Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I've Been Thinking About These Recently

There's been several names on my mind lately. I've encountered these name several times recently while playing name games and watching British mystery TV shows (Inspector Lynley, Inspector Lewis, Inspector Morse, Miss Marple, listening to Agatha Christie audiobooks).

I'm noticing a theme in my liking names that are very old-fashioned in sound. I'd be interested in your opinions on these names.


  • Barbara - I've never really liked this name, it sounds so old to me and usually gets shortened to "Barb" or "Barbie", but hearing it used on a British TV policewoman gave it a bit of new life to me. I definitely have a softer spot for Barbara now.
  • Camilla - I've always though this name sounded so stuck-up like Prince Charles' wife Camilla. But lately my opinion has changed a bit and thinking that if it was used on a little girl it could be beautiful and very sweet.
  • Clarissa - Again this has always sounded terribly old and stuck-up to me but I've been liking it more and more, especially with the nickname "Clare / Claire" or "Clarey". But I don't think I'll ever like it as much as I love Clara! 
  • Elettra - Isn't this Italian name beautiful! I'm not quite sure why but this just sound so feminine and beautiful to me!
  • EvadnePronounced "ee-VAD-nee", I think I like it because it reminds me of Evelyn and Evangeline.  
  • Helena - I've always liked this name and I prefer it pronounced heh-LAY-nuh but the helen-uh pronunciation is also lovely. I just think it's so feminine and beautiful and regal sounding!
  • Hester - I've always rather liked this name especially because it's like Esther only different and much less used. It also has an old-fashioned Puritan or Quaker feel to me. The name is used for a character in an Agatha Christie audiobook I listened to recently and I just liked the name and the way her sweetheart called her "Hes". 
  • Jeanette - This is actually a family name, my mom had two aunts named Genevieve and Jeanette. I liked the name before but once I found it was in the family I felt free to even consider using the name. I also like the Jeannette spelling, the double letters are interesting.
  • Laura - Although I like Laura Ingalls Wilder (and a few other Lauras I've known) I've never really considered using this name because it's so close to my own name. But I've been liking it a lot more lately and seeing it now so much as a trendy 1980's favorite as an older name that should be brought back. 
  • Ligeia - I heard this name used in a British mystery recently and rather liked the sound of lye-GEE-uh. What do you think? It sort of reminds me of Nigella in sound. 
  • Morag - I've always loved this name because it's Irish and means 'princess' but I've never known how to pronounce it properly. The other day I heard it used in a British TV mystery and they pronounced it MOHR-ag and I just loved the sound so much! This pronounciation makes more sense than MOH-rag because Morag is a form of the Irish name Mor. Isn't it lovely!
  • Nicola - Another name I heard used on a British TV mystery and loved the sound. I'd be worried it would be shortened to "Nicky" or "Nicki" but I might consider using it if I wanted to honor someone named Nicholas or Nicole.
  • Persephone - I've always rather liked this but it's been used on the name site I visit more often recently and I've been really liking it! I also love the nickname "Persey" for a girl!
  • Una - This is Irish and I've always rather liked it but now I'm just loving it! I like this spelling as opposed to the Gaelic Oona or Oonagh spellings. 
  • Undine - I'm not huge on U names but this is rather interesting and old sounding.

  • Bartholomew - I've only like this name in the last two years or so and I keep being reminded how much I do like it. I prefer it as a middle name but if I was to use it as a first name I'd use the nickname "Ollie" and never "Bart". 
  • Chester - This name has always sounded so like an old man to me but once I heard the nickname "Chet" it really makes the name more interesting and rather nice. 
  • Clarence - This is another name that was rather old man sounding to me but I still think it's strong and handsome and I like the nickname "Clare". 
  • Cornelius - Another older name but I really like it anyway because of the Ancient Roman sound and "-ius" ending. I really don't like the nickname "Corney" so probably wouldn't actually use this name.
  • Dennis & Dexter - Again, these are both extremely old sounding names which I've never liked before. But lately I've been a bit softer toward them, especially Dennis. I still wouldn't use then except maybe as middle name to honor someone very special. But they are interesting.
  • Feardorcha - I've seen this in various Irish name books but never knew how to pronounce it until I heard it used in a British mystery TV show. I just loved the sound and when I looked it up and saw it spelled it dawned on me "that's that name that I never know how to pronounce!" It's so funny when this type of thing happens. I think it's rather a handsome name!
  • Gerald & Gerard - I've always rather liked both of these name, they are so handsome sounding. I don't like Jerry (usually a nickname for Jerome which I also dislike) but I do like Gerry as a nickname for both of these names, maybe because of Scottish actor Gerard Butler who likes to be called Gerry because most people mispronounce Gerard. This probably sounds strange but that's the way it is. What do you think? 
  • Gethin - I can't remember if I've posted about this before so bear with me. I was watching an interview with Welsh soprano Katherine Jenkins and she was talking about her fiance and then she said his name "Gethin" in her heavenly accent! I fell in love with the name on the spot, instantly adding it to my favorites list. It's of course a Welsh name and means "dark-skinned, swarthy". I just think it's so handsome!
  • Idris - I saw this recently as the name of an actor and I just really love the look and sound of this name, it's so mystical sounding.
  • Jocelyn & Josslyn - My parents love the name Jocelyn for a girl but I can't help finding it rather masculine. I love the nickname "Joss" used with this name for a boy. I've been finding my tastes to be rather British lately (not just in names, but I guess this happens when you watch too many British TV shows) and feel that Jocelyn would be used more for a boy in the UK. Here in the USA the name Jocelyn is strictly feminine and getting more popular.  
  • Xander - I read a book recently which was excellent and one of the main characters was named Alexander King but he's always called "Xander". This is another case of I wasn't that interested in the name before but now I really like it! If I did ever name a son Alexander then I would love to call him "Alec" or "Xander". 

So, enough of my rambling about names. These are just a few of the names I've been thinking about recently.  Sorry this post has turned out much longer than I expected. But when I get going on names I can ramble on for hours! 

What are your thoughts on these names and the comments I've made?
Which of these names do you like? 
Are there any of these that you think are too old sounding to be given to a baby?

Your Resident Name Enthusiast,
Miss Laurie


Mel said...

I really enjoyed your comments on this post, I couldn't help but laugh at "Camilla- I've always thought this name sounded so stuck-up like Prince Charles' wife Camilla" *laughs* I was thinking the exact thing before I even read your comment.
Of the girls names I must say I really like Clarissa, although it is a little too close to my own name to ever consider for a future child :(
Helena is pretty too, but it is quite common here in Australia, but it is pronunced heh-LEE-nuh, which I like because I like the name Lena.

Of the boys names, I thought your comment on Batholomew was interesting because although I like the name I hate Bart, but I love Ollie! I would never have thought of something like that!

I love the nickname Clare for a boy too!

Ohhh and how funny I put Xander on my boys list after hearing a little boy called this only two or so weeks ago. His parents called him Xan for short it was so cute and such a handsome name!

This post was great! I loved that it was long, I absolutely understand that sometimes when thinking or talking about names we can tend to get carried away!


Mel said...

Sorry I forgot to say that I think I am falling in love with the name Edmund again. Its one of those names I keep coming back to but end up saying it's too old-fashioned but I am so in love with it. It just sounds like a name fit for a king. Do you think it's too old sounding?

Mel :)