Honest Opinion- Do Our Names Suck?

So we sort of have a list of 4 first names for both genders (keeping it a surprise till birth). Middle names were easy enough as we chose family names. Due date is early june so we still have HEAPS of time but I wanted to run the names we are considering past the public, since we don't want to discuss names with the family or friends. We have never named a human before so your feedback is crutial. Our last name is two sylables like SLIM-ICK

So for a boy:

CHRISTIAN it has passed it peak popularity so I am worried it may sound "dated". On the other hand it wasn't ever crazy popular and always seems to be around. I have always liked the sound of this name and have a slight fondness for Tristian too. Also we are non religious and we think this might be weird. We are not sure if this should be a concern for us or not??? do you have to be muslim to use mohummard?

CARMINE I really love the sound of this name. I just love saying it. I pronounce it CAR(like aarrhh!, i'm a pirate)-MINE(with the stress put on the mine bit). I belive the name is itallian and this is a family connection. I am concerned though that people might think is is too feminine sounding? Can you imagine some 50 year old man called Carmine? And I don't want it to be similar to calling your son Terry, Sheila, Jessie, Ira, Casey, Gene or Michelle - bleuh!! I don't likes these kinds of 'girly man' names. I believe boys have a harder time with unusual names too. Would it sound better on a girl?

AUGUST I do like this name athough baby isn't due in August or anything. It is a fairly uncommon name but seems sturdy enough. This is 'daddy's' pick. I do not like Gus as a nn. but nn's are a whole other can of worms...

FREDERIK we prefer this spelling with 3 sylaballs. Chosing a name that has different spellings could be annoying for the baby, although there are a lot of names which have more than one spelling variation. It is also rising in popularity and that does make me nervous. (though it is a sign It's a good name, right?). Seems like another good boy name that we both agreed on and we both had on our individual lists. nn Fred is something we would like to avoid. Also, it rhymes with our last name. yay? or Nay?

For a girl

ADELIA I like this name and we both had the names like: amelia/emilia/elodie/adela/eloisa  on our lists. I think it looks better with the french accent over the E. We would pronounce it to rhyme with amelia but again, would it just get lost in all the popular amelia/emilia/elodie ect names and not really sound fresh or new? would it get confused with amelia? would people get the pronouciatin wrong? A Deal liah or no deal?

MARTISE Pronounced MAR (like far)- TISE(like peice, lease, geese). I am named a unusual name from a book my father liked. And I found this name in a book I liked too. Book character is a slave sent to spy on a powerful wizard. If she can find incriminating evidence and report it back to her master she will earn her freedom. However, she falls in love with the powerful wizard and doesnt betray him, thus is not able to earn her freedom. The wizard knows she is a spy all along but falls in love with her anyway and frees her when he realises she is a slave and they eventually live happy ever after. such a sweet book!! I mentioned this name to my sister once and she joked it sounded like a 'black getto' name. I think many of the unusual names assosiated with this steriotype are suprisingly inventive and full of spunk but it is not the sort of assosiation i want for my child. (think for resumes. ect) Our kid is likely to be blonde and blue-eyed like us though, and my first impression was it sounded french. your thoughts please? too weird?

SINCLAIR I think this is a name usually for boys but we can only picture it on a girl. Daddy pick this one out and suprisingly it has stuck around. It does sound a little... odd with our last name. can you see it on a girl? does it sound more like a last name? short for Saint Clair-again the religous undertone? I have no idea why. :/

VALENTINA another itallian sounding name. I sort of like the assosiation to Valentines day (again the saints!) and I love the rhythem of the name: VAL-EN-TEEN-NA. so fun to say, although my DISLIKE of the nn  VAL is only surparsed by the nn TINA. 

Should be be going back to the drawing board? Is THE NAME hidden here? Can you forsee any issues with these names that we have overlooked? Any other suggested names which are worth considering that might fit our 'style'?

We also looked at: Valek, Conrad, Rhysander, Rennik, Briar (girl), Estelle, Cora, Brigitte and are considering these as our 'backup' list of names.


January 1, 2016 8:49 PM

Christian doesn't exactly strike me as dated, I've only ever met a handful and they range in age.  However, I do think it is a very odd name for a family that isn't religious.  If it doesn't have any religious meaning for you & you only like the sound, I think Tristan is a much better choice.  You might also like Caspian, Lucian & Sebastian.

Carmine strikes me as very Italian. It would seem a bit out of place on someone without Italian heritage, but I don't think that means you shouldn't use.  Honestly, it actually strikes me as very dated because my primary association for the name is Carmine Ragusa from Laverne & Shirley.  Perhaps Carlisle or Cornelius?

