About Me

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

My Favorite Names
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July 13, 2018 10:45 AM

I suspected as much. If I were in a primarily Spanish-speaking environment, Sebastian would not have been stricken from my own list!

July 13, 2018 01:34 AM

Henry was on our list a decade ago, and we eliminated it also due to concerns about rising popularity. Now that we are parenting children, it turns out we know a lot of little Henrys. Popularity doesn't mean what it once did, etc. etc., but my demographic pocket seems to consist of an awful lot of people who really love the name Henry. My kids have many, many friends named Henry.

Sebastian is a name which my spouse loved but which I couldn't quite wrap my mouth around the English pronunciation of, so off the list it went. Last year our son also had two Sebastians in his class, retrospect we are happy that he wasn't the third Sebastian, and the second Sebastian G., in his class. Although they're fairly tied in terms of national statistics, Sebastian is a good bit less oversaturated among people I know.

I do think that names are more pockety than national statistics describe - I also know multiple young Edmunds, another name not taken, even though that one is a good bit rarer in use than any of the names on your list. 

So: in re popularity concerns, I think one option is to reconciling yourself to the fact that you might find an occasional Frederick or Lawrence or Arthur, and more than the occasional Henry or Sebastian, in your child's life because you have the good fortune of being surrounded by other people who share the same interest in quaintly old-fashioned gentlemanly names. Another option is to go for super obscure variants or truly unusual names and be prepared to spell it out a lot (did that with one kid). Yet another option is to dust off a porch-sittery name that isn't broadly ready for revival yet (which we did with another kid). My experience with the truly clunky fusty name is that people are taken aback at first but then the name quickly grows on them once it's attached to an actual baby, so it's certainly a way to achieve the "familiar but unusual" balance. Names that feel ready for revival usually HAVE been revived already. 

I think the first option is probably best for you... resign yourselves to accepting that traditional, courtly gentleman names are one of the styles being revived right now and the things that sound fresh to you probably will to others, so you're unlikely to end up in unpopular territory without deliberately wading into the bizarre or outmoded. I think that picking the name you love best and that feels most like your child is ultimately more important than picking a name based on popularity trajectories. (However I feel like a giant hypocrite offering this advice because it is definitely not the choice I ended up taking. I just ended up feeling more at home in the exotic traditional category when it came to naming actual children.)

I would have wanted put Albert into the clunky unfashionable porch sitter category - don't get me wrong, I love it and would be delighted to meet one, but it just doesn't feel as currently fashionable as the other names on your list. However, it turns out I'm wrong. There are more Alberts than Fredericks and Alistairs born in the US last year, to my surprise. 

Arthur, Alistair and Frederick might be my favorites on your list, in that they spent substantial time on my own lists with a naming partner whose names gravitate more towards the sleek courtly classics. (We also ended up with one son named from the Gentlemanly category that I've been surprised to find used less than I'd have expected, so I will suggest Rupert to you.)

In re Frederick I do have reservations about the -rick ending running into your surname, though. It's not an absolute dealbreaker but when you have a longer list of other choices that don't run together with the surname, I would upvote those. 

Ultimately, I think you can't go wrong: lots of great choices!

July 3, 2018 02:49 PM
In Response to New long name!

If I were looking for unusual, my choice would definitely be Andromeda. I also know an Antoinette, and a little girl with a middle name of Antigone. Also, I quite like Antonella. 

I think that taking the Annie from the middle of the name could work too but only if the ANN is the stressed syllable, say, Diantha. 

June 28, 2018 08:37 AM

What a great name your daughter has! I think other advice has been excellen. I can only recommend Kay Sheard’s name book to you, and also suggest that you think now about the degree to which you’d like to lock yourself into a theme. I love the idea of continuing the middle names, both in number and in theme, as a fun sibling bond, but for the first name I’d try to tread more carefully about whether it’s best to choose another botanical name. If  chances are good that this child completes your family I think there’s no harm done if the callname you love best comes from the same category, but if you’re hoping for a larger brood, given the unusual striking nature of the names it might be a difficult theme to get away from once established. I generally think it takes three to make a pattern, not two, but in more unusual namespace I think that changes for me. So maybe not Clematis nicknamed Clem, but more Solstice nicknames Sol.

