Buck Tradition?

August 5th, 2011

Lauren is due any day and I’m afraid this got stuck in my inbox.  Please help her as they decide whether or not to stick with a theme:

Hi, I found out about your website from Babble and am having so much fun reading your posts!  I am the oldest of six children, and my mom loved names that end with n, which also sounded great with our surname Carro11… so we came out Lauren, Devin, Caitlin, Ryan, Allison, and Ethan.

Then, as the oldest, I started having kids first. Our girl was named pretty easily–Megan. Then we had a boy, and my husband insisted on Gavin, a friend from elementary school. I wanted Benjamin, who became our third child and second son.

So, without really trying, we continued my mom’s “n” tradition. (My sister Caitlin had her first. Always the rebel, she named him a very trendy, literary-type name.)

We are pregnant with our fourth child, a little boy. Although I love so many names that don’t end in “n”, I feel like since this is our last child we should finish the tradition.

So, what should baby brother of Megan, Gavin, and Benjamin be called? I’d like it to end with n and perhaps not start with M, G, or B.


Names on the list:
Anderson (a family surname)
Curran (another family name, which was spelled Curin)
Cullen (do you think Twilight ruined it?)
Logan (too close to Megan?)
Griffin (another G)
Finnegan/Finnian (rhyming brothers: Ben and Finn?)
Collin (Megan’s top pick)


Names we love but are already overused by family:
Aaron (husband’s middle name)

Middle name is most likely James, and last name starts with R and ends with -ins.

Sometimes I just want to buck tradition and name him Ezra or Harper… :)

I’d love input from anyone. Thanks!



Lauren, as vast as the world of baby names is, I would probably be inclined to stick with your theme at this point and choose a name that ends in N.  That is of course, unless you are madly in love with a name that you don’t list here?  This doesn’t appear to be the case, but I had to laugh at this: “Sometimes I just want to buck tradition and name him Ezra or Harper…” given that Harper is becoming the go-to name for girls it might buck tradition, but not for the reason you think.

Mostly I will turn this over to readers for their thoughts on your list and for more suggestions.  A few quick notes:  Yes, I think Twilight ruined Cullen if you don’t care for the association.  I would discard Griffin and Finn for their similarity to Ben as you noted.  If Collin is your first pick I see no reason not to run with it, though unless you are naming him for someone specific, the spelling Colin is probably the most intuitive.

Readers, should Lauren feel obligated to stick with their ‘N’ endings, or do you urge her to branch out?  What are your choices for this family?

Image: New York Daily News

Title Names

August 3rd, 2011

New Zealand has long been a bastion of creativity when it comes to baby names.  Number 16 Bus Shelter, Talula Does The Hula In Hawaii, and twins Benson and Hedges can attest to this.  Talula disliked her name so much she hid it from her friends and had it legally changed at age 9.

So when parents are willing to go to such extremes, I have some sympathy for name laws.

Except that they are so arbitrary.

Recently the country added to its list of 89 banned baby names.  It’s up to a single judge to decide whether or not a name gets the green lit.  Among the outlawed monikers?  Baron, Bishop, Duke, King, Messiah, and Judge itself, all shot down for the possibility of being mistaken for titles.  But I imagine for some, that’s the point?

Under such a law, Reese Witherspoon’s Deacon might be a Dylan, Donald Trump’s Barron (sic), a Brandon.

In the United States, a country that was founded on the abolishment of the monarchy, we are so removed from nobility that these names (which are also surnames I might add), seem perfectly serviceable.  I’ve met a Duke, a Lord, two Nobles and a Chaplain, none of them any worse for wear.

What do you think of banning baby names?

Are there any title names you like?

Baby Names + Facebook.

August 1st, 2011

I may have been one of the last three people to join Facebook, but even in the relatively short time I’ve been on there have been updates and changes on a weekly basis.  It’s kind of annoying.

This most recent version allows pregnant mamas (like you? not you?) to update your profile with the name and due date of the child you’re expecting.

To me, finding out the gender — and telling — demystifies birth enough.  To announce the name and gender electronically via a stream of updates wherein one also finds out that Esther got a new air conditioner and little Donnie ate avocado for the first time?  Hopelessly unceremonious.  This risks that your neighbor will break the news to aunt Myrtle at the grocery store, and that your pregnant second cousin twice removed (*gasp*) uses the name first.

