Here it is – the modern day parents’ baby naming dilemma, put to music. Bizarre, crazy, but all too true.

We’re in midst of Halloween festivities here. In the midst of nursery school trick’or’treat I noticed that Clio’s classroom now includes two boys with the same name – Benjamin – who are constantly referred to by FirstLast. BenSmith and BenJones. Never just Ben. While my son Alexander is one of three in his school, all of whom seem to favor the nickname Alex, much to my dismay, they’re not actually in his class. It’s one of the things that the singing dad above aims to avoid, but it can be tough.

  • Unless, of course, you go with something completely unexpected, like one of these Celtic Cool names from British Baby Names – Jory, Lorcan, Macsen, Treeve; Aderyn, Eleri, Emblyn, Kerensa, Tressa, Ysella. If I had any claim to any Celtic heritage, I’d be all about them. Then again, Jory could make a fun short form of George;
  • Speaking of short forms – and back to Ben – how ’bout Beau for Benjamin? Photoquilty mentioned it on the AppMtn Facebook page. Name Must Stay has a list of Benjamin-substitutes that might be worth a look, too.
  • Think Gatsby is too much? How ’bout Thackeray? I suspect he’ll get the same reaction, but Bree’s write-up at Midwinter Names has me convinced he has potential.
  • Another spotting of Bru, this time in New Zealand, courtesy of For Real Baby Names. I don’t get it. I don’t hate it, but it seems … incomplete.
  • This question at Swistle is intriguing. The parents are trying to name baby #4, a little sister or brother for Mackenzie, Dylan, and Keira – girl, boy, girl. Delaney and Addison are on their short list, but it is Riley that has them vexed – is too gender neutral with Dylan, another gender neutral name? Hmmm … funny how the gender line shifts. I’d say pretty much all of their names are gender neutral.
  • How much do I love Leonard Cohen‘s daughter’s name? Nancy mentioned it recently: Lorca. Not Laura, not Lorna – modern, poetic, distinctive, and meaningful to the parents.
  • Nomes e mais nomes reports that actress Diana Chavez has welcomed a daughter named Pilar. I do enjoy birth announcements from foreign countries, and Pilar is a name that I really admire. And no, I’d never heard of Chavez before today, either, but I assume she’s familiar in Portuguese-speaking countries.
  • Nook of Names profiled Rosamund. One of my favorites! I prefer the Rosamond spelling, quirky medieval misinterpretations and all. Rosalind, mentioned in the comments, is another lovely option.

That’s all for this week. Celeb news and more appears at Nameberry tomorrow. Here’s hoping for some great trick-or-treater names this year, and Happy Halloween to all!

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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  1. Thackeray is gold! I love it, or just Thacker.
    Thanks for the mention, Abby! I’m not sure about Beau for Ben, myself, both are short and sweet on their own.

  2. There were 90 kids in my graduating class — a lot of repeats who were always called FirstnameLastname unless it was really obvious who was being talked about…

    Adam x3
    Amanda x2 [one Amanda, one Mandy]
    Bradley x3 [all Brad]
    Brent x2 [one transferred in being called B.J.]
    Daniel x3 [two Dans, one Danny]
    Jeffrey x2 [both Jeff]
    Jenifer x2 [this spelling; one Jenny, one Jeni]
    John x2 [one J.T., one J.R.]
    Justin x2
    Kelly x2 [both girls]
    Lisa x2
    Michael x3 [all Mike]
    Nathan x3 [all Nate]
    Nicole x3 [one Nicki, one Nicky, one Nikki]
    Sarah x2
    Terry the boy & Teri the girl

    In previous years we had more than one Ryan, more than one Eric, more than one Christopher (Chris), and a Brian & a Bryan as well. Plus kids with similar names to others, like Nicholas (Nick) [to go with all of the Nicoles], Kristine (Kris) & Christyann (Christy), Kali & Kyla [not *too* similar by themselves, but their surnames were both Germanic, starting with Rei-, and ending with -t].

    1. Remembering more classmates… previously there were two Melissas and two Jasons.

      Oh, and Bru is only Babies R Us to me too.

    2. In my h.s. class of ~100 kids, of the girls, there were 1 Jennifer, 1 Lisa, 2 Kellys (+ one boy Kelly), 1 Wendy, 1 of most of the other popular names, 3 Marys (but they were Mary, Mary Jo, and Mary Ann). And there were 2 of us with my C name that was mildly popular at the time, we had the same middle name, soemwhat similar 2-syllable German last names, and went to the same church! Fortunately, she and I mostly ended up in different classes at school, so we avoided the First-Last syndrome.

      It seems like there were 12 Johns.

  3. Thank you very much for mentioning once again Nomes e mais Nomes! 🙂
    Diana’s surname, Chaves, is the portuguese word for “keys”. It’s also the name of a city. Pilar is a well known name here, but not popular at all.

  4. Bru is the name of an instant coffee popular in India. Unlike most instant coffees (vile stuff), Bru is actually pretty good. I do find it rather hard to picture on a human being, but I’m sure I could adjust. After all, growing up Milo was a chocolate malt drink.