4.09.2007

Revenge of the Jennifers

I sit here at 36 weeks pregnant, enormous and anxious, pouring through books like 800 Bazillion Baby Names and Simply the Best Baby Name Book in This or Any Known Galaxy and No I Swear This Baby Naming Book is Like, Sooooo Much Better Than the Others. My mechanical pencil is at the ready, that I might excitedly scribble sixteen stars with alternating exclamation points around The Name when I find it.

But for some reason I can't find it.

Or to be more specific, there are names I like. They are simply not available.

It's a strange beast, this 21st century baby naming business. Back when I was a wee lass (you know, walking to school uphill both ways, fending off drunken Confederate soldiers, etc.) things were much simpler:

You basically named your daughter Jennifer.

It didn't matter that your best friend had a Jennifer or that you had two cousins with Jennifers or that the celebrity du jour named her child Jennifer. In fact, you were proud to have chosen such a popular, contemporary name and you didn't even bother to disguise that fact with eunicque spellings like Jynnyfr or J'Ennifer. You just propped yourself up in that hospital bed, wrote J-E-N-N-I-F-E-R on the birth certificate in your anesthetic stupor, and went right on ahead loving your baby Jennifer as if she were the only baby Jennifer in the whole nursery-- never having even a clue that she'd grow up to resent being known as Jennifer P or Jennifer R for the rest of her days.

Today, this will simply not do. The new guidelines (surely made by a bunch of Jennifers, seeing as how they now rule the world) dictate that you may not use a baby name that has been taken by anyone you know, anyone you vaguely know, anyone you used to know but haven't seen since your high school reunion, anyone known by anyone you know or used to know or vaguely know, or, worst of all, anyone who's ever appeared between the covers of US Weekly.

These new mandates on name ownership evidently have had some impact. If you spend a few moments at the Social Security Administration's names database (a great place to while away those long third trimester days), you'll learn that the top 20 names in 1972 comprised 15% of all children. Today, the same top 20 is half that. There's just a greater pool of names to choose from today, and so, you're expected to find one that's gone unclaimed within your social circle.

If you deign to steal a friend's name (yes, I have heard this actual expression used) in lieu of finding a shiny new one, expect to fend off passive-agressive remarks like "Mind if I refer to her as Chloe II?" Or "How very Swedish of you."

Therein lies my problem.

In a nutshell, I have friends and family with excellent taste, damn them. Their kids have fantastic names-- hardly a clunker in the whole lot. And since I'm getting such a late start on this whole baby business, that leaves me, essentially, with the remnants.

You know things are tough when you flip through the increasingly dog-eared pages of one of the baby name books and realize that in a wholly sober state you circled Isis.

While my readers have been kind enough to offer up their rejects or even their own names (because certainly none of them will offer those of their children) over the past weeks, I have yet to find one with that magical combination of "awesome!" and "wow, I can't believe no one I know has used that yet."

And so, I continue to look for inspiration, holding out hope that The Name will come to me before that first contraction starts. I look through lists of Shakespearean names. Poets. Goddesses. I scan IMDB for Oscar Winners of the 1940s. I browse museum websites for favorite artists. I even humor Nate and try to look through the Redskins roster for a name he might go along with besides Clinton Portis. (Or Clintonia Portia, as Jaelithe cleverly suggested.) Then every so often, I think I'm onto something.

"I like the idea of a name from the natural world," I tell a friend. "Maybe something floral?"

"Nice!"

"But I'm afraid the only unclaimed options are Calendula, Nasturtium or Wandering Jew."

"How about Rose?" she suggests.

"I know two just in our building."

"Okay, well Lily is sweet."

"That's Melissa's daughter's name."

"Pansy?"

"Nope."

"Daisy?"

"No way."

"Dahlia?"

"Dahlia and Thalia..."

"Yeah, that's not good. Okay, so Fern."

"Unfortunately Jennifer just named her daughter that last week."

"Jennifer R?"

"Jennifer P."

And so it goes.

-----

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103 Comments:

Anonymous Sarah P. said...

My friend named her daughter Gemma, as in Gem. One can lovingly sing-song "Gemma Gem" to call her. It's sweet. I'm a late baby producer picking my own girl name out now as well. Best of luck to you.

4/9/07, 11:12 AM  
Anonymous mummy v said...

Maybe, if you're able to do it, wait to choose a name until after your baby is born... then something might come to you once you've gotten to know them a bit... your families will hate it, but it takes the pressure off... ?!? plus, baby 101 has a good ring to it in the meantime :)

4/9/07, 11:19 AM  
Blogger Ginger said...

When pregnant the first time and expecting a boy, my husband and I had a hard time agreeing on a name. The day after delivery when the hospital employee came back to the room to decide if we had a name I gave in and used hubby's name. I didn't want just baby boy. Good news, though. When second child was expected, I declared I would choose the name and I did.

4/9/07, 11:22 AM  
Blogger Kim Eschler said...

I am a Kim, my best friends since high school are all Kim's, I totally get the Jennifer thing. My daughters are Jessica and Taylor. I don't really like either of their names, but so go the compromises made by hormonal woman. I am also a substitute teacher and find reading role one of my favorite actives! Here are name I would NOT suggest, (all girl names in use at my school) Texie, Teria, Canyon, Dared, Gina-Tia, crap there are many more and I have drawn a blank! The big thing here in Utah is to make up your own name, use half mom's name and dads or two names you just love and combine it, its just silly, but very much the way around these parts. I personally love long formal names that the nick names are boys names (gota have a nick name!). I guess its good I am not having any more kids. Good luck!!!

