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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Baby Naming Issue: Is Keely a Bad Name?

Alyssa writes:
I need a little reassurance on my baby's name. Our little girl is due in a few weeks. We have choosen the name Keely Jane. Our last name starts with a K sound. Keely and our last name sound great together! The only problem is our reaction from people. I've heard anything from, "Why can't you name her something normal?" Or "That's the name of my dead Golden Retriever." My own family members have told me that we should name her Grace, Kelsey, or Vivian instead. My grandma at one point named her Stella and was calling her that.
When we set out on picking a name, we wanted something different. We didn't want our little girl to go to school and have five other girls in her class with the same name!
So tell me Swistle, is Keely a bad name? Is my little girl going to get teased when she goes to school? Our other runner up name was Sarah. Should we change her name to Sarah now?

Thanks!

Ha ha ha! I cannot BELIEVE the gall of your grandma just going ahead and naming your baby something she likes better! If it were me, that would automatically make it out of the question to use that name, which is too bad because Stella is a terrific name.

There is nothing wrong, abnormal, dog-like, or tease-worthy about the name Keely. It's modern and untraditional, which is why older people tend not to like it. (My grandparents thought the name Kristen was PRETTY CRAZY back in the seventies when I was born.) The reactions you're getting are the reason I wait until after the birth to announce the name: no rational, kind person should be telling anyone that their baby's name is a dog's name or not normal, but people DO seem to have trouble biting their tongues when they feel like the name is still open to change. Once the baby is presented to them with the name a done deal, people generally have an easier time remembering their manners.

Change it to Sarah only if you prefer the name Sarah.


Name update 02-05-2010! Alyssa writes:
I wrote you back in December asking for advice on my daughter's name. Well, my husband and I went with our hearts and Keely Jane arrived January 1st, 2010. Her name fits her perfectly and we have only heard compliments on her name! Thank you to you and your readers for the reassurance. Best wishes!

38 comments:

pseudostoops said...

My grandmother does not like my little sister's name, and so has called her a different name for her ENTIRE LIFE. Twenty-eight years. Grandmas, man.

That said, I think Keely is a cute name!

Katie said...

Yeah, Grandmas.
My dad wanted to name me Kathleen, my mom said ok, only if my nickname was Katie, which he agreed to.
But my Grandma insisted on calling me Kathy.
My mom corrected her every single time for 3 or 4 months, then Grandma gave up and called me Katie.

I think Keely is an awesome name!

Abby@AppMtn said...

For what it is worth, my sister once referred to our kids' names as Eurotrash.

Everyone has opinions about names, but at the end of the day, only the parents get to choose!

Rest assured that when your grandma meets little Keely Jane, she'll fall in love.

And if she insists on calling her Stella into her teenage years, well - it will make for a funny story someday.

Hang in there & congrats on your darling daughter!

Ashley said...

I think Keely is a beautiful name

Tracy H. said...

Keely is not a bad name so try really hard not to let others change your view of that. C'mon Keely Shaye Smith, famous tv personality, married Pierce Brosnan (hello, James Bond!) And there was also a singer named Keely Smith in the 50's & 60's who collaborated with Frank Sinatra! I think those are some good associations. Also Keeley a variant of Keely is an Irish surname meaning slender and also beautiful/handsome. I say stick with it if you love it don't change it just because you feel pressure.

karintha said...

Gah! People can be so mean!

I need to remember the Swistle rule about not sharing name information until the bundle is delivered. Our potential little one has had a name since about 3 months into our relationship - I don't think it's gonna change anytime soon =)

Keely is lovely, especially with Jane as a middle name. It isn't weird and it is unusual enough that she'll be unique. I hope you stick to your guns and congrats!

Katie said...

Has your grandmother ever heard of Louis Prima? He used to sing with a woman (in the 1950s - or maybe even earlier!) named Keely Smith. She had an amazing voice - you should listen to some of her music. So I don't think it's all that "modern" at all, and it's a great name.

Jen said...

Keely Jane? Is adorable! A very nice combo of modern with classic. I had a friend Keely in college and let me just say, I was always jealous she had a cool name over my common name. Don't change it unless you truly change your mind. Maybe comeback at the naysayers with something along the lines of "this is my daughter you are talking about" to help them remember their manners, as Swistle said.

Diane said...

A classmate of mine in elementary school had a younger sister named Keela, which we all thought was different but beautiful. Once your family connects the name with the baby, I think they'll get used to it.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Keely Jane is adorable. They'll all get used to it and will love your little girl so much that the name will just become her.

MelissaInk said...

I like it! Keely Jane. The worse she'll get is "Kiwi," but that's sort of cute too :)

Keeping your kids name a secret till you have them ::is:: a good idea. We had trouble naming our second son and we shared SO many names with SO many people. Anyway, after many, many, many suggestions, we finally decided on a name and didn't tell anyone till he was born. No one had a negative thing to say once the deal was done.

Abby - Eurotrash? Oh, that is priceless. I know some people who have named their kids names I don't care for, but I would never be so bold as to tell them (though, I will tell my mother and close friends).

