Your own personal name page on BabyNameWizard.com

Apr 12th 2010

Perhaps you come to BabyNameWizard.com to find name ideas. Or perhaps you come here to connect with an incredible community of thoughtful, entertaining name enthusiasts. Or better yet, both!

We've just launched a new feature to bring all that name activity together in a personal "name hub": your user profile page.

If you're a registered user, click on the orange "settings" button at the top right of any page.  You'll see a profile that collects your recent blog comments, lets you say a little bit about yourself, and lets you save and share your favorite names. Click the "edit" tab to add info and select what you'd like to share. (Don't worry, it's totally up to you what to include. If you prefer not to share any information at all with the community at all, simply leave your profile blank and de-select the "show my blog comments" checkbox.)

You can also add to your favorite names list as you browse the site. Each Namipedia page now includes a "Favorite This" link under the name header to save the name to your profile page. You'll also see that registered users' names show up as orange links in blog comments. Click to visit the user's profile -- a great way to catch up on a blog conversation.

And if you're NOT a registered user, go ahead and sign up now!

P.S. Remember, the Baby Name Pool contest is in full swing. Be sure to submit your ballot by April 15.

Comments

1
April 12, 2010 8:45 AM

I think that's a great feature ! This has always been my favourite baby name site, but I MUCH prefer this forum compared to other baby name sites . This feature just improves on it :)

Thanks for a great site, I truly do mean this & am NOT trying to suck up at all. I've been coming here (or lurking) for months & I really do think it's the best .

2
April 12, 2010 8:49 AM

I was wondering, do you guys ever find a difference between the popular names with Name Enthusiasts compared to actual popularity lists or the general person in the street? Or, are they generally the same in your experience?

3
April 12, 2010 9:39 AM

I'm excited about the new features! This is by far my favorite baby name site!

Just to follow up on the last thread's comments on Giles. I think that the Gil on CSI is Gilbert which has a totally different flavor to it than Giles.

4
April 12, 2010 9:46 AM

Okay, help me out. The system lets me add favorite names without a problem but when I submit my name or my "about me" info it just disappears.

5
April 12, 2010 9:52 AM

@another Laura

Same thing here ! I tried twice ..... I thought my pc was being twitchy

6
April 12, 2010 10:12 AM

from last thread:
regarding giles:
just to be clear, is it not giles with a /j/ sound? (my apologies--i always forget which one is a soft /g/ sound and which is a hard /g/ sound.) zoerhenne, i'm assuming (but could be wrong) that gil(l) and giles are connected in your mind because you pronounce giles with a /g/ sound as in "goat". the two aren't connected at all to me as they use both different /g/ sounds and different /i/ sounds for me. at least, i think so? the t.v. giles i was thinking of definitely pronounces it like jiles.

7
April 12, 2010 10:20 AM

Giles is definately pronounced like Jiles and the nn Gil wouldn't seem to fit. But with how nicknames work it didn't seem impossible the a Giles would go by Gil with a "g" sound. I mean I doubt he'd go by Jill....=)

8
April 12, 2010 10:21 AM

also, regarding jemimia, i find it interesting that in bnw2, laura mentions that dinah used to have a "slave name" stigma, but doesn't mention anything in that vein about jemima. she only mentions the pancake connection. i'm not saying this automatically negates everyone's concerns--i just found it interesting.

9
April 12, 2010 10:25 AM

To the folks having trouble adding info -- it's working on my end, can you you help me track down the problem? If you could spare a moment to send me system/browser info I'd be most grateful:
http://www.babynamewizard.com/contact

Thanks,
Laura

11
April 12, 2010 11:32 AM

I've only ever heard of Giles said with a hard 'g'- like in the word 'guy' (not the french name Guy said GEE). I would have thought of Gil or Guy as being nicknames for Giles.

