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May 29, 2019 02:23 AM

As someone raised atheist, and who generally thinks it is fine to name children after problematic Biblical characters with cool names (e.g., Delilah), I have to say that Lucifer is really not a good idea. I absolutely get the appeal; it sounds wonderful, all gentle vowels and lilt.

Looking into it, I see there is some debate about whether Lucifer is the devil in the Bible, or if the word is merely used as a descriptor. Hmmm.

Regardless, do you really want to name your son a name that is almost universally conflated with the devil, THE adversary of Western culture, the supreme villain?

I see that in 2018 there were 26 boys named Lucifer in the United States, so you would be in some company. I also see there's a Netflix show called Lucifer with a really very attractive actor. 

None of this changes anything, to my view. In ten years, noone is likely to remember the show as more than an anecdote, and your son will still have a name almost universally conflated with the devil.

P.S. My sister had a cat called Lucifer. It was one c r a z y and destructive cat and eventually she had to get rid of it. I had a sense of self-fulfilling prophecy at the time, and later talked her out of naming her dog Loki.

P.P.S. Lucien in a beautiful name, and doesn't have all this baggage.

May 29, 2019 01:48 AM

This. I wouldn't torture it too much. I would go with either Annalisa or Anneliese, the first of which is very intuitive, and the second of which has a long history to justify it.

May 28, 2019 06:40 AM

Name matchmaker takes this all over the place, from Oliver to Mason to Ezra. Any more information about how you chose your current childrens' names?

P.S. You may have more responses over at namerology.com, where many of the regulars have decamped to!

May 20, 2019 04:37 AM
In Response to One Week Ago...

Congratulations! I'm so pleased you had a girl so you could use the excellent name you've been saving all these years (Genevieve is my favourite name that I can't use, so also delighted to see you use it).

Best of luck with everything and hope to see you on the new website!

May 9, 2019 02:16 AM

I understood that they were considering Maguire for a middle name.

I kind of like Mark Maguire (I have no idea about the baseball player, but no idea about these things in general). If the surname is Ramm, I like the symmetry of MM Ramm.

May 2, 2019 09:18 AM

I really like Matilda. And Marguerite, Mary and Maria.

Instead of Mabel how about Amabel? It does change the vowel sound, but no more than Margaret or Matilda.

I'll add Marceline (maybe too close to Josephine), Maëlle/Maela/Maëlys, Mireille or Mireia or, slightly further afield, Amelia, Merrilees or Imelda to get to Mae.

I also think a huge majority of M names would do the trick, although it could be harder getting them to stick, I suppose.

May 2, 2019 09:02 AM

It's interesting. On a child I like Vanessa: I find it refreshing, whereas Selena sounds more trendy. On an adult I think I like Selena, since that certainly would have been unexpected for me to come across growing up.

I LOVE the connotations of Selena (goddess of the moon) but have never been able to warm much to the name itself. Any interest in Selene? I feel like Se-LEHN might be an easier pronunciation to enforce, but it depends where you live I guess.

April 8, 2019 03:01 AM
In Response to Baby girl

This. I will add that I am a second child, the first child having died before I was born. I have to say that I am very thankful not to share a name with my deceased sibling. Concepts such as mortality and parental grief are extremely confusing when you are young, and I think it would have been difficult to separate my parents wanting to honour the first child with a suspicion that they wanted to replace her. As it was, I was plagued by the belief that I would likely not have been born if she hadn't died.

I think using Kyle or Kyla for a middle name is fine, but I would really hesitate to use it for a first name. I know this kind of thing was common in the past, but infant mortality was also much more common and names were not considered so personal in the past.

April 8, 2019 02:49 AM

I agree with all of this, especially that you don't NEED to change your name, even if it were a name that is more difficult for English speakers. As it is, it couldn't be much easier.

I think you'll have to be relaxed about the pronunciation of your surname, however. Most people will not pronounce it like Vong on sight.

April 5, 2019 03:04 AM

Most of the names on your list I think sound fine together, even if they are not names that I would put into the same style box (I think style boxes are very overrated anyway). Concretely, I don't think any of them would bother me as a sibling for Archer.

In fact, I think Archer is a very flexible name. Paired with Hudson, say, it sound very masculine and rough and tumble, paired with Maxwell it sounds quite classic, paired with Sven it sounds off-beat and creative. I wouldn't bat an eyelid at Archer with a sister Camille either.

