The Name of the Year, 2010

Dec 7th 2010

Before I announce the Baby Name Wizard Name of the Year, let me remind you that the NOTY designation isn't an endorsement. It's not a claim that the name will soon be heard in nurseries across the land. It's a recognition that this name captures our moment in time, both reflecting and shaping the naming culture around us.

With that in mind, the 2010 Name of the Year is....

The Situation.

For those of you who haven't looked at a TV this year, yes, that's a name. Read on.

This year's reader nominations had a clear theme. 2010 was, in one reader's apt summation, "the year of the un-name."

It was a year that saw people pushing the boundaries of what a personal name is. Parents were ravenous for fresh baby name ideas, digging deep into their reference books for untapped words (Legend, Malaysia) and jazzing up spellings the same way marketers do (Juelz, Maxx). The swelling ranks of Bloggers and Twitter users were referred to by handle rather than name. Performers, meanwhile, were upping the artifice (Prince Poppycock) and launching lawsuits when other people encroached on their name space (Lindsay Lohan). All together, it created what another reader described as a "name-as-brand vibe" to 2010.

Nowhere was this more apparent than on MTV's reality show Jersey Shore. The series, a kind of Real World populated entirely by buff young New Jersey Italians on vacation, premiered in December 2009. Soon, it was everwhere. Its heavily nicknamed cast dominated Name of the Year nominations, especially breakouts Snooki (Nicole Polizzi) and The Situation (Michael Sorrentino).

Those nicknames, as readers attested, were more than incidental to the show's success. "I don't have cable and have never seen the show, yet I still know who they are," one reader wrote. "I admit, I did tune in for a few episodes," wrote another, "and I also have to admit, I partly did because of the names. They made me curious--who were these characters?"

Of all the Jersey Shore nicknames, it's The Situation that epitomizes the year of the un-name. Snooki's nickname was conferred, in time-honored style, as an in-joke among her middle school friends. The Situation is a less natural, more calculated choice. It's a statement which translates roughly to "all eyes on me!"

Think of The Situation as a stage name without an act. What better emblem could there be for an age of empty celebrity, when you become famous because you're on camera, rather than being on camera because you're famous?

But more than a traditional stage name, The Situation is also a brand. By the time the first episodes of Jersey Shore aired a year ago, Mr. Sorrentino was already attempting to trademark "The Situation" for product licensing. He understood that his adopted name was his platform to fame.

You could think of this name-first celebrity as the ultimate step in a long evolution. Entertainers have always been aware of their "name brands" as they sell themselves to their audiences. In past generations, they routinely checked their names at the door when they entered Hollywood. Stage names were selected to project an image: usually glossy, like Cary Grant or Judy Garland, and occasionally goofy a la Groucho Marx. By and large, though, they all stuck to the form and style of names. To do otherwise, like ukulele-playing singer Tiny Tim, was to mark yourself as a novelty act.

Hip-hop did away with those rules. From KRS-One to Curren$y, performers blurred the line between name and act. A rapper name could be made up of anything: nouns, adjectives, articles, numbers, punctuation. It wasn't just style, it was statement. It was a brand identity.

Previously an entertainer might have created personas, like David Bowie's Thin White Duke, but these were separable from the individuals behind them. Not so with 50 Cent or T-Pain. When rap empresario Sean Combs decided to shift his image away from Puff Daddy, he had to re-name himself in a formal public relations blitz.

It took a while, but the hip-hop approach to names has finally spread. World-conquering Lady Gaga is leading the charge, with a crowd behind her. White pop singer Ke$ha, for instance, adopted a rap-style brand name as well as incorporating bits of rap into her music.

In the past, I've compared the way parents today name babies to the way companies name products. We're all trying to launch our children into life's competitive landscape with the best chance to succeed and achieve their dreams. That, I think, remains a heartfelt and loving (if obsessive) impulse. The Situation represents a different kind of name-as-brand. It's a more calculated attempt to make yourself a product, with your name as your marketing campaign. And for better or worse, it's working.


