Samantha: The Ultimate New Classic

Jul 22nd 2010

How well do you know the name Samantha?

It's surely familiar. Samantha has become a modern all-American girl name, still cruising along a decades-long run of popularity. It's long and soft, but the nickname Sam gives it balance (and a little attitude, too). The character Samantha Jones, played by Kim Cattrall on Sex and the City, has become the name's standard bearer. In fact, someone recently remarked to me that Cattrall's character is "such a perfect Samantha!" Which she is. Except she isn't.

For those of us who weren't yet following baby name trends 45 years ago, here's a little wakeup call. Take a look at the number of Samanthas born in the U.S. from 1963-1965:



At the 1963 starting point of that graph, Samantha was a total obscurity. It ranked well out of the top 1000, behind the likes of Joycelyn and Elvia. But in September 1964, a little sitcom called Bewitched debuted with a magical main character named Samantha. For perspective, that upward curve is steeper than for the name Miley when Hannah Montana hit the air.

Why Samantha? The name's precise origins are unknown, but most agree it was invented in America, probably in the late 18th century. It was modestly familiar in the 1800s, used at about the same rate as Permelia and Almeda. Then it faded away. So when the '60s sitcom creators chose Samantha for their charming suburban witch, they were clearly aiming for a quirky antique. The name set the character apart from the mere mortals around her, and fit her in with magical relatives like Endora and Hagatha.

They must have been flabbergasted to discover that they'd just named a generation of American girls. The nickname Sam made the name kicky for its times, and Elizabeth Montgomery's irresistible sparkle sealed the deal. A "timeless classic" was born. Meanwhile Permelia and Almeda still languish in obscurity. If the Bewitched folks had chosen differently, perhaps Sam would still just mean Samuel and the all-American girl would be called Perry or Al.

Today, it's almost impossible to hear Samantha as a trendy celebrity-fueled baby name. Which brings us back to Sex and the City and Samantha Jones. That perfect Samantha is actually a perfect anachronism. The character celebrated her 50th birthday in a 2008 movie, so she was born in 1958. Not likely. Nedra, Beulah and Lucretia were all more common baby names back then -- and it really wasn't so long ago.

Comments

101
By hyz
July 26, 2010 5:42 PM

Oh, knp--I meant to respond to that and forgot! And I totally agree with you. I love the look and meaning and feel of Vera, but much prefer the sound if it rhymes with Sarah. Familiarity with Vera Wang and Vera Bradley make "veer-ah" seem a little less harsh to me, but it's still not great for me.

102
July 26, 2010 5:46 PM

As we were just speaking about Mad Men names, in last night's episode Roger fixes Don up with a date. She is 25, and since it's 1964, that means she was born in 1939 (as it happens I am five years her junior). Her name is Bethany, and in 1939 there were essentially NO Bethanys:

http://www.babynamewizard.com/voyager#prefix=bethany&ms=false&exact=false

Matthew Weiner is generally SO careful about details and avoiding anachronisms, but in this case it looks to me like he fumbled the ball.

As nearly as I can tell the name Bethany became popular along with the rise of interest in evangelical Protestantism, with evangelicals looking for a biblical name that wasn't Mary. Bethany is of course a biblical place name (like Sharon, Jordan, and Eden), not a biblical personal name.

It's true that Bethany rebuffs Don's advances. She tells Don that his suggestion that he walk her to the door is an "old trick," one she's not going to fall for. But, she lives at the Barbizon, an all-female establishment, no men allowed in the rooms, so he wouldn't have gotten beyond the parlor-lobby anyway. Nonetheless there is no indication that her rebuff of Don's advances is based on religious strictures: she does indicate she'd like to see him again, and Roger is quite crude in describing her to Don before the date is set up.

I'd be interested in knowing whether Laura agrees with my connection of Bethany with the increase in popularity of evangelical Protestantism and with my contention that Mr. Weiner stumbled a bit here.

