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May 29, 2016 06:56 PM
In Response to Triplet name help!

I really like Lark Vanessa. I agree with previous posters that Larkin & especiall Clarke strike me as very "boy" especially next to potential brother names like Camden.

From your longer girl list, I especially like Faye & Aria with Lark.  It strikes me as a nice, whimsical set without being too cute. Other girl suggestions:  Harper, Nora, Brook, Peyton, Avery, Riley, Teagan, Aurora, Mae, Maeve.  

For boys, I don't see any reason why you couldn't use both Everett & Camden, which would narrow you down to only needing one more potential boy name.  If you wanted the boy names to match more of the whimisical style of some of your girl names, perhaps change Everett to Everest?  Otherwise, I really like all of the names on your longer boy list.  In fact, I'd rank all of them higher than Camden & would probably go with soemthing like Everett, Rhys & Declan.  Or for an all Celtic boy list, you could do Rhys, Declan & Lachlan (though I probably wouldn't use Lark & Lachlan together).  Anyway, for boys I'll suggest Graham, Griffin, Owen, Eamon, Sawyer, Rowan, Leo, Alistair, Jude & Gavin.

May 26, 2016 05:44 PM
In Response to Help with a Spelling

I would avoid Killoan as it looks like a mash-up of the words kill + loan, which could lead people away from the desired pronunciation.  I suspect Kilohen will get Key-lohen, it has a vaguely Hawaiian-inspired feel to me.  Kilhoen looks like it should be Kil-hone to me.  Of the options you've listed, I think Kilowen seems most intuitive.

Honestly, I suspect any spelling is going to cause problems and need explanation.  She may want to consider how important using this name is to her & how irriated she will feel when people frequently get it wrong, because they will.

May 26, 2016 05:37 PM

I think several of these may have some rock inspiration, but it's equally likely the name came from something else.  Halen could also be a spin on Haley, Jett could be a respelling of jet (also a celebrity influence as Travolta's son was named Jett).  Joplin is a place name, Marley could be a girl's name that just sounds like other girl names (Marla/Marlo/Harley/Hailey).  I'd bet at least some of those girl Santanas have more to do with Glee than Carlos.  Even McCartney may not indicate a huge Beatles homage so much as just another Mc/Mac name, especially on a girl.

There are several that I see as more certain to be an homage; Cobain, Creedence, Hendri, Jagger, Lennon, Presley, Vedder, Zeppelin.  It'll be interesting to see if there is a surge of new baby Bowie's next year.

May 20, 2016 07:08 PM

Can't say I particularly care for it.  I think Indiana is one of those names that it takes a particular amount of chutzpah to pull of using.  If you don't have the chutzpah to go all the way with it, you're probably better off with another name.

May 20, 2016 07:05 PM

FWIW, I would use both Percy & Otis before Bella.  :-)

But I agree, the name of the OP's just moved in neighbor should not at all affect the name she has chosen for her child.  If the kid was already born before neighbor moved in, it'd be nothing more than a brief chuckle and perhaps a conversation starter.  I don't see the need for it to be any different just because the baby isn't born yet.

May 14, 2016 04:48 PM
In Response to Number 5

I like the names on your list.  As far as "fit" with the brother names, I think your best fits are Eli, Miles and Nicholas.  I do really like Archer, but I would want to be 100% certain that the Sterling nickname is only a joke.  Sterling is also a nice name, and the cartoon is funny, but not an association I'd want to encourage for my son.

I love cross-gender namesakes and think it would be great for you to use one, especially after 5 boys.  I can't really think of much for Deborah/Debi, unless you just did a D name.   I think Emmett would be a nice choice to honor an Emma.  

Molly is a nickname for Mary, so perhaps you could do something like Joseph?  There is also Marion (John Wayne's real name) but I suspect it will strike most people as too feminine.  I'm struggling to think of anything for boys with a "mol" syllable.  Solomon is the closest I can come up with.

Maggie is a nickname for Margaret, so I'd look at names with a "Mar" syllable.  Mark, Martin, Marshall.  Possible "Mag" names would include Maguire or Magnus.  It might be more of a stretch, but you could also try playing off the "ret" ending of Margaret and do something like Everett called Rett.