4/9/07, 11:27 AM  
Blogger BK said...

HOw about a favorite book character?
Bonnie

4/9/07, 11:34 AM  
Blogger Lawyer Mama said...

We named both of our kids after they were born. With the first it happened because it was an emergency c-section and we couldn't agree on names. With the second, it was just plain old procrastination. But once the kids were born it took about 2 minutes to pick a name. I'm not sure why it was so much easier then, but it was.

I was accidentally called Jennifer about 5000 times as a child. Every time someone tells me I look like a Jennifer, I want to smack them.

4/9/07, 11:39 AM  
Anonymous Amy said...

I picked out my daughter's name in high school, and I'd have been devastated if someone I knew used it between then and the ten years later when my daughter was born. (Equally horrifying was the idea that I'd have two sons!)

My mother-in-law hates the name, and went so far as to tell my husband when I was pregnant that she really hoped we wouldn't use that name, because she thinks it sounds like a boy's name.

Anyway, I named her Harper Lee (after THE Harper Lee) and I love it, I think it sounds very feminine, and I'm so glad I got to name her that. I've had a lot of positive feedback, with a cousin of my husband saying she and her husband are really jealous that she didn't think of it first. (Of course, I've also had people look at me like I'm crazy too.)

I never had any second-tier names, because my husband really liked Harper too so I don't have anything to offer up. (But if you did like Harper, I wouldn't hunt you down for using it. I live in Indiana and you don't *know* me, so feel free if you have the inclination. If not, well then just name her Prudence. I think that has a nice ring to it.)

4/9/07, 11:43 AM  
Blogger kgirl said...

Hell, no one names their kid Jennifer anymore. You'd be positively trendsetting.

4/9/07, 11:46 AM  
Anonymous Sarah... Sarah S. said...

I can see already that when Fiance and I decide to spawn, we're in big trouble. We like names that other people have picked and we aren't afraid to use them.

So far we like the names:
Sophie (niece)
Ethan (cousin)
Caleb (friend's son)
Rose (nieces, plural, and also a friend's dog)
Oh, and Thalia (um, the daughter of that one mom whose blog I read)

It's okay. If you choose something that's already taken, I'm sure I'll join you in the Parents Blacklisted Playground someday soon =) My kids are going to be known by their last name initial if it's the last thing I do, damnit!

4/9/07, 11:46 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

ok since i apparently didn't jump on the bandwagon earlier with name offering...my name is alison, which i must admit i love. my child's name is william david, but i don't think that's gonna help you much...i'm pregnant, i think it's a girl, i don't have any great names either, but the ones up for discussion are evie, paige,
grace, hailey. i really like evie, hubby not so much, and i have always liked paige. not sure if it helps but thought i would throw my names into the ring.

4/9/07, 11:56 AM  
Anonymous Kvetch said...

I haven't named a baby in almost 12 years...and since I know you're just dying to know the names I never got to use because I only had 2 kids and not the 6 I planned on having when I was 12, I offer you my non-used, outdated choices.

Zoe
Tessa (or Tess)
Phoebe
Ava
Evan (yes, for a girl, I read it once and thought it was brilliant)
Aubrey

and then there is always the Hebrew collection:

Shira
Shayna
Eden
Simone
Shoshanah
Shifra
Leah

GOOD LUCK. And remember, she will become whatever you name her, and you won't ever imagine her being anyone else!

4/9/07, 11:57 AM  
Blogger Mary-LUE said...

Well, I've run into one or two other little girls named Marley (my daughter's name) but, it definitely isn't as popular as Jennifer! Feel free if you like it. The only problem is people assume we named her after Bob Marley. She's quite feisty, though. If the name of your child has any sort of cosmic impact on what his/her personality ends up being like, then Marley is a Wild Thing.

4/9/07, 12:01 PM  
Blogger slouching mom said...

Ella?

OK, I'll stop.

I was Sarah A. all through grade school, and there was also a Sarah L. and a Sara D.

You know it's bad when you start taking pride in your 'h'; "That's Sarah with an 'h'," I'd say, "it's much prettier that way."

It is, isn't it?

4/9/07, 12:05 PM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

LOL, yes, I'm not jealous of you. We were trying to help my sister name the baby-to-come and she was ready to shoot us all.

Isis? Well, at least we know she'd be mighty. I'd let you know what our 'rejects' are, but I fear I've deleted all those files. When I was young, my favorite name was Cassandra, so she could be Cassie. I also LOVED Tess but J. was 100% against it. That's all I've got for today.

4/9/07, 12:07 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I am a Jennifer. This is why I wanted a slightly unique, but not weird name for my daughter due in May.

Ainsley.

You can use it if you'd like.
Your welcome.

4/9/07, 12:12 PM  
Anonymous Mel said...

I was one of many Melissa's all through school...

We liked old fashioned/classic names that shorten well: Josephine (Josie,) Vivianne (Viv.) Also loved Tristan for a girl, but hubby nixed it. Sadie?

The hard thing for me was to find a name that is complimentary to the older child's name. I practiced calling the kids and narrowed my list dramatically that way. Good luck!

4/9/07, 12:33 PM  
Anonymous Redneck Mommy said...

Try having a sister-in-law (or two or three) that insist on popping out five or more children, each and thereby using up all the cool names in just ONE family.

I'm stuck letting the kids pick names based on video game preferences.

4/9/07, 12:34 PM  
Blogger jennster said...

you can't go wrong with jennSTER! you know it!

