The Wide World of Real Names

Aug 23rd 2011

A baby name "expert" recently appeared on a national television program and talked about kids with wacky names...including twins named Lemonjello and Orangejello.

You might have heard of these twins before. They've been exclaimed over for decades, and reported on in such high-profile outlets as the book Freakonomics. In the world of names, they are legend! Literally. As in urban legends. They don't exist; they've never existed. Esteemed name researcher Cleveland Kent Evans has long offered a reward for anybody who could prove their existence, with no takers. But the story continues to spread.


Oh, I understand that the names are funny. What I don't get is why people keep recycling the same old fake names when real names are such rich territory. It's like marveling over a plastic flower when there's a huge garden blooming outside.

Last year alone, over 30,000 different names were given to five or more American boys or girls. Not chosen by a single unconventional family, mind you, but by a bunch of families in the span of just 12 months. Look within other years and you'll find tens of thousands more names. Some of them are variations on familiar names, like Naethan. Others are international names like Kenechukwu, or inventions and "mashups" like Dawnisha. And still others take their inspiration, like the alleged 'Jello boys, from the vocabulary of our wide world.

A small sampling of these meaning names is below. Some may make you laugh, but if so I hope it's in a good-spirited way. Think of them as a fabulous bouquet from America's naming garden. Remember that each of these names has been chosen, with love, by multiple American familes -- most of them dozens of times, some of them hundreds or even thousands of times. And amongst them you might just find names with so much verve they tempt you to name on the wild side.

The Superlatives:

Boys: Perfecto, Majestic, Supreme, Awesome
Girls: Marvelous, Gorgeous, Amazing, Delight

The High Life:

Boys: Chic, Money, Damoney
Girls: Wealthy, Ritzy, Classy, Luxe, Fashionette

The Dark Side:

Boys: Notorious, Danger, Demon, Lucifer
Girls: Satanya, Demonica, Diabolique

The Fan-Boy Dark Side:
Boys: Alucard, Draco, Darth, Lex, Kraven
Girls: Morticia, Harleyquinn, Mystique, Bellatrix

The Intoxicating:

Girls: Tequila, Chardonnay, Sangria, Marijuana, Martini

The Otherworldly:
Boys: Stellar, Dream, Seraphim
Girls: Nirvana, Fantasy, Fairy, Cinderella, Rapunzel

The Household Names:
Girls: Charmin, Aquanette, Velveeta

The Garage:
Boys: Ferrari, Lexus, Audi
Girls: Porsche, Infiniti, Acura, Corvette, Chevette

The Gang:
Boys: Dillinger, Gotti, Capone

The Less than Flattering:
Boys: Chubby, Buzzy, Dizzy, Gross
Girls: Rotunda, Jinx

The Scrabble Champion:
Boys: Zzyzx


By Alli (not verified)
August 23, 2011 10:29 AM

Rotunda? Yikes.

By Jessica Nicole (not verified)
August 23, 2011 10:52 AM

You forgot Lexus for a girl and Bentley for a boy under car names. They may be a little more common than Tequila and Dream, but they're still car brands. And Danger sounds like an excellent nickname, just not a given name.

August 23, 2011 10:54 AM

Ok but Santanya is probably just a spelling variation of Santana right? Which is a legit Spanish name.

Some of those of pretty amazing though. I can't quite picture a parent saying
"Morticia, put your toys away!" or "Leave your brother alone Amazing!"

But one of my kids has a meaning name and I guess people could say the same thing about that. I have heard of a Majestic in real life, a little girl at my local library.

August 23, 2011 11:08 AM

How fascinating that there aren't any boys' names in the "intoxicating" category.

My own class contains no interesting names this semester. In a class of 25 (mostly graduate students), I have two Davids, two Elizabeths, and three Sarahs. The most exotic name in the bunch is Karah. How disappointing! I usually have at least five international students, with fascinating names to boot.

But not to fear: my children attend back-to-school night tonight, and the naming garden is in full bloom there. I will post the names I remember either tonight or tomorrow.

By Allison (not verified)
August 23, 2011 11:31 AM

Oh, those are terrible! Lovingly chosen or not, they are bad names. Jinx? Velveeta? Why on earth?

