Not By Any Other Name

Shakespeare wrote, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
I disagree.
Sorry Shakespeare, you're wrong and names make a huge difference.  You think Juliet would have been all hot to trot about Romeo had his name been Horace?  Or Gilbert? 

Before you read on, steel yourself.  I am very opinionated on naming and my thoughts may insult your choices.  For this I apologize in advance and even though we don't see eye to eye on names I'm sure you're still a wonderful person.  These are the views of an obsessed woman.
As you may remember from four years ago when I was knee deep in baby names, I am obsessed with baby names.  I loves names. I love the naming process, I love the cycles that names go through, I love the weird names, I love classic names, I love middle names, I love nicknames.  Whether I'm naming a baby or not I always know what the top 5-10 baby names are that year.  I like guessing people's ages by their names.  I like cross referencing names with location of birth and thinking about how trends travel outward from metropolitan areas.  I couldn't care less what celebrity babies look like, but I wait with baited breath until their names are released.  I keep a rotating baby name list on my phone at all times.

Naming a baby is a bigger decision to me than having a baby because while the baby can develop her own personality, their given name is moreorless permanent and must satisfy them throughout their lives.  It has to be cute as a kid and command respect in the workplace.  It must make them feel like an individual and it must not make them feel like a freak.  It must suit an old lady and a hot twenty something looking to land a hot partner.  It must be easily phonetic to spell and sound normal at both the playground and a wedding.  A name has a huge job.

What blows my mind is when expectant parents look no further than the top 20 names in America.  You have an amazing opportunity here, why add another Emma to the world?  Every single time the parents have some exceptional reason for picking that name (I've liked it since I was a child, I didn't know it was popular) but to me it's a letdown.  
Here's the Social Security list from 2013:
Sophia, Emma, Olivia, Isabella, Ava, Mia, Emily, Abigail, Madison, Elizabeth.  What Pam and Linda were to the late 1940's and Jennifer and Jessica were to the 1980's, so are these ten names to this decade.  Nevermind the boys names this time, they're just too predictable.  In other words, I hope you enjoy having your unique little Sophia called Sophia B number 3.
And to prove my point, here is Mimi's ballet performance program, all repetitive names underlined and tallied. 

My kids are named Mimi, Jude and Silas.  I'll explain their names later.
These are the guidelines I follow when I'm naming kids:
1. Letters
 First I consider the other starting letters in my family: L, D, J, M, S.  It's unlikely that I will choose a name with the same letter as another immediate family member.

2.  Grouping trends
After that I think about name grouping trends.  For example, no two syllable boy names that end in N (Jayden, Caden, Hayden) , no variations on "ella" (Isabella, Elle, Bella, Ellison), and obviously absolutely no names (nor any derivatives) that are on Social Security's top ten lists from the last five years.

3. Ambivalence  
No names that are ambivalent, for example Elizabeth.  There are about 20 different nicknames for Elizabeth, so really you're just putting off naming your child for a few years and you're basically saying, "I give up, choose your own name."  Eliza, Beth, Betsy, Liza, Liz, Ella, whatever. 

4.  Letterhead
Name must be acceptable for professional letterhead.  It's good this one is in there or I'd probably name my girls Honey or something.  

5.  Gravitas
Which leads me to No stripper names.  Names have to command respect, they have to have some amount of gravitas.  Too bad because stripper names are cute and my seven year old loves them. If she had her druthers this baby would be named Sapphire.  

6.  Nicknames
Expect to use the implied nickname.  When I name kids I tend to give them two options: real name and nickname intended for childhood use.  Ellie's new baby, Abraham will be called Abe.  

7.  Harmony
Name must make sense with other children's names.  You can't go Alice,  Henry and Zephyr. 
Avoid repeated cadence. No Jordan, Kailyn, Brandon.

8.  End Sounds
Differentiate last syllables.  I won't use another boy's name that ends in S.

9.  Origin
No stealing from other ethnic name troves (unless you have genetic inheritance).  Asians pretty much own Lillian and Vivian, Jasmine is middle eastern, Ashley and Steven are Caucasian.  I don't make the rules, I just observe them.

