Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Premature discussion: baby names!

I've been thinking about buying The Baby Name Wizard for over a year now, but I finally bit the bullet and did it when Swistle announced that the second edition was out. Of course, it took me three tries to actually GET the second edition (thanks, Amazon! And dumb publishers for giving the first and second editions the same ISBN!), but once I got it... ooh. This book is GREAT.

Of course, Torsten thinks I'm insane for buying a baby name book when I am nowhere near pregnant. But: BABY NAMES. It's never too early, right? Plus, I have convinced him to talk baby names before, and we even tentatively agreed on one, and then a few months later? I was SO OVER that name. See? It's good to start early so you have time to really USE the name and THINK the name and see if it's a good one, the kind that sticks.

I have a few criteria for names. I don't MIND being in the top ten, as in, if there were a name that I LOVED and it was the top name in the country, I'd use it anyway. But otherwise, I'd rather be somewhere in the top few hundred. I want a name that is recognizable and has one main spelling and pronunciation, but that isn't overly used. I want a name that's pretty and has at least one possible nickname, though I can be flexible on this. I don't struggle with middle names--we already have a meaningful one picked out for a boy and a girl--and I want the first name to flow with the middle name.

These criteria tend to lend themselves to old-fashioned names. Everybody has heard of old-fashioned names, they are less likely to have been butchered with funky Y spellings, and because they are old-fashioned they are often not as popular. Plus, old-fashioned names are usually pretty.

One such name that I ADORE is Eleanor. I think it is pretty, classic, and elegant. I love that it has multiple nickname possibilities. And I think it would fit a person of any age.

But Torsten hates it. This is a conversation that we have had many times and just keep going back and forth on. He thinks it's ugly and old-fashioned, in a bad way. I think it is woooonderful. But honestly? The Baby Name Wizard made me feel better about this, because it claims that according to their unscientific survey, Eleanor and Lillian are the two names that men and women disagree on most. Somehow, this makes me feel better, imagining the same argument playing out in households across the country. And all you women with daughters named Eleanor... you are lucky! I am jealous.

I do wonder some things about name-selection etiquette. Like, if you have a good friend with a name you like, does that name become off-limits? For example, I like the name Mallory, but I have a friend named Mallory. And I like the name Jillian but I have a friend with that name too. Would that be weird? We wouldn't be naming our child AFTER these friends, but they would still have the same name. Or is that OK?

Or what if your friend has a KID with a name you like? Is it OK to use the same name? I wouldn't name my kid the same name that my sister used for her kid, for example. But how far into the social circle does this rule extend?

Also, there are two girl names that I LOVE that just don't fit with the middle name we've picked out: Amelia and Lena. BUT I LOVE THEM. But they would sound TERRIBLE with the middle name. And the middle name is PERFECT, and also meaningful, whereas the first name is just pretty. So the middle name wins, right? But would it really be SO TERRIBLE to just saddle her with a first and middle name that don't really go together? I mean, how often do you REALLY use your middle name anyway?

And there are LOTS of other names that I like but that Torsten has vetoed (because I have managed to make him talk about this once or twice). For girls: Audrey, Beatrice, Bridget, Charlotte, Chloe, Gemma, Imogen, Nora, Sophie, and Vivian. For boys: Colin, Jackson, Kieran, Mitchell, Oliver, Roger, and Trevor.

I am especially sad about the loss of Roger as a possible name. I don't know why. I just think that name is GREAT. Am I alone in this? Torsten says that it would remind him too much of Roger Federer. I think that once you have a kid, you kind of lose any celebrity associations you once had with the kid's name, and just think of the kid when you hear the name. But he still says no Roger. And I am very sad about that.

What about you? What are your baby naming parameters? What are some names that you love and hate?


  1. As a real life Eleanor, I have to say that I have grown to really like my name. I usually go by a nickname but professionally and with some family I'm Eleanor. People are always familiar with my name and there is never another Eleanor in the room.

    I think you can use a friends name if you like and I would still name my kid the same name as my friend's kid if I really liked the name. People move and friendships wax and wane so I wouldn't let those be barriers to a name you like.

  2. My son has a classmate named Eleanor.

    We wanted a name that no one in our families had. Hubby's family is notorious for re-using names. Hubby's name is the same as a nephew, an uncle, and a grandfather. One of our nieces, who was born while we were dating, has my name. Years later when I mentioned it, my sister in law said "We really liked the name, and we didn't know if you were a keeper." Thanks.

