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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Current top 10:
    Girls: Greta, Gwendolyn, Iris, Irene, Ida, Beatrice, Penelope, Margaret, Hattie, June
    Boys: Henry, Dean, Desmond, Gregory, Arthur, Ingram, Griffith, Russell, Orion, Martin

  2. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    @kristyn24 - Unfortunately, I don't think you can change the way that other people might see a name unless you do have the chance to explain your reasoning to them. I'm not saying you shouldn't use Cheyenne, but if you do there are always going to be people who will automatically see it as "low class". So it's up to you whether the benefits of the name (it has personal importance to you, which matters a lot) outweigh the negatives. If you are unsure, maybe it's worth talking to some older relatives or just other people you know who are Native American, and seeing what they think. If you find that no-one you know has an issue with it and you decide to use it, then you at least know that you have made a conscious, well-informed decision that you can be proud of (no matter what anyone else thinks!).

    To answer your other question, I think Georgia is a different case, but I'll get to that later. Alabama fits in with Cheyenne, however, because it was originally the name of a tribe. The site I mentioned earlier has this great paragraph that explains why tribal names can be sensitive:

    "I should also note that there has been a recent trend towards giving white children the names of Indian tribes as first names (Dakota, Cheyenne, Chippewa, etc.) I'd recommend against this, though, for two reasons: first, many Native Americans find the practice culturally and religiously inappropriate. It's difficult to explain why to outsiders, but think about how acceptable Biblical names like Mary and Jacob are to most American Christians, yet how unacceptable baby names like Christ or God would be. Tribal names have special meaning in Indian culture, and using them as first names isn't considered respectful to the people any more than naming your baby God would be interpreted as honoring God."

    I see this as much closer to the "Cohen" debate. It's about taking a word that has great spiritual meaning to a specific group of people and bestowing it on one mortal human being.

    I'd just like to add something else here, though. One of the biggest misconceptions that many people have about Indian tribes is that they were a homogenous group. Many cultural historians believe, however, that before European colonisation the tribes of North America were more culturally diverse than Europe at the time. It's quite possible that someone of the Cheyenne people could have quite a different attachment to their tribal name than a Cherokee, for example. So I'd probably stick by my earlier advice of asking around. If you don't know anyone you can ask, you could try e-mailing someone from this contact list ( I'm sure they'd be happy to give some advice.

    Although I agree with Bluedahlia that the usage of India is kind of similar, using place names as baby names can be sensitive for different reasons. In the case of India, it's about *why* that place name is used as a name at all, not about what the name represented originally.

    I don't think Georgia really fits in to this category, though, because it is an established name outside its usage as a place name. The US state was named for King George II, and the country because of its connection to St George. Neither of these places can claim "ownership" of the name, and I'm not aware of anybody associating the usage of Georgia as a name with any specific events that have occurred in these places (please correct me if I'm wrong).

    Whew! I'm sorry, that was quite an essay, but I hope it helped you out. As you can probably see, this is an area of both personal and professional interest to me so I'm happy to try to help if you have any more questions. : )
    Current Favourites: Sophie, Rose, Elsa, May, Anna, Charlotte, Ada, Georgina, Juliet, Rosalie, Amelina, Flora, Louis, Dominic, Julian, Simon, Alan, Ivan and Alistair.
    Love but Can't/Won't Use: Emmanuelle, Autumn, Emily, Emmeline, April, Rosamund, Thomasin, Ruby, Roscoe, Etienne, Emile, James, Quincy, Quentin.

  3. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    miloowen, Bertram is one of my names in this category, too. Along with Bernard. I wouldn't like the nn Bert, though. Tram would be cool, I think, as would Bern.

    Glenna is my favourite girl name at the moment; it's my grandmother's name. Judging by the votes on my babynames list, no one else likes it much. Which I can understand -- I don't know that I would be so crazy about it without the positive association with my grandmother.

    Some others:
    Ludovic (we have a dvd with a really cute bear named Ludovic, which I think helped make this name more run-of-the-mill for me)
    Josephine (I don't know if a lot of people hate this, but dh doesn't like it, and I'm bummed)
    Lorenzo (I don't know if I would say I adore this; I thought it was high on dh's list, and it kind of grew on me -- lots of nns, like Lore, Loren, Ren, Enzo, Lorrie, Rennie -- but it turns out, dh doesn't like it anyway... and neither has anyone I've mentioned it to)
    Vital (emphasis on second syllable)
    Last edited by brisen; September 29th, 2011 at 02:26 PM.

  4. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    brisen: Gosh, I love Glenna! I'm surprised it's not popular, actually, as it has the favored -a ending as well as an internal "l"--both qualities of many of the popular girls names these days.
    Current top 10:
    Girls: Greta, Gwendolyn, Iris, Irene, Ida, Beatrice, Penelope, Margaret, Hattie, June
    Boys: Henry, Dean, Desmond, Gregory, Arthur, Ingram, Griffith, Russell, Orion, Martin

  5. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Midwest, USA
    Most names I like, I get the reaction of, "That's too old fashioned" or something similar. But my two favorites that have gotten the most negative feedback were Remi for a girl, and Chuck for a boy.
    Lucky I'm in love with my best friend... 6/9/07

    Margot Helen
    Ingrid Naomi
    Zelda Irene


    Ephraim Charles
    Linus Arthur
    Cedric Jame

    Conrad*Leander*Cormac*Leopold*Casimir*Augustin*Sil as*Dexter*Alasdair

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