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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Copenhagen, Denmark
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    2,246
    I seriously do not understand what's pretentious about naming your child after a character from your favourite book/author? It can sound stupid because you associate the name with the book (Katniss, Heathcliff, Huckleberry, Albus), sure, but what's pretentious about it? I know how much my favourite book/author means to me, and it would mean even more to me to name my child after one of its characters/the author. Is that pretentious? If you haven't read the book and you name your kid Atticus (after the character in TKAM, not just because you like the name), I can see how it's pretentious. However, Atticus Finch is one of literatures most inspirational characters, so I totally understand why people name their sons after him.
    Zelia • Twenty • Film, history and royalty connoisseur • I have a personal blog and one about royalty
    Exporting old Danish names, Greenlandic names and Greenlandic sibling names
    Henry Ásgeirr Edmund • Amaury Charles Théoden "Theo" • Alexander Adelin Lórien "Sasha" • Asa Edouard Ivik
    Cosima Ingrid Zenobia "Mimi" • Johanna Ivalo Galadriel "Anna" • Gaia Margaret Undómiel • Asta Catherine Françoise

    And for the moment: Atticus Aksel Inigo • Aviaaja Cleopatra Hero "Avi" • Fabiola Agnes Lúthien

  2. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    2,355
    @shvibziks I don't think there's anything pretentious about naming your child after a book that you LOVE- really, truly love. But how is it possible that so many people's favorite characters or favorite books are TKAM and Catcher in the Rye? With the entirety of literature, THOSE are the two everyone on earth seems to love. And I think there's a big difference between Atticus/Holden/Keats and Lee/Ray/Juliet (As in Harper, Bradbury, and Romeo &.) With the latter, the names pay homage to the books/authors, but they're common enough that they aren't exclusively associated with those authors.

    You can name your children exclusively Shakespearean names and not come off as pretentious- a sibset of Adam, Michael, Oliver, Helena, Beatrice, and Celia doesn't seem at all pretentious, but Romeo seems to get really, really close to over the line and Macbeth stampedes right over it. Now, I don't see many parents considering Macbeth, but it's the best example for Shakespeare. It's the difference between Hugo and Eponine- Hugo is a sweet and subtle tribute to a great author, Eponine is advertising the fact that you've never read the book (if you had, you'd know that it was invented to be a "trashy" name, and Hugo says so in the book.)

    As I said, I think a lot of these names are really great names on their own- if I had an Auden or Keats in my family tree, I'd use it in a heartbeat. But I pause at using them because the authors aren't THAT special to me- I like them enough, I love books and poetry, but I haven't read them hundreds of times like I have with some of my favorite, less-awesomely named authors Bradbury and Silverstein. I still read Auden, but I don't even particularly like Keats. I just can't justify how pretentious and elitist it would feel to actually use those names.

    However, I do tend towards very homey, unpretentious names as a general style- I like Cal and Jack and Anna, pretty simple and comfy-feeling.

  3. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    2,238
    For me, it's a big fat "Who cares?". I've never met an Atticus, but if I ever did I would be thrilled. I really would not care one bit why his parents named him that. I like it just because it sounds awesome, not because I like TKAM (never actually read it -- apparently it wasn't on MY school's 8th grade reading list ), and certainly not because I'm pretentious.

    I have met a little girl named Scout, and do you know what my reaction was? "Thank God they didn't name her Isabella or Madison." That's it.

    I would always, always rather meet a child whose parents named him or her after something and actually put thought into their name than a child whose parents arbitrarily chose a name from the top 10. Just my two cents.
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  4. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    879
    Quote Originally Posted by greyer View Post
    For me, it's a big fat "Who cares?". I've never met an Atticus, but if I ever did I would be thrilled. I really would not care one bit why his parents named him that. I like it just because it sounds awesome, not because I like TKAM (never actually read it -- apparently it wasn't on MY school's 8th grade reading list ), and certainly not because I'm pretentious.

    I have met a little girl named Scout, and do you know what my reaction was? "Thank God they didn't name her Isabella or Madison." That's it.

    I would always, always rather meet a child whose parents named him or her after something and actually put thought into their name than a child whose parents arbitrarily chose a name from the top 10. Just my two cents.
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  5. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    332

    Pretentious is in the ear of the beholder/eye of the reader!

    As a mom who chose, for argument's sake, a "literary name" - I can offer some insight, as well as experiences.

    My first point would be; a person has to be aware of a literary name in order to deem someone pretentious for naming their child (which creates a logical loophole, don't you think?); I have yet to see any football fan say "Wow, Seneca Wallace's mom was super pretentious naming her child that, what was she thinking?."

    We chose Atticus for our son, for a myriad of reason;

    - Ancient Roman feel
    - Blend of soft vowel sound juxtaposed with hard c sound
    - Atticus the Platonic philosopher (as a side note, I wouldn't think it was pretentious if someone named their child Plato; I would think they were bold enough to choose a name which honored someone who obviously influenced them).
    - Has a vintage charm
    - Associated with the steady character of Atticus Finch

    The list can go on and on really. The funny thing is; I have only heard of two other boys named Atticus (Attici?) from friends of friends, but have not met one in person; and I have only heard the "Oh, from To Kill a Mockingbird" a handful of times.

    Too often on the discussion boards, we are too dismissive of people's naming choices; even if we are all ardent name nerds, can we really label someone as pretentious just because we view it this way?

    Personally I think people are too multidimensional to choose a name simply on the merit of "sounding more educated or wealthy".

    It is all about perspective; how many of you meet a Tiffany and think "Wow, her parents must have been rich/trashy to name her after the jewelry store"? Although I do not prefer the name, I could see why a Tiffany's parents may have chosen the name, perhaps due to the friendly lilting sound, or association with Breakfast at Tiffany's, etc, etc.
    Last edited by withinreason; May 8th, 2013 at 02:21 PM.
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