The Name of the Olympic Hockey Team

Feb 18th 2010

At the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, 23 American professional hockey players are taking time off from the NHL to play for their national team. If you were to meet one of these men, what would you call him?

Your best bet: Ryan.

The name Ryan may not scream "hockey" to you, but the numbers don't lie. As reader Ian pointed out to me, 6 of the 23 players on the Team USA roster are named Ryan. That's a whopping 26% Ryan rate. For perspective, at its peak popularity the name Ryan accounted for only 1.5% of American boys born.

Of course, this sort of statistical anomaly can easily pop up with small sample sizes like 23 players. If you expand the pool to all of the American players in the NHL, though, you still come up with an impressive 7% Ryan rate. In fact, Ryan is the 2nd most common name in the NHL, trailing only the perennial powerhouse Michael. Many names that are more common for young men in the rest of the country, and the world -- Dave, Matt, Jason, Josh, Chris -- trail Ryan in the NHL.

Again, statistical anomalies happen, but there's a reason this particular distinction falls to Ryan. The key is that hockey players aren't a random sample of American athletes; they're Northerners. Of the 23 Olympic players, 21 hail from New England or Great Lakes states. Even within those states, the players skew Northern. The three New York natives, for instance, were born in Buffalo, Ithaca and Rochester.

Take a look at the NameMapper map of Ryan popularity from 1979, the year Team USA Left Wing Ryan Malone was born:

That's a hockey-country name for you: a high rank of #4 among all boys' names in Wisconsin and North Dakota, a low of #47-48 in Alabama and Mississippi. (In case you're wondering, Ryan does skew white as well, but not dramatically within a geographic area.) Now compare the Ryan map to the William map from the same year:

Sure enough, there are only 2 Williams, Willies, Bills or Billies in the National Hockey League, compared to 19 Ryans. In the National Football League, which draws more heavily from the Southern U.S., the ratio is 23:29.

So what can we expect the U.S. hockey team to look like at the 2034 Olympics? Keep an eye out for new Northern names like Owen, Evan and Jack. But don't expect 26% of any of them. No name in America is as popular today as Ryan was -- ranked #14 --  back in 1979.

<p><strong>#1: <a href="/baby-name/girl/simone"><strong>Simone</strong></a>.</strong>


February 19, 2010 2:39 PM

So not sure how I got confused but it was dh's great-grandma that was named Frances. His other grandma was Luella.

Oh, I'm over liking Virginia. That was fast =) Do any of you ever like a name for like an hour and then become sick of it? I'd love to name a little girl in honor of Mary but don't really care for the name Mary so I'm always on the look out for alternatives. The only one dh and I both have liked has been Mae/May but used on it's own I'm not sure it's widely associated with Mary and used as a nickname it still leaves me naming a daughter Mary which just doesn't excite me.

February 19, 2010 2:41 PM

Well, finally I have a chance to brag that one grandmother was in fact named Ethel Mae! (Though I don't know how she spelled it.)

We would have named a girl after my grandmother, Jennie and my DH's gma Emilia. But my Grandmother, who used Jennie always, said Jennie was intended as a nickname for Jane, so we would have used Jane.

For the poster who suggested Edith - I taught a high school student a couple of years ago named Edith, and on her it was spunky. People would always tell her about Edith Bunker, but she had never seen All in the Family.

By WendyC (not verified)
February 19, 2010 2:42 PM

My grandfather's middle name was Valentine -- born on 2/14 in the late 1800's. He hated it which was sad, because he also wasn't fond of his first name. Went by his last name his whole adult life.

I would consider it as a girls name. Too frilly for a boy...

By hyz
February 19, 2010 2:44 PM

another Laura, I like the name Mary (sweet, simple, yet totally unexpected these days). What sorts of other names do you like? The other names in honor of Mary that come to mind immediately lean Spanish, like Mercedes, Lourdes, and Dolores--not sure if any of those would be up your alley.

February 19, 2010 2:53 PM

Interesting to hear about other Valentines... I guess I'm a traditionalist, so I wouldn't use it for a girl- I'd prefer Valentina, but find it's a bit too frilliana IRL.

