December 2008

Well, it’s that time of the week again, so let’s get to it. Yellow names, as you can tell, are the subject of interest this Monday. I don’t have a ton on my lists, but maybe I’ll remember some more as I go along. I’ll be including golds, too, since I know I have at least one gold name off the top of my head. They’re definitely richer and more sedate than the bright yellow names I have, which generally give off a sunny and happy feeling, quite predictably. Well, let’s see the lists!


Note: Alternative spellings, not kre8tiff ones. Well all know that each child is a precious snowflake, blah, blah blah. Don’t give them a horrendously spelled name; they don’t need it to be special! We’ll be dealing with more or less legitimate alternative spellings. Please, use them, not Kathyrynne. I’ve already talked about Catherine v Katherine and Elizabeth v Elisabeth; they’re in the archives somewhere.

The Battles

  • Claire v Clare: Clare by a long shot. It looks cleaner and doesn’t remind me of eclairs the way Claire does.
  • Eleanor v Elinor: Elinor. Again, it just looks cleaner and less cluttered. I really like Is, I think they look simple and tidy.
  • Gillian v Jillian: I waver. Some days I like Gillian and think Jillian looks dumbed down, other days I think Jillian must be closer to the original intent of the name as a feminization of Julian. I prefer Jill to Gill, but I still can’t make up my mind!
  • Margo v Margot: Lately I’ve been preferring Margo for being farther away from Maggot. However, I’m not sure how legit it is, and I sometimes think it looks dumbed down.
  • Susannah v Susanna: Depends on what I’m pairing it with. Susanna is sunnier, but Susannah is more dignified looking.
  • Nora v Norah: As a stand-alone name, Norah, as a nickname, Nora. I don’t know why.
  • Vivian v Vivien: Again, I waver. Sometimes I think Vivien is more feminine, and other times I think it’s masculine looking. No clear winner.
  • Alasdair v Alastair: Since neither is particularly intuitive for Americans, I’d be inclined to go with the original Alasdair.
  • Geoffrey v Jeffrey: Geoffrey, definitely. More timeless and less simplified looking.
  • Philip v Phillip: Philip. Cleaner and less heavy looking.

I know there’s a ton more I’m missing, but I just wanted to do a quick post. My old cold has morphed into what I think is a lovely sinus infection and I thought I’d do one today in case I feel like crap tomorrow. What alternative spellings do you prefer off of my list? Any of your own to add?

I’ve been liking Eliza more and more as a stand-alone lately. I think it’s spunky and feminine, but also serviceable as a full name. Now, usually, I would advise against using a nickname as a full name, but I love Eliza so much, and would hate for my Elizabeth to become a Beth or Ellie. No offense to any one with those names, but they’re so pedestrian to me. I just yawn at the thought of another Ellie! Then again, Eliza could be further shortened to Ellie…wouldn’t that suck if I went for Eliza to avoid Ellie and ended up with it anyway?

Another reason I would be disinclined to use Eliza is the fact that Elizabeth is my middle name, and Eliza feels a little egotistical to me. I hate to think of naming a child after myself; it’s a practice I don’t particularly like. Like I said, feels egotistical and just, well, downright selfish. Why deprive a child of an original name? Why give them a carbon copy of Mom or Dad? I like naming after other relatives, but a mother or father is just too close for me. I have the exact name as my grandmother, and I think it’s pretty nifty, given the fact that I never met the woman. However, I’d hate to share a name with my mom, either in the first or middle spot. As it is, we both have an Elizabeth variant, but they’re different enough to be distinct. I don’t think Eliza stands far enough from Elizabeth for me to be comfortable with it.

