Spotlights


I’ve been really digging Augusta lately, inspired by Chanel’s lovely double barrel, Mary Augusta, as well as her combo Martha Augusta. I think that Martha and Augusta sound like sisters; slightly severe yet friendly, and dignified as anything. It last charted in the 30s, so I think Augusta is due for revival. The male “August” names are gaining steam, so why not this equally dignified female equivalent? I think that the strait-laced aspect is more fun than anything these days. People know that you aren’t trying to sound particularly formal, given today’s casual environment, so the name comes off as funky and cool instead of stuffy and pretentious.

To me, Augusta is a stately forest green, which is interesting, considering August and Augustus are shades or orange and red. I think this is probably because of the city in Maine. I think it’s got a nice New England feel to it.

The cons to Augusta would be the very formal feel of the name in its entirety, exacerbated by the lack of nicknames aside from Gussie. If you don’t like Gussie, you have Augie, which isn’t cute at all, or Usta, which reminds me of estuary. Gusta sounds like gusto and Aug is just sort of unfortunate. So, you either use Gussie or the full name, which could be very difficult for people to envision on a tiny baby; this might delay a revival or prevent a full one. I like Gussie, though; it feels very flapper to me.

And, some combos:

  • Augusta Marianne
  • Augusta Daphne
  • Augusta Fern
  • Augusta Lucille
  • Augusta Ivy
  • Augusta Daisy
  • Augusta Ruby
  • Augusta Scarlett (usually I dislike Scarlett but I like it here)
  • Augusta Marisol

I feel like you can go with something a little less substantial in the middle, since Augusta has such heft. And I think I prefer it with one middle, just because of that same weight. I also love to play to the 20s vibe with Augusta Ruby and the like. What would you pair Augusta with?

So what do you think of Augusta? Is it due for a comeback? Am I crazy? Would you use it yourself? What kind of middles do you think work? So many questions, as usual!

I’ve been loving these two lately. I think they’re unusual and exciting, maybe a bit flighty (I’m looking at you, Henrietta) and a great way to honor an Uncle Harry or Grandpa Henry without using their names, exactly. Honestly, I just feel like singing the virtues of these two from the rooftops! I seriously am loving them.

First, Harriet. I love the sound of the name (no “hairy” problem here) and the energetic -t ending. It’s quaint and charming, and very uncommon; it last charted in the 60s, and probably isn’t due for a comeback yet. You would think it would be, but I think the consonant heavy sound keeps it on the distant, rather than near, horizon. I don’t even see it too much on message boards, which are usually decent predictors of trends. The nickname possibilities are good, too: Etta, Ette, Hattie, etc. Just avoid Harry! Some Harriet combos, off the cuff:

  • Harriet Cecilia Alice
  • Harriet Dahlia Daphne
  • Harriet Felicity Fern
  • Harriet Margareta Iris
  • Harriet Emma Jane (Jane Austen for the win!)
  • Harriet Eliza Jane

Henrietta is girlier than Harriet, no doubt about it. It also seems more “upper-class,” in much the same way Henry sounds more upper class than Harry. However, I feel as though the name might be a little too flighty for a real girl. Whichever way you slice it, it’s a whole lotta name. The sound is softer than Harriet’s, so that might make it a contender for revival down the line. Feminised male names aren’t incredibly in vogue, though (although I wouldn’t say they’re particularly unfashionable).  I think Hen or Henny is a darling nickname, and I would love to see Henrietta revived. I think I would view it as more usable if I saw it on an actual person! Again, some off the cuff ones:

  • Henrietta Dorothy Jane
  • Henrietta Georgia Beatrix
  • Henrietta Juniper Josephine
  • Henrietta Rosemary Joan/Jane
  • Henrietta Daphne
  • Henrietta Josephine

Just having some fun, as you can see; I would never name a kid Henrietta Juniper Josephine! I still think it’s awesome, though, and if I had a superhero to name, that would be it!

How do you like Harriet? Henrietta? What combos do you like, and do you have any of your own?