February 19, 2010 3:00 PM

there's always valentino. that's pretty fun. :]

By SP (not verified)
February 19, 2010 3:21 PM

My grandmothers were Sylvia Ruth and Gwendoline (mn?). If I had to, I would use them in the order they appear above but I'm unlikely to use any of them IRL. Sylvia is the one that fits best with my naming style. Ruth is also my mother's name and my sister has used it as a mn on her third daughter. Gwendoline is really nms and she wasn't a great namesake anyway.

Someone on here had grandmothers where all four names appear on my (admittedly very long) list of names I like. I'll have to scan back and see who it was.

By SP (not verified)
February 19, 2010 3:29 PM

Becky - I like all four of your grandmother's names. I really like Zara but it's more popular here in New Zealand due to the royal family and I'm now steering away from 'z' sounds, so as not to get too theme-y. Esther is in my top three girl names for our third baby due late July.

My cousin's partner (mid-late 20s) is called Valentine (nn Val). They named their son (7yrs) Valentine Jnr - pretty brave, I wouldn't do it - but he goes by VJ.

February 19, 2010 3:30 PM

My grandfathers were Shimon Adler (Simon on most documents) and Eliyahu Shem (Elijah on most documents). My DH's grandfathers were Saul Reuben and Baruch Ariel (went by Barry). Judah's middle name is Elias for my grandfather and Levi's mn Samuel is after Saul. If we use the name Shoshana for our daughter it will be after my aunt Shaina and also in honor of Shimon.

State names...I would use either Georgia or Carolina. I went to school with a girl named Virginia and she never got teased for the name (that I know of). A friend of mine has a 5 y.o Virginia who they call Ginny.

re Sylvie: i've met two little Sylvies in my area. It makes sense that the name is getting popular here though, as Sadie, Sophie, Hazel, Olive and Addy are well used here.

By Philippa (not verified)
February 19, 2010 3:36 PM

Becky, where do you live?

February 19, 2010 3:42 PM

hyz - I can sorta dig Mary alone but when said with my last name I'm left feeling like it's sorta blah. Maybe it's b/c it's the same name of one of dh's aunts and she's not exactly an inspiring individual - nothing wrong with her just you know, blah...

My style is best reflected in my other kids names P@ul, Cl@re, M@rk, and K@th@rine (but I don't love that name but rather like the nn Kate). I do tend to like 1-syllable names but also do like names like Teresa and Matthew. For awhile I tried to sell dh on Maria but he feels it sounds too Hispanic or Italian - he didn't say this exactly just started "speaking" Spanish/Italian whenever I mentionned the name...

February 19, 2010 4:39 PM

We live in Manhattan, on the lower west side, where lots and lots of trendy hipster parents live. My children though go to school uptown with many children who live on the Upper East/West sides and those parents tend to use a mix of popular (Aiden, Emma) and trendy (Finn, Hazel). For example Addy is super popular here, my son has two Addy's in his pre-school class, one is an Addison the other is Adeline, the more trendy Addison is popular as well as the more traditional Adeline. Another good example would be use of Isabel, as well as more popular Isabella, along with Isadora and Isolde (i know children with all these names). A testament to this would be the insane amount of "Izzy"s that are always being called to on the playground.

By Amy3
February 19, 2010 4:08 PM

I can't believe I forgot Georgia for the state names! I'd use that one first for a girl, I think.

Re: Mary, this is a name I've always liked for its beautiful simplicity, but as it's my mother-in-law's name, we wouldn't use it (we used only names of deceased relatives).

By hyz
February 19, 2010 4:18 PM

another Laura--oh right! I forgot you were the one with the Teresa discussion! Sorry. :) If Maria is too Spanish, then the names I suggested seem right out! Any love for Marie or Marian? Maris? Regina?

February 19, 2010 4:46 PM

Marie might be okay. Marian doesn't sound swell with our last name which ends in a hard -n sound as well. I do sort of like it though. Haven't considered Maris - makes me think of Roger Maris - is it pronounced the same?

I spent several months trying to come up with a name I liked to honor Mary but I couldn't. Rereading the post where I listed my children's names as well as the other names I liked I'm thinking I should like Mary. It fits my style pretty well. I even have dh on board as he likes the double barrell name aspect (we're thinking Mary Grace) with Mae for short.

