Literary girl names

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Literary girl names

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May 11, 2007, 5:51pm

Thanks for the congratulations Green Dragonors on the upcoming little one. My question for the group is:

"What is the name of your favorite literary heroine and why?"

We are not finding out the gender of the baby and already have a boy name firmly picked out (Claus, although there is debate over C or K). However we can't agree on girls names. I like Phedre from Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Dart and Lyra from Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass. My husband doesn't care for either. Being a book lover I would like to give a potential daughter the name of a strong female character. Suggestions?

May 11, 2007, 6:01pm

Alanna (from Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness quartet. The first Strong Female Heroine name that jumps into my head that's a real name. >.> The first thing I thought was Cimorene, next was Eowyn; those might not be such a good idea.

A lot of my favorite literary strong women have purposely common names like Mary, Elizabeth, and Catherine. So that's boring.

There's always Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz series, who is actually a fairly strong character in the books. It's the movie that made her into a useless crybaby.

May 11, 2007, 6:10pm

How unusual of a name do you want?
There are normal literary girls names (Sophia from Tom Jones, Anne from Anne of Green Gables) and really unusual ones (Galadriel from L.O.T.R. and Buttercup from The Princess Bride)

And then your assortment of Shakespearian names (Portia, Olivia, Rosalind, Beatrice)

And women from Medieval Romances (Chriseyde, Iseult/Isolde, Guinevere)

Plus your standard Cosette (Les Miserables, Eugenie from Eugenie Grandet

Good Luck!

May 11, 2007, 6:24pm

I've always liked the name Thessaly... ok, so it's a place in Greece not necessarily a literary name, but it might've been used in a book?

Edited: May 11, 2007, 6:53pm

Rowena from Ivanhoe is a favorite of mine. I think that Manderley from Rebecca is a neat name but its a house and it burns at the end! "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."

May 11, 2007, 6:53pm

Thessaly was a character in Neil Gaiman's Sandman.

Be careful not to name her after someone tragic! I wouldn't name her after Yseult/Isolde - she dies for her love of Tristan.

I think Cimorene is cute. And I did always love Patricia Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles. You could call here 'Rene.

May 11, 2007, 7:48pm

Hmm... I really like your idea of the name Lyra, but seeing as your huband doesn't like that...
I'd have to agree with thecynicalromantic that Alanna is a very strong character and not a bad name either! I also really like the name Arya (from either A Song of Ice and Fire or Eragon-take your pick!)(Though the 'Arya' in ASOIAF is cooler!)
Can't think of any more right now...

May 11, 2007, 8:04pm

Whatever you choose, please check that the initials don't spell something sad.

May 11, 2007, 8:08pm

Oh, I like Arya. And it's a not totally-out-there-teased-on-the-schoolyard-type name, while still being unique.

Iselle from The Curse of Chalion is also a pretty independent-minded female. I also like the name Catriana from Tigana.

(Also, not that I get a vote, but if I did it'd be for Klaus with a K.)

May 11, 2007, 8:08pm

i fell in love with the name arya as soon as i started reading a game of thrones. i'm onto the second book and arya's still a strong little girl.

May 11, 2007, 8:13pm

My veryveryveryveryvery favourite girl's name is Gabrielle. The only literary Gabrielles I can think of were in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles and The Fallon Blood by Robert Jordan.

May 11, 2007, 8:14pm

Sarene from Elantris was a nice name. A strong woman, too, or at least she would be in another 10 years of her life. :)

Helen (of Troy, I don't know her end, but some ships thought she was beautiful)

Deborah (a Biblical judge) Actually, there are a lot of strong women in the Bible. Ruth, Eve, Tamar, Mary, Esther, Naomi, on and on. Some of them are a bit flawed, but who isn't?

Edited: May 11, 2007, 8:23pm

#2 - Alanna is pretty however I'm not familiar with the series or author. I'll have to look those up.

#3 - I like the idea of an unusual name. Of course a naming book shied me away from them for a bit because it suggested not having too exotic of name because of the difficulties in spelling or pronunciation.

#6 - Tragedy is why the name Ophelia, as pretty as it may be, has already been ruled out in my mind.

#7,9,10 - I adore Arya! She is my favorite character in ASOFAI. In fact my current D&D character is named Arya. I haven't suggested it yet as I'm sure our friends will think I named our daughter after my character.

#8 - Since the last initial is L that is something we are taking into consideration.

#12 - Actually biblical names ran in my family. I'm a Hannah and I have sisters named Ruth and Esther.

Keep the suggestions coming!

May 11, 2007, 8:56pm

Jo from Little Women was a strong female character :)

and Kahalen (or however its spelt) from Terry Goodkind's sword of truth books is another good female character.

I know there are more but at the moment that's all I've got. :)

May 11, 2007, 10:17pm

Well, there is Susan, from the Terry Pratchett books. Though she is the granddaughter of DEATH, I don't think she is dead, I've only read one book with her in it, but she was very strong and sensible too.

May 12, 2007, 6:00am

I guess the problem is that many of the strongest women in literature end up tragically... That's why I suggested Portia Merchant of Venice. She's strong, smart, and gets her boyfriend out of a whole heap of trouble by dressing up like a man and pretending to be his lawyer. And she wins! Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing is also a strong lucky heroine.

The only other strong women I can think of are tragic ones!

What about looking for names of strong women writers? You could pick from Virginia (Woolfe), Aphra (Benn), and so on. I just wouldn't reccomend George (Eliot) :-)

May 12, 2007, 7:34am

I just wouldn't reccomend George (Eliot) :-) - No, who'd want "a boy named Sue"?!
No good names in store. We'd decided to call our kid Zoe if it was to be a girl (which it wasn't) but only because we liked it + because it is short + it's very unusual in Sweden. No literary connections, not that I know of a least...

I agree with MrsLee that Sarene is a nice name, though.

May 12, 2007, 8:48am

How about some Lackey heroines? Kethry, Tarma, Selenay, Talia, Elspeth, Kerowyn

Or Bishop: Jaenelle, Tersa, Karla

Or more Carey: Melisande, Ysandre, Cecilie, Moiread

Or Bujold: Ista

Then we can go nuts with McCaffrey: Lessa, Brekke, Mirrim, Aramina, Sharra, Moreta, Oklina, Torene, Menolly, Helva, Damia, Rowan

Edited: May 12, 2007, 3:41pm

Meryl. It's different, but not too out there: spellable, not playground bait, the name of a strong, lovely woman, i.e.,

actress Meryl Streep, who played strong women's roles in Out of Africa, The French Lieutenant's Woman, Sophie's choice, The Devil Wore Prada...

(Apparently the short form of "Mary Louise".)

Goes with Hannah and Klaus. Meryl L_______.

Sounds, though, that you're partial to names that end in "ah"?*

You might want to have a couple of favorite names on hand. A number of us, meeting our little ones for the first time, found that one name seemed immediately appropriate, and it was not always the first choice!

p.s. In the early years, the most used childcare book on my shelves was Discipline without shouting or spanking : practical solutions to the most common preschool behavior problems.

*Edit: Sita, princess in Ramakien and Ramayana.
+ ends in "ah"
+ fidelity, purity, beauty
- passive role

May 12, 2007, 9:47am

Lyra is beautiful.
I like unusual names better than common names with strange spellings. And if you really like a name but think it's too unusual you can always use it as a middle name.
I really like Bronwyn but I can't think of any literary characters with that name.

May 12, 2007, 11:01am

Sodapop, I think Bronwyn with a slightly different spelling is used in Mists of Avalon.

