Trying to pick out a new first name

Hi there,

I want to change my first name for two reasons: the first being that I dislike the way it sound phonetically, and I think it gives a first impression that doesn't fit me.

Currently my first name is Bethany. I know I could go by the nickname Beth, but the "th" sound at the end isn't nice and then people think my name is Elizabeth. I don't want to go by my middle name because it's even worse.

I want a name that gives the impresion of someone who is independent and creative. I prefer three syllable names because they have more potential for fun nicknames. I'm trying to avoid names that are trending for babies now because they might seem too young for me.

Here are my top picks:

-Genevieve (pronounced the english way- Jenna veev)



-Guinevere (be brutally honest with this name. I love the way it sounds, but if you met a person in their early 20s with this name what would you think?)


What are your first impression of those names? Do you have any other suggestions?


December 11, 2013 8:17 PM

I love Genevieve- its georgeous on its own and has tons of nicknames. I'm considering it for my own baby if its a girl.

I also like Joanna as its not a name you hear every day, especially on 20 year olds. Johanna is also really pretty.

To be honest, I don't really like Guinevere and I think it might sound a little strange on a real person. I do, however, really like Gwendolyn, with or without the nickname Gwen. 

I would say my favorites are Genevieve an Gwendolyn 

Good luck! 

December 11, 2013 8:37 PM

My favourites, in order, are Genevieve, Gwendolyn, and Guinevere. I've never peronally been a fan of Joanna, and I don't get creative from the name. It seems like a perfectly practical, safe choice, but wouldn't be mine :) In terms of use curve similarity, Natasha seems to mirror Bethany best, and it gives off a more creative vibe than Joanna. I think that it's a lovely name, but compared to the others, it doesn't top the list.

Personally, I think that Genevieve is an excellent choice. I've known multiple of different ages, so it definitely doesn't feel too young for soone in her early 20s. My two hesitations with the name are the English/French pronunciation options (though depending on where you live, it might not be an issue), and how the nickname Gen makes it sound much more common than it is, due to all the Gens. I think that just like people assume that Beth is short for Elizabeth, upon hearing the nickname Gen, they'd assume it was short for Jennifer. But you aren't at all compelled to use the nickname Gen, as the name offers quite a few others.

I'm a huge fan of Gwendolen/Gwendolyn (though I personally prefer the first spelling) and think that the nickname Gwen is great. Again, I don't feel like it's age-locked to young kids, though it was rather uncommon around the time that you were born.

I see where you're coming from with Guinevere... Beautiful name that could be hard to wear. However, since it's never been a common name, I think that you would be safe enough. People would be surprised to meet someone of *any* age named Guinevere, so why not someone in her early 20s? I'd think that any Guinevere that I met had very creative, free-spirited parents or parents who were really into literature. If you love it the most and it feels right to you, I don't see any reason not to use it.

Your list happened to have some names that I really love, and my opinions are obviously highly biased, but overall, I think that it's a great list.

December 11, 2013 10:55 PM

I second nearly all of this.

The only Genevieve I've actually met is a baby girl who was born this July. Her nickname is Viv. But because I haven't met someone older with the name, I would consider it to be a little odd on a woman in her early 20s. That being said, it COULD just be my location.

Gwendolen and Guinevere are my two favorites on your list. I only know one Gwendolen - she goes by Gwen - and it's a great, positive association. I would HIGHLY recommend the -en spelling over the -yn because it's a Welsh name and in traditional Welsh names, the -en spelling is feminine and the -yn spelling is masculine.

And I second everything said about Guinevere. =) 

December 12, 2013 12:33 AM

Have you ever seen Genevieve Gorder on TLC? 

December 12, 2013 2:35 PM

No, but I totally just googled her. LOL. I HAVE seen her, but she didn't make enough of an impression for me to remember her - I used to watch Trading Spaces.

December 12, 2013 12:36 AM

For an early 20's something, a Genevieve seems out of place to me. 

Guineviere (I know one in her early 30's. Her sister is Juliet.) is odd, but I could totally see it on a 20 something person.

Gwendolyn seems the safest of the creative names. I could see this one working.

Natasha is about equal with Gwendolyn for me (although I think it is prettier).

Joanna, I actually like, but it doesn't ring creative to me. It's a solid, strong name to me.

By mk
December 12, 2013 2:22 AM

I love Genevieve so that is my pick. As a teen, I babysat a Genevieve who would now be 24. And I know a Genevieve in her late 30s. It's a beautiful name that works at any age. Natasha is my second choice.

If I met a Guinevere of any age, I'd assume that her parents love medieval literature.

Joanna and Gwendolyn are nice, but not my favorites.

December 22, 2013 11:15 PM

Of your names, I like Natasha the best.  Guinevere / Gwendolyn are ok if you use nn Gwen.  But I'm not crazy about either if you're 20 something.  I don't like the other two.

What about Vivian (nn Vee / Viv) or Avalon (nn Avie / Ava)?