Regarding your question about Mohummad, some names can cross religious or ethnic barriers, but not Mohummad.  I'd say you do need to be Muslim to use it.  

August is lovely and it doesn't matter if the baby is born in August or not.  In fact, I'd prefer that a boy named August not be born in that month.  Auggie is another common nickname if you don't like Gus, though I don't think August needs a nickname.  Austin or Arden?

Frederick is lovely, though I doubt you'll consistently get 3 syllables if you are in the U.S.  For me, it's Fred-Rick.  If I try really hard I can get it to 2.5 syllables and say Fred-r-rick, but only if I really concentrate.  Normally, I say nicknames aren't a huge consideration.  They just aren't used as the default for most name as they used to be.  However, Fred or Freddie for Frederick is pretty obvious.  It's possible people will shorten it, or he could decide he likes Fred once he's old enough to decide for yourself.   If you really dislike the name and would be against him using it, I'd say you should probably think about passing on Frederick.  The rhyme with the last name is a bit much for my taste (though I do like Frederick otherwise).  Maybe you'd like some of the "ed" names like Edmund or Edward?

Unless you are someplace where accents are commonly used, be prepared for the accent to be dropped if you use Adelia. I say the name Ah-deel-ya.  I could see some confusion because it is visually similar to Adele/Adela/Adelaide and yes, I do think it will be misheard for the more common Amelia.  I don't think these are huge issues, and should be easily overcome with simple corrections "Adelia with a D!" But you'll want to think about how willing you are to make the corrections.  I think Adele/Adela or Adelaid would be nice alternativs that won't get confused with Amelia.  You could also do just Delia or even Delilah (though that has negative religious associations for a lot of people).

Martise reminds me of Matisse, so I do get a vague French vibe from it.  Some of your concerns with other names is that they will be misheard, cause confusion, etc.  Going with something as unusual as Martise will mean these problems are likely unavoidable.  Personally, I don't care for it, but I don't think it "sucks" so much as it is just NMS.  Marcy, Marcella, Margot, Marisol?

I don't care for surnames as firsts, so I really don't care for Sinclair.  I especially don't like it for a girl.  It strikes me as trying too hard to make Claire more unique.  And yes, I think it will strike some people as religous because of the Saint Clair roots.  If you like the sound, why not just use Claire or Clara?  If you are more drawn to the first element of the name, perhaps Sylvie/Sylvia, Simone or Sidony?

Valentina is pretty & I agree it is fun to say!  It strikes me as a very spunky name.  You could likely avoid nicknames with this one, but only until she's old enough to decide for herself.  You'll want to think about how you'll feel if she one day decides she loves a nickname you hate.   Other names with a similar cadence include Anstasia, Tatiana, Lucia, Valeria, Francesca


January 2, 2016 1:27 AM

Not many regulars on this site would tell you that your names "suck."  They may give you opinions and tell you why they like or dislike a name-many times it's just "not my style ", etc.

Usually opinions are given very diplomatically and fun history lessons are often given as well.

Christian-Funny, even though this is the actual name of a religion and includes the person in which the religion is named after, I don't automatically think that a person with this name or his parents are particularly religious. The handful of guys I've known with this name range from late 20s to fifties now. I don't consider it time stamped, but perhaps people who are around little ones more often could give you better insight.

Carmine-I've never known one and do associate it with Italian tv and movie characters. I think it's a fine name and a little unexpected. Also it is all male for me. I think something like Carmella would be the female version.

August-NMS and I've always thought month names should be the month a child is born in. But I'm starting to get over it. So I don't think it's a bad name.

Frederik-I prefer Frederick and I guess that there are 2 syllable variants I think most are 3. I like Fred or Freddie personally. But if you only use the full name most will fall in line. There are also other nn opinions Rick, Derek, etc.

Adelia-I like. I do think it will get confused with Amelia and Adella at times, I don't think that should be a deal breaker.

Martise-I've never heard it. I would think surname first then male if given. I don't think it's terrible at all. Having said how we're all nice here, I do say two things you mention when bringing it up as delicately as I can . 1: Your summary of the story doesn't make the name endearing.to me. I'd rather have the name of a hero rather than someone saved by a hero. That said you certainly wouldn't be the first by a long shot to do this. 2: I don't find your sister's "joke" funny. Yes there are names I might expect to be from certain cultures, rightly or wrongly. But I would not discriminate based on that and would never use that language. No just no.

