Quiz: Can You Tell the Dog by its Name?

Apr 7th 2011

I've recently started tracking the popularity of dog names by breed. Some names (Molly, Buddy) turn out to be canine universals. Others (Midnight, Socks) focus more on the individual animal's appearance than breed personality. But certain names do gravitate to specific breeds -- painting a portrait of name and breed alike.

Below you'll find "name clouds" representing the most popular names for five breeds of dog. (Images were made with the incomparable Wordle. Thanks, Jonathan!) The bigger the type, the more popular the name. Can you guess which name cloud matches each breed?

Breeds: Basset Hound, Chihuahua, Dalmation, Rottweiler, Siberian Husky

A

 

B

C

D

E

My guess is that most dog lovers will guess this in a jiffy, but I'll confirm the right answers in comments tomorrow.

p.s. there's still time to make your guesses of the top rising and falling names of the year in the annual Baby Name Pool!

 

Comments

1
By JMT (not verified)
April 7, 2011 9:35 AM

Love it!

I guess:

a-siberian husky
b-dalmation
c-chihuahua
d-basset hound
e-rottweiler

2
By knp
April 7, 2011 9:37 AM

oooh, I love this! First of all-- wordle is a GREAT tool to give visual representation of data. Plus, it is so colorful!

This seemed easy, so I am probably wrong. But, I'm a dog lover...
A=Siberian Husky
B=Dalmation
C=Chihuahua (Kermit, really?)
D=Basset Hound
E=Rottweiler (female vs. male is an interesting contrast)

3
By Kay28 (not verified)
April 7, 2011 9:37 AM

I'm guessing:

A - Siberian Husky
B - Dalmatian
C - Chihuahua
D - Basset Hound
E - Rottweiler

That was fun!

4
By knp
April 7, 2011 9:37 AM

Ok, that is good that JMT agrees with me!

5
By ceew (not verified)
April 7, 2011 9:37 AM

I'll say:
a Siberian Husky
b Dalmation
c Chihuahua
d Basset Hound
e Rottweiler

I'm a out-of-practice dog lover. Amber, our beagle-collie (colored) mix left us a little over a decade ago.

I'm still laughing about the cat named Alan, by the way! (Thanks, sparklenight!)

6
By JMT (not verified)
April 7, 2011 9:41 AM

Wow, we're all in agreement. Any naysayers out there???

I have 2 cats - William, short for William of Orange, since he's marmalade. We always thought we'd call him Billy, but he is and has always been William. Took forever to think of his name.

The other is Gulliver, who's white with grey blotches. I thought of Gulliver as soon as we met him. It's often shortened to "Gully."

7
By Allison (not verified)
April 7, 2011 9:47 AM

I agree with everyone above on the breeds.

Oddly enough, I have two Chihuahuas and their names are Marcel & Oscar aren't on there at all...

I noticed that Daisy seems to be a cross-breed favorite. My brother in law used to have a chow-mix named Daisy.

8
By Penny in Australia (not verified)
April 7, 2011 9:48 AM

Names in the news - http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=8233922:

"Film director Steven Soderbergh will financially support his [Australian] love child...seven-month-old Pearl Button Anderson".

9
By Melissa Code (not verified)
April 7, 2011 10:27 AM

a)Siberian Husky
B)Dalmation
C)Chihuahua
D)Basset Hound
E) Rottweiler

10
By Melanie1 (not verified)
April 7, 2011 10:38 AM

Okay, I'm posting my guesses before I read everyone elses guesses and the names that made me chose this one:

a Siberian Husky (Sasha, Juneau)
b Dalmation (Freckles, Spotty, Patches)
c Chihuahua (Chi-chi, Peanut)
d Basset Hound (Gus, Barney)
e Rottweiler (Rocky, Bruno)

I realize Sasha is on some of the other clouds, but it really seems Siberian Husky to me and it was biggest on a. The same might be said of other names, but I didn't look too closely.

11
By Melanie1 (not verified)
April 7, 2011 10:44 AM

Okay, so everyone agrees so far. Not one variation seems to make it pretty universal. But really, who but the Dalmations would have popular names like Dottie and Domino. I'm sure there dogs with of these breeds with less distinctive names, just as a non Dalmation Dottie must exist, but as a generalization these names do create a good picture. It was a fun exercise.

