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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 - 61 through 80 (of 109)

  • chamberlainkd
    Participant

    Hi Anabel! We are having a boy, and I love
    and adore the name Cohen. After falling in love with the name, I did some research and found it is of Jewish decent, and that some Jewish people may be offended by a non-Jew using the name. Have you heard this in the past,
    and what is your take? I certainly don’t want to offend someone with my child’s name, or set him up for awkward moments in life because of his name. However, I can’t come up with a name I love more (and I prefer this spelling). Any advice??? Thanks!

    Anabel Conner
    Anabel Conner
    Keymaster

    Hey @TwoSapphires!

    I’m curious to know your thoughts on alliterative names. Do you think they should be off-limits, sound good, or does it just depend? What if it’s the first and middle names that are alliterative rather than first and last?

    Personally, I love alliteration. All of my favorite name combinations contain first and middle alliteration. I like it better than first/last alliteration, but that is only personal. honestly, if there is alliteration in all 3 names, first middle and last, I still don’t think it is ‘too much’.

    The only time to watch is when you start using alliteration with letters that are difficult for children to say like S, L, W, R and Th. That may be a whole lot for little mouths to handle.

    Alliteration is something that automatically draws people, that’s why writers and poets use it…that’s why its a ‘thing’. I think names are no different and alliteration is always great.

    Anabel Conner
    Anabel Conner
    Keymaster

    Welcome, @chamberlainkid!

    Hi Anabel! We are having a boy, and I love
    and adore the name Cohen. After falling in love with the name, I did some research and found it is of Jewish decent, and that some Jewish people may be offended by a non-Jew using the name. Have you heard this in the past,
    and what is your take? I certainly don’t want to offend someone with my child’s name, or set him up for awkward moments in life because of his name. However, I can’t come up with a name I love more (and I prefer this spelling). Any advice??? Thanks!

    Cohen is a very traditional Jewish surname derived from Hebrew, meaning “priest”. These were priests that were descendants of the biblical Aaron, brother of Moses. Kohens preformed all of the most sacred rites in Temple, and in current times, they perform special blessings and rites that no other can do. Think of it as the equivalent of Father, Priest or Pastor. During the European expansion, Jews assimilated to taking surnames in the practice of the majority, and those that were Kohens, adopted it as a surname since it is an important title in Jewish communities.

    The reason the name could be thought of as offensive is because it is akin to naming a child Priest, Father or Pastor and to use it may show that the person isn’t using it for personal or informed reasons, but just because it sounds nice. It’s not the name that is generally found as offensive, it is that many people who do use it don’t understand it’s significance.

    So, yes. There are likely going to be people offended. There will also be people who are not. As a first name, Cohen is not uncommon, it is actually fairly trendy– having arrived on the US popularity charts only 10 years ago, and moving up very quickly: Cohen is currently #368, Kohen #954, Koen #944 and Coen has been charting since 2006, but has currently slipped just beyond #1000. Changing the spelling doesn’t really make any difference, since all that does is make things confusing, and …since they are said exactly the same, it is the same–unless you decide you want to spell it every time it is said. :-) I doubt you or your child will want to do that!

    So, I hope I helped clear things up for you! Rest assured, the name is chosen by plenty of parents due to it being in the Top 300 names in the US. But, there are people who feel that choosing the name is insensitive. You just have to weigh these things to make your decision. To help do so, perhaps you want to ask yourself how much the origin and meaning of a name matters to you. Most kids want to know about their names at some point. When your child asks why you picked it do you want to say, “Because I liked the sound of it”, or do you want to say “Because you’re named after a special person”or “It came from a special story”? Are you happy with the meaning of the name? They will ask you about that, too. The answer to them would be that it is the title much like pastor for people of Jewish heritage, from the Hebrew language. Ask yourself how much personal meaning is important to you. If you still can’t think of any that you like better, then you have probably made your choice!

    This is a tricky one, I hope that I shed some light on it for you! Please don’t hesitate to ask any follow up questions or new ones. I am here to help! :-) good luck!