What a great idea to name a baby after a character from a book!
Names I like:

Nino from Ali and Nino
Bilqis, the queen of Sheba
Anna from The Map of Love

There are probably more, but my brain doesn't function too right now.

May 12, 2007, 11:32am

Bronwyn/Branwyn is (if I remember correctly) a Welsh name that has been the name of Welsh queens/princesses - There's a character named Branwyn in at least one retelling of the Tristan/Essylte story (Prince of Dreams by Nancy McKenzie), it's referenced in A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle (the book uses a lot of variations, both male and female, on the Bran root - enough that it made me decide that should I ever have a son, I'd like to name him Bran), and the name tends to crop up in Arthurian legend in general.

May 12, 2007, 1:46pm

Cheers Dressagegrrrl, I'm glad the name Thessaly was used in something... that could perhaps have been where I read it...

24chainedwind First Message
Edited: May 12, 2007, 2:36pm

1. Susan (Sto-Helit) from Discworld
2. Arya (Stark) from the Song of Ice and Fire
3. Kitty (Jones) from the Bartimaeus Trilogy


May 12, 2007, 3:37pm

Let me say upfront that I am not suggesting this as a name for your child, but I do love Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird. The nickname fits the character much better than her given name, Jean Louise.

I think Addie is a great name for a girl. It's not from a book, unless you count the family histories that list my grandmother. I had two boys, but always knew that if I had a girl her name would be Addie.

May 12, 2007, 3:45pm

i immeadiately thought Anne when i read this post

and then there's Scarlett or Melanie

Edited: May 12, 2007, 5:44pm

"Leisha" from one of my all-time favorite books, "Beggars in Spain" by Nancy Kress. It is science fiction but is more about people and society than about science. Leisha is intelligent, attractive, highly ethical, and strong. She tries to right wrongs as a successful lawyer. She helps people reach their potential as a philanthropist.

There is a wonderful line of dialog where someone advises the young Leisha, "The dogs bark but the caravan moves on. You must never let your personal caravan be stopped by the barking of rude or envious dogs."

I don't know how you feel about the first and last initial being the same, though. Be sure to let us know what you choose.

Best wishes, and Congratulations!

P.S. I see that you are a fan of "Dune". How about "Chani?"

May 12, 2007, 5:48pm

Nice one on Chani! What a great name and a great character!

May 12, 2007, 7:07pm

#21 & 22 Thankyou. I knew it was Welsh but didn't know of any characters by that name.
Elena is my daughter's middle name :)
My younger son, Sebastian is named after a character from a favourite children's book, but I frequently get asked if he is named after Sebastian from Brideshead Revisited.

May 12, 2007, 8:30pm

Well, both ROSIE and ELANOR are great Green Dragon Hobbit Names (both with the last name Gamgee)

I'd suggest Eowyn but really, do two people ever pronounce it the same way?

May 14, 2007, 6:42am

I've always liked Elanor - not a hobbit name, until Sam brought it in for his daughter, named from the flower fields in ??? one of the elven places.

May 14, 2007, 9:36am

I love this idea! I think Lyra and Phedre are great names, especially because they are both great characters. I also really like Arya. I think it's important with names to choose one that is not too exotic, but not common, and this is an excellent way to do that. My personal favorite is actually Eowyn, but groo is right and I think people would struggle with it.

May 14, 2007, 9:45am

you could always go with Jane.

May 14, 2007, 10:47am

Just to jump in,
Elanor is my middle name - it is after the golden flowers in Lorien as well as Sam's daughter.

I would be wary of Phedre, that spelling is originally from Racine from the Greek myth of Phaedra (see Euripides' play Hippolytus). She is a tragic figure who hangs herself because of jealous Goddesses.
She falls in love with her step-son who won't sleep with her and in dying she accuses him of rape and causes his death.

I like Elena (Kelley Armstrong) and Arwen (good ol' LOTR)

May 14, 2007, 11:17am

I like Arwen too, there's also Morwen from The Children of Hurin? I'm only about half way through the story, but she seems a pretty strong, proud, determined woman (so far).

This is a very cool idea, picking a name from a book.

May 14, 2007, 11:53am

You might want to finish reading before you recommend Morwen, katylit.

May 14, 2007, 12:09pm

I like the idea of Sarah from A Little Princess, and her ability to find happiness from within as well as the way she treats others are both great qualities to want a child to have. A more obvious literary reference that I also like - also a strong female character with a mind of her own, but a bit more of a handful, is Ramona. (Yes, I'm a children's book person).

Edited: May 14, 2007, 12:25pm

Your kid will thank you if you choose something that's easy to spell and has an obvious correct pronounciation. I always have to spell and pronounce my name for everyone I first meet, and they usually forget it after about 5 minutes because it's quite long, or take a brave guess at the pronounciation they've forgotten and mangle it horribly.

My GCSE teacher called me something which doesn't sound like my name at all for 2 years in spite of me correcting her 3 or 4 times in the first two weeks at my new school - I had just moved to england from south africa and I guess i had a bit of an accent but even so! I was too embarrassed to go on correcting her, and every time she called my name I winced.

My name is Rukaya, for reference. Yes, this is apparently hard to spell, pronounce, and remember (in England at least). Seriously, give the kid a name which is unambiguous and easy to spell and remember. Being bullied and teased for having a strange name isn't really so bad, it's people not being able to remember it or spell it or say it that's the worst!

Oh PS all my favourite literary girl names/characters are the normal ones, 'Jane' from The Dark is Rising, 'Anna' from Anna Karenina, etc. When you have an odd name you long for a normal one, I suppose.

May 14, 2007, 12:31pm

rukaya is niether long nor difficult to pronounce. My name is Paulette, very easy, right Paul/et accent on et but people have called me everything you can imagine paula, paulina, paulina, pauletta and even patty, all wonderful names in and of themselves, just not mine and even polly throws people because it rythmes with nearly every consanant in the alphabet. I'm sure there are people in my past who will happily go to their grave thinking of me as that nice little dolly/holly/molly......

May 14, 2007, 12:44pm

How are you pronouncing it? Every time I introduce myself, I'm always followed up with a "pardon?"/"Sorry, what was your name?" and people DO forget it all the time, and they mispronounce it constantly and then most irritatingly tell me it's a lovely name and really original. I don't care about originality, I want something that the person who's interviewing me for my job is going to get right and remember, I want something that cute guy at the bar is going to pronounce correctly and not avoid talking to me because he can't remember how to say it. Sorry for the rant, but really, maybe it's easy for you (are you in a muslim country?) but the number of people here in england who get it wrong is unbelievable.

Ooh that reminds me, 'Polly' from Fire and Hemlock by Dianna Wynne Jones is another one of my favourite girl characters :)

Pollysmith - I can't imagine pronouncing your name any other way, I've no idea how people can think its something like 'paulina' :s

May 14, 2007, 12:55pm

LOL A suggestion someone who was saddled with the name Mary.. not so bad when you first read it then just start naming all the song, children's poems and riddles, and rythmes to make horrible words like hairy/ scary you can think of attached to Mary. Please everyone think of your child's future classmates and co workers who WILL torture them as you name your kids!

* PS I love the Anne McCaffrey names for ladies, too!

May 14, 2007, 1:22pm

#36, yeah, I was kinda worried about that jenknox, that's why I prefaced the comment with only having read half-way through. But still...I like the name Morwen, *sigh*, here I was hoping that things might turn out okay for at least one person in Hurin's family *sigh* I'd better finish it today and find out for sure :-)

May 14, 2007, 1:39pm

Wonderful suggestions everyone!

