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 three year old and a baby 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
July 18, 2014 08:37 PM
In Response to Thoughts...

Ava is a top 5 name right now and where I live, I meet tons of them. Just an FYI. It's pretty but very popular.

Naya is pretty and sounds exotic and fresh to me, but I think the spelling Nya looks incomplete and confusing.

Maybe because of Naya Rivera, I think of this as a cross-cultural multiracial name.

Teagan I associate with the musical duo Teagan and Sara, and it feels spritely and Irish. 

June 26, 2014 09:41 AM

Great idea Laura! I'm excited about this new series. It's so interesting to hear about these time capsules and think about how the events of history are connected to names. 

June 2, 2014 11:36 PM

Interesting. My son's name is on that list. I feel both flattered and concerned. It will be interesting to see how many continue to climb. 

May 18, 2014 08:02 PM
In Response to George

Well, the name George is both masculine and traditional. Whether it is too masculine and traditional for you is really a matter of taste.


For what it's worth, I quite like it. I think it has a lot of the retro charm of Henry without being so overused. I think George and Stella go well together as siblings.


What other names do you like? It sounds like your style may be different from your husbands. If you list some names you both like maybe we can help suggest others that may be a good compromise. 

May 8, 2014 12:10 PM

That's a fun song to sing to your little one. 

I think you guys found a great solution to naming your son after dad, but in a way that reflects your tastes and values. 

May 8, 2014 12:08 PM

And I, despite my terrible spelling, am a former English major, and I love all the literary references in your kids names. 

I'm a fan of both the Forsythe Saga and Arcadia. In fact in a week I'm going, for the first time,  to see Arcadia performed.

May 7, 2014 10:42 AM

I'm sorry for your loss. I think it's great you want to honor your father with the name. 

Jade Josephine is pretty. You could also use: Jacqueline (Jackie for a nickname?) , Jasmine, Jenna, Jessamine (Jessie for a nickname?), Jillian, Jocelyn, or just plain Josie. 

I like Leo Joseph too. You could use Jonathan for the middle as a variation on John? ( It might not technically be a variation but it gets you to John without maybe being as painful.)

I also like the pervious idea of using an international variation of John. It's almost like a secret message between you and your child. 

May 7, 2014 10:34 AM
In Response to Amabel

Agree with others that your child will have to handle some misspellings and mispronouciations her whole life.

That's not the end of the world, but it's up to you to decide if you love the name enough to be worth it. 


I wonder if you could come up with a nickname that emphasizes the "m" sound.

Ama? Ammie?

May 7, 2014 10:32 AM

I'm going to echo another poster and wonder if you are struggling because the first names chosen are so different from what it sounds like you want. 

Middle names are great and all, but honestly they don't get used very much in day to day life, so to your child's friends and teachers they will just be Charlotte or James. 

Charlotte and James are classic, traditional names and it sounds like you wanted something more unique.

I wonder if it's time to go back to the drawing board, or to think of nicknames (Charlie? Carly? Lottie? Jem?)

that you could use on a regular basis and felt more interesting to you. 

May 7, 2014 10:28 AM
In Response to Freya's Popularity

I met a Freya at a playground once and overheard her mom talking to another mom about it.

She said that most people hadn't heard of it but they generally liked it and found it easy to say.

I think it might be one of those "sweet spot" names that are uncommon but not difficult. (And yes, I know that "difficult" is in the eye of the beholder.)

May 7, 2014 10:25 AM

Yes, Unity Mitford was the horrible person that our relative was referencing. And she was, but we didn't feel that she had ruined the name forever. As you point out, there are plenty of people with fairy pretty well-used names that have done horrible things. As it turns out, very few people have made any association with the Mitfords and our child, at least to our faces.  Mostly, I think, people associate Unity with other virtue names. When someone can't remember my child's name, they say "How's Serenity...Liberty...Harmony?" 

And yes, we knew about Brixton the neighborhood, although we've never been there. (Hopefully someday.)

