What Is Your Name Style?

Not really a game as much as discussing your name style and the qualities you look for in a good name. It's been fun watching all of our styles emerged and seeing how different everyone is. Some people love certain letters or periods of time. Some people like trendy, new names and others prefer the tried and true.

What do you look for in a good name? What catches your attention? Are there any names you love that don't fit your typical style?


For me, it's timelessness which to me means two things: a name hasn't had a huge spike in popularity that dates it to a specific time. So names like Barabara (50s), Lisa (60s), Heather or Jason (70s), Nicole or Kyle (80s), Taylor or Tyler (90s), or Madison (00s) aren't my favorites. It's nothing against those names other than their ability to become stale and dated quickly. It's also a name that ages well so it doesn't come across as too grown up (Carlos and Kurt are examples I can only see on grown men) or too cutesy (Paisley comes to mind).

Names that break the mold for me are Emmy (kind of cutesy), and Violet (seems like it has had a huge spike in popularity over the last 10 years).


January 17, 2019 8:04 PM

(I'm so glad that you brought up this thread, Mara!  When I first joined this community I was looking for a place to put my complete favorite names list and its revisions, but I couldn't find a place to post it.  To me this thread would be a much more interesting way to describe it than posting a list.)

I completely understand how timelessness can affect the quality of a name (for example, I had a childhood friend growing up named Aaron, and I know a professor at my university with the same first name).  I take the timeless quality and the time it's associated with into consideration, but for me it's mainly the sound that defines a good name.  

As a kid I loved names with K sounds and had several friends with those names (e.g. Kendall, Katelin, Kerrigan).  I also had a really great friend named Elliott and I loved his personality.  When I first heard his name I thought that it was the coolest name ever!  In fact, I was told that I was almost named Elliott.

A few years after that, in my teen years, I thought about what names sounded as great on a child as they do on a teen as they do on an adult, and Carey was that name for me for a girl.  I also was finding out, as a licensed amatuer radio (or ham radio) operator (where my username comes from), that most of these operators are males born in the 1950s and ’60s, and I didn’t like the sound of many of the nicknames that are constantly heard in conversations between these operators (Bill, Jim, Mike, etc.); they weren’t as interesting to me as the ‘90s names I was used to (I guess I like those names because that’s the decade I was born in).

After I was introduced to the Fox program MasterChef Junior this past March, I noticed that many of the contestants had unusual names, at least to me (e.g. Afnan, Dara, Jacelyn, Shayne).  This show was also where I first discovered and fell in love with the names Addison and Avery (both girls).  I began to love similar sounding names with short As and long As.  My geek-ish passion for names was then born.

Two months later I had a Latin professor who had the coolest accent to me when he said the Latin word "terra" (meaning Earth) and similar words.  I then remembered a character on a show that my brother watched as a kid (Goosebumps) whose name was Tara (at the time I imagined the spelling Terra), and I immediately fell in love with that name and the "air" sound.  Plus, Tara looked a lot prettier to me than Terra.  I would always try to imiate his accent when I was talking to people on the ham radio whose names were, for example, Terry or Harry.  I also have a small FM radio station that serves my apartment complex and whenever I come across names like that when I read, for example, someone's birthday, I try to say them with that accent.

I started creating lists of my favorite names in July and I would revise them each month.  I would also record and edit audio versions of them so that I could hear myself saying the names.  Eventually, there were so many names on my list that I stopped creating audio versions in September and tried to find an online group who shares my newly found interest.  This site was the first result in my search, and I'm so happy to find such a positive and encouraging group of people with which to share my passion!

There are still some dated names that I like (e.g. Albert, Carol, Clark, Mabel), and many names on my list may be popular (e.g. Cayden, Hailee, Jacob, Peyton), but it's pretty much all about the sound for me.  I don't like incredibly dated names that have a sound I don't prefer (e.g. Pam, Norma, Doug, D**k).

January 18, 2019 12:03 AM

I love this response and hearing about how you got into names and the specific names that you like. It's been really fun seeing you discover new names. That's one of my favorite parts of this forum - finding or falling in love with new names.

