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My Favorite Names
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March 22, 2019 12:40 PM

You could also consider Juliette Catriona.

Catriona is the Irish form of Catherine. 

February 24, 2019 11:21 AM
In Response to What Do You Think?

I just saw this post. Coincidentally, I ran across the name Barbara in a novel from the fiftiesI just read and realized I really like it now. I think its best not to nickname it. It's a dignified, adult name to me and I have positive associations with it-- Barbara Pym; Shaw's play, Major Barbara; an older girl I knew growing up who never had a nickname.

I like Keira too, but I agree that it's peaked. 



December 12, 2018 02:27 PM
In Response to Help with dog name!

At the puppy training class, the instructor said that one to two syllable names with hard or crisp sounds are easier for the dog to learn. Border colllies are smart though and very attentive to their people.

December 12, 2018 02:20 PM

Being a Dan Savage listener myself, I hear you on dom/sub. You could call a Dominic Nic or Nico though.

October 8, 2016 09:14 AM
In Response to Second bundle of joy

I know Marion has been used for boys, but I think it's a French diminutive of Marie. Its oldest usage is female. It strikes me as the most feminine name on your list, far more so than Paris, who instigated the Trojan war by running off with Helen. My favorite name from your list is Nico, not only because it's a great name that goes well with Ari, but because your late mother expressed a preference for it and I think that will be meaningful for your son as he grows up. While I think Marion is too feminine for a first name, Nico Marion is a dignified yet lively name much in keeping with Ari Evelyn. I wouldn't worry about the dog. Here's a list of the dogs I encounter at the park near me: Charlie, Freddie, Oliver (2), Linus, Arnold, Oscar, Milo, Emma, Isabel and Baxter.

October 8, 2016 08:30 AM
In Response to First baby on the way

Is Marie still being given as a middle name? I think of it as a name from my generation (I'm in my fifties). It is actually my middle name, after my mother's favorite aunt. In any case, I think it is the best choice here, both because of the family connection and for the way it sounds with Sophie. 

October 1, 2016 09:59 AM

A name might not jump out at you as "the one" until you see your baby or even until you name him or her.

October 1, 2016 09:45 AM

I find Clarissa to be an unusual combination of prim and frilly, like an embroidered white blouse that's been freshly ironed and starched.

Perspicacity is a great name for a fictional heroine. I wouldn't mind meeting a little Cass or Persy whose full name was Perspicacity. It seems like an ideal modern virtue name. 

I spent a number of years writing poetry so words, including names, are very meaningful to me. E names almost always seem more serious to me while A names are generally more creative. Alice is an exception though. And I have the same reaction to Alice/Alison. I like the rhythm of Alison better but Alice is more my style. There's a reporter on NPR called Alice Fordham. Every time I hear her name I think how much I like it, especially in her British accent.

Eva/Ava was very popular around here so it's a teen name now. I've heard Evelyn and I know one Avelina but the name in all its variations seems to be passing.       

October 1, 2016 09:06 AM

I think if she used Alysoun, she'd have to be prepared for mispronunciation given the state of knowledge about Chaucer in the population.

October 1, 2016 09:02 AM

i didn't even know there was another way to say "clarity" other than clare-ity but I'm almost completely merged.

September 30, 2016 04:12 PM

You and I have pretty similar taste. I thought so when I read your boys' list as well. I know a lot of people will think Charlotte is now too popular but I think it sounds particularly well with your R surname, as do Mirabel, Eveline/Aveline, Marigold, Victoria, Juliet and Beatrix. Some comments and suggestions (although I hate to add to such a beautiful list):

Alice (too popular?) or Alison

Beata instead of Beatrix-- I prefer both of these to Beatrice, although Beata has a different derivation than the others, I think, and is used in Germany.

Cecily is a great and still underused name. I never even think of Cecil when I hear it.

Clarissa rather than Claire

My husband said the same thing about Elodie and he thinks Marigold is a comically absurd name.

