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Category: Family Names

posted by: irishmom View all posts by this author
rsz_1tarawoodfamily

By Tara Wood

My husband and I have six kids. If naming babies were an Olympic sport, I’m pretty sure I’d medal. Not necessarily in quality or creativity but in experience.

When we had our first daughter in 2001, choosing her name literally took 5 minutes. My husband suggested Juliet. I loved it immediately but suggested the longer French version, Juliette, because I thought it made a better balance with our short, somewhat masculine-feeling last name. He agreed.

Her middle name was chosen before I was ever even knocked up.  In 1998, I was visiting Ireland when a bomb blast in the Northern Ireland city of Omagh claimed the lives of 29 people.  One of those souls was that of a little girl named Maura. I made a silent and personal vow to use that name if I were ever to have a baby girl.  Also, Maura is the Irish form of Mary and we are Catholic, so it was especially precious to me. We never looked back or second guessed our choice of Juliette Maura.

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namesakejackie7

By Jackie aka callmecalliope at namesplash

When my sister was born, our relatives insisted she be named to honor a beloved, recently deceased family member.  My mother hated the traditionally male name and refused to use it, igniting a bitter conflict that lasted years (until another child entered the family and was given the moniker).  While I don’t think parents should give in to pressure from relatives when it comes to naming, there are certainly many parents who DO want to use the name of an adored family member or friend.

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Babies with Three Names

3 sleeping babies

by Pamela Redmond Satran

Maybe if I’d ever gotten into watching one of those shows about the Housewives from any place other than my home state of New Jersey, I’d have something better to do on a weeknight.

But no.  After a long day of working on Nameberry, what do I do for relaxation but turn to the hallowed pages of The London Telegraph, where I peruse the birth announcements in search of….more baby names.

This time, what caught my eye were all the three-named babies.  Maybe the oh-so-British three-name arrangement struck me because of the young prince George Alexander Louis, whose own three names are a departure from the usual royal four.  Was that Will and Kate‘s way of signaling that they were just like us…or at least like other young upper class British parents?

A few things we noticed about the three names of the babies noted here:

– More surnames such as Kynaston and Constable in the middle which are not mothers’ maiden names but may well be family names

– Some staid middle names such as Mary and Charles that are probably honorifics

– A few unconventional middles such as Bear and Coco

In case you’re interested in finding three great names for your own baby, you might find some inspiration in these wonderful recent British choices.

girls

Agnes Lily Jean

Arabella Elizabeth Mary

Ava Flora Kynaston

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Notable Names of Famous Fathers

dadali

Sometimes the names of the fathers who sired future super achievers turn out to be a lot more interesting than those they bestowed on their progeny. For example, Truman Capote’s dad’s name was Archulus, Humphrey Bogart’s was Belmont, Bela Lugosi’s Istvan and Marc Chagall’s Khatskel. Intriguing appellations, yes, but we’ll go here with the more wearable ones.

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Family Baby Name Traditions

familynames

Today’s Question of the Week was inspired by a comment on our Facebook page, noting that names that end with the letter A were a “family tradition” for that berry.

How interesting!  While family name traditions are more conventionally thought of as calling all the oldest child Joseph or Elizabeth or giving children names that start with the same letter, there really is no strict definition to what might constitute a naming tradition.

So we put the question to you: What are the naming traditions in your own family?

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