What do you think?  Would you, or did you, announce the name of your unborn child on Facebook?  What do you think about electronic birth announcements in general?


Somewhat peripherally related, while we’re on the topic of Facebook, does anyone else like to scout for names? It’s weirdly stalkerish, but such is the nature of the beast.  Here are a few friends of friends with intriguing names:















Image: Cargo Collective

Cherry Picking: June 2011

July 28th, 2011

For baby name inspiration today I turn to YOU, the ones making and naming the babies.

Here are a few of my favorites from the June 2011 birth board on Babycenter.  When I’ve done this in the past, it’s caused quite a stir.  So today I ask that you keep any criticism to yourselves.  These are real people, and I like to pretend that the parents of the babes below were reading YCCII:



Aowyn Georgia Grace nn Wynnie

Annabelle Mia

Arabella Ann

Aurelia Luna

Catherine May

Cecilia Rose

Eleanor Edna

Elise Pearl

Eloise Georgiana

Glory Eliza

Hallow Arabella

Iola Alice

Isla Bridget

Ivy Josephine

Juanita Flossie

June Violet

Lila Louise

Lila Xochitl

Margaret Dolores

Margaret Olivia

Olive Cecilia

Olive Harper


River Lily

Rosalie Ann

Sistine Sharon

Sonia Caroline

Susan Mae

Tessa Jane

Violet Mae

Viviene MaryElla

Zelda Vina



Atticus George

Camilo Leonardo

Declan Gabriel

Duncan Aldous

Edwin Robert

Everett Wallace

Felix James

Graham David

Henry August

Henry Thomas

James Stewart

Jonah Gaius

Julian Vincenzo

Kasim Wilde

Leo Orlando

Nico Richard

Odin Baer

Pierce Wesley

Phillip Alexander

Ronan Chase

Soren Topilzin


Theodore Richard

Walter Jack


Have a new well-named child in your life?  Please share.  We want celebrate with you!


Image by Phyllis Peacock

Rhythm & Blues

July 20th, 2011


A big thank you to my readers Kristen and Debbie for urging a return to this topic:

Rebecca Woolfe is just taunting us!  After our speculative Girl’s Gone Child post I really wanted to let her completely surprise us, but she has alluded to twins “Rhythm and Blues”– their pseudonyms, and even bought the letters “R” and “B” for their room!  So it seems a second shot at this is inevitable.

The question remains, after son Archer and daughter Fable, will she stick to word names for her twin daughters?  My gut tells me yes.  How will the names relate to one another?

Here are a few “R” and “B” names that to me, feel very her.  We’ll have to wait until October to find out what they choose for sure!

B: Babette, Bijou, Boheme, Bronwen, Briar, Blythe (on the discarded list, sadly), Bryony, Bronwen, Bard, Bright, Bloom, Bliss, Ballad, Bellamy, Brio

R: Reve, Reverie, Ray, Rhea, Rain, Raven, Rhapsody, Roxanne, Roxy/ie, Regina, Renata, Rio, Romy, Rowena, Rue, Runa, Ruth, Rune, Rowan

I absolutely love the way Reverie flows, its dreamy connotations, and the nickname “Rev” feels very rock and roll.  Rune, a name I was previously unfamiliar with, has a layered meaning I can see appealing to them:  according to Behind the Name, it’s derived from the Old Norse and means “secret lore.”  Pronounced with two syllables, it’s a common name in Norway, though the Irish have a word with similar meaning, rùn.

For the Bs, Bloom keeps calling to me, as does Bijou.  It’s so hard to speculate beyond this.  I do love how R and B honor the mother (Rebecca nicknamed Bec), and wonder if this was subliminal or intentional.  What do you think Bec and Hal will name their baby girls?  What do you like paired together? Renata and Bloom ? Rune and Bijou . . .?


Here’s a delightful challenge!  Nicola and Frankie are expecting twins after having four other children.  As you can imagine, a lot of the good names are taken and they need our help!  She writes:
Hi Elisabeth, my name is Nicola. My husband Francisco (Frankie) and I have four children and are currently expecting our fifth and six — boy/girl twins. Our oldest child is from my previous marriage and her name is Cherry Guadalupe, named for my ex’s mother Cherise and my grandmother Guadalupe. Together Frankie and I have Luis Francisco, Rafael Oscar, and Celesta Persephone. All three of our kids were named after family and friends.

