A non-excerpt from Baby Name Wizard 2

Jul 17th 2009

As the revised and expanded Baby Name Wizard slowly trickles in to bookstores, I thought I'd share one name spotlight that was cut from the manuscript at the last minute:


Gax (GAKS)
Popularity: Rare
Style: Fanciful and Fantastical
Nicknames: FatMan
Sisters: Moo, Spamela, Beer, Soup, John
Brothers: Flax, Vilx, Clax, Eleanor, Xax
Gax is a name you should not give to your child at all.
It's only in the book because my kids are beside me as
I'm writing and they absolutely insisted.  Keep this in mind,
prospective parents, if you're planning to work from home.



By Beth the original (not verified)
July 22, 2009 8:29 PM

Yikes, I go away for a couple of days and come back to a big argument I apparently started. OK, deep breath.

First, about offending. I've been on this board a long time, and have a kind of "character" -- who I really am, only kind of condensed, like soup -- a flaming lefty with a ludicrously narrow band for names, who is always rushing for the smelling salts when anyone adds an extra "Y' to a name. Basically, when it comes to Anglo names, I stick with kings and queens, and I understand that that is completely ridiculous. Perhaps my character *is* a bit of a snob, and as an English teacher I simply could not resist the word "dingbattery," but truly, if everyone just shrugged and said "all names are great," what would this board be? I would like to thank pyewacket and PPPhD for rallying in my absence. And I would like to say--truly and without any attempt at humor-- that if you name your child something-son, and you love it, that's far more important than anything I or anyone else say.

Also ,I think Josephine is a gorgeous name, and Jo or Josie are great nicknames. And as the parent of a goldfish named Gax who is *not* fat, I would like to say I am deeply, deeply offended by Laura's post. And hi, eiriene, which is a beautiful name in and of itself.

July 22, 2009 8:33 PM

@Beth the original

It's been my internet handle for so many years, I didn't even think of it as a great name. =) It's stolen from the SNES video game, Genghis Khan II; it's one of the random princesses that's born who you marry off to advance your empire.

July 22, 2009 9:47 PM

Accidental double comment.

July 22, 2009 8:43 PM

Beth the original,
You always make me laugh--thanks!

I remembered today that the woman who lived across the street from me when I was little was named Placid. That's a virtue name I have never seen anyone mention. As I recall, she was not a placid person, but I'll have to check in with my mom to verify that. Her daughter was named Grace, so I guess she liked the virtue theme.

By Question (not verified)
July 22, 2009 9:33 PM

Hi all!

I posted a few days ago and didn't see any responses... don't mean to be annoying about it, but I am wondering if anyone knows how to pronounce the name "Sharith"?

This is the first name of a little girl I am sponsoring from Colombia. I keep saying "Shah-REETH" but I have no idea if that's right and I can't find any info online about this name. Anyone have any insight about it?


By knp (not verified)
July 22, 2009 9:44 PM

On the mother/daughter theme, I just reconnected with a friend, Autumn, who named her daughter Summer!

By knp (not verified)
July 22, 2009 9:46 PM

I would say Shah-REETH too, but I have never met irl

By MandySue (not verified)
July 22, 2009 10:47 PM

I would say SHAH-reeth if it's Spanish (from Columbia). Now, if there's an accent over the "i", then it would be Shah-REETH.

By Qwen
July 23, 2009 1:58 AM

@eiriene I like a lot of virtue names. Constance, Temperance, Virtue, Amity, Honor and Jolie for girls, True, Noble and Valient for boys...

Jewish names are not my forte but I like Sarai, Asa, Israel, Ziva and Hirsch.

As for Japanese names I really know one: Sachiko (SAH-chee-koe). It's a girl's name meaning 'child of happiness' or 'beloved child' which I always thought was beautiful. Plus I thought it would be easy to Anglecize by calling her Sashi (SAH-shee) or Sasha.

July 23, 2009 2:14 AM

"I think it's a bit disingenuous to declare that one reaction to a name is *judgmental* or *snobby*, while another is legitimized as personal taste."
Wow, disengenuous! That's a pretty harsh accusation! Unfair, too, I think. But hey.