    TwoSapphires
    TwoSapphires
    Participant

    Interesting! Thanks for your thoughts. I’ve seen people respond negatively to alliteration in threads on various message boards so I wasn’t sure. Some seem to think it can sound cheesy or whatever but I like some alliterative combos myself so it’s nice to get some positive feedback! :)

    yellowwatts
    yellowwatts
    Participant

    What are your honest thoughts on Leo Jeremiah and Maggie Christina? I really love both of the first names but am uncertain about the middles.


    LilLinds94
    Participant

    This question is not so specific but moreso an advice question. What do you suggest for those who just can’t seem to get excited about names as they used to? How do you get out of a name rut? Do you have any great websites or books or anything that helps to spark interest again?

    Anabel Conner
    Anabel Conner
    Keymaster

    What are your honest thoughts on Leo Jeremiah and Maggie Christina? I really love both of the first names but am uncertain about the middles.

    Hey @yellowwatts!

    I really, LOVE these combos! In fact, I have looked at many of your posts and I find these to be probably the nicest choices I’ve seen of yours lately. The middle names, I think, are what make these so cool. You have two middle names here that are names one would expect to find upfront, which makes the combo fresh and perky.Keep those middles! :-)

    Anabel Conner
    Anabel Conner
    Keymaster

    Thanks for your questions, @LilLinds94!

    This question is not so specific but moreso an advice question. What do you suggest for those who just can’t seem to get excited about names as they used to? How do you get out of a name rut? Do you have any great websites or books or anything that helps to spark interest again?

    I have periods where all names seem dull to me. It isn’t unusual since in media and our daily lives we do tend to hear the same names mentioned over and over again, and, you are correct–it can dull the creative senses and put you in a rut.

    I find that the best way, at least for me, to get out of such a rut is to look back at history. There is a book that I have and absolutely love called Names Through the Ages by Theresa Norman. It is full of names, but it isn’t your average baby name type book, like we are used to seeing. It explores the popular names through the annals of history across the world, going back through certain rulers’ reigns’ and what names were commonly used…or what names came into use at that time. Its fascinating and really gets the creative juices flowing!

    Another book that I think any true-to-the-core name enthusiast should have is The Dictionary of American Portraits by Cirker & Cirker. You can see all of the names of important people in the US, although some have been slightly forgotten with time, and see their portraits and accomplishments. Most of these people you can find more info on the net, too. Actresses, businessmen, suffragettes and actors…dating back to the beginning of our country…the names in there are a treasure! You can buy both of these books used just about anywhere if you look—check out Amazon.

    Other things that I like to do is to search through historic town rosters, genealogical records for certain towns throughout the US or search things like The Titanic Passenger list. Looking at all of the names there really gives a perspective that you cannot get by just flipping through a baby name book or looking up names that you might already know on websites.

    Also, you can go right here on BabyNamesWorld and select a category to search and see lost of names that you normally do not hear or see. We have so many categories, lists and origins in our database. Just pick one and start reading! :-)

    Zombehh
    Zombehh
    Participant

    I like uncommon names with “good” meanings. uncommon being usually 300 and up.
    I prefer 6 letter longs or less.
    I don’t mind more common names for boys as long as they aren’t in the top 100.
    My future step daughter is Felicity which means great happiness.
    My daughter from a previous marriage is Tegan which I picked because I read it meant beautiful.
    My angel son was Louis after his father who was a fourth.
    I am not pregnant but we are ttc after a lose in October.
    I want some name suggestions for boys or girls based on those names.

    Anabel Conner
    Anabel Conner
    Keymaster

    I like uncommon names with “good” meanings. uncommon being usually 300 and up.
    I prefer 6 letter longs or less.
    I don’t mind more common names for boys as long as they aren’t in the top 100.
    My future step daughter is Felicity which means great happiness.
    My daughter from a previous marriage is Tegan which I picked because I read it meant beautiful.
    My angel son was Louis after his father who was a fourth.
    I am not pregnant but we are ttc after a lose in October.
    I want some name suggestions for boys or girls based on those names.

