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About Me

No kids yet, but I love names.

My Favorite Names
My Recent Blog Comments
March 7, 2015 02:37 PM

Notice that the names that are "going girl" have largely been prep school names, that is, names that some would call sissy. It's not a coincidence that these names are popular in areas that have a strong anti-intellectual culture.[...] I didn't have a problem with it until my some of my favorite boys names that I considered strong and sensitive and smart were now considered feminine because of those traits.

Oh, wow you hit the nail on the head with why I dislike it when boy names go girl, without me realizing exactly why. This is precisely it! Thank you for articulating this.

March 5, 2015 03:21 PM
In Response to Kellan or Callan?

I prefer Kellan, mainly because of the clear pronunciation. I wouldn't worry about Kel sounding like "kill". If anything, it strongly reminds me of Kel Mitchell, a child/teen actor from the '90s (the shows All That and Kenan & Kel). This is a very positive association for me, and probably will be for many adults in my cohort (mid 20s to early 30s).

I don't really care for Callan, unfortunately.

March 5, 2015 03:11 PM
In Response to Battle of the Gwens

I agree with all of this, especially the point about primary associations. I personally would get tired of the "Oh, like [the actress]/[the queen]" responses. Huge caveat in that there's no way of knowing if a currently unknown Gwendolyn is on the cusp of being a mega star.

March 3, 2015 02:31 AM

So, you seem to like longer, classic names in the middle spot? How about:

Nina Victoria
Nina Margaret
Nina Caroline
Nina Penelope
Nina Evangeline
Nina Genevieve
Nina Josephine
Nina Beatrice


March 3, 2015 02:21 AM

Ok, so you seem to like short, simple, elegantly contructed names? And since meaning is important to you, I did some research to help with the names you've listed, plus my own thoughts on interpreting those meanings.

From your list, I really like Tirzah. It has a lovely meaning, a long history, and a great sound.

Thyme is ok for me. Would you be considering this for a boy or a girl? As for meaning, this is what wikipedia has to say:

Ancient Egyptians used thyme for embalming. The ancient Greeks used it in their baths and burnt it as incense in their temples, believing it was a source of courage [...] In the European Middle Ages, the herb was placed beneath pillows to aid sleep and ward off nightmares. In this period, women would also often give knights and warriors gifts that included thyme leaves, as it was believed to bring courage to the bearer. Thyme was also used as incense and placed on coffins during funerals, as it was supposed to assure passage into the next life. 

So, the death thing might be a bit unpleasant to associate with a new baby, but there's something very poetic and noble to be courageous in spite of huge adversity, even the face of death. The bit about warding off nightmares also plays into this idea of courage and being unafraid.

I couldn't find much out about Tecari meaning-wise, although it does appear to be a surname, mostly in India and Tunisia. Maybe those places have some special meaning for you? Personal meaning trumps historical meaning for me.

Love Tessa. It feels sweet and feisty at the same time. Traditionally a nickname for Theresa, it's derived from the Greek word for "harvester" which seems kind of boring at first, but I think there's a lot to be said collecting the fruit of one's labors. You've done all this hard work, and now you have this wonderful bounty to share with everyone you love (sounds a lot like pregnancy!). You can also connect the meaning to Thanksgiving, which is of course a harvest festival. This kind of name gives your child an emphasis on gratitude, the importance of a job well done, and a generous heart.

Terra is similiar to Tessa terms of sound, and I also like it a lot. Terra means Earth, like our planet. It's a big, impressive name. So, there's a few ways you can interpret that. Obviously, she keeps you and the people around her grounded (literally). There's a serious, wise quality to Terra; I would expect someone named for the Earth to be an old soul, because it's been here long before we were and will be here long after we are. Then, you think about the planet spinning in orbit in our solar system, in our galaxy, so it always knows where it is and where it's going.

Laniya is really pretty sounding, but aside from some bogus-sounding meanings that don't really check out upon further investigation, the only definite thing I could find was a town in the state of Oyo in Nigeria with this name. Again, if Nigeria is a place that has a special meaning to you, then this would absolutely help.

Laney is probably my least favorite of all of your picks, but that's only because I have a negative association with it (a very unpleasant relative), so take my opinion with a grain of salt. It's traditionally a nickname for Elaine, which is French for Helen, which is derived from the Greek word for torch. So, a bright, guiding light to lead you out of darkness. I don't even need to go further than that; it's a lovely meaning.

Lani just ok for me. It's Hawaiian for heaven and sometimes sky. This one is more about how the mother feels about the child rather than qualities bestowed upon her. So, she is your heaven, your reward for sticking it out during hard times, and a source of pure joy.

Lark is usually given to girls, but since it's technically a bird, I don't see why it can't be used for boys either (it rhymes with Mark, a very manly name). Wikipedia tells me that the lark is a songbird, staying mostly on the ground, but only sings when it flies, which is such a great image. I would imagine a child who has a special talent that makes them alive and brings joy to people when they share that talent with others.


Sorry for this GIANT post! I hope some of what I mentioned helped you!

February 27, 2015 01:37 PM
In Response to What do you think?

I'm probably biased, but I adore the name Clark. It's my mother's maiden name and it's been on my list for years. My sister grew up with a boy named Clark as well (he'd be about 32 now), so I'm very familiar with it being used as a first name.

