And now for something completely different

Jun 24th 2009

I know what you've been thinking: "This here baby name statistics blog is mighty good. But wouldn't it be even better animated?"

First reacquaint yourself with the posts on recession baby naming (part 1 and part 2) and the fastest rising names of 2008, then check out how the CBS News "Fast Draw" folks tackle the material:

(Duck! Eraser!!)



By Mirnada (not verified)
June 24, 2009 10:22 AM

I was so confused by "Duck! Eraser!" until I watched it. It's actually a little disconcerting to see you erased.

Ok, I admit I'm procrastinating...

Thinking of Delilah Leaf made me rethink my own girl name choice. To me, Delilah Leaf seems so playful, a little magical, and like someone you'd want to go on an adventure with (of course, it's totally fine if it doesn't end up working for you, Leafy, esp. with a religious mother as part of the equation). So, I worry again that my name choice isn't as inviting, somehow.

My husband's last name, F0nten0t, has a much more formal and flowery feel than that makes a huge difference, of course. My instinct was to pair it with something very simple and elemental: Anya Fontenot (I know I've posted my waverings on this before). I hope you'll indulge - or feel free to ignore - as I revisit :)

My latest idea is Annika instead...Haven't gotten husband's response to it yet, though.

Annika F0nten0t

These are other names still on our list. Most of them we like in theory, but I have a hard time imagining in real life. Any responses? I like less usual names easy to pronounce, but don't like nicknames really (esp. not ones that end in ie or y).

Abigail (seems sweet, but too common...don't like Abbie or Gail)
Sabine (don't know that n ending works going into last name)
Althea (nn I have a harder time imagining in real life)
Josephine (likely to be given nn, though)
Ursula (people seem to respond so negatively to this one)
Adelaide (a little bumpy?)
Matilda (we both like Tilda, but worry too "bumpy" with last name, too)
Lena (not quite sold)
Jocelyn (never really considered before...feels a little dated ?, maybe, but I realized it works really well with last name...and don't mind Joss.)
Clara (I love this one, but husband doesn't)

Any thoughts or other names you think we should add to the list? Simon still is my boy front-runner. Ok, gotta get to ACTUAL work now.

By LL (not verified)
June 24, 2009 11:14 AM

Fonten-oh? Fonten-ott? It seems like a lot of the names you're considering have the same number of syllables and emphasis pattern as your last name, if I'm pronouncing it right. ANN-ih-ka FONT-en-oh. (also: abigail, ursula, josephine, adelaide, etc etc). I'm not wild about the way it sounds-- I prefer the way something like, say, Georgina F0nten0t sounds. I'd come up with better examples but the baby just woke up, have to go!

By Mirnada (not verified)
June 24, 2009 11:34 AM

LL, good point. One name I think sounds great is Olivia Fontenot, but can't use it for multiple reasons. The last name is pronounced with an OH ending.

Just found out...Husband is +/- about Claudia. Annika seems weird to him. Makes him think of Star Wars.

June 24, 2009 11:49 AM

Mirnada-Got some business to take care of myself today, but will keep you in mind while my mind wanders when avoiding it myself LOL! It's too bad you can't use Olivia because that is absolutely lovely! It's kind of like how Leafy couldn't use Miranda which was lovely in her case. I'm sure you'll find something you're happy with as she was with Theodora (and maybe now Delilah).

June 24, 2009 2:26 PM

Mirnada: You have a great selection of names here!

My favorite of the lot, actually, is Anya Fonten0t. I agree that Fonten0t is a rather formal sounding name (very classy, actually!), and to my ears, a nice, clean, bright, fresh, 2-syllable name works best with it. A longer, heavier FN like Josephine, Matilda or Claudia would make the full name quite cumbersome.

With that in mind - aside from the bright and charming Anya, my favorites on your list are Lena, Thea and Clara (or perhaps Claire, if your husband isn't a Clara fan?). Jocelyn is a nice choice too, and doesn't sound dated at all to me.

