Followup: Weeding the Namipedia garden

Aug 4th 2009

Thank you to everyone who took the time to think about the care and feeding of Namipedia. The top messages I took away were that better searching and browsing tools will help...and that defining worthwhile names is HARD. You all made good arguments for and against invented names, foreign names, fictional names and more. So I'm thinking it's time to simplify. How about this?

Any user-submitted name page can stay in Namipedia if there's a good reason for other users to be interested in it.

If it's likely to appeal to contemporary parents seeking a baby name, that counts. So submissions like Skylie and Reeve stay.

If it has a significant historical or global usage history, that counts. So submissions like Freelove and Veslemøy stay.

If it's linked to a notable historical or cultural figure or newsmaker, that counts. So submissions like Cotton and Karch stay.

If it appears in a popular book or movie so that readers/viewers will want to learn more about it, that counts. So submissions like Samwise and Caillou stay.

If the submitter provides compelling supporting information so that we can come away from the name page feeling enlightened, that counts. So submissions like Corisande and Iorwerth stay.

Other good reasons may come up as well. But if we can't pinpoint any solid reason why a name page should be of interest to other people, then it goes. Most importantly, just knowing -- or even being -- someone with that name is not enough. You'd be surprised how many submissions this rules out. And as always, borderline cases go to the Baby Name Jury!

p.s. those of you who offered to help with the editing, drop me a line!


August 4, 2009 2:01 PM

I think those are excellent guidelines! I've met people with one of a kind names that would completely clog up Namipedia if I entered them. I can't think of any other reasons off the top of my head, I think you covered all the reasons why a unique name should stay!

By Amy3 (nli) (not verified)
August 4, 2009 2:56 PM

Hear, hear, Laura! I think those are very sensible guidelines and help create some clarity for the Namipedia.

By Betsy (not verified)
August 4, 2009 3:04 PM

Well done, Laura. Like I commented before, I definitely would not want to be sidled with a responsibility like that, and I am really glad to see your guidelines erring on the more accepting side than the more exclusive side. Even though I'm not a fan of all the far out, made up, or obscure literary names, I would just feel snobbish drawing lines of exclusion that declared many submissions "non-names."

By jenmn (not verified)
August 4, 2009 5:02 PM

Great guidelines Laura!

Well, I'm back again. I just can't seem to settle on a name for our new baby girl and I'm quickly running out of time. While I like Vivienne Violet, I'm not in love with it. And I still have a number of reservations about it. I would love to use Vivienne as a middle name, but am having a really hard time finding a first name. (My middle name list has about 50 names on it!)

I stumbled across Isla (eye-la) last night and just love the sound of it. Of course, I goes against my rule of "easy to pronounce off a list of names" that I *thought* was really important to me. Also, I don't know if it is going to be considered trendy due the sudden jump on the SSA list. Thoughts? Other names that have a similar feel to Isla?


August 4, 2009 6:53 PM


Names that have a similar feel to Isla:

Not sure how far off track I am! But maybe some of these may appeal...

August 4, 2009 6:10 PM

Jenmn: You could always go with the spelling Ayla, rather than Isla. People still might mispronounce it with a long a sound, but it's more intuitive than Isla, particularly if you live in a Spanish-influenced state.

Amazon Users: I asked this on the last post, but didn't get any answers. Is Amazon shipping the correct version of Baby Name Wizard now? Thanks.

August 4, 2009 6:31 PM

I just ordered BNW from Amazon. The old version arrived at my house on Monday. I was really disappointed. :( So I guess the answer to your question is, no, Amazon is not consistently shipping the correct version.

August 4, 2009 7:27 PM

I think the guidelines sound pretty good. I'm glad someone made some sense of all of our rambling comments from the last thread.