There are so many real and established actual names that are creative without naming your precious child after fake cheese.

By StLeCe (not verified)
August 23, 2011 11:39 AM

Zzyzx was chosen with love? Really? As someone who works in child protection, I wonder what sad story is behind that one.

August 23, 2011 11:39 AM

I kind of love the boldness of the superlatives. Perfecto! Now that's love!

On another topic, I'm pretty sure we're moving on to donor eggs now. I'm still getting my head around it. One thought that came up for me is that maybe I'd want to change my last name. I didn't take my husband's name when we married, but since I won't have a genetic connection to my child, might I want to have the same last name? Will it bother me to be the "odd man out" in more ways than one? It's tricky, because I'm 38. I've had my last name for a long time. It's a little different from someone who changes her name at 23. Has anyone else changed his or her name that late and been ok with it?

My own last name isn't really one I could use for a kid's first name. It's not the greatest middle name, either. We could use it, but I'm not in love with it as a name, I'm just used to it.

Would love to hear what the NEs on here think.

By Anon. (not verified)
August 23, 2011 11:59 AM

Lincoln is another common car name for boys that wasn't mentioned. I knew a family with a Lincoln, Lexus, and Mercedes. And something about the name Awesome makes me giggle. I personally wouldn't use it, but something about being able to say "My kid is Awesome....seriously" just seems, well, awesome!

By Need Advice (not verified)
August 23, 2011 12:02 PM


We are desparately trying to decide on a name for our first daughter, who will be born in the next few weeks. We've narrowed the list down to several names we both agree on. We like all of these names and the most important thing to us is that other people like these names, or at least think they sound nice enough.

We live in the rural Midwest, where every kid we know is either a surname (Addison, Bailey, Shelby, Landon) or a Bell Tone name (Brayden, Kaylee, etc). We both went to college in Chicago, so our tastes tend to be a little more worldly. Friends and relatives are generally nodding politely at best or thinking our taste is outlandish and convincing us that our kids will hate us and get made fun of at school.

Also, our last name is DeWalt, so we want a name that flows well with that.

Here are our finalists:

Anneliese (pronounced AHN-leez)
Annika (rhymes with Monica)
Caroline (looking for a nickname other than Carrie)
Josephine (nickname Josie)
Teadora (tay-uh-DOR-uh) (nickname Tea, TAY-uh)

Any thoughts would be great!


By Cordy (not verified)
August 23, 2011 12:21 PM

Ah, these names are terrific. I am strangely delighted by "Notorious".

I really like Anneliese, but (Dutch descent here) that's not how I would pronounce it. I don't know if it would bother you that German and Dutch folks would routinely "mispronounce" the name.

I also really like Rosalie.

I changed my name at 33. It was a little weird for the first year but now I'm completely used to it. And it's kind of nice to have a matching set of last names with my husband and child (although I totally grok why people keep their own names).

By Need Advice (not verified)
August 23, 2011 12:26 PM


Thanks for the feedback! :) What is the German and Dutch pronunciation of Anneliese? I was a French major and had a good friend in France named Anne-Lise (pronounced AHN-leez). I think I just wanted that pronunciation, but with a slightly more German spelling, but I'd love to know "correct" pronunciation!


By Cordy (not verified)
August 23, 2011 12:35 PM

I would say "Ahn-uh-lee-zuh". (The Germanic languages are very literal in their pronunciation tactics!)

August 23, 2011 12:42 PM

There sure are plenty of names that "aren't quite worthy". I would definitely not name my child after fake cheese no matter how melodiously the name flowed. For boy intoxicating names how about Vodka or Bourban? Oh and I once knew a Dreama.

PennyX-You will have a connection to the child as you will still be able to carry the child in your womb won't you? I wouldn't worry about the LN as the child will be yours regardless of the name.

Need Advice-I would pick Caroline, Annika, or Josephine. Even Teadora sounds nice as the longer names flow better with your LN.

August 23, 2011 12:47 PM

After the 2010 name list came out and I commented on the 5 kids named Zzyzx, I was informed that it is the name of a town in California, about midway between LA and Las Vegas.

According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, Curtis Howe Springer gave the name Zzyzx to the area known as Camp Soda at the Soda Springs in 1944, claiming it to be the last word in the English language. Springer made up the word's pronunciation "zy-zicks".