By Guest1 (not verified)
December 9, 2010 2:27 AM

I've never watched the Jersey Shore but friends who do tell me they do so because it's hilarious, not because they're brain-dead.

How is that depressing? Oh, I know because as hipsters you're too "cultured" not to take pop-culture to seriously. "Sigh" indeed. When will all of this sanctimoniousness die?

Ke$ha isn't killing anyone & Justin Bieber does not want to eat you babies... as far as I know.

By Larksong NLI (Merry Xmas season) (not verified)
December 9, 2010 4:38 AM



@ lucubratrix

LOL! You put me to shame.You hear & think of Wagner. I think of ''high school student who likes to write music & who could be dashing on a romance novel'' ! LOL In my defense, the ''romance'' novel bit stuck in my head ever since I read the one comment at appellationmountain.

Actually, was't there a Tristan in the book/movie Legends of the Falls? Ironically, Brad Pitt was the character I was thinking of. He is the opposite of ''my'' Tristan, though

Actually, I wonder if the vibes that people get off from names or the image that the name evokes doesn't fall into their interests & like their personality? The ''style'' of people that they are ?

I wouldn't choose a name based on looks, though. This is just my name doodlage

By Larksong NLI (Merry Xmas season) (not verified)
December 9, 2010 4:52 AM

@Guest 1

Actually , I agree with you & you have a point

Oh, celebrity gossip is a guilty pleasure of mine lol . I fall so far out of the ''it's beneath me league''. I'd be an utter hypocrite . I also used to mainly read popcorn fiction as opposed to the Classics. I've only started the Classics Classics properly this year. So, I'm firmly in the ''really really normal '' slot :)

December 9, 2010 4:56 AM

@Lorien, I really like Gerard. But, I pronounce it with the accent on the second syllable. Is that the same way you are intending it to be pronounced? I really dislike Gerry/Jerry though.

@Larkson, definitely Eden Ariadne. Ariadne is a guilty pleasure of mine. I love the repeating /d/ sound.

December 9, 2010 6:06 AM


Thanks! I'm really into this pairing

Oh, I'm still the same Larksong, I re-joined , as I changed emails & all of that

December 9, 2010 7:07 AM

Which do you think is better:

Piper Vivienne VS Piper Evangeline (LEEN)

December 9, 2010 11:40 AM

Hi all. I used to post frequently a few years back but have just been lurking recently. Well, I am in need of advice. We are having our first in April, and when we first found out it's a boy, we decided on the name Julian.

In the meantime, WikiLeaks has really blown up and its founder, Julian Assange, has been arrested for sexual offenses. I don't really want my baby's name to be primarily associated with a hacker and possible sex criminal. Do you think this will all blow over by April? It wouldn't matter as much if he weren't the only famous Julian I can think of (though I know the name is on the rise).

My husband thinks it's no thing. He's probably right, but I just wanted to see what people who are more concerned/involved with names think.

By Lorien (not verified)
December 9, 2010 12:21 PM

I pronounce Gerard with an accent on the second syllable. I've never heard of it being accented any other way. I'd probably pair it with a MN like Isaiah or Matthias because of that, to avoid two accented syllables in a row. (Yes, I care about that, lol.) I like iambic meter in boys names, and the LN sounds like Patrick, so that works out...

@RB: I know people who got the same question about using the name Monica around the time of the whole Monica Lewinsky scandal. It really didn't make any diference to them, but Julian is perhaps a bit more rare. I'd still be inclined not to worry about it, though. For most people, I suspect that story is not a defining issue of the day. It may actually make the name more popular, not by association with the guy himself, but because the name is simply going to be heard a bit more for a while, and then the story/associations will fall by the wayside.

December 9, 2010 12:50 PM



I wouldn't worry about it, because 1) it's name that's traditional & has another history. It's rooted in what many view as acceptable i.e. traditional 2) it has been increasing in popularity in a couple of countries over the last few years , so it's being more approachable as well more of a norm 3) most people will probably have another association from a book, movie etc e.g. there's a Julian lead in 2 books I've read in the last year 4) because it's rising & is traditional, once someone has met your baby, they most likely will associate the name with your baby very quickly if they have any other association

By Amy3
December 9, 2010 1:58 PM

@RB, I wouldn't worry about using Julian. April is pretty far off in terms of news cycles, and I don't think the name will be irrevocably linked to Assange.

