About Me

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

My Favorite Names
My Recent Blog Comments
September 14, 2018 11:59 PM

I don't think it's quite the same category as asking to spell Julia or David, because unlike Jewelia or Dayvid (which only pop up only when the 90s creative spellings trend started hitting hard), the Gretta variant has a long history: it shows up in the SSA data before Greta, actually. Greta surged ahead in the 1920s, and Gretta has remained more stable except for 1966 when there must have been a pop culture trigger -- looks like maybe swimmer 

  Margretta "Gretta" Kok. There are a little over a tenth as many Grettas than Gretas... it's definitely the minority spelling, but it's not an outlandish question to ask. 

September 14, 2018 11:45 PM
In Response to Baby Girl Mena

I feel like most names have names that they can be misheard as... certainly most short and liquid sounding names do, anyway. So, there are few names that can't be misheard over a bad phone connection or in a noisy background situation. However, the pairing of a more uncommon name with a much more-common sound-alike definitely does invite it happening a little more often - this is the voice of experience, as one of my kids is one vowel sound off from a much more common name. However, I don't think this is really as big a difference in popularity between Nina and M*na as you're thinking: there were 1009 girls born named Nina last year, compared to 409 named Mina, 43 named Meena, 17 Mena, 12 Minah... and also 17 boys named Mina. Nina is more popular, but by a factor of two. Mina is not a wholly unfamiliar name. (For comparison, my kid has a name given to less than 5 kids annually and the soundalike is given to well over 8000 kids.) 

Anyway, I think you might have to emphasize the M or be sure to speak more clearly at the first introduction, but ultimately, even if you sometimes have to repeat yourself, in my experience that's a small price to pay for a meaningful name. It hasn't been a huge bother... and if your coffee says "Nina" on it when you pick it up from the barista it's not the end of the world. 


(If you want a name that's not really capable of being easily misheard, because there aren't really any soundalikes at all, Philomena comes to mind!)

September 13, 2018 02:56 PM

Actually, you might consider whether Rip as a nickname for Rupert might fulfill some of the same. We had less luck getting that one to stick, but apparently my naming style is macho word-type nicknames and fusty-courtly full names. 

September 13, 2018 02:54 PM

Oh, and my eldest has a Julian-variant name, so I want to to recommend Wilfred with the nickname Wolf to you. It might be simultaneously too cowboy/macho for him and too musty-vintage for you, but I have loved the package of on-trend nature/surname nickname with super-fusty knight name (we got it from rereading Ivanhoe). It is getting to have All the Things in one name, and it's a nickname that smoothly coexists with the full name in regular rotation. 

September 13, 2018 02:45 PM

Perhaps you meet in the middle at classical names that tend towards a little more gladiator? Blake always makes me think of the poet so it's a bit of a romantic age kind of name for me, in addition to a little bit cowboy.

Would the nickname of Cash for Cassius help sell it more? It has echoes of country (thanks, Johnny Cash!), so it actually should work as a Blake-Julian overlap name. I have long loved Cassius and I love it even more since I saw the phenomenal "Sorry To Bother You" in theaters. (The protagonist is Cassius Green, as in Cash is Green. It's the best movie I've seen in a very long time and I'm hoping it might give the name a little revival in next year's SSA stats. Certainly no harm in taking your husband to go see it, beyond the risk of injury from laughing too hard.)  

Perhaps you both might enjoy Leonidas/Leo? Or Evander? Or Peregrin with the nickname of Perry? Perhaps Arthur, with Art as a nickname option? Try Maximus/Max? Jasper is another one that sits at the intersection of courtly and hick, maybe Virgil?

I could be offbase in this read, so if there are just a few other examples of his style, that could help me pinpoint venn diagram overlap better. You clearly like smooth classical names with international portability.

September 13, 2018 02:26 PM
In Response to Baby Girl Mena

I would pronounce Minna differently, like the first syllable of minnow and minimum. 

I think I'd choose Mena given this situation where you're honoring a Philomena, even though Mina is probably slightly less ambiguous in pronunciation.

September 10, 2018 10:13 PM
In Response to Wynter???

I agree that my objections abate for middle names: there, I think it's fine to load it up. Ada Wynter Wilde is great, and aww is kind of adorable for initials. 

September 10, 2018 10:04 AM

Also congratulations— great name at the end of a long voyage!

September 9, 2018 04:33 PM
In Response to Baby Girl Mena

I love Philomena (it was on my own lists), but I think Mena is also familiar as a stand-alone name thanks to Mena Suvari (the actress from American Beauty). She’s no longer a household name perhaps, but I think she’d influence people above a certain age to default to the Meena pronunciation.

A really sweet choice, especially given the family history!

September 9, 2018 03:21 PM
In Response to Wynter???

Oh, I misread the surname. Winter Wilde is not a choice I’d make, but its not as ill-advised as Winter Wilder. 

September 9, 2018 08:35 AM
In Response to Wynter???

