Question of the Week: What if your profession inspired your baby’s name?

We were admiring the name Calliope the other day (yes, after all these years, we still love names enough to sit around and think about how much we like them) and we started thinking: What a good name for a musician to choose for her child.

Whether or not you’d name a baby after your profession in real life, it’s a fun thing to consider.

So many great occupational names are in play now, from Archer to Gardener to Sailor.

And then there are names like Calliope that connect to something related to your profession.  A landscape architect might name a daughter Flora, for instance, or a writer might choose the name Penn.

Or, more subtly, a name’s meaning might relate to your profession: Lucas for a lighting designer, for example, or Philip for a horse trainer.

There are also the names of heroes in your field.  I might think of naming a child after a writer I admire, for instance, like Edith Wharton, or for a character I love, like Jane Eyre.  A  scientist might want to honor someone like Charles Darwin.

Or your profession might not so readily suggest name ideas.  You might need to be more creative with your choices, or look to one of your hobbies or passions to inspire name ideas.  A sports enthusiast might like the names Hank (Aaron) or (Tom) Landry, while a history buff might choose Lincoln.

So our question of the week is: If your profession (or passion) inspired your baby’s name, what would it be?  And would you, or did you, consider using it in real life?  Fantasies welcome!


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52 Responses to “Question of the Week: What if your profession inspired your baby’s name?”

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Flick Says:

May 29th, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Possibly Stephania for Stevie, in reference to the Stevie Awards (for Women In Business)since I majored in HR.

I’m not currently working in HR, though, I’m absolutely enjoying my job as a care giver. Possibly something that means “love”, it takes a lot of love and compassion to be a caregiver, to maybe Carys or Kerensa – or maybe Dara or Hanan, both meaning “compassion”.

Those were difficult.

Funny story – my son’s name is Caleb, I was kind of dragged into choosing this name, I wasn’t a huge fan (still not, honestly), I went along with it and afterwards, I realized I had never actually looked at the meaning. Well, it turns out that it means “dog” in Hebrew. Well, my mother has been a dog groomer for going on 35 years and she also breeds Shih-Tzus, so it was kind cute how it secretly honored my mom.

KateM91 Says:

May 29th, 2012 at 10:16 pm

My child would be Kodak Baker. (I’m a nanny, and I passionately bake cakes and do photography in my spare time!) I actually really like it, but would not name my child that.

Poppy528 Says:

May 29th, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Oh lord, my profession would yield children named Savella, Allegra, Lyrica, Yasmin, Arava, Humira, Aldara, Jalyn, Byetta … et cetera! I could go on and on. But I won’t because the idea makes me shudder.

However, the scientist in me would gladly name puppies Tesla, Kelvin, and Joule. Millie (mL) is current fave baby girl name. Coincidence?

gem26 Says:

May 29th, 2012 at 10:29 pm

I am a nurse so Florence would be an obvious choice and one I actually really like. I do not like the nickname Flo, however. Maybe Florrie or Flora? Or maybe just as a middle…

augusta_lee Says:

May 29th, 2012 at 11:19 pm

All of my childrens’ names will be a reference to a favorite work of literature.

capturedcastle Says:

May 29th, 2012 at 11:25 pm

I’m a musician, and I’m actually not too fond of music-inspired names…I think it’s a little too cutsey. Besides, the musical things I love don’t make good names…Waldstein, Steinway, Fugue, etc. I’m ok with names inspired by composers–in fact, one of the names I liked for a long time was Clara (Schumann), but ultimately it has to be a name I love the sound of as much a I love the meaning behind it.

My husband’s law enforcement job similarly yields unattractive results, but I do like the idea of names inspired by his love of planes and flying–Aerial (spelled Ariel tho), Jet, etc.

JenniferMariska Says:

May 29th, 2012 at 11:26 pm

I’m a music teacher, and multi-instrumentalist. My hubby won’t let me go with anything too obvious, though I love Calliope! Cadence was a favourite before it skyrocketed, and I also like Harmony, Lyric, Dorian and Aria. Gibson for guitars, and Marshall for the amps. For my woodwinds there’s Reed. Not to mention all of my musical heroes (Miles, Parker, Ella, Thelonius… the list goes on).

