Names on the Verge: Alice

Feb 5th 2010

In the most recent edition of The Baby Name Wizard book, I wrote of the name Alice:

This plain and simple classic has been neglected for years. Right now, opinions on it are divided. To some, the model Alice is long-suffering housewife Alice Kramden of the “Honeymooners. “ To others, it’s the girlish enchantment of Alice in Wonderland. Expect to see the name come back first in the tony urban neighborhoods where Lucy and Henry are hits.

Signs are now mounting that Alice's comeback time may be sooner rather than later.

The first sign: vampires. I've written before about the stylish names of Twilight's undead Cullen clan. Eye-catching names like Jasper and Esme got the most dramatic boost, but Alice has quietly benefited from the connection too.

Sign two: top billing. What could tilt Alice toward the "Alice in Wonderland" side better than Alice in Wonderland itself? Tim Burton's phantasmagoric take on that classic story hits theaters next month. The media coverage should make more parents think of the name, and all the blond curls and pinafores should help push images of diner waitresses into the background.
 
But no amount of publicity can boost a name that parents aren't ready for. So the most important sign that Alice is a "name on the verge" may be one from a much less glamorous source: the Swedish Bureau of Statistics. A week ago, the Swedish number-crunchers announced that Alice was their #1 girl's name of 2009. That's a dramatic rise from #6 the year before.

Sweden is often a step ahead of the United States in reviving old-fashioned names. Emma, for instance, became the #1 name in Sweden in 2002, 6 years earlier than in the U.S. Alice will surely rise here too. But how far? Do parents who like Alice for its sweet quirkiness have to brace for an Emma-like onslaught?

My crystal ball says that Alice will never reach those heights in the United States. The name's appeal is deep, but not broad enough.

Alice doesn't end in a vowel, like Emily and Ava. It isn't multisyllabic with strong nicknames, like Elizabeth and Abigail. And it isn't lilting and romantic, like Isabella and Olivia. Culturally, Alice is closer to boys' names like Henry and Charlie. Those names walk a fine style line. They have a slight whiff of old country bumpkin about them, which scares off some parents -- but not the most affluent and educated ones. The farther you are from a country bumpkin, after all, the less you risk being mistaken for one. That has made Henry and co. favorites of Ivy League and Hollywood parents, and Alice seems destined to follow.

Comments

1
By Kari
February 5, 2010 9:51 AM

I was just thinking to myself the other day that Alice is a pretty name and wondering if it would be coming back soon!

2
By Manda (not verified)
February 5, 2010 10:18 AM

Alice was number 1 on our list when we first got pregnant in 2005- before the Twilight series. We discussed the Honeymooners and my love for Alice through the Looking Glass. It was the middle name of his maternal grandmother, so it did have family significance for us. Since my husband's last name started with the letter S- the two names sounded as one when said and we talked of it less. Then we found out we were having twin girls and we started talking twin names. We never even made it past the first page of the baby name wizard and named our twins Ada and Aleah. Funny thing was that we gave our girls my last name instead of his, so Alice would have worked perfectly. We considered it for our next child, also a girl, but by then, we wanted another name that ended in the "a" sound.

I still think it is a lovely lovely name and it still is at the top of my lists. I hope that it does make a comeback, but that it doesn't become "too" popular. I think the 80's name of Alison is more likely to become popular again with today's Madisons and Addisons, and the little girl I met recently named Jameson.

3
By Maegen (not verified)
February 5, 2010 10:51 AM

I have a one year old cousin named Alice Gertrude. Her parents love old fashioned names and don't really care what other people think. Her dad even calls her Gertie! Her brother is Clyde Harry.

4
February 5, 2010 10:54 AM

Alice is a name that I want to like. It seems like a name I *should* like, but it just feels a little lackluster to me for some reason. This maybe b/c it stayed in the top 200 in the U.S. from 1880-1971 (though it was #201 in 1970), so it doesn't feel as fresh to me. That being said, I can see why people would be drawn to the name - aside from the pop culture associations. It IS an old name, it has a soft sound, and it also has sound that I find distinct from other antique revivals. I think as the name becomes more popular, and I meet little Alice's here and there, the name may very well grow on me.