103
July 26, 2010 7:23 PM

emilyrae-To go along with Alexander nn Zander I would recommend:
Maxwell
Zachary (i see they were already mentioned so 2nding)
Denzel
Oswald (soundwise)

Zoe (nothing to do with my sn of course)
Roxanne
Suzanne
Hazel
Eliza/Elizabeth
Mackenzie
Zara
Paisley/Kinsley/etc. (soundwise)
Zayda

104
July 26, 2010 8:16 PM

I never cared for the name Samantha. Aside from anything else, I just find it boring and sickeningly unoriginal. But, it was definitely cool to learn the basis for its modern popularity.

I like the name Samuel for a boy, though - as a middle name.

105
By Patricia (not logged in) (not verified)
July 27, 2010 8:27 AM

I've been reading a novel based on the life of Alice Liddell, for whom "Alice in Wonderland" was originally told. I find the names of Alice and her siblings, born between 1847 and 1868, interesting, as they reflect upper class naming choices of mid-19th century Victorian England. Alice's father Henry George Liddel was Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, dean (1855-91) of Christ Church, Oxford, and her mother, Lorina, besides bearing and rearing 10 children, was a society hostess in Oxford, whose guests included the sons of Queen Victoria. The Liddell children were:

Edward Henry (called Harry)
Lorina Charlotte (called Ina)
James Arthur Charles (called Arthur)
*Alice Pleasance
Edith Mary
Rhoda Caroline Anne
Albert Edward Arthur
Violet Constance
Frederick Francis(called Eric)
Lionel Charles

Arthur died at age 2.5 years, thus the inclusion of his name in that of the next son. That son, Albert, lived only a few days, but the other 8 children lived to adulthood.

Alice married Reginald Gervis Hargreaves in 1880. They had three sons: Alan Knyveton Hargreaves and Leopold Reginald "Rex" Hargreaves (both killed in action in World War I); and Caryl Liddell Hargreaves, who survived to have a daughter of his own.

I thought these names might interest those interested in vintage names and/or loving the name Alice.

106
July 27, 2010 9:35 AM

Patricia-The names are interestingly pleasing, especially the girls. Violet Constance sounds perfect for today's lovers of "older" names. I like the different mn's . Is Rhoda set to make a comeback?

107
July 27, 2010 11:09 AM

zoerhenne and lucubratrix,
thanks for the ideas! other thoughts: ezra, ezekial (zeke), ebenezer, lazarus, ajax, axel, baxter, dexter, knox, rex, though obviously those aren't all great style matches with alexander/zander. i'm having a harder time with girl names though...i think there are just fewer.

new twin boys!

hamilt0n and sincl@ir

i'm told they're both named after civil war generals, as the father was a civil war reenacter.

108
July 27, 2010 12:45 PM

emilyrae-There are definitely less girl X and Z names. I think there are still enough to choose from unless they decide to have 20 kids or so. :) Maybe they need to expand to the sound of Z like some of them I included, or maybe even V names.

Hamilt0n and S!ncla!r match oddly well together but I can't think of many nn's for them.

109
By hyz
July 27, 2010 1:20 PM

Oh, I kind of like Hamilt0n and Sincl@ir! I agree nns could be an issue, though--I certainly don't think all/most names need a nn, but those seem like a couple that could use a chummy nn to fall back on sometimes, and there isn't one readily apparent. Hammy? Sink? Hmm... This reminds me of a coworker, whose new grandson was recently named Harrison. Grandpa was none too thrilled with the choice--he thought it sounded too snooty--but was somewhat mollified by the availability of Harry as a nn.

Other new babies in my office:

C0le Phi1ip
H3l3na Em3ri

Both nice, I think.

And as for the Alexander/Zander sibs, I definitely vote Zoe or Eliza(beth) for girls, with Beatrix as a backup. Alexander is not exactly an adventurous name (classic and handsome, yes--adventurous, no), so I wouldn't expect them to go too far afield for future choices. Unless they're planning a Duggar scale family, I don't see them needing to get any more creative than that. If they are content with just having the z/x in the nn, I could also see them going with Isabelle/a and nn Izzy. I like any of the Max variants for their boy choices--that seems most fitting. Xavier is a close runner-up--a bit more exotic, but still familiar and popular enough to fit with Alexander. However, Alex is a flexible name, so if they chose it and are more into the 70s/80s vibe, I think Zachary is definitely a strong suggestion, and if they are more trendy (as Zander sort of suggests), then I think the Jaxon/Paxton variety would also be likely choices.

