Name of the Day: Leander

Leo is poised to return to the heights of popularity.

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We just named our son Leander. Not only doe we like its leonine quality, but we think the story of Hero & Leander is romantic & symbolizes a bridge between two lands (i.e. the Hellespont). It is also the ancient name of a lighthouse tower on a tiny islet in the beautiful Bosphorous Strait in Istanbul. Also, a Greek name is timeless & more appealing than the strange, concocted names currently en vogue. Nicknames are easy: Leo, Lee, Ander, Andy …

I want to like it, it is a great alternative to Alexander, a more substantial form of Lee etc, but it just does not do anything for me. I don’t know why.

Mention Leander here and you’d probably get “That’s a cute girl’s name!”. In fact, I have mentioned it out of curiosity and did get a similar response.

Nice enough but not for me. And it reminds me of the highly toxic Oleander plant which I see far too much of in peoples’ gardens around here.

I like it! Another name that came to my mind when you mentioned Leander was Lysander (maybe you could make that a future Name of the Day candidate?).

I’m not a fan. Growing up I had a friend and classmate saddled with the very Dutch Leendert (now there’s an interesting NotD for you!). We were once at the same summer camp, and an “a” was accidentally added to his name on all the camp documents and posters. As a result, most of our fellow campers went around calling him “Leanne-dirt” for most of the week. They weren’t trying to tease him, that’s just how they honestly thought it was supposed to be said. However, the awkwardness of that pronunciation jumble resurfaces when I come across the similar-soundings Leander.

Leah is mentioned here, and I always wonder why anyone chooses this name for a baby girl. If you know the bibical story of Leah, it’s like naming your daughter “homely older sister with weak eyes.” (Jacob was tricked into marrying Leah, when he’d actually been laboring for seven years to win the hand of her younger beautiful sister Rachel.) Why would anyone saddle their daughter with this name and story?

I know what you mean – I can’t help but think of the Bible story, too. But most people probably wouldn’t make the connection, and as long as you don’t name your second daughter Rachel, you’re probably okay.