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  1. #36
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Somewhere along the banks of the mighty Columbia
    Quote Originally Posted by augusta_lee View Post
    For instance, a literary baby name on the child of a small-town librarian would not be pretentious; a literary baby name on the child of a WASPy Wall Street Yale grad who's only ever read Donald Trump's autobiography, however, would be pretentious for days.
    As a small town librarian, I have to agree!

    Actually, I love literary names, but I do tend to role my eyes when other people use them. I don't know if I would use a name, like Atticus, that's so closely tied to a literary character, even though it's a great name. I think I would be reluctant to use an overtly literary name because it would be so... expected? I don't know. That might be worse than pretentiousness.

    As for flaunting my education and privilege in the faces of the unwashed masses - who cares what those plebes think? I want my kid's name to erase any doubt that he or she belongs to the elite, educated classes. I want his or her name to proclaim to the world, "My mother has massive student loan debt!"

    ^^that was a joke. Not the student loan debt, though. That part is true.

    On a related note: I stood in line behind someone at the grocery store one day who called her kids Ebenezer and Ichabod. I think I may have visibly flinched.
    Under construction...

  2. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Western Australia
    I think it is only if its because they wanted to appear like they read it. If its been your favourite name for decades or its yours and Dh's favourite book and it hold memories then use it but otherwise it is pretentious
    Isobel | Eloise | Matilda | Lucia | Alice | Eleanor | Amelia | Felicity | Phoebe | Eilidh | Rosalia | Zoe | Azalea | Genevieve | Tallulah | Everleigh | Rebecca | Leila | Harper | Grace | Zara |
    Eamon | Hayes | Tiago | Cooper | Lawson | Archer | Lincoln | Asher | Alfie | Baxter | Taylor | Flynn | Lewis | Fletcher | Jack | Harley | Brooklyn | Regan | Oscar | Spencer |

  3. #40
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by daisy451 View Post
    I think perhaps it's an issue of privilege. Not everyone gets a quality education, so it may seem like someone is inadvertently flaunting their privileged position if they're using literary names they have no real ties to- "I got a great education, I went to college, I'm cultured, so I named my kid after this famous author." I'm not saying that that's what people are thinking when they use these names- as I said, many of them are just really appealing for lots of different reasons, and I'm much happier to meet a Tennyson than another Brayden- but that's some of what I interpret as a person who didn't necessarily have automatic access to those things. I think people from places where a good education is not a guarantee may misinterpret parents' intentions, and I'm hesitant to use an overtly literary name because of that.

    Maybe I'm wrong on that, but that's what I've concluded thinking on it recently.
    That makes sense, but at the same time it sounds like you're overthinking it. To me, it seems like everyone is so wrapped up in what other people think that they don't always do what they love, what's best for them. And being worried that people will think you are pretentious because you picked a name you love (for whatever reason) for YOUR child is only going to make you pick something ELSE, and possibly regret that choice. The way I see it, are you more likely to regret picking a name you loved that isn't necessarily the best reflection on you socially, or a name you were 'meh' on but felt 'safe' with? (I firmly believe that there is no such thing as a safe name)

    In enduring four years of high school, I've spent too much of my time worrying about what other people think, and I hate that. So I try to encourage people to basically say 'screw it' when it comes to this sort of thing, because I know where MY biggest regrets lie. It's more important to live the way you want to live, or in this case name the way you want to name, than it is for other people to approve of everything you do.
    I'm not feeling incredibly profound at the moment. Check back later.

  4. #42


    If I use Atticus it's not because I'm trying to be unique or special, it's because the name is special to me. Growing up the daughter of an English teacher in the 80s, the majority of the movies we owned were related to my mom's lesson plans. Because "To Kill A Mockingbird" has children as main characters, I was allowed to watch it as a 4 year old. It's one of the first non-cartoon movies I recall watching. Atticus is widely known as a great father-figure. Gregory Peck kinda reminded me of my dad because they were both dark headed. Now that my father is deceased, I'm not sure I can bring myself to name a son after him (would make me sad), but I think it would be great to name a son after a wonderful father-figure from my childhood. To me, Atticus is a name and character I grew up loving.

    I can't say why everyone else suddenly likes it, but that's my story.

    I honestly don't care if it gets more popular. To me that's a plus. I have an very unique and misspelled name, so my hope for my kids is that there's will be more recognizable. Having a rare name is overrated and annoying.

  5. #44
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    I'm sorry, but why make a distinction between being inspired by literature versus, say, a movie, a television program, an athlete, musician, or a long-forgotten relative who happened to have an interesting name? What does it matter? If it's truly meaningful to you, go for it, and forget worries of so-called pretentiousness.

    I'd be happy to be called pretentious and have a daughter named after a Shakespearean heroine rather than dubbed trendy and have her share her name with one of the insufferable Kardashian clan.

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