A Baby!

Well it looks like my husband and I are newly expecting! It came as a surprise and I was taken completely off guard! We're not telling our families yet because I am still just barely along, but now I can actually realistically discuss names, something I've figuratively spoken about for years (and on this forum a bit).

So here's the lowdown: Our last name sounds like "slim" but with the "sh" sound at the beginning.

For Boys: My husband's name strongly reflects his German ancestry (Kl@us W0lfgang) and he'd like to stick with that tradition, as well as the tradition of using a name starting with a "K." However, he also likes the idea of honoring his Irish side, too.

Right now his favorite name is Cormac, but he'd like to spell it with a K. What do you think of Kormac? I usually don't like adding a K where a C should be, but I'm a fan of the name and it fits our guidelines. Our other favorite name is Konrad. Middle name will probably be Wolfgang or Frederick.

For girls, we usually like the more flowery, longer names. We both like Emmanuella, Aurelia, Theodora or Adelaide. Middle name will be Marie, a family name. So far my husband is stuck on Emmanuella nn Manny, but I'm not completely sold on it. Though I do like it. We both like nicknames so we are going for names that have a lot of those possibilities.

So what do you think? Any favorites? Problems you see? We're definitely still open to suggestions, as well!

Thanks in advance!


May 1, 2013 4:39 PM

I like Konrad and Kormac.  If you are set on using a "K" for one these names, I would go with Kormac.  Konrad is a more common name, so I feel like changing the "C" to a "K" would be more of a change.  I think more people would think it was creative spelling.  Although Kormac is usually a "C," it is a least common name so I think it is less of an issue.

Others: Korben, Kiernan, or Kennedy. It is hard to find a boy's name that is spelled with a "K" and doesn't also have a "C" option!

Of your girls names I like Adelaide the best.  You mention that you prefer flowery names, which aren't really my preference.  So, my opinion on girls is soley based on my tastes on these types of names.  Emmanuella isn't my favorite and I don't really care for Manny on a girl.  Theodora isn't my favorite either. Sorry!  I'm not big names that have the female endings like Thomasina, Georgiana, and the ones you've mentioned. I don't mind Gabriella (probably because it more common).  And ironically, my daughter is Alexandra which is a male name made female by the change of two letters!  So, there you go!! 

May 1, 2013 4:49 PM

I actually disagree with your Konrad/Kormac evaluation. For me, Kormac seems like the more creative spelling, while Konrad just looks like an international version of the name. I guess it depends on one's familiarity with other languages, which languages, and such. (As far as the names go with a C, however, I do prefer Cormac, but with a K, Konrad.)

For girls, I actually love Theodora! The others are not my taste (though if it were Georgia instead of Georgiana, I'd be all over it!) I also love Aurelia, but as I've mentioned before, have issues with how it has three possible pronunciations that I'm aware of.

May 1, 2013 5:04 PM

I agree with Karyn, that Konrad looks more international/less creative than Kormac.  I can also see a problem with explaining, "It's Cormac with a K," because I think people would put the K at the end (Cormack). "Konrad with a K" is easier to explain. 

For the girls, I also love Theodora, and I like Adelaide. I'm not a big fan of the other two.  Other suggestions: Eleanora, Josephina, Anastasia, Augustina, Evangeline(a), Magdelena

May 1, 2013 5:23 PM

Honestly. for both names I am accustomed to the "C" spelling and the "K" will be an alternate spelling.  I was thinking that because Kormac (Cormac) is a less common name in general than Konrad (Conrad) it may be less of an issue.  BUT, if Konrad is most often spelled with a "K," especially in other languages,  I guess that would make a difference.  I actually  prefer the name Kormac, but because of the spelling with a "K," I would go with Konrad if the name is more often spelled with the "K."

And, I really like the suggestion of Josephina.

May 1, 2013 6:41 PM

Yes, when I see Konrad, I just think "German version of Conrad" but Cormac with a K looks like a creative respelling, which I am not a fan of.  I also agree that saying "Comarc with a K" is likely to get you Cormack or even Cormak.