12
By Starr (not verified)
April 7, 2011 10:53 AM

Long time listener, first time caller!

I'm on board with everyone else thus far:
a)Husky
b)Dalmation
c)Chihuahua
d)Basset
e)Rottweiler

Sooo...after years of toting around dog-eared copies of name books, compiling lists and spreadsheets, and naming pets, cars, houseplants and occasionally office supplies (what, your stapler doesn't have a name?) it's finally my turn! I'm turning to this wise group of naming gurus for some help with names for a REAL baby, specifically girls' names. My husband and I are on complete agreement for a boy's name (William, after his grandfather who was very important to both of us, nn Will), but he blew me away by going through my list of over 100 names (!) and culling the girls' options down to what I can only call...80's preppy, perhaps? Obviously, they are names I appreciate as they made it to the list, but it surprised me to see them lumped together so. The front-runners that we both agree on are:

Blair
Bryn
Calla
Cara
Devon
Ella
Emma
Gemma
Harper
Julia
Leah
Lucy
Quinn

I like all of the above names, but do not looove any of them right now. We have some lovely family names to choose from for a middle name (Elizabeth, Margaret or Katherine,) and Julia is also a family name that could go in the first or middle spot.

Oh, and on the pet front: 2 stripey/calico cats, Ruby Ramona and Cleo Clementine. Our dear black lab was India Annabel.

Any suggestions? Just let me know if you'd like to hear some of my faves that were shot down. Thanks so much for your help!

13
April 7, 2011 10:57 AM

I agree with all of the above also. The names are very specific to character of the different breeds. However, there are a few that stand out as anomalies. Freckles on a basset hound??

14
April 7, 2011 11:04 AM

Starr-Interesting list that your dh came up with. Many of those are currently popular names here in PA with the exception of Blair and Quinn. If you end up having a boy this time you may want to use these for the future or come up with a completely different list based on popularity then. To go WITH William though, I would pick the following:
Blair
Bryn
Calla
Gemma
Julia
Leah
Lucy

15
By Sarah Rose (not verified)
April 7, 2011 11:24 AM

I know a family who had a Husky named Kodiak. They are from Alaska too!

16
By Sllim (not verified)
April 7, 2011 11:33 AM

Freckles makes sense on a basset hound. My oldest basset hound has freckles all over.
This was easy to guess! I'm in agreement with everyone's answers. I especially enjoyed that basset hounds were included in the list, as we have two of our own:

Daisy (Her previous owners named her. The name's a little cliche for me. If I'd have named her, it would've been Beulah)

Hubert (I did name him)

17
By Rebekah (not verified)
April 7, 2011 11:35 AM

A. Husky
B. Dalmatian
C. Chihuahua
D. Basset
E. Rottweiler

18
By Joni
April 7, 2011 12:09 PM

I am not a dog lover or expert. Never owned and dog and don't care to. BUT I did think that this was super interesting and I thought it was pretty easy, actually.

A. Husky
B. Dalmatian
C. Chihuahua
D. Basset
E. Rottweiler

These names and breeds just seem to 'fit'.

19
April 7, 2011 12:42 PM

@Starr I suggest Julia, it would be a great sib set to William and any of the middile name choices would sound beautiful with it, and you would stick with honoring the family name.

I have the same guesses as everyone above for the dog names, I would like to see this for the Boston Terrier Breed, One of the more popular breeds.

20
By Amy3
April 7, 2011 1:25 PM

I haven't read the whole post or any of the comments, but here are my answers:

A - Siberian husky
B - Dalmatian
C - Chihuahua
D - Basset hound
E - Rottweiler

So fun!

21
By LucGoose (not verified)
April 7, 2011 2:32 PM

Is the name Adalaide to old sounding to name a kid? I love it and would like to call a character Adalaide Elyse, but she will be 12, so does it sound like an old lady? By the way, siblings are Natalie,Rose,and Hannah.

