About Me

No info yet

My Favorite Names
My Recent Blog Comments
November 24, 2015 10:40 AM

Hmmm, Caitlyn or Charlie ... the name is central in many ways to both stories. However, a stronger case can be made for Caitlyn, especially if the focus is on personal names (Laura's comment ^^). Here is a situation where an individual actively chose not just a new name, but a new identity partly embodied by the name, for herself. 

September 8, 2015 11:47 AM

Laura, the cat's name is Juan. :)

September 4, 2015 11:54 AM

I absolutely agree about the typical-adult name, Laura, but I had to share that I have a friend whose dog's name IS Kenneth! :)

August 13, 2015 12:38 PM

My daughter just traversed the rocky shoals of middle school successfully with the name Astrid. Was there some teasing? Sure, but teasing is part of middle school and if it isn't someone's name, there are loads of other triggers. She generally owns the more scatological elements along the teasing spectrum, even incorporating one into an Instagram handle.

Plus, this is her name for a lifetime, so much more of which is spent as an adult, where you'd hope people could move beyond name-based teasing. 

We think it's a fantastic name and, so far, so does she. 

August 13, 2015 12:29 PM

@Beth01 - I also like Myrtle so you're not alone!

As for name crushes, I love Abraham (my husband vetoed this as sounding like an elderly Jewish man), Laszlo and Pablo (not ethnic matches for us; I'd feel weird using them), and Solveig and Tadhg (pronunciation problems). Mary is also a fave, but it's my mil's first name and although she goes by a double-barreled first, I still couldn't use it (we used only deceased relatives' names).  

June 3, 2015 01:15 PM

Laura, this is a very thoughtful, gracious exploration of the choice of Caitlyn. I appreciate particularly seeing something in the name blogosphere that didn't skewer her decision to select a name that doesn't match those from her birth generation. As you rightly point out, this isn't the same as a parent naming a new baby in 1949. It's an adult selecting a name for herself that reflects who she truly is. I'd guess many of us, given the chance to rename ourselves, wouldn't select another name popular in the year of our birth.

June 1, 2015 11:32 AM

Congratulations, Madison and Caitlin! I'm amazed at people who can do this. I love names, but I can't track the trends to the names. 

Interesting that Madison lists Beth as a favorite. My daughter (13) also likes Beth. :)

January 9, 2015 10:53 AM

Love that you hit on Jacion even as you weren't trying to get there! That's the beauty of the name analysis you do. 


@PJ, I've known two Theas as well. One said THEE-ah, the other TEE-ah. 

December 16, 2014 11:32 AM

Lturtle, I thought the same thing! 

I agree with you, Miriam, the guest authors aren't always up to Laura's standards. It's too bad. 

December 12, 2014 11:43 AM

Yay! This was my second choice. I think it's a great NOTY, Laura!

November 19, 2014 08:44 AM

In light of the listed criteria

- A dramatic change in the name's usage or social meaning

- A reflection of a broader cultural theme, or influence on broader style trends

- The "naminess" of a story or issue. How essential is the name to the story?

I cast my vote for ISIS. I agree with others who voiced a hesitation (or even unwillingness) to vote for this name. However, with the exception of perhaps the second point, it nails the criteria. It certainly represents a dramatic change in the usage or social meaning and the name is absolutely essential to the story, including the variety of names used.

I also like the suggestion of Adele Dazeem as that says a lot about our understanding of names (certainly it was a dramatic change in a name's social meaning and the name was the entire story). Apparently immediately following Travolta's mistake, the Playbills for If/Then were changed to say "the role of Elizabeth being played by Adele Dazeem." :)

I understand the popularity of Frozen and Elsa, but I don't see a dramatic change in usage or social meaning (popularity may go up, but that will be next year and beyond). It hits the second point, but I think the name does that on its own without the movie and while I agree Elsa is on-trend in a way Gerda is not, they could have chosen a number of names that would have worked in the context of the story.

Wyatt and Messiah are interesting choices, but the discussion around the use of those names doesn't feel particularly 2014 to me. Rather, it's a discussion that we circle back to periodically. 

As for Ferguson, I don't think the name itself had any bearing on the story. It would have been a story regardless of the town's name. I give Rosetta, Philae, Putin, Crimea, and Sochi the same assessment.

October 23, 2014 11:30 AM

As with the girls' list, I like a lot of these! Albert, Arthur, Frederick, Archie, Jamie, Felix, Hugo, and Stanley are all great!

October 16, 2014 08:34 AM

I like so many of these - Beatrice, Edith, Florence, Harriet, Imogen, Lois, Betsy, and Freya. Clearly I live in the wrong part of the world!


Congratulations, Laura! Here's to at least 10 more years!

September 19, 2014 11:50 AM

I like Wilfred too!

We opted for the mn route, not because the name wasn't one we liked, but because we wanted the fn to be unique to our daughter while the mn connected her to her family. My husband and I both have family mns so we continued that tradition.

My father, brother, and nephew all share initials, which I think is nice. 

August 11, 2014 11:15 AM

What great news! Congratulations! I'm excited to see what the future holds for BNW.

March 16, 2014 06:29 AM

I briefly considered Matilda for a girl, but I was put off by all the other Maddies running around. A Matilda would disappear in the sea of Madeleines, Madisons, and other Mad- names. 

February 12, 2014 08:45 AM
In Response to Creativity or Mistake?

I have a nephew Calob. That's a respelling I've never seen on anyone else, but given the lists above for Christopher and Stephanie, I suspect he's not as alone as I might have thought!

January 21, 2014 10:57 AM

I'm absolutely biased, but Amy (just Amy, spelled like this) is an awesome name. It will suit your daughter as a youngster and as an adult. It's rarely misheard and mostly correctly spelled. Plus, she won't be one of many Amys as I was (born in the late 60s), which is a bonus.