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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Baby Naming Issue: Naming Tradition Disagreement

Ashley writes:
My due date is January 16, 2009. We're having a boy, and we're having a hard time compromising.

Up until the news of it being a boy, we'd always talked about naming our son after my father and my husband (Bo Morgan). The problem, however, is my husband is a Jr. He'd never wanted to do the "III" thing until now. I'm demoralized that my father's name is no longer an option and really don't want the confusion of another John in the mix when we live within a 3 mile radius of one another and spend a good deal of time together. I've suggested calling him John Morgan, Jack, and I may mention Trip.

Am I being unfair to inhibit the family tradition, or should my input be just as important? I've thought about baby names as long as I've thought about my wedding day.

Please help shed some objective light on the subject and point me in proper etiquette's direction.

Oh, Ashley, this is SO TOUGH! In high school I dated a boy who was a III, and his grandfather had deathbed-style forced my boyfriend (who was ten or eleven years old at the time) (at the time of the grandfather's deathbed, not at the time my boyfriend was my boyfriend) to promise to name his son IV. But I HATED my boyfriend's name, and also I think it's WRONG WRONG WRONG for people to think they have the right to name other people's children (which is what earlier generations are doing when they try to name anyone except their own children after themselves), and also I think the almost exclusively MALE thing of "handing down The Sacred Name" is egotistical and stupid, especially when it gets carried to a DEATHBED SCENE extreme. As if their own name is such an HONOR as well as a DUTY.

Um, opinionated much? I actually LIKE naming traditions and family names; what I don't like is the situations they create. My husband's family has a naming tradition, and when my husband's parents broke it (they named my husband a name they chose, rather than following The Tradition), my husband's grandfather refused to acknowledge the new baby. He kept that crap up for A YEAR, and continued to act coolly to his son/daughter-in-law until his death. I mean, can you imagine?? Creating a family feud because you didn't get to choose to name your grandson after yourself? ICK!

Where was I? Oh, yes. We don't have quite that situation here, do we, but we do have a difficulty: your husband wants to name his child after himself and his father, and you would prefer not to because you prefer a different name and because of all the confusion it creates to have three people with the same name. Totally understandable. I swear, one of the (many) reasons my relationship with my high school boyfriend didn't pan out is that I wasn't willing to deal with the naming tradition thing.

As far as the etiquette of the situation goes, you and your husband are the only two people who are involved in naming this child. While various issues might weigh things in one direction or the other, let's assume the responsibility/privilege of choosing the name is 50-50. In my opinion, his 2-generation naming tradition doesn't do anything to give his name choice more weight than yours: this decision still belongs to both of you, not to his parents and his grandparents (the ones who chose his and his father's names). Basically the situation here is that you'd like to name the baby after your father, and he'd like to name the baby after his father.

And speaking of etiquette and The Right Way, a little-known and rarely-used rule is that suffixes (Sr., Jr., III, IV, etc.) are not permanent. In theory, they are used only for living holders of the name. So when your husband's father dies, your husband should be John Morgan Sr., and his son should be John Morgan Jr. Only popes and kings are supposed to keep their suffixes. Not that anyone follows this rule (it makes paperwork difficult, and also presents a challenge when people don't die in chronological order), but I like to mention it futilely whenever the subject comes up, in the hopes that the rule will come back into common usage and perhaps lower the pressure to have a III or IV or VIII or whatever.

Back to your situation (I do seem to keep wandering off), I can think of a few possible compromises:

1. Name the first boy after your father, as discussed, giving him a different middle name than Morgan (perhaps your father's middle name, or perhaps another name). Agree that if you have a second son, the second son will be named John Morgan III.

2. Name the first boy John Morgan III (perhaps calling him Trip, Trey, John Morgan, J.M., or Jack, to lessen confusion). Agree that if you have a second son, the second son will be named Bo, with a middle name of your choice.

3. Toss out both grandfather names and pick something else.


Let's take a vote, calling the choices "Option 1," "Option 2," and "Option 3." The poll is over to the right. [Poll closed; see results below.]



Poll results (163 votes total):
Option 1: 33 votes, roughly 20%
Option 2: 38 votes, roughly 23%
Option 3: 92 votes, roughly 56%

Friday, December 26, 2008

Name Update!

