The Name Game : LUSENET : Xeney : One Thread

Since I posted the Parents' Comments on Baby Names in the the "you do the weblog II" forum, I've been thinking about names. Do you like your name? What are your favorite names?

Basically, I like my name. I was named after the movie, Laura, which is my father's favorite film. It is fairly common in my generation, though, so when I was younger, I wanted to be Genevieve or Charlotte or Miranda -- something different. Now, I think it's just right.

I like the old-fashioned (basically Biblical) names myself: Sarah, Ruth, Luke, Caleb, etc.

-- Anonymous, April 19, 2000


Thomas Christopher

Angelina Marie

And since we're on the topic of names...
Anyone have any last name suggestions? [name change in process - long story - and I can't decide.]

-- Anonymous, April 19, 2000

I'm a Laura too, and I used to hate my name, and insist on only being called Laurie. As I get older, I really like Laura. I'm 36 for God's sake, Laurie sounds like a little kid. I also found out that my dad named me after a woman he was engaged to before my mom. She was killed in a car accident, so I like that sad, romantic story about my name.

I like biblical names too. My daughter is Rachel Sharon. She was supposed to be Sarah Elizabeth, but when she was born, she looked more like a Rachel. Had she been a boy, she would have been either Christopher, Noah or Jonah.

-- Anonymous, April 19, 2000

Oy. Choosing a name is such a personal thing I wouldn't feel comfortable advising anyone on it.

When I was trying to think of a name for my new [as of two weeks ago] foster cat and her [forthcoming on the 26th or thereabouts -- right now the cat is somewhat volleyball-shaped] kittens, I visited They have an excellent feature that tells you which names you might also find appealing based on the ones you know you like, as suggested by others who have your chosen names on their favorites list. For example, I told it that I liked the name Clara, and it suggested Grace, Claudia, Sophie, and Violet (among many others), which, as it happens, I also think are beautiful. It also lists nicknames, alternate forms, "baggage" (e.g. if you name your kid Dennis he will continually put up with "Dennis the Menace" jokes -- verified by a certain Dennis I know), and where the name was ranked in commonality in the last census.

I think I got the URL from

By the way, I ended up naming the cat Squeak. Well, I tried to name her Zuzu after the youngest daughter in "It's a Wonderful Life", but it didn't stick. She's Squeak. It's what she does.

-- Anonymous, April 19, 2000

I was named after a Beatles song, sort of - 'Julia', from the White Album. People cannot accept that my name is just Julie, though. I've been called Julia, Julianne, and Juliette, regardless of how often I try to persuade people that they are nice, but NOT my name.

-- Anonymous, April 19, 2000

I like my name. In Jewish tradition, we name babies after dead relatives (okay, not literally the name, but with the name in mind). I was named for my great great grandfather Gershon and my dad's uncle Irving (Gena Ilene).

I've set a date to get pregnant (still two years off), but I keep thinking up baby names. My dad died five years ago, and my grandad died nearly ten years ago, so I'm looking at A and M names. The list so far: Miranda Aliyah, Adam Michael, Avi, Bram (from Avram), Mira Ani, and Mirasol (or Mira). In a way, I'm glad to be stuck on two letters; having the whole alphabet to work with would offer so many choices the kid might stay unnamed till s/he's five!

-- Anonymous, April 19, 2000

I like using family names. If I have a son, I would like to name him after my father - William (and call him Bill or Billy, also like my dad). My father is named after his mother's father so, I think that would be a nice tradition to carry on.

If I have a daughter, I would like to name her after my two grandmothers - Martha Kathleen - and call her Martha Kate. I'm from Alabama and live in Texas so, I could totally get away with the double name thing.

All of this depends, of course, on the yet-to-arrive father of this yet-to-be-conceived child. With my luck, he'll have a family tradition of his own where his first born son HAS to be named Floyd or something. (No offense to any Floyds out there...)

-- Anonymous, April 19, 2000

I am profoundly grateful I was not named after a grandmother - the choices were Florence or Beulah! Instead, I was named after my dad's ex-girlfriend (mom didn't learn of THAT one til I was a few months old)

I like my name more now than I did as a kid - I used to hate how it was always misspelled (although I never hated my spelling of it, just the fact that no one ever could seem to get it right). I don't think I'd like it as much is if were Linda. But I have noticed that it barely registers on me anymore if someone misspells it.

The one downside of the name is that there was such a short period of time when it was popular, that in about 40 more years "Linda" is going to be the equivalent of "Edna" - as in "That crazy old lady Linda", so I'm making my plans now to be as eccentric as possible when the time comes!

As for choosing other names, my boy's name would have been Anthony - in honor of my father's friend who died shortly before I was born. It would have been my name, or my sisters..he never had sons.

Turns out, neither did I. For my girls, I tried to choose names that would grow up with them well, be pretty but not too common or not too weird, and not lend themselves to any unfavorable nicknames.

I didn't succeed totally at that - Tanya (Russian, pronounced TAWN- ya) has it either misspelled as Tonya, or mispronounced like Tanya Tucker constantly. (I refuse to claim liability for the Tanya Harding jokes, since I cannot see into the future)

Bethany's friends suddenly all call her Beth, which she's stopped fighting, but still isn't delighted with. I could have done worse by her though - she has my maiden name, and before I realized what I was doing, I came very close to naming her Brittany. My maiden name is England. It would have been a nightmare.

Jackie was a planned nick - she's named after an old friend of George and I, but that Jackie never went by Jacquelyn, and neither does our daughter. It's there if she wants to formalize her name, though.

Deanna...erm... that was a joke (4 girls makes you punchy). Her middle name is Nichelle. Combined, it's a 100% Star Trek name. Hopefully subtle enough that she won't have to seek psychiatric treatment for it.

-- Anonymous, April 19, 2000

I'd like my name, except that EVERYONE around my birth year seems to have it. There were fourteen of us in my middle school and only one less in high school. In honors social studies one year (Jennifers tend to be bright) there were seven of us at the beginning. It's such an identity crisis thing. There's that web page about not naming your child Jennifer, there's "Beyond Jennifer and Jason" (gag!)... I never answer if someone calls my name anymore. My roommates are Sarah and Jessica- so we've all had this problem. My middle name is Diane, after a dead aunt. I've considered going by that name instead, except I had a friend switch names in middle school and she found it to be a huge hassle.

It is a shame we can't pick out our own names, isn't it?

