Okay. Here's one for you. And I really do want your honest opinion. Our top favorite at the moment is a little out there, and I've never seen it discussed on your blog. I proposed it to my usual Impartial Island Name Tester (My hair stylist. They're perfect for this. They won't tell anyone, and they hear A LOT of names), and recieved NO RESPONSE, which I took to mean, "Um.....no."
We may use it anyway, but if you and your readers tell me what you think, I'll have at least heard it all.
It's Barnaby. And I want to call him Barney.
Hear me out. I think it has a pleasant sound. It is an old-timey, unusual name, yet you know how to say it and spell it. It seems of the ilk of Henry and George and all those others coming back into common usage. Actually, we would want to use George as the middle name, after my dad. Barnaby George.
I'm not really bothered by the Purple Dinosaur. My three year old has almost never watched that show, and a child born this year would see even less of it. Also, even if there WAS some teasing related to the dinosaur, I feel like there isn't much mileage there. "Like the Dinosaur?"... and that's really it. Maybe the song?
So, I guess what I want to know is, CAN THIS NAME BE SAVED? Or will everyone wince when they hear it and make fun of us behind our backs?
Thanks as always for your wise council,
I really really really really honestly like it. It was on our list for Edward, and the main reason we didn't use it is that it didn't fit with the "Top 50"-type style we'd been using for the kids so far, nor did it go well with our "I must use it or I will die" girl name (or actually, it went very well, but in a way we didn't want, and this is getting too confusing considering I use pseudonyms here but you will just have to trust me that all of this is to say I really like the name). I've suggested it a time or two or three, generally to parents who are looking for a totally established name with long roots---but also want something distinctive and unusual and kind of FUN. So many of the boy names that fit my own family's tastes are a little...well, boring to use. We LOVE the name and we want to use it, but it doesn't THRILL. A name like Barnaby has THRILL.
I think it falls into the category of "names that will startle people when you first tell them, but soon they will be thinking how adorable it is." Here is where I think the long roots help so much: if you use a Startle Name like Zophinion, you are ON YOUR OWN in justifying the usage. If you use Barnaby, you have THOUSANDS OF YEARS of name-usage backing you up.
Plus, even though the name has recently been almost unused in the U.S., it continues to be familiar. This to me is a huge selling point. With Zophinion, no one has ever heard of it; with Barnaby, people might be startled, but they'll know the name. It might not be to their tastes, but then, maybe their babies' names aren't to our tastes either.
If I used it, I'd want to use Barnaby as-is, rather than shortening it to Barney---but that's because one of my favorite parts of the name is the -aby ending. So cute! So whimsical! So fun to say!
I'm feeling tempted to push you to use it. I will try to stop pushing now and let other people give their opinions.