December 9, 2010 2:03 PM

RB-Julian Lennon is the first person that comes to mind for me.

Larksong-Thanks for the kind words. I love playing around with names for others seeing as how I'm done with having any more of my own. Making combos is one of my favorite things. Piper Evangeline is better for me. I also thought of Eden Violet. Oh and Sage Isobel is better than Eden Isabelle but still a little off for me.

chimu-How are you doing?

By The_Name_Guru (not verified)
December 9, 2010 2:32 PM

To call that a name is ridiculous. I mean it is a name the guy gave himself. I suppose it is a name but I was hoping to see a real name, a bonafide name and instead saw this bloke's name. Now, this is quite the situation.

December 9, 2010 2:48 PM

I feel like I pay much more attention to Assange than Julian, if that makes sense. I think the unusualness of this last name makes me kind of ignore his first. Who knows if this is how everyone reacts though. This might be the kind of situation where it's good to test the name out on people around you (You know, normal people, not name nerds) and see if their reaction is, "Like that Wikileaks guy?" I also agree with the person that said wait a bit too; who knows what will happen with all this by April?

December 9, 2010 4:31 PM

Thanks, all, for the thoughtful comments. I know the name is definitely on the rise/becoming more mainstream, and it's true that this will probably not be a huge, long-term news story (ie, by April, or soon after, no one will remember what Assange's first name is). I just needed a little reassurance. It's an emotional time, so I think I'm more prone to overthink things. Thanks again!

December 9, 2010 5:16 PM

Off topic. I met my first little Jude today a 2 year old. I was very excited. Jude was our boy name for the little girl I had 2+ years ago and is in pretty good contention this time around as well. What made it fun was that his older sister was Clare (not sure of the spelling) just like my older daughter. (Their baby sister was Ellen for those interested in sibsets). I've been questioning whether Jude worked a sibset with my more traditionally named kids so it was awesome to meet that sibset. And while Ellen has never been on my girl's list Helen(a) has which is pretty darn close.

eda: Just realized that he was the first young Jude I met. We do have friends with a college age Jude which is probably where I got the idea for the name about 5 years ago.

December 9, 2010 6:14 PM

@RB - I definitely wouldn't worry about the link to Julian Assange. I agree that Julian Lennon is pretty well known and the name is not exactly so uncommon that people will only have one association with it.

@Larksong - I have a thing for repeating /d/ sounds and two of my favourite combos at the moment are:
Cordelia Delphine
Astrid Ariadne

@Lorine - a lot of people here in Australia seem to put more emphasis on the first syllable, so like GER-ud. I think it's awful prounced like that ger-ARD is much nicer!

@zoerhenne - thanks for thinking of me! I have my second scan today so if all goes well I can hopefully convince my DH to start talking names. I don't think we will be finalising any names until after the birth but I certainly want a short(ish) list to pick from. I'm hoping to get a sneak peak at the sex today but it's probably still a bit early. Won't stop me asking though!!

December 9, 2010 7:11 PM

Chimu-Good to hear you are doing well :) and also I agree with your comment to Lorien that Ger-ARD is a much nicer pronunciation. Speaking of pronunciations, I came across the name Persephanie. Spelled like that it would be easier for me to say it properly than the crazy way I thought when I was younger and uneducated to this blog. (Per-suh-phone like Tel-uh-phone LOL!)

Oh and just for fun, I like Cordelia Delphine better than Astrid Ariadne. That last one trips me up even though I much prefer Astrid to Cordelia. Something to the effect/flow of Astrid Olivia works quite well for me.

By Amy3
December 9, 2010 7:35 PM

@Lorien, I forgot about another Gerard I know called Gerry (pronounced Gary). I'm also now realizing the two say it differently. Jerry says jer-ARD and Gerry says GER-ard.

