Monday, May 7, 2012

Baby names

Names! Always such fun to discover, discuss, and make lists of - even if you're not having a baby!

What kind of names do you like for boys? And for girls? What sort criteria would you consider when choosing a name? Here are some of the things I would take into consideration:

1. If my baby were to someday marry a royal (I am speaking hypothetically, of course), would his/her name be appropriate? Would it be a suitably regal, timeless name? Or would it be. . . an embarrassment? This is something that particularly struck me around the time of William and Catherine's wedding last year. Thank goodness Michael and Carole Middleton had the good sense to name their daughter Catherine, rather than (. . .)

2. Does the name have a positive meaning? An - er - meaningful meaning?

3. Is the name aesthetically pleasing? Does it have a pleasant sound when spoken aloud? A pleasant appearance when written down?

4. How common is the name? I would probably try to avoid names that are overwhelmingly popular. Unfortunately, there are a lot of names I really like that are currently in the Top 100 here in Australia! Australian parents actually have decent taste in names, at the moment - with a few notable exceptions, such as Jaxon *cringes*.

5. Last but not least, does the name have pleasant associations? This criterion can be particularly frustrating. Even if a name ticks all of the above boxes, it may still have negative associations in the mind of the public - or in my own mind. I used to like the name Bella/Isabella. . . before a certain series of books came along. I used to like Edward, too - before that same series of books came onto the scene. And I used to like Julia - before our current Prime Minister became Prime Minister.

So, what sort of names do you like? Quirky, or classic and elegant? Vintage, or contemporary? Share some of your favourites, if you want to!

My new favourite baby name site is the alarmingly addictive Nameberry. It has commentary on 1000s of names, and 100s of lists to browse through.


Marian said...

I love classic names--"tried and true" and suitable for all generations. Bullying and pop culture associations are my biggest worries. Who'd have thought "Edward" would become a vampire name? Still, I think it will eventually outlive the Twilight series.

I also like some unusual names, but I'd be less likely to name someone an unusual name.

Elizabeth said...

I have to say that I like classic names, elegant names. I probably like some quirky ones too, though I can't think of any at the moment. I will say that I have a very great fondness for Irish names like Meav, Orla, and a few others. I will most likely have a child or two with an Irish name.

Another important thing I think when picking out a name is the middle name. Some names go together wonderfully, others not so much.

The Editrix said...

I like Irish names, too. :-)

Deanne said...

and then you get a husband who doesn't always like your name choices!

The Editrix said...

LOL! Well, I've been compiling some very long lists. . . he's bound to like some of them (I hope!).

Enbrethiliel said...


I like classic names, too, though I usually call them saints' names. =) A few months ago, I realised that I really, really love the name Harry for a boy. (No, not because of Harry Potter. LOL! It just sounds so nice, and I wouldn't mind saying it over and over to someone I love for decades.)

Your thoughts about the Duchess of Cambridge remind me of Richard Branson saying in some interview that he likes to address his daughter Holly as "Your Royal Highness" whenever he sees her. She is friends with Prince Harry and he believes they could actually marry someday. And my first thought was, "But with a name like Holly . . ." =P Questions of royalty aside, I think that "Harry and Holly" sound like a cute couple. LOL!

Nicole said...

I've always loved the name Lily. I also started liking the name Mia until I realized it meant "bitter". :S I also like Sienna, Enna for short. It's cute and different.
Good post!
~Nicole :)

Anne-girl said...

I like Ilse, and Elise and Annaliese and Katharine, and Marguerite for girls and Murray, Joseph, Anthony, Percy, John, and Theodore for boys. I also really like Colleen.

Rachel said...

So very fun to think about! My lists are getting dreadfully long I'm afraid. :) Valorie, Lorienn, Leslie, Marta, Fiona, Ava, Jillian, Trust; Jules, Cedric, Jude, Kian, Finlay, Calum, August, Kipling, Wesley.

Hayden said...

Oh. I love much my mother bought me a baby name book for Christmas. Very useful when novel-writing :)

Middle names are super fun to come up with also- I like very traditional names paired with quirky middle names. I'm not much for "modern" names, though. Or ones that are overly popular. I like very traditional, old-fashioned boys names like Edward and Andrew and Charles and Frederick. And I like very old-fashioned, very girly, girls names like Violet and Sophie and Aurora.

Two of my favorite names have for a long time been Isabella (even if it is the number one name in America right now...sigh...)and can imagine my horror when Twilight came out. However, I still love the names and plan on naming two of my children them despite of Twilight (if, you know, my future husband is okay with that :) The names are just too awesome and will most certainly outlive the vampire fad.

I hope :)

The Editrix said...

Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts and some of your favourite names! I loved reading your comments. :-)