Other possibilities...
Alice Fonten0t
Audrey Fonten0t
Daisy Fonten0t
Ella Fonten0t
Isla Fonten0t
Jade Fonten0t
Kira Fonten0t
Lila Fonten0t
Lydia Fonten0t
Maura Fonten0t
Maya Fonten0t
Nina Fonten0t
Ruby Fonten0t
Sylvie Fonten0t
Zoe Fonten0t

June 24, 2009 12:42 PM

I like the video! I wasn't thinking "wouldn't it be better animated?" but it was a funny change of pace!

And @Mirnada--are you looking for something specifically not French/Cajun for a first name, or does it not matter either way?

By Eo (not verified)
June 24, 2009 12:51 PM

"Audrey F0nten0t"? Love that. Combines the serious but radiant Audrey with the rarefied sound of "F0nten0t". But for the same reason I like "Claudia" with that last name.

The video is amusing, and Laura's points clever and well-made even in animation! (What fun to see and hear oneself in another dimension like that!)

Gosh, though, couldn't they have gotten two narrator guys less simpering and smugly self-satisfied than those two? It's like the worst of NPR brought to your TV screen...

June 24, 2009 1:26 PM

i actually like the repeated "oh" sound in olivia that just me?

June 24, 2009 1:38 PM

@emilyrae, no it's not just you. I like it too because the "oh" is in a different syllable. It would bother me if it was say, Harlow Fonten0t, because that's an exact rhyme, but I like Olivia Fonten0t.

By Mirnada (not verified)
June 24, 2009 1:41 PM

Ok, got some work done, so now I can come back.

Emilyrae: No, I agree. Olivia sounds great. It's my SIL's daughter's niece now, I guess. Also a little popular for me, but it sounds fabulous, I think. Is there another name that would do the same thing?

Ayaka: Some great suggestions, and you definitely help reinforce my original instinct to use something fresh and simple. Names you suggested that I'm more drawn to are: Isla (DH doesn't like, because he says looks like ISS-la), Ella (too common), Lydia, and Sylvie. I'm definitely putting Lydia and Sylvie on our list.

Sylvie is nice, because it's French without being overly precious or snooty sounding...something I think some French girl names can lean towards. Anne with an E: Wouldn't mind French, but doesn't have to be. I'm a mutt including much of Western and Eastern Europe and Russian Jew.

Re: Audrey. I LOVE Audrey Hepburn, but for some reason Audrey feels a little too waspy and moneyed to me.

Thanks for indulging me!

June 24, 2009 1:42 PM

If you like Delila Leaf, how about Talullah Leaf? Both sound like Harry Potter characters, which I kind of like! :)

By AWWH (not verified)
June 24, 2009 2:12 PM

As an alternative to Olivia and Audrey how about Amelia?? I agree that an accent on the second syllable sounds great like Elizabeth or Alaina. My favorite "french-but-not-too-french" name is Corinne. Good Luck!

June 24, 2009 2:27 PM

i like the suggestion of amelia (though i'm rather partial to it).

other "o" names that could maybe work in place of olivia:


i know you don't require an "o" name, but i just thought i'd throw some out there. :]

By Aybee (not verified)
June 24, 2009 2:57 PM

Possibly opening up a regional pronunciation discussion again but to me, each of the O's in Olivia F0nten0t sound different.

Do many of you pronounce Olivia A-livia or OH-livia?

June 24, 2009 3:00 PM

i pronounce it both ways, depending mostly on how quickly i'm speaking.

however, i don't want to offend anyone here, but i reeeaaally don't like the alternate spelling "alivia."

June 24, 2009 3:27 PM

Alivia is an alternate spelling of Olivia?!

I'm not sure I'd even recognize it, it looks so different without its O! I'd think it was Alicia with a typo (C & V are keyboard neighbors...)