December 10, 2010 12:32 AM

Larksong! Hi! I really like Eden Ariadne. To me the d repetition is very pleasing, and also, I love Ariadne (would be on our list if it weren't too matchy with our first choice girl name of Hermione). That gets my vote, for sure. I know repeating sounds gets very mixed reviews (one person's melodic is another person's awkward)... but I think middle names are sort of secret anyway, so I think you can be more daring. :)

I was just thinking today about how I like Rupert because the RT consonant cluster is repeated in the middle of our last name. If it were any more repetition, I would not like it, but I think it's just right for my taste, must like Eden Ariadne Lastname.

I like Piper Evangeline much better than Piper Vivienne. I like Evangeline and Vivienne equally, but somehow Evangeline just flows better, and I think it also provides a bit of contrast with the different vibe to the name. (Evangeline is a bit more romantic and Vivienne is just as spunky as Piper to me.)

I love the vivid image you have painted of a Tristan! I think it's a flexible enough name that can permit a wide range. You're right about Brad Pitt's character in Legends of the Fall -- when that was everyone's primary association for the name, it really gave me pause because that is just a very different mental image! (For the record, I read a fair quantity of romance novels in addition to going to the opera.)

Thanks also for providing a more international view of Gerard. Mine was very squarely US-centric without labelling as such1

RB - congratulations! Although this post has established that no one should ever want to use me as a pop culture barometer, I want to add to the chorus of "not a big deal to me". At least where I live, Julian is not so unusual that anyone would make the connection between your child and the current event. Irregardless of local popularity, there are plenty of other associations in pop culture that prevent one from becoming dominant or even standing out. If the negative press were for a more obscure name (e.g. Julius, Jolyon) then I would agree with your concern because there wouldn't be much to dilute the association. But it's not, so I wouldn't worry, unless your surname is also Assange or something similar.

By Chrispy (not verified)
December 10, 2010 7:59 AM

My other children's names are Elijah, Dominic (boys); Corinne, Lucy. None of those four go by a nickname normally although I call Dominic Snick and Corinne Rinna.

Of the Margarets I know or have known one goes by Margaret, one Meg, one Anne (middle name), one Margie and a couple Maggies.

Thanks for the perspectives and congrats. I don't want to ask my family because this time I don't want to share our final picks with anyone until the baby is actually here.

Re: Julian I think the story will blow over and won't leave a really lasting impression. My initial thought was that Julian was Bean's real name in the Ender's Shadow series by Orson Scott Card. My DH thinks Julian Lennon.

Re: Gerard I have a mid-40s cousin named Gerard, always goes by Gerry. Living in southern New England, it would be pronounced Jeh-ROhD or Jehr-ahd. I have a hard time getting used to the hard r at the end. Most Gerards or Geralds I know are in the 60 to 80 range.

Tristan does sound like an arty person to me.

December 10, 2010 8:54 AM

Thanks for all the good wishes, everyone!

lucubratrix--It's funny you mention Jolyon because I tried sneaking that into the running first and was met with a blank stare. Julius was also one I floated, but we decided that we both loved Julian (whereas Julius would have taken a bit more convincing). Since we have a Jewish last name, my husband also thought Julius aged the name a lot (Julius was pretty popular in the American Jewish community in the early 20th c), while Julian is much more current.

zoerhenne & chrispy--I forgot about Julian Lennon, to be honest, but that's another good reason why the name would not be irrevocably linked to Assange. I guess there is also Julian Schnabel, though that's a bit more obscure. Thanks everyone!

By Bue
December 10, 2010 9:45 AM

Ger-ARD is generally the North American pronunciation and JEHR-erd is the British/Irish pronunciation. When I was on a university exchange in Scotland I had a friend from Northern Ireland. We were having lunch one day and for some reason I mentioned the name Gerard, using of course the NA pronunciation - the only one I knew. I will never forget her turning to me and saying, "WHAT did you just call him?" and then actually falling off her chair in fits of hysterics. I have since found that a lot of people in the UK find the NA way of saying it absolutely hilarious. I happen to like them both.

December 10, 2010 10:56 AM

Bue and others-Are we not talking about two separate names here? Gerard (Jer-ARD) vs. Jared (JAIR-ed) I suppose there are many other ways to spell Jared such as Jarrod but if there is an R in the spot near the D then the name is different.