I know what some of you guys are probably thinking: “She’s hopped onto the frumpy wagon towards frumpville, hasn’t she?” Well, obviously I don’t think Judith (or Martha) are frumpy, but if you think they are…oh well! Actually, my recent thoughts about Judith have been prompted by yet another singer, this time Wir Sind Helden’s Judith Holofernes (born Judith Holfelder von der Tann). I’ve been quite obsessed with this band as of late, and let me say: Anyone who thinks German is an ugly language should listen to her sing. Anyway, I’m still feeling ambivalent about Judith the name, so I’ll do a post to sort it out, I think.

So, let’s start with what I like about the name Judith. First and foremostly, Judy. I think it’s a great nickname, sprightly yet adult. I even think it stands alone anymore, although I wouldn’t use it in that fashion. Second, I like the history of the name; it’s legitimate without a doubt. Third, the Wir Sind Helden singer/songwriter. She’s the awesome-sauce, without a doubt. Last, I suppose, would be the strong sound of Judith. I miss strong girl’s names. All in all, I think Judith is a nice name and a refreshing choice for a daughter these days.

Now for the cons. The name is dated, no two ways about it. It screams 40s. In addition, it reminds me of my senior year biology teacher, who was a nutcase of the highest order and sort of creepy besides. Third, I don’t think it fits with my other favorites at all, and honestly, there are a lot of names I like better. I’m also not fond of -th endings.

Hm. Judith isn’t for me, I think. It’s like knee high boots: I can admire them from afar, but they looks like hell on my short legs. Judith is very much the same. I’d love to meet little Judys but the name isn’t for me. I think it’s the Bio teacher that really put the nail in the coffin. She was freaking bizarre, and couldn’t teach besides. It’s a super-unpleasant association. Well, some Judith combos for your trouble of reading this post:

  • Judith Felicity Fern
  • Judith Viviana Eve
  • Judith Christabel/Annabel
  • Judith Lucienne
  • Judith Rosemary
  • Judith Mina Melisande

That’s it, really. Just off the cuff, since I realize I’m not wild about Judith anyway. I still think Judy is swell, though. Judit, maybe. Actually, I think I like Judit a lot better. JOO-deet. Hm. Could be Yoo-deet though, I’m not sure. I think I like it, though!

What’s your opinion, guys?

That’s right, Martha. I’ve been really liking it lately, matter of fact. Also, my Rufus Wainwright obsession as of late has brought me back to his sister (aren’t they a great sibset?), who is one hot tamale and my primary association with the name.

Teh hot, part two.

Teh hot, part two.

Seriously, check out those gams! Where do I get a pair? Someone needs to tell Kate McGarrigle she makes damn good-looking children.

Ahem, anyway, I know that Wainwright probably isn’t most people’s first association, but it’s enough to put Stewart out of my head and think of Martha as a really attractive name. I like the history and legitimacy, and the sound, of course. I also like that it’s terribly unpopular, at 586. My only quibble is the meaning; it comes from an Aramaic word meaning “lady,” or “mistress of the house.” This feminist isn’t too cool with that, but this normal person also realizes that few people know the meaning of names, and that it doesn’t mean anything anyway. Actually, you know what, I could care less. It doesn’t matter. However, I don’t like any nicknames for Martha; Marty makes me want to puke. I don’t think it needs a nickname, though, since it’s only 2 syllables.

No combos, just some nice Martha thoughts. I’d be more inclined to use Rufus, though, which puts Martha right out. I’m not that fan-crazy. What kinds of names would you pair Martha with? I think something light and fluffy is best. Also, how do you like Martha? Old lady, hipster cool, or cool in 10-15 years?

Full disclosure: I don’t really listen to Martha Wainwright at this point, but would really like to. Unfortunately, I’m broke. Care to donate to the Martha Wainwright CD fund? Send your money to me…it’s for CDs research…of…the CD naming market…yeah that’s it.

Well, a few days/week or so after everyone else talked about Rufus, I’ve finally decided to do a post on it.

I like Rufus. I think it’s got a really nice sound and feel; hipster yet handsome, you might say. Besides the fact that Rufus Wainwright is one of my favorite singers:

Aka teh hot

Aka teh hot

So I’ve got lovely reason to use it. However, I worry about the usability and dog associations. I don’t know, but I think it would be alright in the liberal naming envoronment we enjoy today. I also worry about it being pretentious, a “hipster” type of name akin to, I guess, Sebastian. I hate Sebastian, though, and there’s worse things then being a hipster.

