Thoughts On Gwyneth

As much as I try, I can't seem to make myself get over the name Gwyneth. I feel likes it's off limits because of you know, goop, since I don't really plan on naming my baby after a celebrity, particularly such a polarizing one. I wouldn't have any qualms about a Kate or a jennifer or even a Keira or angelina, but since gwyneth is so unusual (I've never met one, currently not in the top 1000 in any state after it's little bubble a couple years back) I feel like it dooms it's wearer to "oh, like Gwyneth Paltrow" forever, and I really don't want that- I'm going for unusual, and even though I don't worry about her meeting other little gwyneths, the constant comment would be kind of the same thing.

Basically I'm asking: do you get this same feeling about gwyneth? Should it be off limits?  Or alternately, do you think gwyneth Paltrow will be over soon and she'll only have to deal with that for her early childhood? How bad would the question be, realistically?

ps- other girl favorites include Beatrix, evangeline (although probably too popular), Edith, bryony, felicity, and August.  Suggestions are welcome, wild is fine- particularly if you have middle name ideas, that's wide open and I'm all about crazy there. My apologies for any typos and all my capitalization errors, I'm typing on my phone and too lazy to fix them :)


July 5, 2014 3:37 AM

I think Gwyneth is lovely. There's also Gwendolyn or Guinevere? I like Beatrix too and august :)

By EVie
July 5, 2014 10:54 AM

I don't know where you're getting your stats on Gwyneth, but it was in the top 1000 nationally in 2013--#886. It's uncommon, but not at all out of the mainstream. If you want to know the number for your specific state, I can check it for you, but I don't have time to look up the data on every state.

I think Gwyneth is fine. You might get some "like Paltrow?" comments, but I don't really think that's so bad. I don't follow celebrity gossip anymore (no time), so I have no idea what she's been up to that makes her so polarizing (and no idea what "goop" means), but back when I did follow the gossip she was pretty benign. Angelina was much more polarizing--I had friends who despised her for "stealing" Brad Pitt from Jennifer. If that has blown over, then whatever it is Gwyneth did will blow over as well. 

I do like your taste, and I think that any of your other favorites would make great choices as well (except for August, which is a boys' name to me). 

July 5, 2014 1:03 PM

You're right, gwyneth is #886- I misread the number (I saw the bar off to the side that said something about "gwyneth is not in the top 100 in any state and thought it said 1000, which sort of surprised me) so thanks for that! I should clarify- I'm not looking for names that are wildly unusual, but I liked the type of names that most people have heard before, but haven't met any/many. I haven't done a ton a research into numbers yet though, so the above list could change if any of those are more common than I think. I grew up with an extremely (think top 5) common name and hated it, so I'm trying to avoid that trap.

In terms of celebrity gossip- gwyneth Paltrow recently got a divorce, but termed it a "conscious uncoupling," which got a lot of flack for being pretentious, and goop is her lifestyle brand, which is oft criticized for being out of touch, which combined with her unusual and strict diet and lifestyle and whatever, seems to make people really dislike her and see her as ridiculous. I think I am probably more in tune to gwyneth Paltrow gossip than most though, because I've liked the name for years and have been sort of eyeballing it. You're right though that it will blow over. Thanks for your input!

July 5, 2014 11:13 AM

Please don't name a girl August -- there's the lovely Augusta for that -- but otherwise, I like your name choices. Especially Beatrix.

I can't make up my mind about Gwyneth. On the one hand, there is the one rather famous bearer, which is likely the only one most people have heard of. On the other hand, the name kinda blends with the other "Welsh-oid" Gw- names, like Gwen, Gwendolyn, Gwenda, and even Gwladys. Oh, and Guinevere. In this respect, the celebrity association just simplifies the spelling and pronunciation question, and is therefore a positive. (This is one reason why I don't recommend distancing yourself from the celebrity by re-spelling the name: then you have all of the negatives but none of the positives of the association.)

I think if you can come up with a standard, easy response to the inevitable "like Paltrow?" question, then Gwyneth is useable. Maybe something like, "yeah, and like the Welsh name for Wales"? (Well, OK, it's technically an English spelling of the Welsh name; I think it's Gwynedd in actual Welsh.) If I met a young Gwyneth, the celebrity would pale into insignificance for me -- I've never met Ms. Paltrow, after all.

July 5, 2014 12:40 PM

I actually prefer August for a boy, but my husband and my mom both assumed I was talking about a girl name (yikes!) and he kind of got into it, and I started to come around. The reactions here seem to trend in favor of the negative on that one though, so maybe I'll save it and keep working on convincing him it really is masculine. On the whole, I really don't like girl names endo g in a- not sure why, i bear one- so Augusta isn't really my cup of tea.

Gwyneths welsh heritage is actually one of my favorite things about the name sincr my maiden name was welsh, so i like  that it gives a little nod to that ancestry. I didnt know all that about "gwynedd" though, so thanks for that info!

July 5, 2014 2:27 PM

Yes, -dd- in Welsh is pronounced like -th- in English.

By mk
July 6, 2014 9:40 PM

I thought Gwyneth Platrow was pretty much "over" now, but I don't follow "goop" or really pay attention to her. Even so, I think if you love Gwyneth you should use it. Having the same name as a celebrity is really not a big deal, aside from the occasional "were you named for her?" questions. I know someone named Maile (she pronounced it mye-lee) who got asked that question when Miley Cyrus was big, despite being years older, so you can never be 100% sure you'll avoid that!

July 7, 2014 1:26 PM

I have never met a Gwyneth, but do know two girls named Gwenyth, which is strange because that name has never been in the top 1000. The pronunciation is almost the same and gets to the nickname Gwen more easily.

July 10, 2014 6:28 PM

Gwyneth has been on my list for years, and my two-year-old son would have been Gwyneth if he had been a she.  My husband had a big problem with the only association being Ms. GOOP. :). It didn't bother me because we would mostly call her Gwyn and I figured by the time she was an adult, her generation wouldn't know the association.

I have noticed the name showing up on more people's lists for consideration in the last year, so I think it may be ready for a resurgence. 

When I was pregnant I did some polls and when I put Gwen, Gwyneth, and Gwendolyn against each other, Gwyneth came in last.  But, suprisiningly, if I put Gwyneth in a poll with other names on my list (Margot, Noelle, Romy, Vivian) it wasn't always at the bottom. :)  

July 11, 2014 9:23 PM

I love the name Gwyneth and wondered if I gave the name to my daughter if people would say, "like paltrow?" we didn't end up choosing that name since my husband was not on board. I still think its a beautiful name and would definitely go for it if both you and your husband like it. i can also picture this name on a girl/woman of any age. Oddly enough we ended up naming our daughter Reese, right around the time the celebrity got arrested. And no it wasn't after her (Not directly anyway). I actually went to school with a guy named Rhys and always loVed the name, and as more girls were being given the name I stated to consider it for my daughter. Anyways, all the best. I also like Beatrix. 

July 12, 2014 1:32 PM

After looking at your list again, the name Blythe came to my mind. 

July 12, 2014 5:19 PM

I hadn't thought about Blythe but I like that quite a bit, actually. Thanks!

July 14, 2014 7:10 AM

This isn't a coincidence. Blythe Danner is Ms. Paltrow's mother.