By hyz
February 19, 2010 4:53 PM

another Laura, lol, I'm not familiar with Roger Maris, so I can't help with that. Maris (when I've heard it, e.g. on the show Frasier) is pronounced like MARE-iss. I think it's pretty--simple without being plain, and unusual without being odd. I do think Mary fits seamlessly with your others' names, though, and it works well as a double barrel--Mary Grace is really lovely.

February 19, 2010 4:59 PM

Maris finished his baseball career in a nearby city so around here many people might think of Roger Maris - but I love baseball so that might be a plus =)

February 19, 2010 5:10 PM

another Laura-I agree that given your other children's names you SHOULD like Mary. However I also feel that it is a rather plain, boring name. I quite like Maris, how about Mariah (pro like Mah-rye-ah) or Meredith? I also like the double FN concept. Mary Grace is quite lovely. I know someone named Mary Claire who goes almost entirely by Claire.

February 19, 2010 5:13 PM

I don't believe Meredith comes from the same root as Mary - does anyone know?

By Bue
February 19, 2010 5:29 PM

another Laura, I am a huge Mary fan. But I agree, it needs an interesting surname to "pull it off", otherwise it can come across as dull. I think the double-barrelled thing can overcome this problem, though - Mary Grace is lovely (my personal fave is Mary Elise.)

And no, Meredith is unrelated to Mary. There is a good post on Mary variations over at the Nameberry site.

By Mirnada (not verified)
February 19, 2010 6:13 PM

My grandmother's names:

Charlotte Miriam and Pauline Josephine

Unfortunately, because of family relations, I can't really use Charlotte, because it'd sound great with my dh's last name.

Wait, isn't Miriam related to Mary? Am I way off?

February 19, 2010 6:19 PM

another Laura, a good friend of mine is named Mary Alice, I think it's a really nice combo. And I'm a huge fan of actress Mary-Louise Parker, so that Mary combo comes to mind as well. Other Mary variations/combos that come to mind are Mary Kate (makes me think Olsen though I've known other Mary Kates), Marianna, Mary Claire, Annemarie, Rosemary/Rosemarie, Marissa (different stylistically though from your other names), Molly (a nn of Mary i think), maybe Mariel (not sure if this actually linked to Mary at all though).

February 19, 2010 6:24 PM

Mirnada, I know that Mariam is thought of as an early form of Mary. I believe that Mary does derive from the hebrew for Miriam though I think of them as very different names.

February 19, 2010 6:27 PM

another Laura-Yes Meredith is unrelated to Mary but it's always been a fav of mine and I was going just on sound to give you some other options. Sorry to be misleading.

By hyz
February 19, 2010 6:58 PM

I know many people think of the name Miriam as being Jewish, but the first one I knew was Sister Miriam, a nun who was the principal of my Catholic grade school, so it still feels like a very legit Catholic name to me.

February 19, 2010 6:47 PM

hyz - In 7th and 8th grade I went to a Catholic school with a principal named Sister Miriam as well. It's funny b/c I do like the name Miriam (but it's a little too Old Testament in vibe for me to actually use) and I didn't associate it with her.

February 19, 2010 6:48 PM

Hi there. I posted here a while ago (in November I think) asking for some advice on boys names for the son my DH and I are expecting very soon (less than a month from now!). We have three daughters- Helena Josephine, Bianca Elizabeth (known as Bibi) and Juliet Beatrice- all of their names fit the british/Shakespearean category while all of their middle names are family names. The middle name for our son will be James (my dh's middle name and his father's name). We've been going back and forth between the names Malcolm and Sebastian. The problem is neither of us love either name and it's getting awfully close to my due date. Just yesterday my husband mentioned he liked the name Christopher (my father's name). I like the name except that it is very popular (#9 nationally and #13 in our state, RI). I am tempted to use the name but wanted to hear your opinions on the name plus ask advice on possible nicknames (other than Chris) that could make the name less popular (I don't want him to be Christopher/Chris L. in every class at school). Also does Christopher sound out of place with Helena, Bianca and Juliet? How does Christopher James sound? Thanks in advance!

February 19, 2010 6:57 PM

Christopher James sounds nice although not as romantic as your girl names. Kip is a fun nickname for Christopher. The other thing to remember is that not only is Christopher very popular but the similar sounding Christian is also popular as well.

