Category: Questions of the Week

unusual family names

by Pamela Redmond Satran

My grandfather’s middle name was Owen, which was pretty unusual when I was growing up. I never thought back then that I’d name a son Owen, much less that Owen would become a Top 50 boys’ name!

What’s the most unusual name in your family? Can you imagine it ever coming back into style? Or maybe it’s so rare it was never in style in the first place.

We’d love to hear its origins, if you know them: How it was chosen, how the bearer felt about it, and whether Great-Uncle Oral inspired any namesakes.

We’d also love to know whether you’d consider using it as a name for a baby? A middle name? Do you love your unusual family name? Hate it? Why or why not?

For a wider look at unusual vintage baby names, check out our lists of lost names of 1916 for boys and for girls.

Get one of these awesome personalized family trees, unusual names and all, from the Etsy shop karuskicolours.

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Is a Nickname Name Enough?

By Linda Rosenkrantz

The current Most Popular list is chockfull of nickname names, and there’s no doubt in my mind that the new one arriving next month will include even more. Girl and boy Charlies and Sams and Frankies, Jakes and Josies, starbabies named Hal and Hank.

They’re cute and catchy and couldn’t be more friendly or relaxed. But is there a downside?

Will a boy christened Will wish he could put William on his college application? (And will people assume that William is his full name?) And would a woman named Izzy feel she’ll never quite be taken seriously?

Or are these non-issues, with Ellie and Evie simply today’s Molly and Polly?

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girly-girl names

Eleonora and Arabella, Scarlett and Juliette.

Whether long-held favorite or guilty pleasure, girly-girl names have an undeniable appeal.

What’s your favorite ultra-feminine name for girls?

And would you use one for your daughter? Why or why not?

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I Love Them Both the Same!

baby names

I can never decide which name I like more, Daisy or Maisie.

I’m equally torn between Otis and Osias, Beatrice and Beatrix, Harry and Henry.

What two pairs of similar names do you love equally?

And why are those the two that inspire the greatest ambivalence?

Are they similar in sound or feel or image?

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Names of the Year? Your Turn to Pick!

OK, you’ve seen our picks for 2016’s names of the year--based on their impact on both popular culture and baby names. Now it’s your turn to tell us what name or names YOU would add to this list. And, of course, the reasons behind the choice.

Bonus question: What names do you see getting hotter in 2017 and making it onto next year’s list?

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