Teens Who Love Names (and how they explain it to Mom)

It was our very own message boards that tipped us off to the trend: Obsessive Name-Loving Teens, as the forum is titled, is where the youngest nameberryites meet, hang out, swap tales of how weird their friends and parents think they are.   But we don’t think they’re weird at all.  In fact, when we were their age, we would have been spending all our spare time in the same place. Guest blogger KRISTINE RASMUSSEN, one of the board regulars, tells us here what it’s like to be a name-loving teen.

Wandering through the bookstore with Grandma as a little girl, I came across a book that called to me. It was square, blue, and had storks on the cover. Flipping through it, I found that it had hundreds and hundreds of names. Fascinated, I ran to Grandma. And so, at not even eight, I got my very first baby name book.

In junior high school, I started to write. A character needs a name– scratch that, not just any name– THE name.. Desperate for The Perfect Name for my character, I went to the bookstore. I couldn’t find a book called The Perfect Name for Your Character, only ones about the perfect name for your baby!  I was thirteen, and boy, did I get a look from the cashier! It was a baby name book, and I was a teenager.

But then, naming characters wasn’t enough. Girls in my high school were having babies, and I was inspired to look for names for my own future children. Ethan and Lily were my favorites for three years, but then Ethan boomed, and so did Lily. What was I to do? Let them be Ethan #3 and Lily #4? No! I needed something I didn’t hear on little children I met, and so I pulled out the old, falling-apart name book.

I went through phases- Audrey, Adeline, Grace, Isabella and Lucy. . . Zachary and Sam. . I started mentioning names to my mother, and I got the same look from her that I got from the cashier at Barnes & Noble. “Are you pregnant?” I explained that I just liked– no, loved– names.

I starting looking up my friend’s names, listening to what mothers called their children at the mall. . When friends of the family named their newborn daughter Serenity, I thought they were crazy. So many glorious, beautiful names, and they name their baby Serenity?

I never liked my own name, Kristine. I wasn’t named for anyone and it’s always spelled “Christine”, two things that have continually bugged me. I think children should be named after someone, from a family member to a loyal friend to a literary character.

My love of names comes from my love of language and history.  I adore the names of queens and kings (Elizabeth! Henry!) and from mythology (like Penelope or Orion). These names are so full of a history that I can’t help but love them. As a writer, I am very drawn to literary names, especially those from Harry Potter and Shakespeare—I’m crazy about Harry, Hermione, Albus, Luna, Juliet, Cordelia, and Fabian. Atticus is one of my favorites; I love the character of Atticus Finch and to be named for someone for such a well-known hero would be an honor.

I have a list of names, now, that I love. While Lucy and Sam are still on the list, I don’t love them. I love Lily still, regardless of her popularity, Esmé for the sound, Eleanor for the beauty . I am still drawn to Juliet and Alice.. Most of the Rose names, as the smell of a rose reminds me of my great grandparent’s house. Charles and Edward, I find, you cannot go wrong with (and I do love that vampire!) But then I start thinking about Theodore, Eli, and Noah. Would they be better than a little Charlie?

There are, also, names that make me cringe. I don’t think parents should even be allowed to name their children Nevaeh or Jesus (those are my biggest pet peeves!) or any word name that they find sounds “name-y.” Serenity, I’m talking to you!

Mom still thinks I’m crazy (“You’re not pregnant! What’s the point?), but I have two friends (aged seventeen and fourteen) that are just how I am with names, though a bit less obsessed. Every time I fall for a new name, or harder for one that I wasn’t so sure about before, they hear about it. And they ask me what I think of their list of names, and together we’re plotting. Our future husbands have no say on our children’s names. While we do value our husbands-to-be’s opinions, we love our lists. The names are perfect!

Making these lists makes us think of the future in avid detail– where are we going to live? What type of school will our little ones go to? Will they even go to the same one?? When naming a future child, I want to find a name that sounds good on a eighty-year-old, but is adorable on a child, too. And I hope and pray and wish that my children will actually be among those who love their names.

Now, at eighteen, there is only one name that I think is absolutely perfect, and my parents keep trying to talk me out of it– Henry. When I read The Time Traveler’s Wife, I fell in love with Henry DeTamble AND his name. It was PERFECT. I will name Future Son #1 Henry, I told my parents and my fellow-name-obsessed friends. My parents just frowned, but my friends oooh’d and aaww’d. A month ago, I had a dream that I had a little boy named Henry, and it has cemented my love for the name. He was such a happy little one, and looked like my uncle! The name’s even growing on my mother, which does make me conspiratorial. Maybe, someday, she’ll accept Esmé . . .

Kristine Rasmussen is an eighteen-year-old college freshman at Grand Canyon University in Arizona. As a novelist, she loves researching names to find the perfect choices for her characters. She also loves making lists, reading, and spending time with her forty-five pets (who all have exceptionally fitting names, of course).

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94 Responses to “Teens Who Love Names (and how they explain it to Mom)”

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lyndsayjenness Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 2:13 am

Great blog! I was just like you, still am, haha. I have a baby but am not having another for about 5 years and my mom always asks if I’m pregnant.

I go to Grand Canyon University, too! Are you online or on-campus?

Holly Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 2:15 am

you and me guest blogger are like 2 peas in a pod, adore names and always have my family thinks im crazy but what evs. the whole naming characters thing is so true, you have to find the perfect name and not being able to find it right away so very frustrating.
i personally plan on naming my first baby Edmund is its a boy but my fiancee (yes im 19 and engaged ^^) he likes the name Hunter and im all dude to popular, *sigh*, hope all goes well with henry

amelie Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 2:19 am

I’m a name-obsessed teen too, hooray for not being alone!! And I think the best/worst thing that’s come of it is the looks on new friends/even dates’ faces when they first see the pile of baby name books next to my bed… 😀 maybe that’s why I’m perpetually single 😛 haha

kjoebbb Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 2:33 am

Ahhh! I’m a name obsessed teen as well! Well, former teen (I turned the big 2-0 last December.) I’ve grown to love the name Theodore or just Theo within the past few weeks. I think I like Elliot more than Eli, but that’s just today. 🙂 I loooove Jackson, but it’s getting so popular now, too. I’m years away from having kids so we’ll see what’s popular then!

