No info yet

About Me

My fascination with names started with stealing my mum's copy of the Guinness Book of Names as a child - I love the history, meanings, sounds and patterns in surnames, place names but most of all first names. Married but no kids yet - I'll be sure to spend any pregnancies agonising over names and then panic at the end as I've not got any practical stuff sorted. Still, you've got to live with the name choice for life, much more important than what pram you get. Right?!

My Favorite Names
My Recent Blog Comments
January 30, 2016 06:58 AM

My name is very dated-you can place me within 5 years of my date of birth I reckon-and I'm fairly neutral on my feelings for it. Other names my mum was considering for a girl were Katherine (but she ruled it out as her and dad couldn't decide which spelling), Joanna and Dawn. All, apart from Katherine, are quite dated I think. I spent years imagining what I would call my children that would be unusual but not dated and I ended up calling my eldest Daniel! Ha! He suits it though and it at least won't date the same. 

April 8, 2015 01:37 PM

Thank you all! My granny was a Mary, nn Polly but she was never called Mary and these days no one (except name nerds) even knows that's where it comes from so too remote for me to use. I hate Pauline as a name (we both have dreary old aunts called Pauline neither of whom would be a namesake!!) and Paula is very dated to people my age, so it's out too. 

We hope to have a big family so hopefully would get an opportunity to use the other name in the future so not sure I'd combine Polly and Felicity as we'd kick ourselves if we had another girl down the line.

I'm also aware that Daniel may not fit with our choices, but that's ok. We changed his name when expecting from Alistair for personal reasons and his name isn't our typical style. 

April 13, 2012 09:52 AM

Yes, thanks hyz - the list is a little tighter now, I remember you saying about Polly, but we're both so drawn to it. I'm much more reluctant given the reasons above, my husband thinks it isn't a problem. My solution is to make it a middle name, but hubby thinks a middle name shouldn't be beautiful as most people don't use them (I do use mine so am trying to persuade him to let me have pretty middle names too!) so it's still on the list until we can decide! Thanks for the comment on Georgia. I forget that US state names with our surname sound slightly wrong, you're right, it does sound like a place name.

I think you recommended Elias/Elijah as middles, I really like Alistair Elias. Adding it to the list!

For girls I agree with you that we'll probably end up going with Felicity but I want to make sure that we look at all the options in detail as I love so many that are on the list. It's very different from sitting with my list of favourite names and trying to name a real human being! Again, you've got a few of our 'full' list's names on your list. Some food for thought.

April 13, 2012 09:44 AM

I like the double F names, though don't think we'll actually use them! I'm really drawn to F/P/V sounds at the start of girls names - though my husband took Vivienne, Veronica and Virginia off the list already, so we're down to F and P names!

April 13, 2012 09:42 AM

I love Alistair Vaughn too, it's a frontrunner!

Louisa was on the original list so you have our style spot-on, and now I can't remember why we took it off! Joanna is lovely though, think we'll put it on the list, Joey is a lovely little girl's nickname. Thanks!

April 13, 2012 09:40 AM

Thanks Zoe. I think someone else mentionned Bethan - it's a Welsh version of Elizabeth. We're not Welsh, but I really like the sound of Bethan, although maybe more as a middle name. Polly is my granny's name and I know it doesn't work with our surname, both in length and the actual run of names, but it may balance a longer first name.

Funnily, my natural choice for Alistair is James too. My middle initial is a J and it is a wonderful initial to use as part of a signature. My problem is James is such a filler middle name these days. Both my husband's best friends used it as a middle name for their sons just to fill out the name (no family connections) and I am loath to use it incase someone else thinks it's a filler for us too! I love the idea of an AJ though, as I doubt we'll use Al as a nickname (though I envisage using Alistair as a full name most of the time) - maybe I'll have a think of other J names. I absolutely adore your idea of Vaughn for a middle. This name came to me a few weeks ago but I thought my husband would rule it out, so never mentionned it, but your idea and the fact so many people agreed with you means it's fully on the table!

April 13, 2012 09:33 AM

Thank you - yes, the longer first name is a real must for me, to balance out the short surname, but I like the idea of a nickname-able name as if she gets married and has a long surname (my maiden name was a right mouthful) then she can go by a shorter version. Also, we have a dog who rarely gets his full name, always nicknames, so I think it is worth considering the nicknames now. That's why I'm not fussed on Penelope. I don't like Penny much, and my husband doesn't like Nell.

Philippa is not unheard of here, I have a few peers, all known as Pippa. I think the wedding last year will make many people think of Pippa Middleton first off, but hopefully that will fade. I remember the day William and Kate got engaged, and I said to my husband, you wait and see everyone notice Pippa now, and I was right! Such a shame, although I do think it is a short lived association, and not negative.