4/9/07, 1:10 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Here's another great website...the advanced search feature was really helpful and fun when picking names.

http://www.behindthename.com/

4/9/07, 1:18 PM  
Anonymous JayMonster said...

You know you forgot in your list of forboden names...

Ex-boyfriends (or girlfriends), the names of the people the ex dated either right before or after you, the names of ex's immediate family members you may have interacted with, names of those annoying popular kids when you were in High School, names of the losers in high school, names of celebrities recently in rehab, name of a fat aunt, or the alcoholic uncle (or vice versa, I guess).

When we were done we had left,

Eunice, Cassandra, and Freida.

We took Cassandra. Because beside it not being taken on its own, it also works to the "short names" of Cassie (which we liked) and Sandra or Sandy (which we didn't but could use in a pinch).

4/9/07, 1:18 PM  
Anonymous Genevieve said...

Names that go well with Thalia:

Maia
Ilana
Miranda
Vivienne (from upthread)
Juliana

You could use Cleo and have two muses Clio wouldn't go so well these days), but that might be a bit much . . .

4/9/07, 1:19 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Stargazer Airfern Portishead

4/9/07, 1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I am a huge lurker and have never commented before. Having just made it through the other end of the baby naming tunnel, I figured I may as well share our final options with you. And there's nothing more acceptable than 'stealing' a baby name from some stranger on the internet. It's not like we'll every meet.

For a girl we have Evelyn Mae. We'll call her Mae for as long as she lets us. But Evie, Eve, and Lynn are all backup nick names for when she's 13 and hates the name we picked.

For a boy Henry Edward. Which, is extremely common but a family name that doesn't sound heinously ancient (our only other almost normal option was Algot)

I hope that helps.
Oh, my name is Helen. Which, at least isn't common.

Best of luck to you! At least you know you'll settle on something eventually!

4/9/07, 1:38 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fine Goldstein/Kelly Kelly said...

Here are a few of my fave girl names. I had a boy.

Alexa, Audrey, Celia, Elaine, Madeleine, or Sofie. Or name her a cool word like "Ace."

Just thought I'd throw those out there. You're welcome.

Lisa

4/9/07, 1:39 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

no way. do not EVEN talk to me about getting names from the "remnants" of other names. my name is flat-out LEFTOVERS. what do i mean by that? i meant that my name and my sister's name are an anagram of my parents' names. that means that my parents chose my sister's name, then said, "hey, look! that has three letter from each of our names! what letters are left over?" and they arranged them into my name.

talk about remnants.

there are lots of names i like and could suggest, but your biting wit scares me, and i'm afraid you'll laugh at them all. so instead, i'll keep them to myself and mock them in my head on your behalf.

4/9/07, 1:46 PM  
Anonymous Susan Getgood said...

You would be more than welcome to any of my child's names, but unfortunately he's a boy.

When you were growing up did you ever have a name that you wished your parents had given you? Instead of the one they did? Perhaps that would work.

Great to meet you at BlogHer!

4/9/07, 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Erin said...

Hi. I've been reading for awhile, but never commented.
I have four kids-Logan William, Madeleine(Maddie)Frances, Hannah Leigh and Blake Edward.

I know of someone who has two girls-the youngest is a Thalia and the oldest is Annalise (also spelled Annelise). I think they are both beautiful names and go well together.

Good luck in your decision!

Erin

4/9/07, 1:57 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

We had some great (in our opinion, of course) girls' names picked out before we got the results of the amnio. My husband's Korean, so if it was a boy the baby had to have a Korean generational name (limited flexibility there -- it had to end in -ki and not sound stupid in either English or Korean) for its middle name. For girls the generational name doesn't matter (normally something I'd get all Feminist about, but in this case, I was more, "Yay! Free middle name!"), so we were free to go with a Hawai'ian name (reason too long to explain here). Anyway, our top two choices were:

Anna Napili
Charlotte Honokowai

We liked the idea of combining traditional names with something meaningful to us. (We also liked Jane, but we had a hard time finding a Hawai'an name to go with it.) Of course, POST-amnio, we had to come up with a boy's name. We didn't stray too far from Anna, Charlotte, and Jane: We named him after my favorite author. Or the Bionic Man, if you ask my husband.

4/9/07, 1:58 PM  
Blogger kristen said...

My mom thought she was being different when she named me Kristen. No Jennifers or Stephanies for her.

Yeah. Sorry mom.

4/9/07, 2:01 PM  
Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

I haven't read all the other responses, so no doubt someone has already suggested this, but I really like the classical names best. Elizabeth, (thought I would guess that is your name) Ellen, Laura/Laurel, Christina, Grace, Jane, Claire....etc.

And you have to stop worrying about what the name means now. Because once it is your daughter's name, all other associations will be null and void. I promise.

4/9/07, 2:30 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Don't forget pet names, too - those are also off limits. Which means for us, no Shayna, Persha, Cassandra, Ariel, and many others. We had a lot of cats wander in and out when I was growing up, and I gave all of them real names.

And once you do pick a good name, someone will then come up with the worst nickname possible to make you rethink the name. Just this week, Aaron's dad asked, "So Miranda is still in the running, right? We could have a Randy in the family! Or maybe a Randa!" Ugh.

I'll give you my secret name: Mina. Aaron hates it, which is funny since he loves Dracula, but I've always thought it to be such a pretty name.

Whatever you do, just don't throw a 'y' in where it doesn't naturally belong. :)

4/9/07, 2:31 PM  
Anonymous Julie said...

How about you go Ethnic, Thalia sounds like such an exotic name....

