We’ve had a TON of great reader questions lately—and so I’m hoping to get through a lot of them this week. We’re kicking it off with reader Mandy, who needs a little help with a middle name:
I’m wondering if you could help me come up with a middle name for Maeve, preferably one that starts with the letter J.
Maeve is one of my favorite go-to middle name choices, and I LOVE the idea of putting it in the starring role. With a short-and-sweet name like Maeve, you need a middle name that’s a little longer—so we have to discount common middles like Jane, June, Jade and James (yes, that works for a girl!). But there are still some really intriguing options out there for you.
I absolutely LOVE the thought of pairing Maeve with Josephine. It’s a feminization of Joseph and means “Jehovah increases.” There are plenty of cool historical/literary figures with the name, including Napoleon’s wife, Empress Josephine, singer/actor Josephine Baker, and of course, Josephine March, the heroine of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.
Another name with great literary chops and a nice pairing option with Maeve is Juliet, the female part of Shakespeare’s famous star-crossed lovers. It means “youthful.”
A few other options for you: I love the two nature names Juniper (a berry-producing tree that is the source of gin), and Jasper, the precious stone (this name is usually reserved for guys, but I kind of like the sound of Maeve Jasper). And then there’s Jolie, a French name that means pretty.
If you want to move beyond the Js, there are a few other names I’d love paired with Maeve. Try the “J” sounding Gs, like Genevieve, Giada and Georgia, or some hard “C” names, like Clementine, Clara or Caroline.
What other “J” names do you like, readers? Or are there any other names you’d like to see paired with Maeve?
If you’re looking for a little advice for your baby’s name, don’t be shy. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or study names on your own with our Baby Name Finder. And don’t forget to like In Name Only to keep up with the very latest in baby names!
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Baby Name Help, In Name Only
We all have our “dream names” that we use for our first baby (or three), but sometimes coming up with a name that you love for baby #4 can be a challenge. That’s the issue reader Katie has:
I am expecting my 4th child in about 5 weeks. My husband and I can not agree on anything for a name. My other three children are Ethan (13), Presley (girl), and Emett (4 year old twins).
I am leaning towards surnames or even boy names for a girl. My trouble becomes one minute I like something and the next I don’t. I want something different, but not weird. I want people to be able to pronounce it and spell it, but I don’t want there to be five other little girls in her class with the same name.
Names are hard. They are such a big decision. I have no idea how we were able to come up with two names for the twins. However, when we agreed on Presley after they were delivered I didn’t really like it. I do still love the boys’ names we chose, though. I am hoping to find a girl’s name that I feel the same about for this little one.
Looks like you picked some really intriguing names for your first three—nothing too popular, but definitely still on people’s radar as a good name. Clearly, you want something not-so-traditionally girl (so no Amelia or Penelope for you, right?).
Finley is one of my favorites for girls (and boys). It’s a Celtic name that means “fair-haired hero,” and while it’s up and coming, it’s still a bit below the radar (it just broke the top 300 for girls last year). I think it would pair beautifully with the other names you’ve picked.
Another (more popular) unisex name that matches beautifully with the names of your other kids is Peyton, which is just below the top 50 currently. I like that it features similar sounds to her siblings—Presley and Peyton make a good sister pair, don’t you think?
There’s a slew of fun “R” names that are unisex—Rowan, Rory, Regan, Romilly and Remy all could work for your daughter. Of these four, I’d pick Rowan and Remy as the best two options.
And then there’s Marley. Yes, it’s currently associated with the dog in the best selling book and movie—but it also has ties to reggae great Bob Marley, and of course, the ghost of Dickens’ classic, Christmas Carol. With a meaning like “seaside meadow,” it’s a lovely choice. Not into Marley? Try Marlowe, which a few celebs have picked for their daughters (in honor of Britain’s great playwright, perhaps?).
