Saturday, December 01, 2007

"Proper names are poetry in the raw. Like all poetry they are untranslatable." *

In case the fourth is a girl, by some odd twist of fate:

Abigail? I know an Abby I dislike, and several I like. Anne. I like Agnes, but only pronounced the French way, which isn’t going to happen here. Antonia (in homage to AS Byatt)? Amy? (I cannot see myself as the mother of an Amy.) Amanda. Wow, I sorta like Amanda.

Bertha? Beth? Britney! Blech.

Clare. “Clare – it’s a fat girl’s name” (I LOVE that movie.) I like Catherine, too, and it has the added appeal of being my grandmother’s name.

Diana? THE girl name in H’s family, for girls of his generation. I think there are six of them.

Eleanor. Ellen (No. Does anyone else remember Ellen Tebbits?) Elizabeth (one of our top choices for a while there.) Elise?

Frances. No. H’s first girlfriend was a Frances. Of course, my first boyfriend was a Francis. And that’s our boy middle name. Shhh, don’t tell.

G. Gloria. Pretty in theory. I used to adore Geraldine, can anyone tell me WHY?

Helen? No, H’s college girlfriend was a Helen. Crazy, neurotic, psychotic wench.

Igraine. Whoo hoo. Isabella? VERY popular these days. Most of the I names seem to be variations on Isabella. Except for Inez.

Jane. Like the name, but H does not. I think he’s right. Jessica is pretty. But I also cannot see myself as the mother of a Jessica. Jennifer? Does anyone name girl babies Jennifer anymore?

Kara. For Rogue Librarian’s sake, absolutely not.

Loretta. Look out, Loretta! Laura/el/en. Letitia. Lucinda (I LOVE, H hates.)

Merle. Mairead. The poor girl would never make it out of kindergarten. Madison, like the rest of the planet (I actually despise this name - forgive me if you named your daughter that, but I think it’s hideous. It’s like naming your kid Detroit. Or Pittsburgh.)

N. There are no decent N names. Think about it. Nancy. Nan. Nellie. Nettie. Nicole. Nothing. I got nothing. My next-door neighbor says Neveah is very popular right now. Yeah, well, so is Taylor and I am not going there either. But since we’re on that train of thought, why not Nivea? Neutragena? Noxzema? I mean, really, why the hell not?

Octavia. I really dig this name, but no, can't use it. For the same reason the CAT, and not one of my boys, is named Septimus.

Petrova, after my favorite character in Noel Streatfield’s Ballet Shoes.

Q. Are there any good Q girl names? The website lists Queen, Quiana, and Quinn. The answer would be NO.

Riley. Reid. They sound like boy names. And Rachel and Rebecca don’t do a whole bunch for me. Too…Biblical. Or something. Which is downright laughable if you know my boys’ real names.

Susan? While I know and love several people named Susan, I don’t actually care for the name. And Sophia got knocked out of the running when it skyrocketed in popularity these past few years (Primo was Sophia, had he been a girl.)

Theodora. Teresa (too religious, although Tess is nice. However, we know a Tess whom I like very much, but too close.)

U. Una? Isn’t there an Una somewhere in children’s lit that I like? Sounds familiar. Maybe in the Anne books?

Valerie. Not.

W. Winnie. Wilhelmina. Wacky.

Xenia. I used to go to church with an old lady named Xenia.

Yvette. Yvonne. Y not?


Girl names are MUCH harder than boy names, there are many many fewer ones that I like.


*WH Auden


Gina said...

If I had to name a baby girl right now, I would go with either Margaret (or Mary Margaret) or Jane. Many people will probably say it's a good thing I'm not naming a baby girl right now, but there you go.

blackbird said...

Charlotte - Lottie







Hungry in LA said...

If you don't like Madison then Dakota is definitely out. Along with Tuesday and Apple.

After reading Hardy I wished my parents had the literary sense to give me the middle name Thomasin. But no I got one of those other names.

Olivia. Meredith. Gael. OMG it is hard.

Badger said...

If it's a girl, I'll eat my hat.

lazy cow said...

I love Lauren, but it was too close to my name. Though a friend of mine (who really ISN'T stupid) named her daughter Kate, and she is Catherine and DIDN'T even realise till later.Oh those birthing hormones!
I know a Mairead and she is a little devil.
My mum changed her name to Gloria when she came to Australia. She previously was Srbislava (joy of the Slavs). Enough said.
Also like Eloise, Valerie is such a pretty name:-), and Holly is my absolute favourite.

