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August 13, 2018 11:41 PM
In Response to Haneke?

I'm going to disagree. I think a Hanneke will constantly get confused with Hannukkah and that will be awkward, especially if you are not Jewish.  To me it sounds like "let's name our kid Krismis and it will be totally different than Christmas except it's not." Have you thought about the Finnish name Hanele?  Very similar - the e at the end is NOT silent so it's pronounced like HA-nel-la.  Very pretty.  Or stick with Anika!

August 13, 2018 10:23 PM
In Response to Ambrose?

I absolutely love Ambrose - I think it's an elegant, classy antique name that works very well.  And "granny chic" is all the name rage - your son will be playing with kids named things like Walter and Mabel, I promise. I don't think you need to worry about it being too old-fashioned or not fitting in.  I think the real question is: do YOU like it?  You said your wife loves this name and your post was kinda... critical.  Is the real criticism "too old-fashioned" or that you are just not crazy about it?  Those are two very different questions.  The first is NOT a deal-breaker, the second is.


August 1, 2018 11:19 PM
In Response to Athena?

I know an Athena and yes, totally majestic, regal, striking name.  Go for it.



July 30, 2018 03:46 AM
In Response to Middle Name

I agree with the "why not Rosalie" sentiment.  It would be helpful if you explained why you are looking for a spin-off.

All the other posters have gone with names that begin with Ros, but there are other possible spinoffs from Rosalie, like Sally, Rory, Lee. Lyra?  Rosary is another that I don't think has been posted yet, and you might like it especially if you are Catholic.  My favorite "secret rose" name is Ambrosia. And if you want to go beyond European names, Rosilawati is a beautiful Indonesian one.



July 23, 2018 11:13 PM
In Response to Thoughts on these

I so love Marcel!  One of my absolute favorite boy names.

July 23, 2018 07:53 AM
In Response to Victoria or ..?

While auto-nicknames (a la James = Jim) are largely a thing of the past, long names with 4 or more syllables like Angelina and Victoria will almost inevitably get shortened, at least in some settings.  If you have a toss-up between the two, I would think through which set of potential nicknames you prefer.  If you are set on only long-form Victoria or Angelina, I would go with Victoria because the usual pronounciation is really only 3 syllables (=Victorya) and therefore more likely to remain intact.

If you're looking for my vote, I much prefer Angelina.


July 23, 2018 02:05 AM
In Response to Which middle name?

The good news is: there is no bad choice!  You're right, there are pros and cons to each.  I personally love Kate but not Katherine, but that's just a personal preference.  And I am grooving with the subtle pattern with your first two girls' names, i.e., two-syllable first name and one-syllable middle.  That's a nice pattern without being silly-matchy.  For the record, I wanted to middle name my daughter after my grandmother Catherine but just wasn't a fan of the name itself, so went with a variant that I love.  I think this was totally a good win-win on all counts.  Especially if you're called Kate, that does totally count!  There are also a lot of variants of Katherine that you could consider as alternatives as well.

Since middle names are rarely used in everyday practice, I wouldn't worry too much about first-middle name flow, especially in the absense of your last name.  If you have a long last name like Papadopolous, I would say go for Kate.  If you have a short last name like Park, Katherine would flow better.

Finally: NO IT IS NOT NARCISSITIC to middle-name her after you!  Especially when men's family names - certainly their surnames - dominate so much.  I may be being silly but somehow this strikes me as in the same ballpark as "why women don't ask for raises as often as men." Especially if your daughter bears her father's surname, you can say "we wanted my name in there too."  One of my closest friends did that: she and her husband both had long surnames that did NOT hypheanate together sensibly, so the kids have his surname but it was important to her to 'stamp' their names with something from her/her family somehow.  And yes, her first name is her daughter's middle! (Son's first name is masculine version of her mom's name, and her surname is his middle.)



July 20, 2018 03:27 AM

Here is another perspective on place names.  I am American who lives in Asia.  I have an American friend here named France.  This is a point of mass confusion: why is she named a country, she must be French (which she is not), why isn't she French, why does someone who isn't French named France, why isn't her name America, etc etc.  Honestly, place-names do not always travel well and can be immensely confusing to others if you move to a country where being named after a place is totally weird and unheard of. All this is exacerbated if there is perceived disconnect between the person and the place they are named after. 