June 25, 2018 09:54 PM

Can I interest you in using Rosie Ru (or Rue or Roo, whatever spelling you prefer) as a nickname option for Rosalie Ruth? It’s a sweet nickname- I use it occasionally for my son, and a friend of his uses it as a nickname for a totally unrelated name. 

June 23, 2018 09:03 AM
In Response to Is this an issue?

I agree with this, both that Greta is even worse than Claire with the surname (in part because I hear "Great shot!" so much more than "clear shot"), and also that they're similar enough that the word surname brings the phrase to mind.

If it makes the original poster feel any better, I also have a surname that rules out a lot of names (it sounds similar to Garden, so all kinds of floral and botanical names and geographic are out, and it has a verb in it at the beginning too so all kinds of profession or noun names are out too.)

June 21, 2018 11:38 PM
In Response to Is this an issue?

Like TOH, it definitely occurred to me right away. I think I would be hesitant to use it, myself, but I don't think it's quite as obvious as Robin Banks or similar. 

On the plus side, it's not like it's Down-a Shot or Buck Shot or Long Shot... Clear Shot isn't necessarily a bad term. 

It will occur to some people who meet your daughter, but I think it's unlikely to be an actual problem. 

There's always reevaluating surnames, too. Hyphenating with a second surname would certainly override the issue. 

June 19, 2018 11:49 PM
In Response to Natalie or Natalia?

I think that four syllables are not that difficult to impose. My daughter has a far heftier four syllable name where the syllables are less liquid than Natalia and thus they can't smoosh together to become a three-syllable name - you cannot avoid any one fo the four syllables. Right now she's using the full name almost exclusively, and no one has tried to abbreviate it, to my surprise. The only people who use a nickname are we parents, and we picked it because we like it. Nicknaming by default is at an automatic low right now; there are a lot of other kids with long names who use the whole thing, so most people won't bat an eye at it. 

The only people who might have trouble with it are the very young. My 1-year-old went through a phase of just saying the last two syllables of his sister's name as he was learning to talk, but he's just made it to the full name before his second birthday. So you can expect Talia or Yaya or something to come out of a future younger sibling for a while, but otherwise, I think that four syllables is a reasonable expectation, especially when they flow as smoothly as Natalia. That said I think many people think they're saying ee-ah but will actually say -yah in practice some of the time, and if that bothers you, Natalie would be a better fit. 

June 19, 2018 07:01 PM
In Response to Natalie or Natalia?

I cannot even hear a difference between this TAL and TALL syllable... and I definitely run together ee-ah endings into -yah sometimes, too. Sorry, Natalias of the world! I swear I think that I'm repeating the name as the Eastern European Natalia who married into my distant family introduced herself! 

June 19, 2018 06:55 PM

That first one is amazing. Imagine introducing a sibling group concluding with, "...and Jerkface." I looked up the original sign and it's worth noting that this grouping are the "Mother Cluckers", which is kind of great. And the Harry Potter set are Eggzkaban, which is even better.

I wonder if Camillus was purchased as a day-old chick with the hope that it would be a female (some breeds or crosses you can tell the males and females apart, but it's definitely not 100%) but then he turned out to be a rooster. The presence of Carl suggests that there's a second rooster, which is interesting. 

I love Charlemagne as a rooster name, though, but what a contrast with hen names like Snickers, Sugar, and Foxy-Roxy. 

My friends' chickens are Lav3ndar, Margar3t, Sus4n, G!nger, D0tty and... drat, I'm forgetting the last one. Speckles? They were all named by their son, which I thought was remarkably excellent naming. 

The best sign I found is a group of Henrietta, Pickles, Daisy (the fifth!), Flower, Ninja, Darth Vader, Lucy, Stripes, Vanilla and Rinse. I bet that this eclectic combination is due to a multi-child family. 

