About Me

I bought my first baby name book when I was seven years old and I have been hooked ever since. Now the mom of a nine year old and a six year old I keep an ear out for names on the playground. I am a constant reader, an intermediate gardener and a beginning knitter in the Pacific Northwest.

My Favorite Names

No favorite names yet.

My Recent Blog Comments
April 11, 2017 11:42 PM
In Response to Tori Spelling's 5th

Dean is the middle name, after dad, not the surname. The surname is McDermott.

February 28, 2017 05:13 PM

Laura, I'm sorry to hear about your loss. But I agree with the previous poster, it's so interesting what kind of family info turns up at a funeral.

When I was in high school, I was part of a theater tech group that had a very strong internal culture. One of the rules was that if you joined as an underclassman, and you had the same first name as an upperclassman, the upperclassmen got to rename you and call you exclusively by that name. These names were sometimes quirky but never mean, and often along the lines of "you look more like a George."

Some of those nicknames stuck and people used them for years, even to this day.

December 18, 2016 10:39 PM

Hmm, it seems like you like feminine name with some history behind them.

Just to clarify, are you still considering the list you shared, or have you ruled them out?

I personally think that Eleanor is lovely with Joesephine and Cecilia. They go together well without being repetitive

and they all have the option of great nicknames.

You could even use one of your other choices as the middle:

Eleanor Clare or Eleanor Louisa are both lovely.

If you are looking for more suggestions along those lines, I would add

Lillian and Evelyn seem to have the historical factor

Antonia has the classic dignity and the nicknames

Nora? Beatrice?

December 1, 2016 12:33 PM

Thanks for the clarification Laura. It does seem like we have this debate every year as we sort through the newsworthy and notable events of the year and pull out the naminess relevence. I remember the fierce and painful debate about "Trayvon" for example.

Clearly this was a year with heightened emotions and political decisions in both the US and Europe and many of us are still reeling from all of it. I know jwanders probably considered Boaty Mcboatface as a toss off nomination but I actually think it encapsulates some of what we're talking about here.

Be careful what you ask for, crowd sourcing, what is and is not a "legitimate" process or name, an underdog that's not taken seriously for good reasons that surprisingly wins, and the element of ridiculous absurdidity that becomes part of public discourse. Sounds like a name to represent 2016 to me.

(Though I still like Becky. C'mon guys.)

November 23, 2016 10:08 AM

My vote is for Becky. Beyonce's album was huge and topical, relating to the pain and resistance of black female experience in this country.

Her mention of "Becky with the good hair" has layers of meaning in terms of white beauty standards. There were several articles about whether or not calling someone a "Becky" was racist. I've seen some articles mention that the idea of Becky as a scheming social climber goes back to Becky Sharp from Vanity Fair.

Then there's Sir Mixalot's Becky, who is clearly white and is talking to her friend about dismissing black women's bodies.

The tension in "Becky" is that the name symbolizes both a wholesome sweet girl-next-door vibe (Becky from Tom Sawyer)  and also a racial critique about beauty standards and how the dominant culture skews towards whiteness when thinking or talking about what is attractive.

October 29, 2016 03:31 PM
In Response to A huge dilemma

For me personally, I would avoid twin names that sound too sing-songy. You're going to be saying ( and shouting and whispering) these names together for a long time and I think that two names ending in the y/ie sound would become a tongue twister pretty quickly.

So I would rule out Amy, Chloe, Evie, Lucy and Phoebe.

Sophie sounds both French and Antique Revival. I think Elise also strikes a similar vibe on both counts.

Sophie and Elise, Elise and Sophie. Similar in style but distinctive.

I think Sophie and Sarah also sound nice together but you have the siblings with the same initial problem.

Iris, Jasmine and Lilah are all lovely names but just seem pretty different from Sophie. That's ok of course, but I feel like the fact that they're twins will make it more obvious than other siblings. Of the three, I think Iris goes best.

October 29, 2016 03:13 PM

Gaia is the Earth Goddess in Greek mythology.

Magdalena is a name symbolizing redemption in the Christian tradition.

Dove could be a nod to the peace dove symbol.There's also Paloma, which means dove in Spanish.

Rowan is connected to the Rowan tree, which has meaning in the Celtic traditon

Another option would be to think of natural places that have strong meaning for you. I know several kids named after mountains or other natural places that their parents love.


August 30, 2016 09:04 AM

I'm joining in late to offer my congratulations on your well named arrival, and to welcome you to the club of name enthusiasts who are just in it for the great discussions and digressions. Man, there's got to be a shorter name for it than that, but right now I can't think of one.

I know my husband is appreciative that I have this forum, becuase it cuts down on the amount of imaginary children he has to name with me. I would guess that he thinks naming our own two was difficult enough and now he's glad to not have that responsibility anymore.

