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November 19, 2013 11:47 AM





July 24, 2013 03:28 PM

George was also the first name of Prince George of Kent, younger brother of Queen Elizabeth II's father.  He was a dashing, romantic figure, the most handsome and intelligent of George V's sons, who married Princess Marina of Greece.  They had three children:  Edward, Alexandra, and Michael.  The youngest was only six weeks old when he was killed in a plane crash during World War II. 

February 13, 2013 10:18 AM
In Response to Multiple middle names?

The reason for the "daring" repetition of names like Karl Erich Heinrich and Elise Louise Karoline is probably because in the old days, tradition required children to take the first names of their godparents as their middle names.  So if you had godparents with similar-sounding names, you had to use them anyway.  We have some startling juxtapositions in my family too -- one woman is ____ Heidi Heike!

February 13, 2013 10:13 AM
In Response to Multiple middle names?

I come from a German family with the same tradition of many middle names (I have three).  When I named my daughters, for simplicity, I went with the American tradition of only one middle name.  They are now older, and wish that I HAD given them several middle names.  Both for the family tradition, and so that they could choose themselves which one they wanted to use on forms.  I think your daughter will like having two middle names, and the ones you have in mind go perfectly with Hermione.


I'm thinking if Will and Kate want to reach back into English history for a name that hasn't been used for a long time, they might pick Charlotte or Sophia for a girl. These were the two princesses, both heirs to the throne, who ALMOST became queens of England.  It would be a bit of poetic justice to finally have a Queen Charlotte or Queen Sophia.

Charlotte was the name of George IV's only child and heiress, who lived from 1796 to 1817.  She would have become Queen Charlotte I if she had outlived her father, but she died in childbirth along with her baby son.  She was extremely popular with the English people.  As a name, Charlotte would pay tribute to both William's father Charles and Kate's mother Carole.  Plus, it's Pippa's middle name.

Sophia also has a royal British connection.  Sophia of Hanover was the heiress presumptive to Queen Anne, and would have been Queen Sophia I of England had she lived three weeks longer.  Instead, her son became George I in 1714.  Sophia means "wisdom", which would be a lovely connotation for a modern queen.  Also, the British royals are close friends of the Spanish royal family.  The current Queen of Spain is Sofia, who was born a Greek princess and is a cousin of Prince Philip.  She's had a rough year -- maybe they'd like to honor her with a royal English godchild.

And for middle names, I'm sure Elizabeth and Diana are the winners like everyone else!

October 25, 2011 10:02 AM

My husband, who has deep New England roots, had a collateral ancestor named Waitawhile. Needless to say, she was one of the younger children in her large family.

September 14, 2010 09:37 PM

@C C & B's Mom, that is interesting about the Brenda Rose you know. I really like the sound of the -Rose suffix to make a male name feminine, much better than -Anne. It's very sweet, but modern-sounding too! Austin Rose, Landon Rose, Chase Rose .... quite pretty, at least I think so. And everyone would know the child was a girl.

September 13, 2010 07:12 PM

@Guest Conana, regarding the use of -Anne, etc. as a suffix for a male name to name a girl: We lived in central Missouri for ten years, and that's where I heard this form of naming. Friends of ours have said they've heard it used in the South also. I doubt it is very common in a more urban environment.

September 12, 2010 02:44 PM

In the Midwest, a very common solution to this problem used to be to add the suffix -Anne to the male name being honored. So you would have: Austin-Anne Connor-Anne Landon-Anne etc., etc., with the child always addressed by both names. There was a Kevin-Anne in my grade. This was sometimes also done with -Rose, -Jane or other short but clearly feminine name.

July 22, 2010 08:39 PM

By now, it's hard to think of Samantha Jones of Sex and the City being named anything else. But if her creators had actually looked for a name popular in 1958, which names should they have considered? In the Top 25 were Mary, Susan, Linda, Karen, Patricia, Debra, Deborah, Cynthia, Barbara, Donna, Pamela, Nancy, Cheryl, Kathy, Sandra, Brenda, Sharon, Diane, Lisa, Carol, Kathleen, Elizabeth, Julie, Debbie, and Cindy. Which one fits her best? My choice would be Pamela or Julie. Definitely not Cindy or Karen.

July 9, 2010 12:41 PM

Bryony is a lovely botanical alternative to Briar. Not common -- and less prickly! ;-)

June 11, 2010 06:14 PM
In Response to Emmerich the Beautiful

Elizabeth T., it was intriguing to see the name Nancy on your list. Have recently run into two other little Nancys -- anyone think the name may be making a comeback from limbo?

June 3, 2010 12:06 PM
In Response to Sponsored Post: Sienna

We know a 14-year-old Sienna -- the first child we ever heard of with the name. I like the "Siena" spelling, honoring the Italian city like Rjoy's friend, much better.

May 28, 2010 09:12 PM

Those of you who remember the old sitcom "Gilligan's Island" -- Bob Denver (who played Gilligan) was married to Dreama Peery Denver from 1976 until his death in 2005 -- and yes, she is from Princeton, West Virginia!

February 26, 2010 07:44 AM

I am positive that the popular TV fame of the blue-collar characters: Alice Kramden, Alice-the-Brady-Bunch-housekeeper and Alice-the-diner-waitress (on "Alice", starring Linda Lavin) coming one after another is what killed the name in the U.S. for the last 30 years. Before that, Alice was more of an upper-class name (e.g. Alice Roosevelt Longworth) as it still is in Britain. What's interesting about Alice is that while you have that well-bred charming English side, you also get a subversive wild side. Think of: Alice Cooper Alice in Chains and even marijuana brownie inventor Alice B. Toklas!

November 2, 2009 03:44 PM

We have an English surname that has suddenly rocketed into popularity as a first name (chop the "h" off my name here to see what it is) and it feels very odd to encounter it so often. I don't expect this popularity to last very long, and wonder what this means for our kids when they have kids of their own to name. I suspect that even if they want to use it as a first name to honor their family of origin, it will sound passé by then because it's so hot now. Also, it is fast becoming a girl's name, so might not work for a son anymore at that point. Anyone else with the same issue? (any Peytons? Madisons?)

October 9, 2009 06:32 PM

As always, Laura, your posts are very timely. I was told this story just yesterday -- along with the "Mah-le/Fe-mahl-le" one. I DID have a gym teacher named Soda Popp. And he had a sister named Lolly. They are both still alive and well in Missouri. That's not an urban legend!

October 1, 2009 07:37 PM
In Response to Oprah's Name Club

Stacy Leigh: we have a niece named Annalise, which is the Dutch spelling, even though our family is German. Her mother felt that this spelling would make it easier for others to pronounce in the U.S., and she was correct. ANNA-lees. The German members of our family call the little girl Anneliese -- UN-nuh-lee-ze -- and she doesn't mind at all. She gets many compliments on her name, but all three names you mentioned are lovely. My order of preferences: Annalise, Annika, Anastasia.

September 30, 2009 04:34 PM
In Response to Oprah's Name Club

Verity is one of my favorite names ever, and I don't think I've ever seen it on these boards before. I hope it doesn't take off over here, although it's not uncommon in England. My teenager has already decided to use it someday -- hopefully far in the future :-) It would make a stellar middle name with one of those Irish first names you mentioned.

September 30, 2009 02:33 PM
In Response to Oprah's Name Club

PunkPrincessPhd, that is fascinating. Thanks!