December 10, 2010 11:42 AM

Zoerhenne, most (not all) US dialects are r-filled; most UK dialects are not. In much of the UK the second syllable of Gerard would be something like -ahd. (This would also be true in much of New England.) In most UK dialects the -r serves only to color the vowel. An example, the name of the donkey in the Pooh books. It is spelled Eeyore, but it is intended to be pronounced 'ee-'aw, that is to say, Hee-Haw, reflecting the dropped initial H found in some British dialects, most notably Cockney, and the -r serving to signal the pronunciation of the 'o' as 'aw', not 'oh.'

Also in the US French loanwords tend to preserve the romance stress rule, while in the UK French loan words often shift to the Germanic stress rule. So in the US Bernard is something like Ber-NARD. while in the UK it's generally roughly BER-nid.

December 10, 2010 3:59 PM

Well, RB, I'm always a fan of mentioning Jolyon because I have one. :) But I love all the related names, too - they all have marvellously distinct flavors, and I am confident we chose right with our son.

I agree with your husband's call on Julius with your last name - Julian will definitely sound more modern. Wikipedia has a nice list of many, many famous Julians, if that helps you further put into perspective how insignificant the Assange association is:

Miriam, that's fascinating about Eeyore! I always learn something new from your posts!

December 10, 2010 4:05 PM

Miriam-Thank you for that info. It makes much sense in the way that you've explained the accents. Forgive me all NON-US posters as I often forget these dialects.

Also very interesting about "E-OR"'s name. I never realized the way it was intended to be pronounced. It all makes so much sense now as I always wondered why his name was not derived from the animal as with the others' names. Context and pronunciation are tricky things to get from print sometimes.

By Bue nli (not verified)
December 10, 2010 4:23 PM

Miriam, what a great explanation.

zoerhenne, you can hear the name in this UK television interview with Gerard Butler at 0.14 and again at 0.52:

In fact, the R is so soft in many UK accents that I've found some people to have spelling problems with particular words as a result. I discovered recently that my partner (who is not a language type) had been under the impression for three decades that the word Drawer is spelled Draw, simply because the R is non-existent the way he says it! (Believe me, he is never going to live that one down :)

December 10, 2010 4:27 PM

Miriam - that's really neat about Eeyore!

So I've recently added Andrew to our boys' list - it's probably replacing Elias as in the top 2. Anyway, I'm wondering if Lawrence or Elias would be a better mn. Our last name is Tyson. Lawrence would make for a 2-2-2 syllable name which I guess is a no-no although my hubby's survived okay with his name. I probably prefer Lawrence and dh would prefer Elias - or really any other name than Lawrence but these are his choices =). Any thoughts?

December 10, 2010 6:24 PM

another Laura-I actually like Lawrence better for you. It's not my favorite name on its own but the flow works better. I tend to trip a little over the L in Elias. Something like Michael although somewhat a "filler" name seems to be the type of sound that works best.
Andrew Michael
Andrew Tyler
Andrew Phillip
Andrew Oliver
Andrew Richard

December 10, 2010 6:29 PM

Thanks zoerhenne - we named our last baby after my mom (Catherine) and my sister had also passed Catherine to her daughter as a mn so my dad's feeling very left out. In addition to my dad's fn Lawrence also happens to be dh's mn and fil mn. DH however has never really liked his mn so has resisted passing it down. On his own he'd probably pick Andrew Nicholas but I think we need to go with either Lawrence or Elias for my dad's sake. My dad's surname also wouldn't work as a mn as I was pretty glad to be rid of it.

By guesty (not verified)
December 10, 2010 6:54 PM

It's funny when I read through the varying opinions of Tristan because I think of it as a cowboy name. I can easily imagine a Tristan with brothers named Wyatt and Levi.

December 10, 2010 7:06 PM

another Laura: I prefer Andrew Elias. I'm not sure what it is exactly--maybe the 2-2-2 thing you mention. Or maybe also that Elias is such a stand out name... it seems more special or something (although I have also been a fan of Lawrence since seeing that '90s movie version of Little Women).

