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Monday, December 17, 2012

Baby Name to Consider: Peace. Baby Names Meaning Peace

R. writes:
As we approach this holiday season, and as reports of violence and simple cruelty seem to run rampant, the need for peace is more prevalent than it has ever been.  It has started me wondering if Peace itself is a usable name.  I am already a fan of virtue names---Felicity, Joy, Hope, Faith, Grace.   However, is Peace just stepping a bit too far?
I've only ever heard it used as a name in a book by Louisa May Alcott, Eight Cousins.   It was the name of her great-aunt.  The great-aunt's sister was Plenty. 
The full name would be Peace Eliza S_____son. 

Any thoughts? 


Oh! We have a commenter here named Peace, so I'll be eager to hear her firsthand report! She's recommended her own name before, though, so I think we can start with one vote in favor.

Without that endorsement, I would have said absolutely not. The name's sentiment is wonderful, but the sound-alike slang word "piece" (nice piece, piece of that, piece of ass) seems like it would be irresistible and unavoidable.

More specifically to your situation, I wouldn't pair it with a surname beginning in S: Peace S____ is either too hissy with the double S, or else it can make the first name sound like Pee.

I do think Peace might work very well as a middle name. For a first name, I'd instead consider Serenity or Harmony. To get a little further off the beaten path, names like Accord or Truce or Calm or Amity or Tranquility might work. A name like Eden gets across the concept of a perfect world. A name like Haven gives the feeling of rest and safety. And of course there's the name Pax, which is the Latin word for Peace.

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



35 comments:

StephLove said...

For the surname issue I'd like to know if the name starts with an s followed by a vowel (Simonson) or a consonant blend (Stiltson). I think with a blend it would be easier to pronounce.

As for bigger issue of whether it works as a name, I'm not sure. How about Paloma, which means dove?

Abby@AppMtn said...

I would use Pax in a heartbeat, but I've never thought about Peace. Why not, though? I think I share Swistle's hesitation about Peace S., but that's really up to you.

Shari said...

I really like both Serenity and Haven as names. And I agree with Swistle about "piece", that would be a dealbreaker for me.

Anonymous said...

I think I've heard of the name Makepeace (doing genealogy, that is, not recently). Or what about Dove?

rosamonte said...

I don't think that Peace is usable. I would use Paz, Spanish for peace and used as a girl's name, or Paloma, Spanish for dove.

Lucy Bea said...

I like Peace as a middle name. Another name I have heard with a related meaning is Loveday.

Beth said...

Quick perspective from southern Africa: Peace (English) is a fairly common name for girls. It is also a common name in various African languages.

Anonymous said...

Amity is one of my absolute favorites! Mercy is another lovely, underused value name.

Sarah said...

I love the idea of it, but i would not my daughter (or her parents)to be thought of as hippies. This was my first thought when i saw the name.
I do love Swistle's suggestion for Eden because it suggests peace but not so obviously, and its a beautiful name.

Slim said...

Irene means "peace," and then you could use "Goodnight, Irene" as a lullaby

Beckye said...

I love Paxton, which has the prefix Pax. I went on Behind The Name.com and they suggested:
Edith
Irene
Natasha
Sabina

Good luck

Anonymous said...

I just finished reading Perfect Peace, a novel by Daniel Black. Aside from being an incredible story, much of the story has to do with the implications of the main character's name, Perfect Peace. (Peace is the last name.)

Anonymous said...

Pretty sure I knew a girl named Peace at one point, and she was African.

Most hippies are too old to be having children at this point so I wouldn't worry too much about that. Kids of your daughters' generation will probably be explaining names like Otis with "my parents were hipsters" while being only slightly more aware of hippie slang than they are of beatnik slang. Plus, some peoples' parents were hippies, and it's not really any worse to have to admit to than "my parents were very religious" or "my parents were English majors."

I'd probably worry more about tampax than "piece of ass," and not a huge amount about either. Slang changes, and piece of ass might not even be something the young people say by the time your daughter is one of those young people...and besides, piece is a pretty ubiquitous word in the English language, so it's not like it's bound to that one context.

Liz said...

LOVE Paloma!

Lawyerish said...

I like Amity, Paxton (though less for a girl), Irene, and Serena.

Lee/Leigh is also a word for something that is safe/protected, which is a little different conceptually than peace, but I still like the idea of it.

Anonymous said...

I love love love every aspect of "Pax" - how it looks in writing, the spelling, its meaning. The dealbreaker for me is the very popular bedroom furniture from IKEA, called --- PAX.
Just my two cents from Germany
(Sorry for my English - EFL)

AmyRobynne said...

