1. C in DC says

    I know a teenage Magdalena (nn Magda). It’s a great name, and she’s a great kid. (Her parents are a mix of Polish and Greek.)

    Lais is a Brazilian name. I know two. The pronunciation is somewhat hard to understand in English as it’s LIE -EES. (It’s easy to hear it as lice rather than lace.)

  2. Sarah A says

    Magdalena grew on me too. Lena is one of the only girl names DH likes and I just don’t feel like it’s enough, so I like Magdalena to get to Lena.

    Arizona Muse is cool, but Arizona Jane might have been safer 😉

    I love Elea’s list, though I know people with almost all those names. Call me vain but I think of my own appellation as the ultimate crossover name, and that’s why there are hardly any girl names I really love, haha.

  3. Katy says

    Hi! I’m not sure if you have a form for people to submit queries, but I have a question about naming and was wondering if you’d ever covered the topic or if you might in the future.

    Here’s the deal: Hubby and I are expecting boy number four this Summer. We’ve chosen the name Rex Aristide (this is pronounced Aris-Steed). Anyway! Aristide is a family name that shows up on Hubby’s tree for three generations, but when I try to look this name up–it doesn’t exist. Is this a real name? I like the name and think the two sound great together, but I’m worried people will think this is a weird Kreativ thing, which is not what I’m going for at all.

    Help, thoughts, advice, etc. greatly appreciated.

    • appellationmountain says

      Hi Katy – congrats on your baby on the way. I just clicked over to your blog and oh my – four boys – what fun! First, Aristide is definitely a name. The most common modern association is Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the former president of Haiti ousted in a coup d’etat in 2004. He’s a mixed bag – while there are occasional accusations of corruption, he’s also an advocate for the poor, known for extending health care to rural Haiti and nearly doubling the literacy rate. But ages before there was Aristide, there was Aristides – as in the Second-century saint Aristides, of Athens. His writings have come down to us over the ages. In the 1780s, during the drafting of the Constitution, many members of the press and those involved in the process wrote under a pseudonym drawn from antiquity. One writer used Aristides – so yes, his writings were remembered. Here’s the best part about the name: he comes from the Greek aristos – best. The -ides ending means kind. So Aristide/s translates to “the best kind.” Great meaning. The ending – s versus no s – is just a function of language. The s was definitely dropped in French – not sure about other languages.

      • Katy says

        Thank you so much for your reply! Hubby is French–Cajun French to be exact–so that explains the dropped s. I thought the name sounded good, but knowing the meaning makes it even better. I appreciate your help.

  4. Lauren says

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Magdalena is the top of the tops on my girl list. I love the nn choices Maggie or even Lena, the subtle Biblical reference, and the slight similarities to my mother (Margaret) and grandmother’s (Marlyn) names.

  5. Sebastiane says

    I would love Magdalena, but I know so many Polish people that the name has become so dull to me. It is a very common name among the Poles. Also, I found Nancy’s article interesting, but I seriously doubt how much a name actually affects someone’s career choices. I know plenty of successful people with very bizarre names, and I know not so successful people with very classic names.

    Arizona Muse is fabulous!

  6. Charlotte Vera says

    The original article Nancy quotes is quite interesting. According to it, my daughter Roseanna has a much higher chance of going in for the arts and humanities than the sciences on account of her name alone. Had she been named, say, the more androgynous Rowan or even the simple Anne she would be more likely to take up mathematics later in life. Reading the article momentarily made me feel as though we had already handicapped Roseanna for life. However, then I realised that no matter her name our daughter is free to make up her own mind about where her interests lie and which strengths she’d like to develop. Besides, if she likes she could always drop her lengthy, feminine first name and pick up her middle: the more understated Ruth.

  7. Martha says

    The for real baby names post today made me a bit crazy too–especially the trend of just putting any word in front of “lyn”. Timberlyn and Kitelyn today, and a few weeks ago there was an Icelyn. It’s Cayden/Aiden/Brayden for girls!

    • Sarah A says

      My thoughts exactly! And putting anything in front of “lee” as well. One of the girls on Teen Mom has an Aubree and her sister’s daughter is Braylee 🙁

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