Sinclair-Another surname name. I think I've heard it on a female tv character. I kinda don't hate it! I can see a little Ms. Sinclair. Also people seem to like Claire-Clare-Clara. Kinda puts a twist on that,

Valentina-My fave. I get the nn dislikes but still really great.

January 2, 2016 2:33 AM

Since there are strong feelings regarding a non-religious Christian; I'd like to make clear . I've known many Chris's - mostly Christophers. My best friend Chris, a Christine. Many other boy and girl Chris's,  Kristines, Kristens and yes Christians and  on and on. Not once did I ever think of the religion. Maybe that's just me. But I bet a lot of other people think the same way.

I guess if you are religious, these things intuitively come to mind. If you're not so much, then it doesn't. 

I was raised a religious person and even then me nor my religious relations brought up such things, though.

Just another perspective and not even trying to start a controversy. Thinking out loud.

And not only that, Christian is not my favorite name for OP; I prefer Frederick.

January 1, 2016 9:33 PM

Is tristian a name? I like Tristan. 

Frederick is nice -with this real spelling- and I say it with 3 syllables. 

your girls names are NMS & I definitely wouldn't put an accent over the e. 

January 1, 2016 10:56 PM

First of all, Frederik is a real spelling.  It's the common spelling in the Netherlands and is also a regnal name of Danish kings.  However, I don't think that spelling the name Frederik is going to lead to pronunciations any different than spelling it Frederick.  If you don't like Fred/Freddie, you can use a different nickname from the beginning.  Besides Rick/Rik, another tradtional nickname is Fritz/Frits.

January 1, 2016 10:57 PM

First of all, no, your names do not suck! I think they're a great mix of more traditional names with some hidden gems. I think that among your boy names, Frederick struck me as the most attractive and ready to be used. I think it lends to some great nicknames, beyond Fred, but then again, I actually have learned to like the diminutive Freddie and even find it endearing.

August is a lovely name, but perhaps becoming too popular way too fast. For the same notable Romans' feel, for names, I suggest Julius, Atticus, Octavian, Aurelian, Cicero, Adrian, Anthony, Basil, Maximilian, Benedict, Caius (or Caio)...

As for Christian and Carmine, they are my least favorites. I think that if you are not religious, it's not really okay to name your baby Christian, especially when the name so blatantly references Christ and of course, the entire belief system. It could also prove to be a brow raiser and maybe even awkward. With a baby named Christian, you're almost expected to be Christian, that's my opinion. As for Carmine, it does feel very feminine to me, because it's very similar to Carmen, which is a very common female name. Also, upon first reading it, I automatically pronounced the name not as Car-Mine as you prefer, but as Car-Meen. But I don't know, that could just be me.

Among your backup names for boys, I think Conrad is very, very attractive, strong and underused for boys these days and for me it's way up there alongside Frederick. Rhysander actually sounds nice, but to me it felt like a mash-up of two different names (maybe it even isn't). I would much prefer just Rhys or any other -ander ending name separately, be it Alexander, Lysander, Evander, Leander et cetera.

For girls, my favorites were Adelia (pronounced Adele-ya), Brigitte and Valentina in this exact order. I think that Adelia really stands out despite popularity of nickname Addie and Amelia. It's a very beautiful, classy name and it's an incredible and underused name.

Brigitte I loved because it brought me images of the '60's and that amazing French charm and beauty, reminiscent of Brigitte Bardot. I just have a hard time thinking of nicknames for it, maybe Bibi or Bree? And finally, Valentina... I really love this ultra-feminine and valiant name. Despite being long, I do think you can get away from it being shortened to Val or to Tina, which are at the moment feeling a bit aged.

Estelle and Cora are lovely, soft, classy and vintage names for girls and you simply can't go wrong with either of them. As for Martise, I had never heard of it before, until now, so not much of an opinion on it. I do suggest the names Marine, Martine, Martina and Matisse (after the French artist) as alternatives.

January 1, 2016 11:02 PM

I wouldn't name a baby Christian if you aren't one. Would be confusing I believe later on.  

If you like Frederick but not Fred, I suggest Erik. (My son's name and I love it).

January 2, 2016 1:08 AM

I would find Christian a very surprising choice for a nonreligious family, frankly. Doesn't mean you can't do it, but I'd definitely have expectations to the contrary if I met a little Christian. I think Tristan is a really excellent alternative, though - I think it's a name that has some of the grandeur of many of your other choices, thanks to the myth and opera associations.