Some Rufus combos in my style:

  • Rufus Horatio Calvin
  • Rufus Geoffrey Calvin
  • Rufus Johannes Edward or Rufus Edward Johannes
  • Rufus Christoper Antony
  • Rufus Robert Antony
  • Rufus Frederick Paul
  • Rufus Calvin
  • Rufus Edward
  • Rufus Frederick
  • Rufus Geoffrey
  • Rufus Christopher

Any you like? I feel as though they’re a little off, but maybe there’s some good I’m not seeing. I shouldn’t have looked at everyone else’s combos first!

So what do you think of Rufus? The Rufus combos? Anything else?

Today is a day for silly guilty pleasures! Juniper is a name I’ve come to adore, but I’m entirely unconvinced that it is actually usable. The earliest Juniper I can find is a Saint Juniper, a follower of Francis of Assisi, my favorite saint. His story goes Juniper was visiting a sick brother and asked if there was anything he could do. The man requested pigs feet, so Juniper went, found a hog, and cu its foot off to give to the man. The owner of the pig was understandable angry, and St. Francis sent Juniper to apologize. Juniper didn’t understand what as so wrong, and thought that the mane shouldn’t be angry, since he had done a charitable act. The man was indignant until Juniper asked him to slaughter the hog for charity; this request softened the man’s heart and he did what was asked. St. Juniper was male, but I prefer the name on a girl. The nicknames are more feminine than masculine, I think. Jenny, Ginny, Juno, June, etc. I suppose Perry is possible for a boy, though.

I think Juniper is, first and foremostly, sprightly. The name has a lot of energy and seems springy, if you understand my meaning. However, I also think it’s a little goofy, and reminds me of giraffes. That’s where my hesitation comes in. Is the name too goofy for a kid? I think the nicknames make it more accessible, though; still, I waver. What do you think? Is it usable, or is it likely to induce teasing?

As far as combos go, I think I’ll make some off the cuff. I think Juniper needs a really good grounding name to keep it from being too flighty.

  • Juniper Margaret
  • Juniper Bridget
  • Juniper Frances
  • Juniper Hazel
  • Juniper Ingrid
  • Juniper Alison
  • Juniper Florence
  • Juniper Dorothy Cecile
  • Juniper Eliza May
  • Juniper Margareta Alice
  • Juniper Maria Adelaide
  • Juniper Theresa Catherine

And just for fun: Henrietta Juniper Mae. Very flighty.

So, what do you think of Juniper? Do you prefer it in the middle or the front? (I’m starting to think I prefer it in the middle.) Any combos tickle your fancy?

Now that we’ve discussed Margaret’s nicknames, we’ll discuss all the different forms this versatile name can take. There are easily as many forms of Margaret as there are of Elizabeth and Catherine, so this post will probably be a long one! Luckily, most forms seem to be fairly easy and intuitive for English speakers, so I won’t have to pull the hated “beautiful, but unusable” phrase often. (I’m looking at you, Katarzyna.) Well, there’s not much more to say, so let’s get started on the list!
(more…)

So, like my previous posts on Catherine (1, 2) and Elizabeth (1, 2), I’ll be talking about the name Margaret in two parts. First, we’ll discuss nicknames, both domestic and foreign, then we’ll discuss foreign forms of the name.

To start with, I love the name Margaret. If you’re a regular reader of the blog, you might notice that I use it (or a different form of it) in my combos. The primary reason is that Margaret was my late grandmother’s name; she passed when I was about 13 and was the only of my grandparents I knew. I loved her dearly and want nothing more than to honor her in my future child’s name. She was a kind and sweet woman, who never said a bad word about anyone, and was the epitome of Christian charity.  Of course, I may be idolizing her, but she really was one of the sweetest people I have ever known. I actually know the story of how she came to be Peggy; her mother admired Princess Margaret (and Queen Elizabeth, her middle namesake), and so named her child after her. I always thought it was sort of neat that there was an actual reasoning behind her name. Anyway, through constant use to honor Grandma, I came to love the name on its own merits; it’s extremely strong yet recognizably feminine, classic, and comes with a mass amount of nicknames, making it easy to personalize. And the nickname possibilities are what I will discuss today.

As usual, I’ll break the nicknames up into predominately English nicknames, and then foreign ones. Hope this list is informative!