There's also a dystopian tv show on the CW where the female protagonist's name is Clarke (I think it's with an e at the end?), so although it's used on a young woman, it's more than rare enough and surnamey enough to feel like a usable name on a boy. I think the association with the show helps it feel modern and not stuffy or outdated.

February 27, 2015 01:16 PM

I like Liv best. It's short and sweet. I also get a little tripped up between saying Daytona and Arden.

February 26, 2015 11:23 PM
In Response to Too much?

Yes, it's way too close. I would think you were making a deliberate homage to HP, or worse, ripping it off.

February 26, 2015 09:59 PM

If you changed Gracie to just Grace, that would be my top choice for you. It's very easy to go from Grace to Gracie as a nickname, but much harder to go from Gracie to Grace if she wants to go by something more serious down the road.

The same goes for Emmy. I would prefer it as a nickname for Emma or Emily.

Not a fan of Brietta. There's nothing wrong with it, it just isn't my style.

Violet, while a great name, shares way too many of the same sounds as Levi, and I can see calling them together wouldn't pass the holler test. I personally would get very tongue tied, especially if I was stressed out and they were making mischief.


February 26, 2015 04:15 PM
In Response to Ruby or Matilda?

Such lovely names!

I'm not going to be much help because I really like both of them with Violet. I think what it will come down to is if you prefer the charm of the colorful theme or the Edwardian English countryside vibe. What my partner would do in this situation is to flip a coin and whichever it lands on, see if that makes you happy or disappointed. Or, you could simply wait and see when your girls come out and decide then, as having a little face to put the name on might make it easier.

February 26, 2015 03:03 PM

I think Netta's really cute!

Have you considered some kind of compromise? Maybe you could use a full first name that you prefer that contains the "ett" sound and use Netta as a nickname? Annette, Henrietta, Colette, Juliet, Nicolette, Yvette, etc.? There doesn't have to be an N before the "ett" sound, since there's a precedence (Ned for Edward, Nancy for Anne, Nell for Eleanor).

I think Joy is lovely.

February 26, 2015 02:51 PM

A few suggestions (I tried to stay away from those ending in -a):


Any of those strike your fancy?

February 26, 2015 02:27 PM

I prefer the flow of Tennyson Grey, but I think it sounds too masculine. Go with Piper on this one.

Miles Emerson is wonderful, with Miles Benjamin is a close second. Not a fan of Jay in the middle spot; it sounds too choppy and Jay always feels like a nickname to me.

February 25, 2015 10:37 PM

It reads as feminine to me, but I don't have a problem with a little boy bearing that name. I'm honestly more worried about the middle name, Elliot, which is heavily leaning towards unisex in recent years, so his entire first/middle combo is a bit ambiguous in gender. It's up to you on whether this bothers you or not, but you should be prepared when people assume your child is a girl based on his name.

February 25, 2015 09:13 PM

I really like Allen, though I prefer the spelling Alan. I do worry that if he chooses to go by Al he'd be Al Gold, which sounds a lot like Al Gore, so if that's not a great association for you, I'd reconsider.

Aaron and Andrew are great, solid names. Alex feels like a nickname; go for the full Alexander. I'm a bit ambivalent toward Asher, and I agree with the other posters that Aryeh will be troublesome.

Benjamin is timeless, no complaints here. Bennet is also very nice. I'm lukewarm on Baxter because I know of a couple dogs with that name, but since it's going in the middle spot I don't think it'll be a big deal.

I honestly think you have a fantastic selection of AB names to choose from. Come up with a few combinations of first-middle you like and maybe see which one fits him when he come out.

February 25, 2015 08:53 PM

You're going to have to be a lot more specific than simply "creative and unique" because those words mean several different things depending on who you're talking to. Do you want something that feels modern, like Tinsley? Mythological like Persephone? Antique like Benjamina? Shabby chic like Agnes? Nature-inspired like Lark?

Hopefully you see what I mean. Please tell us names you like but maybe can't use or aren't in love with. This will give us a sense of your naming style and help us make better suggestions.

February 25, 2015 08:14 PM
In Response to Book Club

Ohhh my goodness, I adore Robin Hobb! I spent a good part of last year devouring the entire Realm of the Elderlings series. Her characterization is so, so good and she really loves ripping your heart out. I'm so excited for the second Fitz and the Fool book!

February 25, 2015 08:01 PM
In Response to Top Three Names

In order of preference:


By the way, I don't think you'll have trouble, at least with girls and young women, with your preferred pronunciation of Louis. I have learned from my 9 year-old niece that one of the members of the boy band One Direction has this name, pronounced Lou-EE. I don't think I saw anyone bring that up in your other thread, but it may be helpful.


February 24, 2015 12:50 AM
In Response to Thoughts on my List?

I also disagree that people are going to be unaware of Cicero. I'll be 30 later this year, and while I never learned about him in school, I definitely heard and read it growing up in the '90s. It has a "Famous Roman Dead Guy Who Did Something Important" reputation, even if his actual exploits are unknown.

I do know who Liev Schreiber is.



February 24, 2015 12:35 AM
In Response to Please vote

Graham is my favorite by far. It feels very cheerful and comfortable while also being serious. I also like it because it doesn't end in an -n, , like the rest of your choices (this is a personal pet peeve of mine since there are so many boy names ending in -n, but please take my opinion with a grain of salt).

The rest of your list, in order of most liked to least liked I prefer:




Aven (I put Aven last simply because I'm unfamiliar with it, and feels more like it should go on a girl).