The Name Not Taken

Mar 25th 2010

Last week power-blogger Jason Kottke published a list of the names he didn't choose for his baby daughter. In his words, "Since we are so so (SO!) done having kids, I thought I'd share our list in case someone else finds any of them useful."

The list is very consistent in style. The girls are conspicuously but charmingly antique (Beatrix, Coralie), while the boys are quirky, pint-sized traditionals (Hugo, Finn). Milton is a notable outlier. All in all, a stylish group with an upscale urban/artsy feel.

What really fascinated me, though, wasn't the names themselves but the baby-naming psychology that the blog post embodied. The title, while jokey, says a lot: "Baby names for sale, never used." I suspect most parents can relate to this. It's as if our rejected names still in some way belong to us.

Have you ever seen an exchange between the mother of a toddler and another mom with a newborn baby, something like this? "Oh, Felix? Felix was on our short list when Jasper was born!!" Jasper's mom beams, feeling a real link with little Felix. Meanwile baby Felix's mom smiles tightly at the interloper who dares to think she owns some piece of the special name which belongs to HER, darn it!

As we mull over our short lists, we become attached to the names. They each develop personalities, linked to images of our potential future with different possible children. Even after the winning name is chosen and the baby born, the attachment to the runners-up lingers.

Like Mr. Kottke, many of us also view our unused names as a mildly tragic waste. I'm hardly immune to this myself. I was thrilled when a new nephew received a favorite boy's name that had "gone to waste" when my youngest daughter was born. When you stop to think about it, though, it's a little nonsensical to think of names as assets in that way. In my case it was a traditional name, not something I invented. It was an infinitely renewable resource, and not something that would go to the landfill if unused. How can something so abstract and hypothetical ever "go to waste"?

Part of the sense of waste may be about the time and effort we put into assembling our name lists. But more important, I think, is the sense of value being wasted. All of our name lists have something in common: they reflect our own personal tastes. That means they're flat-out gorgeous. They're the best possible names! How can we let such a valuable resource sit mouldering? Shouldn't we share that bounty, "in case someone else finds any of them useful"?


By Fan Of Ailsa (not verified)
March 26, 2010 12:18 AM

Lilliputian: congrats on the daughter, and especially on the choice of Ailsa! I think it is a fabulous poetic name, too bad it didn't make first place :)

March 26, 2010 7:57 AM

Haiten and Calorie are inspired!

By Keren not signed in (not verified)
March 26, 2010 9:54 AM

All my shortlist/alternative gender names are names we subsequently moved on from - I could have had children called Alexander, Jemima and Anna (instead of Phoebe, Daniel and Judah). Can't imagine that somehow.

I know that feeling when people say 'Oh, Phoebe...we were considering that, but we went with Eleanor instead.' It's vaguely insulting.

Valerie - we've talked a lot about this of course, but it's the hardest thing when the name of your lost child is quite common and attached to other children. I have this with Daniel all the time. But once you meet toddler James I'm sure he will feel quite distinct from your special James. And similarly with Fraser.

By hyz
March 26, 2010 11:13 AM

Lilliputian--Congratulations to you and your family! I think Maud is a very sharp name, spunky and interesting, and Ailsa is just lovely--I'm sure she will wear it well as she grows.

Miriam, I love Eleanor Tuckwood--it sounds so Austen.

Becky--I think Ariadne and Cassandra go very nicely together. I actually like Cassandra a lot, and have considered it (it sounds great with our LN), but the sadness of her story does put me off a little (although I guess she fared pretty well compared to a lot of characters in Greek mythology, now that I think about it). I've only known one Cassandra in person, and she was from Mexico.

March 26, 2010 12:01 PM

Ariadne and Cassandra are well-matched, and I think it's terrific. Keep it.

Kanadiana: If the mother likes Pierre, and the father likes Joel, I recommend Paul.

March 26, 2010 12:21 PM

Thanks so much for your kind comments, Keren, Eo and Amy3. This blog is one of the best places on the web to hang out with compassionate, intelligent people, I swear!