5
By Rebekah (not verified)
February 5, 2010 10:56 AM

We have two cats named Alice and Cora, after the sisters from "The Last of the Mohicans." We love the name and would very likely have named our daughter Alice if we hadn't already given it to the cat!

I think people my age (early 30s) are free, for the most part, from any "Honeymooners" associations.

6
By Guest (not verified)
February 5, 2010 11:10 AM

I'd say that Alice is already a trendy name in the UK. When my cousin named her baby Alice 4 years ago I remember (privately) rolling my eyes at what a cliched name it was.

7
February 5, 2010 11:16 AM

Yep, Alice is more popular in the U.K. than the U.S. You can check out the global rankings on the Alice page in Namipedia (Italy is the big shocker!):

http://www.babynamewizard.com/namipedia/girl/alice

8
By Rayne of Terror (not verified)
February 5, 2010 11:23 AM

Alice was on my girl list, but my husband nixed it, along with Adele. I have a Henry, though I'm not that far from a country bumpkin. When we decided on Henry in a blue collar town with some race issues, we got some comments that it's an old black man's name. And I said, hey I like Hank Aaron too!

@Rebekah If we hadn't already named our cat Boyd, that definitely would have been a name on our list. I think Boyd is a perfect little name and I don't know why it isn't more popular. It's got a sassy Y, it's a surname, lots going for it.

9
By Bue
February 5, 2010 11:28 AM

In middle class circles in the UK, Alice is definitely completely overdone. But for North America I think it sounds really fresh so it's interesting for me that not everyone thinks so! I'm trying to think of where it sits stylistically - to me it's similar in feel to Martha and Ruth, but with wider mass appeal because of the ever popular A and vowels.

I was looking through the Telegraph birth announcements for old times' sake and came across this name, which perfectly encapsulates the conversations in this thread and the last one: Alice Louisa India.

10
By Mirnada (not verified)
February 5, 2010 11:47 AM

Alice was also the name of the housekeeper on "The Brady Bunch", a likable but far from romantic character. That association could be keeping some (hmm, I guess I'm officially in my LATE 30's now) 30-year-olds from using the name. I confess that it's one of my stronger associations.

11
By hyz
February 5, 2010 11:53 AM

Like daisy_kay, I feel like Alice is a name I *should* like, given my general preferences, but I'm not big on it. It's been growing on me slowly since we've discussed it so much here, but it used to be that all I could see about it was (a)LICE--ick. I have this same sort of hang-up with a few otherwise lovely names, like SORE(n), or "sound alike" names such as Viole(n)t or Phoebe/feeble, Daphne/daffy. Oddly enough, though, Oliver is one of my dearest favorites, and the "liver" doesn't bother me a bit.

12
February 5, 2010 11:54 AM

Ha Ha Bue-Not a name I would EVER pick!

Alice, Hazel, Margaret, Stella are all grouped the same for me. The still to me seem old-ladyish, slightly diner-waitress, and simply nms. They are fine for others but I much prefer Alexis, Alexandra, Allison, much more.

13
By hyz
February 5, 2010 11:55 AM

Oh, and the Brady Bunch Alice is also my most immediate association with the name, despite the fact that the series ended before I was born, and I never regularly watched reruns of it--I've probably only seen a full episode maybe 5-10 times in my life. Weird.

14
February 5, 2010 11:56 AM

It is the predicting the future posts that I enjoy the most! I think Alice is a name with terrific potential in the US. I have always preferred it to Allison.

But, as always, I'm curious as to what those trendy parents will be naming Alice's siblings - they can't all be Henry!

(Maegen - I love Alice Gertrude. It is spunky and individual.)