    When our son was born, and we revealed the name (we didn't find out gender, and didn't disclose name choices), hubby's mother asked "Is that a family name?" I loved hubby's reaction: "It is now."

  3. I love talking baby names, even though I'm done naming my own babies.

    My biggest rule was that I didn't want to know anyone with the same name. I didn't care about popularity in terms of the published data, but I did care about my own experiential data. The perfectly lovely names Hannah, Sophie, Emily, Ava, Connor, Matthew and Owen were out because I knew one or more kids with those names. Our other rule was that we each had an unlimited number of vetoes. We both had to love the name or it wasn't happening.

    I tend to prefer short, spunky names to longer, frilly names. I'm not a huge fan of nicknames, so names like Jill, Meg and Tess were on the list as the whole name.

    Each of our kids was given their middle names after they were born; they're all family names from my side (they got his last name).

  4. A couple of people in my life have told me that they wanted to name their children my name (Micaela), not after me but because they liked the name.

    I took it as a compliment, because you know when you love a name but you meet someone who is horrible and completely ruins the name for you? It just makes me happy that I'm not ruining the name Micaela for the world. :) I bet your friends would say the same thing.

    Also, two of my favourite names are in your tops - Charlotte and Sophie. Lately I am loving the name Estee too.

  5. I do not like the name Roger. It makes me think of talking on walkie-talkies.

    I am SO shocked the name Violet isn't on your list.

    I would probably not give a baby the same name as one of my friends or one of my friend's or relative's babies, but it depends on how much I like the name and how often I would see the person of the same name.

  6. That's the beauty of naming kids. It's all about you and Torsten. And really matters not whether I love or hate the name. For me personally, there are very few names I hate. There are names I wouldn't ever use (i.e., the name of an ex). But, other than that, I don't have super strong feelings about any particular name. Maybe that's because Sweets and I don't have kids, aren't pregnant and will not have that conversation until we are expecting a child. Maybe then my opinions will grow stronger.

  7. I would never use a name that someone else in our family has already used or if one of my friends had a child with that name. I tend to prefer names that are different (and sometimes old fashioned) -- Willow is one of my all time favorite girls names. For boys -- Jack and Henry are my favorites.

  8. We've talked baby names too, but we must have more agreeable tastes, because we agreed on both a girl name and a boy name within a very short time. Eleanor is a great name, I agree, and it's funny because M agrees too. And Roger? Eh, it's my dad's name and he got too many Roger Doger, Roger Rabbit jokes. Wonder if Federer got many of those? (though, *swoon Roger Ferderer*)

  9. Eleanor and Beatrice are two of my favorite girl names! I also love Ramona, but if I used that, I don't know if I could use Beatrice without everyone thinking that I named my daughters after the Quimby girls from Beverly Cleary's books :)

    Of course, Steve hates most of the names I do....!

  10. PS. With regards to family names, I think it depends. My middle name is my mother's maiden name, and I happen to adore it and want to use it for a middle name. Also, my grandparents had two girls, so there wasn't a son to carry on the name, so I'd like to keep it going. Steve wants to name a baby after his father (Brian) but I veto this, bc I have an ex with that name! However, his mother's maiden name, I think, would be a really nice first or middle name, but he doesn't like that idea, bc he says his family considers it a last name and would think it was weird if we used it!

  11. I've always loved thinking of baby names even before I was pregnant! Before I got married, I was convinced that if I had a baby girl, her name would be Elsa...little did I think about what Matthew would have to say about that name. We didn't have a boy name picked out when we had Neva. Boy names are harder for some reason. Who knows, we might've had an Eli or Leif (remember the name Leif, Jess?).

  12. Hey, naming a kid Jillian is fine by me! I wouldn't take... offense? Honor? I'm not sure. In any case... I have an issue with names that end in "r"-- mostly boys names, not so much girls names-- because I just want to let it roll off my tongue and keep going... "Rogerrrrr" in a pirate kind of way. Silly? Yes. I like family names, and since my middle name is the same as my paternal grandmother's maiden name, I've always liked the idea of using the same pattern for a daughter's middle name. (I.e. her middle name would be my husband's mother's maiden name.) Its a name that often gets lost due to marriage, and I'd like to keep it around.

