2015-2016 Preschool Names!

So these are kids 2.5 years - 5 years, although the majority are in the 3-4 range.

AM only kids:
Jackson (b)
Jaxson  (b)
S.J. (b-- no idea what this stands for, but my interest is high!)

PM only kids:
Jaxon (g)

All day kids:
Evie (short for Evangeline)
Frances (g)
Kiran (b)
Parker (b)

I'm going to try to get the names of the other preschool class on Monday. 


September 13, 2015 5:24 PM

Ravenna is so interesting -- I wonder if the street in Seattle (my only association for the name) was important/sentimentally meaningful to her parents?

September 13, 2015 5:40 PM

Well, there is Ravenna, Italy, which was the capital of the Western Roman Empire, the seat of Theodoric the Great of the Ostrogoths, a major city of the Byzantine Empire,and the center of the Kingdom of the Lombards.  It is known for its great monuments of antiquity, including remnants of the palace of Theodoric and the famous mosaic portraits of the Emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora.  Ravenna is one of the gems of our cultural heritage and many of its sites have been recognized by UNESCO.  It's as fitting an urban name inspiration as Vienna and Florence, if not more so.

September 18, 2015 12:35 AM

I learn so much on this forum! Thanks, Miriam, for the info! I am sure that our local Ravenna is actually named for Italian Ravenna!

September 14, 2015 4:37 PM

Oh, no, Jaxon for a girl?!?

But, yay Frances! Also, Zarina and Ravenna are both unexpected-good.

How is Nataliah pronounced? (Where does the stress go?) With the 'h' at the end, I kind of expect something like nah-tah-LEE-yah, instead of the normal nah-TALL-(ee)-ya.

I only have names off coathooks for the other pre-K class so far:

Brooklyn, Juliana, Katarina, Kinsey, Marissa
Aaron, Chase, Connor, Declan, Jacob, Leo

(Grouped by gender; Riley's hook was empty, so I had nothing to judge by.)

I'm enjoying the fact that they're all normal spellings.

September 21, 2015 3:30 PM

So I discovered that Adella and Zarina are sisters. 

Nah -TALL-ya is how they are pronouncing it. :-)

Last year was just Jackson (b) and Jaxon (g), so they were referred to as Boy Jackson and Girl Jaxon, but now there is another one thrown in the mix. He's New Jaxson. LOL! 

September 27, 2017 1:02 PM

I knew "The Pirate Fairy" Zarina would catch on. Too in line with other trends, and parents who recognize its sounds with "czarina" will probably only like it more.

September 18, 2015 11:25 AM

I haven't yet seen the names of Elliott's classmates for this year. but this morning I got the class blog post, and it mentioned a Vivian Last Initial, which must mean there are a least two Vivians in his little group.  I remember when I was in jr. high using Vivian as the name of a fictional character precisely because no one I knew had that name.

September 19, 2015 2:13 PM

I remember watching Vivian Leigh movies and thinking it was the most gorgeous name and that I might use it one day. C'est la vie.

September 18, 2015 2:09 PM

I love school name lists! My preschooler's is:

Karter; Benjamin: Eli; Donal; Jackson; Tirzah (my daughter); Annalee; Una; Meghan; Piper; Angelo; Vincent; and Kelsey.

May 4, 2016 10:50 PM

I love the name Tirzah and I never hear it!

September 21, 2015 3:33 PM

So Now I have the other class (same thing -- 2.5-5 years old):

Alley (g)
Charlie (g--full name, I checked)
Clare (g)
Conlan (b)
Ellaweise (g--pronounced Eloise)
Quinn (b)
Rizal (b)
Tanner (b) 

September 21, 2015 4:25 PM

Ellaweise! Wow. That's really something. 

September 21, 2015 7:40 PM

Um, if they want it pronounced like Eloise, why did they spell it like Ella-wise-uh?

I wonder about the origins of Conlan and Rizal. (Behind the Name doesn't have either -- there's a user-submitted entry for Conlan, but not even that for Rizal.)

September 21, 2015 10:00 PM

I kinda wondered that myself. She has twin baby brothers that I'm dying to know their names.

Rizal appears to be of Southeastern decent. Conlan has no photo up yet. 

September 21, 2015 10:01 PM

Oh, interesting! It's a Filipino surname as first name!