I love the thought of picking up a sound from our surname in the first name. You're right, it really sounds good! Lots to think about.

February 5, 2012 05:15 AM

Foghorn - the 'alternative' spellings are actually the choices of the large Eastern European population in Ireland in the later part of the Celtic Tiger boom. Although, as these families are now moving back to Lithuania, Latvia, Poland etc en masse, I'm guessing these names will fall out of the top 100. These names include Zuzanna, Oliwia, Patryk, Kacper, Filip and Jakub.

February 5, 2012 04:55 AM

Alistair? YAY! Well, I'm in the UK (regional area, but not Scotland, although I did live there for a few years) and our bean is due in September and if it's a boy, he'll be Alistair so hopefully our other names will be a good source of inspiration! Our other names: BOYS: Wilson, Roland, Henry, Patrick, Peter, Rory, Alexander (although we ruled this out for popularity) and Theo GIRLS: Philippa, Felicity, Georgiana, Fiona, Jane, Helen, Beulah, Polly, Evelyn, Martha, Kathleen, Juliet, Bethan Other names I like that my hubby has overruled include Rowena and Ramona! Siblings for Skye - well, the current Scottish-y names doing the round here are Isla (my friend called Eilidh has just had a baby Isla), Iona, Fraser, Lewis, Hamish, Blair I got 3 out of 6 sibling sets- the first three. I think the bottom two were more US based so I didn't get them.

January 16, 2012 02:28 PM

Guys, thank you so much for your wonderful responses to the start of our name journey (two posts ago) Thankfully you’ve all hit the nail on the head with our boy choice. He’s totally going to be an Alistair and we’ve now got plenty to think about with middle names. (zoerhenne – you actually suggested my husband’s name as another boy option!) We won’t be finding out the sex before the baby arrives so I can already predict long discussions to get the girl list down to two or three to take to the hospital! I think it’s interesting how the familiar sounds make a name sound good, but then it could also saddle the child for life. Polly was my granny’s name and I’d love to honour her, but I think I know that it’s not a good idea. Maybe as a middle name? PennyX - Grey, Grey, Grey! Totally would not have thought this would be my style but yet I adore it! It fits so well into the name and really adds to it.

January 10, 2012 03:00 PM

knp - Congratulations! Lovely name! zoerhenne - I was disappointed to find my choices had mostly already been eliminated, but good fun all the same! In other news - I'm FINALLY in a position to be picking a name for a real life baby! A happy little surprise is due in September! I know it's early days and I'm trying to not count my chickens, but can't help but ask you all for naming advice! My husband shares my interest in less popular names but not in overanalysing them so hopefully you can all help me get a more manageable list! Our surname is that of a famous golfer, 5 letters, 1 syllable W---s. So that rules out my childhood love of flower and nature names to prevent the kid from sounding like a new housing development! We're also in a regional area of the UK so the Times/Telegraph style names (which I love) are much less common. It also means I'm open to Gaelic names, though probably more as middles. That's the background. Current favourites at the moment are outlined below (and also on my profile here on BNW, although many of them are my guilty pleasures) I'd love your views on how they fit with our surname and any other names you think we should consider: Philippa (Pippa) Elizabeth (Lizzie) Audrey Felicity Delilah Fiona Adelaide Helen Evelyn Georgiana Matilda Martha Polly Jane Juliet Georgia Ciara Virginia Bethan Beulah Adeline Kathleen Alistair Alexander Henry Patrick Rory Roland (Roly) Wilson Theo

August 18, 2011 04:40 AM

I have found these posts fascinating. To add to the class divide discussion about Alfie, a friend had a son last year and called him Alfred but he is only ever called Alfie. They both studies classics (and then law) at Cambridge and are upper middle class so even though they wanted the name Alfie they did not use it on the birth certificate. I'm always interested by names like Gavin, Anthony, Andrew and Colin on American lists, I have never heard these names on children and in fact these are the names of my brothers, brothers in law, husband and cousins, born in the late 70s and early 80s. I assume that for some of the names on this list above (Avery, Brooklyn, Brayden) it is the fact that Americans use them more than we do, but for many of the traditional boys names, in the UK these names are almost nonexistent for babies.

April 2, 2011 04:02 AM

My husband has two middle names, one of which is Alexander. Some companies cannot deal with the length of his name and in correspondence, instead of dropping the second middle name and calling him First Middle1 Last, they address letters to First Alex Middle2 Last. They abbreviate his first middle name to Alex! My middle name is Jane and all but one person I've met with my first name have Jane as their middle name as well. Obviously a very popular early 80s middle name but it is a lovely combo and I always sign my name First J. Last and would be tempted to pick our kids' middle names based on how nice the first letter is to include in a signature. Proper name nerd.

