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June 3, 2012 07:06 PM
In Response to Unlikely Comebacks

I know an adorable Walter that was born less than a year ago and I've seen it on a lot of "ready for a comeback" types of lists, so I think that Walter is definitely on it's way back. It has a hip "old man" quality about it, plus a classic nickname, "Walt."

I had not even heard of most of the women's names on your list, but I think that Minerva is a likely comeback. It has a lot of the same qualities as more modern names, like Miranda. Plus, goddess names are always pretty cool. And it has some cute "retro" nicknames, like Minnie. Even Erva sounds kind of cool alongside all the Eva's and Evie's.

June 3, 2012 06:57 PM

I used a random number generator and got 77. For girls, these were the names:


I think I'd pick Aisley. I don't really "like" it, but it's okay. The only other one that I can imagine would be Misha -- even though I know that to be a boy's name. What I notice that all of these have in common is that they are almost all non-traditional spellings. For just about all of them, I can think of a more-acceptable spelling of the same name.


For boys, these were the names:


I kind of like Marcelino, but only as a nickname for Marcel or Marcello. The only one I could possibly use as an actual name on a birth certificate would be Olivier -- which, I assume is pronounced "oh-LIV-ee-ay" -- like the last name of the actor. That one is kind of cool, but it would be mistaken for "Oliver" a TON.

June 3, 2012 06:27 PM

I would definitely go with Odelia if you plan to pronounce it "oh-DEE-lee-ah." If you plan to pronounce it "oh-DILL-ee-ah" or "oh-TILL-ee-ah" or "OTT-ill-ee", then the other versions that you mention would be fine. But I would definitely spell it Odelia if that's how you want it pronounced. I think the others will lead to repeated mispronunciation in English. Even after being corrected, it would take me a LONG time to get used to the fact that "Odilia" was supposed to be pronounced the same as "Odelia." If I had never heard of the name Odelia, it might not be hard to adjust, but since there is an clearly accepted (at least in English) spelling of Odelia, anything else would lead me to assume that it's supposed to be pronounced differently from Odelia.

I am a teacher and I have several students whose names are spelled in such a way that it is nearly impossible for me to remember to adjust to the different pronunciation. For example, I have an "AH-nah" that is spelled "Anna" and (even after 2 years) it is difficult for me to remember not to say "ANN-ah."I'm just so used to "AH-nah"s being spelled "Ana" and "ANN-ah"s being spelled "Anna".

As a kid, I also had a name that was easy to mess up (not because of the spelling or pronunciation, but just because it was an uncommon name and everyone thought my last name was my first name). I was pretty shy, so I had to correct teachers on a near-daily basis and it was awful. I love my name, but when it comes to naming my own children, I definitely take that into consideration. A lifetime of frustration seems like a big price to pay in order to get the more "authentic" spelling.

If the name that you are looking for is NOT pronounced the same as "Odelia," then of course, you should go with the spelling/pronunciation that works best. But if the name is essentially the same as Odelia except for the spelling, then I would recommend going with the spelling that will be easiest on her throughout her lifetime.

I love the name, by the way.


I accidentally posted this twice and I don't know how to delete the other one. THIS is the one that I was trying to post, though. I didn't realze that "save" meant the same thing as "post" and so I saved and then changed my post and both of them got posted. My apologies. If anyone knows how I can delete that other post, I'd love some technical help for how to get rid of that one.


Sorry this got posted twice! I don't know how to delete this one. The other one is the one that I was trying to post. Didn't realize that this one posted as well.

June 2, 2012 04:49 PM

Hi Laura! I am also not-pregnant-but-hoping-to-be-soon! 

I personally think that Teresa Tyson or Tess Tyson is too much. I love Lily Tyson, though! And I think it goes better with your other kids' names. Plus, Lily Theresa is an adorable name! 

June 2, 2012 04:27 PM

I would pronounce it agg-NEH-zee.


Tanks so much to everyone! Wow, such great stories and advice. I talked to my husband and he confirmed that he thought the most important thing is my comfort and well-being. But he was pretty firm on the NICU scenario part -- which I understand better now, from your posts, although it makes the possibility of complications that much scarier for me. I am just trying to stay positive!


If I were you, I'd stop researching your family history and choose names that you love, regardless of whether they're in your family tree or not. Take some time away from the naming game and see if you can comfortably forget what you've learned about your family's past. Then come back to names with fresh eyes. 

If you love the name Walter and there was an unsavory Walter in your family tree, you don't have to name the baby "after" your relative. Most (if not all) people in your life won't think to dig back into the family records and identify the misdeeds of a person in your family with the same name. There are plenty of Walters in the world and you aren't necessarily naming your child after the Walter who was a relative of yours. People still name their children Jeffrey and Charles, even though these were the names of serial killers and cult leaders. An adulterer in your past is not even going to reigster on anyone's radar.

Now, it's a different story if the relative in question is one who lives in very recent memory in your family. A friend of our family was really upset because her son decided to name his child after his father (our friend's ex-husband, who had been abusive to her for their entire marriage). In THAT case, it might be potentially damaging to choose that name. But if the only way that anyone in the family knows about a particular family member's misdeeds is that they heard it through family lore but nobody has any actual personal recollection of the person, then I think it's safe to say that names are multi-use entitites and you can name your kid whatever you want.

May 27, 2012 04:34 PM

I would pronounce that name as "AWW-den" and so I don't really hear the word "Odd" in it.

I have to say that it's a very nice, unusual name and that I do think that it has the kind of feel that you're looking for (quiet, studious, etc), but I'm not a huge fan.

But my reasons for not liking it all that much are perhaps unique to me. My name is actually my screenname spelled backwards. "Auden" is how folks with foreign accents have pronounced my name, so to me it sounds kind of like a mispronunciation of my own name. I get a "That's not my name!" feeling, which is, of course, ridiculous since you're not trying to say my name!

I think you should use it. My weird reasons are very weird indeed. The name is lovely.

May 27, 2012 04:26 PM
In Response to A Poll

I prefer Elise Victoria over Rose Elise. When I say the full names out loud, Rose Elise ends up sounding like "Rosalie's".

May 27, 2012 04:23 PM

I agree with you. My husband has always loved the name Madeleine (nn Maddie). I explained to him how many Madisons, Madelyns, and Madelines there are out there right now. Probably some other names that use Maddie as a nickname as well, but I don't know what they are. As much as we both loved the name Madeleine, we felt as though there was a strong possibility that we'd have to give up on the nickname or live with the fact that there would be many little girls with a similar (Addie, Cady, Hattie....not to mention Abby, etc) nicknames that would be easy to confuse.

I think that it's fine to use it, but just be careful of the popularity. One thing that you might want to do is to just call her by her nickname when she's a baby. Then, when she gets to daycare or school, see how big of an issue it is and maybe decide to start calling her by her full name on a more regular basis. There's nothing that says that you have to keep using a nickname indefinitely. My husband really liked the nickname Maddie and said it would bother him if it were really popular in our area, so we nixed it off the list.