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December 13, 2016 05:14 PM

Parents often worry that a baby name has "teasing potential" based on iffy initials or rhyming words. But any good schoolyard bully knows that the taunts that stick -- and sting -- are more about the target than the name.

This is a really good point. (I also admit I keep one eye on teasing potential too.) Bullies are bullies, and finding ways to attack targets IS what they do.

Looking forward to the name of the year!

December 11, 2016 12:10 AM

Though I like Guy best, I think Pierce goes much better with your last name. Brock just isn't my style too.


December 11, 2016 12:03 AM

Oh, I see now. :)

I'm the same. Though I do like eccentric names, I immediately go conservative when it comes to naming babies but try to be open about other people's choices. But I struggle with this.

December 8, 2016 10:03 PM

I agree with Elizabeth T. about reconsidering (though in my ignorance all the psychotherapy jokes flew over my head. And I took up psych in college, haha). If you're serious about giving your baby a name based on a joke or pun, keep in mind that jokes and puns get old and stale - what seems funny or cute right now might become the complete opposite five years from now. Also, your choice might just embarrass your baby, who has to live with it for his/her whole life, unless she/he changes his/her name.


December 8, 2016 09:51 PM

Thanks! I tried a few samples online after reading your comment and yeah, it sounded to my untrained ear like a hissier sh at first. I completely missed the other sounds (might need to listen to it more, or get used to the sound of Welsh).

December 8, 2016 08:46 PM

Just of curiosity, how is it pronounced?

December 8, 2016 08:46 PM

Oh yeah, that IS a bit much. :)


December 6, 2016 08:45 PM

I don't speak Welsh and I'm unfamiliar with Welsh name trends and connotations, but besides Gwendolen, what about Gwenllian, Nerys, and (unless it's too rhyme-y with Owen) Seren?

For other classic names, I second respelling Eleanor to Elinor, as well as using Genevieve. Other names you might like are Josephine, Alice, Margaret, Eloise, Rosalind/Rosaline, Caroline, Cecily, Beatrice, Madeline, and Lucy.

December 6, 2016 08:05 PM

I think it has to do with whether your family practices that. In my family's case, for instance, the answer's generally no, though from what I see there seems to be a greater tendency to do that for male lines (well, that, or I just happen to be closely related to a male line that did this to remember departed relatives. Other than that, there seems to be no obligation or practice in my family to pass on names, and even the notion of family names as practiced by a lot of other people is foreign to me.). So, though I'd have no problem hopping on board naming a hypothetical child after relatives, I'd be uncomfortable about naming a child after myself, or picking a name for said child that's similar to mine.

December 5, 2016 10:17 PM

Selena Gomez completely escaped me until livelaughlovenames pointed it out. Otherwise, I agree with you - Selena has that fluid, flowing sound that Laura had called "liquid." (You might be interested in this post: As well as this:


December 4, 2016 11:01 PM
In Response to Namesake Brainstorming

First, I think how obvious a namesake really is is subjective, and that Rupert’s relation to Robert will only be obvious for name nerds, people with a background in linguistics, and expectant parents looking up name meanings. I doubt anyone would know or figure it out by intuition, let alone use Google to figure out someone’s baby-name choices. So I wouldn’t count Rupert out. (I’m going rather off-topic, but I personally like your choices for Sharon and Joyce. I don’t get, though, how Elinor is related to Robert, though I admit I’m not a name encyclopedia.)

For the other names on your list, I think you could start easy with more direct links, so you can look up, if you haven’t already, names with the same or similar meanings on BehindtheName’s lists (How about Cara, Carina, or Amy for David?), or international variations that might be different enough to work for you (Elizabeth for Isabel? Adeline/a or Adelaide for Alice? Cecilia, Cecily or Cecile for Sheila?), or partial variations or meaning similarities (Madison=Maud’s son=Maud or Matilda).