Jenmn - I quite like Vivienne Violet and I think Vivienne Isla is very nice too. If you are worried about Isla being hard to pronounce I wouldn't be, as Isla is becoming much more well known and people will start to recognise it. Also, if it's in the middle spot it really isn't such an issue if the pronunciation gets fluffed once in a while. Valerie gave some good alternatives, and you had some lovely other options a week or so back? I don't recall what your surname was like? Are you will to say what letter it starts with or what it sounds like, that might help people with suggestions?

By jenmn (not verified)
August 4, 2009 8:22 PM

Valerie - Thanks for the long list of suggestions!
I like:
* Cora (on our short list)
* Lina (nice)
* Lila (nice)
* Mina (hmm... maybe Mila?)
* Serena (on our short list)
* Clara (We had Claire as a middle name possibility, interesting twist on it)
* Julia (I love, but wish it wasn't so popular! We have Juliet on our short list as well)

Tirzah - I thought about Ayla, but it seems that the true prononciation of that is supposed to be a long 'a' sound. Just can't win!
We actually don't live in a very Spanish-influenced state. We're in the midwest and when I reminded my DH about the word isla being Spanish for island (and he took like 6 years of Spanish) he had forgotten. So I don't like how hard the pronunciation is and how it is an actual word in Spanish and pronounced differently.

Chimu Vivienne Isla is nice too, hmm. :) I actually do like Vivienne Violet, but just am not loving it. I'm not sure if it is just cold feet or something bigger. Here are a few of my reasons I am hesitant to use it:
- I love the Vivienne (French) spelling which looks fresh and fun but really don't like the Vivian spelling, it just looks dated and old lady to me. Since the Vivian spelling is around 200 in the SSA list, I'm guessing this is how people will think we spell it and not the fun French way.
I feel like I would constantly be saying, "This is my daughter Vivienne, spelled with an 'enne'." which I don't want to get into. This is similar to my older daughter's middle name which is Genevieve but we pronounce it the french way, which I don't mind explaining because it doesn't happen very often due to it being a middle name.
- I worry about the association with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's daughter. Also, is this spelling going to get more popular due to their influence?
- Is Vivienne Violet too much? Too much alliteration, too sort of cutesy sounding? Is Violet getting too popular and trendy, even for a middle name spot? My DH seems to have come around on it, and I know I got a lot of positive feedback here, but I haven't talked to anyone else in real life.
- Vivienne seems to go much better with my older daughter's middle name, Genevieve (which we pronounce the french way) than with her first name, Elise.

The other names we had on our list, besides Vivienne, are Juliet, Maeve, Cora and Serena. I have since realized that Juliet starts with a 'j' same as my name, Jen (yes it took me that long to notice!). Also, I worry about the Romeo association as well as the popularity of all the other Juliet/Julia/Julianna/Julie/Julienne/etc names.
My DH is not as fond of Maeve, he doesn't like that is is only one syllable and I agree that it doesn't look as appealing as some of the other names.
Cora is a name that is growing on both of us, but I'm not that fond of the Cori nickname, at least not yet. I think it is classic sounding, similar to Elise, but not quite as timeless.
My DH's favorite for a long time (other than Linnea which got terribly shot down in real life) was Serena. But there pretty much aren't nickname possibilities and I'm not sure how much I like it and I'm not sure how much I like it with Elise.

So you can see how I am pretty indecisive at the moment and as I think I've said before, I just feel like the right name is out there and I haven't discovered it yet. If you can believe it, we settled on Elise fairly quickly and easily before my older daughter was born!

The new baby will have my last name as a second middle name, it starts with an 'm' and is short but two syllables. The last name sounds like "Pikkins". I would love to use the name Adele as a middle name, was really thinking about Vivienne Adele M____ Pikkins but that would give her the initials VAMP!

Ahh! Now I've rambled and rambled enough I better post this before I lose it!

By Rayne of terror (not verified)
August 4, 2009 9:01 PM

What about Verity? Easy to pronounce but extremely uncommon. The woman who married my huz & me has that name and it's on my short list if we ever have a girl.