By Amy3
February 19, 2010 7:02 PM

@margaret anne, I think Christopher sounds very nice with your girls' names (which are all lovely, btw!). As for non-Chris nns, what about Kit or Topher (a la Topher Grace whose name is actually Christopher). I'm sure some of the nn mavens can come up with other suggestions, though.

By hyz
February 19, 2010 7:02 PM

Ditto to another Laura on Christopher James. I like Kip and Kit for nns, and there's also Christo and Topher. I'm not big on Topher (it just sounds like it's trying too hard for me), but I knew a guy who went by Christo, and it really worked for him. I have warm fuzzy feelings about the full name Christopher, since it makes me think of Christopher Robin, but "just" Chris is pretty blah for me--I must know a zillion people (men and women) who go by Chris.

By knp-nli (not verified)
February 19, 2010 7:12 PM

Margaret anne: I know a Christopher (now about 28) who when by Topher, which was pretty cool, and fits with the Alexander/Xander/Zander trend. I think Christopher James is quite nice and not bad at all with your girls. You can also go by Toph, Tiffer, C.J., Christof, Crisp, Chip, Kit, And I second Kip.
So, while in general I agree on not wanting popular names, I think it is more important you love it. Do you love Christopher?

Funny thing about Chris's: My name is Kristin (h.s. ppl call me Kris) and had a pre-job interview dnner where the three ppl there were Kristin (me), Christian, and Chris (short for Christine). Chris was older than us by about 20 yrs. We actually bonded over our naming similarities, which helped the interview along. (and they want to give me a job)!

By Qwen (nli) (not verified)
February 19, 2010 7:46 PM

@Empathy – I really like Elsa, Louisa, Rosemary and Olive from your list. In fact I think Rosemary Mabel (one syllable s ln) sounds fabulous especially as a sibling for Solomon.

@namedaftermygrandmother – So I know it would create a theme to use another star or constellation name but what about Sirius, Jupiter, Apollo or Leo? I think they’d go great with Orion.

Grandmothers: So my grandmothers are named Leona, Lavonia and Audrey. I would definitely pick Audrey first (in fact I had it on my mn list for awhile), then Leona (I recently met a 16 year old Leona who I thought carried the name well) but never Lavonia. DH’s grandmothers are Lila and Evelyn. I’m not a huge fan of either (though the people who have the names definitely sway that for the worse) but I’d probably pick Lila over Evelyn.

States names (both fun questions, btw): I’d probably pick Georgia for a girl I’ve always thought it was a cute name. For a boy I’d probably pick Tennessee. I know neither of these is that ‘out there’ but there it is. As an Oregonian, I did laugh a little at the idea of a child named Oregon. The picture that came to my head was a skinny and pale skinned little boy, child to Sunshine and Sampson who USED to live on a commune but now do their best to live and eat organic and local in an urban environment. :). My sister’s fn is actually Virginia but she has ALWAYS gone by her mn (Sue). My mom (who is her step mom) was so disappointed to learn how much my sister hated the name; she had always hoped to have a girl named Virginia so she could call her Ginny.

@Margaret Anne – Christopher James is a very strong, classic sounding name. I like it. I do agree that it seems a little less whimsical/fun than your girls’ names but that’s not necessarily a deal breaker for me. I do like Sebastian James though as well. I think it sounds classic while still retaining the playfulness inherent in your other names.

February 19, 2010 7:58 PM

thanks for the input so far! I agree that Christopher lacks the romanticism that my daughter's names do, but my biggest concern with the name Sebastian was that it was too matchy, but I tend to over-analyze naming so I'm probably wrong. I think the problem is we've been "set" on either Malcolm or Sebastian (more leaning toward Sebastian though) for a few months now and the names just seem to lack the excitement they did at the beginning. Not sure if any of you mom's felt that way. With Helena's name I adored that name for a long time so it wasn't hard. With Bianca we chose her name last minute and had been planning on using Elizabeth (nn Lissy) after my grandmother but then chose Bianca at the hospital (she didn't look like a Lissy or an Elizabeth). For Juliet the name just fit our family well and made sense and she turned out to really "look" like a Juliet when she was born. I do really like Kip (my sister's name is Katherine nn Kit and this could be a nice homage to her) and my husband actually loves Chip but I'm not as sure about it, it has a lot of pretension behind it but I could get over that.

i'm actually surprised that I find myself really liking Christopher. I have a lot of sentiment behind it because it is my grandfather's name and find that I have an affection for it that I lacked for both other names we were considering. i've been pretty staunch against using extremely popular names for my children (a factor in why we didn't use Elizabeth as a first name) but there's just something about Christopher and it's less common nicknames that I find very adorable.

