Baby Colt 3
Photo credit: xopherlance

Last Sunday, I traipsed over to the local nail salon to wait for a pedicure.  There were three young women ahead of me, the kind of lovely young people who exist in Washington DC.  Infinitely stylish, armed with smart phones, just as inclined to read The Economist as Vogue.

I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but reader, they were talking names!

YW1:  I don’t know about this … his name is Justice.

YW2: Really?

YW1:  Yeah.  His brother has a normal name.  But I don’t know if I can date a guy called Justice.

YW3:  Why not?

She continued to pair her name with Justice, and to imagine what it would be like to introduce her boyfriend, Justice.  Her friends seemed divided on the name – though I don’t know the outcome of the conversation.

It was fascinating.  Usually we think of baby names as parents.  We imagine calling a child’s name on the playground, or seeing it on a diploma.  But it was downright surprising to hear 20-somethings talking about names and dating.

Elsewhere online:

    • Would you ever consider the name EnidBaby Name Pondering makes a good case, but I’m still more into Esther and Edith.
    • The Stir covers double names, like Mary-Claire or John-Michael.  I completely get the appeal of many of these combinations, but I wonder – how does it work in real life?  My impression is that they’re databases headaches.  My inclination would be to name my child Mary Claire and just introduce her by her first and middle.  Do you have any experience with double names?  I’d love to hear how they work in real life.
    • You Can’t Call It “It” rounded up her annual name game with a challenge to readers: now choose your favorite combos from each round of the game and name another fictional family.  Natalie’s nine are my favorites: Elijah John, Ezra Jude, Archer Matthew, Rohan Augustus, Ivy Catherine, Olive Juliette, Daphne June, Lilia Blair and Azalea Belen.
    • We know that American soap operas are influential in baby naming trends, and so are Spanish telenovelas.  Turns out it may be a near universal trend.  Check out this article in the Bangkok Post, explaining the soap-related rise of boy names Rachanon and Puttipat.
    • This list at Saffluence is a great starter for parents seeking an Indian name that will wear well in the US.  I’ve heard many of these names in use.  Her advice works for any family trying to bridge two cultures with their name choices.
    • While we’re talking translation: S. Onomastic explains why she can’t translate Britni into Irish.  It’s definitely a rant, but an interesting one.
    • I try not to be dismissive of any name, but Rowdy feels like an awkward choice.  I’ve got no problem with an accountant named Jayden or a mechanic known as Baylee, but Rowdy would raise my eyebrows every time.  Unless, I suppose, I was at the rodeo, in which case I would assume that Rowdy was a nickname.  Nancy’s round-up on Rowdy explains why the name caught on originally.
    • Over in the UK, it seems like Alexandra is the frontrunner for a royal baby name.  Err … unless it is a boy.
    • From the wayback machine: in 2008, the featured name was the Greek Alethea.  2009’s name was LyleRosalie was featured in 2010, and Irénée in 2011.  Last year, Djuna was featured – and she remains one of the names that I really fell in love with after writing the profile.

That’s all for this week!  As always, thank you for reading, and have a great week.

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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. Great observation about the two women talking about Justice! As a single 20-something name enthusiast, this is how I always approach names. Parents to be forget that their kid is not going to go straight from a child to a married professional. These days, people can spend half their adult lives in the dating world, and as weird as it may sound, I think it’s important for parents to at least give a thought to how their child’s name will sound to potential romantic partners.

    In fact, my guest blog post for Nameberry last year, some of you may remember, discusses this concept:

  2. I’m so pleased that you liked my nine name choices! There were a lot of great names in those lists and people came up with fascinating combinations that I would never have even thought to pair together but they worked brilliantly. I’m hoping there will be another game posted soon, thanks again!

  3. I had the same feelings when I was dating a guy named Kris. Could I really marry a ‘Chris with a a K’? I didn’t.
    My daughter has a little girl in her dance class names Rowdy. It’s so weird. They are total dance people too. Not what you would expect a Rowdy to be into.

  4. Hahaha! Sometimes I have the Justice conversation with myself when I’m reading a romance novel. I’m a fan of out-there names, especially in fiction, but there are times when you can definitely go TOO far. Like Rowdy! Or Dawg. Or Dank. All real examples.