August 4, 2009 9:25 PM

jenmn: is Julia really popular? I think the only one I know irl is in her 20s.

By Amy3
August 4, 2009 9:46 PM

jenmn, I only know of one Violet in my circle. She'd be about 5 now. While it's definitely more popular than a few years ago, I don't see it skyrocketing like Ava or Ella have. Other than the ultra-popular V, I think it lacks the necessary elements to turn into a runaway train.

Have you considered Violet Vivienne? I still think pairing the two flowerier French names in the mn position and more straightforward names in the fn position creates a nice symmetry between the girls' names.

Otherwise, I think Cora is fab and sounds lovely with Elise and with Vivienne as the middle. I don't think you'd need to worry about the Cori nn. Who says she'd go by anything other than Cora?

By jenmn (not verified)
August 4, 2009 10:05 PM

Julia is ranked 40 nationwide and even higher in my state. I'm also not sure if I want to have my kids share initials with either my DH or I. Since I am one of the gazillion Jennifers, I'm sort of ruling out the 'J' names for now. I'm probably particularly sensitive to it right now as my older daughter is starting to pair up letters with everyone's name.

I do really like Violet. I know of a few new babies in our extended circle that were just named Violet in the last few months, which is why it seems to be getting more popular at least in my area. I'm also not sure about pairing a flower name with the last name sounding like "Pikkins". Is it too much like Violet Picking(s)? I would not do Rose Picking(s) or Lily Picking(s) for sure, but Violet may not be too obvious, although one person I mentioned the name to got the connection right away.

Cora Vivienne is interesting and I would still get to use Vivienne but not have any of the stress around it. :) As far as the Cora/Cori issue, we are a pretty nickname-y family with my older daughter, so I guess that is why I am worried about it. I don't really dislike Cori, just don't like it very much. Although we thought we would call my older daughter Ellie as a nickname and she is really not an Ellie. She gets called Lise, Lisey and a number of other things. :)

By Jenny also (not verified)
August 4, 2009 10:15 PM


I vote for Cora. Love the sound and the simplicity; while still being a little different. Coral is a personal favorite of mine too although I am guessing it is not your style.

I think both Violet and Vivienne are going to seem "celebrity driven" becuase they are both fairly unusual names VERY high profile movie stars have named their kids recently. Both make fab middle names but seem too highly highly influenced by US Magazine and/or Entertainment Tonight; especially when put together.

August 4, 2009 10:22 PM

jenmn-Some thoughts re your naming dilemna. I feel like we've been following you closely as similarly we did with hyz's chickens. I know you'll find something truly wonderful as did she.

Of your fn choices, Juliet goes the best with Elise imo. I agree that Vivienne goes better as a mn to match your other dd's style. However, Juliet Vivienne does not flow well imo. It also sounds a bit frilly to me.

Re Isla/Ayla-I definitely would say Isla with a long I and Ayla with a long A if that helps. Vivienne Isla is weird to me-I think because of the different I sounds in each part of the names.

Adele is okay but I prefer Adeline but again you have the alternate pron of -leen vs. -line. I also like Coraline. Coraline Juliet is wonderful imo. Vivienne Adele is great but I see your point with the initials.

So other options with help from Nymbler:
Audrey Juliette
Chloe Adele (though initials are CAMP)
Caroline Adele (ditto)
Camille Vivienne
Vivienne Celeste
Vivienne Iris
Juliette Iris
Cora Delphine
Cora Gisele
Juliette Eden
Cecelia Maeve
Aimee Vivienne
Clarissa Lucille
maybe some of those will prove inspiring.

August 4, 2009 10:28 PM

Laura-I agree with all your reasoning that these name pages should stay so folks can look up the info about them and NOT use them. LOL! I'm not sure why someone would want to use Samwise anyway, but if I look it up and realize its an LOTR name and thats not what I am looking for then you have done your job.