110
By Jenny also (not verified)
July 27, 2010 1:24 PM

Sibling set of Trenton and Colton observed at a playground in a Ritzy Southern CA playground. Mother called out these names repeatedly but never once called them "Trent" or "Colt." Playmate named Ireland (g)

111
By Guest (not verified)
July 27, 2010 4:22 PM

Maybe I am a prude but SITC has completely ruined the name Samantha for me. I just could not deal with her character. Ugh. Also, Ick.

I was born in '81 and don't recall growing up with any Samanthas, so it's interesting to see other people who lump it with Amanda (which I detest because it feels over-used and stuck in the 80s for me, but my dh loves-- and we are the same age?!) or Jennifer.

112
By Eo (not verified)
July 27, 2010 4:43 PM

Patricia, your list of Liddell family names is fun. They remind me of Charles Dickens' large sibling group of names, which would be roughly contemporaneous.

I love Alice's middle name of "Pleasance".

emilyrae, two of your "x/z" names especially caught my eye-- I'd love to see a sibling group of "Lazarus and Ajax"... Hearing everyone's x/z suggestions makes me realize how stylish these letters seem to be in names now, especially in boys' names...

113
By Eo (not verified)
July 27, 2010 4:46 PM

I meant Charles Dickens' large sibling group of children that he himself had, not his own siblings-- although it wouldn't surprise me if they were in the same vein...

114
By C C & B's Mom (not verified)
July 27, 2010 11:31 PM

off topic of Samantha, but I heard the best name recently.

I was listening to a podcast of the NPR show, Wait Wait Don't Tell me and one of the callers was named - Patience Wait!

115
By SP (not verified)
July 28, 2010 12:36 AM

Hi all fellow name ethusiasts

I don't have time to read all the comments at the moment because we had our baby on Friday 23 July. I thought I'd announce it here especially as I got such great advice a few weeks back.

We went for Allegr@ Fleur and she is lovely. A big shout out to Rjoy who suggested the middle name. DH liked it right away when I told him so it made our decision quite easy in the end.

So, we stuck with our botanical middle name theme which is only really noticed by family (or other NEs) as most people can't remember what the older two's middle names are. I still feel a little weird about having a theme but since it's in the middle, decided it's not such a big deal and it's a nice link that the girls will hopefully like sharing as they grow older - not as much of an issue as having an obvious theme for first names. (I actually know a girl sibset of R0sie, P0ppy, and Da1sy).

FYI - our boy option was V1ncent J0nas.

116
July 28, 2010 2:39 AM

re: Rhoda: My first thought was that this would still be seen as too old-fashioned and associated with Rhonda. I think it is less familiar than Rhonda, though, so maybe there is more hope for Rhoda.

re: Samantha and SATC: I think there are reasons other than being a prude for disliking Samantha!

Congrats SP!

BTW want to share some excitement that only you all will appreciate: I am house-sitting and found an elementary school yearbook for a posh school the daughter attends! Will post if i see any standouts!

117
July 28, 2010 4:18 AM

interesting names from the elementary school yearbook:

c/o 2020: Teylie (g), Mallory, Flora, Dillyn (g), Jiani (g), Josette
multiple Maya/Mia/Maias, Dylans, Ethans, Emmas

co/2019: Allston, Bosco, Golda-Gray, Jadey, Bryant, Deke, Sela, Dalen,
multiple Hunters, Brandons, Kacie/Kaceys, Ashleys, Micahs, Connors

c/o 2018: Remington, Riana, Cuyler, Jas, Alyssia, Wreyn (b), Cass (g), Bette, Soho (g), Weyland, Cova (g), Aria,
multiple Kaitlins, Zacharys, Kailas

c/o 2017: Easton, Tiara, Mazie, Logie (b), Rainer, Calais (g)

c/o 2016: Jalvin, Bren (b), Tiger, Arthur, Mary-Brister, Lillie, Emalia, Jet (b), Ward, Sheaffer, Christia, Robi (b), Saaya (g), Ellia, Astra, Mac, Dallon, Hogan

overall: More Amandas than I expected (just a handful), More Erics than I expected.

to be continued...