-- Anonymous, April 19, 2000

In our family it was pretty much customary to name the kids after the grandparents (William and Elizabeth respectively), but to give them a middle name with which we'd actually address them. So my two oldest cousins are just called William and Elizabeth, while we refer to the others by their middle names. Now, my folks couldn't call me William cos that was already my brother's first name (William Grant Russell) and it would've looked unimaginative and wrong having two Williams. So they named me James after my Dad.

The middle name was the sticking point, though; Mum wanted to make my middle name Stuart, which would've made me James Stuart except that Mum was taking driving lessons at the time and her instructor was called James Stuart, so calling me James Stuart would've looked bad. As such, I was given the middle name of George, as both Mum and Dad have a brother called Georgeconvenient, eh?and each of them thinks I was named after him. All of which makes me realise, if I ever wind up producing offspring, just how carefully I will have to pick names for them

-- Anonymous, April 19, 2000

Names. Most people either spell mine wrong, or pronounce it wrong. Kathryn Jillene, with the middle name being my mother's first. My parents, no joke, are named Jack and Jill. When I was pregnant for my second child, I jokingly told my SO that if it was a girl I wanted to name her after his mother and grandmother. Her name would be Osta Lula! Doesn't that sound like an exotic drink? Excuse me Mr. Bartender, can I have an ostalula? LOL!! Thank God my brother changed his mind about what he wanted to name a son. He always said he wanted to name a son for our grandfather. My nephew the genius would have been named Edgar Dean. Ew. Instead, his name is Noah. WAY better. Some of the most interesting names I've heard are Thunder, Lael, Brooke Sabre, Tierza, Ram, Aubrey, and a truly horrible combo a lady at my church almost saddled her son with... Drew Lee. Ugh. Oh, I have a cousin whose name is Bethany Joy, which means house of sorrow joy, and one of my aunt's maiden name was Sharon Lipps. LOL! Whew! That was long!

-- Anonymous, April 19, 2000

I hated my name when I was growing up. I got called "Dick Tracy" constantly. My only beef now is that no one spells it correctly. I get Tracy, Traci, Tracie and every other variation you can think of.

The funny thing is, my folks thought they were being fairly original when they named me (I was born in '59). However, it turns out a lot of other parents thought they were being original with the same name. It's not like poor Jennifer (hi, Jennifer) or, God forbid, all the 10-year-old Ambers, Ashleys, and Caitlyns I see running around, but still. I was never the only Tracey.

A woman who went to our church when I was growing up was named Prudy Drew. Her given name was *not* Prudence, it was "Prudy Lou" (she was from the south). When she got married, she bacame "Prudy Lou Drew." Prudently (heh, heh) she dropped the middle name.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

I have no complaints about my name. Sometimes, though, I wish I had one of those cool names that can be shortened and stretched. Can't do much with Karen. No cutesy nicknames. Although maybe that's a blessing.

Middle name is Beth, and everyone seems to think it's Elizabeth shortened. It's not.

My parents had this scheme, you see. Every child's first name has two syllables, and every middle name has one - Karen Beth, Sara Faith, Robin Lynne, Lara Jane.... Odd but cool, I think.

I'm in love with the name Gabriel right now.

I've been known to announce that my first child's name would be Andromeda. My mother snorted when she heard that. But that was a while back.

The disjointedness is due to the *unopened* Coke sitting before me. It's early. Sorry. ;)

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

I like my name, although I used to hate my middle name. "Elizabeth Margaret" sounded too fussy and old fashioned to me when I was a little girl; I used to tell people my name was really Bethany, or I'd make up a different middle name for myself. I really wanted to be named Cindy.

My first and last name combination seems to be more popular than Mary Smith, though. In every place I've lived as an adult, there have been at least two other people with my name in the vicinity. There is someone with my exact name (first, middle, last) who shares my [old] doctor, eye doctor, video rental place, and [old] veternarian. She even lives on the same street where I used to live. She rents stupid movies which she doesn't return on time, and she has a dog with the same name as one of my cats. Oh, and she cancelled my gynecologist appointment one year when they called her to confirm instead of me, and that was when I switched doctors.

I tend to like old fashioned names. I like Lydia, for instance, and Grace, and Sophia, and Elise, and Olivia. If I ever had a daughter I would either name her Georgia or make that her middle name, because I think it's a lovely name, and it's my favorite great aunt's name. Someone ought to name their daughter after Georgia.

I like some of those names that were popular in the early 20th century, like Lorraine, Charlotte, Lucy, Violet, Rose, Clara. I now like my middle name and wouldn't mind giving it to a daughter, although "Maggie" is my favorite nickname for Margaret, and there are far too many dogs named Maggie in my life for me to give that name to a child.

I also like some of those old brazen hussy names, like Ruby, Stella, and Lola. But I guess that would be a mean thing to do to a little girl; I'll have to save them for my next dog.

I find boys' names completely uninteresting, although I'd much rather have a son than a daughter. Maybe if I ever have a son, I can name him Stella.

I really like the name Mary. Does anyone name their daughter Mary anymore?

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

I love my actual name, Joanna... but if you call me Joanne with an E I will vomit on your shoes. I don't know how one little letter can make the name sound so darn horrible. Joanna is sexy and grown up; Joanne is the fat girl nextdoor. Maybe that's why so many people call me Joanne.

My favorite name is, of course, Daisy. I know she's going to get picked on with her name, because I've already heard them: Daisy Duke, Daisy Duck, Lazy Daisy, Crazy Daisy... but tell me, is there a name out there that DOESN'T get made fun of? I mean, I was Joanna Banana.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

I like my name a lot. I'd like it better if my parents had elongated iit to Jacqueline Annette instead of Jackie Ann. If I ever get married I just might change it.

Elizabeth is my all time favorite female name. The possibilities are endless. Beth. Betty. Liz. Lizzie. Liza. Elise. My favorite male name is Albert. But, it would have to be Albert. Not Al or Bert. Art might be okay...

Otherwise I really like herb names. Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Basil. If I don't have children I will have to resort to naming a cat Elizabeth Thyme when I'm 65.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

My first name is really Caroline (pronounced with a long i) but I got so sick and tired of being called Carolyn (short i) that when a friend started calling me Cara I decided to use it all the time. So, I've been Cara to everyone except my parents since I was 10. Sometimes I forget that I have this whole other name that is my real name. Of course, now that everyone knows that Caroline is pronounced with a long i I could go back to using it, but it would be way too weird.

