Snort Worthy

July 9th, 2013

The internet has been aflutter with this video from a talk show based out of England.  Katie Hopkins gets nearly ten minutes of air time postulating on why she judges children based on their names.  The views expressed in this video are not those of this site or its author.

It makes you wonder how she sleeps at night.

This Katie Hopkins character is to be both pitied and reviled.  She uses the names as a “shortcut”, pre-judging CHILDREN and won’t let her own precious progeny associate those who have less desirable names.  She will even cut a friendship off at the pass, and assumes that working class children don’t do their homework and are behaviorally disruptive.  Equally ridiculous, she makes opposite assumptions about upper class parents and their child-rearing skills by the names they choose.  Would she be shocked to find that little Araminta’s mother drinks too much at birthday parties?  Or what about young George, who bullies her precious Maximilian with a cruelty and snobbery that rivals her own?

The similarities between some of Hopkins’ hit list and my Seven Deadly Trends are not lost on me.  I am a self-professed name snob.  Yet there is a world of difference between preferring some names to others and allowing this snobbery to spill over into judgement.  I will not claim this woman as one of my own, and would counter that if she is raising her children with this kind of antiquated elitism she is doing them a great disservice.  Yes, I have been unnaturally excited to meet the mother of “Adelaide and Barnaby”, but I’ve also found that an affinity in names does not a friendship make.  As would be the case should I meet said offender.

What I try to do at You Can’t Call It “It”! is help families come up with the names that best suit them and their children.  Liken it to a difference in taste: some people prefer mid-century modern furnishings, others may opt for Hollywood Regency, others still have no defined “style” at all.  But does that determine whether or not I would want to befriend them, or promote play dates with their children?  Does it mean that I think less of my children’s friends who have monikers that I wouldn’t have chosen myself?  Shudder at the very thought.

English readers, is class still a nightmare of an issue there as Katie Hopkins would have us believe?  Do any of you think that she has a point?

Tina Fey Names Baby #2

August 13th, 2011

Before it was only a mild flirtation, but this has done me in.  I officially want to marry this woman.

As if Alice Zenobia weren’t absolutely fabulous enough, Bossypants author Tina Fey and her husband Jeffrey Richmond now have a second daughter.  Please, join me in a round of quiet applause for the birth of:

Penelope Athena.

Swoon.  I love it.  Can’t say that enough.  The quiet beauty of Alice paired with the zany Zenobia was genius, and Penelope exists in the same echelon as Alice while bumping up the quirk.  Athena serves to amp up its Greekiness.  It’s not an uncommon choice among fashion conoscienti. Ranked at #200 in 2010 it’s poised to break into the precarious top 199 next year and continue to climb.  Still, Penelope the Weaver is a symbol of creativity and steadfast loyalty, and I shall be forever loyal to her.

In case you were wondering, yes, Tina Fey is of Greek descent.  She was born Elizabeth Stamatina Fey.  Stamatina derives from the Greek stamato, which according to Behind the Name means “stop.” Her mother (Zenobia), was a Xenakes who went by the simple Americanized Jeanne.  I love that Tina went full throttle with her heritage this time, though I’m told Penelope is very old fashioned, even laughable, in Greece.  Can anyone confirm?  Maybe she’ll spearhead the old lady chic movement there.


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?

Same Name

July 25th, 2011

CBS is getting in on the name game.

In their new show, Same Name, they introduce a lay person to a celebrity who have one thing in common, they share their given name.

In the first episode, David Hasselhoff switches places with Texan family man David Hasselhoff, Jr.  We watch as the Knight Rider mows lawns, hits his head on the shower, and wakes in the middle of the night to care for baby Braxton (who notably, does not bear the name David Hasselhoff III).  Meanwhile, celebrity life for David Hasselhoff, Jr. is not always what it’s cracked up to be.  The result is a new understanding of how the other half lives, and an unexpected mutual respect.

I wonder if all the episodes will be as lovey dovey.  I imagined something more along the lines of Wife Swap, which often has faux spouses at near blows by the end of the episode.  Will the other Kathy Griffin appreciate the first’s sense of humor?  Will Mike Tyson be able to cool his jets?

Do you personally know anyone in the position to answer to the same name as a celebrity? How has it effected them? I feel sorry for the other Casey Anthonys out there.

Ready for your own fifteen minutes?  Same Name casting right now.


Call for Guest Posts

July 21st, 2011

We have an incredible international community here at You Can’t Call It “It”!  I constantly marvel at your insight, your backgrounds, and the breadth of experience of our readers.

So I call to you to share your stories here.

Guest posts could be anything as it relates to names.  Some topics that immediately come to mind are:

-Your own personal name story.  Do you love your name?  Hate it?  Why did your parents choose it?  Have you ever gone by a different name?

-Local name idiosyncrasies.  What names are popular among children where you live?  Among adults?  What are the name trends in your ‘hood?  Any local birth announcements of note? Are there laws in your country that specifically apply to names?

-What is your own relationship with names? Was there a turning point for you when you became obssessed?

-You could address a specific topic as I often do here at YCCII.  Dark names.  Sexy names.  Submarine names.  Clown names.  Almost anything you can think of can be broken down to apply to baby names.  You’ll be surprised at what you come up with.