Well, quibbles aside, here are some Eliza combos:

  • Eliza Harriet
  • Eliza Viola Marian
  • Eliza Dorothea
  • Eliza Marietta Clare
  • Eliza Margaret
  • Eliza Marguerite
  • Eliza Marietta Grace (a name found in my family tree travels: She was the last woman in my grandmother’s line who was born in Ireland)
  • Eliza Sharon
  • Eliza Marisol
  • Eliza Caroline
  • Eliza Daphne
  • Eliza Cecilia Pearl

Whimsical ones:

  • Eliza Isabella Adelaide
  • Eliza Armina Daisy
  • Eliza Shoshanna
  • Eliza Geesje Marian
  • Eliza Carmelita
  • Eliza Lark
  • Eliza Araminta Danae

See? I could just go all day. Armina is a name I’ve found a few generations back, and I’m really intrigued by it. Geejse was either the first or middle name of one of my first American ancestors, the child of a Dutch man and woman who emigrated to Fishkill, New York in the 1600s. Isabella Adelaide was one of Armina’s children, I think: her twin was Anna Isabella. Carmelita is the surname of a woman who married a  great uncle, and Caroline was a great great grandmother. Cecilia has taken on new meaning to me since I’ve found that my folk are from Cecil County, Maryland on my grandfather’s side, and Marietta is a new whimsical love. Marian is an ancestor and also an alternate spelling of Marion, a few greats back aunt who was an Oxford educated professor. Intelligent, independent women must run in the family. Marion was afraid of becoming a spinster but would not marry for anything but love; unfortunately, she died at age 29, and never married. I’ve been really into my genealogical research, if you can’t tell, and it’s informed my naming in a big way. I find names that I wouldn’t have given a second look to fascinating, and my head is just full of them. Please, though, tell me if I need to get back to names and away from genealogy; I can’t promise you much but I can promise I will try, even if I need to write a second blog about my ancestry. Sorry for the rambles, I didn’t mean to, I promise!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my novel! Share your thoughts, please!

I’ve been doing some research into my family tree. So far, I’ve been able to work my way up my mother’s side a good ways, and while it’s not certain, I’ve found a good many interesting names anyway. Since it’s Christmas Eve, I’ll save myself some time and just do a list. I omitted last names I didn’t feel comfortable putting up.


  • Gula Elma Young
  • Alice Hogg (how unfortunate!)
  • Armina (2) (First one was born 1815) Any ideas what this is?
  • Marian (maybe Miriam, Merriam, etc)
  • Mercy Taft
  • Lucretia Geesje De Long
  • Marion Theresa
  • Anna Isabella and Isabella Adelaide (twins)
  • Marbury Place (first-last)


  • Asborn (Might be Osborn, Osbern, etc)
  • Charles Cecil
  • Stutely (or Stukely) Stafford
  • Palmer Cleveland (Late 1600s!)
  • Bayard
  • Morris

And with that, I’ll leave Merry Christmas wishes to anyone who wants them. Otherwise, Happy Chanukkah, Kickin Kwanzaa, and I hope you had a good Solstice.

As I mentioned none too subtly in my Floral Names post, I love the name Fern. I think it’s just gorgeous, feminine without frills, with a great image. Ferns are beautiful plants, if you ask me. Spores are a pretty cool way of reproducing, too. Anyway, I love Fern in part because of its highly unfashionable sound. F is fairly out of vogue, and the consonant rich sound is certainly not the most popular thing nowadays. It seems that Fern only fits into one trend, the botanical trend. I hope it doesn’t get too popular, but honestly, I don’t think it will. Like I said, the sound is so unfashionable, but not because it’s ugly, at least in my eyes. I think it would really pleasantly surprise people.

I have a lot of trouble pairing Fern, as I imagine I would have with any and all one syllable names. By and large, I prefer longer names with nicknames, so I don’t have a lot of experience matching short names with middles. My personal rule of two out of three names must honor also makes it a little more difficult to work with in reality. Honestly, I would probably put Fern in the middle were I ever to use it. Well, let’s try some combos!

I’m feeling quite a bit better. Cold had me knocked on my bum for a day or two, though.  Runny nose = DO NOT WANT. Thanks for the well wishes!

Since it’s Monday, it’s time for another synaesthesia post! Yay! I think today we’ll be seasonal and do red, especially since green was last week’s post. Of course, I don’t know how seasonal it is to people who don’t celebrate Christmas (I do, but in a secular “all about family and gifts” way). Actually, that’s an interesting point; are red and green seasonal to everyone? I don’t think they have anything to do with Jesus, right?

Anyway, I’ve read that for most synaesthetes, A names are red. Now, I have to agree with this generalization. A lot of A names are red to me, although not all A names are red and not all red names are As! I think this phenomenon has at least two explanations: One, A is often represented by a red apple in learn to read books, and two, red is a really powerful color, an alpha color, if you will. My red names, after the jump:

Just letting everyone know I’ve got a nasty cold and am pretty much dying. I don’t know if I’ll be posting the next few days. Don’t blame me, blame the mucus.