22
By nanstick (not verified)
April 7, 2011 3:01 PM

A- Siberian Husky
B- Dalmation
C- Chuihuahua
D- Basset
E-Rottweiler

23
April 7, 2011 3:01 PM

Half of the huskys I have ever known have been sasha's I think most of the others were Dakota's

Its like most Chocolate labs are cocoa, mocha,chip or buddy
Starr- Calla is one of my fav names for a girl, I just love love it.

24
By Amy3
April 7, 2011 3:24 PM

@Starr, congratulations! Considering a future sibling named William (called Will), from your remaining names I'd go with these (in this order): Cara, Gemma, Julia, Lucy, or Emma.

I knocked out anything that had a double L and anything that seemed unisex. I went back and forth on Bryn, a name I really like (it's my niece's name), but I ended up eliminating it in favor of more "established" girls' names.

25
April 7, 2011 5:11 PM

Actually Starr, I think the subtle connection of the double L's is kind of cute.

LucGoose-What else can you tell us about the background of the characters or setting of the book? When I first read your post I thought you were adopting and thought-nope not gonna work on a 12 yr old. SO if it is reflective of today's society than I say no. However, if there is additional information that might change my answer. I do think Elyse would work though, maybe you could just switch the order.

26
By izzy
April 7, 2011 5:16 PM

@LucGoose - Another author? congrats :) Personally, I don't think of the name Adelaide as 'old' per se; I know a 10 year old Adelaide. But I think of the names you have (Natalie, Rose and Hannah) Rose for sure, and possibly Hannah could be considered 'older' names anyway. You could call your character Addie, or Ada (like Ava, which is newer-sounding).

27
By Ruby Rose (not verified)
April 7, 2011 8:53 PM

What are some name ideas for the sister of Lucy and Grace? The ideas I have so far are:

Clare/Clara- Love the name, but find it doesn't fit well with the soft c in LOO- see
GRA-sah

Mason- Soft sound, but is it too modern, out therish to match the other two?

Macy- soft sound, pattern with Lucy, Grace, and Macy

Jane- Classical, fits in that way

Molly- Like Jane

28
April 7, 2011 10:20 PM

It looks like my guess was the same as all the ones in the comments: Husky, Dalmatian, Chihuahua, Basset Hound, Rottweiler. In that order.

I had a Collie named Rex (named by breeders) and an indiscernible mutt named Hershey (named by my parents). I have a Yorkshire/Silky terrier mix named Marty Doogie Howser McFly. He is the first pet I ever got to pick the name for, so I ran with it. He's my own personal puppy, NOT the family dog.

29
April 7, 2011 11:30 PM

Ruby Rose-I love the name Claire and Clara would work style-wise but I understand about the sounds. I think Macy matches too much with sound and not enough with style however. My vote would go with Jane, Molly, or something else as Mason is too boy still for me. Other ideas:
Ava (as mentioned above)
Hannah; Sophia; Rose; Beatrice; Isabelle; Violet; Catherine (Cate); Emma; Abigail(Abby); Samantha
The names that span the ages as do Lucy and Grace would be great picks.

30
By moll
April 7, 2011 11:46 PM

Well, I agree with everyone else.

Ruby Rose, I hear nothing wrong with the different C's in Lucy, Grace, and Clare/Clara. I also think they are a similar name "type". But, If YOU don't love how the combination sounds, then that's probably not the best choice for you.

In terms of connotation - how the names make me feel or the image they conjure up - Molly and Jane are also great matches (promise I'm not speaking from a personal bias ;) ).

You seem to like the s/ soft "c", but your other names have an old fashioned feel, unlike Mason. Maybe consider Cecilia/Celia/Cecily, Betsy/Bessie, or Tess/Tessa/Tessie if you want the combo of old-fashioned and s/soft c sound. Others? Off to a good start, best wishes!

LucGoose - I know of so many young kids (<5 yrs) with Ad- names that Adalaide sounds, possibly, too YOUNG for a 12-yr-old, but not at all impossible, especially if you mention that it's a family name or something. It's less popular than Hannah and Natalie, though Rose balances the set a bit. I would also expect the parents of a Hannah, Natalie, and Rose to use the more standard spelling, Adelaide, unless it's somehow explained. Just my $.02, good luck with your work!

