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May 22, 2018 02:08 PM
In Response to Baby Sister

I think Brie is too cheesy for anything other than an occasional family nickname.

May 22, 2018 08:39 AM

In today's "nickname must be contained in full name" world, Josie is actually somewhat unlikely to crop up automatically for Josephine.

(Many people nowadays do apparently believe that you can't call her Kate if you spelled it Catherine, or that you have to spell it Aleczander if you want to call him Zander.)

Because of Little Women, I think the most likely auto-nickname is Jo, but the name is exactly the same length (in both sounds and letters) as Genevieve, so it seems likely that she'd end up the full Josephine most of the time.

To me, Josephine sounds very feminine, and I love the P-nicknames for it. I don't think the cartoon character is necessarily a problem, especially not for a mostly-just-family nickname, but if the association worries you, you could use Pepi (like "peppy").

On the nicknames-you-hate front: I detest the nickname Jules for the feminine Juli-type names. Both my daughter and I have such names. I never got called Jules, but my daughter had a preschool teacher who kept using it. That was several years ago, and nobody else has cropped up with it so far. I'm sure it'll come up again someday, and there's a chance my daughter will actually choose it, but it's her name, she's free to do what she likes with it. I will continue to call her by my preferred names; what her teachers and classmates call her doesn't actually enter my sphere of observation very often. So I find that despite my continued strong dislike of this particular nickname, I'm perfectly fine with some people using it for my daughter. As long as nobody tries to get me to call her Jules, it doesn't matter to me.

May 21, 2018 07:11 AM

Where did you find that derivation of Tiegan? The closest credible etymologies I can find are Teagan, ultimately from an Irish word for "poet", and Tegan, derived from a Welsh word for "fair". No princesses or valleys to be had anywhere.

I much prefer names with long histories of use, so Vivienne gets my vote.

May 20, 2018 10:32 AM

My husband's co-worker Rachel named her daughter Meghan nine years ago. Sometimes I have trouble remembering which name is the mom and which name is the daughter.

I think both Meghan and Rachel have a chance at a slight uptick-by-familiarity, and are good candidates for people's Baby Name Pool entries, but neither name is likely to experience an actually-noticeable change in usage.

May 20, 2018 10:21 AM

In various European languages, Nina is traditional as a nickname for (the local-language versions of) Anna, Joanna, Catherine, Caroline, and Antonia.

May 15, 2018 02:17 PM

Ottilia called Tillie would be similar to Olivia but not as trendy, give her options beyond the diminutive style of Tillie, and be a family name to boot.

May 15, 2018 08:07 AM

Coralie and Rosalie are too close for my tastes, although some parents have inflicted far worse on their children (especially on twins). However, I think Rosalie often called Rosie and Cora sometimes called Coralie would turn the excess similarity into a pleasing parallel. When the matchiness is optional, it's an asset rather than a burden.


For me, the thing that sticks out in the 2017 numbers is a demonstration of how statistics can be used to prove "X" and "Not X" simultaneously.

2017: 1593 babies, rank 194
2016: 1597 babies, rank 200

6 _fewer_ babies resulted in 6 places _higher_ ("more popular") ranking. In other words, the numbers can be used to show that Julianna was less popular in 2017 than it was in 2016, because fewer babies were given the name, but at the same time Julianna was more popular in 2017 than it was in 2016, because it ranked six places higher.

May 11, 2018 05:54 PM

Emma also has the advantage of having basically just one pronunciation across many languages, so it's an excellent choice for multilingual families. In fact, I don't know if there is another name that has such a close correspondence between sound and spelling in so many languages.


The "one from column A, one from column B" recipe for baby-naming is over a thousand years old: it's at the root of old Norse, Germanic, Anglo-Saxon, and Slavic names. Usually, column A was unisex, while column B was gender-specific, and most of the elements derived from common words (although their meanings were generally ignored, just as nowadays we ignore the literal meanings of names like Heather and Bill).

May 11, 2018 01:48 PM

In this case, the 18 spots correspond to 98 more babies, or a difference of 0.0068% in the percentage of babies born. As a point of comparison, the fastest-rising boy's name, Maverick, rose 139 places with 1762 more babies and a percentage difference of 0.0933%.

