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No kids yet, but I love names.

My Favorite Names
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November 18, 2014 11:59 PM
In Response to #4 Please Advise

Of your boy options I like Jonas and Abel the best (I *love* Abel and it's on my list, too). The only one I dislike is Cyrus because it reminds me too much of Billy Ray and Miley.

I like:

Jonas David

Jonas Robert

Abel Bennet

I think the Alex/Alice similarity only really matters if you're very close (geographically). If the nephew and his parents live across the country and you'll only see them once a year or so I think you'll be fine.

My niece is named Miriam, nicknamed Miri also, so of course I love it. Miriam Kate is gorgeous. I'm lukewarm on Hazel and Rowena but I don't actively dislike them.

I don't want to give you any additional suggestions because what you have here already is really wonderful.

November 18, 2014 08:44 PM

For me personally, I would avoid the 2-syllables-ends-in-N boys' name construction, mainly because it's so ubiquitous. The sound alike name families bother me more than a single name's popularity, if that makes sense. They all kind of run together in my head and lose their specialness.

However, you seem to be dancing around why you shouldn't want to name your son Ethan than any concrete reasons for why it's just not the right name. At some point you need to get past the cultural trappings and decide if this is a name that you can call your child, and I think you're almost there.

May 23, 2014 03:16 AM

*Benjamin "Ben"   I dislike this one for you. I said Ben Drennan aloud, and it sounds like I'm stuttering, also reminds me of Benadryl.

*Noah   This fits well with your ln and the rest of your kids' names, but I am a little over it.

 *William "Will" /*Liam   Like NotAGuestAnymore, I can't sign off on repeating names in families unless there's some kind of precedent/family tradition, or if the parents gave an all-clear.

 *Jonathan/*Joseph   These are my favorites for you. Classic and charming.

 *Dutch /*Angus   I can tell your husband added these. They sound like names that belong to a completely different family, considering this list and the names of your other children.

 *Adrian   It's just ok for me. I can't find anything I dislike about it, but it doesn't have much of a spark for me either.

 I think you should let go of the non-starred names and try to narrow your choices as much as possible, seeing as how your little boy will be here very soon!

May 21, 2014 09:34 PM

I think it depends. It might be a cool connection between the sisters. My sister's middle name is Marie, and my first is also Mary variant, so to me growing up, it seemed special. However, my other sister felt left out that she didn't get one. These kinds of connecting themes between siblings should be consistent, and if you plan on having more kids, I think you should keep that in mind. Do you want to continue the Ell- theme?

If none of this is to your liking, I would scrap Ellery and find something else.

May 21, 2014 08:35 PM
In Response to Opinions on Gloria?

I love Gloria! It's one of those borderline old lady chic/Baby Boomer names, which is my personal sweet spot for names, but also maybe why you're experiencing trepidation. It's a bit ahead of the curve, trend-wise.

May 17, 2014 02:33 PM

I agree 100% with Miriam.

May 17, 2014 02:31 PM

Anne, by a landslide. Nathalie feels dated to me, and I'm not a fan of the rhythm of Marie Catherine.

May 17, 2014 02:24 PM

For girls, Francesca is my personal favorite, but I think I'd only recommend it to you if you used a nn like Frannie (sibling names ending in the same sound is nms). Same with Louisa (Lulu, Lou, etc.). Ultimately, I would go with Rose. It's short and sweet, and I always like seeing a name that's ususally put in the middle spot as a first.

For boys, I prefer Luke over George. The heavy soft Gs in George seem like too much when compared to the lighter Stella. I also like how Luke shares the L sound with your daughter's name without sounding too matchy.


April 24, 2014 04:19 PM

I wonder if he's going to go by a double-barreled surname? Otis Wilde-Sudeikis seems much more balanced than just Otis Sudeikis, which feels very... hissy to me.

March 6, 2014 11:42 AM
In Response to Opinions on Boy Names

I agree with all of this. When I read the original post, I immediately thought of Sid Vicious as the explanation for all his friends being on board. There's also a really nice retro/throwback element to Sidney on a modern boy that's very enjoyable. 

I also want to reiterate that although they sound the same, the masculine Sidney and the feminine Sydney are two different names with separate histories. I'm a big advocate for using traditional male names for boys even if there are analogs that been used for girls.

