Hi again, I just found out that I am pregnant yesterday, and I have been for a month. It is too early to know if it is a girl or boy, but if it is a boy, I need help. Since my son Boston was born, I have found a some of names that I like. My top one right now is Kade, but I don't know what other people wil think about it. As for girls, I've always liked a couple girl names, but some of my favorites have been used on my good friends kids.

Here is my boy list:
Peter (but I hate the nn Pete, so a middle name?)
Thomas (but I hate the nn's Tom and Tommy, so a middle name?)
Elias/Elijah nn Eli 
Mason (but it is a little to popular) 

Here is my girl list:
Charley (taken by a friend)
kendall (taken by a friend)
Halley (pronounced Ha (like in the word hat)ley

P.S. My two sons are Flynn Sawyer and Boston Joshua.
Please tell me your opinion on the best, and if Kade is too wierd. Thanks!


March 13, 2016 2:07 PM

I don't think Kade is too weird.  In fact, a quick Google and I found an actor named Cade and a comic book character Kade.  However, you might want to explore these connections before using the name, just to make sure you are comfortable with any associations.

Unless you are a huge Tom Sawyer fan, you may want to avoid Thatcher.  Flynn Sawyer already strongly evokes Huck Finn & Tom Sawyer for me, a brother named Thatcher would really strengthen that association I think, especially since Flynn could be misheard for Finn.  Otherwise, I think your boy list should be fine.

I think Halley could be problematic.  Is it supposed to sound like Hall-ee?  Or perhaps it's a creative spelling of Hayley?  It sounds like what you really want is Halle (as in Berry).  I think that spelling will likely cause less confusion because it is already so well known.  Your girl list seems pretty small compared to the boys & I notice you seem to like H's for girls,  so I will also suggest Hollis, Peyton, Harley, Kinsey, Hayley & Haven



March 14, 2016 3:27 AM

I really love Halley, a name whose spikes appearances on the SSA data coinciding beautifully with appearances of Halley's Comet in the sky. http://www.nancy.cc/2011/10/28/halley-the-periodic-baby-name/ I really hope I'm around in 2061 to see whether the name has another boost!

I do think it has pronunciation confusion built in. I've heard the comet pronounced different ways - I tend to default to rhymes-with-daily, because that was what my elementary school teacher used when first learning about Halley's comet, but I've heard rhymes-with-valley equally often since. The astronomer the comet is named after had his name spelled variably during his lifetime (wikipedia lists Hailey, Haley, Hayley, Hawley, and Hawly, as well as Halley), so I think it's legitimately unclear what the correct target pronunciation should be.

March 14, 2016 2:16 PM

From what I understand, the comet is supposed to be pronounced like Daily, but because of its spelling, is very often said to rhyme with Valley. Because of the spelling, I have a lot of trouble remembering not to pronounce it the way it appears, and I think that most people would default to the valley pronunciation if encountering it on a child unless they were conditioned by the comet not to. A child named Halley would have the very easy "It's Halley, like valley" reminder for anyone having trouble remembering how to say it.

March 15, 2016 12:00 AM

The correct pronunciation of the astronomer's name is not known; evidence suggests that it may have been pronounced a variety of ways even in his own time. The most common pronunciation for folks who have the surname today rhymes-with-valley, rather than rhymes-with-Bailey. I think the link lucubratrix provides talks about the issue.

I personally prefer the rhymes-with-valley pronunciation, and the spelling that evokes the comet, so I like the OP's version. I agree that "like valley" is a really easy mnemonic.

March 15, 2016 12:20 AM

No, it's not known, but it seems to me that more of the used spellings evoke the Daily pronunciation than Valley - but yes, that's not definitive in any way. That most people to day used the Valley version can simply mean that they've gone towards the phonetic/intuitive version over the centuries.

I'm so particular, I will never understand how fluid spelling was before it was standardised... And even after for many. My great-grandfather never corrected people and I've seen about 5 different spellings of his surname on various documents. When he died, his children weren't sure which spelling to put on his tombstone.

March 15, 2016 4:13 AM

Interestingly enough, while I more often hear the comet as rhymes-with-daily, I more often hear rhymes-with-valley for the astronomer talked about as an individual! Ha. I especially like the suggestion made by Wikipedia that the rhymes-with-daily pronunciation became more widespread specifically for the comet in recent decades because of rock musician Bill Haley (whose name is unambiguously pronounced that way) naming his band the Comets.

I agree with you, Karyn, that the flexible spelling in previous centuries is hard for me to wrap my head around! I'd suspect that it might have also been accompanied by greater flexibility in pronunciation, too.

And incidentally, do you want to send me an email at philyre at gmail dot com to get in touch with the other mods? I will reply from my more usual, less anonymous email address and hook you up!

i agree for purposes of naming a child that "rhymes with valley" is a really easy mnemonic to clarify both spelling and pronunciation. I'd probably go for that spelling over (the admittedly less confusing) Halle just because I would prefer an astronomy namesake to a Hollywood star, especially one who is very much still a public figure who might thus hypothetically become embroiled in some scandale in the future.

