Baby Name of the Day: Janelle


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J by TooFarNorth via Flickr

She’s another spin on the stylish Jane, with a fashionable -elle ending, too.

Thanks to Christina for suggesting her (all grown-up) daughter’s name as our Baby Name of the Day: Janelle.

Janelle entered the US Top 1000 in 1931.

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19 Comments

As a Janelle in her late twenties, I’m fascinated by this discussion 🙂 I will say that the vast majority of Janelles I know were born between 1975 and 1985 or thereabouts… I am always surprised when I meet a Janelle who is older than 35 or younger than 20. Because of that, I think Janelle is headed for mom-name status unless it becomes popular among the -Elle set.

My name has grown on me, and I like it now. It’s common enough to be pronounced correctly and usually people can spell it too– always a bonus in my book! I also really like that there are so many nickname options. I have most commonly been called Nelly and Janny, but occasionally Jane or Elle.

Thanks everyone for your kind comments on my name 🙂

Janelle is, sadly, a bit of a ‘bogan’ name here in Australia (chav? White trash? Whatever the equivalent is elsewhere).

The character on ‘Neighbours’ (very popular soap runnign since 1985) didn’t help.

Janelle has the same dated feel as Susan and Karen. If pressed, I might pick Janine or Jeanne nn Jeannie as preferred alternatives to Jane. But honestly, I like Jane–simple, classic and spare.

I’m not keen on Janelle, it sounds very dated to me – but not old enough to be vintage. The nicknames Elle and Nell are probably the name’s only saving grace for me. Johanna is probably my favourite of all the feminine John names you’ve mentioned, although I tend to dislike most “J” names aside from Juno, Juniper and January – I’m a hard one to convince!

I’m an avid Teen Mom viewer, so I don’t think I could past that association with Janelle since she’s such a troubled young woman.

Janelle sounds like very similar to names like Jamarcus to me; her French roots aren’t immediately obvious. I really prefer Jane.

Sarah, the funny thing about the French stats is that Janelle was barely a blip until recently. Even now, she’s #469. In the US, that’s the equivalent of Annabella, Celeste, Nancy, Cara, or Asia – pretty uncommon. But since there are fewer births in France, I assume Janelle is even more rare.

So I’m not confident that she has French roots, as much as she is in use right now … and I’m not sure what that means!

Abby, that’s really interesting about Janelle’s use in France. I really wasn’t confident about Janelle having French roots when I wrote that, oops! But the -elle ending I think can sound French, like Michelle. All I meant is that when I hear and say Janelle, I don’t hear a French name or a feminine of John, I hear a Ja- name, like Jamarcus.

I know several Janelles, and all are my age. That being said, I would find it odd to meet a baby with that name. It is kind of pretty, though, so I can see parents using it. I personally prefer plain ol’ Jane. Or the lovely Johanna.

Janelle makes me think of the obese wife on Sister Wives. I came across the spelling Jheanelle on a bridal registry today.

I grew up with a Jenelle. Her parents wanted the Jen/Jenny nickname but didn’t want to use Jennifer because of its massive popularity. My favorite Jan- name is Janet. It reminds me of Janet Jackson and Janet Wood from Three’s Company, two women I grew up thinking were totally cool.

I really considered Janelle for a MN, since my grandmother called herself Nellie and we both have family members named Janet/Jeanette. I like Janelle pronounced JAN-elle, but due to a quirk of mine JAW-nelle drives me nuts. (I have the same issue with some accents and Benjamin.)

Due to English vs German pronunciation issues, “J” names don’t really work for us, so it’s a mote point anyway.

I’ve known several Janelles and Jonelles growing up and even a Jennel (whose parents went with that spellling because they thought it seemed the most phonetic). All of these girls were around my own age, which makes the name seem like one that belongs to a contemporary, not to a little baby. It’s a pretty name though, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it started to pick up again in a few years.

When we adopted my little sister, my parents let me pick her middle name. After MUCH consideration (I was a name nerd even at age 5) I decided on Janelle. Except I wanted it spelled Jeanelle- MY middle name is Jeanette and I thought it’d be cute if my new sister and I “matched.” lol. My parents just went with the Janelle spelling, though. :/

My favorite of the Jan names is Janine. Sadly, my DH hears Genin (Israeli town) every time I say it.

I was almost named Janet instead of C. I’m glad mom went with C. My SIL’s sister is Janel.

My fantastic mother-in-law (seriously, this woman is the perfect MIL) is named Janelle, so that definitely pushes it to the “Like” list. If we used it, it be for family reasons first, then because I like the sound.

I grew up with a Jonelle – she’s probably just out of college now (younger than me) – and can think of at least 2 Janelles I went to college with. Also, a cousin Janellen (Jane-Ellen) who goes by Janie exclusively.

So I can see how the name has appealed to people for quite a while. Not a blockbuster, but a nice enough name.

When I hear the name Janelle I always think of houseguest Janelle Pierzina from Big Brother Season 6. She was one of my favorite houseguest that season so it is a good association for me. The name Janelle has an soft elegance to it that I like and even though it is one of many -elle ending names I think the NELLE makes it stand out from all the -belle’s or just plain -elle’s.

I think its a great name sophisticated name for a teen or adult but I agree that it is a bit too grown up for a baby, thought the nn Janey is an nice solution.

Now Jane & Joan are favorites of mine, but Janelle doesn’t bother me like Janet does (the nerd in me sings “Dammit, Janet” every time I see it).
Janelle’s got a pretty sound, a lovely J beginning (my favorite letter) and that trendy -elle ending. For that alone, I wouldn’t be surprised to stumbble upon a Janelle at the playground or mall. I rather like Janelle, and although I won’t uuse her myself, I find her pleasant to look at & say. Pretty Janelle!

I grew up with a Janelle so it would seem really odd on a little baby. It is a pretty name though.

Abby, I have had two friends name their new daughters Joleen/Jolene and I was wondering if that is an up and coming name. Would be and interesting notd. BTW they are both in Illinois.