118
By Amy3
July 28, 2010 5:24 AM

@SP, congratulations! I love Allegra and the entire name is beautiful. I think the girls will probably really like the botanical mn theme as they get older. It's a sweet connection.

@Robyn T, thanks for the lists from the yearbook. I love how you broke them out by graduating class. It reminds me that I never combed my daughter's most recent yearbook. Will have to see if I can do that.

119
July 28, 2010 7:08 AM

Congratulations, SP! I like the botanical theme as I love botanical names and agree that in the middle position it's not obvious.

RobynT, What a treasure trove! I love how wild some of those names are.

120
By Eo (not verified)
July 28, 2010 9:14 AM

SP, great news! "Fleur" is one of my "go-to" whimsical traditional names-- I love that it has the literary connection through Galsworthy, etc. too...

RobynT, I'm struck by the multiple "Zachary"s on your interesting list. Has this name gone so quickly to the girl's side of the column?

I don't mind at all for girls to have surnames as names, as this is a tradition and so many surnames have a unisex flavor, but it's disappointing to see traditional male names go to the girls. That "Jeremy", "Elisha", and "Micah" are other Biblical names that are increasingly used for girls seems like a big loss to me!

121
July 28, 2010 10:05 AM

RobynT-Intersting set of names. I have a fondness for Mallory that I'm sure many here don't share. It is also lumped in the "Amanda group" for me.

SP-Congrats on your new little "flower". I love the name and I'm sure the girls will appreciate the subtle connection. I always thought my mn was special since I share it with my cousin.

Eo-I'm not sure that RobynT meant that the Zachary's were girls. I read it just that there were many of them.

122
By Azure (not verified)
July 28, 2010 3:12 PM

Robyn, I love Calais. I'm concerned about the "ho" part of Soho. I know another Rainer and another Remington. Wreyn for a boy reminds me of celeb baby Sparrow for a boy. I can't believe Gianni is spelled Jiani, and for a girl! I kind of like Bosco -- sort of like Rosco, only less country.

My Captcha is "cancels psychoanalysts."

123
By Eo (not verified)
July 28, 2010 4:13 PM

Oh, I see zoerhenne, you are right! For some reason I thought RobynT had said it was a girls' school (upon re-reading, she actually didn't). Thank goodness there is perhaps a reprieve for all the boy Zacharys!

Banks was skipping stones in a creek yesterday with a toddler who had wandered by with his mommy. His name was "Braden". I seem to associate this name with a sports figure, but not sure why...

124
July 28, 2010 5:11 PM

Bosco just makes me think of the chocolate syrup, or Don Bosco. A rather strange mix!

125
July 29, 2010 1:07 AM

Azure: I was struck by the "ho" of "Soho" too! Other than that, I think it's a pretty cool name. As for Jiani/Gianni, I think maybe there aren't many of Italian descent here so people don't have this sense of "Gianni" being the correct spelling and it being masculine.

more yearbook names:
c/o 2015: Jenyse, Cristyn, Kean, Madi, Jessalind, Rhiann, Heisman, Perry, Aurora, Eyrica

c/o 2014: Winston, Ryne (b), Quinn (b), Rykley (b), McKinley (g), Linus, Maxen, Towner (b), Holt (b), Ruairi (b), Trek, Dax, Kapri, Chasen, Joylen (g), Howie, Kenna, Lonny, Indygo (g)

c/o 2013: Joellen (g), Buster, Emile (b), Halsey (g), Kisa, Turner (g), Samson, Thora, Thalen (g), Delton, Ari (g), Raffy (b), Gavan, Scout (g?), Resse (b), Sawyer (g), Jensen (g?), Dempsey (g), Scuppy (b), Karelen (g), Falon (g)

c/o 2012: Meriel (g), Jazzy (g), Croix (b), Keanan (b), Lanson (b), Bryston (b), Tyler (g), Trevin (b), Mayci, Esta (g), Colby (g), Caldwell (b), Scout (b?), Lyndon (b), Reena, Khale (b), Mysha, Demi, Sawyer (b), Garrison, Walker, Sarina, Brant, Stone, Garrick, Brysa, Scanner (b), Daralyn, Cuyler (b), Tanner (g), Quincy, Zhanna, Zara, Jaret (b), Joey (g)

overall: multiple Coles, Chases, Taylors, Megans, Wyatts, Griffins, Jackies, Alanas, Jennas, McKennas, Rachels, Mikaelas, Jacquelines, Julias, Quinns (b and g), Jades, Erins, Lindsays

(at the older grades, it was sometimes hard to tell boys and girls apart; boys are wearing their hair long these days!)

