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Name advice from Jennifer Moss, founder & CEO of BabyNames.com
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What do my surnames mean?

Jennifer,

Robert Walpole

Robert Walpole

I have been trying to find out the meanings of both my maiden name and my married name. Neither one is common, and the only people I have met with either surname is a relative! I know both names are from England, but that is all I know. My maiden name is Walpole, and my married name is Blott.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
Have a great day!
Nicki

Dear Nicki,

I use several sites for nickname meanings. It appears that both names, Walpole and Blott are regional, meaning they were used for families from a certain region or town.

I found background on the name Walpole on the Surname Database. The Walpole families came from either Walepola in Suffolk, England or Walepol in Norfolk. According to the site, Walpole means the “pool of the Britons.” There was a famous Robert Walpole who was considered the first Prime Minister of England (1721 – 1742). You should research your roots and see if you’re related!

As for Blott, I found some information on HouseofNames.com. The surname Blott was used for families who came from the village of De Blot in the Auvergne region of France. In England it could be spelled Blot, Blott, Blotte and in France Bloteau, Bluteau and De Blot. In America, there was an early settler in Charlestown, Massachusetts named Robert Blott in 1635.

Hope that helps!
Jennifer

Will the name Gage Age?

Dear Jennifer,

My husband and I are considering the name Gage for our son. I like that it is unique but not weird. I also like that it’s short (we have a long last name), easy to spell and pronounce. My only concern is whether or not the name Gage will “age well.” Meaning, how will my son as an adult be perceived in the business world? Do you think it’s a name can go beyond childhood?

Thanks for your advice!
Ali

Dear Ali,

Those are all great questions. I think the name Gage is strong and simple and therefore lends itself to have longevity. It is not one of the top 100 names, currently, and therefore will not eventually be considered “dated.”gage

It’s also not a diminutive name–names that end in “i” or “y,” nor is it a nickname. So I believe the answer is YES! Gage will age well.

The only connotations I can think of for the name is 1.) The homophonous word gauge, which is the big hole in an earlobe and 2.) the child character from the Stephen King book/movie Pet Sematary. Neither of which should deter you from using it, though.

Thanks for checking!
Sincerely,
Jennifer

Origin of the name Elyes

Elyes GabelHi Jennifer,

I recently heard a name I absolutely LOVE and cannot stop thinking about – Elyes. It is the name of the actor who plays the main character on the new CBS show, Scorpion. I had never heard of it before I discovered that show. According to the actor/interviews I have seen with him, it is pronounced like “Elliot” with an s… “ELL-ee-iss” and I absolutely adore it. It’s the perfect combination of cute and masculine.

However, when I tried to look it up on your website I did not find it, and there was not much info on other websites as well. Perhaps it is a non-traditional spelling of another name? The only one I could think of was Elias, and apparently that is pronounced ee-LIE-us. Any info would be GREATLY appreciated!

Thank you!!
Mikeyla

Dear Mikeyla,

You are right in that Elyes is an Arabic form of the name Elias, which comes from the Biblical name Elijah. The literal translation of the name would be “My God is Yahweh,” but we have it as “The Lord is My God.”

Hope that helps! I have added the name Elyes to our database.

Sincerely,
Jennifer

Moonyeen
,

Hi, there –

Big fan of the site! I’m wondering if you have any information on the name “Moonyeen?” It was my grandmother’s middle name but I have no idea where it comes from or what it means.

Thank you,
Karen Siddiqi

Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 1.53.54 PMHi Karen,

Moonyeen was an unusual name that turned up briefly in the U.S. from 1922-1936. Most likely because of a Broadway play called “Smilin’ Through,” first produced in 1919, which had a character named Moonyeen Clare. The play was made into three movies: one in 1922 which starred Norma Talmadge, one ten years later featuring Norma Shearer, and a musical in 1941 with Jeannette McDonald in the role.

Nancy over at Nancy’s Baby Names speculates that the playwright Jane Cowl based the name on the Irish word muirnín, which means “darling” or “sweetheart.” That certainly is a possibility. That, or she just made it up, which many writers do!

Hope that helps,
Jennifer

A Horse named Joepie

Hi Jennifer

I’m a horse rider, and at a stable yard where I work, I met a stallion by the name of Joepie. I’ve been trying to find the meaning joepieof his name ever since. He was born in the Netherlands, and I assume it is a Dutch name. We pronounce it “Yoo-pey”. Any ideas?

Thank you!
Firn H.
(yes, I do have to spell my name to everyone)

Dear Firn,

Joep is the Dutch diminutive (nickname) for the formal name, Jozef. As you can surmise, Jozef is the Slavic/Dutch form of the name Joseph, which means “God Will Increase.” So Joepie would be equivalent to the English nickname Joey.

Sincerely,
Jennifer

Dr. Who Name
,

Jennifer,
I absolutely love your website! I was watching Dr. Who the other day and one of the characters names was Cathica. I can’t find any information on the n
cathicaame – if it is even a name used before or if it was made up for Dr Who. Do you know anything about this name?

