Ask Design Mom Week — Baby Names

November 6, 2009

Question:
I’m wondering about baby names. I love love love your kids names and wonder where you got them. Is there a story behind each one or are they just favorites? Also, do you have any favorite resources for baby name finding? Ideas for baby #6? Thanks!Sarah

photo credit here

Answer:
For Ben Blair and I, baby names have sometimes come easily and sometimes taken forever to decide. What we look for: well-recognized names (not invented ones), easy to pronounce, possibly fallen out of fashion — so that they’re relatively unusual. If they have family connection, that’s even better. Our baby name stories in brief:

-During my first pregnancy, once we knew it was a boy, he was instantly Ralph Wallace Blair. Ralph is my dad’s dad. Wallace is Ben’s dad’s dad (and Ben’s middle name). We really liked the name Ralph. And my father passed away while I was pregnant with Ralph, so we like honoring his family.

-Once Ralph was picked, we felt like our future kids’ names should fit with it — maybe come from the same time or generation. We decided on the name Maude at a family funeral on Ben’s side of the family, where we discovered it on two family gravestones (Ben’s great grandmother and great aunt). At the last minute we added Emma as a middle name, because there was some nervousness that the name Maude would be too unusual. So she’s Maude Emma Blair. (Sometimes we regret the Emma. It’s a little random.)

-The name Olive we found in a book. It was the name of the mother of a great man (can not remember for the life of me what the book was). I could imagine two old ladies named Maude and Olive playing canasta at a card table and I knew it fit. Olive’s full name is Olive Jean Blair. Jean is my mother’s middle name and a popular name on Ben’s side of the family as well.

-Oscar was suggested by our friends. It was on their short list, but they ended up not using it. The full name is Oscar Stanley Groberg Blair. (Stanley is my maiden name. Groberg is Ben’s Mom’s maiden name.) Once, someone (mis)heard the name and said, wow, Oscar and Grover? You guys must really love Sesame Street.

-I have no memory of where or when we decided on the name Betty. But we deliberately did not give her a middle name. Because Betty Blair sounds so great — like the name of the alter ego of a superhero.

-We don’t know what we’re naming baby #6. We’ve decided we won’t even think about it till we know if it’s a boy or a girl. Any suggestions?

I’d love to hear your name stories, Dear Readers. How do you come up with names? What are your favorite name sources?

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{ 137 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amy November 9, 2009 at 5:13 pm

I don't have any kids yet, but I have fun checking out names and their popularity (I don't want my kids having as many friends with their name, like I did). This is the best site I've heard of for looking up baby names. It also has a neat feature that tells you the peak of the name's popularity, which states it is the most common in, and what siblings of a kid with that name have (keeps names similar if you are going for that).

Here's the site: http://www.babynamewizard.com/

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2 archmom November 9, 2009 at 5:20 pm

How about Alice, Bailey or Evelyn(Evie)?

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3 mrs boo radley November 9, 2009 at 5:21 pm

I grew up on a farm and we had a small herd of cows and my dad actually kept a baby name book in the milkhouse so that I could refer to it when picking out names for the new calves. Since then, I've acquired a few more name books, and have always loved to name things. We don't have any children (yet) either, but when we do I'm convinced they are each going to have 11 middle names because I won't be able to narrow them down. One of the things that first drew me to your blog was your kids' unique names! My husband and I both have some fun ideas for names…but my worst nightmare is that some film star will name their kid that name and then it will become too popular. :)

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4 --r November 9, 2009 at 5:24 pm

i always loved alice (my maternal grandmother's name), which my sister has claimed for her first girl. I'm also fond of emmaline and rose.
for boys nicholas and charles (and of course, samuel, which we used earlier this year).

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5 Ariel November 9, 2009 at 5:27 pm

We have Paige Donovan and River Warren. Paige was just a favorite name and the Donovan came because she was born 3 weeks early on my Grandfather's birthday (Lawrence Donovan), so I took it as a love note from heaven! River was just what my husband insisted on naming our son…but he has turned out to be our calm, peaceful, nature loving boy…totally a River, and Warren is my husband's middle name.

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6 Being Lovely November 9, 2009 at 5:29 pm

I've already decided to name a daughter Matilda (after my mom's mom). My Grandmother has "hinted" that she would love a great grandchild named after her so I'm doing it. I'm leaving all my other preferences open just in case my future husband hates the name Matilda and I need some bargaining chips. haha.

Having said that, I couldn't possibly name one daughter Matilda and name the other Heather. It just doesn't work. I have the baby name wizard book (it's amazing) already and love to look through it. Olive is definitely on my list.

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7 Natalie November 9, 2009 at 5:36 pm

I have a 5 month old baby boy, and my husband and I decided on the name Cy Jason. We knew that we wanted the middle name to be Jason after a good family friend, but it took us months and months to come up with a name that we both loved. I am an artist by profession, so while stumbling through names, I came upon Cy Twombly (an artist). My Red Sox fan husband agreed, thinking of the famous Cy Young. We think Cy is the perfect name for our baby, not common, but not unheard-of. We love it, and we even like the option for an easy nickname, CJ.
All of the other names on our future-baby-name-list come from family: Ivy Ellen, Evelyn Suzanne, and POSSIBLY Serge Paul. We both love the idea of honoring family, and not having really weird names.

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8 Adventures In Babywearing November 9, 2009 at 5:37 pm

I don't think I have any suggestions- you've done such a great job yourself! I do love the name Jenny for a girl. You don't hear that any more these days!

