Friday, July 20, 2012

Eccentric Middle Names

There are names, and then there are things. You try not to give people the name of things, but some things sound so good. That is where middle names come in. The middle name is where most parents go a little wild, especially with a common first name. Here are some ideas I have for a few middle names that make even the plainest of janes and johns stand out.

Honeydew- it's a type of melon, but tink about the words in this compound name: honey and dew. Together, it sounds simply rich. And honeydew melons aren't an ugly fruit. I happen to love the color of their spritely green flesh.

Cannon- Butch names are all the rave. I'm all about peace, so most names like Trig do not appeal to me. Cannon is a different story. It might be the name for a weapon, but it also used as a term for the written word. I feel that brings a scholarly edge to the name.

Merryweather- For boys, it is a legit name too feminine for modern times. For girls, it is too fanciful for modern times. why not put it in the middle, then? Furthermore, the fairy Merryweather is my favorite fairy from Disney's Sleeping Beauty.

Rebel- I admit, I wouldn't personally use this as a middle name. But I love a rebel, and with the right child it could be cool.

Sunshine- This name was featured in my post about hippie names, but I just wanted to highlight this name a second time. It has a nice connotation, sounds nice on the tongue, and really sets a common name apart.

To end this post, I'll mix up a few of these names with the top girls and boy names.

Sophia Honeydew
Jacob Cannon
Isabella Merryweather
Mason Rebel
Emma Sunshine

Monday, July 16, 2012

Simple Names From A Dream

"Is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream?" 
A Dream Within A Dream by Edgar Allan Poe

I had a dream a while back. I was calling out to a little girl that was my own. It was a bright sunny day, and this took place on a lawn. I do not remember the name I called out, but I could feel how the name felt: Simple. I know for sure it was a simple kind of name.

Many have said that dreams are a way of telling you something. I subscribe to that motto. If I had a dream of a plane crashing before a big trip, I would cancel the flight. It sounds silly, but it's an uncertain world, and it's only human to cling to any source of certainty.

Nonetheless, this dream has inspired me to go searching for names that are simple. Over at nameberry, I asked for users ideas of what a simple name looks like. here are some names that repeated in people's responses:


One comment from taz, a senior member, brought great insight into the benefits of simple names:
"Any classic name fits perfectly. I think that simplicity is an excellent thing to keep in mind when naming. Who would want a confusing name?!"

So I am going to consider simplicity, and especially the names suggested, in looking for The Right Name.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Summer of Hippie Names

I don't know if it's the rising temperature, the wonderful burst of nature in the air that summer brings, but I have been getting in touch with my hippie side. I mean, doesn't a nice hot day make you want to walk around barefoot and learn how to play guitar?

But I digress. There is one legacy that my mother's generation left behind that I have been really getting into lately: hippie names. It's a wonderfully creative naming movement that I'd love to see more modern parents embrace.Here are a list of especially fanciful names I'd like to see on more flower children




image source

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ye Ye Girls and Ye Ye Boys

My latest obsession is not a name, it is a movement.

Ye Ye is a movement of music that can pretty much be summed up as European mod pop, but don't let the poppy beats and doe-eyes ingenues fool you. These girls and boys are breaking all the rules of thier time. I like Ye Ye music on a visceral level. It is delightfully campy from my 90's-era perspective and has a European flair that makes it its own.

and did I mention the fashion?

I could go all places about the style and the music, but I'll get on with the names.

Here are the names of some promenant singers in the Ye Ye genre:

France: France Gall is my favorite of the singers. She embodies the childish whimsy of the movement with a pleasing sound that seduces you in the most innocent way possible. Her glorious anthem against players, Laisse tomber les filles, was the first song to pull me into learning about this movement. Her more popular song, Poupée de cire, poupée de son, is more well known (especially if you are from Japan, where Shibuya Kei style bands have loved the movement as much as I do). Name wise...France isn't cutting it. It sounds more like the name of a doll, which many of the Ye Ye girls tend to look like, but nobody wants to be a doll in real life.

Françoise: This is how you do France. While this name is difficult to write with an American typewriter, it has a coolness that transcends barriers. Speaking of cool, Françoise Hardy. She was the quintisential "cool girl" of the Ye Ye group, seen more in leather coats and mens shirts than mini skirts. All of her songs have a grown-up meloncholy that made her beyond just a pop singer. She's still out there, singing to packed crowd that want a glimpse at timeless cool.

Sylvie: Sylvie Vartan had a very strong voice, but had a more campy image than other girls of her day. Her name has a childish breezyness to it, but also has a certain style that cannot be denied. I loved the name before hearing about Mme. Vartan, and now I love it more.

Sheila: Like Cher, Shiela is a one-name pop star who really took the campy nature of Ye Ye music and set it to 11. As a name, Shiela is a bit past it's prime, but the singer herself is still relevant. She plans to come out with a new album to celebrate 50 years in the music industry.

those are the big name girls of the movement, but there were boys in this club as well. They are few, but they are there nonetheless.

Serge: Serge Gainsbourg, a music icon in his own right, was the man behind a lot of these girls' music, especially (my favorite) France Gall. He wrote the song Les Sucettes, which translates to "Lollypops". This is a song which is so rife with double entendres that he scandelised a young France Gall when she realised what the song was really about.  They had a falling out after that, which is a shame, because she really nailed that song and all the other songs he wrote for her. Name-wise, I think it's a name only  the french could pull off.