(And I meant Southeastern Asian decent)

January 4, 2016 10:49 PM

Yes, it's also the surname of the Philippine national hero, Jose Rizal. I found an interesting piece here (https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/philippine-studies-301/2X361etJtYE) that discusses possible origins, though this being something I just found on the internet, I can't tell how reliable it is.

September 23, 2015 11:51 AM

I would guess it was a mash-up/homage for edelweiss, but as any Sound of Music fan knows, the pronunciation in that case should be Ay-luh-VICE ;-).

September 26, 2015 10:21 PM

Ok, Ellaweise's baby brothers are:


Thomas and Jude


Kind of a letdown. 

September 27, 2015 1:54 AM

Yes, but did you get those in writing? If they spelled them Towmis and Guwd, they'd fit right in with big sis. :-)

September 28, 2015 1:23 AM

LOLOL. I jumped to the new post first, and had to look up to figure out Guwd...but then it made perfect sense!

October 3, 2015 11:50 AM

LOL! Nope, they are just Thomas and Jude per their blankies yesterday!

October 11, 2015 2:01 AM

New student in this class: Calder (b)

September 23, 2015 3:16 PM

My daughter's pre-kindergarten teacher finally got around to labelling all the coathooks. I wrote the list from memory, and I think I'm missing a boy, but here's what I have:



(The teacher helpfully decorated the labels with flowers for the girls and doggies for the boys, so the associated genders were easy to figure out.)

I'm greatly enjoying the total lack of kre8tive misspellings. Madelyn is perhaps the least-standard, but it is currently the most popular spelling, and it makes the desired pronunciation clear, so I like it.

Edited to add: The missing boy's name is Tyler. That's exactly how the 10th president of the US spelled his surname, so still no misspellings in the whole class.

September 23, 2015 5:14 PM

I can't make heads or tails of Hridya.

September 23, 2015 5:44 PM

My first guess is that the family background is somewhere on the Indian sub-continent, but that's just a guess.

September 23, 2015 9:23 PM

Yes, Hridya's family hails from India or thereabouts -- I haven't managed to talk to her parents yet to ask where exactly. A quick search online confirms that Hridya is a not-uncommon Hindi feminine name.

October 20, 2015 4:54 PM

I spoke with Hridya's dad on the playground, and he said they speak Gujarati at home, although the children mostly answer in English. He also said that back in India, they spoke Hindi at work or in similar public settings, and that when spoken slowly, Hindi and Gujarati are mutually mostly intelligible.

Pronunciation-wise, the teachers mostly manage something like rid-ee-ya, and the children follow their lead, but I would write what Dad and Grandpa say more like hrid-ya.

September 25, 2015 3:01 PM

These lists are always so interesting to me. My 2-year-old is in a once-weekly class. The other children, also 2, are:

Girls: Ella, Ella, Ellie, Molly, Raya, Addy (not sure about full name). There's also Norah (Ella's younger sister, 7 mos) and Carly (short for Caroline, I think. She's Molly's younger sister, an infant).

Boys: Clark (my DS), Isaac, Takai, Tomas, Finn


January 4, 2016 11:24 PM

I'm wondering about Takai. Is it a nickname?

January 5, 2016 4:42 PM

It's a pretty common Japanese word, and both Tak- and kai are elements of Japanese given names, so I can imagine it could be a Japanese name, though I haven't heard it used that way. (The actor George Takei has a joke about not pronouncing his name like Takai--as I recall, the Nissei thought it was funny, though I didn't understand at the time; looking it up, I think it's because the word takai can mean either expensive or death. If you're curious, Takei is roughly tuh-kay, and Takai would be tuh-ky, second syllable rhyming with eye/lie/buy etc.)

January 6, 2016 3:52 AM

Man, I just read through my comment and realized I wasn't clear at all; sorry for the misunderstanding. Though I'm aware that Takai is a Japanese surname, from the little I know of Japanese naming customs, they don't do surnames as first names (now, Japanese-Americans, I don't know and am curious about). Surnames as given names seem to be a predominantly American practice, is my impression. So I was wondering whether Takai was a Japanese-American boy who had a more conventional Japanese name (are Japanese names generally considered difficult to pronounce and remember in the US?), or someone with no Japanese ancestry at all whose parents just invented a name that by coincidence is also a Japanese surname. Or maybe, assuming I'm overanalyzing (the most likely possibily), Takai's just a surname being used as a name.