15
By hyz
February 5, 2010 12:03 PM

zoerhenne, it's so funny to me that you put Margaret in with Alice, Hazel, and Stella. I see Margaret much more with Elizabeth, Mary, Catherine, and Sarah--just solid, (almost) completely timeless classics. Regarding Margaret, I'm still reeling from a bombshell my mom dropped on me yesterday--as I've mentioned before, Margaret is my mn, and my mom just told me she never liked it! What!? It was chosen to honor both of my grandmothers, so I guess she went with substance over (her) style--but I was shocked, since she never mentioned it before, and it's always been one of my favorites. I guess it's too solid for her--she seems to prefer frillier names ending in A. Hmph--no accounting for taste. lol.

16
By Giulianna (not verified)
February 5, 2010 12:06 PM

Here's something that just occurred to me: Stephenie Meyer's fictional characters all have these trendily old-fashioned names. I heard she has five kids. Does anyone know what her kids' names are? Are they in the same style as her characters' names?

Just an idle thought.

17
By ClaireP (not verified)
February 5, 2010 12:07 PM

Alice in the Honeymooners? I'm 48 and I've never seen the show - it was on in the 1950s? If you asked me, who was anyone on this show, what were the names of any of the characters, I'd draw a blank. If that's the attitude of someone in their late 40s, surely women pregnant in their late 20s have even less of a clue.

Alice to me is "Alice in Wonderland", and also a very British-y name - a feminine equivalent to Nigel or Clive. The only Alice I've known personally from England.

Where I think Alice has some real possibilities is as an update of Alicia. The women expecting probably have known some of their own generation and maybe a little younger named Alicia/Alisha/etc. It might feel a little over-used to them. Alice feels fresher - rather as Alicia felt fresher to my generation compared to "Lisa", which was common among my peers. (And our mothers probably picked "Lisa" as an update of "Alice" - you never know!)

18
By Sarah Haslip (not verified)
February 5, 2010 12:07 PM

my late 30's brother just named his first baby Alice. And my late 30's sister in law (on the other side) is named Alice.

Love the name!

19
By Anna S (not verified)
February 5, 2010 12:15 PM

About the "dramatic" rice of Alice in Sweden in recent years - here are the actual numbers:

Alice
Year - Rank - Total - Percentage
2009 -- 1 - 977 - 1.8
2008 -- 6 - 764 - 1.5
2007 -- 6 - 806 - 1.5
2006 -- 9 - 802 - 1.5
2005 -- 4 - 913 - 1.8
2004 - 13 - 774 - 1.6
2003 - 16 - 672 - 1.4

I would ascribe part of this increase to "natural" fluctuations - a small increase or decrease sometimes means a "big" jump in the rankings because the total numbers are low. The 2009 no. 2 name Maja fell from the no. 1 spot even though the total numbers went up.

Also, while Emma did rise to no. 1 in 2002, it has actually been no. 1 or 2 since the 1990'es. That would make it at least 15 years "ahead" of the U.S. rather than just 6.

Emma
Year - Rank - Total - Percentage
2004 - 1 - 1265 - 2.7
2003 - 1 - 1383 - 2.8
2002 - 1 - 1223 - 2.6
2001 - 2 - 1121 - 2.5
2000 - 2 - 1190 - 2.7
1999 - 1 - 1396 - 3.2
1998 - 1 - 1468 - 3.3

20
By Alice (not verified)
February 5, 2010 12:19 PM

Interesting. As a 28-year-old Alice, I've only met one who was close to my age. Growing up, I never really liked my name because I felt it was an "old lady name." Every Alice I met was over 60. Plus I never liked the all-too-frequent "Alice in Wonderland" association... although some clever friends wrote that on my husband's car at our wedding, which was admittedly kind of funnny. :) Anyway, in a way, it's nice to see Alice come back again. It will be really weird for me, though, if I start encountering lots of little Alice's on the playground or my son's preschool, though.

