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Category: question of the week

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We couldn’t resist this question on the forums: Which names do you wish you were brave enough to use?

Names you love….except nobody else does?

Names that are cool….but maybe a little too quirky?

Lovely literary names….with dark stories behind them?

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What Names Are Ripe for Revival?

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You know who are the biggest berries of all?  That’s right, me and LindaEven if we didn’t work here, we’d probably spend all our time obsessively tooling around the site.

And though we wrote all the name entries ourselves, we’re constantly re-encountering names that we maybe kinda forgot existed and now appreciate anew.  Wow, we think.  That’s a cool one.  Wonder if it will ever come back?

This just happened to me with the name Cyrilla.  The boys’ equivalent Cyril is handsome if a bit effete for the modern world, though it may get rediscovered thanks to the revival of the similar Cyrus and Silas. But what about Cyrilla? That’s a cool old name that’s at once exotic and familiar, highly unusual — there were NO girls named Cyrilla recorded on the most recent Social Security list — yet not invented. Besides being the feminine form of the Latin Cyril, it’s also a botanical name for flowering plant found throughout the tropics.

So I nominate Cyrilla as a name that’s ripe for revival. What are some old names you think might become new again?

Photo of antique doll from Kathy Libraty’s Antiques at Ruby Lane.

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Name Your Nameberry Ticker Family!

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Quick!

Look up at the top of this page at the Nameberry Ticker. See it there, above the striped line — the thing that moves from left to right, broadcasting which names people are searching on Nameberry right that very moment?

(If you’re reading this on a phone, sorry, you’re not going to be able to see it.  But rush to your nearest computer and check it out right away!!)

We sometimes get mesmerized by the Nameberry Ticker. Sometimes we think: What if we had to choose all our children’s names from the 12 or 14 names that show up on the ticker at any one moment? Could we do it. and what would we choose?

Often, the ticker yields surprisingly compatible choices. A few minutes ago, for instance, I put together a little family of son Blaze and daughters Elodie and Lyra. I could live with that. And now, I’m intrigued by the possibility of sons Lafe and Reynolds along with daughters Tilda and Carmelita.

But what about you? We challenge you to look at the ticker right this very minute and choose your children’s names from the group that’s passing by. You can pick as few as one or as many as a dozen, but you have to like them well enough to really plausibly live with them.

As always, bonus points for telling us your reasons: similar vintage, style, rhythm? Or just the most compatible choices up there at the moment?

Okay, go!

Photo from Beverly & Pack via Flickr.

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name teasing

Pam Spam: That was a rare one, easy to ignore.

But Pammy, said in a whine-y, wheedle-y voice, was more hurtful.  To this day, if someone wants to get under my skin (I’m looking at you, Cousin Michael), they call me Pammy.

Were you ever teased about your name?  In what way?  How hurtful was it — did it verge on bullying, or was it more affectionate, even a sign of popularity?

And what about your children’s names?  Did you look for a name that was tease-proof, or at least one that would not lend itself to teasing?

Has your child gotten teased about his or her name?  Do you find people more tolerant and less prone to name-teasing today than they were when you were growing up?

Please tell us your experiences around names and teasing — either about your own name or the names of your children and loved ones.

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Are you lucky enough to know the names of your great-grandparents?

I know most of them: Garrett and Elizabeth/Lizzie, Patrick and Catherine, William and Margaret, and something and Eugenia.

They were born in Ireland and Austria and Scotland and  right here in the U.S.A., and their names make a combination of classic standards and intriguing vintage names.  Plus at least one great-grandmother had an intriguing maiden name that might work as a middle: Early.  Love it.

What were your great-grandparents’ names?  Do you know anything about their names or the lives of those more distant ancestors?  Where did they come from and what did they do?  Would you name a child after them?

Here, some notable names of famous people’s fathers.

Augustine Washington

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George Washington’s father was a Virginia Colony-born tobacco planter. Augustine, the influential saint’s name, snuck back onto the 2012 Top 1000 list at Number 999, after being in limbo for decades, perhaps slip-sliding in the wake of the growing popularity of August.

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