Claude: Claude François is another popular Ye Ye singer of the male persuasion. I am not aquainted with his music, but you can bet I'll be looking into it once I'm done with this post. There are not many noteable guys in the Ye Ye music scene, and I'm okay with that. Claude, like Serge, sounds better with a french accent.

Now, for your viewing pleasure, a few of my favorites from the genre:

The one that started it all for me

And the other one that started it all thanks to Mad Men and Jessica Paré's hit preformance.

And to bring us back to earth, a wonderful song by the impeccable Mme Hardy.

Adeu! Until next time! (Which I hope will be sooner than later.)

Image source un, deux, trois

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Spelling Problem

I have noticed a  trend of spelling average/dated names differently( I won't use "wrong" because the social construct of "wrong" and "right" in spelling changes with the times, and I accept that) . on For Real Baby Names, I find that this trend is very prevalent in America. Here is a list of a few names within this trend used in the past posts from American baby name announcements. For reference, I'll put what I assume is the variant.
Haddie Florance (Hattie Florence)
Kelcie Lou (Kelsey Lou)
Kra Lanaye ( Kyra Lanai)
Lenox Jane (Lennox Jane)
Shyle Addison (Shylie Addison? That, or it's supposed to sound like Kyle)
Izaak Jazz (Issac Jazz)
Justyce Storm (Justice Storm)
Paisli Taya( Paisley Taya)
Amaree Kalima (Amarie Kalima)
Cherri Yazmin( Cherry Yazmin)
Clarisa Piper(Clarissa Piper)
Evelyne Ngozi( Evelyn Ngozi)
Preston Lyfe( Preston Life)

Listen, I'm not the world's best speller, but I would be damned if I don't look up how a name is spelled before I give someone a name. By the amount of names I've found with these variant spellings, it cannot be said that it's just a one-time thing. This is consistent. Now, the saying" this name will ruin your child's life" has been thrown around, but these names , I think, might actually have a negative effect on the child.1. They will have to spell their names constantly to the well-meaning people who think their name is spelled the traditional way.
2. People will assume the parent, maybe even the child, doesn't know how to spell.
3. The perception of "right" and "wrong" spelling will be a contentious issue. If Emily can be Emhli, who's to say bright can't be spelled brit?

I just can't get behind this trend. It sort of screams " I am trying to give my child a special name" and fails. Also, it shows a lack of value in intelligence. The parents probably, in a lot of cases, know that the name is spelled a certain way, but eschew logic for their independent tastes. That sort of philosophy has been a detriment to American politics to this day. I just...can't.Use the trendiest name ever, name your child Aidan, but at least spell it A-I-D-A-N.


 image source

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Other Elizabeths

I don't know if I can make this very clear, but I love my name. I never quite gel to nicknames like Liz or Lizzy or Betsy no matter what family members call me. I have always preferred Elizabeth in full. It is the name of many people I admire and has never been too trendy no matter how many Elizabeths there are.
But Elizabeth isn't the only of it's kind.
Here are a few names that have similar features to Elizabeth: old names that have staid in the top 50 for years, but have not really been in the #1 spot in the past decade.

Samantha: Samantha is a natural variant of Elizabeth. They both have an old colonial sound, and have been steadily popular for years, but not #1 popular.It also has the boyish nickname Sam, making it the enviable name for all tomboys of the world.

Alexis:  I am not a personal fan of Alexis. To me it seems like one of those names you give to your daughter because you subconsciously wanted a boy. Still, it has it's charms, and a lot more people have been a fan of this name.

Hannah: This is a very east-coast name. I like the name Hannah, but it doesn't have a lot of oomph. It's got a plain-jane sound to it, no matter how pretty a Hannah could be (and the Hannah I know is quite pretty).

Sarah: Sarah seems like the obvious sister, or cousin, to Hannah. Both are old Hebrew names that do not inspire me. Still, I cannot stop liking the name due to it's many admirable namesakes.

Grace:Grace is a lovely virtue name that doesn't sound too stuffy. It surprises me sometimes in it's simpleness.Sometimes I find it almost too simple, if you know what I mean.

Feel free to share other names that you feel fall into the "Elizabeth" category.

Friday, April 13, 2012

My Current Crush: Louella

I have recently been loving fairly southern names. I'm the opposite of southern, but like many African Americans, I have family in past and present who have resided below the Mason Dixon Line. One name I like practically begs to be said with an accent.My Jersey accent might take away from the beauty of this name, but I love it still: Louella.
On Nameberry, Louella is said to be a smoosh of Louise and Ella. On Behind The Name, someone comments that Louella could be an old Teutonic word for "shrewd war heroine", but the scientist in me needs more data around that. There is nothing wrong with smooshing Louise and Ella together.
What I like about Louella is that it's a familiar name, can suit a potential tomboy with the nickname Lou, and has just that little dash of "special" that helps it stand out.
Also, might I add that I love the brand Luella? The clothes are often lovely, whimsical, and add a huge injection of youthfulness to the name Louella, or Luella as it's also spelled. The image is from the brand's Spring 2010 show. I look forward to seeing what more Luella Bartley has to offer.

image source