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February 24, 2017 02:44 PM
In Response to Juniper vs. Adele

I somewhat agree that the association of Adele with the singer is going to depend on demographics. The middle school choir was absolutely howling at this joke last week:

  1.    Q: What do you call a computer at the bottom of the ocean?

   A: A Dell, rolling in the deep (Adele, Rolling in the Deep)

I had to have it explained to me the first time (and not because I don't know what a Dell is), but I heard it several times from my kids and their friends, who got it immediately. I therefore suspect the association will be much stronger for your daughters' peers than it is for us.

I don't think it's equivalent to Beyoncé or Cher, however, because those names were pretty much coined by the singers' respective parents and are quite distinctive, whereas Adele has a long history of use and fits in with other currently-trending names like Adelaide and Adeline.

The botanical link to your name makes me like Juniper more for you. Otherwise, I would second HNG's suggestion of considering June, "nick"-named Juniper.

February 24, 2017 08:28 AM

I agree. I might actually turn it around, and say that when people name their kids they (we) often gravitate towards our own fantasy names (for ourselves) rather than names that the kids would (eventually) choose for themselves. That's why our mothers love our names, and so many of us think they sound pedestrian.

February 22, 2017 04:22 PM

Maiwenn is a somewhat popular name in France, especially in Bretagne, where it is widely accepted as a Breton name combining Mary (or actually its Breton or French equivalent) and Gwenn, the latter of which is described as meaning "blanc" and, variously, "pur" or "sacré" (white, pure, sacred).

I think it would be accurate to call it a Celtic name meaning "fair Mary", leaving the exact definition of "fair" just as ambiguous as in the original.

February 22, 2017 12:37 PM

Since you mention Dune (and it's in your user name), have you considered Atreus? That's the Greek mythological figure for whom House Atreides is named. He was the father of Menaleus and Agamemnon, of Trojan war fame. For me, it has the added associations of always reminding me of Atreyu/Atreju, from Neverending Story, and also sounding vaguely botanical due to its similarity to the word atrium. (Atreyu would work fine on its own, too, but I gravitate more towards the ancient Greek names.)

I currently know two little boys nicknamed Atty/Addy, one short for Atticus and the other short for...Addison, maybe? or Adrian? so that seems like a perfectly usable nickname to me, too.

February 21, 2017 02:34 PM

Oh, that makes me like it even more for you! You could aim to take her there for a significant birthday, maybe...or go a little after her birthday, and your husband could hit the Festival of Music and Malt in late May :).

Ayla Violet is very slightly tongue-twistery, but I don't think to the extent that it isn't usable. These things vary a lot by individual, but for me it's in the "fun to say" category. It may influence whether you want to use the three-syllable pronunciation of Violet or the 2/2.5 syllable version (I'd lean towards more clearly enunciating all three with Ayla). And of course most of the time she'd be Ayla V. Lastname, which sounds perfectly fine.

As far as the Celtic cred of the spelling Ayla: Isla is a top-five name in Scotland, and Ayla recently made the top-100 there. Potentially more significant for your husband's family, Isla has also recently made the top-100 in Ireland, so I imagine an Ayla would not seem out of place there.

February 21, 2017 11:57 AM

How are you pronouncing Ayla? It looks like it could be very similar to the place name Islay (pronounced eye-luh and usually Anglicized to Isla but also, sometimes, Ayla).

The island of Islay is generally described as being off the western coast of Scotland (and it's part of Scotland politically, I believe) but at a stretch you could describe it as being "off the northern coast of Ireland" ;-).

February 21, 2017 11:47 AM

Too funny--Iva, Ortha, et al actually had a classmate named Melva. (Those names are from a 1917 yearbook for a small midwestern college.) There also was an Arva and a Neva.

Given four -va names plus three Mabels all in a junior class of only about fifty women, and an actual Melvin among the thirty-five men in the class, I suspect in that generation Melva was as likely to have been chosen or even coined based on its fashionable sound as it was to be a nod to any actual male Melv-.

Looking at these yearbooks it is clear to me that "creative" naming is not so new and unprecedented a thing as many people believe, at least in this part of the US!

February 21, 2017 09:44 AM

I think one of the best ways to find names that fit in the "clear why you picked it, but highly unusual" category is to find names that are somehow personally meaningful for you. For example:

  • A name that is very out-of-fashion currently (or perhaps was never fashionable) that appears on your family tree
  • → a few random names of babies born c. 1900: Iva, Ortha, Ermina, Idris, Rall, Muriss
  • A place name from a place that matters a lot to you and your husband
  • → random rivers in Europe that sound kind of name-y: Alzette, Aniža, Drave, Eno, Maritsa, Narva, Rhône, Tagus, Tiber
  • A name from history or literature or word name that is associated with a personal interest you share

→ e.g. Lilavati, Archimedes (math & science) Melville (literature) Oakley (sharp-shooting) Camber (car racing) Palmarès (cycling) Purl (knitting)

Hopefully it's clear that the names listed above are just examples of the kinds of things to look for, not actual suggestions for you (unless coincidentally one of those really resonates with you). We can't help you much with family names, but if there is a geography or area of interest that you'd like to focus on folks here could probably help generate a lot of ideas.

February 21, 2017 09:09 AM

Hah, yes, Pee seems unlikely...even Pee-wee (as in Herman) was only played for laughs.

