Edith Bouvier Beale


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My Favorite Names
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April 4, 2017 05:54 AM

Good to know! Thanks so much for the help.

February 2, 2017 07:00 PM

Thank you! I will!

February 1, 2017 08:43 PM

This isn't a full-on reply--although my suggestion would be Leo: Ella, Ben, and Leo?--but I can't seem to post a new forum topic. Every time I'm told that it triggers the spam filter and I fill out the thing that says I think it happened in error. But then nothing ever happens. Could a mod help me out? 


December 15, 2016 07:43 PM

I know an American Sanna. I think she's about 2 now, and her parents pronounce it the Scandanavian way: Sahnnah. (We also live in a very Scandanavian town, where people pronounce Scandi names with ease, so it fits in especially seamlessly here.)

November 12, 2016 07:11 PM
In Response to Milana ?

Just something to think about: Given the recent US election, I wouldn't hear a 2016/17 born baby named Milana without assuming that the parents were thinking favorably about Melania Trump. (I know they're not the same, but they are enough familiar that I would have to assume the parents had thought about it.) That may or may not matter to you--and it may or may not matter to your daughter. But it's worth considering. 

September 19, 2016 07:41 PM

I just want to chime in as a very happy hyphenate. I know that some people experience frustration with it (as HungarianNameGeek attests to above), but my partner and I both hypenated when we were married 8 years ago and have had zero trouble with it. (We do both have middle names, so maybe that helps.) So, though it's anecdotal, I wanted to say that the hyphen has proven to be an easy and elegant soution for our family. 

It's also proved to eventually soften people who were initially resistant to it. Although he never said anything directly to me (bless him), my dad was a bit taken aback about me not just automatically taking partner's last name. When our small person was born, he also asked if he would be a hyphenate too. (Which, given that we are both of us hypenated seemed obvious to me.) But now Dad's so delighted that the small carries Dad's own surname as part of his name, and it's very charming. 

September 19, 2016 07:32 PM

Just wanting to check: You're familiar with the extremely popular children's books about Amelia Bedelia

April 20, 2016 08:05 PM
In Response to Name help part two

Not a problem at all! We're obviously all happy to talk names. 

Callum Thayer S. is charming and Callum seems like a solid fit with Walker. 

August reads to me entirely as a boy's name; I would always assume any August is a boy. SSA numbers demonstrate August as a boy's name is on the upswing, too, so people are going to be more likely to make that association in the future, I think. And, for some reason, that's made even more pronounced for me when paired with Walker. Because August (as a boy's name) does fit stylistically with Walker, I'd be even more surprised to meet Walker's sister, August. Of course maybe that's not a concern for you. I also get caught on the repeated G-sounds in "August Grace." The gust-gra feels a bit like a hiccup to me. 

Just my 2c. Good luck with your search!

April 19, 2016 08:05 PM

I cannot resist. I think her middle name(s) should be Jolene-Jolene-Jolene, pronounced "Jolene, Jolene, JolEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeen." At least, those would always be her middle names in my mind. 

A friend and I once put together a list of names that, when we heard them, we could only hear them being wailed on film/in music. It included Stella, Bernadette, and, of course, Jolene. 

February 28, 2016 01:58 PM
In Response to Intersex Baby

Congratulations on your soon-to-arrive family member! And I would echo everyone else's sentiments wholeheartedly: This baby is lucky to have you, and you are certanly going to be lucky to have them, too.

We didn't know the sex of our child before he was born, so we actually picked out a name in case they were intersex. We settled on Julian (which was suggested above) because, although it does skew male, we know a few female Julians and Julian of Norwich--a person whose intellect, faith, and passion were not confined by gender--seemed like a valuable namesake, too. We also know lots of people--male and female and at least one trans person--who go by Jules. It seemed flexible, which seemed essential when naming an intersex baby, but it wasn't just flexible: Julian had a lot of meaning for their specific situation but was still a wonderful name for a person regardless of sex, since we didn't want to ignore sex/gender or make it the only reason why we selected the name.

Whatever name you choose, I wish you the best in locating a name that honors every part of your new person and shows them how much they are loved.

August 12, 2014 06:55 PM
In Response to Am I just a name snob?

"Plus, I secretly wish everyone would let me name their babies. :)"

This is the truth! Espeically because I feel like I would do a better job than they would! I feel like this is the secret--or not-so-secret--reality for every name enthusiast around. Sometimes it's hard to let go of that feeling, too, particularly if someone actually asks for your opinion about a name and then doesn't act on your recommendation. 

I've gotten increasingly better at pretending that I love the name choices of my friends and family and hiding the ugly reality that I think I would have picked a better/more meaningful/more appropriate/more beautiful name. Or maybe I've actually gotten better at accepting that, whatever name the parents select IS the better name because it's their child and not mine. (And as soon as I even type those words a shrill voice inside of me shouts: "Don't forget about the baby at the local hospital named Clutch!" Yes, Clutch. I do have a hard time objectively accepting that I wouldn't have selected a better name for that child than his parents.) 


July 9, 2014 06:28 PM

Swistle--and her excellent readers--responded to my question! And reading her really thoughtful response, seeing the poll, and hearing all the comments has been enormously reassuring for me. Thanks so much to all of you for suggesting this!

