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What's in a name?

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10/16/06 12:31 pm - bezigebij - Opinions and ideas, please!

Come spring we've decided to stop actively preventing pregnancy and see where nature takes us. This has, as you might expect, caused us to chat more frequently about potential kids and the choices we would like to make regarding them. Names are a part of this. :)

What complicates things a bit for us is that we have two languages to contest with (and of course two cultures with different feelings regarding names). We want a name that is easy to pronounce in both Dutch and English. It can be very obviously a Dutch name or in some circumstances an English name. However, we are a bit more hesitant about the latter because certain English names sound trashy here because people who watch a lot of soap operas wind up naming their children things like Michael, Kevin, Kimberly and Jennifer.

Also we tend to like simple names that are obviously names, though not too common. Alliteration doesn't appeal to me and the last name is Neessen (Nay-sen), so no "N" names. Also I would like to avoid names too similar to our names - Dirk Johannes and Carrie Beth (both my names are difficult for Dutch people to pronounce, especially Beth as the "th" sound doesn't exist in the language).

My inclination for a middle name is to use one of my parents names (respectively Carl and Lynn) because they are nice, simple names and I know my parents would be pleased. Johannes (my husband's middle name) and Peter (my fil's name and pronounced Pay-tare) are also contenders. I like Petra as a middle name, just not with the names we've chosen. My mil's name Gertrude (with the awful guttoral Dutch g) and variation thereof such as her nickname Truus, are NOT options. Sorry. However, I am open to other suggestions.

The names on the top of our list right now are:

Prounounced Fem-kuh, the "ke" or "je" on the end of a name in Dutch is diminutive. The name is dervied from Femme which means "famous protecter". I like that is sounds so, well, feminine.

This is neither a Dutch or an English name, but is fairly common in both countries. I have noticed that it is increasing in popularity, and this makes me hesitant.


Rhymes with "nice" but the ij sound is longer. This is a fairly classic Dutch name.

This is more an English name than a Dutch name, but you hear it here as well. My hesitation regarding this name is that "ben" is also a verb meaning "am". So if you were to say "I am Ben." you would say "Ik ben Ben." However, I know about 3 Bens here one who is 50 something and two who are in there late 20's early 30's. Still, I heard so many "Carrie carry this" jokes as a kid that I just don't know.

Other names that I like but that are ruled out because they are either pronounced differently, unpronouncable or have a strange connotation in Dutch are:

I'm very curious what you guys think.

X-posted in baby_names.

7/30/06 08:43 pm - turabiannights

Malaysia outlaws unsuitable names

Interested in naming your child Smelly Head, Hunchback, or Sexual Intercourse? No more possible in Malaysia, where the government has taken action after the number of people changing their birth names has continued to grow significantly.

There are a number of countries who have such restrictions on names, often in the form of a "banned" list. Japan has outlawed "Corpse" and "Dung Heap." Sweden famously did not approve the name Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 in 1991 because it was "supposed to cause discomfort for the one using it." In America, however, you can name your child whatever you like - including expletives!

How do you feel about naming legislation? Is it a good or bad idea? On one hand, it would be nice to think no one would want to name their child Dung Heap or Sexual Intercourse... but on the other hand, it appears that people do!

7/23/06 12:14 pm - turabiannights

Well hello everyone!

I just returned from a long trip to Greece and Turkey (thus the lack of posting)! While in Turkey, I met a lovely couple named Semra and Bruno and their little daughter Venus. I was very surprised to meet a little Venus in the flesh, though she does have a rather famous tennis namesake right now... So here's a question for you: how do you feel about naming after famous people and well-known historical/mythological figures? I remember being surprised at the backlash against Gwyneth Paltrow's new baby's name (Moses) because it was "too Biblical" or "too much to live up to"... yet we live in a culture where Adam, Elijah, Noah, David and even Jesus aren't given a second glance. So what makes an appropriate or inappropriate namesake? Is a name like Venus or Hercules or Odin too much? Why or why not? What about Napoleon, Caesar or Cleopatra? How do you feel about more modern namesakes, like Beyonce, Reagan or Paris (on a girl)?

7/21/06 10:34 am - opalfirefly

i just posted to another LJ community talking about how I like Lara Rhapsody and Dominic Valor...
Unusual/feature names appeal to me... but some are way out there

7/4/06 12:50 am - tigress_oils

So I just saw "Lleh" in the userinfo interests list and about died laughing.

Let's talk about why Nevaeh sucks. Then let's speculate about how long it will be around for.

7/3/06 11:06 pm - turabiannights

Related to the recent posts about unisex names on baby_names:

What do you think can account for the ever-rising appeal of masculine names for girls? Micah, Parker, Rowan, Tristan and Peyton all joined the top 1000 for girls in the last 15 years, joining names like Ryan, Shawn, and Tyler. There has been a similar rise in truly unisex names, but since they're unisex, I don't really find that as interesting.

7/1/06 11:46 am - turabiannights - Zoraida

To get things going, I thought I'd post about my own personal dilemma.

Namely, Zoraida.

I like this name. Maybe not enough to give to a child, but I really do like it. The trouble is that it was invented by Cervantes for Don Quixote. It doesn't mean anything - it's just a pretty sound. To me, Zoraida is proof that 'made-up' doesn't need to mean tacky (though many often are, in my opinion), but I would still have problems giving it to a child. How do you feel about giving a kid a name that doesn't mean anything?

6/28/06 11:40 pm - turabiannights

Welcome to Naming Names! Posts to follow!
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