Carmine is a great name. I especially like that it has a family connection for you! It doesn't sound feminine to me because I'm familiar with it as a distinct name from Carmen, but I also think that many Americans probably won't have heard of it, and might assume that a Carmine is female. I don't think that needs to be a dealbreaker at all - my eldest has an obscure masculine name that's similarly mistaken for similar, more common feminine names, especially in writing. It hasn't bothered him or us at all so far - we don't treat being mistaken for female as a terribly embarassment, because what does that say about the value of being female? But, I'd definitely have considered that aspect of the name ahead of time to make sure that you and your husband can correct the occasional gender mixups cheerfully. If you can correct people or just start using the correct pronoun as though it's not a terribly big deal, your son will learn to have a similar attitude. I don't think it would become a source of teasing; my sense is that there are quite a lot of unisex names in circulation in most classrooms these days, so even if he DOES have a girl named Carmen in his class, I don't think it would really be that remarkable for anyone.

August is a lovely name. I don't think a nickname is inevitable, especially with August rather than Augustus or Augustine. That said, if you really actively dislike Gus I think I might consider that as a factor, since the name gets transferred to your child to do with what they like, so you should be prepared for the possibility that your son might at some point claim whatever nicknames he prefers, whether that's Augie or Gus or something entirely unrelated to his given name.

I love Frederick. I say it solidly with three syllables, but I think it's a name that some people slur together much more into 2 syllables, or 2.5. If you can treat that as dialect variation and not as mispronunciation, then I think it's a fantastic choice. I will say that I wouldn't want to use it with your particular surname, though -- the -ick ending is distinctive enough that the repetition really stands out to me, and I tend to prefer less repetition in first-last name combinations. However, that's definitely a style preference rather than an objective judgement, so if YOU like how the two sound together, I would wholeheartedly support your choice.

Adelia is a very nice choice. It definitely fits right in to many other name trends, but I think is distinctive enough. I'd be prepared for the accent to be dropped frequently, but otherwise I think it's a fine choice!

Martise - I like literary homage names! I wouldn't have any particular associations about Martise or what kind of background it is, just mild curiosity about a new-to-me name. I do think you might get -tease rather than -tees as the last syllable, which wouldn't be the most flattering mispronunciation, but I think introducing with a mnemonic would really help fend that off. Incidentally, it's a name that has been in occasional use since 1980 in the SSA stats, but always to boys. I'd want to suss out what the alternate inspiration for this name is before I used it for my daughter.

Sinclair is another name that I'd find very surprising on a nonreligious family, perhaps even more so than Christian - it does make me think of "St. Clair", just like "St. John" pronounced "Sinjun". As it's a surname to me as well, I would not be particularly surprised to find that it's use as a given name is feminine -- surname names are fairly gender neutral to me as a category, since people of both genders have surnames.

I like Valentina very much, too, but I think my usual advice about being cautious in bestowing names where you strongly dislike intuitive nicknames applies here, too -- perhaps even more so because Valentina is four syllables, and length sometimes makes people more prone to search for nicknames. I think if you just are preferring not to use Val or Tina but you could cope if your daughter decided to use those nicknames at some point later on in her life (could be 2, could be 12, could be 20), then I'd tell you go to for it... but if you find the idea of those nicknames actively repugnant, I might upvote some of your other choices instead which don't have this problem. That said, one of the things I really like about Valentina is that it's a very frilly, feminine name which contracts to a sleek, simple, gender-neutral nickname of Val if your child should for whatever reason (resume success, personal gender identity) want that flexibility. I find that kind of open-endedness to be really excellent in a name, in that it gives a child maximum choices.


January 2, 2016 2:44 AM

I totally love Valentina's rollicking rhythm, too, and I think you should potentially explore the other -ina names out there. It's a genre I really love, and there may be other options that avoid contracting to nicknames you find unpalatable. Some suggestions, trawling the 1920s SSA list: Tomasina, Josefina, Delfina, Vincenzina or Vincentina, Wilhelmina, Adelina, Catalina, Clementina, Nicolina, Marcelina, Ernestina, Carmelina, Concettina, Catarina, Constantina, Guiseppina, Vitalina, Victorina. Maybe if the pigment-reminiscent style of Carmine works for you, you could be sold on Viridiana, which I have long liked? It would be a really fun theme that would probably escape most people.


January 2, 2016 2:24 AM

Wow, what a list of truly interesting names! Some of them would take more gumption to use (and wear) than others, but I don't think any of them are absolutely unusable. In other words, no, they don't suck. :-)

Christian is on a steep enough decline in usage that a parent bestowing it today would generally be expected to have done so "with intent", that is, with full awareness of its religious tones. If you just like it for its sound, I agree with previous comments that Tristan is a better choice. (And yes, you probably should be Muslim to use Mohammed, although Mehmed or Mahmoud could work for non-religious families with mideastern roots.)