I'm sorry, but I do think that there is a BIG difference between commenting about a name: "that's not my style" or "I'm not a fan" or "that's interesting, but I don't really like it", versus commenting on the parents' ignorance/intelligence/class for choosing such a name. I agree that such comments are rare on here, but when they are made I feel compelled to say "hey, let's not be so judgmental."

Jenmn - I love Vivienne Violet. Great choice! Love both of those names, and together I find them especially charming.

New baby born just yesterday: Minerva Elizabeth, sister to Liberty. (I don't know Liberty's middle name.) Interesting, strong choices! I'm not sure about Minerva, but I admire the parents' brave choice all the same!

July 23, 2009 2:25 AM

Beth The Original - I like your explanation (it made me laugh, in a nice way, to hear about your name "prejudices") and think it's fair enough. I wasn't actually aiming my comments at you, so I'm really sorry you felt people needed to defend you! I was just making an observation in general, about the many times I have read comments regarding horror over "-son" names, names with the same etymology, etc. I understand some people don't like them, or don't like them being used, but it's when they infer something mean about the parents who choose them, that it makes me feel like defending those parents! I don't have any children, and I am not planning on calling any future children by names that have the same etymology, or any girls a -son or Mc/Mac name, so it's not that I was taking it personally, just that I wanted to offer an alternate view on these issues.

By BabyComingSoon (not verified)
July 23, 2009 3:14 AM

As a name enthusiast I had names picked out before I was pregnant as well, but completely changed them once I was actually pregnant. Seeing a real baby instead of an idea on the ultrasound does that to you. It's weird, but my fantasy names became fantasy names (many I outgrew as well) for fantasy babies. I felt like we needed whole new fresh names for fresh little babies. I had over thought the pre-pregnancy names...or something.

Anyway--my question. I have always thought I would lean towards something unusual, but our current favorite (Noah) looks like it is gearing up to be number 2-3 in the next couple years. What do you all think of Noah? To me it is not like Aiden or Caden, it's a classic which even though trendy is solid and will not seem dated. What do you think?

By Qwen
July 23, 2009 3:40 AM

@Beth the Original - I'm also sorry that you felt the need to be defended. I wasn't aiming my comments at anyone in specific either. You're right when you say that this site(and all the world, really) would be a dull place if we all had the same tastes but I also agree with Leafy in that it's a totally different thing to say "I'm not a fan" than to say "Whoever names their kid that is ignorant/completely lacking in taste."

And while I know that we all have those latter moments (for example when I heard the name Sincere Sin City...) I like it when we all use better word choices. :). I'd also like to join the chorus of people who have pointed out that for the most part people here are super courteous.

@Babycomingsoon - CONGRATULATIONS! Also I totally identified with the sentence, "I felt like we needed whole new fresh names for fresh little babies." I even plan to repeat the line to DH as I think he's still a little bitter that I discarded the names we chose when we were dating (11ish years ago).

I've also always admired the name Noah. When I was growing up it was rare without being weird. But you're right that it has gotten very popular over the last few years.

If you're looking for other names that ring similar to Noah I would like to suggest Ezra, Jonah and Asa (wow that's the second time tonight I've suggested that one). Also Nymbler came up with Nehemiah which is a little far out (ssa ranking 364) but I think it's kinda cool and it sounds like Noah and Jeremiah (another good one) so it wouldn't be too unfamiliar for people.

If you're NOT looking for other names and just wondering if it's too popular to use, I'd go with the theory discussed last post that if you like it and are aware of (and ok with) the popularity - use it. I don't think you'll regret it.

By BabyComingSoon (not verified)
July 23, 2009 6:30 AM

Thanks! Suggestions are welcome, but we have the issue that the name must be pronounced almost the same in English and German. So names like Levi, Micah, etc. (Leh-veh, or Meeka in German) don't work at all. It makes things a little tougher.

By ET (not logged in) (not verified)
July 23, 2009 6:32 AM

Every year my local paper runs a "baby of the year" competition where you are invited to vote for the cutest baby in 3 age categorys. The paper runs a list with a picture and the name of each child, and I thought people might be interested in the names. The paper is for a small, slightly working class, town in North Wales but fairly close to the English border. It is predominantly a white town, with people of welsh or english heritage.