Thanks and keep up the amazing baby name good work!
Tiffany

Dear Tiffany,

The name Cathica seems to have been created for the TV series. It is the perfect Sci-Fi name, as defined by my Character Naming Tips! It is easy to spell, easy to pronounce and is a combination of two recognizable, traditional names: Cathy and Jessica.

The character’s full name is Cathica Santini Khadeni.

Thank you for the addition! I have added Cathica to our database.

Sincerely,
Jennifer

Eureka! A new name.

Hi Jennifer!
I am a frequent visitor of your site, as I love looking up different names and getting story inspiration. I am currently reading a book with main character, Eureka, which I think is a beautiful and unique name. Would you mind telling me what it means and adding it to your site? 

Thanks!
Lauren

Dear Lauren,gold

I was surprised to see that Eureka wasn’t in our database when you wrote us!  I was sure we had added it. 

Eureka is an exclamation that came from an early 17th Century Greek word, heurēka, meaning “I Found It!” The ancient outcry is said to have been used by Archimedes when he hit upon a method of assessing the purity of gold. Eureka is also a TV series and a town in California gold country.

Hope that helps! Thanks for the name, it has now been added.

Sincerely,
Jennifer

Baby A and Baby B

Hi Jennifer,
Your website is wonderful, and I’m in awe of the amazing work that you do. As an aspiring author, I am constantly scouring your website to find names for my characters. Since I’m only twenty years old, I’m not going to be naming children of my own anytime soon, but I find your website incredibly helpful for my fictional family.
I have seen you answer many questions regarding naming children, and how you think it’s a good idea for each child to have their own identity within a family. I wanted to ask your opinion on naming twins. I know that you dislike twin names that begin with the same letter; I’m completely in agreement on that. But what do you think of naming twins according to their birth order, Baby A and Baby B?

Thing1-and-thing2

From Dr. Seuss’s CAT IN THE HAT

My little sisters are twins, and when we knew that we were going to be able to adopt them (they were placed with us through foster care at 3 months old), we knew that we wanted to change their names, as we had never really used their given names and only stuck to ‘baby girl’ or ‘sweetie’ before we knew we would be adopting them. We changed their given first names to their middle names, and decided on new first names for them. We found an ‘A’ name for the first born, Baby A, and a ‘B’ name for the second born, Baby B. As doctors only referred to them as ‘Baby A’ and ‘Baby B’ at the numerous doctor appointments they had, we thought it only appropriate. Their names, therefore, are Aspen and Brea.

What do you think of choosing names in this way, so that the children are still given their individuality, yet they are connected? In our case, we actually ended up choosing two city names, though I’m not suggesting that everyone should choose a theme like this. I’m just wondering what you think about using the ‘A’ and ‘B’ names.
Thanks for your thoughts on the matter!

Taylor Faith

Hi Taylor,

I don’t see anything wrong with naming twins with a theme as long as they are not likely to be confused. Aspen and Bree are very unique, and good choices. There is a little “secret connection” behind the names that make a great story.

I am a fiction author, as well, and I always work in some kind of name secret into my novels. Either a character has changed his/her name or has a story behind a nickname or some other anecdote. It’s fun and well, I love names! Since they are so much a part of one’s identity, it’s a great way to give some backstory and/or depth into a character.

Sincerely,
Jennifer

Regan – Political or Possessed?

Hi Jennifer!

I absolutely love your site and come here with all my baby name questions!

Me and my husband already have a son, Leo, and are expecting a girl next year. We have narrowed our choices down to Regan Mckenley or Chloe Makensie. We like both names since my Dad was the one who picked them out before he passed away.

We are just wondering if there are any nicknames that we could use for Regan while shes young? Or do you think its too abnormal of a name? Since I grew up with the name Isabel I realize how formal it sounds every time it is said.

Isabelregan

Dear Isabel,
 Personally, I’m not a fan of the name Regan. First and foremost it reminds me of the girl in the movie The Exorcist. Now, I realize that is because of my age and younger people may not make that connection. It also reminds me of the past-president of the U.S. Ronald Reagan. I know there are many Ronny-enthusiasts out there to this day, but I am not one of them.

If you decide to stick with the name and are considering nicknames, you could call her Ray or R.J. (I took your last initial from your email). Other than that, I have no ideas. Sorry!

Sincerely,
Jennifer

The Name Wickham
, ,

Wickham, UK

Hi Jennifer!

We have begun our search for baby names and considering the name Wickham/Wick. I’ve come to your site (as I do very often) and notice it’s not on it. Would you mind letting me know what it means? I love to know the meanings to all names! :)

Thanks very much,
Penny

Dear Penny,

Wickham is an English surname with roots in a place name in England. The term literally translates in Old Englash to “settlement.” So it would have been applied to families in a particular area or settlement.

Thank you for the suggestion! I have added it to the BabyNames.com database.

Sincerely,
Jennifer