By Adopting Mom (not verified)
August 4, 2009 10:30 PM

@ Laura - Great guidelines. Murky enough to allow for individual expression, but distinct enough to say "there is a gatekeeper here"

@ Jenmn - I don't love VV, but I do like Vivienne very much. Maybe just a different mn? Violet is too close to violent for my taste, but that's just me. I like your other choices (Cora, my great grandmother's name and also on my short list).

Still shortening my list for a sibling for Amelia. I am falling in love with Pearl, but every single solitary member of my family has vetoed it, even for a mn. Sob!!!

Music Fisher (captcha), aka Adopting Mom

By Guest (not verified)
August 4, 2009 10:50 PM

How much do people let their family members influence name decisions? DH and I were down to two names. We couldn't decide, so when our family members asked, we told them, "we're between Name1 and Name2." Almost all of them felt the need to comment, and almost all were in support of Name1.

Now we've decided we like Name2 better. Nothing to do with our family members, we just imagined living with each choice and found we liked Name2 more. However, now that we sort of asked their opinions, we feel awkward ignoring what they said. And after all, the grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc are going to be a big part of this baby's life too. Should they have a say in the name? Especially since they were pretty uniform in their opinions? (And they know it - we're sure they've discussed it with each other.) Or should DH and I go with what we would have gone with if we'd never told them our two choices?

August 4, 2009 11:45 PM

Guest #18 I think you should pick name number 2 because that is what you really love and it's your choice. Sometimes when you ask people to make a decision for you and they tell you to go for one option it makes you realise how much you really love the other option. This is what has happened in your case. They will learn to love the name you pick once they meet the baby and see how cute he/she is and how he/she grows into the name.

August 4, 2009 11:50 PM

the fact that violet and vivienne are both celebrity children's names does not bother me in the least. i don't know if this is perhaps due to the fact that i pay very little attention to celebrity news/gossip...? i mean i am aware that the connection exists, but it is far from the first connection i make. i would never hear of a new baby named violet and think, "oh, like violet affleck!" however, i'm sure this varies from person to person.

i don't think either name is really going to take off, at least not to astronomical levels. i know that violet is increasing in popularity, but i don't really see it becoming common (and for whatever reason, i suspect it is even less popular in the midwest (which is where i live as well)).

also, i don't think i would have noticed violet pickins if you hadn't said something.

and i really like the alliteration.

all that being said, if it doesn't thrill you, then there's nothing wrong with changing your mind!

i like many of the other names you're considering, such as cora, juliet, and isla. i agree that cora doesn't need a nickname, but if you're a nicknamey family, then perhaps cori will be inevitable.

to guest #18,
i do not have children, but i think i would go with the name i wanted over my family's preference... i see arguments in the other direction, but i generally feel that eventually the family comes around (and fairly quickly, too). for example, my cousin was named zor@ @nn, which many people found quite odd, but now we love it and think it suits her perfectly. in other words: i suspect that your family will eventually see it your way. i've never been in your position, but i do know that i wouldn't be offended if a family member chose a name against my preference--it is such a personal decision...

August 4, 2009 11:51 PM

Jen -

May I humbly register two votes, for either

Isla Vivienne or
Cora Vivienne

I like how Vivienne is the natural counterpart of Genevieve for the mn spot, and to me both Isla and Cora are beautiful and sound good when said with Elise or Lisey.
If a gun was put to my head I would marginally favour Cora due to its being less popular right now. Maybe Isla isn't so popular in the States? It's very popular in Scotland and becoming so in Oz (due to actress Isla Fisher I assume). I also like Lila or Lilah on your list, might be too many 'L's though with your other daughter's nn.

Good luck!

PS. I never know how to introduce myself on a forum like this, so "hi" to you all. Lurked for a while, and I loooove this blog, am becoming addicted to a dangerous degree. I'm hoping to have a baby to name sometime next year but there're a few hurdles to jump before that happens.

PPS. I'm very chuffed that Laura posted my first and only Namipedia entry on Twitter yesterday - Narelle! I was amazed that it hadn't already been entered. Can't wait to find out other well-known names that have been overlooked.

