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Friday, July 31, 2009

Baby Boy or Girl, Sibling to Cate Meredith

Beth writes:
Even though I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your Baby Names blog, I never thought I’d actually be writing to you! Our first daughter, Cate Meredith, was named within 24 hours of finding out we were expecting her. Our second daughter, whom we lost to a late miscarriage, took a little longer to name, but once we’d found her name we were quite happy with it (Lena Emilie). We’ve had a boy name picked out all along (Isaac Joshua), so if this baby, due August 2, is a boy, we’re all set.

The girl name (Naomi Caroline) we had picked out for this baby took a little longer to settle on, and apparently now my husband is having second thoughts. As am I…I think? It’s a perfectly lovely name, but Naomi is a bit unusual for our family, and it doesn’t resonate with us like the other names have.

Other relevant info…our last name starts with a “D”, ends with an “er”, and is three syllables. It’s Dutch, but doesn’t sound overly so. I like the fact that my name, my husband’s name and our daughter’s first names all have one syllable (Beth, Neil, Cate), but we are certainly not stuck on that. Other names we’ve considered and eliminated include Audrey, Leah, Adele (I love it, but it reminds my IT consultant husband of “Dell” computers), Sylvie, Ella (friends have used it), Darcy/Dorsey (family names that I like, husband doesn’t), and Charlotte.

Currently Eliza is under consideration, but when combined with Caroline, my husband is not too enthused. Perhaps another middle name? My goal in naming is something a little different, yet not so strange that people have a hard time saying/pronouncing it (hence the Cate with a “C”, which I will be forever explaining, but I love it anyway). My husband is quite conservative in his tastes, so I almost feel like I have to be sneaky in choosing a name that walks the line between different and classic.

I hope that’s enough info…any help you can give is so appreciated!

Ooo, I LOVE the name Eliza. I also love the name Isaac, and in fact the two names share similar sounds. If you want to reserve the name Isaac for future use, this might rule out the name Eliza---or maybe not. They're similar, but maybe not TOO similar.

Your first daughter has a one-syllable first name and a three-syllable middle name; it might be pleasing to reverse the pattern for your third daughter, since two of your contenders, Naomi and Eliza, have three syllables. Jane is one of my top favorite one-syllable middle names, because I love its mix of tradition and punk. Eliza Jane and Naomi Jane are both great.

If you instead want to continue using one-syllable names, I wonder if you'd like the name June. It has vintage charm; it's very uncommon but completely familiar; it sounds great with Cate.

I really like June. Let's see about a middle name.

June Avery
June Camilla
June Charlotte
June Louise
June Hillary
June Marie
June Miranda
June Silvia
June Winifred

Two more one-syllable options I like are Eve and Nell.

Eve Caroline
Eve Charlotte
Eve Claudia
Eve Marissa
Eve Minerva
Eve Naomi
Eve Nicole

Nell Bianca
Nell Caroline
Nell Charlotte
Nell Darcy

My favorites are Eve Charlotte and June Hillary.

Name update 11-23-2009!
Beth writes:
Just wanted to update you about the name we chose for our little girl. Naomi Caroline was born on July 28, so unfortunately your suggestions were a couple of days too late! We are very happy with our name choice, and while we’ve had people ask “how do you pronounce that?”, in general we’ve gotten lots of compliments on her name.

However, we will certainly keep your suggestions and the comments for future reference, since our track record of 3 girls makes another girl in the future seem quite likely. J

Thanks again!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Baby Naming Issue: One Cousin's Middle Name as Another Cousin's First Name

Beth writes:
My brother and SIL are expecting their second girl in October. Their current daughter is named Payton Marie. Girl #2 is going to be Something Elizabeth. (How sweet, yes, to give her my name?) My brother keeps saying to my SIL "Hey, what about Morgan? I really like Morgan. Why aren't we considering Morgan?" And my SIL keeps replying, "Because, numbnuts, Morgan is your niece's middle name." (Tis true, of course, Amelia Morgan.) Now, Chris and I have told them we don't mind, and Mia would be over the moon with bliss if they named the baby Morgan. What do you think about two first cousins, out of a grand total of four, sharing a first/middle name?

I think it's (1) totally fine, (2) totally non-confusing, and (3) adorable.

