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  • Name advice from Jennifer Moss,
    founder of BabyNames.com

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

Feedback on Dexter

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

Hunger Games Name

Dear Jennifer,

I’m fifteen and writing a Hunger Games fan fiction. It takes place after the last book and the main character is the daughter of Peeta Mellark and Katniss Everdeen. I named her Willow. I have many reasons for doing this. One is personal connections. My name is Alora Danin, which comes from the Movie/Book “Willow”.  It is also a reference to the song Katniss sang to Rue in the 74th Hunger Games: “Deep in the meadow, under the willow.” 

Characters in Panem are generally named after something that has to do with nature. Katniss and Primrose are both plant names, as is Willow.  As another side note, I plan on naming my daughter Willow (:

Sincerely,

Alora

Dear Alora,

You have a beautiful name, yourself!  And a wonderful association for the name you have chosen for your daughter. It seems like you’ve put a lot of thought into it, and that is wonderful.  Willow is a great name and I, too, am  Hunger Games fan!  May the odds be ever in your favor!

Sincerely,

Jennifer

Game of Thrones Names

Jon Snow played by Kit Harington

Fan of the HBO Series Game of Thrones?  In honor of Season Four debuting this Sunday, I have done a full analysis of Game of Thrones Names on our sister site, CharacterNames.com!

Check it out!

Daenerys
Hi Jennifer!
 
I’ve recently gotten into the show “Game of Thrones” and I have fallen in love with the name Daenerys. I know it’s made up, but I can’t seem to find a meaning of it anywhere! Do you have any ideas? I’m all out except for asking George R.R. Martin himself!
 
Thanks,
GoT lover.
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen

Dear GL,
I’ve just recently finished the first season, myself, and do love the creative names of the characters! (List coming soon)  As far as I’ve researched, many of the character names were inventions of Game of Thrones’ author George R. R. Martin. Including Daenerys.  He’s done a great job naming his characters, clearly following our advice to make the names easy to pronounce and easy to spell. Well, most of them! The name Daenerys does follow standard Gaelic naming conventions. So unless you contact George R.R. Martin to ask him about his naming thought process, there really is no “meaning” per se.

Since the popularity of the HBO series, there have been baby girls named Daenerys–at least 400 documented!  So if you do decide to use it, she won’t be alone.

Sincerely,
Jennifer
The Dexter Association

Hi Jennifer,

My husband and I have a last name ending in –er so I always said I would NEVER name a child something ending in –er to avoid the rhyming sound. Lately, I’ve been hung up on Trent and he’s liking Dexter…I actually don’t think it sounds as rhyming as a lot of other  –er names and actually do like it, but I’m not sure I like the idea of telling our son we came up with his name from a serial killer on TV. Neither name actually has much meaning either. Thoughts?

Carolyn Cooper

dexDear Carolyn,

Dexter has always been one of my all-time favorite names ever since I first saw the movie Philadelphia Story, where Cary Grant played C.K. Dexter Haven. Then the cartoon came out, and I loved the cartoon and it still topped my (personal) name list for boys. Then came the TV series, eponymously named after the serial killer anti-hero.  And although I loved the series, the name is now unfortunately associated with that character. For that reason, I’d avoid it. At least for now. Perhaps ten years down the line there will be another Dexter that will “cleanse our palette” of the name, so to speak.

That being said, I don’t think you have to avoid “-er” names if you really love them.  The rhyming factor isn’t the issue, but I think I would avoid using a name that was originally an occupational surname–like Parker or Mason. To me, having two occupational surnames is less attractive than the rhyming factor.

Hope that helps!

Sincerely,
Jennifer

Calling Captain Kirk!

Hi Jennifer,

My husband and I have been arguing lately over what to name the boy we’re expecting. I like generic names since my name is Chaesyn (like Chasen) and no one knows how to spell it or even say it. Ever since I was a teenager I’ve loved the name James and wanted to name my son, if I had one, James. When I fell in love with my husband and once we got married I never even thought about this but his last name is Kirk. Would my son get teased for having the name James Kirk like in Star Trek?

Sincerely,
Chaesen

Dear Chaesen,kirk

Being an avid Star Trek fan, I have to say: THAT IS SO COOL!  James Kirk is an amazing, iconic character. It would be different if your husband’s last name was Duck and you wanted to name your son Donald.  However, I don’t see a teasing factor with James Kirk.  At least, not as a child, since most children have not yet been exposed to Star Trek.  Those that have seen the current movies would be a little older. And if anyone tried to tease him, your son could always say “I’m so awesome, the character was named after ME!”

What does your husband think?

Let me know what you decide!

Sincerely,
Jennifer

Ya-Ya Sisterhood Name

Hi Jennifer,

We are having a baby girl soon and have not picked a name. I just read the ya-ya sisterhood and fell in love with Siddalee.

I can not find its meaning anywhere. Did the author make it up? Do you think having such a different name would be a burden on her?

Thanks,

Laura

Hi Laura,

We’ve had that question before, believe it or not! At the time, I wrote the author’s representative to get the answer.  She responded by saying that Rebecca Wells created the name Siddalee for the book.

Sincerely,

Jennifer

 

A real-life Katniss?

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen

Hi Jennifer,
My husband have been trying for a baby for over 2 years and I am currently on fertility meds. In my hormonal state I have really become attached to the name Katniss. Now I know it has some horrible teasing potential but it’s all I can think about. What do you think? Other girl names we have picked out are “Avalon” and “Sakura.”
 
Thanks 
Tanya

Dear Tanya,

Believe it or not, I love the name Katniss. As soon as I read the first Hunger Games book, I added the name to the website. I don’t think it has great teasing potential–the heroine it is associated with is brave and admirable.  It also meets our basic standards for a good baby name: it’s easy to pronounce and easy to spell. I say if you love the name Katniss, go for it!

That being said, Avalon is one of my favorite names, also. I think it’s a great alternative to the more popular name, Ava.

Good luck on the conception, And yes, I have to say it: may the odds be ever in your favor!

Let me know how it goes.

Sincerely,

Jennifer

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