Here's a list we used long ago...

Teresa, Julia, Dimitra, Georgia, Melina, Marissa, Marina, Alexia, Kalli, Zoe, Elena, Eleni, Dianna, Karissa, Karina, Katrina.

I can't seemt o find my other lists.... we didn't name our girls until the VERY last minute before labor induction.... and yes, we picked names from the list above...
The other thing I think is that if you want to use a name that a friend or family member has used, use it. My brother used the same middle name I did on my oldest.

4/9/07, 2:39 PM  
Anonymous Jen said...

Like the other Jennifer, I plan on using Ainsley for a girl. However, I really like Sidney and Sadie. For some reason my next child, I have two boys Conor & Gavin, will end with the long "e" sound. Girl or boy. My husband in Kelly, also an underused girl's name nowadays. My middle name is Blythe. Polar opposite of Jennifer. My mom was going to name me Blythe Jennifer, but decided it was too uncommon and that Jennifer would be more accepted. Three of my four best friends in high school? All Jennys. Thankfully I was a "Jen!"

4/9/07, 2:40 PM  
Blogger Amy Jo said...

We finally decided on Penelope, who we will call Penny for short. It took us a long time the first time around, so I took charge and started in as soon as I found out I was pregnant. I know you will come up with something eventually. And you still have 4 weeks or so!

4/9/07, 2:44 PM  
Anonymous Dana said...

I adore this post. The name game is so hard to play. When we chose Dawson's name, I thought I was the only one to use it because I was one of the geeky girls in high school who loved Dawson's Creek. No one had ever used it for fear of being uncool and now I hear of 3 other Dawson's born AFTER my son. Such a trendsetter I am. Hah.

I refuse to tell anyone any names I'm even THINKING of using and I'm not even pregnant. There's just too many women pregnant in my town who fight over names like roosters in a hen house!

Good luck!

4/9/07, 3:31 PM  
Blogger Kendra said...

We managed to find both a boy and a girl name when I was pregnant by looking at websites that had names listed by ethnic group. Since my husband is half Irish, we ended up with an Irish name for our daughter, Taryn. So far, no one else we know has that name and we've gotten compliments on it. I don't know what we'll do if we have another girl because out of 4 books and about a million websites, we only found 1 girl name we liked.

4/9/07, 3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm yet another Jennifer and the names I like are:

Naomi
Ruby Jean
Isla
Nina

My son is Henry Ryman which are both family names and I was so disappointed to discover that Henry is in the top 100 for boys names in my state. But that was his name from the time we knew he was a him and there was no changing it just because the whole of the internets name their sons Henry as well.

Another Jennifer, Jenny, Jen, who hasn't used her first name since 1995.

4/9/07, 3:40 PM  
Blogger Tanya Espanya said...

I hope it's not too late to pipe in.

I'm expecting the baby boy in 9 weeks and I had a list of names, including Leo, Maurice and Victor.

My husband took one look at my list and just said, Alexander.

Hmm...I agreed, even thought it's a popular name, it's not decade or year specific. It's one of those classic names like Michael, Robert (my husband's name), William, etc.

You're having a girl, though, right? The girl name was easy enough for us because we picked each grandmother's name, and ended up with Marie Claire.

Some of the names in our family currently (including some school friends):

Angela (4 years old)
Thomas (4)
Emma (4)(extremely popular here)
Julia (4)
Eden (4)
Noa (9 months)
Lucas (due in May)
Cameron (8)
Dean (10)
Olivia (nice name, very popular here)
Sophie/a (also super popular)

The previous commentators have great suggestions too (another reason why I LOVE this site!).

Good luck, can't wait to hear what you finally choose.

4/9/07, 3:41 PM  
Blogger GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

What about Nova?

It's different and no one less than extraordinary could ever be called, "Nova", right?

I also really like:

Nia
Nessa
Nadja

Floral names?

What about Iris? Or just, Flora?

I LOVE the name, Avalon and will lend it to you if you'd like it... not a reject, either. I just have a feeling boys are in my future. Hee.

4/9/07, 3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm willing to offer up the names of my two daughters ---

The first was easy as it is my MIL's name (in reverse order) - Marguerite Elaine. We call her Mari, which seems like a better fit for her.

We struggled finding a name for the second daughter. I was into vowels and my husband nixed all my favorites - Anka, Anna, Aara. We finally agreed upon Audra Dean. Audra is a name of a co-worker in a remote office (we didn't name the baby after her; we just liked the name) and Dean is after my father.

I like that the two names don't quite "go" together. And, we haven't met another little girl named Audra or Mari yet!

4/9/07, 3:54 PM  
Blogger kyle said...

i am also a lurker but figured i would throw some names into the large hat you already have. my name is kyle sarena (my 4 year old brother named me after a waiter that they had in a restaurant when my mother was 8 months pregnant and her best friend had just stolen her girl name). girl names i like.... ainsleigh, addisyn, isabella, kevyn...
good luck!

4/9/07, 4:13 PM  
Anonymous wordgirl said...

It's such a personal thing. What sounds wonderful to me may sound awful to you. I remember a woman I knew years ago who told me that she named her son Christopher Michael because she thought it was sort of unusual.

(blink...blink...blink...)

Unusual? I never told her that it was the most vanilla-sounding name on the planet because it obviously worked for her. So...hopefully you'll find what works for you soon.

4/9/07, 4:27 PM  
Blogger Tiff said...

Hello - longtime lurker here, out of "lurkerdom." I'm sure naming a child can be a daunting thing, knowing that name sticks with a child the rest of her life.

