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Name That Child

Thanks to a tidy little family (religious?) tradition of naming children after relatives who died, naming our kids was not too hard a task. It didn't hurt that they were both boys and wonderful husband and I agreed pretty quickly on first names that used the same first letter as those they were named after. The middle names, though. Those were another story.

Now, if our boys had been girls, the situation would have been more dire. Husband's Liora just wasn't cutting it for me. Thankfully for the sake of our marriage, we never had to venture far down that path of girl names. But now, I grudgingly admit that Liora doesn't sound so bad compared to baby "@" in China.

@'s father (if China allowed the name) explained that "The whole world uses it to write e-mail, and translated into Chinese it means 'love him'," according to China's deputy chief of the State Language Commission Li Yuming. I just don't know how @ would find an e-mail address that would work!

Beyond the usual suspects (you know, Apple, Suri, Moon Unit, Rumer), what unusual names have you heard? How did you ultimately name your own children? Is your child one of the thousands of Jacobs and Emilys or did you opt for something more unusual?

By Stacey Garfinkle |  August 17, 2007; 6:58 AM ET  | Category:  Babies
Previous: Put a Lock on That Door | Next: Stop! Don't You Know That's Bad for Your Kid?

Comments


Revedean (girl)

Tibbar (girl, "rabbit" spelled backwards). No kidding.

Posted by: skyebluescottie | August 17, 2007 7:32 AM | Report abuse

We have two boys and used unique names. Both are surnames turned in to first names. Then we used more traditional middle names, using the first initial after a family member who had passed away (religious tradition). I think unique names are fine and commons one too. The only ones that bother me, for no good reason, are unisex names. I like to be able to know if a child is a boy or a girl by the name. But that is just me!!

Posted by: HappyDad | August 17, 2007 7:38 AM | Report abuse

My friend from college switched from her daughter's name from "Jonalyn" to "Brynn" last minute.

My mom went for all unusual names and as a result, although I never found any trinket in a beach shop with my name on it, I get into the greatest conversations with other me's whenever I meet them. The count is now up to 3, plus one colleague's late grandmother.

Posted by: TheCheeseStandsAlone | August 17, 2007 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Our kids are John, Anne, Margaret and James; they're all under 12 years old. Over the years I've heard - about each name - that "it's nice, but too common". Guess what? None of them has ever had another kid with that name in their public school class. Glad I didn't follow the herd and name them something that rhymes with "maiden".

Posted by: Just Me | August 17, 2007 7:46 AM | Report abuse

We named out oldest Mary - she is now four years old. I am always pleased when people tell us how beautiful and unique it is. We have yet to come across another Mary under the age of 40.

Posted by: South | August 17, 2007 7:50 AM | Report abuse

I know twin girls named Precious & Princess.

I know a woman named Blanche DuBuois!
Her parents never heard of Streetcar.

Posted by: hillary1 | August 17, 2007 7:52 AM | Report abuse

I opted for the unusual. I named my four month old Reason. He is my reason for everything, to move forward, to suceed even more. I thank him for making me a Mommy. I get some weird looks when I say his name. Some people love it some people are baffled by it. But hey, as long as Reason loves his name that is all that matters. I gave him two very traditional middle names (my husbands first and middle names), just in case he is not pleased. I would not mind if he prefered to go by those two names as an adult. But he will always be my Reason.


My list of far fetched names but hey there not my kids....

Aquafina and Dasani (twins)
Prince

Somebody in London gave their child about twenty five names.

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,21959075-5002700,00.html

Autumn Sullivan Corbett Fitzsimmons Jeffries Hart Burns Johnson Willard Dempsey Tunney Schmeling Sharkey Carnera Baer Braddock Louis Charles Walcott Marciano Patterson Johansson Liston Clay Frazier Foreman Brown.

Posted by: NewMommy | August 17, 2007 7:53 AM | Report abuse

I met a woman named Spontaneous once.

My son has a name that was ranked around #200 in popularity when he was born. We wanted a name that wasn't popular but also wasn't too unusual.

Posted by: pipette | August 17, 2007 8:05 AM | Report abuse

My 6-year-old's name is Julia, she was named for her great-great-grandmother who passed away when I was pregnant. In general it seems ideal: people know how to pronounce it, how to spell it, but there aren't very many kids with the same name. We did run across one woman who had never heard it before and had Julia spell her name. She complimented me on thinking up such a beautiful, original name. Well, I got a good laugh out of that.

Posted by: KR | August 17, 2007 8:09 AM | Report abuse

My daughters middle name is Jalyn. Her dad made it up, but I have heard it more in recent years.

You forgot to add Courtney Cox-Arquette's kids name, she was evidently hungry at the time. She named her daughter CoCo, which sounds like it should be a dog's name.

I feel sorry for these kids when they grow up.

Posted by: C | August 17, 2007 8:10 AM | Report abuse

we went with family names, but we had good ones to work with. my 5-year-old daughter is Cleo Agnes, after her dad's grandmother (actually Cleopha) and mine (Agnes), respectively. I get a big kick out of calling her Agnes when she's in trouble. We picked that name out years before she was born; with my son, it took til about 2 weeks before he arrived to come up with something: we named him Edward Owen. after 10 grandchildren, my father still didn't have one named after him, and I was not a fan of the name Edward, but I knew it would make my dad happy. We decided to call our son by his middle name, and settled on Owen because it was the only boy's name we didn't both hate. So our son goes by Owen, but I find myself calling him Edward more often than I expected to, and I like the name more and more. I'd like to name the next boy Joseph after my grandfather, but I think my husband may be finished with family names.

Posted by: vikki | August 17, 2007 8:13 AM | Report abuse

2 girls - Grace and Erica. Grace is almost 7, and was named such before it started to come back into fashion.

We wanted easy/short names, names that were normal but not common, names that don't lend themselves to being shortened or made into nicknames, and names that were "race-neutral". Our kids are already individuals just by being - we didn't feel the need to make them "unique" by their name.

We think we succeeded on all counts.

Posted by: ATL Dad | August 17, 2007 8:15 AM | Report abuse

We wanted a strong, classic name that wasn't too common. Most importantly, it needed to pass the "supreme court justice test" -- it had to be something that wouldn't sound silly paired with a professional title.

We ended up naming our DD Margaret, nn Maggie. The only problem we've encountered so far is that Maggie seems to be a popular name for dogs -- we've met at least three canine Maggies in our area.

We had a lot of fun with the naming process - DH and I each went through the baby name book and listed our favorites, then chose a name that was on both of our lists. Some of the names he picked were truly shudder-inducing: Esme, Winifred, Penelope. Of course, he was similarly turned off by some of my favorites: Elena, Abagail, Madeline.

Posted by: newsahm | August 17, 2007 8:20 AM | Report abuse

We felt like the names we gave our children were our first gift to them, and so we wanted names that meant something. We were living overseas at the time, so we wanted names that could be pronounced by our foreign friends and neighbors. It was also important that they went well with our last name! Our daughter's name (Sofia)means wisdom, because we hope that wisdom would be important to her as she grows older. Our son's name was changed at the last minute. His pregnancy and birth were rather eventful and so his name (Noah)means peaceful or calm. After months of problems we needed to bestow a little calmness on our lives!

Posted by: Amoroma | August 17, 2007 8:24 AM | Report abuse

We named our children after dear family members (grandmothers, father, brother), both their first and middle names. The most unusual name discussed for our daughter was Catriona (also a family name). Not too crazy, right?

I went to a party once at a friend's friend's house and there were four brothers: John Carlo, Carlo John, John and Carlo. I kid you not.

I love the more old-fashioned names. If I had more kids, I'd consider Genevieve, Marilla, Lydia, Letitia for girls. For boys, I like William, Henry, Richard, Robert -- very traditional.

One of the things we did to decide on a name was to preface it with "Supreme Court Justice". Maybe it's snobby, but I hear a lot of names that would sound kind of silly in a professional environment, particularly girls . . .

Supreme Court Justice Apple Martin
Supreme Court Justice Peaches Geldof
Supreme Court Justice Destiny _______

Posted by: WorkingMomX | August 17, 2007 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Our girls are Emily, Jillian, Sophia, Rebecca and Lydia. They are all classic and will still work for them as adults. We tried to think of how it would sound as they were introducing themselves to someone as adults.

Posted by: Buttercup9780 | August 17, 2007 8:27 AM | Report abuse

I knew someone once who's aunt was named Scheherazade. No brothers to name Aladdin or Sinbad as far as I know, though.

The website linked in the column is awesome (Jacob and Emily link) for tracking names. Madison pops out of no where in '85, the year after the movie Splash came out.

Posted by: Em | August 17, 2007 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Michael Jackson put a lot of thought into naming his kids.

Posted by: hillary1 | August 17, 2007 8:29 AM | Report abuse

We named our first son after his grandfathers, first name from my husbands father, middle name from my father.