  13. I've thought about baby names numerous times and the BF and I have randomly discussed them before. My favorite girl's names are Cecelia, Clare, and Sophia. For boys I am obsessed with Oliver or Elliot. None of my friends named their children "old fashioned" names, everyone went with popular "Aiden/Kaden/Maven/Colton" names that I don't care for anyway. I think they are cute names, but it doesn't seem like they would trasition well as adult names.

  14. Fun topic! And one that's very pertinent to me right now since I'm expecting #2. We'll find out in a few weeks what we're having, but we're already talking about names.

    Our son is Andrew. One of my criteria with #2 is that his/her name NOT start with A. That's always bugged me, I've always thought it was too...matchy. We're also not using the names of close relatives.

    I love the name Eleanor! I hope you can convince Torsten to love it too!

  15. I thought naming the babies would be super fun and it turned out to be HAAAARD. I think it's because P either rejected all my faves or I started to question them. After all, I now have a REAL PERSON to bestow with a name and what if 'Charlotte' DOESN'T FIT? What do we do THEN?! (I am a touch neurotic.)

    Anyway, I SO do not get the weird possessiveness when it comes to names. My SIL even asked me if it would be okay if her theoretical daughter had the same middle name as my at-that-point theoretical daughter. And the middle name we were discussing was ANNE. It took me quite a while before I realized she was NOT JOKING!

    I really wanted to name Molly 'Malia', which is the name of a very good friend, but P thought it was weird. I did go so far as to ask my friend, who I think felt touched, but now I'm sort of glad we didn't because everyone would assume we named her after the Obama girls or something.


  16. I've had discussions with The Boy about this previous to our engagement because I feel so strongly about my unborn children's names! Hehe.
    I *think* we've figured it out, but I'm not certain. I hate that Aiden is popular because I LOVE the name. He hates it. I also loved Luke, but He had a bad experience with a dude named luke....i tend to think this is more of the problem then the celebrity association or a friend has a the same name idea. A lot of our names were ruined that way. He loved Lydia and it happens to be the name of a girl who I fell out with in high school. I love the name Anna but he dated someone nicknamed "Crazy Annie"

    Right now our (way, way in the future) future children will be inheriting "Isabelle Elizabeth" and "Quinn Steelyn."

    If by chance we get more than one girl I'm totally going with Gwendolyn Grace and there's no if, ands, or buts about it.

  17. If Calum were a girl, he would have been Amelia. If Emmett were a girl, he would have been Eleanor. I'M NOT KIDDING!

    Great names. All of them. I also love the name Hazel. Old fashioned, yet sort of nature-y without being too hippee.

    If we ever have another boy, I will push hard for Reginald (Reggie!). I love that name. LOVE.

  18. Oh! Also! Since Torsten is German and all...

    We seriously considered the name Liesel for our current baby girl. We're not German, but we think it's a perfectly fabulous name.

  19. eeee, I love baby names, especially girls. I kind of want six girls so I can use them all (lol).

    Delaney Grace (Delaney is my deceased Grandma's maiden name)
    Wylie Jane (Wylie is birthmom's maiden name, my middle name)
    Lucy Anne (my best friends middle name)
    and the rest don't have middle names ... yet:
    Beth. (not short for Elizabeth, just...Beth.)

    And for boys, I have a really hard time choosing names I like, for some reason. Keith really wants Andrew Donald; I'm fine with Andrew, but Donald is my uncle's name and I DO NOT WANT MY KID NAMED AFTER MY UNCLE.
    I want Andrew James, James after my dad & grandpa - and that way, I can call him AJ, which I think is adorable.

    For other boys names, all I really like is Edward (other grandpa's name) and Patrick (as a middle name, it's my brothers middle name) but that's it. I find boys names either too common (i.e. Henry) or too "modern" (i.e. Jayden). Hopefully this won't be a problem (lol).

  20. ooops, I said six, I meant seven, because I apparently can't count.

    But if I had to choose my top five, it would be Delaney Grace, Lucy Anne, Alice, Beth & then it's a tossup between Abigail/Wylie Jane.

    (I love Hannah, but my best friend from elementary school is named that, as a friend named her baby that, and, of course, Hannah Montana. Eew.)

  21. Never too early! My friend has a daughter named Eleanor and they call her Elle, which seems like a nice, modern compromise.

    When I was pregnant, the husband and I would both bring home lists of names, hand them over, and then promptly veto every single name on the other person's list. He chose names that had me going, "Who IS this man?" behind his back, and "Do you realize that name RHYMES with out last name? Do you know what that will do to him/her?" to his face.

