Category: creating names
Guest blogger Jasmine Almeida has come up with a novel source of baby names: your own wedding day.
Maybe it was the Pearl detailing on my dress, perhaps it was the Lacey accents on my veil. Or it could have been the gorgeous amnesia Rose bouquet I held as I walked down the aisle. But my guess is, it was marrying the love of my life last summer that got me thinking about how many gorgeous names there are in the world of weddings. Being a freelance writer who focuses on weddings, I tend to look at words related to them a lot – and couldn’t help but get inspired by the many beautiful baby name possibilities that spring forth from weddings.
Of course, there are the flower names, to which I’m partial because my own name is Jasmine and one of my puppies is Daisy. Naming a daughter after the flower you held in your bouquet on your wedding day is a sweet and sentimental reason for choosing a name like Calla, Daisy, Dahlia, Iris, or Lily, or the more general floral names like Flora or Florence.
If you’ve gone wedding dress shopping, you’re probably familiar with the range of stunning designer dresses available. Naming a baby girl after your dress’s designer would be another romantic way of infusing your wedding-day memories into your naming process. A few favorites? Vera (after legendary gown designer Vera Wang), Paloma, (Paloma Blanca gowns are spectacular) or Priscilla (of Boston, of course). Monique (lhuillier), Sophia, (Trolli) or Elie (Saab) are all elegant names as well as legendary wedding gown designers.
Perhaps you’ve picked out a name you thought was new and different, only to find you were inadvertently following the trends. Or you’ve been “saving” a favorite name so long that, now that you finally have a chance to use it, it’s no longer as fresh as it was when you picked it.
The solution? Tweak that name.
Don’t get us wrong: Many of these names are pretty cool already. Cool and beautiful and interesting and all those good things. But still, there’s sometimes a way to ratchet them up a notch or two, and that’s what we’ve done here.
Instead of ………………..Consider
On a beautiful Saturday in July, I found myself where most people would love to be on a beautiful Saturday in July: sitting in a painfully boring continuing education seminar, hopelessly trying to remain awake. The air conditioner must have been set at a brisk 52 degrees, and after catching a glimpse of my now cerulean blue toes, I wondered if my lips had suffered a similar fate. My chattering teeth thankfully prevented me from entirely nodding off, but I was in need of a more cerebral distraction. Desperate for entertainment, I decided to count the goosebumps on my lower left arm, first by twos and then by threes.
As the counting fun began, I happened to glance at a piece of paper in front of the 20-something-year-old woman sitting to my left, and I realized that she had written her name in the upper right hand corner. Ever the name nerd, I simply had to take a peek, and after a lingering glance, I discovered that her name was Mykailah. Figuring it was code for Michaela, I naturally wondered about my other neighbor’s name. Pretending to do some right arm goosebump counting, I quickly looked at her paper, and was pleased to meet Tyffani. Mykailah and Tyffani? Tyffani and Mykailah? I was now the official filling inside of a yooneek name sandwich.
This blog is adapted from our most recent book, Beyond Ava & Aiden: The Enlightened Guide to Naming Your Baby
When people look for baby names online, they often put in a search for “unique names.” Some of them are trying to find names that are unusual and distinctive, but some really do want to give their child a name that’s truly one-of-a-kind, something that nobody else has.
A recent newspaper story claimed that one of the reasons for this is because modern parents want their child to be “Googleable,” to have a name that’s different enough that it will pop out online. And some parents say they won’t settle on a name until they find out whether its url is available.
Of course, as soon as you give your child a “unique” name, it all but guarantees it won’t be unique anymore since someone will almost inevitably poach it. We were tickled to find, for instance, that someone posted on our website bulletin board that she’d named her son Knox, a name that wasn’t in our or any other baby-naming book – months before Angelina and Brad chose it for their newborn son, launching it on the track to widespread use.
When we asked visitors to our website to tell us what they’d named their babies, we never expected their answers to provide such a trove of highly unusual – yes, even unique – names. Some of these turn gender on its ear, some twist spellings in different ways, some reintroduce ancient or ethnic names or transform place names or surnames, and some are conjured from parents’ fertile brains.
Now here is where you would ordinarily expect to find a long list of distinctive, never-heard-before names. But that would be against the spirit of this style. So you’ll just have to find–or create–one of your own.
For more of our ideas on unusual names, check out Beyond Ava & Aiden: The Enlightened Guide to Naming Your Baby
Guest blogger JILL BARNETT ponders the reinvented names that work magic on our lives….or do they?
I stood in front of the mirror backstage, proudly inspecting my makeup and blue and white gingham costume. Granted, I was in the midst of the most unfortunate awkward phase in the history of adolescence (my parents truly should have kept me indoors as a public service), but on that night, opening night of our middle school musical, The Wizard of Oz, I was too excited about my debut as Dorothy to notice that my skinny body and giant hair made me resemble a human Q-Tip. As I saw my gangly13-year-old reflection staring back at me, only one thing entered my mind: stardom!
I couldn’t deny that dress rehearsals hadn’t been pretty–the Stryofoam rainbow prop had a habit of crashing to the ground as I sang about troubles melting like lemon drops, and then there was that pesky issue of my ruby slippers shedding chunks of red glitter with every step I took, but in my mind, this elite middle school production of The Wizard of Oz (complete with an orchestra consisting of a pianist, a flatulent flautist, and a drummer who smelled like Velveeta cheese) was my launching pad to certain fame. Who cared that many of the Munchkins were taller than I was, that our Toto was missing in action, or that the stage crew had never gotten around to actually building a set? Not I! I was too busy daydreaming about seeing my name in lights.
WAIT! My name in lights? Jill Barnett in lights? I didn’t even like my given name for everyday use, and certainly had no desire to see it on the marquis of the Gershwin Theatre or to hear it read aloud upon the win of my first Tony Award. Nope, Jill Barnett simply wouldn’t do, and in my opinion, it had even less star quality than a name like Frances Ethel Gumm, who happened to be my favorite actress and singer.