What does everyone else think? Okay to have a Morgan Elizabeth and an Amelia Morgan as cousins? Let's have a poll over to the right. [Poll closed; see results below.]

Poll results (217 votes total):
Yes: 210 votes, roughly 97%
No: 7 votes, roughly 3%

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Jamieson Twins

Sara writes:
I'm due August 8th with twins ! The doctors only know the exact gender of Baby A or Big Mac as we call him. Baby B or ' Small Fry ' is very modest and they can't tell us a definite gender, we will have to wait till Small Fry is born before we actually get it see ! We are having the hardest time coming up with names. Everytime I think we have the names down, one of us changes our minds.

We already have three boys. Jacob Caspian aka. Jake Casper, Cameron Cade and Levi Cooper. Right now we have the ' C ' middle name theme with our boys but I'm not sure if we want to keep that going, I think this is a good chance to break the theme with twins so no one feels left out. Jake and Cam have very popular names and before that didn't matter to use but now I am always hearing there names so we tried to get more unique with Levi but that seems to also be gaining popularity too. All of the boys' middle names have meaning to my husbands side of the family as we used my last name.

We have a few rules for the twins' names. We don't want anything to popular or matchy with one another. None of the names can end with - SON as the last name will be Jamieson. The last rule we have we don't want any names starting is J,C or L .

This is our top names for each gender :
Boys :
Beckett Cormac - So we can still call him Big Mac, Cormac is a family name
Everett Charles - both family names, I love Everett
Max Everett
Max Calloway - Calloway being a family name
Crew Oliver - I love Crew but then we would have 2 C names. Do you think the other kids would feel left out because of this ? Is Crew to out there ?
Oliver Caven - both family names.
Thatcher Holden - my husband's middle name is Holden
Breckin and Cable ' Cabe ' - We love these but can't think of middle names for them. I love Cabe as a nickname but I don't like Gabriel ' Gabe '.

Girls :
Mia Catherine Carys - It means My Pure Love, Catherine and Mia would honor people in our family.
Nova Madelyn - Nova is a family name and we just love it
Everly Noelle / Auden Noelle - Neolla is a family name so Noelle is a variant for us to use it.
Gemma Carys - Gemma is a family name , I love the name Carys
Cecily Vivienne - After my husbands grandma Celia Victoria
Emery Scout / Elise Haven - We just love it
Sophie Calloway - I like how this name flows but is Calloway to masculine for a girl ? Will Sophie age well ?
Rowan Ottilie - This is my husbands favorite name for a girl. What do you think of it ? Is it to hard to pronounce ? Is Rowan to masculine ?

Our list is still pretty long.
Our top names are Max Everett and Mia Catherine Carys right now for B/G twins. Are they to similar or matchy for twins, I want them to be individuals. We didn't plan it but Max and Mia just happened to be our top names for each gender. Do you think they still work as twins ? What about how they sound with Jake, Cam and Levi's names ? If we had B/B twins I think we would chose Beckett Cormac and Oliver Caven/Calloway now but it changes everytime you would ask me.

Do you think any of these names will become overly popular ? Will they age well ? What do you think of them ?

Please, please help us narrow down our list. We are so close but are so far away from naming these twins ! I think we might actuall end up naming them Big Mac and Small Fry !

I remember it was overwhelming naming my own twins. So many possibilities! What we finally did was pretend they were born separately, and chose the names as if for our third and fourth singletons, rather than for twins. I'd hoped too for a subtle twinniness, such as starting with the same letter or having the same number of syllables or SOMETHING. So I'm very drawn to your Max and Mia option: the names are different enough to be used for singleton siblings, and they're your top two names even without the twin factor, but they have a pleasing twinniness. Jacob, Cameron, Levi, Max, and Mia. Nice.

I also like Everett and Elise. And I like Oliver and Victoria, but Victoria isn't on your first name list and you're asking for help REDUCING the list, not adding to it!

For two boys, I like Everett and Oliver. Jacob, Cameron, Levi, Everett, and Oliver. I like how everyone has a different initial.

Everyone who wants to, pair up your own sets of favorites! I'm going to leave the other questions (like about whether a name is too common or whether a name will age well) for anyone who wants to answer them in the comments section, so we can get a good overview of people's different opinions.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Baby Girl Wylykanowitz

Mother W. writes:
We are having our third child, second daughter via cesarean on July 28th and are having such a hard time choosing a name.