    We had a girls name that we LOVED, then found out we were having a boy and were set on saving that girl name for possible future use. Now, I'm kind of meh about that name, but maybe when there's an actual fetus to apply it to I'll change my mind.

  22. Basically my naming policy is such:

    1. Nothing unisex. I dislike unisex enough to say I hate unisex. I'm crossing my fingers that my SIL doesn't name the next addition anything unisex (she's leaning that way) because I won't be able to say anything nice about it. Especially boy names for girls. It's not cute IMO at all.

    2. Some part of the name must have a family connection. In my daughter's case her first name is similar to my mom's first and middle names when said together. My son's middle name is the same as his father.

    3. I prefer longer, nickname available, girl names and shorter boy names.

    4. Traditional spellings ONLY. I refuse to have my child named something like Kennidieeee. I know that's exaggerated and all, but I've seen things so misspelled I didn't even know what the name WAS.

    5. Nothing in use by a friend or family member; including their children. But it has to be a close friend. I have a friend right now who will use my son's first name if her baby (due very soon) is a boy and I'm perfectly fine with that because it's not likely they'll meet...EVER!

    6. Popularity isn't really an issue, but I will generally shy away from anything in the top 20 in favor of something else. My son's named ended up in the top 40 around the time we had him and I didn't realize it until after. We still don't know a tremendous number of boys with the same name of his age. My daughter's name on the other hand has never made it into the top 1000 according to the research I've done, yet I have a classmate from high school who used the same name (but a trendy spelling).

  23. I love the name Amelia. It is at the top of my list. BUT, I am not convinced I will ever have kids so I get excited when other people like it!

  24. My sister's name is Sophie and my dog's name is Chloe. Both good names :)

    We have our boy name pretty much picked out: Oliver.

    I want to name a girl Harper. But Kev hates it. He does, however, like Eleanor...Ellie for short.

    But I'm also not sure about nicknames - Rosie is short for Rosanna, and in school it was always a pain in the ass to say "It's Rosie." So, maybe just Ellie.

    I'm partial to the -ie sound at the end of names, too :)

  25. My criteria for baby names (again, sooo far from having a baby):

    * sounds good with whatever last name the kid ends up with, because I don't know who I'm having this kid with (gosh that sounded skankier than it came out--I just mean I'm single) and what name/combination we'll use

    * not after a living family or friend (Jews only name to honor the dead...luckily right now I don't really have anyone who's died that I want to honor, but that could change by the time a baby comes)

    * easily pronouncable but not with any strange spelling

    * if recognizable as from a particular culture, it must be a culture the child actually belongs to, by birth or adoption--since I'm planning to adopt but don't know from where, I haven't really thought about names from a culture other than my own. But if the child already comes with a name or its birth mother is particularly attached to one, I'll probably use it as a first or middle name.

    * initials don't spell out anything weird/offensive

    Names I like right now include

    Girl: Nora, Amelia or just Leah, Karen, Ruth, Abigail. I'd be willing to go with a more Hebrew or unusual name for the middle name...for example, I love Shifra and Yocheved (Moses' midwife and mother, respectively), Leiba or Liebka ("beloved" in Yiddish), a good combination of my grandmothers' names is Greta or Margreta, and I've always loved the idea of the name Peraspera or Perardua (from the Latin saying "ad astra, per aspera, per ardua" meaning "to the stars, through bitterness [and] through struggle")

    Boy: Ezra (LOVE THIS), Benjamin, James, Eli. Anshel or Zalman or Lev for a middle name.

  26. as someone with an old-fashioned-ish-but-easily-recognized-and-spelled-name, i concur :-) alice is actually growing in popularity now - there are a lot of little girl alices these days - but when i was growing up i was pretty much the ONLY ONE. the only catch with an "old" name is that people repeatedly tell you how their favorite great-aunt, or their great-great-grandma, or their dad's great-cousin or whatever, were named x, which makes you feel kind of weird sometimes. also i get mail from the aarp.

  27. We've been discussing baby names since long before we were even engaged. He has more absolute no's than I do: he doesn't like alliteration (so the name can't start or end with S). We both like the idea of using family names. Our first girl will get my middle name and first boy will get his. I think we're pretty set on both a boy's and a girl's name (and have some backup contenders for both, in case a kid pops out who's obviously not xxx), but I intend to pick up a copy of that book pretty soon anyhow!

