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Thanks Miriam and NotaGuest,
I agree, our last name is super common so it's not really possible to find a unique name with our ln. I like traditional/vintage names with a bit of pioneer or British flair, so I don't really want something too unusual or out there or made up. But I also don't like super common traditional names like David, Mark, Matthew, John, Michael etc. because of how common our ln is.
I like X and Z sounds (Felix was another choice I liked that DH doesn't). As for Alexander, I asked DH about Xander/Zander and he was not that excited about it. He prefers nn Alex, which I think is too common. I also thought about Xavier but DH thought that was too weird. I like the idea of Zachariah/Zachary nn Zach because Nate and Zach sound cute together and there is the symmetry of A (our oldest) to Z (our youngest). Or Ezekiel nn Zeke, but Ezekiel is maybe too close to Nathaniel.
I'm OK with the EE-LEE ending as long as it's not LEE-LEE. So Henry and Toby are OK, but not Ollie or Charlie. Which is ironic since my name is Natalie and so when I took his name I ended up with a LEE-LEE. I like William nn Will and Charles nn Charlie because those are the most common nickname versions for kids these days, but don't like Bill or Chuck (which sound more like grandpa names, I like great-grandpa names). So many names don't go that well because of our adverb-like last name. Will Lee makes me think "Free Willy". And for Andrew, I dislike Andy but am OK with Drew, but then Drew Lee sounds like drooly to me. I also like Owen and Evan, but then with our last name it sounds like "only" and "heavenly". (For girls we liked Violet but then it sounds like "violently"). And yes, I forgot about the Motley Crue Tommy Lee. Since I like Thomas but dislike Tom or Tommy I think it's got to be out.
I agree that since we are not Hawaiian I want to stick with more "mainstream" Hawaiian names instead of something I made up.
And thanks for the reassurance about the potential negative associations, and the examples of positive ones. I wouldn't have known about these morbid ones (except for the crime reporter, because I read the local paper, so I already knew about him) if it weren't for Internet digging. As long as you don't think it's bad luck or something I'm willing to ignore the silly coincidences because they're somewhat obscure. The baby can create his own association for the name!
Oh, I forgot to mention the meaning of the middle name--it means either "free/unrestricted sea" or perhaps "freedom of the sea". If you pronounce it ka-inoa it means "the namesake", but we are going with the kai (sea) version.
Thanks for your suggestions!
Little Dorrit & Kalmia, I agree, I love the name Theodore. Too bad it's already DH's name! ;) So Edward is out too b/c it's too close to Ted, and so is Thad.
Notaguest, I do like Thomas and James, if only there was a way to prevent the nicknames but that's not always possible. My two year old, who we've always called Nathaniel, suddenly decided he wanted to be called Nate so I had to tell his preschool teachers to start calling him Nate. But it's OK since we like the nn Nate. I really do not like Nathan (hot dog) so I'm glad he doesn't have that nickname. I have the same reaction to Tom and Jim but I don't know if I can really control other people calling him that. Hank and Harry are also not my faves but I think they're less common nicknames and that usually Henry stands on its own. Neville I think is *too* British for DH. I like Trevor but one of my son's good friends is named Trevor. And I like Benjamin but DH says it's too "nice" and mild/bland. It's funny how we have different associations for names.
Little Dorrit, I do like Augustus with the nn Gus, so that is a possibility. I like Dexter a lot (plus cool nn Dex) but DH doesn't like the "serial killer" aspect.
Kalmia, I too am puzzled by his lack of enthusiasm for Henry but he's probably also wondering why I'm not crazy about Oliver. He thinks Henry is too common (apparently knew several Henry L33s in his high school). I'm prepared to fight for it though...still my top contender. Thanks for your suggestions--my faves from your list are Benjamin, Graham, and Julius (though DH doesn't seem to like Julius/Julian--too feminine sounding for him). I also like -as names like Tobias nn Toby and am kind of disappointed he didn't like it (he said Toby sounds like a dog name).
DH's are so hard to please sometimes!