21
February 5, 2010 12:19 PM

I really like Alice but my bf nixed it immediately. I thought a really cute creative/loose nn could be Lacey- a name I think is adorable, but isn't formal enough for me for a birth certificate. I love Alice in Wonderland/ Through the Looking Glass and it's just right in line with my style. For some reason I really don't like the other Alice options-- I think as an 80s baby I've just known waay too many Alicias so I'm board with it and Allison is sort of in between, but also feels overused to me. I think also with Alicia I usually hear it pronounced Alisha as opposed to Alisia and I like the "sh" sound less here.

Re:Twilight and Alice, I wonder if this won't be used by people who want to be a little more subtle with their fandom since it has so many other associations (not that other names like Edward don't but hopefully you see what I'm saying). Alice is also a spunky, independent, but loving character in Twilight so I could see the appeal. For anyone who enjoys Twilight (I know this board is of mixed opinion on the books which I haven't finished yet) in Stephenie Meyer's draft on her website of Midnight Sun (first book from Edward's perspective) Alice keeps bugging Edward about Bella and it just sums up her character perfectly for me:)

I want to bring in a few things from the last post since I got behind. For some reason Christopher, Kristen and Christine do not seem very Christian to me. I know that's where their from, but it just never occurs to me when I hear the names. So I don't group Christopher and Christian (the name) in the same way at all. Christopher goes with names like William, classic but still very popular. Christian while it can fit in with classics is more like Faith to me.

Sarahsmile- How fascinating about the Olympics! I had heard on the news about the Russian team but hadn't heard what anyone else was using.

22
February 5, 2010 12:26 PM

Alice was put on my radar naming screen when I saw it in the Pottery Barn Kids catalogue. I like to look at the names they use either in the pictures (on wall hangings, stockings, etc) or for the lines of furniture. Many are names already popular like Emily, Isabelle, Grace, etc. But at Christmas time I noticed Alice was there as well.

I also strongly associate Alice with the housekeeper in the Brady Bunch although I'm in my earlier 30s and probably never saw a real episode. I still thinks its a nice name though.

23
By Keren not signed in (not verified)
February 5, 2010 12:52 PM

As a Brit, I have to say that Alice does not sit with Nigel and Clive for me. Alice is a middle class teenager. Nigel and Clive are in their 40s.

I know a teenage Alice with siblings Jessica, Sophie and Harrison. It also fits well with names like Hannah, Charlotte and Eleanor. Very trendy about 15 years ago, not so much for British babies now - people are more likely to go for Dora or Mia.

24
By Guest (not verified)
February 5, 2010 12:58 PM

Um, actually Alice does end in a vowel...:)

25
February 5, 2010 1:02 PM

@ Giulianna-- According to Wikipedia (and according to half-remembered interviews I've read) Stephenie Meyer has three children, all boys, named Gabriel (Gabe), Seth, and Eli. All names that I love; Gabriel and Seth are both high on my list and have been for years.

Trivia: one of the secondary-character werewolves in her books is named Seth.

26
February 5, 2010 1:12 PM

another Laura-I like to look at those types of things in catalouges too. I also notice names of shoe styles named after girl/women's names. Does anyone else do that? I watched numerous Brady Bunch episodes (hence my Oliver association previoulsy mentioned) but I don't have that strong association for Alice the housekeeper-weird! Although I never watched the Honeymooners I know about this association and I think there was also a show called Alice where she WAS a waitress. So that is my reference? I did not care for Alice in Wonderland-it was too strange to understand for me.

hyz-That's interesting. Yes, too me it is still and old fashioned name. I guess I have no taste either j/k :) Names I would group with Elizabeth: Catharine, Sarah, Mary, Theresa, Hannah, Madeleine, Susannah, Frances. They are classics and still used by many hovering 50-100 probably. Btw, Mary is not a high-ranking name on my list either.

ClaireP-The Lisa>Alice chain is an interesting observation. You are probably right.

