Combining 2 Names & Choosing a Middle Name

Recently on our page we discussed name-combining for two parents. In fact, it was the subject of one of our last posts. Commenter April came and asked for some input:

Can you have any combination of my name APRIL and my hubby HERCULANO Jr…. I can’t think of any combination from it ☹

I responded:

Culari, Capri, Culil, Lanori, Aprilano, Aprilana, Hera, Prilano, Rilano, Rilan, Ilano, Priler

April said:

I like hera for a girls name … Thank you …

And then she asked:

I want to ask if you can help with a middle name that goes with ISHAAN its an Indian name … Any names that goes with it for a baby boy … Or ISIAH …
I have thought of Yves for it but I want another option …
Also a middle name for the name HERA for a baby girl
Thank you I know I can find some good names in here … 😊 I’m due on July

And then this:

I have a list of names for a baby girl … Can you tell me which of them sounds good or can you suggest a middle name for HERA I’m stick with that name….
This is my list:

HERA LANORI
HERA ASHLEY/ ASHLEY HERA
HERA KELLY
HERA YASMIN

The last name would be KINLEY

THANK YOU

I’m really glad some of my suggestions on the page (Hera, Lanori) appealed to April. It can be quite fun to try to mash two names together to “invent” “new” names (or discover which old ones work). I tend not to simply mix up the letters (that’s too easy and anyone can do that to make virtually any anagram name) but to try splicing the names 50/50 or to take obvious pieces and mix them with other obvious pieces. Sometimes this is loose (Hera is Herculano plus the “A” in April), and sometimes it is hard to see where it comes from right away (Lanori is “Lano” in Herculano + “ri” in April). It all depends on the names themselves and how easy they are to work with. April + Herculano can be kind of tricky to do in a straightforward way, so it causes us to get more innovative to find possibilities.

Anyhoo, to answer April’s questions!

“Names that Go With….”
We did a recent post on this too. See my philosophy on that here. As far as the names themselves, Ishaan is alright. Isiah I have issues with because I can never be sure if people mean Isaiah (eye ZAY uh, this spelling!) or actually Isiah (appears it should be pronounced iz EYE uh with this spelling, is often an unintentional misspelling of Isaiah). If you just want to know if I think something sounds good, then no, I don’t think Yves really goes well with either name, simply because there are too many repeated sounds amongst them. Unless you are repeating sounds on purpose, I find it more pleasing to the ear to diversify the names’ sounds more. Here are some middle name choices which would be more pleasing to my ear (at least), for Ishaan.

Ishaan Johannes Kinley
Ishaan Jedidiah Kinley
Ishaan Lennox Kinley
Ishaan Eyoel Kinley
Ishaan Ares Kinley
Ishaan Xzavier Kinley

Middle Names For Hera

Yes, I know I recommended Hera to you, but I firstly want to let you know that you might want to research the Greek goddess Hera (her personality, her life, her actions, etc.) before you solidify this choice as your name pick. If you are not deterred and are still satisfied after learning all you can about her… here are a few ideas! A lot are ambiguous or unisex so could be used on a boy as well. “Hera Kinley” in itself is already a very feminine name, so it works out well.

Hera Pritchard Kinley
Hera Signe Kinley
Hera Hyde Kinley
Hera Teal Kinley
Hera Klive Kinley

Comments for Hera Combos

My favorite pair you listed is Hera Lanori Kinley, and not just because I suggested both of those names. 🙂

I dislike Hera Ashley because I don’t think there is a good sound flow. The vowel “ah” ending in Hera goes awkwardly into the vowel “A” beginning in Ashley, so I’m not a fan. Speaking of fans, a fan of our page saw your question and pointed out that Ashley with Kinley was too much. I wholeheartedly agree. Two 2-syllable ends-with-LEY names is overkill. Besides, Ashley is kind of done, anyway. It was super trendy in the ’80s and ’90s and needs a good long break before it’ll be usable again (sorry to the Ashleys out there).

Hera Kelly Kinley is almost exactly the same as above. Too many “lee” sounding endings; Kelly was once really en vogue and now it really is dated; “Hera Kelly” sounds a lot to me like either Hercules (which would be a really clever tribute to Herculano, I admit!) or singer R. Kelly. Nope.

Hera Yasmin Kinley is not bad! One thing I would point out, just in case it would bother you (as it would, me) is that her initials will be HYK. I see that and see “hick”. Others might see “hike”, so I don’t know. Just be aware because there is often a teasing factor with initials to be noticed.

Good luck in your search and please let us know what you decide!

Readers: Please feel free to answer April’s questions for yourself here in comments and make your own recommendations.