Update on Baby Girl Amelia or Phoebe! Chantel writes:
We had our baby December 23rd,2008, healthy and well! We named her Phoebe Amelia, she was dark haired and in my mind Phoebe was dark haired and Amelia light, so to us nothing else fit her...Thanks for all the advice, I loved many of the names, Especially Eve but my husband is Adam which we thought was just kinda funny sounding...
Thank you all again, and A Happy New year to you all!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Baby Boy H.: Cooper, Harrison, or Charlie

Rachel writes:
My husband and I are struggling with names for our second son (arriving end of December/beginning of January). We made the (very wise) decision last time not to tell anyone our name choice until after our son was born and we'd like to do that again this time. However, we're struggling with what name to use and some second opinions would be helpful. Since we're keeping it a secret from family/friends I thought I'd turn to you! Also, while my husband has strong opinions he named our first son, so he's stated that in the end I get to to decide the name for this baby.....oh the pressure!!!

First of all, our last name is similar to "Hull" or "Hill," so we need a name that works with that. His middle name will be my maiden name (which is also our first son's middle name). Our first son (19 months) is named Wyatt. We had his name picked out before the ultrasound. We liked it because it wasn't so uncommon that people would think it was "weird" but not as common as Jack or other popular boy names. (Although Sheryl Crow named her son Wyatt one month later and now it's becoming more popular!).

Anyhow, as for names for this baby.....

We've narrowed it down to 2 or 3. Choice A is Cooper. It goes well w/ our last name, goes well with Wyatt and is easy to spell/pronounce. I think it will be really cute for a baby or a little boy. What we're less sure of is what it'll sound like for a 30 year old grown man. I keep picturing a grown man in a suit shaking hands and introducing himself as "Cooper" and I'm just not sure it works.

Choice B is Harrison, although we'll call him Harry. I like this because I had a great grandfather named Harry and my husband's grandfather is Harold so it keeps it in the family. Plus I think a baby Harry is so cute sounding. It also gives him the option of going by Harrison as an adult if he wants to. The only downside...I think Harrison sounds great with our last name, but I think Harry with our last name sounds silly. And I keep envisioning him introducing himself as Harry H--- and it sounds weird. What do you think?

Choice C is Charlie. My husband just came up with this in the last week. Neither of us like Charles so we'd put Charlie on the birth certificate.. I think it's an okay name but I don't love it as much as Cooper or Harrison/Harry.

I'd love to hear other people's thoughts/opinions on this!


So would I! Let's put the three names in a poll over to the right [poll closed; see below], and people can give freestyle opinions in the comment section.



Poll results (223 votes total):
Cooper: 113 votes, roughly 51%
Harrison (Harry): 68 votes, roughly 30%
Charlie: 42 votes, roughly 19%


Name update 02-21-2009! Rachel writes:
A belated update....our son Harry was born on January 8th. We named him Harrison but are calling him Harry. Thanks for all the comments and voting from everyone. Even though Harry wasn't the popular choice, reading everyone's comments helped us decide.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Baby Girl

Jenna writes:
Not for lack of effort, but my baby girl (our first) is due on Christmas Day and we are still completely undecided on a name. Growing up as one of MANY Jennifers, I have always vowed to name my children very unique, individualized names, but nothing too out there where people have to ask you to repeat it or spell it when you introduce yourself. I'm very fond of unisex names such as: Hayden, Harper, Blair, Payton, and Quinn. I also like the cutsie girly names such as: Lily, Molly, Macie, Madeleine, and Ella. And my husband and I even really like Piper which is very unusual and Tegan also relatively unusual. I actually recently fell in love with the name Tegan, but my cousin (not a cousin that I speak to or see but about once a year) just named her baby girl Tegan.

So, I'm in part writing to ask, is it appropriate to still use that name, or is that rude? And I'm also looking for other suggestions that would be in line with the types of names that we like so far. The problem is, besides Tegan, I'm not really head-over-heels in love with any of these names. We do have a family name that we like for a middle name (Maggie), but are open to whatever for that as well. Our main criteria though would be originality, and not simply in variations of spelling. Any feedback on these or other names would be so greatly appreciated! She could arrive any minute!

