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Author Topic: baby naming rules
citadel
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Do you have any rules for naming children?

For instance I would never give my child a name that their teacher wouldn't know how to pronounce on the first day of school.

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Artemisia Tridentata
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No one should have to live with a name that has more character than he/she has.
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CaySedai
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Pay attention to initials. That's why my daughter Amanda's middle name isn't Rose. (Our last name begins with F.)

And remember that you will at least once stand at your front (or back) door and yell your child's name. Don't give your child a name you couldn't do that with.

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The Pixiest
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Don't give your child a name that's easy to misspell.

Don't give a child a name that's easy to mock. "Richard Edward" is really bad.

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Lupus
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original is just another word for strange and strange leads to mocking.
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breyerchic04
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If you're going to have some large number of children, don't name them all with the same initial and then pick at least a few that should never start with that letter.

Example (a family I know, their last name starts with Ch)
Kaitlyn
Khloe(I haven't seen this one written out)
Kaden
Kleo
Kali
Kojack

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Kasie H
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I hear you on the initials thing - my friend was almost Adam Samuel Singer. Until his parents realized the issue; he's now Sam Singer.

And my last name is Hunt...people continually ask me if I have a cousin named Mike.

[Roll Eyes]

I mean, seriously. Where is the tact?!?

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ketchupqueen
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They named the kid KOJACK? Ay.

I had a bishop, he and his family were wonderful, but his name was Jay P. Morgan (yes, seriously), and he married Julene, and they named their kids Jared, Jessica, Jamie, and Jennifer. *sigh*

I like the one that the people who compiled the list of "Utah names" made up: All the names already exist. Sorry, you were born several hundred years too late. You don't get to make a name up. Same thing for strange spellings of common names. (Or something to that effect.)

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breyerchic04
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Yea, It's Kojack Maverick James Ch---. The other boy is Kaden John Wayne Ch---, I don't know the girl's middle names. Their grandfather refers to them as, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
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ketchupqueen
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Ay. I just noticed they named a daughter Kali, too.

Ay.

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MightyCow
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If you must give your child an odd name, make it their middle name, and give them a regular first name. If they want to impress people, or decide to own their middle name and go by that, good for them. If not, they get to have a normal name.

Your name, like your tie, shouldn't be the main thing people remember about you.

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Artemisia Tridentata
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My old roommate from Air Force days had the shortest name, up to that time, in the service; Al Ni. The tag didn't even cover the top of his pocket. He really could have used a bit more.
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mr_porteiro_head
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Nicknames are not names. If you want your daughter's name to be Lizzie, that's fine, but make her legal name Elizabeth.

The time for making up new names is over. Don't try it. The same goes for spellings.

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citadel
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I love num puns. I actually compiled a list of them and put them on my site:
http://www.searchbabynamesonline.com/baby_name_puns.php

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ketchupqueen
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
Nicknames are not names. If you want your daughter's name to be Lizzie, that's fine, but make her legal name Elizabeth.

The time for making up new names is over. Don't try it. The same goes for spellings.

Yes! Yes yes yes!!!
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ketchupqueen
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quote:
Originally posted by MightyCow:
If you must give your child an odd name, make it their middle name, and give them a regular first name. If they want to impress people, or decide to own their middle name and go by that, good for them. If not, they get to have a normal name.

Your name, like your tie, shouldn't be the main thing people remember about you.

I agree. That's why I'm fine with an unusual (for this country, but traditional and popular in another) middle name for daughter no. two, but wouldn't consider it for a first name. [Smile]
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rivka
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Interesting how many of y'all are in favor of blending in. Shockingly, I'm not. [Wink]
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ketchupqueen
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Interesting how many of y'all are in favor of blending in. Shockingly, I'm not. [Wink]

Are your kids' names unusual for the community they were born into?
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The Pixiest
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I love the name Lizzie. But it's ripe for mockery.
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theCrowsWife
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quote:
Originally posted by ketchupqueen:
quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
Nicknames are not names. If you want your daughter's name to be Lizzie, that's fine, but make her legal name Elizabeth.

The time for making up new names is over. Don't try it. The same goes for spellings.