10.  Patience
Don't name your kid before it comes out, have at least three options.  I was going to name Mimi Simone but she wasn't a Simone.

11. Associations
No innappropriate associations.  Delilah and Salome are out.  Know the other people associated with that name.  Google it!  I'd like to lift the ban on Disney names.  I wish I could name a kid Ariel.

12.  Cooperate
Heed your spouse's opinions.  If they hate your choices they probably have a reason, which they must provide and then offer alternatives.  Give and take.  

13. Listen
Babies pick their own names.  Hold that baby in your arms and test out the names you like.  It will tell you what name is right.  What amazes me is that in the hospital with my newborns some good names get completely forgotten because they just don't suit the kid.  Welcome those late name suggestions.  Jude wasn't even on our list, but there he was, being all Jude.  

14. Discuss
Listen to your family.  When you're pregnant and especially when you're newly delivered, your judgment is not 100% sound.  Bounce names off your family, provided they know you may not use their suggestions.  Naming is somewhat of a committee decision.  Do not listen nor solicit nurse's opinions.  The decision has no bearing for them.

15.  Go big
Be fearless but restrain yourself.  I feel like I deserve a badge of honor for this one.  Knowing what you know about me, couldn't you imagine that I might name a kid Tulip or Rocknroll or Romeo?  Nope, monikers are too important.

So where does one start, now that all the embargoes are established?
When I'm naming a kid I start with what's in my wheelhouse: The Bible, Shakespeare and English Literature.  Those are my safety zones.  Then I venture outward to the rest of the arts.  Next I survey the primary and especially nursery lists.  I also check school class lists.  Imagine if you came up with a fairly unique name like Vera only to find there's already a Vera at your church?  Family names are good. My best choices were names that have associated songs (Hey Jude, The Sound of Silas), I'd like to repeat that association.  I'd like her to be the only kid in her class with that name, but never have to spell it nor explain it.  My husband favors compound names, I'm onboard with that.  Some names I love have no good nicknames (Ophelia, Desdemona).  I like word names, especially virtue names and nature names.  I'd like to use a name that I have never heard used for another person. I'd never met a Mimi, Jude nor Silas when I named them and I've never met another Lenore.  

Mimi's name is Miranda Giselle, named for Shakespeare's Tempest and her aunt Giselle who was named after the ballet.  I love her name, but I neglected to check TV lists and it kinda bugs me that Miranda was a character on Sex in the City.  I love the repeated syllable and French sound of Mimi.  We haven't run into another Mimi.
Jude's name was suggested by a friend when he was born.  I love everything about this name, from the biblical association to the song and the book Jude the Obscure. I like that it sounds strong but has no hard fricatives.
Silas was also suggested in the hospital by my sister.  He was very quiet when he was born and I loved how peaceful Silas sounds. Also a bible name (companion of Paul) and from the book Silas Marner.  Am slightly worried this name will become popular due to the old guy on Duck Dynasty.
I tell people I was named after the Raven by Edgar Allen Poe, but my parents were reminded of the name by their babysitter who was named Lenore, but went by Suzy. Weird.

Now for some honorable mentions, though there are occasional oversights of my rules that they didn't know nor care existed.

All of my sisters are great namers.  These are the cousins: Maxwell, Claire, Solomon, Fiona, Charlotte, Henry, Griffin, Beatrice, Theodore, Penelope, Alice, Piper, Sylvie, Otto and Abe.  
My new sister in law did a good job with consistency and coherence: Lindsay, Kaitlyn, Megan and Madison.

Friends who are good namers and deserve mention have these children:
Asher, Naomi and Eleanor
Harrison, Henry and Eden
Hudson, Regan, Gray
Harper, Norah and Clover
Claire, Jonah, Sam, Miles

Lots of others I can't think of right now.

So now you know what I'm looking at for names and I welcome all suggestions.  There are so many wonderful names to choose from and I'm so lucky that we get to have a baby to name.  
I think I'll name her Bob.


