Baby Name Game: That name means what?!?
I was putting together a list of names that mean grace when there was Hulbert. A name that may well have several good qualities, but grace isn’t one of them.
So I started thinking: What other names have meanings that may be correct but seem so wrong?
Mary meaning bitter is one obvious example. But what are some others?
What names can you find that have meanings ridiculously out of step with their image or sound?
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tp b Said
on March 15th, 2018 at 11:24 pm
James – meaning usurper.
on March 15th, 2018 at 11:33 pm
Gideon – having a stump for a hand. I mean, really, what a nutty meaning yet such a lovely, complete name.
on March 15th, 2018 at 11:49 pm
Cameron- Crooked Nose
Kennedy- Helmet Headed
on March 15th, 2018 at 11:58 pm
Cecil- blind. I think Cecil’s the reason I no longer regard name meanings. I suppose I’ve become blind to them (forgive me).
Claude (lame) and Casimir (destroyer of peace) also come to mind.
on March 16th, 2018 at 3:40 am
Blaise – to lisp, stammer
Lilith – ghost, night monster
on March 16th, 2018 at 4:32 am
Tristan – sadness
on March 16th, 2018 at 6:28 am
Gideon was also the name that came to mind for me, too. I found myself fighting a losing battle trying to convince a student that it’s such a great package of a name despite the meaning.
on March 16th, 2018 at 7:11 am
Mallory – unfortunate
on March 16th, 2018 at 8:22 am
I don’t care much about name meanings but I always felt a little bad for my brother Cameron. My name means Wise One, our younger brother’s name means Great One, and he was the middle child–Crooked Nose.
on March 16th, 2018 at 9:42 am
There’s also the opposite situation, in which a name has a nice meaning but the name itself is unpleasant sounding or dated or unappealing. Everyone will have their own likes & dislikes in this case; here are some of mine:
Bertha: Bright, glorious
Gertrude: Strength of a spear
Mildred: Gentle strength
on March 16th, 2018 at 9:58 am
I second Mallory, with the meaning of unfortunate
on March 16th, 2018 at 10:00 am
Emily – rival
Emmeline – work
I was considering Emmeline for my daughter, but I kept hear the line, “Wow, you’re a lot of work!” So I couldn’t do that. Why can’t it even mean industrious at least!!
Maybe someone could answer a question. Someone listed Mallory as meaning unfortunate. I’ve hear ‘bad news.’ My friend likes it and mentioned a nice meaning for the name. Made up meaning maybe?
on March 16th, 2018 at 10:04 am
Ok she says it means Army Councilor.
on March 16th, 2018 at 10:54 am
After hearing the name Phryne in Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, I thought it sounded intriguing and unusual, then looked it up only to discover it means “toad.”
on March 16th, 2018 at 11:08 am
Rudolph — it’s hard not to finish with “the red nosed reindeer” in your head when you hear this, but it actually means famous wolf.
on March 16th, 2018 at 11:17 am
Casimir is a great one!
Malin (means “evil” in French)
Pippa sounds so sweet and innocent but has a very unsavoury meaning in several European languages.
on March 16th, 2018 at 3:19 pm
@bobcat108 and @lindens — that was actually more what was in my head when I wrote this question — meanings that seemed at odds with the sound and feel and image of the name, not so much negative meanings like “bald” (jeez, that is kind of a bad one). Great examples!
on March 16th, 2018 at 7:36 pm
That’s not the meaning of Gideon.
on March 16th, 2018 at 10:12 pm
I thought it sounded so beautiful when I was young and heard it while watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Then I grew up to learn it was a term for “wart” 😛
on March 16th, 2018 at 10:51 pm
Eunice=Greek for Good Victory
I can’t stand this name 😑
on March 17th, 2018 at 8:03 am
It’s ironic that Euphemia means “good-speaking”, because the name really doesn’t have a harmonious sound (in English at least)! I also find the meaning of George “farmer” incongruous, because to me it’s an aristocratic-sounding name. Clementine sounds harsh, certainly not clement! Sarah doesn’t sound like a princess or any kind of ruler, probably since it’s never been a royal name in Britain.
on March 17th, 2018 at 11:16 am
Leah sounds so lovely but means weary or even cow? (My mum ruled it out for me because of the meaning)
on March 17th, 2018 at 4:48 pm
Sky85 took the words out of my mouth! Haha Cameron and Kennedy are prime examples.
Sadie means princess yet it sounds so mean (maybe sadist?).
on March 18th, 2018 at 7:00 am
Lorelei alluringly temptress
on March 18th, 2018 at 11:27 am
Portia=pig or hog. As previously written, it makes me so sad that two names I love – Cecilia and Lorelai – have somewhat negative meanings.
on March 18th, 2018 at 11:30 am
For names that don’t sounds like their meanings I think of Julius and Agnes. I love Agnes but it sounds kind of harsh to mean “pure.” Julius makes me think of the mighty Julius Caesar, yet is means youthful. I stand by Portia sounding elegant and posh yet meaning pig.
on March 18th, 2018 at 12:53 pm
Melanie has always been one of my favorite names and sounds so lovely like sweet music. It means Dark or Black so I’m not sure that fits so much. Even if it’s only in my perception of the name. Any thoughts?
on March 19th, 2018 at 1:47 am
Cecily – blind
Dolores – lady of sorrows
Emilia – rival
Acacia – thorny
Names that are hard(er) to pull off but have good meanings:
• Aurembiaix (but I like this one!) – from the lower golden land
• Ecija – eagle
• Enid – life; spirit
• Lucasta – pure light
• Eadlin – princess
• Xochitl – flower
on March 19th, 2018 at 7:48 pm
The first names that came to mind was Lola which is ‘Lady of Sorrows’ and Everly which means ‘Wild Boar in Woodland Clearing’
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