31
By Kayt (not verified)
April 7, 2011 11:49 PM

Wow, how fun!

A: Siberian Husky
B: Dalmation
C: Chihuahua
D: Basset Hound
E: Rottweiler

I can't lie, before I looked at the breeds, I would have guessed the Basset Hound set was for Labs.

32
By brandy (not verified)
April 8, 2011 12:09 AM

As a basset owner, that was an easy list to spot. :) Other names I've noticed are big with bassets are Elvis and Beauregard.

33
April 8, 2011 12:21 AM

I came up with the same ones as everyone else. I found basset hounds most difficult; maybe because I haven't met many in real life?

34
By Hillary (not verified)
April 8, 2011 1:59 AM

A - Siberian Husky
B - Dalmatian
C - Chihuahua
D - Basset Hound
E - Rottweiler

Our dogs (rescue mutts) are Nellie and Sam, so we fall firmly in line with dog naming trends!

35
April 8, 2011 8:11 AM

moll-Great suggestion of Cecelia for RubyRose! That would be the winner if it was me. Tess is nice too though.

36
By TM (not verified)
April 8, 2011 8:46 AM

@Starr: As the mom of a Julia, I would wholeheartedly recommend it. :) I like that she has the option of Julie or Jules when she gets older if she decides Julia doesn't fit her. We get comments all the time on how pretty her name is. For how popular it is, I really don't hear of many others. Just one here or there. Plus, it goes well with William.

37
By TM (not verified)
April 8, 2011 8:48 AM

@ Ruby Rose: I like Jane. It seems to fit best with Lucy and Grace to me. Plus, it's not one I hear a lot, but nevertheless is sweet and a little unexpected.

38
April 8, 2011 9:31 AM

I have friends who had a chihuahua named Rocky. He was an old, wizened guy who had quite an amorous attachment to various stuffed toys. I thought it was hilarious that his name was Rocky. I imagined his human equivalent as this skinny, dirty old man in Florida. He'd have a soggy cigar always hanging out of his mouth, wear floral tropical shirts that revealed too much grizzled chest hair, and he'd always hit on young waitresses.

Ruby Rose:

I think Clara, Jane, or Molly are all fine to go with Lucy and Grace. I think it's more important to find names that feel like they belong in the same family style-wise than to find names that sound musically great as a set, so I don't know how important the "C" sounds will be, ultimately. I think it's better, actually, to have a little variety rather than having rhyming sibling names. They are individuals, after all. What's nice about Clara, too, is that you end up having three different endings, rather than a pair and one odd name left out. I agree that Mason and Macy are much too modern and sporty/androgynous to go with the classic 19th century names you currently have.

I had been taking a break for awhile, and recently I've been revisiting our name list. (I know I've brought this up before on here, so for a quick update - IVF 3 didn't work, and we're gearing up for IVF 4.). Dh is pretty strongly leaning towards Ursula for a girl and seems less into Anya these days. I want him to commit to Ulla or Lula for a nn, and not Ulli (which he really likes, for some odd reason). I still have misgivings that she'd hate us for giving what some people think is an "ugly" name. I still like it, though...

I've been looking over our boy list, and it's so odd how I don't LOVE any boy name we have. Why are boy names so hard? It seems that so many boy names I like would immediately get shortened to a boring nickname. That's part of the problem.

The ones that still seem worth considering are:

Xavier (seems dashing, but can you take him seriously? A writer, but a judge...?)

Nathaniel (a little too Puritanical for the French LN? Don't mind Nate, as nicknames go)

Simon (my old favorite that dh doesn't love)

August (still can't quite come around to Gus or Augie. I know dh doesn't quite think it's "regular guy" enough for his taste.)

Rowan (I'd dropped this one for awhile. Looks like it's given to girls MORE than boys these days, though).

Atticus (We all know the down sides of this one, but I do like the name and associations. I think it goes really great with the LN and it sounds great with Ursula)

Thomas (recently been considering this, but think I'd prefer something a little left of center). That "o" sound is particularly great with the LN, though.

Then there are various occupational names: Archer (just sounds cool), Walker (my Mother's maiden name), Calder (great artist associations)

Any thoughts?