My husband goes by his middle name, Zac, but up until high school he used his first name -- Brian. It makes for funny conversations when we do things like open bank accounts. Well, my name is really Caroline, but I go by Cara and his is really Brian, but he goes by Zac.

Our daughter's name is Fiona Caroline. Fiona is fairly rare in Canada and we both really liked it. If I ever have another girl she will probably be Alice Georgiana. Zac and I can't agree on boy names at all. I like Alistair or Elliot. He likes Charles. I'm hoping for more girls!

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

I love my name... now. My full name -- calling me Kathy is the surest way to make me sneer at you.

I do hate that there are something like a dozen common spellings, and even if I am standing right there, enunciating slowly and clearly: "K- A-T-H-" I will probably be handed a form that reads "Catheryn". I'm also not enamoured of my early efforts to avoid the Kathy thing, which have resulted in a nickname (Cat) that is no longer me at all.

I tend to prefer traditional names, the sort that are seen in British novels. Sarah, Jane, Charlotte, David, Colin, Jonathan... I don't like most nicknames. I don't like names with gratuitous "original spellings" or pretentious Ys and Ks in stupid places (Krystle). I'm interested by the current trend towards unisex names, though; I know three children under 5, all named Madison; two are girls and one is a boy.

I think more parents should remember that they aren't expressing their own individuality in their children's names; they are shaping another person's entire personality. (Don't laugh.) I think a plain name, like a white wall, offers more potential for development.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

To Tracey: Who, me? ;)

To Beth on the Mary's: Anyone named flat out Mary? No, but I do know of a Marijane, a Mary Jane, and a Marianne. The last two live together at the moment, in a household where 3 out of 4 people have M names. Whee confusion!

As for name variants (can't recall who brought up wanting those- Karen?): Well, that gets confusing too. Mine are: * Jennie- all family members will call me this one forever, despite my having grown sick of it in first grade. * Jen(n)- most people call me this, a couple vary the spelling to add to the confusion. * Jennifer- what I have attempted to go by since "Jennie" most of the the time. * Jfer and Nifer- variants that came up on Elgonquin since we already had a Jen-Jen. * Jen-Jen- ironically, my roommate took up calling me that for reasons I don't get, and she infected a few people with it as well.

Who the hell am I, again?

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

Hey, Beth--my middle name is Margaret, too! I'm still coming to terms with it, though...

My mom actually wanted to make Margaret my first name, but that's her mother's name, and she didn't get along with her mother, so she made it my middle name instead.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

I like my name -- Toni. Hated the middle name (Lynn) because in a class of 54 people, more than 15 people had the first or middle name of Lynn. But the "Toni" was cool since I never knew another Toni, which kept it unique and people ususally remembered my name. It drives me crazy when they misspell it "Tony" -- or when people insist on adding an 'e' on the end (Tonie). It's not short for Antoinette, though I have a hard time convincing people of that, too. I don't know why... like there's something wrong with actually naming a girl "Toni" or something.

My Mom wanted to name me "Antoinette Patricia Maria" (yes, all three) and she varied the order, trying to find the combination that would convince my dad. He (thank god) insisted on just "Toni." My brother's name is Michael, which is so common, I have to refer to the various Mike's in our life with "Mike, my brother," or "Mike T., the guy I grew up with," or "Mike, the employee," etc.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

I do like my name. Everyone either misspells or mispronounces it, but I'm used to it. The "bh" is pronounced like a "v" -- something like "sha-vaughn." (Or, if you live in New York, "sha-vooawn.")

When I was younger, no one had ever heard my name, ever. Over the last couple of years, though, it seems like more and more people either know someone else names Siobhan or have at least seen it somewhere.

I'm grateful to my parents for not making me one of those kids who could only be identified with a last initial -- there were invariably five or six Jessicas in my classes in elementary school.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

I like my name because (unbelievably) I have only met 3 or 4 other people with it. It's weird but there seems to be no Dawns in the state of New Jersey.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

I definitely think the kindest thing you can do for your kids is give them something flexible, as many of the Elizabeths have confirmed. My parents saddled me with a first name that ends in -i (all things considered, they chose one of the non-goofy ones, but they spelled it a little funny). It's hard to grow up into anything that ends in i, ie, y, that's just a very young or diminutive sound. My first name also rhymes with my father's name, making for wacky hijinks when we got phone calls.

When I left home for college, I started using my middle name, Lyn. It never gets spelled right (extra n), and on the phone around these here parts it doesn't always come out clearly, so I often arrive at appointments for Gwen, but otherwise it actually sounds like a grownup name, and more importantly, it fits my personality better.

If you're going to change your name like that, do it in a situation where you're changing environments. I do still have a small group of old friends (and all of my small family) who call me by my first name, but I'm used to it now.

Interestingly enough, my mother, aunt, and grandmother have all been called by their middle names since birth. My boyfriend is the same way, and I've noticed most of my co-workers go by their middle names. I'm not sure where the trend comes from, I suppose the names sound better in the order they are in, but their parents liked the sound of the middle name better.

In any case, it's a nice screening device on the phone. Calls for my first name, 90% of the time, are selling something. She's never home, and I always take a message.

I usually rail against unusual or difficult names, but I have a soft spot for nonUS names. I love the name Kjell ("shell") for a boy, although I think in Scandinavia it has fallen into the dork category like Clyde or Floyd, and it would be hell on the kid. I love Irish names, and suspect that if I happen to reproduce with the current flame we'll end up with a housefull of Aislings and Padraigs.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

I like my name very much now that I am older. I hated it when I was younger because a lot of people really have a hard time pronouncing it. I realize that sounds odd but you have no idea how many variations I've gotten (Erwin, Ervin, Ern, Ann, etc.)...Confusion also abounds concerning the spelling--some people just don't realize it is the same name but spelled differently for a girl (Erin) or for a boy (Aaron).

Middle name is Elizabeth just like the majority of females born in the mid-70s. My middle name comes from my grandmother, Rose Elizabeth. My father's name is William Marvin (the Marvin stops there) and my brother is William Jason (goes by Jason) and my brother and I plan to name a boy-child of ours (not together!) William and some other name. On the topic of Floyds, that is my boyfriend's middle name (Thomas Floyd) from his father and he swears to name his child Floyd (William Floyd??? Ick.) but it's more out of "I had to live being named Floyd and my child will also know that pain" rather than he actually likes the name. I think he will back down on that before the moment arises and he actually has to consider sending another child through life with that name.

