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

Isla v. Brady for a Girl

Hi Jennifer,

I have two daughters, Marley Abigail and Libby Evelyn. My husband and I are currently trying for baby #3 and the great name debate has started again! We have always received great compliments on our daughter’s names; trendy and uncommon without being too weird with classic, old fashioned middle names. We are starting to feel the pressure of coming up with another great name and your thoughts would be appreciated!

We’ve always loved the name Isla and it was on our list with both girls. We are thinking of Isla Jane, however, Isla seems to be climbing the ranks, especially in Canada. Do you see Isla becoming the next ‘it’ name? For a girl, we also like Sawyer but we aren’t sure if we could commit to that as we don’t feel it compliments Marley and Libby.

If we have a boy we’ve always loved the name Brady. We’ve had our hearts set on that name since before we even had kids. Baby #3 will most likely be our last baby so if it is a girl, we were thinking about Brady Jane. Thoughts? Too boyish? Maybe we should go back to the drawing board?!

Thanks for taking the time to read my email :)

- Ashley

Dear Ashley,

The name Isla is becoming super-popular.  According to our popularity charts (which usually predict the Social Security baby name charts by 2-3 years), Isla is already #27 and still rising.  I’m not sure it will hit the top 10, but there is a great possibility a daughter named Isla will meet other Islas in her school.

I kind of like the name Brady as a girl’s name. Although I’ve never heard it before being used for a girl, I have heard of Bradley, which comes from the same root. They are both surnames that were first used for boys and could easily cross over.  It also has the good fortune of rhyming with other girls names like Sadie and Katy and has a more feminine “y” ending.  It’s easier for names like that to cross gender, rather than names like George or Chad.

Hope this helps! And let me know what you choose.

Sincerely,

Jennifer

Elijah too Popular?
Dear Jennifer,
 
I have always been fascinated by name meanings, and have enjoyed using your site since my early teen years. Back then my favorite name was Aiden, but around 2008 the Aiden-craze hit and I quickly changed my favorite boy name to Elijah.
 
Elijah is also a family name on my husband’s side of the family tree; we both love it. It has a lot of meaning to our faith background, and we think it sounds fantastic with my husband’s Scott/Irish last name. But it seems that I have a problem with picking “winners.” Since I picked the name in 2009 it’s jumped from number 22 to 11 on the USA’s baby name census.
 
We don’t want our child to have the same name as every other boy in his class, and it seems like every young Christian couple is naming their son Elijah. Should we just skip the name we love and go with some of the other names we’ve considered like Callahan, Rordan, or Cashel?
 
Sincerely,
 
Bad Baby Name Luck

Dear BBNL,

Elijah is becoming popular, and Biblical names tend to stay “in style” longer than others. How about some alternatives, like Elias, Elliot or just plain Eli (one of my favorites)?

Cashel is a great alternative, also, as well as Dashiell!

Good luck and let me know what name you settle on.

Sincerely,

Jennifer

 

 

 

Author Name: Claribel

Hi Jennifer,

I just found out that I am expecting and my first reaction was to check out your website. I have a whole collection of names that I have saved in the back of my diaries and I am super excited to finally be able name someone other then my puppies and the characters I develop in my short stories. Over the years I have found your website very helpful compiling this list. Thanks for your hard work and dedication.

I have a quick questions: have you ever heard of the name Claribel? My favourite Latin American writer is Claribel Alegria. I noticed it is not in your database. What are your thoughts on this name?

Elizabeth A., Belize

Dear Elizabeth,

Claribel is an alternate spelling of the name Clarabelle, a combination of the names Clara (Illustrious) and Belle (Beautiful).

You are very welcome for my hard work and dedication! I love names and love that you are using the site for your pets and fictional characters.

Sincerely,

Jennifer

Allelujah

Hi Jennifer,

My husband and I are expecting our second child early this November.
We love uncommon Biblical names that represent our deep faith, that don’t sound too weird.
Our first child we named Selah, she is both strong like a rock, but also musical and meditative like in the Psalms.

For this child we adore the name Calvary if it’s a boy (Cal for short), but have had a difficult time finding a girl name were are as fond of. As an illustrator I am very used to doing loads of research, but most names, while I still like them, I don’t love them as much as I thought I would. Right now we are considering Alleluia (Lulu, Luya, or Ally for short). I’ve noticed neither of these names are in your data base… Am I freaking out for nothing or are these just too weird?

Gratefully yours,
Rebecca

Hi Rebecca,

I don’t consider “Allelujah” or “Alleluia” a Biblical name, as it is an exclamation meaning “praise God.” I understand there are other names that have the same meaning, although this is particularly religious and rare as a given name. I, personally, would not recommend it although I am not a religious person. I see it as being teasable. Every time she encountered someone would they yell “Allelujah!?” That would get old fast.

Calvary is a place name and less likely to be associated with Christianity, although it was the site on which Christ was crucified. It’s also the name of many churches in the U.S. I wouldn’t be as opposed to using this name as much as Alleluia. I say keep brain storming!

Sincerely,

Jennifer

What Lies Within

Hi Jennifer!

I saw the name Janalyn on another website with unique baby names. I think that it’s a very pretty name, but do you think that it is too trendy?

Thanks, Kyleigh

Dear Kyleigh,

Yes, it sounds like a pretty name, and is definitely a combination of the names Jana and Lyn. However, be careful with words that lie within a name!  It may lead to teasing.

Therefore, I would not recommend using this name.

Sincerely,

Jennifer

Grandfather’s Nordic Name

Dear Jennifer,

We gave our eldest son the middle name ANUND (pronounced On-nund).  It was the middle name of my paternal grandfather.  My maiden name/his surname was HYNE.  I grew up in a small town in central Wisconsin (Fox Lake), he grew up just down the road in Beaver Dam, WI.  It is my understanding that he was “100%” Norwegian.  I have never been able to find anything on the meaning of this name and no one that we’ve ever told it to has ever heard it previously with the exception of my immediate family.  Thanks in advance for your time.

Sincerely,

Jill P.

Dear Jill,

Anund is most likely a variation of the Nordic name Amund, which is derived from the old Norse name Agmundr. Literally, Agmundr translates to “Sword” and “Protection” or “Protected by the Sword.”

I have added both Anund and Amund to the BabyNames.com database.

Sincerely,

Jennifer

Somer v. Summer
Hi Jennifer,

I’m a big fan of your site! I always check it for celebrity baby gossip and to make a list of my own future baby names. My husband and I just found out that we’re expecting and are overjoyed! We have already picked out a boy name, but we’re struggling with a girl name.

We are very much into names with meaning and wanted something that represented when/where we fell in love (which was in England). We were in Bath, Somerset during this time and we really like the name Somer for a girl. My husband wants to spell it like the season, Summer. I am torn because I always remember you saying stick to “normal” spellings; however, spelling her name Summer, not Somer would completely change the origin of her namesake. What do you think? Is it okay to do a unique spelling in this case or should I concede?

Thanks for your help!

~Shea

Dear Shea,

I would use the full name Somerset and call her Somer for short.  Most people know that Somerset is pronounced like “Summer Set.”  Hope this helps and congratulations!

Sincerely,

Jennifer

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