Siblings for Alice since Megan W asked:
Henry is certainly a good choice! Also:
Many of the classics would work. I think William, Charles, Matthew, Thomas, Theodore, Frederick, Sebastian, Phillip, Donald, Victor. British-feel also. Who was looking for this kind of thing again? Victor might be a good choice with a cool nn like Vic.

27
February 5, 2010 1:38 PM

The old, old spelling of Alice is Alys. I personally would prefer Alys to Alice if I had reason to use the name.

On the subject of ice dancing and cultural appropriation:

Tanith and Ben's new coaches are the famed Russian ice dancing coaches Natalia Linichuk and Gennadi Karponosov, who also coach the Russian pair Domnina and Shabalin, the ones who stirred up the fuss about the "aborginal" routine. For whatever reason the coaches assigned the Moldovan routine to the Americans, rather than to the Russians. Tanith and Ben's free dance for the Olympics has a religious theme (Ave Maria and Amen), and frankly I was not impressed with it or with the Moldovan dance. I am curious to see whether the judges like their work better than I did. BTW Tanith is the name of an ancient Middle Eastern goddess who combines the attributes of Aphrodite and Artemis and has the snake as her icon. Good choice on her parents' part or not?

Further (ice) dancing appropriation:

Some years ago one of the German teams used Hava Nagila for their routine. IMO it was a tad tactless, although it might be considered some sort of tribute as well. On Youtube there are clips of an Indian Bollywood routine set to Hava Nagila. Admittedly it's a catchy tune, but there's a certain cognitive dissonance to seeing Bollywooders rock out to it. I don't think it's offensive at all, but it is amusing.

28
By PunkPrincessPhd (NLI) (not verified)
February 5, 2010 1:42 PM

While ALice isn't my style, I love the literary associations. I'd be more inclined towards the older form Alais, for the pure romanticism of it! And of course, the Irish version Ailis ("EYE-lish")....

29
By Lucky (not verified)
February 5, 2010 1:43 PM

I like Alice. Easy too say, spell, classic, not overused where I live. I do have the Brady Bunch and the Mel's Diner association - I'm in my mid-30s, must be the age for both. I don't think I've ever seen an episode of the Honeymooners though. I know one Alice who is 7 now. I'll be keeping an ear out for it to grow around here. I sure know a lot of Henrys! Even with my admiration of Alice it doesn't make my short or even my long list in real life. I like names that are a little more unusual. I am hoping you can all help me with my current list for baby #3. I know this is where the experts hang out!

We like different names that people can pronounce; both of our children’s first names were last names in both of our families. We don’t have any more of those! We have a generic WASPy last name and live in a hippie-dippy community, so we have more freedom than most, but it would still be nice if the name could be acceptable on a college application or resume some day. Our daughter’s name is Bird Annaflorence (my sister and mother’s name together). Our son’s name is Finley (nn Fin) Jack (my brother’s name). So we need a name that can stand with Bird and is hopefully less popular than Fin. I’m a little nervous that Clementine kept coming up in the Keeper vs Broadcaster thread. Do other people see this name in their communities? We will be surprised on the gender, and I’d really like to have about 3 names for either a boy or girl. Right now, we have too many girl names and not enough boy names. They are:

Girl

First Names

Clementine (my favorite)
Llewellyn ( nn – Llew or Ella/Ellie -family name – only used for boys until now)
Svea
Sal ( all of our sister’s first initials together)
Sequoia (nn Quoia or Sal)
Ashby

Middle

Llewellyn
Jan
Janet (mother –in – law)
Lin
Linda (sister –in – law)
Taylor (mother-in-law’s maiden name)
Lois (great grandmother)

Boy

First Names

Cypress (nn Cy)

Middle

Timothy (brother –in –law)
Patrick (father-in-law)
Gram
Taylor (mother-in-law’s maiden name)

So what do you think? I’d especially like some more boy suggestions.

Thanks for your help!