My first name doesn't really have any familial roots--I was about to be named Lena until my mother read some article in the paper the morning I was born and a person mentioned in the article was named Erin and my mom just switched to that. (whew, I would HATE to be a Lena) It actually seems like I was MEANT to be named Erin--I have red hair, fair skin and blue eyes. I look like a walking billboard for Ireland.

I usually name my pets according to how they look or how they act. My current dog is named Oscar because I used to work with a grumpy old man (grumpy but very nice) named Oscar and when my dog was a pup, he reminded me exactly of him. Oscar seems to fit my dog rather well. Cars are named according to their characteristics. My old car was named Spy Hunter after the old video game because it leaked oil (oil slick) and when the oil hit the engine it would smoke (hence, I had a smokescreen just like the game).

So far as naming any future children, my mother has forbidden me to name children after her (Martha Elaine) because she hates her name and she says if I want to honor her, let her pick the name. My father really doesn't care anyway because he is never actually called William (Bill, Will and Mick by work friends, my mom, and our family, respectively). I play with name combinations but I always end up changing them year after year. So my children just better hope I'm on a good name the year they are born. Luck of the draw, I guess.


-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

My name is Misty Dawn. If that isn't reason to be a stripper I don't know what is. So no, I don't like my name. When my mom was in labor with me she was listening to a midnight D.J., her name was Misty Dawn. Because my parents thought for sure they were having a boy, they only had a boys name picked out. I was supposed to be Chad. So when I came out a girl, my mom just picked the first name in her head. I don't think you can ever take a Misty seriously. Plus you get stuck being "cute". I hate "cute". Anyone who loves me calls me Mis. Don't ever, ever, call me Mitzi or Missy.

My husbands middle name is Britt, which was his mom's maiden name. I really love that name for a boy or a girl. My mom's name is Rose Ann. I think it would be pretty to name a girl Rose Britt and call her Britt. If I ever had a second girl I would name her after my mom's mother Charlotte. I love that name. My brother's middle name is Ryan. I like Ryan for a girl, too. My husband likes the name Christine for a girl. Call her Chris. This is only because of the preteen hard on he had for an old camp counselor. So I don't think so.

As for boys names, besides Britt, I have no clue. I like the idea of naming a boy after his father. But I think it is important to establish an individual identity. My husband's parents are so possesive, they gave both of their daughters their mother's name as a middle name, and they were so crazy to fit my husband's dad's name into his that they gave him four names. His first name is Steven Hugh. His middle name is Britt.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

Sorry....I cut myself off.

I love Steven Britt, but Steven Hugh sounds a little redneck. I like the idea of honoring family with your children's names, but within reason.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

I dislike people's hearing a name and liking its sound and then slapping it on their kid without even trying to find out what's common or standard or why the name is spelled like that. Siobhan is a lovely name with a lovely spelling that even makes sense if you do a slight bit of research, but people can't be bothered and so spell the name phonetically (as has happened with Sean/Shawn and Mebdh/Mave as well), which I think is a pity.

I dislike naming a child a nickname or diminutive instead of the regular name. My mother's husband was baptized Bobby, not Robert, but his mother's name is *Brunette* (and she's called "Dink") and I never expected either sense or taste in that family.

I do like inventing a name if, unlike "Shawvonn," it has some meaning to it in its history and spelling. Kimothy for a Kimberly and Timothy and Brevin for a Brent and Kevin are two I know of personally.

My second cousin named his son Jack instead of John, which violates two of my rules: naming with a diminutive *as if* he didn't know how to spell "Jacques" (which, of course, is actually pronounced "Zhahk," and I suppose it's only a matter of time before someone does *that* to a child, at which point I'll call Social Services).

My other gripe about misspelling names (Crystal is a tacky name anyway [sez me]; to spell it "Krystle" reduces it to meaninglessness as well) is that the greater import of a name is in its sound, not its spelling. It doesn't matter if you spell your daughter's name "Briohnna" (true story) when you want people to pronounce it "Brianna."

My sister is Cindi, which is a spelling my mother affected before Cindi had any say in the matter. "Cindy" looks so wrong to me, even though it follows my own rule and Cindi does not. (Hypocrites sign here: ___). At least my parents had the taste to name her Cynthia instead of the diminutive (whew!) even if they forgot to do so again by the time I came around.

My hypothetical daughter would have been Ainsley Cynthia. I would never let the kid know that I learned the name (but did not name her after) a character in Margaret Atwood's Edible Woman. My hypothetical son would have been Dane Gabriel.

I don't think Rich would have minded the child's surname being Houlihan, since he wants no connection to his father, but (besides hating Ainsley and Dane anyway) he didn't think it fair that *all* the names be my choice. Then I thought that Bly, a name his Sicilian- to-the-heart-of-Aetna family adopted, would do well for either sex. He liked that.

That whole discussion is moot, since we're not breeding, but naming the eventual dog is going to just as treacherous. I think that's another forum topic.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

As the owner of a unisex name--in the end, I recommend it. My parents were going to name me Gabriel no matter which sex I was. My middle name is just a letter (D), so that wasn't going to change either.

For a time as a child (about 8ish), I had an alter ego named Elizabeth. But twenty years later, I'm glad I have a relatively unique name that isn't weird. I think what cemented it was having three friends named Jennifer.

Advantages to a unisex name: For parents, you only have to pick out one name. For the name-ee, it does make a lovely screening device. "Mr. Gabriel? I'm sorry, he's not here right now." "Gabriella? I'm sorry, there's no one here by that name."

I did have to fight to keep from getting nicknames though. Personality-wise I am just NOT a Gabby or a Gabe.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

-- Katharine (, April 20, 2000. Said:

"I tend to prefer traditional names, the sort that are seen in British novels. Sarah, Jane, Charlotte, David, Colin, Jonathan... I don't like most nicknames. I don't like names with gratuitous "original spellings" or pretentious Ys and Ks in stupid places (Krystle). I'm interested by the current trend towards unisex names, though; I know three children under 5, all named Madison; two are girls and one is a boy. "

I agree with you on the British novel names and I even partially agree with you on the ridiculous new spellings of names these days...but...yes, there's one coming.

Krystyna with the "pretentious Ys and Ks in stupid places" is actually of Polish and Russian origin [I should know] I've been spelling out to people for nearly all of my 30 years and have never ever seen it spelled correct in print. I am always Christina or Christine and it makes me absolutely irate.

