Here’s something I struggle with: where is the line between imposing your personal style – and perhaps values and worldview – on others, and providing helpful baby naming advice?
I recently spotted this name on a baby name forum: Aareighlynn. What do I really think of Aareighlynn? I think it’s a tortured spelling, needlessly complex and, despite all of the extra letters, still confusing. Is it Aria-lynn? A-ray-lynn? A-ree-lynn? Airy-lynn, maybe?
Do I forecast a life of misery for the child named Aareighlynn? No. Just like some children will love having a quirky retro name like Winifred, and others will demand to know why they weren’t named something cool, like Sloane, it’s impossible to say how children will feel about their names.
Still, I do think phonetic transparency is a good goal when inventing names. And I do feel like it’s fair to say that the name could stand to shed a few letters. But is that snobbery? Bad advice? Or, if Aareighlynn has made it to that mama’s shortlist, is there any point in saying that I find the spelling problematic?
I’m just not sure.
- This list of unusual middle names from the royal family was fascinating. And Inigo is among the highlighted names, just days after it was featured as Baby Name of the Day here.
- Let’s remain in the UK for a minute to enjoy the latest birth announcements from British Baby Names. Is it me, or are sibsets like Beatrice Florence Violet and Arthur Ian Benedict just gorgeously English?
- Speaking of birth announcements, I’m surprised we don’t hear more of Coltrane! That’s not British, though – it’s from the great state of Ohio, via Names for Real. The same round-up included girls named Imogen and Eunice, and a boy called Larkin. And, oh my goodness – a girl named Galaga. Is that a video game name, or am I missing something?
- Oh, the names from Design Mom’s Living with Kids series! Coco and Theo are another great duo. It’s the kind of pair that could fail my how-close-is-too-close tests, but somehow works.
- Love this discussion at Waltzing More than Matilda of surnames. I don’t remember this subject coming up at all back in the early days of this blog, but lately it feels like a significant minority of parents are at least questioning the default assumption that we always give children the father’s surname.
- What a fun round-up of international (and internationalish) names from Duana’s column.
- If we didn’t have a daughter called Clio, I would absolutely put Lilo on our shortlist.
- The stories behind Philip and Tiffany Rivers’ kids’ names – and the reveal of what they plan to name baby #8!
- Thanks for the shout-out, Alyssa! It’s great to be in such good company.
That’s all for this week! As always, thank you for reading, and have a fabulous week.
I know two kids who have an original surname that is a mash-up of mom’s and dad’s surnames. One I think works very well and the other feels a little forced.
I have to agree on the spelling issue – it’s fine as long as you can tell what the name actually is, and make a guess as to how to pronounce it. I can’t even take a stab as what name Aareighlynn is meant to represent: nothing that I’ve ever seen before, I’m sure. If you’re going to invent a name, don’t invent a new system of spelling as well.
There is an Australian DJ named Lewis Galaga, but he’s probably just got his stage name from the arcade game. It’s very eye-catching, and almost vintage in a way!
Funny – now that you say it, I do get a sort of old school vibe from Galaga. I guess the game *is* vintage by arcade standards, right? I did find a very small number of people with the surname Galaga in the ancestry.com database. It looks like one family came from Ireland – weird respelling of another name, maybe?
Also – “if you’re going to invent a name, don’t invent a new system of spelling as well” is pure brilliance. Beautifully said!
Alyssa Thys says
Ooo Coltrane is so handsome! I love it! Great list!
Oh boy do I like Larkin. I could totally do a sibset of Larkin, Aster and Wren. That last name piece is interesting! I know a lot of families who’ve made up a new family name, but none that has given baby/kids a new one and left the parents’ alone! My kids have my last name despite its difficulty (case in point: the county misspelled my littlest’s last name on her birth certificate, and that started a landslide of misspellings in paperwork, gah!) and my inlaws were…vexed. To put it mildly.