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February 23, 2018 09:25 AM

I actually love Bard--it is the surname of one of my best friends from college (who my spouse and I bonded with in a Shakespeare class) and I've always thought it would make a fabulous given name. It would be an outlier for brothers Henry, Levi, & Graham, but I think makes a good bridge for brothers known as Henry, Levi, and Frost.

Some of the push-back may be because of its similarity to the name Bart, which still has an unfashionable sound and some less-than-fortunate associations (Simpson, obviously, but also Black Bart). I wonder if the possible nickname Bardo would go over better? The short name, ends in -o pattern is more fashionable, and I think making the name two syllables helps with the consonant-cluster issue that Karyn and Lucubratrix both mentioned. It is actually a name with some (very distant) history of use: there was an Archbishop in the Holy Roman Empire with this name (Wikipedia tells me it's also the name of several bands, none of which I've ever heard of).

I also quite like Cormac; it has a crisp sound, and heroic Gaelic associations.

Elias is lovely, too, with a softer sound than some of your other choices. It has most of the sounds of your name--it almost feels like an anagram of Sally--so I think it could also serve as an honor name for you.

Salvador is an outlier, but I think the tribute to you is lovely. It would make a wonderful middle name (or second middle name) if you don't want to pull the trigger on it as a given.

February 21, 2018 11:16 AM
In Response to Elliot or Elliott?

I personally like the double-L, double-T version better of those two. It seems a little more symmetrical, and I think it would be easy to say "double L, double T" to clarify the spelling and not have confusion—whereas I imagine with "double L, one T" people might hear the first "double" and have already written two Ts before their brain catches up with their ears, if that makes sense. I also like the single-L, single-T version, mainly if you want to make a literary reference (George and/or T.S.). Overall, I would only use the "mixed" spelling if I was namesaking an individual or family name with that spelling.

As for how bothersome it will be...some of this is going to be based on your child's personality. However, if your name starts with a C but gets spelled with a K, I suspect that you are bothered more than you would be if it were an internal or end letter wrong, since that's your initial, almost as essential a part of your public identity as your full name. I'm a Megan-with-an-H, and even though I don't feel like the version without is really me I'm not generally very bothered by misspellings. My last name also gets misspelled all the time in varied and creative ways, but the one that bothers me the most is when they get the first initial wrong. I also think you're right, that it would be relatively easy to correct the problem at the end of a name (if you do go with the one-T version, two Ts can be consolidated into one really thick-stemmed T, if necessary, and with typing it's just a single backspace, no cursor-moving required).

February 20, 2018 10:00 PM

If your name is Hartman, and you will be the custodial parent, I would definitely go with Lauren Hartman. If you and your baby's father do get married, he can adopt the family name, or you can be a two-surname family. This will save on bureaucratic hassles and allow you to use the name you love.

I would also consider it a bonus that your daughter's name will so closely resemble her father's bachelor name—it's a cool twist on the tradition of giving a son his mother's maiden name as a given or middle name. (Framing it in those terms—"she does have his name, just feminized and moved front and center"—might be politic with his side of the family.)

February 20, 2018 04:07 PM

This was my first thought, too. When I saw the surname, I actually thought "that should go with a lot of names--well, so long as it's not Elizabeth" and then saw that Elizabeth was on the list. She's not a super-contemporary reference, so may not be an issue...but on the other hand, I was googling her yesterday in connection with Salem, Massachusetts (that's probably partially why the reference came so readily to mind).

February 19, 2018 11:50 AM

I think it's because /θ/ is not a common sound in all European languages, some of which imported the Greek name with the Thalia spelling but couldn't easily import the sound. It's a rare enough name in English-speaking contexts that it may have been sometimes directly taken from the Greek, but not often enough to out-compete the borrowings via German or Spanish or some other language that had modified the pronunciation. At this point, I would say that either pronunciation is "valid", but I can see why simplifying the spelling would be attractive just to cut in half the potential pronunciations.

