About Me

Name lover for as long as I've lived! No children, just love names. All kinds appeal -- baby names, place names, even names of buildings could interest me. I'm currently reading "Names on the Land," a toponymic history of the U.S., and loving it. I've enjoyed Laura's blog for years and am always impressed by the knowledge, open-mindedess and creativity in the comments.

My Favorite Names

No favorite names yet.

My Recent Blog Comments
September 3, 2018 02:01 PM

Incredible insights. I think about that 2004 post about age, politics and creativity all the time! It changed my whole view on naming.

September 3, 2018 01:45 PM

Had the same thought about the Kardashian kids! Other than Penelope, all the children have a word or place name.

September 3, 2018 01:28 PM

I agree with the main point, but the feminine potential of Addison and Emerson had to exist before any expectant parents even could get to the step of considering a nickname. That potential was there because the initial syllables align with common female names.

Addison came along after Madison had soared to popularity, and many parents probably wanted an alternative. It also has a first syllable that resembles Adelaide and Adele. The "Em" in Emerson would have reminded people, maybe subconsciously, of Emily and Emma. So even the nickname-averse could read or hear these names and think, "Sounds like a girl."

Harrison and Jefferson, on the other hand, don't sound like any female names, other than Harriet, which has been out of style for a long time. These names are literally "Harry" and "Jeff" with more syllables tacked on.

I realize this is all of a piece, and I am sure millions of parents were indeed thrilled with the nickname potential of Addison and Emerson, but first they had to encounter the name and think, "female."

July 16, 2017 04:12 AM

Love to see the list from Alaska, where I used to live. Paxson and Hatcher are both geographic names there. Paxson is a very small town (although Alaska is so sparsely populated that the tiny towns tend to be better known statewide than they would be other areas of the U.S.), and Hatcher Pass, an incredibly beautiful place about an hour's drive from Anchorage. 

Soundwise, Paxson is right on trend, and I noticed when I lived in Alaska -- a state with an enormous amount of state identity and pride -- that people were more inclined to use state-specific names for their children (and pets!) than in other states where I'd lived (New York and Pennsylvania). An acquaintance there named her son Paxson, and Sarah Palin used it as a middle name for one of her kids. So I'm not too surprised to see it's caught on with other parents as well.

July 16, 2017 03:59 AM

jelizabeth, yeah, I've noticed Leonies here and there in London. When I lived in the States, I never heard this name, never ever -- didn't even know how to pronounce it!

I'm trying to help a couple with a name for a baby girl right now, and this list seems to fit their style. Laura certainly captures the American name zeitgeist with "traditional and familiar, but has an element of surprise; outside the mainstream, but not unfashionable."

One name I could see fitting in well in the girl stack is Cecily, and Cecil for a boy.

March 10, 2014 08:45 AM
In Response to The Real "Me" Decade?

It looks like Mia was already on the rise when "Pulp Fiction" came out, at which point it shot up in use.

I can't imagine the movie didn't give a boost to this name that already had the makings of a hit.

At this point, the name Mia is so well known that I'm sure few people associate it with the movie anymore. But at the time, it was a pretty novel choice for Uma Thurman's character.

September 4, 2013 02:57 AM

I think they sound great together! Tillie and Nelly. Love it. They don't rhyme, and their similarity only makes them sound better.

May 4, 2013 02:49 AM

Oscar seems like it would work.

November 16, 2012 03:42 AM

One point of note: Most people I have heard discussing the killing of Trayvon Martin, in conversation and the news media, have pronounced his name "TRAY-von." According to those who knew him, though, it was "tray-VON," emphasis on the second syllable.

You can hear his mother pronounce it in this Mother's Day video:

And at 4:36 in this interview clip:

And the girl he was on the phone with the night of his death, in the fourth audio clip in this article:


This probably hasn't had any bearing on the treatment of the name in people's discussion of the case, but I think it's an interesting aspect of the name's role in the national conversation this year that it was widely mispronounced.

February 6, 2012 02:41 AM

@need2Xthehelp I love your style! And I think the previous commenters have made great suggestions for pairing from what you listed. I wanted to try to come up with some additional three-syllable but SHORT (five letters max) names that would go well with your long last name (and each other). Hope you like them. Delia and Alina Elisa and Diega Celia and Adela Rania and Elida Lucia and Kimya Nadia and Paola Aria and Talia