Two other options for you: I love Arden, which is the name of the forest in Shakespeare’s As You Like It and means “valley of the eagle.” It hasn’t hit the top 1000 yet—I think it’s a wonderful choice. And it’s not unisex or a surname, but Imogen, a longtime British favorite that means “maiden,” would sound beautiful with the rest of your choices. It’s on the radar of many naming experts as an up-and-comer, but it still hasn’t cracked the top 1000 yet. You could be a trend setter with that one!
Readers: What other options would you suggest for Katie?
If you’re still looking for the perfect name, check out our Baby Name Finder, or email me at email@example.com for some advice. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.
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In Name Only
Stars—they’re just like us! And when it comes to baby names, they often have the same issues and quandaries we all do.
For instance, people always seem to have the perfect baby name lined up for the first baby—but for the kiddos after that, it can be harder to find a baby name that they love as much (or that they both agree on). That’s apparently an issue for Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, who found and loved the name Lincoln for their oldest daughter. But according to People, the pair are stumped when it comes to baby #2. Do you think they’ll follow the latest trend and give their new baby a name out of Frozen? Given that they picked one name to use for a boy or a girl, I’m guessing they’ll go with something else intriguingly unisex. (That way, they only have to come up with one good name!)
And while celebrities are often mocked for coming up with out-there baby names (hello, Audio Science and Pilot Inspektor), sometimes they inadvertently almost give their kid a bad name, simply by not checking for weird pronunciation issues or awful monograms. For instance, actor Poppy Montgomery (currently pregnant with baby #3) nearly gave her son the name Jack—a perfectly respectable and normal baby name. But not if you really listen to it, when it’s paired with her husband’s surname, Kaufman. Her new rule: Say it 3 times fast and see if there’s something embarrassing that happens (that’s when she discovered why Jack Kaufman doesn’t work). That’s great advice for any parent! And think about nicknames that come from the name, too—you don’t want to give your kid the name Richard Head, for instance.
If you have a baby name dilemma, don’t be shy—share it with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll find great baby name ideas with our Baby Name Finder. And don’t forget to like In Name Only to keep up with the very latest in baby names.
Image: Kristen Bell by Featureflash / Shutterstock.com
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It’s a girl for Jersey Shore alum JWoww (AKA Jenni Farley) and fiancé Roger Mathews. For their first daughter, they went with a unique pair of names—Meilani Alexandra. Meilani is a Hawaiian name that means beautiful sky, and hasn’t broken the top 1000 in the U.S. (except, perhaps, in Hawaii itself). And Alexandra is a classic name that means defending men—it’s a top 100 baby name here in the U.S..
I love the two names separately, but not sure they work as well together. With Meilani, I would pick a nature middle name, like Lily, Rose, Pearl or Wren.
Tell us: What do you think of JWoww’s new daughter’s name? Would you put Meilani and Alexandra together? If you’re still looking for the perfect baby name for your baby, check out our baby naming tool, or email me at email@example.com for advice. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.
Image: DFree / Shutterstock.com
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Celebrity Baby Names, In Name Only, Must Read
So, our friends over at Nameberry crunched their numbers as to what names topped their searches and views for the first half of 2014, and it’s clear that baby namers are looking for something fresh in their baby name choices.
Topping the searches were Imogen for girls, a popular British name that has Shakespearean roots and has never broken the top 1000 for girls, and Asher for boys, an Old Testament name that’s expected to surge into the top 100 this year.
And many of the other names on their list aren’t currently top 10 contenders—but are lovely, wearable names for those looking for something more offbeat. I’m loving Cora, Adelaide, and Eleanor on the girls’ list, and Jude, Emmett, and Archer for boys.
Of course, looking at the names on a baby naming website isn’t the same thing as actually choosing the name as your child, so don’t expect that Khaleesi, which is the 18th most viewed name on the site for girls, will actually be in the top 20 when the Social Security puts out its list next year. But could up-and-comers like Hazel, Soren, Knox and Ruby make rise up on the list of popular names? Absolutely!
Check out the full top 100 baby names here, and let us know which names you’d pick from the list! If you’re still looking for the perfect baby name for your baby, check out our baby naming tool, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for advice. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.
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