My only association with "carmine" is the color/pigment. Encountering it as a name, I'd guess male, because red is traditionally a masculine color, but I'd be unsure because of the feminine name Carmen. I pronounce it CAR-mine.

August was a man's name (or title) before it was a month, so birth month is totally irrelevant to its usage. However, for both it and Frederick, if you truly dislike an obvious nickname, you need to consider how you'd feel if your child decided at some point to go by that nickname. If you can't imagine yourself accepting that, then look for a different name. Others have given some good alternatives for August. Instead of Frederick, perhaps a more German form like Friedrich (FREED-rick), or a different -ric name, like Emeric, Roderick, or even Merrick? (The last is a Welsh form of Maurice/Morris, so it's only a "-ric" name by sound.)

I agree with others who have said that Adelia would likely regularly get misheard or misremembered as the more common Amelia, but this does not make it unusable.

If I encountered Martise in writing, I would probably think it was a typo for "mortise", as in mortise-and-tenon joinery in cabinetmaking. I don't actually know how to pronounce this word, so I don't know whether there's an auditory similarity or not. (There are a lot of words I don't know how to pronounce, having never encountered them outside of written contexts.)

I don't care for surname-names or masculine names on girls, so Sinclair for a girl is not my style. By origin it should actually be fine for a girl, but said origin is pretty obscure nowadays, and by usage it's pretty thoroughly male, so I suggest considering carefully what sort of unintended messages its use could send, about the value of femininity, and truth in advertising, and so on.

Valentina is wonderful, but see my comments above under August and Frederick. You've eliminated as desired nicknames all of the stressed syllables of the name, so any other possibilities would be less than intuitive, and thus potentially harder to enforce. Suggestions for long feminine names that I find similarly fun to say: Veronica, Annabella, Philomena, Berenice, Gloriana.

I notice that you have Cora on your backup list; combined with Adelia, the obvious suggestion is Cordelia. It has only very recently climbed back into the top 1000, but thanks to Shakespeare, most people know about the name, so it feels familiar but underused.

January 2, 2016 2:28 AM

Like you I thought Sinclair was mostly masculine in usage, but when I looked it up earlier I was surprised to find that since the mid-1990s it's been pretty well tied for masculine and feminine births! If anything girls actually having a slightly higher usage (though with such small numbers it's hard to be confident about that distinction).

January 2, 2016 12:24 PM

Huh! Okay, so revise what I wrote to something like "Sinclair's associations are overwhelmingly masculine."

January 2, 2016 12:43 PM

Mortise would be MORE-tiss.  I went straight to Matisse, probably because it's also a name, and didn't even notice mortise is one letter different.


January 2, 2016 9:44 AM

Thank you all for your feedback. I have been fascinated reading through it. The mixed responses have consolidated a lot of my own thoughts and underlying doubts about our top names, but I am so thankful we could get unbiased opinions like this.  

It is funny, some of the alternatives mentioned such as Tatiana, Julian/julius, Adela, Arden, Cordelia, Wilhelmina, Josefina, Lysander, Griffin, Emeric, Adelina/Adeline Benidict Erik; were all on our first lists that we vetoed , felt only luke-warm about or are 'taken'. Worth taking a second look, though, so thank you.

On the other hand, there are many new names mentioned that we haven't even considered yet. Viridiana, Vincentina, Delfina, Clementina, Nicolina, I really do like some of these and I agree, these do have that 'great to say' feel to them, I did like the N ending of Octavian, Aurelian and Ardian too. we willl have to take a closer look at all the recomendations.

Lucien is a great suggestion but it is Daddy's name. We considered some others such as Oskar. Is it too associated with the grouch? Should it only be spelt Oscar?

My partner likes Corrado. Again it has Cora in the name, but I am not really fond of Italian names ending in O. Plus it sounds like a car model.

Cordelia is a good compremise between Cora and Adelia especially since we each originally suggested one of them.

I loved Charlotte nn Lola/charlie/lottie but he was like: "no, too popular, not that great."

Christopher has come up too, but I have negative associations with it.

Nikolaj has the same nik bit as Rennik, Frederik, Valek, but having the nik but at the start avoids the rhyming with our last name which I also dislike. However, the spelling is unusual. It doesn't bother me, in fact I prefer it, but in real life how difficult is it to have to correct odd spellings? Am I thinking it is a bigger deal than it is? 

