Rachel Dana



About Me

Not a parent or parent-to-be yet, but I've been thinking about my future kids' names since I was 12, maybe even earlier! Names fascinate me. I especially love hearing stories behind parents' choices for their kids' names, and as a Harry Potter fan, I very much enjoyed learning about all the thought and effort JK Rowling put into her characters' names.

My Favorite Names
My Recent Blog Comments

Veronica has added nickname possibilities of Vera (like Veronica of Vera Bradley) and variants on Nic, Nicki, etc. Don't write it off yet! 


I love Laura's picks of Alice and Arthur... they feel slightly fantastical, but are obviously rooted in established names. And they are decidedly British, and literary to boot!


@13 - Valentine Augustana - They should have used Vaughn!

June 7, 2012 06:45 AM

When I was in elementary school, if someone at recess called "hey Joel!" I would often mistake it for "Rachel!"

My dog is Regin@, nn Reggie, and she gets Reggae sometimes.

My brother T@ylor gets Tyler fairly frequently.

May 9, 2012 07:20 AM

I thought melee was pronounced more of a may-lay and Maeleigh would be more of a may-lee. But I suppose it is only a subtle difference. In any case I'd rather see them as a double barreled name than a smashup.

April 26, 2012 04:26 PM

@hyz - You hit on that most important point, I think:

"So, even though there were surely more girls named Adele in 1955 than there were in 2009, it still feels both more vintage and more modern than a characteristic 1955 name like Linda."

It's so interesting how names are perceived!

February 1, 2012 06:16 AM

Today's xkcd comic on names, specifically Renesmee: http://xkcd.com/1011/

January 30, 2012 03:53 PM

@ Louise (#14) - You know, I've heard some comments from people like what you said about the name Regina. (It's what I named my dog.) But every instance of the name I've ever heard has been pronounced reh-JEE-nah (long E), and to rhyme, it would have to be reh-JI-nah (long I), wouldn't it? Recent examples: - Regina George (Mean Girls) - Regina Spektor (musician) - Regina Mills (One Upon A Time) I've looked at the page on the name here, and I see it has both pronunciations. Personally, I feel that if you want to avoid the rhyming, you choose the version that doesn't rhyme!

November 22, 2011 11:00 AM

@EmilyRae - Um... here is the text of the article, is that what you meant? Dreading the day that you need to break it to your kids that they’ve inherited your magical powers? Well, in honor or Halloween, NameCandy is here to help! One option is to soften the blow by giving them a proper witch or wizard name. They might hate feeling different from their friends, but hey, might as well get used to now, right? Some parents opt for a “normal” name that helps them fit in with the rest of the kids. You can also take a middle of the road approach, and choose an unusual, witchy name that can be shortened to a common nickname. (If you'd like a witchy name that's also climbing the charts, take a look at these choices) Need more inspiration? Here are our picks for the top 10 magical families and their names: 1. Sabrina Spellman, niece of Hilda and Zelda Spellman, (Sabrina the Teenage Witch) 2. Sisters Piper, Prudence “Prue,” and Phoebe Halliwell, Paige Matthews (Charmed) 3. Sisters Winnifred “Winnie,” Sarah, Mary Sanderson (Hocus Pocus) 4. Samantha Stevens, mother of Tabitha, daughter of Endora, cousin of Serena, niece of Clara, Hagatha and Enchantra (Bewitched) Read more about Bewitched and the history of Samantha here 5. Sisters Sally and Gillian Owens, nieces of Frances and Jet Owens (Practical Magic) 6. Siblings Ursula the Sea Witch and King Triton (The Little Mermaid) 7. Siblings Alexandra Margarita “Alex," Justin and Max Russo (Wizards of Waverly Place) 8. Siblings Ronald Bilius “Ron,” Ginerva Molly “Ginny,” Fred, George, Percy, Charles “Charlie,” and William “Bill” Weasley, children of Molly and Arthur (Harry Potter) 9. Sisters Elphaba and Nessarose (Wicked) 10. Marnie, Dylan, and Sophie Piper, children of Gwen Piper, grandchildren of Aggie Cromwell (Halloweentown) Do you come from a family of witches and wizards? Are there any family names or sib sets you can share with other NameCandy readers? Who are your favorite magical families from TV or movies?