#34 The reasons you have mentioned as well as the fact that in the Kushiel books Phedre is a courtesean and that the name could be difficult to pronounce, as well as spell, has pretty much taken it out of the running.

#38 All very solid reasons for a more simple name. I was fortunate growing up that people can correctly pronounce Hannah, but you would be amazed at the different number of spellings for it. My father-in-law of over 4 years still can't spell it correctly.

#41 We are trying to pay attention to rhyming, because you know that it will come to haunt the child. We are also trying to look at abbreviations of the name. Children's ridicule is partially why we are considering Klaus as opposed to Claus (which could be linked with Santa Claus).

At this point I think I need to have my husband read through the thread. Each time I ask him if he has any names he likes the response is, "I don't know". When I bring up names they are usually met with shrugs. Perhaps reading other peoples' suggestions will spark his mind.

May 14, 2007, 1:39pm

TerrapinJetta, that's a nice name and should not be that difficult to pronounce! But then again, maybe the transcription isn't quite right for the use in England :) Still, a nice name.
My name is Élena, like Helena minus the capital H, and people never get it right. Their most common mistake is saying Eeeleeeeeeeeena which is WRONGWRONGWRONG or writing it with two ls.

Some other girl's name I like is Grace from The Time Traveler's Wife. Simple, nice sound, easy to spell ;) and a beautiful meaning.

What about Gillian from The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye? I just love that book, and she's smart.

May 14, 2007, 2:00pm

"Grace" has always been a favorite of mine!
Logbook for Grace is a series of letters written to new wife "Grace" by her naturalist husband who spent a year on a whaling brig near the South Pole.

May 14, 2007, 2:10pm

#44 & 45 - Grace is entirely out of the running as best friends of ours had their first child last year, a daughter, and named her Grace. Also taken out of the running due to friends getting to it first was Gabriel for a boy. Guess this is what we get for being married the longest in our circle, but waiting the longest to start having children!

May 14, 2007, 2:16pm

#8 Like my mom: she was SAW, then became SAD when she married Dad. Course they brought a certain "cad" into the world. *smile*

May 14, 2007, 2:17pm


J.M. Barrie invented the name for the character in Peter Pan. I've know over a dozen girls/women who have that name, and I see it as a testimony to the power of well-crafted children's literature.

May 14, 2007, 2:40pm

domeloki - I like Eowyn, from my favorite, LOTR. It seems fairly accessible, like an older English name. I know of one girl (approx 14) named Eowyn. Her mom & dad were friends in seminary days. This daughter was the only "Tolkienesque" name of their children. I can't tell if this is and actual anglo-saxon/old english word/name or one invented by JRRT. There are some notes and a link in the wikipedia entry.
#48 - WHL, thanks for the info on Wendy/j.M. Barrie. Did not know that, very interesting.

May 14, 2007, 2:46pm

All the names of Rohan are based on Anglo-Saxon names, as is their language (and some words in Tolkien's other languages, too).

May 14, 2007, 2:55pm

Two names I might have chosen if I had girls are Arwen (LoTR) and Tigana (from book of the same name). Tigana is actually the name of a country but the people in it are strong and determined. I also found out Teaghan is a Welsh name meaning beautiful.

Alas, I had two boys (whom I adore and I couldn't imagine life any other way now).

May 14, 2007, 3:00pm

#49 and all the others who have suggested Eowyn, I may shoot myself in the foot here as this is the Green Dragon, but I'm not much of a Tolkien fan. That being said my husband is a huge Tolkien fan. I still have yet to input all the Tolkien we have into LT. However if I were to choose a female name from LotR it probably would be Eowyn because I like her much more than Arwen.

May 14, 2007, 3:57pm

#50 jenknox, the names of people and places are based on Anglo-Saxon, but I tried a quick web search to determine if Eowyn is a name invented by Tolkien, or did it already exist in extant Anglo-Saxon literature. Checking my shelves instead of the web shows that “ent” is actual A-S for “giant”; “eored” (Rohan horse-troops/military unit) is A-S for “troop”. I find there is a verb in Anglo-Saxon, “eowan” which means “to show, to display” and occurs in the A-S poem Judith. But no confirmation that the Lady Eowyn has an actual Anglo-Saxon predecessor.
Here are the works from my catalog consulted:

May 14, 2007, 6:44pm

I'm putting this here, because I thought it might amuse some, but it's just as likely to offend others. It's a very snarky site about baby's names. Only go there if you don't mind snarky.

May 14, 2007, 6:46pm

You might want to read "The Literary Baby Name Book" by Tershia D'Elgin, for ideas.

Personally, I would choose "Jadzia" if I had a daughter. It is a beautiful name, and can have a nice, easy nickname, Jade. One small problem is that you would have to be prepared for 'Trekkers' to comment on it. Jadzia was a Commander on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine." She was strong, complex, intelligent, beautiful and noble. I am sure that she is in many Star Trek books as well.

My felicitations to you and your husband.

May 14, 2007, 7:30pm

#44- oh I love gillian that is so pretty

May 14, 2007, 9:11pm

A couple at church have a daughter named Arwen. She's a cute little girl!

I too have 2 boys, but they would have been Allison and Annalisa - I just liked the names. To make the families happy, we chose family names for middle names. The first names are purely their own, not after anyone.

A little hint from someone who's been there - call the child by his/her first name or some common derivative of it. My husband and I both go by forms of our middle names, and it's been a hassle all our lives! Fortunately for me, when I married, I dropped my first name altogether, keeping my maiden name as my middle name. I no longer have to explain how I got "Beth" out of "Susan".

May 14, 2007, 9:33pm

57->uh oh My son is Harrison Cole and we call him Cole 'cuz that's the name that I really liked but thought it was too short for a first name :) My daughter goes by Missie but her name is actually Melissa and I lot of people get confused about how I got one from the other *shrugs*
I agree with what was said earlier though I took one look at my daughter and knew she was a Missie (think: princesses and unicorns, lots of pink and yellow) and my son's name fits him to a T! ;)

May 15, 2007, 1:04am

Perhaps the fact that I want to name my first child Spot helps explain why I am still single...

May 15, 2007, 6:05am

Spot! heheheheheh!

Edited: May 15, 2007, 6:52am

>59 mrgrooism:: For a boy or a girl?

May 15, 2007, 8:51am

Spot? You think your first kid would be cat? Or are you an android?

May 15, 2007, 9:05am

I wouldn't name a child after any obvious literary chars like Arwen/Eowyn, or else they'll get teased terribly.

May 15, 2007, 9:14am

Well, my son is named Zico, and everyone who know anything about football know who he is ;-)
/wiki link here for the unknowing/

Only good comments on that so far, but so he was an exceptional player! I have a few worries about expecatations when he grow older, but I think I'm overreacting. In the 60's a lot of swedish boys where named Elvis or Tommy, and no one expects the to be famous singers ;-)

May 15, 2007, 10:41am

yes, definately think of your child when they go to school, I learned to my sorrow that what you think is cute or charming can turn into a source of torture in school. kids are cruel!