The only I think clashes with some of the others is Lincoln. I think it's fine with the other boy's names, but I would definitely raise an eyebrow sky-high at a boy called Lincoln with a sister called Primrose. But that's because Lincoln is presidential and sounds a bit aspirational, while Primrose is not just floral but a particularly pastel and domestic seeming flower, so it really would send mixed messages in a sibset. Lincoln with, say, Daphne, would be fine however.

I also don't really like Hudson with most of the others,  just because it seems very macho and that isn't really the vibe I get from the rest of your list.

April 4, 2019 02:36 AM

Wonderful choice with wonderful meaning!

Best of luck with the pregnancy and adoption!

April 1, 2019 04:18 AM
In Response to Naming baby #4 (GIRL)

Love Paloma! I know one, actually, in an English-speaking country, and she wears it well. It's striking, unusual, but easy to spell and pronounce.

April 1, 2019 04:14 AM

I've known one male and one female Robin, both spelled with an -i.

I also find the random addition of y grating in female names, but particularly Robin because it means you're mispelling a vocabulary word. Other names where this bothers me are Wynter and Saylor.

March 28, 2019 04:23 AM

I like Marianna/Marianne the best, then Anastasia, then Alina. Nothing wrong with Alina, just a bit blah for me.

I have to say that I think you are vastly overthinking everything. If you are not currently pregnant or expecting to be, maybe it's time to dial back until this is all relevant. If you are pregnant, pretty much ANY of the names you have considered here over the past many months are fine and will serve a daughter well.

Spelling and pronunciation are things to keep in mind but they are not the be-all and the end-all. A child is born and eventually enters daycare or school. Everyone there learns to spell/say her name. It does not matter if in the supermarket you say Alina and the check-out clerk thinks you said Elaina. It doesn't matter if the doctor's receptionist calls out Ah.LINE--uh. If someone is important in your child's life, you teach them how to say their name.

That doesn't mean spelling and pronunciation are completely unimportant, which is why we tend to advise people that Elena has multiple pronunciations or that Celestina is unlikely to be said Che-les-ti-na in the US, but having the name Elena is not a death sentence, its pronunciation ambiguity is testament to its long and varied history of use, which is ultimately part of its charm.


March 28, 2019 04:08 AM

I guess it's not quick "back" like Violet and Hazel, so maybe not everyone likes Robin as much as I do, but I love it! Robin peaked a bit later than Patricia and Deborah actually, but was also nowhere near as popular as they were at the time. I think it has a lovely gentle sound and that the nature meaning is completely on-trend even if the name isn't -- particuarly with Wren getting a lot of love in naming circles.

March 27, 2019 04:28 AM

I would consider possible siblings to help you narrow it down. For instance, all the names on your list are unambiguously feminine except Dylan and Noa (and even Noa is fully feminine with this spelling, but people wouldn't necessarily know that when you're calling it out in the park). So if you use Dylan, that may cause quite a disconnect when you have a subsequent daughter and call her Eva, or it may cause you to throw out a bunch of names you really liked because they "don't go."

Full disclosure: I'm not a fan of Dylan for a girl anyway.

I think the rest of your list is lovely. Pronunciation issues with Elena will probably arise but I don't think it's a deal-breaker.

My favourites from your list are probably Eva, Juniper and Robin (oh, I guess this one is not unambiguously feminine either; still, it's a great name and authentically unisex). But minus Dylan, which I think really does take you in a totally different direction, you can't go wrong!

March 27, 2019 03:59 AM

Amazing choice! Congratulations and best wishes to all.

March 27, 2019 03:58 AM
In Response to Middle name for June

Congratulations on June Elizabeth! Enjoy her!

I was out of hospital (and, ehem, having a beer in a nearby square) ten hours after S!byl arrived as we felt well and I imagined we wouldn't get any visitors on a Tuesday morning, but am in awe of your managing to get out so soon after a first baby!

March 22, 2019 04:27 AM
In Response to What name??

I don't know if you're planning more children, but if not, you could always use Calla for a girl. Calla Robin/Robina or Calla Roberta if there is any honour going on in those names. 

March 22, 2019 04:22 AM

Iris, Roisin and Maeve, in no particular order.

I do enjoy the comment above of Roisin being a rose by another name! But Iris and Maeve sound lovely too. Maeve actually makes me think that Mabel could also be a nice middle option.