Anyway... I wouldn't say I pronounce it A-livia or OH-livia... it's more like "uh-LIV-ee-uh" with the accent on syllable 2. The O is just a basic unstressed vowel sound. If I were trying to pronounce it very clearly, I suppose I'd use the same O sound as 'olive' or 'Oliver'.

June 24, 2009 3:43 PM

ayaka, i know! shocking, right?
i completely agree--to me, it just looks like a typo. (by the way, this is my sister's name, for those wondering why i have such strong feelings about the spelling!)

also, i just wanted to say that when i said i pronounced the name "both" ways, i meant it to include the pronunciation ayaka indicates (in other words, i interpreted aybee's a-livia as uh-liv-ee-uh). however, i do also pronounce the "oh" very clearly sometimes. i'm also very intrigued that you would pronounce it with a short o, ayaka. i only ever imagine it with a long oh sound. interesting!

By Genevieve (not verified)
June 24, 2009 4:07 PM

Mirnada, I agree with Ayaka that with Fontenot as the last name, a two-syllable (or one-syllable) first name works much better rhythmically than a three-syllable name. I love the name Annika, but for me it doesn't work so well with Fontenot

Her suggestions are great - here are a few more:

Lucy Fontenot
Phoebe Fontenot
Celia Fontenot
Nina Fontenot
Lia Fontenot (not my usual favorite spelling, but seems to work here?)
Rachel Fontenot
Sasha Fontenot
Laurel Fontenot

June 24, 2009 4:22 PM

Is it Fontenoh or Fontenott? I'm assuming the former. Nice name, anyway. Sounds like a romantic heroine.

Clara Fontenot
Felicity Fontenot
Alice Fontenot
Catriona Fontenot
Violet Fontenot
Sylvie Fontenot

and I love the suggestions Lydia Fontenot and Phoebe Fontenot

By Mirnada (not verified)
June 24, 2009 4:26 PM

Thanks so much for the input. Maybe I wasn't off with Anya then. I just needed a little reassurance, and I had a brief bout of name envy with Leafy. Leaf is a tough name to work with in some ways, but its simplicity means you get to pair it with much more flamboyant first names.

Genevieve and others: What do you think of alliterating F sounds? I assumed it would be too humorous, but since you recommend Phoebe...

By Mirnada (not verified)
June 24, 2009 4:40 PM

I love, love, love Clara Fontenot, by the way, but DH is not convinced. It's on the list, though...

June 24, 2009 6:17 PM

Lorien - I just wanted to suggest that Tai (pronounced Ty) could be a good choice for your Korean son - it is my husband's name, and although he has an Anglo-Saxon surname, people often confess that they expected him to be Chinese/Japanese/Korean etc. His mother chose the name simply because she liked it - he has very traditional English middle names, which a lot of people comment is an interesting contrast. Also, despite Tai being an uncommon name, no one ever has any trouble pronouncing it, which is always a good thing!
By the way, where I am from (New Zealand) Kai is a Maori word meaning "food". It is a word that even non-Maori New Zealanders use a lot! Funny how the same word can mean such different things in different languages.

June 24, 2009 11:28 PM

Thanks everyone for your very helpful comments about our back-up name selections. It really did help to hear some feedback! Hubby and I are quite taken by Delilah (nn Lila), and after that Elodie (nn Ella or Ellie). (Thank you SO much Mirnada for the suggestion of Delilah!!) We wouldn't be able to use the same middle names as we had planned to use with Theodora, but that's ok. Theodora and Delilah are so different that I'm sure one of them will fit our baby girl. IF we have a girl! Someone asked if I call my bump Thea (sorry I can't remember who asked!) but I don't, because a) I don't want to name my children until they are born, and b) we don't know if it's a boy or a girl! We want it to be a surprise on the day. The reason I ask for help with a girl's name and not a boy's name, is simply because we have the boy's name (and back-up name) sorted. Phew!

