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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    2

    Update the old fashioned

    My husband wants to use family names for our children's middle names, which I completely agree with, but the two he wants to use the most are AWFUL. Any suggestions for how to update these names would be EXTREMELY helpful.

    Leona
    Larry
    Marilyn
    Martha

    Oh, and our last name is Bean.

  2. #2
    lola Guest

    Re: Update the old fashioned

    Of those four, the only one I think is the least bit "old fashioned" is Leona (which makes NJ bred me think of Helmsley) I'd update her as Leonie. Feels lighter & more "now". Larry, I'd just lengthen to Laurence and then nickname him Ren. I've always liked Martha and see nothing old-fashioned about her, she's timeless to me. Marilyn is one dear to my own heart. I think she's as current as any other -lyn ending name. I would love to meet a little Marilyn! It's a great name!

    I actually think Martha, Laurence, Leonie & Marilyn would make a really awesome sibling set. A teeny bit themey, with two M's & two L's but still, very nice indeed. Very lovely.

    Of course, I'm someone who has 22 year old boys named Leo & Simon and you should have heard the flak I got back then for naming them that! I still love their names and can happily report that they like them too. So take my thoughts with a grain of salt. :)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    796

    Re: Update the old fashioned

    I like Marilyn pretty middle name :)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    2,091

    Re: Update the old fashioned

    I have to disagree on one point: The one I have the most trouble with is Marilyn. Popular a little too recently, plus so tied to Monroe. The solution: Save that one for last. It's going to take you a while to get to four kids, right?, and by then maybe you'll like it and maybe he'll change his mind. Leona's got all kinds of great newly-stylish versions: Besides Leonie, a lovely one that Lola mentioned, a great one is Leonora.

    My really big idea is to use the female names for boys and male names for girls, so that Leona becomes Leon or Leo, Martha becomes Martin, Larry becomes Laura or Lauren, and Marilyn becomes....Marlon? That way you have a better justification for altering the names and people's feelings get less hurt.
    Pam Redmond
    Nameberry

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    162

    Re: Update the old fashioned

    You could always go the exotic route with Larry-- Lorenzo (the Italian form) for a boy and Laurence for a girl (it's a fairly common name for girls in France and sounds yummy when pronounced correctly).

    I'm 31 and Leona Helmsley doesn't have any meaning for me at all. Instead, I think of the beautiful singer Leona Lewis, which isn't a bad associationg at all!


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    20

    Re: Update the old fashioned

    Leona-what about Leonora? Although I do like Leona

    Larry-that's as bad as my family's 'family names' Henderson and Maurice (we pronounce it Morris, it's Irish, as is Henderson)

    Marilyn-I like this one, feminine and traditional, but I can't see it on a little girl........

    Martha-what about Marietta?

  7. #7

    Re: Update the old fashioned


  8. #8

    Re: Update the old fashioned

    Update Leona to Leonne (Long O sound)
    Larry to Lars
    Marilyn to Arilyn
    Martha to Marta

  9. #9

    Re: Update the old fashioned

    Leona
    Girl- Leigh, Lea
    Boy- Lee, Leo

    Larry-
    Girl- Lara, Larren (pronounced Lauren)
    Boy- Lawrence nn. Law, Larsen/Larson
    Either- Larkin

    Marilyn- Marin, Marina, Marley/Marlie, or just Marilyn nn. Ari

    Martha- Mara, Thalia nn. Tali

    Good luck! :)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    6,165

    Re: Update the old fashioned

    Leona - For a girl, this name doesn't seem to old-fashioned because of its associations with singer Leona Lewis. However, I like this name for a boy in the forms of Leon (my pick), Leo, Leopold, or even the dusty Leonard. I'm not thinking Leonard will be a good one for you, though! For a girl, you could use Lena, Leni, Helen, Helena, or Leila - all have similar sounds.

    Larry - What about its full form, Laurence (or Lawrence)? For a boy, that is really my only suggestion. Girls, however, could use Laurel, Lauren, Larissa, Lainey, or Lara...

    Marilyn - Any form of Mary - and their are tons - would work for this one! Mary, Marielle, Marisol, Marisa, Mariana, Marni, Marcy, Mercy, or the 80s favorite, Lynn, work here! For a boy, I honestly don't know.

    Martha - I sort of like this one, with its old-fashioned comfortable feel and Biblical charm, but you could substitute Martin or Thad (Thaddeus) for a boy and Martina, Marta, Matilda, Mathilde, Marni, or Thalia for a girl!

    Best of luck!
    "Names, once they are in common use, quickly become mere sounds, their etymology being buried, like so many of the earth's marvels, beneath the dust of habit." - Salman Rushdie

    Boy Combinations: Archer Solomon James, Ronan Charles Bennett, Everett Hawthorn Thomas
    Girl Combinations: Phoebe Marietta Pearl, Clara Daphne Eloise
    Other Favorites: Eliza (Eliza Wren), Juliet, Rosanna, Thea, Johanna, Jude

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