39
By Starr (not verified)
April 8, 2011 9:41 AM

@LucGoose- when and where does your story take place? I think the location (US? UK? Rural? City?) and time-line make a big difference. If it's taking place in the US during the present time, I'd go with Adelaide, nn Addie. I know quite a few girls around that age who go by Addie, with a variety of different full names. Have you considered Adeline? I might like it paired with Natalie better than Adelaide.

@RubyRose- my vote is for Clare.

@zoerhenne- I agree with you on the double LLs, I like the way they subtly tie together. My husband's last name is very Germanic with a harsh rrrr sound, and I think we've been trying to soften that blow with lilting llll's.

We revisited boy's names last night- in addition to good ol' Will, we both really love Ben (Benjamin or Bennett?) and Duncan is also a front-runner. We keep going back to Kai, possibly as a middle, since it has so many meanings in a variety of languages and kind of enjoy it's hippie/surfer vibe in contrast to the solid, classic family names. DH mentioned that he likes Michael as a middle, since it's both of our father's first names, so now I'm trying to wrap my head around whether we want to "honor" both or our (living) dads or his (recently deceased) grandpa. We do agree that it's one or the other for this round- William FunMiddle or FunFirst Michael.

Aaaand girl's names...I do love Julia, and the rest of the DH-approved list are just fine, but none of them make me jump for joy, y'know? Could I trouble all of you for a suggestion or 2 to add to the list? In reviewing it, I think what my husband is looking for is short and sweet, with a soft/fresh feel (he's utterly hopeless when it comes to understanding popularity- I'd love to find a name that hasn't cracked any of the top 100 lists at least, but as a Matt he thinks that all children are just supposed to grow as one of 30 kids with that first name in their age group.)

And finally, I'd be interested in some 'working dog' names. My relatives have a large sheep operation, and have had Border Collies named Nell and Bing, and a gigantic old English sheepdog who went by Harry S Truman, always the full moniker.

40
By Amy3
April 8, 2011 10:15 AM

@Ruby Rose, I like Clara or Jane. They both feel like good matches with Lucy and Grace (btw, I know a Lucy and Grace sibset, too!).

@Starr, if you're looking for something short and sweet that's outside the top 100, may I recommend Eily (pronounced eye-lee)? It's on-trend with regard to sound (which may mean it isn't fresh enough for you), but it's not been in the top 1000 in the past 20 years. It's a name we considered for our daughter almost 10 years ago now. And I think it sounds nice with Will (or Ben).

41
April 8, 2011 10:49 AM

PennyX-Welcome back! I wish you success with the IVF! As far as your name concerns go, I probably won't be saying anything I haven't before.
Xavier=fine
Nathaniel=great
Simon =yes also
August=not my fav
Rowan=no esp with your LN
Atticus=maybe in mn spot
Thomas=maybe but a little too plain for me for you :)

How about:the U sound of Rueben, Lucian; for more O sounds you have Montgomery, Joshua, Dominic; or there are things like Thaddeus

Starr-William or Benjamin are both good choices. For girls how about: Emily; Lydia; Diana; Camille (nn Cammie); Celeste; Megan; Erin; Brooke; Nicole; Jillian; Paige

42
By Starr (not verified)
April 8, 2011 11:42 AM

@PennyX- Great names! Best of luck with the IVF, sending you good vibes. My thoughts:
Xavier- love it, sounds perfectly serious to me, and I really like it as a middle. First X. Last! Too cool.
Rowan- sadly, it seems to have been co-opted by the girls' camp.
Thomas- what about Tomas? Makes it a little more interesting, although with a French last name it might be a little much (unless you're in France? I'm afraid I missed the background info.)
I think Archer, Walker and Calder are really fantastic. The maiden name connection of Walker makes it both meaningful and fun-sounding, and Calder is on our list as well. :)
Can I offer Tavish as another alternative to Thomas, and Jem (as a nn of any variety of Jeremy/Jeremiah, etc) instead of Atticus?

@Amy3- I love Eily! I had never heard of it until friends of our who are due any day now kicked it around. I'll have to wait and see what they end up with, but as a dutiful friend I should probably cover all my bases in case they still want to hold on to it for the future.