By guest (not verified)
March 26, 2010 2:36 PM

I have two sons, so the name not taken is the one we chose for a girl. I do feel a special connection to it. However, the name not taken that I have thought more about is my own. Being Jewish, I have both an English name and a Hebrew name. My mother once shared with me that she considered making my Hebrew name the name I would use secularly. My name is N@ncy and my Hebrew name is Naomi. When I was born (early 60s) N@ncy was very popular - there were three in my class at school. I would have definitely been the only Naomi. My mother said she went with N@ncy because Naomi would have been too unusual. (Is it any wonder names fascinate me now?!) I Sometimes wonder what I would have been like if I have been Naomi - would I be a different person? I will never know... Does anyone else know their own name not taken?

By hyz
March 26, 2010 3:01 PM

guest, good question! I always think it's so fascinating to hear what other name(s) we might have had. I do know the alternatives my mom liked for me, although I don't know that my would've gone along with them.

My mom was very sure I was going to be twins, in which case she wanted to use Lydia and Lydell. I feel like I (and my imaginary twin) dodged a real matchy-matchy bullet there, lol. And for a boy, my mom liked Sheldon. Again, bullet dodged (although I hope my dad might have exercised veto power over that one). The only one I like was my mom's second choice for a girl, Anastasia. That's the name she *really* loves, for its Russian princess romanticism, but she didn't want anything with a nn. I don't know, though--I wouldn't have minded being Anastasia.

March 26, 2010 3:05 PM

Since I do like unusual names, I'm likely not to ever meet babies with my unused names. So sad!

When naming me, my parents were deciding between Tirzah and Crystal. Can you believe it? Such different names! My cousin, who was born two weeks later is named Kristine. We would both have had the nn "Crys/Kris"!

By Guest (not verified)
March 26, 2010 3:08 PM

A while ago, I posted about a kid listed in our school directory named Rowdy Farmer (first and last name). I just found out that Rowdy Farmer is a girl. I was very surprised!

March 26, 2010 3:35 PM

The other name my parents considered for me--and fortunately did not choose--was Myrna. When they named my sister Suzanne the other name under consideration was Bonnie Cheryl which would have been a double name, not a first name and middle name (none of us has a middle name).

March 26, 2010 3:44 PM

My parent's "name-not-taken" was Baruch. I would have been Baruch Emmanuel if I had been a boy, but alas, I was named Rebekah instead. I probably would have been called Barry, which kind of makes me cringe a bit. But, I would have had a name quite close to that of our current president, so I guess that could have been cool. I'm not sure why they didn't use it on any of my older siblings (I'm the fifth of six children) and my only younger sibling is my sister Malky so the name never got used.

It's funny because when I decided to start going by Becky, rather than Rivky (the name I grew up using, short for the hebrew version of Rebekah, Rivka), my parents were kind of insulted that I "changed" my name even though I was simply reverting back to what they actually named me, Rebekah. Hmm I wonder why my parents didn't just name me Rivka. I'll have to ask...

March 26, 2010 3:45 PM

My mother volunteers at a mother and toddler group in a small town in the South of England, and keeps me up to date with the names of toddlers and their new siblings.

This week: Titan and Achilles- not related!

My favorite sibling group (think I shared it once before): Indi@, Rhe@, D@rcy, and baby twins F3rn and Bl@ke.

By SP (not verified)
March 26, 2010 3:46 PM

My own 'name not taken' was Serenity (born late 1970's). Dad vetoed and I'm plain old Sarah. They swear they hadn't heard of anyone using that name around the time I was born but they were right on trend for a big Sarah boom and I was never the only one in my class. However, I'm pleased I wasn't Serenity!

As an adult, Sarah is a great classic name to have - even though I know plenty of others and our wider group of friends has to use surnames to distinguish who we are talking about. Having such a common name did scar me a bit though and I have been determined that my own children will have more unusual names in the hopes they never share their name with a classmate (so far, so good).

If a boy, my name would have been Stewart after a great-uncle.

March 26, 2010 4:07 PM

I would have been Naomi if a girl, Jeremy if a boy. Growing up I was really glad to be Jessica, not Naomi, because I thought Naomi was an 'ugly' name, but now I wonder if it might've been better to have a more uncommon name.

By Amy3
March 26, 2010 4:09 PM

I wish I knew what other girl names my parents considered for me, but I'm pretty sure my dad won't remember those details. However, if I'd been a boy I would have been Peter Matthew. Very in keeping with my older brother's NT name, Timothy Andrew.

It's funny because even though Peter wasn't very common among my classmates, there was a boy called Pete so I would still have been "sharing" my name as a schoolkid.