By LuLuZoo (not verified)
February 19, 2010 7:58 PM

My best friend from grade 4th through 10th played hockey since she was a youngin and was named Emma. That's not interesting, but her younger brother, born 1994, was named Ryan and was also a hockey player since he was just a tyke. There are also 4 Ryan's on our Boy's Varsity Hockey Team. I should mention, I live in Minnesota.

February 19, 2010 8:08 PM

I tend to think of the name Miriam as a jewish name mostly because I was raised around a bunch of jewish Miriams and aunt's name is Miriam. She is a strong figure in the Old Testament and is strongly linked to Judaism (she is the sister of Moses). I can see though how it could be used by any religious person.

margaret anne- first off, you're daughter's names are very nice! i have a thing for the name Christopher though I could never use it. I tend to not view it as very popular because I live in an area where it seems people try to use less popular names (and inadvertently use ones that are actually pretty popular like Ava and Jayden), so I don't hear Christopher as often as I think most people do. I like Christopher James a lot and I think my favorite nicknames for it are Kip and Topher. I like the suggestion of Chip though, it gives the name a more romantic/british quality I think, though people may think it's a nickname for Charles. Hope that helps!

By Philippa The First (not verified)
February 19, 2010 8:41 PM

Hi Philippa! I always like it when we're both here.

Grandma's name: My grandmothers were named Luce11e Edith and Vio1et Letici@. They yield pretty good options for today's use. My grandma Luce11e died last November, and I would love to name my baby due in August, Lucy, after her, except that my sister has already claimed it. Sister is not pregnant, or planning it aaaaaany time soon. As it stands, if this baby is a girl we will likely give her the middle name Violet. It was also my great grandmother's name.

State names: if we exclude the obvious ones, I can focus hard on Florida and see it as a frilly, nature name for a girl. Washington for a boy is not too bad.

SP: I hope this doesn't colour your feelings about yougn Valentine Jr, but when I was a kid, we always used the word "veejay" as slang for vagina. I actually thought that was pretty common. Obviously, that's just dumb kid stuff, but I wanted to tell you so that I could also tell you we used to use the name Eunice as a slang for the same thing! When I told my mum that many, many years later, she said she could never look at her colleague Eunice the same again!

Margaret Anne: My vote is for Malcolm. I love the Shakespearean Scottishness of it. If you're over the nn Chris, it's a shame you can't use the Scottish Christy as a nn for Christopher, I know it's way too female here. I had a friend growing up who we always called Chrissy, even though he was a boy. I always thought of it more like James/Jamie than Chrissy/Christina

February 19, 2010 9:17 PM

Margaret Anne: I have to say that I know a ton of guys named Chris, but I know zero of them under the age of ten. Maybe it's a regional thing (I'm in the SW) but to me a young Christopher or Kip would sound new and fresh, amidst all the Kadens and Evans and Samuels.

February 19, 2010 9:20 PM

I got lucky with my grandmothers' names. Maternal side: Catherine Marian
Paternal side: Stella Marie and Frances Evelyn (grandmother died and grandfather remarried)

Grandfathers were Henning William and Albert Grim

By namedaftermygrandmother (not verified)
February 19, 2010 10:34 PM

Thank you SO MUCH for all your input. Qwen, my fav among your suggestions is Leo, but I'm in a Leo pocket. (and an Elinor/Eleanor Jane pocket.) I just couldn't do Jupiter, Apollo, or any of those major gods. Yipes. and an Adonis would have to be utterly gorgeous to pull it off. I love Arthur, but have a cousin with that name; could be a middle, as could Alexander. I love Leander, but it's in my inlaws' inlaws' family (maybe not too close), and Tristan but it sounds too much like Kristin. But I'm a big opera fan. I love Orpheus, too, but then am I limited to O names for any future kids? I also love Aspen, also poss. middle name, since could be more a girl's name than Kai. Thanks everyone who suggested names.

