bete noir


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October 9, 2013 10:04 PM

My family is Muslim, my SO's family is French and Italian. I spent forever trying to find a name that worked with all of those cultures, and I finally did it! Sabine/Sabina is Muslim, French and Italian. It works beautifully with his last name, has cute cross-cultural nickname built in (Bibi is Muslim and French-y), and is just a sophisticated elegant name on its own.

My SO tolerates my name obsession but he nixed Sabine since he's a Roman history buff and he only associates it with the Rape of the Sabine Women. Sigh. Back to the drawing board.

Other cross-cultural names: Suzanna, Dahlia, Sophia/Sofia, and Adele. My favorite, though, is Eleanor. Noor is a female name meaning light in Arabic, and Al-noor means "the light." There's speculation that Eleanor is just a Westernizatin of Al-noor. It might be a bit of a stretch, but I don't mind since it's still a name that everyone on both sides of the family can easily pronounce.

May 25, 2013 01:31 PM

From what I understand, Khalis (m) and Khalisah (f) are names in Arabic with the root letters Kha (خ) + Lam (ل) and Saad (ص). Words with those root letters are generally related to purity and clarity.

Also, to say "my __" to a word in arabic, you would just add an "ee" to the end. So "my Khalis" would be "Khalisee." 

November 11, 2012 11:52 AM
In Response to Tammy Power!

I love love love the name Tamsin, but I could never name a kid that for fear of the inevitable Tammy nickname.

April 17, 2012 10:54 PM
In Response to Siblings for Quentin?

Oh, I LOVE the idea of going for a jazz age vibe. My dad is from the middle east and I've been struggling to incorporate elements of that culture into naming. I feel like the Jazz age really celebrated Orientalist art and literature, so they work well together. Plus, Zora, Omar and Phillip are family names I was already considering so they're a perfect fit.

And oh yes, I will be sure to avoid S&F names. I read the book years ago, but I recall Quentin the elder being obsessed with Caddy's sexuality... I probably don't want to invoke those references for my own family.

Thanks for the advice!


Oh, you're right. I don't know how I forgot to include those. I've been playing around with an excel worksheet trying to see which name families are the most common, and adding in Cailyn, Cali, Callie and Caylee, the K-L family is the most dominant with 46642 births in 2010. The Madeline-Addisyn family is just short of that with 45367.

April 13, 2012 06:18 AM

Josephine is a lot like Samantha, in a way. It may be popular, even top 100 popular, but it's never going to be trendy. It's a beautiful, classic name that is very rarely subject to cre4tive spelling.

April 12, 2012 02:35 PM

They're all lovely selections and you're smart to shy away from nature names. A few points:

- With a one syllable last name, I'd stick with a three-syllable first name and shy away from names that have natural nicknames (Penny, Lizzie, Pippa, etc) Maybe use Helen, Polly, Audrey and Bethan as middle names.

- Pippa seems too tied to Kate's sister, but perhaps it has a different connotation in the UK.

- I really love when letters/sounds in a first name are echoed in the last name. You could pick up that 'd' in your last name really well with Delilah or Adelaide. The 'w' would be harder, but maybe a Gwendolyn?

-On the other hand, I do think Felicity contrasts very nicely with your last name. The quick rhythm and brightness is anchored and balanced by W---s. Plus, if you do end up using Alistair, then Alistar and Felicity make a vary pretty sibset.

April 11, 2012 10:18 PM
In Response to Siblings for Quentin?

Oh, I do like Samantha and Simon! Thank you for those suggestions. 

Do you have any examples of slightly 80's bookish names? Are you thinking preppy WASP names, a la Heathers?