August 4, 2009 11:58 PM

Jenmn - thinking more about your name dilema more (and yes I remember your VAMP problem now:), if you are doubting Vivienne Violet I also really like Cora and don't think Cori would be a problem. I love Cordelia shortened to Cora, how about Cordelia Vivienne? I also thought of Juliet Delphine for you (one of my favourite combos). I do like Maeve as well but not so much with Vivienne (or Violet) How about Maeve Gisele?. I'm not a huge fan of Serena.

Zoerhenne's suggestions of Audrey, Camille and Caroline were pretty much what I was going to suggest as well. How about Josephine or Jocelyn? All of these lend themselves to nice frilly middle names.

Hopefully some of these suggestions are useful to you!

By Liz & Louka (not verified)
August 5, 2009 12:54 AM

Jenm, Cora isn't my style, but I love the nickname Coco, if that helps.

August 5, 2009 1:44 AM

I just stumbled upon a book about three sisters named Sassafras, Cypress and Indigo. (Sassafras would be a good chicken name too.;)

By Bue (not verified)
August 5, 2009 7:50 AM


I love Isla, but for me Isla and Elise are too similar to be siblings. They have a lot of the same sounds and letters and I find them extremely matchy. For that reason, my choice would be Cora or Juliet.

By meppie (not verified)
August 5, 2009 8:08 AM

Good news! Little M@lcolm P3nn or Claire (have no idea on middle name) is arriving in April. We found out two days ago and I immediately went to Barnes and Noble to get the new copy of BNW. It wasn't there so I had to buy another name book, which I find much less engaging than BNW1.

Claire's middle name is so elusive I'm beginning to like my second choice for a first name more and more: Margaret, nn Greta.

But Claire it remains for now. Current middle names on the list:

Claire Isabel (family name, but kinda sounds like Clear as a Bell)

Claire Penelope (I seriously doubt my husband would let me get away with this one)

Claire Elizabeth

Claire Beatrix/ce

jenm: I like Violet a lot, but once you pointed out Violet Pickings I began to doubt the choice. If you hadn't said anything I might never have made the connection, though.

By Linds (not verified)
August 5, 2009 8:44 AM

RE: New name guidelines

Generally speaking, I think that the new name guidelines sound reasonable and straightforward...not to mention much needed.

I'm left with a set of questions, however. How is it, exactly, that you plan to determine whether or not a particular name is *likely* to appeal to contemporary parents? Do you plan to count only those names that resemble other popular names and/or fit a current naming trend? And, if so, is *guessing* what names will appeal to others really the ideal way of pruning? This approach, it seems to me, assumes a lot about our ability to entirely predict upcoming trends as well as track current ones, if this makes any sense. My fear is that there's an overconfidence about knowing what will appeal to others inherent to this type of approach, and it opens a possibility (not terribly likely, but still a possibility) that people in positions of pruning power might eliminate emergent names that do indeed appeal to a number of contemporary parents and yet don't conform to expectations about what such parents *should* like. Am I making any sense here?

By Anna (not verified)
August 5, 2009 9:17 AM


Q: How much do people let their family members influence name decisions?
A: We kept the name a secret. Even if we hadn't done, that we wouldn't have let other people dictate the name. "Thank you for your suggestions, we'll take it into consideration".

Q: we feel awkward ignoring what they said.
A: "Thank you for sharing your opinion with us. We'll take it into consideration."

Q: Especially since they were pretty uniform in their opinions?
A: What exactly do they have an opinion about? Is it taste (Hester vs Harper), concern (Aim Stew Pit) or belief ("we're Jewish, maybe "Jesus" isn't the best choice")...? If it's really just about taste, you have to realise you can't please everybody. "Oh mom/dad, I don't expect you to share our taste in names - afterall you're from another generation!"