March 15, 2016 11:25 AM

Being a medievalist I am thoroughly accustomed to non-standard spellings.  Very often the spelling is a clue to the dialect spoken by the scribe.  Sometimes one can tell that the scribe's exemplar was in a different dialect than what the scribe himself used, helping to determine what the "circulation" of the text might have been.  The introduction of movable type was the initial impetus for the standardization of spelling and other linguistic features.  The physical act of of selecting a particular letter from a type case and the knowledge that the end result will be an edition of hundreds of identical copies led printers to want to "get it right."  William Caxton himself remarked on this issue explicitly.  OTOH a scribe preparing a manuscript was just making a one-off, and as he wrote the letters just flowed from one to the next, with no particular reason to focus on the correctness of any one letter.  In addition, there were minims, single penstrokes used in groups of one, two, and three, to construct i, n,v, u, m, and w.  In practice these letters can be hard to distinguish, and so in Arthurian texts the name of the Lady of the Lake can be rendered variously as Nivian, Ninian, Vivian, Nimue, among other possibilities, due to the fact that all of these names are largely made up of letters written with minims (minim itself is entirely written with minims).  So one of the skills a medievalist must develop is the ability to recognize words no matter how they are spelled or in what style of handwriting they appear in a manuscript.

I have found this skill to be very handy in doing genealogy.  The spelling of names in old handwritten records is very "unstable," often due to phonetic spellings which reflect varying pronunciations.  (Pronunciations can vary by time reflecting sound shifts or by dialect or by language.)  The spellings can also reflect transliteration from one alphabet to another.  In my own family records can appear in Cyrillic, Roman, or Hebrew alphabets, but online they are typed in Roman.  So in the typed online records of Ellis Island, my Uncle Jack appears as Faukel.  How did that happen--there is no such name as Faukel.  Well, his name was Yaakov (that already is just one possible transliteration of the Hebrew original).  My grandmmother told the official that his name was Yankel, which is the Yiddish diminutive.  So how did I immediately recognize Faukel as Yankel?  Well, the u and the n are both groups of two minims, easy to confuse.  And the volunteer who typed the entries from the handwritten manifest was clearly unfamiliar with the calligraphic flourishes of very early twentieth century penmanship, thus confusing F and J.  And besides which I knew in America he was called Jack, although that was far from determiniative.  On the Ellis Island records every single one of my family members gave their Yiddish diminutive as their name, not their formal Hebrew names nor the Slavic forms of those names.  And my great-uncle, known to me only as Eli, gave his name to the immigration guy as Srul, which is the Yiddish diminutive of the Hebrew Yisroel (Israel), nothing to do with Eli.  Go figure!  It is no wonder that many amateur genealogists get lost in the thickets of old records.  My training as a medievalist gives me a big boost in figuring out who was who and where.  And the bonus is that in my thirty or so years of reading student essays, I was generally able to figure out what my students were trying to say, even though for the most part, their spelling had reverted to the situation pre-standardization.


March 13, 2016 5:09 PM

I like Kade for either gender. Flynn, Boston, and Kade.

I also like:


Elijah nn Eli




March 14, 2016 10:39 AM

For girls I like Hadley quite a lot and perhaps to get to the pronunciation you prefer, Halle, as in the actress Halle Berry. 

Suggestions: Romilly, Romy, Remy (for a boy or a girl), Sage, Harper (love this one as to me it is musical), Evelyn, Vivian, Juno, Juniper, June, Robin, Petra, Carole, Willa, Michaela, Maxine, Annika, Maxima and Astrid. For a more musical vibe: Billie (Holiday), Nina, Simone, Peggy (Lee), Lorraine (I love the Sweet Lorraine song) and Doris (Day).

For boys: Marvin, Corin, Wyatt, Wylie, Leon, Desmond, Fitz, Bruno, Hugh, Hugo , Vaughn, Duke, Ellington, Louis and Dorian.

From your list I love Elias, Cole (as in Cole Porter), Max and surprisingly Cash, because it reminds me of Johnny Cash. I just don't like that it's a word for money... would be a little too much... So only for a middle. I love Peter, but if you dislike Pete, better save it for the middle spot.

March 15, 2016 11:44 AM

Congrats on the pregnancy! 

I don't think Kade is "weird" at all- I know quite a few little people with this name. I hear Kade, Kaden, and variations of this name a lot. For my own personal taste, it is very trendy and NMS, but I don't think you have anything to worry about with it seeming unusual or weird. With your other two names, I like the sound of Thatcher or Tanner. They seem to suit your style a bit more IMO. I like most of the names on your list overall. :)

For girls I like Halley. I think the more common and recognized spelling would be Hallie, however. THat would probably be how most people would spell it without asking her- this could turn into a "Halley with an -ey" situation whenever she gives her name. Just a thought.

April 6, 2016 4:06 PM

Wow, I haven't posted in a while!

Thank you so much, all of you that have contributed. 
Thatcher and Tanner are both wonderful to me-I just think they will get weird looks, speaking of which, I have been convinced that Kade is not weird. I have always wondered why people almost always immediatly go to the spelling with a -y/-ey ending, except with the name Halley. for instance, Lily/Lilie, Remy/Remie, and, of course, Halley/Hallie. Don't get me wrong, I get what you are saying with the "Halley with an -ey". 
Again thank you so much for the help and sorry I have not posted in a couple weeks. 

April 6, 2016 4:19 PM

Here are my top names as of now (with the middle names):

Kade Thomas
Tanner Court
Thatcher Ray
Eamon Peter
Court Pax
Elias Ray
Cash Tanner

Halley Anne
Harper Ray
Hadley Ray
Riley Anne