From your girl names, I love Theodora and Adelaide is also very nice.  Emmanuella and Aurelia are a bit too princessy for my taste and I am especially not crazy about Manny for a girl.

Some other girl ideas, Wilhelmina, Leonora, Genevieve & I'll second Josephina, Augustina & Magdelana.

May 1, 2013 6:47 PM

Um, Karyn, the spelling Kormakr goes back over 1000 years, See the great 10th century Icelandic skald Kormakr Ogmundarson (Kormakssaga).  The modern Icelandic spelling is Kormakur.  Both Konrad and Kormak can be legitimately spelled with a K. There are also Dutch names spelled with a K, like Karel (Karel de Groot, that is, Charlemagne).  The Dutch version of Conrad is Koenraad.  Other possibilites are Kasper (Dutch and Scandinavian spelling) and Kai (German, Dutch, Scandinavian, Finnish).

Rather than Adelaide, perhaps the German form Adelheid, with the (adorable) nickname Heidi, much less frequently heard than the ubiquitous Addie.  BTW the tv show Grimm had a character named Adelind, although admittedly she is a sort of witch.

May 1, 2013 6:58 PM

That's why I said, "I guess it depends on one's familiarity with other languages, which languages, and such." I wasn't saying that Kormak wasn't a name, just that I wasn't familiar with any languages in which it was.

May 2, 2013 2:26 AM

I like the Kormak spelling here with the K on the end rather tHan a C.

May 1, 2013 6:52 PM

Congratulations!!! Always lovely to hear of regular posters finally having a baby to name :)

We do share some similar taste. Cormac and Conrad are both on my boys list. I do prefer the C spelling of both but Konrad doesn't phase me as it's a legitimate alternate spelling. Kormac definitely looks creative and I think you'd get Cormack a fair bit but it's doable if it makes you both happier than Cormac. I like Wolfgang and Frederick and think they work well as middles. Is Klaus an option for a middle? Cormac Klaus gets you the Irish/German feel and gets the K in there too...

From the girls I really like most of your list. I'm another that isn't in love with Emanuella but I've been coming around to it a bit through our discussions of it over the past few months. Adelaide and Theodora are favourites of mine (both have been vetoed off my girls list, but I do love them). I'm also a big fan of Aurelia and know 2 little Aurelias. Both haven't had any huge issues with pronunciation and are very cute littlies so it's a very wearable  name.

Other suggestions:

Girls - Wilhelmina, Augusta, Josephine, Lucinda, Genevieve, Julianna, Anneliese, Susannah, Penelope, Annika, Octavia

Boys - August/Augustus, Ambrose, Riordan, Angus, Hamish, Everett, Llewellyn, Rafferty, Dashiell, Lorcan

May 1, 2013 7:25 PM

For Irish-Germanic (rather than strictly German) blend, Kormak is ideal.  Other Irish names adapted into medieval Icelandic are Njal/Niall (Njalssaga) and Kjartan (Laxdaela saga).  There is also Finn which is both Irish and Germanic, but with two entirely different meanings.  Beowulf refers to a fight at Finnsburg, and there is also a fragment of a poem on the subject.  Finn was a king of the Frisians (Frisia was and is the northern Netherlands and the adjacent section of Germany south of Jutland).  Finn's adversary was a Dane named Hnaef, which I wouldn't recommend as a modern name since it sounds rather like a sneeze. 

May 2, 2013 12:17 AM

For Cormac with a K, I'd like it better with both 'c's replaced: Kormak. I think the inconsistency is the reason why Konrad just feels international, while Kormac feels kre8yv.

I love Frederick, and the 2-3-1 rhythm would be great for stern reprimands and other situations where the full name is called for.

Wolfgang feels very, very German (I hear it in my head as "Volfkank"), perhaps a bit overly so, although in the middle spot it hardly matters. One thing to consider: if you went with a K name and the same middle as Dad, then the menfolk would both have KWS (if I'm spelling your surname correctly), and you'd have to write their first names out in full to differentiate. It's not a deal-breaker (I managed to grow up just fine with my entire name completely identical to my mother's), but it's something to think about.