Jenna writes again:
So our minds have changed somewhat since I last wrote. We are now strongly considering Lily as a first name, but I'm worried about it's growing popularity. It was #27 last year and the trend seems to be upward. Any thoughts? I'm still considering the same alternatives as before and am still open to new ideas. I'm also having a hard time with middle names for Lily...Lily Bella (like the sound), Lily Marguerite (family name), and Lily Noelle (Christmas baby...).


I've had this one in my inbox for AGES, and can't seem to tackle it. The only suggestion that comes to mind is Iris, Iris Marguerite. Anyone else want to give it a try?




Name update 01-10-2009! Jenna writes:
Thank you so much to all who commented on our posting to find the perfect name for our little girl. Teagan Lily was born January 2nd and fit her name
perfectly!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Baby Girl Amelia or Phoebe

Chantel writes:
Hello, we are due to have our 3rd child and second girl Christmas eve. We have always had a harder time picking names both my husband and I could agree on. We have Allison Adelaide and our Son is Lucas Calvin who we call Allie and Luke. For our new baby girl we have narrowed the options to Phoebe and Amelia. Amelia is my husbands favorite it is also a family name from my grandmother, I like it also, but I feel like I lean toward Phoebe, which isn't a family name just one we both happened to like. I would be happy to name the baby Phoebe Amelia. Hitting both the names. Amelia is tricky for me because I don't like Milly AT ALL, and the middle name can't be an S because our Last name is an S name and I am not thrilled about those initials! I wanted to use a "Christmas" middle name but my husband vetoed Noelle which was my favorite, and all the A, names are out...So Middle names for Amelia are running low!
Any advice would be welcomed...
Thanks!

OMG, am I BEHIND much? Your baby could easily be here already. But we will plow ahead anyway in the hopes that she is not yet here and there is still time to be of use.

Phoebe Amelia is a terrific name. I like the way it introduces a new first initial, too. We'll leave it alone and turn our attention to the problem of if you want to use Amelia as the first name.

One nickname I've heard for Amelia is Mia. You could also do Amy or Ammy (kind of like Emmy) or Lia.

Middle names, hm. It's too bad he's vetoed Noelle, because I love the sound of Amelia Noelle. How about Eve, since she's due Christmas Eve? Amelia Eve. Or Amelia Holly or Amelia Ivy (from The Holly and the Ivy). Amelia Merry. Amelia Carol. Amelia Christmas. Okay, I am reaching here. My favorite is Amelia Eve: it commemorates her due date whether she's born before or after or on, and it's a pretty middle name.

Let's put it to the vote in a poll over to the right [poll closed; see below]: Phoebe Amelia, or Amelia ___. If you have a favorite middle name idea, you can put it in the comment section.



Poll results (193 votes total):
Phoebe Amelia: 76 votes, roughly 39%
Amelia ___ : 117 votes, roughly 61%



Name update 12-26-2008! Chantel writes:
We had our baby December 23rd,2008, healthy and well! We named her Phoebe Amelia, she was dark haired and in my mind Phoebe was dark haired and Amelia light, so to us nothing else fit her...Thanks for all the advice, I loved many of the names, Especially Eve but my husband is Adam which we thought was just kinda funny sounding...
Thank you all again, and A Happy New year to you all!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Baby Girl or Boy Sidel

Rusti writes:
I'm 37 weeks pregnant with our first child (due in 21 days!! YIKES!) and the gender is unknown (well - to me! my husband and sister know, but they've both been threatened that if I find out - there will be consequences!!) :) Anyway - we have narrowed down our boy name choices to two boy names - with variations on each middle name, although the girl name list keeps changing... and I was hoping for some outside help :)

Our last name is Sidel (long "i" sound - like "sigh-dell") if that helps!