126
By Amy3
July 29, 2010 5:25 AM

@Robyn T, love these lists! Scanner? Scuppy? Yikes.

127
July 29, 2010 7:10 AM

Robyn T, I think that family has already more than paid you for the house sitting gig! They had no idea... :),

How many kids are in each grade?

128
July 29, 2010 10:12 AM

RobynT-Clearly this breakdown shows us that some people have always had ideas outside the norm (Scanner-2012) but by 2014 many had begun to lose their minds!
Ryne (b); Rykley (b); Towner (b); Trek; Kapri

Jenyse, Heisman, Eyrica

129
By Edith Bouvier Beale (not verified)
July 29, 2010 10:22 AM

I wonder if Scuppy is a family name of some kind. I've only ever heard it mean "socially-conscious yuppy"; perhaps it is a last name and I've just never run across it before...? Regardless, I just find it's collection of sounds aurally unpleasant.

130
July 29, 2010 10:25 AM

I actually knew a Kapri when I was in high school (which was 10+ years ago), and I've turned it over in my head many, many times since then (just can't wrap my mind around the K). I was definitely struck to see it on the list (seeing as I was sure it was a one-time thing).

131
By hyz
July 29, 2010 11:24 AM

RobynT, wow, thanks for the lists. There are some head turners in there, good and not so good alike. After my recent pondering of old English sur/place names, I was especially interested to see Lyndon (!) and Caldwell. And I'm really hoping that Scuppy is just a nn that the child goes by. Could be, right? In that case, it could be kind of cute, like Cappy for Catherine.

132
By Guest B (not verified)
July 29, 2010 1:27 PM

Those were great lists:) I find Golda-Gray really neat. It would be a fanastic cute-little-witch name. I also like Cova and Soho. I met a Sojourner once whose nn was Sojo, which I thought was cool. Dalen is nice sounding even though it fits the formula for a name that makes NEs scream and run. Deke is like.. slang, so that's sort of weird. Cass will always be beer to me, it's one of the top brands in Korea. It's horrible beer too. Calais is an interesting place name choice!

Fun names from my language class:

Brunela
Macarena nn Maca
Bernardina nn Nardi
Loreto (I like names that end in 'to' but my North American accent sucks the life out of the 't'!)
Concepcion nn Conchi
Tae-young
Joo-eun
Simon
Sebastian

133
By NJ
July 29, 2010 1:39 PM

SP - congratulations! Allegra is a fantastic name and Fleur is a lovely choice for a mn, it's one slowly creeping up my list!

I only know one Samantha (I'm in the UK - born early 1980s), it's interesting how it is the American version of Joanne/Lisa/Kelly/Nicola/Jenny over here!

134
By Guest (not verified)
July 29, 2010 7:12 PM

Born in 1972 I was suppose to be Samantha but when my parents announced my name both grandmothers freaked out that their granddaughter would have a boy name. After a couple of days of campaigning my parents changed their mind and named me Julia. I really don't see myself as a Sam but I like the name, especially its versatility. It's funny but now that I'm naming my children I am really aware of nns with versatility and options w/ middle names.

135
July 29, 2010 11:22 PM

thanks everyone for the x/z names! i agree that if their first choice was alexander nn zander, they aren't likely to go too far afield.

eo, i like lazarus and ajax too. i'd love to meet that sibset as well! lazarus in particular, with popularity of OT names and the z and the fun nickname "laz" feels like it ought to be making some sort of a comeback. and ajax is practically oozing charisma.

question:
does anyone know anything about the name adelai? i'm watching firefly, and there's a minor character, a man (vaguely eastern european), named adelai niska. most of the characters pronounce this ad-uh-lye, rhyming with malachi, eli, etc, though one character seems to say ad-uh-lay. anyway, i can't discern whether or not it's a real name...it seems to be quite uncommon, though the only examples in my quick google search are women. so i'm very curious. i prefer the ad-uh-lye pronunciation (ad-uh-lay sounds like an in complete adelaide to me), and i prefer it as a boys' name (both probably due to watching firefly). anyway, just curious if anyone knows anything about it. though, i must say, even though i do prefer it on a boy, i came across a person named 0phelia @delai corn3t in my google search. that's pretty fantastic!