Since there was just my sister after me, Peter Matthew went unrealized. If anyone wants a classic, probably underused name for today, this 41-yr-old gem is available! :)

By knp
March 26, 2010 4:10 PM

My name not taken was Ryan David-- and my parents ended up using Ryan for my little brother's mn. As far as my first name, my mom wanted Kristin, my dad wanted Nicole, so I became Kristin Nicole. I knew my little brother's name not taken at some point, but don't remember it now. The middle name was Elizabeth, I'm pretty sure.

Guest: I think you would be the same person as a Nancy or Naomi. I'm a true believer in the baby makes the name.

Tirzah: I can't believe the same people would be choosing between Tirzah and Crystal!!

March 26, 2010 4:27 PM

When I was born, the doctor was 100% sure that I was to be a boy, so my parents didn't have any girl names picked out, and I was to be named either Charles Joseph or Joseph Charles after my grandfathers, that was the big decision to be made depending on what I looked like. Low and behold, I turned up as a girl and completely surprised everyone. The two names my mother could think of was Tanya (a popular name Russian neighborhood I grew up in) and Cherise because it mimicked the sounds in her name. My dad vetoed Cherise and so I got my name, Tanyalee, with Lee being after my grandmother. I have to say I'm happy to not be a Cherise, it really isn't my style.

By Maja
March 26, 2010 5:23 PM

zoerhenne -- Celery! Or maybe Ocelot (Ocelotte?)

March 26, 2010 6:46 PM

Mja- there really is a Celerie- Celerie Kemble the designer!
Oh, Ocelotte is fantastic!

By Guest (not verified)
March 26, 2010 7:24 PM

Becky, I didn't have time to read all posts so maybe some has suggested this already, but how about Sonny ("sunny") for a nickname? It has a different sound than Sondra, but I think that makes it interesting.

By namedaftermygrandmother (not verified)
March 26, 2010 8:13 PM

Thanks for this post, Laura--I found it to be much more thoughtful than the last one.

I would have been Kirsten--but my parents liked the Swedish pronunciation, something like Cher-sten, and couldn't figure out how to spell it for an American audience to get it right. The other name in the running, I think, was Heather. Thank heaven they didn't go with that! NMS at all.

I'm not surprised that Penelope has come up so often in this thread, but where is Iris coming from? I'm a little miffed if it will rise in popularity, as it is in the running for a girl's name. (I'm especially attracted to Greek demi-god names, as I've mentioned earlier...)

By Jillc (not verified)
March 26, 2010 8:19 PM

I was going to be named Emily until I was born (Brian if I would have been a boy). Strangely, a girl in junior high could never remember my name and called me - Emily.

I remember bonding with another mom over our shared love of the name Magnus. She had three girls and didn't get to use it. Magnus had been on our short list for our DD, but we found out the gender ahead of time so didn't narrow down to one name not taken.

By Guest (not verified)
March 26, 2010 8:33 PM

A little follow up here-
My friends picked a name-they went for
Jo@l Olivi@r (Dad's name)

The Joel has two little dots over the "e" ... not sure what you call that. I'm not sure yet if they will commonly go with the english or french pronunciation... with their other kids, they use english generally but Mom calls them by the french pronunciation as do the family on that side.

Thanks to those who gave input, I think when it came down to it, the hubby was quite taken with Joel and my guess is that the Mom picked the second and third names....and added the accent over the "e" :)

By Lucky (not verified)
March 26, 2010 8:36 PM

I love the comments to this blog. I don't often post, but I always read.

I love the nn Cass and thinks it goes well with Ari. I have a student named Cassandra, but she goes by Cassie. I think Cass is spunkier.

Had to comment on the initial article since my son's name is Fin and my dog's name is Hugo (Victor Hugo Boss). Small world.

I've never liked my name and always thought my life would have been easier if my parents had picked Carolyn instead of Mariflorence. They couldn't think of a middle name for Carolyn and thought Carrie might be too popular. Carrie was a pretty popular name when I was growing up, but I was the only Mary/Mariflorence in my class until high school. If I were a boy, I'd have been Todd Lewis. I think Mary Todd is a great name, but my mom thought I'd be teased because of Lincoln's mentally unstable wife. I don't think that ever would have happened!