30
By hillary (not verified)
February 5, 2010 1:50 PM

I love the name Alice but unfortunately it sounds awful with our last name(s) so we can't use it for a child. My car is named Alice instead!

31
February 5, 2010 2:01 PM

Lucky, it sounds like you like botanical or nature names. For a boy, I'd suggest Rowan, Forest, Leo, or Linden (I think hyz has posted both of these before). I like Gram as a middle name, but I'd change the spelling to Graham: "Gram" looks like a pet name for a grandmother.

32
February 5, 2010 2:11 PM

lucky,
i know this isn't what you asked for, but i kind of want to pick an "animal" or "land" name for you because your two other children are "sky" (bird), "sea" (fin), and so i want to make your next child "land." i know that sounds cheesy, but it's just the first thing that came to mind. so i like something like leo or forest or canyon.

also agree with elizabeth t. on the respelling on graham. gram makes me think of grandmothers, but graham does not.

33
February 5, 2010 2:17 PM

Lucky-Some other uncommon boy ideas with the help from Nymbler:
Sheppard nn Shep
Asher
Oran
Huston/Hudson
Rourke
Daisy
I like Llewllyn for a boy but if used for a girl I might use nn of Lyn.

P.S. Laura, Nymbler needs a little tweaking. If I've already used Finley as a boy name in the ideas I probably don't want to name my new baby girl that also :)

34
By Lucky (not verified)
February 5, 2010 2:21 PM

Thanks for the feedback.

Oh, I should have known you'd pick up on the sky, water, land or fire theme! Both kids have lots of stuff -toys, clothes, etc - with "their" symbol on it - a bird for Bird and a fish for Fin. We did want something that also had an easy symbolic representation - which is where the trees started coming in - Cypress and Sequoia. We even talked about Acacia for a girl with the nn Ace. . not sure that is off our list now that I think about it!

Llewellyn means lion - so there is a land symbol there.

Leo and August were on both of our first kid's lists - they are both August babies and should have both been Leos, but Fin came 10 days late, so he is a Virgo. Would it be weird to name a Cancer Leo? We now have a Leo and an August in our extended group of friends - both younger than 3.

I feel like Forrest and Canyon are too popular around here. I actually know two of each. Which I guess isn't that many, but I feel like those names are unique enough - I shouldn't know any. And the baby Canyon's mom would def. feel like I was stealing!

It is so fun to talk about *my* names with you. Baby "Scubagear" is going crazy in my belly right now. I think he/she knows we're writing about him/her!

35
By MissKitty (not verified)
February 5, 2010 2:34 PM

Alice: One of the two Alices I know is the same age as you. I always thought it was quite out of place for our age group. In fact, all of her siblings had outdated names. The other Alice I know is 70.

We seriously considered it for our daughter born in 2007, but I got really turned off by it when I saw Alice Cooper on a TV show. (Weird, I know) I am expecting again and we do not know the sex, but we have revisited Alice. I do seem to be hearing it more and more though! It isn't the top choice for a girl, but it is still s possibility.

I can see it becoming rather popular, but not the top of the charts, the appeal isn't universal enough, I think.

36
By hyz
February 5, 2010 2:47 PM

Lucky, I do see Clementine as a very mild sort of up-and-comer, certainly not to the level of Finn and its relatives. I love the name Clementine, although I'm a little shy to use it, because I think it would probably still seem "weird/out there" where I live. It might be more popular where you are than in the general public, though--it's certainly more of a hipster name than a mass appeal name.

Of your girl names, I'm not as thrilled with Llewellyn or Sequoia, personally--both of these are male names for me, and I have a hard time seeing them on a little girl or a woman. Svea is pretty cool, though, especially if you have some ties to Sweden--I'm not sure I'd seen it mentioned before on any name sites, so it definitely seems both unusual/fresh and traditional, which is a nice combination. I imagine the pronunciation will throw people off at first, though, if that bothers you.