136
By hyz nli (not verified)
July 30, 2010 12:52 AM

Emilyrae, are you sure of the spelling? I'd guess this was Adlai, like Adlai Stevenson--I've often heard his name pronounced with 2.5 to 3 syllables, as you describe. Behindthename.com says this about it:

"ADLAI
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Other Scripts: עַדְלָי (Ancient Hebrew)
Pronounced: AD-lay (English), AD-lie (English) [key]

Contracted form of ADALIA. This was the name of the father of one of King David's herdsmen in the Old Testament"

For Adalia, it says:

"ADALIA
Gender: Masculine
Usage: Biblical
Other Scripts: אֲדַלְיָא (Ancient Hebrew)
Pronounced: a-də-LIE-ə (English), ə-DAH-lee-ə (English) [key]

Possibly means "YAHWEH is just" in Hebrew. This was the name of a son of Haman in the Old Testament."

137
July 30, 2010 1:36 AM

I know an Add-uh-lye, though the spelling is different from Adelai (his spelling has a t instead of d, another a instead of e, and a y instead of i, but don't want to type it out because I suspect it's very googlable). I knew him for a while before I ever saw his name spelled out and was surprised by the visual "lay" ending because to me that pronunciation was unexpected for the "lye" ending.

I always assumed it was a variant spelling of Adlai (or at least rooted in it), but realize that I don't actually have any evidence to that effect. http://www.behindthename.com/name/adlai

I also have known Abdulais, pronounced much the same way but with an extra b in it. Both names are completely male to me, though I can see how it has sounds currently very fashionable for girl names.

ETA: Ah, I see Hyz beat me too it! Thanks for confirming my suspicions about Adlai being the original form!

138
By Guest (not verified)
July 30, 2010 9:18 AM

emilyrae-

Yea Firefly! Going back to Laura's recent column about character names, Firefly has some great ones. Lots of playfulness and significance there.

I have to say, though, Niska's character is pretty terrible and, as my only reference for Adelai, turns me off to the name.

139
July 30, 2010 9:58 AM

wow, thanks everyone for the responses!

hyz & lucubratrix,
it's very possible that the name is intended to be adlai. the subtitles said adelai, but that doesn't mean much to me (i've seen them wrong before). even if it is right, it's possible that the creators of the show got it wrong, etc. it seems likely that it's intended to be adlai. although i was a little bit baffled by characters on the show pronouncing it slightly differently (lye ending vs. lay ending), but it looks like behind the name acknowledges the two pronunciations.

guest 138,
well, yes, i DEFinitely agree. niska is pretty much the worst guy ever. however, as he is generally referred to as "niska" and not adelai/adlai, the first name isn't tainted for me. but yes, i agree. nooot a great namesake. if niska were on my list, it would be crossed off!

and yes, i definitely agree (and i think it has maybe been discussed here before) that firefly has some really interesting names. basically all of them, really....

ETA: hmm...think i misused the word namesake. oh well, you know what i mean!

140
July 30, 2010 11:31 AM

I'm not keen on the name Soho, as in London it's the district famous for strip shows and more...

141
July 30, 2010 1:12 PM

In NY Soho is the neighborhood for super-rich almost hipsters, great loft spaces, a lot of shopping, the gourmet food store Dean and Deluca, etc., so maybe that's the ethos Soho's parent wanted to evoke. A little commercial and "too cool for school" for my taste, but...that's just my two cents.

