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Got a nagging name question? Ask Anabel!

  • BabyNamesWorld
    BabyNamesWorld
    Keymaster

    Whether you’re picking a name for your new babe or are just an all-around name lover, our in-house onomastics expert, Anabel, is here to help you with all your name-related dilemmas!

    Post your questions about names here any time and Anabel will get back to you every Monday at 1 PM EST with her best naming advice!

    ABOUT ANABEL: Anabel’s name obsession started when she was told the story of her own name by her mother and it grew right along with her. She realized she was truly hooked when she began to look forward to the telephone book delivery every year-so she could read it cover to cover and study all of the names in the White Pages. Her study of English, communications and the history of languages in college fanned the flames further, and she’s been working on BabyNamesWorld helping people choose the perfect name for their babies since 2004!

Viewing 20 replies - 1 through 20 (of 135)
  • TwoSapphires
    TwoSapphires
    Participant

    What a great resource! :)

    yellowwatts
    yellowwatts
    Participant

    This is awesome! Going to get my question ready!

    Esmeralda
    Esmeralda
    Participant

    I definitely second the ‘made up’ name question. Very interesting!

    yellowwatts
    yellowwatts
    Participant

    My question:

    I just can NOT seem to find the perfect boy name. Everything I come across is just “meh” or I know someone with the name, or I have a bad association with it or something. My current fave is Benjamin but DH doesn’t like the nicknames so won’t use it in the first name spot. We both love Miles but don’t feel it flows well with our last name, Watts. We kinda think Samuel would be the name if we were to ever have a boy but I’m just getting kind of bored with it. Having three girls already, it seems we may never have a boy, IF we decide to even TTC again.

    Any advice? Tips? Suggestions? Thanks!!

    -Kendra

    Anabel Conner
    Anabel Conner
    Keymaster

    My question is philosophical: Is there such a thing as a “made-up name” (ie Myrakl, Shiffriazonalon, etc.), or are all names inherently made up at some point?

    I LOVE these kinds of questions, @ProfessorLittle! Yes. There are such things as “made-up names” and you’ve listed some examples of what some of those could be.

    As far as “all names were made up at one time”, that is partly true, but only in the same exact way as you can say the English, French, Roman or Hebrew languages (and add any other language here, as well) were “made up at one time”. Names are like words in a dictionary. Yes new slang words come into being, but for the most part our words mean what they mean. Names are the same way. When you move letters around or take it upon yourself to spell something in a completely different way, you might be creating a new name, but it is one that lacks a meaning, origin and lineage through language and history.

    Anabel Conner
    Anabel Conner
    Keymaster

    My question:

    I just can NOT seem to find the perfect boy name. Everything I come across is just “meh” or I know someone with the name, or I have a bad association with it or something. My current fave is Benjamin but DH doesn’t like the nicknames so won’t use it in the first name spot. We both love Miles but don’t feel it flows well with our last name, Watts. We kinda think Samuel would be the name if we were to ever have a boy but I’m just getting kind of bored with it. Having three girls already, it seems we may never have a boy, IF we decide to even TTC again.

    Any advice? Tips? Suggestions? Thanks!!

    -Kendra

    Thanks for your questions, @Kendra!

    Sounds like you love names, but you’re a little tired of rehashing the “same old, same old”. Unfortunately, when you are working with a significant other, this is often the case. They will find something that they find “safe” and won’t want to budge and, while that might be ok with you, thinking about it over and over again in your head might just make a great name seem a little…well, boring.

    First, I commend you on your taste. Its really nice! I do think that Miles tends to run together with your surname, however, and I would think of it as more of a middle name choice and I would put that on a list with Benjamin, which is there due to your hubby.

    Samuel is a nice choice, but maybe you just want something with a bit more “zing”. I think one of the reasons is because it’s short form, Sam, sounds a little flat with your surname. If I were you, I would make up a list of names that are 2 syllable names with strong vowel sounds. Knock yourself out making the list…be bold and adventurous and again, concentrate on two syllables. I think some of these names might sound a bit more like those of your daughters (which you obviously BOTH like) and sound a little less drab to you. You have time…have fun with it!! And of course, come back here with your lists! I think we all would love to hear what you come up with! You never know what might work out and what might sound great. Its like trying on a pair of jeans that don’t look great on a hanger…it might look FAB on!