May 15, 2007, 11:56am

After 4 days and 65 posts, can't beleive the following havent been suggested here as feminine literary names:
* clamairy
* dressagegrrrl
* polly
* busifer
* morphidae
* well, you get the picture ... *smiles*

67wefeelgroove First Message
May 15, 2007, 12:07pm

My favorite female literary name is Lenore, but I don't think she quite fits in the "strong female" catagory, what with being dead and all. :)

Some other girl names I can think of off the top of my head...
-Viola from Twelfth Night
-Vivian from Blood and Chocolate
-Violet from Feed (lots of 'V' names here)
-Susannah from The Dark Tower
-Mariel from Mariel of Redwall (she's a mouse, but she's an awesome kick-butt mouse!)

Oh, and Coraline! Of course, if you used that name, she might run into the same problem the character has- everyone insists on calling her "Caroline".

Edited: May 15, 2007, 12:17pm

Inspired by my latest read, Lord of Emperors, I'd suggest Aliana, which I think sounds nice AND she's quite a strong character - dancer turned empress turned... well, no spoliers ;-)
Don't know about namecalling etc in US schools, don't know enough of the language for that, but in Sweden ithat name would land very well :-)

BTW, cad_lib - my alias is the name of my very male cat ;-)

May 15, 2007, 1:41pm

#67 - Hee hee, Lenore. Hard to resist the cute living dead girl :) However, I'm more of a fan of Jhonen Vasquez and as a result would lean more towards Devi.

#68 - You've just added something to my TBR pile, that duology sounds really interesting. That and I've been seeing Guy Gavriel Kay's name pop up quite a bit on GD and hence have been curious.

Edited: May 15, 2007, 3:11pm

#69 - It's an honour. But you'd maybe want to consider that not everyone likes him. He writes compelling tales, but some think his writing style too complex, almost intimidating (?).

But I love what I've read from him so far :-)

May 15, 2007, 5:09pm

Bronwyn I think was featured in the Katherine Kerr books :)

She later became Gill (Jill)

May 15, 2007, 9:04pm

#61 - Well, hopefully one or the other...

May 15, 2007, 9:12pm

#72 - Maybe both! Spot and Spotete! uumm...Spottete?

May 15, 2007, 9:16pm

Spot & Fido!

May 15, 2007, 10:03pm

Tops and Odif!

May 15, 2007, 10:07pm

Stop nad Dofi

May 15, 2007, 10:08pm

Post and Fodi!

Edited: May 15, 2007, 10:21pm

#68 - Busifer (and domeloki), oops. Knew it was also your cat's name, but didn't realize the cat was male. In English a male cat is referred to as a "tom", a female cat is called a "queen." Do you have a similar term in Swedish?

Edited: May 15, 2007, 11:19pm

So, this has nothing to do with girl's names, other than it's about ~boys~ nicknames, but I'm at least referring to the same species, unlike the previous message.....

When my two oldest sons were born, I gave them the nicknames of "Feedback" and "Rimshot", harkening back to the days I spent playing in garage bands. When the youngest came along, the craze was "portable" stereo systems that weighed in excess of 40 lbs, so I called him "Boombox". The names were interestingly appropriate, it turned out.

Several years later, they all shared a same, bad week. The youngest, probably as a reaction to the ongoing nightmare that was my divorce, brought home a Progress Report from school, to find he was in danger of failing virtually every class he was taking. The middle son broke his arm in a bycycle accident that can only be described as poor judgement (or, if you prefer, insanely stupid). The oldest son managed to scald his arm by accidentally spilling a 42-cup urn of freshly-made coffee on it.

They have since been referred to as "Test", "Crash", and "Burn".

Edited: May 16, 2007, 2:55am

#78 - cad_lib > Well, my cat is neutered so I don't think tom is particularily appropriate ;-)
And no, in swedish all cats are "cat". We then add female or male as prefix, if we feel it's needed. But that's not very often...

May 16, 2007, 1:59pm

WHL, I love your stories, they always make me smile :-)

May 16, 2007, 9:42pm

Gosh, thank you , katylit. That's very nice to hear/read.

I'll probably include the full account of that story in a book I'm apparently writing. The 'working title' is Conservatives and Liberals, Pets and Me, and Other Things That Don't Go Well Together.

May 17, 2007, 2:51am

I just thought of one last night: Daenerys. In all honesty, I'd never name my child this because of all the difficulties that would ensue, but I think it sounds beautiful in my head. That means I'm probably pronouncing it wrong. I also recall that her chapters are among my favorites in A Song of Ice and Fire, even though I haven't read them in a while.

May 17, 2007, 9:14am

#82, WHL, well, that's a book I'll definitely want to read, the title sounds particularly apt!! :-D

85kmiddelburg First Message
May 24, 2007, 3:54am

My first post here --

I love the name Aerin from Robin McKinley's Damar series. (The Blue Sword, The Hero and the Crown)

Another great heroine from that series is Hari (Angharad) but I think its pretty clear why I wouldn't wish that name on a child. :)

May 24, 2007, 4:12pm

------> message #26:

My sister was named "Melanie" after the character from "Gone With the Wind", personally I always preferred "Scarlett" myself and wished that had been my name!

However, In response for the original thread, domeloki:
I very much admire "Fuchsia" from "Gormenghast". She was my absolute favorite character from that sprawling trilogy, although she has that sense of tragedy attatched to her. And of course if you name your girl that she will most likely be teased by kids when growing up once they figure out that the first few letters of her name spell.... well, nevermind. it was a thought, anyways. :)

Other than that I would second "Galadriel" from "The Lord of the Rings"; and maybe "Guinevere" from "King Arthur"; or "Gwendolyn".

OR if you are looking for something more elusive there is always "Velvet" or "Door" from "Neverwhere"; no? Perhaps "Winter" from "The Thirteenth Tale" *grin* well, just a suggestion. :)

Edited: May 27, 2007, 1:33pm

Back in the Third Age I dated a girl named Ellenora. That one was easily shortened to either Ellen or Nora.

Later in the same era I dated a South African immigrant named Felicity. Not so easily chopped up, but why would you want to?

On boy's names, mine's Stephen. Continually mispronounced.

I kinda liked Ekaterin from the Miles Vorkosigan books Komarr and A Civil Campaign.

May 26, 2007, 11:40pm

Right now I'm reading an Anne McCaffrey novel and I really like the names Lessa and Brekke, short, sweet, strong sounding names, I also like the name Kylara but hated her character.

Aerin, is my all time favorite name from a book. I loved the Robin McKinley books as a kid.

I also like the name Katara from the Avatar cartoon

Also it's nice to meet you all. I've been enjoying reading your posts

May 27, 2007, 10:59am

I've always liked the name Kara, which was Supergirl's Kryptonian name (Kara Zor-El).

May 31, 2007, 6:27am

Bronwyn is a name found in How Green was My Valley, I believe. I've never read it, but I love the name. Would have used it myself, but I don't like alliteration for my babies' names.

If you really, really love books, and you like to live on the edge, you may want to go with a name like Story, Novel or Mystery. Nouns for names are sort of the up-and-coming trend in baby names. I like Story myself, very pretty.

What about an author's name? I saw that in a movie once. The heroine was named Bronte -- that's much like Bronwyn.

Let us know what you decide.

May 31, 2007, 9:39am

I like Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser from Diana Gabaldon's series, starting with Outlander. A very strong woman!

Although, I would probably spell it Clare. :)

May 31, 2007, 10:43am

I know a Story.

May 31, 2007, 12:00pm

So many wonderful suggestions! And several that have led to my TBR pile increasing :) Story, Novel, and Mystery are an angle I had not thought of. I always thought that if we were to go for a noun it would probably be a favored flower like Lily (specifically for Lilies of the Valley) or Hyacinthe because I love how those flowers smell.