Zzyzx was approved as a place name by the United States Board on Geographic Names on June 14, 1984. As is the case with the road, Zzyzx, California, is the USBGN's lexicographically greatest (alphabetically last, at least in English alphabetical order) place name -- likely the very feature that attracts parents to the name.

By knp
August 23, 2011 12:48 PM

Need Advice/Gretchen: oooh- I love Teadora. I'm sure you'd have to correct ppl who try to say it Tee-ah at first, but they'd get it.

Annika was also on our list-- at first my husband had problems with it until he was told by a parent of an Annika that is rhymes with Hanukkah.

My first try at Anneliese would also be four syllables, but with an 's' sound: Ahn-uh-lee-sah (having more practice with german as well) This was a college acquaintance's name-- but she went by Lisa.

nn for Caroline: Clio, Lina, Caro, Liney, Carly, Callie, Caddie. Love this comment in namepedia: "Caroline is like the female William, you just can't go wrong with this name!"

your other options are just so-so for me (but none of them are negative, just like the others more)

(I'm also midwestern, but have had more cosmopolitan experiences so I understand you! Still though, with both of our styles mixed in, last name as firsts tend to be our style for boys-- I'm expecting in Jan and Vaughn Isaac is our name if it is male)

By HereWeGoAJen (not verified)
August 23, 2011 12:54 PM

I had a cashier at the grocery store once who was named Klassy. It was on her name tag, but also, tattooed across her neck.

By knp
August 23, 2011 12:55 PM

Elizabeth T.: I also though the lack of boys' names in intoxicating was fascinating!

It is really interesting that there is all this data out there, but still the populace (and more shamefully the media/experts) relies on "someone's great-niece had a babysitter who..." stories. 1. once a story is out there it is SOOO hard to take it back. 2. somehow it seems less interesting if you say "10 people were named Acura last year!"-- I suppose it is taking away the personal connection, however tenuous.

(& an in-general comment-- I don't think Laura was trying to be all-inclusive, just outlandish examples)

By Mallie (not verified)
August 23, 2011 1:03 PM

Hi everyone, I've never posted here before, but I was hoping you could give me some advice.

We're expecting daughter number 2 soon. Our first is called Hilma (nickname Hillie, middlename Alyson), but we can't decide on a name that matches that in terms of style (Germanic and traditional sounding, but not too "ugly"-sounding - Gertrude, Helga, etc - though I appreciate that that's very subjective) for the second. We both loved the name Elfie, but we're no-nicknames-on-birth-certificates parents, and we couldn't decide on what it would be short for (I liked Elfrieda best, but the hubbie feels it sounds too much like Alfredo, and he wanted Elfrun, but I thought that sounded like a boys' name, and was a bit too out-there, Elftrud we dismissed as "ugly"-sounding ( offence to any of you with baby Elftruds)), and through all the arguing we've kind of gone off that name a bit (plus, there is the problem that Elfie sounds like elf-y, which I could see maybe becoming a big issue if our little girl were to be unlucky ear-wise).

Not using Elfie would leave us free to use Elektra as a middle name (after a family friend who recently passed away), so does anyone have a suggestions for names that would go with Elektra and fit our style? Or, alternatively, does anyone have any other suggestions of "proper" names that Elfie could be a nickname for (...and then a new middle name to go with it)? I'm not sure I'm quite ready to let Elfie go yet, you know?

...I've only just realised all these names (plus mine and the hubbie's) have the letter L in them. So I suppose Ls would be good. But any help you could give would be much appreciated. I'm driving myself a little crazy over this.

Thanks in advance.

By knp
August 23, 2011 1:03 PM

(I'm not trying to run the board, but breaking up my many comments into multiple posts so it isn't huge...)

PennyX: I don't think you can really go wrong with keeping your name or taking the family name. ZR was right: The baby will be yours no matter what-- names are powerful but not all-powerful. Even if you'd end up adopting.
If it was me though, I would see the decision this way: I have a good reason for wanting to switch my name (having more in common with my family) but only a poor-to-mediocre one to want to keep my ln (just because I'm used to it). Staying with status quo just to keep status quo is something I try to avoid in all areas of my life. I'd change it.