Saranel Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 2:36 am

Wow. You just described me as a child/teen to a tee. I have always been name obsessed but unfortunately have never had any friends to share my mania with. I still remember my first baby name book. I read all the names in it and even picked a few I asked my mother to call me instead of my own. Lol. The first time I named my future children I was in fourth grade and they were all after Greek god’s and goddesses. Now I’m married and have one of my own. A little boy named Elijah Michael. A name I’ve had on my list for a long time. Next up should be Chloe but I’m desperately praying it goes down the list. My name was number five the year I was born and I don’t want to put my kids through the same thing. My husband thinks its all a little crazy and that we will just ‘know’ next time we’re expecting but he just doesn’t understand that its so much fun. 🙂 Oh and I got the prego look all the time too. I’ve just learned to ignore it. Lol.

Madeleine Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 5:35 am

Also a name lover!however i havent told anyone!! I even have middle names chosen for my future kids!i love Rafferty, Jasper, Trystan and Arlo for boys and Sienna,Maisie Amalia and Imogen for girls!

JNE Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 6:10 am

Eons ago I was a name obsessed teen. I remember sitting at a Pizza Hut with a friend when I was in high school and going on and on about naming my first baby boy after my grandfather and what a fantastic name it was. I was 16 and my friend pointed out, after my going on excitedly for ages about names I liked or didn’t and listing the merits of my grandpa’s name, that the waitress was giving me looks and almost certainly thought I was preggers. I didn’t care. I just kept yammering on about names.

Turns out almost 2 decades later that I didn’t use my grandpa’s name… but I still love it (probably because it’s my grandpa’s). Thankfully he is still around, so it felt odd to me to use it… that and my husband is not a fan of either the first or middle.

But one thing is for sure: name obsessed teen + many years = name obsessed 30-something.

Katie Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 8:04 am

Yeah…. I was definitely the name obsessed teen. I liked names as a child, but it kicked into high gear when at 16 my true love and I decided that we were going to get married (some day) … which led to thinking about kids and names. So, we’re 23 and married now; I’m still totally obsessed.

Funny though how your tastes change as you actually start seriously thinking about pinning some of your names on a little one! Some of my faves from that time: Philyra and Aidan (waaaay too popular now).

Then I went through my Addison, Grace, Olivia, Sophie phase… right along with the rest of the world.

Now that we’re approaching 24 and actually TTC.. the names are a little more classic.

Funny story: I must get my name obsession from my dad. He told me once in high school (probably when I was spouting off about some name or another.. “No! ’cause I love names, Dad!”) that he wanted to name me Elphine (or Elfine) but he was afraid that I might end up looking more like a Helga. LOL!

Stacy Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 8:19 am

I think I bought my first baby name books in my teens as well, as well as in my 20s when I was writing more than I do now. I have them still, well-worn and thumbed through, and I used them heavily when coming up with the perfect name for characters. Oddly, I don’t think I ever really thought of my future children, but that’s what my characters were for….

dancer4life Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 8:53 am

This is exactly like me, too! I got my first baby name book as a Christmas present when I was 8, because I kept asking my mom what names meant. My first son for sure is going to be Jasper Thomas and a first daughter would probably be something like Margaret Eloise.

Samantha Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 9:17 am

This blog is wonderful! It suits me to a tee, as I’m a massive fan of names and I’m only seventeen! I’ve been obsessed with names for so long that I’ve even forgotten where it started.
However, I must admit that it wasn’t until last year that I purchased my first Baby Names book. OMG! The look I got from the cashier and the other people in the queue!

My favourite names haven’t really changed as I’ve grown though. I love classic names, especially those featured in the British Royal family. My favourites for girls are Lucille, Eliza, Victoria and many, many others. My favourites for boys have a much shorter list though: James, George, William and Leopold.

Moonie Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 9:21 am

I am a “name-obsessed teen” that grew into an adult, so I can certainly relate.

I got started when one of my aunts had her youngest son (of 5 children) and she had left her baby name book laying around afterwards. In one visit I had usurped the book and become addicted. I am now the proud owner of about half a dozen baby name books and still the not-so-gentle caretaker of the original book that I “borrowed” from my aunt.

12 years of name obsession and a “teen” who is now 23.

Auntie A Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 9:43 am

Wow! This is great! Now I don’t feel so wierd. LOL! I kept my name obsession a secret (because i was afraid of the wierd looks) untill my sis got married and was expecting a baby. Then I tried to suggest names to her. 🙂 Now I have a whole list of names, with their pronunciations, meanings, and possible nicknames!! I talk about names all the time, but haven’t found anybody that shares my passion. Some of my favorite names are… Charles Stetson (Charlie), Nathaniel Jude (Nate), Amalia Grace (Mali), Audrey Rose, and Eden!

Kristine Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 9:59 am

So many of us name-obsessed teens!! =) I like how most of us push names on family members 😉
And lyndsayjenness..I’m ground! I can’t believe I found a Lope on Nameberry!! =D

Nephele Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 10:01 am

Forty-five pets, Kristine? I’ll bet you had fun naming each one! If you shared their names with us on the Nameberry board, I’m sorry I missed that posting!

Great blog! I was a name-obsessed teen, too! And I never outgrew it, either! Hahaha!

Kristine Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 10:06 am

Nephele– I haven’t posted their names! I will right now, though!! =)

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February 4th, 2010 at 10:11 am

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Meg Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 10:41 am

I can totally relate to this! When I was growing up, my journals were filled with pages of just names. I loved the feeling of discovering names I loved and then wittling away at the list until I had my top four (2 boys, 2 girls). It’s been a constant obsession since my pre-teen days and now that my hubs and I are trying to conceive, it’s even more fun than ever!

Bella Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 10:46 am

I am so glad to be coming out of the name closet! I am a sixteen year old NOT haha or Name Obsessed Teen. I have been going around the site feeling like I had to pretend to be pregnant, or at least married, right? Wrong, I’m glad to have found my fellow namers and hope to hear all about your future names! My daughter(s) will be Gwendolyn Capri and Evangeline Eden. Both names that have been head of the list since I was twelve!