Here's our dilemna: Our last name is Wylykanowitz.

I decided long ago that with such a consonant heavy name that first names should be no more than two syllables and should contain long vowels. We also really like using family names. Our son is Jacob and our daughter is Mena (for grandmother Philomena).

We had already decided to name this daughter after my grandmother even before she died in March. Her name is Miriam Ruth Ellis. I like Miriam, but my husband doesn't. There are several granddaughters and great-grandaughters by the name of Ruth (that's what she went by) and so my father has asked to think strongly before using it also. And we all like Ellis but the soft vowel doesn't seem to fit with our other children.

Names that we've come up with so far:
Grace Ellis
Ellis Marie (both family names)
Josephine Ruth (both family names)

I feel that the naming of a child is very important since it's their first communication of who they are in the world. But I'm just stumped. I like many names but it's fitting them with our last name that always ends up getting in our way.

The name that comes to mind is Mira (MEER-ah). It's good with your last name, it fits with your naming preferences, and it's similar to Miriam. I'd use Mira Ruth, I think, to evoke your grandmother even more strongly. The main problem: Mira is probably too similar to Mena.

In that case, I think you should go with Ellis. You all like it, it's an excellent tribute name, and I think it's good with the names of your other children: Jacob, Mena, and Ellis. The S ending doesn't sound ideal to me with the ending of your surname, but to me it's worth it to get the good first name. I like Ellis Ruth.

Let's put your first-name finalists in a poll over to the right. [Poll closed; see results below.]

Poll results (212 votes total):
Grace: 55 votes, roughly 26%
Ellis: 125 votes, roughly 59%
Josephine: 32 votes, roughly 15%

Baby Naming Issue: Is Emma Too Common?

Kristin writes:
I really hope that you and your awesome readers can help me. My husband and I are expecting our second child, a girl, on July 26th. We have a two and a half year old son named William (Will), which is a family name on my side. We are just at a loss for naming her. Of course this is how it happens, right? When I was pregnant with Will, all I could think of were girl names. His middle name is my husband's name (extremely unusual, and starts with an N.).

Our main problem is that we both actually loved and agreed on a name...and then found out that it was one of the most common names in the U.S. last year. Yes that's right, Emma. I have always loved that name (you know when you are in middle school and you name all of your potential children? I have a notebook from 1986 that lists Emma as my top name.) and my husband loves it because it was his mother's middle name (she passed away). So it has a lot of sentimental value for both of us. I also think it goes nicely with Will, and works well with our last name. We didn't realize that it was so common because we live in a community where it is much more likely to give your kid a unique name. We go to the park and have playdates with kids named Finn, Harper, Lucienne, Penelope, Liam, Huck, Evelin and Moritz. Not an Emma in the bunch.

So if we live here forever I won't worry about her being one of five Emmas in her class. However, if we move anywhere else, I fear that I'll be naming her the equivalent of the Jennifer, Heather or Stacy of my school years, and I don't want to do that (no offence meant if that is your name).

We are having a hard time agreeing on other names. All that my helpful husband can come up with is Gabriela. I think that name is ok, but I hate the nickname Gaby. My list is a little more extensive and I really like all of them, but neither of us feel an instant love for any of them.

Lucia (Lucy)
Ella / Ellie

I also LOVE the name Beatrice but my husband said over his dead maybe a middle name. In addition, our last name starts with S and I've eliminated pretty much all of the S names because I don't like the alliteration.

Names that we liked but have rejected due to close family members or friends having the name (or sounds weird with our last name) include:


I guess I am looking for your help in two areas:

1. Is Emma too common? Are we condemning her to a life of being known as Emma S.? Should I really care if we both love the name?

2. Can you think of any other names that we might like? We both seem to like more of the classic, timeless names. We're not into strange spellings or naming your kid something so unusual that she's the only one ever with that name, and we're also not into the super trendy (although Emma apparently fits into that category now).

Help! We didn't name Will until 3 days after he was born, and I don't want to do that again!