I will be a little disappointed if this baby is a girl in that we won't be able to use Cypress (Cy), and I don't know if I'll ever meet one. I am less attached to our girls names - mainly because none of them are "the name" to me - yet. Still hoping I come across the name in the next three months.

When we were expecting Fin, a friend who was done having kids spent a lot of time trying to convince me to name him/her "Tru" or "Blu" her names that would never be. I thought she was a little crazy at the time. But I get it now.

My brother's name (and my late uncle's and grandfather's name) is Jack, and I knew I would name my son after him. I was pretty displeased with all the people naming their sons Jack when I started having kids. It had been "my name" so long. But if it hadn't been so popular, I never would have looked and found a family name I love just as much - and I think Finley Jack is such a great name. Now when I hear Jack, I smile because I still think it is an awesome name.

Take Care, Lucky

By Lucky (not verified)
March 26, 2010 8:37 PM

Tirzah is so superior to Krystal IMHO! I don't know how they'd make the same list!

March 26, 2010 9:03 PM

Lucky-Thaks for posting and sharing your name story I think it is great. I like the idea of True or Blue for a girl for you. Maybe you could do Prudence and use Pru for the nn like on that show with the witches (someone help me out with the name please).

Guest-Joel is nice. I'm glad things are well for your friend.

Maja-Celery and Ocelot are good too.

By Lucky (not verified)
March 26, 2010 9:04 PM

Apparently, when I post, I have to post several times. The runner up to Finley was August (nn Gus). We decided on Fin the day after he was born. Our friends had a baby last summer and named him August. I'm glad I know a baby with that name, so I don't feel conflicted between Cypress and August.

Take Care, Mariflo

March 26, 2010 9:17 PM

I would have been David if I were a boy which would have been awful as in my tiny little elementary school class of 9 kids we had 2 Davids in it. Although it did fit with my sibiling names a little better - Rebecca and Daniel. Other names considered for me Rachel, Theresa, and Sarah - all of them would have been fine.

By mersey (not verified)
March 26, 2010 9:29 PM

Ha, I knew a S@rah/St3wart sib combo, growing up in the 90s!

The "name not taken" for me was Amb3r G@br13lle. Dodged a bullet there, although my current first name is also a porn star favourite (but popular enough to supersede that trend.)

My brother Luc@s J0rd@n would have been sister Em1ly (not sure of the mn) and my sister M3g@n Al3x1s was very nearly a Melina... to me these names don't match at all, but my mother's naming logic is not up for debate, especially now that we are grown.

By SarahC (not verified)
March 26, 2010 10:41 PM

I've enjoyed reading these posts and wondered if anyone could offer advice.

I am due next month with our second (and final) child (we don't know if it's a boy or a girl).

Our first child is named William.

We cannot decide on either a girl or a boy's name at this point, and it's getting close! Tend to prefer the more classic names....we actually like Emily/Emma but feel we just can't do it because of its popularity.

I really like Evelyn, but I'm afraid it may become too popular over the next few years - anyone think so?

Otherwise, we're thinking names like Elizabeth, Juliet, Caroline (hold out on Caroline is no real good nn). For boys, we pretty much have nothing. Matthew or Ryan and none of those are 'the ones'. We like Edward but not big fans of the nn choices.

Would love any opinions - thanks!

By Melly C (not verified)
March 26, 2010 10:59 PM


What about Loic, Rafael, Maxim, Tomas, Xavier.

March 26, 2010 11:35 PM

Oh SarahC how I love classic names and challenges. There are very few names that wouldn't match well with William. I however wouldn't go the Elizabeth route because it seems too expected. I'd say Sarah unless that is your real name. Other choices (I'll TRY to limit myself so it doesn't get too long):
Phillip; Elliott; Timothy
Eric; Brian; Daniel; Alexander
any of these go with Matthew or Ryan as a mn

Jillian; Samantha; Natalie; Danielle; Nicole; Josephine; Rachel; Alexis; Cassandra; Madeleine; Gabrielle

Are any of those close to your liking?

March 27, 2010 12:39 AM

zoerhenne- the show you're referencing was called Charmed. My younger sister and I LOVED that show when it was on television. The names on that show are actually quite good. It focuses on three sisters- Piper, Prudence "Pru" and Phoebe. Later their half-sister Paige joins the show when Pru leaves.