In my family, we have some good names, some common names though, but feel free to use any of them -

Whitney Nicole
Brittany Nicole
Tiffany Ashle (me)
Lauren Bethany
Erica Nicole (yes Nicole's popular, haha)


and soon we'll have a Sophie Grace.

Other names I tend to like, which you're free to use if you like them:

Presley
Mercey (with an extra E.)
Amelie
Lachlan (I love this one)
Oriana (and this one)
Arden (and this one)

And my name is Greek. Here are some more Greek names that sound good with your other daughter's name....

Airlia (means ethereal)
Kaia (means Earth)
Maia (means nurse, mother, goddess)
Thea (goddess)
Thera (wild)
Xylia (wood dweller)

And if you'd rather go Shakespeare:

Arden
Bianca
Imogen (unique and uncommon)
Regan
Ophelia
Titana
Othello (I think it would be unique)


Good luck. Can't wait to see what you choose.

4/9/07, 4:33 PM  
Blogger Emery Jo said...

"Emery" is a natural world name.

It's a type of mineral and it also happens to be the bestest girl name on the planet.

Josephine is a good one too.

4/9/07, 4:40 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Never having a girl, I never had to name one, but for my last pregnanxy, since I didn't know the sex, I had really liked the name Maia if it was going to be a girl.

And where aren't you being published! How do you have time for all this? Congrats on your new gig with Time Out.

4/9/07, 4:45 PM  
Blogger mammacheryl said...

My list of girl names includes Somerset and Marlowe. You're welcome to them, though they're rather offbeat, literary and kind of pretentious.

4/9/07, 5:03 PM  
Blogger something blue said...

A floral name that I'd suggest is Linnea.

There are so many great names within your comments you'll be able to publish your own book of the Top Recommended Names from the Most Awesome People of the Internet.

4/9/07, 5:09 PM  
Blogger BOSSY said...

Bossy thinks you need to disregard the theory that you can't share a kid name with a friend - because in fact it's all been done before.

4/9/07, 5:26 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

Iris.

Thalia and Iris.

Of course I named my sons Ethan and Nathan--#'s 3 and 9 on the list.

4/9/07, 5:48 PM  
Anonymous Kathy said...

Re Rose - you probably won't be in your building forever.

Liana
Jasmine

Have you read the book Freakonomics? There is a chapter on naming your children. Jasmine is considered a "black" name.

My father is David. He has two nephews and a grandson named David, my brother's middle name is David. I have never heard any grumbling about too many Davids.

My husband's mother (born 1894) was named Jennie. Not Jennifer; Jennie.

4/9/07, 6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kinara, Aurora Jade, or Maggie....I wanted a girl and got two boys...My precious Javier Isaiah, and Giovanni Issac (a bit corny, but I love it!)

4/9/07, 6:42 PM  
Anonymous Lisa V said...

Iris.

It was my grandmother's name and is now my daughter's. If you take it and we ever run into each other (though we live on opposite sides of the country) I will never ask you to refer to your child as Iris II. Maybe Iris junior.

I was one of 8 "Lisa"s in my 7th grade history class. Half of us had the same middle name. I lived through it. So can little Lily Rose Ophelia Isabella or whatever you choose.

4/9/07, 6:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My daughter's name is Natalie - I hated almost every other girls' name out there, and the other ones I liked, my husband hated. I chose the name because, while it's certainly not original and does come up in the top 100 names, it still doesn't seem to be too popular. Feel free to use it if you like it - I live in Iowa... I'm guessing we won't bump into each other anytime soon. Good luck!

4/9/07, 7:52 PM  
Anonymous isabel kallman said...

i suggest Jacinda or Jacinta which is a form of the flower, Hyacinth.

4/9/07, 8:22 PM  
Anonymous ee said...

How about Chrysanthumum??? The best kiddie book in the world was written about a mouse with this name!!

The only problem...teaching her how to spell it:0

4/9/07, 8:23 PM  
Anonymous cobwebs said...

Has anyone mentioned the Name Voyager to you yet?

4/9/07, 8:25 PM  
Anonymous Selfmademom said...

At least you are veering away from naming your unborn daughter after two football coaches

Seriously, what's wrong with "Anne" or "Elizabeth" or something??

4/9/07, 8:26 PM  
Blogger Bess said...

Our daughter's name is Harriett. (in-laws hated it). Sometimes we call her Harry for short. Haven't met another one and I think it is adorable.
My name is Bess. A name I hated growing up but love now.
Name her what you want to.

4/9/07, 8:47 PM  
Blogger Bliss said...

I have spent far too much time pondering the whole name thing considering that I'm nowhere near this stage in my life.

What about Adelaide? Addy for short.

I have a penchant for three syllable names because I have one and because they often have a sing-song quality when people say them.

4/9/07, 9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about Ivy? It's from the natural world, it's kind of traditional, but it's not very common.

4/9/07, 9:43 PM  
Blogger Aurelia Bell said...

Alusz and I are completely screwed if we ever have more boys. We love our boys names, hence them having those names, but we also love what the other named her boy. So, if I had another boy, wtf would I name him? I'll just have to call him Little Thing Who Screams A Lot because we already claimed the best two boy names in the entire world.

Wait, was I just talking about future baby names? Shoot me. Now. Right now.

4/9/07, 9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You haven't mentioned if you've got any family you want to honor. What about using one of their letters as a start.

4/9/07, 10:08 PM  
Blogger Marcie said...