SarahinJune Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 10:57 am

I have always loved names although my tastes continue to change. I have two little boys with no plans of any more (although I tend to daydream about adding to my family), but i’m always pouring over the name books.

diana Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 11:10 am

I was a name obsessed teen too and also bought baby name books. I probably started when I was ten and my mom was pregnant with my sister.

I’m proud of the fact 🙂 that I was ahead of my time because many of the names I loved are very popular now, though it is annoying to have a name you’ve loved for years to suddenly hit the top 20. Some of them that were not heard of like Grey and Winter are now being used.

I used to tell my sister….do you want to hear my new favorite name? and she used to tolerate me though she thought many of my names were weird and admittedly they were and though I liked them, they weren’t names I’d necessarily use…..Mineko, Tenille etc…

I write too and that is one of my favorite parts of the process, picking the characters names. (My names for my characters right now are Jem and Evangeline! )

Stella Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 12:20 pm

I wore through my parents copy of a baby name book, so I also bought my own while a young teenager. Now at 23, I still go through it once a year and make a new list, complete with most likely father of the moment! The last name is very important. I discuss the topic with all the most serious boyfriends I have had over the years. My boyfriend of 2 years and I have agreed on names (for now!): Avalon Clementine for a girl or Jack Ronin or Jack Luther for a boy.

Your knowledge comes in handy as you get older, I have helped name 3 babies!

molly_locket Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Gosh, that sounds just like me- about half of those names are on my lists! And I agree: there is no changing the list, my husband will have three choices, that’s it. 😀

Buggins Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 12:42 pm

I can’t even begin to tell you how many teenage/college boyfriends this late-20s soon-to-be-first-time-mom scared away by sharing her baby name spreadsheets with them!! 🙂 I didn’t have the nerve to buy my first baby name book until a few years ago, though! I tried to keep my name obsession a secret ’til I a) got pregnant and b) found ya’ll! 🙂

Linelei Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 12:45 pm

I have always loved name since I was a little little girl. I had an alternate personality from the ages of 2 to about 7, a school teacher who had a bunch of kids, and I would come up with crazy names for said kids. I remember holding my first baby name book with a sense of awe and fervent worship. I avoided most of the pregnancy rumors by buying a book called The Book of Magical Names, which is fabulous because it has all sorts of unique names from unique sources. I have the second edition on my desk right now. 🙂 As a teenager, I got many of my favorite names from sources such as Harry Potter, Star Wars (Fabulous names to be found in the extended universe, people!), and a fantasy series called The Wheel of Time, which has about a million characters with awesome names like Perrin and Alivia.

As a side note, who here feels she/he gets pets partially just to name them? Like the author of this blog, I also have a large menagerie, with some of my favorite names (Esmerelda and Zelda, Hedwig (a cockatoo), Banyan, and Jolie, with past pet names like Celeste, Leilani, and Padme). Obviously I love the animals, but there is something so exciting about naming them – it’s like a pre-baby fix.

Buggins Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Linelei- I used to do animal rescue/foster and I wouldn’t pick up a litter until I had a name theme figured out. Love your pet names! My family had a moluccan cockatoo named Dolly, from “Hello Dolly”; the bird would swing/sway/scream while the song played. Quite funny.

Stephanie Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I was definitely a name-obsessed teen. I was a writer, too, and used characters as my excuse to peruse name books. I’ve amassed a collection over the years– probably around ten or so now– and I still enjoy flipping through them and plotting future name choices. When I finally became a parent to our lovely daughter, I couldn’t wait to name her. When we heard the name her birthmother had given her we fell in love with it: Savannah. What really sold us on the name was the possibility of “Savvy” as a nickname. We chose Harper for her middle name, (in honor of Harper Lee and the person behind “our song”, Ben Harper).
When I look back now on the names we thought for sure were “the ones” I can’t believe she could have been a Lucy (or a Nate). We’re thinking about adopting again, and already have names in mind: Sahara for a girl and Miles for a boy. But who knows what name fate could throw our way next…

Kathryn Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Kristine’s name starts with a “K” after her mother and named after Christopher, her uncle. So…though she denies it, she is named after family and with love.

vikki Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Also a former name obsessed teen writer…..Now a name obsessed 30-something writer. I used to look through the family histories and play with the names in my head. I also didn’t share the obsession with others.

Kristine Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Ah…mom attacked the comments! She’s Kathryn…”Uncle” Christopher hasn’t communicated with the family since he found his biological family. Not nie.

Margaret Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Hooray for 18-yr-old college freshman name fanatics! I’m one, too…and I also have a ridiculously long list on my computer that I tweak daily. It’s so much fun to see the other people on here who are like me. 🙂

Ironically, the name “Henry” is also my newest favorite little-boy name (as of just this week!). I also LOVE “Harry” as a nickname. 🙂

Margaret Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 2:01 pm

And on that note, I also love naming pets. Right now I have a dwarf hamster whose full name–I kid you not— is Zaccheus Benedict Collins. I have also had three rabbits at different times– Beatrix, Sophie Rose, and (currently) Emma Josephine. And we used to have an old black German Shepherd mix whom I named Robert Augustine…we called him Gus. 🙂

EvanescenceDolly Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 2:26 pm

I am 13 years old and name obsessed as well! I have been since I was very young. I’d have to say it started when I found the baby name book my parents used to name and my sister. I was so intrigued. My family is so good with me about my name loving weird-ness 😀 I can’t wait until I have some kids I can name! As of now I have a cat named Galena. She was already named when I got her but I thought it was beautiful and kept it.

Sydne Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Yeah!! Go Kristine! That was really great! And you actually mentioned Avery and I 🙂 I love your names and your novels. You truely are an amazing writer!

Avery Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Great blog, Kristine! I was mentioned! You’re doing a great job and I know your books (and opinions on names 🙂 ) will really be appreciated someday. Starting now!

butterflyishida Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Ahhh Kristine, you were writing my life. Even now at 27 and single I get the raised eyebrows at the mention of a new name. I have my names for children I cannot let go of but naming characters? Best. Thing. Ever.