SarahC- I love the name Elizabeth, though it is quite common and somewhat expected with William. It has so many wonderful nicknames which were recently discussed here. I also love Evelyn and while it may gain popularity I don't think it will skyrocket and become the next Emma. Zoerhenne gave you a lot of really good suggestions. Some others:

Boys: Theodore, Christopher, Edward, Harrison, Peter, James (expected but I couldn't leave it off), Nathaniel/Nathan, Nicholas, Malcolm.

Girls: Charlotte, Helen(a), Alexandra, Katherine (also expected but love the nicknames it has), Celia/Cecilia, Alice, Eleanor, Adeline, Jacqueline, Beatrice, Annabelle, Lydia, Georgia, Lillian, Rosalie.

Do let us know if any of these are more/less your style!

By Mirnada (not verified)
March 27, 2010 12:43 AM

My mother was actually considering Penelope and Jocelyn for me. I think my father liked Stella, which at my birth was still kind of a brassy kind of name. Luckily, they agreed on Miranda. If I had been a boy I would have been Joshua.

By William 2 (not verified)
March 27, 2010 1:04 AM

I love this topic. This is why I try NOT to fall in love with any of the baby names we discuss. It's also why we don't share the shortlist with others we know-- not because they'll "steal" the names, but because I wouldn't want them to develop an attachment to any of the discarded names. I try to remember my ma-in-law's wisdom: the baby will grow into the name, whatever it is.

Tanyalee-- great story about your own "names not chosen". Funny. Same to Emily... almost "Brian". Would be interesting to hear from others whose parents got surprised last minute on the sex or just had two names picked out.

On Minna, I have to smile because that's actually a common family name on my German side... as in short for "Wilhelmina". At least one Minna in turn went by "Minnie". It was as popular as Mary or Anna in some areas, and sounds like a natural for a comeback similar to Emma or Sophie, at least in the Minnie form. Of course, I said the same thing about the comeback of Jethro and my wife laughed her arse off.

March 27, 2010 1:06 AM


William is such a versatile name; I think you have many options. I am afraid that Evelyn is a quick riser, which may not be appealing to you if you're looking for something that has been in consistent use (without being overwhelmingly popular).

For girls (oh, and I happen to really like both Juliet and Elizabeth) how about:


For boys:


I really like zoerhene's suggestion of Josephine, too. Josephine is beautiful and falls into that wonderful category of well-recognized but not too too common.

Good luck!

March 27, 2010 1:14 AM

Ack, I need to refresh before posting. I apologize for the repeats. Becky and I were on the same track . . .

March 27, 2010 1:43 AM

the other name in contention for me was leah (lee-uh) and for a boy, it would have been john MN, with me most likely going by the middle name (this is what any of my sisters would have been had they been boys). i know emily is none too popular on this blog, but i quite prefer it to leah and am very thankful it is the one that was chosen.

also, the names from charmed are really fun. :]

March 27, 2010 1:52 AM

Hi! Just an update...Nathaniel H0l0kai was born two weeks ago. Thanks everyone for your great naming advice! His sister Amelia K@il@ni adores him. (Their middle names are Hawaiian for "seafarer" and "heavenly seas").

Our names not taken for him--boy Henry Kil0h@n@, girl Charlotte N0el@ni (my favorite) or Violet Jane (husband's favorite). I let Amelia pick his name between Henry (my fave) & Nathaniel (his fave) and she chose Nathaniel. Very cute because she kept talking to my belly and calling him "Afaniel". By the way, Amelia's boy name would have been Noah Alexander, and her girl runner up name was Samantha Jane.

By Amy3
March 27, 2010 7:21 AM

@goldenpig, congrats! It's great that your son's name represents a real family effort. I think it's neat that you found a way to include your daughter. I must have missed her mn when you posted earlier, but I was struck by it today as I know a little Kailani. She goes by Laini.

@SarahC, you've gotten great suggestions. I particularly like Josephine, which offers some nice nns. A dear friend has a daughter Josephine (at almost 9 she seems to be transitioning slowly from Josie to Jo--love both of these!). Interestingly, they opted for Josephine at the last minute after having decided on Caroline.

