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June 21, 2017 10:54 PM
In Response to FIrst Name For Lórien

I agree you don't need to put Belle in the middle name spot, her nickname can be Luna Belle regardless!  I know someone with a similar thing re: "Bee".  (In retrospect, she does wish her daughter's middle name started with B, but it was an unplanned though obvious nickname, i.e., Queen Bee for a girl named Queenie.)

You can also do a mashup!  Bellórien, or Lóribell, somesuch.  CAn also do two middle names.



June 20, 2017 09:53 PM

I once had a kitten named Snacky.  Sadly, Snacky disappeared when he was only about 6 months old.  :(

My cousin has goldfish named Sushi and Sashimi.



June 20, 2017 09:49 PM

It sounds like you have a long-standing favorite name: Thomas, and are now second-guessing yourself and over-thinking it.  I also don't think that it matters much how sibs' names 'go together' -- seriously, nobody will ever think about it!  And Thomas fits in fine with the 1920s, and particularly Tommy at least to me.  Rex is more distinctive, but that's not necessarily better.  I know lots of Thomas etc, the only Rex I know is a dog so that's my association.

I would suggest stepping back from the name in terms of sibset and style, and go back to the most important question: which name speaks more to your heart?

June 20, 2017 08:57 PM
In Response to Third Boy?

You said you liked and rejected Finn because too trendy..... I'm not a fan of Finn because I think it sounds like a fish part!  But Flynn totally would have been on my boy name list if it hadn't sounded ridiculous with my last name. There is also Flint and Finley.  Seriously, Clark, George, and Flynn/Flint are a handsome trio.

June 20, 2017 09:12 AM
In Response to Rate my List <3

I fully agree that honoring you mum is the way to go.  If you want to jazz it up a bit... what about Paola?  Italian variant of Paula.  There is also Paolo.  Soooooo dreamy! 

I am also a huge fan of Polly, such a delightful name.


June 19, 2017 03:58 AM
In Response to Rate my List <3

I think this is a fine list of names; some I love (Marcel), some I happen to dislike (Pauline), but there's no real red flags.  Honestly, I think it might be better to hear more about what you and your partner do and do not like about these names, so that we can help you with your personal decision-making process.

June 18, 2017 08:57 PM

Gravy would be an awesome dog name.

June 15, 2017 10:50 PM

FWIW, I think both Marlow and Emrys are totally boy names!  Association with Marlow is Philip Marlowe, Private Eye, and I know Emrys through the Arthurian legends.  Given rising popularity of Emmett, I don't think the "em" makes it girly.  Speaking of Emmett.... do you like that name?  While not a Celtic name per se (right?), Robert Emmet is a major figure in Irish history.

On the boy-names-used-on-girls-sometimes.... Mallory?  I love it, and it is both French and male albeit appropriated by the teenage girl on Family Ties.  But, only 40-somethings like myself are likely to remember her. 

Other French names that come to mind for you are Emil, Maurice, and Yann, all are distinctly French and male, but work in English.  You could also go along with the French spelling of a name that is familiar in English like Jeremie or Frederic - up to you to use accents or not.  Then there are names like Paul, Charles, Marc which are identical in both.

Please, NOT Angus.  I'm from Ohio, and that's a breed of cow.





I agree with the above poster.  Find the name YOU love, that speaks to your heart, for whatever reason.  This is not a branding excercise, and it's not about what other people like in a name. (And for the record, I think Lucinda is lovely, but dislike the potential nickname Cindy.)

June 15, 2017 08:25 AM

This name has been discussed at length on the Forum becaues there's a Laura who doesn't like her name and regularly asks about Laure as a substitute.  I think it's a fine name, and as I've posted several time before, I know two American women named Laure who have no trouble with their names (although one goes by Laurie). Both have one French and one American parent.  They both like their names, and particularly having a strong, distinctively French name that doesn't sound too fluffy in English which many French names do (a la Babette).  Yes, there will be the occasional assumption that the name is "really" Laurel or Laura, but so what?  Not a big deal and easily corrected.