(more…)

I’ve been thinking about Daphne lately an awful lot. I think that its sprightly sound,  green color, and Frasier association (Yes, I know. But I love the show so damn much!) make it a real contender for a future daughter. I don’t think Scooby Doo at all, but my boyfriend does. It’s all he’ll say when I bring it up. So usually I put it on the back burner so I can actually talk to him about combos he likes, since he’s one of the few who’ll humor me. Now that I have a spot to talk about names with like minded people, I’m going to let the Daphne love flow!

What appeals to me most about Daphne is the ethereal look and sound of the name.  Laura Wattenberg, author of the Baby Name Wizard (a book I reference frequently), says that it has a “gauzy romance” about it, and I have to agree. It’s just a beautiful, feminine look and sound. Another thing I love is the relative rarity of the name and the fact that it’s probably not going to get too popular any time soon. D’s are unstylish and probably likely to remain that way for a while. The clinchers for the Daphne love are the long history and classical pedigree. I think it’s almost a perfect name in every respect.

Of course, there are a few drawbacks to the name, most notably the Scooby Doo character that Sean is so hung up on. The only other one I can think of is my inability to pair it, but that sounds like a personal problem, I’m afraid. 😉 Well, I’ll give it a go, here, anyway:

3 Names

  • Daphne Cordelia Violet
  • Daphne Dorothea May
  • Daphne Margareta Marianne (Is the alliteration too much? I think I’ve got an unhealthy obsession with it.)
  • Daphne Amalia Margaret
  • Daphne Rosalind Lilac (Too planty, I know)
  • Daphne Adela Catherine
  • Daphne Armina Clare
  • Daphne Elinor Margaret
  • Daphne Lavinia Pearl

2 Names

  • Daphne Beatrix
  • Daphne Francesca
  • Daphne Margaret
  • Daphne Elinor
  • Daphne Hazel
  • Daphne Susan

See? I’m having a lot of trouble pairing Daphne up, because I seem to like florals with it! Argh! *bangs head on wall* Do you think that it will be too obvious that both names are nature names, if I were to use, say, Daphne Lilac? Do most people know (or care) that it means laurel?

Any comments on Daphne or the combos? All help and thoughts appreciated!

Hey guys! Remember me? Your steadfast blogger has been ripping her hair out over the past week or so, so I had to take an absence.

So, two things have brought me to Marianne today. One is a thread an another board I visit, and the other is that I recently finished reading Pride and Prejudice. Of course, I compared it with Sense and Sensibility in my head, leading me to today’s name. By the way, I loved both, and I’m planning on reading Emma next. Any Austenites out there?

Anyway, I think Marianne is gently old-fashioned and altogether much different than Maryann or any other permutation of the compound name. It’s all about the pause in the middle: Mary(half-breath)Anne vs Maryann, pronunciation wise. Also, Marianne has roots as a diminutive of Marie, so it’s not simply a prettied up version of the compound name. And, from what I hear, the English pronounce both names completely differently. Mairy-Anne (which, for what it’s worth, is the way I pronounce Mary, Mairy) vs Marry-Anne. Of course, depending on where you live, you might not see the difference between Mary and Marry, even when it’s Mairy phonetically!

There are a few different associations with Marianne. For me, first and foremostly, it’s Dashwood, one of the protagonists of Jane Austen’s novel, Sense and Sensibility. She represents sensibility, or feeling, while her sister Elinor represents sense. While altogether I’m much more of an Elinor, I love Marianne’s character equally, and she’s the one who first made me love the name. Other folks’ first associations are the symbol of the French Revolution, which isn’t a bad one, I suppose.  It might depend on your politics, but I don’t see too much bad about it. Anyway, the third most popular association seems to be a Leonard Cohen song, but I haven’t heard it, so I’ll reserve comment.

All in all, Marianne is a name that recalls carriages and country houses, revolt and politics, and music. Varied enough for you? A Marianne can be pretty much any kind of girl, but it’s so tied to Dashwood in my mind that I only think of her. However, it’s not a bad association at all, unless you think having an excess of feeling is an awful thing. It’s also very uncommon; the last time it was in the top 1000 was 1992! It peaked around the same time Maryann and all of those did, in the 40s and 50s, but it never got too high, stopping at 183. I don’t think this spelling is dated though. Only the compound versions are dated.

What do you think of Marianne?

« Previous PageNext Page »