I think Cypress, nn Cy, is a pretty neat nature name for a boy, and fits in fine with your other two.

Since you seem fond of the nature names (I am, too!), here are a few more uncommon ones that may appeal:
Girls:
Hyacinth (I love this name!)
Lavender
Acacia
Juniper
Rosalind
June
Winter
Leona
Fiala
Zora
Cambria (for the Welsh connection, since you like Llewellyn)

Boys:
All of the ones Elizabeth T. mentioned--yes, they are on my list, too!
Peregrine
Silas
Silvan/Sylvan
Frasier
Frost
Shepherd
Walden
Alden
Thornton
Caspian (Tirzah's great idea!)
Sequoia
Llewellyn

Um, I'm sure I'm forgetting a ton--if I were at home with my full lists to jog my memory, I might have some more that would appeal to you. Let me know if any of these strike your fancy.

37
By hyz
February 5, 2010 2:56 PM

Ok, I took too long to post and I see some of what I wrote has already been suggested! I also wanted to add Linnet and Sorrel for girls, and Ronan for boys. Ronan is like half sea and half land, so I'm not sure how that'll do for you, but I wanted to throw it out there.

38
By Guest (not verified)
February 5, 2010 2:59 PM

Lucky -

Subtle nature name for a girl:

Linnea

Thoughts?

39
February 5, 2010 2:59 PM

lucky,
just wanted to say that i definitely don't think it would be at all weird to name a cancer "leo." i'm betting most of the leos out there aren't. :]

40
February 5, 2010 2:59 PM

Alice has become very popular in my area, which tends to be filled with a ton of trendy urban-hipster types meaning i hear lots of british surnamey-names, "old-fashioned" names and exotic/international names on the playground. I've recently come across two young Alices, one is in my son's class at school (she is a twin, sister is Annabel) and the other is the newborn daughter of my dh's co-worker, i believe the mn is Claudia. Also my sons and I have been invited to a few Alice In Wonderland themed birthday parties recently, and there's also this super popular/trendy restaurant called Alice's Tea Cup that people here are wild for.

Lucky: I like Cypress a lot. I think it goes really well with Fin and Bird and sticks with the nature theme. If you didn't want to stick with the theme but like the nn Cy you might also go with Cyrus or Silas. I've come across one young Clementine but I don't think it's going to become insanely popular because it is a little out there for a lot of people. The one we know goes by nn Clemmie. Also I think Sal is cute, and Sally, to me, has the same simple appeal that Alice, Emma and Sophie have without the popularity, it also is one syllable like your other childrens names/nns, and if you wanted to lengthen it you certainly could use Salome, Salina, Salma, or even Rosalie, which I actually like a lot for you.

41
By Philippa The First (not verified)
February 5, 2010 3:06 PM

Yay for talking about Alice! I always, always wanted my name to be Alice. It just seemed simple and uncomplicated and pronounceable and familiar and feminine in a way that my real name (above) is not.

I strongly considered it for my daughter, who's now 2 years old; we ended up naming her Rose. Can you see the similarity? :) I was put off actually using it by a) the lack of easily identifiable nicknames (I think I would have tried for Lisi) b) the fact that as I aged, I appreciated names that are marginally less romantic and girlish- but nothing as hefty as Philippa! I think Rose squeaks by Alice in that respect and c) my husband's accent- he's from rural Victoria, in Australia- makes it sound like Ellis when he says it. I'm Australian too, but from Sydney, so I don't have the a/e swap like Victorians do.

FYI Alice entered the top 100 girls names in Australia in 2008, at no.99. Rose entered the top 100 that year also, at no.70.

Great post Laura!

42
February 5, 2010 3:10 PM

lucky,
ursula means bear...
i actually like ursula, but i know it's not for everybody.

43
February 5, 2010 3:30 PM

Philippa The First:

I did exactly the same thing as you, back in 2005. Considered Alice and then chose Rose instead! :P

And we do have a 2 year old Henry. :)

I do like the simple prettiness of Alice, but friends have an Alyssa and it seemed like we knew several other 'A' named girls, so we decided not to go with an 'A' name.

We also considered Lucy Alice - until we realized it sounded like Loo-Cialis. Cialis being an erectile dysfunction drug that was advertised on TV a lot at the time we were picking a name.

I've not met any Alices locally.

44
By Anna S (not verified)
February 5, 2010 3:33 PM

Cypress.

Hmm. Cypress and Cyprus are pronounced exactly the same. The political situation in Cyprus is tense, in many ways comparable to the conflict in Northern Ireland. Does that put a big "Caution!" label on the name Cypress the same way as with Asia, India...?

45
February 5, 2010 3:38 PM

Lucky, I love Clementine! Here are some more ideas:

Boy Names (some could work for girl, too):
Oakley
Sage
Leif
Atlas
Alder
Dagan
Oren
Everest
Reed
Linden
River
Heath
Clay
Rowan
Cliff

Girl Names:
Lotus
Saffron
Winter
Ember (okay, so this is fire)
Willow
Juniper

46
By Mirnada (not verified)
February 5, 2010 3:40 PM

Lucky,

Oh, how fun!

I really like Peregrine, but I guess you already have a bird.
What about Zephr? (I love that name)
Sage
Saffron
Indigo (not exactly nature, I guess, but I like it a lot, and it seems like it'd fit in well with your other kids' names)

47
By hyz
February 5, 2010 3:41 PM

Philippa AND British American--I LOVE Rose! Alice is nice, but Rose is so much lovelier in my opinion, and underused as a FN. :) I'd have considered it, but it runs together with our S last name, and it's the name of one of my best friend's daughters, so it seems off limits. I'd still be excited about Rosalind, if DH could go for it. Rosalind was one of my great aunts, and she always went by Rose, but I think I'd prefer Rosie as a nn because of our LN issue.

48
February 5, 2010 4:05 PM

hyz, ha! yeah, rose with your last name is not quite working for me. rosie does though.

49
By Bue
February 5, 2010 4:33 PM

Keren, interesting that you see Alice as a teenager's name in Britain. It's still at 46 in the chart for 2009. I actually see it as a sort of modern day classic (if an overdone one) - the Alices I know are aged from 1 to mid 30s. To me it's one of those names where a baby is as likely to have the name as one of her mother's friends. I'd put names like Emma, Lucy and Sophie in that category, too.

Miriam - this is completely off topic, but on the ice dance, I am deeply cynical and suspect that Linichuk gave the Aboriginal dance to the Russians, in part, because Shabalin's knee is so bad that they cannot skate much else. The movements in that performance sort of hide the fact that he can't bend his knee anymore. Anyway, it was a terrible move that has probably backfired. And yes, Tanith and Ben's material this year is very uninspiring. (Very funny that my naming world and my ice dancing world are colliding!)

Back onto names, I think Tanith is the neatest name in skating today. I never knew anything about it!

Lucky, I really like Clementine with your kids' names. It fits in a loose, eclectic way, without being at all matchy. (And I've never known a real one). For boys I esp. like the Rowan and Silas suggestions for the same reason.

50
By Philippa The First (not verified)
February 5, 2010 4:39 PM

Our Rose is always a Rosie. It suits her perfectly. She has a little pink face and very red hair.

We are expecting a second baby in August. The technician was fairly certain it was a boy, but not 100% convinced (I had an early ultrasound). Anyway. The stars aligned completely for us with Rose, and we both adore the name, but I think in general we have fairly opposite naming styles. Example, my top girl's picks are Juliet and Alice, his are Sierra and Samantha. Uh oh. We have a lot of conversation ahead of us unless the stars align again. We agreed on a boy's name, William, for Rose. But now we can't use that one since in the intervening years we were graced with a nephew by that name. So now it's maybe Alexander if a boy, and I am going to keep plugging away at Juliet if not.