Boy's names that are traditionally written with K in English are rather few and far between, especially if you want something that sounds at least vaguely current, but without dipping into surnames. I came up with Karl, Kenneth, and Kevin. The latter two would honor your husband's Irish side nicely, and Kevin has that fashionable two-syllable ends-in-n style...

Emmanuella is not a name I've ever encountered, but I love long flowy names for girls... Not a fan of Manny, though, and the initials EMS might be odd to live with.

Adelaide I'm not fond of -- it reminds me of "addled" and "lemonade".

Aurelia and Theodora are both great names. Theodora is perhaps a bit easier on the spelling/pronunciation question, and I love the meaning, but there is the little matter of the word "odor" in there...

Other suggestions: Philomena, Josephina, Julianna, Emiliana, Cecilia, Georgianna, Seraphina.

May 2, 2013 2:29 AM

Spelling Kormak with a K at the end completely changes the spelling variation for me.  Kormac didn't look right, but Kormak     does.  This slight change fixes the issue I had with the spelling.

May 2, 2013 9:05 AM

I agree. It provides more consistency. I ran that by my husband and we both like it!

May 2, 2013 6:02 PM

I agree.  Kormak looks more consistent and therefore more "right" than Kormac.

May 2, 2013 7:10 PM

Definitely makes a big difference!

May 7, 2013 12:05 PM

Whereas I disagree: Kormac looks not quite right, but Kormak looks fake/made up, like it's from a science-fiction novel or something. Bottom line, I think if you want a name that starts with a K, you need to look at something other than Cormac.

May 7, 2013 12:14 PM

Well, Kormak may look fake and made up to you, but it's more than a thousand years old, and it's not from a science fiction novel, but belongs to a notable historical figure.

May 8, 2013 10:26 AM

Isn't the thousand-year-old name actually Kormakr, though? That R at the end makes all the difference.

(Also, note that I'm saying "Kormak" looks made up, not that it is made up.)

May 8, 2013 12:00 PM

Nope, the r is the sign of the nominative case, not part of the root name.  In the genitive case it would be Kormaks, and so on.  So the r makes no difference whatsoever; it is merely an inflection. To this day Icelandic names are conjugated.  One of the criteria for having a name accepted in Iceland is that it be able to be conjugated; that is, that it can take a genitive form. The situation is similar in other highly inflected languages, like Latin.  For example, take the name Brutus.  In the famous quotation attributed to Julius Caesar, "et tu, Brute?" Brute is in the vocative case, while Brutus is in the nominative case.  The root of the name is Brut-.

So in English there is no need or reason to add the sign of the nominative, that is the r, to the end of the name.  English does still have a synthetic possesive, so that would be Kormak's.  The apostrophe is an error introduced during the Early Modern period, when the original -s genitive was believed to be a contraction of 'his.'  The people of Shakespeare's day were largely unaware that English had once had fully conjugated nouns, so they assumed that in a phrase like Johns book, the proper form was John his book (and you will see this construction in Shakespeare's works) and so inserted the apostrophe to mark the letters they assumed were missing.  In fact the -s was and is merely the orignal genitive ending.  It wouldn't bother me one bit to see that apostrophe disappear.  BTW Dutch has dropped the synthetic genitive altogether, and uses only the analytic form: het boek van Jan (the book of John).

May 8, 2013 12:27 PM

Wow, that was fascinating! Does that explain why the possessive "its" doesn't have an apostrophe?

May 8, 2013 2:33 PM

It seems to me that the role of the apostrophe is shifting from possessives to plurals. So maybe you'll get your wish!

Thanks for that fascinating history lesson.

May 8, 2013 8:34 PM

You are referring to the so-called greengrocer's apostrophe, stemming from the tendency of produce signs to advertise things like "satsuma's."

