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

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Name from History
Hi Jennifer,

My son’s name is Patton. My husband likes WW2 history and got the name idea from General George S. Patton. Do you know the meaning? 

Thanks,
Elindsey
Dear Elindsey (great unique name!),
Patton is an Anglo-Scottish surname.  It comes from Pat–short for Patrick–and the suffix -on which means “little” or “son of.”   So the official meaning would be “Son of Patrick.”
Sincerely,
Jennifer
The Name Hakizimana
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Hello Jennifer!

My husband and I recently welcomed our son into our family in a nontraditional way.  He is a refugee from Africa, 17 years old.  I am curious about the meaning of his name, Hakizimana.  He is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, although he lived in a refugee camp in Rwanda from 6 months on.  He speaks Kinyarwanda, which is spoken in Rwanda, but I don’t know if his name is part of that language or another.  He goes by the name “Hakim” now in America, which means wise, but I’m not about to tell a teenage boy that his name means Wise.  I would love to tell him what Hakizimana means though.  Thank you for your help!

Kellie

Hi Kellie,

What a wonderful addition to your family!  According to my research, Hakizimana was originally an Egyptian name, but prevalent in Rwanda. It means “God Saves Everything.” I have added it to our site.

Sincerely,

Jennifer

The name Levron
,
Hi Jennifer!

My great-grandmother’s maiden name was Levron and I was wondering if you may have information about it. Could it be French? I know her family has ties with France.

Thanks,
LAURA

Hi Laura,

Levron is originally a French surname, which is geographical for a family from Vron, France. Vron is a small village in the Picardy region in the north of the country. I couldn’t quite discern what the name is from, but it may be related to Verona, which means “Truth.”

Sincerely,
Jennifer
Embedding Dad’s Name
, ,

Hi Jennifer,

I’ve been a long time lurker on BabyNames.com, even before I was married or expecting. Now I’m pregnant with my first child and would appreciate your help; I love the name Declan and the meaning ‘full of goodness.’ My husband’s name is Clay and I was trying to make the baby’s name more meaningful by adding a ‘Y’ to produce the title “Declayn.” My husband thinks that everyone will mispronounce the name and it will cause confusion. How do you think others would interpret this particular spelling of the name?  

Thanks!

Jamie

Hi Jamie,

Good question! I think people would pronounce it as they see it. De-CLAY-n.  If that’s not what you are intending, then use the traditional spelling and tell your child that by using a “D” name, you were honoring his father. I’m not a big fan of naming a child after his/her parent, anyway, so I would recommend just plain Declan!

Thank you for being a loyal member of the site!

Sincerely,

Jennifer

 

Creating a New Name

Hi Jennifer,

Well, I like the name Tavia, but I don’t want to name one of my kids after someone I know who’s name is Tavia. So I added a suffix, “anna”. I looked on your site, and “Tavia” was listed as an abbreviation of “Octavia”, meaning eight, and “anna” was listed as “gracious, merciful”. So the name I made up, Tavianna, would mean “gracious, merciful eighth”??? Any thoughts on any other meanings this name could have?

Sincerely,
NJ

Hi NJ,

I love the name Tavianna, great job!  It is easy to pronounce and easy to spell. Yes, I would combine the meanings, but I would say “The Eighth / Gracious, Merciful.”  I will add it to our site.

Sincerely,
Jennifer

From Time to Time
,

Hi Jennifer!

I’m a fellow name enthusiast. I recently watched From Time to Time (2009). It’s based on a children’s book series from the 1950s.
It was a charming little movie. I recommend it! Great cast. Two characters had names that sent me straight to your site for answers, but none were to be found! Have you ever heard of these boys names–Toseland (Tolly for short) and Sefton? Do they have any meaning or historical significance, or do you think they were made up by the author?
Thanks!
Laura J.
Dear Laura,

Toseland and Sefton are both classic British surnames used for these characters. Both the -land and -ton suffix were used to indicate locations, meaning “land” and “town” accordingly.  Families with those surnames came from those places.  Toseland was recorded as Touleslund in 1220, literally translating to “Toli’s Grove.” Toli being a personal name or family name. Sefton is comprised of the Old Norse “sef” which means rush and translates to “the settlement where rushes grew.”

I have added both names to the BabyNames.com database!

Sincerely,

Jennifer

Too many -sons?

Hi Jennifer-

We’re expecting our third child this fall. We already have 2 girls and this will be our first boy. And “boy” are we having a hard time….see what I did there? Anyway, our last name ends in “son” and it seems most of the names we like also end in “son”. We like Harrison and Hudson. Do you think it would sound silly to have the first and last name ending with the same sound? I think yes and my husband thinks no. I’m leaning towards Mitchell or Patrick at this point.

Thank you much,
Meredith

Dear Meredith,

No, I don’t think it sounds silly, as long as it doesn’t rhyme. For example, using the two names you mentioned–Harrison Hudson–that doesn’t sound bad at all. But if you were to name your son Harrison Garrison, well, that would sound like a children’s book character.

If you would like to send me your last name privately, I can review it just to make sure!

Sincerely,

Jennifer

About Bethel
,

Hi Jennifer,

First of all, thanks for all the questions you answer! I really appreciate them!

I was looking for the name Bethel and didn’t see it in your database. Some websites seem to say it’s for a girl, and some for a boy. I have found out it’s Hebrew and means “House of God”, but I was wondering if you had any more information on it? Specifically, is this name more common in other cultures or languages, and is it more popular for a certain gender over the other? Thanks so much for your help.

Shelley C.

Hi Shelley,

You’re very welcome!  Thanks for being a loyal reader.  Bethel is historically a female name and does, indeed, mean “House of God.” It’s originally a place name from the Old Testament of the Bible, a town north of Jerusalem.  It is often used as a name for temples or churches.

It is not very common as a given name.  

Sincerely,

Jennifer

Crossed Swords

Dear Jennifer,

We are expecting our third child next month. We have two boys, Paxton and Zephan. We love unique names and it’s important that they end in “n.” For a boy we love Quillan, which means cub. But the spelling Quillon (not listed on your site) can mean crossing swords or strong. I prefer the latter definition but am unsure of which spelling would be the more common for our newest addition when he gets older.

I’ve also read that the name was originally pronounced “kill-on” but we want it to be “quill-an” – not sure if the spelling would affect the pronunciation upon seeing the name.

Thank you so much for any direction!

Sincerely,

Randi

 

Dear Randi,

As for your first question, the name is so unique, I don’t believe either spelling will be common by any means! 

A “quillon” is originally a French word meaning one of two crossed swords. It is a derivative of the word “quille” which means club or pin. In French, the word is pronounced “kee-yawn.”  I’ve never heard of the “kill-on” pronunciation and don’t think you have to worry much about it.  Most Americans will say “KWIL-on.”

Hope that helps!

Sincerely,

Jennifer

 

Created name: Nicora

Dear Jennifer,

I just came across the baby name Nicora, and thought it was very unique but not too outlandish for a baby girl (albeit a bit more exotic than other daughters names’, Claire and Morgan). The name is not in your database.  Is Nicora a known first name for a girl or is this a made up name?

Thank you!

Natalie

 

Dear Natalie,

Sounds to me like this is a created name, combining the two names Nicole and Nora (or Cora). I’d be wary, since I first associate the name with Nicorette, the anti-smoking gum.  Not sure how others feel about that. 

I’d get some other choices onto your list…

Sincerely,

Jennifer