For our next son, I just went with a name I liked, Mason. I hadn't met any other person with that name, but it was still simple to spell, easy to pronounce. That was my main criteria. I grew up with a somewhat unusually spelled name and ALWAYS HATED IT! No trinkets from gift shops, people always mis-spelling my name, etc. I vowed I would not do that to my child. Mason is unusual enough that he is not one of 5 in his class, but still a simple name.

Posted by: Singing Mom | August 17, 2007 8:51 AM | Report abuse

My first name is Jennifer. I lived in an apartment of 5 girls, 3 were Jennifers. On a soccer team there were 13 girls, 7 were Jennifers. I always HATED my name because I shared it with everybody.

I now have 2 sons and the rule in naming them was that it could not have been in the top 10 within the last decade. We found a bunch of great classic names that you rarely hear anymore. We found two names that we loved that everybody can recognize.

Girls names are much harder though I think.

Posted by: A Mom | August 17, 2007 8:53 AM | Report abuse

WorkingMomX, you make me laugh! And make an excellent point. My daughter is Danielle, Dani for short. At the time, we didn't think it would be too common, but not odd. However, since then, my extended family has gained a Danielle step-daughter, a cousin named Dan married a woman named Danielle (no, I'm not kidding!), and a Jason decided he didn't like his first name, and is now using his middle name...guess what it is? There's now an official "name moritorium" on Dani, Danny, Daniel, or any derivation thereof!

Posted by: Organic Gal | August 17, 2007 9:02 AM | Report abuse

We named our daughter Regan. People either love it or hate it. I had a book as a child that had a main character with that name and have always loved it. But, many people thought it was a bad choice since it is also the name of the little girl in the Exorcist. I like it because it's not super common, but is a classice Irish name. It does seem to be gaining in popularity, however. The other name I always loved is Riley. But, that name really marched up the charts in the last couple years.

Worst name I've ever seen was a lady named Tijuana.

Posted by: Nolagirl | August 17, 2007 9:03 AM | Report abuse

In 1930, my grandmother gave birth to my mother but could not afford to pay the hospital bill. Her father offered to pay the $35 if she would name my mother after his mother, Mary Parmelia Nash. My grandmother neatly got around the Parmelia problem by naming my mother Mary Nash.

My mother had 9 children to name. All of us got traditional but perhaps a little unusual names, like Vivian (after a great great uncle), Katherine (with a K), Teresa (no h), Phillip (two ls), etc. None of us were named Parmelia.

I named my own daughter Sonja 23 years ago. It's easy to pronounce, pretty, and works both as a kid's name and an adult's.

Posted by: Vivi | August 17, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

The oddest name I've run into is Ravenna Tesserae. Doesn't sound too bad (unusual, but not terrible) unless you know Ravenna is a town in Italy known for it's wealth of churches with Byzantine mosaics, and tesserae are the tiny pieces of glass or stone that are used to make a mosaic. Why would you name a kid that?

With my own kids I looked for names that were common enough to be easily recognized and pronounced, but not so common that you'd find them in the top 50 names in recent years. I'm not thrilled with my son's name (Connor) and I've suspected that we got it wrong since he was a few months old, but out of the long list of boys names I had, it was the only one my husband would agree to.

Posted by: Sarah | August 17, 2007 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Evelyn Waugh, author of Brideshead Revisited, was briefly married to Evelyn Gardner. Their friends called them He-Evelyn and She-Evelyn.

Those wacky Brits!

Posted by: hillary1 | August 17, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Moon Unit and Dweezil Zappa are children of Frank Zappa. Honest.

Of course all great women in history are named Shannon or Tiffany ;-) If I had a daughter I'd name her Catherine, Elizabeth or Rachel -- something strong and traditional, not a cutesy yuppie name.

I know a woman named Cheerful. She was born in Amish country and they name their children for characteristics -- lots of Joy, Faith, Hope, and Grace there.

Posted by: Late stater | August 17, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I always thought when I was little I'd give my kids wildly "unique" names to make up for myself always being one of 5 Christinas (or variations thereof-Chris, Christine, Kristin) in my classes, but in reality I've ended up traditional...names taken under consideration like Elizabeth, Caroline, Margaret, and a few family names. I used the "Supreme Court Justice Test" too, I guess it could be considered snobby, but it's hard to take someone seriously when they're named "Princess." The worst I can recall is a girl I went to high school with called Phoenix, made slightly worse by the fact that we actually lived in Phoenix.

Posted by: Christina | August 17, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Happy Daddy wrote:
The only ones that bother me, for no good reason, are unisex names. I like to be able to know if a child is a boy or a girl by the name. But that is just me!!

We searched for unisex names for our 2 kids b/c we do not want people to know from looking at their name if they are male, female, black, white or green!

The most interesting names I've ever heard are a brother & sister named Wisdom (girl) and Truth (boy).

I'm not fond of a lot of "southern names" like Trudie, Bunnatine and Aloyicious.

Posted by: Onyx_momma | August 17, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Our first two daughters have more common names - Isabella and Katie (although really Kathleen). Our third daughter is Marisol. My husband is Filipino and we wanted names that "went" with their last name. Middle names also have a more "ethnic" twist - Maria, Belen, and Teresa. If we had a son he would have been named Edward Dominador after our fathers. I love the name Edward (Eddie) and wished we could have used it.

Posted by: Meg | August 17, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I thought of another weird name: Candy Marble. And there was a girl in the school where I did my student teaching named "Princess French". I'm assuming her parents were desperate to raise a Playboy Bunny, or at the very least, a stripper. Princess French could not be the kind of girl who makes partner at her firm before she's 35.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | August 17, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Our son has a very unusual name, yet one that's instantly recognizable, pronounceable, spellable, and has a long history. It's a classic that just isn't used much anymore. It has, however, been in my husband's family for more than a hundred years. His middle name is more unusual and frequently needs explaining, but it's special because it is my father's middle name, my grandfather's middle name, and my great-grandmother's maiden name as was spelled when her father came through Ellis Island. When we chose the names, these came easeily as they met our goals of being uncommon without being weird, sounded good together, didn't lend themselves to asinine nicknames, and provide him with a clear connection to the extended family history.

Posted by: VaToddlerMom | August 17, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I once knew a boy whose first name was "Noah". No big deal there, except when you consider the fact that his last name is "Buddy". No kidding! What kind of cruel prank was that on the part of his parents?!

Posted by: philly | August 17, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

The recent baby-name trend that I think is a little silly is swapping K or Y into conventional names. I have a friend who named her daughter Alisyn, and her twins Justyn and Tristyn. Also, not a huge fan of the -ayden names - Brayden, Kayden, Jayden. They just sound fabricated to me.

We named our son Miles Stuart. There's no rhyme or reason for Miles; we just liked the name. We picked Stuart b/c it's a family name on both sides.

Posted by: Kat | August 17, 2007 9:37 AM | Report abuse

This website is so much fun in looking at the rankings of names over time: http://www.babynamewizard.com/namevoyager/lnv0105.html

There is a book you can buy by the same people that we really enjoyed --- more about similar names, nicknames, etc... than what the name means. We ended up with a not too unusual (top 200) - but never seen in our families - first name that combines my husband and father's first names then went with the more standard William as the middle name as we love it and it is found throughout out both our families. The first name also managed to sound just a bit Irish which was nice

Posted by: alexandriamama | August 17, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

i went to school with a kid named alpacino "smith". Seriously. His mother gave him the first name Alpacino - one word, but yes, named after the actor.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

"She named her daughter CoCo, which sounds like it should be a dog's name."

Actually, Courtney wanted to name CoCo after her mother, but because David is Jewish she couldn't so she named her after what they call her mom as a nickname.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I really dislike when parents give their children crazy names. I think you are setting them up for life. My name was very uncommon when I was a child. My mother got it from an an Indian woman who worked with her that said it was a popular name in India. But, ever since the movie Aladdin you can find at least 2 Jasmines on every block. I don't have children yet, but I like normal names. I like Ashley and Lauren for girls. And, Ryan and Nathan for boys.

Posted by: Jasmine | August 17, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Coco Arquette is actually named after her mother: the first two letters in Courtney's first and last names.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | August 17, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I know a little girl named Noah. It's weird, but it actually kinda works.

I had no idea that so many people used the Supreme Court Justice test. And we thought we were the only ones...

Posted by: NewSAHM | August 17, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

When I was in college, I knew a girl named Toy Lamb. I also remember reading that Mr. Lear (of "Lear Jet" fame) named his daughter Chanda -- but I'm not positive about that one.

Posted by: exDCMom | August 17, 2007 9:42 AM | Report abuse

My mom always says that her and my dad picked our names (four girls in all) for two reasons-- you can't make a horrible teasing nickname out of them for kids in school (her last name was Newton and she was apparently called Figgy in school), and they're all two syllables, so they're easy to yell.