Q: ...the grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc are going to be a big part of this baby's life too. Should they have a say in the name?
A: No. It's not their baby to name. Can't they be a part of someone's life if they don't have naming rights? Will they love Baby Harper less than Baby Hester if they don't like the name Harper? I hope not!

Q: ..should DH and I go with what we would have gone with if we'd never told them our two choices?
A: You should choose the name you like the best.

August 5, 2009 10:04 AM

Guest @18-Anna said it best. Name your baby whatever you think is best in the long run and let everyone one else deal with it. However, if your family situation is such that you or the baby will be "shunned" for having a name such as Hester (to use previous example), then you will have to do some serious thinking. Maybe you could use one in the fn spot and the other in the middle?

meppie-Margaret Claire gets my vote!

PPP-What's your latest?

Anyone else with updates or requests?

By Amy3
August 5, 2009 10:19 AM

jenmn, I see your point about being a nickname-y family and thus worrying about Cora being nicked as Cori. However, my dad has always used the nn of my mn as my nn so perhaps you could call Cora Vivienne Viv? I think that's quite cute.

Guest#18, definitely go with the name you love. I agree with Chimu (I think) that sometimes getting feedback leads you to the choice you love, even if that choice runs counter to others' opinions. Your family will love the baby no matter the name.

meppie, another vote for Margaret Claire. I have a little cousin who's a "just Greta" and I think it's a great name. Plus Margaret is super flexible.

Adopting Mom, I love Pearl and would have wanted to use it if it didn't sound ridiculous with our ln.

By hyz
August 5, 2009 10:53 AM

Thanks for all the great comments on the chickens! :) I'm kinda sad now that the decision is made and done with--I'm going to have to find something else to name. :) Tirzah, I think Sassafrass OR Sarsparilla would've been a great name for the one I called Pennyroyal, because she *is* sassy, but I don't think the name Pennyroyal fit the others, and I just couldn't let that one go. :) Plus, being an old Nirvana fan, DH was excited about Pennyroyal from the start (which is more than I can say about his level of enthusiasm when we were picking our daughter's name, lol). And zoerhenne, I agree Mrs. Earl Grey sounds very dignified and formidable--you almost made me regret not using it! But considering that people (neighbors, etc.) are already shortenening Pennyroyal to Penny, I didn't think I could get anyone to use Mrs. Earl Grey's full title, and then it loses some of its fun. lol.

Guest 18 - I third Anna's comments. I agree it's a little awkward now that you've asked for opinions (which is why we kept our name choices secret from friends and family), but you have to go with what you love. If the family seems miffed, I'd just say, "well obviously we liked both names, including the one you picked, because we were considering both, but in the end this name really just seemed right to us for this baby." End of story. They'll get over it.

Jenmn, I can't remember--was there a reason you're not using Adele as the fn? I adore it, and I think Adele Vivienne or Adele Violet would both be charming and sound great with Elise. I also like Isla, and I'd be surprised if you got too many pronunciation problems from anyone but telemarketers. Isla is like island--familiar, uncomplicated, no big deal. I also don't think it's too matchy with Elise--even though they share "is", the sounds are entirely different.

meppie, congrats!! I also love Margaret Claire--it definitely gets my vote. But if you want to stick with Claire as the FN (also very nice), I think Claire Beatrix is wonderful.

And--my sweet Ivy is 1 today! Just had to share. I can't believe it's been a year already.

By hyz
August 5, 2009 10:55 AM

Oh, and adopting mom, I also love Pearl! (But I'll repeat the caveat that it might not be the best choice if you're adopting from Asia.) Again, if the parents of the child like the name, then I'd say that's the most important thing, and other family members will get used to it!

By Kam
August 5, 2009 11:02 AM

jenmn if you don't think Maeve is substantial why don't go with Mavis it just sounds more complete and you could then use Maeve as a nn.

By Amy3 (nli) (not verified)
August 5, 2009 11:17 AM

jenmn, hyz reminded me of my earlier suggestion of Adele Vivienne. I still like that one a lot!