As for Aerin, I would lean towards spelling it Aeryn after the wonderful character on my favorite sci-fi show of all time, Farscape!

I agree I like Clare better too.

Still no consensus on female name, but Ysandre has won some votes.

Jun 1, 2007, 6:45pm

Are you familiar with Hyacinth Bucket?

Edited: Jun 1, 2007, 9:27pm

Oh yes! I am well acquainted with Hyacinth Bucket( pronounced Boo-kay)
I love the english comedies!

Jun 1, 2007, 9:41pm

My dad's mom is like Hyacinth Bucket! Truely she is!

Edited: Jun 2, 2007, 8:14am

That's scary!

I think I've seen every episode there is of that show. Poor Richard!

I think I live with an Onslow, except mine doesn't drink beer in large quantities and watches EPL football instead of horse racing.

Jun 4, 2007, 7:37pm

Someone said Mary had unwanted rhyming words and somebody else might have said it was boring... we named our daughter Moira, which is a form of Mary, but we do have to pronounce it for folks. It is also one of Wendy's middle names in Peter Pan, which somebody else mentioned. Her middle name is Abigail. I call her Moiragail a lot.
Congratulations and good luck!

Jun 5, 2007, 5:12pm

I also like Clare because it's my name and I'm awesome. I'm not a book character, though. Yet.


...I like Moira too. I don't know any Moiras, but I like Peter Pan.

I'm not huge on overly 'original' spellings or names that have very little pedigree as names for human beings. Maybe I've spent too much time on and have gotten snarky.

Jun 5, 2007, 5:26pm

Yes, unfortunately Mary rythmes with everythinfg

Edited: Jun 5, 2007, 6:39pm

Mercades from Blood Bound my Patricia Briggs, kind of a summer read, as its not "good literature" but she's very strong. The name can easily be shortened to either Mercy or 'Cedes, both cute names. People also know how to say and spell it, but people might ask "like the car?"

the main character in The Immortals is Diane, which I've pronounced "Day-na" since I read the serise in fifth grade. I love that name.

Keelin...I don't think is in any books, but is very Irish, spellable and sayable

102lssian First Message
Jun 6, 2007, 1:13pm

Morgaine from The Mists of Avalon? The name still sounds contemporary, and I love her. A strong, strong woman character for sure!

Jun 7, 2007, 9:25am

Just finished My Khyber Marriage, and the heroine's name is Morag. It's not exactly literary as it's a biograpgy, but this Morag sure is an exceptional and strong woman.

Jun 10, 2007, 4:45am

Issian, I totally agree on morgaine. That's actually one of my choices. That or its more common variation, Morgan.

Wen i was a kid, i used to wish that my real name is Polyhymnia, like the character in madeleine l'engle books, who's named after the greek goddess. I'm sure it would confuse people, but I like it's sound and I dont mind being called Polly.

I love Isis Whit, the Iain Banks heroine, whom I adore forever. But I don't think the name would be a wise choice.

Emily Bronte used to write under the name Ellis Bell. That's got a nice ring to it, I think.

Jun 14, 2007, 9:16pm

Seriously, I've never had a problem with my name. I like it, and was never teased with rhymes. I do remember a time when someone got ridiculous with "Mary had a little lamb, and the doctor fainted." But I replied with, "What about when Old MacDonald had a farm??" and that was the end of it.

I confess to a period in my teens when I experimented with spelling (Merry, Merri, Meri, Mari, Maree, etc., etc., ad nauseum - don't forget to dot the i with a heart). And I do like it better with the middle name (Mary Lou).

Mary goes extremely well with lots of middle names, as I can testify. I am the 4th generation of oldest daughter of the oldest daughter named Mary, and we have continued the tradition for another 2 generations. (Mom: Mary Alice, Grandma: Mary Helen, Great Grandma: Mary Armstrong. My daughter: Mary Leigh, my grand-daughter: Mary Hannah!!)

Jun 14, 2007, 9:20pm

My family's like that with the name Margaret, MerryMary, there's Margaret Jean, Margaret Elizabeth, Margaret Mary, Margaret Anne...

We were considering naming one of our daughters Merry - Tolkien inspired of course :-)

Edited: Jun 16, 2007, 7:57am

#105 I am the 4th generation of oldest daughter of the oldest daughter named Mary, and we have continued the tradition for another 2 generations. (Mom: Mary Alice, Grandma: Mary Helen, Great Grandma: Mary Armstrong. My daughter: Mary Leigh, my grand-daughter: Mary Hannah!!)

Great tradition & pattern, MerryMary. My dad was Chet (Chester), mom was Shirley, so all 4 sons had first initial C, and the sole daughter had a name beginning with S:
Chuck, Craig, Cris, Cory, and Sheri!

Jun 17, 2007, 4:10pm

my great aunt named all her kids starting with the letter "L" Linda, Lane, Loren, Lee

Jun 17, 2007, 9:05pm

There are all sorts of wonderful names here. However I'm going to suggest a name that you shouldn't use.

The name is Norma. Its a horrible name. Trust me it belongs to me so i should know. There is never a Norma in nursery or play school. You child will be the only one.

I went through my whole school life as the ONLY norma there was. It sucked massively.

Also the reason for my mom sticking me with this horrible thing is worse. You see my grand father passed away when my mom was young. She promised him that she would name her first born child after him.
His name was Norman Joseph (I can't spell)

Now it would have been fine if I had been a guy. Cause Norm is fine for a GUY but not for a girl. And Kids find all sorts of ways to shorten names.

So, whatever you do, DON'T use Norma.

Jun 17, 2007, 10:31pm

For girls with shear wonderful unquenchability, no one has yet mentioned Kay Thompson's Eloise or Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans.

Both are a little dated, but Eloise might make a wonderful middle name and I like the nickname Maddy.

Kids will be kids and will always find something to rhyme/shorten --whatever. Personally, I think the older names 'wear better' than some of the newer ones that enjoy a brief bit of popularity and then die.

Jun 18, 2007, 6:58am

Rune, You need to take pride in that name! Make it yours, woman. Either that, or change it to something you like. ;o)

I really hated my name when I was little. All the other girls were named Debbie, Susie, Cathy, and Donna. I hated being different. When I was about 5 years old a very nice priest explained to me who St. Clare was, and told me some the extraordinary things she had done. Suddenly, I thought my name wasn't so bad.

I'm not a Catholic anymore. Actually, I'm not even Christian, BUT I still appreciate what the priest did that day. I have never regretted having a name that is out of the ordinary since. And I gave both of my children names that were not very common. :o)

Jun 18, 2007, 7:09am

No one has mentioned Tess, as in 'of the D'urbervilles'. Surely she is the ultimate strong and magnificent heroine.
Gabrielle is beautiful, and Bronte is nice too. There is a Bronte at my daughters school, and it just sounds so nice.
Good luck with it!

Jun 18, 2007, 7:21am

Rune, I have to agree with Clam. My real name is Pella, and it is VERY unusual (only me + 44 others have it as their first name). I always have to spell it out, and frequently I'm taken for a boy - Pelle is quite usual for boys in Sweden.
As a kid it was a pain, if not a severe one; as an adult a singular name is nice! I'm very seldom confused with others, people I only met once remembers me, etc. I very seldom have to introduce myself on phone when calling people I met a long time ago or such...