I’ve been crazy for the name Alice lately. No clue why, as it’s not a family name and not a usual favorite. I’ve been finding Tom Waits’ album of the same name in every record store in the Philadelphia area, and it seems to be a sign. (By the way, I found it on vinyl. WANT.) You can listen to the eponymous song from the album here. It’s a lovely song, if sad, as most of his tend to be, at least a little bit.

Anyway, I just love Alice’s sound and girlish yet grown up sound, along with its healthy dose of Victorian feel. Sometimes I feel it’s too much Alice’s Diner and not enough Alice in Wonderland, but those episodes are usually mercifully brief, and I come back to it now and again. It’s been on my lists for a very long time, and seems to be in between upswings in popularity, sitting at 346. Of course, by the time I have kids, it will be Top 100, I just know it. 😛 That seems to be the way it works; everything I love gets popular!

So I’ll regale you with some Alice combos, most just made up here:

  • Alice Dorothea Elinor
  • Alice Eliza Daphne
  • Alice Pandora Margo
  • Alice Theresa May/Margo
  • Alice Cecilia May/Margo
  • Alice Cordelia/Cecilia Daisy
  • Alice Georgiana Fern
  • Alice Margareta Josephine
  • Alice Petra Philomel
  • Alice Philomena Clare
  • Alice Penelope Joan
  • Alice Felicity Eve

Seems as though I like a endings after Alice. I think they add a lot of bounce in a combo, if you know what I mean. I could add some more, but maybe later or another day. What are your thoughts on Alice? What do you think of my combos? (Remember they’re a work in progress!) What are your own Alice combos? Thanks for stopping by!

I’ve been thinking about Corinne a lot lately. I love its bright, clear sound and sunny yellow feel. I’ve heard that it’s quite dated, but I’ve never met one in my life! I looked it up, and the graph is strange:

CorinneIt peaked in the 20s, in the late 200s. I mean, it was never so popular as to be dated a la Brenda, I think. I don’t know, Corinne just enchants me. It’s outside of my usual style but so interesting to me. I come back to it time and time again. I think it’s the crisp sound and no frills approach. I also love the Ns, I don’t know why. I just love the C and N together. Which is weird, since I hate Conor. … And, looking at the Behind the Name page, I realize why people think it’s dated and I don’t. I say kuh-rin, where it’s supposed to be kuh-reen! Well, even the most seasoned nerds make mistakes sometimes. What do you think about it? Kuh-rin vs kuh-reen I mean. Do you think the “rin” pronunciation is enforceable and acceptable? Do you think it’s nicer?

And Corinna. It’s got the same waffley pronunciation problems. I reject the English and accept the German Co-RI-na because the een sound is horribly unattractive to my ear and the name pronounced that way reminds me of careening, the verb. I think it’s feminine without frills and just gorgeous in a classical way. I can imagine anyone being a Corinna, from the girliest to the most tomboyish. Again, the ambiguous pronunciation throws me off, probably more so than it usually would because I’m not sure if my own is right or not. I think it’s all part of transliteration and Anglicisation, really; you can’t spell the name with a double n and expect an -een pronunciation. Argh!

I’ll leave you guys with my pronunciation woes. Corinne and Corinna; in or een? Is the former enforceable? Is the latter unavoidable? Is in so wrong that you roll your eyes? I just really dislike the eens here and I’ll have to drop these gorgeous names if I’m too far off base.

Talk to me about Corinne/Corinna!

Well, since my post on blue names got a good reception, I’ve decided to make it a weekly serial type of thing, to be done on Mondays. Since I don’t usually discuss my color perception too much, I think condensing it into a post a week gives synasthetes something to talk about without alienating the rest of you guys too much. 😀 Be sure to let me know what you think!

The color of choice for synaesthete corner this week will be green, my personal favorite. It’s just so beautifully naturey and wonderful. I don’t have a lot of green names on my lists, and many of them start with Gr-, an all too obvious connection that throws me into doubt about whether these are actual brainwaves or just associations. I don’t see all names/words in color anyway, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. Here we go!


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