I also agree with the Slavic/Russian-name solution.  One quick red flag: in much of the world Natasha has become slang for women trafficked from Eastern Europe/former Soviet Union (or white 'working girls' in general), and as such is becoming very uncomfortable to have. I would avoid that particular name.

 Have you thought about Neva? It's a river in Russia.  Something like that could work very nicely.








Yes, this is a bit tricky.  Is it possible to encourage her middle name or a nickname derived from her first?  Posey, Elsie, Lili, Reese can all spin off from Presley without being too dramatic a change.  And she might well just outgrow this fixation.... I know that in elementary school I desperately wanted to change my name to Karen or Connie for some reason (this is hilarious because as an adult I am not a fan of either name.)  At one point I went to a one-week summer camp where I declared myself Connie.  By the end of the week, I was totally done with that name! 

You may also try to figure out what she doesn't like about Presley.  Is it Elvis?  Is it a 'boy name'? And work with her on the specific objection, if she has one.

One of the kids I grew up with actually did successfully change his own name in elementary school.  His name was Guy and he didn't like that his name was a casual word.  He adopted his middle name in the 3rd grade or so.  He's in his 40s now and still going by his middle name. 

You know, both her first and middle names include the "li" sound.  Lili could really work here.

July 19, 2018 11:58 PM

How fascinating to have yet another set of mega-multiple girls on the way!

July 16, 2018 03:44 AM

If Eliza is out, how about just Liza?  That's beautiful, and you get your Liza Mae without over-matching your cousin's child Elizabeth Mae.  I think that's a real winner myself.  Kids don't have to have nicknames at all; I never did.  But if you really wanted to go that route, Zaza, Zaz, or somesuch would be great fun from Liza.

Sylvia strikes me as something you might like as well.



July 16, 2018 03:30 AM
In Response to Sasha for a girl

Well done!  I love Sasha!  It's a beautiful name, and in North America is almost exclusively a girl's name.  It is unusual there, but familiar (most famously, one of Barack & Michelle Obama's daughters). Congratulations on your baby.


July 16, 2018 02:44 AM

Another vote for Alistair!

In terms of old man names - can I also interest you in Clarence, Ambrose, Jasper, Emmett, or Richard?

July 13, 2018 11:37 AM

I think that spelling it Kaden or somesuch may help distinguish it a bit.

I have a close friends whose two children have very matchy-matchy names, and honestly it's not that big a deal.  In her case, she is Israeli, her husband is Cambodian, and they speak English together.  So they needed names that work in three totally unrelated languages, and their pool of choices was, well, very very small.  Yeah it's not ideal to have very close names but honestly nobody really notices or cares.



July 6, 2018 01:46 AM
In Response to Help with Boys Name

I think it would be helpful to know what are the stumbling blocks, because sometimes it's a question of figuring out HOW to find a name that you both agree on, rather than listing names themselves.  For example:

-- If you have different STYLES of names, then we could help you brainstorm some crossovers.  For example, if husband likes contemporary trendy names and wife hates them, preferring antique classics.  But knowing what the broad categories are can help us find some boundary-crossers.  One example from this board from a few months back was husband insisted on ONLY standard Catholic saint names whereas wife liked names that were glamorous and funky and unusual.  Another dilemma in my personal life: my friend was insistent on nature names (very strong preference for flowers/plants) whereas husband was insistent on 'normal' names.  Finding a 'normal' flower name not difficutl for a daughter, but posed dilemmas for baby #2 - a son.  (ultimate compromise was they gave their boy the masculine version of her mom's name.  NOT a flower, but soemthing that was very much HER).  I know the clashing-criteria thing can be tricky.  I have an ex who loved J names.  I have a strong Irish identity and only want Irish names.  Problem: no J sound in Irish.  We never had kids together, but this would have been tricky to work around.

-- One parent vetoes all the other parent's ideas without offerring a lot of alternatives of their own.  In this case soem sort of game or activity might do the trick. 