December 11, 2010 9:36 AM

"FWIW, as somebody who has never watched the show but did have to learn way too much about it for this column...

He was born in Staten Island but grew up and spent most of his life in New Jersey."

That may be so, but the line "The series, a kind of Real World populated entirely by buff young New Jersey Italians on vacation, premiered in December 2009." is still pretty inaccurate and slightly offensive to those of us that are actually from NJ. Most of the cast is not from NJ at all. The more accurate way of describing the show would have been "The series, a kind of Real World populated entirely by buff young Italian-Americans on vacation in New Jersey, premiered in December 2009." At least then it doesn't imply (as many seem to think already) that those meat-heads are NJ natives. They just invade our beaches and give us all a bad name.

December 11, 2010 12:27 PM

another Laura-How about these other thoughts I had this AM:
Andrew Scott
Andrew Leo
To me they sound very distinguished and break up the 2-2-2 sound.

By Beth the original (not verified)
December 11, 2010 11:36 PM

On Eeyore: it could also be that it reflects a peculiar British dialect (not sure where it's from, but my relative who has it grew up in Leicester). In any case, in this dialect you tack an "er" onto the end of what would otherwise be an "ah" sound. So: Maria becomes Marier, area becomes arier, and so on.

So: Hee-Haw as Hee-Hoawr = Eeyore?

Just thinking aloud. But I too never recognized the connection. And Winnie the Pooh is the other animal whose name is not connected to his species!

December 12, 2010 7:34 AM

Hi Everyone!

So sorry I haven't replied sooner! I had a hellish 5 hours trying to fix my internet connection on Friday & wasn't home on Saturday!

Oh, the Gerard discussion reminded me, do all Americans say CRAIG as CREGG? I've often noticed in movies etc, that when Americans say it, it sounds like CREGG (come across this on blogs). How do you all say Craig?

I say it as CRAYG (with a ''g' ending)

RE: Gerard. How I say it depends on whom I speaking to , based on their language. It's either :
zjuh-rad like the actor
or the Afrikaans way, which has this ''gheh'' sound a cross between a growl & a bit of phlem garglage. The second syllable sounds like''rart''

I mainly say it the 3rd way

re: Julian

Actually, I have a family member who is a new junkie & keeps on calling Julian Assange - Julius Asaaan-jee. So, you're already getting people mixing up Juilus & Julian

SOme people might just call him the Wikileaks guy. I agree that the surname is much more of a distinguishing factor

@another Laura

That's nifty on meeting your first kiddie Jude!


I ADORE Astrid Ariadne ! It's simply stunning


A wonderful reply. I'm REALLY not into the bandwagon that worries about rhymes/matching sets etc. That said, I do have some unexplainable quirks. But to me, it's about what makes the name special to the parents, so that the name can be a gift given in love to the child. The way that I look at it, is that you could have 9/10 people loving the name & the combo & your kid's the only one in the world that hates it anyway,
so rather go for the choice that really ''feels'' right to you

Ironically, I never thought of the repeating ''d'' at first. I was thinking of the subtlely repeated ''ee'' of EE-den and Ar-ree-ahd-NEE .The beginning & end both ave ''eee-ness''

I also prefer Piper Evangeline to Pier Vivienne as well. (Vivian reminds me of the masculine spelling). When I was playing around with double middle names, it was Piper Vivienne Fae (dislike the ''y''), which I thought seemed lyrical when together

LOL at the romance novels :)


If I could ever be inside your mind for an hour, I'd understand the world dialects so much better. Such an interesting fact!


Lol! There's nothing to forgive! This is actually why I always had in the phonetics for how I say things.

@another Laura

I prefer Elias because it has multiple ways of saying it that give it more 'flava'' for me. I also like the extra syllable. Plus, I have really bad associations with a Lawrence that I know.I like all of the vowels between Andrew & Elias. It looks visually stimulating

I think Andrew Elias sounds more interesting & as if it has more history. It seems different o Andrew, so I'd wonder if there was a story. Andrew Lawrence also works & it sounds very distinguished. It seems more ''lawyer'' or ''old-money'' to me

@Beth the original

Now that you mention it, I've noticed that before ! Good point

December 12, 2010 7:01 PM

@ larksong - In Australia it is very definitely CRAYG.

