Thoughts on Judith/ other J name suggestions

Is Judith too old-lady a name to give a baby? Or can you imagine a baby Judith? I keep going back and forth on it... and I’m due in two weeks. Some days I love it and others I’m not so sure. 

We want to give baby a J name to honor my grandmother Judith (and we’re set on Judah if it’s a boy, so we’re good there). Problem is, we’ve got a lot of J names on both sides of our family. J names that start with Jul-, Jan- or Jean- are all out since they are too similar to living relatives. We prefer more traditional names. Any suggestions for J names I may have missed? (We’ve also ruled out Jennifer and Jessica as being too tied to our own generation, and don’t really like Josephine). 

 

Also! Middle names starting with Z to go with Judah. We have a few ideas but maybe there’s something I haven’t thought of. 

 

If helpful, big brother is @sher d@niel.

Replies

1
March 21, 2018 4:12 PM

I can't think of any reason not to name your baby Judith. I know several, most of whom are baby boomers, but one is a former student who would be about 20 now. She was part of a Hasidic family and went by Diti as a nickname. I might assume a young Judith was Jewish but that's likely just due to my personal associations rather than a broader cultural one.

Other J names that might work; Jillian, Jocelyn, Josie

2
March 21, 2018 4:30 PM

While I prefer the full Judith for the birth certificates, I think Judy will have many similar sounding names around: Lily, Ruby, Sophie.  I actually have a facebook friend with a young daughter of that name.

Other J names: Juliet(te), Julia, June, Juniper, Joy.

 

Z middle names: Zane, Zachary

3
March 21, 2018 6:58 PM

In case anyone was wondering where Diti as a nickname came from, Judith in Hebrew is Yehudit (yeh-hoo-DEET). Though I'd expect Hasidim to speak Yiddish and pronounce it in the Ashkenazi Yiddish way, Yehudis (yeh-HOU-diss), this adorable nickname apparently came from the Hebrew.

4
March 22, 2018 2:16 AM

Yes, the Diti in question was part of a Hasidic community that was largely Ashkenazim, but her mother was Russian. I don't know if that influenced the Hebrew v Yiddish pronunciation of her name. Thanks for explaining!

5
March 21, 2018 5:02 PM

I keep hearing old-lady names are the style right now! Adelaide seems very popular, Despicable Me used Agnes and Edith on cute little girls...

I actually worked at school about half a dozen years ago that had a Judith. She must have been about 7th grade at the time. The name was very memorable to me not only because of how unusual it was but because of the contrast to her identical twin sister's name- Jasmine. Yes, Jasmine and Judith. I don't remember hearing either of them go by any nicknames. These kids had all known each other since kindergarten so any real discussion of the names had long since past. She was not Jewish, as I recall she was hispanic. 

I personally am a fan of nicknames, so my instinct would be to go for it after brainstorming a few nn options, though that may be tricky for Judith. Judy also has a vintage feel, Jude would be a bold nickname choice for a girl, Juju would feel awfully juvenile after toddlerhood... but the creative and knowledgeable regulars here may have some better suggestions. 

The only other traditional Ju- names I could think of outside your exclusions are Juniper and June.

For Z middles for Judah- Zander, Zavier, Zeke

6
March 21, 2018 5:14 PM

Where I live, Judith was pretty popular 20-30 years ago, so that's the age cohort I associate it with. But I think it's fine anyway. I know a couple of toddler Ediths (and it's my own daughter's middle name), which sounds practically the same and is trending in a minor way, and I think Judy is ripe for nickname revival. Or I like Jude as a nickname.

Other nice J names: Juniper, Justine or Justina, Juno (possible nickname for Judith?), Jemima (too loaded depending where you live?), Jillian, Jessamine.

7
March 21, 2018 8:02 PM

I actually really love Jemima, but it’s the one name my husband has outright veto’d. oh well. 

8
March 21, 2018 7:46 PM

I actually know someone who just named her baby girl Judith. From what I could see, she got really positive feedback about her name choice. To me personally it does not sound "old" at all, and it has the added bonus of being familiar and having a very familiar, singular spelling. I like it! I think you should go for it if you like it, too.

The only 'Z' names that really come to mind are Zachary, Zane, Zeke, Zander, Zeb.

9
March 21, 2018 8:06 PM

Thanks for all the feedback! It makes me feel much better if we do end up sticking with Judith (and likely nicknamed Judie). However, I mentioned June to my husband and he LOVES it so we may end up going that route. 

10
By EVie
March 21, 2018 9:03 PM

Judie is adorable! For some reason that -ie ending reads a lot fresher to me than Judy... maybe because it's calling to mind Junie, which is feeling pretty stylish right now. And yeah, June is great as well :)

11
March 22, 2018 5:13 AM

Ah, I love both Judith and June... sounds like you can't lose at this point!

12
March 22, 2018 3:06 PM

Funny before reading the comments I was about to reply asking about the name June instead! I think June is a lovely name. 

13
March 21, 2018 9:53 PM

I think of Judith as being not quite ready for a full comeback.  In certain circles, it would fit in perfectly.  For everyone else, it'd simply be a bit ahead of its time.  Like other posters, I have known just enough Jewish Judiths that I might wonder, but I wouldn't necassarily assume a young Judith was Jewish.

