I have been VERY MUCH enjoying the discussion of various names that originate in children's literature, such as Heidi, Wendy, Alice, Dorothy, the names from The Children's Hour, the names of the Little Women, stuff like that. And...um...some boys' names too I suppose (not really, I'm not good at naming boys).
Anyhow it's been a very satisfying Imaginary Baby discussion for me, except that no one wants to discus a particular name with me, either because they haven't heard of the book, or they are alarmed by my baby name discussion and want to know if I'm pregnant (I'm not).
The name I would like to discuss!
What do we think of Eloise?
Is the association with the children's book positive or negative?
Is it a pretty name?
Would Elsie be an appropriate nickname?
Does it make us think of Heloise, and Abelard, and monk castration? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Abelard#H.C3.A9lo.C3.AFse)
Anyhow, I've been pondering the name Eloise, for an imaginary baby, if you'd care to ponder it with me.
I also want to know what you're favorite literature-based names are, if you have any.
I would INDEED enjoy a good ponder! I like the name Eloise very very much, and for me the children's book character is what takes it from being "the name of that older lady at church" to a name reasonable and appealing for a child. It gives it SASS and SPIRIT. True, the book Eloise is a bit of a terror, but she is an APPEALING terror, and a CHEERFUL terror, and a CONFIDENT terror with high self-esteem.
I don't know if I would describe the name as "pretty" or not---in the same way I'm not sure if I'd use that word for the name Beatrix, or even for a fancier name like Anastasia. They're some of my favorites, but are they pretty? Good question. Clarissa is a pretty name, I think; Linnea seems pretty to me, as does Cecily, as does Arabella. For me, names like Eloise and Ruby and Genevieve have some quality other than prettiness, but I find I can't put a finger on what, or why.
Elsie, to me, is a different name and not a nickname for Eloise--but then, I'm a HUGE stick-in-the-mud about nicknames (I don't think Ella is a nickname for Elizabeth, either, even though I am fine with Meg as a nickname for Margaret). In old books I've seen Weezie as a nickname for Louise and Eloise, but it's not a nickname I like much. Louise has Lou and Lulu, and I'd think Eloise could have Lo or Lolo---which looks odd when I write it, but it seems like J. Lo and Lo Bosworth have brought it into the realm of possibility. Or the nickname Ello might happen naturally. I think I'd just call her Eloise, though. It's so fun to say.
I had somehow managed to fail to notice that Heloise was Eloise with an H: I've got Heloise over on one side of my mind with household hints, and Eloise way on the other side with appealingly spoiled children. So clearly my answer is that it doesn't make me think of monks and castration misunderstandings---but I would be grateful for the chance to take that into account, if I were considering using the name, since I can easily see how to someone else the names could be interchangeable.
The question about other favorite names from children's literature needs its own separate post, I think; I'll do that one a little later today. In the meantime, let's discuss: ELOISE. And let's have a poll over to the right! [Poll closed; see results below.]
Poll results for “What do you think of the name Eloise?” (289 votes total):
I love it! I’d use it! - 19%
I like it! I’d consider it! - 28%
Wouldn’t use, but would like on someone else’s baby - 40%
No particular opinion either way - 3%
Slightly dislike - 6%
Strongly dislike - 2%