Yes! Yes yes yes!!!
My daughter's name is one that has been in my family since the Mexican-American war. In fact, I believe she is the fourth or fifth girl to have this name. Yet, since it happens to sound like a very common girl's name, people think that we just changed the spelling to be cute or something [Roll Eyes] . People who make an issue of it get treated to a history lesson.

--Mel

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by ketchupqueen:
quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Interesting how many of y'all are in favor of blending in. Shockingly, I'm not. [Wink]

Are your kids' names unusual for the community they were born into?
Which one?

They, like their mother, are American citizens. And like their mother, will be part of that larger community. And like their mother, do not also have a legal name which is different from their Jewish name -- some of their classmates do.

But you're right. Their names are perfectly average for the community they spend most of their time in.

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MightyCow
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Here's a guideline I would suggest: Would you want the first 5 minutes of every conversation for the rest of your life to be an explanation of your name?
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cmc
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Misspelling is relative... Caitlin is Kaitlyn is Catelin is Kaytlin is......... To think it WAS original (well, at least not common) when I was named...

I say just make sure you wouldn’t mind having it as your own name, there's a 'short-cut' so when you don't use it your kids know you mean it and random nouns typically do not a good name make. ; )

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JennaDean
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My personal rule was to not use a name that sounds familiar and then rearrange the spelling just so it can be "different". I just think it's unnecessary. I don't know how many times I've heard people say things like "We want to name her April, but we're going to spell it with a Y. Apryl." They want to be clever, but it just means a lifetime of people misspelling the poor child's name.

(I know this is a popular trend right now, it just ... isn't for me.)

I also made sure each of my kids had at least one name that either had scriptural or family significance. I like to be able to tell them more of a story about their name than "I just liked it."

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DSH
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Odd spellings drive me nuts! My wife used to joke that we should name one of our kids Bob but spell it "Baughb". [Eek!]

Good thing she was joking. That's grounds for divorce in my book! [Wink]

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Interesting how many of y'all are in favor of blending in. Shockingly, I'm not. [Wink]

I'm with Rivka.

If you personaly know more than five people with a specific name, then that name is too common to give children.

Well, at least too common to give my children.

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cmc
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The random vowel placement and strategic consonant usage gets me, too. Especially with Caitlin. ; )
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Celaeno
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I agree with rivka and mph. I know so many Johns, Davids, Michaels, and Jennifers that I would never give my children any of those names. Where's the fun?

I have a name that people generally mispronounce, but I adore it. I only find it irritating when they say it wrong after I've corrected them a few times. I don't think having a hard to pronounce or commonly mispronouced name is really the curse that a lot of people seem to think it is.

My suggestion is to give a child a name with a story. I wouldn't like telling everyone that my parents chose my name by picking one out of a book, but I love telling them that my parents named me after a superhero.

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cmc
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I'm piping in to say that I agree with having a reason, a story, a glimpse into your parents minds before you were around are very cool parts of a name.
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quidscribis
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Oh, the horrors.

Family names are not always the way to go.

Consider, for example, the ancestral name of Aganetha. Which my mother adamantly wanted to name me. Which my father then threatened divorce over. And won. Which is about the only good thing my father ever did, but still.

Combine that with the last name I was born with. It's impossible to both spell and pronounce at the same time unless you've either grown up with someone who had that name or you've been given extensive training in spelling and punctuation for that name.

Either way, I was cursed.


I am so glad that legally changing names is possible and, for that matter, easy. [Big Grin]

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Consider, for example, the ancestral name of Aganetha.
I love it. Your father robbed you.
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breyerchic04
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Porter, I'm pretty sure I at one point knew four girls with the same name as one of your daughters.
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Dan_raven
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I like the name "Bob" for one main reason.

From the original Newheart show. Bob and his wife attend a meeting of a High IQ club. One man bounces around bragging about his singular gift, the ability to automatically say anyone's name backwards.

So Emily becomes Ylime.

He then turns to our hero, who unlike his wife, was not smart enough to join this club. He says, "And what's your name."

"Bob."

A beat of time as it sinks in, followed by audience laughter.