In addition to Kay, Jay, and Bea, we also have Dee, Elle and Em; when doubled, there's Gigi. Also Alfa and Delta, if you're into ancient Greek.

Ess sounds a little weird, but Essie was a top-150 name once upon a time. Q is a pretty common nickname, and was namey enough for a James Bond super-inventor and a Star Trek omnipotent being.

Lots of folks use single initials as nicknames, like Q for Quentin, though not all work; I'm thinking of a scene in Fresh Prince of Bel Aire (yes, I'm old) when Will calls Carleton "C" and Carleton tries to reciprocate, calling Will "W". Without a Texas accent, it just doesn't work ;-).

Overall, while I'm sure there are Israeli cultural issues that don't resonate for me, the concept of a letter that sounds namey enough to be a name makes perfect sense to me.

February 17, 2017 11:59 AM

A name that kind of bridges the two styles is Sinclair. It's a surname with a history of use at least back to author Sinclair Lewis, and it's from a shortened (slurred?) form of St. Clair.

February 16, 2017 01:14 PM

I mean like naming a girl TEResa after grandpa PeTER (this one is more of an overlap than that, but that's the general idea). I'm afraid it might be the name you're thinking of that won't work--it's more known for a related name than itself, so that might put it outside your actual naming group (I don't know much about the specifics of your group, so I'm not sure what exactly is "in"). By modern spelling, it's two letters off, but the distinction between one set of those letters would have been obscured in "archaic" spelling.

February 16, 2017 12:05 PM

It's the first four letters of the given name/last four letters of the "virtue" name...and in archaic spelling, the full names are actually just one letter off from anagrams of one another. If you can't think of it, I can give more clues :).

February 16, 2017 11:19 AM

[Full disclosure: I'm a mod, so I've seen your actual names. I hope this post is oblique enough without being too oblique!]

How would you feel about the concept of two names, superimposed on one another?

For example, the name Rosalind is not etymologically related to the name Rosa at all. I could easily imagine using the name Rosalind, first syllable pronounced Rozz, acknowledged to have a horsey "meaning" and perhaps in honor of the Shakespearean character...but with the understanding that it also sort-of-secretly "contains" the entirely separate name Rosa, after, say, great-grandma Rosa, first syllable pronounced like Rose and with an etymology related to the flower.

Usually we line names up one after another, but I don't see why we can't also conceptually stack them on top of one another, when they're too similar to actually use as first and middle (avoiding, for example, the apparent redundancy of Rosalind Rosa Lastname). The explanation for anyone particularly attuned to name etymologies would be "This is Rosalind, nicknamed Roz. we named her Rosalind, because our first date was to a production of As You Like It, and because it "includes" the separate name Rosa, after my great-grandma. We've decorated her nursery with horses and roses in a nod to both her names/both aspects of her name)."

For family names, have you looked at cross-gender names at all? The first part of the name of the family member you mentioned being especially close to happens to coincide with the last part and common nickname of an appropriate "virtue" name.

February 15, 2017 11:37 PM

You can send a message to the mods, which will include HNG, via the email set up for reporting problems (same one you used to report the problem post). 

I confess I'm a fan of the lateral naming connection; for example, I consider my daughter's middle name to be a nod to both my oldest brother and my SIL. It means green (actually the word green in a different language), which is my brother's favorite color, and my sister-in-law's name is a shade of green. To me the connection is very definite, but other people think even Marie to honor a Mary is too remote, so it's hard to say what's "close enough" for you.

February 15, 2017 11:29 AM

I have a childhood friend named Utah--after an uncle Utah. He didn't know why his uncle was named that; apparently there was no connection to the state that he knew of. I always kind of loved the randomness of it. I'm sure my friend got tired of answering questions about his name, but it didn't obviously bother him when we were kids.

I also have a hard time identifying with folks who let other people name their children. Texas's mom offhandedly let the doctor name her baby, but is apparently attached enough to that decision that it would feel like disrespect of the mother if Texas were to change her name.

February 14, 2017 09:37 AM

Thanks for the note. It's too bad any of our regulars are still getting caught by the filter, and for such innocuous things.

February 13, 2017 10:33 AM
In Response to Sugggest some L names

I just ran across the name Lura in a list of members of the class of '16--1916, that is.

February 13, 2017 09:53 AM

Thanks for the update! So they did circle back around to the Classics, AND kept the hard-P sound. It's a lot of name, but it has the more blending-in nickname option Percy, which would still fit and be distinct from her sibs.

February 13, 2017 09:50 AM

Maybe they are all honor names? I agree that Gladys still feels very much in the Bertha category. I wonder whether GLaDOS from Portal makes the name more or less usable? Elsbeth, on the other hand, for some reason feels more like a fantasy princess name to me than funky-clunky, in spite of the consonant cluster.

February 13, 2017 08:21 AM

Congratulations on your expected baby, and on picking out a lovely first name!

Emily.ei's suggestions are all great. If you want to list some of the other names that you like, and also some names that your husband likes, we might be able to give you more specific ideas of names that might appeal to both of you.

Another approach is to look for a common-ground concept for the middle name. In addition to honoring loved ones, some people like to use the middle slot as a nod to things like a favorite shared hobby, or the place where you met or married or honeymooned. Having the name connect to wonderful, shared memories can sometimes make your heart sing in a different way than just the pure sound and flow of the name. It's also a good way to reinforce your shared parenting role.