I can't resist jumping in to this one...Mary Jane. It's plain and never used anymore. It's the kind of name that would fit a punk rock kid or a studious one alike.
I wanted to name Ruby this, her Dad nixed it. Funny really since he is such a big fan of the other "Mary Jane".

4/9/07, 10:12 PM  
Blogger Maman said...

Would you believe I know a girl named Isis? Yes, it is true... Look at it this way... what ever you name her she will hate when she is 12 anyway. Trust me

4/9/07, 10:48 PM  
Anonymous mrs. Q said...

Oh, man. This post is making me laugh so hard. I inherited THREE different baby naming books, all written by the same effin guy. He's making a fortune off us indecisive parents.

My rules are: (1) can't share a name with immediate family (many a good name has been taken as PET names for god's sake); (2) can't be the name of an ex (either side); (3) can't sound goofy/too rhymey with their sibling; (4) no last names as first names; (5) no boys names as girls names, and (6) no kooky celebrity names. I liked the name Liam until the multi-talentless and attention-hungry Tori Spelling named her son that. Ack. So, it's easy to see why we're stilll on the search...

4/9/07, 11:17 PM  
Blogger Stephanie T. said...

Here are some of my fave girl names for your perusal:

Violet (yes, I know, I know, that's Ben Affleck's baby's name, but still, I like it.)

Ava (yes, yes, I know, that's Reese Witherspoon's (and everyone else's) daughter's name, but still, I like it)

Lila

Celeste

Ruby

and DH says his fave girl name is, "Olivia."

I have an aunt who, herself, has an elderly aunt named Thalia. This Thalia's sisters are Selma and Lola, if that helps you at all.

Good luck! I love talking about baby names. I had my kids' names picked out as soon as I knew their sex. :)

4/9/07, 11:23 PM  
Anonymous Lysa with a Y said...

As one of fourteen "Lisas" that I knew, I changed my spelling to "Lysa" at age 15. Sure was popular in '68. And you remember all the Jennifers we had, don't you? There was a book out in '89 called "Beyond Jennifer and Jason," which were the top names (besides Lisa and Michael) of the time.

Me, I like Yevgeny and Wills for a boy and Amelie for a girl. My cousin took my previous favorite girl name 17 years ago, Chelsea.

4/9/07, 11:40 PM  
Blogger movin'mom said...

okay so I reveal my kids names here...God help me...I don't know what is going to happen ...it's all about the unknown.
3/4 of my names are of no use to you because they are boys...but what the heck.

oldest-Nicolas Christian only known as NICO
(EVERYONE loves his name)
2nd- Michael Alexander only known as ALEX
(this drives everyone in the free world crazy in their need to ask WHY, we would do that to a child?)
3rd- Gianina Marie- Known as Gianina or G
(her brothers and friends call her G)
She was named after the Italian version of JOhn because her uncle John died when I was 5 months pregnant.
4th- Luke Angelo- my maiden name had the word Angel in it so we wanted to incorporate it into one of the kids names.

The other rule was we wanted them to all have name that was somehow Biblically connected.
Now 1st and 3rd have unique names and I am telling you every student and teacher and parent know who they are because they are the only one with their names. child # 2 & 4 have common names and especially Alex has been referred to as ALex 1 or Alex C or Alexander ....it is maddening. 3rd grade had 6 Alex's in the same class 4 boys 2 girls.

Good luck with your process...you will figure it out...Thalia was a beautiful choice. Just don't second guess yourself. Maybe you should just wait and name her when you see her.

4/10/07, 1:00 AM  
Blogger modmom said...

your baby is lucky you care so much + you will find the perfect name :)

4/10/07, 2:47 AM  
Blogger Reff said...

Useless music trivia - Mike Doughty (totally kewl singer that once was in Soul Coughing) has a song called "27 Jennifers". It's to your point.

Look internationally. There are troves of great, unclaimed names in my corporate directory. To wit: Sabina, Karine, Katia, Virginie, Sandrine, Francine, Maryline, Elise, Adrien.

If he had joined the Bruins earlier, I would have been petitioning hard to name little D, 'Patrice' after #37 - my fave Bruin. And really, you just can't go wrong with Clinton Portis.

4/10/07, 8:54 AM  
Blogger Kyran said...

A staggering proportion of my readers seem to be Jennifers. More specifically, Jens. For a while, my tagline was "where two out of three readers are named Jen"

Whither the Kimberlys of yesteryear?

4/10/07, 10:22 AM  
Anonymous RookieMom Whitney said...

At Barnard, we used to say: 7 out of 10 students are named Jennifer; the other 3 are named Rachel.

The Rachel thing speaks a little to the microclimate concept of names. ie Laura was more popular than Lucy in the US in 2005, but prolly in certain neighborhoods, like yours and mine, it is the reverse.

4/10/07, 10:08 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Davis said...

I am a Jennifer, who searched the family tree to name my son Douglas. At the time, the youngest Doug we knew was 45 years old, so we thought we were safe...until on Douglas first day of preschool he announces that there is another Douglas in his class. You can't win for losing!

4/11/07, 1:08 AM  
Anonymous elle said...

Ok, you already have one muse girl, so why not another? From the ever factual Wiki on Muses: "Polyhymnia ("the one of many hymns"), in Greek mythology, was the Muse of sacred-poetry, sacred hymn and eloquence as well as muse of agriculture and pantomime. She brings fame to writers whose works have won them immortal fame."