The names my husband and I both like are as follows:

BOY
  • Clay Allen (his choice)
  • Clay Adam (my choice)
  • Cole Allen (his choice)
  • Cole Thomas (my choice)

GIRL
  • Jemma Jean (we would call her JJ)
  • Emma Grace (only girl name that was on BOTH our lists, but is a little more popular than we like)
  • Addison Jean
  • Alex/Alyx Jean
  • Allie/Ally Jean

Other names we like for a girl but haven't made it to the short list for one reason or another include:

Maggie (my favorite!)
Summer (his favorite, not for me)
Bailey (both like it - but a girl with the initials of BJ??? not sure on that)
Abigail/Abby
Olivia, Aubrey & Mara (he hates all three)
Hailey, Katy, Amy, Jessie (his picks, not for me)
Anna (his pick - I prefer Annalise - he hates it though)


Other boy names we liked (to get a better idea of our tastes)

Me - Grady, Owen, Grayson
Hubs - Kyle, Casey, Austin, Mason, Parker


A little background on the family names which have us debating still... Jean is both my mom & sister's middle name, as well as my husband's deceased grandmother's - it's not his favorite, but he's compromising with me :) Clay is my mother-in-law's maiden name, we lost her last September to cancer, and I thought it was a nice way to honor her... Allen is my husband's middle name - and he often goes by "Al" (which is also his father & grandfather's - hubby is a III, but if it's a boy, we're not having a fourth) Adam is my deceased cousin's name, and was actually a front-runner for first name on hubby's original list... Thomas is the most passed-down middle name on my father's side - although not his middle name, it was my grandfather's and great-grandfather's - as well as several cousins'...

So... that's what we're dealing with - I hope y'all can help us!! We'd even be happy to get it down to two each to take to the hospital in the next few weeks!! :) Thanks in advance!!! Oh, and sorry it's sooooo long!!! :)


All right, we're going to use two separate polls here, one for girl names and one for boy names! Form two lines, please, and vote one time in each poll! [Polls closed; see below.]



Girl name poll results (289 votes total):
Jemma Jean: 70 votes, roughly 24%
Emma Grace: 93 votes, roughly 32%
Addison Jean: 78 votes, roughly 27%
Alex/Alyx Jean: 14 votes, roughly 5%
Allie/Ally Jean: 34 votes, roughly 12%


Boy name poll results (277 votes total):
Clay Allen: 46 votes, roughly 17%
Clay Adam: 47 votes, roughly 17%
Cole Allen: 37 votes, roughly 13%
Cole Thomas: 147, roughly 53%



Name update 01-22-2009! Rusti writes:
Our sweet Emma Grace was born on January 6th and we couldn't be happier with her! I want to thank you & all your readers for their help! Hubs still loved Jemma, but after watching me go through delivery, when I said "babe, we aren't naming her Jemma" he said "what do you want?" and we agreed that Emma Grace was perfect!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Baby Girl Not-Sophia

Robyn writes:
Up until a month or so ago we'd had the perfect girl's name picked out for our baby (we don't actually know if we are having a girl yet but we've already had four girls so the smart money is on a girl!). We'd picked the name Sophia Anne and loved it. Sophia has family significance and goes well with our other daughters' names however recently a little friend at school also named Sophia has been bullying my daughter and that name does not have good associations for her so we need to change it. Please help!

Our living daughters are Rebecca Elizabeth and Emily Karen. We also lost two baby girls named Stephanie and Anna. Our surname starts with a K sounds, so K and C names are a little too alliterative. We want to keep Anne as the middle name (after a dearly loved aunt who didn't have children of her own). We like names that the child won't be constantly asked how to spell and that are pretty/feminine sounding.

I wonder if you'd like the name Fiona. It has a similar rhythm and it has the same "oh" and "fee" and "ah" sounds as the name Sophia. It's pretty, it's feminine, it's good with the sibling names and it works with the middle name Anne.

Here are a few others to consider:

Angela Anne; Rebecca, Emily, and Angela
Audrey Anne; Rebecca, Emily, and Audrey
Julia Anne; Rebecca, Emily, and Julia
Laura Anne; Rebecca, Emily, and Laura

I realize I have a lot of A-ending names with the A-starting middle name, and that not everyone will like that. I like the sound of it, and because you chose Sophia Anne I'm guessing you do too. Let's put a poll to the right to see what everyone else thinks. [Poll closed; see below.]