January 18, 2019 1:39 AM

That's also one of my favorite parts!  Without this forum it would have taken me longer to find Charis and Carys (as opposed to Karis) :)

I wish there was an audio section of the site/forum where I can post my audio names lists and other things I've done with names in audio form (including a humorous names song!).  I don't feel like sharing them with the world on SoundCloud or something similar.

January 18, 2019 9:06 AM

For girls' names, which is what I mostly focus on, I like:

Long A sounds (Avery), Long U sounds (Luna), Elle sounds (Brielle), Long O sounds (Rosalie), and names ending in long E sounds (Natalie)

I like more traditional names, ones dated from before the 1940s (Lillian, Lucy, Cora), or more modern hippy names (Aven, Rowan,  Sage). Cutesy-ness isn't really a problem for me, I like names like Ellie or Lillie.

I don't really like names that are dated anytime between the 1940s and now (Barbara, Lisa, Madison), or names that super-super popular (Ava, Isabella).

I don't generally like unisex names, but some, like Avery, Addison, Rowan, and Ellery, I like. 

That being said, most of my favorite names are sort of rising in popularity (Hazel, Stella).

Names that are sort of more cutesy and made up are either a guilty pleasure (Ainsley), or a pet peeve (Blakely). 

My favorites are Hazel, Ivy, Ellie, Rowan, Molly, and Rosalie.

For boys, I mostly just like traditional names (Theodore) that weren't overused in the past (Michael). My favorites are currently Henry, Owen, Benjamin, and Oliver. 

January 18, 2019 3:43 PM

I forgot to mention that, even though it seems like most people here are against them, I don't mind popular/trendy names at all, as long as the sound fits my style (Ava, Mason, Aidan and many of its variants, etc.).  I also tend to like the sound of cutesy/frilly names (Caterina, Lilliana, Gabriella, etc.).

Also, rather than posting them online, if anyone here would like to hear what I've done with names (as I mentioned above), feel free to email kd8lwr@gmail.com.

January 19, 2019 12:50 PM

The most important thing for me is also usually where it falls on the popularity scale. I'm a Jessica, born at the height of the Jessica boost, and there's little name-wise that's as aggravating as having to share your name with four other people in the same classroom. But only the other hand, I don't want a name to be completely unheard of, or confusing in any way. I find for me the sweet spot tends to be no more popular than about the 60 or 70 ranking, and no less popular than the 300s. One notable exception is Cedar. I LOVE the idea of using that for a girl's name, but I've never heard of it before.

I also agree that I avoid names that will stand out as being a particular age - either because they only had one decade of popularity, or because they just sound like old people or kids' names. I like Charlie, because I can picture a Charlie as an adorable pre-schooler, a likeable teen, a hard-working adult, AND a grumpy old man.

Outside of popularity and time, the only consistent rule I can think of is that I don't want a name to be too prissy. I'm not a fan of this 4-syllable, porcelain doll name trend - the Arabellas and Elianas. And I don't think alternative spellings accomplish much other than unecessary confusion.

January 24, 2019 3:15 AM

I actually am looking for a name for my style in general. I have inputted my favorite girls and boys name, if someone can help me define my style, I would appreciate it. 


Girls: Audra, Avery, Beatrix, Bianca, Cleo, Corinne, Darcy, Faye, Fiona, Freya, Greta, Gwen, Imogen, Ivy, Johnna, Kenna, Kira, Leona, Margot, Moxie, Odette, Oona, Penolope, Piper, Quinn, Raven, Sasha, Stella, Willow

Bpys: Alec, Bennett, Caleb, Callum, Charlie, Clark, Conan, Dylan, Eamonn, Edison, Eli, Ford, Gavin, Gideon, Grant, Gray, Jack, Landon, Leo, Maverick, Milo, Noah, Owen, Ronan, Sebastian, Theo, Wesley, Winston, Wyatt


January 24, 2019 12:30 PM

It looks to me that you tend to like names that are more timeless and not too popular right now (other than a few like Caleb and Noah), and that you don't like cutesy/frilly names.  You also tend to not like names that are too dated (I see quite a few 90s names on your list), and I think most of your favorites can age well between boy and man.  Hope that helps.

