Category: baby name questions

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Baby Names: Solving the Popularity Puzzle

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the popularity puzzle

They’re looking for an unusual baby name for their son, and they’ve found a favorite. The only trouble? Their top name might be the next big thing. 

Shayna writes:        

I am due with a baby boy and one of the only baby names my husband and I agree on is Arlo.

I have two concerns with this name.

I keep reading that in 2016 it could be popular, because of Disney and Hollywood parents. I had a unique name growing up and loved it! I felt bad for all the Brittanys and Ashleys of my generation. I dread accidentally giving my son a trendy name, and having him go through life as Arlo H. We’re in Canada, so we’re looking for relevant statistics here.

Secondly, should I worry about a nickname? Will kids call him Arie (too feminine for my liking) or Ar? Low? Or is Arlo short enough that a nickname won’t be required.

His middle name will be John Wayne or Jonathan Wayne.

Help!

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Escaping the Top 100

JAre there any great girl names that aren’t in the Top 100? The Name Sage assures an expectant mama that there are plenty of gorgeous names that aren’t heard everywhere.

Sydney writes:

I am due this August with boy-girl twins. They already have a big sister named Summer Emilia.

In looking for girl names, I absolutely fell in love with Violet and was utterly heartbroken when I learned Violet is popular. Both my husband and I grew up with common names and are very against naming our children a popular name. Nothing in the top 100!

For our son, we love the name Dawson Gage. Gage is after my grandfather and Dawson is because partly because we love the name and partly because my husband’s name is David and Dawson means “son of David.” Dawson is ranked 239 on the Nameberry top 1000 so it is unique enough for us.

So now we are looking for a name to go with Summer Emilia and Dawson Gage but it seems like every name we like is within the Top 20. Names we love that are too common include: Violet, Harper, Isabella, Charlotte, Scarlett, Madison, Olivia, and Mia.

We are convinced that girls’ names out of the top 100 do not exist anymore! All beautiful names we find end up being wildly popular.

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following girl name rules

Do too many rules make naming a baby impossible, or is a solid list of must-haves the key to finding a great name for daughter number three?

Kate writes:

We are counting down the days until our fifth child and third daughter arrives at the end of June. We cannot wait to meet her, but I’m growing anxious she will arrive nameless.

Our four older children are sons Damian Joseph and Malachi John, and daughters Clara Sophia and Eve Marian.

My husband and I are picky, and I especially have a lot of naming rules. What do we need to let go of to find something we love?

Meaning – This is more important to me than my husband, though it still matters to him. Our daughters have names that mean precious things to me – Clara Sophia (light and wisdom) and Eve Marian (our mother in nature and our mother in grace). If I love a name and find out it has a negative meaning, it is out!

Originated as a girl’s name – This is my rule only, and eliminates Georgiana, Aurelia, Alexandra, Josephine, Caroline, and the like.

No “or” names – Our two-syllable last name has a strong “or” sound on the second syllable. This rules out Laura, Nora, Eleanor, Aurora, Dorothy, Orla, etc.

Traditional Use – This one is stronger with my husband. I like Solana, Seren, Elodie, Elowen, and Roisin, but he prefers names that are more familiar.

No repeats – We have a large circle of family and friends who are excellent baby namers. Because we see these loved ones often, we can’t use Isabel(la), Genevieve, Evangeline, Lucia, Abigail, Anna, Rose, Sarah, Celine, Gemma, or Miriam.

Popularity – We aren’t extreme about this, but definitely no Top Ten.

We have recently talked about Juniper, but don’t know about a middle, and my husband is unsure. He really likes Elizabeth but I am underwhelmed. We both sort of like Thea, but both want to more than ‘sort of’ like the name.

Any advice is so greatly appreciated!

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Name Sage

It’s off to the wild blue yonder for this week’s challenge! First-time parent Allison is seeking a boy’s name that feels traditional, but still slightly offbeat, with possible ties to their loved ones’ names and the world of aviation.  

Allison writes:

We are expecting our first little one at the end of September and I want to find the perfect name that will be a definite honor to someone in our life, but will also carry itself in originality.

Our baby’s sex will be a surprise, so we need a couple of girl and boy name options. We have a clear direction with a girl: My husband has always loved Amelia, and whether it’s currently trendy or not, I’m ready to let him have that pick. Also, it aligns with the fact that I was named after an aviation entity, Allison, my dad being a pilot.

My second pick for a girl would be Jonah, since his mother’s name is Joan. My mother is Lisa, so we could use Elisabeth (or something else?) as a middle to honor her.

We’re having the most difficult time, however, with boys. Family names that I am trying to work with: David Carl (his dad) Paul Scott (my dad), Oliver, Douglass. We’re tending to like surnames as first name options: Brooks, Hayes, Abbott, Anderson, etc.

I was hoping to find an offbeat-but-still-classic first name and create a few options for a middle name that aren’t exactly the same name as the inspiration.

The naming process is overwhelming and we are trying to figure out where to start!

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surname harmony

They love Silas, but their last name sounds like Smith. Try saying that five times fast! How much does first-last name harmony matter? If Silas is off the table, which names should they consider instead?

Shanda writes:

We love the name Silas for our baby coming in June. However, our one-syllable last name begins with an S. So if we were to choose Silas, his full name certainly wouldn’t roll off the tongue.

My husband thinks this doesn’t matter that much as his full name will be reserved for formal situations – or when he’s really in trouble!

We’ve also considered Asher, Alder, Humphrey, Beckett, Remy, and Jonah. My husband loves the idea of Ezekiel, nicknamed Kiel for the German city. I just don’t love Ezekiel. None of these have really stuck.

How much should the appeal of a full name factor?

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