Eveline and Aveline are both beautiful names but they seem quite different to me. Eveline seems more purposeful while Aveline is dreamier. 

Francesca, called Frannie

Georgina or Georgiana, called Georgie or even Gigi

I think Juliet is great for you, maybe with Victoria as a middle name.


Violet is a name I hear on fantasy children rather than real ones though I don't doubt the real ones are out there. I don't think it works with your surname for the reasons you mention.

September 29, 2016 03:23 PM

It sounds like you want a name that has some history but is not well used right now. Some of these may have already been suggested:  Albertine, Beata, Celia, Clarissa, Fiona, Flora, Francesca, Helen or Helena, Imogen, Jane, Laurel, Verity.

September 26, 2016 11:48 AM

I haven't seen Arrested Development in ages and don't remember Buster naming his genitals. What a way to ruin a good name. Now that you mention it, I do know a little Tristan which probably means there are a lot more out there. 

September 24, 2016 12:26 PM

Classic with some spice, maybe: Marco, although Mark is fine too; Alistair instead of Alexander; Bertram called Bertie; Laurence called Laurie (I would love this to come back as a boy's name); Frederic; Rupert. Of the names on your list, I like Edmund (except for the nickname Ed/Eddie); Theodore; Arthur; Martin; Julian. I also like Edward, which you might be able to keep from being nicknamed; Andrew, ditto; Charles, called Charlie (too popular?); Linus; Lionel; Tristan. I have to say, no matter how kitschy it is, I love Thomas and Percy. It just makes me smile. I know what you mean about Percival being milquetoast though. I think you should consider just using Nico. It's a great name on its own.

September 17, 2016 01:53 PM
In Response to Baby names for my son.

I like Caspian a lot. Some middle names that have a "hippiesh" or at least a nature vibe: Sage, Forest, Indigo, August.

For additional first names, the above and Rowan, Castor, Pax, Ash, Archer.

September 11, 2016 07:17 PM

It's interesting how differently names strike people. None of the names you mention seem particularly warrior-like to me. Isabelle and Helena are strong and feminine names though. Isabel in all its variations is quite popular though, while Helena is an underused classic. Annabeth has a homespun, good girl feel to me. My reaction to mashup names is usually meh. Feminine and tough is a great combination though. You might look at names from Shakespeare. Rosalind and Cordelia come to mind. Other names you could consider: Elizabeth, Katherine, Alexandra, Charlotte, Caroline, Magdalena. They're mostly classic names, not really dainty, but certainly feminine. A few others which may have the quality you're looking for: Clarissa, Sophia, Lavinia, Gabriella, Avelina, Leonora, Victoria.

September 3, 2016 10:18 AM
In Response to Unexpected name.

This father pronounced it O as in hope, TEE lee a, if that makes sense, with each syllable articulated. it was very pretty, feminine and dignified.

August 21, 2016 11:29 PM

I agree with all this.

August 21, 2016 11:26 PM
In Response to Sibling dilemma

What about Rosamond, called Rosie? Rosamond Isabel and Rosamond Belle are both very pretty and work well with Elizabeth. 

August 20, 2016 03:12 PM

I love Harriet and Hattie would make an adorable nickname. I also like Georgina although I prefer the spelling Georgiana. What strikes me about all of your proposed names is that they are much less common than Eleanor and Lewis, at least where I live. I know five Eleanors, from infant to teens, and two Lewises but no children with any of your proposed names. Nevertheless they would fit right in, especially with nicknames like Winnie, Hattie or Thea. Your style seems to me more "slightly stodgy British" than "old lady." I mean that as a compliment! Eleanor and Lewis also have an historical/literary air. Patience seems to be a slightly different style, as it's a virtue name. The minister who married my husband and me was named Patience and she had an identical twin sister named Prudence. They were from an old New England family who traced their ancestry back to the Mayflower and both were family names. Patience seems a bit much, but Prudence I rather like and Prue is adorable.