My husband is a geotechnical engineer so I threw Slate and Mason on our list but he thinks that’s cheesy. We have also considered Kipling, after the author (he penned the ritual for engineers graduating from university in Canada, most grads refer to the ceremony as “Kipling”).

dillonsfan01 Says:

May 29th, 2012 at 11:40 pm

This is not my job but I have been a dancer for years and I did choose Clara to represent my portrayal of Clara in the Nutcracker 🙂

miloowen Says:

May 29th, 2012 at 11:40 pm

As a writer whose birthday is celebrated by three other famous writers, I might have considered Edith (Wharton), Peter (Pierre Beaumarchais), or Amadeu (E T A Hoffmann)…As it is, my children are (unintentionally)Caitlin and Thomas.

As an opera afficionada, I might have been more adventurous. I love Floria, Lucia, Adriana, Wally, Olympia, Rachelle, and Augusta (from Baby Doe); Maurizio, Alvaro, Rodolfo, Andrea, and Werther.

As a book lover, I gave my cats literary names: Tybalt, Pip, Simon (from Mahy’s The Nargun and the Stars), Duncan, and Nicholasa (the Puerto Rican author Nicholasa Mohr).

Reeny Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 3:09 am

I remember being in a university class for a sonnet paper I was taking and meeting a girl called- Sonnet. It was a bit surprising when she introduced herself but I’ve never forgotten it as a name.

I would never call my child Sonnet but, as a writer, I appreciate and genuinely like the name Sonnet! There’s something rather sweet about it.

emstermeister Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 4:37 am

Well being a teacher already influences my naming since I have to eliminate any names with negative connotations from past students! 🙂

Also, my parents are history buffs and named their two kittens Franklin (Roosevelt) and Winston (Churchill). I think that this is probably more common in pet naming overall- I also know a golf course manager with a dog named Fairway.

belatrix Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 6:35 am

I have a friend whose children are named Madison and Lincoln. The names aren’t noticeably presidential to most people, but that is why they were chosen by the political science professor parents 🙂

Mego0801 Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 7:13 am

I tend gardens, and I play guitar and sing on the side, so there are totally some floral names on my list. I’m sad that they are trendy now, many people that use floral names don’t even have one potted plant! Lol! I also like the way ‘Fender’ sounds, but I don’t like its association to a car fender and it sounds like ‘Bender’ (some cartoon character, I think). I have thought about using ‘Capo’ as a name, but it would clash with my number one girl name.

Dantea Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 7:19 am

My husband and I both write and I have been published a few times. I’m working on a full length novel at the moment. In my Damien combo, I have the name Quillon. I picked Quillon because it could be shortened to Quill…which is very cool and meaning full as a writer.

MerMaiden6 Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 7:46 am

My husband and I met doing a show and continue to act and direct. We’ve considered Antoinette to honor Antoinette Perry, founder of the American Theatre Wing and namesake of the Tony Awards.

chilly9296 Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 7:47 am

My husband is a biologist and our dog is Darwin. I’m an apparel designer and a coworker of mine named her child Mason Taylor and her husband is a hardscaper (like EP Henry)

chelseamae Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 7:51 am

Current profession is in Orthopaedics… so I could have children named:


Majoring in exercise science so I could also end up with:


That’s all I can think of off the top of my head!

Amenspanglish Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 8:13 am

I’m a music major, and I think that music inspired names sound so fun to use. I met a little girl named Cadence. And Viola, the instrument, is also one of Shakespeare’s characters. And wouln’t it be original to have a middle name of a composer like Mozart, Beethoven, or Copland? I would never do that though. Considering that it’s my profession, it’s seems over-the-top. But if I could find a subtle way to use a musical name, I would!
Maybe a first name like Johann or Sebastian (Bach) or Frederick (Chopin) or Peter (Tchaikovsky). I should make a list because if I could be satisfied with a musical name, it would make it that much better!

esfamya Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 8:18 am

I’ve known attorneys whose kids were named Lex, Portia, and Justice (different families, though).

ksheja Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 8:24 am

I’m a medical transcriptionist and that job does not inspire any good baby names! – As in the post above, medical terms do not make good names (although some of them may sound pretty). I don’t think I’d name a child after my occupation or hobby- a little too cheesy for me – maybe a favorite character in a book but that would not be obvious.

mermuse Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 8:24 am

As a writer, I must confess I have considered the names Booker and Austen. 😉

Gwynedde Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 8:39 am

I work in a foreign affairs department as a Mandarin/Cantonese translator so it would be interesting to incorporate Chinese middle names in combos…And I did think about it for my first child as there are really beautiful names out there with great meaning.