June 15, 2017 03:25 AM

Oh, charming.  A dog named Pizza is freaking fantastic.  I admit to having a bunch of imaginary pets that I will get someday.... but meanwhile my cat is perfectly named Grendel, after the monster in Beowulf.  This is hilarious because my cat is the most un-scary creature who has ever walked the planet. A lot of my imaginary cats also have literary allusions, like Mr. Darcy, Hanuman, Inigo Montoya.... but my imaginary dogs are Darwin and Gigi.

Theolonius Theodore is a great dog name but obviously needs a call-name.  And that is clearly Ted. Awesome.   It does seem the funniest dog names I bump into are the amusingly ordinary names like Dave and Brian.  Other awesome dog names I've bumped into are Rug, Moose, and Bear.  Dread Pirate Westley would also be a great dog, perhaps paired with a Buttercup.

June 15, 2017 02:46 AM

I agree that Bartlett works great as a first name.  One point on the surnames-as-firstnames front: does your surname sound at all like a first name?  One friend of mine who named her son Bennett has a last name that is more commonly a first name (think James, although it's not) and the boy's name is CONSTANTLY being switched around to James Bennett rather than Bennett James.  I don't think this is a deal-breaker, but it is a heads up.

Oh UGH on the no-fly list thing.  My father's cousin Bernie landed on the no-fly list, but of course nobody told him until he tried to visit his sister for Thanksgiving one year.  Turns out a convicted IRA terrorist who had blown something up in Belfast once upon a time had done his 25 years and gotten out of prison.  And guess what, it is pretty much impossible to point out that you are not THAT Bernard, you're some other entirely harmless guy named Bernie.  To make a very long story short, Bernie has to use B. Middlename Lastname on his driver's license, credit cards, checkbooks, all official IDs just so that he can book flights occasionally.

May 25, 2017 10:38 PM
In Response to Unique Flower Name

Other unique flower names might include: Zinnia, Azalea, Acacia, Marigold, Magnolia, Tiger Lily, Lotus, Daisy, Clover, Sage, Fern, Ivy (okay, last feware not flower, but botanical), Orchid, Dahlia, Rosette, Carnation (I love the nickname Carney), Flora, Holly....




From user cm2530. And if any of you have problems with the spam filter, or just want to contact the moderators for some reason, please email us at

I like the idea of making it into a game, especially if your partner is a jokester.

If you BOTH like generating names, I would say each one gets to make a Top-10 list, then compare and see if there is any overlap.  If not, each of you gets to axe 5 names from the other's list.  They are then free to add 5 more names.  Keep doing this for X number of rounds - either until you have one or more names that are on both your lists, or at least you have a shortlist of names that you do both like (or at least not vetoed).

Pairwise-ranking is also handy for joint decision-making (like in project selection workshops at the office!).  It is especially handy if there's someone who tends to say "no" a lot, but not suggest viable alternatives.  In this case, one person writes down a bunch of names on separate index cards.  You hold up only two at a time - let's say Bianca and Camille.  Other person vetoes one (Bianca).  Okay now it's Camille vs. next card (Susannah).  Camille wins again!  Now Camille vs. Eliza.  Oooh, Eliza wins... up against next card Edith!  ETc.  See which name wins once you go through the whole back!  It's often MUCH easier to decide between two names only than, say, the entire baby name wizard book.  This works wonders if you are dealing with someone who tends to be negative or indecisive.  And if you aren't, well, it's still works and is fun.

May 25, 2017 10:35 AM

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My daughter has the same name as your contenders for your first girl, so obviously I think you should go back to your original list and pick it.  ;)  And if not, I absolutely love love love Elowen.  It is absolutely gorgeous.

I think I figured out your first girl's name, and thinking through options based on your taste... Zelda and Azalea are too close to girl #1's name, but what about Aurora?  Very pretty, and it means "dawn" so is kinda nature-y, and there's that fun A&Z combo for your daughters' first initials.  Other names that you might like are Irina, Iris, Charmaine, Minerva, Aubrey, Moira, Alexis, Rosette, and Ambrosia.  Seriously on that last point -- if you want something that's more dramatic than Elowen, that one certainly fits the bill, and nicely complements a flower name. There are also some nice throwback names that have not yet returned to style, but have sounds you seem to like: Eileen, Irene, etc.