June 30, 2014 03:59 PM

This is something I've often wondered about. I regularly hear people--in real life, not necessarily professed name enthusiasts--describe going to the birth with a couple of names in mind and seeing which ones "fit" the baby, so I was fascinated to hear a hard-core namer say so, too!

Maybe this is just my naivete as a not-yet-parent, but...don't all newborns kind of look the same? (I have a friend who jokes that newborns come in only two categories: generic or weird-looking.) Do you really have a sense that a name is or isn't right for that person? Did you have that for other people's children before you became a parent or just your own? Or, to put it another way: Is an innate name sense something you're born with, or something that comes with having a child of your own? Will I develop that skill upon having a child of my own, since, at the moment, I don't think I've ever felt that? I guess I'm also just nervous about this method because I don't necessarily trust myself to be making great decisions immediately after giving birth--even a couple of days after giving birth--when I'm all hopped up on hormones, sleeplessness, new baby smell, and, potentially, drugs. And it's such a big decision!

Have other people had this experience? Or not had it? Did you know you would know beforehand? Did you second guess yourself after (more than normal)? 

June 29, 2014 01:36 PM

Thank you so much to everyone for these great and thoughtful responses. Although I don't know that it's really settled my thoughts about Silas, it's given me lots of useful information to process as I think about this. I think what I'm hearing here is that Silas may end up feeling somewhat date-stamped but not excessively so thanks to its pedigree, which I think I can live with. I also was weirdly reassured by the lack of consensus on what associations the name called up for people; at least that affirms for me that there might not be one dominant "feel" for the name that 1) may add to that date-stamping or 2) I might not be aware of in naming my child Silas. 

I was especially grateful for the idea of asking Swistle for a poll. That's a great idea, and I hadn't even thought of it. It think you're right that, while this community has tons of wonderful insights about names, we're a pretty specialized group who might not reflect the broader population. (I also went and looked up your question, lucubratrix, and was so delighted to see a picture of your little Rupert. What a handsome little fellow he is!) I've emailed her and I'll keep you posted on what she and her readers suggest (if my question gets picked) and, of course, what we actually decide. 

I've also been finding that, as we get closer to the end of this, it's helpful for me to pretend that our top names (for a boy or a girl) don't exist and go back to the drawing board a bit. What would we choose if the options we're leaning towards weren't options? What I'm finding is that the names I would pick instead have lots in common with our top choices; rather than making me feel like there are more options out there, it's kind of affirming for me that the names we've narrowed down to--including Silas--probably are the ones we like the most. But does anyone else have ideas for late-stage naming processes? Did you have strategies that helped you know you'd found "the one" (or ones)? 

Thank you again so much for this! I appreciate your help.

March 26, 2014 09:05 PM
In Response to Bonaventure

What was the drink? Please tell us that your name is Brandy Alexandra.

March 24, 2014 08:22 PM
In Response to Bonaventure

In Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides, one of the five Lisbon sisters is named Bonaventure, although she's almost always called Bonnie. (She only reveals her full name once in the novel, but, of course, I noticed.) Her sisters are Therese, Mary, Lux, and Cecilia, and their family is very Catholic. I think if I met a Bonaventure (male or female) in real life, I would assume their family was seriously Catholic (and old-school, pre-Vatican II Catholic, too, probably.)

It's weirdness level isn't too high for me, since, although it's very rare, it's still got a long, public record as a name. So...7?

And it certainly does have some nickname possibilites: Bo, Bon, Bona, Ven, Venta (Venti?), Nova.

March 24, 2014 09:51 AM

Thank you so much to all of you for your replies. It was enormously helpful to have your input in thinking through the complications of this situation and through the complications of family namesakes as well. (And sorry it's taken awhile to express these thanks. As you can imagine, we've got a lot going on right now and the logisitics of that slowed me down. But that timing isn't at all reflective of how glad I was for your thoughtful responses.) Thanks also for your kind congratuatiations/sympahty. 

Your comments helped us clarify how we felt about naming this person after our ill parents: while we love them, we're wary of the baggage that choosing a name that might concretize a dfficult time could bring, as well as the baggage that might come from naming him/her after them at all. As I said, while we love our parents, there are still some difficult issues there and, as lucubratrix and Miriam so usefully articulated, that can have long-term effects on our relationship with our child, to say nothing of our relationship with our parents. (Especially because I think I'd been feeling obligated to use them as namesakes, when that's not something we would have done under other circumstances.) Further, as several of you pointed out, what might feel like a namesake to us might not be meaningful to them--which would leave us with all the complication and none of the goodwill. And we really do want this baby's name to be wholly his/hers and for any associations it carries to be wholly positive. So I think we're going to avoid the immediate family namesakes. I do think it's a lovely idea and I wish that our circumstances were different, but they're not. 

Thanks again to all of you who commented. I'm sure I'll come seeking your further help as we keep working on selecting a meaningful name of their very own for this new person. 

March 6, 2014 06:37 PM

Actually, it definitely does get taught in public schools--more and more all the time, in fact. So people may become increasingly aware of Miranda as a Shakespearean name (and Sebastian, too, although, as Miriam points out below, they're not lovers), I don't think that's necessarily a deterrent. 

March 2, 2014 02:00 PM

If Henry has a sister who isn't named Eleanor, his sister's name is Alice. 

February 23, 2014 04:45 PM

No. Aladdin? Truly? 

How old is this couple? And is either one a Disney employee/descendant? I'm having a hard time imagining the kind of couple who would take their Disney-devotion that far.