-Have a great idea for a name game? Teach us how to play!


Whether you are looking to broaden your portfolio or just want to dabble, we welcome you.  Please email youcantcallitit {at} gmail {dot} com to become a guest poster.  I do reserve the right to edit for length and grammar, and not to print posts that may be unfit for the site (please ask before tackling a whole topic anew!).  I look forward to seeing your ideas, in your words.


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 . . .?


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.

21st Century Blogging

March 30th, 2010

The time has come.

I wanted to make sure everyone is abreast of a few minor, yet critical changes to You Can’t Call It “It”! that should help to make this site more user friendly.

First, I’m on Twitter now.  Do you tweet?  I’m new to this now ancient activity, so I’m not exactly sure how to best utilize it.  It should be a fun place to shout out to all you fellow name fiends when I meet a real life Perpetua, or to touch base on a celebrity baby birth without writing a whole post.  Will it stay strictly name based?  That is yet to be determined.  What do you think?

Second, you can now easily subscribe to  You Can’t Call It “It”!  so that it winds up in your inbox.  This was always a possiblity, but now it’s done in a simple click at the bottom of the page.  Please do continue to come to the site and offer your astute comments!

Third, and perhaps my favorite of the revelations here, is that we now have a verifiable SEARCH feature.  Want to read about Juliet?  Think Quinns are overrunning the joint?  Just enter in the box below (way down below) and every post where that name has featured will come up for your perusal.  I always wanted to do this but it wasn’t available with this template until recently.

So there ya’ go.  Enjoy!

Tour de France Riders

July 15th, 2009



The renowned Tour de France bicycle race is underway and I cannot tell you how beautiful the scenery is.  The riders hail from around the world, and while many of them may have middle-aged names in their home countries, quite a few sound awfully fresh to me.

I have no idea who is ahead or if Lance will make a play for the title, but here are the monikers we might want to pilfer aux Etats Unis.  Underlined are those that seem particularly poised  to make the voyage next, while several are already here.


Amaël (Moinard)

Amets (Txurruka) 

Andreas (Klier)

Arnaud (Coyot)

Benoït (Vaudgrenard)

Bernhard (Eisel)

Brice (Feillu)

Christian (Knees, Vande Velde)

Christophe (Kern, Moreau)

Cyril (Dessel, Lemoine)

Dmitriy (Muravyev)

Egoi (Martinez)

Fabian (Cancellara, Wegmann)

Filippo (Pozzato)

Frederik (Willems)

Geoffroy (LeQuatre)

Grischa (Niermann)

Gustav (Larsson)

Heinrich (Haussler)

Hubert (Dupont)

Igor (Anton)

Inigo (Cuesta)

Jérôme (Coppel, Pineau)

Johan (Van Summeren)

Johannes (Fröhlinger)

Joost (Posthuma) -This wins the award for absolute weirdest last name ever!  FN pronounced “Yost”, like toast.

Julian (Dean)

Jurgen (Van den Broeck, Van der Walle)

Koldo (Fernandez)

Lance (Armstrong)

Laurens (Ten Dam)

Laurent (LeFevre)

Levi (Leipheimer)

Linus (Gerdemann)

Lloyd (Mondory)

Marcin (Sapa)

Martijn (Maaskant)

Marzio (Bruseghin)

Mauro (Santambrogio)

Maxime (Monfort)

Mickaël (Delage)

Oscar (Freire, Pereiro Sio)

Pierre (Rolland)

Pierrick (Federigo)

Piet (Rooijaakers)

Rémi (Pauriol)

Rigoberto (Uran)

Rinaldo (Nacentini)

Romain (Feillu)

Ryder (Hesjedal)- a rider named Ryder.  

Ruben (Perez Moreno)

Saïd (Haddou)

Sebastian (Lang)-  the course also knows several Sébastiens.

Sergio (Paulinho)

Simon (Geschke, Spilak)

Stijn (Devolder)

Styn (Vandenbergh)

Stuart (O’Grady)

Sylvain (Chavanel)

Thierry (Hupond)

Thor (Hushovd)

Vladimir (Karpets)

Molly Ringwald


Man, Molly hit it out of the park on this one.  She demonstrated to the world her great taste when she named her daughter Mathilda Ereni five years ago.  When presented with a name nerd’s dream of naming two at once, the much beloved awkward beauty from Sixteen Candles did not disappoint.  

Adele Georgiana Ringwald Gianopoulous and Roman Stylianos Ringwald Gianopoulous made their way into the world on Friday, July 10th.  Evidentally, it was a natural double birth to boot.  Go mom.

A bit saddened here to see celeb use of the understated Adele.  Both it and Georgina are on a personal shortish list.  A Greek friend has considered Stylianos with the English transliteration of Stellan.  She also knows another young Stylianos who goes by Stanley here!  (That’s for you, Bliss).  Roman itself is a pretty stellar choice, already in the celeb sphere but not over done (Cate Blanchett’s middle boy, for one, is a Roman).  Were Adele to go all Addie on us I think I’d cry.  

So now Ferris Bueller and Samantha Baker each have their own set of newborns.  And Michael Jackson is dead.  How times change…