Mirnada - I thought your "name envy" comment was just too cute and endearing. I really do feel for you, so I have to reassure you that it took me a LONG time to find any names that really work well with Leaf - I had to throw out all the short, simple names that I had always regarded as classically beautiful. It was really hard to let them go, but when matched with Leaf, they just seemed boring and plain! I started to lament agreeing to give our children the surname Leaf, and not my really long, unusual, "distinguished" surname! But in the end I have found some great name matches. I just had to look long and hard, and think outside of what I'd normally like, because the name has to work as a whole - unfortunately a first name doesn't stand alone. So instead of the surname packing the punch, with Leaf all the work has to be done by the first name.
Funnily enough, you have the opposite problem and I have name envy of YOU!! A surname as fabulous as Fontenot would be one of my dream surnames to work with when naming a child! That surname will magnify ANY name's beauty. You can use a beautifully simple first name and it will sound utterly divine. Yes, a really flowery, frilly, grand, bold or formal name will be magnified to the point where it seems TOO much, BUT the good thing is that you will only have to add the lightest touch with Fontenot to get the same result that Delilah gives Leaf.
I love so many of your name suggestions but personally my picks would be Anya or Clara. As others have said, 1 or 2 syllables seem best with Fontenot.
The other name I would suggest for you is ROSE. Rose Fontenot. To me, that is a superlatively beautiful name. Yes, I know Rose is the most popular middle name in America, but it is not nearly as common as a first name. (It ranked #344 in 2008) Personally I think the reason for this is that most surnames can't do it justice. The same thing is true of my name, Jane. With 99.9% of names it is boring and plain, but with my really long, unusual surname, it becomes classic-sounding and holds its own. (Not to mention that my surname would be totally unwieldy with anything but a short, simple name.) And Rose is waaaaaay more beautiful than my name! (Not even in the same league, actually.) ESPECIALLY with Fontenot. The two seem made for each other, in my opinion. You would even get that repeated "Oh" sound, like the one that is so appealing in Olivia. (And the "Oh" in Rose is much more like the one at the end of Fontenot.)
I was also going to suggest Sylvie, but someone has already done it, and I'm thrilled to see you like it! Sylvie Fontenot is just magical. That will also be a hard one to beat, in my opinion :)
Ahhhhh in a parallel universe, I'd have 2 daughters called Rose Fontenot and Sylvie Fontenot. I can only dream! :)

By Anna (not verified)
June 24, 2009 7:33 PM

Slightly off topic -

Is there a connection between the names Audrey and Aubrey? Is it just a slip in pronunciation? And are there similar pairs of names relatively distinct from others that differ by one significant letter/sound only. (And I don't mean like Holly-Molly-Dolly or Aidan-Jayden-Braydon, but internally in the name).

June 24, 2009 7:40 PM

Just got myself to a computer with speakers (my work computer is an antique) to check out the Fast Draw clip. What a great video, I really enjoyed it! (Somehow I pictured Laura as a blonde though... must be the name!)

On the other hand... hasn't the trend toward unusual, creative and pop-culture-inspired names been going on for quite a while now, even when the economy was good?

Leafy: I had no idea you were from New Zealand. I wonder... are the baby name trends there completely different from North America? Are there very popular names in NZ that don't show up on the US stats at all? Or has the modern mass media made it all pretty similar? (Please tell me your Kiwi kindergartens aren't filling up with Madisons, Mileys and Nevaehs...)

June 24, 2009 7:36 PM

Anna I always wondered the same thing about Amelia and Emilia.
As for Aubrey, in my experience it was a man's name quite distinct from Audrey, but it seems to have crossed over to the girls!

June 24, 2009 7:44 PM

Ayaka I thought Laura was a blonde, too! I also imagined her with long hair. Strange. Where do these impressions come from?!!
Re NZ baby trends - they tend to follow the UK trends a bit more than the US trends, but there are parallels. (Well, I guess the UK and US name trends have parallels, too, so it's not surprising! We do live in a global community these days.) Check out the Top 100 baby names in NZ here: (NB our name stats only go up to 100, not 1000, as there aren't enough people, LOL! The #100 name usually only has around 40 people with that name - not kidding!)

June 24, 2009 9:28 PM

Laura-Very cute video!

Mirnada-I do agree with the O sound of Olivia being more of an "uh". However, I also agree that maybe you would do nicely with a repeated O sound. Some of those names would be:

I do also like the suggestions others made of Phoebe, Lucy, and Rachel. There are so many good short 2 syl names!
Of your original list:
Anya-nice but something missing from it
Annika-nicer but maybe too long
Abigail-seems too long with 3 syl
Ursula -okay flows better than the others but a bit unusual for me plus bad personal association
Matilda -maybe??
Jocelyn-I like this one alot!
Claudia- okay but if it were me just a "back-burner" kind of name
*the others I just dont care for*

Sylvia was actually my first thought to "replace" Olivia has the same look and feel. If I think of more I'll post again.

By Qwen (not verified)
June 25, 2009 12:05 AM

Laura - Fun video! I have to agree that the guys doing it were a little smarmy though.

Miranda - I LOVE the name Anya. It sounds modern and fresh. You've been given a lot of good suggestions but that one is still my favorite.

Leafy - I'm glad to know we're not the only ones with 'backup names'. Funnily enough, we also have both our boys names 100% settled but seem to still be having problems with our second girl's name.

Speaking of which, I posted about a month ago asking about "G" names (we're trying for a name that easily lends itself to Gigi as a nn - to honor a family member). I got a TON of great suggestions. I liked Giselle best but my husband liked Gianna. There was something awkward about the 'ah' sound in the middle for me though.

So I've morphed the name somewhat and would like opinions from people. What do you think of Gienna (rhyming with Vienna)? Which both husband and I both really like but other people seem to having trouble wrapping their heads' around.

June 25, 2009 1:17 AM

Hi Qwen, I'm not a big fan of made-up names so I am not the person to ask about Gienna, but what about Gina (JEE-na) or Georgina (Jor-JEE-na)? Both of these are close to Gienna but are famililar, beautiful names. And both would easily lend themselves to the nicknames Gigi.

By Anna (not verified)
June 25, 2009 3:11 AM


I think Emilia and Amelia are variations of the same name - the pronunciation of the vowels has drifted while the consonant-backbone remains intact. This happens to a lot of names that travel from one region/language to another: if you keep the spelling, the pronunciation adapts to the new language/dialect - with the same pronunciation, the spelling changes.

This pronunciation-drift mainly applies to vowels, especially in names that have been interchanged back and forth between European languages (Amalia, Amalie, Amelia, Emelia, Emilia, Emilie, Emily...). Some consonants can "slide" as well; t-d, p-b-v-f, k-g. I can't think of name-examples for all of them but in the European languages there are numerous words of common origin with these variations.

The Aubrey/Audrey example seems different to me because the b-to-d slide in pronunciation is uncommon. And I cannot come up with similar examples (Elizabeth/Elizadeth or Robert/Rodert??). That's why I'm wondering if there is a different explanation alltogether?

By Anna (not verified)
June 25, 2009 3:49 AM


I think the UK/NZ baby name trends are generally considered to be ahead of the US.

June 25, 2009 4:54 AM

Haven't read anything yet, just wanted to post my Korean boys' name list for Lorien:

Dong-su, Dong-Eok, Dong-hyeon, Dong-Hyeon, Dong-Shin, Dong-yeop
Min-Woo (popular or common,not sure which), Min-ook, Min-hyeong, Min-Jae, Min-seok, Min-joon
Su-Bong, Su-Young
Joon-Hyeok, Joon-Seok
Hyeon-Jong, Hyeon-woo, Hyeon-jin
Hyeong-min, Hyeong-woo
Yu-Min, Yu-bin
Ji-Hyeog, Ji-won
Jae-Seong, Jae-woo, Jae-Yeon
Gi-Beom, Gi-Yeon (g's can be k's)
Yun-seong, Yun-ho
Tae-woo Tae-wan, Tae-Hoon
Taek-Hyeon, Taek-won
Sung-Heon, Sung-won
Yeong-Seop, Yeong-min

By Lorien (not verified)
June 25, 2009 8:57 AM

Did anyone else get that "fingernails on the blackboard" feeling when they were trying out "smilely" names just a bit too hard?!