I will only post the repeated names (as there are 400 children in this competition, though the names are interesting) and I will only post the children born in the last year for now, though if anyone is interested I also have the names for 13-24 months and 25-36 months.

Category A (0-12 months) Boys

Adam 2
Alfie/Alifie-James 2
Austin 2
Callum 5
Dylan 2
Ellis 2
Ethan 2 (plus 1 Evan)
Harri/Harry 5
Harrison 2
Ieuan/Ioan 2
Jaden/Jayden 5
Jake 2
Joe/Joseph 4
Joshua/Joshua-Samuel 4
Kian 2
Leo 2
Leon 2
Lewis 2
Louie/Louie-Jack 2
Oliver 2
Owain/Owen 3
Rhys 3
Ryan 2
Samuel 3
Thomas 3


Alicia/Alisha 3
Amelia 3
Caitlin/Caitlyn/Kaitlyn 3
Christina/Christina-Rose 2
Ella/Elle/Ellie 3
Emily 3
Gracie 2
Holly 3
Isabelle 2
Jessica 2
Keira 3
Lexi/Lexie 3
Lilly/Lilly-Jo 3
Maddy/Maddison 3
Megan 3
Olivia 4
Ruby 3
Seren/Seren-Marie 3
Sienna 2
Sophie/Sophia/Sophie-Rose 5
Summer 3
Teegan/Tegan 3
Tia 2
Tilly/Tilly-Rose 2
Zoey/Zoe-Anne 2

July 23, 2009 8:04 AM

I would guess that Colombians would pronounce the name Sharith as Sha REET. The "th" combination is not found in Spanish. Neither is "sh", for that matter, but I suspect Shakira might be influencing naming patterns in her native land. So my best guess is that the "h" on the end is silent and was just put there for decorative purposes.

By Kim in Philly (not verified)
July 23, 2009 8:43 AM

I did actually comment on this is in the last thread you posted it, but I guess it got lost in the shuffle.

I know a woman named Cherith and she pronounces it Chair-ith (like with). Sounds like Cherish, but ith instead of ish.

By Mom2W&G (not verified)
July 23, 2009 8:49 AM

BabyComingSoon; my dh is German, so it was also important to us to find names that were close in both English & German. Our sons are Willi@m and Ge0rge. Other names that made our short list included August/Augustus, Frederick, Phillip, Charles, Edward. Lots of the "kingly" English names of Germanic roots, so that's a good place to look. You only mentioned boy names in your post, so I assume you're having a boy, but I'd be happy to share some of the names from our never-to-be-used girl list if you need them.

July 23, 2009 9:56 AM

Leafy @ 210:

I'll admit that my comment does reflect a more relativistic perspective (hey - I do post-structuralist theory, so it's not my fault!!!). What I meant was that the whole essence of this blog is based around naming and name enthusiasm as a socially, economically, politically influenced construct - as well as a personal one. I don't mean that tactless comments about class, etc are *equal* to politely worded "NMS", but that these factors all interplay into our "personal" taste, and that one is not more legitimate a rejection than another. Basically, legitimacy of argument is one thing, courtesy is another. But I do appreciate the courtesy!

July 23, 2009 10:32 AM

Interesting comment, PPP. What is the difference between "not my style" and just not liking a name? Does NMS always imply a value or class judgment? For example, I really dislike the name Bella. I have no particular reason for disliking it, I just do. I suppose it is "my style" in that I like a lot of other names that are similar to Bella, but that name just grates on my ears. But if wrote that Bella was NMS, would others automatically assume that I was trying to distance myself from a group of parents who would give their daughter that name?

Sorry if this doesn't make much sense--I'm killing time between two conference calls and don't have enough time to formulate my thoughts well.

July 23, 2009 11:03 AM

@ Elizabeth T:

Basically, I'm just recycling the social constructivist argument and applying it to naming (something Laura focuses on in many of her blogs as well). That is, even something as seemingly *personal* as "personal taste" is actually a complex of ideas, opinions, connotations, etc influenced by experience in society. You may not know *why* precisely you dislike the name Bella, but in this theory it could be linked to a combination of your upbringing, your social class, any encounters you've had with Bellas IRL, pop culture connotations, as well as sound, meaning, etc.