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quidscribis
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Porter, I'm pretty sure I could kill you for that comment. [Smile]
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Teshi
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quote:
The time for making up new names is over. Don't try it. The same goes for spellings.
I disagree. I think a lot of very reasonable names (spelt in a straightforward way) are still waiting to be invented, or reinvented, or plucked out of some obscure novel- considering it's highly likely that someone's had your name before.

What you really want is a name that seems totally ordinary, but when they think about it, nobody's ever heard it before, or only very, very rarely.

Like Aerin. Or Yula. or Jessa.

I "invented" Gavriel when I was little only to find it was a fairly ordinary (if not at all common) varient of Gabriel. If I saw these names I wouldn't think "weird" because there's only one way of pronouncing them- they seem fairly ordinary.

Spellings I agree on. Apryl is just pretentious. However, there are ways that make sense, especially for less popular names where the spellings are open to interpretation. After all Steven, Stephen, Stefan has worked out fine. People can handle names which sound the same and are spelt differently.

I think that if you have a fancy/long last name, you should give your children more ordinary first names, and vice versa. Don't end up with a Jane Smith. Or (worse) an Esmeralda Fforkes-Staffordson.

I think that you should not name your children something that's not going to grow with them. 'Peanut' is great for a toddler, but terrible for a grown up. In the same way, names that belong to another, but current, generation- like Edith, Rosemary, Gladys or even Sharon (at the moment, at least in my experience)- are to be avoided in my book because it makes the small child seem dated.

You should also avoid incredibly famous figures who have a singular name, however good they were/are. Your little Gandhi is never going to live up to the original with a label like that.

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quidscribis
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In case anyone thinks that comment was in poor taste, which it probably was, it was also entirely - completely and thoroughly - in jest and not even one bit serious. The death threat bit, that is.
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Shanna
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quote:
My suggestion is to give a child a name with a story. I wouldn't like telling everyone that my parents chose my name by picking one out of a book, but I love telling them that my parents named me after a superhero.
Unless that story is a harlequin paperback.

quote:
SHANNA is a captivating tale by master romance storyteller Kathleen Woodiwiss. Finding herself in situation where she must marry before her father's return, Shanna goes to a prison to find herself a doomed man to marry to appease her promise made to her father. She selects Ruark Beauchamp; a man set to hang and in return promises him her body. They marry and she quickly reneges on her promise, leaving Ruark to return to his cell.
However, Ruark finds himself purchased to work in the Caribbean where Shanna has also returned to live. Working on the very land her father owns, Ruark is thrust back into Shanna's life. Their passionate embraces haunt them both and Ruark is determined to collect on the promises made to him by Shanna.

Thanks mom. *sigh*

She tried to get me a signed copy that I could have as a gift on my 18th birthday, but the author refused. I'm certainly not crying about it.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Originally posted by breyerchic04:
Porter, I'm pretty sure I at one point knew four girls with the same name as one of your daughters.

Yeah, well that name wasn't chosen by me. Beverly had just gotten done giving birth naturally, and she said she wanted that name. I was so terrified of what her body had just done that I didn't dare say no.
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mr_porteiro_head
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Whoah. I don't remember seeing you around before, Shanna. And I think I would, as I had a friend in high school with that name.

I wonder if she was named after the same tale.

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Javert
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THis is just my opinion, but I think you should generally avoid naming your children after inanimate objects. Like, say, Apple. *shudder*
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mr_porteiro_head
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I really like that name.
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Shanna
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quote:
Whoah. I don't remember seeing you around before, Shanna. And I think I would, as I had a friend in high school with that name.
How did she pronounce it?

Mine rhymes with Hannah or Anna. I had a good guy friend in elementary named Shawn so alot of the time I was called "Shawna" by teachers. And there's a few people in my life (high school teachers, professors, family friends) who still call me "Shawna" despite years of my correcting them.

I didn't meet a girl with the same pronunciation til I was 17 and working at a movie theatre with my nametag out for all to see. I've probably met about ten more in the last four years.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
How did she pronounce it?

Mine rhymes with Hannah or Anna.

Exactly like that. She too was always correcting people who wanted to call it "Shawna".
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Allegra
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I like names that have maybe fallen out of fashion, but are common enough for people to recognise, spell, and pronounce, like Helen.