November 15, 2011 11:18 AM

@Meghan w/an H Leah Camille Zoe Adele Quinn Marguerite Ivy Elizabeth Would you be open to an alternate to Katherine - Kathleen? I like the flow of Zoe Kathleen better than Zoe Katherine, if you want to throw that into the mix.

October 13, 2011 11:08 AM

My dad used to torture my younger brother by singing songs which touched on the name of whoever my brother's crush was, so my brother challenged him to pair each name with a song, and when Dad couldn't come up with one, he turned to the old rhyming tune - my name would be "Rachel Rachel bo-bachel, banana fana fo fachel, me my mo machel - Rachel!" Other name-songs: Noel Stella Holly Maria Jessica Evangeline Alice Belle Sandy (or Sandra Dee) Ginny Gabriel Charlie Stephen Freddy Just a sampling, many are from musicals.

September 28, 2011 11:11 AM

There is still something so romantic to me about the prospect of taking a spouse's last name. That's why girls doodle their names with their crush's last name in class. It's probably more the idea of being a "Mrs" at all instead of "Mrs. HisLastName" in particular, except that it's the last name that ties the girl to the crush. Same with children - they will most likely be biologically the mother's, and the last name helps tie them to the father. And allowing the name change to be a choice makes the choice all the stronger, whichever choice is made.

June 10, 2011 06:11 AM

The latest xkcd comic touches on names: http://xkcd.com/910/

March 28, 2011 09:05 AM

My first pet was a cockatiel. I was 7 and named her after a horse I'd met the same year - Tickle. Next was a male cockatiels, Chewy, who came with his name. He and Tickle had 4 chicks over the course of 2 years - Floyd, after the hurricane he hatched during, Marshmellow who was renamed Samantha by her new owners, and Maggie and Dida, after friends. I also fostered a male cockatiel for about a year who I named Montgomery during a phase where I liked names on the long, stuffy side. I think I've mentioned this here before, but my adopted papillon (dog) was named Angel by the previous owner, but that name is very NMS for human or pet. I chose Regina Faye, nn Reggie for my dog because I liked the frilly official name vs. tomboyish nn, and Regina is a nod to a "typical" dog name, Rex.

February 10, 2011 10:29 AM

The legend of Wendy, I believe, is that one of the children Barrie befriended would call him her "Fwiendy-wendy" (like friendy, but r's are difficult for kids, I suppose) and he took the name from that.

February 3, 2011 06:43 AM
In Response to Naming beyond letters

@Rebekah - go ahead and click on the link regarding "Le-a" in Laura's post =]

February 2, 2011 07:35 AM

@Mom of Kayna - I think the point Laura was trying to make is that the background you found lists the meaning as "a saint's name," a phrase which is often misinterpreted as the literal meaning of the name. They should have said, to make it less confusing, that there is a saint named Kayna (or that there is a saint named Keyne, and that Kayna is a variation) and that the name has an Irish/Cornish background. Personally, I find the story behind why you chose the name more interesting.

February 1, 2011 03:13 PM

@Guest 99 - I would pronounce it LEE-nah with the nah like... the end of banana, for lack of a better example. The name feels sweet, to me, and I can see it on a toddler, but on an adult just as easily.

January 27, 2011 08:53 AM

Luke really only gains the "Star Wars" association if it is paired with other "Star Wars" related names. Otherwise, it's a fairly established name that no one would think twice about.

January 19, 2011 03:59 PM

@zoerhenne - I dated an Igor for a while in high school, thank you very much, and EVERYone in my family quoted "Young Frankenstein" to me. All. The. Time. Also... if we're going with Py as a nickname for Pythagoras on 3.14, shouldn't it be Pi? AND Mal Reynolds is fantabulous!