Off the top of my head: (Without the tones)


Lynae Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 8:44 am

I am a neuropsychologist and work children who have a mix of cognitive and emotional problems. I chose (well, my husband helped choose)names for my two children that mean wisdom and happy. I was very intentional in selecting names that represent qualities that I value.

C in DC Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 8:58 am

I’m a librarian who works with databases. I named my cat Dewey. Elsie (for LC – library of Congress) would also work. Dewey’s first name was Melville/Melvyl. I would also consider using Ada for Ada Lovelace or Hypatia. All of these are pet names, for me, though.

spotlightstarlit Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 9:33 am

I am a writer, book nerd and Shakespeare enthusiast. You can find Beatrix, Ophelia, Virginia, Sylvie and Heathcliff on my list!

pam Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 9:42 am

Just wanted to say how much I’m loving hearing about everyone’s careers and related name ideas — even if some of them work best for cats!

saraallison Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 9:43 am

DH and I are both teachers and reading specialists, and this has def had an impact on our children’s names! Both the names we used for our DD come from great childrens lit characters….Madeline Frances (tho Frances was primarily to honor my gma, I Love that it reminds me of the little badger too!). The Bemelmans character Madeline actually ended up being WHY we chose Madeline over our other choices. DD had some difficulties after birth, and she came thru them so strong–this was before we named her. I had a line from the book playing in my head, “She was not afraid of mice, she loved winter, snow and ice. To the tiger in the zoo, Madeline just said pooh, pooh.” The spunkiness and strength of the character just seemed to fit DD, laying there in the NICU looking so dignified!
Additionally DH had had a sweet little girl in school of the same name. He actually had had a lot of sweet little girls who he wouldn’t have minded naming her after (popular names all, Emma, Olivia, Abigail, etc.). So Madeline ended up being the perfect fit! If we ever have another, I’d like to use Elizabeth to honor my sister but also to evoke my fav literary heroine of all time, Elizabeth Bennet!
For our son, we had both had sweet boys named Seth in class, so we both just liked the name. So both teaching and our reading backgrounds deeply influenced our name choices!

ashthedreamer Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 9:56 am

Definitely! I absolutely love the name Booker, and since I’m a writer, I thought it would be such a fitting choice. It’s still in the back of my mind… I’m not sure I would use it, but I definitely adore it! And yes, I definitely have my favorite literary names sprinkled through all my combos!

Greyer Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 9:59 am

I’m currently a college student, but my major is art history, so there are tons of great names to choose from! The popular ones, obviously, being Monet, Renoir, Jackson (Pollock), Georgia (O’Keeffe), but there’s also names like Dali, Miro, Jasper (Johns), Kahlo, Artemisia, and so on. I always thought Whistler might be nice as a middle name, also Millais (pron. Mill-LAY) for a girl could be sweet with NN Millie.

Roux Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 11:01 am

I’ve always fantasized of being a horse trainer and living on a farm with twin girls Philippa (Pippa) & Rosamund (Rosie), whose names of course mean “lover of horses” and “horse protection”, respectively.

Auntie_A Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 11:40 am

Being a photographer, Canon could be a possible middle name I guess. It’s not totally unusable. 🙂

bderosia Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I am a Sous Chef currently though I’m a much better Baker. So maybe Lemon would be a good girls name for either a Chef or Baker? I know that people think the name Apple is silly and I’ll admit I don’t care for it either but Lemon is growing on me. I think it might be usable now or in the near future.

Whirligig Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I’m not really old enough to have a job ut I do run a shell store on the beach in the holidays so:

Ammonite (nn Ammi)

However, when I am old enough would like to be a fabric designer so:


But I don’t really like these fabric names so I could probably name my children after colours because I am obsessed with colour.

tvland Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 4:36 pm

I’m a dentist so I would probably use Apollonia (the patron saint of dentists).

Nash (gnash)
Campbell (crooked mouth)

rollo Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 6:58 pm

bderosia I would name a child Clementine to get the lemon angle and it would also cover oranges.

Besides Clementine is a winner of a name – gorgeous!

limo1603 Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 8:06 pm

I am a social worker, so the names of my profession’s founders are pretty classic. Jane (Addams), Mary (Richmond), or Charles (Loring Brace).