    Hey there, @Zombehh!

    I put together some names for you…just to get a feeling of what you may like! There are 10 of them here, for each gender. Please let me know what you think, to let me know if I am going in the right direction and I would LOVE to put even more together for you based on your feedback! Do you have any middle names in mind? Good luck & lots of baby dust to you!!

    Boys:
    1. Abram
    2. Jasper
    3. Seth
    4. Lane/Layne
    5. Gideon
    6. Samson
    7. Elias
    8. Callum
    9. Cedric
    10.Anson

    Girls
    1. Willow
    2. Isla
    3. Shelby
    4. Nadia
    5. Talia
    6. Gloria
    7. Annika
    8. Winter
    9. Brenna
    10. Blair

    Zombehh
    Zombehh
    Participant

    what are some similar names to Ella, Eva and Charles.
    I don’t really like repeating family names but want to honor some of them.
    I guess I mean variants.

    I’d love some rare literary names too please.
    Me and fiance Louis both really liked Dorian for a boy.

    My fiance liked Ezio.
    What can you tell me about Ezio?

    Zombehh
    Zombehh
    Participant

    Here I go again being a pain!

    Charles, Lincoln, Thomas, Todd, Jude are some middle names I like.
    Bernadette, Charlene, Eva, Ellen, Gayle, Annabella, Ella are some girl middle names I like.
    They all honor somebody I care for.

    I also would love to use Clementine and Topanga either as a first of middle name.
    He wants Judith or Rosemary for a middle name for a girl.

    Anabel Conner
    Anabel Conner
    Keymaster

    what are some similar names to Ella, Eva and Charles.
    I don’t really like repeating family names but want to honor some of them.
    I guess I mean variants.

    Similar names to Ella:
    Girls:
    Eleanor
    Eleora
    Elsa (this one is going to get uber popular, though)
    Elle
    Eliana
    Boys:
    Ellis
    Ellard
    Elias
    Try this list for more!

    Similar names to Eva
    Girls:
    Evalyn
    Evadne
    Evonne
    Boys:
    Evander
    Everett
    Everest
    Try this list for more!

    Similar Names to Charles:
    Girls:
    Caroline
    Charlize
    Charlotte
    Boys:
    Carleton
    Carlo
    Chaz

    Try this list for more!

    I’d love some rare literary names too please.
    Me and fiance Louis both really liked Dorian for a boy.

    Dorian is awesome! And literary, too…The Picture of Dorian Gray comes to mind!

    Check here for some literary names!

    My fiance liked Ezio.
    What can you tell me about Ezio?

    Ezio is pronounces E-tsyo and it is an Italian name. Its a variant of the ancient Roman personal (like our first) name Aetius from the element ‘aetos’, meaning ‘eagle’. In history, Flavius Aetius was the leader who finally defeated Atilla the Hun.

    Charles, Lincoln, Thomas, Todd, Jude are some middle names I like.
    Bernadette, Charlene, Eva, Ellen, Gayle, Annabella, Ella are some girl middle names I like.
    They all honor somebody I care for.

    I also would love to use Clementine and Topanga either as a first of middle name.
    He wants Judith or Rosemary for a middle name for a girl.

    These are all great middle name choices. Personally, Topanga screams “Boy Meets World” to me, and I think for that reason it seems trendy…there really isn’t a lot of reason outside of that and a strong affinity to Topanga Canyon outside of LA , to use it. If you do, however, have a strong regional connection to it, then I could see using that one.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Anabel Conner Anabel Conner.
    yellowwatts
    yellowwatts
    Participant

    Great thanks Anabel!! :)

    RainbowDash
    RainbowDash
    Participant

    Do have advice when it comes to someone whose name taste changes OFTEN? I find that my taste changes dramatically very often. This has caused intense name regret with my daughter. I’ll love something, then just months later I love names that are complete opposite!