And we liked that it had been a cultural inspiration for a lot of music. We are both punk rock fans, it one of things we first bonded over when we met, so it's fitting for our kids to share that with us, at least in names. 

May 6, 2014 03:01 PM

Forgot to add the funny post script to the "Desmond" story, which is that two of my friends from grad school ended up naming their sons this, and we hang out all the time, so that if we had stuck with Desmond, he would have been the third in his social circle with that name. 

May 6, 2014 02:56 PM

I love hearing these stories. You are right, it's nice to hear the whole story with deliberations and final results. Plus, I'm not having any more kids and I'm sad that I don't get to have the name discussion as much any more.

With our first, we had a girl name we loved right off the bat. We also did not find out the sex, so we had a just-in-case boy name but neither of us liked it as much. We made the mistake of telling some family members our names before the birth and got some negative reactsions- including "Oh but what about this historical figure who had that name and was really horrible? What about this other name instead?" We listened but didn't agree with that perspective, and went with our name anyway when our daughter was born.

She is Unity Jane. The first name was after a song by the California punk band Operation Ivy.


We also have a complicated double-barreled surname so we wanted to give her a simple classic middle name to fall back on, in case at some point she decides Unity is too much. Jane is in honor of Jane Austen and a close friend of my husband's family.


When I was pregnant with our second, we played the baby name bracket game on a long road trip and came up with our girl name- Juniper. For boys we came up with Dexter and Solomon and for a while I went around calling our unborn baby "Juniper or Solomon." 

Then a few weeks before my due date, my husband came home one day and announced that he hated every boy name in the entire world except Desmond. Now I think Desmond is a lovely name, for other people, but I wasn't sold on it and especially not when it was presented like that. 

So I went back to our brackets and pulled out the rejected names. There was a name on there that I actually got as a suggestion from this site. (This was before the forums when it was just long comment threads on the blog posts so I don't remember who suggested it.)

The name is Brixton. At first my husband rejected it because he thought it would be too matchy with Unity.

Now I realize that 90% of the world is probably scratching their heads at that, but it is another musical reference, to the song "The guns of Brixton" by the Clash.


He thought it would be too much of a theme to have both kids named after songs, but I convinced him that most people wouldn't notice. And that has been the case. 

It was a good thing we agreed on that, because he was indeed a boy and he is our Brixton Marcel.

The middle was after a good friend of mine who passed away quite suddenly at age 29. So it's not the simple classic of Jane but it has a lot of meaning for us and still offers my son a different more traditional name to fall back on, should he choose. 



May 5, 2014 10:34 PM

I think Leonie is beautiful both written down and spoken aloud.

I like the look of Delphi, and the oracle connections, but I'm not so into the sound of it.

The Delfee sound sounds cutsy and childish to me.

Percy I think of as a boys name.

April 24, 2014 11:47 PM

I agree with other posters that it should either be an "M" name or at least not an "A" name.

M names: Mariah, Marley, Maya, Mia, Miranda, Molly


Other non-M, non-A ideas:

Camryn, Emery, Finley, Laney, Jordana, Dariana.


I think that Mariella Tessa is a bit too vowel heavy but I think Mariella Tess sounds nice.

It sounds like you want a one-syllable middle name to balance out the long flowing first name, which I think

is a great approach. 

What about:





April 8, 2014 07:58 PM
In Response to Beck for a girl?

I agree with others that Beck on the birth certificate is a jarring change from Cora.

What about Lucy? It doesn't end in "a" and has the same kind of sweet, old-fashioned feel. 


Cora was most popular in 1919 so you could look at other names from that era: Ruth, Evelyn, Alice, Rose

April 8, 2014 07:52 PM
In Response to Thoughts on Charlotte?

I love this idea. I'm in the Seattle area too and I love the idea of a name nerd playdate. 

April 4, 2014 03:17 PM

This family tree seems to suggest that the boys named Brady all go by their middle names:




Hmm, well I think "well known" and "not commonly used" may contradict each other but here goes: