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Names That Sound Smart

photo by Alex Ho

One of my most vivid memories of writing our very first book, Beyond Jennifer & Jason, is of Linda and me cracking up as we read aloud from our list of what we called Intellectual Power Names.  Frances, Ruth, Howard, Norman

We couldn’t help laughing.  We might as well have been making a list of nerd names.

When we reinvented the book as Beyond Jennifer & Jason, Madison & Montana, we abandoned the Intellectual Power names in the book’s Image section to talk more about classic names and unusual names and how those qualities influenced the world’s perception.

And I suppose we felt a bit squeamish about pegging names too closely with qualities like intelligence and attractiveness that have more to do with the person than with his or her name.  A Ruby or a Rylee, after all, may easily be every bit as smart as a Ruth.

But sometimes, I see a name and instantly think it sounds intelligent.  Makes me expect, if I met that person, that they would be smart — and not just smart, but studious, serious, cultured, intellectual.

So I decided it would be fun to update the Intellectual Power names, Nameberry-style, with a contemporary twist and sensibility.

Many of you may differ with the choices I suggest — and I hope you will.  Let us know what names you’d add or subtract.

girls

Alice

Anna

Beatrice

Claudia

Constance

Cordelia

Edith

Eleanor

Frances

Harriet

Honor

Hope

Imogen

Josephine

Judith

Louise

Lydia

Margaret

Martha

Miriam

Portia

Rosamund

Ruth

Theodora

Winifred

boys

Abraham

Arthur

Augustus

Charles

Conrad

Cornelius

Edmund

Gideon

Gordon

Howard

Hugh

Leopold

Louis

Martin

Paul

Phillip

Solomon

Theodore

Truman

Walter

Winston

What names sound smartest to you?

Photo by Alex Ho.

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