Steph

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9 Annie November 9, 2009 at 5:37 pm

I was convinced I was having a fourth boy this time around and his name was to be Oliver (Ollie). I love that name, and it fit with our other boys' "old man names": Louis Victor(Louie); Benjamin William(Benny); Charles Thomas (Charlie); and our surprise girl, Meredith Ann. Your names are fabulous! But my unused name probably won't fit with your family since you have an Olive :) Good luck!

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10 searchingformore November 9, 2009 at 5:37 pm

http://www.nymbler.com/ is a pretty neat naming site…

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11 Rachael November 9, 2009 at 5:47 pm

I love the sites that predict what names your children's siblings might have–we've found that all three of our kids have "recommended" each other's names, if that makes sense (Abigail Grace, Juliet Elizabeth, Isaac David).

As far as selection goes, I like names that are unusual, but not odd. After we named our first daughter Abigail, I belatedly realized that it was one of the most popular names in the country–hence Juliet as the second baby.

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12 colleen November 9, 2009 at 5:54 pm

We have Finn William and Maeve Mary. William and Mary are my in-laws' names. My husband and I both wanted to honor our Irish heritage, so we picked Gaelic names. We couldn't agree on Finlay or Finian or Finnegan, so we stuck with plain old Finn. It means "fair-haired/fair-skinned" in Gaelic, which is exactly what he is.

Maeve means "intoxicating". She is only five, so the jury is still out on that one!

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13 sammyw November 9, 2009 at 5:56 pm

our current favs:

paige olivia
elise
matilda
katherine (kate) mae
lola grace
taylor joy
josephine (joie)
lauren campbell
jane
vera
brooke
gwyneth (gywn)

boy names:

levi ryan
luke james
caleb
river
jake
samuel
asher
canon

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14 Anderson November 9, 2009 at 5:59 pm

I love your thought process, as well as your kiddo's names. We're expecting as well- and have a James currently. So the generational thing ("two old ladies playing cards" idea) is on our minds, too. Fun post. Thx.

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15 Mommy November 9, 2009 at 6:08 pm

My cousin also prefers old-fashioned names for his children – and because they live in DC, I have no qualms about sharing them since your kids will probably not be in the same class at school :) They are Margaret and Theodore (Teddy).

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16 shari berry bo-berry November 9, 2009 at 6:10 pm

I love the name Lulu. My husband refuses to ever let us use it if a little girl ever comes along…so I hope that at least someone I know will name their daughter Lulu so I can enjoy it with them!

I also love for boys:
Simon
James
Geoffrey
Jorgen (how's that for scandinavian?)
Bruce
Roy

and for girls:
Mae
Adelaide
Hazel
Pearl
Ruby
Opal
Esther
Edith
Estelle

good luck and can't wait to hear what you're having!

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17 Mixing Bowl Mama November 9, 2009 at 6:31 pm

I have a Benjamin and a Jackson. I liked both names because they were from the early 1900's and a little old-fashioned. Jackson has become more popular lately, but seven years ago it wasn't known at all. Both are strong male names. The only obstacle we ever faced with either name is that Jackson is often a last name, and Scott (which is our surname) is often a first name so he's usually called Scott Jackson (at school and such), I love the names of your children, especially Olive. If I were to have a girl I'm naming her Georgia. I've been sitting on that one for nine years with hopes of using it someday. It would go well with your children's names as well…you can steal it if you like :)

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18 Mara November 9, 2009 at 6:55 pm

We have very similar criteria for choosing names for our children. My husband was insistent that it wasn't in the top 50 most popular list of names. I fell in love with Audrey and we chose Louise after her great grandmother that I never was able to meet.

We are 5 months pregnant again. If it is a boy, I really like Henry and Alvin for a middle name again after the great grandfathers.

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19 Chookooloonks (but in real life, "Karen") November 9, 2009 at 6:58 pm

Our daughter Alexis is named after my grandfather, Henry Alexis. It's a bit unfortunate that the name is so common now, because it really is a family name that I'd always planned on naming my daughter, even when I was a child, but oh well! I also have always loved boys' names for girls, so we call her Alex.

Her middle name is "Rhys," pronounced "Reese." The spelling is Welsh, to honour my husband's United Kingdom homeland; also, it's a boy's name, so again with the boys'-name-for-a-girl thing.

Also: as I do with every pregnant woman I know, can I suggest the name "Karen" for your little one? When I was a kid, you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting a "Karen." Now? NO ONE NAMES THEIR KID KAREN. I fear it is becoming an old-woman name! :)

K.

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20 Kristen Kay November 9, 2009 at 7:04 pm

I don't have children yet, but I've always loved imagining these kind of names. Amelia is one of my favorites.

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21 Artfulife November 9, 2009 at 7:06 pm

My 9 year old is Sloan Abriel Sloan. Yes you heard me right, Sloan Sloan. Sloan was my maiden name & marriage didn't work out with her biological father so that is how she got such an unusual name.

My 4 year old is Zoe Evelyn Swanson. Zoe because my husband & I have always loved that name. Evelyn is my Grandmother on my fathers side name. I wanted to honor her. She is one of the sweetest people I know.

My almost 3 year old is Aris Paige Swanson. We were watching the movie "The Holiday" & we thought people in the movie were calling Kate Winslet's character "Aris". I thought what a pretty name! Her name ended up being "Iris" but due to accents it sounded like "Aris". So Aris it was. Paige has always been another name I loved & that is why we choose it for her middle name.