Hope said...

This is so weird. I was just thinking about this name this morning. One of the local radio announcers here has a daughter named Keely, and I was thinking I liked the name, and then paired it with my own last name but decided it was a little too rhymey/sing-songy. So, obviously, I like the name! It is modern, but has a familiar, classic sound.

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

I feel like I'm hearing "Keely" around more and more -- it's similar to Kyla or Kylie. I think it's actually a really nice name. Keely Jane is especially cute!

I understand about family ~*dramaz*~ with names. From the time I was pretty young my mother always said to me, "If you name your kids something 'made up' I'm just going to call them something normal anyway".... LIKE GEEZE.

Mind you, the names I like anyway (and even back then) are fairly traditional/well-known names, so it's not an issue, but seriously. Pretty rude if you ask me! They had their chance to name their babies, now it's your turn!

g~ said...

I would like to say that even though we waited to announce our daughter's name until after she was born, NO ONE liked it. Of course, now, everyone says it suits her and so she has grown into the name and the name has grown into her. But I am so glad we didn't let the fact that others probably would NOT like our choice dissuade us from using the name we loved.
I like the name Keely if that is any consolation at all. Such a cute name for a little girl but not too cutesy for adulthood.

beyond said...

I like the name Keely. Keely Jane. It's quite lovely. Once she's here everyone will forget about the name-drama and just adore her. Go for it.

Bronwyn said...

My first Cabbage Patch Doll was named Keely Jeanetta.

Not that that has anything to do with anything :)

You name your child what you want to, and everyone else can just suck it.

My husband's grandmother notoriously (and tackily) expressed distaste with EVERY NAME given to her grandchildren. I can say this because she's an inlaw... suckit gran!

Of course, it all started when she wigged over my name (Bronwyn).

Psh.

Tree said...

LOVE Keely Jane!

Christine said...

I think Keely is perfectly fine! I generally prefer more traditional names myself, but if that isn't you or your family, well, sucks to Grandma.

I think Keely Jane, personally has a very nice ring to it.

Frazzled Mom said...

It's hard enough for two parents to agree on a name, no one else should get a say. It is probably a good idea to keep you baby's name a secret until she is born, unless you really are having second thoughts about the name and feel you need validation. But I don't think you need any validation.

With my daughter's name, we decided on it very early in the pregnancy and kept it a secret from everyone until she was born because we were very committed to our choice and didn't need anyone else second guessing it. With the son I'm expecting soon, we had a harder time agreeing on a name. Once we did agree on a name, I told some people I trust, mostly because it was my last choice name and I guess I was hoping for some validation from others to get me excited about it. And since the name is very traditional, I didn't think many sane people would have anything negative to say about it.

Swistle - Kristen was going to be my brother's name had he been a girl. My Mom loved the name so much she decided to break the A name pattern. At least both my parents' names happen to begin with K.

Anonymous said...

If it makes you feel any better, I'm 29 now and went to grade school with a girl named Keely (Key-lee, with two long e's). No one made fun of her - it's close enough to Kelly that it's not completely out there - and now that I think about it, her last name started with a "K" sound too (Carlton). So when I was in grade school, at least, the name didn't get made fun of...and I'd imagine it's even less so now since a lot of her peers will have unusual names as well.

Kate said...

I actually know a girl named Keely Jane - she must be about nine now. That name will always conjur up images of a blonde, bouncy, sweet little girl.

We named our daughter Jane, and around 14 weeks when we were discussing names my in-laws told me that they didn't like it. I had a hard time with it, but decided that I would use it anyway. We kept that decision a secret until she was born. No one has mentioned disliking it since. I am sure they still may, but I just didn't want to hear it, and I think that not telling discouraged people from bashing the name we choose AFTER we gave it to our baby. If you want to use it - do it, and don't let people change your mind.

Sarah said...

I think it's a pretty, fun, catchy and memorable name. But can still understand a grandma not really getting the name. She'll get over it. She probably doesn't get your clothes either, or the way you decorate your house, but got over that stuff. This is the nature of grandmas. And someday we will be them...

Susan said...

I love the name Keely Jane. It doesn't sound weird at all. I expect you will get very good feedback on the name when you introduce her -- I really do think a high percentage of people will love the name -- and you may find people copying you!

Anonymous said...

I don't even like "out there" names and I think you've selected a great name. It's certainly not weird or a dog's name. (Although my husband has friends w/ a dog named Kayla and now he always says Kayla is a dog's name. Which it is SO not.)
Name her what you love and be confident with your choice!

Anonymous said...

And another thing, I hate keeping a name secret until the baby is born, so we just keep it a secret until we DECIDE. Then, I find people are not mean about the name. Although, with our first, I did have to warn my overbearing mother "This is the name - so if you don't like it and you say something I will tell your granddaughter you don't like her name." She got the point.

M.Amanda said...

Nothing wrong with Keely at all. I worked with a Keely who was a lovely, bright, kind woman. That said, you may want to prepare yourself for those who will see it and assume it's really Kelly, especially if you have loopy handwriting or sometimes make those kinds of typos.

