First off, thanks everyone for your understanding and concern considering my recent absence. Things haven’t really fixed themselves, but there’s nothing I can really do about it, and I’ve come to terms with that. So, hopefully I’m back to scheduled programming.

Weird, right?

Today we’re going to talk about a name that’s been pleasing the hell out of me lately, even though it’s incredibly far removed from the kind of name I usually like: Jessamine. If you had asked me six months ago what I thought of it, I would have said it’s entirely too frou-frou and delicate for my tastes. Now, I think it’s perfectly lovely, but just not for me, in the front, anyway.

First off, let me tell you what sort of mental image Jessamine puts in my head. It’s not of jasmine, strangely enough, but of a sea creature. Kindly take a look to the left: that’s what I see when I think of Jessamine. More hot pink and sort of fluffier, but that’s a rough approximation. I have no clue why. Go ahead, run in terror from my weirdness now…I’ll wait.

Back? Okay, then, let’s talk about Jessamine’s origins, pronunciation, and all that other fun stuff. BtN, my go to source, says it’s from a spelling variant of Jasmine, and that’s it’s pronounced JESS-a-min. I’ve also seen it pronounced Jess-a-MEEN, which I think it lovely as well, and somewhat more intuitive, actually. Some other sources say that it’s from the Middle French jessemin, meaning, guess what? Jasmine. I’m not an etymologist, so I’ll leave it up to you guys. I’m more apt to believe BtN, myself, since it’s usually a little more accurate. Some nicknames include Jess/ie, Mina, Jessa, Mimi, etc, etc.

I usually play around with Jessamine in the middle, since I’m not fond of really girly names in the front. Edna Jessamine is really all I’ve got at this point, but I like it with a lot of things. Alice Jessamine, Agnes Jessamine, Bridget Jessamine. I think it does wonders to lighten up a “dowdy” name.

What do you all think of Jessamine?

Is it time to put me out to pasture now? Is it time to commit me? Run for the hills, I’m going to talk about Edna!

Two things have brought me to my Edna musings. One is my genealogy research: Edna is a family name on my mother’s side. Her grandmother was an Edna, and it is my Aunt Louise’s middle name. The other is a thread on Doris on BNaBBT. I really like Doris, and the thread got me thinking about “frumpy” names.

I like Edna’s sound and history. It’s got two roots: one as an Anglicisation of Eithne, and another from Hebrew, meaning “pleasure.” I know I’m going waaay against the grain when I say I like the sound of Edna, but I personally don’t see the problem with it. Hannah is top 10 and I find it unpleasantly breathy; I much prefer the solidity of Edna. Edie is an adorable nickname, too. Edna’s a great alternative since I don’t care overmuch for Edith; seems dirty to me in a weird way. Too pioneer girl. I know a ton of people think Edna Krabappel from The Simpsons, but that doesn’t bother me too much. It’ll fade.

A few Edna combos for your perusal

  • Edna Daisy
  • Edna Beatrix
  • Edna Frances (unrepentantly “frumpy”)
  • Edna Lucienne
  • Edna Penelope
  • Edna Catherine
  • Edna Marianne
  • Edna Jessamine

Too lazy to do some three namers. I’ve been on a single middle name kick lately anyway. There are two or three up there that make my heart go aflutter, but I’m not going to bias you guys!

So, let me have it. Tell me what you think of Edna. You won’t hurt my feelings, promise.

Hey all, sorry for the sporadic posting lately, but I’ve been trying to get a lot of stuff done. Between scheduling classes and fighting with my mom about living on campus, it’s been quite a week! Anyway, today’s post will be on two names I’m undecided about, Cordelia and Cornelia.


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?

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…)

June has been on my mind lately, mostly in the middle but sometimes as a first. I think it’s spunky, unusual, and endowed with a good bit of sass. My first association is June from KaBlam!, the awesome 90s kid’s show.


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