On a funny note: My college roomate's friend from back home in Texas, the daughter of the Leir family ... her first name is Chanda. Chanda Leir. - Chanda Leir, how freaky is that?

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

Oh, I forget. Names for possible spawn:

Girls--I really like Mara, and so does my husband. We haven't really come up with a middle name though.

Boys--??? I like a number of the biblical names (Noah, Jacob), but I would rather have something more unusual. Maybe Zachariah instead of Zachary.

Relatives: I also like the idea of naming kids after relatives a couple of generations back, but I don't like any of the options. Grandmothers give us a choice of Irene, LaRue, Loretto, and Mercedes; they just don't appeal. Grandfathers give Gordon, William (also my dad's name), Joseph, and John; same problem.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

Omigod, Dawn, I don't believe it.

I know a total of two women who were born and raised in New Jersey and one of them is named Dawn. She lives in Pennsylvania, now, though.

Guess you two missed each other.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

I really hate my name. Not my nickname -- Julie's fine. In fact, it means youthful, which I guess will be a comfort when I'm fretting about old age in twenty or thirty years. But my parents had the indecency to name me "Juliane," which everyone mispronounces as either "Julienne" (like the fries) or "Julian" (like a guy). And the spelling..! The only people who spell it right are my parents, and my mother insists on spelling my nickname "Juli." However, "Juliane" has gotten me the incredibly cool affectionate nickname of Jules both online and at school, and because of this a new trend was started when someone I know heard a friend call me Jules and said, "Hey, Vern." Don't ask.

With this lovely first name I got an awkward last name in the package which I myself am ever mispronouncing (Juldfdsfkjh Schroedwrkjhc1111), and no middle name. None whatsoever. Not even as a last resort. I tell you, the moment I run off to college (and it's not that far away) I'm chopping the 'ane' part off my name and sticking a middle name somewhere in there.

My favorite names? Gotta be those tomboy, unisex names like Logan, Elijah (which I am MAKING into a unisex name, dammit!), Hayley, Taylor and scads of others. Also the odd ones like Pantalaimon and Lyra (bonus points if you can guess the book), and the old-fashioned and home-y (not homely) sort of names like Linda, Craig, Tom, Dave, Lois, Amy and maybe even Mariclare, because they are names of family I hear every year at Thanksgiving. The nature names appeal to me as well: Pagan, Birch, Magnolia, Rosemary, Juniper, Summer, Autumn, Auburn, Amber, Rowan, Rhiannon, Angelica, Skye.

I wouldn't hesitate to name a little girl "Steve," either. Call me weird.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

I like my name, Heather, although I don't think I did as a child. "Heather" was entirely too popular in the early 70's, and I was never the only Heather in my class. I like the flowery, romantic English- countryside feel of it, though, as it suits me well.

My middle name is far too common, "Lynn". Ugh. I think Mom was strapped to come up with a nice middle name, though I wish she'd given me her sister's first name ("Rose") or even her mother's (my grandmother's) name, Vera, as a middle name; I suppose a one syllable (I know that's spelled wrong, but I'm too lazy to look it up) middle name goes better with a two syllable first name . . . anyhow.

My sister, who was supposed to be "Brian Chadwick" (and called Chad) got a very cool name, Holly. Her middle name is worse than mine, however: Lynnette. We always joked that if Mom had had a third daughter she would've been Heidi Lynnelle.

My daughters will hate me, I'm sure. I'm extremely fond of Aliena, Aurora and the like. I also love flower names, with Lily being my favorite. Oooh, also Willow, Raven, Ivy . . . The only normal combo of female names I like is Katheryn Elizabeth - and I'd call her "Kat", because it's the nickname I coveted most as a child. (The only nickname I ever had that stuck for any length of time was "Grace", given to me by Mr. Jackson, my highschool tech director because I would dance around the stage with my paint brushes as we painted sets on Saturday afternoons.)

I think boys names are boring, too, but I have a few I like. It would be so tempting to name a boy "Hunter" or "Forest" or "Leaf" or "River", but I am concerned about getting him beat up too much in school. I suppose I could go with a normal first name followed by one of my green names. How does "David River" sound? The normal boy combo name of choice is "Nathaniel William" (thank you Witch of Blackbird Pond).

As for last names, I hope I can convince anyone I might marry that we should make up a whole new last name for our new tribe. And, yes, it would probably be something leafy and/or green . . . I just like the visuals that nature words bring . . .

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

Krista Lynn I didn't mind my nam growing up, there were rarely any other Krista's in my classes except one year in elementary school and then in high school. I found out where my parents got my name a year or two ago and now I think it's pretty cool. My mother told me that when she was pregnant with me my parent's were watching a Swedish "erotic" movie at the drive-in with a character named Krista. They liked it and that's what I ended up with. Lynn was short for Linda, my mother's high school best friend.


-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

I would like to print out Lisa's answer, and mail it to every person I know planning to have children in the next 20 years.

And to add to it: I wish when people were naming their daughters, they could test them out by saying, "And now, President [potential name here], of the United States." Maybe it would cut down on all the cutie little fuzzy bunny names so many people saddle their girls with. I cringe when I hear of people naming their daughters anything that ends in a vowel sound like 'i' or 'y'. If you want cute, give them a cutie little nickname, but don't give them a legal name that will make them cringe when they become adults.

My manicurist brought her daughter 'Mehndi" in one day. She pronounces it Mandy. That just drove me nuts! You cannot just say "oh, it is pronounced so and so"..the letters actually have to BE pronounced that way.

And, while I am being a bitch here, one of my junior league pals named her daughter MacKenzie. Neither parent is scottish, or irish, or has any scottish or irish in them. MacKenzie Rosenblatt.

Of course it isn't as bad as my friend Carling, who's father named her after his brewery.

I feel heartily sorry for those kids who end up with the phonetical spelling/creative spelling names, because they will spend their whole lives yelling into the phone, "..No, NO! It is M-Y-K-H-A-L-A-H. Yes. Micheala. Yes, my parents WERE idiots. Yes, I know that already. What? Oh. M-Y-K-H-A-L-A-H. Got it? No? me....Jane. Thanks."

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

My parents Named me Elizabeth, on the theory that you can come up with a million nick names for it and because it was my Mom's middle name and well, they liked it.

My middle name, is Susan, which is also my aunt's first name.

I don't mind Susan, but I hate Elizabeth. I don't know why but I've never liked it. Also, since my parents started calling me Beth at such a young age, it took me a while to figure out that my name wasn't actually Beth, but Elizabeth. I didn't really figure this out until I started going to school as matter of fact, and the teachers kept referring to me as Elizabeth, much to my confusion and consternation.