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Using Parents Names or Initials to Name a Baby Girl

Fan Question: Can you suggest beautiful, unique baby girl names that start with E & J? Or do combination names of/for Excell (wife) and Jonathan (husband) for a baby girl? Due in March. Names can be anything starting with E&J or J&E, or nevermind and just suggest name combinations. Thank you!


Sure! My husband and I are actually an E and a J too. We have a daughter named Eve (Evie). We have played around in the past with using both our names in honoring or name combining in order to add new names to our names lists. We are due in February right now! Congratulations to you and your family.

You have a bunch of different directions you are going in, so let’s split it up a bit.

-Beautiful, unique baby girl names that start with E & J
Elka Jindřiška
Engelica Jett
Jayden
Embry

Juniperia Eon
Epiphany J

-Combination Names with Excell and Jonathan for a baby girl

These first ones will literally combine or splice your names.

Jonell Excatha
Exona Jacell
Thanell Excjona
Jonacelle Exthana
Athanelle Jonex
Allonna Jexceth
Natani Excell
Excelle Jonna
Celona Xanthe
Axelle Johanna
Joni Excellence

These next ones will just use your names or versions of them in combos, sometimes with other unrelated names.

Đoàn Thị Exara
Llin Jonika
Jonabeth Rexcell
Natania Celine
Joninti Violet
Margo Jona
Judith Excell
Excanne Kay
Jocasta Rexanne

These might have given you some ideas and you can play around with splicing, mixing and matching on your own, as well!

-Anything starting with E&J or J&E
Etanya Jadako
Jaylynn Efra
Ekaterina Jordan
Jacquette Edith

-Toss out the rules– just name combinations
Thea Brigitte
Dexter Mary
Bastiana Chrétien
Ki Novelle

I hope any of this has been helpful, and thanks for taking time to write to me. Let me know what you choose, as the readers and I will be curious to hear it!

Readers: What suggestions would you give to Excell & Jonathan?

2012 Names Released; How Trendy is Your Style?

It wasn’t too long ago that the Social Security Administration released their data on the most popular baby names this year. This kind of information can be helpful and interesting, because it tells us the rising and falling trends. When you see the most popular choices you can stay far, far away from those.

This past year, the top ten in the USA was:

  1. Jacob               Sophia
  2. Mason             Emma
  3. Ethan              Isabella
  4. Noah                Olivia
  5. William             Ava
  6. Liam                Emily
  7. Jayden           Abigail
  8. Michael         Mia
  9. Alexander      Madison
  10. Aiden              Elizabeth

Now, I’ll admit that a few of those are on my own list. For the most part, though, we can look at the top 10, or even the top 100, as a sure sign of what is becoming overdone and what to maybe avoid.

You may in fact enjoy checking out the very bottom of the Top 1000 list. Usually only a couple hundred babies in that year will receive these names, at most.

991 Karsen Devyn
992 Jarrett Geraldine
993 Apollo Analia
994 Denzel Hayleigh
995 Foster Landry
996 Gilbert Sofie
997 Jaylon Tess
998 Kylen Ashtyn
999 Augustine Jessa
1000 Dangelo Katalina

Okay, only 2 of those are on my list. Hmmm…

But what about those of us who want to avoid the Top 1000?

Here is a sampling of some of the least popular names in 2012. Very few babies received these names, but they were used.

GIRLS

Axelle
Bezawit
Cyara
Dreah
Ellyot
Falicity
Georgi
Haadiya
Ifeoma
Jullisa
Kindal
Lexci
Myrissa
Noralyn
Orlandria
Phia
Quantavia
Roen
Skiler
Taeler
Uzuri
Vritika
Wiam
Xavianna
Yanel
Zmya

Lucifer

BOYS

Adrianne
Bowan
Cohyn
Demitrus

Ezri
Faraji
Gahan
Hanz
Iason
Jyson
Krispin
Lucifer
Myler
Nyaire
Owain
Peregrin
Quinntin
Rhome
Sunnie
Theryn
Uchenna
Vasiliy
Weslie
Xachery
Yavier
Zylin

What you see here is a mix of dusted off classics, names from minority languages, kre8tyv spellings of well-known names, “new” compounds, “new” nicknames, and invented names. No matter your style, you are bound to find some names above that are totally usable, and others which are totally unfortunate.

Maybe you prefer something more middle of the road? Say you’re looking for something not near the Top 1000, but not near as… exotic, as the above samples. Try some of these on.

