Category: favorite names

Rate Your Own Name

baby names

How much do you like your own name?

Quantitatively, we mean.  On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest of the low (in my book, Ethelbert) and 10 being the most wonderful gorgeous amazing name in the universe, what number do you give your own name?

As baby namers and name afficionados, it’s intrinsically interesting to analyze our own names. Rating your own name can also help you think about what qualities you want in a name for your child.  And reading how other people feel about their names over time can help you make a better informed choice of a name for your baby.

I’d rate my own name, Pamela, maybe a 6, but Pam only a 4.5.  Pamela is pretty and has literary credibility, I think, though I’ve always found it a bit prissy and precious for use in everyday life. Pam is definitely friendlier, but also plain vanilla and time-stamped to the middle of the last century, when Pamela and its down-to-earth nickname were in the Top 20 for girls’ names.

Your turn!

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What are you favorite unusable names?

A berry named Iamamiam gets credit for this question: What are your favorite unusable names?

Over on the forums where this question was first posed, answers include Hypatia and Paine, Alaska and Aristotle, Lucifer and Lucrezia.

Reasons people wouldn’t use the names they love? Association with a tragic story or character is one problem. Difficulty of spelling or pronunciation is another. And then there are those high-drama names that feel like they wouldn’t fit into the modern world.

What are your favorite names that nevertheless can never be used?

Bonus points for telling us why not.

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A Few of Our Favorite Names

We try not to play favorites around here, but the truth is that, just like anybody, we have them.  And the reasons we love the names we do are as idiosyncratic, irrational, and deeply felt as those of the average citizen.  In honor of Nameberry’s new look, we thought it might be time to reveal a few of our personal favorite names and why we adore them.  (Floral photo collage by Frances Pelzman)

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There are a lot of names I love and enthusiastically encourage other people to use.  But when it came to naming my own kids?  No way.

The most common reason for championing a name that you wouldn’t use yourself is, of course, cowardice.  I think of all the names I considered for my younger son but chickened out on actually using: Penn, Pike, Otis….sigh.  I’d lead the cheer if a parent on the Nameberry forums was thinking of one of those wonderful names.  But in the end, we went with the much safer Owen.

My husband would tell you that we never really seriously considered Otis, because he hated it.  So there’s another reason you might only be able to envision a beloved name on someone else’s child.

Plus, with a last name that starts with S, the truth is we never would have used a first name that ends with an S sound, for fear of confusion.  Similarly, you may love elaborate names like Orianna but wouldn’t pair them with your equally-elaborate last name, or shy away from a short name like Tom if your last name is Smith, or avoid favorite ethnic first names such as Maeve or Massimo if they clash with a last name of a distinctly different ethnicity.

Or you may love really unusual distinctive names — Pallas or Peaches, Snow or Xen — but just feel that, in real life, you couldn’t do that to your own child.

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Your Favorite Names, from A to Z!

The inspiration for this week’s question comes from you, dear berries: What are your favorite names for every letter of the alphabet?

When we saw this thread on the forums,  we were reminded of a game we both liked to play long before we knew there was such a thing as name games.

We’d list our favorite names for each letter of the alphabet, one for a girl and one for a boy, sometimes torn between choices, sometimes (Y!) working overtime to come up with a name that we could honestly call a favorite.

So now we turn the spotlight on you.  What are YOUR current favorite names from A to Z, a girls’ and a boys’ choice for each letter?

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