With the twins, Frankie and I want to continue the theme of naming the babies after family and friends but we’ve almost run out of names that we like and wouldn’t mind having our children bear. With all of our other children, their names have some sort of correlation to their godparents’ names. Our son’s godparents are named Ronaldo Luis and Katherine Anne and our daughter’s godparents are named Michael Alessandro and Veta Narcisa.

For our son we thought about using Ronaldo’s intitials but incorporating Katherine’s name in some way. We really like the name Rey (spelled that way–not Ray) and Katherine (who is married to Ronaldo) has a maiden name of Leon Zayas. So, we feel that we should name our son Rey Leon Falto de Garcia. However, we don’t feel completely confident in his name and are still open to suggestions. We will consider other R names and also the idea of using Lorenzo as the middle name (Lorenzo is the hispanic version of Laurence, Katherine’s father’s name). We did consider Rey Lorenzo as well but feel that Rey Leon sounds nicer.

For our daughter we opted to not use any combination of initials but rather to use variants of her grandparent’s names to incorportate. We would like to incorporate my mother’s name, Rosalind, somehow though as well. For our daughter we are kind of considering giving her three names, two as her first and one as her middle. We decided that we would use Veta but we both like Veda better and we would also use Alessandra. So her name would be Veda-Alessandra Rosalind Falto de Garcia. You can see my concern in the fact that she would have an extremely long name and I am not sold on the whole hypenated first name. I have a very long name myself and it has always been a hassle between signing documents and getting documents mixed up due to the fact that they had the wrong first and last name, etc. It’s really just not something I want my daughter dealing with.  I really don’t want to omit Alessandra from the name but we really also want to use Veda and Rosalind or some variant of Rosalind.

If you could help us in deciding on a name for our son and shortening the name of our daughter, it would mean the world to us! They will be here shortly and thinking about them entering the world without definite names is a scary thought for us. We appreciate your help so very much, thank you!

Oh and I mentioned that Cherry is from a previous marriage to clear the air that her name is in fact not Cherry Falto de Garcia — or Cherry Garcia! Her last name is actually just one name, she dodged a bullet on that one!
Congratulations on your burgeoning family!  All the names you’ve chosen so far are just wonderful. For twins, one of your primary concerns might be the length of the name.  Since your surname already consists of three separate entities, and you are adding two children to an already large family, I would definitely err on the side of brevity.  I love the idea of Veda and Rey.  Veda-Alessandra however?  Seems like it could be a burden to both you and your child.
There are several ways to incorporate Veda, Alessandra, and Rosalind into the name without hyphenating the first name. 1) You could hyphenate the middle name. 2) You could use all three names with no hyphen and choose only one for the first name (thereby giving your daughter multiple middle names. 3) You could create a compound name out of Alessandra and Rosalind, which is not terribly uncommon in Latin culture.
Veda Rosalind Alessandra (no hyphen)
Veda Rosandra
Veda Roxane
Rosalind Veda-Alessandra
Rosalind Veda Alessandra
Vedarosa Alessandra
Veda Rosalind Alessia
Rosaveda Alessandra
Rosalia Veda Alessandra
For a boy, you also have lots of great options here!  I’m glad you are feeling comfortable with Rey Leon.  It has the brevity, but also the meaning.  A win-win!  I would also urge you to consider Rey Lorenzo, because the length of Lorenzo actually balances out three letter Rey. Leon and Lorenzo would also be spectacularly handsome as first names, and you could reverse initials:

Rey Leon
Leon Ronaldo
Rey Lorenzo
Lorenzo Rey
Ruben Lorenzo
Ramon Lorenzo
Rex Lorenzo
Andres could also honor Anne, and would give your son his own initial.  If you’re giving your daughter three names, have you thought about doing the same for your son?  For example, Rey Leon Andres or Andres Lorenzo Rey. For a daughter, Michael and Narcisa are also lovely names to play with. Veda Michaela Rosalind? Rosalind Narcisa Alessandra? It’s so much fun to play around.
What say you dear readers?  Do you have a particular favorite from the Falto de Garcia’s list?  How would you honor the godparents in the names?