I say Giles like this :GY'ulz

as opposed to JY'ulz

http://inogolo.com/query.php?qstr=giles&search=Search+Names

Go there to hear them said

12
By hyz
April 12, 2010 11:36 AM

Continuing from the last thread, Becky, I like Ruth Jemima. I'm one who would never use Jemima as a FN because of all the baggage, but I agree that it has a nice meaning and sound, and I think it could be lovely and unexpected in the middle spot. Still prefer Ruth Zipporah, though. :)

13
April 12, 2010 11:47 AM

I pronounce Giles like Jiles. There was a characters on Buffy the Vampire Slayer that was Giles and that was how it was pronounced. He was British. Recently, Gilles Marini was on Dancing with the Stars. His name was pronounced with the same /j/ sound (well actually /zsch/ "Jill or Jeel". I have never heard it Guiles (like the word guile).

14
April 12, 2010 12:44 PM

What do you think of the name Kelby? My cousin is considering it for her 3rd (a boy) her other kids are M@yce and Z@ne. Her name is Kr3ci@ and she likes the k connection because this is her last (and surprise) child. Feedback?

15
By knp
April 12, 2010 12:59 PM

I guess I'm gonna have to start signing in more often now!!

Laura, I frequently find myself reading the blog without signing in. But then, I don't comment as knp (instead, knp-nli) because to log in, it takes so long/many clicks to get back to where I was to make the comment. If I'm in the website, I'd like it if I could sign in and then it takes me back to the same page I was on (the one from which I clicked the login link).

16
By knp
April 12, 2010 1:01 PM

GoldenPigMom: I kinda like Kelby-- I just worry it will always be heard Colby

17
April 12, 2010 1:02 PM

Laura unfortunately I'm sorta computer dumb and I'm not sure what info to send you =( I can tell you that now it has let me save my name but not my "about me" information.

18
By knp
April 12, 2010 1:02 PM

And, (sorry, last one, I promise) I was disappointed not to see favorite names listed on Laura's profile. But I understand why.

19
By Air
April 12, 2010 1:13 PM

Just wanted to let you all know that we've decided not to use the name Leo for our son but to instead stick with his given name, "E". (It is in quotes because I am not supposed to be telling folks what it is until he is legally our son... which might explain some things for you folks who commented on the last thread.) :)

Thanks for all of your thoughts! Proud to have my little Mabel and "E" sibset.

20
April 12, 2010 1:41 PM

cabybake,
buffy is where my main reference for the name comes from too. that giles is definitely very british. :] bnw2 also has it with a /j/ sound.

21
April 12, 2010 2:31 PM

@Laura Wattenberg

I'm in the same boat as another Laura.Sorry!

@GoldenPigMom

I actually like Kelby. While it's not one I'd use, it's quirky in a mainstream way.It does slightly remind me of 'kelp', though

22
By hmf
April 12, 2010 2:38 PM

re: Giles. Has anyone here read "Giles Goat-Boy" by John Barthes? Because although I am inclined to pronounce Giles a la Rupert Giles, that pronunciation makes "Giles Goat-Boy" a bit of a tongue-twister for me... "Guiles [as in, guile meets wiles] Goat-Boy" is much easier to say aloud.

23
By PJ
April 12, 2010 2:38 PM

I am also having trouble saving my profile info. I typed it in twice and hit submit and it just went away.... :( I like the idea though!

24
By afkdw (not verified)
April 12, 2010 3:00 PM

Lurker here (okay, mostly just post-reader and not as much of a comment-reader) but wondering if you Namers can help me out here ...

I'm due to have a baby girl next month, and both my husband and I like the middle name May. Besides being her birth month (always been one of my favorite months) and flowing well with the first name we've chosen (Abigail), it has ties to family since it's my dear grandma's middle name is May (she also has a May birthday) -- plus my husband has a sister named April, after her birth month. My two sons have middle names that reflect family heritage, too, and it's important to us.

My only hang-up is that our last name makes her name sound almost like a sentence (our last name happens to be a conjugated verb! Oi). It's only obvious if the last name is mispronounced.

Do you think this is a big deal? If so, do you have any other suggestions that involve "May" that would solve the problem?

