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Baby Name Help ’ Category
Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014
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
Tuesday, July 1st, 2014
Boys’ names always seem to be much more challenging for parents-to-be—especially when there are already sibling names to consider. Reader Emily is having a hard time finding a name for her daughter Cassidy’s new baby brother:
My husband and I are expecting a boy in August. We have a 20 month old daughter named Cassidy. We almost came to blows trying to find the perfect blend of not too common, but not too off-the-wall, for her name. For our son, we are having even more difficulty trying to follow this path we set for ourselves. One of the biggest concerns (for me, at least) is our last name is Head (bleck!), so we have to find something that doesn’t sound ridiculous. We also don’t want it to be so common that he will have to be called by his full name in school (I had about 4 Jennifers as friends in elementary school, and STILL call them by their first and last names, out of habit).
We THOUGHT we agreed on Cameron. It met all of our criteria: two or more syllables; good choice of nicknames; and not too common…or so we thought. We’ve met two couples expecting boys, and each are naming their sons Cameron! We are also afraid Cassidy and Cameron are too “cutesy” together.
Any suggestions/thoughts you might have would be MUCH appreciated!
First, let me just say that Cameron and Cassidy are a nice sibling set, and not too cutesy. Cameron appears to be on a big upswing lately, thanks to Modern Family, but hey, if you love the name—you should go for it!
With the surname Head, you do have to be very careful with your name choices. (No word names for you!) You could go for another surname name, like Cassidy and Cameron. Sullivan, Jameson, Donovan and Callahan are up-and-comers that are still not super popular, or consider Finnegan, which has the cool nickname Finn. I do like the “n” ending with Head, and as a nice offset to the “ee” ending of Cassidy. You could also go with names like Declan, Kieran or Brennan, which all sound wonderful with your last name and Cassidy (I particularly like the way Declan matches up with Cassidy sound wise, without mirroring the name too closely).
You could consider some of the “son” names as well: Emerson, Anderson, or Grayson, for example. (I’d skip the uberpopular Mason, which is likely to be even more popular than Cameron is!) I’m a big fan of Emerson as a brother for Cassidy. And of course, there are all the “er/or” names, which are definitely on the rise—names like Sawyer, Jasper and Archer.
Readers: Share your ideas for Cassidy’s little brother! What should they call him?
If you’re still looking for the perfect name for your son or daughter, check out our Baby Name Finder, or email me at email@example.com. And don’t forget to like In Name Only to keep up with the latest in baby names!
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Monday, June 30th, 2014
My sister seems to be really good at picking baby names just before they peak. My oldest nephew, Aidan, was born in 2003, when the correct spelling of this Irish saint’s name hit its pinnacle. (That was before the alternate spelling, Aiden, climbed into the baby name stratosphere.) And the same goes for my younger nephew, who was born nine years ago today and given the recently cool name Gavin. (Happy Birthday, Gavin!)
Gavin’s a Celtic name that means “white hawk,” a fierce meaning that doesn’t seem quite so fitting with my charming and sweet nephew. (We all joke that he’ll get into politics with his charisma and ability to sway you into doing his bidding!) The name’s biggest claims to fame—at least until my nephew makes his run for President—is rocker (and Gwen Stefani husband) Gavin Rossdale, and Love Boat actor Gavin MacLeod. It’s fallen off a little from its peak at #30, and now stands just inside the top 50 baby names. And yes, it makes a nice alternative to some of the “den” names, like his big brother Aidan, Braeden and Jayden.
My sister paired Gavin with a family surname as the middle name, but it’d work beautifully with either a long or short middle name, depending on the length of the last name. James and Alexander work nicely if you like something more traditional, or Chase or Wilder if you don’t.
Tell us: What do you think of the name Gavin? Is it something you’d consider for your son, or is it too popular for your taste? If you’re still looking for the perfect baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder. 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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Thursday, June 12th, 2014
The top 1000 baby names is always intriguing. But what’s even more interesting is seeing what’s below that level—the names that only 5 or 25 people picked for their kids. While there’s always an array of creative spellings, possible mistakes (did 6 people really name their boys Adeline?) and assorted other oddball picks that probably won’t suit most guys out there, you can find a few gems hidden among the more…ahem…unique choices.
You can check out my girls’ name picks from last week, or see what I’ve picked for the boys here.
Rigby This proper British surname name means farm along the ridge, and is perfect for a baby of Beatles fans (think Eleanor Rigby). It’s a nice alternative to other surname names like Reilly and Sullivan.
Hero This old-school name was traditionally for the girls (think of the character Hero in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing). But this is one girls’ name that could easily cross the aisle for the boys.
Bruin I’m guessing most of the baby boy Bruins live in the Boston area, and the name was picked to honor the hockey team. But Bruin makes another offbeat color name (it means brown or bear).
Indy I’m assuming this was picked as a casual nickname for Indiana (a la Indiana Jones), but could also be considered short for independent. I’m not sure I totally love it, but it’s intriguing to me.
Sylvan This name evokes the woods and forest, perfect for a nature-loving family. (And you can either go with Syl or Van for short.)
Aristotle Someone’s parents were philosophy majors (or Greek). The name of the great Greek philosopher could be considered one of those cool and clunky old-school names, especially when you start talking nicknames, like Ari.
Wilfred You get two great nicknames—Will and the adorable Freddie—with this old English name, that means “desires peace.” Actor David Tennant chose it for his son, and it was also the name of a character on his show, Doctor Who. For the more literary minded, it was a hero in Sir Walter Scott’s classic Ivanhoe.
Sven Scandinavian names were already starting their climb in popularity before Frozen hit the big time, and now Elsa, Kristoff and Anna stand to become seriously red hot. Sven was the brave reindeer sidekick, and it means “youth.”
Tell us: What off-the-beaten path names do you like for your son? If you’re looking for something unique, try our Baby Name Finder, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for some baby name advice. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest baby name news.
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Baby Name Help, Baby Name Stories
Wednesday, June 4th, 2014
I always love when there’s a story behind a chosen name—and reader Kara’s looking for another name that has personal meaning. Here’s her dilemma:
We are currently expecting our 4th child. My maiden name is Green and married name is Stone and since I am an only child I wanted my maiden name to live on. So I chose the names Jade and Teal…Our 8-year-old daughter is Jade Marie, 5-year-old son is Anthony James (Jr), & our 2-year-old is Alexis Teal. If it is a girl we have it covered but if it is a boy we are totally lost! Any suggestions?
Finding a name with meaning can be tough. Since big brother is a junior, if it’s a boy, you might want to consider looking for something in the family tree (or perhaps a variant on your name!) for your son. Carey means “dark,” and could be in homage to your name, Kara. Jamison could be an intriguing way to bring your husband’s middle name into your son’s name. Look at the grandfathers, and see if there’s something that might work.
And of course, you can work with the Green theme you started with your daughters. Jasper is a precious stone that’s often in green, and it’s an up-and-coming name for boys (currently just inside the top 250). Consider it a nice way to combine your maiden name with your married surname! I also like Olivier, which means “olive tree.” It’s the French variant of popular Oliver—and actually, either would pair nicely with Stone. Laramie isn’t just the name of a city in Wyoming—it also means “canopy of leafy boughs.” And it might be worth considering for your son, too. One last thought: Forrest. It’s not just for the titular character of Forrest Gump—consider Oscar-winning actor Forrest Whitaker!
Tell me: What other meaningful suggestions would you give Kara? And did you choose a name with meaning for your baby?
You can search for the perfect name with our Baby Name Finder, or send your dilemma to email@example.com for some personal suggestions. 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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