Funny story about taking last names though: I took his ln, and we recently bought a car from my parents. On the bill of sale, my father wrote sold to "Me and DH MY-MAIDEN-NAME" I didn't notice, my dad didn't notice, but DH did since that has never been his name. He had fun ragging my dad about selling the car to people who don't exist...

By knp
August 23, 2011 1:18 PM

(goodness, can anyone tell that I am avoiding work today?)

Mallie: other ideas: Orpha*, Lovie, Vella, Ona, Una, Petra, Ursula**, Elsa, Idella, Ottilie*, Solfrid, Astrid, Brigitta/Brigitte* (one of my FAVORITE German names), Mina, Lena, Eulalie, Katja,

-for Elfie: what about Delfina, Delphine, Delphia, Elphaba? some of these you could use Elektra as middle names-- especially Delphine

what about Elektra as a first?

August 23, 2011 1:22 PM

knp and Zoerhenne - I guess I'm torn. I kept my name, not only because I was used to it, but also because as a feminist, it made no sense to me for me to change my name when my husband wouldn't change his. I have a profession attached to my name, etc. So, I guess it's a little complicated. As far as my motivation for changing it now, I'm not worried about connection with an infant, because, yes, I'll carry it and nurse it, but later on...when the kid is in school...I don't know...I imagine I'll be a little more sensitive if there is confusion about my being its mom, etc. Maybe you get used to the situation and that sensitivity wears off...I don't know.

By knp
August 23, 2011 1:30 PM

PennyX: just do what feels right to you! Like I think I said, there isn't a bad decision. and if you don't now and it ends up bothering you, you can always change it later as a birthday present to yourself or something.
I know quite a few people who use both names (maiden professionally and married personally, hyphenated at home but not a work, signs name married but has maiden on fb-- many examples) to the point that I don't know which is legal!

By Mallie (not verified)
August 23, 2011 1:48 PM


Thanks for all the suggestions. :)
I'm very fond of Brigitta too, but it was vetoed earlier because my hub has an Aunt Bridgetta who's...well, not exactly someone we'd want to honour by naming a child after them, even though it wouldn't actually be after her. We have a lot of German and Dutch family, so I'd worry about Ottilie in terms of being very out of fashion (which is a shame).

I absolutely love Elsa though, so that's definitely going on the table. We did consider Elektra as a first name, but I sort of feel it would make Hilma sound boring by comparison. Maybe I'm ascribing too much to the influence of a name, but Hillie's so shy, I wouldn't like to consciously create situations where she's so overshadowed even in name terms.

Petra and Lena are also ones I find pleasing. ...I'm just a little worried about, idk, what's the baby-name equivalent of panic buying? We were told we were having a boy, so spent months carefully picking out boy names, and then suddenly it's all turned on its head. And I thought it'd be easier with number 2!

August 23, 2011 2:42 PM

@ Gretchen: I've heard Anneliese ah-nuh-leese and an-nuh-lee-suh, but I think the second is the more traditional pronunciation. That being said, my faves are Caroline, Anneliese, and Annika. For Caroline, nns other than Carrie could be Callie or Cara.

@ Mallie: I second knp's idea of Delphine to get to Elfie, but I agree that Elfie might be problematic (elf-y.)

August 25, 2011 3:12 PM


If you'd like a Germanic dithematic starting with Elf-, but avoiding Alfredo connotations, I recommend Elfrith (or Elfryth). It's only slightly invented in that I haven't encountered one, but it does have a real root: Aelfthryth, meaning elf-strength. It's the same as Elftrud, basically. And believe me, elf-ears on an Elfy girl will just make her seen hotter, these days, don't worry. Just take it from a male geek.

Other possibilities: Elfreya, Elfheid, Elfilda, Adelpha, Brynelf... Ultimately, there's a lot of freeforming you can do with Germanic dithematics. Although there are some traditional names, some roots that are considered more "first" or "last," some that are more "male" or "female," the ultimate rule always was "I like the way it sounds."


I'd go with whatever name sounds well to you. I know a woman who married, researched a new last name with her husband, divorced, and remarried, but kept the researched surname from the first marraige, because it sounds great with her name, and everyone already knew her professionally that way. Seriously, I wish we all could choose names throughout our lives. Oh, well, I'll settle for usernames.