All that said -- I don't think anyone has ever in a million years reflected on whetehr my name "pairs well" with my brother's.  Seriously, my parents just liked them.  I would not worry in the slightest that your daughters' names somehow fit stylistically.  Go with the name you love, and it sounds like that's Elowen.

May 25, 2017 10:33 AM

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I much prefer Sophie to Sofie, although Sofia works for me just great.  To me, Sophie is French, Sofia is Eastern European but Sofie is a mutt.  On the middle name front, I think the vowel ending on Sophie/Sofia doesn't flow so well into Iris.  On your other choice, I'm a strong partisan for Catherine because that's my grandmother.  But she's not YOUR grandmother, so it's really up to you.

Honestly, I would really advocate for keeping your given name Laura as a middle name.  It may potentially be much easier when you run into legal/identity snafus re: having a different name than before, and believe me there will be nightmares dealing with computers etc which you can gloss over with "oh you have my middle name in your system,  my full name is Sophie Laura X."  Since you don't have a middle name now, this will always work.  I also think it is also respectful to your parents who undoubtedly put a great deal of love in selecting for you the most beautiful name they could think of.  It's unfortunate that you don't like it, so you are changing it - but I think it would also help smooth over any ruffled feathers on the matter.  Nobody will use your middle name and sticking with Laura in that slot will make the transition easier on many levels including for others.

Honestly, I love the name Laura and much prefer it to any of the Sophie(+ mashups) that you have been proposing for the past couple of years.  I know this isn't what you are asking for, but you ARE asking for opinions on what we like.  And I just happen to love Laura.

May 19, 2017 12:51 AM

I love love love Maeve.  Eve also lovely.

If you want familiar-but-not-common, get the list of top 1,000 baby names for your country, and go through the list of those between whatever arbitrary cut-off thresholds you choose.  For example "ranks between 200 and 500" or whatever, and see which names in that range you (and your partner, if you have one) like.



May 17, 2017 12:45 AM
In Response to Juniper vs. Iris

I love Iris and don't think it has an old lady vibe.  And I'm smiling a bit at the Hispanic comment - all the women named Iris I know are Dutch or Scandinavian!  (albeit pronounced ee-ris)

Iris Juniper is a fantastic name.  Otherwise, I'm all about honoring a person or place with middle name slot. Nobody uses it, but it's a way to infuse a name with special meaning.



May 17, 2017 12:36 AM


Best of luck to you!  I struggled to have a baby too. 

You mentioned that your family is male-heavy so you're having trouble on the girl name front in terms of honoring someone.  The thing is, there are so many names that have female/male variants!  Have you thought about re-visiting your honorees and looking for women's names?  Also keep your ears open for surprises, like female variants that are not so common in English-speaking countries.  Petra, for example, is popular in much of Europe but not so much in USA.  It's a variant of Peter.  Another one that springs to mind is my friend's Albanian wife Rajmonda - the J is pronounced like Y, so this is really Raymonda.  She goes by the nickname Monda which is lovely.

All that said, I'm finding your list really tricky because, well, I don't really know much about or pay attention to meanings of names.  So here are a few stabs in the dark.

Horn (not the best meaning - but an amazing person!)- Ivory.  Diana, goddess of the hunt?

Soft, Tender - Mercy
Dove, Peace - Birdie, Robin, Wren.  Lots of bird names out there.
Bright, Famous - Stella (star)

Power - Regina means queenly. 

Noble, Kind - Regina again

Lily, Rose - those are names already!

Gracious - Grace


Back to my first idea: what are the male names in the running for honoree-ship?

May 11, 2017 03:01 AM
In Response to Alexa?

Alexa is a lovely name.

I have never heard of the device, which in any case will almost certainly disappear from the collective unconscious by the time she's in gradeschool.