Brigitte is lovely but some days I hate it, then later I can't belive we crossed it off. It is simmilar to Briar, (another we both aggred on), with the Br sound. Bernice was a good suggestion too, But the burn bit...hmm.

He also does not like Clair/Claira/Claire, but loves Sinclair. Odd I know.

We sort of like Cecilia/Cecelia but don't love it. I prefer Estelle -sounds similar. (We appear to like lots of names starting with C.)

Similar to Valentina, and the Alexander suggested, is Aleksandra/Aleksander (rather than the X) but again, not the common spelling. I happen to like this name spelled either way, however Daddy prefers the 'ks' way. He did not care for Maximilian because of the X either.

Valek is also a meaningful name from a book [Poison Study], but again people might think is sounds like a mash-up. Another of my book picks are Aelin, and Cealena from the Throrne of Glass series. (yes, i love reading) 

Valerie has been added to our consider list since it is simila with the Val bit, but I'm not sure what to think about it yet.

I think nicknames are something which grow on you as you use them, so they are not deal-breakers as such. However I wanted to list both pros and cons of the names. And It is hard to get really exited about a name if the shortened versions are no fun.

We are Australian but between the both of us we have Danish, Italian and French great-grandparents/grandparents so some of our names and their spelling reflect this. We are also drawn to some unusual names but of course I wouldn't want to give our baby a name that we loved, if it was going to be a huge burden.

Like I mentioned, there is still heaps of time but I think we have some good options to chose from. Thank you, the outside perspective and the fresh insight has been very helpful. It is clear many of you really know your stuff.

@iel nna I'm sorry if the way I explained my sisters opinion of Martise was offensive. I felt the name was closer to maurice, where as she felt it was a name she assciated with a particular steriotype, so I thought it would be useful to mention both veiws especially since it is an unusual name. You are right though, the feel on this fourm is friendly and I wouldn't want to be the one to change that.

January 2, 2016 12:08 PM

A few thoughts:

Corrado is the name of Uncle Junior Soprano (I am assuming The Sopranos aired in Australia).  Like Carmine it is an Italian/Sicilian name that never went mainstream, but it will be familiar to Sopranos fans.

Since Nikolaj Coster-Waldau plays Jaime Lannister on the wildly popular Game of Thrones, that spelling should now have some familiarity.  There's also Nikola, brought to the fore by the current interest in Nikola Tesla.

An alternative to Briar might be Bryony/Briony.  Both names are relatively uncommon botanicals.

If not Maximilian, perhaps Maksim?

January 2, 2016 12:34 PM

Here in the U.S., Oscar is starting to get some use again.  I still find it very grouch-like, but there are obviously a lot of people who don't find the association to be off-putting.  Either spelling is fine, just be prepared for some corrections if you go with Oskar.

Cordelia was an inspired suggestion!  I really like it for you, it's fun to say and I agree it seems like a great mash up of Adelia & Cora.

Bernice reminds me of Brenda.  Another "br" name that is fun to say is Bernadette.  I don't think the "burn" element is as obvious in Bernadette as it is in Bernice.



January 2, 2016 12:48 PM

The overwhelming associations with Oscar are The Grouch and Oscar Meier weiners.  Neither is actually negative to me, but DH disagreed.  That's part of how we ended up using 0sr1c (though I'm not sure DH noticed it's almost an anagram of Oscar when he agreed ;)


January 4, 2016 6:29 AM

On Oscar: yes, there's definintely an association with the grouch, but it's not as strong as say, Elmo or Kermit--unlike those two, Oscar isn't so rare that its use for one particular character would make the association almost exclusive. And I think, following the success of Star Wars (Oscar Isaac), the Grouch association is going to be less strong.

If you don't like the "burn" in Bernice, what about Berenice?

I plugged Lucien in the matchmaker, and got interesting choices: Gaston (too Disney?), Jules, Emile, Clement, Armand, Bertrand, Alphonse, Florian, Claude.

On Charlotte: what about Josephine, Louise, Geraldine, Beatrice, Marguerite, and Celestine?

Re Martise: I'm not iel nna but I do share her opinion of your sister's "joke," and think that it would have been helpful if you hadn't quoted what your sister had said in a way that came off as casual (at least to me), and probably to iel nna as well. They're not words to be relayed about casually, even if you don't share your sister's opinion.

