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February 22, 2018 09:25 PM

Where are you located? That'll affect both the interpretation of "8/5" (August 5th or May 8th?) and what names are in the top 10.

Have you tried out the Name Matchmaker on this site? Plugging in your kid's names in various combinations, omitting top-10 suggestions, and omitting anything starting with C, A, or V, the top suggestion is Sarah, followed by Isabelle, Maria, Rachel, and Teresa. Elise, Evelyn, and Julie are not far behind.

For what it's worth, I love Harriet for you, and I'm wondering why it's being relegated to the middle spot. :)

February 22, 2018 06:26 PM

Hmm, not really, no: y'all pronounce "tar" as if it were "ta", but it's not true in the other direction. You don't add R's, you subtract them. Yeah, I'm picking nits, but it's very, very confusing for a rhotic speaker to be told to pronounce "ta" as "tar", because there are dialects that actually do that, i.e. add R's where there shouldn't ought to be any.

February 22, 2018 01:21 PM
In Response to Elliot or Elliott?

"All of them are looking funny right now" = semantic satiation, a.k.a. word glare.

February 21, 2018 04:16 PM
In Response to Elliot or Elliott?

"Elliot with one T" doesn't preclude Eliot, and "Elliott with two Ts" could be Eliott. :)

February 21, 2018 03:57 PM

And here I thought the "decorative H" in names was a Hungarian thing. (Case in point: Toth Ivett, the Hungarian figure skater. Her surname is pronounced something like /tote/, not the /tawth/ that all the announcers came up with. Most Hungarians can't even say /th/.)

February 20, 2018 05:03 PM

It takes a certain kind of person to carry off a name like Lauren St. Lawrence, but I don't think that's a terrible thing. It's definitely a striking combination; your daughter would never have any trouble with getting people to remember her name.

Regarding Beth, I'm one of those who prefers giving children the flexibility of the full name on the birth certificate, but Elizabeth in particular has so many nicknames that that could be dangerous - you might only call her Beth, but what if she decides at age 13 that she wants to be Libby instead, and you happen to hate pumpkin pie?

February 20, 2018 04:45 PM

Um, yeah. Don't do Stella & Dallas as twins. Really. Just don't. It's a good movie, but it's not a happy movie.

February 20, 2018 04:37 PM

I vastly, vastly prefer Penelope to Darcy (in any spelling). The former is a classic feminine given name, the latter is a locative surname which looks rather out of place among Violet, Cecilia, Terese, Margot, Kate, Beatrix, Hazel, Ophelia, and Aurora, which are all also classic feminine given names.

If you do want to use Darcy, I would suggest spelling it the expected way, without the extraneous E.

If the only reason you want to use Darcy is because it'll get you to the nickname Cece, I offer as illustration the story of our friends who gave their son an, um, unusual spelling [read: total misspelling] of a classic name so that it would "contain" the nickname they wanted. Once their son was born, though, they never used that nickname, sticking instead to the usual nickname for the classic name in question... which, because of the misspelling, is not actually contained in their son's full name.

Also, Penelope -> Penny -> Cent -> Cece. Just saying. :)

February 19, 2018 11:21 AM

What she said! While I immediately made the association to The 5th Element, there was something off. I was going, "OK, she's obviously referring to that movie, but I don't think the name was actually Lilou. Or was it?" It took seeing the Leeloo spelling to figure it out. 

I have no idea if I would make the movie association if I heard Lilou being spoken and there was no mention of a possible popular culture connection. Possibly if I had just seen the movie in the last month or so, but probably not otherwise. In that sense, I'd actually avoid the movie-poster-in-the-nursery approach.

February 19, 2018 11:04 AM

As Natasha-Rhiannon said, using the same initial for boy-girl twins is OK, but if you can easily avoid it, I would suggest doing so. For same-sex twins, I would definitely not use the same initials. Many children develop an affinity for their initial - it's the first letter they learn to write, that sort of thing - and for twins who look at all alike, it can especially become important to have it be an individual thing, not a one-of-a-pair thing. (It can be helpful to relatives giving gifts, too: even people who can't figure out which name goes with which child and what their favorite-color-du-jour is, can get two gifts that are identical except for the initial on them, thereby satisfying the seemingly incompatible desires for fairness but inequality.)

My problem with Heidi and Johanna is not that the latter is the author of the former, but that one is a nickname and the other is not. However, Adelheid and Johanna would be rather too German, I think, at least in an English-speaking context. 

February 19, 2018 10:24 AM

The key to using Tiffany without violently jerking your readers out of your medieval milieu is to spell it Tiphaine or Thifaine or similar... and then subtly revealing at some point that yes, it's pronounced /tiff-ann-ee/.

February 16, 2018 11:21 AM
In Response to Sunset for baby girl?

Yep, what Megan said. The sunset on a given day can be absolutely gorgeous, but that doesn't remove the connotations of death/end/obsolescence from the word.

February 13, 2018 04:59 PM
In Response to Sonnet?

It's not the "Son" at the beginning on its own that bugs me, it's the Son+net. So like Bennet = Ben + n + et = little Ben, my mind keeps wanting to make Sonnet into "little Son", even though I know that's totally wrong.

I forgot to mention before that I'd be worried about the sibling dynamics, with the boys having totally normal names but their little sister getting such an unusual name. And with the disparity between Sonnet and the other girl names OP has been considering, there's also the possibility of name regret.

February 13, 2018 10:40 AM
In Response to Elizabeth vs Veronica

David is the only name I can think of that gets to even half a dozen. (Brother-in-law, cousin's son, neighbor, two good friends, at least one aquaintance...) I guess I just don't know that many people.

February 13, 2018 10:25 AM
In Response to Sonnet?

I dunno, I'd be bothered by the Son+diminutive reading. Yeah, yeah, I know it's not a word for a small male offspring, but it has "Son" right there, front and center.

As a middle name, sure, but I can't really get behind it as a first name. Mind you, the "birth announcement must be a sonnet" requirement holds even if you only use it as a middle name! Hope somebody in the family is a decent poet. :)

February 13, 2018 10:18 AM

Yeah, if I had a dollar for every idiot who made a Hungary/hungry "joke"...

February 9, 2018 12:20 PM
In Response to Baby name ... Snow?

Note that there's a 35-year gap in there, 1937 to 1972. (I noticed because my dad was born in 1937 and we were born in 1972.) It's possible that there were a few Snow's born in those years, but below the SSA privacy threshold; however, just based on the numbers we *do* have, this is a revival of a rarely-used name, not something that's been in continuous-but-infrequent use.

February 8, 2018 05:16 PM
In Response to Sibling Name Help!!

I started skimming the first reply before realizing I hadn't read the question. So my reading went something like "see a pattern... Austin, Brooklynn, Mason, Madelyn..." At that point, I spent a minute looking at those names and trying to find a pattern, any pattern. I mean, OK, the girls are pretty similar with the -lyn(n) ending, but how do the boys fit in that? Besides not at all? I finally gave up and read the rest of your post to see what pattern you're talking about.

In other words, pattern? What pattern? Choose the name you love best, and don't worry about possibly-nonexistent patterns.

February 7, 2018 11:59 PM

I kept meaning to post about this here, but got distracted by having to replace my phone (it didn't like being dunked in Mother's coffee) and by rockets flying backwards ( and/or an orbiting Tesla (

February 7, 2018 11:43 PM

Different John: Eugene Bradford, Q, and Discord are played by John de Lancie.