About Me

No info yet

My Favorite Names
My Recent Blog Comments
September 23, 2015 12:37 PM

Use what you love. Tell them to stick it (politely, at least the first time).  I've had friends who don't tell anyone at all until the baby is born (pretty much along the line of what the above poster has said), and someone else who announced the name as soon as the gender was known (the name was a favourite family honour name decades before she even got pregnant so it was an obvious, if fusty and old ladyish, choice in her case).  In either case, I would never dream of disrespecting someone's choices or considerations. I always make a point of trying to give a balanced perspective - and too German/Latin is not usually either a pro or a con, unless it is something that is culturally insensitive or inappropriate *for you and your situation*.

For what it's worth, I think Valentina is a great, unusual name, with some good nickname options.  I prefer it to Heidi, but not because there's anything wrong with Heidi.  I think Heidi is starting to gain traction in the UK and my first association is Heidi Klum... Who may well be German, but it's not the first thing that comes to mind when I think of her.

Of course they're going to sound Latin or German. That's the etymology of the name! Unless you're going to pick something super familiar and boring, then that is exactly as it ought to be.  Not sure what exactly is so offensive about being either Latin or German anyway... Perhaps they need to get out more - we can't all be Anne, Jane, Mary, Elizabeth, Robert, Richard, Charles and Henry.

This is your decision, and you are the one who has to live with it. Other people won't care once she's here, it will just be her name - as sweet or as savoury as she is - and that will be that.


The only people whose opinions matter are you and your husband. Don't worry about friends and family, they'll get used to it. If you know in your heart that's what you should do, then its better to do it now than later, as vorren said.  I'm sure you could re-baptise her privately or have some sort of name ceremony (ask your minister I guess).

Vorren's idea of Elise Samantha could work too, and I would also suggest Samantha Elise. It's a wonderful combination (either way), and for what it's worth (probably not much) I love both names.

Edited due to terrible grammar.

September 2, 2015 08:27 AM
In Response to Stick with Maisie?

Given that Maisie is the short form of Mairead, itself the Scottish form of Margaret, I don't see why it couldn't also be used as a short form of Mirabel/-le/-la. The R sound becomes the /z/ sound, and the rest is already there.

I would cross the Mason bridge when you come to it. Your tastes may change by then, and if not, I don't think Maisie and Mason are really that bad of a combination, especially being a boy/girl combo.  It's not like someone will wander if the girl is Mason and the boy is Maisie, as might be the case with siblings of the same sex and with similar names. And with the different endings, I don't think one will come running when you call the other.  Also, MAY-zee, MAY-sen.. I guess really the only commonality besides the unavoidable M is the long-A vowel sound.

Also, what happens if you have two more girls, and no Mason arrives? Will you regret not using Maisie at some point?

And also, a resource worth trawling through, and might help ypu find more masculine names that you like (though I still think Mason will work okay as well) (remove spaces) http://www. behindthename. com/names/gender/masculine/usage/english/letter/m

ETA: I forgot to say, on the Mirabel/-le/-la front, I prefer Mirabel for the three syllable pronunciation and Mirabella for the four syllable option. Mirabelle feels frilly to me, even though as a French name it was probably the original spelling.

September 2, 2015 05:45 AM
In Response to Sibling rivalry

I think one name doesn't really set a trend alone, and as such any of the names you've mentioned would work well.  For example, Mir@be11a and Dexter would perhaps expect siblings with unusual but familiar and a little bit exotic names- Zander, Bryce, Savannah, Letitia.  Mir@be11a and Wilfred would probably go somewhere more traditional but uncommon, Beatrice, Clementine, Edmund, Neville...  I prefer the latter combination.  Jasper would work with Savannah, Matilda, Lucas, Tristan.

I think Seraphina goes really well with Mirabella, being an old, rare, unusual sort of a name.  I also really love Clementine and Evangeline, though the latter might work slightly better as Evangelina (either way though, and I personally prefer the former).  Renesmee is probably the name that feels least compatible, being a recent mashup coined for the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer.  Eleanora feels slightly too familiar/popular with Mirabella, but of course if you love it, use it.


September 1, 2015 08:46 PM

I really like all of your choices, and I don't think any of them can really go wrong.  Middle name flow is not the ultimate goal of naming children, but here is my critique of the combinations all the same...