25
By knp
April 12, 2010 3:13 PM

A hint to those trying to update their profile: I got it to work (through trial and error) by typing out a short bit of text (without numbers, but I think the ' character, apostrophe, was causing problems).
But still it mostly worked best when I copied the pre-written text into the box and submitted RIGHT AWAY. Same with my name.
I told Laura about all of this, there is definitely a bug in the system!

afkdw: I guess my opinion might change depending on what Abigail May be doing! :) You could also add another mn. Abigail May Louise ln? I think Abigail May is simply sweet!

26
April 12, 2010 3:14 PM

@afkdw

it doesn't help when spoken out loud but you could change the spelling of May to Mae, keeping some of the significance but decreasing some confusion

27
April 12, 2010 3:25 PM

afkdw,
i say go for it, especially if creating the sentence involves a mispronunciation of your last name. it's important to your family and as long as it isn't unsavory or obscene in some way, i don't personally think it is a big deal. knp's suggestion of adding a second middle name is also a good suggestion.

28
April 12, 2010 3:58 PM

So I retried my info getting rid of all of the ' and it worked without a problem =)

29
By hyz
April 12, 2010 4:11 PM

alr, I think that sounds like a lovely decision, and it will make a charming pair with your Mabel! Congrats, again!

afkdw--I think the sentence aspect is less of a problem if your LN doesn't get mispronounced too often, but if it's going to be an all the time thing, I really like the double middle name suggestion. No matter what the verb is, it seems to me that it could be annoying or problematic for her if most people say your LN like the verb. (The examples I'm using in my head are Abigal May Reed and Abigal May Ride--like Sally Ride--since I can't think of any offhand that would be a verb only if mispronounced. Both could be used for teasing, and both sound much more like a sentence than a name.)

30
April 12, 2010 4:48 PM

Larksong: I like your question about the preferences of NE's and "regular" folks. But how would you define NE?

31
By ssr (not verified)
April 12, 2010 5:01 PM

Totally off topic, but I am hoping for some help. I have loved BNW ever since it helped us find our son's name (0wen) and am very into naming trends, but this is my first post!

The problem: We are due to have a baby girl any day now and haven't settled on a name. We want something that goes with big brother's name, not too long (hyphenated last name), not too popular (similar to 0wen rank in 2006/2007 fine), and needs to work and fit those criteria in both the US and UK.

Our top choices right now are Lila and Claire. Lila I have liked for almost 2 years now, so Claire is the black horse, but I am kind of worried by how many people keep bringing Lila up (here and my friends). How popular do we think it's really going to be in the 2009/10 lists?? What other names can people suggest?

We'll probably use a family name for her middle name, but open to good middle name suggestions as well!

Thanks!

32
April 12, 2010 5:04 PM

Update: Sure enough, the profiles were rejecting apostrophes. Sorry for the difficulty, it should be fixed now. (Many thanks to "Another Laura" for her expert punctuation sleuthing!)

knp -- Yep, I figured I'd better not list my own favorite names. But it's oh-so-tempting!

33
April 12, 2010 5:04 PM

I also like Larksong's question. It seems to me that there is a difference between the preferences stated on this blog and in the naming world at large. Someone tallying the most recommended names on this site would conclude that the top American boys' names are Milo and Ambrose and the top girls' names are Mabel, Ivy, and Isla.

There is a great diversity of naming preferences here (compare zoerhenne's favorite 70s names to Eo's "fuddy duddy" names), but by and large I think the posters of this blog are not representative of current American trends, or at least not the most popular trends.

What do the rest of you think?

34
April 12, 2010 5:16 PM

Interesting new feature! Feedback for Laura W.: it's working for me even on my ancient Mac and obsolete browser, but that may be because I followed knp's suggestion and avoided using apostrophes in my profile.

Now I may "have" to log in more often and surf Namipedia to collect my favorites in one place... This wonderful website is my guilty pleasure, guilty because I easily find myself spending far too much time here (considering that I'm at least a few years away from having a kid to name myself).