Sloan's Last name hasn't become Swanson yet. However my husband says she's still a Swanson :)

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22 LoGunns November 9, 2009 at 7:10 pm

Abe and Hazel :)

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23 sallyavena November 9, 2009 at 7:15 pm

We just decided we are trend setters because a year or two later, whatever name we had picked makes it to the top 5 most popular names, even though we try to go with family names (Ethan is the exception because my dad didn't want anyone to use his names, Edward Eugene, but we wanted to honor him and went with and 'E' name). We are hoping we bucked that trend with our fourth. We've got a Jakob, Ethan, Sophia and Clara.
As for yours, I think a Pearl (if it's a girl) would fit in perfectly. She would fit in the little circle of canasta players, Maude, Olive and Pearl…As for boys, I like Edwin (that was my second choice for and 'E' name).

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24 Chris, Ashley, and Elena November 9, 2009 at 7:17 pm

Fun to read that there's another Maeve! When we chose it, we'd only heard of one other, and now we know of several. I don't know if Maeve and Maude work, though! Our other daughter is Elena, though everyone mispronounces it. I do like other reader suggestions of Evelyn, and Evie. It's a nickname, though, so if I was to choose a non-shortenable name, it would be June for a girl, or Harmon for a boy. Back on the family tree.

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25 Lisa November 9, 2009 at 7:20 pm

We like to honor our family but not give them the exact same name. Our first is Lucas Scott, we loved the meaning of the name Lucas (bearer of light) and Scott is my husband's name. With our second our friend suggested the name Asher. We both really kind of liked it. We told my husbands family and they hated it, I mean HATED it. That was the end of Asher. He is Joshua Patrick instead. Sometimes I still wish we had gone for Asher. The Patrick is for my mother, Patricia. Our baby girl is Kate Elizabeth. Kate is for my mil, Kathleen, and Elizabeth is for me (my name is Lisa, but I like the name it is derived from much better.) I love naming babies! It is so fun and so stressful at the same time!

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26 Cissy November 9, 2009 at 7:23 pm

I just wanted to say that I'm truly loving the "Ask" segment. It's so personal and fun and interesting and community-ish.

I'm hoping for a baby girl next time, so I can use "Celia", a derivative of my name (Cecilia) and a little bit old-fashioned.

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27 vanessa November 9, 2009 at 7:26 pm

I love your kids' names–they are beautiful and go so well together! My daughter is Juliet–we choose it because it was beautiful and relatively unused. My favorite sites for name-searching are:

youcantcallitit.com
whatalovelyname.com
nameberry.com
nymbler.com

Can't wait to see what you choose!

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28 Courtney November 9, 2009 at 7:27 pm

I always thought looking at baby name books or websites was silly, because I wanted my kids' names to have real meaning and value. Then, when I was pregnant with my daughter, my husband stumbled across the name Bria, and we knew it was perfect (it means strong, valiant, and courageous in Gaelic). So even though you have to spend a lot of time wading through names you would never choose, baby name books and websites really do help.

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29 Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 7:35 pm

So funny…tonight at dinner we were trying to figure out names for your baby-a girl one, and a boy one. Also, the kids wanted to keep it to 5 letters since all the other kids are 5 letters as well. We came up with Bruno ( a cool smart guy at Sam's school) and Fiona. There you go 5 letters each! Do I win a prize? Love, Kathryn C.

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30 Amy November 9, 2009 at 8:23 pm

I've named all of my kids family names. I love for them to have someone to look up to, and a story to tell about how they were named. My younger brother's name is JAMES. My parents were living next door to an older couple who were never able to have children. They took in my parents like their own family and when my mom had a boy, they decided to name him after their neighbor, James. Love it.

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31 Christy November 9, 2009 at 8:29 pm

As soon as you announced that you were pregnant I had the PERFECT name!

Penny. Five letters–just like the rest of your kids. Fits in that generation. So darn cute.

I don't have a great boy name picked out.

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32 Griff-Fam November 9, 2009 at 8:34 pm

I also, like old fashioned, classic names. So our two little guys are Milo Franklin & Oliver Sam. My husband picked Milo, and Franklin is my grandfather's middle name. Oliver was my pick for a boy name, I thought it sounded good with Oliver, and Sam is my husband's grandfather's middle name.. So they each have a grandfather's middle name. If we have another boy next, he will be William Roland. But I want him to be called Liam. I haven't done a nickname before. William is my Dad's first name, and Roland is my father in law and Husband's names. So every single name is after a grandpa or great grandpa.. Maybe William or even Milo would go along with your family's style of names!

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33 Breanne November 9, 2009 at 8:36 pm

I am not yet a mother, but have always been in love with names. My baby name list is ever-changing, but my favorite girls name ever is Cora. I also really enjoy reader's comments of Evelyn, Pearl, and Matilda. My favorite boy's name is Griffin, but I also really love Sullivan. Also, I have to thank you for not changing your kid's names on your blog in the name of anonymity because I think that's just dumb. Happy name picking!

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34 Kage November 9, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Oh, I'm so glad you asked, because the minute I found out you were expecting, my mind IMMEDIATELY went too….WHO is going to predict the name. To me, your kids names CLEARLY go together. I love this. I love it when names are unique but go together. My sisters and I are cheerleader names: Lindsay! Kristy! Courtney! I like that. My kids names are both unique and all three of their names are 5 letters each, on purpose. This is how they go together.