Posted by: Sarah | August 17, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I knew a girl once named Iamme. A reminder from her parents that she should always remember "I am me"

I also went to school with a guy named St. John. And he insisted on being called St. John all the time...no shortening it to just John.

Posted by: gusty | August 17, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Coco Arquette is actually named after her mother: the first two letters in Courtney's first and last names.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | August 17, 2007 09:41 AM

No, Coco is Courtney Cox's mother's nickname. Coco is named after her grandmother as stated above.

Posted by: hillary1 | August 17, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Oh I hate the trend of changing the spelling to make it "unique"....the only thing little Madycyn will think is unique about her name is how often it is misspelled. (Actually not making that up, I saw a Madycyn at ice skating lessons.)

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Knew of a boy named Dollar Bill.

WorkingMomX's Supreme Court Justice test is great. Parents who give bad names seem to forget their offspring won't always be tiny and cute.

Also some parents seem to think their kids' names should be expressions of their own whimsical creativity, like vanity license plates. Nature names tend to fall in this category: Rainbow, Sunshine, Wind, Meadow.

Posted by: Oyster PoGirl | August 17, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Then there was the politician whose last name was 'Hogg' so he named his two daughters Ima and Ura. How cruel can a parent get?

I also know of a woman who went through life as Bobra. Her parents named her Barbara but some bonehead municipal employee put Bobra on her birth certificate. All the more reason for screening State employees.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Family names are pretty big in my family--all of us are named for relatives. Luckily, so are multiple middle names, so I'd probably pick a nice-sounding first name and get the family names out of the way in the middle.

I would almost have to name any son of mine William, although I don't like it so it would definitely be a middle name. But something like half my male relatives on both sides have William in their name, so I'm stuck.

For a girl, it's been made clear to me that Patricia is the only name that's off-limits, despite the fact that it's definitely a family name for us. Of the three Patricias born in the twentieth century to my family, all have died as children.

Posted by: popslashgirl | August 17, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Funny - St John is actually a very old and traditional English name, but you are supposed to pronounce it "Sin-jun"! Not "Saint John".

Posted by: about that name: | August 17, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

My grandmother's name was Bessie Maude. Her father thought such a name was child abuse and nicknamed her Dot, by which she was known her entire life.

Had a friend named Margaret-Patricia, an attempt to please two relatives. She went by Margaret except when either of the two original name holders was present. Then everyone had to remember to call her by the full Margaret-Patricia.

Posted by: Confederline | August 17, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

My oldest ds is Lancelot - my husband always told me he wanted to name a son Lancelot. The 2nd ds is Maximillian (not Maxwell.) All their names can be shortened, Lance, Max, etc. and all pass the surpeme court test. The youngest has a pretty ordinary name. However, they all have 2 middle names and a double-barrelled surname. They can tell how much trouble they are in by how many of their names are called.

Posted by: jtk | August 17, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I am thrilled to see how much effort and thought parents are putting into naming their children these days. I was born in the 1960s and I am a woman with a male name - Marti. And boy, I hated my name growing up.

First of all, when I am introduced to people in public, many people ask me what my "real name" is because they automatically assume Marti must be a nickname.

Then there is the spelling. Everone always spells it with a "y" instead of an "i."

And then there is the issue of people thinking I am a man (to this day, I am in the computer system at work as a "male" and I was told my HR that they "don't know how" to fix it), but the real issue that I wish my parents would have thought through was giving me a middle name that starts with "n", so I am also frequently referred to as "Martin." I have had to correct the doctor's office, former employers, former schools, etc. People just see the first name and the middle initial and roll it together.

To attempt to solve these issues and make peace with my name, I go by both my first and middle names because 1) it eliminates the middle initial "Martin" issue, 2) my middle name is clearly a female name and eliminates the gender identification issue, and 3) my middle name is the name of both my grandmas, so it is special to me. As an adult, I do appreciate that my name is unique, that it has a sense of family history, and that it passes in a professional setting (or at least I think it does!).

So I say kudos to you parents who are giving this a lot of thought - including the "Supreme Court" test - just don't forget the "middle initial" test :)

Posted by: ArlingtonGenX | August 17, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I think that parents who do unusual names or spellings really do a disservice to those kids and condemn them to the unending huh? or how do you spell that? etc.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 17, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I knew an older woman named Lakida Martin who worked for a defense contractor, but NOT Lockheed Martin. I have met three women in my life named Latrina/ La Trina- clearly the feminine version of the military term "Latrine." A friend of mine lives in a cul de sac near Manassass and three families have boys named with that dull non-name "Hunter." I met someone who told me, straight-faced that they wanted to name their kids something new and different, so they named them Max and Madison- two of the blandest, most common names in my daycare. The most common girl's name in my daycare is Sophie/Sophia and all the parents think they're being original, but none have an attitude about it. Because my father used to work with Outerbridge Horsey III, my family is sort of immune to funny wasp names.

Posted by: DCer | August 17, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

She named her daughter CoCo, which sounds like it should be a dog's name.
--------
yeah, Coco Chanel? Coco is an older, 19th century, classic name.

Posted by: DCer | August 17, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse

A relative of mine named her baby "Quest" like the communications company. Groan! I expect to hear Cingular and Verizon soon.

Posted by: realtat | August 17, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Years ago, Bobra would have had a lot of company. There is much anecdotal evidence of new immigrants receiving new names on Ellis Island from befuddled or careless government employees.

My favorite story is that of a Russian Jew who asked a clerk what a good name to use in America would be. The clerk said, "Rockefeller." During the four-hour wait for an entrance interview, the newcomer tried to remember the unfamiliar name. When the inspector finally asked the Russian his name, the man blurted, "Shoyn feggessen!" Yiddish for "I have already forgotten!"

The inspector wrote "Sean Fergusson" on the card and the perplexed immigrant entered life in America with a new name.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

My grandmother lived in a neighborhood of Ellis Island accidents and in the 1970s they were all changing them back: Humphrey became some Hungarian name, everyone got their "ovsky" reattached. I remember elderly Mrs. Goldie, a name I could always remember because of Goldie Hawn, started calling herself Mrs. Goldstein. It's funny, in ways, how those names were changed back as people who arrived in 1910 lived with Americanized names for 60 years before changing them back.

Posted by: DCer | August 17, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I just remembered the oddest name I knew of when I was younger. My older sister had a classmate with the first name Major. Odd enough in itself, but whe combined with his last name, Ludwig, it just sounds like a Gilbert and Sullivan Operetta character!

Posted by: Organic Gal | August 17, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I grew up with a friend named Ann, but her sister's name was Twinkle Star.

Posted by: m.a. | August 17, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

"I'd like to introduce you to my daughters Ann and Twinkle Star." WHAT?????????

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I keep getting emails about a meeting from a Levietra. Her parents couldn't have known that the 2000's would spawn erection drugs named after their daughter.

I struggle with this. I always thought I'd do classic names that are also unusual. I've always loved Sophia, but it became too common. I love Sabine, after the Griffen and Sabine books. I met a woman named Savai, a beautiful name, but too unusal. We settled on Rowan, which runs the risk of being trendy, but so far it's just baby boys and English girls my age with her name. Oh, and Mr. Bean.

Posted by: atb | August 17, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I have one of those many Jacob's. I'd wanted to use it for a long time because it's part of my maiden name. I struggled a bit with the popularity but in the end decided to stick with the name I loved and had a lot of personal meaning. The funny thing is, we rarely meet another Jacob his age! The name has definitely passed it's peak around here. So far my Jacob has been the only one in his playgroups, preschool classes, Sunday school classes, etc. So I'm glad I didn't bow to the pressure to be "unique". I think my boy is plenty unique even with his "common" name.

My daughter's name is Erin. I like it because it is not an "unusual" name but is also not very popular for the current generation. I meet lots of teenage Erin's but know only one other Erin under 8 years old.

Posted by: Suzanne | August 17, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I'm amazed that TheCheeseStandsAlone has actually found three other people named that!

:)

Posted by: Banou | August 17, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

My big beef is people who give their kids a phonetic spelling of foreign names -- "Shevawn" for "Siobhan", "Antwan" for "Antoine", etc.

BTW, Destiny is one of my dogs; she was already named when I adopted her. I gave her a middle name -- Brigid -- because a good Catholic girl needs a saint's name, right?

Posted by: destinysmom | August 17, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

pATRICK

"I think that parents who do unusual names or spellings really do a disservice to those kids and condemn them to the unending huh? or how do you spell that? etc."

These parents are self-centered airheads who can't think more than 10 minutes into the future! Kids with weird names get their as$es kicked in the playground! Duh!
And they might have trouble getting laid when they are adults! Say whaaat?

Posted by: hillary1 | August 17, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

When I was in high school, I worked with a woman named Fonda Hamm. This is absolutely true! (I wish it weren't, for her sake.)