Leigh Mariana Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 5:20 pm

YAY! Thankyou! I am sooooo glad that there are other name obsessed teens out there 😀 My Mum really doesn’t understand my fascination with names and what they mean and where they come from. I, like many of you, have planned out names for my future children (it changes regularly!) and I worry that people will think I am a freak to do this!
Advice for name fans out there: Join Yahoo Answers and go on the baby name section. On there, you can ask and answer questions on baby names, giving advice and opinions. It really helps satisfy the baby name obsession and help you find new names.
Thankyou Kristine 😀

babynamesrule Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Wow, I am so glad I wasn’t the only one! I got my first name book at a grocery store for $2. I’ve always been obsessed with names and everyone thinks I’m crazy, or pregnant, like you say. I used to write a lot but it’s fallen behind in recent years. I still keep favourite names for certain characters I’ve made up though. Best of luck on your writing!!!

twinkle Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 5:36 pm

I just loved this blog, Kristine, and keep up the fight for Henry! It is an absolutely brilliant, stunningly handsome, classic yet unusual choice steeped in history. I met a little Henry a few weeks back and he was just adorable, too 🙂

Courtney W. Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 5:42 pm

It is so lovely to know that there are so many moniker lovers out there! I, too, developed a love of names as a youngster. I would draw pictures of families and name them. Before long, I dropped my interest in drawing to just writing the names. In high school I made name lists and gave them a rating system and asked my friends to rate the names. If I doodled in my notebooks, it meant writing names in the margins. I bought my first 3 name books when I was 17. My father thought I was pregnant!!! When he found out I had a love of names, he simply purchased me more name books.

In college, I had mastered the meanings of many different names, often shocking others that I knew what their names meant. I helped 3 families pick names for their new babies by doing their research for them. I got paid $60 for this. One family wanted unisex names that were 2 syllables and ended in -er, -or, or -ar. Another wanted girl names that started with S. Another family needed Biblical names that began with E.

Today at age 34, I keep an ongoing document with a collection of rare names, one for boys and one for girls. I own more than 30 baby name books and have purchased naming software that I continually update/modify. I watch movies and keep notebooks handy when the movie credits role up. I watch naming trends and try to keep up with what’s hot and what’s not.

Also, as a teacher I try to hold a high respect for children & their names. My mom had a bad experience as a kid & her teachers literally changed her name saying that she “pronounced it wrong.” She was named Elnoel, but they insisted that she was Eleanor. She legally changed it to Eleanor when she was 18.

cay Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 5:50 pm

hey, i’m a name-obsessed teen, too! I understand all the looks you get when you buy baby name books. My mom just leaves me alone about it, but my grandma thinks i am strange. Whenever i go to her house, i lug along at least 5 baby name books and a notebook, and stay up into the wee hours of the morning making name lists. I don’t have anyone to talk to about it at school, though, because my friends think i am weird for liking names. Let them judge me, i don’t care! At least my kid won’t be the 3rd Ashley in her class, and have to go by a nickname. Nope, I’m naming my firstborn daughter Mercury, after Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen. I fell hard for this name, and that was a year ago, and i still love it. I love the name Lily for a second born girl, but since it soared in popularity, i am looking at the less popular Machelle, after my best friend.

Thank you for blogging! Your blog was very inspiring!

Dove14 Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 6:33 pm

This blog made me smile!
It turns out I wasn’t alone in my youthful eccentricities!

When we were about 9 or 10 my best friend and I would play the game of LIFE over and over again just to name the children we got. Eventually it evolved into a whole different game in which the only goal was to get –and name– children! 🙂

I wonder what makes some of us so fascinated with names (and words for that matter), and why we are considered so strange!

Good luck in your future, Kristine! Henry is a lovely name! 🙂

Rachel Allison Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 6:45 pm

AMAZING blog!!! Kristine, you just might be my Nameberry twin! I’m 17, and I live in Illinois suburbia, not exactly the most exciting place for names, so I escape the monotony by looking up exotic names and creating characters. My favorite kinds of names are Hebrew, Greek, and Italian plus most flower names. 🙂

Ami Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 9:34 pm

OMG I totally get it! I’ve been obbessed with names for as long as I can remember! Since I’m young, people assume I’m just another pregnant teenager, rather than a name-lover!

Rosy Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 11:09 pm

This is exactly me! I’ve had a bizarre fascination with names for as long as I remember. When I was about nine, I spent hours poring over my two favorite baby name books. I loved dolls, but pretty much only because I got to name them. Now I’m fifteen, and a full-fledged name nerd! My family knows, and they put up with my constant name lists fairly well, but I haven’t told my friends. I don’t think they’d quite understand. I’m really glad I found Nameberry and others like me!!

beth delany Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 11:16 pm

omg ! im 17 and this is my life story. ive won a contest on nameberry before and won a signed babyname book. i have stacks of babyname books in my room and my mom and friends think im crazy. i have a document on my computer encrypted with a password of my future babynames and my friends future baby names. i started becoming obsessed around fifth grade and fell in love with lily and lola. those have obviously changed with the transitioning popularity. i like to think im an expert with baby names and pregnant women have consulted me more than once with advice. so relieving to know im not the only one ! i love names and theres something about it so fascinating that i just cant get enough.

starophie Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 11:40 pm

As you can see by my stealthy lack-of-name, I’m a teen namer. It’s actually quite a relief to be gay because when I spout my various name obsessions, my parents don’t automatically assume things because there is no way I’d be pregnant in the first place! I’m definitely that kid who agonizes over character names, and in my creative writing classes I spend most of the actual writing time furiously searching for names here. Thanks for blogging, and I hope to read you ’round sometime soon =)

stephanie_elizabeth Says:

February 4th, 2010 at 11:47 pm

I was a former name obsessed teen turned a name obsessed lady in her mid-20’s. I used to get wierd looks, too, but now I just ignore them. I am a writer, too, and used to tell people that I bought the books to name characters, just to save face. Now I help my friends and family name their children, biding my time until I get some of my own.

