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My Favorite Names
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January 12, 2018 07:54 PM

Thanks EVie!

Yes, Alexander is pretty perfect. Talk about a name that has literally travelled from West to East across Europe, the ME and South Asia! Yes, it gets translated into Iskander in India, (and I don't love Iskander), but I still think it's extremely widely known. I also love that it's ok in terms of observant Jews (they have a list? I'll have to Google).

French names are a great idea. I like Florien a lot. Etienne is pretty great too (It's Ethan, right? So OT). Corentin is awesome as is Corin. Marcel is great. Martin too. Hmmm... 

Did we talk about -el names before? I swear I'm losing it. And Omar too. Hmmm.


January 12, 2018 07:46 PM

Thanks NoakQuade. I guess I don't think the Pulse shooter association will be too strong, since Omar's such a widely-used and well-recognized name. But it is something to keep in mind. Can't get much worse than that association. 

Lucas I do like aesthetically. I don't think of it as NT, although Luke, yes. But it's a bit too trendy for me. 

January 12, 2018 07:44 PM

Thanks nedibles! Gabriel is pretty great. And I agree it would travel pretty well and isn't too tied to the Old Testament. Added ot the list. 

Kaz is interesting but not too appealing to me. Right idea.

I must have missed the previous Omar discussion. Or I've forgotten. I swear my memory is wonky, especially on this whole naming thing. I do like that the association is so international. 

January 12, 2018 05:19 PM

Oh yeah! I forgot about that. Just makes me love the name more. Sigh...

Are there useable variations on Omri? Omari? 

January 12, 2018 05:03 PM

Thanks Suzanne. 

So you don't think all of us having OT names would be too much? I know OT names travel outside religious circle, obviously, but I feel like with me having Ashkenazi background and all of us having OT names, people would assume we were religious. But maybe I don't care. 

Can you tell me why Omar doesn't work for you? Too non-Caucasian or some such?

Thanks for the OT name suggestions!

January 12, 2018 04:57 PM

Thanks Miriam. Somehow Ellis just doesn't have the appeal. Not melodic and multi-syllabic enough. 

January 12, 2018 04:45 PM

Miriam, you're spot on. I love the name Issa for various aesthetic reasons and like it on others' kids, but am definitely not naming my son after Jesus! And Omri, Miriam, you're psychic. It's a name that's very dear to us. I find it friendly and sweet. In fact, I think of it as the Hebrew Henry.--better than Henry because it's not British sounding to me. Sadly, it's so dear to us in part because it belongs to a friend we really love and respect. It would be very, very weird if we were to use his name. In addition, I'd rather not use a name that's uncommon outside of Israel. I assume Omri is, but am not certain. Anyway, it's pretty much out, although you're reminding me of my deep affection for the name.

April 12, 2017 08:38 AM

I totally agree, but want to add that sometimes Miriam's posts can read as unnecessarily pedantic and verging on rude. I'm not sure this is the best example.

But I've felt this a few times and brushed it aside because I value her knowledge and contributions more than I find myself off-put by her tone. 

Miriam, it would make me, personally, feel a lot happier if you put more effort into expressing kindness and sympathy alongside correct knowledge. 

My guess is that it's in part a matter of tone, which can be difficult to express and to interpret in online communication.  I suggest we all re-read our posts aloud before submitting them. Perhaps imagine that you're writing to someone you respect and who is important to you. Or to yourself when you were trying to balance her deep knowledge and interest in names with the demands of family, culture, and the inner critical voice when pregnant.

I am currently reading what I've written aloud to ensure that I'm expressing my criticism constructively. I deeply value all of the contributions of regular posters here and Miriam's most of all, I have to say. I hope you all read this in that spirit. 

April 12, 2017 08:23 AM

It has recently struck me as rather amusing that French renders names like Daniel and Emanuel feminine by basically rendering the final syllable elle, i.e. "her", given the Hebrew meaning of -el as g-d.