Need Advice:

Of the names on your list, I think Rosalie flows best with DeWalt. Charlotte is my least favorite, as it causes some tripping issues (-T D-).

In general:

I've worked with a Perfect0. I went to school with a Dre@ma, and a girl whose last name was Ph@ntasy (she was Laotaian). I've met a man named Pr0phet--I asked him about it, he said it's a lot to live up to. But I think the name's wonderful.

And I can't believe we don't still talk about Ima Hogg. Actually, considering PennyX's and Need Advice's conundrums as well, how about surnames? How do surnames affect good vs. bad names? For a while now, I've been thinking Jones is a great surname that can take on just about any lengthy name and still make it sound at least badass, if not always respectable. January Jones is the canonical example, but listen: Salamander Jones. Guillotine Jones. It can make the name.

By rossignol (not verified)
August 23, 2011 3:20 PM

There is a kid in my girl's class named Buick. And somehow, he makes it work for him!

By Charly (not verified)
August 23, 2011 3:57 PM

Zzyzx is the name of the evil, shadowy corporation in "Kyle XY." Cory Montieth got his start in that show as a boyfriend of a different blonde Catholic schoolgirl: you probably know him better as Finn Hudson on Glee. Kyle XY had interesting naming choices: Kyle, Declan, Lori, Charlie, Amanda . . . actually mostly reasonable for characters born in the late '80s & early '90s!

August 23, 2011 3:58 PM


I like Charlotte, Josephine/Josie, and Rosalie. I would tend to shy away from names whose pronunciations are not apparent from their spellings, or from names that have any possible nicknames you don't like.

By hyz nli (not verified)
August 23, 2011 4:17 PM

Mallie, what a fun question, and I think you have a rather adventurous name style. I also love Elsa, Lena, and Petra, which you've already considered. I have a fondness for a lot of the Germanic names, too, so here are some more thoughts:

Ada (alone, or short for Adelheid/Adela, etc.)
Anke (alone, or nn for Anna)
Elke (alone, or short for an Adel- name)
Gretchen/Greta/Grethe/Gretel (alone or short for Margarethe)
Heike (alone, or short for Heinrike)

Out of curiosity, I'd love to know what your pick for a boy was going to be, and other names that made the boy short list.

August 23, 2011 4:23 PM

I'm actually a big fan of the Fan-Boy names, and will admit to Kraven being a long time favorite of mine. We also liked Tauren and Rogue. All of these were met with blank stares from our families.

By hyz nli (not verified)
August 23, 2011 4:24 PM

Need Advice, from your list, with your last name, my favorites are Annika, Caroline, Josephine, and Rosalie--to me, those are all lovely in slightly different ways, and I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. Rosalie is probably the one I'd personally pick, because I think it's sweet and pretty and I love Rosie as a nn, but they're all great.

As for the others, I like Anneliese with the German pronunciation, or Anne-Lise with the pronunciation you like. Teadora doesn't float my boat because the spelling isn't what I'm used to, and I think Charlotte does sound a bit choppy with your last name.

August 24, 2011 12:19 AM

Hi, PennyX!

I'm inferring that this means your last cycle didn't work out, if that's correct, I'm sending my utmost sympathies and condolences. I think the loss of genetic connection is definitely something that many people grieve like any other loss, and I think that you're very smart to think about how names can facilitate making bonds that overshadow the loss.

I don't have any late-in-life name-change advice (name changes in our household happened at 22) but I think it really varies by line of work. I know that in academia where your publications and reputation are paramount, name-changes once you've embarked on your career path require more active work, as in putting the name change in your email signature and at the top of your CV to make sure that everyone associates the fame and glory of P. X. Formername with P. X. Newname. But, that doesn't mean it's not doable!

I also know people who have changed their name legally and socially go by their new name, but kept using their old name professionally anyway. I think this is especially appealing an option if you keep your current name somewhere in your new legal name rather than dropping it altogether (either as a second middle name, or a second surname, or whatever other permutation seems least unwieldy). I think that would be my choice in a situation like yours, if your professional life is very contingent on your last name being well known, but you'd like to have the same surname as your kids in all other parts of life.