Julian Joel Elmessa - okay so its not so great.  But I don't think there's anything about it that is a deal breaker either, and as everyone keeps saying, middle names are not used much and no one would really know whether or not it flows because they wouldn't know what his middle name was in the first place.

Gabriel Joel Elmessa and Oliver Joel Elmessa are a bit heavy in the L-sound department, but again, flow with the middle name is not the be all and end all.  Gabriel Elmessa also has repeated el-el sounds which can be tongue-twistery... Whether that is also the case with your real surname you'd have to check yourself.

Lucas obviously starts with an L, but I don't trip over the L-sounds as much as I do with Gabriel and Oliver.  Actually I rather like the flow of Lucas Joel Elmessa.

And Theodore - I love Theodore, and the potentially nickname Teddy when he's young.  The Alvin and the Chipmunks character really never bothered me at all, but its worth being aware of, of course.  Theo is a more grown up nickname (although it works just as well on kids of course, but I like Teddy)  Other names with 'theo' (remove spaces): http://www. behindthename. com/names/gender/masculine/pattern/*theo*  Theodore Joel Elmessa is a brilliant name combination.  Theo Joel Elmessa is also quite nice.

Based on names alone, I'd probably use them in the order you have listed them, but based on combination flow, I would probably use them in this order; Theodore, Theo, Lucas, Oliver, Julian and Gabriel.  But its a pretty close race.

August 31, 2015 11:06 PM

Meadow is actually in the top 1000 for girls in the USA, so its definitely a human name.

I'm not familiar with The Sopranos, but it immediately makes me think of Meadow Thayer, the NPC (non-playable character) in the Sims 2 video game.  Meadow is also name of the (former) best friend of Brook Soso in Orange is the New Black.  Neither of these associations are brilliant, but they're not negative either.  They just demonstrate that it is a rare name in use.

I agree with the commenter who likened it to calling a child by a season or other uncommon nature name - its not really my cup of tea, but if you love it, use it.

August 31, 2015 10:54 PM
In Response to Thoughts about Tate?

I like multiple middle names, but as the others have pointed out the third (and subsequent) given names are often dropped on paperwork.  I would also wonder about whether you would intend to give all your children (assuming you have more) three given names each, and whether you would be able to pack as much meaning into it as you have into this one (honouring father and both grandfathers in one name is quite the feat).

I think Tate Stewart Jones is fine.

Tate James Stewart Jones runs together a bit "Tate Jamestewart Jones", and the only way to fix it is to put a pause in the middle, which sounds a bit like "Tate James, Stewart Jones".  Tate James Jones also sounds a little weird, because middle and surname start and end with the same sounds, have the same number of syllables, and the M and N sounds are really similar, which leaves the only real difference as vowel sounds.

I personally prefer James over Jeffrey in isolation, but in context it would be nice to have both of your fathers honoured in the name, and James seems to cause a lot of problems with flow (if that's important to you) which Jeffrey does not.  So for all those reasons, I'd go with either Tate Jeffrey Stewart Jones or Tate Stewart Jones.

August 31, 2015 10:37 PM

Haha, they do suggest Christmas, now I look at it - especially Clara with middle name Joy.  I like subtle themes :)

Perhaps Holly, Ivy, Carol, Noelle, Kristen, Eva, Merry, Gloria, anything with -belle, Belle/Bella on its own, even Donna for a Christmas theme? Ivy, Noelle, Kristen, Eva, Grace, Bella and Donna are names I would have suggested regardless of whether you go with the subtle Christmas theme.

I also like Naomi, Elina, Sophie, Elise, Thea and Gemma for a first name.  I think you've got middle names basically covered, but I guess some of my suggestions would also fit as a middle name.

In terms of narrowing it down, I would avoid anything that starts with N or C, and anything with an -ee or -ah sound at the end, to help differentiate from your girls when labelling things (and hopefully when you call one they don't all come running).

August 31, 2015 10:12 PM
In Response to Lilyella

I guess it doesn't matter what the name of the second child is, if the nickname is Lily then it will still sound a lot like Emilia... And you could very well end up with Milly and Lily, which is probably worse.

I must've been half asleep when I suggested Lucilia... saying them outloud 'five times fast' gives me "Lumilia and Cecelia".... :\

I think I'm going to go back to my original left-field options of Delilah, Eulalia and Talulah... with the different vowel sound? Again, Delilah comes with an asterisk - Like Lilith it depends on interpretation.

August 31, 2015 08:08 AM

I couldn't attest to the name-change process, but are you planning to go by Tait or Lawrence once you've changed it?