Lauren Says:

February 5th, 2010 at 12:24 am

Yah me too!!!! I didn’t think there was that many name loving teens out there!! I’m fifteen and my family usually criticizes my more unique names that I share , so I don’t really talk about my name loving that much. I love to look up meanings and make the best sounding combo’s. this site is like name heaven.
My top kids’ are:
Parker Rain
Jacob Alexander
Leah Alexandrine
Alexis Avery

susan Says:

February 5th, 2010 at 12:33 am

This is a popular blog and well-written, too! I was a name-obsessed teenager, too. I was going to name my son Ian Alexander or Simon and my daughter was going to be called Ginger Jane. My teenage years were during the 70’s. By the mid-80’s when I was married and pregnant, I told my husband that I loved the names Ian, Evan, and Jackson with Alexander as a middle name. He hated ALL those names except for Alexander. I had a terrible time coming up with a girl’s name. I was so worried that I would name her something she would hate. We ended up having a boy and we named him Peter. The rest is history. But I can really relate to you – I just loved names as a teenager. I used to stand on my chair at the dinner table and announce, “I’m pregnant. I’m going to have a baby and name him Simon!” My parents knew that I was just expressing my creativity, and they would just keep eating calmly until I sat down again.

Amelia Says:

February 5th, 2010 at 11:33 am

I named everything from the time I was little–dolls, My Little Ponies, everything. I was a name-obsessed teen as well. I bought ”Beyond Jennifer and Jason” when I was fifteen and it changed my life! I used to carry around a stenographer’s notebook and ask everyone for their favorite names–boys on the left, girls on the right. My style has grown up, though I still love most of the names I did as a teen; in reality it’s hard to imagine actually sticking a child with the name Octavia for life. I may not ever have children, and like you, imagining the names of future offspring was far more important than the opinion of any hypothetical spouse. Fortunately or unfortunately my partner will have a say in any naming I do. It was hard enough to agree on a name for our dog. I strongly suggest naming a pet together first as a trial run! 😉
I too am a writer, with interests in language acquisition, linguistics and lexicography. History of names and words is so incredibly fascinating and exciting! I keep lists of my favorite words as well.

SophieLiz456 Says:

February 5th, 2010 at 2:05 pm

I’m a name obsessed teen. I started liking names when I as about eight my friend and I would make a classroom of kids names . My parents never got me a baby name book so I started to create names. My parents thought it was cute but now they think it’s strange . I’m always on nameberry looking at names. Sometimes I feel unsatisfide with my day untill I look at names. What I’m wondering is why do we find it so satisfactory to look at names? I have an appt. With a neurologist soon and I will be sure to ask him and get back to you guys about it cuz I’m sure you are wondering too.

Kat Says:

February 5th, 2010 at 6:23 pm

I’m a teen and a name lover thore it just started over the past couple years of finding my way to site like this but I’ve always like names. I can relate, I only two baby book because my mom won’t let me get another when I have too. I went on vacition and brought my baby name books with me when they checked them I was so embressed, also my sister makes fun of me about it saying are you a unwedd teenage mother. I talk about names a lot to my parents when I can tell the meaning to lot of names. I talk to my friends too about it.

Madi Says:

February 7th, 2010 at 11:56 am

I loved it! I’m fifteen and have been obsessed with names ever since I was ten and found a half puppy-chewed copy of Beyond Jennifer and Jason in my sister’s baby box. I read Beyond Ava and Aidan over and over and over, mostly for characters in my stories, and my parents always know to ask for the names of the kids of the people they meet, because that will be my first question. Thanks for the great blog!

Kristine Says:

February 7th, 2010 at 3:51 pm

WOW!!! So many comments!! =D Thank you all! This is so fun to read through

Jill Says:

February 7th, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Great blog, Kristine! 🙂 I was a name-obsessed teen, too, although I think my name obsession began when I was still in utero. 🙂

Take care!

Rei Says:

February 8th, 2010 at 12:25 am

I was a name obsessed teen, and now am name obsessed young adult. (I’m 22). Alice is also one of my favorite names.

Sara Says:

February 8th, 2010 at 11:00 pm

Oh, I just LOVE finding out, again&again, that I am not the only one! I started collecting baby name books when I was “not even eight,” too. & I played game after imaginary game of listing names. Writing down all the names from TV show credits, all the names out of yearbooks, etc. etc. etc. & of course the only reason I get the Saturday newspaper in the city we live in now, is because the baby name announcements are in it. I used to only get the Sunday newspaper! Aaa, there are more of us out there! Everywhere! 🙂

Emily Says:

February 11th, 2010 at 12:45 am

I love my name, but it’s too popular. It was #2 the year I was born, and it’s frustrating when people call for an Emily, but it’s not me.
i like that names Matthew, Maximilian, Rudolph, Adolph, and Hans. I also like Mercedes, Monica, Veronica, August, & Samara.
I’m just glad I’m not the only one who is name obsessed haha!

CandiceNicole Says:

February 11th, 2010 at 1:20 pm

I have been name obsessed since I was 9 when my mom was pregnant with my sister. My favorite name had been Lily Madisyn since I was 13 now at 26 I gave the name to my little girl even tho its so popular now I just couldn’t help myself. I am now seeking a name for a 2nd daughter that I may or may not have someday lol. Right now I’m stuck on Hazel since its the eye color of my mom,sister,daughter and myself so it has meaning to me but I’m likely to change my mind a thousand times lol

UrbanAngel Says:

February 11th, 2010 at 2:01 pm

You just described me.

gingerkid Says:

February 16th, 2010 at 12:44 pm

I’m 34 and a new mommy (Genevieve Béatrix), and I, too, was a name-obsessed kid/teen. I never outed myself, though. I guess I thought it was weird and something to be ashamed of? Don’t know why now. Maybe if the internet (and Nameberry!) had been more accessible when I was a teen, I would have discovered that I was sooooo not alone!