Posted by: NY Mom | August 17, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

My kids are named Bethany and Dominic. I love their names because they are different without being too unusual. My daughter goes to an elementary school of 400 kids, and there is only one other Bethany in the whole school. I also rarely see any other little boys (my son is 4) named Dominic. One of my sisters named her daughters Alexis and Kaitlyn, thinking she was being different, but apparently thousands of other parents had the same idea, because those names have gotten so overused. Same thing with the Kayla/Kaylie/Mikayla names - those names are going to be the "Jennifer" of the mid-70's! I'm pregnant now with my third child, and am planning to name the baby Genevieve Inez (Inez is a family name) if I have a girl. I don't hav ea boy named picked - I think boy names are a lot harder.

Posted by: Laura | August 17, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

On the topic of unusual names, I know a lady named Tequila (yes, like the drink!).

Posted by: Laura | August 17, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I once dreamed of naming my children interesting and unique names, but then I married a man of Greek heritage who felt strongly about following a Greek naming tradition. The first son is named after the paternal grandfather, the second after the maternal grandfather. Works the same with naming daughters after their grandmothers. If the first child is a daughter you can opt to name her a feminized version of the paternal grandfather's name (e.g. Nicholette instead of Nicholas.) All children receive their father's name (or a feminized version) as their middle name. Thanks to this tradition I ended up with George, Marina and Niki. We did compromise somewhat. My husband ceded his "claim" to my girls' middle names and we named the children "out of order" to ensure that one of my parents got represented. I also decided to use a variation of my mother's name (Marian) because it better fit with our Greek last name.

Initially I chafed a bit at naming my children George and Niki. George struck me as an "old man's" name and Niki (the Greek version of the name Nike) sounded like a nickname for Nicole. I would have preferred to use the name Nike, but everyone would have asked me why I named my daughter after a gym shoe company, just as they asked why I named my older daughter after a boat dock! The names seem to fit my children now, and have the benefit of being fairly uncommon at school but absolutely "normal" in our circle of Greek friends.

Family naming traditions can only go so far. My youngest child happened to be born on my late grandmother's birthday. My aunt called to congratulate me and asked if I planned to expand the family name tradition by naming my daughter after my grandmother. I might have lobbied for that suggestion had my grandmother not been named Bertha. But I simply could not fathom saddling a 21st century child with such a 19th century name, even if she would be the only Bertha in her entire school!

Posted by: Chicago Gal | August 17, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Nolagirl, my name is Regan too! My parents named me that because it's my dad's middle name. I have always loved it, and I appreciate that it's a unisex name. My middle name is Anne (and Regan Anne has such a nice ring to it), so if I want to clarify that I'm female I use both, such as in my email signature block. Occasionally it comes in handy that I could be male or female-- junk mail, telephone solicitors, or occasionally if I want to be taken seriously professionally (unfortunately). My husband's middle name is Ryan and I'd like to carry on the tradition by naming our first daughter Ryan. Perhaps I'd spell it differently though.

Posted by: Regan | August 17, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

From my own experience:

Sisters named Thankful and Fruitful. They'd be in their 30s by now.

I know a 4-year-old girl called Technic, after Technics stereo equipment. (She is called Tekka, but whenever she is called by her full name, people will hear "Technique," which is not a name I'd want my 18-year-old daughter known by.)

The absolute topper was a couple who were prevented from naming their child something they intended to rhyme with "Regina," but spelled "Va..."


Posted by: Zee | August 17, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

For all of you who think the "supreme court test" is so important here is some food for though. Here is a list of a few actual Justices. I don't think anyone should worry about any test as a sign of later success in life simply based on your name. One of the most famous judges in US history is Learned Hand.

Well...here is the list:

Bushrod Washington
Levi Woodbury
Morrison Waite
Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar
Melville Fuller
Howell Edmunds Jackson
Rufus Wheeler Peckham
Horace Harmon Lurton
Mahlon Pitney
Owen Josephus Roberts
Felix Frankfurter
Wiley Blount Rutledge
Potter Stewart

Posted by: HappyDad | August 17, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

To newsahm:
From one Maggie to another -- in my life I've known WAY more dogs than people named Maggie. And for all you Mollys out there, we feel your pain, too.

Posted by: Maggie | August 17, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I've always wanted to name my daughter (assuming I have one) Chloe, but it has become a little more popular since I first discovered it in England 17 summers ago!

I went through public school with a guy named Salvatore Manella and he went by Sal (need I say more?). Who could keep a straight face when he was called to the main office over the PA?

My mom's parents named their 4 daughters some names that you just don't hear, even for that generation. I won't even put them here! Their last child, a son, got a more "normal" name.

Posted by: WDC | August 17, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

WorkingMomX, that's not snobby at all... that's smart!

I thank my lucky stars every day my Mother felt the same way you did.

She wanted to name me Ariel (pre-Disney-movie) but decided to go with something a bit more Traditional when she thought about someone writing an article in the Post about Supreme Court Justice Ariel whatever.

Katherine has always been a great name to me, so I think she made a good decision. Strong... able to be shortened into several reasonably cute nicknames... not hard to spell... and most importantly not a name that forces me to be a rock musician or an actor. :)

Posted by: Kate | August 17, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

My parents wanted to give us names that we would 'grow into'. Although I did not appreciate it as a youth, I am glad they did it this way. I ended up being Clay , and my brother is Hugh. Neither of us encountered anyone else with these names in school.

Had we been daughters instead of sons, we would have been Hillary Elsbeth and Glynna Agnes. Those names were used on the dogs instead.

Posted by: Clay | August 17, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Urban legend has it that some idiots named their poor child "Shi-Thead".

Posted by: for real | August 17, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Regan, I actually considered "Ryan" as a name for my daughter too! I think it's beautiful. I got a lot of flack from the relatives, though, for it being a male name. Maybe you could pronounce it "ree-anne" and spell is differently. Then your child could be named after both your and your husband's middle names!

My daughter's middle name is Elizabeth which I also thought went very well with the name. Since Regan is a bit more unusual, I like it paired with very traditional English names like Elizabeth and Anne.

Do you pronounce your name "ray-gan" or "ree-gan?" My daughter's is pronounced like the late President's, which causes a lot of people to think we named her after him.

Posted by: Nolagirl | August 17, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Clay,

My husband has a friend named Hugh Heffner (yes, that's his real name - his dad named him that!). He had to get an unlisted phone number because of all the crank calls he was getting!

Posted by: Laura | August 17, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Kate--

I don't think Ariel would prevent someone from being a Sup. Ct Justice. Do you think Rufus would pass the supreme court test? Well, Rufus Peckham was a supreme court justice and I think Ariel is much nicer than that!!

Posted by: HappyDad | August 17, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I know one woman who instead of naming her daughter "Alexandria" chose to spell it "Elexzendryia" ... poor kid.

A pet peeve of mine is when parents of a daughter name their child a boy's name. It's gotten to be increasingly trendy, it just sounds completely stupid to me lol ... those poor girls, especially if they have the misfortune of being big-boned lol ...

Posted by: StudentMom | August 17, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Nolagirl, mine is pronounced like the late president's too, and I was born during his presidency so I get flack for that too. It helps that I can dismiss it as my dad's middle name.

One time when I was a baby my mom was standing in a grocery line and a woman asked about the baby. My mom told her my name and said she was named after her father. The woman thought my mom meant that I was named after the President-- as in, that President Reagan had had an affair with my 21-year old mother. My mom figured out the woman's misunderstanding and played along, all the while speaking only the truth but in ways that could be misinterpreted by this ridiculous woman. I wish I would have been old enough to understand-- I bet that was hilarious.

I think I'd just go with Ryan, or maybe Ryann. I would pronounce it the same though. It does annoy me when names are unpronounceable.

Another crazy name trend that I haven't seen mentioned yet is Neveah-- heaven spelled backwards. I read an article online about it last year. Apparently it is the first (?) name to be invented on the internet (whatever that means), and it's caught on. People pronounce it as ni-VAY-uh, or ni-VEE-uh, I guess. I think it looks like some random letters placed in a line. Or like an elf we haven't met yet in Lord of the Rings.

Posted by: Regan | August 17, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Well, for the person who's thinking of naming their daughter Ryan -- she'd be one of a few, I'm in my early 20's and I've only ever met one other female one, and that was online. (There were, however several male Ryans growing up with me, and they always got into trouble while I was generally pretty well-behaved, which also meant I got blamed more than a few times!)

