What do you guys think of Nathan and Fiona.  Is it too different? 

I kind of like it because it is little different but not an unknow or made up name.  I also feel that it kind of spices up Nathan a bit. 

Also - do you think the meaning of the name is really important?  We had Kennedy on our girl list for years, but I had to drop it because I just could not get over the meaning,

Fiona means fair and white.  Our Fiona would not be fair or white.  Would this be a deal breaker for you?  We haven't decided if we should leave it as our top contender or eliminate it because of a 3rd grade name project.



June 2, 2012 3:04 PM

I like Fiona with Nathan! I agree that it adds some flair to Nathan, and the thing with these classic boy names is that they tend to act more as a neutral to the pop of color that is the girl name, like a grey skirt with a yellow blouse, if that makes any sense.

I also feel you on the more negative name meanings. My own name means bitter, and a few of my favorite names have unpleasant meanings as well. I personally don't put a lot of stock into meanings, preferring to rely more on cultural significance and sound, but I do think that putting an individual spin on it can be really helpful. So maybe it would be helpful to sidestep the race issue by thinking of lovely things in nature that are white/fair- a fresh snowfall, fluffy clouds, or beach sand. Is there a flower you love that is white- lilies, daisies, dogwoods? If anything, you could associate the meaning with clean white teeth, something that's valued in all cultures and ethnicities, and pretty universally notorious for getting children to maintain.

The important thing to me would be to introduce whatever spin on the meaning before that third grade project so she can own that interpretation and feel that it represents her, and not have it be an unpleasant surprise, which a very similar experience I had when I discovered my own name meaning as a kid. Let her know you've thought about it and have good reasons for choosing it.

June 2, 2012 11:22 PM

I think Fiona and Nathan sound lovely together!  It does add spice to the duo. 

It's not an uncommon name in my city, and the three little Fiona's I know love the connection to Shrek (although I think their mothers would be thrilled to never watch it again).

I don't think the literal meaning should deter you from using it.  When she gets to the 3rd grade, leave out the "white" and take the "fair".

Fair: free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice.

I know it's taking a bit of liberty with the definition, but fair has more than one meaning.  Why not take the one that works best? 


June 2, 2012 6:56 PM

I love Fiona and think it is fine with Nathan.  I'm also not very concerned with the literal meanings of names and agree that "fair" should work well enough.  

If a positive meaning is important to you, you could also consider pairing it with a middle name that will give her a pleasant combined meaning.  Fiona Margaret=white pearl, Fiona Blossom=white flower.   Fiona Sarah=fair princess, Fiona Sophia= fair wisdom.  A virtue middle could also work with "fair", something like Fiona Grace or Fiona Hope perhaps.  When you are dealing with meanings, I think it's fair to get as creative as you want.

June 2, 2012 9:50 PM

I like Fiona and Nathan together.

I also don't put much stock in meanings. But, I do understand that they can be a sticking point.  I know 3 Fiona's (adult and babies) and they are all white but none of them are fair - they all have dark hair and eyes. I don't believe it's ever been a problem for any of them.

I love some of the suggestions given above for making the meaning more meaningful for you.

By Guest (not verified)
June 2, 2012 11:06 PM

I love Fiona and think it sounds great with Nathan. I don't care about the meanings of names so no it's not a dealbreaker for me.

Bianca means the same thing and the Bianca I know is not fair and white either. Never seemed to bother her.

June 3, 2012 12:21 PM

Thanks everyone for the great suggestions.  We really loved some of them.  Fiona is now at the top of our list and I'm not sure it will ever be knoked off.  It just seems like the PERFECT name now.  Thank You!

By Guest (not verified)
June 3, 2012 5:09 PM

I'm late on this, but I wanted to add that I love Fiona, and if they do such a project in 3rd grade, you can always ask that she be allowed to share the story of how her name was chosen rather than the strict meaning.

I was a teacher for many years, and schools, in general, have gotten much more adept at handling a variety of name issues.