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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.

January 2, 2014 10:54 AM

Fascinating! I love this kind of analysis! I wish you'd do more years from other decades.

December 5, 2013 11:32 AM

The idea of having a stage persona and an individual ('real') persona with different names for each is one I like. I do think it could help keep a performer, maybe especially a young one, more grounded. (And with a 12-year-old in the house, we love Lorde!)

December 4, 2013 12:38 PM

I was originally skeptical of the nomination of Francis. However, after reading the compelling arguments in favor of it and particularly those that address how it fits the criteria, I'm casting another vote for it.

October 26, 2013 05:49 AM

Congratulations, Chimu, and a very warm welcome to Soren Augustus! I admire you for taking your time to really consider your favorites once he'd arrived. I know I could never have been so patient. Soren is a fantastic match with Astrid - a strong, uncommon name. Enjoy your wee one and best wishes to your Astrid now that she's a big sister! 

(On an only somewhat related note, we went apple picking last weekend and there was another Astrid there. She was probably 3 or 4. That's only the second time we've met another kid with the name in 12 years.)

October 15, 2013 10:53 AM
In Response to Welcoming Th0masina!


Lucubratrix, Th0masina is a great name and I love that your family is already test driving lots of the available nicknames. It's fun to have a name that lends itself to that, especially because it lets everyone have a special connection to the new baby.

Chimu, I can't wait to hear what name you choose.

Enjoy your new wee ones, ladies! 

October 3, 2013 01:02 PM

My Astrid's birthday is October 5, so I can recommend that one!

October 1, 2013 11:10 AM

Oh, I'm thrilled beyond belief that you've got Laszlo on your maybe list! You just made my day, even if you don't use it. :)

From your current front-runners, I also like Caspian and Soren. I feel like Laszlo, Caspian, and Soren all match Astrid in spirit and intensity. Having an Astrid myself, it was a hypothetical question I pondered - how to find a name that complements Astrid and shares a similar strength. Finally, I like the subtle repetition of the /as/ sound in Astrid, Caspian, and Laszlo.

 Best wishes for a speedy, easy delivery. Can't wait for your announcement!