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Names and Naming

Articles about everything to do with names and naming.

Gramma’s Named Elwilda–WOT!

Hi There,

I was visiting my grandmother over the weekend and we were talking about family names. Her mother, my great -grandmother, was named Elwilda. I have never heard of anyone else with this name and also cannot seem to find its meaning either. Read More

Andersen for a Girl?


Hi Jennifer,

I’ve read your Q&A for years even though this is my first time expecting.

We won’t find out what we’re having before the birth so we’ll have to come up with options for each sex and decide on the day! Read More

What does my name -Themis- mean?

Hi Jennifer,

I couldn’t find my name on your list, Themis, I am looking into the meaning and origins of it. Is there an alternate spelling to it?

Sincerely,

Themis Pierquet Flores

Dear Themis,

What a beautiful name! I bet you didn’t know this, but you’ve probably seen the “original Themis” all over the place. Read More

Same Name As Celebrity?

Hi Jennifer,

Our last name is Wilson and we found out we’re having a boy. My husband and I both love the name Owen, but are afraid our son will be teased since Owen Wilson is a famous actor.

What do you think? Read More

What does Malthace mean?

Hi Jennifer!

There’s a character in a book I read in school as a kid (The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare) named Malthace, which I’ve always thought was a very interesting name. The book is set in biblical times, specifically during Jesus’ life, and the character is a young Jewish girl. Read More

Does this name sound like a cartoon?

Hi Jennifer,

For most of his life my husband has wanted to name a child Jack after his grandfather. However, I’ve rejected it because a) it’s incredible popularity for kids right now and the ubiquity in popular culture is annoying to me and b) there are several Jacks in his family currently living with the same last name. Read More

Is this Baby Name sound like a Doll?

Hi Jennifer,

Long time fan, here! I’ve enjoyed reading your column for years! My husband and I are getting ready to expand our family, and so we are starting to consider names for our future little one. So far, some names I like for a girl have the same vowel sounds as our last name. Read More

The Name Luna

Will Luna Become Dated?

Dear Jennifer,

I’m a soon-to-be first time mom and this whole name thing is overwhelming. My name was rather unique growing up and I’d like to keep with that tradition for my daughter. And I really want to avoid a name that when heard in 20 years screams ‘2016.’ In that light, my partner and I really like the name Luna but from what I can tell it seems that it is becoming quite popular. Read More

Baby Name Gender Crossover

Dear Jennifer,

I’ve noticed that it’s okay for names to crossover from boys to girls, but not vice versa. Why do you think that is?

Thanks,
Tracey,

Dear Tracey,

I’m not a gender or sociology expert by any means, but I can give my observations from a historical perspective. Read More

Teachers Reveal Funniest Student Names

My sister is a long time elementary school teacher. She asked her Facebook group of teachers about the most unique student names they’ve encountered throughout the year. Here are the results:

BamBam Beauty Im’Unique Tequila Rebel Messiah Abcde (pronounced AB-si-dee)* Sir Highness Christ (female) Elvis (female) Graiggeree (pr. Read More

Baker and Occupational Names

Dear Jennifer,

I love Baker as a surname, and it’s also listed on your website as a first name. Is Baker an accepted first name for a boy?

Sincerely,
Sasha R.

Hi Sasha,

Absolutely Baker can be a first name! Occupational names that were originally surnames have become pretty trendy in the past couple of years, especially for boys. Read More