Happy birthday, Ivy! Amazing that she's a year already. :)

By Betsy (not verified)
August 5, 2009 11:38 AM

Guest -- I of course also say go with Name2 and agree with all the previous comments. My other thought is: do all your relatives Know that Name1 got so many votes from everyone else too? Unless you polled them all at the same family function, maybe when you announce Name2, people will assume maybe they were one of the only ones that voted for Name1, and then it doesn't seem as upsetting that you're going against Everyone else. Just a thought!

By Ash (not verified)
August 5, 2009 12:17 PM

Margaret Claire is straight-up one of my all time favorite names. I also love Claire Beatrice, if you are set on Claire for the first name.

Jenm, I’m also a nickname person in a nicknamey family, so I can totally see Cora turning into Cori . . . unless you actively call her something else (CoCo, Viv, etc.). Even though I know Cora is a full name in itself, I do feel like it is easy-breezy like a nickname and might not be as much of a problem.

Your names list reminded me once again of the irony that Lila/h and Elise are such popular/rising in popularity names right now. I grew up with a Lil@h Elis3 who went by Elise, so both names feel as dated to me as my own. Really an example of how local/personal naming really is.

For the guest who is concerned about going with Name 2 after getting lots of votes for Name 1, I would recommend going with the name you love. With the family, I would say that the names are still under consideration and announce Name 2 as the winner when the baby is born (Assuming that, as articulated above, there are no major issues with Name 2). The family is a lot less likely to be vocal about dislike of the name when there is a beautiful baby to love. I have a cousin who has given 2 of his kids names that were greatly disliked by the rest of the family. Both names were announced after the babies were born. While there was some initial discussion amongst family members (as much about the kre8tive spelling of the already-unusual names as the names themselves), we are now used to them and simply love the little ones for the gifts that they are.

By the other Amber (not verified)
August 5, 2009 12:29 PM

Jenmn - I had no problem with Isla. The beginning sound is just like in the word island, after all. It's one of those names that, once it's explained, stays understood. It's not something that has to be explained or spelled out to the same people repeatedly. So I say go for it. If it feels right, there's a reason for it ^_~ ... Sorry I'm no scholar. I just trust intuition, even when that intuition flies in the face of logic.

Clemency - Welcome here!

Guest18 - I agree with everyone else here: go with the name you love more.

August 5, 2009 1:58 PM

Happy Birthday Ivy! If you can believe it, year two is even more fun than year one. Lots of exploring and talking! And more sleep for the parents. (I know that this board is more privacy oriented than other baby blogs, but if you felt compelled to link to a temporary picture of the birthday girl, I would oooh and aaah! No need to reply if you don't wish to link.)

Guest18, I would go with your heart, BUT, I would do it knowing that probably not everyone you meet will *love* the name you choose. (I make this presumption because it was unanimous for the other name.) If you are fine with that, then definitely go for it.

August 5, 2009 2:07 PM

Hyz- I second Tirzah's request- I would love to see her... but only if it feels right to you.

By meppie (not verified)
August 5, 2009 2:07 PM

Ohhh, Margaret Claire DOES sound really good. I may have a hard time letting go of Claire, since it's been my girl name for close to a decade.

I imagine my children named thusly: Ia!n, W!lliam, M@lcolm, Cl@ire, and M@rgaret (Greta.) Problem is, this assumes I'm having five children, three of whom are boys. I'd have to be pretty lucky to get the number of children I hope for, and in the "correct" gender.

So, do I run the risk of using my two girl names on one girl?

Plus, once I "named" my children, they became very real to me, even though only two of them have been born so far. It's as though they're out there waiting to be part of our family.

This brings up an interesting naming dilemma for ne's: Since no one can predict the sex of her children, what does one do with the named children who may not actually be born? It's a little like throwing away unused frozen embryos, albeit less traumatic.