January 24, 2019 1:56 PM

I would say overall the style seems to be quirky and modern, with a very 20th century vibe. Seems like a lot of names would have fit in the jazz era like Cleo, Faye, Gwen, Ivy, Stella, Odette, Charlie, and Jack. Also shorter names - the majority seem to be around 5 letters. I would also say most, if not all of the names, seem suited for a baby as much as a child or adult or older person. 

January 28, 2019 12:57 AM

(Update: edited spelling preferences for my current top 20.)

Since I mainly define my name style by sound, I'd love to know more of the other traits of my style that perhaps I don't know of.  I'll re-post my first names list from back in July here since it looks cluttered on the other thread (in ranking order from most to least favorite but all of them fit my sound style).  I'll also post my current top 20, also in ranking order (it's not ranked on my profile).  Spellings are in order of preference, and my top three spellings are listed for a given name.  If someone here can help me define the other traits of my style (or combination of styles) I'd really appreciate it.

July 2018 List

Boys: Caleb/Kaleb, Terrance, Calvin, Cory/Corey, Aaron, Kevin, Aiden/Ayden/Aidan, Elliott/Elliot, Evan, Payton, Terry, Eric/Erik/Erick, Harry, Alex, Harrison, Tyler, Kellen/Kellan, Chad, Alec, Tanner, Kayden/Cayden/Kaiden, Curtis/Kurtis, Devin/Devon, Kyle, Nathan, Blake, Kade/Cade, Cameron, Hayden, Dayton, Davis, Kane, Mason, Anakin, Kayson/Kason/Cayson, Adrian, Alvin, Allen, Case, Atticus, Cody/Kody, Quincy, Coby/Kobe, Owen, Clayton, Clyde, Quinton, Angelo, Harvey, Hector, Ali, Alejandro, Terrell, Tate

Girls: Tara, Katie/Katy, Casey/Kasey, Carey/Kari, Cara/Kara, Katelyn/Kaitlyn, Taylor, Kaylee, Hailee/Haylee, Kayla, Avery, Erika/Erica, Karen, Kelly, Clara, Carolyn/Caralyn, Claire/Clare, Tabatha, Kerrigan, Amy, Abigail, Annabella, Anne/Ann, Addison/Addyson, Ava, Amber, Annabelle, Evelyn, Ariana/Arianna, Emily, Paige, Sara/Sarah, Kathryn/Kathrine/Catherine, Annika, Mikaela/Mikayla, Mackenzie, Ashley, Ally/Allie, Audrey, Adrienne, Hannah, Heather, Bethany, Helen, Madison, Peyton, Ellie, Courtney, Erin, Allison, Tess, Kendall, Emma, Crystal, Jessica, Sydney, Angelica, Sierra, Kaydence/Cadence, Cassidy/Kassidy, Kelsey, Stephanie, Alexis, Rachel/Rachael, Samantha, Angela, Becky, Gracelyn, Cheyenne


My current top 20:

Boys: Elliott, Calvin, Harry, Caleb/Kaleb, Terrance/Terrence, Aidan/Aiden/Ayden, Aaron, Evan, Kevin, Corey/Cory, Payton, Eric/Erik/Erick, Alec, Harris, Alex, Harrison, Terry, Kellen/Kellan, Chad, Taran

Girls: Tara, Taylor, Casey/Kaycee/Kasey, Katelyn/Kaitlyn/Caitlin, Clara, Carey/Kari/Carrie, Katie/Katy, Cara/Kara, Kayla, Hailey/Hailee/Haylee, Kaylee/Kailee/Kayley, Karen/Karyn/Karan, Clare/Claire, Kate/Cate, Tabitha/Tabatha, Carrington, Kelly/Kelley, Charis/Carys/Karis, Tracy, Avery

February 13, 2019 1:35 PM

If anyone here is willing to help me define other aspects/characteristics of my name style, I'd really appreciate it!

March 8, 2019 3:34 PM

As a classical music composer, I wanted to combine my passion for names with my lifelong passion for music.  I did so in an orchestra piece that I recently composed titled, “What’s In A Name?”.

This is my name style.