You are writers. It would fit nicely. Yes, Polyhymnia is mouthful and sounds like some weird medical issue like displaysia or roseaca, so maybe Polly would be a good alternative. How could you possibly take a pass on the muse of pantomine? (Picturing an infant in black leotards and kabuki makeup doing window hands in her crib.)

4/11/07, 4:05 AM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Miri
Nora
Piper
Corey

(Yeah, I am all about the r sounds.)
Meg (not Megan)
Nancy
Caroline

4/11/07, 9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second Phoebe, and not only because I used it for my daughter. It's just a great name, not at all common, and uber freaking cute when they can't make the F sound and call themselves Heebee. Seriously, it's almost painfully sweet. Oh! I think I just ovulated!


-posting anonymous to protect the guilty

4/11/07, 9:46 AM  
Blogger Ashlea said...

What about your favorite artists/ Authors or book charecters? My 4th is Finn after Huck Finn which WAS really original until hollywood jumped on the wagon.

So, like the Eagles?
Henley
Rasta music?
Marley
Alice from Alice in Wonderland!
You get my drift :)

4/11/07, 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

My favorite part of the article you linked to has to be "The name Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 - pronounced Albin"-well, of COURSE it is!!

4/11/07, 12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm one of FIVE Susan's on a staff of 25, but it's a name that's almost unheard of today.

Here's my favorite, though:

Cecily

It's my daughter's name and there are no others in our circle of friends/acquaintances, and I think it sounds beautiful when you say it.

4/11/07, 1:24 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

I second Lila; like lilac.

4/11/07, 2:31 PM  
Blogger Suburban Turmoil said...

We were actually thinking of Clementine if we had a girl. Weird, I know, but we kind of liked it. And we call my daughter, Genevieve, Gigi.

And then I got a baby name book to review and the press release said, "This is the book that will keep your child from ending up with a name like Gigi Clementine!"

I'm not kidding.

4/11/07, 2:32 PM  
Blogger MyDuckies said...

My twin daughters are named Caden (K-den, we thought she was going to be a boy, and Braden... but she suprised us) Her sister is Kayler (sounds like Taylor) and is named after a golf resort. :) It was spelled Kahler-

feel free to use 'em...

4/11/07, 3:09 PM  
Anonymous Jenn(Ifer) said...

Well, DUH, go with Jennifer. We can't all be wrong!

You can have my kids names: Brandon, Zarek and Gabriella. For that matter, you can have my kids. Ha!

Our only other girl name was Trinity.

But still, I say go with Jennifer for a girl. At least she can blame everything she does wrong on "that other Jennifer" as she grows up.

4/11/07, 4:13 PM  
Anonymous Jenn(ifer) said...

But in all honesty, you will end up calling the child, "Hey you!" or by the dog's name anyway, so it is just for standardized forms you need a real name.

4/11/07, 4:14 PM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

I named my daughter Bonilyn, the emphasis on the first syllable, but we are in the south, so I get a lot of people calling her Bonnie Lynn. It is actually a combination of my grandmother's name and my middle name. Her middle name is Violet, after my husband's grandmother.

My mom said she almost named me Jennifer, and I get a lot of people calling me Jennifer.

I'm happy with a 'normal' name, although in high school, I was in an advanced English class with five other Stephanies! But today's kid would feel out of place with a 'normal' name. Just go to any preschool and look at the names on the artwork hanging on the walls. You're not considered cool unless the teacher has to ask you how to pronounce your name.

4/11/07, 4:32 PM  
Blogger Karen Rani said...

Not that you need any more suggestions, but if Thomas had been a girl, (which I was 150% sure he would be), we would have named him Madeline Jane, after our two grandmothers.

And called her Troll Baby for short. Ha ha.

4/11/07, 5:42 PM  
Blogger Ree said...

After we named our son Wolf (my husband always wanted to name his son after the character Wolf Larsen from Jack London's novel Sea Wolf - forget the fact that the character isn't exactly a nice person, I eventually agreed and now I love it), we couldn't name our daughter "Jennifer." So, her name is Scout, from Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird (I also love the names Harper and Lee). Her middle name is Isabella and we only came up with that after she was born. I always say Isabella is my post-partum hormone induced "long flow-y girly" name. Other than those, my best friend is Jude and I love that name.

4/11/07, 9:30 PM  
Blogger G.A. said...

With the name of Genevieve Aurora I never had the problem of having to use my last initial. I hated having to correct my teachers pronunciation (no its not Geneva) but I love my name now. Although it seems that a lot of people have a granmother named Genevieve.

4/11/07, 11:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such fun! I remember when we were looking. I LOVED the name Anaximander. Isn't it awesome? Like... you think you're drunk or something, and then you blink and it's still there.

I like petra, actually. Isn't it a nice name?

Katherine is a good one and a classic. Plus, Kate or Katie is a great name when you age!!

My husband really wanted to name our daughter Addison and then call her Addie. When I learned that I was pg. with a boy, I said "what do you want to call it?" and he said "Addie." So **I** chose the name!

Good luck!

BTW, my grandmother's name was Suzanne but we called her "zaza," and YEARS ago (like -- 6 generations ago), one of my relatives was named "Deliverance Rich." (That goes into the see? things could ALWAYS be worse category!)

Hi from svmoms.com website! kate

ps: SHORT LABOR!

4/12/07, 2:43 AM  
Blogger Jo said...

My daughter's name is Ariana Evelynn
It means Holy in Hebrew and Silvery in Greek.
We call her Ari for short. You are welcome to deign it if you like seeing as I don't know you.

4/12/07, 5:53 AM  
Anonymous TB said...

