AM

The Finnish female name Lahja means "gift" both in the concrete (e.g. birthday gift) and the abstract (talent, ability) senses.

While there aren't that many European names of the thankfulness vein, are there ones that refer to harvest?

In Finnish there are two male names, Touko (uncommon) and Elo (very rare). Touko refers to the sowing of crops, as well as the month of May, Elo refers to the harvest of crops, and the month of August. Elo is probably also of the same origin as the word meaning to live, or life - rather appropriate.

So - any harvest related names you can think of?

By Inbal (not verified)
November 29, 2008 10:15 AM

In Hebrew we have a name that translates to Thanksgiving. It's even the Hebrew name of the American holiday.

It's a girl's name -
Hodaya, pronounced Hoh-dah-yah.

Interestingly, the Hebrew word for turkey is Hodu, which is also the name of the country - India (not Turkey) and also means "gave thanks".

By Grazia (not verified)
November 29, 2008 12:23 PM

Just a heads up if you're considering Hope as a first name.... you know those folks who can't NOT nickname a little kid? Hopie. I've heard it at the pool. "Hopie!" Sigh.

November 29, 2008 12:28 PM

Jessica-Congrats! It sounds as if you've had a few struggles in the past so I wish you well. Theodore and Nathaniel seem like the perfect middle names for you. I like Dorothy for an under-used middle name of 3 syl for a girl. Do you need ideas for FN's? Please post some qualifications for them if you do.

I went to HS with an Evelyn Hope. She didn't care for her FN and went by Hope mostly. The family I listed above has My@ Ros3; Gr@ce Addis0n; and Sophi3 Ann@.

My mn is Jayne but it is spelled that way for my aunt.

November 29, 2008 1:48 PM

My own mn is a less-used 1 syllable name (after my grandmother): Pearl

Jessica - Congrats. I wish you the best with your "gift".

By Marjorie (not verified)
November 29, 2008 3:06 PM

My family has Grace (age 83) with siblings Lenore, Karol and Donald.
She has a great grandaughter named Grace Anna (3) with a brother Nathan.

In the past few months I have noted that Grace is becoming common here (Toronto), either as a first name or midde name.

I know a Christian - female, and in her late 20's, and, as far as I know, not religious at all!

Know also a Krisstofer, about age 31, I think ! Gives me pause, that one! He is a nice guy though.

November 29, 2008 4:50 PM

Thanks for the comments on the mn Hope so far! And nope, we're not that set on using it as a middle name. It's just been one that we've considered, primarily for the exact reason I'm worried it's becoming too common - for how easy it "fits" in with pretty much every first name! I also like the optimistic ring it has to it. But we do have other options! Call me cheesy, but our other top prospect for a mn is Noelle (she's due on Christmas day). ;)

By Guest (not verified)
November 29, 2008 4:55 PM

"Oddly enough, European naming tradition -- which directly celebrates many other virtues -- offers little in the way of gratitude."

What a snobby thing to say.