I think Lawrence Wynn, Lawrence T. Wynn, L.T. Wynn and L.T.W. are fine, no problems with flow, association, combination, or acronyms that I can see.

If anyone ever called you Lawrie as a nickname though that would get you Lawrie Wynn, which is a bit of a tongue twister for me and sounds a bit like "lohreh-win" (L. Irwin), or "lawr-ee-ynn" (Lauren).  This is only an issue if you plan to use Lawrie as a nickname.

L. Tait Wynn might be a little difficult to pull off as well, but its not on the level of a deal-breaker.

August 31, 2015 07:53 AM

Oh and Montgomery "Monty" Burns, the stereotypically rich&evil nuclear powerplant owner (and Homer Simpson's boss) in The Simpsons. How could I forget?

August 31, 2015 06:46 AM
In Response to Help a sister out

I think Kaylee Zenda is great, and bonus points for using a Z name.  Kaylee derives from Katherine (etymology is obscure, but one possible meaning is 'pure') plus Lee (from a surname-turned-first-name meaning 'clearing').  I can't find a reputable source for the meaning of Zenda, it looks like a mash up of Zelda and Wanda with the influence of the word 'zen'. I guess it could also be a feminine form of 'Xander' short for Alexander/Alexandra, which roughly means 'defender of man'.

Bryan Neal is slightly better than Bryan Marcello for me flow wise, but I think Marcello fits better with the style of Kaylee Zenda.  Bryan (from Brian) means 'hill'.  Taken metaphorically, this might mean 'high', 'exalted' or 'noble', however names do not usually evolve as metaphors.  Neal has unclear etymology.  It might mean 'champion', but it also might mean 'cloud', so you could have a 'hill cloud' rather than a 'noble champion'.  Marcello, derived from Marcellus, which is a diminuitive of Marcus, itself potentially from the name of the planet Mars, named after the Roman God of War, which is probably from the latin word meaning 'male'.  This is probably where the warrior thing comes from, but I wouldn't say 'warrior' is a completely accurate translation or 'Marcello' it could just as easily be 'planet' or 'god'.  This could potentially leave you with 'male hill' as a combined meaning for Brian Marcello.

For your cousin-in-law, Dominic Link is fine. I'd probably spell it Linc, which feels more name-ish to me, but either way I think its a pretty decent combination.  It has very solid etymological links, literally 'link' (English noun) and Dominic from the Latin name Dominicus, meaning 'of the lord', so 'link of the lord'.  Gretchen is a German diminuitive form of Margareta, from Margaret, meaning 'pearl'. I think pretty much anything could go with Gretchen meaning 'pearl', so it depends on their naming style. Could be Sarah Gretchen 'princess pearl', Adela Gretchen 'noble pearl', Phoebe Gretchen 'bright pearl', Emmaline Gretchen 'pearl of hard work'...

Please don't think me harsh, but I suspect if I were not the one to say this many other posters would have.  Naming etymologies are commonly bandied about on the internet, taken out of context, misquoted and simply made up.  While the Baby Name Wizard book is well loved on these boards, and is pretty accurate, the Namipedia on this website also contains user-added entries which are not necessarily marked as such and can be wildly inaccurate.  My prefered source of reputable etymologies (at least for European names) is behindthename .com, if you're interested in browsing around further.  For some people, name meanings don't matter, and that's fine.  But if its something important to you, then it would be horrifying to only find out that the names of your children don't mean what you thought they did five, ten, or twenty years down the track.

August 31, 2015 05:43 AM

Asher has never been a favourite for me, but if you love it, use it.

Of your names the ones I like best are August (nn Auggy or Gus), Archibald (nn Archie/Archer), Montgomery and Oliver, in that order.

August is obviously not a girls name.  Augusta is the feminine variant borne by Neville Longbottom's grandmother in Harry Potter.  Maybe Augustus sounds more masculine for him?  I love August, but I'm not sure if I'd use it.  It would definitely make my list though.

