Category: name advice

a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts

They’ve already used their favorite name – for the dog! She’s working on finding some fresh ideas, but he’s still stuck on Olivia. What might satisfy them both?

Megan writes:

My husband and I are expecting our first baby in early August – a girl!

We are trying to decide on the perfect name. My husband has fallen in love with Olivia.

The problem? We already used the perfect name. For our dog, Olivia.

We are a cross-cultural couple, so we hope to choose an English first name and a Turkish middle. I like (and my husband tolerates) Lyla, Linden, Marlow, and Sienna.

For Turkish names, we are considering Azize (pronounced A-zi-zay), Kaya, Mina (Meena), and Lale (la-lay).

My top name is either Lyla Azize, or maybe Linden. My husband prefers Olivia Lale.

Could you please give us some suggestions for this baby so she doesn’t end up being named after the dog?

The Name Sage replies:

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Naming Book Characters: 3 Easy Steps

By Ellen Smith

I’m a name nerd.

True story: In college, I spent hours compiling data for a study on the attractiveness of male and female names. Amanda? Very attractive. Mildred? Not so much. Ken was more attractive than Keith, while Liam was about as attractive as Levi. By the end of the study, I had an Iliad-length research paper and a major caramel-macchiato addiction.

Ah, youth.

Believe it or not, even after all of that research, I still get excited to dream up the perfect names for the characters in my books. Finding just the right character name actually helps a story start to take shape in my mind. Since I have a tendency to get stuck on finding the perfect name (Maura or Mara? Lila or Lily?), I try to break the process down into just three steps.

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Name Sage: Grandma Hates the Name!

M. writes:

We’re expecting our first child, a son, in a few months. Our dilemma is this: my mom really wants to know our chosen name, but I am not sure if I want to share it.

I love my mother, but she’s very opinionated. She disliked having an uncommon name, so she gave me a very popular one.

We’ve chosen Lawson Christopher for our son. It’s obviously not a common first name – though a search of Social Security records reveals Lawson is at its most popular in 2014, so maybe we’re on the cusp of the name taking off!

I’d like to get some honest feedback on Lawson Christopher.

Also, is there a nice way to NOT reveal the name until he’s born and it is his, or is there no real way to avoid rejecting my mom here?

If we choose to tell her, how do I steel myself adequately against any negative opinions? I’ve thought this through, and this is the first name that feels like *him*, if that makes sense. How do I stay confident, even if the reaction of my mom is a negative one?

The Name Sage replies:

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Name Sage: Is This Baby Name Theft?

a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts

By Abby Sandel

Caroline writes:

My husband and I are expecting our first child in July. We have plenty of boy names, but we are struggling with a girl’s name. The only name we agree on is Mika.

One of the criteria for our names is that it should honor our Japanese and Korean heritage. Another is that the name must work with the middle name Marie, to honor a great-aunt. Mika fits the bill.

Our dilemma is that friends of ours named their daughter Mikayla last year. They said that they planned to use the nickname Mika, but so far, they seem to call her Mikayla exclusively.

Mikayla’s family lives in another state, but we’re part of a large group of friends, and we do see each other a few times a year.

Given the circumstances, can we still use the name Mika?

If we do use the name, what is the recommended etiquette we should follow? I don’t think we should have to ask to use the name, but I’d hate to see it cause problems in our group of friends. I also worry that our daughter would be called “the second Mika.”

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Elaine, a young berry with what she feels to be an “old-lady name,” prefers to go by the sprightlier nickname, “Laney.” But she doesn’t love Laney either and so poses her dilemma to her fellow berries. Can she learn to love her name? Or is it time to start over with something new?  She writes:

“My name is Elaine. I’m 16 and have always hated it. I’ve gone by Laney for my entire life, but Elaine‘s still my name.

I want to love my name. Even from when I was little, I thought of Elaine as an old-lady name. I love that my name’s uncommon(ish) and do like Laney, but it just makes me sad sometimes.

I come on your site daily to check out name reviews. Sounds crazy, since I’m only 16 and definitely not expecting anytime soon. One day I just hope I’ll find some celebrity who named their child Elaine or maybe it somehow made a miraculous comeback. It frustrates me that my name won’t sound fresh until the 2040s. By that time I’ll be 45 years old!

Like I said, I want to love my name. I want advice more than ‘it’s your name: love it’ or ‘you go by Laney so it doesn’t matter.’ That’s the advice given to me by other forums and friends who clearly don’t have my problem with names like Hannah or Emily. I’ve felt this way for years. It’s not just a stage. I don’t know what to do!

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