  28. I LOVE Nora. LOVE. I have a friend who named her daughter Eleanor, and she currently goes by Ella. That's very current, but she'll have a more grown-up option someday. Nora could also be short for Eleanor, you know! :)

    Keep working on Torsten... maybe it'll grow on him. You never know!

  29. Oh, and I also love Mallory! I wouldn't worry about your friend having the same name, I don't think it would be weird.

  30. As you can imagine, we've had the baby name discussion A LOT lately. I had a boy named picked out long before I met Jon. His sister found out she was pregnant with her first just as we started dating and she and her husband picked my baby name! Of course they didn't know it, but I was so disappointed!
    Middle names were easy for us (family names), but first names have been just awful to decide because Jon has associations with just about every name I come up with. We have finally decided on a girl name and now we just need a boy name. Hopefully we'll just have a girl so that we don't have to worry about it! :)

  31. For girls, I really love Lauren, Hayley and Leah. For boys, I love Hamish (but cant ever have it), James (but hate 'Jamie' so prob wont use this as a first name) and Luke.

  32. This sounds EXACTLY like every conversation with OM. He thinks all my girl names are old lady and all my boy names are gay. He only likes names he has heard a million times before, and while some beautiful, I abhore popular names. ug.

    we've agreed to disagree and call our kids, "hey you"

  33. We like a lot of the same names. And I am pleased to say after much cajoling, I did win the Eleanor debate with my husband...and then we had a boy.

    *Sigh* Oh well!

  34. We are currently battling it out for number two. You would think after naming one child it would get easier, but no. It doesn't.

    My daughter's name is Violet Claire. My husband's grandmother is Violet, and we wanted a middle name for her that was all her own.

    Now, with this one we can't find anything that we like that doesn't end in 'ette'. Charlotte, Juliet, Cosette, and I can't bring myself to duplicate ending sounds.

    Then there is the whole flower/plant/color issue since Violet is all of these we feel silly having a Violet and a Lilly or a Violet and a Hazel (also both plants and colors).

    I love many of your names: Eleanor, Alice, Nora, Amelia, Imogen - but for some reason or another we have crossed each off the list.

    Then there is the question, since Violet has a family name will my other children be hurt if they DON'T have family names? Do you have to worry about stuff like that?

    I have a whole other issue about what/who you name a child after, but I think this comment box is getting full =)

  35. I love the name Eleanor. I think it is elegant and classic and strong.

    I love my real name. I love my online name.

    I also love the name Mallory. Love it! I am sad I won't be having children to name Mallory.

    (Ha! God laughs at our "plans," right? I will probably get knocked up with twins this month.... But then I can have a Mallory and an Artemisia! Arte for short.)

  36. Okay, I have to comment. As someone that has to come up with a good boy and girl name in the next 3-6 weeks (hopefully!) I think it's great you're talking names so early. Because it's a long process in picking names. I am giving up my Mexican last name for an Anglo last name (in the process of changing it after 1.5 years of marriage) and so I stake claim that baby's name MUST sound "brown". The name must be something my mother can pronounce and that doesn't sound bad in English. My name is Alicia (Ah-lee-SEE-ah) but it often becomes "Alesha". Ugh. Hate that.

    Boy Names:

    Girl Names:
    Dalia (Dahlia?)

  37. I definitely already have girl and boy names picked out. I've always known that the middle name of my first daughter would be the same as my great-aunt who passed away when I was a child--she never had kids. Amelia is hands down my favorite girl name, and I absolutely love the nickname Millie, so if the baby is a girl she would be Amelia Jane.

    I have always loved the name Henry, but we had the hardest time coming up with a middle name for that, until my mom finally suggested using my husband's middle name Taylor. I think it flows well enough, and I like the idea of having a family tie for both the boy and girl name choices.

  38. I like unique first names. I have a name that you don't hear everyday and stands out, so I would like my children to have a similar type of name. The problem is, my husband has a much more common name, and he's a junior. If we have a boy, he wants to make him a III. I want to branch out and get a new name. Ugh...

  39. We have the same naming style. I'm really into Sophie, Matilda, Fern, and Josephine (Soph, Tilly, Fern, Jo), but now I'll add Amelia to that list. Lena not so much because people pronounce it differently: Lay-na, Lee-na, Lenn-a. Who knows!

  40. Names can be so difficult! For me, the name couldn't be in the top 50, preferably not in the top 100. It had to be short; strong for a boy, feminine for a girl and go well with a longer middle and last name.
    Plus, I had to love it.