So, all I'm saying is that it's hard to separate personal taste from the wider societal/political picture, when we are all influenced by society in ways we're not wholly aware of. Personal taste is unique to you, but not entirely personal, if that makes sense.

It's like saying that "NMS" is as much a reflection of "nurture" as well as "nature". I don't think it's a deliberate way of distancing oneself in terms of the class/societal connotations of the name, but it has the same effect in the wider sense ( but so much nicer than snarky comments!)

By Tirzah, not logged in (not verified)
July 23, 2009 11:07 AM

I know three Japanese women named Mika (pronounced MEE-ka). Mika is close to Malka.

I read that Malka means queen. Names that mean queen include Raina, Reina,Reine, Orla and Regina. Of course there are a lot of queens that have great names.

July 23, 2009 11:21 AM

ET- thanks so much for that list. I would love to see the others!
The name that stood out to me was Seren. Beautiful! I just looked up the derivation and apparently it means 'star' in Welsh. It also reminds me of the word serene.

By cileag (not verified)
July 23, 2009 11:51 AM


I like Noah too, but I do think, looking at its latest history it has a decent chance of being "dated" for this decade. It's not has if it was never used prior to the late 90s, but it has certainly shot up. If you love it and you know how popular it is and are ok with that, than I'm a big fan of going for it--especially since you have some extenuating circumstances that might make finding a name tricky.

good luck!

On another note, how do folks feel about Graham/Graeme? I'm due in October and for a girl was the one who polled you earlier about Phoebe/Ruby/Siri/Linnea. Which, btw, I think we're leaning towards Phoebe as Ruby continues to rise in the media.
For boys we can also agree on and like:
Rowan (primarily as middle)
Cole (probably too popular for me)
But Graham came out suddenly with a strong lead. The thing is our last name is G3bhard. Too much alliteration? Just enough to be cool?
Which spelling to people prefer?

By knp (not verified)
July 23, 2009 12:09 PM

cileag: I love, love Graham (preferred sp)-- I wish I could use it, but dear brother named his darn DOG that gorgeous name, so it'll be out. I also like Neil (that sp too) I find the alliteration cool, but I tend to drift towards alliteration rather than away from it.
Graham Rowan is good (I feel a 1-syllable fn needs a 2-syllable mn).

By Question (not verified)
July 23, 2009 12:27 PM

Thanks, all, I appreciate the input! :)

By EVie
July 23, 2009 12:37 PM

Elizabeth T. - I think that distinction you brought up between not liking a name and saying "it's not my style" is really interesting. I feel like a lot of people here probably use "nms" as a polite way of saying they don't like it. But they don't actually mean the same thing to me. For example, Emerson for a girl is not my style - I just don't see myself using an androgynous name, I actually kind of like frilly girls' names. But for other people who like that style of name, I actually do like Emerson quite a lot. On the other hand, Madison on a girl is both not my style AND I don't like it.

Now I'm trying to think of a name that IS my style but I don't like. This is harder. Maybe Claudia? I guess it fits in stylistically with other names I like (Amalia, Victoria, Cordelia, Aurora) but it kind of makes me think of Santa Claus (apologies to any Claudia-lovers out there).

By hyz
July 23, 2009 12:54 PM

EVie--I think I operate with the same distinction. I only say NMS to things that really aren't "my style"--it may be that I really dislike all names in that style, or just that the style in general is nice but doesn't speak to me. There are plenty of names that are theoretically my style, though, that I don't happen to like (sometimes for reasons inexplicable even to myself). Linnea is one of these--I love plant names, and the derivation is nice, and all the letters and general flow and style work for me, and it's pretty in print, but I just don't care for the name. I think it's the ay-ah sound combination--for some reason it grates on me. Go figure.

cileag--I totally *love* both Graham and Rowan, so that's a great pair for me, in either order. The alliteration might worry me a bit, but not enough to stop me if I really loved the name, and especially not if DH and I BOTH really loved the name. The hard G is the only sound shared between Graham and your LN, so I think they're different enough to sound fine.

By knp (not verified)
July 23, 2009 1:05 PM

I agree-- I use nms when I might like a name, but it just isn't quite my style-- like I wouldn't choose it, but think it fits others-- example is Rowan. I would never use the name and it is nms, but it fits cileag's wants and needs well.