I think it's too hard to predict future classrooms, and that the best name for your daughter is the name you both love. I've written about this before, and I stand by it: the Top 10 is not the kiss of death. Only 9/10ths of 1% of female babies were named Emma in 2008 (source: Social Security Administration); that's not even 1 Emma per 100 girls, and a classroom has in the range of 10-15 girls. Compare that to the 1974 Jennifers: over 4 Jennifers per 100 girls. Still, if popularity will bug you, the name Emma is about twice as common now as the name Stacy was in the 1970s.

Here are a few names that are similar to Emma:


Let's have a poll over to the right, for Emma and the Emma alternatives. [Poll closed; see results below.] Other name suggestions can go in the comments section.

Poll results (224 votes total):
Emma: 110 votes, roughly 49%
Amelia/Emelia: 33 votes, roughly 15%
Anna: 10 votes, roughly 4%
Emlyn: 10 votes, roughly 4%
Emmaline/Emeline: 35 votes, roughly 16%
Gemma/Jemma: 26 votes, roughly 12%

Saturday, July 18, 2009


The winner of the revised TBNW book giveaway is Erin of The Schwant Family! I'm emailing you right now to get your shipping info, Erin!

Friday, July 17, 2009


If you've been following the comments section on the Torment Ended! (Edited: Re-Begun) post, you know that many of us are experiencing intense frustration as we try to get our hands on a copy of the revised edition of The Baby Name Wizard. My copy from Amazon arrived and it was the original 2005 book; as far as I know, NO ONE has received the second edition we expected.

So last night after the littler kids went to bed, my eldest son and I went on A Mission to find a copy of the second edition ANYWHERE in our area. We went to Barnes & Noble, because I'd seen people commenting over at The Baby Name Wizard blog that they'd found copies there. But I looked at every single book in the baby name section, and they didn't even have the first edition.

We were about to leave, but Rob had a question for the clerk about Wall-E books, so while we had her attention I asked about the second edition. She looked in her computer and it said it was in stock, but she couldn't find it on the shelf either so she looked in the back---AND THERE IT WAS. With the dark pink dot on the cover!

When I regained the power of speech I asked, "...You don't have TWO, do you?" and she said yes and went back and got me another. And so I HAVE ONE TO GIVE AWAY.

Let's make this giveaway FAST, because if you don't win you might want to go quest at bookstores this weekend. Leave a comment on this post by Saturday, July 18, at 8:00 a.m. U.S. Pacific time, and I'll set a timer to remind me to draw a winner promptly. The contest is for U.S. or APO or FPO mailing addresses only.

Name Update!

Update to Baby Girl or Boy Wright

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Quick Poll: J.J.?

Courtney writes:
What do you think is the likelihood of a baby named Joshua Jonathan being nicknamed "JJ" even if the parents discourage it?

Let's have a poll over to the right! [Poll closed; see results below.]

Also, see the changes and new polls on the post Baby Girl or Boy Lieneck.

Poll results (287 votes total):
It's inevitable: 8 votes, roughly 3%
It's likely: 40 votes, roughly 14%
It could go either way: 65 votes, roughly 23%
It's unlikely: 100 votes, roughly 35%
I would never have thought of it: 74 votes, roughly 26%

Baby Boy Herron

Liz writes:
My husband and I are expecting our first child (boy) on July 20th! We cannot seem to agree on names at all!!! We would like a name that is easy to spell, not weird or too trendy, but something that is not common. We do know that his middle name is going to be Knight (a family last name) and our last name is now we are just trying to find a first name to go with the other two. Our top pick at the moment is Obadiah, and we would call him Obie for short. My absolute favorite name is Finley, and my husband loves Finn, but hates Finley. AGH!

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I like Finley, too. I suspect it's headed for Girlnameville, if that is any comfort. Do you like Phineas? Phineas Knight Herron. I like Finian even better, but I wonder if it's too much N with Herron.

Obadiah is biblical-sounding like current popular choices Noah and Isaac, but less common. Other possibilities of this type: Phineas, Isaiah, Judah, Malachi, Barnaby, Abraham, and Silas.

