The challenges of being a name nerd! Am I alone? ;)

For example, I was at a party last week, and a couple I was speaking to told me that their kids were named Skyler and Ryder (very unusual for the UK, but he is from the US and they used to live there). When I expressed interest, they told me that Skyler was an Irish name, and Ryder meant "an outdoorsman".  

Well, of course the latter makes perfect sense, but you don't need a name dictionary to tell you that! As for the former, well, being a name nerd, I knew that Skyler and Skylar are alternative spellings for Schuyler. Which looked Dutch to me, not Irish. Turns out (according to behindthename.com which I trust) the first Schuylers were named for Philip Schuyler, a US general and senator of Dutch origin.

 I didn't say anything. After all, people are understandably sensitive about their names and name choices. But I wondered where on earth they got their info. There's so much rubbish out there! 

Replies

1
April 21, 2016 7:31 AM

I was surprised and impressed that my husband knew both the first and middle names of his friend's new baby. And relieved that he told me so that I didn't startle when I met said baby: Isab3lla Eliz@beth. She's a cutie and she's got a great name ... twice!

2
April 21, 2016 10:07 AM

Yeah, that one would be *very* hard to resist commenting on without some forewarning!

(I don't know how I managed to hold my tongue on siblings Jacob and James when the baby's name was first mentioned. We must've been in a hurry or something.)

3
April 21, 2016 10:01 AM

No, you're not alone.

I've come to the conclusion that *anything* can be an Irish name, if you search the Internet long enough. I've also observed that for many parents, the Irish/Celtic label is sufficient reason to choose a name. So when I ask why fellow parents at preschool named their new daughter Brock, and am told "it's an Irish name", I end the name discussion -- although I am very curious where they found their information.

I've come to this forum at various times to complain or congratulate myself about holding my tongue; nobody else really appreciates the difficulty. (Twin boys across the street: M@s0n and J@x0n. We live about 20 miles north of the Mason-Dixon line.)

My sympathies on Skyler = Irish. I'm _very_ curious where they found that one!
Reaney & Wilson says Ryder is most likely "mounted warrior, knight", but can also mean "dweller by the clearing". Not quite "outdoorsman", but in the right ballpark, comparatively. :-)

4
April 22, 2016 4:01 PM

Thanks, Elizabeth T and HungarianNameGeek- I knew this was a safe place for me to turn to! ;) Thank God we have this forum and Laura to keep us sane.

I like that definition of Ryder- a bit more noble. Isabella Elizabeth, Jacob and James, the Mason-Dixon soundalikes... aargh!

I'll report back with more stories as they emerge, and I hope that you (and others) will too!