BTW. I do kind of like Percy actually, but worry that if my son ends up wearing glasses or being nerdy that his name would just be a magnet for teasing (perhaps sounds wimpy and/or too much like female anatomy). Kind of like naming your kid Milton. If he's "cool" then the name becomes cool, but if he's not, then it just makes the issue worse. Recently when I was waiting with DD for the doctor, I saw a newborn get called up by the name Milton and I was a bit surprised! The parents looked like Asian immigrants, so I suspect it was one of those "Walter/Eunice" type names that appeal to that particular demographic. I'm Asian so I can say this, but I find it fascinating that the names that group picks tend to be a little outdated, but not vintage/old-fashioned enough to be cool again. Or maybe they're just ahead of the curve and those names will be hip again in 20 years! :)
Of your list I like Tesla the best. I'm sorry, I really don't like the others. Entropy is just setting your kid up for teasing if he's a rowdy boy or throws the inevitable tantrums that all kids do. And Inertia, well I can just imagine people telling her, "Get off your butt, Inertia!" Lumen isn't the best choice because of the aforementioned "hole" meaning, and Fission seems rather divisive. Quark is too much like Quirk to me, which could also invite teasing.
There are plenty of science names that are beautiful and meaningful and useful though. I'm sure you can find plenty more options! Of the ones mentioned above, I really like Nova (I knew one person named Nova). Although if you're Latino, that wouldn't work (remember the Chevy Nova that didn't sell well in Mexico?).
My favorite real life example is a doctor I knew named Electron. His dad was an electrical engineer and his siblings were named Positron, Neutron, Deutron, and Proton. Awesome!
Good luck and congrats!
Zoerhenne, thanks for asking about me. I did post a couple weeks ago but I think maybe it got lost in the shuffle. We went with Nathaniel, I let my daughter Amelia pick between my favorite (Henry) and my husband's favorite. She was quite sure that his name was "Afaniel", so who was I to argue? She was right about him being a boy too, even before we found out the gender. (Though the scary thing is, out of the blue she said recently that there are five in our family...me, daddy, her, baby brother, and another baby girl...well, we'll just have to wait and see! She's also predicted that when she gets bigger, she will be a mommy and have two girls). His middle name is H0l0kai which is Hawaiian for "seafarer", to match her middle name K@il@ni "heavenly seas". Actually he just went on his first trip to Hawaii at four weeks old, so I suppose that justifies the choice even though we're not Hawaiian.
Jane Mo5-I like the nicknames Nico or Cole for Nicholas. Love Christopher too.
BubbleBee-what about Astrid, Annika, Anya, Freya, Sanne, or Sigrid?
Katharineeleven-I don't think Angelina is low class, but if you're worried about that and the nn Angie what about Evangeline nn Evie instead? Katherina might be just too close to your name given it's only one letter off...it may be too confusing! Although, that's coming from a Natalie who named her son Nathaniel, so I guess I have no right to complain...What about Karolina instead? Catalina is great too.
Ilikemints-great suggestion for Azalea for Sal! Matches with the earth theme too! Lucky, you could also consider Hazel or Rosalie/Rosalind for a stretch to get Sal but I like Azalea better. Sawyer seems too boyish to me.
Jane Mo5--congrats on the surprise boy! Of your list I like Nicholas the best. Nathaniel would also work well (not that I'm biased or anything). If you like Casper but not the -er, how about Caspian? I like Edmund (with the u spelling) or Edward, you could use nn Ted if you don't like Ed. Actually Theodore would be even better. I love Milo but it doesn't seem to go with your other kids' names. Same with Kai. If your husband vetoed Graeme, how about Graham? Or Grant? Felix is a great happy name (and means happy too!) Agree with the rec for Quentin--very cute. Oh, and despite the prior recommendations, please don't name your son Harrison or Harry. Harry P@lmer would get teased mercilessly by the time he gets to junior high.
Julie--congrats on the new baby...I love the name Linne@! So pretty and goes well with her siblings (I'm partial to Amelia too...)
Chimu--congrats too on your pregnancy! I love the name Clementine. Astrid is awesome too. Theodore is my favorite from your boy list.
Hi! Just an update...Nathaniel H0l0kai was born two weeks ago. Thanks everyone for your great naming advice! His sister Amelia K@il@ni adores him. (Their middle names are Hawaiian for "seafarer" and "heavenly seas").
