I recently started watching YouTube videos on birth, cloth diapering, and baby product reviews which has actually been really helpful in deciding on what we really need to spend money on. I came across several Youtube moms who tagged their videos “baby names we like but won’t use” and watched a few, and I thought it would be fun to post a blog on this topic. I love reading baby names and contemplating their origins and meanings so this has become kind of a hobby for me these last few months.
I’ll start with girl names I had listed before we found out our baby’s gender: (I used behindthename.com and nameberry.com for some of these meanings)
Anabelle: We wanted to somehow use a family name, Ann, and this is so pretty. It was our first pick.
Marley: From a surname which was taken from a place name meaning “pleasant wood” in Old English. A famous bearer of the surname was the Jamaican musician Bob Marley (1945-1981).
Olive: From the English word for the type of tree, ultimately derived from Latin oliva.
Alexa/Alexandra: In Greek mythology this was a Mycenaean epithet of the goddess Hera, and an alternate name of Cassandra. It was borne by several early Christian saints, and also by the wife of Nicholas II, the last czar of Russia.
Aurora(I’d call her Rory for short): Means “dawn” in Latin. Aurora was the Roman goddess of the morning. Plus it’s the princess’ name in Sleeping beauty which I love.
Maisey: This is just so cute. Maisie, a hundred-year-old favorite. Spelled Maisy in a popular children’s book series, Maisie is rising in tandem with cousin Daisy. While Maisie might be short for Margaret, Mary, or even a name like Melissa or Marissa, it stands perfectly well on its own. In literature, Maisie is the name of the precocious young title character in the Henry James novel What Maisie Knew(also a movie I watched on Netflix), and is also the main female character in Rudyard Kipling’s The Light That Failed. And to bring things up to date, Maisie is a half-blood character in the Harry Potter series.
Avery: For years I loved the name Ava for a girl but with its huge popularity now I got sorta sick of it and Avery sounded like a cute version.
Eloise: From the Old French name Héloïse, which is probably from the Germanic name Helewidis, composed of the elements heil “hale, healthy” andwid “wide”.
Jemma: “precious stone” in Italian, pretty cute.
Marlo: a modern invented name that’s super sweet sounding.
Here’s a list of boy names we couldn’t agree on, so therefore they’re a No:
Felix: the cat? The name of four popes and sixty-seven saints, Felix has long been fashionable in upscale London. The name was first adopted by the ancient Roman Sulla, who believed that he was especially blessed with luck by the gods. In the Bible, Felix is a Roman procurator of Judea.
Finnian: This lilting Irish saint’s name shone in neon lights on Broadway for the classical 1947 musical “Finian’s Rainbow,” later made into a film starring FredAstaire as Finian McLonergan, and there was also a character on “General Hospital” named Finian O’Toole.
Jacob: the Number 1 boys’ name for more than a decade now–given a huge boost by the Twilight phenomenon. The downside is that Jacob is at this point way overused. In the Old Testament, Jacob was one of the most important patriarchs of the tribes of Israel.
Jackson: so popular that it now ranks higher on the Social Security list than either John, which is Number 28, or Jack, at 46, perhaps because parents see it as more modern than John and a fuller name than Jack.
August: August has been heating up in Hollywood. The French version is Auguste (ow-GOOST), as in Edgar Allan Poe’s clever detective Auguste Dupin and famed sculptor Auguste Rodin.
Easton: a stylish Ivy League-ish place and surname name, more modern than Weston, on its way up for both sexes as part of the new direction baby names are taking, as in North and West.
Rhys: There’s Rhys and there’s Reese (now more popular for girls) and there’s Reece, which has been climbing since it entered the list in 2004, possibly influenced by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, of The Tudors and Dracula (we love), and Welsh-born actor Rhys Ifans. Always widespread in Wales, where it has deep historic roots, Rhys is also a Top 70 name in England, Ireland and Scotland. Former New Kid on the Block Joey McIntyre named his son Rhys Edward in 2009.
Other names we can’t use for whatever reason, like it ends in the same letter, R, that our last name begins with:
Asher: means “fortunate” in Hebrew. Asher was one of Jacob’s twelve sons who gave their names to the tribes of Israel. A cute nickname is Ash.
Hudson: literally means ‘son of Hudd’, which was a nickname for both Hugh and Richard in the Middle Ages. Streamlined spelling Hud was the name of the macho title character of an iconic Paul Newman film; John Mellencamp has a son named Hud.
Ryder: one of the current favorite er-ending boys’ names, has been in the spotlight since Kate Hudson chose it for her son in 2004; it has jumped nearly seven hundred places in the past decade, now at a high Number 100.
Kai: a strong, evocative, exotic multi-cultural name — meaning “sea” in Hawaiian, “forgiveness” in Japanese, “willow tree” in Navajo, and “earth” in Scandinavian.
Orion: one of the brightest constellations in the night sky. Sounds so much like “Ryan”, but we like it.
So there it is, not a comprehensive list since there are many more on our Maybe list that I don’t want to give away yet. Naming our baby has to be one of the most fun and also hardest tasks to do. We most likely will wait until he is born to name him.
I love hearing other people’s baby naming stories, so feel free to share! xoxjess