About Me

Hometown: Indianapolis Occupation: student (getting ready for med school) Why am I crazy about baby names? I have a background in linguistics and have tried studying about 10 different languages on my own. It's all part of being a language junkie, and baby names are perfect because there's etymology, history, culture, spelling issues, the foreign component... I love it all. I listed my favorite names in the section below, but some go together: Henry Amos, Garrett Fielding/Frederick, Hallack Eleazar/Cromwell/Pierce/Doyle/Orrin, Niels Eleazar, Verity Alba, June Emmanuelle, Rosetta Emmanuelle, Marin/Mirren/Marion Alba, Virginia Kay (my husband's mandated first girl name. I've never been crazy about it but I've found an affection for it... we have been talking about baby Virginia for 9 years now :) To clarify: whenever I picture my family it's Charles Henry, Virginia Kay, Brick Louis, Verity Alba, baby Dash/Garrett Fielding, and baby June Emmanuelle.

My Favorite Names
My Recent Blog Comments
May 8, 2016 06:22 AM

She never called them "liquids" the noun, she used the adjective "liquid", meaning smooth or free flowing, which fits perfectly *into* the raindrop name descriptor.  Jeez, Miriam, how pedantic can one person be? 

August 31, 2011 08:38 AM

New baby alert: K@ylor Ble@k The custodian in my office was showing off pics of her new (super cute) grandson. I don't like Bleak as part of a name, because of its meaning, but I do like the sound. This is the first I've heard of Kaylor. Kind of like Kaleb + Taylor. We Americans love our mashups!

May 9, 2011 02:10 PM

Re: Evelyn I fell in love with this name a few years ago when V for Vendetta came out. I loved the traditional Evelyn with fun nn Evie. I made the mistake of sharing my favorite names with a friend - even though I knew she would have kids before me - and lo and behold she now has baby 3v3lyn M@r!ss@. The middle name is nms. Between her taking the name (even though she's the kind of person who probably has no clue that I gave her the idea), and now that I hear it cropping up here and everywhere, I'll second Jane 6's sentiment that it's just about overdone.

March 28, 2011 03:19 PM

I love dreaming up names for pets - always wanted one, my mom finally gave in and let me get a cat when I was 14. I like walking on that line between 'people name' and 'object name.' I really don't like it when dogs are named popular people names, like Sam or Lucy. But I could see @ilikemints' point where just naming an animal after his coat is kind of unimaginative. I'm all for using literary names you (and anyone else) would unlikely use on a child, e.g. Ford Prefect, Zaphod, Pippi, etc. My family has had: Sox (dog) - named 10 yrs before I was born because of her white paw/foot area Biscuit and Smokey (cats) - Smokey because he was gray. No idea on Biscuit... I remember puzzling that one out though at the ripe age of 5, "She doesn't look like a biscuit. Her fur isn't the color of a biscuit. Does she like biscuits??? Mooooom, can I have a biscuit to give Biscuit?!?!?!" Sugar (dog) - I named her because of her fur (I was 8) (She had a sister who was brown that our friend named Cinnamon) Daria - The cat my mother gave in to getting. Daria was a huge show at that time, and I don't remember who the boy I liked was, but some letter combination worked out part of his name :P Teenagers! My dream now is to get two West Highland White Terriers and name them Clover (even though I know Ireland =/= Scotland; t's just pretty) and Lambda (because it's kind of like lamb, and Westies are white, but also because I'm a nerd and lambda is the symbol for wavelength; and white holds a special place in the visible spectrum). They're name-y names I feel, without infringing on 'people' territory.

February 13, 2011 09:25 PM

Barnacle - I'm from the US (the midwest) and my pronunciation for Edmund and Edmond are the same: ED-mund. All stress on the first syllable; second syllable is short and has the same vowel sound as fun, sun, and fund, but shorter.

January 28, 2011 03:12 PM

Mine would be GSF, and me and my husband's child would be CMT. We're not country music lovers :) My problem with mashing up the parent's names (I'm not talking about grandparents, uncles, etc) is, what if you have another kid? Maybe it's fine if you only want the one and want to live in a G@ry, Ell3n, Ell@ry world (for example), but what if you have another? You never know. It's been discussed here many times the possible favoritism and subsequent jealousy that could from the tradition of naming one child after a parent (eg Darryl Sr. and Darryl Jr.). Parent-only mashups seem like an amplification of this. For most couples you only have one shot: Ell3n and G@ry - what else is there besides Ell@ry? Enga? Elizabeth and William however might be able to squeeze out more than one name: Elliam, Bethwill, Thiam, Lizawill, Eliziam, Liziam, Bethil, Elwill...

September 28, 2010 12:26 PM

Good catch, Jenny L3igh! (with Kai - Kaileena). It's a perfect 'name of the future.'. I can totally see someone using it in future generations to honor an uncle Kai or (great) grandpa Kai. I swear, everytime I see a name from now on I'm going to try and finagle it into the opposite gender ;)

September 21, 2010 08:10 AM

Re: Bonnie My first thought was of a band: Bon Iver ---> Boniver. My husband and I actually really like it and it went on our list! We don't have a Bonnie in the family though, unless you count my great uncle's second wife's sister (who incidentally was related by marriage to Barbara Mandrell. That's all I know about her). There's something about Bs and Vs that we really like. The only non-B or V on our list are Henry and June.