There are names I really don't like, and aren't my style and I just try to not comment on those.
Forgive me please, but as an example, Astrid and Enid are these for ME. Maybe it is because I've never met one irl...

There are also names that probably are my style--i.e. Madison, but I wouldn't use too.

My style is quite different than many (I probably won't use 'traditional classics', but it doesn't mean I don't like Charlotte as a name) so I always take the situation and their style into account. Just because it is nms, doesn't mean they shouldn't use it. Likewise, just because I don't like it doesn't mean it isn't a perfectly ok name.

By knp (not verified)
July 23, 2009 1:14 PM

Maybe there is a shorter way to put it-- for me, nms is acknowledging that the name is good, but politely saying I don't like it somehow.

July 23, 2009 1:21 PM

BabyComingSoon- I have a friend who is Belgian (French-speaking) married to a Swiss German who is half-Indian, so they have had to find names which work in different European languages. Her children are Annabelle (can't remember mn) and Victor Sebastian. All those names work really well I think.

By BabyComingSoon (not verified)
July 23, 2009 1:43 PM

Thanks for the suggestions!

Yeah, I've heard Mika as a female Japanese name as well. It's cute but I prefer Micah (as in the English biblical pronunciation)which also doesn't work in Germany because it's a famous brand of sausage.

Our style is really simple, no-frills biblical.

By Amy3
July 23, 2009 1:43 PM

ET, thanks for your list. I liked Seren, too. At first I read it as Serene, but I think Seren is much cooler.

Re: NMS or I-don't-like-it, this discussion has really caused me to consider what I do. I think I've used NMS as an all-purpose truly-not-my-style as well as a nice way to say I don't like a name. I'll try to be more specific from now on. I like the distinction between a name that is truly not my style and one that could conceivably be my style, but that I don't like.

I do agree with PPP that our "personal" preferences, while unique to us, are informed (whether consciously or not) by everything around us and our life experiences.

BabyComingSoon, I like Noah, but agree it's gaining in popularity. Many people here have said that boys are much less concerned about sharing their name with others, but if it's an issue for you, you may want to keep looking. I know it's hard to find a name that works across languages, though. My cousin and his French wife chose Maxim (nn Max) and Thomas (nn Tom) for their sons, if that helps at all.

July 23, 2009 1:49 PM

knp, I'm with you--when I dislike both a name's style and the name itself, I just stay mum. (A name that starts with Sincere comes to mind...) The names that really make me scratch my head are the ones like Bella, since I like many other names that Bella-lovers love, and since I like the names Isabel and Gabriella. Names that really aren't my style, like Everett, Liam, or Avery, might be names I actually like (and I like all of those); I just would never use them, just as I love the way a stylish friend dresses, but I would feel very self conscious wearing the kinds of clothes she wears.

By meppie (not verified)
July 23, 2009 1:57 PM

(Formerly known as guest...finally broke down and logged in.)

Thanks so much for all the Claire middle name suggestions. I'd never even thought of many of them.

I think the "d" names are out of the running. Deborah would be great b/c it's my mom's name, but it just doesn't fit. Deveny is a beautiful name, but also the surname of a local derelict. And I haven't run across any others that are my style.

Elise would be PERFECT if it weren't for Fur Elise, which is what I'm reminded of anytime I say Claire Elise to myself.

Thanks to the poster who linked to the article about middle names. Did anyone else notice how many French names were in the 2-syllable iambic names? Annette, Lisette, Giselle, Brielle, etc. If I were in any way French, I'd have a ton of choices. Being that I'm Scottish, German, and Russian, Claire + a French MN sounds like I'm trying too hard.

Eliza now stands out as a possible choice. It's shorter than Elizabeth (which is in contention but is really just a filler name), I've always kind of liked it, and the accent is on the second syllable. It doesn't really flow, though, does it? UGH!

cileag - Both Rowan and Graham work well with your last name. Ronan is a similar, yet less popular, alternative.

By Eo (not verified)
July 23, 2009 2:07 PM

BabyComingSoon-- I am fond of Biblical names, but I do believe some have been "neutralized" recently through over-use, and might be date-stamped. This includes the ones that were UNDER-USED until the nineteen-nineties, perhaps.