    Good luck!

    yellowwatts
    yellowwatts
    Participant

    Thanks so much Anabel! I’ll try and do that. :)

    TwoSapphires
    TwoSapphires
    Participant

    I love your thoughts on “made-up” names; that makes sense with what I’ve thought, too.

    Here’s my question for my also theoretical next baby. ;) What names would you suggest for a little brother or sister to William Gabriel and Alexander Emmanuel?

    Some names we like include Lucy, Evangeline, Julia, Eva, Josephine and Genevieve for girls; Elijah (DH’s favorite by a mile but I’m not excited about it), Isaac or maybe Oliver for a boy … but I’m very open to other suggestions. I also really love Lila, Cora or Claire for girls, or Desmond for a boy, but DH doesn’t like any of those.

    dreamofyou
    dreamofyou
    Participant

    Annabel,

    My question is this: If your family has a “trend” going with the names of their children, would it be inappropriate for me to diverge from this trend? My nephews are Dawson, Keegan, Tagen, and Owen, and my niece is Madysen. I’m not sure if this ending in “n” was on purpose, but it is established. So when I have my own children should I keep the trend going? Are trends with cousins as strong as with siblings?

    Anabel Conner
    Anabel Conner
    Keymaster

    Here’s my question for my also theoretical next baby. ;) What names would you suggest for a little brother or sister to William Gabriel and Alexander Emmanuel?

    Some names we like include Lucy, Evangeline, Julia, Eva, Josephine and Genevieve for girls; Elijah (DH’s favorite by a mile but I’m not excited about it), Isaac or maybe Oliver for a boy … but I’m very open to other suggestions. I also really love Lila, Cora or Claire for girls, or Desmond for a boy, but DH doesn’t like any of those.

    @TwoSapphires,
    The names that you’ve chosen for your boys are very strong, classic names and then their middle names are as well, yet they are a little more “daring” than the first, yet solid and biblical. To me, of the choices that you have listed here so far Oliver fits very well, with Isaac and Elijah making great pairings for it in the middle name spot. It really compliments your boys names, and I would say it is following along with the “flow” of what you have already got going on.

    Oliver Isaac
    Oliver Elijah

    One thing you need to watch for is, since your boys are twins, that you don’t choose something that seems too “different” from what you already have going on…only because you don’t want your “theoretical next baby” to feel different. You have a chance to nix that feeling all together by helping his name “fit”. I would be thinking an across-the-boards classic would really be best in the first spot: Samuel, Charles, Nicholas,Benjamin, Jonathan, Daniel, Joseph are names that come to mind pairing well in the first spot.

    With girls, you have the ability to deviate from your pattern a little more. Would your DH go for some of the choices he isn’t so thrilled with as a first in the middle spot? Of all of the names you have listed here, I think Josephine is the most beautiful with your boys names. You’ve done well choosing names with immense versatility for your boys thus far, and Josephine fits that mold precisely. There are so many options for her as she goes on through life with it, and its classic (yet not “too much” so) and gorgeous. I love your DH’s rejects in the middle name spot as well, since there are names there you don’t often find filling that position, but would compliment both Jospehine and your longer surname…you’ve got a TON of room to really play with that middle name spot and choose a stunning out-of-the-ordinary pairing:

    Jospehine Cora
    Jospehine Lila

    Those would be my picks of the names you have listed here. Evangeline and Genevieve sound a bit dramatic next to your boys, but if you really loved either they wouldn’t sound out of place. Lucy and Eva are fine, but don’t have the “range” that some of your other choices do. Julia is probably my second favorite pick for you, again because of its versatility and fitting with your boys names in the same way that Josephine seems to.

    Good luck! Please come back with more questions! I’m happy to help!

