It’s Hard to Recommend Names To Go With Cheyanne…

cheyanneI used to like the name Cheyenne* a lot. It’s a place name and a Native American tribal name… both very hip, en vogue, cutting edge, etc. The more I grew and learned and witnessed– in terms of our culture and the ways in which we represent ourselves and even appropriate– the less fond I grew for such styles. It started to seem insincere to me, and maybe even rude of me, and so I could no longer really validate my preferences by telling myself how pretty and cute they still were. I couldn’t kid myself by telling myself I was honoring something I didn’t truly understand. The truth is, there was no other reason to keep these types of names on my list, and too many reasons to cross them off. The truth is, they were trendy and had no real connection to me, period.

I now value authenticity. Authentic being-you. Authentic respect for others.

There is so much for me, and for you, to genuinely celebrate! No costumes, no disguises. Choose something with a close personal connection to you when you are naming your baby and it will mean so much more.

The exchange pictured above inspired me to create a new category in the blog– Racism (where I will talk about any cultural faux pas in names, not just limited to racial differences.) Every blog link I am about to share with you now fits the new category.

For further info on this specific topic, read here: The Bastardization of Native American Names

To find out why being honest about names matters, see: Hispanic Baby Name “News” is Ignorant BS

Some brief words on Native American words becoming tweaked names, when we helped a fan here (she had a child named CheyAnne): Cowboy Prairie Style First and Middle Baby Name Combos

Where we urged readers to not take K-K-K lightly: K, K, and Definitely Not K

If you’re one of our long time readers or just an appreciative fan, you respect the fact that we always advocate smart, thoughtful naming, minus the fluff. What I like about the community we share is that you can tell we genuinely, truly love names.  Thanks for joining with us in supporting integrity and education! I look forward to the ways we’ll keep learning together.

(I will discuss the name Cheyenne [the usual “proper” spelling*] more in the upcoming book.)

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Cowboy Prairie Style First & Middle Baby Name Combos

Joy asked:

We are due for our 5th baby end of June and have absolutely no names picked out! We don’t know the sex. We like unique names. Any ideas for us??? My fave name forever has been Prairie Rose but hubby hates it! He thinks Prairie is weird. Lol

These are the names of our 4 children:
Jack (family name) Wyatt
Corwyn Joy
CheyAnne Faith
Ainsley Eden

 

“So close!”

Which name do you think Joy should choose to join these siblings? (Choose carefully– you can only choose once.) Names are not divided by sex, they are in random order, and the suggestions came from me and from fans.

There is definitely a sort of modern cowboy/prairie feeling here, as fan Angel pointed out on our page. The style is definitely modern but inspired by dusty boots Americana– I call it Western nouveau. It can be really charming and you can take your inspiration from ancestors in the South during the 1800s, state, city and county names (appropriate to geography and era), and outdoorsy concept words.

Now some tips..
.

  • Try to avoid overuse of brand and object names next to each other (Lincoln Axel might sound like a car part).
  • Be cautious when choosing Native American words– especially if you are not a tribal member and are using an authentic personal name. It can be disrespectful or ignorant. Although many Native American names are also place names and you may be naming a child after a place and not a tribe, being aware of the true origin of a word and its meaning will help you navigate its usability. Your best bet is: whenever in doubt, steer clear of trends. Our fan Joy named her daughter “CheyAnne”, and while in many cases I would refer to something like this as a “bastardization of a Native word” and lecture on cultural integrity, this time it actually serves us well by changing the name enough to make it her own. In this sense, CheyAnne is closer to Shy Anne (good old shy Annie of the plain) than any original word referring to an “Indian” tribe.
  • Listen to the sound of things. Although some fans recommended Owen and Meadow, the last name will be Owens. An alternative to Prairie or Meadow might be Savanna or Dusty.
  • If you love the name Prairie, consider this thought from fan Aileen: “Well…you wouldn’t want anyone calling a beautiful girl Prairie Dog lol. Maybe he’s right, there are other nice cowboy themed names.”
  • Middle names Rose and Dawn would be popular choices for this theme. Virtue names Love, Hope, and Grace seem next in line. One of the suggested first name choices was Felicia, but perhaps Felicity would be more keeping with the theme. Another virtue name that could work would be Amity. It’s seldom used and has a good meaning, and fits well with the theme (could that be because it reminds us of Calamity Jane?).
  • Fan Angel said, on Juniper:  “I thought it was a nice tie in with June and the middle name style.” If you are due in June and enjoy this style, June would be a great middle name. For something a little longer with more modern and fresh appeal, Juno or Juneau works (but not next to surnames like Owens).

For more on Cecily or Cece Lia, make sure you check out When Names You Love Mean Bad Things.

If you’re curious about Silas, we have a post about that, too.

If you’re into vintage Southern names, try this.

One fan recommended the name Phoenix for either sex. What do you think? Is it unique enough? Does it fit well with the siblings? What middle names would you pair with Phoenix for a boy or a girl?

UPDATE, JUNE 30, 2014: Joy shares, “Our baby boy was born at home on June 24th. He’s 9# 5oz!! And we actually came up with a name for him after he was born….
Weston Arrow
Weston is his daddy’s middle name, and Arrow for psalm 127:4,5 of the bible. he is the
last arrow in our quiver of five children. “

Weston was actually also recommended by us. (Combo Weston Huck, as seen in this post, got the top boys vote.)

Congrats, Joy and family!

names