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April 5, 2016 07:55 PM

Thanks! I haven't told anyone in real life because Im afraid of the reaction... Agnes took me a while to come around to, and I spent a lot of time thinking about nicknames to make it more palatable, but now I love it just on its own.

April 5, 2016 03:20 PM

That's so great! I guess it isn't just a quirk of my husband's neighborhood. 

I really appreciate everyones help on this topic, and I never actually updated about our final decision! Baby still isn't here, but we've more or less decided on both names. Ephrem is going to be in the middle name spot for a boy; it wasn't the pronounciation that made me hesitate, so much as the way it flowed with our last name. Barring some unforseen changes, we're either going to have a Francis Ephrem or an Agnes Josephine. We had trouble agreeing on much, but Francis and Agnes hit the sweet spot between his love of medieval religious names and my love of uncommon turn-of-the-century names. 

March 8, 2016 02:36 PM

Wow, you guys are so reassuring! I'm curious now about whether the long EE pronounciation is an established variant, or just a mistake that the whole neighborhood has embraced, but that doesn't change how I feel about it. If its how my husband has been saying it his whole life, it feels legitimate to me. That being said, I do like the softer eph pronouncation, too, so I wouldn't be upset if it gets mistaken sometimes. I just don't want it to be a constant headache, or for people to think we were trying to be kre8ive. 

Do you think a relatively obscure Syrian first name sounds strange with an Italian last name? Even though that was his neighborhood, my husband isn't actually Syrian. Does that matter?

March 8, 2016 01:19 PM

St. Ephrem the Syrian! That's exactly where we got the name. My husband loves him, and St. Ephrem's was the name of the parish church he went to growing up. Everyone around always pronounced it with the long EE. so I always assumed that was the 'proper' pronunucation. 

February 17, 2016 11:49 AM

This is a great list - thanks! I wish my husband wasn't so picky. Lots of these I like, but Casper, Damien and Victor are probably the only ones he'd go for.

November 24, 2015 11:09 AM

I half-heartedly nominate Atticus.

I dont't think its as NOTY worthy as Caitlin or Charlie, but it was a small story this summer after the publication of the new Harper Lee novel. Parents who had named their child after Atticus Finch, the famously moral and principled character in To Kill a Mockingbird, had to adjust to the new, negative developments in the character. Atticus has had a very specific association for 50+ years and yet it managed to be changed. It also shows the risks of naming after a character or a famous person whose actions you can't control.

November 4, 2015 09:12 AM
In Response to Thoughts for #7

I'm in a very Catholic naming pocket. Some recent babies around here have included Francis, Benedict, Christopher, Joseph, Kolbe, Thomas, Anthony, Fulton and Damien. 

October 5, 2015 01:45 PM

My grandmother's name is V3rtis. Years after she was born, she found out that its spelled V3rdus on her birth certificate. She was apparently named after a great-aunt, but I've never found the name anywhere else. 

She made me swear never to name my child after her. :)

September 21, 2015 12:36 PM

1) Agnes is a name that I go back and forth on constantly. It's a name I love that I would have a hard time actually giving to a baby. I like the soft 's' sound at the end and the fact that its unusual; my husband likes it because its an old fashioned, short saint name. But I worry its aggressively old-fashioned and fusty. You can never please everyone with the name you choose, but a lot of people actively dislike like Agnes.

July 22, 2015 07:22 PM
In Response to Thoughts on Regina

I know a Regina who goes by Nina, so that's another option for a nickname.

May 12, 2015 12:09 PM

If you like the 3 syllables, maybe Elena?

April 1, 2015 10:53 AM

I think that Avril or Augustine are the most matchy with October. It'd be similar to naming a kid Pearl Opal or April June...individually nice names,  but together almost silly. With a bold first name like October, I'd choose an A name that is a little more traditional, so that your daughter will have some options.

February 10, 2015 06:27 PM
In Response to Not quite Junior

What about Jude Christopher?

I feel Jude fits in well, style wise, with your Nora and Fiona, and eliminates the worry about a Hebrew boys name standing out. Judah itself isn't feminine, but with two sisters also ending in an -a sound, Judah might be mistaken as a girl. Plus, since this is the first your husband has mentioned wanting a namesake, it doesn't sound as if he had his heart set on Christopher being the first name. Christopher in the middle spot is still sweet, and it will eliminate a lot of unnecessary name confusion.

November 22, 2014 07:15 PM

I really love Fia; I suggested it to my husband, and he said its too close to fea (FAYE-uh), which is the Spanish word for ugly. Now that he said it I have a hard time not seeing it, but I don't know if other people would make the same association. Is it a stretch, or does that make Fia unusable?

September 2, 2014 07:33 PM

I like the name Atticus, but I can see how it might sound pretentious. It might be very different in the UK, but in the US Atticus strikes me as name that people who are trying hard to appear cultured would use. (Same with Harper or Holden). The obvious association is the novel, which is great, but its a novel that most people read in junior high or high school. When someone tells me that their favorite novel is To Kill a Mockbird, I admire their taste but also question if they've read anything since they were forced to in school. A kid named Atticus would elicit the same question for me - cool name, but maybe trying too hard to sound learned and sophisticated.

I'm really not trying to dissuade you, I like the name a lot, but I think that's where the pretentious impression comes in.

August 13, 2014 11:54 AM
In Response to Am I just a name snob?

Exactly! Maybe they have good reasons for not honoring her family, or maybe she just doesn't care about keeping it fair. I would probably not honor my relatives with a name, I'm just not that close to any of them. I would LOVE to honor my husband's family. I could see my side being upset about the lack of fairness, but his side - the side that IS getting a namesake - why would they be bothered? If I were your SIL, I'd be flabbergasted that you were worried about no namesake from her side of the family. 

June 5, 2014 01:46 PM
In Response to Introducing myself

Oh, I think Verity Reed sounds great together. I absolutely love it; I'd never pick Verity as too exotic for Reed. Rather than 'united,' I think the first and last name should be balanced. A novel/unique first name goes well with a more simple last name, and a complicated last name is made easier to handle with a simple first name. 

May 30, 2014 02:15 PM

People can have very good and varied reasons for wanting to change their name. Just because you have such a strong connection to your name, and have so many loved ones who know you by it, does not mean that everyone does. Child abuse victims, for instance, sometimes think of changing their name. It can be a powerful symbol of taking control of your life and moving forward on your own, away from the past. Regardless of his reasons, if he has decided to take this step I'm sure he's aware of the possible issues that will arise.

ETA: Brendan is my favorite of your current list. Names that are currently in the top 50 that wouldn't seem too trendy: Ethan, Daniel, Issac, Owen, Gavin, Dylan, David.

April 25, 2014 09:10 AM

I agree with this - you need to choose a name that YOU love. Your parents named you the first time around, and now this is your chance to make a decision for yourself. Your parents will come around to whatever choice you make, so don't worry so much about what they like. All of your options are great and sound good with your surname; its just a matter of deciding which one feels the most like you. 

April 21, 2014 02:31 PM
In Response to Mary or Charlotte?

Without knowing the middle name, its hard to say which would sound better. Both are traditional, classic names. Charlotte is on an upswing; depending on where you live, your daughter could have several peers named Charlotte, although I would never call it a trendy name. Mary is a little more unexpected, but still pretty popular. Both are good choices.