creative names

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Where Did This Name Come From?

While trying to find original names for my daughter, I looked back through my family tree. My great-grandmother's name was the only one that really stood out to me. Her name was Ailyion (pronounced Ail-yun). I think it's very pretty, but my family convinced me not to include it on my list because they thought it could be mispronounced as "alien." I'm wondering where this name might have originated. I've searched "Ailyion, name" many times, but I only come up with references to my great-grandmother! That's kind of crazy when you consider that she was born in 1905 and lived in the smallest of small towns. Where do you think her name came from? Did they just make it up? I didn't think people did that in 1905.

–Curious Descendant

Here's a little sampling of some names given to at least 5 (and sometimes over 100) female babies in the U.S. in 1905: Ocie, Velva, Jettie, Emmer, Grayce, Wava, Malissia, Lempi, and Macel. Oh, and Aili.

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Is This Baby Name Really a Name?

I am pregnant with number 3. Our boy name is rock solid, easy, no questions. However, the girl name is hard. Recently the name Covie came to me. The problem is that I don't know if it's even really a name. I love it, though. Thoughts?

–Uncertain Mom

No, Covie is not traditional as a given name, surname, place name, or any other kind of established name. But is it "really" a name? It will be, if you give it to your daughter! After all, what makes a name a name is use. Writers have been inventing names for centuries, including now-familiar names like Amanda, Evangeline, Jessica, and Wendy. And parents have often chosen surnames and words to become first names, or adapted traditional names with nicknames or variants.

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Lady Antebellum's Latest Creative Baby Name!

Lady Antebellum's Latest Creative Baby Name!

Lady Antebellum's crew is one bigger! Guitarist Dave Haywood and his wife, record excutive Kelli Cashiola Haywood welcomed a son on September 7th in Nashville.  The couple's rep announced the birth and gave insight on the name to People Magazine. The couple went with an interesting twist on family names for their new son, and came up with a name that is both hip sounding and special to them.

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Is My Dream Name Just a Dream?

I have had a recurring dream that my son’s name is Astro. I like it but I am unsure if I should use it. I plan on using Michael or James somewhere in his name. Should I use Astro because of the dream, or just pick a different name altogether?

--Stargazing Mom-to-Be

I can see why Astro appeals. Having a name come to you in a dream feels like fate: a sign that can’t be ignored, or at least an awesome “How-I-got-my-name” story for your son. Plus it’s got that cool –o ending along with its starry sensibility.

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How Far Can I Go With a Middle Name?

Recently I've fallen in love with unusual nature names. I'd never use them as first names, but are they okay as middles? A few of the ideas that I had are Ramona Bluebird, Amelia Wildflower, and Elias Harbor. Are they too weird for a child, or are unusual middle names fine because they're rarely used?

--Magical Middle-Seeker

How far can you go with middle names? I’d say out into the garden – or the Harbor – is just fine.

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Does My Son Need a Secret Identity?

When choosing names for our first child, my husband and I had no problems. We both loved the name Christian Grant. We also both love the idea of giving our unborn second child a name that is related to a comic book character (a superhero, preferably). We found out that Superman's birth name is Kal-El, and Nic Cage gave his son that name. I personally think flat-out calling our son Kal-El is a bit much, so is there a way we can make it less dramatic and more...common?
- Not Superman's Mom

So, you want a mild-mannered alter ego to help super-powered Kal-El fit in with the common folk. Isn't that the same situation Ma and Pa Kent were in when they named Clark?

Your super-name dilemma is a little trickier, though. The Kents were focused on assimilation: hiding young Kal-El's Kryptonian ethnicity so that he would be taken for an All-American boy. You want to celebrate Kal-El's otherworldly style, just in a toned-down way.

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Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Welcome New Baby Everly

Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Welcome New Baby Everly

New parents Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum announced their baby’s name today. The couple welcomed a girl last week in London, where Channing is filming a movie. We were delighted to see that they chose a rare name but one that fits in with a few different naming trends.

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They Say My Name is Wrong!

Dear Name Lady, I was wondering how you feel about spelling variations on baby names? Whenever I've asked people on name forums I've been told that my name is "spelled wrong," "it's trying too hard to be different," and the most hurtful, "it's a boy's name." For a while, I was embarrassed to even share my name anywhere near a baby name forum. I didn't want people to think my parents were uneducated because they liked a different spelling. The odd thing is I have never had a big problem with insults and things about my name when I introduce myself in person. I usually get compliments on it's uniqueness and even the "funky" spelling. Are spelling variations ever okay? - Jourden

Of course spelling variations can be okay. Is there anything objectionable about Catherine or Katherine? Granted, all variations are not created equal. The Katherines have a leg up by dint of tradition. Other twists are also well accepted, like the -ine to -yn seen in names like Madelyn and Jaclyn. The more unusual the twist, though, the more opinions will be divided.

That's not to say ultra-creatively spelled names are "wrong" or "bad." They're just aggressively, deliberately unconventional.

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Did I Make Up a Crazy Name?

I am expecting my first girl, and the name I want to give her came to me in the oddest way: I dreamt it! I am almost 99 percent positive I am the only one with this name in my sights: Miel. I don't remember how it was pronounced, which is silly and stupid but I made up my own pronounciation: MY-elle. My full naming plan is Taela Miel. What will other people think of a name that the baby's crazy mother made up??? - Marie-the-Dreamer

What will people think of you naming your daughter Miel? Well honey, they'll think you called her Honey.

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A Baseball Baby Doubleheader?

My husband and I are expecting identical twin boys in July. He plays for a minor league baseball team. We would like to incorporate baseball into the names we choose for our boys, but would like to stay away from the traditional Ty (Ty Cobb). Any suggestions? - Baseball Mom

A twin name set with a creative theme! Congratulations on this double play of attention-grabbing name dilemmas. There are two elements you have to consider for your Boys of Summer: how "twinsy," and how...err, "ballsy."

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