I've been meaning to tell you this because you've mentioned it several times and are obviously passionate about it. I haven't wanted to bring it up because it involves me sharing our baby's name, which I have been wont to do in case some asshat needs to tell me that they know a serial killer with that name. But anyway I digress.

Our son is going to be named for his great grandfather, whose name is derived from old English and is spelled as such. His name is going to be Myles.

Don't judge me ;o)

4/12/07, 8:40 AM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

My aunt wanted to name me Patchouli Desdemona.

My parents stuck with Jennifer, because "no one was giving that name to little girls then."

I think Patchy D. would have been a wicked cool nickname. I would have been guaranteed a DJ job in L.A. Or maybe...too mangy?

Loved this post.

4/12/07, 6:43 PM  
Anonymous the weirdgirl said...

Serendipity (It's the girl version of Chance! Yes, that's really his name.)

For flower/nature names I always liked Lisianthus (though obviously that won't work). How about Fuschia? It sounds so punk, and you could soften it with a middle name of Grace or something.

Personally, I've always liked the really old-fashioned names, Abigail, Clementine (thanks Suburban Turmoil - I love it, too!) , all the "virtue" names, even Maude. No one likes Maude. Probably, if and when we have a girl, we'll go for something like Maggie. M names run in the family.

4/12/07, 11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dareth

4/13/07, 2:37 AM  
Anonymous laurie said...

since i have twin girls, we had to think of 2 (4 really) girls names at once. every single one that i suggested was the name of someone my husband once dated or slept with. nice.

we ended up with one name that he dated and one that he didn't. and like someone said way up in the comments, once the name is your child's, all other associations fall away.

can't wait to hear what you decide.

4/13/07, 3:19 AM  
Anonymous eastcoastelle said...

A little late to the party, but what the heck...

How about Blythe?

It's my daughter's name (and no, she wouldn't have to be Blythe II :) It's unusual, but not weird. We've received a lot of very nice compliments on it.

4/13/07, 3:00 PM  
Anonymous A Different Erin said...

You may have more suggestions than you can read, at this point. But, I'm 35 weeks pregnant and my husband and I have agreed on exactly 2 names (one for a boy and one for a girl). Both, I might add, he actually chose (he had a much stronger opinion about the whole thing than I'd anticipated). If we have a girl, we're planning to name her Thessaly (also spelled Thessily). When we shorten it, we'll likely go with Tess or Tessa (yes, we will be dropping the "th" sound for a "t" sound -- I've answered that question a dozen times, but I'm the momma right? I can do that). I think it's a beautiful name, but, honestly I worry that it's a little too unusual. I'm afraid we'll be spending our lives (as she will hers) spelling it, pronouncing it again and correcting people. So, I'd LOVE to start a trend prior to her starting kindergarten. A small trend. Perhaps not on the scale of the Jennifer trend. If you like it, please don't hesitate to use it. In fact, I'd like to point out how good it sounds with Thalia.

4/23/07, 2:55 PM  
Blogger Cenay Nailor said...

When pregnant with my daughter and faced with the "Name-Nazi's" telling me I couldn't/shouldn't/wouldn't dare name my daughter anything already used within our "circle", I just made one up. Guaranteed to never have been used before. Her Name? Britene. Pronounced Brit - tin - nay. Of course, many of her teachers called her Briteny, but about age 7 she was vocal enough to call most adults on it and set the record straight. After a long bout of her hating me for the name, she now (at age 21) loves it. It was touch and go there for a while though.

Good luck on deciding what to shackle the kid with the REST OF HER LIFE!

4/30/07, 12:46 AM  
Blogger jchevais said...

I was named after Jennifer Warnes.

I think.

My last name starting with a W I was Jennifer W throughout my entire life.

I think the most interesting spelling I've ever had of my name was by an Indian fellow: Geniphur.

I had a hard time with my daughter too. It was very hard and when I finally picked her name "Brenna" (I loved it loved it loved it, woulda married it) I realised after she was born that it was almost impossible for me to pronounce it right (I live in France). Everyone killed it by saying Bwenna (making it sound like some African tribal name).

Boy I cried. My postpartum was concentrated on totally f*cking up her name...

She's six now and loves her name. People often call her Brenda but she sets them straight soon enough.

And if the Jennifers are plotting a takeover of the world, I want to know why I haven't been contacted. :-)

5/3/07, 11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stumbled across this post and have come back to it three nights to finish it.
All things said above being equally important, my input is:
Robin (either sex)
Molly
Kelley (either sex)
Gilbert (who else read Anne of Green Gables)
Carlo
Lars
Mattias
Juliet
and...
Archer.
good luck and best of health;
Susanna Jennifer K.

5/3/07, 11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about the names Corinne or Corinna for a girl? They don't seem to be too popular; I like the sound of them anyway, and they can easily be shortened to Corie.

7/22/07, 4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although I'm a bit late to the party, I'll go ahead and post a comment on names in general:

I was one of several Jessicas in my high school class (Jessicas A, B, C, D, G, and W). There were also several in the grade above me, one of whom had the same first AND middle names and a last name that started with a G, as mine did. *sighs* To be honest, we had several Jennifers in the same class, sadly enough.

I've been called Jennifer more times than I can count for no apparent reason, other than "You look like a Jennifer..." Even if I am never introduced, I am likely to be called Jennifer for some reason.

I'm used to Gilbert as a last name, so it always seems odd to see it as a first name to me. Hmmm...

8/20/07, 1:13 AM  
Blogger Rachel Freeman said...

What about Anastasia?

1/10/08, 10:47 PM  

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