From firsthand experience, it gets *really* irritating growing up (and even now) when people constantly ask "Did your parents want a boy?" (or better, "Did your parents think you were a boy?" -- and while kids did it out of ignorance, adults think it's cute and it's not), especially if it's pronounced and spelt like the masculine name -- might I suggest the same pronunciation, but the spelling Rhian? Then the spelling difference might tip someone off that she's a girl, and that way you don't have to have a name pronounced non-phonetically; I went to school with a girl whose name was Leah (which most pronounced Lee-uh) and pronounced it Leia (like the princess in Star Wars) and it caused her no end of irritation to constantly correct people (though this may be a regional thing). There also aren't a whole lot of short-forms of Ryan (except for Ry, which personally sets my teeth on edge, as I am neither booze nor bread), which kind of traps any kid with this name into that name unless they add their middle names and get creative (I did, finally, and the result isn't much better but at least has a more feminine spelling).

Usually when people ask me my name the next question is something like "is it spelled like the guy's name?" so this would be ample opportunity for correction.

Just my $0.02.

Posted by: Different Ryan than usually posts here | August 17, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

The thing about that ridiculous name - Neveah - is that no one knows how to spell it. Neveah is not even heaven spelled backwards, it's 'haeven.' If you're going to invent a crazy name, at least spell it properly.

Anyone frequent the Baby's Named a Bad, Bad Thing website?

Posted by: LL | August 17, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

My daughter is named Esme after the girl in Salinger's story "For Esme With Love and Squalor". It has turned out to be quite fitting. My Esme is very much like that Esme. There are some issues with pronunciation, but no big whoop.

As far as funny names, my family has lots from earlier generations. My grandmother, for instance (similar to someone above) is Bessie Matilda. She grew up on a dairy farm and was teased unmercifully as Bessie the Cow.

If my daughter had been a boy, we had planned to name "him" Walter after my husband's late grandfather. I think that would have been unusual for our times.

Posted by: MaryB | August 17, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

"yeah, Coco Chanel? Coco is an older, 19th century, classic name."

Coco Chanel's real name was Gabrielle, it was a nickname.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

"Because my father used to work with Outerbridge Horsey III, my family is sort of immune to funny wasp names."

-----

The original Outerbridge Horsey was a U.S. senator from Delaware in 1810, and I understand that O.H. III is a successful lawyer, so one can succeed with an offbeat name!

My second favorite U.S. senator name is Lucius Quintus Cincinatus (surname Lamar). There was also a member of the House of Rep. named Lucius Quintus Cincinatus (surname Elmer). Obviously a name to choose if you want your son to someday serve in Congress.


Posted by: Kali | August 17, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Years ago Roger Price and Leonard Stern wrote a paperback humor book called "What Not to Name the Baby." It included names with descriptions of that those kids turned out to be and believe it or not, they were dead on with those descriptions. For instance, Joan wears powder blue and pearls. Darlene is a hillbilly that once won a beauty contest. Mike and Michael are two different personalities depending on what they are called. Felix is a bridal consultant. Borden sniffles. If you can find a copy it's worth the read. Very funny.

Posted by: Lunch Break | August 17, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Anyone frequent the Baby's Named a Bad, Bad Thing website?

Posted by: LL | August 17, 2007 11:51 AM

I LOVE that website. It's hilarious!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

My husband and I have talked about what we will name our kids when we have them, and we established some rules: no names after seasons, months, holidays, virtues, or plants. We want our children to have unique names but nothing weird. There was a couple, in New Zealand I believe, that wanted to name their son 4Real because when they heard his heart beat for the first time they realized he was "for real." The authority heads stepped in and wouldn't let them use that name with the reasoning that numbers are not allowed as first "letters." They decided to name him Superman instead. I feel bad for him.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I used to work with a woman named Lasagna. She needs to meet up with Tequila!

My husbands grandmother passed away right before our daughter was born. We wanted to name her after Gramma. Unfortunately, her first name was Clyde and her second name was equally bad. Our daughters middle name is Gramma's last name!

Posted by: momof2 | August 17, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I actually had a great-uncle named Shorter.

(And the ironic thing is I don't think there's been a male born on that side of the family that grew to less than 6' tall as an adult in many, many years.)

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Judge and my Court reporter and I collect horrible kid names. Some of our favorites are Fynyxx (can you imagine this poor little girl learning to write her name), Isosis (male) and the number one worst, Kobie Bryant Melendez. We think there should be rules. 1. Don't name your kid something that results in horrible initials. We just sent a KKK to prison. 2. Don't name your kid after famous people (see above) especially criminals. No Jesse James Smith or Elton John Jones.
3. No names that sound like nick names, i.e. Ricky Bobby. 4. No impossibly weird spellings or pronunciations. For some reason people seem to be leaving out vowels, i.e. Quintn. Your kid isn't a license plate. 5. No Dad's name with ann added to it, i.e. Larryann or Darylann (both are real!) 6. No names after rock groups. Swedish authorities are currently fighting with some people who want to name their kid Metalica. 7. No non-names. Authorities in New Zealand vetoed "For Real." 8. No girls names that suggest a future in prostitution: we had "Temptress," a great name on a four year old. And finally, so names that doom you to a life of crime: We had a defendant named Demon Porter. The attorney defending him actually moved to order the prosecutor to pronounce his name de-MON so as to not prejudice the jury. I know a judge who actually changed the names of kids named Felony and Misdemeanor after terminating parental rights. And all those drug users who named their kids Chrystal, shame, shame, shame. If somebody did a study on names of kids in juvenile dependency cases, it would be shocking to see all the Chrystals.

Posted by: Just plain Pat | August 17, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I've never known a Tammy that wasn't trailer trash. And any name ending with belle reminds me of Clarabelle, the Clown.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

A college neighbor was named Raven Swan. The better names are those that are fine in their native language but don't work so well in America. One of my friends had a high school classmate named Mai Kwoch.

Posted by: Weird Names | August 17, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Love this discussion. I didn't care for my name, Victoria, when I was young b/c it sounded so formal, especially when most of my schoolmates were Kellys, Michelles, Jennifers, etc. Incidentally, when I was about 4 or 5 y.o., I wanted to change my name to: Candy Cindy Melanie. How confectionery!

I eventually learned to love my name, especially its formal and regal air. When I tell someone my name, oftentimes I can see them acutally straighten up their posture in reaction. No kidding.

Posted by: vjl | August 17, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I am the daughter of Asian immigrants and my husband is a WASP. My husband's family is much smaller than mine, so we already knew by the time we married that our future children would have his English surname. While I was pregnant, we were both adamant that our child's first name would come from my parents' culture. We are both "old school" in wanting both the Asian first name and English/Scottish middle name to be "recycled" from dead relatives if possible. Surprisingly both our families gave us a hard time about this at first, saying we should give the baby an "American" first name--as if the only "real" Americans are of English/Scottish ancestry.

We didn't know the gender ahead of time and found that we had the opposite problem from Stacy - found lots of good girls' names but didn't like any boys' names. We had a big fear that the "wrong" name would get our future son beaten up at school while girls have much more leeway to have unusual names. Compounding the problem was that my husband's surname begins with "D" and the boy's middle name we both liked was "Andrew" (DH's great-great-grandfather from Scotland), and a lot of the Asian names we or my parents liked would have made unfortunate initials like SAD or MAD.

The name I liked best is my paternal grandfather's but DH didn't because the initials were the most logical nickname, TAD, which he found way too preppy.

We even wrote several top contenders on flashcards and held them up at one of our baby showers to test pronouncability and whether people thought they were boy's or girl's names.

We ended up having a boy and named him after my grandfather. Surprisingly few people call our son "Tad" and what his young cousins and day care classmates call him is the last two syllables of his 3-syllable name, not what we expected but we like it. We always use his full first name, though.

Since we have exhausted all the good boys' names, though, we really REALLY want our next baby to be a girl!

BTW, the wife of one of my friends from college runs a blog about baby names: http://thebabynamewizard.ivillage.com/parenting/ She puts in statistical info and interesting insights so I hope it will be useful for those of you still in the throes of baby-naming.

Posted by: 2ndGeneration | August 17, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

HappyDad,

I think that there's a lot more wiggle room with boy's names than there is with girls' names when it comes to sounding professional. I can definitely imagine a justice names Rufus. It's much harder to imagine Supreme Court Justice Tiffani or Rainbow.

I don't think there's anything wrong with giving a child a cute name, just as long as they have a more professional option for when they grow up.

Posted by: NewSAHM | August 17, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Just read a few more. We also have a Tequila - she is a lawyer.

A coworker used to work for the city government of New Orleans and (when I was pregnant) gave me a copy of the funny names she had collected while in that position. I wish I had it on me now - it was hilarious!

Posted by: MaryB | August 17, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I have met a guy named Harley and once worked with a woman named Michael Ann.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I have great aunts (twins) who were named Sude and Nude. Yikes.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"Tammy is trailer trash..."

Hey - I was a Tammy growing up and I'm not from the trailer! Of course, that is the reason why I insisted on using my full name, "Tamara," after I moved out. I came to the same conclusion as you about the name. Same thing with "Sherri" and "Amber."

