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June 23, 2017 01:50 AM
In Response to Second Child Names

Brighton reminds me of Bristol (as in Palin), so it sounds reasonably like a girls name to me. Suzanne's recommendation of Bryn makes me think that that could be a nickname for Brighton...

I quite like all your boys names. Woodrow to me is more rugged sounding. As a non-American, I'm hazy on the president, so I guess my primary associations are Woody the Toy Story cowboy and actors Woody Harrelson and... whoever the other Woody actor is. It sounds very American to my ears.

Finnegan as a more bouncy, cheerful Irish vibe to me. I can certainly undertand the appeal of Finn.

Walden I like but, like Woodrow, it seems very specific in terms of references. I do like Wally as a nickname though.

What other girls' names did you like before you settled on Brighton last time? If your wife is feeling like she might want to revisit, maybe we can generate ideas. If you don't end up going with Brighton, it can always be a middle name (for either gender) and still there as a nostalgic nod to your own hometown.

June 22, 2017 01:14 AM

I like both Thomas and Rex a lot. I tend to find a lot of the timeless classics a bit dull, but Thomas is the exception to that; it has always struck me as one of the most pleasant male names in the English language. I do find Tom a bit meh, but the full name is soft, strong and pleasing on the page.

I also really like Rex for its length and snappiness. It doesn't sound like a dog name to me, possibly because I have an uncle called Roy (another possibility?), and because my main association is Rex Harrison, who is a pretty decent association to have.

I think the main vibe I get from Georgiana, Lucy and Rex is British, again because my main associations and Pride and Prejudice, Narnia and Rex Harrison (particularly in My Fair Lady -- is that an almost-literary reference?).

It's a tough one. Unhelpfully, I think you'd be fine either way...


Ayy, I had forgotten this article on posh baby names. Lucinda is indeed on there. ;)


As someone with un-posh (and Northern!) recent British heritage, I absolutely understand the wish not to appear posh; not because it is pretentious, but because you wouldn't want to be associated with wanting to seem posh. Imagine if the American "1 percent" were immediately identifiable by their names -- in much the way that politicians' names seem to be out of favour I predict that 1 percenter names would be avoided by the rest of the population. I think it's no accident that the royal family opts for mainstream choices like George rather than overtly posh ones like Algernon... they want to maintain the fiction that they are like the rest of the populace in many ways.

(I love your children's names Lucubratrix and absolutely find none of them an issue in the US -- in fact, the only one I think might be an issue in the UK is the first one. 2 and 4 in particular don't strike me as overly posh).

Anyway, I still don't think Lucinda has to be an issue on either side of the Atlantic. This is, again, due to its similarity to Lucy, which is the 32nd most popular girls name in England and Wales. Luna is at 130 and Lucia at 183. The Lu- beginning is firmly established in popularity throughout the country and Lucinda will soon, I predict, sound like an alternate way to get there.

June 20, 2017 01:08 AM
In Response to Rate my List <3

I also agree with everything Miriam said, and join in the endorsement of Polly. I've also known girls named Polly with full names Olympia, Leopoldina and Appolline, although those all may be a bit out there for you. I've also seen it suggested as a nickname for Penelope and Paloma, or, of course, any of the Mary- names.

June 19, 2017 04:09 AM

Some friends in the country have chickens, and the rooster last time I visited was called Saint Stephen, as his particular number was up on boxing day. The current one is I believe either Saint John or Saint Peter, so his days are also numbered...


It's a pity they don't collect name data on social class in the UK (possibly an impossible task anyway), but from a fairly frequent observer of British names, I would put both Lucinda and Phyllida, particularly Phyllida, in the "posh" category (agreeing somewhat with the original poster's aunt, I guess, and neither of them in the nouveau riche category).

It's worth nothing that names that are popular in posh circles in the UK do often trickle down to middle class naming. Given the popularity of Lucy, I don't think Lucinda is irredeemably posh.

June 18, 2017 08:46 AM

My belief, based purely on looking at the British popularity lists posted on britishbabynames.com, is that hyphens are maintained in the UK. In her combined spelling lists, you can see a lot of hypenated names (Evie-Mae, Lexi-Rose, and so on.)


I don't have that impression of Lucinda either, and based on some of your previous posts, "new money," is something that seems to preoccupy you more than it maybe preoccupies the rest of the population? This isn't a dig; just that I honestly can't think of a name that screams "new money!" to me... possibly I don't know any people who fall into this category, lol.

June 16, 2017 05:10 AM
In Response to Back to the search

Ditto to all this!

June 16, 2017 02:17 AM

My cat's middle name is Grendel! Her first name is an obscure fruit that starts with a G in my partner's language, but we call her Grendel when she's being bad. The two names represent a certain Jekyll and Hyde tendency in her personality.

I agree that Pizza is amazing for the dog, and I second Dread Pirate Westley. :)

June 16, 2017 02:01 AM
In Response to What's in a surname?

Hmmm, I disagree and support the Quebec legislation. I feel like Quebec is a place (feel free to slap me around the head, Karyn) full of eminently reasonable ideas that occasionally get distorted into full-on insanity. This is a case in point. I'm sure the law came in because people were fed of with an oppressive religious past and ready to look to the future. Quebec was, essentially, declaring that its culture is no longer that of women taking their husband's name. I think that's great. In this particularl case, the woman was granted permission to change her name, the hang up (which is a bit silly) was on allowing her to change it to her husband's. I think they should just have chosen another name together or she could have gone with Ainsworth. They could easily have given the children both surnames (Québec allows pretty much everything on surnames for the children).

