General Thoughts


I have just been loving Anne lately. Between the sound, look, history, and literary connections, what’s not to like? True, I have been reading Persuasion by Jane Austen lately, and the main character is an Anne, but I doubt that’s the really reason I’ve been loving it so much. There are other Austen heroines I much prefer.

First, let’s look at the spelling and usage of Anne. The e spelling that I’ve been using is the French form (of Anna). It’s my favorite one. It looks complete and refined, where Ann looks dowdy and incomplete. The Ann spelling peaked in the 30s, whereas Anne peaked in the 1910s. I know they’re the same sound, but this difference might be why Anne looks much less dated than Ann. Of course, these numbers don’t tell the story of the little filler that could: Ann/e was the middle name du jour for so many women, over the ages. Even if it is family, it has the possibility of being  boring in the middle, much like Elizabeth, Nicole, Grace (to go through 3 cycles of filler). The only way to avoid it is to put it after some more unexpected choices. Right now, Anne is 517 and Ann is 786. With Anna at 25, why not give simple Anne another try?

Of course, this similarity could be a strike against sweet Anne. If everyone’s going to mistake her for an Anna, why try? Well, for the sake of Anne! It’s a beautiful, history rich name, and, for me at least, more pleasing than Anna. Anna gets nasal for me, while Anne avoids it with its 1 syllable simplicity.

Of course, the problem I have with Anne is the same problem I have with pretty much every one syllable name; it’s hard to pair with middles! The flow always seems off, and you can’t put a vowel name after Anne, lest it sound like an indefinite article instead of a name. Anne Margaret is out, too. 😛 So it’s a bit difficult to pair.

What do you guys think of Anne?

Felt like doing one on a group today, since no new names are grabbing me at the moment, just all the same ones. So, let’s talk about April, May, June, Summer, and even March and January!

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Upon first seeing Nameberry’s list of hipster baby names, as well as an article on hipster names I was confused and slightly exasperated. You see, the word “hipster” follows me around like a tin can tied to a dog’s tail, yet I still don’t have a clear idea of what a hipster is. It’s been applied to my music (Tom Waits, specifically), my penchant for shopping at the thrift store, my love of vinyl records, and now my names! Who are these people? You see, it’s hard to find a good definition because it seems to be a derogatory term. Urban dictionary:

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See here for the explanation, if you can’t figure out what we’re doing here. 😉 (Note: I’m not doing nicknames as other forms, since, well, they’re nicknames. I might do a post on nicknames I consider passable as full names at some point. You won’t see Sasha or Ned here.)

  • Edward: Duarte, Eduard, Eduardo, Edvard, Edmund
    • Eduarda
  • Christopher: Christoph/e, Cristobal, Kester, Christian
    • Christine, Christina, Christabel, Kirsten
  • Joseph: Jose, Giuseppe
    • Josephine, Josepha, Josephina, Giuseppina
  • Alexander: Alasdair, Alejandro, Aleksander, Alesander, Alessandro, Oleksander
    • Alexandra, Alejandra, Alessandra, Alexandrine, Sandrine
  • James: Akiva, Diego, Giacomo, Hamish, Iago, Jacob, Jacobo, Jacobus, Jago, Jacques, Santiago, Seamus, Yakov
    • Jacobine/a, Jacomina, Jacqueline, Jamesina

If anyone’s got any more male names they’d like me to include, pipe up and I’ll throw them on here.

I know that many, many naming sites have exhaustive lists on how to honor a relative with an unsavory name, but I still thought it would be fun to do my own, considering I don’t always agree with their suggestions. You can always use the same first letter, of course, but if you’re more of a stickler for similarity (like me!), maybe you can find these lists of some help. I’m going to stick to different international forms of the name, but I might end up doing a “similar in sound” list later.

  • John: Johann, Ivan, Evan, Sean, Hamish, Ian, Jens
    • Jean, Jane, Giovanna, Joan, Joanna, Sinead, Siobhan
  • Richard: Ricardo
    • Ricarda
  • Anthony: Antony, Antonio, Antoine
    • Antonia, Antoinette, Antonina
  • Timothy: Timoteo, Timo
    • Timothea
  • Michael: Miguel, Mikhail, Miles, Milo
    • Michaela, Michelle, Michela
  • Robert: Roberto, Robin, Rupert
    • Robin
  • William: Wilhelm, Willem
    • Willa, Wilhelmina
  • David: Taavi
    • Davina
  • Thomas: Tavish, Tomas
    • Thomasina, Tamsin
  • Mark: Marcus, Marco, Marcello, Marcos, Marek
    • Marcella, Marcia
  • Charles: Carl, Carlo, Carlos
    • Charlotte, Carla, Carlotta, Caroline, Carolina
  • Stephen: Etienne, Stefan, Tahvo, Esteban
    • Stephanie, Estefania

This name has been a subject of contention on one of my boards lately. Some love it, some hate it, some think it’s hokey on an eighth child, some would only use it on one, and so on and so forth. I’m torn myself, so let’s check it out

What I like about Octavia is the sturdy sound and classical pedigree. Although the name is quite frilly, the hard ct sound keeps it from being fluffy. I’m not a huge fan of overly frilly names, though (Henrietta notwithstanding), so I feel like Octavia is a little princessy for my tastes. I also like the fact that it’s been in use so long, and is well established.

I do dislike a few things about the name, though. First is that it reminds me of octopi. This guy down below, especially. Does that mean I played too much Pokemon as a kid?

A Pokemon Octopus

A Pokemon Octopus

Maybe, but it also means that Octavia puts a weird image in my head. Second strike against Octavia is the lack of nicknames. Octie is ugly, Tavia downmarket sounding. Via is probably the most viable, but it’s a little weird. Tavi might work, but it’s too close to Davy, which I hate. My third problem with Octavia is the meaning. 8th child isn’t exactly exciting, and readily apparent from the name itself. I mean, Catherine isn’t any great shakes either, (pure) but it’s still more exciting than “8th.” The only way that the meaning is exciting at all is if the child has anything to do with eights. Being born at 8:08 or 8/8 or being an eighth child. Which brings me to my last issue with the name: it’s just weird if the kid doesn’t have anything to do with eights.

Going into this post, I knew that Octavia was something I’d never use. I can appreciate it, but in the end, it just isn’t for me. I think I like it less than I did going in, though. The cons for me outweigh the pros.

What do you think?

It’s about time for another post on the boys, don’t you think? Let’s talk about two of my understated favorites today: Niles and Miles.

I think these two names have a very similar feel to them: Quiet, understated, but very debonair. Miles has cool cred due to Davis, while Niles is slightly stuffier and buttoned up. I prefer Niles, though. I think it’s less common but just as smooth, and it reminds me of David Hyde Pierce, who is a major hottie in my book. Why is it that all the men I love are uninterested in the ladies? And don’t tell me that’s not what he looks like now! I don’t care! Let me live in 90s sitcom land, please. (more…)

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