What's In a Name?

Naming a person is serious business. Whatever name a baby is given at birth will theoretically follow it for the rest of it’s life, for better or for worse. Elian and I found it easy to agree upon a boy name, Connor, before we knew Lexi was a girl. When we found out we were having a girl, we searched thousands upon thousands of names and came up with a very short list called “Names We Don’t Hate”. I don’t know why, but neither of us really likes girl names. To finally settle on one, Alexis, was a miracle in and of itself. And now we have to settle on another. Boo.

When I sent out the email last week saying our second child is a girl, I asked people to reply with possible names. My best friend from grade school, Amanda, did such a good job dreaming up names for us, I thought I’d post her ideas here. Although the list is long, it is hilarious, so keep reading. Because several are “inside jokes”, I’ll explain them in [ ] if necessary.

40 Ways to Name a Girl

1. Oprah

2. Fudge [Amanda’s cat’s name]

3. Be creative with your initials. KMV would be pronounced kim-vee (not to be confused with the popular Korean dish Kimchi).

4. Kimchi

5. Amanda or any variation thereof – Manda, Nanda, Amanda Lee, Amanda Loo, etc. (Plus, I think that Amanda and Lexi has a nice ring to it).

6. Leslie. This would be especially fun when other toddlers try to speak to both Lexi and Leslie because they would probably pronounce them both “Lessy”. [Amanda’s sister’s name]

7. Name her after both her parents: Kellian or Elikel.

8. Consider pig Latin when naming her after her mother: Ellykay. Sounds like it would fit beautifully there in the south.

9. Make it a name that big sis can relate to: Tasha, Uniqua, Tyrone, etc. [Backyardigans characters]

10. Name her after her grandmothers: Shirley Mrs. Levatino. [People used to mistakenly call my mom, Sheila, Shirley]

11. Name her after her uncle. Daniel easily turns into Danielle.

12. Pay attention to things you encounter throughout the day: Pillow, Colgate, Suave, Lever 2000, Rice Krispies, Sedan, Story Time, Cashier, Hot Dog, Mr. Clean, your neighbor, junk mail, hugs, sippy cup, etc.

13. Remember the Alamo.

14. Choose your favorite season. If Spring is not the most beautiful name to you but happens to be your favorite season choose a different language: Primavera, Printemps, Fruhling.

15. Give your child the opportunity to have her name featured in a popular song: Leila, Peggy Sue, Maggie May, Billie Jean, Maria, Mandy, Michelle, Mustang Sally, Georgia, Jesse’s Girl, etc.

16. Consider naming her after the female half of a famous duo: Jill, Jane, Bonnie, Cher, etc.

17. Get biblical, but don’t use one of the common names. Do we really need another Rachel or another Mary? Think Bathsheba.

18. Animated Disney movies can be a great source of inspiration. What little girl doesn’t want to be a princess? Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Nala, Mulan, Cinderella, Snow White and Pocahantas are a few of the faves.

19. Choose your favorite female character from your favorite book. This could lead to an influx of girls named Hermione, so be sure to consider some older classics or childhood favorites as well.

20. Think like a statesman. Presidents have daughters too, so why not look to them for inspiration? In recent years we’ve been familiar with Chelsea, Jenna, Barbara, Sasha and Malia, but there have also been first daughters named Abigail, Susanna, Elizabeth, Eliza, Maria, Louisa, Lincoya, Betsy, Lucy, Mary, Anna, Letitia, Anne, Alice, Julia, Pearl, Sarah, Octavia, Margaret, Martha, Ellen, Frances, Ruth, Esther, Marion, Katherine, Ida, Ethel, Helen, Eleanor, Arabella, Caroline, Lynda, Patricia, Julie, Susan, Amy, Maureen, Christine, Patti, Pauline and Dorothy. Yes. I did do my research on this one.

21. Let the baby name herself. Warning: You could end up with a child named Ggglugggaaa.

22. Create her destiny for her. This does not mean you should name her Destiny (Les has a theory that any child named Destiny was unplanned and born out of wedlock). This does mean that you can write her future. If you want her to stay in the safe, nerdy circles, name her Frodo. If you want her in the hippy crowd, name her Moonbeam. If you want her to be a soccer superstar, name her Mia. If you want her to cure cancer, name her Doctor. You get the idea here.

23. Turn a boy’s name into a girl’s name. Why can’t a girl be called Charlie? Sure maybe you’ll opt for a spelling like Charly or Charli, but in the end what you’ve got is a girl named Charlie. Billy, Bobby, Danny, Benny, Matty, Marty, etc. The key for this to work is that the boy’s name must end with a long eeeee sound. I forbid you from naming your daughter Dennis, for example.

24. Brangelina.

25. Consider repetition, Lulu, Lala, Kiki, Mimi, C.C., Booboo, etc.

26. Give her a bunch of last names, so she sounds like an important firm of some type. Vreeland could certainly be incorporated. I would also like to recommend Sadler. [Amanda’s last name]

27. Naming her after a musical instrument might make her more whimsical. Mandolin, Ukulele, Harpsichord and Timpani are all very nice.

28. Consider combining a boy’s and girl’s name. Timberly or Kimothy.

29. It is popular to name girls after flowers, but be unique. Don’t go for the obvious Lily, Daisy, Rose or Violet. Think Marigold, Hyacinth, Rhododendron, Tulip, Carnation or Crabgrass.

30. Name her after a city. It could be your favorite city or the city where she was conceived. If she was conceived at home, I would consider shortening the name to Olive. London, Sydney, Roma, Paris, Sofia, Memphis, Lexington, Waldorf, Helena, Savannah and El Paso are all lovely.

31. Consider what words her name might rhyme with, so you can anticipate whether other children will be able to make fun of her name. You might be thinking, for example, “Hey! What about Bart? That rhymes with smart; she’ll be praised constantly!” Hold up there just one moment. Bart also rhymes with fart. Please cross Bart off the list.

32. You could just go ahead and beat the other kids to the punch, though, and name her Fart.

33. Adjectives can make great names too. Happy, Lovely, Bonita, Sunny, Hearty and Explicit.

34. Barbie had friends with the beautiful names of Midge and Skipper.

35. Name her after your favorite ice cream topping: Cherry, Caramel, Chiquita, Sprinkles, etc.

36. Remember: If she sounds French, she sounds fancy. Chloe, Sophie, Simone, Baguette.

37. Remember: If she sounds German, she sounds scary. Helga, Theckla, Wilhelmina, Kindergarten.

38. Name her after your favorite herpetologist.

39. Quick: What’s your favorite color?

40. Go back to number one. You know it’s what your heart wants.

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3 thoughts on “What's In a Name?

  1. Man she was on a roll. ha ha. That was good.I’m serious about #23 though…23. Turn a boy’s name into a girl’s name. I think girls with typical boy names rock. Charli actually works.

  2. absolutely hilarious and i think she must have had a baby at the newborn center at some point 🙂 of course you could always choose some of my favorites from work — Miracle, or any mispelling of it — Mirakle, Myrakel, Meerakul, Mirakul, etc

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