142
July 30, 2010 3:52 PM

re: yearbook: K-6 have 150 per grade level, 7th and 8th grade are almost 400/grade level.

re: Soho: yeah (as an American?) i definitely think of the NY Soho first. I don't know much about it but I know it is supposed to be hip or something. Did it used to be artsy? Lol idk.

re: Adlai and alt spellings: I have heard the surname Atabay, which I think is similar to the alt spelling someone mentioned above. Just wanted to throw that out there in case it is of any use. I think it is a Filipino surname. Not sure.

re: alternate pronunciations for names in movies: I saw Inception and the two different ways the characters pronounced Saito drove me crazy. I think sometimes they would say Seito.

143
By Eo (not verified)
July 30, 2010 4:41 PM

Oh, how interesting-- Like others, I'd never seen "Adelai" before, although of course I'm an admirer of the Biblical "Adlai", which everyone knows through Adlai Stevenson.

Here in the U.S., people seem to have two ways of pronouncing it-- AD-lye (closest to the way I say it) but also something close to AD-lee.

Thus during one of Stevenson's campaigns, they were able to use the catchy slogan "I'm madly for Adlai"! Weirdly, I'm kind of obsessed with Adlai Stevenson, only because of his name.

Don't know why those "Ad-" names are so appealing to me, like my perennial Adoniram (A-doe-NY-rum) and Adam... They seem to be currently unfashionable.

Speaking of which, I was just musing that boys' names that begin with "Br", no matter how fresh and stylish they seemed at first, seem to sound tired rather quickly. You can go all the way back to "Bruce", (which once was very stylish!) through Brad, Brent, Brian, Brandon, Brett, Brendan, etc.

(Wish I could think of an exception. Maybe "Bram"? Since it's a long-accepted nickname for a formal name (Abraham, Abram) perhaps it will always stay fresh. Oh, and I don't find "Brooks" to be dated, either.)

But girl's names with "Br" like "Bryony", "Bronwen", and even "Bridget", mostly DON'T have a dated feeling. Maybe because they were never heavily over-used? Oh, the exception is "Brittany" and all its multitudinous spellings, I guess.

144
By Guest the II (not verified)
July 30, 2010 5:28 PM

I just met a sib set that had me stumped.

Catalina (nn Catya, age 10ish)
Josefina (nn Fina, age 5ish)
**twins***
Armand (age 2)
Argentina(age 2)

AND....

Ruth (newborn)????????????????????????

145
By Rhodolady (not verified)
July 30, 2010 8:59 PM

If you are on sib sets do you like this one?

Kyl3r mid teens (b)
Ind3a about 8 or 9 (g)
Scoti@ about 6? (g)

spellings disguised.

146
July 31, 2010 2:20 AM

I was almost named Samantha in 1998, but my parents agreed on Kenya instead. I love both names and hope to some day name my daughter Samantha (hopefully it will be unique by then!). I love the combination Samantha Joyce. What do you think? It is a combination of my favourite name (Samantha) and my great-aunt's name who I was very close to (Joyce). I also watch Bewitched on DVD often and absolutely love Samantha and I also think Elizabeth Montgomery did an amazing job playing Samantha Stevens. Overall, I love Samantha!

147
By Guest (not verified)
August 1, 2010 2:45 PM

My 1st memory of the name Samantha is from 16 candles. Then in my mid 30's met a girl named Samantha Baker and couldn't figure out why it sounded SO familiar. Thankfully she was a good enough acquaintance and didn't take offense when I remembered why her name sounded familiar and quoted to her "Look! Sam's gotten her boobies!"

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August 1, 2010 4:13 PM

*feels so late in this post* lol
So, Lindon .... just thought I'd say that no one mentioned the posibility of Lindyn or (god forbid) Lyndyn for a girls alternative.

Names I've loved from ALL of the previous posts (especially the yearbook posts): Hel3na Em3ri, Wreyn, Jet, Robyn, Aurora, Bronwen (sp Bronwyn)

Also a big lover of Firefly,
and would read the comments on this posts for hours and hours if they continue:)

Curious what you guys think about the names:
Aria Cherie
Dryden Germaine
Jude Harrison

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By Samantha (not verified)
August 5, 2010 10:17 AM

I was born in 85. Samantha is the coolest name

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By Samantha Price (not verified)
August 7, 2010 11:51 PM

My names Samantha!!! :D

I was born 1989 ;P My friends tend to call me Sam or sammy for short.