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Name advice from Jennifer Moss, founder & CEO of BabyNames.com
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How is Eoin pronounced?

Hi Jennifer,

I found an Irish name I really like – Eoin – Irish form of John. My problem is I have no idea how to pronounce it. I think it might be pronounce like Ian, but have no real idea. Could you possibly help?

Is there any way you could add a pronunciation feature to your website?

Thanks,
Merlynhawk

Dear Merlynhawk (awesome name, btw),

Eoin is traditionally pronounced “OH-in” not like the name Ian (“EE-in”).

Hope that helps!

Sincerely,
Jennifer

Eviana

Jennifer,

I just have to say I love your site. My husband and I are really banking on having a girl & I heard the name Eviana (Ev-E-Annah) the other day, but could not find it in your database. I was wondering what the meaning of this name was or if it was just made up? And although I love the name, I keep thinking of the Evian water brand and wonder if she would then get made fun of? Thank you so much!

Emily T.

Dear Emily,

Thank you for the kudos! Eviana is a beautiful name. There are many names that are derived from other, more common names. Derivative names can come from changing a letter, adding a letter or combining two names.

Eviana is one of these names. It could be a combination of Eve/Evelyn and Ana or a derivation of Evana or yes, Evian. I do not think an Eviana would get teased, as there is no negative connotation to the water brand Evian.

I will add it to the BabyNames.com database.

Sincerely,
Jennifer

Breaking your own Naming Theme
,

Dear Jennifer,

I find myself caught in a theme with trying to name our second child. Both of our names end with a y and our son’s name has a y in it (we picked it cause we loved the name and not for the y). For a girl we are considering Laney, not because of the y but because we like the name. My question is, when it comes to a boys name, are we obligated to think of names with y’s in them or is it ok to break the theme we find ourselves caught in? Also what is the common spelling for Laney or Lainey?

Thanks for your input,
Mom caught in an unplanned theme

Dear Themed Mom,

Here’s news for you: YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT! You are in charge. That being said, I’m not a fan of female names ending in Y or IE. I feel they are too diminutive for a grown woman. Would you name a son Jimmy without the given name James? I hope not.

If you are considering Laney–my preferred spelling–use it as a nickname. Name your daughter Lane, Tamerlane, Brilane, Delane or another name she can grow with.

Sincerely,
Jennifer

Oneika, Onika, and Nikki Minaj

Hi,
I was trying to upload a face pix and received this message: This name is not in our database, so photo will not appear on the site. My first name is Oneika. My father told me that it is Swahili for “one with beauty”. Can you research and add it? There are quite a few Oneikas out there. Some spell it the way mine is spelled and I’ve also seen Onika which happens to be Nikki Minaj’s name.

Sincerely,
Oneika T. K.

Dear Oneika,

You have a beautiful name! Thank you for your submission. I have researched the name, which is more likely to have come from West Africa. It is a variation of the Igbo name, Onyekachi, which means “Who is greater than God?” I have added it to the BabyNames.com database.

Sincerely,
Jennifer

New Name: Vahn
,

Hi Jennifer,
I have named my son Vahn, I noticed it was not in your database, I have found it to be a male form of Siobhan and some of its meaning to be Justice. It was a name of a character in Legends of Legaia. I’m not sure of the origin, but I liked it as opposed to John (another male form of Siobhan). I thought you might want to add it to your database, so others can view it as an option. Maybe you can find its origin also.
Heidi

Hi Heidi,
The Irish female name Siobhan is a form of Joan, which is a feminized version of John. Therefore the meaning of Vahn would be “God is Gracious.” Vahn could also be a variation of the name Vaughn, an English surname meaning “small.”
Thank you for the submission, we will be adding it to the database.

Sincerely,
Jennifer

Variations of Marcel

Hello,

My name is Marcelina,but I didn’t see it on your website. I think my name means warrior. Please research and put it on your site.

Thank you.
Marcelina M.

Hi Marcelina,

Names are like words-they have origins and roots. Many names are derivatives of other names. They could come from surnames, place names and in the case of female names often are based on a male name. Marcelina, for example, is a feminized version of the French name Marcel. Marcel means “Young Warrior.”

While we try to include all variations of a name in our database, we do miss some. We have Marcel, Marcela, Marceline, Marcelino, Marcell, Marcella, Marcello, and Marcellus. I will make sure we include Marcelina, as well.

Sincerely,
Jennifer

Feedback on Dexter
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Hi Jennifer,

I was just browsing through your Q&A and came across the question about the name Dexter being too reminiscent of the serial killer from the TV show. You advise against using the name because it has “bad associations” right now. While I think this would be somewhat true, I don’t think it should stop the parents from using the name if they really love it. If it were me, I’d hate to look back 20 years from now and think “I can’t believe that dumb old show stopped me from using the name Dexter.”

People have surprisingly short term memories and will likely forget the name has anything to do with the TV show after getting to know little Dexter. If the parents are worried about strangers prejudging their child based on a name, well I think that happens with a lot of names anyway and they can always say it was after their favorite childhood cartoon (strangers don’t need to know if this is true)! For what it’s worth, I am a fan of both shows and I love the name Dexter!

Thanks,
Rebecca

Dear Rebecca,

Thank you for your feedback! If I were expecting I would seriously consider the name Dexter for a boy, even if I relegated it to a middle name.

Sincerely,

Jennifer

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