This is my first post, but I've been lurking for quite a while, enjoying Laura's posts but appreciating just as much the lively, intelligent discussion in the comments. I already feel like I'm getting to know many of the regulars, and I enjoy hearing about the diversity in your families, naming styles, and insights into the ways names speak to us - through their links to literature or pop culture, linguistics, family and ethnic heritage, religion, artistic creativity and more. I'm repeatedly amazed by the breadth and depth of the conversation.

35
April 12, 2010 5:42 PM

I love this new profile thing! I noticed it a little while back and wasn't sure if it was new or something I'd just never picked up on before!

I would define a NE as someone who gives extra thought to naming and has a real interest in names. Usually NEs tend to like names that are a bit different, "out-there" or particularly meaningful. I would say that the lovely women (and men) who comment here are not representative of the American population in terms of most popular choices. There are some people who are fond of the classics, many are fans of vintage, international or literary/mythological names. I don't think I've ever seen anything creatively spelled or invented being explicitly recommended. Also everyone here has given a great deal of thought to the names they love, whereas many of my friends and people I know simply use names that they think sound good (nothing against that, but it's a very different way of naming a child).

A lot of my friends ask me why I'm such a name nerd. I guess the NE in me comes from being raised around so many children and constantly hearing my mother/aunts/older siblings discuss names. Also being raised with a name like Rebekah/Rivky, around tons of other girls with the same name has driven me to want to give my children less common names.

So, my question is: why do you all consider yourselves NEs?

36
April 12, 2010 5:52 PM

OK - as long as I'm finally posting, I'll fill you in on my current naming obsession. I won't be having kids for at least another few years, so this isn't urgent, but I'm already worried about finding the perfect choices for our family. (I love lots of names, across a wide variety of styles - yet somehow when it comes down to finding one that's right for us, nothing seems to fit! That must be familiar to at least some of you NEs!)

My sweetie is from India but we'll be living in the U.S., so the first cut is finding names that will connect the kids to their Indian heritage but sound sensible and musical to U.S. and European ears (especially with their somewhat unwieldy surname). At the same time I don't want names that sound will sound trite, overly trendy or otherwise culturally "off" in India, and the problem is I can't find much info at all on naming trends there! Also, while I do find many of them beautiful, I don't think overtly religious (Hindu) names will be a good fit for us. Nature names (something of a family tradition, plus we love nature) and virtue names appeal to me though. I like names that are gender-appropriate without being too stereotyped (so Madhuri = "sweet" for a girl, which I otherwise like the sound of, wouldn't be a top choice). Finally, the name has to look nice in both Roman and Devanaagari script, which is awkward since proper Devanaagari transliteration sometimes introduces double vowels (e.g. I like Asha = "hope," but it should really be spelled Aasha, which I don't like nearly as much).

As a start, do any of you happen to know anything about the following names, or would you share your impressions?

boys:
Anandi - bringer of joy (Lord Vishnu)

Anshul - radiant

Jaidayal - victory of kindness

Jival - full of life

Lahar - wave (but also in geology a deadly volcanic mudflow, and since we're geologists I can't decide if I think this is a bonus or a minus)

Nabendu - new moon

Neelam - emerald

girls:
Aruna - sun (plus, my sweetie's father's name means sun also)

Gitanjali - offering of song (also the title of a book of Tagore's poetry)

Jyoti - flame, lamp (I like the non-a ending)

Kamal(a) - lotus flower

Priya - beloved (but, our last name starts with P - too much?)

Rochi - light

Sindhu - ocean

Other suggestions? :-) Thanks in advance

37
April 12, 2010 6:10 PM

RE Giles - I always associate this name with Giles from Buffy or Giles from Frasier. I am a fan of it. I definitely pronounce it with the j sound though.

@ alr - I like Mabel and 'E' together! Have you decided what the middle name will be?

@ afkdw - I like Abigail May (or Mae). I was also going to suggest a second middle name to get around the problem if it bothers you. I have a friend whose daughter is Tess@ M@y D0ne, and here joke name was always 'Tessa m@y get it done'. It hasn't caused any problems but if your surname has more potential for teasing I'd go with the double middle name option.