However, with a noun-like middle name and a noun-like surname, I think I might err on the side of commonness for the first name. James Knight Herron sounds distinguished, as does Charles Knight Herron and Jonathan Knight Herron.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Baby Girl or Boy Lieneck

Lindsey writes:
We are pregnant with our second child, and we do not know the gender. We knew our daughter's gender ahead of time so didn't have much trouble deciding that go round, but for some reason, my husband and I cannot to commit to a name for either gender yet. We need help! Our daughter's name is Emery Grace and our last name sounds like Lie-neck. I tend to like names that are out of the top 200ish in popularity and have strong vowel sounds. My husband is less particular than I, likes names that are slightly more common and traditional. Still, he seems almost indifferent to most names for this baby. He has yet to find one that has really struck him, which throws me because I want him to love a name as much as I. For middle names, we are not completely decided, but for a girl, we have considered Lee (after my father) and for a boy (Thomas, which is my maiden name).

We did manage to create a short list for each gender, though we are certainly open to other suggestions:

  • Maisie (a nod to my grandmother as this was her nickname given by my grandfather)
  • Olive
  • Sibyl (which is my grandmother's first name and a name we both like, but I worry about the first name ending with the same consonant as the last name begins)

  • Cullen
  • Finn
  • August
  • Ames
  • (Orlando, see below)

Names I like but husband does not:
Girls: Juniper, Iris, Ruby, Paloma, Matilda, Luna
Boys: Orlando (though I'm still working on him to like this one as it is an old fav of mine and still on my own contention list), Leo, Lucian, Eamon/Amon

Let's put your lists over in two polls to the right, one for the girl names and one for the boy names, and we'll also collect suggestions in the comment section. I like Olive best for a girl, and Ames or August best for a boy.

Follow-up 07-16-2009. Lindsey writes:
I just posted a comment on your post for our baby, Baby Lieneck. It has our new favorites with a little help from your readers. I finally feel like we have a solid list of good names that I don't feel so wishy washy about.

Any feedback on our new names would be so appreciated. Now it isn't a matter of finding a name we love, but rather choosing a name we love most. And this baby is coming so soon, it feels, so we can't possibly have that much time left to change our minds again. :)

Here's the rundown, or you can check the comments section: (and our daughter's name is Emery Grace)
Boys (middle name is my maiden)
Sullivan Thomas
Elliot Thomas
Finnegan "Finn" Thomas
Solomon Thomas

Girls (middle names are all family names of our very favorite family members.)
Eve Monaghan
Juliet Janita (it's a strange middle name, I know, but it is my mother's name and I'd so love to honor her)
Greta Lee
Annalise Jane

Poll results:

Original girl names (208 votes total):
Maisie: 136 votes, roughly 65%
Olive: 51 votes, roughly 25%
Sibyl: 21 votes, roughly 10%

New girl names (194 votes total):
Eve Monaghan: 59 votes, roughly 30%
Juliet Janita: 22 votes, roughly 11%
Greta Lee: 61 votes, roughly 31%
Annalise Jane: 52 votes, roughly 27%

Original boy names (205 votes total):
Cullen: 33 votes, roughly 16%
Finn: 82 votes, 40%
August: 64 votes, roughly 31%
Ames: 26 votes, roughly 13%

New boy names (181 votes total):
Sullivan Thomas: 49 votes, roughly 27%
Elliot Thomas: 55 votes, roughly 30%
Finnegan (Finn) Thomas: 65 votes, roughly 36%
Solomon Thomas: 12 votes, roughly 7%

Name update! Lindsey writes:
We welcomed another baby girl to our family and spent two days pondering over which of our final four names (Eve, Juliette, Gretta or Annalise) fit her best. We happily settled on Eve, which is the name I almost called her outloud when they laid her on my chest and I discovered that she was really a she. Her full name is Eve Analee. Once we decided on Eve, my husband and I both decided that this probably being our last child, wanted to give her a middle name after my father, Lee. Lee alone sounded too choppy with Eve so we added the Ana, which worked out well because Analee sounds a lot like one of my old favorites: Annalise. So there you have it! Thank you to all your readers for their assistance and insight with our names! It really helped!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Middle Name Challenge: Baby Boy Lachlan ___ MacLean

Jenn writes:
My husband and I are expecting our first in the middle of July. We know we're having a boy so that has solved half of our problem.