June 8, 2010 07:15 PM

I'm probably too late to the Alistair party :), but I wanted to add that the only one I've seen in use is in a movie, L'Auberge Espagnole. I watched this clip (if anyone's interested) and it's all over the place with these actors. The French guy says -ster The Italian guy says -stair The male Brit (@ ~6:55) says -stair The female Brit (@ ~7:20) says -stuh (as Brits are wont to do with their r's) Maybe it's just flexible like that? @Laura A. - I love Penelope Rose, and the nickname Penny. So glad that you haven't taken it off your list! And I am lol-ing at Shertrude! Makes me want to tell people (in the far far future) that we'll be expecting a Sheriam (Sherry + Miriam) or a Robary (Robert + Gary) since we won't be finding out the sex or discussing names with the fam. I just realized that I love Clarence and Bernard from the dropped list too, but this is coming from someone who is crazy about "old" names. Last night I asked my husband, "What about Mortimer, nn Morty? Or Mort! It's sooo cute!" Vetoed again :) I also asked him about Montgomery, nn Monty or Archibald, nn Archie. I think he would be on board if it weren't for the Full Monty or Monty Python. My feeling is that's British culture... so maybe not as strong associations in the US. I feel like a lot of this style of name is wandering into pet territory... Sheldon, Mort, Willard, Bernard, Milton, Virgil, Clarence, Wilford... All lovely, but can't you just see these more on a turtle or cat than on a child? :D I actually do know someone with an Italian Greyhound named Willard. New babies of a facebook friends (everyone I know is having their first child this year! All the parents are ~25): Zane (m); Jayden (m); Bryce; Sean; twins Av@ and Emm@; J@m3s Sp@rrow; Logan (m); Ell@ added to big sister Ad@lynn M@rie (they call her Addy); and a friend adopted a 5-year-old Ethan. Interestingly these are all people from high school. No one I know from college has kids yet.

June 7, 2010 07:47 AM

@zoerhenne - spot on! I guess it wasn't terribly difficult, but the names are a little too non-trad for me to think of each as 'belonging' to definitely one gender or another. I'm with the Frilliness Factor hypothesis for female versions of male names. Fernanda, Philippa, Roberta - they feel like someone is taking these very masculine hard sounds and just adding an 'a'. Exceptions: Gabriella (Gabriel is pretty soft to begin with), Victoria (Hard sounds but firmly feminine to English ears). I think Philippa is pretty close to Gabriella, but still too masculine, probably because Gabriella has that Gabby/Elle/Ella nn set built in. Philippa has, well, Phil. Philly? Yikes :) Pippa? Maybe. The recent post on the New Belle Epoque also talks about how decidedly frilly is in (Belle, Ella, Isabelle, Lily, Olivia, Sophia...)

June 6, 2010 05:03 PM

@Zoerhenne - not rude at all :) It's funny that you would go there though because my association of the name with hair is minute (and definitely not hair down there). It always makes me think of, like, a thatched roof. Very rustic :) I was thinking about it and realized that I first heard Thatch in Disney's animated movie Atlantis (2001). The main character's name is Milo James Thatch. Now that writer/namer was ahead of the curve! Milo was barely in the top 1000 in the US then (#983 via SSA; #451 in 2009, though it certainly gets a lot of attention on this board). However, the movie takes place in the 1910s and Milo was remarkably close in the rankings then to where it is today. Hmmm, interesting! I think Beck sounds like a cute name, but the associations with Mr. Beck are too strong for me. Also sounds potentially androgynous - not too far from Becky. It's kind of how I hear Sasha. I know it's male (originally, right?) but it sounds feminine. My first "fix" is to just go to Beckett, but that doesn't seem too clear either. That reminds me, I just found out an old friend has had 2 kids, Ben*tle*y and Be*rkel*ey (stars added for privacy). Want to guess the genders? Beck(ett) might be a natural addition for that family. @Amy3 - I love reading historical non-fiction for just that reason! I have American Lion on hold at the library for when I get done with finals... can't wait to learn the names of Jackson's family members and peers!

June 5, 2010 09:32 PM

Thaddeus dropping actually makes me really happy (it's on my list). I love the formality of Thaddeus and the fun of the nickname Thatch. I'd think it would be on the rise too because it's antique-y or gentleman-ly as Lauren said, and a nickname like Thatch is so short and yet bursting with personality. Maybe it's all those consonants? Love Clarence too, but I can't find a masculine nn for it... Rence? :) I can't believe about Kristin. I definitely feel old after seeing that one, and I'm only 25! I knew ~15 Kristins growing up (and I'm not counting Kristens). Also, a little update... I posted a while back about my sister choosing a name for the little brother of my niece Madison, and how I was really hoping it wouldn't be just as popular :D Our new addition is Evan Matthew. I love it, and I love my baby nephew! Of course, now I have 4 out of 6 nieces/nephews whose names end in that unreleased 'n' - Logan, Madison, Megan, Evan. Also really glad she didn't go with Brayden, which they were considering (once again, I don't think she realized -ayden is the sound of the decade. They nixed it when they found out someone in their addition had a little boy by that name).