My grandfathers: Shirley Melvin (hated his name, went by S.M.; you can see why I'm wary of androgyny), Blaine (tons of cousins named after him). Grandmothers Helen Rose (love it, maybe I'll use it!) and Eva (my name). My husband's grandmothers: Maxine and Claris Katherine. I've always loved Clara (after Wieck Schumann), but I think my husband thinks it's old fashioned .

M.A., I love your taste in names, and think you should wait (if possible) to see your son! maybe he just isn't a Sebastian, or Christopher, but James! for example. I think you have several lovely options, but you can always look through Shakespeare again, for inspiration (Benedict?); but again, you needn't.


February 19, 2010 11:56 PM

Qwen-Love your picture of Oregon, so funny!

Margaret Anne-I LOVE LOVE LOVE your dd's names (esp Bianca one of my secret favs). I like both Malcolm James and Sebastian James but understand how they dont seem to be quite Shakespearean or whatever with your girls names. You are probably not looking for other suggestions at this late stage, but the first thing that popped into my head was Oliver James. I do also like Christopher James but it sounds so plain to me (like the Mary thing upthread). Maybe like NAMG above said he will turn out to be a James. If that is the case I think James Malcolm flows well.

February 20, 2010 12:10 AM

Margaret Anne- I am an avid lover of Shakespeare and will echo the above comments that you have many great choices including your earlier ones. And like namedaftermygrandmother said, he may be a James! Malcolm and Sebastian are two of my favorites from Shakespeare and if you're looking for any other names to consider (and please, ignore this if you are not) a few of my other favorites are: Lysander, Talbot, Benedict, Cornelius, Edmund, Duncan, Oberon, and Orsino, In favor of the name Sebastian, I know a little boy named Sebastian who's nickname is Bass. It's very cute on him and if you're worried about your names being to matchy or if you want a nicknameable name (like Christopher) Bass might be a good option for you.

By hyz
February 20, 2010 12:15 AM

So I found out my other grandmother's name was Margaret Ann (the first one being Virginia Margaret)--all great names. I'm sticking with my order as Margaret, Virginia, Ann.

My dad also told me all of his father's siblings' names--they were born between the late 1800s and 1908: Elmer, Madeline, Paul, Francis, Gerry, Gertrude, Marie, Charles (my gpa), Grace. Some definite winners and losers there, I think!

Oh, and I agree with Anne with an E re: Christopher--it does sound fresh on a kid! Chris, not so much for me, but definitely Christopher.

By Adele'smommy (not verified)
February 20, 2010 12:27 AM

re:Ryan - a good friend in North Carolina is scheduled for c-section for baby #2 next week and baby will be John Ryan but they will call him Ryan. His older brother is Gavin.

@emphathy - I am placing a vote in favor of Elsa/Elsie - this was a strong contender when we were naming our daughter (Adele Linnea won out) and probably would have been our selection if number 2 was a girl. I think it sounds nice with Solomon.

@namedaftermygrandmother - I love Kai. I know a little boy named Malachi but parents call him Kai.

my grandmothers are Ruth Annabelle (love Annabelle, but DH does not) and Janice Kay. Great grandmas are Geraldine Eloise, Gladys, Margaret Elizabeth and Flora.

Is it just me or is it getting harder to keep up with this blog? Seems like there is an explosion of comments every week lately.

And now for my current naming dilema. Our baby boy is due in 3 weeks and we are still undecided about his middle name. We are settled on Anson for the first name. I wanted to use Edward for mn as it was the first name of both of my grandfathers, but DH can't stand Edward. Most of the other male family names have been used by siblings or cousins and DH does not want a repeat. We have considered a couple of family surnames like Clark and Trask, but since Anson is technically also a surname, is is best to avoid using a surname as middle name? We both like Isaac (or Isak). I also like the idea of using a Scandinavian middle name since our last name is distinctly Swedish and daughter's mn is Swedish. We have considered:

I always worry that since Anson is a little unusual, the middle name needs to be a good "backup" in case the kid gets older and prefers to go by his middle name

By Beth the original (not verified)
February 20, 2010 12:27 AM

margaret anne, I like Christopher nn Kip, though I guess Kip doesn't "match" the girls' names. Christopher does appear in two Shakespeare plays, though.