In Spain women do not change their names. I don't know if it is illegal or not, but it would be beyond bizarre...I can well imagine being confused for my husband's cousin in the situation she describes. Children get both surnames (the mother's is usually dropped in the next generation, so it's not like patriarchy doesn't exist, but at least you can clearly see that parents and children are related. I had to obey these laws when I had a child here. I wanted to anyway, but that's beside the point. 

This woman's problem is not that she couldn't take her husband's name -- it's that she was given her father's. 

This article does remind me that I was thinking of reading her book though! 

June 15, 2017 04:16 AM

These lists have me thinking that my American home states are Oregon and Washington -- it's amazing how much local fashion shapes your taste, given that I'm from British Columbia...

June 14, 2017 01:17 AM
In Response to Back to the search

Maybe you can sell Peregrine for its nature connotations, and tell him you're not intending it as a hobbit hommage?

Another -- out there! -- option which I saw on a birth announcement for a baby girl is Ptarmigan. This will probably be too crazy for your husband (mine thought I was insane), but it is a soft bird name with, I think, nickname potential.

Personally, although I really like both Percival and Robin, I think Robin is my favourite. It's unexpected but not in a declarative "look at me!" way (not that there's anything wrong with that, that that is the naming direction I've gone in), it fits really well with your potential sibling names and seems a really good representation of your philosophy (soft, naturey, literary).

On that last points, for Percival my favourite literary reference is The Scarlet Pimpernel, whereas Robin of course has Winnie the Pooh!

June 14, 2017 01:08 AM
In Response to I chose a name!

Congratulations! Has she been born yet? All the best to you and baby Ramsey. :)


I can see where your aunt is coming from, but I think that impression would change quickly if she met a real-life person who was not like that. Keep in mind that people are apt to say all sorts of negative things about a name before it is connected to someone they know; afterwards, that person becomes the dominant reference.

I don't know any Lucindas, so the only connotation for me is the porcelaine doll in the Beatrix Potter book.

June 12, 2017 02:23 AM
In Response to Girl name help

Not fussed, as I've heard it used in Britain, means both "not bothered" and "not excited by." The thing in question does not work you up into a fuss, ergo, you don't like it.

I don't know if this is a "could care less" kind of thing, but it is certainly very common in British, and I assume Australian, English.

June 10, 2017 03:07 AM

Amal is British (according to Wikipedia). I wouldn't have expected names of the Bertie or Millie variety from them (I'm no expert on British naming trends but I get the sense that would not be typical of what I understand to be her social class). Thinking on the kind of career she has, Alexander does make more sense as a choice, but I still think Ella doesn't go at all. Eleanor would have stuck out less I think. And yep, still think names reflecting her heritage would have been more interesting -- but perhaps they are there in the middle spot.

June 9, 2017 04:13 AM

I think you've received excellent responses to the question of how not to create an "us or them" atmosphere in your family.

I have a thought that hasn't been mentioned with regards to the two honour names (I may be in this position if I have another child and that child is a boy).

You mention that the two family names you want to use are those of your mother and grandmother, but also that you hate the idea of not being able to honour the two most important women in your life.

I think you should honour the two most important women in your life with a first daughter (as you may not have another), but perhaps not with those two names. I would use one of the names, and honour the other woman by using her middle name, maiden name, birth flower/stone/town what have you. This allows you, if you only have the one biological daughter, to tell her that she was named for both women, and also allows you to use the other name for a hypothetical second daughter.

Another way to consider it is that by honouring one woman, you are honouring both. If you choose your mother's name, you are using the name your grandmother saw fit to bestow on her daughter. If you use your grandmother's, you are honouring your mother's mother (well, I'm taking for granted that your grandmother is your mother's mother; this may not be the case). In my experience, my father feels honoured by my having given my daughter his mother's name as a middle. In many ways, I think this makes him happier than if I had named a child after him. Honour names are expressions of love, and if our loved ones also loved each other, they will be honoured that those feelings are being expressed in the next generation.

June 9, 2017 03:53 AM
In Response to Pulcheria

Red is "vermell" in Catalan and "vermelho" in Portuguese, if that helps connect the vermillion dots...

June 9, 2017 03:50 AM

Others have addressed the names international usability. I'll just focus on what I like (in the most subjective way possible; what letter combinations/meanings appeal to me).

I like Öktem. It seems to have a pleasant weight to it. Çagri Aslan mainly for the accents (I can't find the accent on the g on my keyboard but I like names with accents. Aslan is a pleasing name to people who read children's literature, being the name of the god-like lion figure in CS Lewis' Narnia books.

I like Sungur, because I looked up the bird and it's a beauty. I like bird/nature names in general.

And Masal because I love fairy tales and the idea that this would be a fitting name for a boy (most whimsical imagery being considered "unmasculine" in English).

Oh, and as someone else abroad, I know how tempting it is to share your name ideas even though the people on this site aren't always able to reply properly... this is such a good site for thoughtful feedback and there seem to be no name discussion websites in my language in question!