Since I had this horrible, dark obsession I had to keep to myself, I used to spend hours in my bedroom creating this imaginary world and naming everyone in it. I always told myself I was working my way up to writing a big novel and these were the characters, but I realize now I was never interested in that…only the names! My favorite little universe I invented was an imaginary ballet company. (I danced for many years.) It was a very international company, and I named all the dancers from the principals to each and every corps member. Then I created the repertoire for each season, and casted all the dances. This is the first time I ever told anyone about this! So funny! Anyway, it combined my two loves: names and ballet. I really wanted to be an artistic director of a ballet company some day, but maybe I would have unfairly given dancers with gorgeous names more roles than I would have given the others, ha ha!

It’s been so great to discover that I am not alone in being fascinated by names. Thanks for the very interesting blog! 🙂

Pamela Redmond Satran Says:

February 16th, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Thanks for writing, Gingerkid. That’s exactly what I was like — you might be interested in the blog I wrote on the subject: http://nameberry.com/blog/2009/08/05/confessions-of-a-secret-name-nerd/

gingerkid Says:

February 16th, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Thanks, Pamela! I love the title…I will go read the blog right now!

juliana dimson Says:

February 18th, 2010 at 2:24 pm


Sarah Says:

February 21st, 2010 at 6:14 pm

I love this blog. When I was a teen, I too loved names (I still do). As a teen in the mid 1990’s my imaginary kids were going to be names Christian and Caroline. I agree that naming a child after a family member or someone of importance is a great idea. I now have a little boy and newborn girl named Alexander and Audrey. It was so hard to pick my daughter’s name. It was not my goal to have them start with the same letter (Sophia was a top name, but too popular and a close relative used it). I like classic names that are current. (I still like my favorite teen names, but they did not flow well with my married name.)

vomiting Says:

February 25th, 2010 at 7:40 pm

You’re a novelist and you read Harry Potter and Twilight? I’m just surprised. Those stories are so intellectually bankrupt.

I understand how awkward it can be for others [shop assistants, colleagues] when they discover your onomastic obsession. 🙂

I do love many Shakespearean names. I also love names used by Marcel Proust, Vladimir Nabokov, Saul Bellows, Nick Cave, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, Milan Kundera, etc. I fell in love with ‘Clementina’ thanks to my favourite writer, Jorge Luis Borges.

Kaz Says:

March 9th, 2010 at 8:54 am

OMG i feel so much more normal now i know theres others yay!!!!
I like Cairon for a boy and Aurora-Rose for a girl 🙂

SarahJoann Says:

March 22nd, 2010 at 6:34 pm

I am so glad that I am not as unusual as I have always thought I was. I remember the very day I became interested in names, I was seven years old and I told my mother that I was going to name my first son Lance. To my childish mind Lance was the most romantic and strong name I had ever heard.

Since then I have grown a bit (not a fan of the name Lance after having run into a few Lance’s that affected my idea of them.)

When my best friend got pregnant in 2002 (we were teens at the time) I finally had an excuse for buying a baby naming book. She couldn’t decide on a name so together we went through the whole book in one night and decided that Ashton Matthew went well together. (In typical fashion it then became extremely popular with Ashton Kutcher.)

Going through the books myself as a teen I decided that the perfect names for the two boys I was surely going to have was:
Jackson Avery Levi and Cayden Austin Ephraim.

Now of course Jackson and Cayden are disgustingly popular but I still love the way the two names seem to flow together and I have always been a fan of two middle names.

Now at 26 I am still in love of names and honestly have huge lists of names that I will most likely not have the chance to use more then three or four of. (Who wouldn’t like the opportunity to name 10 children?)

I am currently in love with Evalynn, Elliott, Dorian, Felix, Anna, Beatrix, Aoife, Niamh (These two I fell in love with while in Ireland), Helena, Stellan, Finn, Jane, Louisa and Ephraim.

I also like the idea of using literary inspiration for middle names, such as: Scout, Sawyer, Holden, Austen, Wilde and Bronte.

Some of my fave combinations right now are Evalynn Sout, Elliott Sawyer and Felix Holden (This is my all time fave, I think it flows so gorgeously).

So thank you for allowing me to purge my names! No one else understands! lol.

QuirkFlower Says:

March 22nd, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Oh wow! We’re not alone! My friends and I spend SO much time on baby name websites and making name lists. We’re 13! We LOVE names and have so much fun comparing lists. Whenever I find a new name, they know. I love classifing our name “styles” and looking through name books. I think name obbsession is a great thing! ♥
And hey, when I do have a baby, I’ll have decades worth of names to look though!

Laura Says:

May 22nd, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Haha, yay for teen namers! I’m seventeen, and to the bewilderment of my family and friends, am a real namenerd.

The point that introduced me to the wonders of names was when I was 10 years old… As a non-Catholic attending a Catholic school, I watched my friends carefully pick their Confirmation names – and was so, so, so jealous! I just thought it was amazing that they were able to pick names, and I jumped into it wholeheartedly too (I chose Cecilia, after St Cecilia, patron saint of music). Of course, I couldn’t actually take on the name, but still!

It went from there for me. I regularly scare members of my family by making a beeline to name books in bookshops, and can’t resist commenting on the meanings and etmology of people’s names when I meet them. Or commenting on pregnant couples’ name choices for their baby. I can’t help it!

And Kristine, Henry is an absolutely beautiful name – in fact, it’s one of my picks, with Alexander as an mn. Good taste! 🙂

VictoriaAnne Says:

May 30th, 2010 at 3:45 am

I am name obsssed teen! It feels weird to comment on the message boards cause you feel like people can tell that you’re fifteen hahaha fnally other teens:) I’ve had my baby name book since I was ten and its still by my side right now. The cover is gone and the pages are a little worn but its still with me. I too love writing an history. I am researching my family tree in the hopes of discovering some name gems:) lol most of my friends don’t know….Henry has been on my list for over a year now.. but I will never tell my favourite names!

bounceparty Says:

June 4th, 2010 at 8:21 am

This was a great post! I feel the exact same way about names, though none of my friends are as obsessed as me. I, too, go through name phases, and although my friends aren’t obsessed, they are very patient and always listen to me rant on and on about the names, even putting in their two cents here and there.