Archibald - The Ds might become a problem with running together, but I guess it depends on your surname whether that would be problematic or not.  He'd probably be "Archie D----n" most of the time anyway, and a 'graduation announcer pause' solves the rest.  If your surname happens to be Deacon/Deakin or anything like that, I would advise against anything like 'Arch' because calling your kid 'Archdeacon' is just weird.  The name that hits me as an alternative is 'Arcturus', which means 'Guardian of the bear' in Greek.  It is not a typical name for children, but it is the name of a star, has typically name-ish qualities and feels classic and similar to some of your other choices.  It was used as a name in the Black family tree in the Harry Potter books, however many in the Black family tree are named after stars or constellations.  Archie would be a fairly obvious nickname for an Arcturus, and it feels definitively masculine while avoiding the -d ending, so perhaps worth considering if you like it? :)

I love Montgomery, but the nicknames trip me up a little, which is why its third on my little sub-list.  As a kid my pet dog was 'Monty' (I think that was a fairly typical name for a dog at the time), and Montgomery nn 'Monty' was also the name of the antagonist in a story I read as a kid, one of the Trixie Belden adventure/detective novels (I think the 6th one, the red trailer mystery? If memory serves correctly).  But I think Mo is fine as a nickname.  I'm not sure about it matching with Posy in terms of style, but I don't feel like nicknames need to match.  I also like Monte (or Monty) as a nickname.  Monte is particularly fascinating because of the unusual spelling, without being kre8iv or made up.

Oliver - used to be my favourite name.  Popularity gets me a little bit too though - I mean I've still never met one but it comes up on these boards a lot and its only a matter of time before all the little Olivers start school and burst onto the scene.

Other suggestions - Ephraim, Tobias, Gabriel, Wesley, Nicholas, Orion, Marcus.

I have to say, if you had any more kids after this one you could well have 'Posy, Mo and Roo', or 'Posy, Mo and Winn', in which case whether or not Posy and Mo 'go together' would be a moot point - loved-by-the-parents is the only style it needs in common.

August 31, 2015 04:33 AM
In Response to Too boring??

My experience is a little different.  I don't think there is such a thing as a boring name, except perhaps John/Jane Smith - mostly due to excessive and sustained popularity in all living generations.  There is classic, modern, rare, trendy, creative and a few inbetween.  But not boring.

I think my experience is basically reflected in the popularity data for Australia pretty much tells the story so I'm going to include it here.  All three names are slow risers that have been good solid names for a period of time (not excessively so, as in the case of John and Jane, but popular for a whole generation, rather than just a year or two).

Clara has been on the rise since the 1980s but has yet to hit the top 100 (most recent data has it 179th in 2011).  It is a name that I've only ever seen on the period drama 'The Paradise', I've never met a Clara.  Claire (or Clare) is vastly more common, with Clare getting top 100 in the 1980s before dropping off, and Claire hitting the top 100 also in the 1980s but has yet to drop below 100 again even now.

Julia was top 100 in the 1990s and early 2000s dropping since 2004 and outside the top 200 in the most recent data (2011).  I've met one or two Julias in my life, it feels familiar but rare, and not date stamped.  It's also a family name for me, though not to the same extent as HNG's family.

Sarah has been in the top 100 since the 1960s, reaching rank #1 in the 1980s and remaining in the top 5 until the early 2000s.  It remains in the top 50 still today.  The spelling 'Sara' has also been top 200 over the same period of time, spiking to 63 in the 1980s.  When I was at school there was a Sarah in every class... so I know a lot of them.  Mostly within ten years of my own age (20s), but that probably has something to do with the people I mix with.  The eldest one I've ever met was probably in her late 40s.    So its not exactly a dated name for me, it is still popular and it doesn't feel trendy.  It's never really been my favourite name, partially because I don't like the idea of naming a child 'princess' (sound spoiled brattish to me) and because I've never really know a nice Sarah.

Of the three, I'd recommend them in order of least popularity, Clara first, Julia second, and Sarah third.

August 30, 2015 10:57 PM
In Response to Lilyella

I agree with this, but I think it depends if you pronounce Emilia as 'eh-MEEL-ya' or 'EH-mil-ee-ah'.  I think you said four syllables, so I assume the latter, which creates issues - both names have 'ih-lee' in the middle of them, as well as the pileup of Ls and Is that TheOtherHungarian mentioned.  IMHO, Lillian also has this issue, because the emphasis is on the first syllable, 'LIL-ee-an', which puts the similarity front and centre.

I would probably recommend Liliana, 'lil-ee-AHN-ah'.  I don't think this is too similar to 'Anne', because of the different vowel sound and the fact they are etymologically distinct.

Another option might be Lucilia, emphasis 'LOO-seel-ya'.  Of course, that might also give you Lucy, but I think Lily is equally plausible and easily enforcable.  It would only be if she later decided she preferred to be Lucy.