January 7, 2016 6:22 PM

I'm curious about that, too. I think it's likely that Japanese Americans are using Japanese surnames as given names, especially since well over half of us are now "mixed" so also coming from non-Japanese naming traditions. It's something I've done, though from the non-Japanese three-quarters of my kids' family tree, as I only know a very limited number of family names on the Japanese side and none of them feel like given names. Takai is very name-y (Takeo, Takeshi, etc. are pretty familiar given names) with the easy, common nicknames Tak or Kai available, so I would think it would be pretty usable.

My experience with pronunciation is that folks who are not familiar with Japanese names will first sort of throw up their hands in confusion, and then when they've had it explained, say "oh, just how it looks" if you're pronouncing it for them, or "oh, just how it sounds" if you're spelling it. However, they can get mixed up with common, recurring name elements--my surname has some syllables in common with Yamaguchi, and back in the day there were a few people who got so twisted up that they would call me Kristy. In this case, I could see some confusion for Takei, but that's pretty manageable.

My usual guess when I see a Japanese name on a non-Nikei child is that their parents are probably anime or manga fans, and it's a name of a character or concept or something that I've never heard of ;-). You end up with a lot of names that probably wouldn't be used in Japan that way--like Ronin (that spelling) which as I understand it traditionally has some negative or even dishonorable connotations in Japan but has been re-interpreted to mean something like a lone knight in the U.S. based on imported pop culture (in this case, as much Kurosawa as more recent stuff) and taken up as a sound-alike name to Ronan. With a surname name, it's also possible that someone first saw the name written family name-given name, and fell in love with the sound of the surname thinking it was the "first" name.

It can also be an "original" coinage, of course, or coming from a different tradition from some direction--Laura had a post a long time ago about how the only Japanese name to make the charts was Tamiko, but as a riff on Tamika rather than as the Japanese name. I think Akira might be somewhat in this category now, too, as a girl's name.

January 8, 2016 5:37 AM

Kristy? Huh?

On the anime/manga names: ...I'd have thought that anime/manga or Japanese names in general would be too out there for non-Japanese parents, and that if they wanted an anime/manga name, they'd stick to mild choices, like Edward for Edward Elric. Guess I was wrong.

Akira I can see being used as a girls' name (and only girls') in the US because of the -a ending, but I'm still surprised. I'd have thought, because of Kurosawa at least, that it was one of the more familiar Japanese boys' names.

January 8, 2016 1:50 PM

Kristi Yamaguchi (sorry, spelled it wrong the first time) was an Olympic gold medal figure skater, and later a Dancing with the Stars champion. She was VERY famous for a while there, on the cover of People and Newsweek, all over the television, etc. (I'm guessing before your time). So people would often mistake my last name as Yamaguchi when she was in the news, as it has overlapping sounds. I made the mistake of saying "actually, it's Kristi Yamaguchi, but Megan ___" in a public forum after being introduced as Megan Yamaguchi, and after that some folks called me Kristi. This was at the height of her fame, so it never occurred to me that people wouldn't know which of us was which!

I think hard-core fans spend so much time with Japanese names that they don't sound "foreign" anymore. I have a cousin on my non-Japanese side who got a degree in Japanese and moved to Japan for a decade, all inspired by his love of manga.

I'm with you on Akira--we considered it for our oldest son, but then it started taking off as an exclusively feminine name here, which made it somewhat harder to use. I think it's possible that some folks just assume that Kurosawa is female. I remember several years ago my husband was shaking his head over how so many of his students thought Ariel Sharon was female.

January 10, 2016 11:45 PM

Could be, but I was even more out of the loop then than I am now, so... Asians aren't that visible in US media, and I've heard of "All Asians look alike" (which is a problem in itself), so maybe that's why? Still, though.

Oh, man. Correct me if I'm wrong but the impression I get is that Akira is traditionally masculine, and it being a unisex name in Japan is relatively recent and probably because of Western influence (I notice -ka and -na endings for girls appeared in more recent decades), which I think makes it even less "masculine-sounding" than it already is to Americans because of the -a ending.

On Ariel Sharon: it's hard to beat the Disney reach, I guess.

February 7, 2016 3:45 PM

Yikes, I posted here months ago and forgot about it - sorry for delayed reponse.