GIRLS
Annica
Briony
Conley
Deidra
Emilija
Faryn
Gianelle
Hartlyn
Irish
Judea
Kanon
Lyda
Metzli
Niyonna
Onna
Paz
Quynn
Rhythm
Sophina
Takia
Urijah
Venezia
Wania
Xara
Yarexi
Zen

BOYS
Angelito
Berk
Creedence
Detrick
Eladio
Fareed
Geo
Henryk
Izzak
Jesaiah
Khyron
Lukasz
Mykael
Netanel
Olaf
Philopateer
Qadir
Raef
Seiji
Tuck
Ulyses
Vash
Woodson
Xane
Yomar
Zeno

Getting Over Ella

We asked our fans what single “E” name they would recommend others add to their Baby Names Lists. They were not allowed to repeat other fan recommendations. I started to notice a trend– Ella names. When people couldn’t repeat Ellie and Ella, they started adding things to it. Some I wasn’t sure if people just forgot to add a comma or space (EllieArie) in order to break the rules and list 2 names. Some seemed obvious that they were elaborations on names starting with Ella (Ella May).

What’s wrong with just Ella?, you may ask.

Nothing really. It’s a beautiful name, right? It’s also getting quite popular. The most recent accurate data for the USA tells us that over 9,500 baby girls were given the name within a year.

So, for those who like Ella but want something less common, here is a list of “ella” names actually being used on actual babies to jog your creativity.

We aren’t necessary recommending these names. I’m including a lot of names that are related to Bella and Isabella. Please research any name before choosing.

Miabella, Mia Bella
Luella
Ysabella
Adella
Marbella
Sabella
Mirabella, Mira Bella
Noella
Joella
Gisella
Gabryella
Aribella
Rosabella, Rosa Bella
Esabella
Abella
Yzabella
Graciella
Nella
Emmanuella
Fiorella
Maribella
Mirella
Novella
Gianella
Rafaella
Giabella, Gia Bella
Angella
Elizabella
Danella
Airabella
Rosella
Karmella
Ezabella
Ayrabella
Janella
Gabbriella
Louella, Lou Ella
Arella
Manuella
Emanuella
Maryella, Mary Ella
Adabella, Ada Bella
Danyella
Labella, La Bella
Maricella
Camella
Graziella
Itzabella
Lizabella
Vella
Aviella
Cabella
Donatella
Iszabella
Adriella
Aerabella
Auriella
Kella
Lovella
Anthonella
Aryella
Dariella
Isbella
Isella
Mia Isabella
Aella
Amabella
Aniella
Arrabella
Isebella
Marabella
Mariabella, Maria Bella
Anella
Elisabella, Elisa Bella
Gavriella
Jessabella, Jessa Bella
Jezabella
Sarabella, Sara Bella
Sybella
Azriella
Bryella
Danniella
Erabella
Isobella
Kabella
Kristabella, Krista Bella
Gabrella
Izsabella
Marybella, Mary Bella
Raphaella
Abbriella
Audriella
Cella
Jaella
Marisella
Markella
Mikella
Nyella
Ornella
Samuella
Zabella
Abiella
Ariabella, Aria Bella
Astella
Breella
Isibella
Izebella
Izibella
Jamella
Leabella, Lea Bella
Leonella
Lisabella, Lisa Bella
Myabella, Mya Bella
Pamella
Priscella
Raffaella
Adiella
Ambriella
Annella
Avabella, Ava Bella
Carabella, Cara Bella
Christabella, Christa Bella
Clarabella, Clara Bella
Cristabella, Crista Bella
Diella
Giannella
Gizella
Idella
Israella
Izahbella
Izavella
Jazabella
Jazzabella
Kristella
Lella, L’ella, L’Ella
Luciella
Lunabella, Luna Bella
Marchella
Michella
Zoella

Bellamy
Bellarose, Bella Rose
Bellah
Izabellah
Isabellah
Mellanie
Belladonna, Bella Donna
Kellan
Bellamarie, Bella Marie
Bellagrace, Bella Grace
Mellany
Isabella Marie
Isabella Rose
Bellatrix
Briellah
Bellamie
Stellah
Gabriellah
Dellaney
Bellamae, Bella Mae
Bellami
Bellanie
Stellamarie, Stella Marie

Ellasyn
Ellah
Ellaina
Ellamae, Ella Mae
Ellarose, Ella Rose
Ellagrace, Ella Grace
Ellana
Ellanor
Ellamarie, Ella Marie
Ellayna
Ellanore
Ellakate, Ella Kate
Ellanora, Ella Nora
Ellarae, Ella Rae
Ellary
Ellason
Ellaine
Ellamay, Ella May
Ellani
Ellany
Ellajane, Ella Jane
Ellamaria, Ella Maria
Ellawyn

The Virtue of Random Names

Betsy asked:

Not pregnant right now but I’ve been trying to think up a first name for our future son. We have Meghan Kathleen, Sakura Ashley, Daniel William, and our next daughter will be Zeriah Francine. I want our next son’s middle name to be Edmund. We’ve been naming our kids by doing 1 “random” name that we like and 1 name after a family member; Edmund would be after my Grandpa.

“Sakura” is Japanese for “cherry blossom”. Photo by Midori.