I also want to add that in addition to considering your own surname, you could consider whether the unique arrangement you are embarking on might be fairly reflected in giving you more of a say in the first names. In our family, where there are genetically linked and unlinked kids for each of us, having had more extensive naming rights over the kids we don't share a genetic link to has been really helpful in making us feel very early on like they are totally and 100% OUR kid.

ETA: Also, I think whether your donor is picked based on resemblance to you will make a big difference in how much it comes up later on. Our donor was selected on a basis of criteria that in no way involved appearance, and as a result, I've had sadly many conversations initiated by strangers at the grocery store about why my kid doesn't look like me. Hard to believe that anyone would be so blunt, but I think people just don't think about what they're saying. In my case I can shut the conversation down very swiftly and simply with "I adopted him" without having to explain the entire family makeup and all its complications, but as a gestational parent you wouldn't have that out. Anyway, having been in a similar situation, I don't think you're being too sensitive or overthinking at all!

By Can't Sign In (not verified)
August 23, 2011 4:38 PM

PennyX -- Maybe I missed it but why can't you use YOUR surname for the baby? You kept yours because it's YOUR name and your husband was unwilling to change his so what is stopping you from giving it to your child? It would be another way of connecting the baby to you.

By Can't Sign In (not verified)
August 23, 2011 4:38 PM

PennyX -- Maybe I missed it but why can't you use YOUR surname for the baby? You kept yours because it's YOUR name and your husband was unwilling to change his so what is stopping you from giving it to your child? It would be another way of connecting the baby to you.

By Alli (not verified)
August 23, 2011 4:41 PM

My favorite from your list is Rosalie. I think it sounds lovely with your last name.

Some of my favorite German names:

By Billy D. (not verified)
August 23, 2011 4:43 PM

Intoxicating names: If you check the arrest records of Caddo Parish, Louisiana, you will find one Asti Despumante Hill having been a guest.

This source is a treasure trove of whack.

I'm not buying the claim that there are no Lemonjello/Orangello twins. They just haven't been arrested yet. Not sure those households show up on the census.

By Patricia from Munich (not verified)
August 23, 2011 5:05 PM

Hi Mallie,
I'm German and one of my aunts went by Elfie, but her real name was Elvira. :)

August 23, 2011 5:16 PM

But it's not Santanya, it's Satanya (without the first "n"). You're right, Santana is a lovely name; but Satan with an "a" or "ya" at the end wouldn't be, at least not to my ears!

I'm disappointed that Freakanomics would have unverified information like that in their book. I really found the section on names to be interesting, but it changes a lot if it's not to be relied upon!

By Louise (not verified)
August 23, 2011 6:05 PM

A question for the NEs:

We had our first daughter a little over a year ago and named her Mia. (Which was actually a somewhat random choice since all through the pregnancy and until a few hours after she was born, we had planned on calling her Ramona. But somehow in the post-labour & delivery haze, Mia just seemed a better fit.) We wanted a name that we both liked (obviously), that was well-known and fairly international, would be easy to spell, and that wouldn't automatically have her labeled her as a hipster kid, or a hippy kid, or any particular ethnicity (she's mixed race), or whatever. Here in Alberta (Canada) it's a fairly common name (#56) but certainly not ubiquitous. But I know that it's very very common elsewhere.

So my question is: who are all these other Mias? Is there a common demographic (urban/rural, black/white, working/middle class)? Are they sisters to the Addisons and Madisons? Or to Olivia and Isabella? Is their brother more likely to be Brayden or Jayden, or William or Jack? Or is it just so common that they could be anybody?

It's a funny question I suppose, and maybe impossible to answer. Anyway, I'll throw it out there!

(By the way, Mia will be joined by a little sibling in January. We're thinking either George or Vincent for a boy, or Georgia or Matilda for a girl. But who knows what we'll switch to in the wee small hours after delivery!)

By izzy nli (not verified)
August 23, 2011 6:56 PM

Caroline (I like Caro/Cara as a name, but my sister is a Caroline that goes by the full Caroline. I also like Callie/Caddie)

Josephine (nickname Josie)

these are my favorties.

@Louise: I have a friend Mia, sister to Emily and Chloe.