January 2, 2016 10:28 AM

Wow, you have a really fascinating selection of names here. I definitely think you have some winners. I'll go over my impressions one by one:

Christian: I don't think you necesarrily need to be Christian with this name, but I have to say that the name is a little tainted for me due to the Fifty Shades of Grey association. If I knew you weren't Christian, I might wonder about where you got the name. The sad thing is, I haven't even read the book or seen the movie and the name is still sort of ruined for me. But then again, I don't the book/movie will have much staying power. 

Carmine: When I first saw this name, my poor tired brain thought it was a girl name (I know, I know, I thought I read Carmen), but that is just because I'm not familiar with it. After reading what you said and digesting it a bit I've found that I actually really like it. I think it is my favorite of all your boy names. It has a sort of roll-up-your-sleeves Italian toughness to it that is appealing. People might not recognize it at first, but I think it will grow on them. I also love that it has family connections.

August: It's okay. NMS, but definitely feels more mainstream than your other choices. 

Frederik: Such a stately old gentleman in need of a comeback! I personally really like the nn Freddy on a little boy. It's darling. Incidentally, I know an older gentleman in his 70s that has the first name Frederick, but goes by his lastname: Brooke. 

Adelia: It think people would definitely get confused about pronounciation. But you could just tell them it rhymes with Amelia and that solves it. 

Martise: I agree with a previous poster that said that the character doesn't seem that admirable. What about Marietta, Marcella, Marisa, Matilda. Do you like the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan? It is a fantasy series with amazing female characters such as Egwene, Siuan, Nynaeve. If you're into fantasy, it might be a fun read for you!

Sinclair: Please don't name a girl this. It's a really obvious boy name (albeit unpopular), and it just isn't as pretty as Clare or Clara. Sorry. 

Valentina: Love it. So feminine and gorgeous. The cool thing about it is that while it is pretty and girly, it sounds very smart and I could definitely see it on a lawyer, doctor or business woman. Very classy. 

So, if I had a vote I would vote for Carmine for a boy and Valentina for a girl. Good luck!

January 2, 2016 12:29 PM

Speaking as a non-religious person, Christian would be a very odd name to use.  It can be a very loaded name too in this age of religious tension.  I like some of the similar names other posters have suggested.

Carmine does strike me more as a feminine name.  I also think you'll get a lot of Car-mean.

Love the name August, but sadly DH crossed that one off our list.  I had an uncle August that went by Auggie and I adore that nn.  I don't think the name is tied to the month either.  I would note that choice or use of a NN is not entirely within your control.  Other people will use NN's and eventually your DC and his/her friends may settle on a NN.  If you absolutely abhor a NN commonly associated with a name, I would cross the name off the list.  

I love Frederick too but agree you'll mostly get "Fred-rick" in the US. 

I think Adelia is refreshingly different than Amelia but you will probably get a lot of "uh-DEL-ee-uh".  It will take a correction or two, but people will catch onto the correct pronunciation.  

I like the name Martise.  I have no associations with the name so would be no more surprised to meet a blue-eyed/blond Martise than a black Martise.  (And your relative's comments are why I don't have baby naming conversations with my relatives .. ugh).  The story behind the name is really sweet and, honestly, of all of your girl names I probably like this one the best and it sounds like you have the greatest personal associations with this name.

Sinclair falls firmly into "boy" camp for me but it otherwise is a solid name.

For Valentina I would only repeat my thoughts from earlier on NNs.  If you can't stand Val or Tina, I would stear clear.


January 3, 2016 1:28 AM

Speaking as someone from a non-Christian family who has a sib named a variant of "Christian" -- the variants are probably a bit easier to deal with as a non-Christian than straight-up, well, "Christian".

Why did my parents do this? A variety of reasons but partly because both of them were born into Christian families. If I were going to use my sibling's name for a child, I would probably abbreviate it further, to "Kris", to take it a bit farther from a Christian name.

January 3, 2016 12:08 PM

For your boys names, I like August. Christian is very NMS and I do not like Carmine...  For some reason it seems to be an Italian mafia-esque kind of name to me. Frederik is very NMS, especially with that spelling, just because it seems very dated. I also don't like the nn Fred- it seems very old.


I like Sinclair, Adelia, and Valentina. I think Sinclair is my favorite- it would be very cute with the nn Clair, too. I have never heard of the name Martise. Not opposed, but I think it would take some getting used to for me.

January 3, 2016 1:58 PM

I love your boys' name choices with the exception of Christian -- which I actually like well enough. I'm non-religious though and consider that part of my identity, so I would find it pretty bizarre to use a name that essentially contradicts that. On the other hand, it would be more something that would strike me as strange if I encountered it, and then I would get over it.