Poll results (268 votes total):
Fiona: 95 votes, roughly 35%
Angela: 8 votes, roughly 3%
Audrey: 74 votes, roughly 28%
Julia: 68 votes, roughly 25%
Laura: 23 votes, roughly 9%


Name update 05-15-2009! Robyn writes:
I'm sorry its taken me so long to update. To be honest I'm a little embarrassed and feel bad because after all that deliberation we've named our baby girl (born April 9th) ..... Sophia! The little girl named Sophia who was being a bully to my older daughter has moved interstate and simultaneously there was another little girl named Sophie that Bec became friends with and she told me one day how much she liked the name Sophia! WELL, I just about fell over and after a quick chat to Paul we were back to having Sophia as the favourite name. Before that we had a few contenders....our favourite of your ideas was Julia. Somewhat bizarrely we had a change on the middle name though. Paul really liked the name Grace and I thought that sounded good with Sophia but as I said before we were keen to honour our Aunt (who was actually named Judith Anne but "Judith" isn't very pretty which is why we were going wtih Anne). Anyway the compromise was that Sophie (we're using Sophie or Sophia) has two middle names: Grace Judith. I figure the Judith isn't so bad when she has two pretty names to balance it and using Aunty Judy's actual name is better than her middle name. I'm so sorry to have wasted your time but really appreciated your input and the input of the people who commented/voted - thank you!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Baby Boy Mendez

C. writes:
My husband and I can't seem to agree on the best name for our 2nd son (due 12/29/08). Our first son will be 2&1/2 when the new baby is born and his name is Julian Jay. We both LOVE Julian's name and agreed on it right away but we haven't been able to find that same excitement again for baby #2. We want a name that goes with our last name Mendez and sounds good with Julian, and it would be great if it was Spanish but not too ethnic or hard to pronounce in English.

Names that we are considering are Samuel Alberto (it's kind of our back-up name, we think it's nice but kind of ordinary, btw- my father-in-law's name is Alberto but it's not imperative that we use that name), and Sebastian- we both like this name alot but we are concerned that there isn't really a good nick-name (I would really like it to be Sebastian Leif, Leif as in Leif Erikson- my grandmother was born in Norway and I've always loved that name and think it would be nice to give a little nod to that part of my heritage however my husband doesn't like Leif). My current favorite is Roman b/c it is strong, simple, and not too common but also not too weird. My husband's current favorite is Javier, which is okay I guess but I'd really like to sway him to Roman. Some other names that I've liked but my husband hasn't are: Oliver, Elliot, Benicio, and Matteo. Some names that my husband likes but I don't are: Alejandro, Santiago, Nicholas, and Guillermo.

Thanks for your help!


I knew a Sebastian back in my school days. He went by Bas, pronounced more like Baz. It looks kind of contrived when I type it out, but it felt perfectly natural at the time---and also seemed like a cool nickname. If you went with Sebastian Alberto Mendez, you could also call him by his initials: SAM. That would be confusing, though, so perhaps better to do Samuel Alberto Mendez and get the same cute initials with less confusion.

What do you think of the name Hugo? It's gradually coming back into style, and it's growing on me more and more. It's relatively easy to spell and pronounce. Hugo Mendez. Julian and Hugo.

Ooo! You could use Ruben! The instant an acquaintance used the name Ruben for her baby boy, I thought that was one of the best baby names I had ever heard. Unfortunately for me, it is hideous with my surname. It's good with yours, though! Ruben Mendez. Julian and Ruben. It's similar to your choice of Roman, but maybe your husband would like it better.

Xavier seems like another good option. Xavier Mendez. Julian and Xavier. It's similar to your husband's choice of Javier, but maybe you'd like it better.

Well, let's put it to a vote. I'll put a poll over to the right [poll closed; see below], but also feel free to leave additional suggestions in the comment section.



Poll Results (238 votes total):
Samuel: 32 votes, roughly 13%
Sebastian: 67 votes, roughly 28%
Roman: 37 votes, roughly 16%
Javier: 6 votes, roughly 3%
Hugo: 23 votes, roughly 10%
Ruben: 43 votes, roughly 18%
Xavier: 30 votes, roughly 13%

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Baby Boy Martel

Elise writes:
I'm due in December with my third child, a boy. My husband and I both have French heritage, so we're looking for French names that are also used in America. Our last name is Martel (prn. mar-TEL.) We'd like our son's name to fit with our daughters, Adeline Claire (5) and Vivienne Audrey (3).