@ ssr - Lila does get mentioned alot around here, but I don't know that many of them yet. I do think it has potential to be top 10 though in 5-10 years. You will be slightly ahead of the curve if you use it now. I do think Claire is lovely too and will go nicely with Owen. Claire is more classic and won't date, so it's a tough choice! Gee, I didn't help much did I?

@ Larksong - I definitely think that NEs have different name preferences to the general community. Many of the names that are loved on here get raised eyebrows when mentioned to the general population. Sometimes I think NEs like names first and then they become more popular, other times we just have totally different taste!

38
April 12, 2010 6:13 PM

kalmia- I know very little about Indian culture/naming, so this might be unhelpful. I'm going to have to think more about your lists, but from them on the basis of sound and meaning I like Anshul, Jival, Aruna and Priya. I don't think Priya P-- would be bad at all. Alliterative names are not always bad. Not sure if this name fits the transliteration/script you mentioned but I know an Indian woman (born in the US, parents are Indian) whose name is Devika (DEV-ih-kah). I love her name, I think it sounds beautiful and sounds nice when I say it and when her parents say it with an accent which is a plus. I looked it up and it means "little goddess" according to Behind the Name. Another similar name that I've encountered and think is beautiful is Divya.

39
April 12, 2010 6:35 PM

Kalmia, I don't know anything about Indian names either, but I was going to recommend 'Kalmia'! I think it's lovely and sounds Indian, even if it isn't. Bummer if it's not a real name!

Indians names I like are Ketan (pronounced like Nathan with a 'K', male name), Arun (also for a boy) and Rupal (girls' name). I know that Ketan is specifically a Gujarati name; not sure about the others.

Becky asked "So, my question is: why do you all consider yourselves NEs?"

What a great question! I have no idea why I am a (an?) NE, but I consider myself one since I read this blog several times a day! I have thought about names ever since I can remember, and bought a baby name book ("Beyond Jennifer and Jason") even before purchasing my first album (Michael Jackson's "Thriller"). I have also always had a terrific memory for names, and served as my mom's assistant about town (whispered aside, "Elizabeth, see that woman over there in the blue jacket? What's her name again?"). It's weird what captivates people's interest, isn't it? Once at a party I was having a really dull conversation with someone until I happened to ask him if he had any hobbies. His whole demeanor changed and he suddenly became animated and excited. His passion? Buying used shoes (especially tennis shoes) on E-bay. He had an enormous collection, and he was so excited talking about it that I even became interested (at least for fifteen minutes).

40
April 12, 2010 6:58 PM

larksong,
i don't really think the taste of the average NE on this forum would align with the taste of the general public. i think, in general, popular names are often viewed with disdain here. not by everyone and not always, but i think as a general rule popular or common names don't get a lot of love here. whereas obviously the general public likes those names (thus the high rankings). i myself do love some uncommon names and i do love that they are uncommon (it feels like you've "discovered" them). but i find more and more that my tastes closely align with what is popular (or what is up and coming). oh well. i suppose these names are popular for a reason, huh?

chimu,
is there a giles on frasier? or do you mean niles? or maybe there is both. all of those -iles names (giles, niles, miles) make me think of british men. :] (though i suppose the brothers on frasier weren't british.)

ssr,
i really love both lila and claire. very pretty and classic sounding to me. i think lila gets mentioned more often here than in the real world, but it is on the rise, if that bothers you. or, if you can't choose, i think lila claire is lovely.

41
By Air
April 12, 2010 7:14 PM

Chimu - E's middle name will be Robert. That is my DH's name AND my father's name. We knew we didn't want a "junior" so this will be a perfect way to use such a valuable family name - which we wouldn't have been able to do if we'd used Leo E instead. Plus, an added bonus, the adoption paperwork will all say "E- Robert" because it defaults to the child's first name with the adoptive dad's name as middle. We won't change a thing! :)

42
By JB
April 12, 2010 9:20 PM

1) Re names popular with NEs vs general public -- There was a Name Lady post over on AOL ParentDish last week following most looked-up names on BabyNameWizard.com http://www.parentdish.com/2010/04/05/trend-report-the-hottest-baby-names-of-2010/ You can compare that to the SSA most popular names.

