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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    I don't have a problem with Henry and Etta - if you're worried, you can try to call Etta, Henry at the park instead of Henry, Etta.
    I would not use James in the middle. While Etta James is not a contemporary celebrity, she is one that everyone knows - like James Dean. I think it's a bit silly, like making a joke out of her name. I wouldn't do it.

  2. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by pebbles320 View Post
    And just after I posted that I had the idea of putting 'Sarah James' as first names into Ancestry to see what might happen... this is what came back:
    Thank you! Very interesting. And to everyone let me clarify. My problem is NOT that James is a boys name. I realize that berries done like that sort of thing but for us it's not a problem because it's a family name and it is in the middle spot rather than a first name.

  3. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    I actually quite like James in the middle spot. Most of the time, people on this site encourage you to take risks in the middle spot, and I'm surprised that's not the case here. I know a real-life Layla James, and a Bryn Jameson. James is DEFINITELY one of those "boys" names that I can see going unisex. There's a guy named Jayne on Firefly--yes it is futuristic sci-fi but I think they also chose a name that really could go unisex because it's another form of John, and it has a very similar sound to James.

    Whether or not you like the Etta James reference is totally up to you. I have a cousin who named his kid Jack Daniel. They knew that it was a reference to alcohol, but the father's middle name was also Daniel, they wanted to honor him, and their favorite first name choice for a boy was Jack so they did it. It's not like he goes around to everyone he meets and says "hi, I'm Jack Daniel." Furthermore, I knew a girl in college named Jane with the middle name Austen, so it's definitely been done and if you like the connection, then I think your future daughter will appreciate that it meant something to you.
    Aunt to Morgan Ellen, Jason Lee, Stana Marie, Shanna Lynn, Eva Jean and Brooke Annabelle!

    Rupert~Malcolm~Montag~Atlas~Lucian nn Luc~Frederick nn Fritz~Gareth nn Gray~Xavier~Sebastian~Henry~Desmond
    Lyra~Penelope~Juniper~Juno~Valentine~Harriet~Beatr ice~Rhiannon~Philippa nn Flip~Coral~Rosalind~Rose~Lillith

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Well I was born 1988 in Europe, have never been to the US and I think of Etta James. Also James is a boys name. I love unisex names, but this is not one. It's like naming her Etta Matthew or Etta Jacob. Etta and Henry are so pretty, James in the middle spot would kind of ruin Etta. Also it looks kind of like "we named our daughter after a celebrety". I know a girl names Angelina Jolie "Surname". Everyone thinks it's ridiculous.

  5. #19
    I don't think Henry and Etta sound bad. As long as you're not calling them HenryEtta with their names smooshed together you should be fine on that one.

    I'm also not opposed on using a male name for a middle name on a girl...but Etta James is a bit much. She actually led a pretty rough life and had a lot of issues withe addiction. I guess I wouldn't want that association for my daughter.

    There are a TON of female variations for James...Jacobine, Jacqueline (and all the variations), Jaye, Jaylene

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