My son has a friend named Winter. He’s a boy but I think it’s a very unisex name that I’d be unsurprised to encounter on a girl with that same spelling. It gave me a moment of surprise when I was first introduced but I found I really like it!

I think the y feels like forcing it - many names need to be spelled out, true, but I can guarantee that Wynter would be gotten wrong all the time because of its great familiarity as a word. It also feels overly heavy handed in an attempt to force femininity onto a sleekly gender neutral, unfrilly name. I vastly prefer Winter. Let the signal of gender come from the middle name which your daughter can include on occasions when she wants to clarify.

I also can not recommend the name for a child whose surname is to be Wilder. That is not just alliteration but so much similarity (first part, last part, number of syllable, emphasis of those syllable) that the full name becomes a tongue twister. If you’re using your surname it‘s a super choice, but if you’re using your partner‘s surname I’d keep looking.

September 9, 2018 12:28 AM
In Response to Middle name help

I think Austin Sterling Helm is great. I would find Sterling problematic as a first name with Helm, but in the middle name I think it's neat. Remember he'll be Austin S. Helm almost all the time... and you can use "Ash" as a nickname from the initials, too, which is neat!

September 6, 2018 04:43 PM

In that case, I like Austin because you'd said your husband doesn't like Bennett as a first name earlier in the thread.

I like Sterling as a middle name because your previous son was named after your husband, so having a middle name honoring you seems very sweet. 

September 6, 2018 04:00 PM

i vote for Bennett as the first name in this situation, mostly because you said really didn't feel right when you'd picked Austin. The obvoius next step is to try assigning the other name and see if it sits better with you! 

September 5, 2018 02:49 AM
In Response to Taylen Lively?

I would pronounce both Tailen and Taylen as just like "talon" (like sharp claws) only with a long a sound, so the first syllable is like the name Taylor (or the profession tailor). The Taylor/tailor example highlights that the Tailen spelling really wouldn't be pronounced any differently from Taylen. I suppose that Tailen could also be pronounced Tie-lin (like "tie one on", or bow tie), so that Tay- is the best most straightforward spelling for the name.

Other analogy, like "tailing" with the g dropped at the end. 

Here are all the spellings in use in 2017 that I would guess are going with the pronunciation you're thinking:























And these names are very similar (I'd guess they're mostly either like talon or like tie-lan):
















My opinion of the name is still: not my style, does not remind me of particularly charming words and blends in with a lot of other names (and i'd have a heck of a time remembering the spelling), but it's certainly easy to pronounce when you see it.


September 4, 2018 03:49 PM

I think that where my surname and Helm are different from your surname and Miller/Smith is in commonality. If you have an unusual surname, the brain is just less trained to filter it out as a name and is more inclined to parse it as a word... making definitely Archer Helm and also Parker Helm and Rose Mysurname less advisable. 

I do agree with you on how the brain usually parses the profession or noun-type surnames as surnames unless the first name is also in the same category. I also go straight to medieval romance with Archer Helm, and Parker Helm makes me think a little bit of navigational assistance (would be a great name for a GPS).

Austin Helm is fantastic and does not have any problems whatsoever.

September 4, 2018 12:42 PM

And I don't think an absence of comment means that other people don't think of it. I think generally people have a filter where they don't comment on names, especially surnames, past childhood (into the ages where one learns more advanced vocabulary such as the word "helm", for example). I have a surname which is a verb and noun, kind of like "do tend to the yard by planting things", and it's quite obvious (and I use it when spelling out my name on the phone) but the last person to comment on it was a teacher in college, and he was only using the first part (he wrote, "Go, go, [surname]" on an essay where I had greatly improved my foreign language writing skills). My surname still rendered all obviously floral/botanical names off-limits. 

September 4, 2018 12:35 PM

Yes, I do think of helmets when I think of helm, as well as very strongly the steering of ships. This makes me also not particularly like Parker with your surname... because it makes me think about parking and steering an item. (As someone who relies on ferries in my daily life, I do know that boats dock and moor rather than "park", but somehow it's uncomfortably on the nose anyway... I think because I use "at the helm" for non-boating applications too to describe the person who is navigating a trip or a mission of some other metaphorical journey type.) 

Anyway, I think Austin is a super choice!

September 4, 2018 10:43 AM

As someone who does archery sometimes with my kids, I agree with this. Archer is a great name and I have been delighted to meet several kids with the name, but I wouldn't use it with this surname. I might suggest Asher instead... but I think Austin is a better choice, having been under consideration for so long already.

September 1, 2018 11:18 AM
In Response to Taylen Lively?

I agree with EVie's assessment 100% here.

Names you might like that share the tailored international feel that Elle has for me, and some of the bell-tone nature of Taylen: Tamsin (really like this one for you, not just because it's my daughter's nickname), Mira, Anya, Aria, Maia, Daphne, Simone, Frida, Lena, Dalia, Talia.