@zoerhenne- I think my DH would appreciate all of those names, but I have to admit that they're not quite my style (I do love Camille, and he hasn't yay or nayed that one yet.) Here are a few of my favorites that were vetoed, I'd really like to find something that's in line with my style that the hubster can get down with as well:

Alice
Beatrix
Carys
Clementine
Daphne
Leonie
Romilly
Saffron
Talulah
Tamsin
Violet

I also have a leaning towards "nature" names (River, Sage, Willow) that for some reason DH interpreted as bizarre or absurd, which I'm just going to chalk up to momentary insanity. :)

43
By TM (not verified)
April 8, 2011 12:12 PM

@Starr: If you like Willow, how about Willa? Could be a nod to William, too.
Aurelie
Blythe
Lorelai
Adele
Carolyn/Caroline
Gia
Aurora
Celine
Romy

I'm not as good as some of the posters on here at coming up with stuff, but that's what popped into my head. :)

44
April 8, 2011 3:18 PM

I am a long time lurker... I used to comment more often but haven't found the time to keep up the the lively discussions you guys always have.

So, after a lifetime of making baby name lists I am actually pregnant. I am not just pregnant I am 33 weeks along with a little boy. My husband and I have gone through what feels like a million names, and think we have whittled it down 2 choices Quinn and Jude. The middle name will be Cameron (to honor a deceased friend of my husband's).

We like the idea of a one syllable name because the middle has three syllables and so does our last name that is similar to Patterson.

Some of the girls names that we like are Charlotte, Elsa, and Nora.

I think we would have already gone settled on Quinn at this point because my husband really likes it and I love how unique it is, but I am really worried that it's turning into a girl name. I have a nightmare that I will name my son a name that in 20 years will sound completely feminine (like the Leslies, Courtneys, and Stacys of that past).

I basically want to know your opinion about the masculinity / femininity of Quinn and whether you prefer it to Jude.

Thanks in advance! This whole naming thing is so much more stressful than I thought it would be.

45
By LaurenReynolds (not verified)
April 8, 2011 3:44 PM

a. husky, b. dalmation, c. chihuahua, d. basset, e. rottweiler

100% sure on these- shocked how easy it was! Basset/Rottweiler were the only two I had to think about.

46
By Yet Another Guest (not verified)
April 8, 2011 4:11 PM

@Madeline Congratulations! I like both Quinn and Jude. Great choices and I don't know which I prefer--which doesn't help, I know!

The first Quinn I met was the older sister of a guy in my high school (back in late 80s/early 90s), but she was the only one I met. All the other Quinns I've come across have been boys, and much younger. I don't feel like it's been taken over by girls yet and I don't think it will. If anything I think it will become/remain a unisex name. I can't imagine it being a future Leslie or Stacy!

47
By EVie
April 8, 2011 4:32 PM

Madeline - I prefer Jude. I do think that Quinn is quite feminine these days—the ones I can think of include John Edwards's young daughter Frances Quinn, called Quinn (she was in the tabloids a lot because she was the product of an affair); Quinn on the old TV show Daria (Daria's younger sister, the president of the Fashion Club); and Quinn on Glee, the cheerleader of Finn & Quinn fame. I also don't care for the combination Quinn Cameron—it's a bit of a tongue twister since they start and end with the same sounds.

I think Jude sounds better and is safer in terms of masculinity (although I think in the UK it's also pretty androgynous—I knew a female Jude from Scotland, and there was a female character in Bridget Jones's Diary as well).

PennyX - Good luck! I really like Xavier, Simon and Nathaniel—I think that Xavier is plenty serious, and I don't see Nathaniel as Puritanical—I actually think it sounds great with your LN. Simon is an old favorite of mine. Thomas is a current favorite for me, but I see how it's on the plain side for you. August and Rowan are a little precious for my tastes, and maybe a bit much with your LN (which makes me think of things like princes and castles—probably because it reminds me of the French palace Fontainebleau). I'm kind of neutral on Atticus.

Ruby Rose - I agree with those who have said Clare/Clara is the best match, followed by Jane or Molly. Macy and Mason seem out of place in that sibset.