May 11, 2018 07:36 AM

It depends on the exact details, really, and also tends to be a highly personally variable judgement. One person's pleasant echo is another's jarring repetition.

For me, I think it would come down to the length and rhythm of the surname as compared to the given name. Callan Halley would be a brain-twister (was it Hallan Calley or Calley Hallan or ...?), while Callan Halliday or Haliburton would be basically unremarkable.

May 9, 2018 08:59 AM

Thank you for the long description of your naming journey, and I'm truly sorry we weren't able to help!

Since you haven't specified any surnames, nor even the middle name, I think it'd be fine to just post the given name, perhaps slightly obfuscated with numerals or punctuation. This is a names forum: a lot of different names of varying popularity get mentioned here. There is no way a single mention, without the rest of the name, would show up in a search targeting your child.

(Alternately, and selfishly, I suggest you email the moderators at bnwmod at gmail. That'll be half a dozen people's curiosity satisfied.)

But in the "every cloud has a silver lining" department, we now have spam-fighting tools that actually appear to be working (knock on wood).

May 1, 2018 10:04 AM
In Response to Angeline

I also prefer Veronika to Angeline/a, but I prefer it with the K. I suppose you could make the spelling choice based on the etymology you prefer: the Latin "true icon" folk etymology works best with the 'c', while the Greek derivation from Phereniké/Bereniké (based on the word for "victory") dictates the 'k'.

Angel comes from a word meaning "messenger". (Stealth twin names: Angela and Harold.) I'm not sure when and why it acquired the association with "unnaturally good/well-behaved", but I agree that for certain personalities, it can be a problem.

April 30, 2018 01:24 PM
In Response to Help Name Baby #5

My daughter hasn't quite mastered her surname yet, but she's working on it. :-)

(It's actually only 9 sounds total, three of them vowels, but three of the consonants are written as digraphs in Hungarian, so it's twelve letters, plus the Dratted Hyphen in the middle.)

I agree with Karyn: don't let a long and complicated surname deter you from a longish but classic and familiar given name like Benjamin. Children have years in which to learn to say and write their names, and it all comes in stages: first the given name in all caps (preschool), then the given name in mixed case (kindergarten and first grade), then the surname (the rest of elementary school).


MUCH too close.

Think about it: what are the usual sorts of things they ask for at the pharmacy or bank or wherever to verify someone's identity?

Surname: match.
Given name: nearly a match.
Birthdate: match.
Address: match (for the first 18 years or so, anyway).
Mother's maiden name: match.

Heck, for identical twins, you can keep going all the way to "cheek swab DNA" and _still_ come up with a match.

Maria and Marie are Exactly The Same Name, just in different languages. Naming one child with a Mary-name honors both relatives exactly equally. Do your children the courtesy of giving the other one a different name, honoring a different relative (or set of relatives).


I was unable to locate anyone named Nicholas (or Claus or ...) in the family, but two of the grandmothers were Clazina. (The third was Maritje.)

April 27, 2018 07:40 AM
In Response to My triplets

Philip Pullman's Golden Compass books feature a Lyra. It's a possibly-problematic association because of Pullman's underlying atheism. (He has been quoted as saying "My books are about killing God.") Only you can judge whether that's a problem for you, but you should be aware of it if you're considering the name Lyra.

April 26, 2018 09:29 PM

(Yay! Forum posts!)

I encounter Rosalie (well, OK, technically Rozália) left and right in 19th-20th century genealogical records, so it feels totally familiar to me.

Also, Rosalie is a major character in the Twilight books and movies, so there's a significant portion of the population who will not find it unfamiliar because of that association.

Rosalie versus Eleanor for me is pretty much a chocolate-or-bacon choice, but it sounds like you actually really like Rosalie better, so you should stick with Rosalie.

April 1, 2018 11:04 PM

Valerie, most name researchers agree that Annabel arose (mostly in Scotland) in the Middle Ages from a misreading or mishearing of Amabel.