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Friday, June 24, 2011

name game

Recently, someone I know mentioned that she was trying to come up with names for a baby girl. The first few I thought of were Caroline, Charlotte, and Darcy. Can you tell I've seen Pride and Prejudice lately?

Others that I suggested were Amanda, Arielle/Ariella, Daniella, Davina, Emily, Lily/Lilia, Marcella, Nina, and Tessa. But this got me thinking about my perennial problem with names, especially for girls: if you're not naming after someone, how do you pick? Do you go with the way it sounds? What it means? I'm always torn with girls' names, because I like the sound of a lot of them, but don't like the meaning. And there's the problem of association. Sadly, one of my favorite girl names to suggest to people has been tainted by Twilight. No one should be named Isabella for the next century or so, as far as I'm concerned. Too bad, because it's a beautiful name.

So what's in a name?

Meanings from Think Baby Names (1)
  • Amanda - lovable, fit to be loved
  • Arielle/Ariella - lion of God
  • Caroline - unclear. Got everything from "feminine of carolus, free/adult man" to song of joy. Also a major bi-yatch in Pride and Prejudice
  • Charlotte - feminine form of Charles, free man. Also Pride and Prejudice's resident pragmatist
  • Daniella - from Daniel, God is my judge
  • Darcy - dark, also the man himself in Pride and Prejudice
  • Davina - beloved
  • Emily - rival, laborious, eager
  • Lily/Lilia - like the flower
  • Marcella - dedicated to mars, war-like
  • Nina - little girl
  • Tessa - diminutive of Teresa, late summer
  • Isabella/Isabel/Elizabeth - God's promise. Also a highly problematic character in a highly problematic series of poorly written books.

In an unrelated email, my brother and I had cause to talk about names. This time, I was put in mind of one of my favorite websites, The Utah Baby Namer. They claim not to feature any names without corroborating evidence. My faves from that site:

Most names taken from main list, others only on "The Cream of the Crop."

Azer Baloo
Bridger A-10 (breaker 1-9er)
El Myrrh (be vewy qwuiet -- I'm hunting baby Jesus)
Friends Forsaken (uh...ok)
Iron Rod (snicker)
Knight Train (not to be confused with Nightrain Lane, which is also on there)
Leviathan (That's gonna suck as a kid, though it might get ok in college, if he plays it right)
Marvelous Man (awesome)
Tugdick (I can't even comment on this one)

Alpha Mae (HBIC?)
Apathy (whatever)
BeDae (sigh)
Cajun RayneChinchilla Zest (That sounds both cruel and illegal.)
Clitoris (?!)
Confederate America (No.)
Desdedididawn (Did I stutter?)
Hallah Lujah (Amen)
Hereditary (No, you picked that voluntarily.)
Jennyfivetina (I don't know why I love this one so much.)
Justa Cowgirl
K-8 (Because Kate was too normal.)
Pork Chop (OH MY GOD, PEOPLE!)
Sin'D (heh heh heh)
Southern Justice (I'm afraid)
Trauma Ann (tough delivery?)
Treasure Cocaine (Wow. OK, do you want your daughter to be a stripper/junkie? Is that what you're trying to tell me?)
Truthanne (Keepin' it real)
Vyquetoriya Walkasheaqua
and, last of all -- X Y Zella

anything starting with an X or a Z, like Xtlyn (boy) or Zzkora (girl).

Here's the thing. I want to say that there's room for names that don't sounds "normal" to me. I don't mean foreign -- obviously, I've got no problem with names that are just unfamiliar to me. But is there any culture in which it is a good idea to name your daughter after a part of the reproductive system? (The correct answer is no.)

1 comment:

  1. I agree no one should name their kids after a part of the reproductive system. I do have to add ZzKora was put in the baby name list after December 1998. Kora means maiden and we decided to change it up. She is now 13 and loves her original name and gets lots of compliments on it. She also thinks it would be cool to hear about another ZzKora someday. Though says it would be neat to be the only one, kind of like Tigger on Winnie the pooh.