By SarahC (not verified)
March 27, 2010 9:22 AM

Thank you, everyone, for your thoughts. I am pasting my entire (sorry!) list as I thought you may enjoy. Some of the names mentioned by others are also within our family so can't really use. Last night I thought 'Evelyn Jane', but again am holding back because of my perceived future popularity issues. How about Elsa? Boys, still stumped. Anything I missed? thanks again - fabulous website!

Gretchen / Greta
Katherine / Catherine
Leah / Leigh

Dominic / Dominick

March 27, 2010 9:24 AM

Thanks Becky!

Goldenpig-Congrats! It's great how your little one got his name. Enjoy!

emilyrae-If between the two choices, I much prefer Emily to Leah. I think Emily was on our long list but we had so many that something had to be cut.

March 27, 2010 9:31 AM

SarahC-Of your list, these are my favs:
Gretchen / Greta
Katherine / Catherine

Combos I like:
Lucy Clare; Evelyn Mallory; Gretchen Elizabeth
Jocelyn Frances; Josephine Adele

Dominic / Dominick
New Ideas: Griffin, Michael; Ian; Elijah

Combos: Samuel Ryan; Colin Matthew; Simon Edward; Edward Rhys; Griffin Michael; Gordon Thomas; Dominic Elijah

By SarahC (not verified)
March 27, 2010 10:41 AM

Thought I would also add that our last name is a 3-syllable Irish name, so some combinations can be quite a mouthful!

March 27, 2010 11:00 AM

Oh goodness, yes! We joke around about how "that can be the name of our 13th child" because that's how many kids we'd have to use the terrific names we've come up with. (not happening) And I've tried to sell my friends on some of my favorite names so that a child I love will have that name, even though we won't be able to use it. :)
One of the names on our first short list that has never made it on a subsequent list is Lara. It means "cheerful" and it's so cute, but I know it will be pronounced differently all the time (I prefer the Lahr-ah or Lor-uh, even, but hate the Lair-uh version) so I never wanted to deal with that issue.

By Guest (not verified)
March 27, 2010 11:19 AM

I'm another who is considering the name Evelyn, a family name. Of course, the difficulty in naming children after grandparents is that the name cycle has come around again. While Evelyn is nowhere near as popular as it was during its American hay-day (i.e., the era of Grandma's birth), its similarity to other popular names like Ella, Eleanor, and Ava make it conspicuous.

DH suggested that we go with a French spelling (i.e., Aveline or Evaline) since Evelyn is--after all--a masculine spelling. But again, this is so close to the Avas and Evas of the world.

Also there's the danger of being stuck in this French rut...DH would love it as he's fluent in French. But I can't help but giggle when I think of the extensive pronunciation sessions that would be necessary in order for my family to pronounce Blanche (his other favorite) properly. Ah, the drama...

March 27, 2010 1:16 PM

Hello there. Were you by chance a very regular poster some four years back?

Lovely list. I'll also mention favorites, keeping in mind a three-syllable Irish LN (so I didn't include Penelope or Georgina, even though I think they're both lovely) and the pairing with William, in case this will prove helpful . . .



Particularly winning combinations, to my ear:

Josephine Clare
Frances Juliet
Lucy Adele
Jocelyn Iris (a bit different in style, but love it)

Rhys Dominic (Love this)
Desmond Gordon
Edward Rhys
Calvin Thomas

Very curious to hear more of your thoughts, your own leanings, and some of the pairings you're considering.

March 27, 2010 2:55 PM

My own "name not taken" was Isa or Isis. My father was very set on using one or the other of these names. Apparently he even told his family that I was to be called Isis, and my mother received congratulations on her new daughter Isis' arrival. He had his way with my middle name Alicia, however, which is his mother's name.

My own daughter was almost certainly going to be Cordelia, with Isadora the only contender for a brief while. Her middle name was more debated, and the names I flirted with still hold sentimental value.

I tried not to become too fond or attached to any until I made my decision, because I didn't want any name I loved to be off limits in future because it was cast off the first round. Don't want #2's name to be composed of remainders.

That is probably why, while I still recognize Isadora's charm, I don't feel that I would use it for a second daughter. I'm completely over it, and confident something else will feel right, exactly right, when the time comes.

March 27, 2010 4:05 PM

Eleni-There is a tax commercial that is running right now in our area. The lady's name is Isis. The thing is though she pronounces it EE-sis rather than Eye-sis. I find that odd. Has anyone else run across this pronunciation?