May 7, 2010 01:13 PM

I'm just relieved that Henry still hasn't cracked the top 10. Really disappointed about June... that was one of my top 3 for girls. I hate to see it getting more popular. I know my taste might change though - 10 years ago my absolute favorites were Emma and Ethan, and here they are both in the #2 spots! (I just looked and in 2000 they were at #17 and #25, respectively). They didn't seem that popular to my 15-year-old self at the time :) I'm retiring one of my combos: Isla Beatrix. Isla is just getting too popular for me. Popularity to love-of-the-name ratio is too high :)


I was talking to one of my grandpa's friends about my favorite names. I'd say she's in her mid 70s to early 80s. Henry is the name my husband and I are set on right now, and when I told her she said, "We named the dog Henry" with a smirk and a really dry laugh. I could tell that she thought it was too old or just, outdated. I guess it seems like Brad to me. This is precisely why I wouldn't name someone Samantha. I've met more pet Sammies than Biscuits or Spots. Uh-oh, I just realized, what if I have a grandchild who names their daughter Samantha? Grandma's gonna have to zip her lips :D I'm the "big reveal" type. I want to wait to know the gender and decide the name until after the baby's born, and I'm not sharing beforehand :) I just (personally) can't take the criticism that people love to give on baby names :) But I love the idea of sharing here.

November 18, 2009 09:22 AM

Please don't take this as an obnoxious comment, but I only remember because I just read it last night: Emmett's birthday was the last one they celebrated and that was in 1935. If he was changed then at the age of ~18, he was born around ~1917. I swear I'm not a Twihard! :D I just thought I'd read the book before the movie this weekend. On the topic at hand, I love the name Emmett! And I would add it to 'the list' if I didn't think everyone would assume the Twilight connection. I also think Esme would look adorable on a little girl, but it's also pretty womanly - but not too old. So, the Twilight connection... I don't think it's silly to shy away from it; I feel silly for reading the books, which makes me shy away from these names. You barely have to mention 'Twilight' or 'Stephenie Meyer' for someone to mention how these aren't 'good' well-written books. BUT I really like the story and the impossible romance. I just don't want anyone to know it. Like my grandma who hid her Harlequins. If I chose these names, it would be directly because of these books. That just doesn't work for me. Like many parents to be, I would search for some semblance of originality. Harry Potter's names are usually too out there and unique to not make the connection (Hermione, Luna, Dumbledore, Severus, Sirius) or somewhat ordinary, so that they could come from anywhere (Most of the Weasley family, Poppy, Sybill, Viktor, Peter, James, Lily). Actually one of my girls WILL have the name of one character: Verity (She worked in Fred in George's shop). And I stumbled across it for the first time in the 6th book. It just clicked - so beautiful, Puritan name, lovely "V", goes really well with our last name. So I don't discount fiction's ability to provide names - but many, if not most, parents will tread carefully.

November 12, 2009 06:38 PM

I'm behind Bernie and Henry. Bernard/Bernie because I think that the name changed this year in a way that will be hard to undo, and Henry because it really does 'seem' to be ubiquitous, but also because it's (for now) a solid bellwether for this old-fashioned/vintage charm trend that just seems to keep climbing. Basically, everyone else's arguments in my own words :D I'll keep brainstorming, but you guys are so great at this!

November 5, 2009 08:48 PM

The interesting thing about the trendy names is that they don't really have this problem (of picking a name and trying to hit the right style notes for the rest of the sibs). Take for example my sister. She has one daughter, Madison. They're expecting a boy soon and have not given any hint as to what their name ideas might be. With Madison, the whole dynamic/sib set style can still swing a lot of ways. Madison + Leo, Theo, Finn = cool, laid back Madison + Matthew, William = bland, but familial Madison + Owen, Milo, Oscar = hip(ster) Madison + Jacob, Aiden = these parents obviously don't look at popularity charts and/or don't care. I'm out of ideas for now but you get my point. I'm rooting for whatever doesn't sound like he'll be using his last name/initial through school, as Madison will definitely have to in our area. As one person said above, the more kids you add the more you see about the parent(s)' personality. I guess I'm really excited to see if I'll learn anything new about my sister and bil :)

October 28, 2009 12:22 PM

It's so funny you mention Manning and Fielding - I recently (like 2 months ago) added them to "the list" :) My husband is a huge Peyton Manning fan (we're from Indy) and I looooove -ing names. One day during a game I said, "What do you think of Manning for a boy?" He thought it should definitely go on the list. I was thinking Garrett Fielding for a 3rd boy, after my dad (Gary Frederick). But I feel like it might suffer from the law firm problem? Oh, and I think Avonlea(g) is getting added to the list. I fell in love with it as soon as I read it!