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My Favorite Names
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August 24, 2016 12:55 PM

Today at the playground: Lennox, Sawyer and Devlin. I think Lennox might be male, albeit with pink nail polish and shoes.  The others I didnt see. (Gotta say I think Devlin is pretty awful.)

August 23, 2016 10:57 AM
In Response to Need feedback please

I'm unfamiliar with the naim Odell and not certain how to pronounce it. (Edited to add: As a testiment to my level of sleep deprivation, I'd like to point out that I misspelled the word "name"!!!)

It strikes me that Mina could be seen as an honor name for Guglielmina (which I'm also unfamiliar with and unsure how to pronounce). Alternately, you could honor your husband's mother by choosing two names that also start with G and A. Geneva Allegra

Genvieve Anya

Gabreille Aria

Giselle Annette?

August 12, 2016 09:12 AM

It would be nice to see some female scientists' names on this list. I mean, female babies can be given these names, of course, as you mention in several of these cases. But I'd rather see boys and girls both being named after a more diverse set of scientists. 

August 12, 2016 08:43 AM
In Response to Help me please!!!

Oh Lattie! Post partum depression is so common, and so difficult. Those of us who frequent naming sites have often seen naming regret and depression go hand-in-hand.

If you don't mind a bit of friendly advice, I'd say that your absolute top priority is to take care of yourself. Don't even worry one bit about her name. Get to a therapist and/or psychiatrist who can help you feel better. The reason you don't have to worry about her name is that you have a bunch of great options (like leaving it Lanayah and calling her Lane or Nayah) and once you're feeling better about the world, yourself, everything, it will be much easier to look dispassionately at the pros and cons of changing her name. My guess is that when you're feeling less overwhelmed, you'll realize that you chose an absolutely lovely name that is fabulous and ideal for a beautiful little girl of any ethnicity.

Big hugs from someone who completely understands what you're going through!

August 12, 2016 08:39 AM
In Response to Help me please!!!

Miriam, it's funny you should say that, because my daughter's name is... well, let's just say it starts with an M, ends in an M, and is one with which you're intimately familiar. (I don't know why I'm so hesitant to publicize her name on here. I guess partially for the sake of anonymity, and also, if I'm honest with myself, because I worry that your prominence on this naming site is going to increase its popularity among prospective namers, and I don't want to contribute to that, even though I chose it in part because its popularity has been steady and relativley high but not too high for quite a while.)

August 11, 2016 10:52 AM
In Response to Help me please!!!

Interestingly, Karyn, I was considering Cordelia for DD. I was musing about it with a friend of mine, and she said that it soudned like an Af. Am. name! (I think she meant this as an argument against the name because we aren't Af. Am., and not because she's racist. At least I hope so!). That's just a sample of 1, though, and she's no doubt an outlier.

I don't want to derail LaToya's whole thread, but I find the Jewish connotations of given names interesting given that, as your case illustrates, a lot of Jewish kids are given Hebrew names for religious contexts and non-Biblical names for other social contexts. Given this, and the fact that Old Testament names are all the rage among the American cowboy and romantic wanna-bes, why do people, including religious Jews, often assume that my little Old Testament firsname girlie comes from a super religious family? 


August 11, 2016 09:22 AM
In Response to Help me please!!!

I completely agree with Lucubratix! Very well put. 

I wish we lived in a world where our amazing daughters (and sons) wouldn't encounter racism, classism, etc.. 

I also understand the conflicting impulses of wanting to just say "eff them" about anyone who would judge our kids by their ethnic-sounding names (and/or by their actual ethnicities) and at the same time wanting to choose a name that gives our kids the best possible chance in the imperfect world we live in. We want a name that is versatile enough to get our children in the door past any conscious or (more likely) unconscious racism, so that when they show up at an interview as an obviously or ambivously ethnic-looking person, the interviewer will be confronted with the strength of their qualifications.

Did that make any sense? Maybe I should have just left it at: Lucubratix said it well.

I'm just sort of commissertating because I chose a somewhat lesser-used Old Testament girl's name, which I figured in contemporary American naming culture would be pretty neutral in terms of association, and have been surprised to find that several people have thought it was indiciative of my daughter's ethnicity and/or of our religiousity, and that a few people have had what I would describe as crypto anti-Semitic reactions to it. (eff them! eff racism, eff anti-Semitism, eff misogyny while we're at it!)

August 10, 2016 11:52 AM
In Response to Help me please!!!

When wracking my brain to try to sort out what ethnicity OP was referring to, the LaToya, LaShondra etc. names occurred to me. Is this what Lanayah is connoting for people, OP? Are you sure? And are you sure that's a problem? I think the name is much more versatile than you seem to think, but maybe you're getting reactions from people that we wouldn't anticipate. 