I think Eli could work for an Eleanor or Elizabeth.  Or perhaps Elliott or Ellis.

For Katherine all I can think of is Kato.  Or perhaps Christopher called Kit (because Kitty can be a nickname for Katherine).  But that one might be a stretch if your relative wasn't called Kitty or Kat.

Charlene-any Charles name works.  Charles, Chaz, Carl

I got nothing for Ona.  Perhaps an O name like Orion or Oliver?

I like Adam for an Adalaide.

For Teresa I think Terrance is the obvious choice.  You could also do something along the lines of Trent or maybe Travis.  If you move the "ter" to the end, perhaps Alister.  I hesitate to suggest it (and it is a stretch) but perhaps Sterling?

May 13, 2016 09:11 PM

For boys I like Archer Thomas best.  Remington Beau is so/so for me.  Jameson Mark really makes me think of alcohol (Jameson Whiskey + Maker's Mark), Mark with another first name would be better, IMO, but the alcohol association would be there for Jameson regardless.  I don't care for Ace Ryder or Ryder Ace at all.  They both sound too macho, like video game characters or something.

For girls I really like Hazel Emma, Elsa Grace would be my 2nd choice (if you don't mind a little mix & match, Hazel Grace would also be very pretty).  I'm not crazy about Paisley Ann, and Piper Quinn is kind of meh (I think I'd like Piper better with a different middle).  I do not care for Quincee Piper at all.  The spelling of Quincee looks made up.  Quincy would be better, though I'm not exactly a fan of Quincy for a girl.

May 10, 2016 07:37 PM
In Response to Sibling for Ava...

For me, I think they are too similar to use for sisters.  However, I also think this is one of those really subjective things and other people may not see any problem.

Ava & Evelyn wouldn't be too bad if you planned to use only Evelyn or perhaps Lyn as a nickname.  Ava & Eva (eh-va) Ava & Eve, Ava & Ev are all way to similar for me.  I'd constantly be getting them mangled.

I think Ava & Olivia are more problematic if you use the full Olivia.  Vowel starts, internal V, ending "ah" sound-it's just too much I think.  However, Ava & Liv or Ava & Livi seem less problematic to me.  

If you like the vowel + V combo, I wonder if you'd also like switching them around some.  Violet, Viola, Vivian, Victoria even Veronica could work.

Otherwise, I'd suggest names like Eleanor, Lillian, or Madeline as possible replacements for Evelyn.

Instead of Olivia, perhaps Alyssa, Sophia, Fiona.


May 9, 2016 11:54 AM

I knew a handful of Becky's growing up, and I can't say that any of them were particularly snobby or anything.  However, as an adult I cannot hear the name without immediately going to "oh my God Becky."  

I was pretty oblivious to the other recent Becky examples in the article (Taylor Swift/Glee/Plies).  As an old who tends to miss most pop culture references, I was kind of excited to not have to have the racial implications of "Becky with the good hair" explained.  Thank you Sir Mix A Lot?

May 9, 2016 11:40 AM
In Response to Word aversion

Moist has never bothered me, but it drives my SIL crazy.  She also dislikes the word panties (singular panty is OK).

I share your negative reaction to Sloane. All I can hear is the word Slow drug out.  Sloooow-n.  Braydon (donkey bray) is another name where I just can't move past the non-name sound association.


May 9, 2016 11:34 AM
In Response to Michael Phelps

My first thought when I read about Baby Boomer was that it sounds like an in-utero nickname that stuck.  Or a dog, it'd make a good dog name.  At least he has Robert to fall back on if Boomer just isn't his thing.

May 9, 2016 11:30 AM

I think I am confused about your comment about using "a first initial J."  At first it sounds like you wanted to consider J names with the middle names Willet, Franklin, George or Bernard.  For example, Jasper Willet LastName.  

However, you later expressed concern about potential problems with Willet or Bernard as a first name.  This makes me think you might be considering just the initial J + 2nd FirstName, Middle, LastName.  Personally, I would go with another J name or at the very least, use Jay instead of just J as part of a double barrell first name (Jay Willet Franklin Lastname). Just J as a first name (or even as part of a double first name) seems like it would cause a lot of confusion and be a nightmare when it comes to official paperwork.