For more indirect associations, you can try famous bearers of the name and see people or characters they’re linked to. So, for example, you can use Diana’s Greek and Roman roots, which gives you names of the Olympians and their Roman counterparts, or variations of their names (for example, you can use Phoebe as a feminine form for Phoebus Apollo).


December 2, 2016 07:13 PM
In Response to Twin boys

I agree with violet1296 about popularity. Besides her reasons, there's no telling what could happen in the future. Five or ten years from now, all the names you've used for your sons could become popular, or made popular by a celebrity or a public figure. It's best to just go with the name you like. And if you balk at using a popular name because your surname's too common, you can use a more unusual middle name, go with a familiar respelling (I'm thinking about, say, Anne and Ann), or pick a more unusual nickname.

To add to the suggestions given (I second Oliver), playing around with the Name Matchmaker gave me the following: Trevor, Duncan, Quinn, Simon, Quentin, Hector, Rafael, Hugh, Felix, Tobias.

December 2, 2016 06:54 PM

As someone who doesn't like alliteration, I can relate with your "K-sound" issue and understand the feeling of having to let go of or hesitating on names you like that don't flow well with the surname, according to your preferences. I think that, if only to keep track of what you like (it may become useful, even for comparison's sake), you should keep Clara in. You can also try imagining calling your daughter by your (as of now?) top three choices--same goes for seeing the name beside your other daughters' names in their diplomas and whatnot, imagining her as, say, a ten-year-old, a teenager, and a young woman. See if you can warm up to Clara after all, or if either of the other two gets a bit stale for you.

December 2, 2016 01:00 AM

My condolences too, and hope you recover this holiday season. I also look forward to a baby name thread started by you in the near future.

November 30, 2016 08:30 PM
In Response to William or Williams?

Like iel nna, I think William's fine as a brother's name (though I don't quite get what you mean by "different enough to raise attention"), and I think the connection would be clear to people who know your mother's name.


November 30, 2016 08:18 PM
In Response to Harlequin

I agree with all the posters who've said that Harlequin has associations that are too strong (though I admit I was thinking of the Batman character and less the commedia character and the romance novels), with the movie having come out fairly recently. And though you could say that the character can be forgotten, say, five or twenty years from now, I think it'd be pretty hard to say, because reboots happen and the comic-book movie genre could live on for decades. And even then, Harley Quinn is popular if not iconic within the medium, so even if the movies die out, it's hard to erase her presence from the comics and, say, the seemingly endless retellings of DC and Marvel stories in cartoons, and the merchandise. (And then there's the character herself, who isn't a good namesake.)

If you're set on Harlequin, how about moving her to middle-name spot? (Though I agree that Harlequin Penelope has too many syllables, I think Penelope Harlequin flows better. I also like nedibles' suggestion of using Marianne.)


November 29, 2016 09:32 PM

I'd go with Spencer Nash and Gemma Natalie. I think Stella's fine, but I admit Stella Natalie has rather too many l's for me, and personally I'm not a fan of siblings sharing the same initials.

November 28, 2016 08:10 PM

 I'm with EVie. Could you give us samples of names you like, just to give us an idea of what you and your husband like?


November 27, 2016 10:47 PM
In Response to First baby!

I think baby names are something to think about (any parent would want to make a good choice for their child), so I think it's understandable that you'd worry about it on top of everything that's going on. It's not trivial, is what I'm saying.

I agree with babsiekay and EVie that using Taylor would be inconvenient on you and your son, though I admit to a huge bias towards William.

Among your girl choices, I prefer Charlotte Virginia and Thalia Violet because of their rhythms. Charlotte Violet sounds too sing-songy for me too, and Thalia Virginia is personally not my style when it comes to rhythm.


November 25, 2016 11:14 PM

Also late, but to add to saltwatertaffy's reply, you can start with the name search on this site, using the Traditional filter (and others you might be interested in). You can also look at Behind The Name's lists (Greek, Roman, Biblical, also Germanic and the mythology lists) and at the SSA popular names lists. Carol sounds mid-century to me, too, so you can go backwards from the 60s.