Since you've asked, I'm afraid that names like "Isaac"and "Noah" will fall in this category. Both have popped up in my nine year old's circle of acquaintances. I used to adore Isaac when it was still considered musty, stern and patriarchal! (Even though it means "laughter"!)

If you were inclined to consider sound-alikes, what about "Noel"? Is the man's name pronounced the same in German as in English-- "NO-ul"-- with the emphasis on the first syllable?

If it were pronounced the French way with accent on second syllable, then it would not appeal to me. Even though the word is French in origin, in Britain and other English speaking countries, the man's name is pronounced with the emphasis on the first syllable, as in Noel Coward and Noel Harrison.

It's funny, I love Noel on a boy, but the girl's name "Noelle", which is always correctly pronounced No-ELL with emphasis on second syllable, I don't like!

"Noel" to me seems to belong on a witty, intellectual, whimsical boy, while "Noelle" (at least outside of France and its possessions) seems to be putting on airs! Ah, the vagaries of name reactions...

By Anna (not verified)
July 23, 2009 2:08 PM

There is a huge difference between "don't like it", "not my taste", "not my style" and "all Miranda's are bitchy cheerleaders". The last comment is unnecessary and rude. I also think the "low class" remark in a post on the previous page was uncalled for.

Personally, I don't take offence to "don't like it" and I use it myself sometimes - if I just don't like the name. I always try to include my reason for not liking a particular name, whether it be the spelling, the style, the flow or something else, such as my irrational dislike of u's.

By Amy3
July 23, 2009 2:40 PM

Eo, I agree with you entirely on Noel (for a man) vs Noelle (for a woman). I adore Noel pronounced as Noel Coward did, but I don't like Noelle at all. Just one of those things ...

Anna, if you truly have an irrational dislike of Us, that makes me laugh because my husband doesn't like Us either. For him it's a synesthesia thing.

By Mirnada (not verified)
July 23, 2009 2:52 PM

Hey, I resent that remark about all Miranda's being bitchy cheerleaders! Just kidding.

Babycomingsoon - I also love Noah (and Jonah, which has a similar sound). I know it's growing in popularity, but I haven't run into or heard of that many IRL, actually. Many more Henry's and the Finn/Quinn phenomenon, actually. To me, it seems like a really strong name, and even if it's more popular right now, I sincerely doubt it'll become an Aiden/Caden/Zayden kind of name. Maybe I'm not as attuned to that, though. It would still be on our list if it didn't sound funny with my DH's last name.

Meppie - I wouldn't feel like French middle names are off limits for you, just because you're not French yourself. I think Claire is used enough now to not feel overly frenchified, and people in Russia favored french names for a long time, right? To me, there are names that seem overly french and others that seem to have crossed over into more general use (much like some of the biblical names). I'm sure we can think of another middle name that works well. That'll give me another excuse to procrastinate. :)

I was wondering if people could weigh in on some middle name suggestions for Simon. I think Simon needs a strong, more masculine middle name, something not too effete or intellectual-seeming. The one I had been considering is Everett, because it seems kind of hardy to me. I'm not convinced, though, that a 3 syllable name ending in T is the best way to go with the last name, Font3not. I like the sound of Simon Gray Font3not, but Gray seems like such a meaningless name to me, that I don't think I could use it.

Have been trying to investigate family names, but they're pretty tough...Clyde, Clarence, Audley, Howard, Gilbert. Not loving any of them.

We're definitely not in any hurry to figure the whole name thing out yet (sigh), but it's nicely distracting to think about it.

By hyz
July 23, 2009 3:11 PM

Mirnada, I can't remember, do you say FON-ten-oh or FON-ten-ott? If it's the former, then I *love* Simon Everett. If it's the latter, I agree the two T endings don't sound the best.

By Anna (not verified)
July 23, 2009 3:11 PM

Mirnada - how do you pronounce Font3not, is the -t and the end silent? I think it makes quite a difference when you consider a middle name ending in -t. Btw, Everett reminds me of Everest which I also like (pronounced eve-rist like George Everest, not ever-est like the mountain).