On an old forum I posted on people started talking about how teens shouldnt be able to post because they don’t know anything about names, and will always choose the awful names. I found this quite funny when I found out what THEIR favourits were – names like Ashleigh and Brooklynne. Now who’s picking tryndee names? 🙂

Anyways, I am almost 13 but I have loved names for about 2 and a half years now. It all started when I became obsessed with writing a book. When I was 10 I thought I would be the greatest writer ever. So I started writing a book. Now of course my characters would need names! In my first story I really didn’t have any idea of any names other than ones I had heard. So I got advice from my family and friends. Looking back, the names are awful! Anyways, thats what got me started until I eventually stopped looking for characters but for my future children!

I also used to go on a kids website for young writers and offer help naming characters! And now that I started looking I realized I had name lists when I was young, because I named everything! I should have noticed I was a name addict when I began naming EVERYTHING!


PS Sorry that was so long!

bounceparty Says:

June 4th, 2010 at 8:23 am

Oh forgot to say the weird looks I get when a 13 year old searches in the “pregnancy” section at Chapters. I’ve had to learn to be brave!

hollymccullagh03 Says:

June 8th, 2010 at 10:35 pm

wow, thought i was the only one. My friends and parents think I am a little odd with my obsessions with names but it is great to know there are others. I go through phases of names i love and my favourites at the moment include for girls; Stella, Isla, Amelia, Nico, Billie, Sienna and Rosie and for boys i like; Theo, Blake, Ethan, Jack, Frederick- Freddie, Leo and Thomas. I’m only 18 but i have very strong views on names already and it will be great when i one day have kids and will have all these names to choose from.

jenbrittt Says:

June 21st, 2010 at 6:24 pm

I just found this blog and I love it! It’s so great to not be the only teenager obsessed with names.
I have all the same naming tendancies as you, HP is my favorite book seris of all time and I get a lot of naming inspiration from it and The Time Traveler’s Wife made me fall in love with the name Henry too!
I do however hate Twilight and tend to stray away from any names associated with it and sibling names have to, HAVE to be cohesive and go well together without being too matchy.
Music and music artists also marjorly influence my favorite names and I totally hate common/popular names which is why I’m devastated that my once favorite name of all time: Maverick is becoming popular.
I has more meaning to me than the actually meaning because it’s a world famous big wave surf spot, and though I’m not a big wave surfer the place is still incredibly beautiful with terrifingly massive waves that will make anyone completely awestruck

Ellabeth Says:

June 22nd, 2010 at 2:29 am

Wow, I can’t believe there are so many young nameophiles in the world! I’m in my mid-twenties, but I have loved names since I was a child (I still have my first naming book that I got when I was 5. It was written in the 80s and is SO dated, but I can’t bear to throw it out so it’s one of the few books I’m shipping to America when I move in 2 months!).

I currently work in Births statistics so I have a huge name list stored on my computer! My favourites are:

Skyler, Sienna, Sophia (curse you, popularity stakes), Elisabeth/Beth, Aurora, Aurelia, Alessandra, Valentina, Evangeline, Audrey, Aubrey, Eve, Madeleine, Elanora.

Alexander/Xander, Asher, Xavier, Hamish, Dominic, Maxwell, and Jacob (mn only – curse you again, popularity).

I tend to be influenced a fair bit by literary/TV sources. My favourite girls name, Skyler, is my favourite spelling of Schyler Leigh (from Gray’s Anatomy), and Alexander from The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons (although I’m not brave enough to saddle him with the nn Shura! I prefer Xander :D).

Natasha Says:

June 23rd, 2010 at 9:53 pm

I am now in my early 20s, but I have adored names throughout my teens.

I too was one of those girls scribbling her favourite names down in the margins of her school books.

I often ask people I know/meet what their middle name is and what their parents had intended to name them had they been the opposite sex. Most people can’t understand why I need to know this.

Currently my favourite name for a little girl is Ariana, I remember reading one of my Mum’s trashy novels many years ago and loving the name, especially the fact that it has three ‘a’s, just like both mine & my Mum’s name. Although I must say I am not particularly excited about it’s steady rise in popularity.

Alyssa Says:

July 6th, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Wow! I am 17 and I have never met another teen as obessed with names as I am. I love children, and of course I plan my future childrens’ names (of course, my mother reminds me that my future husband will have a say in it; I tell her that since I did all of the work, I will have more of a say 🙂 ).

I first checked out a name book (Beyond Jennifer and Jason, I think) from the library a few years ago. The librarian gave me the dirtiest look, and she kept looking at my stomach. As a side effect from some medication I took as a child, I did have a bit of a belly. I had known this librarian for years, and she didn’t like me at all (don’t know why), so I just smiled and patted my stomach. I thought the old lady was going to have a heart attack!!!

My mom is kinda okay with my name obessions, but it would kill my dad (even though I am not pregnant). Over the years, my lists have changed. I went from liking Olivia (Liv) and Jacob to Grace and Michael. Now I like Aria (keeping with my Italian heritage), Luca (for a boy), Anthony, Anna, and Leah and Lydia for twin girls.

Janel Says:

July 8th, 2010 at 5:41 pm

OMG! I get it! I write a lot, and I also just love names! I spend a lot of time on nameberry.com and my dad will give me funny looks, but I like unique names! When my friends talk about how they don’t want kids, I tell them that I’m already picking out names! It’s insane how much me and my older sister love names (her comment is somewhere up there!) and how much we think about it! But I still adore the thought of it. My writing has a lot to do with the names. I spend more time thinking of names then I should!

laura Says:

August 10th, 2010 at 4:33 pm

I was one of those name-obsessed teens too!
Luckily, I grew up on a farm, and every time there was a new baby animal, there was need for a new name. We always named our cows, and each cow ‘family’ had to have names that started with the same letter, so it was always fun to me to come up with something new and fresh so there was no repetition. And I loved every time there was a new litter of kittens because picking out the perfect names for them was so much fun!