February 19, 2018 10:24 AM

I suspect that there will be some Talias out there who are using a more phonetic spelling of the name Thalia, which is pronounced with a T- rather than Th- sound in many traditions (and is ultimately Greek, the name of one of the three Graces).

February 18, 2018 09:44 AM
In Response to A brother for Liam

You might consider using Cal as the full name. Liam is a short-form name that has transitioned to a given, and Cal seems equally usable to me.

February 18, 2018 09:31 AM

The Fifth Element is certainly my first thought (the name is especially memorable because of the quotable "Lilou Dallas, multi-pass!" line), but I think for almost anyone who has this as an association it would be a positive, not a negative. You may have to deal with some of your peers asking if/assuming you're a fan of the movie, but I don't think there will be any significant downside for your daughter.

February 16, 2018 10:13 AM
In Response to Baby and brand

I love this so much. I don't think I mentioned in the other thread, but I'm so impressed by the authors on this board!

If you don't want to write the middle of the story, maybe we could make it Name Game. Remember that game where someone starts a story, and then each person adds to it, leaving off at some suspenseful moment? Like that, but all the names have to be drug brand names :).

February 16, 2018 09:56 AM
In Response to Sunset for baby girl?

I would guess that folks who want the associations of sunrise tend to go for the names Dawn or Aurora, though Sunrise is certainly a plausible alternative.

FWIW, Sunset also makes me think of death, but I'm sure a happy toddler would supplant that association.

February 15, 2018 11:53 AM
In Response to Spanish Virtue Names?

Famously, there's Fidel :). I also knew a Fortunato; I don't know if that's quite the kind of virtue you're going for, though. There's also Benigno...Hopefully one of our users with more Spanish background will have more ideas!

February 14, 2018 10:15 AM

I actually really like the contrast of Ajax with more conservative choices Henry and James. It gives the name a distinctive zip, which he can completely ignore if he doesn't want to deal with his second middle all the time or can play up if he decides he wants to stand out a bit more. (I'm generally of two minds about Ajax as a first name; I like the look and sound and the obvious connotations of strength and stalwartness, but on the other hand the outcome of the story is so sad. But I think in the middle slot the downsides are far outweighed by the up.)

February 13, 2018 03:34 PM
In Response to Elizabeth vs Veronica

I wonder if Elizabeths may sometimes fly under the radar? I just looked at our student directory; in a student body of less than a thousand, there are at least four Elizabeths, but at least two of them go exclusively by some other nickname (one Liz and one similar to Libby). In fact, "Libby" works for me and is sitting outside my office right this minute, and it didn't occur to me to count her when I was trying to tally Elizabeths who I know.

February 13, 2018 09:34 AM
In Response to Leif

The name is used in several Northern European countries, and there is regional variation in pronunciation. Layf is perfectly acceptable (seems to be standard in Sweden), but so are a couple of other pronunciations (something like Life seems to be common in Norway and Denmark). You can hear people of various nationalities pronouncing the name at Forvo. In any case, it's a great name.

Also, a note to future visitors: This is a thread from late 2012, so the original child in question has long since been named.

February 13, 2018 09:28 AM

Hmm, I don't know about Samantha Adams. How do you feel about Jaqueline Daniels? The Facebook problem might be easier for either of these, but I don't think the teasing potential or in-person problems are much less (every Samantha I have ever known has gone by Sam at least some of the time).

I do think it's a really good reason to use a distinctive middle name if giving a common first with a common last. There's a much higher possibility that someone named Isabella Jones or Michael Lee is going to become (in)famous and make your child's name problematic than with something like Euphonia Jones or Michael Trnzygl.

February 13, 2018 08:06 AM
In Response to Baby and brand

If the name you're considering sounds like Məreen@, then I have heard of that brand of birth control even though I'm in the same boat as you--haven't taken hormonal birth control in more than twenty years, and haven't owned a television for more than ten. If it's something else, I'm equally clueless :).