For you, I have been thinking:
Mabel
Hazel
Harriet
Tilly

Frank
George
Sal
Stanley (can you use it as a first name even though Oscar has?)

I have come up with a few winners for friends, so I am hoping I win!

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35 Sarah November 9, 2009 at 8:56 pm

I love the old school names. I was torn between naming our youngest daughter Lucy (a family name) or Jane (which you never hear anymore). We decided to name her Lucy Jane. It fits her to a tee.

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36 robyn November 9, 2009 at 9:07 pm

Honour or Bridget.

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37 Carpenter's November 9, 2009 at 9:09 pm

I too like the old fashion names that seem to be creeping back to style. My children are Owen, Miles, and Lila!

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38 liz November 9, 2009 at 9:15 pm

stella.

amelia.

nora.

gretta.

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39 Sarah November 9, 2009 at 9:28 pm

We named our children after trees. It started as an accident, and then once you start it's hard to stop. We also made sure that there is one family connection, somewhere. We have Aspen Metta (Metta is my paternal grandmother's name.) Jonathon Cedar (my husband's name is Jonathon and we call our son Cedar.) And Olive Samantha (Olive is my maternal great grandmothers name and my hubby has a grandfather named Oliver.) It's super fun to have slightly unusual names. I never thought I would like the "Theme" route, but I do.

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40 Audrey November 9, 2009 at 9:48 pm

My daughters names are Greta Mae and Jade Rosalind. Their first names are just ones that we both liked and were able to agree on and their middle names are family names.

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41 Tammy November 9, 2009 at 9:55 pm

We tried to keep our names out of the top bunch, then we named our daughter Sophie May, and Sophia exploded… and everyone thinks her name is a nickname for Sophia… May is for my mom and her mother. OUr next daughter is Violet Ann for my husbands great grandma. We think they go pretty well together, but thank heavens we haven't had a boy, we never agree on boy names…

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42 Tammy November 9, 2009 at 9:55 pm

We tried to keep our names out of the top bunch, then we named our daughter Sophie May, and Sophia exploded… and everyone thinks her name is a nickname for Sophia… May is for my mom and her mother. OUr next daughter is Violet Ann for my husbands great grandma. We think they go pretty well together, but thank heavens we haven't had a boy, we never agree on boy names…

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43 Sandy November 9, 2009 at 10:09 pm

I love the name Hazel, and it would fit right in with the "5-letters" thing you guys have going on, but it's become super popular of late.

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44 The Glamorous Life Association November 9, 2009 at 10:27 pm

Pretty sure you need a Tucker.

Doesn't everyone?
I have a Tucker and it is just wonderful.

:)

Oh! I have a Jack too. You might like to get one of those as well.

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45 Miss.Katie November 9, 2009 at 10:29 pm

I only have the one, her name is Ivy Emily Jean. I always loved the name Ivy, Emily is my mothers name and Jean is my Grandmothers name. I would love to have another little girl called Edith after my great-grandmother. People have commented that my daughter has an "Old lady" name…But as a much older Ivy reminded me, Old ladies were little girls too. I adore your childrens names!

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46 sarah November 9, 2009 at 10:34 pm

I am single and at an age that I know I won't be having my own children, even if I do get married at some point.

Here are some of my favorite names:

Girls:
Marinda
Marissa
Myra
Ellen
Eloise
Cecily
Cecilia
Louisa
Jane
Mae
Sadie
Alice
Hazel
Lola
Willow
Willa
Ivy
Lily
Jennah
Daisy
Sally

Boys:
Jasper
Henry
Walter
Will
Jack
Jackson
Charlie
Finn
Findlay
Dane

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47 Linda November 9, 2009 at 10:50 pm

Ferne? or maybe Geneva Grace?

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48 MamaChristy November 9, 2009 at 10:59 pm

I have good stories about my kids' names. When I was pregnant and working with my son, I had to do some research on the inventor of Gatorade, James Robert Cade. Did you know that man has done a TON of wonderful medical research? So much more than a sports drink. My husband and I fell in love with the name "Cade" (as did thousands of other people that year, but not so much the year before…) and his middle name is for my brother who died as a child, Eric. Cade Eric is five and a happy kindergartener.

For our daughter, my husband and I differed in opinion about the best name. I was enamored with Claire. My husband liked Cara (Care-a not Car-a) and while I liked it, it wasn't LOVE for me. My husband said that I could pick and Claire was "fine" but I didn't want him to feel "fine" about her name. I finally came up with the idea of putting the two names together and came up with Clara (sorry, Sally!). Her middle name, Anne, is for my husband's beloved and passed grandmother. Clara Anne is seventeen months old and a sweet little spitfire.

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49 Maythi November 9, 2009 at 11:01 pm

Our children both have a first name we just simply liked, paired with a middle name that is a family name. Our oldest daughter is Reilly Hayes (Hayes is a family name on my husband's side & it is his mother's middle name (Lida Hayes), his middle name (Owen Hayes), and his brother's middle name (Joseph Hayes)- although his brother goes by "Hayes". Our second daughter is Reese Amelia. Amelia is on my sid of the family. Her grandmother's name was Amelia. I love choosing baby names. I have a very strange name that people cannot spell or pronounce, so names have always intrigued me. Good luck!