Bianca: Thank you for posting that list. Could I ask how a name with "y" is pronounced (Hye and Kye)?

Thank you to all who responded on the previous post, by the way.

By Amy3
June 25, 2009 9:48 AM

Mirnada, I really love Leafy's suggestion of Rose Fontenot. Beautiful!

Qwen, Gienna is nms, but the /g/ names can be challenging for me in general so I'm probably not the most objective voice on this. I did like the suggestion of Georgina (although I'm not a fan of Gina as a stand-alone).

Re: pronunciation of Olivia, I say the first syllable as /oh/. I, too, do not care for the Alivia spelling.

Laura, cute video! You were wonderful, even animated, but the guys were a little much.

By hyz
June 25, 2009 10:31 AM

Lorien, since I wasn't sure if you were still reading on the other thread, I'm responding here to your last question. You asked how to pronounce the following names--they are:

Hyeong* = like young with an H in front
Kye* = probably like Yay with a K or G in front (I just mean a long A here, no y sound at the end, so really more like yea, as in "yea, verily")--Kyay
Roi* = probably like Ro-ee said fast, two distinct vowels, not like Roy
Yeol* = Yull, to rhyme with Gull
Seong* = sung

Basically, the -eo combination should be pronounced "uh"--so Seoul is correctly said as Suh-ul. The Korean letter for this vowel is ㅓ. Sometimes ㅓis transliterated as u or ou instead of -eo--so Seong could correctly be written as Sung, and Hyeong is sometimes written as Hyoung.

And you didn't ask about these, but since they could be misleading, I wanted to add:

Jeon = Jun, rhymes with fun
Kap = a like in father, K probably sounds more like a crisp G

June 25, 2009 10:30 AM

Hi all,

So the mid-pregnancy name drama continues chez-moi: after a few weeks of hoping that m husband would come around on Aoibheann, last night he gave a categorical "I HATE it." As is, "I hate the spelling, I hate the sound, and I DO NOT want to call MY little girl that."

So, as per "Sharing the Choice" suggestions, I wracked my brain to come up with ways for him to feel more connected the naming process. I suggested that he think of a name that had the same sentimental, historical, meaning to him as Aoibheann has (had) to me. Perhaps a version of a friend's name, a book/movie character, something.

Now bear in mind that I have assumed that we were pretty much on the same page naming-wise for the last 4 years. However, the list he gave me was something like this:

Gwendolyn (?)

He says, "I want her to have a really classic name that has a cute nickname".

It's like kryptonite to me. I'm really, really devastated by this - he says he's willing to "compromise" by using an Irish name (first or middle) because he "knows how important it is to me". But he only gave me 3 or 4 to choose from.

So, the question is, first of all, how much should I compromise on this? Giving up this name already feels like I'm "losing something" in terms of the image and history I wanted to impart to my daughter. The last thing I want is to "settle" for a name that one of us is less than in love with. But even our 2nd, 3rd place choices don't seem to fit to me. Am I just having a case of naming sour grapes???

Apologies for the epic soap-opera post.

By Lorien (not verified)
June 25, 2009 10:32 AM

hyz: Thank you! That is very helpful.

I have a number of possiblities to think about now, and I will probably need to wait to see what name our little guy comes with. It also occured to me that since our two biological kiddos have family names in the middle, that it might be best to have a combination of the Korean given name and another family name from my side or DH's, so our new little guy doesn't feel left out of our family naming tradition. I think I'm stuck until we have the Korean name in hand, though, because I can't match either family names or promising Korean/English crossover names with a purely hypothetical Korean name.

