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  • Ask BabyNames - baby name advice from our founder, Jennifer Moss

Calling Captain Kirk!

Hi Jennifer,

My husband and I have been arguing lately over what to name the boy we’re expecting. I like generic names since my name is Chaesyn (like Chasen) and no one knows how to spell it or even say it. Ever since I was a teenager I’ve loved the name James and wanted to name my son, if I had one, James. When I fell in love with my husband and once we got married I never even thought about this but his last name is Kirk. Would my son get teased for having the name James Kirk like in Star Trek?


Dear Chaesen,kirk

Being an avid Star Trek fan, I have to say: THAT IS SO COOL!  James Kirk is an amazing, iconic character. It would be different if your husband’s last name was Duck and you wanted to name your son Donald.  However, I don’t see a teasing factor with James Kirk.  At least, not as a child, since most children have not yet been exposed to Star Trek.  Those that have seen the current movies would be a little older. And if anyone tried to tease him, your son could always say “I’m so awesome, the character was named after ME!”

What does your husband think?

Let me know what you decide!


Blending Surnames

Hi Jennifer!

I’d love to hear your advice about blending my last name, Rothschild, (ROTH-child) with my fiance’s last name, Meyer (MY-er). The readily available options are Rothsmeyer and Meychild, (although we’d probably do Rothmeyer or Mychild, to spare our kids the trouble of spelling it over and over for people). Which of those do you think makes the better last name? We are partial to Mychild for some reason, even though it sounds like “my child.” What are your thoughts?
Thanks in advance!
Hi Chelsea,
Interesting question. I’ve heard of couples doing this instead of hyphenating. I think it’s a good alternative, since hyphenating can get long and tedious. As for your question, I will apply my tip on first naming to say that Mychild would be the easiest to spell and pronounce.
For what it’s worth,  I also kind-of like Mythchild–it sounds like a name from a fantasy novel! Rothmeyer is also perfectly acceptable, and I don’t believe your kids would have any problem with that.
Good luck and let me know what you decide!
Manic for Manoch

Hello Jennifer,

I recently lost my great-grandmother over the holiday season. A woman I loved very much and am honoured to be named after. However, since her passing I’ve been doing an abundance of family research. She had thirteen bothers and sisters! Ten of which survived into adulthood.

Any who, my question is, during my search I found that one of her brothers who did not survive childhood was named “Manoch”. I’ve attempted to search the origins and meaning of this name but have been unsuccessful. I’m not even sure how to pronounce his name. I do know that my family is of Irish and Canadian decent if that helps at all. Thank-you so much for any potential help you could give me. I’ve been dedicated to looking at your site for years, as names and history are a passion of mine.

Sincerely, Sarah

Dear Sarah,
The only background I can find on the name Manoch is an English/Flemish surname based on the name Mann (meaning man) and the suffix OCH, a short form of the pre-5th century word cocc, which meant “son of.” My source:The Surname Database

I also found that it is a fairly popular Thai name.

Hope that helps!
NOTE FROM AUTHOR: When you ask for a meaning of a family name, it would be helpful if you could give me an ethnic origin of your family and approximate year the name was given.

Formal Name v. Nick Name

Hi Jenni,

I was wonder what you think of the name Skyley for a girl? It’s going to pronounce like skylee it just the spelling is different.

Stephanie V.

Dear Stephanie,

First, my name is Jennifer. And I’m not just correcting you, I’m making a point about diminutive names.  I, personally, don’t believe you should give diminutive names as formal names for a child. I define diminutive names as those that end in “ie” or “ee” for girls or “y” for boys, or names that started out traditionally as nick names.

I believe the child should have a choice in what nickname they choose.  So give them a choice of a formal name, i.e. Skylar, and then call her Skylee if you so choose during her childhood.

I used the nickname “Jenny” up and until I was about ten.  I  love the formal name Jennifer and it was more appropriate as I grew up and became a business owner.



Street Name for Baby Name

Hi Jennifer,

I was wondering what you thought of the name Adderley for a girl, nicknamed Addy. It’s the name of a street in my hometown.



Dear Molly,

I like it, and the fact that you associate it with a good memory.  I often advise people to look into their own personal histories for unique baby names. Street names, towns you visited or with which you have a particularly positive association are good sources for names. Congrats!


Grandma Permilla
Hi Jennifer,
My grandmother’s middle name is Permilla, as was her grandmother’s middle name that died three months before my grandmother’s birth. I love the name and I wouldn’t mind having one of my future children’s middle name as Permilla (if I have a daughter), but I would like to know what it means. I have searched for the meaning many times but I have never been able to find the name or meaning on any website.  My guess is that it’s German because my great great grandmother’s father was from Germany, but I’m not sure.
Hi Brandon,
The name Permilla is an old English name. It very well could be a variation of Pamela or another old English name, Permelia. Some sources say Permelia is derived from the Latin phrase “per melia” which means “by” or “from” sweetness.
Hope that helps!
About Evuska and Feedback on Cherry

Hi Jennifer,

My question is:  Do you know the meaning of Evuska?  I was told it is basically my own name (Evelyn) in Slovak. Could you in some way verify this for me?  Thank you so very much.

My Comment is:  You advised a writer to you not to name her child Cherry. Respectfully, one of my sorority sisters is a Cherry and no one ever teased her about it as I was teased with Evelyn (Elephant and Eveleven). My mother had wanted to name for my father Stephan with Stephanie, but her mother talked her out of it because she thought I would be called Fanny and she totally disapproved with that name!  But Stevie would have been much better in my own opinion.  So, this is to say it is all in how we look at a name as to how it appears as “good” or bad”, at least in my own experience.  That said, I love reading your opinions and suggestions.  Heck I love the entire site you have made for all of us searching names!  Thank you so much for all you do for the rest of us.

Evelyn, call me Ev but NEVER Eve!!

Dear Evelyn (Not Eve!),

Thank you for your feedback regarding the name Cherry. You are right in that any name can be teased, if someone is determined to tease! However, we wouldn’t want to start our children off with any kind of disadvantage regarding their names, and I believe Cherry would be a disadvantage in this day and age.

As for the name Evuska: It is a Slavic form of the name Eve, most likely from the region of Czechoslovakia.



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