Everyone knows me as Beth, friends call me Bethy, only francophones call me Elizabeth (for pronunciation reasons -- Beth renders as "bet" in french, which also can be rendered as "bete" which means stupid, silly, or beast)

I prefer the nickname that I've been addressed with all of my life and I get quite testy when people assume "Liz" from Elizabeth instead.

I like names with double-l and double-s or r or m in them. Alissa, Melissa, Ella, Allura, and a plethora of fantasy names from books, like Menolly and Mirrim from Pern. I also like short n' sweet names, like Avi, Ivy, Kat, Devi, etc.

In naming my hypothetical children though, I'm having a bit of trouble because any names must be mutually pronouncable in both french and english and also be palatable to Sabs.

Not that easy of a feat, although we both seem to like the names Simone and Andre.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

Like my name a lot, hated it when I was in junior high and someone couldn't say it right so they shortened it to "Katie." That rhymes with my last name, so the first day of school in 7th grade, when my Phys Ed teacher was calling roll, this idiot piped up and said, "Aw, just call her Katie."

The teachers response? "Katie ------, how stupid, it rhymes." Needless to say, in the awkward moments that make up junior high, I was mortified and proceeded to despise that name. To this day, some people who met me in junior high still call me Katie and I scowl everytime.

At any rate, I like my name and thank my parents for it. It's different and it rolls off your tongue. On a side note, my sister was browsing around in one of those name books and saw that my names mean "Pure" and "Bitterness." Bah, if you knew me, that would so be funny. :) "Pure Bitterness."

Future daughter's name: Tabitha Marie (my dad's initials)
Future son's name(s): Scott Alan (he'll be a junior) or Thomas Mackenzie (dad's initials again)

My parents have the somewhat odd names. They're the shortened versions of something else, but on the birth certificate it's just the short version. My mom is Judy and my dad is Tommy. Not Judith and Thomas. And my dad's middle name is Melvin. Tommy Melvin, I feel so sorry for him! But they did good at naming me and my sister (Vanessa) .

My grandmother's name is Merle and she always gets mail addressed to Mr. Merle -------. She hates that.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

Lisa, Kristin, this one's for you:

One hundred and fifty-five ways to spell Caitlin!

On a wedding newsgroup I used to frequent when I was engaged back in the day, a perennial topic of discussion was whether or not to change one's name upon marriage. I noticed that those of us with super-common names such as Kim, Amy, and Jennifer tended to be the most resistent to changing our last names, and I think that's because we tended to identify ourselves by our full names in order to distinguish us from the horde of other Kims, Amys, and Jennifers. I was always Kim Rollins or Kim R., and I hung out with Amy Schmidt and Amy Goodson, while my friend Theo was just Theo. (Now I'm driving myself nuts trying to remember Theo's last name. I can't.) And so I can't imagine changing my last name any more than my first.

One of the things that's interesting about cyberculture is that people can and do essentially change their names. I know people who are, in my mind, named McGlk, Llyra, and Cloister, and some people still call me Cirocco. (Uh, I was actually leading up to something here but am being called away. Maybe later.)

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

I forgot to mention one of my favorite names, and it's a family name too: my great-great-grandmother's name was Honora (Nora) and I love both of those names.

But Sabs hates it.


I'm also partial to my grandfather's name: Cornelius, but he hated his name and went by Neil all of his life and made his kids promise that none of them would ever name their children after him. So that's out too.

Rose is also a family name -- my great-grandmother's on my mother's side and my grandmother's middle name -- and I went through a phase where I wanted to be called Rose. If I want to stick to family names for a daughter, I'd probably wind up with Mary Rose, Nora Rose or Rosemarie, after my mother and my grandmothers.

One of my younger friends -- Maria, was actually supposed to be named Mary, but because she was born in Italy, the hospital spelt it in Italian, hence Maria.

She has one of the most interesting nicknames I've come across in a while though: Marzi, short for marzipan.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

This forum on names is fascinating. As I child, I really hated my name--it was strange and no one could ever spell it or pronounce it correctly. My problems were compounded by the fact that it's my middle name and I always had to correct teachers and doctors when they called me by my first name, Andrea. Andrea doesn't suit me and I feel like an imposter when I use it. Nonetheless, when I was 9, I decided to try using it. Almost immediately, people started calling me Andi, which I hated, so I reverted back. Around the same time, my brother, who had the relatively normal (middle) name, Kelly, went to first grade and met a girl named Kelly. From that moment on, he declared Kelly a girl's name and switched to his first name, which is David. It was difficult to get used to his new name but he wouldn't answer to Kelly and soon enough we had to do as he asked.

Eventually, I grew to like my name because it is unusual and alliterative. (My maiden name was Galyn Glick and I was pretty certain that no one else shared that name.) In fact, it seemed so unusual in this area that I thought I could just go around with a mono name, like Cher or Madonna. (Not that I would ever, in a million years, want to BE like them.) And then I changed everything by getting married and taking my husband's name. Though I was happy to change my name and did it on my own accord, my new name didn't have the same kick. When I go to doctor's offices and they call me by my first name and my new last name, and, well, I always think they're asking for someone else. Because sandwiched in between my first name and my new last name, is the real me.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

My parents named me Ellen Elizabeth. Ellen was after my grandmother Helen and an ancestor of my mom's named Ellen. Elizabeth was because they wanted a bible name. I was known as Betsy to family but started being called Ellen when I started school.

I hated the name Ellen. It sounded (and sounds) to me like someone large and bland. In children's books the cow or the maid are always named Ellen. I wanted to be named Stephanie Caroline. Now I like Caroline but think Stephanie is a typical born-in-the-50s name.

When I was a teenager I started going by Vixen with my friends, because my last name is Fox, but I was always sort of trying to figure out what name to change to, so I could use that name all the time. Eventually I figured out that I wanted to be Elizabeth. It didn't feel like it was because it was my middle name (which I'd never used) but because of the associations with queens and Elizabeth Taylor. I changed my name (by use rather than going to court) and everyone who'd known me as Ellen said that it really suits me. Even my parents easily made the switch. I go by E or Lizzie sometimes but don't use the other nicknames.

My favorite names are Laura and Michael. I once knew a couple who were both named Michael - we called them Miss Michael and Mr Michael.