Suse said...

Like blackbird, I could go on FOREVER with girls names.


Suse said...


Anonymous said...

Actually, it's "Get back, Loretta!"


(I'm stuck in a rut with names ending with "a" = my two girls and my 3 sisters and I all have names that end with a.)

Mrs. Pom

sara said...

I like Elspeth and Hannah, too, like Suse & Blackbird. I could see you as a mother of an Abigail, as well.

There is an Una in the Anne series... Rilla of Ingleside. I never really believed that LM Montgomery wrote that one but I just checked Wikipedia and it says she really did.

In keeping with the LM Montgomery theme, maybe Emily? Ilse?

Sarah Louise said...

I'm thinking there's some movie quote with Elsbeth in it.

How about Isak? Uma? (I once went through an entire copy of Interview and wrote down bizarre names for a friend whose sister was having a baby.)

But that was in another life.


BabelBabe said...

In Pittsburgh, it's Look out Loretta! because of our hockey announcer, Mike Lange. It's one of the weird things he says...and he's full of them.

I don't think it's a girl either, but it never hurts to be prepared, I guess...

Kathy said...

Girls' name are a lot harder. We had our son's name picked out practically immediately but our daughter was almost born before we even came close to a name for her.

I like Anna -- it's a variation on my mother's name and is my daughter's name. Weird thing is that people always think her name is Hannah.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I'm reading your blog after church today.

One name:

sueeeus said...

Wasn't Geraldine the name of the goat in that Brit com Good Neighbors? I loved that show!

Jess said...

I love it when you dismiss names as too religious or Biblical. Very funny. BUT I know what you mean - Rachel and Rebecca sound so much more Biblical than, say, Aaron and David. To me, at least.

I kinda like Xenia, except there would always be people who screw it up.

I like Laurel - there were 3 or 4 in my college class. Also Laura, etc. I've never met a baby Jennifer - I think my generation was the last of

I've always like Jessamyn, but obviously could never use it. Also Margaret (mostly for the nickname Meg).

For the record, your cat's name always makes me think of Mrs. Dalloway.

Suse said...


jenny said...

Funny, I've not met any baby Jennifer's either...but there are Jenna's aplenty up here.

I'm liking Charlotte, Valerie, Veronica, Gillian, Natalie and Lauren.

Of course, I picked out a girl's name as a backup - because I was so sure my second was a boy. So much for maternal instinct. They had to repeat "It's a girl!" like three times. And then show me.

Anonymous said...

I think Ellen Tebbits had knobby knees. Best go with something else.

And for a boy... Henry? Ribsy?

Actually, I think all of Cleary's characters have knobby knees- even the dogs...

Sarah Louise said...

I think it's sad that names only go in pairs for men, Jim Jr. etc. I would love to name a child of mine Sarah Louise, Jr.

I guess only queens do that (Eliz 1, Eliz 2)

Ah, there she goes, that SL, so off topic...but I think Jessamyn is such a lovely name. (which is how I got on this topic.) Middle names are a wonderful invention for this sort of thing, I guess.


Anonymous said...

Go Red Hot Chile Peppers and name her Dani California. C'mon be cool.

Caro said...

Kathleen Margaret, good Irish girl.

Lillian Rose? Maybe too trendy.

But I'm having fun here.

Caterina said...

Ha. The comments were almost as much fun as the post. I've always thought boy names were harder than girl....but then again I have a boy, not a girl :)

Velma said...

Boy names were way harder for us, but Peanut's middle name is Francis, too. (If he'd been a girl, he would have been Lucy Mary, after his various grand-and-greatgrandmothers.)

We know a lot of little girls with slightly more unusual names:


But I would not recommend Bertha. It's not Bertha's time to re-appear yet (if ever.)

nutmeg said...

I would just pick some from Suse's lists - such a beautiful bunch of names there.

I soooooo wanted to call my first Stella - but I have a "thing" for names ending in "a" - Olivia, Sophia...

My first's middle name is Ines - I think it a grown-ups name as opposed to a kids.

And what about Meg????? Short, sweet, pronouncable, spellable and surely not able to be bastardised into many nicknames - surely????