So far, our top names are Oliver, Chandler and Sebastien. My husband likes Benjamin and Nicolas, but they're both very common where we live, so I'm hesitant to use them. My favorite is Oliver. I love the way it sounds! Charles will most likely be the middle name, after my father.

Please help us out with suggestions - boys names are so hard! I don't want anything too popular, and it should be easy to pronounce. Thank you!


Oh, I just LOVE the name Oliver. LOVE it. I've said this before, I know, but when I was pregnant with Henry, Oliver was my first choice and also Paul's---but unfortunately we have a cat named Oliver. I asked Paul if we could name the baby Oliver if the cat died before the baby was born, and he said yes. Then we both looked at the cat in an evaluating manner.

So anyway, my vote is already for Oliver. I love it: Oliver Martel. Oliver Charles Martel. Adeline, Vivienne, and Oliver. I don't know if anything could be better.

In fact, I find I can't even concentrate on looking for more options. I turned to the French Names section of The Baby Name Wizard and I tried REALLY HARD to make a list. There are some good names there: Hugo, Jerome, Luc, Xavier. But I am sold on Oliver.

Let's put the vote to a less-biased audience. I'll add a few names to your list and put a poll over to the right. [Poll closed; see below.]



[Poll results (228 votes total):
Oliver: 147 votes, roughly 64%
Chandler: 8 votes, roughly 4%
Sebastien: 46 votes, roughly 20%
Hugo: 8 votes, roughly 4%
Jerome: 3 votes, roughly 1%
Luc: 11 votes, roughly 5%
Xavier: 5 votes, roughly 2%]




Update 01-03-2009! Elise writes:
Oliver Charles Martel came into the world on December 20, 2008. Our family is so thankful for our little Christmas baby. :) Thank you so much for helping us pick the perfect name!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Girl/Boy Twins, Caroline and ___?

Carla writes:
I came across your blog and it sounds like you might have a solution for my husband and I. We are expecting twins (boy/girl) in a couple weeks. We had originally chosen the names Paul David (Paul being my husbands middle name and his father's name and David being my father's name) and Caroline Louise (Caroline comes from the same origin as my name, Carla, and Louise is my mother and sister's middle name).

My husband has expressed concern with the boy's name we have chosen because he doesn't want to think of his father every time he says it and his mother is already assuming that is the name. He has suggested John Philip or Samuel for a first name. Sam was my dog all while growing up so that seems a bit weird to me but I do love the name, and I like John Philip (Philip is my grandfather's name) but having John and Caroline is a little weird as it just makes me think of the Kennedys. Is that off the wall? Would others make that connection or would that be a good alternative? There are also other reasons we like pretty much all the names we have chosen - in regards to the meaning of names, etc. and Paul David is also the name of Bono (the singer from U2) and we are huge fans so that is kind of cool too. Any suggestions or recommendations? I'd love to get your opinion!

Ah! I have some experience with this, in that one of my children has the same name as one of my parents. And what I've found is that I hardly ever think of it. In fact, the only time I think of it is when I'm addressing that child when that parent is in the room, and I suddenly realize that could be confusing. But since I don't call my parents by their first names, it isn't an issue: the name has become almost exclusively the child's name, and I only occasionally remember it's also my parent's name. So if I were you, I think I'd go with Paul David.

But I do also love the name John Philip. For me, the John and Caroline thing is okay: the names John and Caroline are so established and classic, I don't think I'd think of the Kennedys unless someone pointed it out to me.

Let's have a poll over to the right to show what we think: Do we think they should stick with Paul and Caroline? Do we think John and Caroline has a strong Kennedy association? ...Well, that's a little complicated for the poll. How about this instead: I'll make the poll just a list of names for Caroline's brother, and then if you want to you can leave comments in the comment section about the Kennedys, or about your own experience with family namesakes. [Poll closed; see below.]