Takai is the boy's full name. His mother is Caucasian and father is Vietnamese. I unfortunately don't have any more info on how they came to that name, but I can say that the ancestry of the boy is Vietnamese. Unknown whether his mom and/or dad spent any time in Japan.

September 28, 2015 8:38 AM

Here's my daughter's preschool list -- this is the 3-year-old class.


Cohen, Dean, Frankie, Isaac, Jack, J.B. (no idea what this stands for), William, Zach 


Alexis, Archer, Camila, Daisy (this one is mine; her full name is Margaret), Elyana, Jean, Margaret, Margot, Parker, Puff (her parents are Thai and her older sister is Prim, pronounced "preem"), Safa, Virginia (Jean's twin)

September 29, 2015 11:02 PM

That's quite a diverse list! The most surprising to me is a girl named Archer.

September 30, 2015 1:04 AM

Nice to see a girl named Jean again. I like it with Virginia too!

October 3, 2015 11:51 AM

Jean is my mom's middle name, and I'm seriously thinking about it, but it seems to be considered outdated in most places.

October 14, 2015 11:12 PM

It does kind of feel outdated, a bit out of place!  But she's a sweet girl.  Their mom is pregnant again and I'm looking forward to the baby's name....

October 15, 2015 10:51 AM



I'm a Jean and I love my name. Uncommon but totally familiar. I've always been the only Jean anywhere and it's always been nice AND I could always find stuff with my name on it when we went places :)

September 30, 2015 9:50 AM

Definitely a more diverse list than mine. There are several names here where the best thing I could come up with about them would be to not say anything, now that they've been inflic... ahem, bestowed (Cohen, Archer, Parker), but also several that would be cause for enthusiastic gushing (Margaret/Daisy, Virginia & Jean). Oh, and several that I'd be eager to learn more about (Puff, Safa). Do you know whether Frankie is a nickname, or a British-style diminutive-as-full-name?

October 14, 2015 11:11 PM

Frankie: I don't know, and neither does my daughter. Frankie's surname is Italian, which inclines me in the nickname direction. 

Safa's surname is reasonably common among Muslims, as is her first name, so the explanation is probably that simple.  I've never seen her (she gets dropped off after and picked up earlier than my kid, according to the class log), so I haven't had a chance to meet her parents. 

Puff's mother and I are friendly but she speaks almost no English, and I do not speak any Thai, so sadly we mostly communicate by gesture and giving each other food.  Puff is just as cute as her name, though! 

A new boy has joined the class since I posted the list -- his name is Rohan.  He is Indian-American and probably doomed to a lifetime of "no, not Rowan" and "no, it's not from Lord of the Rings".

October 15, 2015 2:02 AM

I know one couple who specifically picked Rohan as a crossover name to simultaneously honor Indian heritage and parental geekiness. I think it's a great choice for either reason alone, but both is a total slam dunk!

November 1, 2015 10:08 PM

By the by, met Frankie's parents recently.  He is Francisco, and of Italian heritage.

October 15, 2015 2:26 PM

Thanks! I love these lists!


Off the top of my head, here are some of my son's pre-k peers:

Boys:Logan, Arlo, Landon, Garrison, Wyatt, Kieran, Nolan, Jonah


Girls: Mia, Eliza, Annabelle (baby bro Anthony), Hazel, Harper (sis of Hazel), Katrina, Eve, Eve (different Eve), Rhemy, Crosby, Alice


October 21, 2015 4:55 PM

3-5 year-olds in Australia

boys: Hugh, Huck, Ruben, Chad, Thomas "Tommy", Thomas "Tom", Benjamin "Ben", Benjamin "Benji", Devyn, Harrison, Drew 

girls: Imogen, Emery, Ada, Madeline, Apple, Kaia, Rosario, Angie

i think I'm missing 3 or 4 girls names! Probably more popular names along the lines of Amelia/Sophia/Olivia.

October 21, 2015 5:13 PM

Oh I forgot twins Roy & Stella (baby brother Gus). I love their names, especially as a set. 

October 30, 2015 9:43 AM

I helped out at the Halloween party for the littlest kids (2 1/2 and 3s classes) and got a list of names out of it:

Teddy (don't know if it's full name or nickname)
Max (this one I know is short for Maxw3ll; his big sister Chlo3 is my daughter's classmate)
Francisco (he doesn't really speak English yet)

Amaya (roughly a-MY-uh)
Kaiya (first syllable rhymes with 'eye')