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November 19, 2019 06:00 PM
In Response to Baby girl!

You state emphatically that you're not naming a law firm, but if you name your child "Peyton Collins Austin", she will 100% sound like a law firm, because all three of those are surnames. Hence our advice to rethink things. In the end, she's you're daughter, and you can inflict whatever name you wish on her (at least if you live in the US), but you asked for advice, so we're telling you: this is what other people will think of your daughter's name.

You also misunderstood the misogyny fears: we're not offended by your name ideas, but they do make it sound like you think femininity is a bad thing. Maybe you don't have anything against femininity, and can defend your choice to use all masculine names with a reasoned argument, but the thing is, you don't get to make that argument with 99.999% of the people your daughter will meet, because in real life, there just isn't any opportunity to do so. So all we're left with is the impression given by the name itself, and that impression is "must avoid sounding female at all costs".

Trying to riff off of Collins: does Colleen appeal to you at all?

November 14, 2019 12:43 PM
In Response to Baby girl!

Like my sister, your list leaves me wondering why you think femininity is so totally horrible/absolutely disgusting that you'd rather your daughter sound like a law firm than a girl. I'm pretty sure that isn't your intent, but that's the idea that comes across nevertheless.

Since you seem to like surnames-as-given-names, I'd ordinarily side with the poster who suggested using Collins as the given name (and then choosing a more traditional given name as the middle name to mitigate the law firm effect), since actual-family-surname-as-given-name is much preferrable to random-surname-that-we-like-the-sound-of-but-have-no-clue-about-the-etymology-as-given-name. Problem is, I foresee a lifetime of "helpful" clerks reversing your daughter's names, because Austin sounds much more like a given name than Collins. (It's the -s ending.)

Any interest in something like Bethany, Mackenzie, Cassidy, Ashley, Britney, Harper, Whitney, or Hadley? As in, names that aren't really traditional, but they've been in use as feminine names in the last several decades, so they don't sound like surnames anymore.

November 14, 2019 11:48 AM

There is absolutely nothing weird, or even unusual (historically speaking), about naming kids after their parents. I'm curious why you think it would be in any way, shape, or form arrogant. Is a boy named after his dad arrogant? If not, why on God's green Earth would a girl named after her mom be arrogant?

February 20, 2019 01:39 PM
In Response to What Do You Think?

Dunno about the name cred, but yeah, Barbara avoids the spelling/pronunciation issues with Keira/Kiera. And I say this as someone whose favorite actress is Keira Knightley. (She's not immune to people not knowing how to spell her name: she was credited as Kiera in The Phantom Menace. Granted, that was very early in her career, but still.)


That's even worse than winter apple. I can imagine there might be people so far removed from the production of food that they don't know that winter apples are a thing. But everyone knows that emerald green is a particular shade of green.

January 17, 2019 09:07 AM

@Elizabeth T.: I didn't find any Calgons in the SSA data. Apparently, nobody thought it to be name-like enough, which is surprising given that people thought Dijonnaise was name-like.

@Laura: "...previously an obscure spelling of Jaymes seen just a handful of times each year..." - I think you meant to write James here, not Jaymes.

January 16, 2019 10:37 AM

It's definitely three syllables, stress on the first one.

December 20, 2018 08:17 AM

"That -ess ending must be on a female, right?" One sincerely hopes so, but in this day and age?

December 4, 2018 11:36 AM

Um, those of us who prefer actually pronouncing our R's don't consider Tayla and Taylor to be alternative spellings of each other.

December 3, 2018 12:42 PM

I dunno, that Abcde story just reeks of being fake. I know it's been reproduced all over the place at supposedly-reputable sites, but it still sounds like a story made up specifically to incite outrage.

(If it's a real story, well: Mom, when you choose an action, you choose the consequences of that action.)

November 30, 2018 09:14 AM

I second (third?) the nomination of BBQ Betty and her ilk as the 2018 NOTY. I don't remember previous such busybodies being given names like this, but in 2018 they've been rampant. The addition of the name makes the stories larger than a simple news item, and groups them together into this depressing aura of, I dunno, lack of civility.


1. Cicely (Tyson) is not actually the same name as Cecily. :)

2. I'm not familiar with Hollis, like at all. Have I been living under a rock or something?

October 31, 2018 10:33 PM

The problem with Henrietta as the little sister to Harriet is not so much the matchiness, but more "what happens when Henrietta finds out she was given the same name as her big sister". It's bad enough to have to wear your sister's hand-me-down clothing, but to have to answer to her hand-me-down *name*? It's not exactly a recipe for sibling harmony.

(Yes, it's theoretically possible to present the information in such a way that it becomes a cool family story rather than a source of sibling rivalry, but even so, if I were Henrietta, I'd harbor at least a modicum of resentment against my parents. Plus, all us wannabe name experts would be laughing at said parents behind their back, like with the James and Jacob sibset my sister knows.)

October 24, 2018 06:17 PM

Are the grandparents your kids share with Rylan still around? If so, I agree that Ryan would be a cruel thing to do to them. Otherwise, it depends on how much contact your family tends to have with Rylan's family: if they live on the other side of the country, it can just be a cool almost-shared-name story.

October 24, 2018 06:11 PM
In Response to Erynn as a Boy Name?

There's a gentleman in the community choir I sing with named Beryl. We're talking white-haired probably aged 70+ respectable gentleman, the kind you expect to have a name like Joe or Harold or something. So y clearly doesn't *always* signal femininity.

That said, -ynn is often used these days specifically to make a masculine name into a feminine one. If you don't want to deal with awkward gender transition questions, maybe go with Eren or Eron?

(And keep in mind that, like my sister said, not everyone says Aaron and Erin the same way.)

September 25, 2018 08:49 AM
In Response to 4th Baby on the Way!

I believe Genevra is the Portuguese variant. Although possibly it's the medieval Portuguese variant.

September 14, 2018 11:57 PM

Well, actually, Julia could be spelled Giulia.

Asking for the spelling of "David" or the number of t's in "Greta", however, is just the person saying "I've turned my brain off, so you'll need to provide all the thinking".

August 24, 2018 12:03 PM
In Response to Names for twin girls?

At work, I just encountered two people with the same last name, both of them medical doctors in the same office, where as far as we can tell, their names are reverses of each other: think James Thomas Smith and Thomas James Smith, just not with those names. We don't know if they're father and son or siblings, but as I was telling the coworkers, if they're siblings, I hope they're not twins, because if they are, I need to go hunt down their parents and hit them over the head with a clue-by-four. My coworker who is also an identical twin totally agrees with me.

(Yes, in our teeny-tiny office with 7 people if one of them isn't on maternity leave, two of us have identical twin siblings.)

August 17, 2018 10:19 AM

I have to quibble with calling "Kamila" a traditional name but calling "Izabella" a contemporary name.

August 16, 2018 10:53 AM
In Response to Science Baby Names

Is there a link to this article somewhere and I'm just not seeing it?