I also don’t want to re-use ANY letters of the alphabet so A, D, E, F, K, M, S, W, and Z aren’t options for beginning letters…also the name “Royce” is a no as it’s my brother’s pick for a name and is therefore not allowed to be used by me per his requests. I love “different” and unique names (this can include unique spellings). Usually I don’t have a problem with names I just can’t think of any that I like coupled with Edmund and his middle name will be Edmund (I lost my Grandpa recently so it’s important to me as my oldest is named after my Grandma) Thanks for any help you can offer!

What a neat mix of names you have. And I love Edmund– it’s on my list, too. And I really dig your appreciation for the random combined with honoring family. That is right up my alley. AND, I’m thrilled that you are so specific about what you want, right down to the letters.

I grew up loving names and loving how my name is a “living history book” for my family but also a twist of my own personal name and wanted to give that to my kids…my daughter, Meghan, would be the only 1 that’d be different as Kathleen came from my Grandma’s middle name and Meghan was her all-time favorite name (and would’ve been her 2nd daughter’s name had she been able to have more) but the others are a totally “random” name that we like coupled with a family name

Some thoughts:

Cole Edmund
Rock Edmund
Javon Edmund
Raleigh Edmund
Nathan Edmund
Tony Edmund
Jayden Edmund
Yeray Edmund
Jahaziel Edmund
Jelani Edmund
Lex Edmund
Hayden Edmund
Louis Edmund
Tinley Edmund
Joplin Edmund

[We typically don’t recommend the rhymes with “ayden” names, but in this case we were testing the waters with Betsy, in case she actually took to them. We considered not recommending them at all, but wanted to be fair for any occasions in which it may not be a terrible choice. If you like these names, we recommend you do some soul searching and choose them only if they mean a lot to you. If you are selecting just because it looks cool to you, please keep searching, as these names are very trendy right now and there are other, “cooler” options out there for you that would be more original.]

Keep us updated!

thanks for the list! lots of good names there going to think on them before I decide

*Betsy assured us that she would let us know what she decides. We’ll update this post when she does!*

UPDATE JULY 1, 2014: I ask you about a year ago for “J” names…we ended up naming our boy Josiah Edmund. He is now 8months old.

How we decided on his name: my great great grandpa Joseph built the house that we are now living in (finally) we want to “honor” him in some way so “joe” became “joe-siah” Josiah… Edmund comes from my grandpa.”

——————————————————————————–

Now I would like to talk a minute about the virtue of random names. Betsy is an example of a very interesting namer. She had a sort of rule set (not repeating letters in the alphabet for initials; honoring family with one name), and at the same time, she was open to anything. I think when you explore random names, you can challenge yourself to branch out beyond what, for you, are your predictable tastes and typical choices.

Have you ever noticed that you get a little bored of your name list? Feeling uninspired? It would be a little like having a favorite shirt in 10 colors, and wearing only those. After awhile, we no longer surprise ourselves. Sometimes naming loses its spark that way. One way to reawaken that fire is to “try on” random names.

James Cheng / msnbc.com

You can do this by imagining you have a child with a name you normally would never have known or thought twice about. Add the surname, and a first/middle name to pair with it. If you have at least one guaranteed name that means something to you (such as, a middle name that honors family), you’d be surprised what you realize you actually love and find usable.

Example: Deborah is going to name a son. She knows she wants to use her great-grandfather’s name, Walter, as either the first or middle name. The last name will be Crook. She has no idea what to pair Walter with and feels uninspired. She doesn’t want to settle for something she is lukewarm about and doesn’t want to be too boring, and doesn’t necessarily need the name to feel completely traditional.

By trying on random names, Deborah experiments with choices like:

Walter Mario Crook
Pierce Walter Crook
Leonidas Walter Crook
Bradford Walter Crook
Walter Shane Crook

With previous choices on her list that she felt blah about (Michael, James, John, & Robert… with an Aidan thrown in there for kicks), she had never considered Mario, Pierce, Leonidas, Bradford, or Shane. They just were not on her radar. To her, these choices seemed totally random. Without that inspiration and her trying on these unexpected names to see if she like them, she might never have finalized Leonidas as the name.

I think we can push the boundaries even further, though. In making your name lists and looking for fresh baby name combinations, I encourage you to test out random names, from the traditional to the ancient to the bizarre, and see how it feels. See if you can just picture your baby with that name. It’s how hippies wind up with Johnny’s and how traditionalists have Kai’s. It’s very cute and great at making sure our classrooms don’t have 5 children of the same name.

In an effort to keep this concept flowing and to challenge people to branch out, we will occasionally (on our page or blog) be asking people to consider random names and see how they could “fit” with their surnames and other name choices from their list. Let us know what you end up loving or using, or how it inspired you in other ways! Feel free to participate with us.