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Category: name substitutes

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When we started Nameberry, way back in ’08, we’d never heard of Baby Name Games.  Yes, we’d played them, but only privately, by ourselves, and only then before adolescence.  We didn’t realize that the whole idea of name games had become institutionalized and that they were played in broad daylight (or at least, computer light) by name lovers all over the internet.

And then we launched Nameberry, and some of the first visitors to the site asked us to add Baby Name Games to the forums.  Once we did, we were amazed by the variety and energy of the offerings.  There are nearly 1500 threads on the Name Game boards now, some of them running to thousands of individual posts.

With those kind of statistics to live up to, it might be difficult to create the World’s Biggest Name Game here.  But we’re going to try.

Here’s the idea.  It’s pretty simple, and takes off from our trademark construct, “If you like x, you might love y.”

We’ll go first, suggest a name you might like, then a substitute you might love instead.  Then you take our substitute name for your “like,” and suggest a new alternative for that name.  And so on.

For example, we say, “If you like Lee, you might love Liam.”  Then you say, “If you like Liam, you might love Levi.”  And then the next person says, “If you like Levi, you might love Denim,” and the next person starts with Denim, and onward.

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Will Maisie Be the Next Daisy?

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We’ve seen it happen again and again.  A name–say Emily–becomes mega-popular.  Parents like the sound of it, but fear there are too many Emilys, so pick something similar but a little different: Emma.  When Emma gets to #1, they turn to Ella–and then perhaps to Ellie, Elle, Emme, Emery, Embry or Emerson.

In the recent past we’ve seen a number of examples of this phenomenon–some rhyming names, some similar in sound or feel–for instance Cody leading to Brody, Brian to Ryan, Kevin to Evan, Jason to Mason to Greyson, Madison to Addison, Brandon to Landon, Kayla to Layla, Kaylee to Bailey, Kylee to Riley, and of course Aidan to its 999 offshoots.

What’s next?

Here are some possible successors to current names, including some unstylish vintage ones (as Ava and Ada were not so long ago) that might be coaxed back, plus a few that are already showing signs of success:

GIRLS

Will ADELAIDE follow ADELINE?

Will ALMA follow ALYSSA?

Will ISADORA follow ISABELLA?

Will AVIS follow AVA?

Will CHARLIE follow CARLY?

Will CLEO follow CHLOE?

Will DORA follow CORA and LAURA?

Will DELLA follow ELLA, BELLA and STELLA?

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Tweak That Name!!

Baby Name Ideas

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.

With our very first book, Beyond Jennifer & Jason, we began suggesting ways that parents could update, respin, and coolify (yeah, that’s a word we made up) the names they might be considering.

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.

Girls

Instead of ………………..Consider

AMELIA………………….AMALIA

CLEMENTINE…………CLEMENCY

ELOISE…………………..LOUISE

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