August 22, 2013 03:12 PM
In Response to Spotted on vacation

I hope Cayman isn't a conception name. I get how some parents think it's sweet, but it makes me deeply uncomfortable.


While I don't know anyone personally who has changed their name, I do have some general name-changing advice that's come up many times over.

If the stats are available in your country, find the list of the top names of the year you were born. If you're American, the SSA has a zip file you can download for free that has all the names given to 5 or more babies from 1880 to 2012. This is a great place to start, because while you want a name that is different enough to separate you from the crowd you've been lumped into, you still want to have a name that makes sense for someone your age. You especially want to avoid names that are really trendy for babies and children now, because that's just going to put you in a different giant lump of people (Oh, that's my niece's/cousin's/best friend's daughter's name, etc.)

Once you've made a list of names that make sense for your generation and aren't popular in the current naming landscape, try them out. When the barista at Starbucks asks your name, try out one of the new names. There are so many little opportunities where you'll need to tell someone your name that you'll never see again, so take advantage of them. Practice in front of a mirror, saying "Hi, I'm _____, nice to meet you" with various names. Give some names a trial period, where for a few days or a week, ask your friends to only call you that name, so you get used to hearing other people say it. Write your new signatures over and over. The ones you feel the most comfortable saying, writing, and hearing will start to make themselves known to you.

Good luck, and I hope you find a name that feels more like you.

July 27, 2013 05:01 PM

I feel like your picks have a more of a Generation X vibe rather than simply traditional. It may be helpful to look at the SSA data during the late '60s/early '70s to give you some more options, if you feel like you need them.

I guess what I'm asking is, do you want to evoke that era or just want a timeless, traditional name? This goes doubly for the nicknames. Bill, for instance, could read dated or retro-chic, whereas Will fits in more to today's classrooms. Do you even want to use nicknames at all? These preferences will have a bigger impact on what I recommend for you rather than what I would personally chose (which I don't think is as helpful to you, seeing as how it's your baby).

As it stands, my top five are


  • David (nn Davey, I personally dislike Dave)
  • Mark
  • Joseph (Joe/Joey)
  • Thomas (Tom/Tommy)
  • John (Johnny)


Other suggestions I'd make (taken from the stats for 1970) are

  • Robert (Rob/Bob)
  • Richard (Rick/Rich)
  • Jeffrey (Jeff)
  • Steven
  • Daniel (Dan)
  • Anthony (Tony)
  • Paul
  • Matthew (Matt)
  • Peter (Pete)

July 27, 2013 01:35 PM
In Response to Jimmy Fallon

I also wish they'd gone with a full name, but going by Jimmy really hasn't hurt his career, though. She can also shorten it to Win(n) if she feels that she needs a more serious alternative.

July 27, 2013 01:30 PM

It's clear you really like the long A sound, so I think it's fine. The -ie ending of Sadie really helps to separate the name from her brothers'. The only thing I'd caution you about would be if you have more children after this baby. Would you want to get locked in this pattern?

July 24, 2013 03:32 PM

I think anything with 3+ syllables could work nicely, so how about:

Hudson Alexander Phillips

Hudson Dominic Phillips

Hudson Nathaniel Phillips

Hudson Christopher Phillips

Hudson Zachary Phillips

Hudson Anthony Phillips

Hudson Tobias Phillips

Hudson Xavier Phillips

Hudson Gregory Phillips

Hudson Theodore Phillips

Hudson Everett Phillips

Any of those speak to you?


I think Evelyn provides you with a good base for using a lot of the names you like as nicknames (Ella, Ellie, Lee), so that way you could kill two birds with one stone. I also think Star could work as a middle name, as a nod to the lily.

So in addition to Mrs. H's suggestions:

Evelyn Louise

Evelyn Star

Evelyn Lee

Ella Louise

Ella Star

Also, have you considered Eloise? It seems like the perfect combination of the lovely Ella/Ellie names and Louise, freeing you up to use one of the names inspired by your aunt.

Eloise Lee

Eloise Grace

Eloise Star


July 24, 2013 02:42 PM

I want to second all of this! This is exactly how I feel as well.

So, absolutely Brandt Henry and Bianca Noel.

July 24, 2013 02:30 PM

Willow Amelie & Tabitha Wren, definitely.

July 19, 2013 01:11 PM
In Response to Invent a name!

Rachel --> Ravel

Christopher --> Tristopher


Girl: Colleen

Boy: Boris