By Tirzah, not logged in (not verified)
July 23, 2009 3:14 PM

I bet the rise of Noah tracks the appearance of the tv series ER. Too busy to confirm.

By BabyComingSoon (not verified)
July 23, 2009 3:15 PM

Hm, not quite a December baby, so Noel probably not. I have also known a few Noelles (one girl even spelled her name Noel) and to me the name is much too close...almost a girl's name to me even if pronounced differently.

EO,I can see how "Michael" "Benjamin" "Jonathan" "James" "Thomas" "Matthew" etc. never went out of style so won't be as time stamped as "Noah", but still. I don't see it as a trendy name like Jayden. More like Jacob? There are a zillion of them but there will continue to be newborn boys named Jacob in 2020. Not that I think Noah will ever reach the popularity of Jacob.

And Isaac puzzles me--how many 9 year old Isaacs do you know? I know the name is rising fast but I only know a couple and they are Jewish...is it really mainstream? I am meeting a lot of little Gabriels and Elijahs and Isaiahs lately though...and those names all have the same sort of vibe. And yep, quite a few Noahs. Though most of them are under 3!

July 23, 2009 3:29 PM

hmm, interesting. i don't think of noel as a girls' name at all. i quite like it actually. to me it is definitely masculine, as i connect it to the name joel. i also don't think of it as a christmas name (not sure why this is, as i DO think of noelle as a christmas name).

love both noah and isaac and while they may be rising in popularity, i don't really think of them as trendy names. for whatever reason, names like that are very separate to me from names like jayden, kayden, etc. i can't really pinpoint why...i agree with babycomingsoon that maybe it will be more time-stamped than something like james, but to me it is still a classic name that will always be around and will always rise and fall. it has staying power; it didn't appear out of nowhere.

July 23, 2009 3:43 PM

@BabyComingSoon: What about Aubrey for a boy? A friend of mine who lives in Germany named her daughter that because it's pronounced almost the same in German and English.

I'm going to add Mika (MEE-ka) to my list of names for girls. Also, Micah for a boy. I like the name Sachi for a girl, actually, but I think it will sound weird with my husband's last name.

On the other hand, my mom tried to convince me today that any daughter I have should be named Silvi...

By Mirnada (not verified)
July 23, 2009 3:38 PM

Ok, what about Claire Adele, Claire Adine, Claire Eileen (I think the repeated L is pretty here and mixes it up a little, origin-wise), Claire Ines, Claire Estelle, Claire Idelle, Claire Justine, Claire Sabine, or Claire Yvette?

Some more french than others and some probably not your style, but...

By Mirnada (not verified)
July 23, 2009 3:45 PM

hyz -- It is FON-tuh-noh, so the final T is silent. Maybe Everett is ok, then...I guess the full name is rarely said, anyway. Maybe I just stumble a little over switching from the T to the F. The sharp, forceful V and T in Everett is kind of great paired with the softer, more thoughtful Simon, though, isn't it?

By hyz
July 23, 2009 4:20 PM

Mirnada, in that case, I am totally in love with Simon Everett Font3not. I think it sounds smart, interesting, classic, worldly, and a bit dashing. I agree with whoever commented before (Leafy?) that Font3not is a pretty awesome name to work with. My LN and DH's are not so melodic (they're fine, perfectly good LNs with personal meaning to us of course, but...), so I confess to a wee slight bit of jealousy. :)

July 23, 2009 4:49 PM

On Noel--my dh's name is Noel, and gets called the wrong name ALL the time, something to think about when choosing a fairly unusual name like Noel.

Most often he gets called No-elle, but he also gets called Noah a lot, and sometimes Joel. In fact there are several people at our church that always call him Noah, even though he distinctly says NOELLLLL, they just don't get it.

Also, it gets misheard on the phone a lot, people think he's saying "No" to them when they ask for his name! :)

But given that I'm married to Noel, I don't think of it as Christmas-y at all. And around Christmas time when Joyeux Noel or other such things crop up, I find it really hard to say "No-elle" because I'm so used to saying Noel!

July 23, 2009 5:53 PM


If it helps, my cousin is called Simon Frederick, although in this case he was supposed to be named after both grandfathers, but my aunt just couldn't sanction Zsygmunt, so Simon he became.