My favourites are probably Carmine (which I would defintiely pronounce Car-MEAN, FWIW) and Frederik.

On the girls' side I really like Adélia, but if it had a French accent I would certainly pronounce it A-DEH-lia. I would leave the accent off if you want it to rhyme with Amelia.

Martise is sweet and you obviously like the story which would be something nice to pass on to your daughter. My worry would be the limited influence of only having one namesake, if she turns out not to be a fan. I always found it annoying in high school when everyone assumed I was named after Emily Carr or Emily Dickinson, but at least there were no shortages of other historical Emilys to point to. However, this is a small thing. In terms of connotations, Martise reminds me of Martine more than anything, and my first assumption would be to think it was a variation on that.

I love Valentina and know a little one! I don't think Val or Tina are inevitable, so long as you go in armed with another option. I've heard someone reference "Vale" (Val-eh) as a potential nickname, which I think it really sweet.

All in all a really great shortlist!

January 3, 2016 3:31 PM

I just thought I'd mention that my first instinct was that Carmine was a girl's name, pronounced Carmen. I'm not sure why, possibly because of its similarity to Jasmine? I could get behind car-mine for a boy, though. It seems like a very nice name that shouldn't be too hard to get used to.

January 3, 2016 6:07 PM

I like August very much.

I think Christian is a fine name, but it's not a great choice if you're not religious. You could do something like Crispin. 

I associate Carmine with minor characters in mob movies and that show about kids on the Jersey Shore. I know that's very sterotypical and awful of me, but I don't think I'd be alone with that. I also live on the far west coast, though, so I've never known a single Carmine irl.

Frederik is a tad too musty and fussy for me, but it has lots of fans on this site.

I really love Adelia. What a pretty name! 

Martise....I don't know. I think it's fine, I guess. I think the Mart sound is very strong, and not super pretty, though not everyone wants a pretty name. It definitely strikes me as European.

I don't strongly love or hate Sinclair. It's the kind of name I think I'd be more excited about if you had a personal connection to it.

I like Valentina, and I think I'd be delighted to meet a young one irl.

Love Conrad, Briar, Estelle, and Cora from your back up choices. I'm a particular fan of Conrad, which I think is a great, underused name, and I'm a longtime fan of Briar.

January 4, 2016 12:16 AM

I also like Christian!  But I wouldn't use it if you're not either religious or European, or would just call him Chris all the time.  What about Christoph?  As for your Mohammed/Muslim question - reminds me of some non-Muslim friends who hamed their son Hassan simply because they both loved the name.  Everyone assumes that one of them is Muslim, which they're not.  It's not a big deal at all, but the assumption is definitely made.

Carmine - I like it!  And it's got that boyish 'car' sound in it.  There was a Sopranos mafia character named Johnny Carmine.  Everyone will forget that in no time, but it does sort of give the name a couple of badass points, countering that it does sound a bit like the girl's name Carmen.

Frederik, Adelia and Valentina... I think that nicknames almost always creep in when the name is long, so if you go with these, make sure there is a nickname you LIKE.  If you hate Val, Tina, etc I think you should stake out an alternative - Vina, Leni, something - and give people permission to use it before they start shortening it on their own. 

I'm like Cordelia as your mash-up of the Cora & Adelia faves of you and your husband.  There is also Dahlia?

I like Martise and Sinclair!!!  Not crazy about August and Frederik.  Just not my taste.



January 6, 2016 2:58 PM

I had read through most of this thread without the intent to respond as the names in general weren't really my style though I do find August handsome and Freddie sweet.  But when I saw Oskar (or Oscar) it immediately jumped out at me as a great choice for you.  I think it's had enough use lately that it's not too associated with the grouch.  My daughter (age 12) had an Oscar in a summer class and never mentionned the Sesame Street connection.

By mk
January 6, 2016 4:10 PM

I think Christian is fine for non-religious families, but probably does have the Fifty Shades association right now. All of the Chris- names were very popular when I was growing up, and not everyone was religious. I prefer Christopher, though.

Carmine is definitely Italian and not "girly" to me. I love it, personally, and would like to see more people use these Italian names. (I have never seen Sheila used as a male name, so that comparison is odd to me.)

August, Frederik, Adelia and Valentina are great. Sinclair and Martise are fine.

January 18, 2016 2:13 AM

I'm surprised it hasn't come up yet, but my first association with Carmine is Carmine the Bowler in the movie Mystery Men. He's only talked about, but he seems pretty awesome. :-)