I mean, I understand it (NOT looking for a lesson about how names don't really have meanings) but I just find the Hebrew-French mash-up kind of amusing and wonder if those fluent in Hebrew and French agree. Like "the meaning" of the units of Danielle in Heb-rench add up to something like "She is my judge." and in the case of Emanuelle, "She is with us." Like in feminizing -el, they're feminizing g0d.

These are the sorts of things that I didn't notice for years, but once I started to think more about names made me laugh. Anyone else with me?

April 10, 2017 10:40 AM
In Response to Two Cute Names?

We used the coin toss. Also calling the baby by each name for a day and then figuring out which we were happiest with. Also, write out the full name and consider which looks nicer. 

Good luck!!

April 10, 2017 10:36 AM
In Response to Two Cute Names?

Yay African-American babies and African-American sounding baby names!!!

(Also I didn't know that Mormon namers also went in for La- and Da- names. That's interesting.)

I agree that Sonora looks really nice, and it reminds me of sonorous. Lovely. 

A word of caution about syllable+Nora names, though. I met an Annora the other day, and I misheard her name as Nora. "Oh, hi Nora," I said. Her big brother, in a very exasperated tone, said, "For the hundredth time, its AN-Nora." So there's that. I think being one syllable shy of a common name can be less unique and more a pain in the tuchus.

The problem with Selah for me is that I know it can be pronounced SEE-luh, so the SAY-luh spelling isn't intuitive. No biggie, though. 

So... What's my suggestion then?

I think go for Sonora (that spelling rocks in my humble opinion) or Selah if you love them. Other ideas:

Naima (I think it's a variant of Naomi, but you might want to look into it). 

Anokhi (Hindi for "unique," but when I thought about naming my daughter this, people thought it sounded like an African name). 

Amalia (actually European, but I know Amalis and people with similar names who hail from Muslim countries, so there is a hint of international flavor that takes this name beyond Europe for me).



March 20, 2017 06:18 PM

I think it's very important to keep in mind that Turkish is not pronounced the way English speakers would expect. For example, I know someone named Isil. The first I is the kind without a dot on it, not a letter known in English. Her name is pronounced roughly to rhyme with the word bushel. I really don't think you can just post Turkish names without pronunciation guides and expect English speakers who don't know Turkish to be able to know whether they "sound good" or not. 

March 20, 2017 06:12 PM

Viatrix! Now there's an awesome name! Someone, please name your daughter this. 

March 9, 2017 01:00 PM

A mon avis, yes, way too similar. Sorry!

March 9, 2017 10:52 AM

Fantastic data analysis!

When naming my child recently, I tried to be different by going for popular. (And yet I still find myself annoyed when others use this consistently common name).

March 8, 2017 08:57 PM

I personally love it. And it's significant to your family, so I'd say go for it!


I totally agree with the others, but just wanted to leave you with my first thought, which was that you should consider the name Maura instead. It's but a dipthong away from Mara, but more in keeping wiht the Scotch/Irish heritage. I really love the name. 

March 7, 2017 10:02 AM

So now we can ask, rather than have they painted themselves into a Hebrew letter or Kaballah-signicicant corner, have they painted themselves into a starts-with-A corner?


March 7, 2017 09:56 AM

Dear lord. What are we coming to?

March 7, 2017 09:55 AM

Oh thank effing Chr!st! I was so freakng out that they would choose both my hpyotehtical son's name and my actual daughters' name.

And, to be honest, I was also kind of crushed that you all didn't intuitively get how upsetting that would have been to me. The existential uncanny unheimlich feeling of having one's secret name that one dreamed up used by someone famous, and then to have it suggested that htey might also use one's acutal daughter's name! Imagine! For a name lover like me, the possibilty was profoundly, if clearly irrationally, upsetting.

Amalia means nothing to me, so I'm good with that one. PHEW!