Golda Cristine said...

I love how you approach naming, because I get equally obsessed. It is such an exquisite honor to name a person. I think about it all the time. Of course, I came to slightly different conclusions on some of my kids, with their silent letters and whatnot, but I think all seven go nicely together. I absolutely, passionately love the name Elizabeth, but After everyone else, Tziporah just couldn't be Elizabeth. I love family names (Golda, Ruby, Freestone), I love strong, historical names that are nonetheless kooky (Ptolemy), I love beautiful, if somewhat obscure traditional names borrowed from other cultures, although another of your taboos (Golda, Araceli), and I love just knowing what that person's name is and watching that person own that name completely (Xanthe Mary Mei). I love your kids' names, as someone who is fascinated with names and their meanings and associations. I don't know what you should name this baby, but I will tell you as a teacher, I immediately and forever remember the children with the unique names. I think it gives them an edge. Now I'll be thinking of suggestions all day....

Golda Cristine said...

OK, so that was me, Circe. :)

Rebekah Cummings said...

a.) Thank you for making me Google a word. I didn't know what fricative meant. b.) You are a good friend to not mention "Aidan/Aiden" in this post. I still love the name on its merits, but it breaks at least three of your rules, c) My sister named her son Bob (just Bob, not Robert) and it created a sensation. Looking forward to meeting Baby Bennett!

Cait Summ said...

Oh i looooooce this! I'm a name freak- I get it from my father who, sends out his "approved name list" when you get married. We come from Irish lineage- heavy Irish ancestry that we love and appreciate; so all of the names on his list are Irish. I married a swede. A true-blue, lived-in-Sweden swede. His family is very true to their heritage like mine is. So we do Irish first name, Swedish middle name (a family name)
Our three boys:
Gavin Joel
Ryan Niklas
Liam Tobias
We're having our first daughter in a few weeks and her name will be Afton Emilia. I love that it's a name rarely heard. Sure, you could say it's an old name, but I love it.

One Fish said...

I love this post and all of the rules. My Dad and his sisters all have names that rhyme and it freaks me out. It bugs me that I named both of my kids names that start with and A but I had them picked out from childhood and they are both family names. Before Asia was born we adopted a little boy and when his birth mom took him back she kept his name. I've never gotten over that.

Unknown said...


Caroline C. Bingham said...

I love baby names. My last two have more common names (Daniel and Taylor) but that was not the plan! But then they were born, and they just didn't FIT into any other name. Of course, I also have Thaddeus and Blayne. (Also, I have never met another Caroline... just saying.)

Anyways, from the family:

Sarah Elizabeth, Caroline Christine, Berit Rebecca, Meredith Mariah, Verity Kendra Aenone, Cordelia Rose, Cassidy Aenone, Blayne Elizabeth, Taylor Evangeline, Gwendolyn Yvonne, Evelyn Marie.

Names I just like: Rhyan, Elise, Rhea-Lynn, Jillian, Dagmar, & Marguerite.

Cassie said...

You are one funny and thoughtful lady. I love the naming process too. You have made awesome choices I cannot wait to hear the name of your newest darling.

Laura said...

I have a family member with a name I adore. She has passed on (she was born in 1913), but I have never heard her name before: Jenness (accent on second syllable)

Nicku B said...

I couldn't agree more with this ENTIRE post. I have a google doc with names started...I find it challenging because (now) I have such a common last name that is also a guy's first name, Bruce. Soooo...my name definitely no longer flows/makes sense in my mind like my maiden name did, but I would not trade my hubs for the world so I deal with it, haha. However, for my (not yet conceived) kids I feel like it creates a new set of rules, or opportunities?? How do you feel about alliteration, like B____ Bruce?

Nicku B said...

Oh and a funny for you all too...http://www.buzzfeed.com/jamipack/16-things-only-people-with-unique-names-will-under-ij8h

MaryAnn said...