For other options, I do like the previous suggestion of Juniper for you.  Juniper/June/Junie share enough of the sounds of Judith/Jude/Judy that the namesake quality isn't lost.  

Z names for boys:  Zach/Zachary/Zachaiah, Zane, Zeke?  For something more unusual, Zenith, Zeno or Zenon?

 

14
March 21, 2018 11:32 PM

middles for Judah - Zachary, Zane, Zeke, Zaide, Zander, Zavier, Zion, Ziggy

 

girls Judith is ok - Jodie is close - its a diminitive of Judith

Juliet, Julia, Johanna,  Jenna, Jillian, Jocelyn, Josie, Jacinta, Jacqueline, Justine

15
March 22, 2018 1:41 AM

I think Judith is elegant and, like Helen, among the first of the boomer names that I'd expect to come back. I don't know any little Judiths, just the most fabulous octuagenarian no-nonsense academic from my former book club, but even before I met her it struck me as a name which contains a lot of on-trend and starting-to-feel-fresh sounds, like Jude and Edith (both of which I have seen represented in the newest generation). I think it's a name that might not excite everyone in the abstract but that would very quickly grown on people on an actual baby. (I think even far more fusty porch-sitter names do that, in my experience as the mother of a Wi1fred).

In order from commonplace to more striking/weird: Joscelyn, Jasmine, Johanna, June or Juniper or Juno, Justice, Jillian, Jolene, Jacinta, Jessamine.  I'm also seeing Jael, which I'm guessing is a variant of Yael.  I'm also seeing that there were 76 girls named Jupiter (and 51 named Jentry) last year, which kind of boggles my mind. 

Z is a great middle initial. I'd be inclined to go with Zaphod, Zeno, Zeus or Zephyr personally. Zebulon and Zane are also fun, and Zephaniah is full of on-trend sounds and you might like the repetition with Judah?

16
March 22, 2018 7:15 AM

I just did a double take seeing my mom's and her mom's names in your first sentence. Judith is most definitely a boomer name, but Helen is from the generation before. I've already encountered a couple of baby Helens in the wild, actually. As for Judith, I think that the high proportion of boomers who used the nickname Judy/Judi kept the full Judith feeling more classic/biblical and usable today. Despite having a very prominent boomer Judy in my life, even I feel like it's a lively name for a current baby. 

 

Oh, and Zephyr has long been on my guilty pleasure list and I'd love to see someone use it!

17
March 22, 2018 10:10 AM

I agree that Judith seems more boomer while Helen seems a generation further back.  Ellen actually seems closer to boomer to me than Helen, but I think it was actually more on the cusp?  I knew a couple of moms in high school named Ellen, but most of the Ellens I've encountered are closer to my age or just slightly older (mid-40s to early 50s).

18
March 22, 2018 10:23 AM

I am totally sloppy because I didn't look up the curves, just was going by the empirical fact that the multiple Judiths and Helens I know span pretty exactly same age range. Thanks for catching my error; you're totally right! (Helen's broad peak explains why the Helens and Judiths I know are all the same ages, it's still in the top 30 when Judith is at its peak in the top 10, but it's falling  by that point.)

Anyway, being more precise, I'll revise that statement to say that Judith seems like Carol rather than like Barbara -- I think the sounds are fashionable even as the name is on a nadir. I think it's perfectly usable and would be delighted to see it on a little one. I think the nickname possibilities also give more blending in possibilities: Judy is a charming retro confection that fits in with the Bettys in the contrarian hipster areas and the Rubys elsewhere, Jude is a sleek, modern gender neutral option (I actually know several nonbinary people using it), Juju is a pleasing pet name that I also see in use for other names and that would fit in with the Lulus. 

19
March 22, 2018 9:04 AM

I think it would be tough to go through life as a Jael in the US because so many people would pronounce it 'jail'. A few years ago I had a student named Kun, which is pronounced 'gun'. He said it was difficult, but not awful, until the day he was in an airport with a group of friends and someone called out his name loudly. Chaos ensued and after that he started going by a nickname unrelated to his actual name.

20
March 22, 2018 10:11 AM

I totally meant to add a caveat to that effect but I see I did not - thanks for catching my oversight. I agree that the Yael spelling seems like it is emminently more usable, even if the J spelling is listed by behindthename as the English form. Even if that one is fraught with mispronunciation also, they'd be mispronunciations with a more neutral-positive twist than incarceration.  (I am imagining you'd get called Yale a lot, which is preppy-aspirational and not my style as a given name, but really objectively fine, and if you believe the Dennis-Dentist thing might make your daughter a little more likely to pursue higher ed).

21
March 22, 2018 1:00 PM

Yes, the one Yael I know does get the Yale pronunciation a lot. She just accepts it unless she's going to be interacting with the person a lot, in which case she corrects the pronunciation.

22
March 22, 2018 1:16 PM

Yup. I've known several Yaels through the years and the Yale pronunciation was frequent. How irritating they found it depended on the individual.

23
March 22, 2018 6:34 PM

I love Judith!

I'm really starting to fall in love with midcentury "old lady" names like Joan, Barbara, Judith, Margaret, etc. Names that are strong, feminine, and classic and yet sound fresh compared to the sea of Isabellas and Olivias.