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by Anabel Conner Anabel Conner.
    Anabel Conner
    Anabel Conner
    Keymaster

    Annabel,

    My question is this: If your family has a “trend” going with the names of their children, would it be inappropriate for me to diverge from this trend? My nephews are Dawson, Keegan, Tagen, and Owen, and my niece is Madysen. I’m not sure if this ending in “n” was on purpose, but it is established. So when I have my own children should I keep the trend going? Are trends with cousins as strong as with siblings?

    Hey there @dreamofyou!

    Adopting this familial trend is entirely up to you! In this situation…you are the boss.

    From the way you talk, it seems like the establishment of this trend is pretty much an unspoken thing. If you had several generations of children (for instance your parents generation or grandparents generation) and ALL of their named ended in an “n”, well then I would think you would have a little more to think about, but still…there isn’t any rule that says you MUST adopt a naming tradition. The cool thing about having your own children is that you and your SO are starting your own family. So you are free to start your own tradition, adhere to a firmly established one or adhere to a more tenuous one, which is what I would describe the above situation as. There are no hard and fast rules.

    Heck- it could be purely coincidental, too! Children’s names ending in “n” or “en” have been very, very popular for the last 15 years…so it is entirely possible to have a whole family of kids with this same similarity just due to what has been trendy and not due so much to wanting all kids in the family to have similar names. This trend is coming to the end of its “heyday”, though; so we may see less of this in the future.

    In closing, I’d advise you to go with your own flow, if you want. There are plenty of kids in the fam with similar sounding names already!

    Good luck! :-)


    Bh040106
    Participant

    Anabel,

    We will be welcoming baby #3 in Aug and with my first 2 I knew the names right away no problem. But so far we can’t agree on anything. I have a daughter Izabelle Arlene and a son Tate August and we are not going to find out so we will need a girl and boy name ready. My husband really likes Libbey for a girl and I do to however I have a friend with an Elizabeth and she calls her Libbey. Do you think it is ok to use her name? I also like Quinn, but my husband doesn’t really agree. For Boys we like Ty Damman(my Maiden name) and also like Zeke. I tend to like girl names that have an option for a nickname. Or do you have any suggestions on any names that work fit well with Izabelle (Izzy) and Tate?
    Thanks and appreciate yor help :)

    TwoSapphires
    TwoSapphires
    Participant

    Thanks so much for your feedback, Anabel! That makes a lot of sense; much appreciated. :)

    I see what you mean about the versatility (and I do love that about our boys’ names; with my own very short FN, sometimes it bothered me to have no options). Do you think Lucia would fit better than Lucy? I think it’s pretty and flows well with our Portuguese LN while Lucy would be a cute, spunky nn option. Lucia Josephine might be an option. (And I do also really like your suggestions of Josephine Cora or Josephine Lila; putting those on the list of contenders. :))

    Anabel Conner
    Anabel Conner
    Keymaster

    We will be welcoming baby #3 in Aug and with my first 2 I knew the names right away no problem. But so far we can’t agree on anything. I have a daughter Izabelle Arlene and a son Tate August and we are not going to find out so we will need a girl and boy name ready. My husband really likes Libbey for a girl and I do to however I have a friend with an Elizabeth and she calls her Libbey. Do you think it is ok to use her name? I also like Quinn, but my husband doesn’t really agree. For Boys we like Ty Damman(my Maiden name) and also like Zeke. I tend to like girl names that have an option for a nickname. Or do you have any suggestions on any names that work fit well with Izabelle (Izzy) and Tate?

    Hey there, @Bh040106! Thanks for your question and congratulations!

    If your hubby and you agree on the name Libbey or Libby, then that progress shouldn’t be ignored! :-) Often times, agreement is the hardest thing about choosing a name, so you should give that fact quite a bit of weight when making your choice. You need to ask yourself, however, if your friend’s girl and yours will play together often. Is she a close enough friend of yours that it could make things confusing? If your friend isn’t one of your bffs that you talk to daily or if the girls aren’t playmates, then I wouldn’t worry too much about using the same name. However, if you think there could be confusion, then I would look to something similar. Like Livvie or Livvy, and their longer forms Olivia, Olive, Liviana or Liv. Another to consider is Lydia, which is sweet and vintage sounding like Izabelle, and comes with the cute nickname Liddie or Liddy.