Thank you Donald Trump for not keeping us in too much suspense.  He took it upon himself to announce his granddaughter’s name on Fox & Friends this morning.

Mrs. Jared Kushner has given birth to a baby girl: Arabella Rose.

Perfectly lovely, not too popular, chi chi enough for a Trump.

I speculated on my Facebook page that she might stick with an I theme.  She herself is named for her mother, Ivana.  Illeana, Ivançica, or another Isabella offshoot, Isadora would have been lovely.  Perhaps they can save that one if they have another baby girl.

Arabella has already been riding Isabella’s coattails up the popularity charts:

It debuted in the U.S. top 1000 in 2005 for the first time since 1893 at an impressive 795.

2005- 795

2006- 645

2007- 650

2008- 655

2009- 447


If this was a sleeper success story before, the cat’s out of the bag now.  We see it fairly frequently in London Times and Telegraph birth announcements.  In the U.S., it was Babe‘s given name on the soon-to-be-defunct soap opera All My Children (don’t ask me how I know that).  She fits in perfects with the ultra feminine names of the moment: Adrianna, Olivia, Audrina. Love it but aren’t an Ivanka fan?  Try going one step further to Araminta or perhaps Mirabella.

I see Arabella shooting quickly to the top 100, especially with this high profile birth.

Kate Hudson and Matthew Bellamy have announced the name of their little boy, born Saturday, July 9.

Welcome to the world Bingham Hawn Bellamy!

They’re calling him “Bing.”

I recall reading several references in the press about their difficulty agreeing on the name (something many of us can relate to, I’m sure).  It seems Bingham has satisfied both parents requirements, and I’m so curious what they were!  Any guesses?

Maybe Dad wanted an English name tied to his culture, and playful American Mom wanted something that wasn’t too stuffy?  Think alliteration was important to her?  After all, big brother is Ryder Russell Robinson.

Bing Bellamy is super fun name that doesn’t take itself too seriously.  I see him sporting a faux hawk and an arm full of gorgeous tattoos, or whatever the downtown thing in L.A. is in 2033.  Bingham Bellamy, on the other hand, could sit on the House of Lords– er, maybe the House of Commons.  They both work for an actor or a rock musician.

Love that they honored Goldie in the middle.

UPDATE: Bingham nicknamed Bing did tick all the boxes for both parents, but not just stylistically.  Bingham is Bellamy’s mother’s maiden name, and Kurt Russell’s father was called Bing.  So it seems fated.  I wonder why it was so hard to decide?

As we all know by now, Natalie Portman and fiance Benjamin Millepied chose the name Aleph for their son.  Aleph represents the space marker in the Hebrew alphabet or aleph bet, that takes on the breathy position of a glottal stop or pronunciation of the vowel adjacent to it in the word.

Jewish mysticism associates Aleph with air, a oneness with God, and infinity.  In the sacred text Sefer Yetzirah, “Aleph is King over Breath, Formed Air in the universe, Temperate in the Year, and the Chest in the soul.”  In Rabbinic Hebrew, the Bible begins with Bet, the second letter of the alphabet.  To reward Aleph for “his” humility, he is given the task of starting The Ten Commandments.

In addition to the first letter of the alphabet, it also represents the number one.  Both Natalie Portman’s father Avner and her grandfather Arthur‘s names begin with the aleph, and it perhaps honors both men without explicitly naming her son after a living relative (her father is living while her grandfather has passed).  After reading more about Aleph, I’ve come to really respect the choice and expect my research only scratches the surface of this spiritual name.  Natalie Portman is a Harvard graduate would not take a decision like this lightly, so while at first it may have seemed like a wacky celeb name, it’s actually one chosen from careful deliberation.


The week also brought us news of another much anticipated babe, the child of David and Victoria Beckham.  They shocked us all when they chose zeitgeist sweetheart Harper as their daughter’s first name, but stuck to their convention of choosing the unconventional with they put Seven in the middle.

Despite being the fourth child, Seven is David Beckham’s lucky number. 7 was his Jersey when he played for English team Manchester United and the national team.  Harper Seven was also born in the 7th hour on the 7th day (Sunday) in the 7th month and weighed 7 something pounds.  It looks like it’s her lucky number too.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard Seven used as a name.  Erykah Badu dubbed her son Seven way back in 1997, and as readers so astutely pointed out in the comments, Seven was George Costanza’s unborn child until a couple overheard him and “stole” the name.  My generation will recall Six on Blossom, and Novogratz child and fifth son Five made is reality TV debut last year on Nine By Design.