Wow this is hard! I’ll have to go think of some more names that could relate to social work…

tcandelaria Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 8:31 pm

That’s pretty much how my sons got their names. My oldest is Quentin, named for a Faulkner character (my husband and I were both literature students) and my youngest is Raynor, inspired by a character name from a computer game my husband and I play together (and also a nod to my middle name).

arunciblespoon Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 8:35 pm

Clementine really is lovely, there’s Dolce, Basil,Sage and Rosemary and Benedict(as in eggs).

As for me, I’m a writer and book enthusiast and although I wouldn’t neccesarily pick a name for its literary connections it would be a bonus if it did.

I really like Beatrice, Hermione and Benedict and they all have great literary links. Poet, Lyric and Sonnet feel a bit hippyish but Cslliope and Sylvia are fresh and Whit after Walt Whitman would make a great middle name. I have a love of legend too, Arthur is definitely on my list.

gipro2003 Says:

May 30th, 2012 at 9:47 pm

My parents both work in law enforcement and my youngest brother is named Wyatt Marshall. (After Wyatt Earp.)

I currently work as a general manager at McDonald’s so I could use Donald, Mac, Richard, Ray, Quinlan, Turner, Fred, etc. I am also studying history, and love names such as Atlas, Lincoln, etc.

LyndsayJenness Says:

May 31st, 2012 at 12:43 am

I probably wouldn’t use my career as naming inspiration, but I’d definitely use passions/hobbies. Actually I guess I kind of did already. My Dashiell’s name is inspired by The Incredibles character because my husband loves animation and is an aspiring animator. And baby-on-the-way Lincoln is inspired by Link from Legend of Zelda, because that same husband is a “gamer”. And Link Larkin from Hairspray certainly helped make the case to my musical theatre loving self.

I love nature and books, so it’s not surprising Beatrix is tops and tons of botanical names are on our girls list. Passions of people we want to honor work for me to. We have lots of avid gardeners in the family so we’ve considered Gardenia (as a middle) and the names of their favorite flowers, etc.

moxielove Says:

May 31st, 2012 at 2:51 am

My profession DID inspire my daughter’s name: I’m a geologist and we named our daughter Petra. I also have a degree in astronomy, and my daughter has a middle name that means “star” and any future child will either have a middle that means star or potentially the name of a moon.

Finuneby Says:

May 31st, 2012 at 3:31 am

I’m an architect. A couple of the following actually have been used as middle names by my colleagues


Finuneby Says:

May 31st, 2012 at 3:33 am

(sorry the rest)

Finuneby Says:

May 31st, 2012 at 3:36 am

Scarp a


Finuneby Says:

May 31st, 2012 at 3:38 am


As you can see, I could go on and on. I think maybe as a middle name…

ashleygebhardt Says:

May 31st, 2012 at 5:21 pm

We seriously considered naming our children like this. I’m a food scientist and wanted Louis after Louis Pasteur (invented pasteurization) and my husband is a computer programmer and wanted Ada after Ada Lovelace (invented one of the first computer languages).

sylvia82 Says:

June 3rd, 2012 at 7:40 am

I’m an urban planner so I could name my kids Urban or Townes…hehe!

thedoubtfulguest Says:

June 10th, 2012 at 8:47 pm

I am a florist which offers quite a lot of possibilities for naming inspiration but also a lot of potential for cloying cuteness. We’re expecting our first baby and if the bump turns out to be a girl, her name will be ‘Iris’. We did also consider ‘Vanda’, a particularly lovely type of orchid but it does sound a little harsh.

s_dimples Says:

June 12th, 2012 at 4:15 pm

As a nurse – the mn Florence or Nightengale might work. Clara could work as well (Clara Barton). I am leaning more to Agatha – apparently she was/is the patron saint for nurses.

eva destruction Says:

July 27th, 2012 at 2:51 am

I named my daughter Paige, I was a library page. 🙂

smismar Says:

March 8th, 2013 at 10:54 am

I’m a chiropractor. If I was into place names, maybe Cairo? Daniel David Palmer was the founder of modern chiropractic (but was a bit of a nutcase).

senseandsensibility Says:

September 16th, 2014 at 11:15 am

Forget the career (occupation), I’ll definitely honor my favourite book series (and their author)! Honoring characters is a possibility as well.
Passion-inspired names would be for me:
(first choice): Aria, Cecilia; Frederick
(next choice): Mae or Margaret, Saga; Tristan, Edgar, Heath (shortened Heathcliff), Keats, Claude.
Wait… I just realized most of my boys choices would be passion-inspired! Weird as I never thought of it this way!

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