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50 Montanna November 9, 2009 at 11:09 pm

We were going to name our now 14-month old son Ryken. 7 months in everyone had talked us out of it (I still love it tho) So, we changed it to Kaiden, then a week before he was born lying in bed (while I was on best-rest) we had the tv on, but we weren't watching it- we heard the name Brecken. Instantly looked at each other and smiled. We both knew that would be his name. His middle name had already been picked the moment we knew it was a boy. Del, for my brother, dad and grandfather. So, now we have our beautiful Breckan Del Canada. :) Olive is a beautiful name, it's on our list if we have a girl!!

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51 Kate Skogen November 9, 2009 at 11:25 pm

I love that all the kids have 5 letter names! Definitely stick with that. My rules are you have to be able to pronounce it when you see it.

I love Christy's suggestion of Penny. That's just heartbreakingly sweet.

I'm also a big big fan of http://www.babynamewizard.com/voyager

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52 Lisa November 9, 2009 at 11:39 pm

Check the book called The Baby Name Wizard. You can look up a name and it gives you "brothers and sisters" names. It was spot on when it listed my boys (Simon and Max) as brothers of Isabelle (my daughter). Crazy.

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53 Beth November 10, 2009 at 12:15 am

our first is a 'II' or 'jr.' or whatever you'd like to call it. his name is jake. not jacob, just jake. we knew we wanted an equally 'all boy' name for the next. so…our second's name is pete. just pete, not peter. on our third go round, we got a girl. i saw the name betsy in movie credits, and we both loved it. people told us that our kids had retirement home names. and, actually, i dig it. when our fourth was bakin' we had a really hard time deciding. we wanted to go with a nicknamey girly name. at first, it was going to be maisy, frankie, or tilly. in the end, we named her after my mom, and she's rosie. it totally fit. she would have been gus if she was a boy. if we ever have more, i am nuts about nellie (my grandmas name was mary nell) or tilly. i, also, love arnold (arnie) for a boy (my grandpas name). but, gus, ned, or al (my dad's all time fav boy name for very sentimental reasons)for a boy. happy naming. it is one of the best 'bonuses' among many to having a new little bundle to love.

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54 Beth November 10, 2009 at 12:18 am

ps sarah, your name list is phenomenal!

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55 Beth November 10, 2009 at 12:27 am

for you…

girl:
polly
tilly
nellie
willa
gigi
cece

boy:
abe
leo
jasper
ike
arthur
arnold
howard

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56 Barbie November 10, 2009 at 1:20 am

I've tried to resist, I might as well play along with this name game. It's a fun topic. A name is such a big decision–it can be a blessing or a curse (or a little of both if you're me). :)

My picks for you are:

Paulette
Pauline
Maxine
Vivian/Genevive (Viv)
Elaine (Lainey/Laine)
Laurel
Penelope (Penny)

Roger
Clark
Warren

Good luck! You seem like a wonderful mom!

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57 bridgetroll November 10, 2009 at 2:28 am

naming people is hard!

I'm a nut and after I had my first baby I decided that all my kids have to have the same # of letters in their first names.

Daniel Joseph – named after my dear sweet cousin who passed away at the age of 5 from Lukemia. He was buried the day I gave birth to my baby, his parents gave me the blessing to go ahead and use the first name of Daniel. Joseph is my father's first name and my brother's middle name.

Amelia Elise – I pushed hard to have her first name be Elise but hubs didn't like it. We wanted to call her Abigail but after a while I ended up not liking it so we switched to Amelia. Now after we named her we came back to visit my family (we lived across the country at the time) and had a party for her baptism. We came to find out that Amelia Elise was the real name of my great grandmother. She went by Julia! But my grandma, who was 85 at the time, was so pleased that we named the baby after her mother but we really had no idea!

Hannah Lenore – We actually had three names picked out for her: Hannah, Lorelei, and Adelaide. We were really stuck on Adelaide for a while but everyone around us sort of hated it we got a lot of "are you SERIOUS?" so we nix'd it. Then I realized that my other two kids both had six letters in their first names so that took care of the decision for me! Her middle name is another story, my husband told me I could pick her middle name on my own. Now it takes me so long to order at a resturant that I've taken to reading the menus online before we go so I'm prepared, so naming a person by myself was an issue for me. I had no idea what to name her and about a week before she was born I just started praying and the name Lenore came to me. Later on I looked up the meaning and found out that Lenore = light. Hannah means Grace. I thought the two went well together.

So those are my stories (and thank you for asking!) I love your kids names, they are all very classy.
boys: Wesley, Tristan, Riker
girls: Matilda, Ruby, Grace

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58 The Love's November 10, 2009 at 4:04 am

Ok, I too LOVE your name choices and wish I would not have given one of my kiddos a middle name. Our last name is Love, so I have always "cutened up" the names, because I did not want them to sound like stripper names. :)
We have a Gabrielle Amelia. Do you get called Gabbie? I really like nick names, but I pictures her name, in full, on a business card and liked it.
I also have a girl, Finley Elisa. The actress, Angie Harmon has a Finley and I have liked it for a long time. The funny thing is my second choice for her was Emory and Angie Harmon now has an Emory that was born on Finley's first birthday. WIERD!
Name suggestions:
Calliapie
Lucy
Ruby
Henry
Thomas
Thanks for a great post and have fun deciding on a name.
Do you share your picks or wait till baby arrives?