When we named our son Zico we did so partly because of the benefits of a unique name. Now, we have to spell it out or help people pronounce it, but you know - I've done that for as long as I can remember and I rather do that than being exchangeable :-)

(During a short period of my life I worked with/at an ad/communications agency. To my mind all the girls had names like Anna and Maria, where all blondes and wore the same clothes... When working as a consultant you really want to be more rememberable than that!)

Jun 18, 2007, 8:31am

Actually, try having PERRY as a middle name. Every single time in kindergarten, when our teacher would have use say our middle name to get our morning juice, I would say "Perry!" and... every kid would go "Perry? Like Perry Mason?"

Oh, the horror of it all! Winge, winge, winge.

Jun 18, 2007, 8:33am

Peabee, your teacher was a nutjob then?

My middle name is MARY, like every other girl at my Catholic School when I was a yoot.

Jun 18, 2007, 8:34am

#113 - During a short period of my life I worked with/at an ad/communications agency.

You had to quit when you got taller? :O

* sorry - it's a stupid joke *

Edited: Jun 18, 2007, 8:39am

It made me laugh none the less!!!
OK OK, ...for a brief period...

And no, I did not have to quit - they where part owners of my company, and we shared locations. We went separate ways partly because we had a hard time understanding each other... maybe they where kind of "short"?

Jun 18, 2007, 8:55am

Mine's Lenora. I didn't meet another until I married my hubby. He has an aunt with the same name. Until about 10 years ago, the only people allowed to call me Nora were my mother, brother and hubby. Then for some reason, I started preferring Nora and now the only time I use my full name is to sign checks.

And since my maternal family is Catholic, I got Marion for a middle name. :)

Jun 18, 2007, 9:07am

My name is Paulette Marie for the same catholic reason. I longed for a pretty name when I was little, I hated paulette. I loved Laura and Christine. Now I really liked my name even tho I still have to repeat and spell it for people!

Jun 18, 2007, 10:52am

My parents named me Emily. I absolutely loathed it, so I did like Clam advises and changed it to Memory about six years back. I'd been searching for an appropriate name for about ten years, (past possibilities included Cordelia, Jadis and Cahra), when all of a sudden it hit me that proper names weren't the only possibilities open to me. I started exploring abstract concepts instead; I figured that if you could name a kid something like Chastity, Memory was nothing. So now I'm Memory. It fits me much better, but it's hell finding monogrammed stuff.

(And please don't name your child Emily).

Edited: Jun 18, 2007, 10:57am

I did just fine as an Anna -- though I absolutely hated being called "Anna Banana" (still do). But the fruit analogy is kinda inevitable when you're an Anna.

Unfortunately, I can't claim a literary origin for my name. I was named "Anna" after a great-grandmother, and "Claire" is a variant of my grandfather's middle name, Clair.

Jun 18, 2007, 11:06am

Memory... that's a really nice name, I like that a lot.

Jun 18, 2007, 11:39am

I would never have thought of memory for a name! Very nice, i've always liked names like hope,Faith, Mercy, felicity

Jun 18, 2007, 1:35pm

Morph, as you know, my favorite aunt is named Lenora, so I love that name, my grandmother was Nora, which is also a favorite with me, but hubby wanted our first daughter to be Anna (she's not so fond of Anna-banana either AnnaClaire), then I only had two boys. Sigh. I refuse to continue having children just for a name, so my imaginary 2nd daughter is named Nora. :) I think it's origins mean woodsprite or meadowsprite.

xicanti - I have a friend named Memory, it is an inherited name in her family and her daughter is named that also. It's a lovely name.

Edited: Jun 18, 2007, 1:40pm

Actually, Lenora is a far derivative of Helen which means "light."

Edited: Kids can mess with anyone's name.

Lenora => Menorah => Manure

Jun 18, 2007, 1:46pm

Lenora to Manure!! Wow, that's creative!!

My name's Katherine, but I was always Kathy growing up and hated it too. This was the time of Chatty Cathy and I got that all the time and simply loathed it. I forbade anyone in my family to ever get me a Chatty Cathy doll and bless them they never did. And also, there were so many Kathys in my elementary school classes, so we were all called Kathy W., Cathy A., Kathy G. etc (you get the idea). I always felt very unoriginal.

I infinitely prefer Katherine, even though my family still calls me Kathy.

Jun 18, 2007, 1:50pm

>Lenora to Manure!! Wow, that's creative!!

No kidding. That's why I think you should just name your kid whatever you like. Other kids will find SOME way of messing with it.

Jun 18, 2007, 2:46pm

Lee wasn't so bad. PeeWee was about the worst they came up with, though some clever boy thought to spell it backward and came up with eel. It just didn't phase me much. I kind of liked PeeWee, in fact I had it on my football jersey. Powder Puff football (to differentiate from what we call soccer Busifer, we didn't have soccer when I was in school or I would have loved playing it). I wasn't very easy to tease because my brothers and fathers were worse than any of the kids, so I could give back as good as I got.

Jun 18, 2007, 5:14pm

MrsLee - I'd never heard of anyone else named Memory! It's nice to know that there's at least three of us out there.

Jun 18, 2007, 5:19pm

In Ride the River, L'Amour's main character is named Echo. It's one of the few times he ever wrote from a female POV.

Jun 18, 2007, 6:10pm

My name's Beth, and I detest it with a passion! Elizabeth is fine, but it's a mouthful to say. It's a family name, so I've been stuck with it. I heard someone say somewhere that, "Beth's a fat girl's name." That's stuck with me for years.

The first names that we chose for our boys are theirs alone, not after anyone at all. They do have family names for middle names, however.

My father-in-law's new wife is named Elnora, morph. It comes from a novel whose name I cannot remember for the life of me! She told me that her mother liked the book, so that's why she chose the name.

Jun 19, 2007, 12:54am

with the name Sarah, there was always been atleast one other Sarah in my class and by the time I got to high school there were about 100 in the school. I hate haveing such a common name, and its timeless, its in the Bible.

I'd love to have the name Alexandria, just so I could shorten it to Dria, even if it really doesn't fit me...

there are so many cool and unique names out there, don't go with a common one.

Jun 19, 2007, 3:03am

Well, my name is Bridgette Amber, which, after a few years now, I have finally accepted. And, it is commonly shortened to Bridge or Bridgy, which i have also come to accept :)
My brothers name is Bard Bartholomew and my sisters names are Tabitha Simonette, Chantel Jasmin and Morgan Maree.

Though it is not a literary classic, I have always loved the name Tory (or Tori, which is how I prefer it to be spelt) from The Ancient Future series by Traci Harding. I was going to name my daughter Tori Raquel. I thought it sounded pretty :)
But, as these things happen, my husband's little cousin is called Tori, so that name went out the door when I met him :)

Jun 19, 2007, 3:52am

hobbitprincess - I've only known two women named Beth in my life and they were both beautiful and slim and even more important, kind and caring. You strike me as that sort of person as well. I love the name Beth!

Jun 19, 2007, 10:43am

My favorite cousin is Beth. There is no other word for her than COOL.

Jun 19, 2007, 1:51pm

#115 - clam: in my Irish dancing days (just after finishing presbyterian seminary) there were 2 Mary Lou, a Marie, a Mary Ellen, a Mary. Thank goodness our token Episcopalian girl was Lorraine! That was just our little circle of Ceili Group performing dancers of approx 10 regulars!

MaryEllen's family had Cecilia as a middle name for all the girls and their daughters.