It strikes me that, for many of us regulars or semi-regulars, dwelling in the theoretical is what we like best. Whether we are young people daydreaming about possible futures, adults who have already named our children, or people still hoping and longing for an additon to our family, we take joy in exploring all the myriad  possiblities out there and where they come from and what they might mean. And, of course, for those who are expecting, this is such a helpful and nurturing place to sort out all the ideas of names and how the relate to the person you're waiting to meet.

Names are all wrapped up in history and linguistics and the layers of culture through time and region and some of us just love the magestic tapestry of it all.

I'm thankful that we have this place to share all of that. And I'm grateful for those of us who've found a home here.

August 28, 2016 07:58 PM
In Response to Unexpected name.

That was my great-grandma's name, though she almost always went by Tillie.

August 8, 2016 07:55 PM

I agree that Mila Ashton gives the impression that you are uber fans of the celebrity couple.

Maybe Mila Ashlynn would be better? Or Mila Rose is nice too.

The family connections give McKinnon an edge for me that it wouldn't otherwise have. I think it's sweet to carry on family names. What if you put McKinnon on the birth certificate but used Mila as a nickname? It's a bit of a stretch but then you get the family connection and a name you love.

August 8, 2016 07:41 PM

Hmm, so you are looking for something with a unisex feel that goes with the sibling names and could have an M middle name.

Riley makes me think of Avery, since I know children of all genders with that name.

Other possibilies:







Is any of that hitting the mark?

For middle names, I think you could use any M name that strikes your fancy, or honors a family member.


June 4, 2016 11:29 PM

My kids have a hyphenated surname. They're in elementary school now and so far, no problems. It is long, but I like that they have options, and that their name honors both sides of their heritage.

As for your first names:

Oscar- this is the most unusual to me. I think it still has different assoications for people- the grouch, but also Monsignor Romero (the Oscar that I know is named partially after him). I think it still has an old gentleman vibe, but in a way that is still cute on a young kid if that makes sense. Along the lines of Walter or Arthur.

Felix- I think this one is a whiff trendier, because the letter X is so trendy right now. It's still a great name, quirky and charming.Along the lines of Milo.

Oliver- this one to me is more British classic formal. Less spunky and more elegant. Along the lines of Sebestian

Max- agree with other posters that this is a stealth popular name. I know several kids who go by Max, with various long forms on the birth certificate. I understand the appeal, all that wild rumpusing, but me personally, I'm a little burnt out on this name.

June 4, 2016 11:20 PM

A lot of people on this forum will say that meaning trumps sounds or syllable length or all the other rules.

Middles are often a good place to honor friends or family members, include a name that is either too traditonal or too daring for the first name, or has some significance for the parents.

I think if you start thinking about what are the names that are meaningful or important to you, that might be easier than just thinking about the syllables.

June 3, 2016 10:37 PM
In Response to Baby Nameless any day!

I know an adult Theodora who goes by Theo, which is super cute, just to add another nickname to your pile.

May 26, 2016 11:43 PM
In Response to Baby Number 4

It seems like your older three have very different name styles. Which is actually great, because it means you won't feel fenced into staying within a certain style family and have more options.

Harper on a boy makes me think- sensitive, literary type names like Jude, August, Ezra

Carleen feels very Southern to me. I think of names like Harlan, Beau, Davis

Adelaide is Old Fashioned revivial. I'd pair it with names like Tobias, Oliver, Silas.



May 26, 2016 06:18 PM

Or a surge of Princes!

May 26, 2016 05:23 PM

Super interesting! My kids were both named after punk songs so this trend makes sense to me.

I have also met kids named: Cash (after the Man in Black), Strummer ( Joe Strummer from the Clash), Mayfield (Curtis), and Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac.)

May 9, 2016 03:59 PM

Gloria. So many Gloria songs that are so so catchy, from the 80s pop to the Christmas carols.

I also get the 80s songs about Rosanna and Sarah in my head when I hear about people with those names.

May 6, 2016 01:01 PM

Not surprised to see Benjamin and Harper there. I've seen lots of little ones with those names in the past couple years.

Benjamin fits the trend of a classic male name that still sounds young

and Harper obviously has the literary connections, the surname sounding style and the seems androgynous but isn't really trend.

May 2, 2016 10:40 PM

This has actually happened in my social circle. I attended a very small graduate program with a cohort of 16. Over the years we've mostly kept in touch and some of us see each other a few times a year, some more frequently. When we were in grad school only two people had kids and now most of us do. In that group there are two Desmonds, two Sydneys and two Matildas. It's even more interesting given that we live in a place that tends to have very creative outside-the-box name styles.

But, it's never been an issue and it's barely mentioned. Sometimes one of the kids will be refered to as Mom's Name's Desi or Other Mom's Desi but no one has accused anyone of stealing. I think it's kind of cute actually, one more thing we have in common as a group.

Hopefully your situation will be similar.