    Dh, on the other hand had none of the same criteria and THAT is where the difficulty lies.

  41. 1) Adam has cousins (on the same side) that are both named Matthew - they were born a week apart, same last name, went to the same school. How obnoxious would that be?
    2) Lucy's name was almost Eleanore
    3) Friends of ours named their kid Enza Petra. Talk about two names that don't go together. But now, somehow they do.
    4) Adam very often says "Lucy, you've got some 's'plaining to do" to our Lucy. I find it only a tiny bit annoying.

  42. Also... popularity of a name often doesn't mean anything in real life. Dane was #700 something on the SS list the year he was born, and he's in a class of 12 kids and there are two Dane's. Go figure.

  43. If you go with Eleanor, just don't give her the middle name Rose. Because, you know, Eleanor Roosevelt. We have some acquaintances that did that and now everyone calls their baby Eleanor Roosevelt behind their back and it's kind of sad and mean.)

    And that's the problem with names. I think that's why so many people keep it a secret nowadays until they've actually named the baby, because they just don't want to hear people's comments. Because it is inevitable that SOMEONE won't like the name you've chosen. Hell I love the name Milo and everyone I know hates it. :)

  44. I have yet to understand why lots of women (some men?) LOVE the baby name topic. PLEASE explain why this is so interesting, and I say this with absolute interest, not sarcasm or criticism. Really, I don't know.

    For us, our parameters were only to be able to say the name without laughing, feeling embarrassed, or to follow up said name with a precise spelling of it, either at audience request or because of our own conviction.

  45. oh, I'll add: secret name that I love but would never use: Elton, for a boy. I love elton! But it's impossible to say "Elton" without thinking of Elton John, and that is not necessarily an association I would want for my kid every time.

  46. Honestly, the only time I think there is ever a problem is if cousins have the same name because every family function could be potentially awkward. But friends? I mean, even my closest friends I don't see often enough to make this awkward and none of them would potentially be in the same school district. I just don't think it's that big a deal. In fact, if someone used Kyle (a friend), I'd be flattered (I picked a good name!), not offended. But I know many people who disagree with me and think it's a big no-no.

    Your criteria was similar to mine. I wanted a not-so-popular name that was easy-to-spell and easily recognizable.

  47. I love babyname stuff (obviously we have a concrete reason to think about them). In Iceland we also think a lot about the meaning of the name.
    Aside from that- I think naming a child after a friend (or you know a friends name) would only be considered a compliment- so no worries there :p

  48. I've actually put a lot of thought into what I would name our kids. Considering that we are a bi-cultural couple we would have to include something to show both our cultures. On top of that LJ has a very generic last name so we couldn't have you know a super common name like "Michael" b/c then he would be 1 in a million of "Micahels/".

    The other thing we have to consider is what can our families pronouce without chopping it up. My first name gets chopped up regularly by the non spanish speaking folks and my mom either changes your name from english to spanish or says it with a horribile accent.

    I think I will be using spanish middle names of my favorite relatives like Carlos or Aurora if it all works out.

  49. Swistle helped me with my baby naming connundrum when I was pregnant with my youngest. We settled on Max James. His older brother is Alex Richard. My husband has a whole list of strict Baby Naming Rules that made finding names we could agree on nearly impossible.

    One thing we did do was have a theme of sorts. Our kids (both boys) were given my husband's last name and presumably will keep it forever(though, maybe they won't who knows). So we decided that their middle names would reflect my side of the family. My oldest son's middle name is Richard for my father and our youngest is James for me (Jamie). We wanted their first names to be their very own. Not named after anyone in particular. Just theirs. And ended up with Alex and Max. The fact that they both end in "x" wasn't really planned, those two names just happened to be the only names that fit my husband's rules and we could both agree on.

  50. I shan't reveal my super secret baby name. However, I would totally read a baby name book for fun. And I don't even think I want kids.

  51. My husband and I discussed baby names before we were pregnant or even trying. I thought we had agreed on two boy names and two girl names, but once I was actually pregnant my husband revealed that he really hated the boy names we had picked. He said "I don't know why I told you I liked them. Before you were pregnant it wasn't real I guess" Now I'm set to have a baby literally any day now and we still haven't agreed on a name.

