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Posted February 27th, 2014
26 Responses to “Place Names off the Beaten Baby-Name Track: Verona, Vienna and Juneau”
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February 28th, 2014 at 1:12 am
Vienna is sausages to me, and Sienna is my clunky, old minivan. I really like Ravenna, though! The neighborhood in Seattle comes to mind, too.
February 28th, 2014 at 4:03 am
Vienna is beautiful, a really dreamy name and now that I have seen the name Juno spelt like Juneau I love it!
February 28th, 2014 at 4:13 am
I like Ailsa, Andorra, Elba, Cashel and Geneva.
I’ve never heard Ailsa pronounces like Isla before – it was quite popular here for girls around my age but I think it could make a come back because it fits in with other popular names like Isla, Orla and Iona.
February 28th, 2014 at 4:15 am
Andorra is a huge guilty pleasure for me, as is Andorra la Vella (la gay-ah), its capital city, as a FN/MN combo. I love Verona and Ravenna. Vienna is beautiful- both the name and the city.
February 28th, 2014 at 4:16 am
Correcting previous comment- Andorra la Vella would be Andorra “la vay-ah”, of course! Oh, autocorrect…
February 28th, 2014 at 8:04 am
I wouldn’t use Vienna (sausages) or Guernsey (cattle), but Ailsa is my newest name love. So pretty!
I’ve always thought Genoa would lend itself well to naming.
February 28th, 2014 at 8:06 am
I love this list! However, babynamers should know that–at least here in the midwest–Guernsey is a homely brown cow on a dairy farm and definitely not a name for a beloved daughter. Just FYI.
February 28th, 2014 at 8:22 am
I’m not typically a fan of this trend. I really can’t get on board with a place name unless it is completely unexpected (less name-like?) and the place is really meaningful to the family. For instance, Guernsey could be a lovely middle name if it was our annual summer destination and not my office supply company. Maybe a case can be made for names like Vienna, but I think I’d feel the need to explain the choice to everyone.
February 28th, 2014 at 8:54 am
Elba – I love Alba and I love Elsa… I guess it’s no surprise I like this name!
February 28th, 2014 at 9:43 am
I like several of these, but please, no Laredo’s! In Texas the association with it is similar to that of El Paso, lots of drug cartels and lots of illegal immigration.
February 28th, 2014 at 10:24 am
I agree with mill1020 Vienna is automatically sausages.
Guernsey is Gurney (only 2 letters away from it)
As for a further removed association (not as obvious)-
Macon is Bacon
Verona though I can get on board with, I don’t like the name but for some reason it seems to stand out from the list of other names.
February 28th, 2014 at 11:11 am
I knew a beautiful restaurateur of a very famous Italian place in the Village known for opera whose name was Vienna, so the name has very positive associations for me. Ailsa is beautiful — I only knew of the Isla pronunciation — and Ravenna is interesting. Even though I love the principality of Andorra I can’t see it used as a name, though. How much cooler to just use Catalan names instead?
February 28th, 2014 at 3:23 pm
No to Guernsey-it’s a cow breed.
February 28th, 2014 at 3:31 pm
It is so interesting to note the debate about Guernsey. Yes it is a breed of cow but here in Oz a guernsey is what a footballer wears, it is a kind of shirt. Also in the slang if we give someone a guernsey then we give them a place on the team.
February 28th, 2014 at 3:37 pm
Ailsa and Memphis are amazing!
February 28th, 2014 at 3:45 pm
@Rollo. I never heard that before. I know that Guernsey is a kind of sweater (as is Jersey). My husband is from Guernsey so to me the name evokes a lot more than the cow.
February 28th, 2014 at 7:36 pm
I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought “cow” when they saw Guernsey! Definitely not something I would choose, but some of the other options were interesting.
February 28th, 2014 at 10:38 pm
I love place names, including Havana, Moab, Durango, Dallas, Houston, Catalina, China, Scotia, Dresden, Clyde, India, Jamaica, Tanzania, Zealand, and more. They have a spirit of adventure that I favor.
February 28th, 2014 at 11:12 pm
I always have loved my name which is quite rare. I have met someone with a sister with the same name and recently saw a House Hunter episode with the realtor with the same name. It is a town on the coast of Kenya and is easy to say but not common. I always get compliments on it.
March 1st, 2014 at 2:48 am
One of my cousins is named Sedona, after a city in Arizona. And I’ve always been kind of jealous of her name. She gets compliments on it all the time, and the city itself is just absolutely gorgeous — it’s got all these beautiful canyons and rivers and mountains and such.
March 1st, 2014 at 8:48 am
I almost choked on my morning coffee. Guernsey cow?? No, no, no, and no. This is not a good suggestion. I’m afraid the rest of the list didn’t fare much better. Ailsa unfortunately sounds like Elsa with an ugly, pseudo-Southern accent attempt. Laredo also brought images of border town violence, while Geneva goes too far in the opposite direction, as I can hardly ever hear the name without completing it with “convention.” Macon could be confused with Mason, but it’s more likely to get changed to Bacon. Memphis might as well be code for Elvis here in the U.S. Andorra, while pretty, is too close to Pandora and the associated music and jewelry companies by the same name; while Verona also suffers from brand name association with makeup and clothing lines. Also, the answer to “why not Elba” is this: elbow.
Cashel could work…though it sounds a whole lot like Castle, or Dashiell (either would be better choices IMHO). Juneau and Vienna emerge as the only two that I think are truly usable possibilities, and Ravenna is the one truly pretty name in the lot.
Thanks for an interesting blog entry today.
March 1st, 2014 at 11:42 am
I’m normally game for anything, but Guernsey …um no
Memphis is a dying crime ridden city. Please don’t do this to your child. If you like blues name your child Blue. If you like Elvis name your child Presley. Not Memphis. The same with Laredo. Why? Why?
On the positive side, I like Cashel and I know a girl named Macon. Both work for me!
March 2nd, 2014 at 9:24 am
Ailsa and it’s other spellings are actually pretty popular in Scotland. I personally know about five or six little girls called with the name. My favourite place has to be Olso.
March 2nd, 2014 at 6:20 pm
The only one of these I’d consider using is Ailsa. But then in Scotland, much like other island names such as Isla, Skye and Iona, it’s become an established girls name rather than being seen as an exotic place-name name. I’ve met quite a few Ailsas in Scotland, of various ages. I’ve never heard it prounounced as Isla though, always as ale-sa.
September 25th, 2016 at 10:47 pm
[…] Place names are big for boys and girls alike, from Brooklyn (Beckham) to Caspian (son of Neve Campbell) to Ava Berlin (daughter of Jeremy Renner). But could it be that Italy is a hotbed for wearable place names? […]
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