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Friday, October 22, 2010

Baby Girl Pepper O'______?

J. writes:
We do not have a due date because we're in the adoption process, which is unpredictable. Our last name is an Irish O'____ name. We now have a Grady, Scarlett, and Vivien. If we adopt a girl, my wife wants Pepper. I'm okay with that, but may be more comfortable with it as a nickname (I'm trying to picture "Judge Pepper O'____"). I'm also worried about the Iron Man issue (Pepper Potts). Thus, we need help with girl P names for which Pepper could be a nickname (Penelope? Persephone?), and/or feedback on Pepper as the real first name, not nickname. Many thanks!

I think Penelope is the best name for a Pepper nickname because it fits best with your other names: Grady, Scarlett, Vivien, and Penelope. Philippa would be another good option. I don't think of Iron Man at all. On its own, I think Pepper is not enough. What does everyone else think? Names, nicknames, on its own?

18 comments:

Kayt said...

I think Pepper is an adorable nickname, but especially with a spunky sounding last name (just making something up here) but like, Pepper O'Reilly, it sounds kind of like an alias a celebrity would use to check into a hotel. Plus, with your other children having more 'real' names, Pepper sounds kind of silly.

I love Swistle's suggestion of Penelope. The double P's make Pepper sound perfect as a nickname, and also allows for something like Penny or Pippa, if that's your cup of tea. Philippa is also really cool, but I don't think it sounds as nice with your other kids, and Pepper doesn't make as much sense.

Good luck!

Mrs. Haid said...

I don't think of Iron Man. Is Pepper going to be for a male OR female? I think it would be a really cool name for a politician, actress/actor, or older relative. But I think it doesn't sound formal enough with the other names... the other children's names are so lovely that Pepper almost sounds like your pet's name. Greeting card: From Mike, Jenna, Grady, Scarlett, and Vivien and Pepper. Sounds like its your puppy!

Kate said...

Philippa goes so nicely with Grady, Scarlett, and Vivien! I agree with Mrs. Haid, above, in thinking that Pepper as a standalone name sounds very different from your other children's.

Kate said...

I just don't like the name Pepper. My sister named her youngest Pepper and it sounds like something you would call your black lab. I think she deserves a "real" name -- Penelope is great!

beyond said...

Pepper as a nickname is adorable!
I think Philippa is a great option, as is Penelope. Both are marvelous with the sibling names.

The Mrs. said...

Pepper is a wonderful and energetic nickname!

Penelope is great (with Pen, Penny, Nell, Pippi, Poppy, etc. as nickname alternatives). And Penelope O'_______ has that nice repeating 'OH' sound.

Philippa is lovely, but it makes the 'ffff' sound instead of the 'pppp' sound at the beginning. So Pepper doesn't feel like an obvious nickname.

Best of wishes to you all as you go through this adoption process. We just completed our independent adoption this summer. May you have as few bumps on the roller-coaster as possible. All the best to you and your growing family!

Alison aka Baby B said...

I can't think of anything besides Penelope that works for Pepper. Out of fairly common (not far out, not totally different language, etc.), I can't think of many P names that start with P, not Ph. It's more obviously shortened to Penny, but it's easy enough to say "This is our newest family member Penelope, we call her Pepper."

Patricia said...

I agree that Penelope seems the best choice as a formal name for Pepper. However, what a shame to name a girl the lovely name Penelope and then call her a cutesy spicy non-name Pepper. Pepper is a cute name for a pet, but less so for the woman this girl will someday be.

I'm wondering if you're adopting internationally. I have seven internationally adopted children, now grown, and I've known many, many other families who adopted children. There is sometimes a tendency to give these cute, exotic little children, cute little names.

That may not be the case for your family, but whatever the situation is, I think you're on the right track when you picture your new daughter-to-be grown up and possibly with the name Judge Pepper O'. We thought of that when naming our sons and daughters, so that now John fits well with Professor (and looks very distinguished on the cover of his recently published book); Robert fits very well with Dr.; as do the classic names of the others with their adult lives and occupations.

Best wishes!

PS The only Pepper I've ever known of was a schoolmate named Pepper Ann Salter.

StephLove said...

Like the rest of the crowd, I like Penelope. It's probably my top choice. But I wouldn't discourage you from Persephone, maybe because I know a little Persephone and it's cute on her. Another possibility is Piper. I wouldn't use Pepper as a nickname here because it's TOO close to the same sound, but if you like one you might like the other.

Also, what was Pippi Longstocking's real name? Was it something useable? I'm thinking no (Pippilotta?) but it could be worth finding out.

Jen said...

I like the name Pepper but I do associate it with Iron Man, which isn't necessarily bad, just, were I to meet a little Pepper, I would think "Oh like Pepper Potts." Therefore I would use it as a nickname. Penelope and Persephone are both really good options.

Anonymous said...

I like Penelope and Philippa, but what about just naming her Piper? It's a solid, spunky girl name in its own right.

lauren said...

ditto the 'piper' suggestions. it was the first name that came to mind that might work for you and your little one! :)
*

Barb @ getupandplay said...

I prefer Philippa for the nickname Pepper and Penelope second.

christine said...

Penelope! And it sounds great with your other kids' names.

Good luck!

Annie Kay said...

We have a Perpetua nicknamed Pepper. She's named after the Saint, not the font! :)

Fran said...

I thought of Iron Man, but only because we are a comic-loving family. I like Pepper for a nickname to Penelope best. Incidentally, "Pepper" Potts' real name is Virginia :)

Alison aka Baby B said...

I have been thinking about this one a lot. So, I'm back with a bit more to say.

I don't have kids, so I can't say for sure, but it seems that a) kids nickname themselves even when they can't speak and b) we pick nicknames with the best intentions but they don't always fit. Here's one story: a family I know LOVED the name Christy (I've posted this anecdote elsewhere on this site), so Christine was going to be her given name and Christy her nn. Right after delivery, they looked at her and decided she was most certainly not a Christy. She has only been called Christine.

So, however a child comes into a family's life, I think having a few options on the table is a good idea. I am going to echo some other suggestions and say Philipa. The nn Pippa is so close to Pepper; they are very similar-sounding. Pippa is still spunky and cute without having the spicy/food association. Using Philipa could even lead to a cute family nn of "Pippa Pepper," "Pippy," etc.

Susan said...

Wow, Penelope is just so good with the other names and so perfect for the nickname "Pepper" and so great in and of itself and so clearly a name that meets with approval and joy in almost everyone that I almost feel like offering you money to use it!