I also can't help but think you may be too hung up on the initials as a nickname idea.  I think it's great if there is a first/middle combo you love that lends itself to an initial nickname.  But starting with the initials and then working backwords seems counter productive to me.  What happens if the initial nickname doesn't stick?  Or he decides he doesn't like them and wants to go by his first name or some other nickname instead?  You're investing a lot in a nickname, when there is really never a guarantee that a particular nickname will work out.  I think it might be better to find a name you love, then consider possible nicknames.

Looking at the names currently on your list, I think Calvin is your best option.  Calvin Justin won't be said together in everyday use, so the rhymey-ness strikes me as a minor issue.  CJ is cute, and meets your preference for intials.  I don't think having the last part of his name sound like the first part/nickname of a cousin is a big deal.  In fact, I had to read your comment twice just to figure out what the problem is.  If CJ doesn't stick as a nickname, the most likley option would be Cal.  Vin for Calvin could work, but I don't think it'd be intuitive for most people-especially not since there is already a Vin in the family.

Ansel Justin is nice, though it seems as though you don't really care for it.  I really don't see Ansel as being any more "old" than Calvin or any of the J OtherName options you've listed.

Casey Justin is nice, I'd say it's my 2nd favorite pick after Calvin.  However, I agree that it's not very exciting.

Langley isn't "made up" but it is part of a more modern/trendy name group.  The "ley" at the end also makes it feel a bit feminine to me & it doesn't seem to match the style of your other names.

Lake is pretty meh to me.  Again, it feels more feminine & not in the same style as your other names.  If the meaning of Lake is what appeals to you, I'll suggest Lachlan instead.  If you like the sound of lake, perhaps Drake, Blake, or Jake instead.

Based on the style of Drew & Rett, I'll suggest Rhys, Bryce, Cole, Cade, Wyatt, Grant, Grady.  Perhaps also Trevor, Owen, Evan, Brennan, Griffin


May 2, 2016 06:07 PM

I agree that the H seems to serve no purpose and honestly, it confused me as I had no idea how to say this name.  My first guess was more like No-helen.

If you like Nohl for a girl, I don't see why it would need more too it.  Though again, I think that H is rather confusing and/or pointless for the purposes of clarifying how you want the name said.  

I'm honestly not a fan of boy-names-on-girls, and I like them even less when people attempt to feminize the names with extra letters to make them more girly  (Y does seem popular for this purpose).  When the name is said, those additional letters aren't going to help it sound more girly-people will still hear the boy's name Nolan on the playground.

I also grew up with a unique name (technically, a less common spelling of a name that was unique at the time).  Unlike you, I hated it and wished for something that required less explanation.  I didn't necassarily want to be a Jennifer, but at least something people knew how to spell & say correctly.  I guess we are all different & there is really no way to predict if your daughter will like having a unique name as much as you did.

I will add that I love Karyn's suggestion of Nola for you.  Same sounds as Nolan, feminine without needing any help, and certainly not common and without ambiguous pronounciation concerns.

May 1, 2016 03:24 PM

I'm not really certain what you mean by Montgomery being a "big" name.  Do you mean size?  Number of syllables?  It's only 1 letter more than Josephine and the same # of syllables (in my accent, mont-gom-ree, I realize some people might say it as mont-gom-er-ee).  Mo is certainly not "too big" by any means.

I don't think Cosmo is too out there, though I'm not crazy about the alliteration of Cosmo Christian.

Milo is nice and I don't find it too trendy with Josephine

From your list, my favorite is Montgomery Christian, with Milo Christian being a fairly close 2nd.

Other names that seem like Mo would be a reasonable nickname for:  Morris, Moses, Maximo

All that said, I did notice that Mo & Posey sound really similar, I could see myself ending up saying things like Mosey & Po fairly often.  However, I am easily tongue tied and this may not be an issue for you at all.  However, thought I'd mention it in case it's not something you had already considered.

April 30, 2016 03:52 PM


April 30, 2016 03:28 PM

I'd say Iris is only slighty problematic with the last name, and only when I say it the name really fast.  Making sure to place a small pause between them clears up the problem & seems worth it for the sentimental meaning of the name.  The last name is unusual enough that I suspect clarification would be needed sometimes anyway, regardless of what the 1st name is.