There is LIESL. We have one in our family...cutest girl ever. That fits the Austrian heritage of Ed. Middle names can haunt kids too. Ed always hid his middle name and to this day only uses the initial. It came from his Dutch side. (Cornelius) Kids called him "Corny". Then there are all those names from about 1890 to 1920....Thelma, Helen, Velma, Faye, Jewell, Gladys, Bernis, Fanny, Opal. Oh my!

Leslie said...

This is awesome! I didn't think much about names. We have a strong division of labor in our family. I gestate and he waits on me hand and foot for the months while I am sick and regretting the idea to expand our family, etc. and for this he chooses all names. I got to input on one child's middle name. It works for us. :-)

anonymous said...

I'm famous! Also, same starting letter is tough w nicknames BC I call them the same name; big mistake.

Jaden??!!! No.

Truth about not being in right mind naming in the hospital.

I like Gilbert BC I love Aof GG.

I say go straight Babysitters Club names with this round. You're welcome.

Desss-de-mona. I won't forget that part of the play/movie. Des isn't a bad nickname, but Utah will think it's for Deseret.

anonymous said...

You forgot to hammer on made-up names and weird, fake spelling like mentioned in the seriously so blessed blog. Ugh! AALYYveyah. Barf.

lea said...
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Unknown said...

Thanks for the honorable mention! I love naming too. And even though Henry won't let us call him Henry, we are still proud of his name. This is such a great post, Nor. I think of lots of the same things you do when naming, although you take it to a whole new level.

OK, so the other night I had a dream. We were having lunch and I suggested this name to you and you liked it. I'm not sure how to spell it. Iona. Pronounced Eye-owe-nah. I love it. But I'm not having any more children. It's yours if you like it. If you don't use it I may have to adopt. Or get a dog. Can't wait to hear what name you pick for your next lovely little girl!

Mardee Rae said...

You know you are my patron saint of naming. Because I have the exact same rules, only I'm a little less stringent on most (call them guidelines) except the name must not be in the top 400. I wanted to make that the top 500 but Spencer pretty much doesn't want anything bottom 500, so 400 is our sweet spot. Imagine my horror that this year two of my four are top 100. And worse than that, I read some really horribly written naming blog which was all about what's best if you want to be totally cool and popular and just like everybody else and the first "up and coming soon to be totally popular so you better use it too" name? Cadence. I'm not kidding that my blood started boiling. Oh, also I have a pretty strict "no J" policy. which I can't explain. Middle names are family from my side. Here are a few of my girl names that have yet to be used. Arden (so strong!), Lotus (One of the most beautiful, useful, pure flowers, that grows right out of the mud!? yes, please!), Darcy (just rad.), Susan (would not fit with your others, I'm afraid, unless you called her Zuzu, isn't that what they call the little Susan in "It's a Wonderful Life?"). You should edit and put my kids' names on your list of honorables--I know you meant to :) ps, I'll be sending you a pm about a naming conundrum I'm currently facing (sorta).

Kirsten said...

Love your naming process.
We went through a similar one

My Granddaughter's name is
Harvest Faith. She is 11 .

Mimi said...

You have really good rules. It's amazing that you ever find a name that fits all the requirements!

I have to mention...I definitely met you when you were pregnant with Mimi. I weirdly remember my first Sunday in relief society in that Walnut Creek ward, and seeing you walk to the front of the room I thought, "Wow, that's awesome that someone THAT pregnant is still wearing high heels!" So even though I'm probably totally wrong about this, I like to think that my physical presence in your ward and in the apartment two floors up somehow influenced you giving your daughter my cool name. Same birthday as me, by the way. (You never forget a person with your same weird name being born on your birthday!)

Also, I've wondered... Is Mardee the friend who suggested Jude to you? We had been talking about using Jude when we were pregnant with Josh at that same time, and I remember she really liked it. If so, I won't make you put a baby name plaque up in your house for me or anything, but I will feel really, really cool for influencing your life in that tiny way.

And my favorite name that I haven't been able to use yet is probably Oakley, for a boy or a girl.

Anonymous said...