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59 Duyvken November 10, 2009 at 5:36 am

Hey congrats on baby #6! And I loevd reading your name stories. Our four children are Grace, Jeremiah, Charlotte and Willa. Betty Blair is a stroke of genius, btw. I hope the pregnancy goes well.

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60 Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 7:31 am

We named our boy Kilian as I always found it a sweet old-fashioned name for a boy. In addition it was the name of a relative who died long ago during WWII. We also found out that it was the name of an Irish missionary who came to Europe in the Middle Ages – hence you find some small villages in Southern Germany and Austria called St.Kilian.
We live in multi-lingual environment now and Kilian works well in several languages (e.g. English, French, German).

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61 EP November 10, 2009 at 8:52 am

we named our 2 girls rory and alix. my husband wanted some name that were a little more gender non spcific, but i think they are a little feminine as well

rory is one i've always liked for a girl, ever since watching a documentary on RFK's kids-his last child (born after his assasination) was a girl that was named rory.

alix is the name of a relative who we love and hardly ever see. since we livein new england near quebec, many people want to pronounce it like 'aleex' (the proper frenceh way), but we pronounce it like 'alex'.

we also had quinn or harper (for a girl) on reserve and milo or owen for a boy.

the right name will come to you when the time comes…i think you've done a great job with the names so far!

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62 Becki November 10, 2009 at 9:40 am

I am going to suggest Lucy and Jack

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63 Stephanie @ A Fine House November 10, 2009 at 10:55 am

How about Elizabeth, Evelyn, Vivian, or Helen?
For a boy maybe Turner, Jack, or Jonas?
Baby names are the best. I am a bit obsessed with it. Maybe because I have 2 kids, and my husband got to name both of them. Hmph! Although I do love my Stephen and Elizabeth.

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64 Design Mom November 10, 2009 at 10:59 am

Oh my goodness! I can't believe how much I'm loving the comments on this post. Keep them coming, please!

Tons of great ideas. Plus websites and books I want to check out.

I especially love getting a glimpse of how people approach naming. The patterns they pick. The stories behind the names.

Thank you!

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65 Angela November 10, 2009 at 11:02 am

We have several lovely family names to use for a girl, but are having a boy. Anyway, here were our ideas for a girl:

Lida (makes me think of the song Lida Rose from The Music Man)
Lorraine
Viola (my Grandmother's name, although everyone eventually called her Vi)
Cadence (as a drummer, my husband loved it, but it was a family name as well)

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66 heather November 10, 2009 at 11:08 am

My daugher Lila Frances (Lila is my sister's name and Frances is my mother in law's middle name) was alllllmost Beatrice. I still really love Beatrice, although Beatrice Frances is kind of a mouthfull. Such good nick name potential too. (BeBe Blair? Cute!!) My son's name is my maiden and my husband's middle, Miller Lee. I like how it rolls off the tounge. I grew up with a boy name Silas Moon though, and have always thought that was the coolest name. I wonder where he is.

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67 mymcmlife November 10, 2009 at 11:33 am

You didn't mention that all of your kids' names are 5 letters long but I'm assuming that's not accidental.

Here are some 5 letter name suggestions that might fit for you:
Sally, Frank, Edwin, Clara, Alice, Joyce, Grace, Chuck, Lewis

I have a huge running list of baby names I've been collecting for years. But, I'm not sure it will make it any easier once I get pregnant!

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68 Design Mom November 10, 2009 at 11:41 am

mymcmlife – Fun 5 letter suggestions. And oddly enough, our 5 letter names did come about accidentally. We didn't have a 5 letter plan. But now that my kids noticed the pattern they're pretty sure the next child needs 5 letters too.

Of course, my instinct is to purposefully pick a name without 5 letters — just so I don't feel forced into the 5 letter thing.

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69 Aimee @ Smiling Mama November 10, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Oh this is SO fun! I've loved reading all these comments because my husband and I are in the midst of trying to come up with a name for baby boy #2. Our older son is Lucas which we just love. I've been lobbying hard for Oscar for #2(I think those names sound so good together with the "s" and hard "c" sounds) but for some reason my husband just doesn't like Oscar. We've been leaning toward biblical names but I've loved some of the ideas people suggested in the comments!

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70 Lynelle November 10, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Clyde?
Mavis?
Kiernan?

Just some ideas I had!

P.S How do you manage 5 soon to be 6 kids… especially when they were younger? What is a typical day in the life of Mrs. Blair…

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71 Girl con Queso November 10, 2009 at 1:28 pm

I say Thor.

Or Bedusa.

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72 Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Please — not Edith or Pearl! You can take old fashioned too far, I think.

I like Annie or Hazel; Isaac or Clyde.

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73 Scribbit November 10, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Julian would fit with Oscar and Ralph for a boy. I love using family names but unfortunately I was blessed with a family with horrible names. My Dad is Melvin Roy. My Grandfather is Odie Ray.

But we do love using family last names for our kids. My youngest is Lillian but we named her Lillian Day, Day being my Grandmother's maiden name. She was Dorothy Day and one of those wartime beauty queens, her little town had a big parade at the end of the war and crowned her Miss D-Day because she was, of course, Dorothy Day.

Dorothy would be a good match for Olive and Maude now that I think of it.

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74 Kendra@My Insanity November 10, 2009 at 1:42 pm

Based on your current names:

Girls:
Della (from O'Henry's "The Gift of the Magi")
Irene
Hazel (others have mentioned)
Ginger
Alice
Gwen
Martha
Ruth

Boys:
Milo
Max
George
Frank
Leroy
Harvey

I like babynamewizard.com, too!