August 10, 2016 09:22 AM
In Response to Help me please!!!

If you don't like the sound of Lana, I think Naya is a wonderful suggestion. It's extremely versatile and fits in with the kinds of sounds that are popular now. In various contexts, it can sound ethnic, but it can also transcend any particular ethnicity (Naya means "new" in Hindi and other Indian languages, but I don't think it's a name in South Asia. Could be wrong). 

I second the idea of perhaps keeping Lanayah on her birth certificate but having her go by Naya. Her name when she has a job, publishes books, becomes a judge, etc. (I have high expectations for this little girl, naturally), could be L. Naya Lastname. 

If you wanted to change her birth certificate so that Naya is her middle name and her first name is an L name that is less (potentially) ethnic sounding than Lanayah, I have a few suggestions:

Laeticia (love this name) or Letice


Lee or Leah 

Linnea (Which sounds a lot like Lanayah, and also has ethnic connotations, although different ones).

August 9, 2016 12:41 PM

In my corner of NYC, I'm encountering a lot of boys with unisex names that generally seem a bit feminine: lots of little Robins, Rivers, Rowans, Sages, Sequoias, and, only one but it was striking, a male Ever. I know this isn't the same as boys named Sue, but I thought you might find it heartening, as do I.

August 9, 2016 08:22 AM

I wanted to follow up on how great I think the one resident's ""Why don't you tell me who is here with you today?" is. When I went in for my C-section with my husband and doula (who was nearly useless since I had to have a scheduled C-section due to my daughter being breach), one of the doctors said, "So this is your mom, yes?" The doula is max 8 years older than me, probably more like 5. It was so awkward. The last thing you want is your doula, who is supposed to be a well of deep strength in a difficult time, feeling insecure and ticked off!

August 8, 2016 11:25 AM
In Response to Welsh name video

This was great. I feel some kind of perverse schadenfreude knowing that Americans "mispronounce" (if we take her Welsh pronunciation to be the correct pronunciation) Welsh names that have become popular internationally like Dylan and Megan. I guess I'm a bit of an arse, as she would say.

I think my favorite of the names she mentioned is Gwawr. 

August 8, 2016 11:10 AM

I really like this style too! I'm wondering if you mind the repeathed sounds in Ardith and Dorothy. I find the combination less melifluous than some of your other options. Although, perhaps melifluous isn't what you're going for. Might I suggest Matilda, Gertrude, Gretchen, Hilda?


August 2, 2016 08:21 AM

This thread - Laney's post (so detailed, so enthusiastic, so sincere) and Miriam's response (so deadpan, so educational) - may be my favorite ever.

July 28, 2016 08:37 AM
In Response to Introducing the Twins

That's a great set of names! Glad you didn't go for Walter Benjamin unless you wanted to honor the Frankfurt School philosopher (who would be pretty cool namesake if that's what you intended). 

July 26, 2016 12:20 PM

Kind of cool to hear your voice! Your Dahlia is so very different from mine. My first syllable rhymes with all, whereas yours sound more like Dallas, for sure. So interesting. 

July 26, 2016 11:34 AM

Yeah, I like it in lowercase, and am touched by the idea of "meeting" him/her--actually really glad there's some gender ambiguity in this case. 


I hear you on the last vs. most recent. I'm always ticked off by popular scientific things like PBS documentaries that are looking for "the ancestors of the Native Americans" in Siberia or some such. Not quite... they might be descendants of a common ancestor, but that doesn't make them prehistoric proto-Native Americans! My personal pet peeve, somewhat related to yours.

July 25, 2016 12:35 PM

I agree that, in my expereince, the only pronunciation uncertainty with this name is whether it's three syllables Dahl (as in author Roald Dahl, or, yes, dolls one plays with) -- ee-uh, or two syllables Doll-Ya.

By the way, this name is an English noun, as it is the name of a flower. Therefore, it is listed in English dictionaries with pronunciation guides. This cuts down dramatically on the ambiguity.

Day-lee-uh is just weird. I wouldn't expect it from anyone with prior experience with the flower or the girl's name. I'm an American BTW. Dowl-like-towel is also odd, but perhaps you pronounce towel differently than I do. 

July 19, 2016 10:39 AM

What a wonderful name! Congratulations.

July 19, 2016 10:34 AM

Also, a bit of Googling suggests that a lot of Punjabi names are used by both Sikhs and Muslims, so maybe searching through lists of Punjabi names is the way to go. Or look for overlaps on lists of Sikh and Bohri names. Time consuming, but could work.