I also forgot to mention I much prefer Piper Evangeline too!

So I had my scan on Friday and all is well. I did ask about the sex but the bub is a bit small to tell still. They did lots of groin shots though and there weren't any obvious appendages. I had been feeling it was a boy but after the scan I'm wondering about a girl. Anyway only 6 weeks and I'll hopefully know one way or the other. After xmas I should really get the DH to look at my name lists. I don't think there is much point before then! I'm still happily working on them though :)

By Amy3
December 12, 2010 8:04 PM

@larksong, I'm in the US and say CREG.

@Chimu, congrats on the scan, but I'm sorry you couldn't get an answer as to boy or girl. Can't wait to see what names you end up considering!

By AlsoZR (not verified)
December 12, 2010 10:38 PM

Chimu-Glad to hear things are still going well for you :)

larksong-I say Creg mostly but can be corrected to say Crayg. It's not unheard of for the A sound to be stretched out here.

December 13, 2010 4:25 AM


I'm so happy that everything went well !

I think I'm probably going back to my overall Piper fav, Piper Soleil (so-lay) lol

December 13, 2010 4:04 PM

I'm going to have someone named Johne in my class next semester (I assume a male from the middle name). Has anyone ever seen that spelling before?

By Pip (not verified)
December 13, 2010 9:34 PM

Hi all.

Old poster here. I haven't been around in a while, but I try to keep up with the reading when I can. I've decided to be a little less obvious with my username since it's distinctive enough to be Googleable, especially if you pair it with my daughter's name and the names I am considering for my second. I will say, though, that my childhood nickname was Pippa, and I accidentally usurped someone else's username, who then had to add the suffix "The First."

Anyway, I'm expecting my second child (12 weeks currently)and am currently completely stumped for a name! It's ridiculous. With my first, I whittled away at an endless list and still had it open to three choices as I went into labor. This time, nada. I'm sure as I progress and find out the sex, I will undoubtedly present some ideas for you to consider, but for now, all we have is my husband's hotly-contested #1 choice for a girl: Fr3ya.

What is your gut reaction to Fr3ya? What kind of associations do you have? This is for an American girl in New England, if it matters. Big sister's name is Syvi@ Gr@ce and she goes almost exclusively by Sylvi3.

It may not matter, because we may not even be having a girl. But if we are, the hubs is pretty determined that THIS one will finally be "his" Fr3ya.

By Beth the original (not verified)
December 13, 2010 11:22 PM

Pip, congratulations! I know who you were, and welcome back. You see that I had to take "the original" because my screenname was usurped -- oh, well. I thought of "Classic Beth," but that sounded absurd with my date-stamped name.

Fr3ya. Huh. It sounds German (in fact, kind of 19th-century German immigrant) It's a bit frumpy, but in a cute way. It's the kind of name that will become adorable on an adorable child. It's not trendy, but it's not trying-too-hard either. I give it a thumbs up for subtle originality, and a thumb-sideways for the sound, which can be nasal in a midwestern accent but perhaps not so bad in a New England one. That's assuming you say FRAY-ah. Or is it FRY-ah?

December 14, 2010 12:10 AM

Hi Pip! Congratulations! I was formally Rjoy but just reregister so I now have a new screen name.

We are expecting too and are in the same dilemma were I don't have a name! ugh!!!! It is really bothering me. I think I am just not impressed with anything right now or if I do like a name it is too similiar to my other children's names.

Freya- I like it! I have been eyeing it for awhile now. I think it is going to be an up and comer. It has the same sounds as Ava and it new and fresh. I don't think that will be too soon though.

I also like that Sylvia and Freya are not too similar in styles but sound good together.

I just signed up for Expert and don't know where to start!!!