I, too, have been obsessed with names since I was about 5. My sister and I used to have crazy fights over who would name their kid what (neither of us even have kids now). These are some of my favorite girl names that my husband has vetoed. Feel free to use if you want.

-Gemma (pronounced with a J)
-Ariadne (ancient Greek origin)
-Bronte (after the Bronte sisters, and with the umlaut accent above the e)

Out of all of these, I'd go with Bronte.

Golda Cristine said...

Circe again...I forgot to tell you about my favorite names I never used. Oberon. Love it. And, this one breaks your "borrowing from cultures that aren't yours" rule as well as the Elizabeth rule, but: Erzebet. It's the Hungarian form of Elizabeth, and the nickname is Erze, pronounced "Urzha." So beautiful, so mysterious, so elegant. Or maybe it's ugly. I can't tell, I've loved it for so long.

Mardee Rae said...

Yes, I love Oakley, too! My parents always wanted to use that name for a boy but had few chances :) but I love it for a girl, too.

Dad said...

How about Jimbalyna? I suggested that to Phil and Aubrey but got no traction. What about considering the names of some of you students at Auburn Middle School in South Central LA. You won't find any of those on the social security list for the past five years. See how many of their names you can recall.

Mardee Rae said...

Or, if you want to get mythological, Athena and phaedra are a couple of my favorites.

Victory said...

Three more rules I have:
1. No on names that you have to explain every time you meet someone--stress on an odd syllable, hard letters where phonics say they should be soft, etc.
2. If you use a noun, it has to be a noun they would be proud of. Victory--yes, Apple--no.
3. Family names are the bomb, but not if you're crossing gender/stereotypes in a way that will make your kid uncomfortable. My siblings and I all have the same middle name, Franklin. It’s my mother's maiden name, which is cool, but being an awkward teenage girl named Frank wasn't so great. Also, my husband's uncle "Kay Paige" (again, mother's maiden name) kept getting assigned to the girls' dorm in college. Super fun.

Circe said...

Oh my gosh, Mardee, I came back specifically to suggest the name Phaedra. That is so funny! Mimi, Jude, Silas, Phaedra. :)

esther said...

My parents chose Esther and Phoebe from the Bible. Great names, but it was a little sad never finding keychains & other tchotchkes that had our names. (Or maybe it was their plan to reduce the buying of random junk? Brilliant.)

Have you see this? http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-to-tell-someones-age-when-all-you-know-is-her-name/

Sarah Blue said...

Caroline listed the girl names in our family except for my youngest, who breaks a couple rules...Melanie Elizabeth. My husband wanted Elizabeth because it is my middle name. I liked Melanie because it felt so soft and feminine.

My other daughters are Cordelia Rose and Cassidy Aenone. I like my name (Sarah), but there are so many ladies with my name. I wanted my daughters to have unique names. Cordelia comes from 3 places: Anne of Green Gables, the Happiest Millionaire, and Shakesepare's King Lear. Those are the only places I had heard it, no people. I loved that flow of the name and its uniqueness. Cassidy was picked by my husband. I didn't see it at the time, but a couple years later I noticed that the flow of Cassie matches the flow of Kathy...my husband's mom's name. I think he liked the name Cassidy because the flow sounded so beautiful to him because he loved his Mama.

Other names that have been on my list:

Vivian (Vivian Vance was the actress who played Ethel on I Love Lucy, so it's not completely "Asian". I didn't end up using it because Jolie-Pitt baby was named Vivienne.)


Tirzah (though if I have another girl, ever, I'll probably use this name. It works for our family because we've used other biblical names, so it fits in.)

Eleanor (which is similar to your name, so probably out.)


Good luck with your hunt!

michelle said...

I love this! Love how well thought out your process is! I wish I had some suggestion to make but I am excited to see what her name ends up being. Oh, and I completely agree with naming the kids before they get here, you have to meet them first! Oh, also I feel I should report Circe had a narrow miss when she almost named Ptolemy Carl. Seriously, that would never have fit in with the other kids! See, follows your rule!

Unknown said...