My friend's 3 year old is named Peace. Her older kids are Ocean (girl) and Ezra (boy).

Anonymous said...

Jemima means dove?

StephLove said...

You mentioned Hope as a virtue name you like. The meaning is not identical, but related. Would you consider it?

Anonymous said...

I used to live in East Africa. Peace is a beautiful woman's name. Frequently used, but not overly common, where I used to live. I love the name Peace. Over the years I have looked around for other ways to use it - I like Frederick for a boy ("fred" means peace in Norwegian and Danish), Shanti for a girl (Hindi language).Or Amani (in Swahili). Paci, Pax, Paix, Paz. Go for it!

Jina Chan said...

I would go with Irene instead.

Annie said...

I also lived in East Africa and heard Peace and Amani as girls' names frequently, so it seems very normal, much like Faith and Hope. Although I like the name, however, I'd be a little concerned about the repeating S.

Anonymous said...

I got a phone call at work from a woman named Peace the other day. I misspelled it at first because it wasn't familiar as a name, but it turned out her last name was more unusual. I think I'd prefer it as a middle name, but it's totally usable.

Peace said...

Hi, it's Peace. Yes, I recommend my name, with a few exceptions, and the S sound in surnames is definitely one of them. My husband's surname has two S sounds (S and TZ) so I didn't take his surname. I get a lot of positive feedback from my name, often from Christians who say things like, "Oh, like the Prince of Peace, how wonderful!"
I do get asked if my parents were hippies when I'm in the U.S. I've noticed as I travel internationally my name is easy to translate, folks who speak only a little English often know the word.
I didn't hear the 'piece of ass' line until I was a teenager, and even then it was from a schoolmates mother.
I've often said the only thing I would change would be to be "Peaceful" instead of Peace. Then when I get asked if it's my real name, I could say no, it's short for Peaceful.
I would have considered giving a daughter my name as a first or middle except for the problem with my husband's surname. I also always liked the possibility of marrying into a family who had the surname Peace because I thought it would be funny.
People know what Peace means, they know how to spell it, and it has so many good associations. I get bumper stickers that say things like "Peace begins at home", my kids could draw a peace sign at an early age & recognize it as my name. I sign things that way sometimes too. How many people have a symbol for their name & can have it understood almost anywhere in the world. I think Peace is a great name.

Janelle said...

I love it! I personally know two girls with Peace-related names. One has the middle name Peace (her sisters have Grace and Faith, I believe). The other girl has the first name Irena (e-rain-a), which means Peace.

In both cases, the parents' wish was that the daughter would grow up to be bringers of peace. I think it's a beautiful image for a girl, and IMO, more other-focused than Serenity or Bliss.

Anonymous said...

I once met the cutest little girl named Paz (pronounced "Pass") from Brazil and her name has always stuck with me. I think it's very pretty but probably wouldnt have the guts to use it myself.

Angie said...

I would put Peace in the "nice in theory, not in practice" pile, but commenter Peace's endorsement is convincing. :)

Amity is one of my favorites though.

Megan said...

Winifred means "friend of peace" or "blessed peace" and has the great nn Winnie! You could always explain the meaning behind her name when you introduced her or if people ask about it.
"This is Winifred, we chose it because we want her to be an advocate for peace."

Patricia said...

I love the name Eliza Peace.

Peace Eliza reminds me of Puritan names. The two names DO fit well together, but I don't think Peace works well as a first name today.

Jenny Grace said...

I love Peace as a name, but not with the surname.

liz said...

I totally would use Peace, as well as Patience, Prudence, and all of the other suggestions above.

Anonymous said...

I like it as a middle, but prefer the Pax and Amity suggestions as first names (although I think Pax is boy-ish).

Rachel said...

Shalom means peace in Hebrew, and is a supermodel's name - Shalom Harlow.

Anonymous said...

I'd only use Peace as a middle name. I think piece of s*** and piece of a** are just too strong.

I love the idea though and there are some other good suggestions by others.

Even if people don't say it to her face, I'm sure those taunts/nn's will be used. But then again, maybe it doesn't matter if people don't say it to her face.

Ms. Key said...

I grew up with a girl named Peace, she was African-American (for sake of demographic information). We lived in a very Caucasian area, her name was very unique to us growing up. It suited her, she had a big personality... but I've never come across the name anywhere else. :-)

I'm not a huge fan, but only for personal preference as I'm not the type to chose Charity, Hope, Verity, etc as my favourite baby names.