Our names not taken for him--boy Henry Kil0h@n@, girl Charlotte N0el@ni (my favorite) or Violet Jane (husband's favorite). I let Amelia pick his name between Henry (my fave) & Nathaniel (his fave) and she chose Nathaniel. Very cute because she kept talking to my belly and calling him "Afaniel". By the way, Amelia's boy name would have been Noah Alexander, and her girl runner up name was Samantha Jane.
Lucky, cool theme...
If you want to continue with that, I suggest:
Land (both tree names):
Boy-Josiah (fire of the Lord)
Girl-Seraphina or Seraphine (fiery)
but I also like Clementine too...
ondine, I love Theodore--it's my husband's name :)
But aside from that, it's got that traditional antique charm, but not too popular, vibe. So I vote for "adorably retro". DH goes by Ted but I think Theo is the more "hip" nn. I don't think the chipmunk reference is too strong (although it did knock Simon off our potential name list). However, if your husband HATES it, it's probably not gonna make the final cut. I had the same problem with Henry (and a lot of other names I loved).
I think I'm more of a broadcaster. Everyone has been asking me what the name will be (even relative strangers, like random people at work) and I haven't exactly been hiding it if they ask! We're coming into the home stretch, due in a month. I posted here a few months ago for advice. Then I asked our 2 year old daughter to pick between my favorite (Henry) and my husband's favorite (Nathaniel) and she said the baby's name was "Afaniel" and has been talking to my belly and calling him that ever since. So cute! So we're kind of attached to the name now since she picked it. Have been getting favorable comments from people I've revealed it to so far. I do say "We're probably going to go with..." just to leave a little wiggle room but I'm pretty sure that's what it will be as we don't have a backup name that my husband likes (he wasn't a fan of Henry).
And we're probably going to go with H0l0kai for the middle name, which means "seafarer" in Hawaiian. I like this because my daughter's middle name is Kail@ni, so they would share part of their middle name. I haven't told anyone else about the middle name yet though.
I have a few niggling concerns though, what do you think--big deal or not?
1. Not big on nicknames. I much prefer Nathaniel. I hate Nathan. Nate is OK but is "Nate Le3" too close to my name (Natalie L3e)? Any other potential nicknames for Nathaniel that I might like better? What is the chance of him actually being called Nathaniel by other people rather than Nate? (I assume when he's little he'll have trouble spelling his whole name so he'll probably have to go by Nate in preschool?)
2. H0l0kai on Google--mostly brings up names of sailboats, a now defunct restaurant, and a last name for several Hawaiian people. Fine. But a website "Urban Dictionary" has two listings that say it is slang for "vomit, regurgitate, hurl" (I guess because of seasickness?) Does this matter? I should mention, technically our daughter's name Am3lia is also the name of a congenital deformity meaning "absence of limbs", but that didn't stop us from using it.
It was so hard to come up with something we could both agree on. And I think we have good reasons for going with the names we picked. I just want to be done obsessing about THE NAME and hopefully this will work.
I like your children's names--charming! Perhaps I should find out what else is on your boy list, since we have such similar tastes :)
I totally agree with your points. It also makes it seem like Asian culture is less desirable than Caucasian/European culture (I suppose I could be guilty of this too by not picking an Asian name!). I wish people could be more open about sharing in other cultures and that someday nobody will be fazed by meeting a white Hideko or Asian Diego.
hyz and Linnaeus,
Thanks for your comments. I think the issue is, neither of us is Caucasian (I'm Chinese and he's Korean), but both of us were born and grew up in the US and feel more culturally aligned with America than our respective "homelands". Neither of us speak Chinese or Korean or go out of our way to celebrate Asian New Year etc., yet we still feel some connection to our Asian heritage (eg my screen name). For her 1st birthday, we picked out a Chinese and a Korean name for our daughter. But not in the traditional way where we had the grandfather pick it out or use the suffix that all the cousins are supposed to use (my husband's MN is that way, it ends in "ho" like all his cousins). We tried to make the name fit with the meaning of her Hawaiian middle name Kailani "sea and sky". Couldn't quite get it to work, so we ended up with Haneul "sky" in Korean, and Kailan "joyful orchid" in Chinese because it sounded similar (and because of the Ni-Hao Kailan character!). We had scrolls made so both grandmas could bestow the names on her. It was really sweet. And we had the toljabee ceremony where she grabs her favorite object to determine her future, and she had both Korean and Chinese outfits for the party.