We're pretty set on the first name Lachlan as we got married in Scotland and our only common heritage is Scottish. What we're stuck on is the middle name. Options we've tossed around have all been family names:

Lachlan Alexander - Both DH and my grandfathers were Alec, and DH's middle name is Alexander
Lachlan David - after DH's godfather who is a dear friend to both of us
Lachlan Augustus - My Grandmother's middle name was August, and my Grandpa was Gustav, so it kinda covers both.

I'm currently leaning toward Lachlan Augustus, but I'm wondering if it's too stuffy? Too pretentious? Would he have to be quite a character to pull off a name like that?

Anything else that sounds fantastic with Lachlan that you can think of?

I love the idea of using the middle name slot for a family/significant name. Both Lachlan Alexander and Lachlan David sound really good to me. I particularly like David because of the sweet godfather connection: I can just SEE the godfather tearing up when he hears about it. But I love the sound of Lachlan Alexander.

If you're considering having more than one child, I wonder if you might want to save the name Augustus for a possible second son? Lachlan and Augustus is such a good sibling pair, and Gus is a adorable nickname. In fact, why don't I just go ahead and name your son and future son for you? Lachlan David MacLean and Augustus Alec MacLean, or Lachlan Alexander MacLean and Augustus David MacLean., would anyone else like to add a suggestion before I fill in the birth certificate? And let's have a poll over to the right for the current three middle name candidates. [Poll closed; see results below.]

Poll results (171 votes total):
Lachlan Alexander: 99 votes, roughly 58%
Lachlan David: 57 votes, roughly 33%
Lachlan Augustus: 15 votes, roughly 9%

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Baby Girl Kincaid

Rose writes:
I am pleased to find your blog and hope that you can help me identify a name for our baby girl that is due this month (yikes!). The hubster and I have two boys named Chase and Cole. We used the Baby Name Wizard book to help us name our second child, Cole. We knew Cole followed the same style and went well with Chase and it was a great name for us.

The issue we are experiencing this time around is that the names we (or maybe I should me) like this time around do not follow the same style as Chase and Cole and the book's suggestions are not to my liking. Here are some names that the Hubster and I like:

Hubster loves names like: Emma, Olivia, Paige, Macy and Ella
I love names like: Annika, Jillian, Charlotte, Hailey, Harper and Joella

Hubster's style: Names that are really popular right now, his names follow the same style as Chase/Cole (i.e., Paige, Macy)
My style: More traditional names, Longer syllabled names, Not in the top 10 list of most popular, meaning is of importance to me

Our middle name choice for baby girl is probably going to be Kathryn or Katherine. Our last name is Kincaid so we have to be careful our first name does not contain a lot of "k" sounds in it. If you say Kate Kincaid, it sounds bad due to all the "k" sounds.

In the end, we are hoping for some suggestions that follow these rules:
1) The name is easily pronounced
2) The name is not so uncommon that people ask her if it is a family name or where the name came from (my fear with the name Harper)
3) The name is not so incredibly popular that she is signing her projects/papers with her last name initial to distinguish herself from the other two Emmas in the classroom (i.e, "Emma K".)
4) A feminine name, not one that is androgenous since she will have two brothers (don't want her mistaken for another boy)
5) No names that are flower or nature'like (i.e., Lillian, Violet) since my name is like that
6) No more C names since we have two C names already
7) We are open to having names that are longer and can serve to have a nickname

Any helpful suggestions for baby girl names?

I think it's totally fine to have different naming styles for boy names and girl names. I think the divide between the genders reduces the potential "someone is different" problem.

Here are a few suggestions:

Juniper - I know, I know, it's nature-like AND it's probably similar to Harper in its "Where did you get that name?" potential. But it has the current-style flavor your husband likes, while also having the multi-syllable, less-common style you like. Juniper Katherine Kincaid.

Piper - Again, currently in style but not very common. I think it's ADORABLE with the middle name and surname: Piper Katherine Kincaid. "Piper Katherine" is fun to say.

Annabel - One of my own favorites. Annabel Katherine Kincaid.

I also suggest seeing if you can take a name from one list and make it into a version that the other parent likes better. His choice of Emma is too common for your tastes, but perhaps Emmeline? Emmeline Kathryn Kincaid. Or Annabella is like a combination of your choice of Annika and his choice of Ella. Annabella Kathryn Kincaid.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Baby Boy, Brother to Gracie, Cora, and Mary

Kristi writes:
Baby boy (after three girls!) will be born soon. He will be our last kid (and only son).