#119 - Polly, I dated a girl named Paula (for Apostle Paul), since she wasn't the expected son, her sister was Davidah (David), since again wasn't a son. They finally wised up and used Naomi for child/daughter #3. I am glad that high school romance ended way short of marriage *shoo*

Jun 20, 2007, 8:42am

Thank you for the positive takes on my name, MerryMary and MrsLee. Maybe I'll learn to dislike it a little less now!

Jun 25, 2007, 3:24am

Lissla Lissar - Deerskin by Robin McKinley; Neglected princess escapes violent father to start her own life.

Sabriel -Sabriel by Garth Nix; Very strong main character, a necromancer who battles evil in a non-ciche way. Beautiful sound to name.

Lirael -Lirael and Abhorsen by Garth Nix; A shy librarian who becomes a necromancer, in a good way. Name sounds "lyrical", doesn't it?

Sanar, Ryelle are also names from the Garth Nix books above. Twin clairovoyants.

Sybel - The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip; very cool sorceress.

Serafina- The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman, if Lyra dosen't work... how about the witch who helps her?

Thayet - Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce; Beautiful refugee princess who defies sterotypes.

Also, in Freakonomics they do some really interesting research on names. In the book they have several lists of names that were really fascinating to look at and gave me a lot of name ideas. Here are some examples of the lists and some of the names on them:

"'Whitest' Names(girls)" Molly, Amy, Holly
"'Backest' Names(girls)" Imani, Raven, Ebony
"Names That Best Signify High-Education Parents" Glynnis, Adair, Flannery, Linden, Rotem, Oona, Beatrix.

They also had lists based on different levels of income and varying levels of parents' education.

Congratulations and good luck on the name search!

Edited: Jun 25, 2007, 5:07am

Nothing odd or hard to spell. Your child will thank you.

I like Katherine...with a derivative of Kate; I think it a feisty name. I also like Anna, strong and simple. And also Elizabeth, which has lots of possibilities, one of my favorites is Beth.

Edited: Jun 26, 2007, 7:16pm

My name is Jennifer, which was extremely common one grade (one year) younger than I am. There are a few Jennifers my age, but there was a joke for the couple years after me that everyone in a class was named either Jennifer or Scott. I like it - I'll answer to the variations, but I think of myself as Jennifer.

My mother was named Betty in the hospital, but the priest that baptised her declared that was just a nickname and named her Elizabeth. She used Betty for years - she switched when I was about 12, so she was 40 or so - but now she's Elizabeth all the time. And she still hates Betty Boop, for the same reason katylit hates Chatty Cathy!

I wouldn't use a Tolkien name just because (so soon after the movies) there are going to be a _lot_ of them around.

I like Aerin but it has the spelling/pronunciation question. Alanna is great too - as a name and a character - and should be simpler to teach people.

Bronwyn is one of the main characters in Elizabeth Ann Scarborough's Argonia quartet - in fact, the third book is Bronwyn's Bane. Great character, fun (not great, but fun) books. Personally I don't much like the name, but it's not _my_ baby.

Lots of good suggestions here, I'm afraid I can't add much.

Oh, and:
>ARoseforAmy - oddly enough, the only Holly I've ever known was black. So 'Holly' as a white name sounds very peculiar to me. I admit that the 'black' names do sound black. And I love the name Adair, though I think of it as a male name!

Jun 27, 2007, 1:08am

My best friend grade school through high school was Holly. And she was very white (never could tan to her annoyance). But there is that Holly Golightly thing...

And I revise my opinion. An unusual name is okay as long as it isn't bizarre or spelled creatively.

Jun 27, 2007, 7:00am

#141- Agreed! Those 'creative' spellings drive me nuts. Some people even put uppercase letters in the middle of their names.

Jun 27, 2007, 7:48am

Yes... a former colleague was baptised as Annika - a fairly common name in Sweden - an she changed it to AniQua!!!
Everyone to his or her liking, etc., but that was just a wee bit too much.
She really tried hard to be "different", with acquired hobbies and all (say no more, I may offend anyone...), but in real life she was an everyday Jane.

Jun 27, 2007, 4:36pm

how about Justine from a novel by the Marquis de Sade?

or Miss Havisham or Estella from Great Expectations?

Edited: Jun 27, 2007, 5:06pm

I knew a girl (back in the 60's, remarkably) whose parents named her JacE - pronounced "Jackie."

#144: I never read Maquis de Sade but he was murdered by a woman named Charlotte, I think. Charlotte is a good name - can be shorted to Charlie or Lottie or Char, whatever fits the child's personality.

Edited to add Charlotte.

Jun 27, 2007, 5:08pm

JacE? I didn't realise names could have two uppercase letters in that way... although Jace sounds kinda cool to me, a bit futuristic, imo. Then there was that cartoon (though it may've been a dream, 'cos I don't know anyone else who saw it) called Jace and the Wheeled Warriors...

I bet that girl had a lot of trouble explaining her name to people?

Edited: Jun 27, 2007, 5:23pm

I'm not 100% sure, but I believe de Sade died in Jail as an old man, and was not murdered? (we might argue he deserved to be murdered but that is personal opinion?). or is there a new study/history on that?

Charlotte is nonetheless a nice name, as it reminds me of Charlotte's web.

*edited to correct the posting #*

Edited: Jun 27, 2007, 5:52pm

Maybe I'm thinking of Marat/Sade and Charlotte killed Marat. (Insanity confuses me.)

Tane: You're right, JacE did have problems with her name. She turned up "Jace" in the annual one year, and we were all so amused, because "Jace" wasn't a name!! (Remember, this was decades ago!)

Jun 27, 2007, 6:13pm

Isn't Menelaus supposed to have taken Helen back to Sparta? (Love the quip about the ships.)

What's wrong with Clare? They could have called you Cork or Roscommon. *grin*

"Beth's a fat girl's name."

That's a new one on me. The Beth I know is a ballerina! :-)

Hmm. I have a cousin named Justine. I never thought of that as a possible origin.

I think you're thinking of Charlotte Corday. She stabbed Marat in his bath. (Very painful to be stabbed in your bath.)

To answer the main question, I think I'd give a child a more ordinary first name (to see her through the early years of school), and an interesting middle name that she could switch to; making sure that the full initials didn't spell or stand for anything.

Jun 27, 2007, 6:19pm

#149 - Harder still to wear a bandage on one's bath.

Jun 27, 2007, 6:22pm

clamairy: The dagger probably left a bath-hole.

Jun 27, 2007, 6:29pm

"To answer the main question, I think I'd give a child a more ordinary first name (to see her through the early years of school), and an interesting middle name that she could switch to; making sure that the full initials didn't spell or stand for anything."

Excellent advice!

Edited: Jun 27, 2007, 9:38pm

My son had a friend named Ja'Cen. I had a student last year named Kimbri'yada. I'm not sure why the random apostrophe was in there.

Jun 28, 2007, 2:18am

I wouldn't name a child any of the names I'm mentioning here, but that is partly because they are from English literature, and the Danish naming traditions would make most of them not only very different, but probably illegal (as in getting fines till they were changed). That said, I would like some of those names myself, now, as an adult.

Tiffany - from The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
Esmeralda (Esme) - from Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett
Aerin - from The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley has been mentioned by others
Raven (Rae) - from Sunshine by Robin McKinley
Aeriel - from The Darkangel trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce

Jun 28, 2007, 4:49am

Now I'm curious! What are the traditions and laws regarding names in Denmark?

Here in Sweden you kan name your kid about anything as long as it's not offensive, these days. 15 years ago was a different story, but now we have so many naming traditions and cultures intermingling, not to mention people chosing names from countries they've visited or from books or...