I agree with the advice up there about giving children dignified names that aren't diminutives and aren't spelled funny. I can't get over all these children now who have these stripper names. I guess in 20 years the strippers will be named Thelma and Irene because the nice girls will be named Stormi and Britt'ny.

We can change our names - I did it and I'm very glad I did. I know quite a few people who've done it too.

I hate my husband's name - Patrick, known as Pat. I don't like unisex names in general or short names. But I haven't been able to find a nickname for him that's stuck.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

my first name is evangeline. i think it's a beautiful name, but my parents didn't really think of how it would go with our last name (which is four syllables, italian, difficult to spell and pronounce), and as a result my full name is rather clunky. i like my nickname, "eva," because it's fairly uncommon but not too "weird." unfortunately it has too many pronunciations. i pronounce it EE-va, but lots of people try to go with AY-va or EH-va.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

erin said:

Confusion also abounds concerning the spelling--some people just don't realize it is the same name but spelled differently for a girl (Erin) or for a boy (Aaron).

it's funny you should say that--my father actually pronounces "aaron" and "erin" differently! i had an acquaintance in high school named aaron, and whenever i would mention him to my dad, he would say, "who's this erin person you're talking about?" i would respond "DAAAD, you know, aaron xxxxx!" and he would say "ooh, you mean AARON!"

i chalk it up to him being from new yawk, but maybe he's just weird.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

I've always liked the name Lisa. No one ever made fun of it in school, no one could make a nickname out of it either, except "Lis", which doesn't really bother me.

Growing up an avid tv watcher, I was always excited to see that the beautiful love interests for the hot guys on sit coms seemed to be named Lisa a lot. I started thinking it was the name Lisa that made these girls popular. Too bad life didn't imitate art. Turns out, you have to actually BE a Beautiful Lisa in order to be considered a Beautiful Lisa. Oh well.

Come to think of it, in the 3rd grade there were three Lisa's in my class, so the teacher gave us nicknames. My initials were L.C., so the teacher called me Elsie. She thought it was cute. Problem was, the famous cow that we would all visit when we took the big field trip to the dairy was named Elsie. Kids can be cruel, so you can imagine how the nickname fared for me. Luckily, it didn't stick. I still don't see why she had to call me Elsie, when the other Lisa's got to be called Peanut, Lemondrop, and Starburst. No fair.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

Another Laura reporting in...I was named after Julie Christie's character in Dr. Zhivago, although my mom changed the spelling, from Lara, due to her own personal name baggage (more on that in a moment). My dad chose the middle names (Renee for me, Reed for my brother Cory) so we both ended up with R's in all three names. Anyway, my mom is Shelagh (as in Shelia or Sheila, isn't that funny I don't know what the normal spelling is)that's pretty rare I guess. I think it's gaelic or something. But I know there is another one out there, I've seen her name on this forum. My poor mom gets called Sheelhag, shilaelee...really bad. So she added the "u" to Lara because she wanted to be sure it was pronounced like in the movie as opposed to that other 'a' sound.

I think I would name a daughter after my grandmom...Alanna. But then I'd feel guilty and would want to use the other grandmom's name, she was Effie Mae...not sure how I'd work that in. Also a nominee for the what the heck were they grandfather was Chester Sylvester...yick. Although I must admit I liked it when his friends called him Chet, it sounds like a cool guy. Can I just use that one day? Even with the rules stated above?

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

I have the same problem as Kat. My name is Kathryn Colleen (my middle name is my mom's first name, just like Kat also) and people are constantly misspelling it. To my family and friends it's always been Katie or Kate, but it seems that whenever someone I've just met sees my name written (teachers are a prime example), they insist on calling me Kathy and continue doing so after I've corrected them several times. I've acquired a lot of nicknames derived from Kathryn such as Kat, Katydid, or Katieland (don't ask me why).

If I ever have a kid and it's a girl I'd name her Madeline Grace. I tend to like a lot of the more conservative traditional names and try to stay away from really trendy names, at least for girls. I kind of contradict myself that way when it comes to boys because I like the names Logan, Lance, and Hunter.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

I like having a common name with no tricky spelling. My full name is Thomas Stephen Dean, which gives me three first names, but beyond that I've never had any complaints. It is a little humdrum, and there are lots of Tom Deans, but then again I'm not a member of Actors' Equity and uniqueness doesn't matter much.

I talked my wife into naming our son after his grandfather, who had another workaday WASP name, but she insists that if we have a daughter, she (wife) wants to name her (daughter) after her (wife's) mother: Karyl. I just can't do that -- I can't doom a child to spelling her name every time she makes an appointment for the rest of her life. I've tried to compromise for Carol, with no luck.

Now Krystyna has given me hope. Does anyone know a tradition in which Carol is spelled "Karyl?"

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

This "Dawn" thing is cracking me up. My mother-in-law is the only woman I know named Dawn. You know where she grew up, right? New Jersey, of course. Were you guys all hiding from each other?

And though I do in principle agree that one ought not use peculiar spellings for no reason, people will always spell names wrong. More than half the time people spell my name "Jesse". I've had coworkers do it for years. There's no way out.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

Ha! I just remembered! I have a great cousin named, get this... Vesta Bulah! Her parents must have been drunk.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

Oh, and I have an Aunt Pete, but that's a nickname. She was called that from the time she was a baby.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

I've known a few women from NJ, but the one named Dawn I thought was from southern California because she was gorgeous and airheaded in just that way.

Jesse is the Biblical spelling, for boys; it became Jessie for girls. Pronounced the same, spelled differently. It's your coworkers' fault. Same with Frances and Francis ("And when it comes to Frances, sir, it's i as in him and e as in her").

Maybe I'm just too demanding (speaking of bizarre names for your child, Prince? No wonder he changed it to whatever it is) but I hate to be called "Lis." Another hot chick named Lisa: Jacquelyn Bessett in "Weird Science."

I like unisex names and girls claiming names like Hilary (less fussy sounding than Felicity). "Ryan" and "Michael" for girls still sounds kind of off to me. Pat, Chris, Sam, and Alex sound fine to me, but if I knew the girls were named Patricia instead of Patrick etc., that would freak me. I like unisex names because I *hope* it'll be a case of boys continuing to be named these names even after they get popular for girls. Look what happened to Evelyn and Beverly and Stacey and Hilary. Why doesn't the trend go the opposite way?