January 13, 2011 03:46 PM

I realise that reads like I've only ever heard of the name Zipporah. I meant it's the only one of those names I've come across in real life!

January 13, 2011 02:07 PM

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12170291 The BBC are on the story now as well with the Christian names from the Bible you don't hear very often. Admittedly I've only heard of a Zipporah and none of the rest but I was more interested in the fact the BBC decided to tag this article with the Pope's comments.

December 6, 2010 07:52 AM

Chimu - I'm in the UK and managed to sign up for the Expert without too much difficulty, where I could put in the correct info, I did, then I got my husband to give me the zip code (is that what it's called?) of where he went to college in the US to get past the few US lines! It is definitely worth the money. Katie has been the top name in my area for a number of years and I know many families with their kids under 7 with a Katie (full name). I wonder how many will now start to use Katherine as the given name, giving their daughter the option of Katie/Kate/Katherine/Kitty. I love some of the nicknames for old names (like Kitty from Kathleen, Pippa from Philippa, Polly from Mary), but think giving the formal name makes it so much more versatile. I always thought I'd love to use Elizabeth, but there are actually too many variants to pick from - could she be a Bess, Lizzy, Beth, Libby, Eliza? Too many choices! Think I'm going to add Katherine to my list. Interestingly, how does everyone feel about the numerous spelling variants for Katherine? My parents wanted to call me Katherine but did a trial run writing the name down and my dad spelt it Kathryn and my mum Catherine. They decided I'd spend my life saying, "With a K/C and ryn/ine" to people so chose a very 1970s/80s name. I would prefer to spend my time explaining Katherine with a K than have the name I do have, although I'd never actually change it.

November 25, 2010 01:47 PM

I know it's probably been in America for ages now, but we've just started getting The Middle aired here in the UK. The daughter in it (fictional for those who haven't seen it) is the odd one out in the sibset - her name is Sue. The parents named their eldest, Axl (as in Guns N' Roses), then the girl Sue, then the youngest Brick as they wanted a quirky name in the hope it would make him cool. I think it's fascinating that a family that would pick Axl and Brick for their sons would pick Sue for their daughter. My husband is a big fan of Susan and always mentions it when we discuss names. I am coming round to the names of this 1940/1950s era as they are starting to sound much fresher than the Lily/Emma/Eleanors I'm hearing all the time. Oh, and a girl I work with had a son last year and called him Johnnie. Ahead of the times, we all know in twenty years time all the babies will be called Judith, Ken, Dennis, Bruce and Deborah!

November 20, 2010 04:51 AM

I'm in the UK and I've never heard of Kesha or Snooki, but then I'd never even seen a picture of Lady Gaga until a few weeks ago, so I'm not exactly up to date with my cultural references. Obviously in the UK, I'm weighing heavily in on the 'Kate' votes - my goddaughter (aged 1 year) has this as her middle name and it is widely used. Kate Middleton has very much brought it into people's minds this year, but even I've heard of Kate Gosselin, then there's Kate Moss, KT Tunstall (Scottish singer, actual name Kate), Kate Winslett, Kate Beckinsale... My other suggestion is Alice. With the film out this year, and then the general trend it represents of parents going back to the more tradional names for inspiration - certainly here in my circle of friends, the number of unisex, modern or invented names is decreasing and more and more friends are going back to traditional names. As an aside, out of about 310 friends on Facebook, 12 have had babies in the last six weeks - names Rebecca, Naomi, Tobias, Harry, Rebecca (again!), Evie, Joshua, Brooke, Benjamin, Ciara, Gabrielle, and Joshua (again)

August 26, 2010 09:33 AM

Eo, I'm in the UK and don't know a single male Nicky, but easily about 90% of the Nicholas I've met go by Nick. I'm a Nicola, and it's about 50/50 whether people call me Nicky or Nicola. I have never been known by Nicky by friends or family but new people think it's ok to launch in with Nicky. Weird. As it is, I think Nicholas is a wonderful name. I did hear a mum refer to her son in the park this afternoon as Damien, another Laura, but I think Dominic is a great suggestion (whoever came up with it!) Mother of Benjamin, I haven't read the responses in detail, but girl names: Naomi, Lois, Lucy (I saw this listed, think it's great) and for boys: William, Luke, Harry.

August 18, 2010 03:43 PM

My friend's cousin (UK middle class) has a daughter called Neveah (this annoys me cause it's not EVEN heaven backwards, it's haeven backwards), which most middle class people in the UK don't even know as a name. She called her second Hannah and her next boy Joel (I think) - I always assumed she picked the other kids' names because of negative comments about Neveah, but apparently it was just that her partner got dibs on the first child's name and she got dibs on the second!