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Ask BabyNames

Name advice from Jennifer Moss, founder & CEO of
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Beige as a Name

Hi Jennifer,

I recently met a young lady with the name Beige, and I simply love it! I think it is a great alternative to Paige, and I noticed that it is not in the database! Could you add it?

C Lou

Dear C Lou,

I love adding new names, so yes I have added the name Beige to our database. I don’t know how I feel about it, though, and probably would not recommend it as a baby name. As you know it is a color, but it’s also an adjective for things that are…well, boring. That being said, the name Gray and Grayson have become very popular!

Readers: what do you think about the name Beige?



Native American Names


I’ve always loved the name Dakota. While I’m not yet expecting, it’s at the top of our list for a girl as it’s one of the few names we agree on. Recently, though, someone mentioned to me that it’s a culturally insensitive name due to the Native American tribe and that it would be cruel to use it for a child’s name. If I were to name my future daughter Dakota, would people commonly make this association?

Also, I’ve noticed that you don’t have the names Gloriana or Alexianna (a name that a friend of mine made up but that I’ve seen mentioned on a few name blogs) in your database.

Thank you so much for all of the work you’ve put into your site. As an author, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve referred to it for name inspiration! It’s truly helpful. :)


Dear Jody,

Thank you for your compliments. As an author, I appreciate it!

To answer your first question, yes. I’ve been told that Native Americans are offended when white people use tribe names for their children. What I was told was that they feel that we have taken so much from them, now we want their names, too? It is insensitive. That being said, Dakota is a U.S. state name and a more widely accepted Caucasian name than say, Cree or Lakota.

As for the second question, Gloriana and Alexianna are both combination names of two other names. To find their meanings, look up Glory and Anna or Alex and Anna. I will put them on our list to add to the database but it’s almost impossible to enter every combination of two names morphed into one!

Hope that helps!


Anagram Names
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Hi Jennifer,

For as long as I remember, I planned on giving all my children names which are anagrams of my name, Adina. I named our first baby boy Aidan.

I’m expecting my second baby in January, so I don’t know the sex yet. If we have another boy, I want to name him Daian, which I thought would be pronounced Day-an. Do think this name can be pronounced differently and cause problems for a child growing up? Or do you think that it would be ok?

I have lots of girl names: Nadia, Dania, Diana, and Daina (which I guess could be unisex).

What do you think?

Ms. Anagram

Dear Ms. Anagram,

What an interesting concept! And you have a great name to anagram, so kudos! The name Daian could also be pronounced like “DY-in” but once you correct people (or he does) I don’t see it being an issue.

As for your girls’ names, they are all easy to pronounce and easy to spell–great choices, in my book!


Matching Meanings

Hi Jennifer,

Your site has been my most visited site recently.

My wife and I are expecting a baby boy this fall (first child). However we got into a bit of confusion over a name we initially chosen. The name is Jayson Dallas Teo. We have chosen Jayson because he can be called Jay, for short. We like the middle name Dallas because it sounds like it’s for a sharp and witty person.

We recently have done a research on the meaning of the name and they don’t quite match up. Jayson (Jason)=a healer, and Dallas = a meadow dwelling. We need your advice to this matter. I look forward to your reply soon. Thanks :)

Ern & MM

Dear Ern & MM,
It makes no difference whether the meanings “match up” or not for the first and middle name of the child. As long as you and your partner agree on the names and love them, they can be used!

Remember, a child rarely goes by his or her middle name–unless they are in trouble!

Hope that helps.

Jennifer Moss

Nicknames and Tribe Names

Hi Jennifer!

I have a little boy Noah Benjamin. I never thought when I was pregnant that Noah could be shortened but he has become Nono, No and Nose to pretty much everyone, including myself!

My real question is when I have my second boy what to name him? I love Zion and Shiloh, however I am not religious and feel silly picking yet ANOTHER biblical name?

My 3rd option is Kree. I love it and heard it from the programme Sister, Sister. I have never met or heard of a Kree here (we live in London). Is it an acceptable name? My partner also likes it but is worried that if Baby doesn’t he will not be able to have a nickname from Kree? But I believe nicknames come naturally (as in the case of our No!)

Thanks very much,

Dear Erin,

First, are you pregnant with your second boy? I’m not sure whether you are expecting or if this is hypothetical. Either way, I would choose Zion over Shiloh. For one, Shiloh is the name of Angelina Jolie’s daughter. But if having a unisex name doesn’t bother you, that is not an issue. In terms of nicknames, Shiloh could be called “Shi” or “Shy” and that has some negative connotations. If I had a Zion, on the other hand, I’d nickname him Z.

I do like the name Cree (original spelling), although there has been backlash from the Native American community regarding white people using tribe names for their children. It offends them. I hope you take that into consideration.


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?


Dear Merlynhawk (awesome name, btw),

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

Hope that helps!




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 database.


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.


Oneika, Onika, and Nikki Minaj

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.

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 database.


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.

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.