That said, after looking over the names, particularly Jae, it appears that the family name James might be acceptable, if we go with an English FN. James ___ ___ "Dietrich." That hadn't been on my list before, but it is definitely a family name, and my little son informed me that he would like to call his new brother "James." So cute, though I know he got that name from the Thomas the Tank Engine books!

Back to waiting...*sigh*.

Well, I suppose I'll have to

By Mirnada (not verified)
June 25, 2009 10:32 AM

Thanks so much for all the suggestions!

Leafy, I actually really like your name, Jane, and have considered it (unfortunately I have a friend with a dog named Rose and other friend's who call their daughter Rosie). I think Jane sounds great with Fontenot, and every Jane I've ever known has been warm and kind...and it makes me think of Lady Jane Grey. My DH's instant response is always, "You mean, plain Jane?", though, so...

My exchange last night w. my husband:

ME: Do you think Sylvia is a grandma name? HIM: No.
ME: What does it seem like to you? HIM: That it's not as cool a name as Pascale (his favorite girl name that personally feels pretentious and snooty to me)

Sigh. I'm really going to try to give Pascale a fair shake, though. I said it out loud a couple of times today...

Lorien: Could SAM work as a simple, strong boy name/sound that can work interculturally?

Quienna: I, too, usually have a negative reaction to made-up names. These are names that I think could use Gigi as a nickname, though:

Giulia (Italian spelling of Julia)

And I'm sure there are more. There are a wide range of styles there. If you're at all Italian you have a lot of options, because the J sound there is Gi. I didn't realize it, but when I looked it up, the meaning of Bridget (on behind the name, for whatever that's worth) is "Exalted one" and in Irish mythology Bridget was the goddess of fire, poetry, and wisdom. Don't know if that's accurate, and the name may WAY not be your style, but I thought it was interesting.

It seems like you'd have a lot of options, though...that soft G sound in the beginning or internally.

By Lorien (not verified)
June 25, 2009 10:40 AM

Pardon the cut-off on the last post...

I suppose I'll have to satisfy myself with admiring other people's name combinations.

I vote for Sylvie Fontanot, btw. I love the names Sylvia and Sylvie, but DH is ambivalent about them.

Leafy: I had an Asian acquantance named Tai some years ago, and the name seemed to fit him well. I don't know that Korean contains the English long "I" sound, though. (Hyz, could you enlighten me on that?) Of course, if we keep his Korean name in the middle, I think we can go further afield with the other name we pick.

By Laneyo (not verified)
June 25, 2009 10:40 AM

Just some random thoughts on real people with names that have been popping up lately on here...

Sabine: this is pronounced Sa-BEE-nee. Every Sabine I know is from Europe and pronounces it like that, not Sa-BINN. Most of them have gone by BEE-NEE (like the hat, beanie) as a childhood nickname.

Corinne: I have met 4 or 5, and they were all pronounced Cor-RINN, never CAR-rin.

Also the comment about NZ/UK being ahead with naming trends...I don't think they are ahead, they are just different and happened to fit what the US was ready for many years later. Many of their Chloes and Emmas are in their 30's, while ours are in 4th grade and still being born. Some of their current top names (Holly, Amber, Amy, Katie, Erin) sound pretty US circa 1975 to me). Others don't seem like they will ever be big in the US (Poppy, Daisy, Alfie, etc).

June 25, 2009 10:56 AM

Qwen--I'm not a big fan of Gienna either. Fwiw, the only Gianna I ever met pronounced it fast enough that there wasn't an "ah" in the middle...closer to John-a than Gee-ah-na.

PPPhd--my husband has also nixed a lot of my baby name choices (but it helps that I'm not pregnant yet, so I have time to get used to new names). I would say that I'm probably down to 3rd or 4th "tier" names, because he's eliminated so many. I find the more I say the names he likes the more it helps me to like them...but then again I'm not passionately attached to one type of name the way you are.

Hm, sorry, don't think that was much help. But I guess I would say it's worth compromising on, because you don't want him to think about how much he hates his daughter's name every time he talks to her. And fwiw, none of his options seem too bad, at least there aren't any Mileys or Kaidyns! :) Are there any "classic" names that you prefer more that you could suggest in return?