Example #1: each of you make a list of 10 names and then swap.  Assuming that none are in common, each of you delete five (and only five) names from the other's list.  Then add five more to your own.  Either keep going until you somehow find one on both your lists, OR after X number of rounds, you start going "hey Everett's survived my list for like 10 rounds so she must like it too."

Example #2: This one is good for a scenario where one partner is totally indecisive and the other has a laundry list of names they like.  Write down names on separate index cards.  Show TWO and only two cards at a time.  They can keep one (say Max) and reject the other (Robert).  Robert is discarded.  Now it's Max versus next card (Leon).  This time Leon wins!  Now it's Leon versus next card, etc etc.  By the time you reach the end of the cards you should have a winner.

Example #3: One partner is totally fixated on a name ("I have always wanted a son named Henry") and other partner happens to completely hate that name.  AGain, knowing the underlying WHY issues behind the name may be helpful in finding alternatives.


Finally, it may be helpful to simply make peace with the fact that naming the child will involve compromise, with one person happier than the other.  You might not both love the same name equally, or get exactly what you want.  And it's not the end of the world.




July 6, 2018 12:17 AM
In Response to Too uncommon or ok?

For the record, I absolutely love the name Lydia.

Taisiya is lovely, although a 4-syllable name (ANY 4-syllable name) is likely to be shortened or nicknamed somehow.  How do you feel about contracted pronounciations of the name... like ties-ya or tie-sha?

Just to follow the above poster... I gave my daughter an antique Gaelic name which is unfamiliar outside of Ireland and has a tricky spelling.  Yeah, NOBODY pronounces it correctly the first time if read off a page, but it's not a big deal to correct them as it's actually easy to pronounce.  Nobody ever spells it correctly either; my girl actually has an easily-spelled nickname that is (so far) mostly used in writing which lets everyone off the hook!  But if it would annoy you to have to regularly correct others' pronounciation or spelling, avoid.  And make sure that you like the nicknames in case SHE wants an'easy' name in the futuer.

July 5, 2018 03:21 AM
In Response to New long name!

I know several people with 'nicknames' as the full given name (for example an Allie, an Edie, and a Ben who do NOT have longer names) and it's not that big a deal and becoming more normal as far as I can tell.  I also know a very few people who have changed their first names and it is a legal and logistical hassle, honestly.  When you apply to college you'll have to jump through all these hoops to prove that your school grades for "Annie Smith" (or whatever your surname is) is actually the same person as Andromeda Smith and so forth. To that end, I would like to pose a few questions for you:

1. If it is even more "annoying" to jump through all these name-change hoops and hassles than to simply say "my name is just Annie", do you still wnat to change your name?

2. Why not INFORMALLY adopt a long-name withOUT legally changing it?  In other words, legally leave your first name Annie, but if someone asks you can just say Andromeda (or whatever).  This is zero hassle!

3. If you continue to go by Annie, then why bother?  Is it that you don't like the name Annie?  That's an entirely different question than it's annoying to occasionally be asked "what's your full name" and answer "It's Annie."




Martin is another great name that works in every single one of those languages!  And goes together very nicely with Daniel.  Y

June 21, 2018 09:57 AM

I like Jane and thinks it works very well on a little girl!  Remember that granny-chic names have come back.  There are also fun nicknames like Janey and Calamity Jane.  I am personally a big fane of Mary-Jane, but it sounds like you're avoiding Ms and that hardly gets away from your 'too old' concern.  Also Jane / Eleven on Stranger Things is seriously the most bad*ss character on television since Omar in The Wired.  We are talking ultimate girl-power here.

Speaking of Jane / Eleven...for an updated variant of Jane, how about Janelle?  It sounds both traditional and fresh to me, and while the -elle names are trendy this is an unusual one. 

If Daphne and Luna are fun but too-out-there - do you like Dinah?  There's a fun old-fashioned name that is way overdue for a comeback.  And the Wonder Woman movie has totally reclaimed Diana from the British royals, especially in the kid crowd.Then there is Dahlia....


June 21, 2018 09:12 AM

I can't help but be curious as to the backstory for this particular criteria!