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I pronounce both Sara and Sarah as SAHR-ah. (At least I think that's how you'd spell it...sounds like the a in "apple", not the a in "care.") I'm from New England. I have a friend named Kara who pronounces the "a" like that in "father", not like in either apple or care. (She is very insistant on this!) Lots of different ways to pronounce that "a!"
When I moved to upstate New York, I had someone at a party come up to me and say, "Oh! So you can do the 'Three Marys!'" I had no idea what she was talking about...she said, "You know, Mary, Mary and Mary." Finally I figured out that she was saying "Mary, merry, and marry" which to my way of speaking all sound different, but to her were all pronounced "Mary." Fascinating! I was quite the party conversation piece for a while, ha ha.
So very true! My husband and I both liked the nickname Gwen for a girl, but now, if we ever have another child, we won't be able to use it. We already have a son named Quinn. Imagine yelling Quinn and Gwen across a crowded playground! They almost rhyme and sound way too much alike for my taste.
Emilyrae I think you are right on the money with the idea that using the argument "boys names are strong" only defeats the very problem parents are trying to circumvent. Girls shouldn't have to "be like boys" in order to be taken seriously. Why can't a traditional girl name be considered strong, confident, intelligent, etc? By rejecting "too feminine" names for their daughters, we just perpetuate that idea. Which is not to say that if you absolutely love the name Emerson for your girl that you should't choose it, but don't choose it solely because you think it will help her resume someday. If the employer is that biased, what do you think they will do when she walks into the interview and they see she is female when they were expecting a male? Will their bias suddenly be erased? I guess I've always hard a hard time grasping the "resume argument."
Ironically, I think a name like "Virginia" sounds more serious and strong to me than a name like "Madison", but maybe that's because Madison hasn't been around as long as a girls name to feel as "established" to me.
I'm especially interested to see this post on androgynous names. My husband and I frequently discuss this topic and try to guess which way the overall trend is going to go - will it be like in the past, where the boy's name gets abandoned and becomes only for girls once a certain tipping point has been reached? Or is it possible that there are simply so many androgynous names now that sharing names between boys and girls will turn into no big deal?
In checking out the baby announcements from my local hospitals I am increasingly surprised at the "stretch" many names are taking. It seems no male name is out of bounds anymore, to the point where it has reached (what I consider to be) epic proportions. Charlie, James, Hunter...all on girls? I begin to wonder if at some point society will just throw up all our collective hands and say, "who cares?" and then perhaps....perhaps parents of boys won't have to worry about a name taking a errant turn in the future.
I follow this trend with particular interest because my son is named Quinn - a name which sounded perfectly masculine to us when my husband and I chose it. We still love it and would hate to see it irrevocably "cross-over."
My 18 month old son's name is Quinn. When we first started considering the name, neither of us had ever heard of it being used on a girl. I'm saddened by the way it seems to be "crossing over."
So funny that the name Georgiana just came up. I just watched the movie "The Duchess" and the main character is named Georgiana, pronounced "Geor-JAYNA." It was a pronunciation which baffled me because the vowel combo is "ia" not "ai." I immediately thought of this wonderful site I am addicted to and wondering if anyone here would know the story behind the pronunciation. (It is regional?)
Cherrysundrop - I think Edward is very sturdy classic name, and I love the nickname "Teddy" as something a little different.
There was a little Jihad born at the local hospital in my area recently (I was scrolling the recent baby names for fun) with the middle name Amor. "Love of Holy War" perhaps? I was surprised to see that someone would give their child such an emotionally charged name in our current political climate.