2) @kalmia Ben Lee and Ione Skye just chose Priya for their daughter's middle name
http://www.namecandy.com/celebrity-baby-names/search/baby/priya
http://www.namecandy.com/celebrity-baby-names/blog/2009/09/29/new-baby-alert-ione-skye-and-ben-lee-welcome-goldie-priya

43
April 12, 2010 9:49 PM

This is my first post too but I've been reading Laura's blog for a while now. Recently I've fallen in love with the name Harper. I'm not sure if I like it better for a girl or a boy but I'm leaning towards girl (your opinions could change that though :)). Does anyone know any Harpers and are they boys or girls? Do you like it better as a girls name or a boys name? Thanks a ton! :)

44
April 12, 2010 9:57 PM

My goodness! I didn't see this thread up right away and you all got quite ahead of me...
Reposting from last thread-
Yea Valerie, I looked it up. It is short for Gilbert. I rather like the G sound for Giles (like in goat) rather than the J sound (like jump) even if it is not 100% authentic.

alr-I quite like E's name as L.E. or E.R. Lastname. They both go nicely with Mabel. Best wishes to you.

Goldenpig-Kelby is different but not too unreasonable. I also do think it may get confused with Colby or even Kelsie on occasion.

Welcome to all the newbies-
afkdw-I like Abigail May/Mae and also agree that maybe a 2nd mn might ease the transition.

ssr-Claire is my fav of the two, however I really like Lila Claire also.

Re NE's and all the questions posed: I have found I've always been intrigued with names (and words in general) from a young age. My favorite things are word games. So its more a letter/word thing for me but names can do much as far as personality of the bearer so that is why they are also interesting. I love to come here to share my passion. I found that many outside of this blog don't have the same level of enthusiasm for these discussions. I also feel like we have a different set of popularly discussed names. They aren't necessarily what the general population feels is popular but rather what most of us find refreshing or something.

Laura-I think the new feature is great but now the site is a little jumpy for me again. (AOL/WindowsXP)

45
By EVie
April 12, 2010 11:38 PM

afkdw - I have the same problem as you with May--I love it too, and with that spelling (I don't care for Mae--it somehow takes the sweetness out of the name for me). I don't have any suggestions other than the double middle name that has already been suggested, but I'm watching the replies with interest.

I think my love of names stems from my love of writing--from a very young age, I was always making up stories, and for stories you need characters with names :) It still fascinates me how the right name can make a character spring to life. I remember my mom took me to buy my first baby name book when I was 10 years old and we got a very strange look from the cashier at the bookstore--she asked my mom if she was expecting and my mom said, no, it's for her (pointing to me).

46
April 13, 2010 1:29 AM

@ emilyrae - You are very right it is Niles on Frasier not Giles. I don't know what made me think it was Giles! FWIW, I prefer Giles to Niles. I really like Miles but it's too popular for me in reality.

@ alr - I think E Robert is lovely and has a nice family connection. Bonus if the paperwork is correct too!

@qazqaz8 - I know of a couple of Harper's (hmmm maybe 3?) on another forum. They are all girls. I would find it funny on a boy because I've only known it as a girls name, but it could work for a boy if you wanted to. It seems popular with the hipster parents and parents who like the surname or unisex name style of naming (at least around my area). I have also seen it mentioned on a lot of baby name lists so it isn't unknown out there.

47
April 13, 2010 12:11 AM

kalmia: I enjoyed hearing your story! I can definitely relate to not wanting names that stereotype gender traits. There is a Japanese name Shizuka, which means quiet, and while I recognize the value of quietness, the meaning of this name bothers me sooo much! As for the names you list:
Anandi: I like the sound, but -i names seem unusual for boys so at first glance, I would guess this was a girl's name.
Lahar: Loving the sound of this.
I also like the sound of the names that end in "L." And I think shorter names would probably be less intimidating for English-speakers. (Like I feel like I can hazard a guess at pronunciation.)

I think there is more flexibility with girls' names. I think they all could work. Could Jali be a nickname for Gitanjali? I knew a girl named Jolly. I also knew (of) a girl called Rochie, like short for Rochelle I think. Priya was a girl on My Super Sweet Sixteen on MTV but that is probably minor.

Qazqaz8: I know a Harper who is a girl.

48
April 13, 2010 12:12 AM

Harper is somewhat popular on girls in my area. I've met a few over the years. I thinks it's crossed the unisex line and is now perceived as a girls name by most, though it's still in the top 1000 for boys (currently 860). I like the name for it's theatrical reference (Angels In America) but otherwise it's not really my style. A bit modern for my taste.

EVie- now that you mention it I think my love of names stems from writing as well! I've been writing stories for as long as I can remember. When I was little I used to give my characters very romantically frilly names like Primrose and Mayflower. I had quite a similar experience with name books. I used to go to the public library and check out as many baby name books as I could carry home. I'd get some strange looks from the librarians :)

49
April 13, 2010 2:12 AM

Wow, such helpful comments already and great suggestions to add to my list! Becky, I quite like the sound of both Devika and Divya (the latter apparently means "radiant, heavenly, divine" - also nice). ElizabethT, Ketan and Arun strike a nice balance between distinctive and familiar (they certainly fit in with the boys-ending-in-n sound of the times!). Rupal sounds pretty, but I wonder if people would think of RuPaul. I don't know much about regional given names in India, though apparently my fiance's name is also very uncommon outside his home state (Maharashtra). He is very good at recognizing where Indians are from based on their surnames, but I don't know that he has such a finely tuned sense for given names!

JB and RobynT, thanks for the heads-up about pop culture references for Priya. I don't think those bother me too much, but it's true that Priya is probably more familiar/common than most of the other names I listed and perhaps more likely to have cross-over appeal to non-Indian parents (and TV producers?). Still, I think it's sweet - and a likable, less "foreign" name might not be a bad thing for a kid who will already stand out.

I was curious about reactions to the -i ending for a boy's name. I kept telling myself that plenty of boys' names in English end with that sound (Billy, Tony, etc.), but my hunch was it might read "girl," and you confirmed it! So many of the Indian boys' names end in -a, and despite the increasing popularity of biblical classics like Noah, Joshua, etc. I've felt that -a names would probably read feminine (at least for an unfamiliar name) and have been avoiding them for a boy for that reason.

As for Kalmia - ElizabethT, my handle ("call me a") is from the genus name for the flower I was named for. The genus in turn was named, by the great namer Linnaeus, for botanist Pehr Kalm. Incidentally, my sister's middle name, Linne@, is of course the genus name for a flower named after Linnaeus himself. I've always loved Linne@ and am interested to see it appearing on people's lists here from time to time, plus I'm tickled whenever I see a post from this site's Linnaeus (speaking of which, you seem to know a bit about Indian names, Linnaeus - any thoughts?)! I've sometimes wondered if one could get away with Kalmia as a given name, but perhaps it looks a little too much like a rather forced attempt to turn the word "calm" into a name!

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April 13, 2010 2:19 AM

I am quite taken with the name Anandi - and as a bonus, it gives you access to the solid English boy's nickname Andy.

My first memory of name-obsession is from when I was five or six. I was reading this novel about this girl and her palomino - Chica d'Oro. (Little golden girl.) I was passionately in love with that name and swore up and down that I'd name a little girl that because it had such a beautiful meaning.

I'm still a sucker for names with meanings. I love the way parents in the Bible would name their babies something that had relevance to their situation or circumstances and I've tried to name all of my children with the meanings in mind. So, sorry, Cecilia: lovely and classic you may be, but you're out as far as I'm concerned.