I also like more unusual names, but you can't expect your child to be in love with it right away. My name is Allegra. I have had a bit of a love hate relationship with it but now I really like it. It was hard as a child and I did get teased, but now I enjoy having a different kind of name. I usually just get compliments, but sometimes I still get allergy jokes. I expected adults not to, but I guess somepeople don't think it is rude.

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Sterling
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A family at our birth class announced the intention to name your child "Keanu".

I don't think we were the only ones who held our breath to restrain ourselves from snickering.

My sister is named Gwynne, the welsh variant of Gwen. I love the name, but you wouldn't believe how it's been misspelled...

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Nell Gwyn
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I went to school (2nd-12th grade, I think) with a Shanna who pronounces it like you do.

Isn't it an Irish name, sort of related to "Shannon"? The Shanna I knew was very proud of being Irish - her birthday is also March 17 and her brother's name is Patrick. But then again, her dad's name is Gus, so maybe they aren't as Irish as she used to claim...I can't remember what her mom's name is. Not that this is at all relevant.

---

My parents gave me an invented name that unfortunately rhymes with several normal names, so I usually have to repeat it several times and enunciate very clearly when I'm introducing myself. Which often results in people emphasizing the wrong syllable, which leads to me having to explain it again, this time with spelling. So most of the time I don't bother make an issue of it anymore - my best friend pronounced my name slightly wrong for years before he overheard me explaining it to someone else and realized his mistake. And then it took him years to train himself out of it, and he still doesn't always get it right. [Razz]

I don't really mind having a weird name, though, because I'm named after my dad (or his nickname/initials, anyway), so at least it does have a story other than "My parents just thought it was cool."

But I'm sad to say that I probably *would* name a child something just because I liked it. I have a penchant for old-fashioned names like Cecilia and Lucien. And even worse, I first saw "Lucien" in a romance novel ( [Blushing] ), but I wouldn't actually tell the kid about that. Never mind that a boy named Lucien is likely to get beaten up on the playground now.

I also like the idea of using family names, probably in combination with names that I *wish* were in my family.

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crescentsss
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My name is Sahar. And I'm not an Arab, so it isn't a common name in my community. Most people get it right after the first time i correct them, but on the other hand, there are the occasional

"What's your name?"
"Sahar."
"Oh, Sarah."
"No, Sahar."
"Oh, you mean Shachar."
"No, it's Sahar."
"Zohar?"
"Sahar. S-A-H-A-R."
"Sahar???"
"Yes."
"Oh, wow. It's a beautiful name!"

But I enjoy that. It cracks me up every time. And besides, it is is a beautiful name and I wouldn't dream of changing it...

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Shanna
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quote:
Isn't it an Irish name, sort of related to "Shannon"?
Yeah, I think its a variant of "Shannon" which is indeed Irish/Celtic. My mother's family has some Irish blood but is predominately German (surname Zeis). She really did just pick it because she liked the book when she was in college. In a baby book she had though, it also listed the meaning of "Shanna" as "small and wise." Since I'm 5 foot 3 and a philosophy major, she wasn't off the mark much.


I have love for simple, biblical names which is odd since I'm the anti-religious black sheep in the family. One of my favorite female names is "Mary." I'm kinda hoping I have mostly boys. In this order, I like: Jacob (Jake), Lucas (Luke), Daniel (Dan), and Matthew (Matt). I'm guilty of the nickname thing since I really don't like Lucas or Jacob and would be content to use the shortened versions as the legal names.

In an interesting dicussion with my boyfriend about the "hypothetical children we might have," he didn't like my choices. I think I remember him mentioning "Mace" at one point for a boy. Don't know how I feel about that.

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Celaeno
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Is this conversation restricted to first names?

I only have one middle name, but I think I would enjoy giving my children a couple of middle names. If they have a "normal" first name, then maybe they could have an eccentric middle name followed by a Japanese one. They could have their pick when they got old enough to choose. Maybe instead of hyphenating their last names, they can take mine as a middle name. (I have every intention of keeping my last name but taking my husband's name as my second middle one.)

What do you all think? Too complicated?

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quidscribis
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Nah.

Besides, in some cultures, it's normal to have 6 or more names. Like Fahim. [Big Grin]

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