Posted by: Nolagirl | August 17, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Seconding some other posters, androgynous names and giving boy's names to girls both irritate me. In the workplace I HATE having to call someone I've never met and ask an assistant whether that person is a man or woman. Also, once enough girls have a boy's name it eventually becomes a girl's name, which is one reason why boys are harder to name. For example, back in the day, Leslie and Ashley were boy's names--Ashley was a male character in Gone with the Wind. I've heard arguments from family members that giving a girl a boy's name will help shield her from workplace discrimination but that won't prevent discimination by people who've talked to her on the phone or in person.

In terms of unusual names, I had a college classmate named Eowyn. Her parents were Lord of the Rings fans. That character disguised herself as a man to battle against the Dark Lord Sauron's armies and ends up slaying the head Nazgul who had bragged that "no man" could slay him. So I always thought Eowyn was a cool name!

Posted by: 2ndGeneration | August 17, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

"Madison pops out of no where in '85, the year after the movie Splash came out."

Same with the name in Wendy in the sixties, it didn't exist until after the Peter Pan movie came out.

Posted by: CJB | August 17, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I have a woman friend named Glynes. I guess it is more common in the British Isles, but she is the only person I have ever encountered with that name.

Posted by: CJB | August 17, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

My ancestors had some pretty strange names that I wouldn't choose for a child now.
Girls: Cordelia, Cornelia, Arzelia
Boys: Helwig, Fountain
Family names I would have named kids if I had them...
Girls: Margaret (Maggie) from Margaretha on my German side and Margarita on my Mexican side; Dorothy; Anne; Mary
Boys: Phillip; Albert; Paul; George; Nathan

My name is Jodie and could be a girl or boy. I'm older than Jodie Foster, so it wasn't a common girl's name when I was a child and I got tired of not finding key chains & necklaces without my name anywhere! Now it's not an unusal name.

Posted by: 5thGenTexan | August 17, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

My sister-in-law bought me a book listing children's names when I was pregnant with my first child. That summer, we drove to Hilton Head and as she read each name, my husband and I figured out if the name could be "teased" or not. We were hysterical driving down Rt. 95.
I chose Christian for my son because I'd heard the name in high school and loved it, not realizing that it would become one of the most popular names when he was born.
For our second son, the only boy's name my husband and I both liked was Nicholas.
We don't shorten Christian's name, but Nicholas has become "Nicky" - it just fits him.
As far as embarassing names heard, my mother had a college professor whose last name was Hore. His wife's name was Ima. Although this was in the '60's, I personally would've kept my maiden name!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

The weirdest names I have come across are Aquanetta, Ajax, and Vanilla Chocolate (It's pronounced Va-knee-ya Shoc-la-tay)

My parents are guilty of creative spelling of a common name. However, they didn't add an extra y, they just added an extra n.

Despite the many many times I have had to deal with it being misspelled, I don't really mind. (Except for the woman who told me I should just change it so I could "be normal")

So far, I've only come across one other girl, much younger than I am, who spells her name "my way". It turns out that her grandmother saw my name in the paper when I won an award in middle school! I met her and her family on line at the supermarket. Small world, I guess.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

My daughter goes to an elementary school of 400 kids, and there is only one other Bethany in the whole school.
-------
Oh god. Umm... I apologize in advance. In the 5th grade a Bethany joined our class and pretty soon we called her "Bethany Beach." While giving a book report, the class clown was making faces at her, and she suddenly goes OFF on him, calling him immature, childish, and some other strangely adult criticisms that totally stopped the class dead.

Without blinking he just blurts out:

Bethany B---h (not Beach)

He was sent to the principal's office, but her nickname, encouraged by her outburst, stuck through Jr High.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I chose Christian for my son because I'd heard the name in high school and loved it, not realizing that it would become one of the most popular names when he was born.
For our second son, the only boy's name my husband and I both liked was Nicholas.
------------

I either worked with you at the Pentagon or your have a doppelganger family out in Fairfax county. I've met Christian and Nicholas.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Both of my parents come from large families (12 and 16) and I am always amazed by the relative lack of duplication (there are a few) in names between aunts, uncles and cousins, even across the two families. The ones I haven't heard in use much are:

Katiera
Bernida (family name)
Alethea
Phillana
Thaddeus
Clyde
Phyllis
Louise (family name)
Duane
Keegan

And then there's my dad, Ambrey. The story is that my grandpa like both Aubrey and Ambrose, so he combined them to get Ambrey. Dad constantly has to spell it, and we always got a lot of calls for Mrs. Ambrey Xxxx.

Posted by: MNgirl | August 17, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I once knew a girl named Stardust, we would hang out at one of my other friends house after school and every time her Grandpa talked to Stardust (he lived in the house) he would call her Sawdust. She really disliked her name and in college started going by just Star, still a little unusual but at least it wasn't Stardust.

I chose nice traditional but uncommon names for my own kids. I also tried to stay away from ones with nicknames, but that's just a personal preference.

Posted by: Centreville Mom | August 17, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

In middle school, I knew Tequilas, twins Mazda and Miata, Mercedes, three Anferneys, a Precious, an Eireanne, and a Margaureita (yes, spelled that way). She preferred to be called Margie.

Even though these aren't unusual, there were also about six Jennifers, five Heathers, four Brians/Bryans and three Davids. And they all hated their names.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Star Jones real first name is Starlet.

Posted by: hillary1 | August 17, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

We had horrible, horrible nicknames for the babies while they were in utero, Ignatious Alouishus, for example. They got reasonable names at birth.

Older son's first name is after DH's oldest and dearest friend, and middle name is the same as DH, my brother, and my father's middle names. (Yes, they all four share the same middle name, and it's not a common one.)

Younger son's first name is after a famous historical figure, and his middle name is my maternal grandfather's first name.

DH and I have pretty common names, but my initials spell out a man's name - which I used as a nickname all through school, because there were always at least two or three other girls named 'Sue', 'Suzie', 'Susan', 'Suzsanna' or some other variation - and DH's initials spell a woman's name. We've had a running joke since we first met, about opening a business called "Sam and Deb's" something-or-other.

Strangest name I ever encountered was during my Air Force enlistment. The guy was the youngest of 13 children, and he said his parents had run out of inspiration. The family name was Allan, so he was named Allan Allan.

Posted by: Sue | August 17, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I have to be careful because this guy lives in DC, but I once met this really annoying guy who cautioned me against giving my future child his name. I paused for a second, the guy's name was Eric and my best friend was named Eric and there was a cool guy in my Jr High named Eric too.

Oh my god, he exclaimed. Eric. Ear-ache! You can't name a child Eric because they will be called Ear-Ache!

The dude was the Ear-ache and could have been called that regardless of his name.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Emma is an extremely, extremely popular name. Am I the only one that can't help thinking of "enema" when seeing this name?

Posted by: Nolagirl | August 17, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I know someone who had twin girls and named one a fairly common name, but named the other one Jezebel. I expect lots of teasing, especially when she is a teenager.

Posted by: carrot | August 17, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

If people are going to bring out military names, while working with the US Army I met:
Dick Fagley
Dick Fagnant
Dick Fagler

All three went by the nickname "Dick." Two of these guys worked together on a project and they knew the third guy in another department. Contractors would be cracking up and falling over themselves, but no one else saw anything odd.

I also knew a Bent Kok at NATO. Dutch.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Hillary, but I think you're wrong about Coco Arquette!

Cox and Arquette caused a stir when they chose to give their first offspring the unusual name after her June (04) birth, but the actor explains that it was best compromise they could make while respecting each other's family traditions, by using the first two letters of Cox's names - Co-Co.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | August 17, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

With more and more parents giving their children unusual names/unique spelling, it won't be so uncommon when the children reach adulthood. There would be plenty of 30 year olds named Destiny (like my daughter), Nevaeh, Ayden.

So the Supreme Court Justice name test is moot in this day in age. 30 years from now, the name 'Supreme Court Justice Destiny ____' won't sound silly because the name 'Destiny' ranks as the Top Popular 100 nowadays. Times are changing, people. Get out of your old ways.

Posted by: Soguns | August 17, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Ever notice girls with food names are nymphomaniacs: Brandi or Brandy, Sherry, Ginger, Candi or Candy, Bree, Cherry, Taffy. They like to end them with an i so they can dot the i with little hearts. Gag me with a spoon!

To Pat the Judge: My brother retired from Corrections as a training captain after working 24 at that zoo. You should hear some of the names he has come across. There's always an Antwan in the slammer born to stupid people who can't spell Antoine.

Posted by: Lunch Break | August 17, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

There's a NASCAR driver named Dick Trickle.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

My husband and I have talked about baby names and settled on a few we like. Both very traditional and family-oriented. A boy named Conrad Joseph after both our maternal grandfathers, (although I'm trying to convince him to like Conrad Jacob for my brother) or Eva Mary-Alice (Mary-Alice covers like five female relatives).

