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Name advice from Jennifer Moss, founder & CEO of
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Hubby’s Name Choice
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Hi Jennifer,

My husband gets final say on this baby girl due in June as I named our two year old. The two-year-old is named Noelle Elizabeth and I have called her my little Noelle Bell ever since she was very little. The problem is my husband’s top name is Annabelle. I like the name but feel it is too close to Noelle and it is “stealing” her nickname.

What do you think? Should I stop calling Noelle my Noelle Bell now and just go with it? I am really hoping I can just talk him into Lorelei (his second choice.)

Christy K.

annabelle-posterDear Christy,

Well, this is a tough one. You have given hubby the right to name #2, so if you like the name Annabelle I’d stay stick with it. I don’t think you need to stop calling your first daughter her nickname if she’s used to it.

THAT BEING SAID, my personal opinion is that the “belle” suffix is too diminutive for girls and may give her a disadvantage in life. Annabelle is cute for a three-year-old, but will it work in the board room? Case in point: you are already using it as a diminutive nickname for Noelle. So maybe you can use that as a case against Annabelle for #2.

Also, when searching the name Annabelle, I found that it was the name of a recent horror movie (see poster to right). That should help with your case…

Good luck and let me know how that goes!

Name Roots

Hi Jennifer,

I love your site & have been searching for the meaning of 2 names I am interested in. The first one is Liviana or I may spell it Livianna & the second is Kindley. I really love both of these names but haven’t been able to find the meaning or either. Perhaps you can help me & add them to your site?

Mrs. B

vikingDear Mrs. B.

Sometimes you have to break down names into roots just like we do words. Livianna is a constructed name made from the names Olivia and Anna. Similarly, Kindley could be an alternate of the word “kindly” or a variation of the name Kinley, which means “Fair Haired Viking.”

Hope that helps!

I want to use a Tolkein Name

Hello Jennifer,

I adore your site and have been using it to add and or change up my “future” baby name list since I was 18, and I love being able to check the meanings/origins of names and also how they rank in popularity.

Now that I am married (all of 6 months) my husband and I have officially decided to start trying to start our family and the Great Baby Name Game has begun. You see, I absolutely love Tolkien. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are such wonderful books and I hold them dear to my heart. Most of the names of the characters are a little eccentric for our liking but I am am in LOVE with “Shire”, for a girl.

I feel it’s unique enough so she’ll have her own identity in a sea of Emilys, Scarletts and Olivias, but it’s familiar enough that fellow parents (and peers when she grows up) will recognize what she’s named for. I’ve looked and looked for a meaning for it, and as my husband likes to point out…the only thing we can find reference to is a rather large and stubborn draft horse. He isn’t quite sold on the name for that reason alone.

Could you possibly find the meaning and origin for it so I can reassure him that she won’t be teased for being named after a horse breed? Although, Morgan is very popular and also a horse breed and he isn’t opposed to that name. (I’m from Vermont and know all about them)

Thank you so very much!!!


Dear Leanne,

Shire is an old English word that refers to a specific piece of land. It would be equivalent to a county in the United States. The word was used specifically in the rural Midlands of England.

So no, you don’t have to worry about the equestrian meaning. We will add the name Shire to our database!



An English “Shire”


Pronunciation of Madeline

Hi Jennifer,

I have always wondered what the appropriate pronunciation of the name Madeline. I have heard it pronounced Made-line and Made-lynn. Me and my husband really like the name Maddie and are thinking of using the name Madeline (Made-line). Do you think that this name is too outdated or confusing?


madDear Layla,
The reason we don’t put pronunciations on our site is because there is no “one correct way” to pronounce a name. It depends on geography, culture and personal preference. I have met women named Dana that pronounce it “Day-na” and some that pronounce it “Dan-na.”

I believe in the cartoon of the children’s book they pronounced it Mad-eh-LINE, if that has any influence. But my answer would be: you can pronounce it any way you want.


Anthony has no Meaning

I just wanted to let you know that I saw that the name Anthony, as I tried looking up its meaning on, reads “Unknown.”

Well I also happen to have a Name That Baby book that lists its meaning. Would you like to see? Please see attached photos.


Dear J.E.
Thank you for writing and providing your source. According to our international name experts, there is no known meaning to the name “Anthony” which originated as a Latin surname.

Apparently the researchers for that book found that the meaning was “unknown” and interpreted that as it meaning “unestimable.” However that is incorrect! It’s unfortunate the number of websites and/or books that propagate incorrect information…


About Kreatyve Name Spellings

Hi Jennifer,

I was wondering your opinion on using names with non-traditional spellings. My name is spelt in a non-traditional way: Karlee instead of Carly. I am almost always called Kaylee or Callie when first meeting people; not to mention I have to spell out my first name or have it spelt wrong every time. Even after I have told people how to spell my name they still spell it wrong (even family members). Honestly, it can be a bit frustrating at times.

I know my case isn’t as drastic as some such as Emmalie for Emily or Cidnee for Sydney. Just to clarify I’m not against changing a letter or two, and I’m not saying everybody has to be the same either. I just think sometimes people go too far with it. I would love to hear your insight on this. Thanks so much!

Carly with a K and two EE’s

Dear Karlee,cup

Thank you for validating my stance on “Kreatyve” spellings. I think it puts an undue burden on the child, having to spell their name for people the rest of their lives!

I have heard from some that having a Kreatyve spelling of a common name kind-of “grows” on you. More adults are accepting of having a Kreatyve name than kids. It makes them feel unique.

However, I still do not recommend it for all the reasons you have stated, above.


p.s. You can always legally change the spelling of your name when you turn 18!

Behind the Name: Somerlyn

Hi Jennifer!

I have always been a fan of the name Summer and recently I have came across the name Somerlyn. I was wondering if this is a made up name and/or what it means? Do you think this would be a good girls name?


somerlynHi Kenzie,

Somerlyn would be what we call a “combination name” where it combines two different names: Somer/Summer and Lyn. If you combine the meanings, it would mean “Summer Beauty.” I like it!


DWTS Names

Hi Jennifer,

I’m a big fan of Dancing With The Stars, and I’ve noticed that some of the
pro’s names aren’t on the site, and I was hoping you could add a few of
– Sharna (Australian)
– Maksim (Ukrainian)
– Keoikantse (South African)
– Artem (Russian)
– Edyta (Polish)



Keoikantse Motsepe

Keoikantse “Keo” Motsepe


Hi Tom,

Great question! I always notice new and interesting names when I’m watching TV, too!

Sharna – Variant of Sharon (Of the Fertile Plain)
Maksim – Slavic diminutive of Maximilian (Greatest)
Keoikantse – Cannot find information behind this name, but I have contacted Keo’s “people” to see if they can give us some insight. I’ll keep you posted!
Artem – Form of the name Artemis (Safe or Butcher)
Edyta – Polish form of the name Edyth (Rich War)

As you can see, many of the names are just international spellings/forms of familiar names. I have added the ones we were missing to the database.


What do my surnames mean?


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!

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 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!

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!

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!