I went to high school with a boy called “Cuatro” because he was the fourth in line to bear the name.  Trey and Trip are also variations on this theme which sometimes wind up on the birth certificate.  I’m partial to Sixtine (sic) and Octavian myself.  In some languages Nina is the number nine and Una number one.

Do you think letters and numbers are the next wave in baby names? It’s just an extension of the word name trend, and has the capacity to dip into religious and cultural symbolism of the power of symbols, scientific and mathematical harmonies, and the history of language.  I can see Brooklyn parents really digging this.  Gone are the days when being “just a number” is construed as a bad thing.

Are there any letters or numbers you particularly would like to see on a child?

Sibset Game: 900-1000

July 7th, 2011

Alas, this is the last and final installment of the hugely successful sibset game.  What a fun way to spend these breezy summer days.

Please tell me where you would like to go from here:

-Continue the game beyond #1000?

-Analysis of your comments?

-More games of other types (suggestions welcome!)?

How to Play:

You have five children, two boys, two girls, one of your choice.  Their names must come from this list, extra kudos if you also include middles from this list or otherwise.

Have you done every single one?  You can find the previous installments here.  Fascinating to see what others choose!










900 Alfred Makena
901 Ameer Princess
902 Carsen Marlene
903 Jaydin Riya
904 Lionel Dominique
905 Howard Azaria
906 Davon Jaylen
907 Eden Kaelynn
908 Trystan Adele
909 Zaire Britney
910 Johann Karly
911 Antwan Ann
912 Bodhi Abigale
913 Jayvion Caydence
914 Marley Janiah
915 Theo Adelina
916 Bridger Charli
917 Donte Emersyn
918 Lennon Diya
919 Irvin Kayleen
920 Yael Marianna
921 Jencarlos Esme
922 Arnav Maliah
923 Devyn Abagail
924 Ernest Alisa
925 Ignacio Carleigh
926 Leighton Dixie
927 Leonidas Nathalia
928 Octavio Karli
929 Rayden Shyanne
930 Hezekiah Yamilet
931 Ross Payten
932 Hayes Roselyn
933 Lennox Jewel
934 Nigel Journee
935 Vaughn Mattie
936 Anders Aiyanna
937 Keon Arya
938 Dario Damaris
939 Leroy Tegan
940 Cortez Theresa
941 Darryl Yamileth
942 Jakobe Emmy
943 Koen Averi
944 Darien Mylee
945 Haiden Kylah
946 Legend Anabel
947 Tyrese Thalia
948 Zaid Carina
949 Dangelo Esperanza
950 Maxx Jamya
951 Pierre Kierra
952 Camdyn Sydnee
953 Chaim Audriana
954 Damari Shania
955 Sonny Ivana
956 Antony Micaela
957 Blaise Kinsey
958 Cain Azariah
959 Pranav Kai
960 Roderick Precious
961 Yadiel Kimber
962 Eliot Mina
963 Hugh Pearl
964 Broderick Alannah
965 Lathan Kloe
966 Makhi Lorena
967 Ronaldo Myra
968 Ralph Willa
969 Zack Dalia
970 Kael Jolene
971 Keyon Kairi
972 Kingsley River
973 Talan Shaylee
974 Yair Addilyn
975 Demarion Alexus
976 Gibson Jaslene
977 Reagan India
978 Cristofer Milagros
979 Daylen Reina
980 Jordon Zuri
981 Dashawn Evelin
982 Masen Stephany
983 Clarence Ariah
984 Dillan Donna
985 Kadin Pamela
986 Rowen Amiah
987 Thaddeus Devyn
988 Yousef Mae
989 Clinton Xiomara
990 Sheldon Aracely
991 Slade Bryleigh
992 Joziah Lilith
993 Keshawn Leona
994 Menachem Aleigha
995 Bailey Savanah
996 Camilo Alaysia
997 Destin Leilah
998 Jaquan Violeta
999 Jaydan Charleigh
1000 Crew Dania

Image: Antony of Antony and the Johnsons