    RainbowDash
    RainbowDash
    Participant

    What is your opinion on changing a 4 year old’s first name? It’s a name like Lillian to the name Liliana. I have the worst name regret, and she’d have the same nickname and doesn’t know her full first name anyway. What kind of steps would one have to go through?

    RainbowDash
    RainbowDash
    Participant

    Ok here is a question asking for name advice:
    My newest name taste loves are very lacy and romantic girl names like Rosabella, Liviana, Juliette, Luciana, Dahlia, Aurelia, Seraphina, Juliana, Genevieve, Aurora, Cordelia, Georgiana…I absolutely adore the romantic and exotic feel of many of these.

    But I can’t find many boy names that go well with my son’s name Henry and still give that romantic feeling. Though I know many regal and upperclass/British examples of Henrys, but to me it still feels quite down to earth and farmer to me.

    So boys names that bridge the gap between Henry and Rosabelle/Juliette/Seraphina?


    DharmaJam
    Participant

    Dear Anabel,

    Thank you for answering my question about the name Dilpah. Sorry it has taken me a while to write my thanks, but I got really sick. I really appreciate you solving the mystery for me!

    -Dharmaja

    Anabel Conner
    Anabel Conner
    Keymaster

    Do have advice when it comes to someone whose name taste changes OFTEN? I find that my taste changes dramatically very often. This has caused intense name regret with my daughter. I’ll love something, then just months later I love names that are complete opposite!

    Hi there, @RainbowDash!

    I think that this is very common, especially among people who are really ‘in to’ names. Although I am not sure what can be done about changing tastes I do think that there are several things that can be done to stave off ‘name regrets’. My advice to you would be to, if you haven’t already, get some really good, interesting and in-depth books about names and truly study them. Read ‘em cover to cover! I think by thoroughly understanding WHY you love a name or type of name will help!

    What is your opinion on changing a 4 year old’s first name? It’s a name like Lillian to the name Liliana. I have the worst name regret, and she’d have the same nickname and doesn’t know her full first name anyway. What kind of steps would one have to go through?

    Changing a name isn’t too difficult, and the intricacies of the procedure will change slightly from state to state and county to county. It is pretty much as simple as filling out introductory paperwork, having it filed with the court, have the court ‘rule’ upon it and ‘grant’ the change, and then receiving official confirmation of that and notifying social security and getting new birth certificates. If you have ever been married, you may have changed your own name during that process. It would be very similar to that. Only you can decide if you want to go through it and change, but it seems like it would be something that you would feel better about, and since it isn’t something that would affect your daughter horribly being that most everything would be the same, I might consider it for your own piece of mind.

    Ok here is a question asking for name advice:
    My newest name taste loves are very lacy and romantic girl names like Rosabella, Liviana, Juliette, Luciana, Dahlia, Aurelia, Seraphina, Juliana, Genevieve, Aurora, Cordelia, Georgiana…I absolutely adore the romantic and exotic feel of many of these.

    But I can’t find many boy names that go well with my son’s name Henry and still give that romantic feeling. Though I know many regal and upperclass/British examples of Henrys, but to me it still feels quite down to earth and farmer to me.

    So boys names that bridge the gap between Henry and Rosabelle/Juliette/Seraphina?

    Boys names that come to mind in the vein of your tastes and go well with Henry are those like: Sebastian, Gavin, Leander, Evander, Durand,Durant, Dorian, Caspian, Quintin, Westley, Vincent, Matthias, Tristram, Constantine, Gideon, Phineas, Lucian or Lucius.

    Thanks for your questions! Please don’t hesitate to ask follow-ups, or let me help in any additional way…that’s what I’m here for!

    Anabel Conner
    Anabel Conner
    Keymaster

    Dear Anabel,

    Thank you for answering my question about the name Dilpah. Sorry it has taken me a while to write my thanks, but I got really sick. I really appreciate you solving the mystery for me!

    -Dharmaja

    Oh, you’re more than welcome @DharmaJam! I hope you’re feeling better- let us know what you decide!

Viewing 20 replies - 61 through 80 (of 109)

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