[Poll results (222 votes total):
Paul: 133 votes, roughly 60%
John: 52 votes, roughly 23%
Samuel: 37 votes, roughly 17%]

Friday, December 5, 2008

Baby Naming Issue: The Politics of Hope

Josie writes:
We're having a baby girl and we're going to name her Samantha. Now the middle name is giving us pause. I've loved the name Faith, but alas it is my husband's sister's name, and his family is Jewish so they won't name after living relatives. So then we moved on to a name with similar meaning -- which is why I've loved it so -- and wound up with Hope.

Perhaps you see where this is going. We forgot about Obama. I don't think I have it in me to name my daughter after a presidential campaign, because what if Obama is a flop? What if he sucks? What if we look like cliche liberal assholes?

Is there any resource that will show similar meaning names? Because really, Samantha Hope? Oh good heavens. How do I explain that one? Oh HAI. AM LOONY DEMOCRAT WHO MIGHT AS WELL NAME HER DAUGHTER MICHELLE OBAMA.


I spent some time searching online for a similar-meaning-names resource. What I found was a lot of really unpleasant, flashing-ad-ridden baby name sites. The only grain I found in all the chaff was the name Nadia, which evidently means hope. That's it. It's Nadia or it's Itxaro, apparently. And Samantha Nadia, while fine, doesn't have the ring of Samantha Faith or Samantha Hope.

I have another suggestion, however. What about Joy? Samantha Joy. It's beautiful, it's meaningful, and it has the same rhythm as Samantha Faith or Samantha Hope. But is that a problem because it shares your initial?

And I have one more suggestion: use Samantha Hope. I wouldn't have made the association myself, I think because the name Hope is so established already as a girl's name. It isn't as if you're using Samantha Yeswecan or Samantha Maverick. My opinion, in fact, is that this is a non-issue: that you can freely use the middle name Hope without anyone associating it with politics.

But this is the kind of opinion that begs for a larger-sample-size survey. What do the rest of you think? If you heard of a baby girl named Samantha Hope, would you associate it with the new U.S. president? Vote in the poll to the right. [Poll closed; see below.]



[Poll results (292 votes total) for "Does the name Hope have political associations for you?"

Yes: 15 votes, roughly 5%
No: 224 votes, roughly 77%
What are you talking about?: 53 votes, roughly 18%]

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Baby Girl Annabel, Anna, or Elizabeth

Jennifer writes:
I really hope you and your readers can help me and my husband choose a name for our little girl. We have narrowed down the first name to three possibilities: Annabel, Anna, or Elizabeth. I have always liked Elizabeth, Anna is a family name on my side, and Annabel I just thought of from Anna. My husband prefers Anna and Elizabeth. He worries if Annabel sounds too Southern, old-fashioned, or Disneyish. We do live in the South though, and are pretty old-fashioned people! I am leaning toward Annabel or Elizabeth. Anna sounds a little too serious to me. If we use Anna or Annabel, we are thinking we should maybe not use Elizabeth as a middle name in case we have another girl someday, and vice versa. (This is our first child.) We also aren't sure about middle names, but here are our ideas:

Annabel Catherine
Annabel Kathryn
Annabel Elizabeth
Annabel Hiers
Annabel Teresa

Anna Catherine
Anna Kathryn
Anna Elizabeth
Anna Teresa

Elizabeth Briggs
Elizabeth Hiers
Elizabeth Teresa


Catherine, Kathryn, and Elizabeth are all family names on my husband's side, as is Hiers (pronounced high-ers). I also have a niece named Katherine, so that's why we did not want to use it as a first name. Teresa is from my family, as is Briggs. We are open to other names, but feel pretty sure about the choices for first names. We like having family connections and names that flow nicely together. Some other names in our familes are Mary, Colleen, Laura, Kelly, Ellen, Lillian, Nora, Augusta, Jean, Virgina, Margaret, Pauline...

And Jennifer writes again:
We have narrowed it down (I think) since my last e-mail to Anna Kathryn, Annabel Hiers, Annabel Kathryn, and Elizabeth Briggs.


Okay, I'll put those four finalists in a poll to the right [poll closed; see below], but everyone feel free to chime in if you prefer other combinations!



[Poll results (264 votes total):
Anna Kathryn: 62 votes, roughly 23%
Annabel Hiers: 50 votes, roughly 19%
Annabel Kathryn: 79 votes, roughly 30%
Elizabeth Briggs: 73 votes, roughly 28%]