About Me

Mum to Jo1y0n Max, Rup3rt James, Th0masina Adele, and Wi1fr3d George.

My Favorite Names
My Recent Blog Comments
April 18, 2018 10:04 PM

The board is still broken, so to fill the mounting silence I thought I'd point out that the thread on Nancy's blog actually includes THE original Deneen, the one who was starring in the commercial, coming out of the woodwork.

Paging all those people who wanted to know what THE Deneen who launched a thousand namesakes looks like: it turns out she's actually *also* the Deneen who went on, as part of the duo August & Deneen, to launch the song "We Go Together:

This is pretty amazing, as the same Deneen led to both the first spike and then the protracted later spike!

Anyway, while I don't have THE commercial, you can listen to her, and there's a picture of what she looks like here:

Or here:

I feel so proud of this board for laying this longtime mystery to rest, and the contribution of the original namesake Deneen Castriano is really putting a beautiful bow on the whole affair. 

April 4, 2018 03:48 PM
In Response to Spam Filter Woes

This sentence makes me laugh so hard! (I do know what you mean but it is still wonderfully silly.)

I had been wondering why the quiet had been so protracted and why no one had spontaneously conceived a set of all-girl quadruplets to fill the silence yet!

April 2, 2018 11:01 PM
In Response to Alyona

I like it. I agree it fits in well with current naming trends, sort of a mashup between the very fashionable lacy Eliana-type names and the Ione/Iona more hipstery fusty revival names.

I'd feel comfortable with it as a 3.5 syllable name straddling the boundary between the two pronunciations, but I think your point about this being the kind of linguistic imprecision that drives some people crazy is very well made.  

My son's name also has a -lyon in it, and that is not a spelling that anyone who hears the name ever guesses, but I think that's a small price of admission to pay for the pleasures of having such an aesthetically pleasing name (it's a fun letter sequence to write out by hand, too). Anyway, with Alyona I would not expect anyone who hears the name to correctly guess the existence of the y, so you might expect peole guessing Alliona but I really don't think that needs to be a dealbreaker. 

April 1, 2018 02:24 PM

I agree with all of this. 

I can only add that I just encountered Linda as a middle name (first name in this case was a very big statement name). I'm a teacher, and full names appear on my course roster, so this is one of the rare instances where someone DOES get to look at the middle name, and I was pleasantly surprised -- its meaning  is fairly transparent for me since it is the word for 'pretty' in Spanish, and while that makes me dislike it in the first name spot I unexpectedly found it very nice in the middle name spot, where it's an adjective modifying the First Name. Anyway, I just wanted to report that Linda spotted in the wild as a middle name actually made me take notice in a positive way.

March 30, 2018 12:58 PM

And indeed, Jabari is actually already a name phenomenon thanks to the comics! It debuted in the SSA stats right when Black Panther got his own comic series in 1973.

March 30, 2018 12:49 PM

Oh! One last set of predictions: I expect an upswing in Dora, especially with a middle name of Milaje, after the dora milaje guardwomen, as well as the unisex Jabari after the tribe that comes to the rescue after the challenge.

March 30, 2018 12:39 PM

Finally got a chance to see it! I agree that Nakia is the most obvious blockbuster choice, but I actually think I might expect Wakanda to show up as a girl's name, too. Naming after a fictional character in a non-finished universe has problems, but I think that Wakanda as an idyllic society of proud African culture has the appeal of Avalon and thanks to similarity with given names, albeit dated ones (Wanda) it seems very namey to me as well. So my prediction is that this movie's appeal and the powerful message associated with the country is going to be enough to overcome the idea that Wakanda sounds too 1970s to use. 

I also think that on the male side the movie has the power to usher in a new revival of those T'__,  J'__, W'__, M'___ and N'___ starting elements, even though I agree that starting consonant clusters are not on the pre-BP current trends. (This is going to be frustratingly hard to capture in the SSA data, since apostrophes and internal capitals are stripped out.) I also think that we might see an uptick in taking the father's name and riffing on it for the son, as in T'Chaka-->T'Challa and N'Jobu -> N'Jadaka, which also is impossible to data mine. Anyway, for boys I'd predict an uptick in  T'__a type constructions featuring name elements from parents, even though they will all be individually rare.

March 30, 2018 12:23 PM

I would be rather excited to meet a Splendora, though I think that artificial sweetener has possibly ruined that one.

March 28, 2018 03:43 PM

I am laughing so hard that I nearly dislodged the nursing baby. This thread is the gift that keeps on giving.

March 28, 2018 01:19 PM

Holey, this is a wholly perfect response. I particularly love how well you're capturing the Terrible 34s. I was thinking perhaps Cosimo or Cosima could work to follow Universe, but I think you really capture the theme in a much more imaginative way. Nosegay is the gender-clarifying middle name we've all been waiting for. 


March 26, 2018 11:02 PM
In Response to Brother for Bastian

What a fabulous resolution! Congratulations, and I think it's a terrific choice!

March 25, 2018 09:51 AM
In Response to Alyssa

My young kids have classmates with the names of Tiffany, Stephanie, Melissa and Kimberly. These names have not dropped into nothingness; they're still in use. It's nonrandom in who is using them; the examples I could come up with are all Latina, though I don't think it's as established as the child of Asian immigrants phenomenon (which I've also experienced; I have had a young adult student named Eunice, too, and never put together the obvious reason for why it would be such a good crossover choice - thanks for that!).

I think Alyssa feels like it has fashionable sounds, and I think we all carry within our hearts an 80s name that we still find very usable. (For me it's Amber. I love that name!)

