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Name advice from Jennifer Moss, founder & CEO of BabyNames.com
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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

Our Pets, our Babies

To Whom it May Concern:

While browsing your website I was shocked to discover that you’ve included “Pet Names” on your BabyNames website. Perhaps a staff or editing member of your site is confused…animals are not humans. They don’t need extra special names. They are not “children”. They don’t need or merit the same great care or love real human beings are required. To see babies equated with pets is disgusting and twisted.

A Concerned Reader,
Rachel Brunk

jenn_roscoe_summer13Dear Rachel Brunk,

Wow. Just wow. That you actually took the time to write us and that you are actually offended by pet names. Actually, we’ve built a whole site just for them: PetBabyNames.com!

I, myself, am a pet mama to two cats, Roxie and Brutus, and a dog, Roscoe. Oh, yeah, and I also have a human baby, Miranda. No, they are not equal, but I love them all, with this thing I call a heart. And I must correct you: animals are children. They have mothers and fathers just like you. They have feelings. They love. They have facebook pages.

I’m sorry you were offended by our pet names, but we will not be removing them from our site. I hope you are not–nor ever will be–a pet owner.

Sincerely,
Jennifer

The name Nausicaå

Hi Jennifer!

Ever since I first saw Hayao Miyazaki’s movie ‘Nausicaå of the Valley of the Wind’, I’ve loved the name of the titular character. Since your website doesn’t have it, I did a brief google search and found that it means ‘burner of ships’, but there wasn’t any citation to a reputable source, so I’m little doubtful on how accurate this.

Is this indeed the meaning of the name Nausicaå? Any information about the name would be greatly appreciated, I think it’s a beautiful name.

Thanks,
Cora

Dear Cora,
The name originates in Homer’s Odyssey, as the name of a character. The name literally just translates to “of the sea,” similar to the word nautical. It does not mean “Princess who finds Odysseus,” as most baby name sites state. That is a description of the character.

Unfortunately, this is a good example of how other sites just copy content from each other without research. Here are BabyNames.com, we pride ourselves in our research and have two international name scholars that work on our database.

Sincerely,
Jennifer

Gibson to Honor Stepfather

Hi Jennifer!!

I have a spelling question for you! My husband and I are planning another child in the near future and would like to honor my stepfather who’s last name is Gibbs. I came across Gibson at one point and thought it was so unique and masculine and would be a good way to honor my him. My question is…is it silly to spell it Gibbson since Gibbs has two B’s or should I just stick with the traditional spelling?

Thanks!!
Brittany G

Dear Brittany,

How many times have you had to spell your name for people? Yep, that’s what I thought. STICK TO THE COMMON SPELLING: Gibson. You don’t need the two Bs to honor your stepdad.

Sincerely,
Jennifer

Pronunciation of Maille

Hi Jennifer!

First off, let me just say I love looking at your website. I’ve been coming to your website since I was young just to look at names for fun and I love all the advice you give!

I’ve always wondered how to pronounce the name Maille. I’ve looked up how to pronounce it and some sites it says it’s pronounced like ‘Molly’ or ‘Mehl-leh’ or ‘May-lee’ or ‘My-lee.’ Is there any certain way you would pronounce this name?

Thank you!
Georgie

Dear Georgie,

Maille is a French surname. It came from the name of a small coin, and subsequently a tax of the same amount. Most likely the surname came from a nickname for someone who collected this tax.

In its original language it would be pronounced similar to “My” or possibly “MY-ah.” However, since the name is so rare and nobody in the U.S. really knows the proper pronunciation, you can pronounce it any way that you want.

Sincerely,
Jennifer

Cool Vermont Name

Hi Jennifer,

My huband loves going to Vermont, and his parents own a house in Stowe, Vermont. I was looking up names that we could use as a middle name when we have children that had something to do with Vermont, and I found a name that isn’t in your database. The town of Stowe, Vermont was chartered by a man named Benning Wentworth. When I heard the name Benning, I thought it would be good as a first name too. Do you know anything about this name? Thanks!

Sarah K.

Hi Sarah,

Very often early Americans from prominent families were given surnames as first names. This was to show their glowing lineage! As in, “Oh, you’re a BENNING! I know that family.” This naming practice has now become trendy again, but not for those reasons. Names like Mason, Harrison, Taylor and Harper are all top names that were originally surnames.

Interesting fact: Benning is one of the earliest surnames recorded in history. It is derived from the Latin “Benedictus” which means “blessed.” Other related surnames are Bennett, Benedict, and the French Benoit.

Thank you for the new name! I will make sure it is added to the BabyNames.com database.

Sincerely,
Jennifer

Kreatyve Name Spellings
,

Hi Jennifer,

I was wondering your opinion on using names with non-traditional spellings. My name is spelled 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 spelled 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!

Sincerely,

Carly with a K and two EE’s

Dear Karlee,

Personally, I hate them. Professionally, I hate them. For the reasons that you stated, above. When I approach a name professionally, I approach it from the perspective of the child–the person who will bear the name for the rest of his or her life. Can the name be a burden on the child? And how much of a burden? Will he/she have to spell it for people their entire lives?

Some people with (what I call) “Kreatyve Names” say that they like their different spelling. That it makes them unique. But most of them say they only learned to accept it as an adult. As a child, it was a burden.

If you want a unique name, choose a unique name. Don’t choose a popular name and misspell it. Life is hard enough for kids. Any comments from Kreatyve namers or namees?

Sincerely,
Jennifer