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75 Bri (like the cheese) November 10, 2009 at 1:47 pm

I only have one child so far, and she's Aine (AHN-ya) Lea (LEE) Douglas. Douglas is my grandfather, who passed away just before she was born. It's also my father's name. Aine is a very common Irish name (translates to Anne or Anna) but unique here in the US. It popped in to my head when I was pregnant and just seemed to fit. Lea is an alternative to Lee or Leigh as a name, but it is also a word that means 'meadow' or 'grazing pasture.' It is used in a Robert Burns poem that my husband and I both LOVE. (Sweet Afton….which, by the way, I think Afton would be a great name). Also, my first name means 'hill' and (married) last name means 'valley,' so it seemed appropriate to give her a geological name too!! She gets called Aine Lea quite often. The 'Douglas' is reserved for when she's in BIG trouble ;o)
I'm hesitant to share any of my other name ideas for future children of mine because I like unique names :o) But they are also all combinations of traditional Irish/Celtic names and family names.
(Afton is not one of them…so it's fair game!!)

P.S. Thanks for sharing your stories! I love well-thought-out names and the stories that go behind them!!

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76 The Creative Juice Bar November 10, 2009 at 1:47 pm

We have two boys, Andrea and Maximiliano. I wanted Maximo instead, but my husband didn't like it. I regret it and call him Maximo anyway ;-)

Name suggestions?
I love the name Grace for a girl but we are an international family and where we live they would pronounce it grass.

Charlotte, Louise, Henry, Jack?

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77 Kendra@My Insanity November 10, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Just put your names in Nymbler.com and a few more good ones came up

Henry
Gilbert
Ernest
Jasper

Polly
Ida
Louise
Lucy

Good Luck!

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78 Whitney November 10, 2009 at 1:49 pm

All these stories remind me of one my parents tell about naming me (my name is Whitney). They jokingly told my great-grandmother Mabel that they were going to name me after her, thinking she would be flattered.

She was horrified! "Don't you dare name that child Mabel! I hated that name! When I was a child, every farmer had a cow named Mabel and it was awful!"

It still makes me laugh. And no, Mabel is a fine name, I just like mine better.

(I have one son, Nate, and we chose it because it was the only boy's name we could agree on. If we ever have a girl, it's going to be very hard, but we like Sophie and Megan.)

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79 rebekah November 10, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Our baby girl is Juliet. That seems to fit with yours pretty nicely…

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80 susie q November 10, 2009 at 1:55 pm

I love Whitney's comment. My mother and grandmother were both named Maude. My mother hated it — and also said every cow around was named Maude. She forbade my sisters and I to name our babies after her. I rebelled and named my 2nd "Sophie Maude." She loves her name so much that she prefers to be called Maude.

A friend of mine has a baby name art business and is constantly into baby names. Her blog is http://www.babyceesblog.com/. You and your readers might like her point of view.

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81 Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 2:04 pm

we named our son asher thomas. asher means happy and blessed. enough said. :-)

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82 rebekah November 10, 2009 at 2:06 pm

We also like the names Louisa and Davis for future children.

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83 Hannah November 10, 2009 at 2:06 pm

We named our kids Felicity and Alexander. Felicity was unusual without sounding like we made it up, and it means "happiness". Alexander is a family name – 8 generations! – and it's classic, and I loved the meaning, so it was a no-brainer. If we were to have more children I like Oliver for a boy and Juliet for a girl.

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84 Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 2:31 pm

How about Dottie? I think Dottie Blair is as cool as Betty Blair!

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85 caroline November 10, 2009 at 2:33 pm

There are some great suggestions here – I love Alice, Hazel, Della, Sadie, Henry, and Jasper.

Sybil is my grandmother's name, and I've always thought that it's classic and lovely (and could be spelled a number of different ways). Susan is my mother's name, and I think it's got a nice old-school vibe.

I love love love this discussion and can't wait to hear what you and Ben (and kids) decide on for the newest Blair.

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86 melanie November 10, 2009 at 2:36 pm

Seems like my life revolves around baby/kid names – it's like a hobby collecting the most interesting ones. I'm a PT vision screener (and PT baby name artist) and every day I hear the most amazing names ever. Today I vision tested a class where the kids were named Success, Precious, Furtuna (not a typo), and an Absolut. Never a dull day name-wise!
http://babyceesblog.com/

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87 Lindsay November 10, 2009 at 3:31 pm

we have an olive too! It was my husband's favourite name, i wasn't entirely sure when pregnant but it so suits her and I love it!

I also love Kitty, Mabel, Minnie, Adelaide and Loulou. Mabel goes particularly well with Maud and Olive I think!

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88 jora November 10, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Of course I love my kids' names:

Charles August ("Charlie")
Juliet Annise
Emilia Rae

But I didn't get to use a couple of favorites: Helena for a girl and Bo for a boy. I also like Shea and Campbell for a boy or girl. A friend just named her baby Lisette and I like that too.

Can't wait to hear what the Blairs pick out! Do you ever let the other kids chime in?