March 22, 2018 04:07 PM
In Response to Brother for Bastian

I definitely grant that people DO pronounce El- names very differently, but I think the reason it's so squishy is that many people really don't hear the difference, and that when they're said quickly the casual, uninvested listener doesn't hear the differences very prominently. I can appreciate that if it's your name you might be much more attuned, though. 

I think Elodin makes me draw comparison to Elodie, which is either rhyming with Melody or a more French ay-loh-dee. I think the ee- pronunciation would be only a distant third guess for me, but I sometimes slip and say Eliza with an ee- at the beginning... so I am definitely a sloppy pronouncer of El- names who will strive to do better. :)

I would totally try to nail the author down on the pronunciation!!

March 22, 2018 10:34 AM
In Response to Brother for Bastian

I enjoy the more fantasy oriented first names with the surname, too, but I'm definitely a more-is-more kind of person. It is an amazing surname no matter what first name it's paired with! 

I agree Locke is a "safer" choice, pronunciation unambiguous, but Elodin's different syllable stresses don't seem like it is something that I would get very worked up about as I think they'd sound mostly the same when said in conversation. I think you could safely pick your favorite of ELL-oh-din, AY-lo-din, EE-lo-din, or the different stressed syllable permutations. People would largely follow your lead, but all of those start to sound mostly the same to me when said quickly or without careful annunciation, so I would probably just adopt a very zen attitude about all of those being not-wrong (it being a recent literary invention helps with that, I think). I suspect that when the movie adaptation hits that then you'll encounter one of the pronunciations being reinforced as "correct" by the film, though! 

March 22, 2018 08:36 AM
In Response to Brother for Bastian

The junior being the firstborn is perhaps how it dften happens because people's first allegiance is to continuing tradition, but that's by no means a requirement.

Bastian makes me think of the Neverending Story, too. 

I would seek to include another favorite book reference in my second child's name, just because that's such a fun naming story. Perhaps Taran (Wanderer), Thorin, Jareth, Westley?

March 22, 2018 08:23 AM

I am totally sloppy because I didn't look up the curves, just was going by the empirical fact that the multiple Judiths and Helens I know span pretty exactly same age range. Thanks for catching my error; you're totally right! (Helen's broad peak explains why the Helens and Judiths I know are all the same ages, it's still in the top 30 when Judith is at its peak in the top 10, but it's falling  by that point.)

Anyway, being more precise, I'll revise that statement to say that Judith seems like Carol rather than like Barbara -- I think the sounds are fashionable even as the name is on a nadir. I think it's perfectly usable and would be delighted to see it on a little one. I think the nickname possibilities also give more blending in possibilities: Judy is a charming retro confection that fits in with the Bettys in the contrarian hipster areas and the Rubys elsewhere, Jude is a sleek, modern gender neutral option (I actually know several nonbinary people using it), Juju is a pleasing pet name that I also see in use for other names and that would fit in with the Lulus. 

March 22, 2018 08:11 AM

I totally meant to add a caveat to that effect but I see I did not - thanks for catching my oversight. I agree that the Yael spelling seems like it is emminently more usable, even if the J spelling is listed by behindthename as the English form. Even if that one is fraught with mispronunciation also, they'd be mispronunciations with a more neutral-positive twist than incarceration.  (I am imagining you'd get called Yale a lot, which is preppy-aspirational and not my style as a given name, but really objectively fine, and if you believe the Dennis-Dentist thing might make your daughter a little more likely to pursue higher ed).

March 21, 2018 11:41 PM

I think Judith is elegant and, like Helen, among the first of the boomer names that I'd expect to come back. I don't know any little Judiths, just the most fabulous octuagenarian no-nonsense academic from my former book club, but even before I met her it struck me as a name which contains a lot of on-trend and starting-to-feel-fresh sounds, like Jude and Edith (both of which I have seen represented in the newest generation). I think it's a name that might not excite everyone in the abstract but that would very quickly grown on people on an actual baby. (I think even far more fusty porch-sitter names do that, in my experience as the mother of a Wi1fred).

In order from commonplace to more striking/weird: Joscelyn, Jasmine, Johanna, June or Juniper or Juno, Justice, Jillian, Jolene, Jacinta, Jessamine.  I'm also seeing Jael, which I'm guessing is a variant of Yael.  I'm also seeing that there were 76 girls named Jupiter (and 51 named Jentry) last year, which kind of boggles my mind. 

Z is a great middle initial. I'd be inclined to go with Zaphod, Zeno, Zeus or Zephyr personally. Zebulon and Zane are also fun, and Zephaniah is full of on-trend sounds and you might like the repetition with Judah?

March 20, 2018 10:54 PM

I know you have already heard this, EVie, but a friend of a friend is Avarice, pronounced like Ava Reese, who was deliberately named after the concept of greed. I'm also shocked at how regularly Vanity and Envy are in use in the SSA data (Pride is a little less surprising). Perhaps that is a fruitful ground for naming for Dr J, at least, given his interest in both Heiress and Caligula.

March 20, 2018 10:45 PM

I also really appreciated this post, which, given that I'm probably exactly the sort of person meant to be parodied by this, really speaks for the very high quality of the silliness. 

Thank you also for not inventing all-girl quadruplets to go with your post, even though your prolific name lists could easily support that number of children.  

Pissenlit is amazing. Perhaps you could find a potential compromise with Dr J in more sleek and modern riffs on the concept, like Void, Urea, or Incontinence? Ureter or Jejunum for a boy? 

Frankly, I don't think I can even come close to the niveau in this thread, so I'm just going to participate as an audience member cheering you on. 

(Also I sent this post to Miriam, who deemed it a hoot as well.) 


If we're going to have open season on loads of wholly made up scenarios populating this board, may they all contain this level of world building, creativity and humor!