John Baker

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My Favorite Names
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December 7, 2018 09:54 AM

I'll admit that the first thing on my mind when hearing Violet and Rose was a Keeping Up Appearances reference: "Where's Daisy and Hyacinth?"

That said, it's definitely a sibset with a clear theme with a pedigree, so I don't think it's a problem.

December 5, 2018 12:28 PM
In Response to Name for a girl

My mind immediately split the difference to suggest Analytica Lemma. Don't listen to that.

I think Veronica Laura has the best cadence of the choices, and I'd go with that. The "-a Emma" combo is a potential tripping point, as is "-a Ana-". 

November 19, 2018 01:47 PM

I could imagine Peregrine making a comeback today, if someone is looking for a compromise between a softer-sounding name and Falcon.

November 19, 2018 07:51 AM
In Response to Thoughts on Gwendolyn?

I love Gwendolyn. I'd love to see it get more use.

November 12, 2018 09:10 AM

Lily and Sophie stand out as names that are popular in Germany now and for school-aged children in Australia. Furthermore, they're on the Icelandic list. However, would they feel German to an Australian?


One other name that checks all these boxes, and has the added benefit as a compromise choice for a vetoed Elsa: Ella.

November 9, 2018 12:32 PM

Non-Biblical, goes with Charlotte Olivia, like Levi or Eli, fairly traditional?

Oliver, Valerius (nn Val), Basil, Alfred, Evan, Eugene, Ivar, Ignatius, Liam, Leo?

November 8, 2018 08:57 AM

Zeke is the classic nickname for Ezekiel, and yet it still carries rakish appeal today. I say go for it.

November 5, 2018 02:03 PM

I'd have expected to see Circe on the list. Perhaps not a real siren per se, but she is definitely heavily associated with all manner of sea creatures.

Speaking of which, a super-daring but on-trend name would be Scylla.

October 31, 2018 09:30 AM

I have to ask: Would "A bear eats a berry" repeat?

October 26, 2018 03:15 PM

Subtle Halloween names?

Catrina sounds normal enough, but it's also the name of La Calavera Catrina, the famous illustration of a female skeleton dressed up that has become the main symbol of the Mexican Dia de los Muertos. Unfortunately, it would have passed muster in Anglo communities until Hurricane Katrina.

Kali has gained traction despite popular depictions of the Indian goddess.

Although Samhain is well-known enough as the Celtic pagan source for Halloween, it's actually pronounced closer to "Savin" or "Sawin." 

The big thing is to remember that Halloween is just the first day of a three-day Catholic holiday: All Hallows' Eve (aka Hallowe'en), All Hallows' Day (or All Saints Day), and All Souls' Day. As the vigil to all the saints and holy, there's a lot of subtle references that can be made in that space.

October 23, 2018 10:18 AM

I feel like the real issue is that -LINE is probably not a trendy pronunciation in your area, so people are going to assume that that's not the way to pronounce Emmeline, no matter how you spell it. It's likely down to being in a -LEEN pocket, like others have said. 

In any case, you most definitely did not name your daughter wrong. Her name is Emmeline, and others can adjust, once they know the pronunciation. In many ways, it'll be a blessing. You (and she) will be able to tell from the moment they mention your daughter's name whether they're someone who knows her or not. 

October 23, 2018 09:40 AM
In Response to Too popular?

Avery and Mila are popular right now (as others have pointed out). In general, there's lots of vowel sounds, lots of L, and lots of V. (A little surprised V is still up there, but it is.)

To get around that, but still remain in the same place as Avery/Mila, how about Mira? It's in the 500s right now popularity-wise, and it is charging up the charts, so it will be recognizable but still not in the too-popular group. 

October 19, 2018 01:34 PM

You want something biblical that you're familiar with.

He wants something trending Celtic and unique, but still identifiable.


More familiar suggestions: Damian, Elias, Glenn

Less familiar: Uriel, Shadrach, Finn


In any case, pointing out these particular interests is key. And "weird" is very subjective. 

October 19, 2018 01:13 PM
In Response to Indiana dilemma

I wouldn't worry about Indiana. An Indiana I know is a dancer with a major company and no one I've met bats an eyelash at it. She's American, but born in Paris. 

October 19, 2018 12:44 PM

The old traditional trends in naming I tend to think of is that boys need to be trusted in business, and girls need to be desirable spouses (Old. Traditional. I know.). As a result, the boys' names are pulled from the same old list of societally approved names over generations, while the girls' names need to change up each generation because youth is important for spousal choice (can't be thought of as a grandma with grandma's name). 

Today, however, with the vast interconnectivity of people, the need to be recognized, and diversity in the workplace, boys no longer need to remain in the carefully curated short list to be trusted. Indeed, being able to be identified against a broadening backdrop is necessary. Hence, new naming conventions. 

For girls, entry into business is increasingly important, so the same pressures on boys' names exist on girls' names, too. But there's still the youthful, beautiful, felicitous flair. At least, that's what this trend looks like, to me.

So a quick question: Palisade: Boy's or Girl's name?


April 4, 2018 12:08 PM
In Response to Alyona

The winner of the 2018 Olympic pairs figure skating competition was Aljona Savckhenko of Germany, with Aljona pronounced Al-yo-na. I wouldn't think it too bizarre, and Alyona is a good English transliteration, although I've also seen Aliona very frequently. 

March 30, 2018 10:12 AM

Although it's not specifically on the list, I have met a Prophet. I told him I like the name, and he replied that it's a lot to live up to. 

March 30, 2018 09:41 AM

I think Ivy Lind sounds fine to me. If there's any hiccup for me, it's the consonant mashup at the end with Ivy Lind W... but that's not a construction that's going to be encountered often. Also, Ivy Lind W. by itself is not a problem. 

I think it'll work. 

March 29, 2018 04:16 PM

If you're worried about the sound of Enid, a similar name with more contemprary sounds would be Elin. Or, you could drop the final D and use Ina. 

January 16, 2015 09:22 AM

I always felt Jebediah was a natural extension of Jedidiah meeting Obadiah.