Posted by: DCRachel | August 17, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

WorkingMomX |

"Sorry, Hillary, but I think you're wrong about Coco Arquette!"

Both Courtney Cox and her mother, also Courtney Cox, were called the nickname Coco for many years. No need to "invent" a a name.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"I've heard arguments from family members that giving a girl a boy's name will help shield her from workplace discrimination but that won't prevent discimination by people who've talked to her on the phone or in person. "

There is also the continuing argument that she will have gotten the phone call in the first place due to her masculine name. It's a bit harder to say "oh wait, you're not right for this job after all" while they're still on the phone when you've obviously read her resume/qualifications or else you wouldn't call her.

Despite this, I'm still inclined to agree with you -- besides, these days it can be an advantage to have a woman's name due to affirmative action laws (there are still places that have to hire x% female employees).

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"I've heard arguments from family members that giving a girl a boy's name will help shield her from workplace discrimination but that won't prevent discimination by people who've talked to her on the phone or in person. "

There is also the continuing argument that she will have gotten the phone call in the first place due to her masculine name. It's a bit harder to say "oh wait, you're not right for this job after all" while they're still on the phone when you've obviously read her resume/qualifications or else you wouldn't call her.

Despite this, I'm still inclined to agree with you -- besides, these days it can be an advantage to have a woman's name due to affirmative action laws (there are still places that have to hire x% female employees).

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I knew a couple in college with the surname Chen, and they came very close to having a son named Eric until someone pointed out what "Eric Chen" sounds like.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"With more and more parents giving their children unusual names/unique spelling, it won't be so uncommon when the children reach adulthood. There would be plenty of 30 year olds named Destiny (like my daughter), Nevaeh, Ayden.

So the Supreme Court Justice name test is moot in this day in age. 30 years from now, the name 'Supreme Court Justice Destiny ____' won't sound silly because the name 'Destiny' ranks as the Top Popular 100 nowadays. Times are changing, people. Get out of your old ways.

Posted by: Soguns | August 17, 2007 01:23 "

Sir or Madam:

Guess how The Top Popular 100 Names are determined?

Natural Selection at its best.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

From the deep south...great aunt's named Delia Omega, Odessa Jewell, Velona, Sula Mae
uncles - Collis, Berlie Harvel, Jerry Dean (before any sausage was discussed), Johnny Wayne (before the actor was ever mentioned), Surrey

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

We went with a literary reference and chose Holden for our son. It is different in that it is not in the top 200 name lists, but it is not so different that it comes off as just plain strange.

MaryB - I've always liked the name Esme if I had a daughter, but I'm pretty sure two Salinger references would be a bit much!

Posted by: trygo | August 17, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"On June 13, 2004, she gave birth to their first child, daughter Coco Riley Arquette. The child was originally to be named after her mother as Courteney Cox Arquette[4], however her husband's family objected to this on the grounds that naming a child after a living relative goes against Jewish tradition. Coco is a nickname Cox's friends gave her mother when she was a child.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courteney_Cox


Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

My sister & I both hated our real names as kids because they sounded so old fashioned to us (being born in the 60's) - Julia & Amelia.

I went all the way through school w/the only other Julia I've ever met who is around my age.

Of course now that I'm an adult I can't walk through any mall, park or city street w/out some stranger calling out 'my' name.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

using wiki to settle a dispute is about as credible as saying, I checked with my mother-in-law and SHE says I'm right.

Posted by: MN | August 17, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I just remembered another horrible name-- my neighbor when I was in high school (named Tammy, who ended up kind of trashy later and had at least one kid in high school), dated a guy named Brach Coli.

I disagree with the annoyance over giving boys names to a girl. My name is androgynous (though more frequently a girls name nowdays), and I have always been grateful for that. Sometimes I want my gender to be anonymous. And if someone refers to me as Mr XXX, I know better than to take it personally-- I have a boys name. People call me Ray Gun (or the worst, Ray Ray), but you can make up annoying nicknames for any name.

I want to name my children after people we like, or at least relatives we don't dislike. Long-dead relatives are especially good because a) there are a lot of them to choose from, and b) they can't piss us off because they are dead.

Posted by: Regan | August 17, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

For those generally opposed to giving girls masculine names, what do you think of names like Samantha and Georgina and other decidedly female names that are almost universally shortened to "Sam" and "George?"

These are ones that always get me stuck--there are enough strong, professional sounding female names that I'd tend to stick with them. Still, I've never met a Sam or a George (female ones, that is) who don't have that perfect balance of nice/intelligent/good sense of humor.

Posted by: Sarah | August 17, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Destiny is such a PWT name.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Regan, I have a female cousin named Ryan. She's 24 now and was named after the soap opera, Ryan's Hope. AFAIK she has always liked her name.

Posted by: Kellie | August 17, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I am also Jewish and named my kids after deceased relatives. My daughter is Emily, after my beloved grandmother (Emilia in the old country). I always knew I'd have an Emily and didn't care that there might be a million others. PS - we only know fewer of them than you'd guess. My son is David, after my husband's grandfather. A great classic name (we don't shorten it), but most of the Davids we know are adults not kids.

As for me, my parents named me for my grandfather Leon, and sometimes I get really tired of having to spell my name for everyone. So one thing I swore I wouldn't do was use a funky spelling of whatever name I chose for my kids.

Posted by: Loren | August 17, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

The "Sam" and "George" thing -- in all honesty, the nicknames probably wouldn't come up unless you know them/have met them, and then it's clear.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Why did they name you for your grandfather but name you something different? LOL

Posted by: to Loren | August 17, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Most unusual names I've come across -- two sisters named Christopher and Robert. They went by Chrissy and Bobbie, but they were pretty open about the fact their father wanted boys. Very sad.

Posted by: SLP | August 17, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Well I've learned after working with someone who has a foreign name that it is a mixed blessing. On the one hand you constantly have to spell and pronounce it to people. On the other hand, I can instantly tell when someone calls in whether they are important or actually know him.

My first name is very common and easily spelled in the US culture however I have shortened it because no matter how slowly I say it or enunciate, no one EVER gets it the first time. With a shortened version, in person, almost everyone gets it right away.

I wonder more about surnames- with more people choosing to hyphenate, what do you do when you have a hyphenate who has a child with a hyphenate?

Posted by: EmeraldEAD | August 17, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I was a party one time and was introduced to a young woman named Stuart. I found myself desperately trying to keep a poker-face (don't look too confused, don't laugh, don't ask why). Then, I commented on her beautiful baby, a girl, who she told me was named Eliot????

Why on earth would anyone do this to their child? Surely she knows better....

Posted by: vjl | August 17, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Elliot is the name of a female character on Scrubs. I actually kind of like it.

Posted by: Regan | August 17, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Another thing about naming for dead relatives: it's really more of a cultural than a religous thing among Jews of eastern European descent. Sephardi Jews (from Spain and the Middle East) do name after living relatives, but not usually after parents. That's why you will rarely see a Jewish "Jr."

See, you actually learned something today.

Posted by: Loren | August 17, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

My daughter has a (female) classmate named Ryan. Another has a male name for her middle name. I have a strange name so insisted that my kids name be more "normal."

Posted by: 21117 | August 17, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

"using wiki to settle a dispute is about as credible as saying, I checked with my mother-in-law and SHE says I'm right."

But still more credible than saying I checked with MN and he/she/it says I'm right.

Posted by: bababooey666 | August 17, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I knew a Tom Sawyer and a girl who's last named was Hore. Now matter what her fist name was, she was doomed!

Posted by: Steve | August 17, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Steve

"I knew a Tom Sawyer and a girl who's last named was Hore. Now matter what her fist name was, she was doomed!"

Her "fist name"? There's one for the books.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Don't kid yourself about choosing a name that won't cause teasing. Even the most vanilla of names can be made into a cruel nickname. Example, in elementary school we called this kid named Dan, Dandruff Dan. I mean, Dan is about as simple as you can get with a name.

Kids will take any name and make a nickname out of it if they really want to tease someone. It's based more on the personality of the kid being teased not the name itself. Monkey Mike (big ears); Lazy Leslie, etc.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

"Don't kid yourself about choosing a name that won't cause teasing. Even the most vanilla of names can be made into a cruel nickname"

You are so right!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

"I wonder more about surnames- with more people choosing to hyphenate, what do you do when you have a hyphenate who has a child with a hyphenate?"

I once heard this theory proposed for when a hyphenate marries a hyphenate: girls would keep the name from the female line of the family and boys would keep the name from the male line.

Posted by: CJB | August 17, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

"Destiny is such a PWT name."
--I assume these acronyms stands for Poor White Trash. Good thing I'm not white. Nor am I trash. Nor poor (but not rich by any means.)

Posted by: Soguns | August 17, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Soguns

Destiny is such a PWT name."
--I assume these acronyms stands for Poor White Trash. Good thing I'm not white. Nor am I trash. Nor poor (but not rich by any means.)"