    Also consider that there are other names outside of Elizabeth that can give you a nickname of Libby: Liberty, Olivia, Lilibeth, Abigail, Lillian. Your friend’s name choice might be even less of a big deal if you use a completely different name and then just “wind up” with the same nickname. In fact, you should probably shy away from Elizabeth anyway, since Isabel and its forms are a cognate (meaning identical form in meaning and origination) of Elizabeth. Isabel is just the form of Elizabeth that originated in ancient Spain, Portugal and France.

    Of your boys names, I think Zeke is a fantastic option that jives really, really well with your children’s names! It flows well and sounds great but you don’t have the “matchiness” of both your boys having “T” names. You could go with the short form of Zeke by itself, or you can use a longer form such as Ezekiel, which isn’t uncommon, but not too common…it is within the top 200 names for boys in the US. That is pretty much what EVERYONE is looking for in a name!

    Good luck, and please…if you have any more questions, come back and ask. I’d love to help you further if you need any more advice!

    Anabel Conner
    Anabel Conner
    Keymaster

    I see what you mean about the versatility (and I do love that about our boys’ names; with my own very short FN, sometimes it bothered me to have no options). Do you think Lucia would fit better than Lucy? I think it’s pretty and flows well with our Portuguese LN while Lucy would be a cute, spunky nn option. Lucia Josephine might be an option. (And I do also really like your suggestions of Josephine Cora or Josephine Lila; putting those on the list of contenders. :) )

    Great follow-up q, @TwoSapphires!

    I think Lucia, Lucille, Lucinda, Luciana, Lucina are all great options for you. There are also names such as Lucretia and Lucasta, which are very lovely, but I think they might seem a bit “off” with your boys, although they certainly wouldn’t be off limits, either. As I said, you have a little more leeway with a girl, since she’s going to feel different no matter what, because…you know… she’s a girl! :-)

    Please, come back with more questions! I’m happy to help!


    Bh040106
    Participant

    Thank you Anabel!! Appreciate your input:)

    Anabel Conner
    Anabel Conner
    Keymaster

    Thank you Anabel!! Appreciate your input:)

    :-) You’re welcome!

    TwoSapphires
    TwoSapphires
    Participant

    Ooh, I like Lucina and maybe Luciana as options too. Thanks again!

    ashthedreamer
    ashthedreamer
    Participant

    Hey, Anabel! My question is all pretty hypothetical at this point, as I’m nowhere near ready (or able) to start a family at this point, but it is something I’ve sort of been mulling over in my head, and I’m wondering if they’re in any way usable. Lately I’ve been realizing how much I love these international names (sometimes international variants, but mostly just names used in other cultures that are a bit spunky and strange here, but still have aspects that are familiar, so I can see them fitting in okay), and I’m wondering how usable they really are. The ones I’ve been liking in particular are these:

    Eilidh
    Laerke
    Anouk
    Madelief
    Helene (I like the French prn., ay-LEN)
    French double-barrels (like Anne-Claire or Anne-Sophie)

    I feel like they’re really different from the usual Isabella, Emma, Sophia, Lily, Avery, Gabriella, etc., but they all seem to have aspects that either look or sound familiar (Eilidh sounds like Haley, Laerke looks a lot like Lark, Anouk can get Annie, Madelief has the same beginning as Madeleine/Madeline/Madelyn, Helene looks like Helen, etc.), but I can’t help but wonder if it’s a bad idea to have a little Madelief if I have no Dutch history at all. Thoughts on that?

    ashthedreamer
    ashthedreamer
    Participant

    And to sort of piggy-back off of that–I was going to edit this in, but it seems like there’s a time-limit for being able to edit stuff into an original post? How bad of an idea is it to use a unisex name that is fairly strongly skewered to the girls’ camp on a boy (think Addison, Bailey, Hadley…). Bailey’s been a long-time favorite, and I’ve been really crushing on Addison lately, but I just get the feeling that this is a really bad idea. :( Just wondering your professional opinion on that…

Viewing 20 replies - 1 through 20 (of 135)

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