I like relatively uncommon names, but NOT WEIRD. I like Gage and Price (my maiden name, which we will use for a middle since I CANNOT cajole him into using it as a first). Hubby likes Connor, Trevor and possibly Cole. I think Connor and Cole are decent, but too popular. Popularity doesn't bother him. Of course, he was not one of five Kristi/Christy/Christi/Kristy/Kristie/Christie's (+ 15 more K/Christine, Kristin, K/Christina's) in every class. GAH. Trevor I just don't care for. We both liked kind of a weird one, Ridge, but think it sounds too much like 'Rich' (ok, so I take back we don't like weird for this ONE name). Still, it would be hard to subject a kid to repeatedly have to say and spell his name for the rest of his life...

Our last name begins and ends with 'N' so I want to avoid any names that begin or end with n, to 'n'ey for me. Siiiigh, so very many boys names end in n. HELP. ME.

Our girls' names are Gracie, Cora and Mary.... old-time names, but we don't seem to have that same style for a boy... ?

I assume your husband has rejected Gage, and that's VERY SAD because it seems perfect to me: modern but also old-timey. Gracie, Cora, Mary, and Gage. Nice.

I know you said the name Ridge is an exception to your usual tastes, but I can't resist looking around a little in that area, just for fun. You wouldn't like the name Ridley, would you? It's like Ridge, but less easily mistaken for another name (though there might still be some who would think it was a typo for Riley). I think it has an old-fashioned sound that goes nicely with your girl names: Gracie, Cora, Mary, and Ridley. Ranger would be another option, although because I am a '70s baby it immediately brings to mind Ranger Rick (a positive association, but, well, a raccoon). Or, okay, one more: Bridger. It has ridge in it but doesn't sound like Rich. One possible problem is that it looks feminine to me, I think because of the name Bridget.

Too weird? Here are some that are not as popular as Connor and Cole (both Top 100 names, according to Social Security), but more familiar than, say, Bridger:
Cade (similar to Gage)
Cale (almost Cole, but not)
Joel (almost Cole, but not)
Wade (similar to Gage)

And here are a few that are Top 100 but have less of a common FEEL to them---at least where I live:

I think my top pick would be Asher Price (Gracie, Cora, Mary, and Asher), but I'm worried about recommending it because the popularity of the name Asher is increasing so relatively rapidly. I feel like pushing the name Lyle because I think it's so sadly underused, and because Lyle Price has a really nice sound to me.

What does everyone else think? Do any of these names seem normal and yet unlikely to be duplicated in the classroom? Can you think of others?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Torment Ended! (Edited: Re-Begun)

Remember how I was all tormented about the second edition of The Baby Name Wizard only being available when the first edition was sold out? Today Laura Wattenberg announced on her blog that has agreed to sell only the second edition! I've already ordered mine; now I have to go camp out by the mailbox.

Edit 07-10-2009: NEVER MIND! Three people have already contacted me to let me know that their copy arrived from and it was the ORIGINAL edition. And that's just the ones that arrived by cheetah: I ordered mine with 2-day shipping before I wrote this post, and it's not due to arrive until Monday. I'll let you know what I get, and please continue to leave comments in the comment section if you get the wrong thing. I've found to be very good with returns, though of course this is still an ENORMOUS DISAPPOINTMENT. I'm going to go look at The Baby Name Wizard's post about shipping the new edition and see if other people are reporting similar results.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Middle Name Challenge: Baby Girl Zoe ___

Kimberly writes:
I am due in 3 weeks with baby #2, a girl. We think we have agreed on a first name, but I'm starting to have doubts for various reasons. In addition, we can't decide on a middle name! The name we have chosen is Zoe. It started a few months ago simply as a suggestion from my husband, but my (almost) 3 year old loves the name and is already introducing the baby as "my baby sister, Zoe."

We are fairly certain that this is our last child, meaning my husband will not likely get the son he wants (even though he is thrilled with his girls!). I named our oldest child, and suggested he pick a name for this baby. The name he chose was Zoe Jane. For those not familiar with the song or type of music, Zoe Jane is the name of a song by Staind and is about a father's love for his daughter. While the idea is extremely sweet, I just couldn't name my child after a song and we are now having a problem agreeing on a middle name. He suggested Grace, which I don't think goes well. I suggested Elizabeth and he thinks it is too old fashioned.