Our chicken coop is way too small - it's a tiny little replica of a human house, on wheels, and most of the sides are taken up by door and window features. I'll post a picture on Facebook; our neighbor did a brilliant job building it.

June 19, 2018 03:21 PM

Caspian wears really well. I agree that with Soren it sort of ties together, and it's literary in a way that your children's names also strike me as the first associations I have are writers (Lindgren, Kierkegaard).

I think meanings are pretty meaningless, frankly. I used a name meaning twin on a child who I worked hard to avoid having be a twin. What the name means to me is much more about associations than about the etymology. 

June 19, 2018 11:51 AM

Happily, for chickens the spelling really and truly doesn't matter. (No chicken license. No vet visits. The names are really just a collection of sounds.) 

I'm so glad you all enjoyed my attempt at humor. I wondered for a little while if I'd shot myself in the foot and made it so no one would even open the post. I was surprised this was the first post of its title on this site, though!

June 19, 2018 11:48 AM
In Response to Wren?

I always like the updates, too, so thank you for giving us one! Congratulations and enjoy your well-named baby!

June 19, 2018 12:35 AM

I'm so glad you enjoyed it, even if the timing is a bit off after the last epidemic of multiple births.

June 19, 2018 12:34 AM

I think it's LAHN-YAHP, at least in my clumsy yankee tongue.

Unfortunately LLL is now promoted from spare chicken because a racoon in broad daylight reached through the chicken wire of the run and decapitated her. We are stepping up our game in defense... but the nature of living in nature is that sometimes it will intervene, so I am sure this is not the last chance to name chickens that we will have, and your excellent suggestions will likely get their day in the sun at some point... but hopefully not for a little while. 

June 17, 2018 02:59 PM

And, when I look up why 2013 and 2017 are the years that Obsidian charts, I find that there's a horror movie that came out in 2013 named Obsidian as well as an album, AND a DC comics character who is known for having a gay storyline. So I'm pleased with it as a chicken name!

June 17, 2018 02:53 PM

Last night we were visiting friends who have a Speckled Sussex chicken, whose name is Lav3ndar. I joked that she should be Lady Lav3ndar M4rkle, based on the Duchess of Sussex and also on her regal bearing. (She is their child's favorite of their chicken flock and I got to listen to a presentation with a poster.)

I think she could be Lagniappe Laquita Louise! 

June 17, 2018 02:44 PM

Peep-Veep would be great, except I just cannot with the political jokes about vice presidents right now. In a different time or a parallel universe, I'd totally love it!

I love Floyd and would pick it if it were up to me. My son also considered the similar "Kylo Hen" but he already knows someone who used this name on their chicken so he didn't want to go there. 

June 17, 2018 02:37 PM

Tilly is fantastic as the name for the spare bear! I love it! 

June 17, 2018 02:35 PM

These are great ideas!

I love Feathered-Lloyd and Sam-I-am, but my son is adamant that it's Obsidian, so I think we've got a name that stuck! I like it because she's also a very OBStinate chicken, so it fits. 

I think the fifth chicken may be Lagniappe Laquita! Lagniappe is both the term for a surprise bonus item (like the 13th bagel) as well an actual baby name, albeit not one that's ever made it into the SSA- I found it in an alumni baby announcement for a surprise younger sibling, tucked away into the middle name slot.  Laquita is a name mystery that I have a personal connection to because I met a Laquita at a party one time and she was a little taken aback by my intense interest in her name and its origin.

I also stumbled upon a name mystery: Azure debuts with a stunning 121 girls in 1975. Can anyone help me figure out why? If it's a good reason then I think we might have a contendor for Lagniappe Laquita, even though Azure is one of those words that I always stumble over the pronunciation of. 

Edited to add: YES! I found out the prompt for the spike. The variant Azuredee helped me out, it's from a Kojak episode which aired in 1975 where there was a murder victem by the name of Azure Dee. It's sufficiently morbid that I don't want to use it as a name for a chicken, especially while we're still actively troubleshooting best predator deterrent strategies.