  52. I am literally thanking the heavens for this post. It means I am not a delusional [is that a word?] freak that spends endless amounts of time pondering names of non-existing babies. I do have a boyfriend but that's as close as I am to be naming a person right now.

    Whenever I think of cute names I put them on my "Names" memo on my blackberry so that I don't forget. I have talked about this with the bf in the past but we have a HUGE disagreement. He wants the name to be in English, I want it to be in Spanish. We're both from Puerto Rico, so I don't see his point. Besides, a name in English + a last name in spanish sounds HORRIBLE! He just says people will understand it better, but the truth is that he has a REALLY WEIRD name that nobody understands, no matter the language.

    Anyhow, Eleanor is beautiful. It is truly classic. I wish you tons of luck. And if it makes you feel any better I love old-fashioned names.


  53. If I have a boy, I will name him Felix. I know, I know. Everyone groans or squinches up their face and asks me why I would be so cruel, but I love the name. I think it's quirky and I know my kids will be quirky. Because, look at me. There's a whole lotta quirk.

  54. You really are so adorable and hyper-efficient/organized.And you THINK possibly more than anyone else I've ever known.

    Baby names I (who am not even married, never mind pregnant) love: girls - stella, aurora (rorie for short!), bailey. boys - cody, william, ben, jake.

  55. I forgot to add; Keith has a last name that's also the name of a popular "green" drug - and we ALWAYS joke that we're going to name our kids Bud (boy) and Mary Jane (girl).

    I would NEVER do that seriously, but it makes me laugh. Alot. (because, apparently, I have the maturity of a 13 year old).

  56. I have a high school friend named Elea. I think it's short for Eleanor and always thought it was pretty. Like you said it all matters on what middle name and last name come after the first name. Sometimes there is no flow.

    Baby books are helpful, but get the right one. When we picked my sons name we used a very opinionated book that swayed us from some names we initially liked:


    The book said only street walkers are named Marina. Also they said Max wasn't a good idea bc it is the most common dog name. After we read this I couldn't think about the names without hearing it in my head.

    When I got pregnant with my second we bought a new book that wasn't as judgemental.

  57. I like the name Olivia, sounds classy but not too overboard. LOL.

    Why didn't Torsten like Audrey? It's a classy name. Beside it, Alexis is also a pretty name for a girl.

  58. As a primary teacher where I've taught multiple kids with the same name - they really do grow to suit the name, each little personality makes it super easy to distinguish.

    I adore Oliver, secretly wanting to use that for my own baby (one day?) - but Jase hates it.

    Compromise is a pain, sometimes! ;)

  59. My only criteria is that the name have one correct spelling. I think this is because my name gets misspelled so often.
    I haven't really thought about the names of family and friends because right now none of them are on the top of my list. However, the names I like change week to week, so we'll see. Right now I'm liking Josephine, Georgia, and Jackson.
    Names that will stay on my list are family names (middle and last), like Cole (sister's married name) Kaylor (grandpa's middle name) and Harper (my maiden name). I think we are definitely using Harper. I'm kicking myself for dropping it completely when I got married!
    I love baby name talk!

  60. I have thought about this A LOT, though it's rare that I get my boyfriend to discuss it with me.

    My criteria are: classic (old-fashioned), preferably English, not the name of any close family or friends or their children and of course no exes' names. And ideally not religious, so I'd avoid Biblical names. Oh, and if I know of any literary connotations I'd consider them too.

    My favourites change all the time but at the moment I love the names Arthur, Tristan and Dylan. I'm having a much harder time choosing girl names but my boyfriend is convinced we will never need those!

    Oh - and Roger is my Dad's name and he is the greatest dad in the world so I totally support there being more Rogers!

  61. Well Roger is my FIL so it doesn't have the, uh, best connotations for me.

    Girl names I really can't stand: Amelia (sorry! Though I did just attend the wedding of a dear friend named Amelia) and Isabella (just so overdone!). As for boy names? Oh I just cannot stand names like Cooper and MacAuley - names that should remain last names. Names with gratuitous Ys are just irritating.

    I rather enjoy the name Lillian though. We briefly debated Lillia but it was just a bit too....over-the-top feminine for my husband.

    When we thought about names, meanings were the top consideration, with the way they sound with middles names/last names being the second most important criterion.

  62. Baby names is a onetime decision and even difficult too. I am agreeing you info. i even visit baby names sites and suggest names to my friends and family, I think your article is unique . i am also a regular visitor of babynology.com and have found ideas like this.