So anyways, that's a long way of saying that our Asian heritage is important to us, but not enough that I would only want to name our child a Chinese or Korean name. I think that would feel weirder/more pretentious to me than picking a name like Christopher or Henry. I think my idea of culture is more fluid. Like I might consider Dylan or Logan or some of the other names that were "too white" for my DH even though neither of us is white. I might even consider Axel (I have Danish friend, does that count?) or Mira for a girl, which I consider an Indian name. Or even a Spanish name like Mariposa or Catalina. I speak more Spanish than I do Chinese. Is it wrong to "steal" a name that doesn't "belong" to your heritage? In my view, we live in America, it's a melting pot so if someone wants to use a name just because they like it, I say go for it. Like we used a Hawaiian middle name, and neither of us is Hawaiian or lives in Hawaii (but we visit a lot). My husband is a lot more strict in his naming sensibilities, however, and would reject most of the ethnic-sounding names (probably even the Asian ones!). And I could see that if your child is half and half, that you would want to make sure his/her name reflects both sides of their family and not just one.
I met someone named Nalley once, apparently her immigrant parents liked the name Natalie but didn't know how it was spelled. I remember feeling sorry for her (not that I said anything to her of course!) that she didn't get my name (which I think is much nicer).
I like Annika the best, followed by Anneliese and then Anastasia. Annika seems more modern and spunky to me.
My daughter Amelia has a friend her age named Amelie and I think they're really cute together. But I think Amelia and Amelie would be way too matchy for siblings or twin names. Too confusing! Maybe they can come up with nicknames that are a little different, like Mia and Mel? My sisters (fraternal twins) were given first+middle names starting with M and D, respectively, and went by Mimi and Didi growing up, but one of them changed back to her original name once she went to college, I guess to get more of her own identity. Personally I think the rhyming and alliteration twin names are a little passe nowadays, I prefer a more subtle meaning or style connection.
Here are some of my favorite non-J OT names:
Asher (I don't think it sounds pretentious)
Micah (love this name, would be on our list if our friends hadn't used it already)
Moses (nn Mo, I think this would be really cute)
Phineas (nn Finn)
Tobias (nn Toby)
I would do the approach you suggest, let him narrow down your list and try to see what style he has by what he does and doesn't like. But keep your ultra-favorites on the list even if he's lukewarm (unless he has a good reason for nixing it). I still have Henry on mine even though DH said "too farmer boy"...he still has a few months to change his mind ;) If you don't keep your LN as a middle for the next, maybe try to use another important family surname on your side as a MN so the 2nd doesn't feel left out. Here's a couple names that might go with Rowan that I like (off the Celtic list): girls Ciara, Fiona, Ione, Kendall, Maisie, Nora, Siobhan; boys Colin, Connor, Cormac, Declan, Donovan, Dylan, Finian/Finn, Graham, Ian, Kieran, Liam, Logan, Malcolm, Owen, Tristan.
Thanks everyone for the name feedback. I do know there is a web company called Akamai, but I'm not sure if that would be a significant drawback. What do you think, would it be the equivalent of naming your child Microsoft or IBM? ;) My husband did raise a concern that maybe it sounds too Japanese (even though it's a Hawaiian word), which he's not as keen on since we're not Japanese. But, he's the one who suggested the name to begin with. Holokai, I never thought before that it sounds like Holocaust. Hmm, I'll have to think about that. I'm no expert on Hawaiian pronunciation, but I think they are pronounced AHK-ah-mye, HO-lo-kye, Ki-lo-HA-na. I still like Elliott (with 2L's/2T's), but am wondering if it is too unisex? Especially with the only potential nn being Ellie, and the Scrubs character Elliot Reid? Oh another question, if we go with another "A" name, does that mean that if we had a third (not that I'm planning to), it would be too weird if the third one was not an "A" also? How do you feel about ethnic names not matching the faces? Such as Scandinavian or Celtic names on an Asian-American? I think I'm a little more flexible than my DH on this issue, as he has some names that he's nixed for sounding "too white".