Gracilia, Ottilia, Cecilia, any name ending in -ilia, (preferably with emphasis elsewhere), or ending in -lina.

August 30, 2015 07:43 AM

Out of the whole name, your partner has the inital and (presumably) the surname, which is quite a lot. Her future signature is all but predetermined, so I think your preferences do have a little more weight.  If I remember right, the common initial was your partner's mother's tradition, and the surname (making assumptions again) would be your partner's father's name?  So if you never get the opportunity to honour them again, your bases are covered.  But on the other hand, surnames are usually governed by culture, custom and sometimes law, and an initial is all of one letter out of two, (or three or four or whatever) given names, so perhaps your partner could honour their side next time round.  Perhaps Millie (M.I.L.-lie)?

It depends on your culture, some cultures find reusing a name to be morbid, but my experience of Western European culture via my family tree tells me that that is not always the case.  Certainly one family had the same name used for five sons, out of about 15 children, and other less extreme examples also demonstrate this.  I think if it were me, I would not use a direct repetition of all of Clementine's given names, but I really like the idea of using one of them as a middle name for your child.  I certainly wouldn't avoid a name I loved because of that or there'd be a pretty small name pool to choose from.  I think it would be a really nice way to honour her, and I don't find it morbid at all... you'd be naming your child after an angel, not after a cause of death.

All that said, I'm sticking with Maisie Louise :) I really like Louise - the -zee/-eez endings together (as I stated in my first reply).  Diane is better than Diana flow-wise, but it reminds me of Diane Lockhart in The Good Wife.. haha.  I'm not sure if that's better or worse than the late Princess of Wales.

August 30, 2015 07:04 AM

I agree with this. Another option could be Hugh and Margaret/Marguerite (or some other alternatives) which sound a little less matchy.  I think if you went with Margaret, Hugh would probably work better than Hugo JMHO.  You could also put both of these names in the middle spot, as a matchy-twin-thing-that-isn't-immediately-obvious.

All of this depends on what your other choices are, and as seems to be the mantra around here, if you really love it, use it. You don't want to regret not doing it just because a bunch of strangers on the internet once said they didn't approve.

August 29, 2015 12:55 AM
In Response to Lilyella

Lilias, along with Lileas and Lillias, is technically the Scottish form of Lillian, though Lillian is thought to ultimately derive from Elizabeth.  Ealasaid, Elspeth and Elspet are the more direct Scottish versions of Elizabeth, with Ealasaid more technically being the Gaelic Scots version. Scotland also has its own versions of Isobel, another derivative of Elizabeth.  Since you asked. :P

August 28, 2015 07:54 AM

That would explain it.

August 28, 2015 07:52 AM
In Response to Lilyella

I like Lily too :)  Lily is actually a stand alone name with an independent etymology.  It's not a diminuitive form, although it is sometimes used as such for names like Lillian, as you mentioned.  It is actually simply the name of the flower, derived from the latin word 'Lilium'.  I do understand wanting a longer name though, which might provide more nickname options or feel more formal.

If you were to name your child Lilian I don't think anyone would expect that she were named after an Anne or an Anna. Certainly I wouldn't think such a thing about an Aidan or a Declan, so it doesn't feel relevant with Lillian either.

Lillian is a form of Elizabeth. Liliane is the French version of Lillian, and Liliana is the Latinate form used in Italian, Spanish and other Romance languages.  Lilianna is another, modern variant of Lillian, probably deriving some inspiration from the name 'Anna'.

I would pronounce Lilyella as Lily-Ella (if I enunciate it properly), but if I was saying it quickly it would probably sound more like Lil-yel-ah. I think it would be considered a modern mash-up of Lily + Ella, or perhaps a variant spelling/pronunciation of Liliya.  I would not normally recommend Lily Ella (as separate names) in a first+middle combination as it doesn't flow particularly well and would end up running together while it is meant to be separate.   Combined as one name I'm not sure, I think you could probably get away with it, but its not really my cup of tea.

Names with "Lil" that could have Lily as a nickname (copy and paste, remove the spaces)

http://www. behindthename. com/names/gender/feminine/pattern/*lil*

I quite like Lilibeth or Liliya/Lilia/Lilja and other similar variants as a longer version. There is also Lillith, Liana and Lillias.  More unusual names that could get Lily include Lila, Layla, Delilah, Talulah, Eulalia, Galila/Jalila.