By hyz
August 5, 2009 2:44 PM

Thanks for the birthday wishes! Ok, well, twist my arm on the pics, lol, I don't mind sharing a few. Here we go, I think: . She's been such a joy, really, it's hard to believe. I can't wait until she can start telling me all the things she's thinking!

meppie, I know what you mean about using your girl names all at once--that seems like a big commitment/risk. Well, I might still be inclined to stick with Margaret this time around, if a mn for Claire isn't making itself known. But Margaret What, then? hmmm....

August 5, 2009 2:50 PM

meppie-Interesting dilemna. I will weigh in with my situation and you can take from it what you will.

When (DH) and I knew things were progressing, we started to talk about children and from that the names for the children. I had always loved the name Samantha. So the "children" became Samantha Renee and Zachary Alexander. We married and got pg. We discovered a boy. Up until about a week before he was born it seemed okay even though we looked at other names to be sure. Then-it wasn't right AT ALL! So we changed it to the last thing we could agree on. We knew we only wanted 2 kids. So when #2 was a girl we said okay-Samantha. Now this was a much harder decision. I went to the hospital with a list of 5FN's and MN's and thus played with the combos until I HAD to name her. I kept the Renee part but not Samantha. I love the names my IRL children have and I cannot imagine them being different (esp my ds).
I have just a vague memory of what I envisioned as my "potential children" because my mind is now filled up with ACTUAL memories. Plus, I think it helped that DH + I bought teddy bears the 1st Christmas we were together and named them our fictional names. So, in essence they were "born".
There are so many beautiful names out there that one cannot possibly use them all for actual children (unless you are the Duggars) LOL! So I think you have to come to terms with it whatever way works best for you. I will look for a few more mn suggestions for Claire for you though.

August 5, 2009 3:00 PM

hyz-Give Ivy a hug for me. She is beautiful!

August 5, 2009 3:04 PM

my goodness! hyz, i can't imagine a more beautiful baby!

By Amy3 (nli) (not verified)
August 5, 2009 3:06 PM

hyz, she's absolutely adorable. Thanks for sharing the photos! And she *looks* like an Ivy. :)

August 5, 2009 3:12 PM

Claire Susannah
Claire Avery
Claire Allison
Claire Leanne
Claire Adelaide
Claire Gabrielle
Claire Josephine
Claire Nicole
Claire Breanne
Claire Mckenzie
Claire Danielle
Margaret Frances* just for kicks
Claire Amanda
Claire Diana
Claire Linnea

By Adopting Mom (not verified)
August 5, 2009 3:15 PM

hyz, My oldest is from China, and while I have run into several little Rubys and Jades, I have only heard of one Pearl (and never personally met one). DD #2 will be from Asia, but not China. Do you think an Asian child named Pearl is common in your area? Ir is it a "stereotype" problem? It may not matter b/c I cannot get a single family member on board, and yes, the opinions of the family, if strongly felt, matter to me. I am not taking their suggestions for names, but I am listening to their vetoes.

By hyz
August 5, 2009 3:39 PM

Thanks, guys! :D You're sweet. I do think she really seems like an Ivy now, too. I could still imagine some other names on her if I try, but some of the names from my short list seem obviously wrong at this point (like, she's so not a Holly, for instance, as much as I still love that name).

Adopting Mom, I do think it's more of a stereotype issue than it actually being a common name. For instance, although I've never met a dog named Fido or Rover, I would say they're stereotypical dog names. I think the Pearl/Asian stereotype comes from some combination of "Pearl of the Orient", Pearl S. Buck, the general pearl industry in Asia, and I'm not sure what else. I think any sensitive issues surrounding the choice of a "stereotypical" name could be amplified in the case of an adoption where the parents are not Asian. So, I don't know. I still think it's a beautiful name. The stereotype issue would definitely be a mark in the "con" column for me, but I don't know if it would be enough to put me off the name if it was far and away my favorite.

August 5, 2009 4:50 PM

Hyz, she's adorable!! Happy birthday to her!