48
April 8, 2011 10:36 PM

PennyX, it's always a delight to hear from you! The chihuahua named Rocky is a fantastic jettisoning of breed stereotypes, and you paint a very vivid image that made me laugh. I also wanted to say that I'm so very sorry that IVF #3 also didn't work, and I am thinking of you and your husband as you undertake your fourth attempt. I know infertility (and IVF in particular) is such an all-consuming rollercoaster: I hope you can get off it soon because you'll have reached your destination.

You know what I think about Ursula. Ulli, Lula and Ulla are all darling nicknames, and I'm sure a little Ursula would be promptly come up with some additional ones. I feel your concern about the "What if my child doesn't like the name?" issue - I worried about that with J0ly0n, too. I think the thing that made me not have misgivings was to pick a much more noncontroversial, middle-of-the-road middle name. If you can find a family member to honor, even better, because apparently that adds to the meaning of middle names tremendously (see previous blog post). So put a more conventionally pretty classic in the middle and I think you'll be leaving a little girl with plenty of options, especially combined with the variety of nicknames. Lula and Zuzu are very fashionable here.

Of your boy names, Xavier is my favorite. I would take a Xavier very seriously as a scientist, judge, doctor, policeman - it's not just an artsy name to me. It has flair but is familiar. No down sides!

My advice for developing a greater attachment to a name that you like but are not feeling super-keenly about is to hit the library and check out as many books featuring Xaviers as possible. It totally worked for with the Spouse's All Time Favorite Name. I liked Rupert, but didn't LOVE it until I spent more time with the name in a variety of novels.

Interestingly enough, the books that really won me over (Jilly Cooper's Rutshire Chronicles) have the protagonist (Rupert) eventually having a son named Xavier via adoption. Xavier Campbell-Black really sold that name for me, too. Xav doesn't show up until many (extremely long) books in, but if you're needing a distraction from IVF, for me (and the spouse) the epic Jilly Cooper books were just the thing. They are just the right amount of trashy riveting salacious fun for maximal escapism: the series got us through an IVF cycle, miscarriage, a whole lot of waiting, frozen embryo transfer, and several gut-wrenching bouts of drama with this pregnancy (now in the 2nd trimester). I'm actually saving the last book in the series just in case we have some other complications later on. It is just nice to have something other than your own fertility woes to think about! They also feature a whole lot of infertility story lines (from the 80s through the present day), which I found very cathartic, but there are miscarriages, and I would want readers to know about that going in. But tearjerkingly happy endings abound.

Interestingly, the effect of reading a name routinely in a book seems to help me fall more completely for a name even when the characters are the opposite of role models. The Rutshire Chronicles' Hermione is an absolute terror, but it still left me more confident in our choice of that name for a kid. (In case you're wondering: yes, we did in fact encounter every name on our lists as a character name in this series. EVERY SINGLE ONE.)

49
By izzy
April 8, 2011 4:47 PM

@Ruby Rose: I think Clare/Clara works just fine. I don't think Mason really flows well with the group, and I think Macy is too close to a combo of both Lucy and Grace - the long A from Grace and the 'cy; from Lucy. I like Jane, but Molly is my favorite.
Other names I think would work are names like:
Sara
Emma
Celia/Cecily (i agree with moll)
Elisabeth
Isabelle

@Madeline: I know several Quinns and there seems to be a fairly equal ratio of guys to girls.

@Starr: I immediately thought of Ada, which sounds like Ava, but feels a lot more traditional to me. Also,
Ivy
Lila
Clare
and I really like Eily!

@PennyX: My thoughts are:
Xavier - I could totally take this name seriously. This is a really cool name!

Nathaniel - Love Nathaniel. I know a couple of great guys called Nate.

Simon - This is such a classic! Maybe a mn?

August - Love it.

Rowan - It sounds slightly feminine to me, honestly.

Atticus - If you are okay with the connotations, and you still love it, go for it. But I can see some immature remarks coming from it. Not one of my faves.

Thomas - Love it, very classic, and can't go wrong. However, I like Thomas as opposed to Tom.

50
By Guest here (not verified)
April 8, 2011 5:20 PM

Starr - you talk a lot about what kind of girls' names your husband might like, but what kind of girls' names do YOU like?