The other problem (and the biggest problem I am facing right now) is the similarity in sound to another family member's name. She is the girl's aunt (my husband's younger sister), but is still in early elementary school so she is closer in age to the girls than to my husband. My kids will spend every weekday afternoon with her (and my mother in law) while I am at work. Her name is Chloe. I'm worried the names sound too simliar and will cause confusion.

I hope you can offer some input to help us make our decision a little easier.

If your husband is going to choose the name for this daughter, and if it doesn't bother him to have his daughter's name rhyme with his sister's name, then I think having a Zoe and a Chloe will be fine. There will probably be occasional confusions, but it seems likely to be a minor issue.

I think the name Zoe is a particularly difficult one to find a middle name for. I lean toward long middle names:
Zoe Carolina
Zoe Felicity
Zoe Katerina
Zoe Olivia
Zoe Rosanna
Zoe Rosemary
Zoe Savannah
Zoe Veronica
Zoe Victoria

If he likes the sound of Zoe Jane and Zoe Grace, perhaps he would like:
Zoe Faith
Zoe Joy
Zoe June
Zoe Kate
Zoe Layne
Zoe Paige
Zoe Pearl
Zoe Rayne
Zoe Rose

If Elizabeth is too old-fashioned, maybe he would like:
Zoe Elena
Zoe Eleni
Zoe Elise
Zoe Eliza
Zoe Ella
Zoe Isabel

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Long have I waited---LONG---for the second edition of The Baby Name Wizard. I believe I started waiting back in 2005, around the time I read the last page of the first edition.

When I heard it was coming out this July, I started planning. I checked every day: "Is it available for pre-order yet? No? How about now? How about NOW?" And finally the day was nigh: it's coming out on Tuesday. My plan: buy two copies, one for myself and one to give away here.

But OH NOES! It cannot be ordered! We have to wait for stores to sell their remaining copies of the first edition! We have to cruise ACTUAL STORES, sniffing and pawing the shelves to see if they have a Second Edition on the shelf yet!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

This is torment! TORMENT! The book is NEARLY WITHIN OUR REACH, and yet swinging tantalizingly away from our chilly and trembling fingers.

Baby Boy Radecki

Ashley writes:
I am due with our second boy in early July. Like a previous poster, my husband and I strongly disagree on names and usually strongly oppose each others' choices. Currently, we have one son, Leo James Radecki. My husband is Leonard John (he goes by Len). His father and grandfather are Leonard Leo Radecki Sr. and Jr. respectively, so my husband is not a third. The name of my first son was primarily my husband's choice and he offered it up at the time of his delivery, but I loved the name Leo (and was glad he didn't say Leonard!) and James is my father's name. We both would like a name that is not popular and also we both like traditional names, but in a different sense. My husband would also prefer to have a name after a saint. All of the names I like are very popular on the SSA popularity list (i.e. Matthew, Evan, Nicholas, Ryan) and all of the names my husband likes are traditional, just not my taste (i.e Francis, Frederick, Henry, Jacek). Our first son's name is actually a great example of what we both love in a name, but can't quite get a hold of anything this time around. My husband is Polish/Lithuanian and I am 100% Scottish. As Leo is a Polish name, I have found the name Alec recently and love that one as well...being that it is Scottish, short for Alexander (who is a saint) and not on the SSA list. We were also looking at giving him the middle name of John, but it is not a definite and are open to whatever sounds good with the chosen first name. Do you have any ideas that would fit our picky criteria?

What does your husband think of your Alec John idea? I think it's terrific.

I also went to the "Saints" section of The Baby Name Wizard and wondered if you guys might agree on any of these:


I know you said Evan and Nicholas are already on your list so I assume your husband doesn't like them---but they're both saint names so I thought I'd bring them up again.

My favorite option is Oliver. First, because I love that name. Second, because it's a perfect brother name for Leo. Third, because I think it hits that perfect sweet spot between popularity and tradition. Fourth, because I think it's great with your surname and possible middle name: Oliver John Radecki.