zoerhenne, thanks for the name suggestions! My favorite on your list is Elliott. My husband said "maybe" (which is pretty high praise coming from him). But I am not sure about which is the traditional or "correct" spelling--one or two L's, one or two T's? I also like Lucas, but our last name starts with L so might be too much alliteration; Simon, but with Theodore we run the risk of chipmunk jokes; and Miles, but our cat's name is too similar (Niles). Gavin is a definite no-no around here because of the mayor, wouldn't want people to think he's named after Newsom!
OK, what about the following first names & middle names? What is your favorite combo? And feel free to add any other suggestions (still looking for that name that screams "this is the one!" to me). Last name is Lee and sibling is Amelia.
First: Nathaniel, Henry, Zachary, Elliott, Grant (or Graham), Alexander, Axel. (Still also lobbying for Felix, Harrison, Jonah, Julian, Jacob, Dexter, Oliver but hubby didn't seem to like those, so those seem less likely to pass.)
Middle: Kilohana (unsurpassed, excellent), Akamai (smart, clever), Holokai (seafarer).
Also, any suggestions for Korean and/or Chinese names to match the meaning of the Hawaiian names? And is Nathaniel too close to Natalie? Thanks for the feedback!
A couple of names overheard at the park/zoo recently: Django (Caucasian boy), Rocket (Asian boy). I think they were both about 5-7 years old. My husband had (semi-seriously) suggested Samantha Rocket when we were trying to pick names for our first daughter, which I thought was pretty spunky. Now that we actually heard it used IRL, we agreed that it's definitely off the list (esp for a boy)!
For our upcoming boy, my DH Theodore suggested Nathaniel. It's interesting, not super common but still normal sounding. But is it too close to my name (Natalie) and weird to have two of the four of us with same initials? His top 3: Alexander, Nathaniel, Zachary. My top 3: Henry, Jonah, Felix--all of which have been nixed by DH :( Any other suggestions for sib for Amelia?
I think my problem with most boy names is I like the full names, but don't care for the nicknames...Nate, Tommy, Jimmy, Zach, Hank, Gus, etc. so it makes me hesitant to use a lot of the names on my list.
Went to our first back to school night. Here's our preschool class list--2 years old:
Onto another topic, just found out we're going to have a BOY. Sort of makes naming more difficult, I think, because I think husband is more likely to want a "normal" boy name but our last name is so common. Brings up all kinds of naming dilemmas, like is it OK to 1) use a name you like (like Henry) if there are already over 3000 people on Facebook with the same exact fn/ln or 2) name the baby after the cat (Amelia and Max would go so well together!) Reminds me of the line "We named the DOG Indiana!" :)
What about the boy named Jihad? That's got to be a tough one to live with, especially when he gets older. I know it doesn't necessarily always mean "holy war", but I think that's how a lot of people see it.
I agree with a previous poster--I don't think *anyone* that ordered from Amazon got a BNW2. I did stop by my local B&N today to try to order a copy. They didn't have any on the shelf, but it turns out they just received three copies today so I snagged one of them! BN.com has a feature where you can check the inventory at local stores, not sure how accurate that is but you could call the stores to double check. Good luck!
Looks like Amazon is just giving up. They've changed the picture back to the old edition sans pink circle. I sent another email when their replacement copy was just another BNW1 and their response was:
I'm sorry to hear the replacement item had the same problem as your first order. This usually doesn't happen. Since it's likely another replacement would arrive defective, I won't trouble you with another order.
I've requested a full refund for your order in the amount of $10.15. You'll see the refund in the next few days. Please return the incorrect item--we'll pay for return shipping."
I checked BN.com and it has the new version pictured, but I'm hesitant to go through another online order if I'm not sure what I'm getting. And it looks like all BN stores are out of stock in my area. I hope Laura posts an update soon on what's going on with the new edition so we can all finally get our hands on a copy.