And then I get possessive of names, too. A celebrity named her child Francie Nolan CelebrityLastName and, like young Frank McCourt, I wanted to stand up on my hind legs and scream "No! no! That's MY name and you can't use it on someone else." And I still want to get a court order against Demi Moore for naming her daughter Scout.

There's no "maybe" about whether I'm too demanding. As Empress of the Universe, I am responsible for noticing all the Wrongs in the world. When I am commonly acknowledged by my proper title, I'll even be able to do something about remedying them.

I always thought Lynn was an unusual middle name, since it's my sister's. Perhaps it's common because it goes so well with so many names, since it sounds like a syllable that would form a diminutive? Or is it regional? We're from New England--is it more common in the midwest and the south?

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

I knew a few Dawns as a child, but the only one I've met as an adult was born and raised in Australia. Her name is much nicer with an Australian accent, because it's not pronounced the same way as "Don." In my flat Northern California accent, the two sound exactly alike.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

I don't mind my name, and always thought it was fairly un-common. I've always caught a lot of flak because people say I have the boys' spelling, and everyone tries to re-arrange it to Jodi, Jodie, etc. When we moved to the country when I was 15, the first two girls my age that I met were Jody's. It was too weird. We were all the same age, same grade, loved horses, so of course we hung together. One of them had shortened her "Leslie Jo" to Jody, but still. Oh, we had great fun in high school.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

i have the greatest name in the whole wide world. rebekah jude allen.

-- Anonymous, April 21, 2000

I've always loved my name. I answer to it, okay?

Whoever that "Joanna" was, I am living proof that JoAnn's are not so bad.

My mother wanted to name me Victoria Jean. Can you imagine that? Vicki Jean?

I have always been happy with my name. It was nice that she changed her mind at the last moment.

-- Anonymous, April 21, 2000

I love being Betty. It is my rockstar special- friends-only nickname. You will never meet a Betty who isn't right on. My real name, Mary Beth, is good too. Although when people first meet me they get confused sometimes, and I end up getting called Beth Anne and Anne Marie a whole whack. Mary Beth is real Christian-sounding, but that's ok, 'cause I am. I am really truly named after the mother of God and her cousin Elizabeth.

-- Anonymous, April 21, 2000

I like the name Lisa. My dad actually wanted to name me Mona Lisa though, and that would have just been WRONG. I'm so glad my mom won that argument.

If I'd been a boy I'd have been Michael Louis. My dad's name was Louis Monte and my mom's Mary Lou, so they wanted us all to have the same (basic) initials.

I love unusual names too. I used to want to change my first name, or my last name (couldn't decide) to Rowan. Isn't that pretty? It's a kind of tree.

-- Anonymous, April 21, 2000

I have brothers named Erin, Daene, and Devin. I've always thought Mom & Dad did a good job picking names. I never met another Colin until a year ago, and since then I've met five others. All three of the (male) Devins I have met have, oddly enough, brothers named Colin.

My wife & I named our kids Teague & Rowan, 12 and 11 years ago, before they hit the charts.

-- Anonymous, April 21, 2000

I'm with whoever made the comment about those "creative" spellings of Michaela making them cringe, because my name is Michaela. Michaela Marie, named after my parents (Michael and Gayle) and my mom's godmother Marie. I love my name and i detest how popular it's becoming and all of its mangled spellings. I've always gone by Kaela, and no matter how often i clearly say K-A-E-L-A, it gets written "Kayla". bleh.

Since I'm an Arthurian legend dork, my kids will have names from that...Gareth (my favorite knight of the round table) and Elaine for a girl. The girl's middle name will be Genevieve, for my grandma.

-- Anonymous, April 22, 2000

The baby board was a true horror. I kept thinking while reading it that it was a put-on, that something so idiotic could only be devised as a joke. Silly me - I know a woman who named her daughters "Mystical Joy" and "Etherial Dawn", so I should have known better.

My family has an informal naming convention for male offspring: the firstborn takes the fathers first name as his middle name, the second gets that of one of the grandfathers. Since my great-grandparents picked a real doozie for Grandpa, my brother is saddled with a bizarre middle name which nowadays sounds like a certain cuss-word.

Our family's first names are a grab bag, but mostly biblical and/or English. My problem is that people confuse the sequence of my three names. I've learned to put my last name all in capitals and underline it boldly whenever I exchange documents with the bank, lest they yet again deposit my money in someone else's account.

-- Anonymous, April 23, 2000

I saw The End of the Affair the other night. I found it mostly boring and over-sentimental -- but the one really funny moment did have a resonance with this thread.

The not-quite-quite detective is introducing his son to the main character. "His name is Lance. Short for Lancelot. I named him after that Knight of the Round Table. (proudly) You know, the one who found the Grail." (No guarantees made for exactness of dialogue.)

Main character (played by Fiennes): "Lancelot got found in bed with Queen Guinevere. Percival found the Grail."

Detective (with startled immediacy): "Oh reely? I never heard that..."

Moral: know the associations of thy names, I suppose.

-- Anonymous, April 23, 2000

I'd just like to point out that Aaron and Erin are completely different names, and so should be pronounced differently. My Oxford Dictionary of First Names tells me that Aaron is Biblical, `the brother of Moses, who was appointed by God to be Moses's spokesman, and became the first high priest of the Israelites'. According to the dictionary, it is used mostly by Jewish people and the Hebrew form is Aharon.

Erin, on the other hand, `is from Gaelic Éirinn, dative case of Éire Ireland'. It `has been used as a poetic name for Ireland for centuries, and in recent years has become a very popular given name', especially in the US.

-- Anonymous, April 24, 2000

I mangled the HTML, for which apologies. That should be Éire.

-- Anonymous, April 24, 2000

You know how computer companies have names like "Copeland" for their products while they're in development? Last year I was working on a product that someone had named "Valhalla." All us writers were rolling our eyes - what a strange thing to pick. In Norse mythology Valhalla is the afterlife. Heroes go there and fight all day till they get killed, they are reborn at night to feast with their comrades, then get up for another day of fighting.

In the end the project got cancelled. Coincidence?

-- Anonymous, April 24, 2000

I have a sister-in-law who collects unusual names. A couple of her favorites are Shithead (pronounced Shi-THEED) and Lemonjello (pronounced Le-MON-jello). Also PsalmCIV (pronounced PIZUM-siv). These are actual legal names, no joke.

-- Anonymous, April 24, 2000

I heard that Lemonjello had a sibling named Orangejello (pronounced or-AN-ge-lo). From someone who allegedly knew them.

-- Anonymous, April 24, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