My mom thought a lot of my choices were ‘weird’ and said that she felt sorry for my future children. But then, she’s the one who thinks every tabby cat needs to be called Tigger. Maybe a few of the names I picked out were a little out there- some I’m not sure I’d want to bestow upon a human. I’ve definitely gone through phases with names- there was a time I was way into mythology, and I named a lot of animals after Greek gods 🙂 and I also liked the modern names/creative spellings for a while. And then I was in love with Japanese names.
Now that I’m finally in the time of my life where having a baby could be a real possibility, and I’m drawn to the vintage/classic names!

Livi Says:

September 16th, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Good to know I’m not the only teen name-lover! My mom takes it really well, actually. I’ve loved names since I was little, and she tells me she’s always liked names herself. Every time I bring my name book to summer camp, however, people will ask me if I’m pregnant, and I’m like, “NO! I’m just really into names!” Ah, the life of a name-obsessed teen.

Melba Mackenzie Says:

October 22nd, 2010 at 1:30 am

I definitely knew about most of this, but having said that, I still found it helpful. Great job!

Ashlie Says:

December 17th, 2010 at 3:55 am

LOVE this! I started my obsession about two years ago, when I was 18. I wasn’t all that young, but my relatives and friends were pretty weirded out. I had to field off accusations of pregnancy for over a year. They now understand I guess…or at least pretend to…ha

Katie Says:

January 2nd, 2011 at 10:35 pm

I’m so like this, and 16! lol But I’m not planning on having kids ’till marriage. I thought it was always strange to think of my future baby names at my age, but I’m a writer too! I think that kind’ve goes along with it. But I have it all planned out! I want four kids!!!!!!! 😀
1. Kayden (I’m hoping my first child is a boy because this is my all-time favorite name and I WANT TO USE IT :D)
(the rest is in whatever order)
2. Sammie (girl)
3. Riley (boy; my elementary school was Riley Elem. and it has such wonderful memories)
4. Luna (lol this one is a new found love. I love Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter like you’d never imagine!! But I’m hoping she wouldn’t get teased with this name…)

Livi Says:

January 22nd, 2011 at 5:06 am

When I was little (either 1st or 2nd grade), I picked up a name book that had been laying around the house, and I’ve been a name nerd ever since (now I’m almost 17). My mom likes names too, so she never thought I was a wierdo or anything. The rest of my household is cool with it, too. I’ve actually had fun conversations with all of them about names.

I have a list of names I like in a notebook that’s been changing and evolving for years. Now I even have a list of name combos, so I’m thinking I’ll be pretty well-prepared once I have to come up with names for my kids, haha!

Livi Says:

January 22nd, 2011 at 5:08 am

P.S. – In the past year, I’ve met a few teens that are name nerds, too. I always feel so happy when that happens!

Anne Says:

April 11th, 2011 at 10:43 pm

I know how that goes. I am obsessed with names, and my family just thinks I’m weird! Some of my friends will join in on my baby name convos, but they’re not as obsessed as me. That’s ok, though, cos all of my future kids are gonna have perfect names! (:

*person* Says:

June 4th, 2011 at 3:45 pm

You mentioned every good guy vamp in twilight except carlisle and emmett (even rosalie because you said Rose- names!), and no I don’t count Renesme because it isn’t a real name.

*person* Says:

June 4th, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I’m not even a teen yet and I’m obsessed with names, ha ha! I’m 11, I try to write but–of course– 5th grade writing isn’t very good, I spend like hours on this website looking for perfect names for even the most obscure characters! I even have a pen name, trust me, much weirder then Lemony Snickett, it’s Cadeau Hazar Rhea Octave, or I go by my real initials (which are also my fake initials) CHRO.
I’ll bet you anything I’m the youngest person on this website! =D

PeachLover7 Says:

May 13th, 2012 at 2:02 pm

To tell you the truth, I’m OBSESSED with searching up baby names too. I love writing stories and I feel they need names that suit them PERFECTLY – NO EXCEPTIONS. 😉
(By the way, I also love making lists, for everything, ESPECIALLY names!)

Kayray Says:

October 20th, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Oh!! Thank you so much for posting! I’m a name-obsessing-teen as well- and I was overjoyed to read your blog. It was spot on. Thank you again!

(I would be interested to hear your top 10 name for boys and girls)

RachelEnn Says:

October 20th, 2013 at 1:36 pm

I got my first baby name book at age 9. I used it then to name my journals. So when I’d write it would be “Dear Czarina” (my taste back then was awful!) I’ve ALWAYS loved names. What is it about them?

Haili73 Says:

October 20th, 2013 at 2:27 pm

You sound just like me! I got my first baby name book at around the age of 10 or 11 from my church’s bookstore- “Is it a Saint’s Name?” It was a tiny thing that cost my mother less than $2 and didn’t have any meanings for the name, just the name, variants, and the saint’s day, but it was mine. I could finally stop snitching my parent’s baby name book from their dresser drawer, the same book where they found my name in all its oddly spelled glory: Michaila Christine. Michaila for my dad, Michael and some doctor on an Australian TV show my grandma heard. Christine because I was born two weeks before Christmas Eve.
I used it to name characters and by fourth grade I could navigate several baby name sites. Imagine my uncle’s surprise when he fixed my internet for me and the first website I went on was babynames.com…(this was before I discovered Nameberry. I was maybe 14). “What?” I said. “I’m naming characters!”
The first name I picked out for my future daughter was Aloysia, nickname Ally. But then I made the mistake of naming a character Aloysia. Now I can’t use it. Good thing too, because now I like Antonia nickname Annie better.
The next phase included names such as Mercy Christine and Orion James, nickname Rion. Then I named a character Rion. Seriously? Will I ever learn?
Lately it’s been Antonia, Rosalind, Sebastian and Gabriel, and sometimes Mattias, Annie and Lindy for short. I’ve used Gabriel for two characters, (one a little boy who went by Gabe, the other the dead twin of a girl named Calista and she talks to him like he’s her imaginary friend) I still don’t think it will stop me from using it on a future son. The boy’s names I use on characters don’t bother me as much.

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