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Name advice from Jennifer Moss, founder & CEO of
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About Amzie


I am a writer, and I recently came across a screenwriter by the name of Amzie Strickland. I thought the name was interesting, and I have found several historical people called Amzie – but Amzie is not in your database. What does Amzie mean, and is it even a real name?



Dear Amanda,

Amzie is a feminine derivative of the Hebrew name, Amaziah, which means “strength.” I have added it to the database.



A Girl Named Rhys?


My quandry is I love the name Rhys, and I wanted to know if you or anyone else thought if this name could be unisex…i am only going to  be able to have one more baby, (health and promise to hubby )  and I love this name but if we have a girl I dont want to scar  her for life if this is more  a boys name vs a unisex name.


Dear Shannon,

I know several girls named Reese, and they are not scarred for life. It is perfectly acceptable to give a girl a name that has been traditionally male, and Reese is one of those names that has already crossed the gender charts. Look at Reese Witherspoon!  I don’t see it being any different with the traditional English spelling: Rhys.



Same Middle Names

Hello Jennifer,

I think I may be pregnant so I have been toying with names, my question is about the name Matthew. I have always loved that name as a middle name because I think it goes well with quite a few first names, If I have a boy I would like to name him Elliot Matthew. But I dont know if I should, considering my 5 year old little brother’s middle name is Matthew. His first name is Owen. I just feel it might be a little strange to use the name again when the baby is only gonna be 5 years younger then his uncle. I do have other options for a middle name but Matthew is by far my Favorite! What do you think?

Thanks is advance!
Myrraya (Yes my name is made up)

Dear Myrraya

Actually, your name is not made up, however the spelling is.  Your name is a derivative of the French name, Mireille. One of my favorite names!

As for using the name Matthew, I think it’s perfectly fine to have two children in the family with the same middle name. If it were either of the kids’ first names, I may take pause. But I think  you’re good to go.  Congratulations and let me know how it goes!



Created name: Sameric

Hi Jennifer,

My husband and I are trying to decide on a middle name for our son. We were thinking of honoring both of our fathers. Samuel & Eric. I came up with Sameric. Is this a terrible made up name or is this somewhere in the past an acutal name? What do you think?


Emily T.

Hi Emily,
Whereas Sameric can be a totally made up name, in which you combine the names Sam and Eric, it is also a rare Arabic last name based on the name Samir/Samer.
Samir means “Companion in Evening Talk.” Kind of a cool idea, isn’t it?

I say if you both love the name, go for it!

Christmas Favor

Dear Jennifer,

I was hoping you could help me with one of my Christmas gifts for my mom, whom I’m very close to. We spend a lot of time discussing the potential names of my potential children, and I thought it would be really awesome to get her own name added to your database. My mom’s name is Danon. From what I understand, her name comes from the surname of a character in the movie “Westward the Women”, and the surname is a Catalan derivative of the name “Daniel”. I could be wrong, but you’re the expert here!

Please and so many thanks!

Dear Cate,

Danon is indeed a surname variant on the name Daniel, which means “God Is My Judge.” Merry Christmas, we have added it to the database:



About the name Emela

Dear Jennifer,

I have a very unique name: Emela. I come from Slavic origin, since I am Bosnian, and I would just like to know if you by any chance know what my name means.

Thank you,

Emela M.

Hi Emela,

You have a beautiful name!  The closest name I could find in my research is the French name, Emele.  They most probably have the same roots. Emele means “ Industrious, Admiring.”

I will add your name to the site!



This Keeps Me Up at Night

Dear Jennifer,

My husband and I are having our first baby soon and we were looking for a nice, but unique name to name her.  After some thought we’re torn and a bit concerned, we want to name her Cherry but I am afraid that she will be teased.  Do you think she will be teased at school?  I haven’t spoken to any other family members other than my mom and she said no.  Should I listen to my mom and pick another name or go with our guts? This keeps me up at night.


Yoto K.

Dear Yoto,cherry

Don’t do it. Aside from the fact that Cherry is a slang term for the female sex organ, it also is a diminutive name, which I don’t advise giving to baby girls. Those I have loosely surveyed about the name come back with “stripper name.”

The fact that it keeps you up at night should be a clue: DON’T DO IT. Go back to name storming; I will be happy to review the other names you come up with.



Dylan for a Girl?

Dear Jennifer,

I really like the name Dylan for a girl, but everyone tells me it is much too masculine. I thought spelling it Dilynn would make it look girlie and then adding a girlie middle name. Do you think Dylan is too masculine for a girl?

Thank you very much. I love this site

<3 Cheyanne

Dear Cheyanne,

I don’t think there is any problem in using a traditionally masculine name for a girl, as it is acceptable in today’s society. Did you know the names Leslie, Ashley, and Courtney all started as boys’ names? As did Mallory and Jordan.

What I would NOT do, though, is alter the spelling. I’m sure you understand this as you have a common name with an uncommon spelling. Haven’t you had people misspell it all your life? Haven’t you had to say “Cheyenne with an A?” It’s kind of an unnecessary burden.

So if you do decide to go with Dylan, please use the traditional spelling. You can use a girlie name like Charlotte if you are worried about femininity.


A real-life Katniss?

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen

Hi Jennifer,
My husband have been trying for a baby for over 2 years and I am currently on fertility meds. In my hormonal state I have really become attached to the name Katniss. Now I know it has some horrible teasing potential but it’s all I can think about. What do you think? Other girl names we have picked out are “Avalon” and “Sakura.”

Dear Tanya,

Believe it or not, I love the name Katniss. As soon as I read the first Hunger Games book, I added the name to the website. I don’t think it has great teasing potential–the heroine it is associated with is brave and admirable.  It also meets our basic standards for a good baby name: it’s easy to pronounce and easy to spell. I say if you love the name Katniss, go for it!

That being said, Avalon is one of my favorite names, also. I think it’s a great alternative to the more popular name, Ava.

Good luck on the conception, And yes, I have to say it: may the odds be ever in your favor!

Let me know how it goes.



Grownup Name for a Baby

Dear Jennifer:

My husband and I are expecting our first child in the spring. We don’t want to find out the sex in advance, so we are trying to choose names for both genders. We both know we’d like to honor loved ones, both living and deceased, and are pretty much set on the name Douglas Matthew (after his uncle and my husband, respectively) for a boy. My husband has his mind set on Gloria Jean (after my and his maternal grandmothers, respectively) for a girl, but I’m struggling with it a bit. I actually think it’s a beautiful name for an adult, but it seems so sophisticated for a baby/child. So, I’d like to get your outside, expert opinion. Here is my two-part question: 1) What do you think of the name Gloria Jean; and 2) Can you recommend any cute nicknames that are less sophisticated for a child?

Thanks so much,

Dear Jennifer (great name!),
Thank you for your kind words. Addressing your concern about the “adult-like” name Gloria, my view is quite the opposite: I don’t like giving diminutive or nicknames to children just because it will be cute when they are young. I believe a name should grow with the child and be sophisticated enough so they can use it as an adult.

The only problem I have with Gloria Jean is that it’s the name of a coffee shop chain–at least here in the West!  If you don’t mind that, I think it’s a fine name.  As for nicknames, Glo is cute, so is Ree, Ria, or Gigi.