By C C & B's Mom (not verified)
December 14, 2010 12:14 AM

RB - congrats! I too have not been posting recently but remember you from way back. I say go for Julian. More people know who the Situation is than would recognize the name Julian Assange (this board excepted of course)

BTW, I actually enjoyed The Situation on Dancing with the Stars! I actually like a lot of reality TV - how's that for a true confession? :)

December 14, 2010 12:48 AM

Pip + Rjoy-Congrats! I've seen both of your names in the past so welcome back. Pip, I love the name of your first as it seems so perfectly classic (in a non-70's 80's way). Freya seems more Scandanavian to me in a way that doesn't really match Sylvi@. To me it would match better if your DD was named Bridget or Astrid to match with Freya. Maybe Nora Margaret or Theresa Elizabeth or Juniper Lynne or something along those lines would match better with what you've already got.

mommafaith-Could you tell us what your style is and what your other children's names are? It is so much fun coming up with names especially since I'm done.

December 14, 2010 1:47 AM

Hi, Pip! I love Fr3ya. I actually know a little Fr3ya locally, so here all the way on the other coast I would peg it as an up-and-coming name, but only in those intellectual artsy hipster demographics. I mean that in the most positive way: the spouse and I had Fr3ya on our list for a long while before deciding that it just didn't feel like our daughter so it got axed from the very short list. We are absolutely in raptures when we encounter the name on others, though.

It doesn't read frumpy to me at all - quite the opposite. My first association is the goddess, but I don't think it's too much to burden a daughter with. Not like calling her Aphrodite, somehow - perhaps because "fertility, gold, witchcraft, war, death, and cats" is just a much broader list of things to be the goddess of than just love/beauty! It's also far more Scandinavian to me than German, again, because of the norse mythology.

Anyway, if you want encouragement to use Fr3ya, by all means, I can provide it. It's a great name. Very versatile name that wears well on all personality types to me, and I don't think it demands that the wearer be model-esquely stunning. To me its use as a British mainstream name (I think it's ranked in the 20s?) has made it wearable on a more timid or reserved type, too, though I think if I had to pick any attribute it would be "formidable". I agree that it's cute on a little girl but I think it would be be easily taken seriously in adulthood. A great match for Sylvi4 in that respect!

(Yes, Sylvi4 reads French, and Fr3ya reads Scandinavian/British, but they both have a lot in common - some similar sounds/rhythms, but mostly they share that they short and sweet names that have a very serious core. I think it would be a great sibset. The Fr3ya I know has a totally non-Scandinavian-named twin, and it didn't raise my eyebrows at all.)

ETA: I really don't think you need Scandinavian heritage to use the name, at all. In fact, I think the thing that gave me pause about using Fr3ya myself is that it might be too good a fit for a daughter if she were to take after me. Though I am not, I get routinely asked if I am Swedish. Combined with a very Germanic surname, a blonde, sturdy, six-foot Fr3ya might just be Too Much. But if your odds of popping out a little Valkyrie are lower, I think you should totally use it. :)

December 14, 2010 2:35 AM

I agree that Freya reads very Scandinavian; I think I would feel it was too Scandinavian for me to use it myself. Having it paired with your older daughter's name, though, definitely un-Scandinavian-izes it. Makes it seem more hip I think. Not that Freya is not hip all by itself, but, well, if you go with the idea that grouped names paint a picture, I think Freya with your older daughter's name=hip. I picture a Freya looking like the elf in Lord of the Rings, if that is helpful at all. Very ethereal, lithe, blonde... although... now that I think about it, I can imagine a brunette and/or sturdier Freya too.

December 14, 2010 2:57 AM

Hi Pip, welcome back! I definitely remember you :) I really like Freya and I don't think it reads too Scandanavian. To me it also seems more hipster (in a good way). I've come across a few Freya's but it's not wildly popular.

By Bue nli (not verified)
December 14, 2010 9:01 AM

I've often wondered if Freya would make the jump across the pond. It is mega popular (to the point of overuse) here in the UK. Here it does not read Scandi at all, and I suspect that for most Americans their first through would be "huh?" instead of "Is that Scandinavian?". I think it's a gorgeous name, personally. And a good match for Sylvia.