By Kate, mom of T,G,J,X, and ? (not verified)
August 23, 2011 7:03 PM

Two thoughts quickly while everyone's waiting for me so we can eat dinner -- PennyX, I have a friend who got married for the first time two years ago, at 52 years old, and she happily took her new husband's name ... she hasn't had any problems with it since!

Also, do you all think, as I do, that "Satanya" might also be a misspelling of "Satyana" (I believe I have that spelling correct), which is the name the actress Alyson Hannigan gave her little girl (I believe they wanted a longer version of "Satya," though I don't remember what the story behind Satya is)?

August 23, 2011 7:04 PM

@ Louise: The only Mia I know is 7 with a 9 yr old sister Zoe.

By ddb (not verified)
August 23, 2011 7:14 PM

I like Elvira as a full name for the nn Elfie. I went to school with an Eleuthra, which could be another unusual way to arrive at Elfie.

I like Josephine, Caroline, or Rosalie the best, from Gretchen's list.

August 23, 2011 7:33 PM

Wow, so busy again here today.

Louise-I have a friend who has a daughter named My-a (w/o the hyphen of course) it's not quite the same name (I sound vs. E sound) but thought I would throw it out there. Her sisters are Grace and Sophie.

PennyX-I still think you should keep your name if it feels right. Once the child gets to school age (at least around here) its not that big a deal because you and the child have been seen together frequently and you are known as the child's mother. And yes, there are those that have professional vs. personal surnames.

Mallie-I'm not that up on my Germanic names but I think you've gotten a lot of great suggestions already. Elektra is a cool middle name. I've not heard of Hilma before. Is it like Hilda?

Linnaeus-Very good point about the surname Jones.

Additions to the funky name list: My son and I were talking the other day and somehow we ended up saying a person's name was Kevlar. It wasn't really the person's name but came out mixed up a bit. then we thought about it and said to each other "wouldn't that be a cool name though"? Kind of like Kevin and Skylar/Tyler mixed together.

By Laura V (not verified)
August 23, 2011 7:39 PM

To mallie: this might not be Germanic enough, but as a full name for Elfie, what about "Elfine"? It is the name of one of the characters in "Cold Comfort Farm," and I confess I've always loved it. (my own husband won't go for it, drat him.)

By Angela (not verified)
August 23, 2011 8:28 PM

I was a substitute teacher for two years and I saw some of the most awesome and terrible names. My favorites I actually kept on a list! (I'm a writer.)

Here's a few kids I met with cool/interesting names:
C'Cendio (pronounced See-sen-dee-oh, he went by Cici. And he was a hilarious guy too!)
Jhosciany (She actually cried when I pronounced it Jo-see-ann-ee but I can't for the life of me remember how it was supposed to be pronounced.)
My'Quazia (pronounced Ma-kay-zee-ah)

August 23, 2011 8:50 PM

@ PennyX: Another thought on professional vs. personal surnames: my mom never legally changed her ln when she and my father married, but she used my dad's ln in all aspects of life other than on legal documents. You could always use your husband's name, but still legally have your own and use that professionally.

August 23, 2011 9:01 PM

Lucubratrix: Thank you so much for the condolences and for the thoughtful response. Yes, I guess I can keep my name as is professionally, but legally make it my middle name (I'm not currently attached to my mn at all) and then just ADD my husband's name. That IS probably the best thing to do. Then, to teachers, new personal acquaintances, etc., we could be Mr. and Ms. Suchandsuch, with little Sally Suchandsuch, but I can still have my work name be as it has been.

I am trying to find a donor who looks a little bit like me, at least like a believable combination of me and my husband. I'm so sorry you've had to deal with blunt and insensitive people around that.

Can't sign in: I'm afraid that giving a kid my last name - since it's just not done in the US very much - would provoke long explanations that I'd rather avoid given our situation. I'd rather not have to explain the way we got our family, my motivations for using my last name, etc.

August 23, 2011 9:58 PM

I know a young Mia whose brother and sister are named Logan and Madison.

August 23, 2011 10:07 PM

Sadly I underestimated the impact having an infant with me would have on my ability to notice the names of my kids' classmates. Standouts that I did notice were Danexy (girl), Beverli, and Yen (girl). I will have to volunteer asap!