April 25, 2016 05:22 PM
In Response to Sister for Emilia?

I would encourage you to think less about how the names sound together.  They won't be a set forever.  I also think "sounds good with Emilia" is really subjective. Personally, I might avoid M sounds since Emilia has a fairly prominent M sound. I would for sure avoid that "ee" ending as being too similar to the "ee-ah" ending of Emilia.  But, to each her own.

M & "ee" together made me think of Mia, though that seems so similar to Emilia that it could work as a nickname. 

Similar to Maureen but perhaps not so grandmother/diner'ish sounding to modern ears would be Maura. Or perhaps something like Marina?  It's got the M you like and a nice internal "ee" sound.

Instead of Loretta, I might look at something like Lorelei.  Or perhaps just Etta? If it's too cartoonish will probably depend on the actual last name, and again, that's another thing that's really subjective.  It certainly hasn't hurt Loretta Lynn any.  I'd personally avoid something like Loretta Lawrence or Loretta Lohan because the shared internal sounds + the start L sounds cartoonish to me.  However, something like Loretta Lambert or Loretta Lewis would probably be fine.

Based on Loretta & Maureen, I'd suggest names like Paulette, Lorraine, Charlene, Glenda, Roberta & Dolores-all of which will likely strike most people as very dated & not ready for a comeback.

Based on Emilia, I'd look for names that were softer, more "frilly" and less dated sounding-Marina, Alessandra, Isabella, Julianna, Sophia, Alyssa, Malina, Lucia

If I split the difference, I'd try for something more current but less soft and/or "frilly" maybe something like Lucy, Audrey, Molly, Beatrice, Violet, Claire, Clara, Juliet, Abigail.

April 25, 2016 05:02 PM
In Response to Need boy name ideas!

Blake is nice, but I actually think it meshes too well with Barrett & Tucker. I suspect I'd end up saying things like Blakett/Blaker, but I'm easily tongue tied.  I also agree it's not great with the last name.  Another opportunity for me to be tongue tied-Blark Clake?   I wouldn't worry too much about it not going with the sibling names.  They won't be a set forever.

Hudson is nice, but it oes strike me as trendy.  However, Barrett and Tucker also strike me as trendy.  If the only thing really stopping you is popularity, I say use it anyway. 

Beckett is way too similar to Barrett.  Not crazy about Camden at all. If you love Grayson, use it!  I'd rather know I was given a name my parents loved and were excited about than know I was given a runner-up name simply because their first pick was "too popular." All that means is a lot of people will like his name.  Carson Clark has too many repeated sounds for my taste.  And Keaton is in my family tree, so it sounds incredibly wrong as a first name to me.

Other ideas-Archer, Kieran, Alton, Harris, Harrison, Sutton, Sullivan, Weston, Coleman

April 25, 2016 04:50 PM

OK, so my husband has just corrected me. The E ending in German is not a true schwa sound. He said Charlotte in German is not the same as Charlotta in English.  However, my American Engish speaking self cannot really hear a difference. So I guess it depends on how picky you want to be and/or the specific English accent you'll most likely be working with.

April 25, 2016 04:46 PM

First, I'll suggest that you consider loosening some of your constraints.  I suspect some are hard and fast rules, while others are probably more along the lines of "it would be nice to have, but I could overlook it for the right name." Something like simply loosening the restriction on the "a" would open you up to a lot of German names that end in "e" but have the "ah" ending sound.  Something like Charlotte could be spelled Charlotta and you should get the same pronounciation in both languages, while Charlotte will be Charlotta in German & Char-lot in English.

Second, I'll suggest you look at the blog post Laura did on international names.  Perhaps you'll find some inspiration there.

Names from my husband's German family that (to me at least) sound the same in German & English:  Cora, Carmen, Heidi, Renata.

Looking at your list, I don't find Katja too German for English speakers to figure out.  The "ja" is also seen in names like Sonja (Sonja/Sonia could also be something to consider), so you've got a well-known example to give if you do encounter the occassional problem. You could also use the spelling Katya if you wanted to make it more obvious for the English speakers. 

If you absoluately want it said the same in both languages, I would suggest Annelies instead of the spellings you have listed, which should both get you Anna-lees in English & Anna-lees-ah in German.

Gretchen also come to mind.