I love the rules. We share some of the same rules too! I like Athena, especially given your ties to the Athenian School. Good luck :)

E B said...

Great post and comments! I love the name Phoebe. Adore it. Have since I read "Eight Cousins" I believe, back in my youth :). But I don't have one, and probably never will. A family name of mine that I love is Hyrum. Also I note that I personally know children of almost all names mentioned in your family and even friends. So they must not be super rare, though I have the name-exposure advantage of having lived in four states in the past eight years.

E B said...

Oh, and Mardee, I love Susan too! Again a family name for me.

Melissa said...

Felicity. One of my favorites. Love the meaning, love the way it sounds. Just makes me happy. :)

Kurt & Rachel Keyser said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

My husband is a linguist, so he'd totally agree to most of your rules. He's all about # of syllables and hard consonants/soft vowels, etc.

My daughter's name is Kelsie Jade. We were planning to name her Elsie after her amazing great and great-great grandmothers, until my Aunt pointed out that there was an ad campaign back in the day about Elsie the Cow...so we added the "k".

We named our newest addition Emi. I found out I was pregnant while we were living in Japan, so we wanted a Japanese connection without sounding too Japanese. Emi means "blessed with beauty".

anonymous said...

Phaedra- no. It's a real housewife.
oakley- sunglasses
Gemma-Sons of Anarchy lady
friend named Ariadna--it's a mouthful to pronounce and read
Darcy Bennet--Jane Austin
Susan-world isn't ready for Linda, Marsha, Susan,Judy to come back yet

Anonymous said...

Add to your list of rules:

- No pretentious names. Seriously - no Paris's Clarissa's, or Magnus's. My friend named her daughter Madeline and gets mad when we call her Mady. I can only say "Madeline" with my nose in the air and using a snooty British accent. Many 3 syllable names fall in this category.

- The full name must have a cadence with the surname. How many syllables? There should be a rhythm to it!

- Embrace androgyny. Nothing better than a neutral name, or a girl's name that is respectable but when put on a resume, nobody will know whether it's a boy or girl. Unless it's Pat and you grew up in the 80's.

Much to my chagrin, my baby-daddy nixed all of my hippy name suggestions. No Daisy, River or Winter at our house. I vetoed his insistence on the name Luca for our firstborn. He had just read the Godfather and I was not about to have a little Luca Brasi namesake running around our house. Glad I caught on to that one in time…

Mardee Rae said...

Hahaha, I did not put Darcy and Bennett together in my mind. Yes, that's only for the truly dedicated Jane Austen lover. And in my defense, I've never ever ever watched any of the real housewives shows and didn't know. I agree that that is a game changer. Don't use phaedra. I'm following this pretty closely, have you noticed? I'll find out in a couple weeks what flavor of baby I've got cookin, so...

Nurse Graham said...

Some posts just stick with me and cause me to obsess a bit. This happens to be one of those posts as I think that naming children is a special occassion that should take much thought and planning.

I was thinking about your post as I attended my son's high school graduation. I listened for unique names. One that stuck out to me was Lourdes. It is a Spanish/French name that is a reference to the Virgin Mary or place of miracles. Maybe too heavy for a baby, but nevertheless I liked the name. I also heard the name Abigail, not Abby. I liked that one, too. It is Hebrew for "father's joy" or "father is rejoicing".

But this is your baby and you get to pick. You have great names for your other children so I have no doubt this child's name will be equally fabulous.

Thanks for letting a random stranger, who's only connection to you is through your blog, provide baby name suggestions.

Kera B said...

I love bouncing ideas off family for names. My mom is hugely into genealogy and whipped out several names that would have worked but we would narrow it down to a handful and once the child was born, they determined their name! Ella, Joscelyn and Lorenzo. All great names, and older family names. Their middle names were the secondary faves Gwenyth, Hannah and Moses, but we had to add some Poly too.. Leinani, Momilani and Kekoa. Have fun with picking her name! Whatever you choose will be perfect and suit her. I've alway loved the name Indigo...Lots of possibilities there for nicknames too!

Anonymous said...