You may not be PWT, but you were very, very stupid to name your kid Destiny! What were you thinking?

Posted by: hillary1 | August 17, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, you don't need to be poor to be white trash. Just look at some of our elected officials, lawyers, and professional athletes.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Ouch!! We named our daughter "Leora," and have only received ooohs and aaahs when people ask her name. Your post brought me right back to reality - you certainly can't please everyone. :)

Posted by: Mama | August 17, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I was named for a childhood friend of my mother's. Considering I was born in the late sixties during the height of black power and discovering African roots when a lot of parents were giving their children african sounding names I am glad I am just Donna. Although I did name my dog for my grandmother, there aren't too many Mildred's anymore, so I named my second dog Millie.

Posted by: Just Donna | August 17, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

regarding hyphenates marrying hyphenates. I know a couple who did this. the husband changed his name to his father's last name and the wife kept hers and the kids just got the dad's last name. I have no idea what the grandparents think of it.

Essentially, with fake names, Tim Winston-Jones married Shirley Austen-Smith and the kids were D'Trial Jones and Traylor Jones.

Posted by: DCer | August 17, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Husband and I agreed on names before we even got engaged. The must pass the playground test, be known, and have some meaning to us. We have a boy's name with first name of husband's grandfather who raised him, middle name my father's middle name; girl's name of my maternal grandmother and middle name my mother's twin sister (both passed away). We then have an additional boy and girl's name from historical leaders. I know way too many people with names that are either impossible to spell if heard, or impossible to pronounce if read.

Posted by: Newlywed | August 17, 2007 5:30 PM | Report abuse

"30 years from now, the name 'Supreme Court Justice Destiny ____' won't sound silly because the name 'Destiny' ranks as the Top Popular 100 nowadays. Times are changing, people. Get out of your old ways."

30 years ago Tiffany and Misty were in the top 100 ....

Posted by: To Soguns | August 17, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I worked with a woman named Signora, every time she met someone who knew Italian, she just had to say, "I know, I know..."

Also worked for a woman named Gary, and knew a woman in HR named Kyle.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't use these myself since I'm still committed to ethnic names, but I think a lot of place names would be very pretty for girl's names. There are girls named Virginia, Georgia, and Carolina, but why not Atlanta (my favorite, for some reason--I have no personal connection to the city) or Alabama? There is a TV star named America. And there was a character in Slaughterhouse Five named Montana, I think. For some reason there aren't many good geographic boy's names--I can't think of any besides Austin.

Posted by: 2ndGeneration | August 17, 2007 9:42 PM | Report abuse

My boys are named Pete and Re-Pete

Posted by: Peter | August 17, 2007 10:31 PM | Report abuse

We also used the Supreme Ct Justice system, but we also used "Can XYZ come out to play?" So you eliminate Rainbow, but you also eliminate your Outerbridges.

Posted by: Amy | August 17, 2007 11:43 PM | Report abuse

how about gook and gook

Posted by: linda | August 19, 2007 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Destiny is such a PWT name.

I have never known a white person poor or otherwise named Destiny. On the other hand, I have known a lot of African Americans with that name. I don't think there is anything wrong with it. At least you can say it and it is not spelled weird.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2007 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I have male cousins Rene and Robin. Rene's name is, of course, a properly masculine French name, but when you grow up *this far* above white trash in rural America, it's a tough name. Robin reports having "disappointed" various Air Force units who thought they were getting a new female colleague.

Posted by: BxNY | August 20, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

"She wanted to name me Ariel (pre-Disney-movie) but decided to go with something a bit more Traditional when she thought about someone writing an article in the Post about Supreme Court Justice Ariel whatever."

What's wrong with "Ariel"? Good, strong Hebrew name. Means "Lion of God." It's actually a very traditional name, if not a common one. Or course, it used to be male rather than female, but lots of names seem to have changed genders over the years (Leslie, Ashley, etc.)

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"I think a lot of place names would be very pretty for girl's names."

I agree- one of my favorite girls' names is "India," which is actually a very old-fashioned, 19th century European name. I considered this for my DD, but picked another one.

I also used to really like "Paris" before, well, you know.

Posted by: va | August 20, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

"30 years ago Tiffany and Misty were in the top 100 ...."

-OK. What exactly is your point?
BTW. I love the name Tiffany. And Destiny is a very pretty name. I've met plenty of Destiny's so it won't sound silly when my 3 year old is an adult as plenty of her peers would have that name.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 20, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Different names: A'Love (girl born in the 70s)
Alta May (as a first name)
JacQue (capitalization as written)
Chasity (girl born in the 70s - she kept having to say, "only one 't' - not 'Chastity')
and of course Antwan

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I went to high school in the late '80s with two girls who were best friends, Sunshine and Summer. Both on the cheer squad, of course. There were cousins in the school as well: Spring and Autumn. One poor girl was named Pebbles, after the Flintstones character - she went by some nickname of her middle name, which was Joanne I think.

For the parents of girls with names that seem common to dogs (the Maggies and Mollys mentioned above), I feel for your daughters. I grew up as the only my-name in my area, but I knew three dogs with my name, and it was very lowering. Especially when my first introduction to one of the dogs was its owner snapping "[Dog]! Go lay down!" as I walked into the house. I was about 10, had no concept that a dog could have my name, and this was in front of a room full of adults (strangers to me). I'm naturally shy, and I was so mortified I hid behind my mother for the rest of the afternoon. I love my name, but it's awkward for a kid when a new playmate says, "Oh, that's my dog's name!"

Posted by: BxNY | August 20, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

i have a male friend named Ryan who dated a girl named Ryan. made it very tricky when trying to refer to them in conversation. we started saying "Ryan the boy" and "Ryan the girl." Luckily the relationship didn't last long. Just something to think about when considering naming a girl a common boy's name.

Posted by: va | August 20, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

This discussion is always fun because I love to see how others decided on their childrens names. Tradition, personal experience, something else entirely?

Here is my story-I was named Shannon (middle name Hope) in the late seventies. Whoever commented about my name being cutesy and not grown up...I have to say "wtf?" I have NEVER heard such a thing in my entire life. Anyway, my parents picked a nice Irish name and one with a great meaning. They had no IDEA how trendy it would be! There were SEVEN of us in my hometown, 5 on the same cheerleading squad-when we got to the third one in our "hello cheer" people thought we were kidding! This followed me through high school in a different state, college in a different state and even on to my first few workplaces. I even roomed with another Shannon in college, although this was by choice-she was a friend of mine. I checked the popularity website for the year I was born, and the name was only #21, so trying to avoid the top ten is not going to keep your child from being in classes/activities with another one (or several, in my case).

I actually like my name now (I like that it was chosen for part of my heritage and that it has a great meaning), but the mulitple Shannon problem nearly made me change my name when I was a teenager and start going by my middle name, which I just adore. I didn't know any Hopes and Hope is such a beautiful idea, huh?

So, all that said, I wanted a name for my daughter that was a normal name, but not one that was commonly used at this time. I obssessivly checked the Social Security list, and it had to be below #500 on the list or I wasn't using it. I also checked every name's meaning, because I wanted a name that might define her personality or other traits. We took 3 names to the hospital with us and my daughter is named Hilarie-yes, I meant to spell it that way and no, she is NOT named for Senator Clinton. I went with a less commonly used, but still correct, spelling because I never liked the -y or the double l's. The name means "cheerful" and that describes my smiley, happy little girl perfectly! I went with the middle name Dawn because, well, I like it and I couldn't find one of those virtue names that I liked with her first name.

I am sure everyone has their reasons for what they name their kids-I just don't do family names or too common names. I also tend toward unusual names and the season/month names-I suggested Tanith (like the ice skater) and Autumn to my husband, both vetoed.

I have to admit, I pity all the little Avas who will be hitting the schools here in a couple years, and all the little girls with the middle names Grace or Rose, as they are like the Lynn or Ann of my generation ;P

Posted by: Hilsmom | August 22, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I knew an Aquanetta.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 24, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

My daughter is named Layne. I was watching a show the other night with a character named "Maine" and I thought it was a nice name. Then I realized it would be kind of weird to have kids with rhyming names. When I mentioned this to my sister, who is a pediatrician, she said one family she sees has 5 kids. The three girls are Shamika, Shanika, and Sharika. The two boys are Anton and Antwon.

Posted by: Layne's Mom | August 24, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

the actress jennifer love hewitt is actually love jennifer hewitt

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I knew a Tammy who was most decidedly NOT "trailer trash". Considering that she was in my high school and I was sweet on her, I resent the posting above! ;-)

So she's at least one example of someone who grew up in New York City, was bright, sophisticated, and brilliant, beautiful and beautifully dressed like out of Fifth Avenue, and attended the very selective, specialized Bronx High School of Science -- not exactly trailer-park material.

Cheers!

ako

Posted by: a.k.o. | September 10, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

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