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89 ang :o) November 10, 2009 at 3:42 pm

I love your children's names. I love names! When a baby is born I don't care anything about it except what the name is. LOL. In choosing our names we want them to have special meaning to us and still be unique, but pronounceable. We also love when names concur a visual.
I have two daughters:
1. Flower Opal: My nickname has been flower for over 10 years because my friends thought I was a flower child. I have always loved it and new that would be the name of my first daughter. opal is my mother's name. i love picturing a flower with and opal center.
2.River Dawn- River signifies our love of nature and camping. Dawn is my middle name. I love the picture of the river in front of a sunrise.

Our next child will have the middle of my husband's grandfather's middle name of Freeze. If it's a girl it will be Juniper(freeze) for our love of movies. Juniper is the name of the main character in my favorite movie. If it's a boy it will be Lennon(freeze) for our love of music. Obviously lennon is from the beatles. :)

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90 Bethany Simmons November 10, 2009 at 3:46 pm

We always try to incorporate family with our children's names:

Hailey Sue
for my grandfather, Robert Hale
and grandmother, Susan

David Michael
for my husband's father, David
and my husband, Michael

Nora Lynn
for my husband's grandfather's sister, Nora
and my mother, Lynette

Good luck coming up with the perfect name for your new little one!

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91 J,D and Little B November 10, 2009 at 4:42 pm

We named our daughter Brighton after our favorite snowboarding resort. We got to know each other there when we were dating. So we named our daughter after the place that made her existence possible. I love names with significance. Not necessarily for anyone else, but between you and your partner.

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92 Tally Girl November 10, 2009 at 5:00 pm

My favorite names of all time (which I cannot use because my DH disagrees) are Agnes (girl) and Ari (boy). Totally different styles, totally unique, and perfectly lovely.

I second the Baby Name Wizard, and Nymbler (same author, I believe). GREAT sites for name help!

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93 Lin November 10, 2009 at 5:41 pm

I already commented with the name Matilda and The Baby Name Wizard book (it really is a great book), but I love names so much I had more to share.

I love the name Jack because it makes me think of an old timey news reporter. It would also carry on the J names in our family (he would have cousins Jacob and Joshua).

I also love any name that gives nickname options and names that have a family connection. I would even go so far as to pull up the names of ancestors and choose just from those and not even look at a baby name book.

Another thing I like is to ask the siblings (or cousins) what names they like. My sister named me (from a list of names my parents liked) and one of my brother's sons (8 years old) offered a totally new suggestion for my sister's youngest boy (now 20 months). They were struggling to find a name that felt like it fit and Jacob fit just right. Of course, the 3 year olds were all for naming him Elmo Diego so there's that to consider.

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94 The Bucks November 10, 2009 at 5:42 pm

Our first son is name Alexander, Xander for short, after the character from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and from my husband's mission in Russia. I still love the name, but get tired of correcting the Z to and X. Our second son is named Atticus from "To Kill a Mockingbird". My husband named him and I am still coming to terms with it. I do love that he is named after a great literary character. I think that these names would fit in very nicely in your family:

Boys:
Frank
Suel
Morris

Girls:
Alice
Faye
Cora

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95 nweames November 10, 2009 at 6:15 pm

I think the hardest part about choosing a name is that you and your husband have to agree. I have often chosen name I thought for sure he would love and get turned down flat, and the same for him. We always start at books and ancestors, along with friends.

We have 2 boys and 2 girls, Karissa Rose, Warner Andrew (goes by his middle name), Alexis Kathleen, and Spencer Christian. We tried to pick names that people had heard of, but there weren't too many around. I have 2 hard and fast rules, 1 – their initials can't spell anything (hence a son that goes by a middle name since his initials would have spelled "AWE"), this has been a challenge since our last name starts with an "E". 2 – Their first name can't end with a long "e" sound because it gets confusing to people who can't tell where their first name ends and their last name begins (I have this problem, hence the rule). All of our children also have a middle (or first) name of an ancestor.

2 after paternal grandmothers 1 after 2 great grandfathers and My oldest son is named after my father whose first name is Warner, but also goes by his middle name. It was fitting since I come from a family of all girls, and Andrew was the first grandson. That said, I tried to convince my husband to have him go by Warner, but lost that battle.

As for name ideas I always loved, and will never have

for a boy:
Peter
Ivan
Greyson
Jonathan
Patrick

for a girl:
Brianna
Addie (Adelaide)
Kathleen (for a first)

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96 butwhymommy November 10, 2009 at 6:49 pm

We named our daughter Vivienne and call her Ivie (pronounced Ivy) for short.

I love Josephine, Ruby, Pearl and Lucia for girls.

Our son's name is Samuel. Also on our list is William, Malcom, Asher, and Arthur.

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97 Danielle November 10, 2009 at 7:30 pm

Girls:
I love, love Ruby
Ramona
Elsie
Charlotte

Boys:
Douglas

I have three girls, so it's hard to come up with boy names :-)

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98 Andrea November 10, 2009 at 10:01 pm

Very interesting. I'm snobby about names, and always wonder why people name their children certain names. Knowing the story behind the name makes me a little less judgmental.

A little less.

Not that I have room to talk. My children have what others probably deem very strange names. And they all start with S, which was not intentional.

To each his/her own.

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99 Kate November 10, 2009 at 10:44 pm

ooohh, this is fun! How about:
Clara Hank
Alice Eddie
Pippa Milo
Scout Gus
Ruby Jasper
May Magnus
June August
Sadie Felix
Millie Toby
Bertie (or Birdie)

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100 Kate November 10, 2009 at 10:46 pm

Oops, that was supposed to be a list of girls names and a list of boys, but somehow they got squished together.

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