My favorite baby girls name I used first , Carina, which means adored. It's been a great name. Highly recommend.

I do love Gemma, Delphine, Mira, Dosha, Lavender, and Helena, just officially added middle name Amelie to my newest.

Good luck! Can't wait to see your choice.


Emily said...

I'm so glad you're pregnant again so I could read another baby name post. I have equally rigid rules, but they vary a bit from yours. For starters, we're Irish Catholic, so saints' names - or variations of saints' names - are preferred. And I prefer they be recognizable and straight forward to go with our less straight forward and very Irish last name. My mom calls my naming style "Old school and New Testament". Then we mix in family names where appropriate. But, it's my personal mission to keep our kids' names, despite my desire for their names to be classic, saints' names and recognizable - out of the top 50. So, we have Thomas Kirby, Nell Caroline (Nell comes from my maiden name, and she's just Nell) and Peter Michael. All the middle names are family names, but I like that they all have a strong "K" sound some where in the mix since we have a strong K in our last name.

Cannot wait to hear what you decide on for your sweet little one on the way.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE that someone suggested Bronte! it's one of my favorites! But, my husband hates it. :p boo.
my kids are: Emerson Graham, Ireland Emma, and Avenleigh Madeleine.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE that someone suggested Bronte! it's one of my favorites! But, my husband hates it. :p boo.
my kids are: Emerson Graham, Ireland Emma, and Avenleigh Madeleine.

ang :o) said...

I'm obsessed with names too! Admitting right now that as soon as you announced your pregnancy I got so excited anticipating the name you'd choose! I've always loved Jude and them it was nixed when my last name because Jensen. Just doesn't work. I could have written this post myself. Except I didn't think about career names and hope they're respected! My two daughters names are so meaningful for me they make me emotional.
The first names have deep personal significance. The middle names are family names. The third name is linked to their adoption. And then their last name.

Flower Opal Ting
Flower was a nickname given to me by my very best friend that I met right after high school and played a huge role in me being where I'm at today. I was apparently the most hippie person he had ever met. He, and a population of people, still call me that and some only know me as that. Also, her name in China was Lan which means orchid, so it seemed meant to be.
Opal is my moms name and she is one of my favorite people.
Ting was her middle name in China.

River Dawn Hannah
River is a beautiful reminder of our favorite place on the planet, my husband's grandma's cabin. A river runs through the property and the whole area means so much to me.
Dawn is my middle name.
Hannah is what her birth mother wanted to name her(I dislike this name in general and struggled to use it but wanted to honor her. So we at least spelled it as a palendrome to make it a little cooler.)

A side note, River was born on my moms birthday so it's kind of cool that they each have a connection to me through name and connection to my mom through name or birthdate!

I also love that their names have imagery. I have a huge painting of a mountain scene with a river flowing into the sunrise(dawn) with a flower in the middle of the river that has an opal center.

(If they ever despise their first names or they rent business enough they can always use opal or dawn.) But I love that no one has their names and no forgets them(their name or them as a person).

I can't wait to hear what name you choose. I also keep a list in my phone. If you'd like them I can share.

Sarah Lee Cakes said...

Harper, Norah and Clover... You must know Travis, small world!
My sisters name is Nellie and I LOVE her name! Only problem is I have 5 other sisters so... Yeah. But Mimi, Jude, Silas and little Nellie... Sounds perfect!
My girls names each have a meaning to us with an accompanied family name as their middle name.
Faye Annabel (Faye came from Morgan le Fay of King Arthur, but I prefer the French spelling with the "e")
Daphne Jane (in all honestly, her name changed from Celia, to Delia, to Fiona to Gwen and my husband just really wanted Daphne. She's a redhead too, so I get scooby do remarks occasionally. Whatever, at least she was the cute, smart redhead right?)
Phoebe Eliza (phoebe originally came from Phoebe Snow, one of Lorenzo Snows wives, but later found it was a family name on my husbands side AND her moms name was Sarah, so it was kismet!)
Good luck, it's a big decision and I think names ARE important!

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