May 8, 2013 4:05 PM

The possessive of all personal pronouns (its, yours hers, etc.) omit the apostrophe.  I wonder why?  I wonder if it is because the possession is implied.  I can't think of an example when it isn't used for possession.

May 8, 2013 9:28 PM

The Old English third person singular genitive personal pronouns were his (masculine), hire (feminine, and his (neuter).  These stayed the same in Middle English.   In Early Modern English, this changed to his, her, his, but during this period there was apparently some discomfort with using his for both masculine and neuter.  Some ways of getting around the use of his in the neuter were thereof and of it. The Old and Middle English third person singular neuter nominative and accusative forms were hit, and in Early Modern English these forms became it.  At the same time it was occasionally used instead of his for the genitive, and this is found in the King James Bible ("it owne accord" Lev. 25:5) and elsewhere.  Eventually this use of it became its, the s presumably by analogy with the s in his (he-his, it-its).  At first the new pronoun its was sometimes written it's (by analogy with the apostrophe that had already appeared erroneously in the noun possessives), but the form its became standard during the latter half of the seventeenth century (perhaps to avoid confusion with the contraction it's--although my students continued to have difficulty differentiating its and it's). So no apostrophes in these forms because the words were never assumed to have mssing letters, the s in its being an addition, not a subtraction calling for an apostrophe.

Starting in the late Middle English period through the Early Modern period, the predicative pronouns (those that follow the noun, as in the book is mine) split off from the attributive pronouns (those that precede the noun, as in this is my book), and most of the predicative pronouns took the genitive -s, as in yours, ours, hers, theirs).  Mine and thine kept the form of the attriibutive pronouns when they preceded a vowel (e.g., my dog, but mine eyes).  Some non-standard dialects use the -n throughout for predicative pronouns: yourn, hisn, hern. Again the -s in the predicative pronouns was an addition, no letters thought to be missing and thus no sense that an apostrophe was required.

May 8, 2013 9:46 PM

Thanks! I love the history and evolution of language! And that really does explain so much.

Now, if only I could retain some of the details... :)

May 8, 2013 10:19 PM

You must have studied linguistics!!  So, it really has nothing to do with possessives at all.

May 8, 2013 10:47 PM

No, I studied philology, not linguistics per se.  My PhD fields were Old and Middle English and Old Icelandic.  My PhD is in English, but I took almost a third of my classes in the German department which at that time took a philological approach.  For twenty-five years I taught 1-2 sections of History of the English Language per term.  As far as linguistics goes, I am an auto-didact in the areas of linguistics that interest me, but there are many fields of linguistics which don't interest me and about which I know little to nothing.  I never took a single course in a linguistics department, although my university had a strong linguistics program.

May 8, 2013 11:16 PM

Well thank you for sharing all your knowledge!  I think philology would be more interesting than language study.  I took one semester of old English and was ripping my hair out!  I enjoyed the literature and history but the grammar and translations were so difficult!!

May 9, 2013 1:36 PM

I need to correct myself: nouns and pronouns are declined, not conjugated.  I don't know why I said conjugated--maybe just because I am not as young as I used to be, and sometimes my word recall gets screwed up due to medication side effects and just plain brain wear and tear.  I'm surprised no one corrected me.

May 9, 2013 2:46 PM

First, lots of people, young and old, mix up words all the time. That's what edit functions were made for.

Second, I certainly don't know enough about the topic to correct you. I was quite curious as to how nouns were conjugated, but it's not uncommon for words to have multiple technical meanings, so I didn't question it. Plus, that was not nearly the most important part of the explanation.

May 8, 2013 11:09 PM

I think Kevin is a fantastic suggestion.  A "K" name that has an Irish root.

May 8, 2013 11:19 PM

This is a good suggestion. Kevin is a great Irish name.

By Coll
May 9, 2013 2:56 PM

Kieran/Kiaran is also a possibility. (Or, as my Irish-American/Indian-American brother-in-law spells it, Kiran, in honor of both sides of his heritage).