In the beginning of the 90's a friend of mine who's a professor* in the history of religions (majoring in islam, black muslims in particular, he even got to met Malcolm X...) named his last ot a total of seven kids after the world religions, picking one archetypical name from each of them. He did not get away with it then (a kid with swedish parents can't be named 'Muhammed' he got told), but today he would.

* In Sweden a professor is the highest teaching position in an university/higher education. He or she is responsible for the research done in the specific area, as well as for the education of the resarchers/scientists.

Jun 28, 2007, 6:33am

There are so many lovely suggestions here. My parents went down the biblical route with us. I'm Naomi Rachel. I've given up pronouncing it as they intended (Nay-uh-mee) because people always seem to try and correct me by pronouncing it Nay-oh-mee,. I've made my peace with that now, and actually quite like my name.

I also very much like the name Jasmine.

Jun 28, 2007, 1:56pm

I just ran across Theodora in C. Dale Brittain's The Daughter of Magic; that could be cut in two parts easily.

Edited: Jul 1, 2007, 12:57am

# 89 >I've always liked the name Kara, which was Supergirl's Kryptonian name (Kara Zor-El). (mrgrooism)

Thanks! I'm Cara with a C

Not always been my favorite, it's fairly unusual, I have to spell it all the time and my middle initial is L so people always think I'm Caral.

# 126> My name's Katherine, but I was always Kathy growing up and hated it too. (katylit)

My daughter is Katherine, but I never liked Kathy either so she is Katie. So far (she's 2) it's working out well, not so many it's hard to spell/pronounce for teachers (which I am one so the number of unpronounceable names I run across is astronomical) but not so common either.

From literature, I love the name Melisande from Jacqueline Carey and Idalia from Mercedes Lackey The Outstretched Shadow.

Good luck!

Edited for post #'s (I'm pretty new to this)

Jul 2, 2007, 10:02pm

#158 - Welcome, hearts3134! You're doing just fine. :o) My daughter's name is a variation of Katherine, but at almost 16 she goes by Kit, and has since she was 9. It suits her well.

Edited: Jul 8, 2007, 5:25pm

# 155 > A firstname has to be approved as an accepable name for the gender in question, except if you can argue that it is a name in the cultural tradition you come from, and the spelling has to be reasonable.
At one point (about 5 years aggo I think) a woman got daily fines for naming her son christophpher. I know that the name Nanja got approved as a female name, because it was similar to other names (combination of Naja and Anja), but Aerin and Aeriel don't sound like female names, and I don't think they would be accepted as such.
There is a list of approved names:
If a name is not on that list, you'll have to apply to your county or statereligion are to have it approved. I don't know how hard it is to get a name approved, but on the list is only Esmeralda and Tiffany, of the names I suggested.

Jul 9, 2007, 3:02am

If you're sure your daughter will turn out to be a telekinetic hellraiser in her teens, call her Carrie by all means, just tell them Steven King made you do it...

Try to avoid calling your daughter Charlie because the girl character named that in Nick Hornby's High Fidelity turns out to be a stuck up bitch (pardon my Australian). However in a different context, it could well give your daughter a strong name that suggests she is tough, in a feminist sort of way.

Jul 11, 2007, 4:09pm

#160 - Thanks! It seems a lot like it was in Sweden 10 to 15 years ago.
My son is named Zico, and he's the only person inside swedish jurisdiction with that name. We didn't have to apply, we just sent the same forms everyone else have to.

I did a selective search on some of the names mentioned here, and it turns out 2 swedish females have Raven as their first name, 13 has Serafina as their first name, 1 has Sarene as first name, 11 has Arya as their first name, 1 has Aeryn as first name...
I think you understand where I'm going; namely, that nowadays almost anything goes ;-)

Jul 13, 2007, 10:24am

Busifer, are there any people named after Yngwie Malmsteen the Swedish guitarist or the members of ABBA?


Tonks is a good girls name (Harry Potter)

So is Tiffany (Terry Pratchett's The Wee Free Men)

Jane is a good name too (Two way book reference: Jane Eyre/Jane from the Tarzan books)

Panacea from the Asterix books would make for a good girl's name when the girl is older, as it sounds like a young woman's name.

Names have to last a lifetime, not everybody can be The Artist Formerly Known As Prince, an embarrassing name can destroy self esteem.

To quote the game manual of "The Sims", a life simulating PC Game, "Froglips is not particularly going to give your child a good start in life, choose a name carefully".

Jul 14, 2007, 5:07pm

Hi! First post here :)

I read all the messages with interest, such a fantastic topic! :D

#13 (domeloki) = I adore Arya! She is my favorite character in ASOFAI. In fact my current D&D character is named Arya. I haven't suggested it yet as I'm sure our friends will think I named our daughter after my character.

May I suggest Aïcha? It's from The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles. I haven't read the book, I'm sad to say, and actually I first heard about it through that Police song, "Tea in the Sahara", which borrows its title from a chapter of the book. The three sisters are called Outka, Mimouna and Aïcha.

I loved that story so much that I chose Mimouna as my nickname in an old friend's BBS (hmm... the BBS was old, not the friend... or was he? I don't remember :P). Anyway, I later chose Aïcha as my D&D character's name, heh... I haven't used Outka for anything yet, though... But I still think Aïcha is the prettiest of the three names :)

Jul 14, 2007, 5:41pm

Hi Delirium9, welcome to the Green Dragon! Your profile name sounds as if you will fit right in here. May I offer you a drink?

Jul 14, 2007, 6:44pm

Yay! Thank you! I'd like a Corona with salt & lemon if you have it. And for non-alcoholic times (even tho it's already 5:30pm on a Saturday in this part of the world), a cup of good coffee. Ahhhh!! Bliss. :)

I was meaning to thank you for the website you posted, its hilarious! Thanks. :P

@ domeloki:
Ohh and I would definitely use Lyra some day, if I *ever* have a daughter! In fact, ever since reading His Dark Materials, I've been wanting to have a cat to name her Lyra, and a Beta fish to name him Pantalaimon. Sadly, I haven't got either of those :(

MerryMary: Your family reminds me of mine: we're four sisters, each with the first name María, with different middle names. My sisters all have nicknames, but for some reason, my name, María Teresa, has been left intact, and everyone is always mangling it :( People call me Ana Teresa (Ana is a very common name here as the first of a two-name combination; María is the other), Ana María, María Cristina, and all sorts of combinations like that. So I go by Tess these days, heh :P Not that anyone uses it. Most of my friends, whom I met through that old BBS I mentioned, just called me Mimo, short for Mimouna ;P I've gotten used to it, but it's so funny when I have to explain it to people who have no idea where it came from! :D

Mary Hannah is a beautiful name, by the way! :)

Jul 14, 2007, 9:28pm

O.K., I'm just getting everything because I thought we could make a naming party of it. Besides, the only Corona with lemon I found was empty. Guess you got there first?

Jul 15, 2007, 2:37am

I love the name Elaira from Janny Wurts's Wars of Light and Shadow. And Elienne from Sorcerer's Legacy.

An acquaintance of mine named her daughter Charleigh, pronounced like Charlie.

Jul 17, 2007, 2:12pm

#163 - Well, Yngwie is a pretty unusual name here (Yngve is how it's spelled, normally) and there's only 17 males registred as having that name so I guess they are kind of named after him.

The ABBA names (Björn and Benny, Agneta and Annifrid) is - or was - quite usual here, so there's no knowing if people have named their kids after them or some grandfather or if they just thought the names pretty.