I agree with Swistle: only change it to Sarah if you prefer Sarah.

R said...

I LOVE the name Keely (doesn't hurt that one of my favorite cousins' name is Keely Shondel) - she's 32 and all I've ever heard about her name from others when I've mentioned it is how pretty they think it is... I say GO FOR IT! and tell Gramma "you named your kids what you wanted, I'm doing the same, but thanks for your input!" ;) My husband's gramma told my sister-in-law a few months back that the name they had picked out for their son (Liam) sounded like a "rat" and she said she hated it every time she heard it.. he's now 2.5 months old and she's too wrapped up in enjoying him to complain about it!! :) Good luck to you!

R said...

also - I don't know if you're opposed to nicknames or not, but if your gramma REALLY doesn't like Keely - she could always go with KJ as a nickname (happens to be one of my sister's nicknames, as well as two of my cousins: Kelsi Jean, Kristopher James & Kory Jesse - but my fam is known for having nicknames up the wazoo!) :)

Karen L said...

Keely Jane is perfect.

Take the high road with criticisers - outwardly. Smile and nod, know that THEY are being rude. Meanwhile, devise a REALLY GOOD comeback that you can whip out if months later they just will not shut up. Even better if it inherently makes you look good or them look bad. Something about a deathbed promise or something. Even just a straight-up, "Grandma, it hurts my feelings that you are deliberately ignoring the love with which DH and I chose this name for our baby. What makes you think your tastes and opinions are so much more valuable than ours that they must be repeatedly wielded against us?" Lie if you have to. Just having a zinger will make you feel better, even if you never need/get to use it.

Anonymous said...

I am a 64-year-old grandma and I have LOVED the name Keely ever since the late 50's when I was a very young fan of Keely Smith. As someone previously stated, you should listen to her music if you're not familiar with her.....it's fabulous! People who make rude remarks about babies' names are just that...rude people! We are all entitled to name our children what we choose. Keely Jane is beautiful and I'm sure she will be just that. Congratulations.

Mama Cass said...

My daughter's name is Keelyn, mostly because we liked Keely, but my other daughter is Hailey, and we thought that was too similar. Anyway, we got lots of bad reactions to the name while I was pregnant, so much so, that I even doubted it months after she was born. BUT...now she is almost two, and there is not a better name for her in the world. I am still resentful of the negative things said, and I think if I have another, I won't share the name first...but I love her name, she loves her name, and that's that. For nicknames, we call her KiKi, and Keeks. So cute! Good luck. Go with your gut.

Tess said...

I cannot believe your grandmother! Don't let comments from others change your mind. My children's names have always gotten rude comments (Duncan, Stockton, and Soloman), but don't let it get to you. I think Keely is adoreable, and is perfect with mn Jane. Congrats on your joyous blessing!

Anonymous said...

As far as I can figure out, the name is not one prone to teasing. As for grandma, she named her kids. And I'm sure her suggestions are welcome. But it's not her call.

And by now, she should be mature enough to deal with it.

I'm an old maiden aunt whose name suggestions were discarded by everybody. That's OK, that's why God made dogs and cats.

But I'll second a previous poster: my youngest sib named his daughter Beatrice; I was horrified -- I only knew of old ladies named Beatrice (well, and Prince Andrew of England's daughter). But, now my family's Beatrice is 10 and I can't imagine a better name for her.

Deniselle said...

I just met a dog named Nelli, and have known other dogs by that name. That doesn't make me feel that Nelli is ONLY suitable for dogs; it just happens to be a cute name.

I know a family where the grandmother had a fit over the name Colin and said she'll never call him that. The mother persisted and over time, the grandmother started to call him Colin and shut up about the name. (I'm not sure what her problem was in the first place.) It's YOUR baby, and you should be the one to decide the name.

I'm a bit unsure, though, if Keely is "different". It seems to fit well with Kylie, Kayleigh and other trendy names, and IMO there is a strong possibility she will go to school with other Keelys. If you really want something different, maybe you should consider possibilities outside the K trends. Neely/Neela, for instance, has the same feel but is a bit more different. Niecy or Lacy also seem to have a similar vibe.

Keely is lovely, though, and if you really like it, go for it!

Anonymous said...

Keely is lovely. I've only known one & she is a true original, a young woman who was raised & homeschooled in the ranchland of British Columbia. That Keely is both a rodeo rider & a poet, a smart & gentle young woman.

Erin said...

To be honest, its not my style. But I think all the above posters have made quite a case for why you should name your daughter the name you love, since no name will suit everyone's tastes.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE the name Keely. I named my daughter Keely Shay (her first name) and Grace for her middle name. A lot of people like it and for the ones that don't...well who cares? Look it up on "what names mean" and it says Keely means beautiful and graceful. It's not a common name that's another reason I like it. Too many kids have the same name these days.

Anonymous said...

My daughters name is keelie Adriana. She never gets made fun of. Alot of people say they have never heard of the name before. The only bad thing is people call her Kellie vs keelie. It drives her nuts but what can you do !? Lol