Sebastian is probably the best match, but it's an overused name out where I am. Plus, the nicknames for it are terrible (Sebby? Bass?). Malcolm is cute, but getting trendier too. What about all those other Shakespearean men? Nathaniel, Timon, Adrian, Edmund, Vernon, Angus (I have to say I *love* this name, nn Gus)? Or am I being a doofus because you already ran through all the characters and found the two names you love most?

On Jill: lots of them in Denver, born in the mid-to-late 60s. For whatever that's worth.

February 20, 2010 12:40 AM

Lars/Larz=I like Anson Lars and it matches your dd's initials.
Blaise=Blaise Anson flows a bit better for me.
Leif=this would also work for initials but is my least favorite
Nils/Niels=its okay nothing stands out about it except it kind of runs together with Anson when in the mn spot
Sven=dont care for this as too many repeated sounds from Anson
How about something with an L sound in the middle? Something like William although I realize that's not Scandinavian. Maybe Alden, Kyle, Julian something like that. Sorry not up on those kind of names.

Margaret Anne-I want to second (and third) Benedict and Duncan from Becky's list. I love the way Benedict matches with your girls. Imho, I think THAT's the one! Benedict James is just SOOOO wowing me, even James Benedict is cool.

February 20, 2010 1:03 AM

Adele'smommy- i really like Anson Clark. I think the other names on your mn list are just as unusual as Anson so if you're thinking about a fallback Clark is very nice and familiar to most people. Otherwise I do like Anson Lars (very nice flow, prefer the "s" spelling) and Anson Leif. This is so random but Trask makes me think of this character on The OC named Oliver Trask. I tend to have strong name associations...

Margaret Anne- LOVE the idea of Benedict James. Fits very well with your daughter's names, has nns Ben and Ned and I'm sure a ton of other ones. But, obviously you've been through Shakespeare names so please let us know if we're going in the wrong direction.

February 20, 2010 4:54 AM

re: Heidi: I had a similar experience with this name. I think I met one in my entire life (up until age 20) and then moved to Minneapolis and 2-3/10 girls on my floor had this name! In that case I figured it was because of heritage, but don't know for sure.

re: Ryan Starr: Actually, Starr was not her original last name either...

another Laura: I know a Maris pronounced something like Maurice. There's also Maren. I have no clue if this is actually related to Mary; just going by sound.

margaret anne: Love your names! I wouldn't worry about christopher matching with your girls' names; people seem to often have different styles for boys and girls. i don't find christopher as exciting as sebastian or malcolm, but if you and your husband love it, then perhaps it's the way to go!

re: Ryan and Gavin: omg, i know brothers with these names! they are in their 20s!

Adele's Mommy: omg I know brothers named Anson and Isaac! Other than that, I don't think Anson is the kind of unusual that needs a back-up middle name. It has popular and common sounds; I guess the only problem might be if one day there is a famous Anson that he doesn't want to be associated with... oh and I don't think you need to worry about too many surnames.

February 20, 2010 7:50 AM

I LOVE the name Orion. It's so beautiful and dignified. (Orion is also my favorite constellation.) I always imagined that if I used the name Orion, I'd choose Basil to go with it. Basil means 'kingly' or 'brave' and it's definitely not too popular right now. (Association might be with the herb or with actor Basil Rathbone, famous for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes.)

By Amy3
February 20, 2010 8:52 AM

@Adele'smommy, I agree with Becky that Anson isn't so unusual it needs a "backup" mn. After all, it's pronounced as it's spelled, is easily spelled, and fits in well with current names. I like Lars, Leif, Isaac/Isak, and Clark. While I also like Nils and Sven, they run into Anson a bit for me. I think Anson Trask sounds really cool--like a literary character.

February 20, 2010 9:42 AM

Long time for me...

First, from the last thread: Thanks for the book recommendation, PPP! I'll look it up.

Regarding Anson:
Given the popularity of names like Mason, I doubt if anyone will bat an eyelash at Anson. It fits with current trends and is easy to spell and pronounce. I agree with Amy3: Anson Trask is the awesome, character-like choice. It's my favorite. Otherwise, in descending order of preference, are Clark, Lars, Leif, Nils, Sven, Isaac, Blaise.