June 25, 2009 11:00 AM

The Sabine I know is German and pronounces her name Sa-bee-nuh. Perhaps she has anglicized it a bit.

PunkPrincessPhd, My condolences! I would advise waiting a few weeks to see if any new names occur to either one of you that work. Right now it sounds very emotional, which might not result in the perfect name. What a sad discovery on your part! (And maybe on his part as well.)

By knp (not verified)
June 25, 2009 10:58 AM

I love Gienna! It may be mistaken for Jenna/Genna sometimes, but I think it is great. A lot of the other names suggested for you was nms, but am a fan of Gienna. I like Gianna too.

June 25, 2009 11:00 AM

oh and Laneyo--I thought Sabine was more like Sah-been-eh, with a long ee sound in the middle, but I shorter "euh" sort of sound on the end. I have no idea how to get this across in print, but like the syllable "le" in French.

By knp (not verified)
June 25, 2009 11:06 AM

Oh, and I know Sabine as Sa-been-uh too, but also my experience is German. Maybe other languages use Sa-BEE-nee for the same name?

I know a Corinne as COR-inn or Ca-REEN-- this is one of the reasons I don't like the name.

By hyz
June 25, 2009 1:33 PM

By the way, I love Sylvie/Sylvia, and love Sylvie Fonten0t. I also think Pascale is an attractive name--not pretentious--it reads more religious to me.

Lorien, there's no long "I" as such, but Koreans can patch it together well enough using ah + ee. My daughter's name is Ivy, and when my MIL says it (which she rarely does, since she uses the Korean name), it sounds basically like I-bee. I think F and V are the toughest sounds for native Koreans. My sister in law named her cat Forrest, and her parents always pronounced it like "poorest"--that gave me pause when my DH was pushing the name Fiona for our daughter--I don't much like the sound of "Piona". Oh, and I like your choice of James. :) I feel like it's a classic that I don't actually hear as much these days. I liked Peter and Paul, though, too--all nice ones.

PPP--sorry to hear about your plight! I don't know what to tell you, since you feel so strongly about a particular name (and type of names) that it sounds like your DH is backing away from. When there's basically only one thing that will make you happy, and he hates it, you're at a bit of an impasse. Since it seems like he's focused on the nns, maybe you could go with a traditionally spelled Irish name that he can stomach, and he can affectionately call her by one of the cute nns for the English version of that name (ex. Mairead/Maisy, Roisin/Rosie, Catriona/Cate)? Is it at all possible for you to pick a "toned down" traditional Irish name--one with good meaning and history, but not so foreign looking to English-reading eyes? Not knowing all the names and their histories, it's hard to make suggestions, but Catriona seems like a friendly one, and maybe Ailbe, Ailis, Brannagh, Brigid, Ciara, Dierdre, Iona, Meara...?

June 25, 2009 11:26 AM

PPP-I agree with ElizabethT and snd my thoughts for a speedy resolution for you. I would also take a break from it if you can afford the luxury of time.

Qwen-Gienna is interesting. I think I like Jenna or Gianna better. I also like the Gillian idea.

Mirnada-Would Gillian work for you? I think it flows well with your LN.

I always thought Sabine was more like Sah-bean.

By hyz
June 25, 2009 11:34 AM

Qwen--I'm also not a fan of newly invented names, so Gienna isn't my style. I much prefer Gianna. For another suggestion, what about Geneva?

By Anna (not verified)
June 25, 2009 11:56 AM

Laneyo, US vs UK/NZ top names

I think LW said it herself, that they are ahead, but maybe I remember incorrectly.

I don't know what statistics you're looking at, but Holly, Amber, Amy, Katie, Erin are not top 10 names in NZ/UK. Holly is #21 in NZ and #25 in UK, while the rest is outside top 30 (NZ). Katie is popular in Ireland, though.