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That’s A Whole Lotta Name

May 4, 2009 Pamela Redmond

Sitting around with another baby name aficionada the other day, discussing what she might name her next child, I suggested Henrietta, one of my long-time favorites.  Yes, the aficionada said, she loved Henrietta too, and yet….

“It’s a lotta name,” I offered.

She nodded.  “It’s a whole lotta name.”

I’d never thought of names in quite this way before, but the more i considered the concept of names that were too elaborate, too exotic, too quirky, too too, the more accurate I thought it was.  There were a lotta names, I realized, that I thought were wonderful, but nevertheless would never actually choose for a child because they were, well, a lotta name.

Like what, beyond Henrietta?  Well, like Leopold, for instance, which is in fact my second child’s middle name.  In the middle, it’s great: cool, distinctive, old-fashioned but not frumpy.  But in first place, Leopold would be a heavy moniker to pull off for a child or a teenager or basically anybody not as good-looking and self-confident as George Clooney.

Extra syllables can sometimes push a name into the lotta category. Olde World heaviness.  An especially evocative image.

Billy Bob might be considered a lotta name, just as might WilhelminaPrudence or Percy, along with Petronella.  I guess a name might be too much if you can imagine it preceding your child into every room, being the thing people notice and comment on earlier and more often than they notice your child’s dancing green eyes or shy smile or talent at math.

Here, some names that might qualify as being a whole lotta and maybe too much name.

girls

AMETHYST

APOLLONIA

ARAMINTA

BATHSHEBA

BLISS

FEODORA

GUINEVERE

HERMIONE

JEMIMA

LOVE

LUCRETIA

MORWENNA

OBEDIENCE

PANDORA

PERSEPHONE

PHILOMENA

STORMY

XAVIERA

ZENOBIA

boys

ARCHIBALD

BALTHAZAR

BARTHOLOMEW

BEAUREGARD

CASPER

CORNELIUS

DANTE

ELMO

HORATIO

IGNATIUS

JUPITER

LAZARUS

MUNGO

OCTAVIUS

PEREGRINE

ROMEO

TROUT

VLADIMIR

About the author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry. The coauthor of ten bestselling baby name books, Redmond is an internationally-recognized name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show,, CNN, and the BBC. Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its new sequel, Older.

View all of Pamela Redmond's articles

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