That said, even if it's truly famous I don't think it needs to be a deal-breaker. It sounds like it's not a name that you and the pharmaceutical company both made up from scratch, but rather a name with a history of use. Presumably the pharmaceutical company picked it because it has good connotations and "tested" well among women of childbearing age, and those associations and positive feelings aren't going to be wiped out by this added association.

I once knew a couple whose daughter was named Sienna; they would introduce her as "like the minivan". I always thought that was really smart--it made it easy to remember and spell her name, plus it took any potential sting out of the association, since they so clearly loved the name and didn't mind the minivan thing at all. It sounds like you would spell the name differently than the pill, so you wouldn't want/need to do this, but I think if you can be comfortable enough that if someone said "oh, like the pill?" you could say "sort of, but we spell it the traditional English way" or similar rather than "NO! NOT LIKE THAT AT ALL!" then you'll be good.

February 12, 2018 10:08 AM

I really love Avery for a boy, but I think I would get tripped up by Eve and Avery—ten to one I'd call them Aive and Eevery once a week—but possibly your friend is less prone to that kind of problem. She may want to try saying them together a few times, and also having someone call them up the stairs to her and see how easy it is to distinguish them.

Based on the names she likes so far, I'll suggest perhaps something like Parker, Miles, or Aubrey. Are any of those in the ballpark? If you give us more of her preferences, we may be able to come up with better suggestions. Sounds or styles she likes, any that she especially wants to avoid, if she cares at all about name origins, etc.

Also, I'm afraid the suggestions may be a little slower in coming than they would have been a year ago; we've had a spate of fake multiples postings lately--they usually start out sounding genuine, but eventually it becomes clear that they're a lie. This is really disheartening, and I think has jaded some of us about twin+ naming challenges.

February 12, 2018 09:50 AM
In Response to Elizabeth vs Veronica

I tend to think of Elizabeth as the kind of name that's so ubiquitous as to be almost a blank slate—not because it's actually absent of associations, but because the associations are so many and so varied that they kind of cancel each other out. Sort of like white noise, rather than one or a few clear signals. There are plenty of male names with that quality, not so many female; Katherine is an obvious choice (for another royal pairing) but after that the options dwindle.

My primary real-life association for Veronica is my husband's step-grandmother, who was as Midwestern WASP as they come. She went by Ronnie (not sure how she spelled it). To me it's an irretrievably old-lady name (even with Veronica Mars to freshen it up), but that clearly isn't the typical response.

February 12, 2018 09:45 AM
In Response to Elizabeth vs Veronica

Hmm, I can think of at least one Elizabeth you know (at least virtually) :-). There may also be others who you don't think of as Elizabeth because they go by Liz or Betty or Ellie (I know or have known at least one of each of these).

February 9, 2018 01:02 PM

You have several "fiery" king names; does he have related magic powers? If not, I would skip those (and in any case I agree that Pyro sounds like a villain, as it's a slang term for an arsonist). If he does have powers, does his daughter also have powers of her own? If so, I think you'd want to be even-handed in either giving them each a name that reflects their powers, or neither.

Along those same lines, will the princess someday be queen? If so, I'd again want to have either two equally powerful, stately names, or two equally "cute" names. It seems unlikely that a monarch named King Lightning would want to saddle his daughter and kingdom with an eventual Queen Snowdrop (I imagine the political commentary going something like "The old king was brilliant and fiery and could smite his enemies! What's the new queen going to do, give them frostbite on their pinkie toes?"). Something like King Cedar and Princess Mulberry or King Newt and Princess Dragonfly would be nicely parallel.

Finally, if you're going for a classically gendered, fairy-tale pairing of a powerful, glowering king and sweet, mainly-decorative princess, then I think a pairing like King Nimbus and Princess Bluebell would work well.