✨ abby's eras tour

today marks my 10-year berry-versary! ten years ago today, I was 14, a rising high school freshman, a competitive dancer, and a secret name lover, who had lurked on other sites where users didn’t understand why a teenager who wasn’t pregnant wanted to perfect her name lists!

my name style has evolved a lot since I started posting on nameberry, although I would say that it’s starting to come full circle. there were years when my favorite names really reflected the quintessential berry style at the time, and then there were moments when I let my guilty pleasures become top choices.

to celebrate, I’ve tried to place myself in the shoes of the person I was on [name_u]August[/name_u] 3rd every year since 2013, and asked what name I would’ve realistically picked for a girl and a boy had I given birth at that time. underneath each, I’ll explain my thought process, what aspects of each name appealed to me, and influences that shaped my favorite picks!

feel free to share your thoughts on my “eras” !

All-American [name_f]Era[/name_f]

2013: [name_f]Adalyn[/name_f] [name_f]Faith[/name_f] and [name_u]Carter[/name_u] [name_m]Allen[/name_m]

I pronounced this name add-uh-lyn, and I decided she would go by [name_f]Addie[/name_f] because I thought it would be inevitable anyway. I vehemently disagreed with those who thought I should spell it [name_f]Adelyn[/name_f] or [name_f]Adalynn[/name_f], and waved off the suggestion of [name_f]Adeline[/name_f], because none had the same vibe or appeal that [name_f]Adalyn[/name_f] did. the name is a bright magenta, and I pictured a round-faced girl with long brown hair and dark brown eyes, one with a radiant smile and infectious laugh.

I liked the simplicity of [name_f]Faith[/name_f], and how it had a soft sound next to [name_f]Adalyn[/name_f]. at this point in my life, I was struggling with my lack of connection to my faith and my [name_m]God[/name_m], and felt like my faith and [name_m]God[/name_m] had rejected me, so when I thought about my future, I tried to think of everything I could do so my children wouldn’t feel the same way. the name [name_f]Faith[/name_f] is a soft pink that made the name the ultimate girly pick!

[name_u]Carter[/name_u] was my favorite boy name for several years, inspired by the character in [name_m]Rick[/name_m] Riordan’s The [name_m]Kane[/name_m] Chronicles (Sadie was also high on my list). [name_m]Allen[/name_m] was actually in honor of the university that I supported, one which I thought I would end up attending. while I’m still a fan, I now live far away, and I didn’t actually go to school there (it was the school I was desperately trying to avoid going to, when the time came for college admissions), so even though my best friend graduated from that school, there’s no chance I would be honoring it in a child’s name.

2014: [name_f]Lila[/name_f] [name_u]Romilly[/name_u] and [name_u]Nolan[/name_u] [name_m]Christopher[/name_m]

I mentioned that I was a competitive dancer, and [name_f]Lila[/name_f] was the name of my first competition teacher. I always thought she had a beautiful, unique name, and came to love it when I realized it wasn’t something that would be considered dated. as for [name_u]Romilly[/name_u], I didn’t really have a reason for it. I imagined going on a trip to [name_u]Rome[/name_u] and meeting my future husband, a la the [name_f]Lizzie[/name_f] McGuire movie, but that didn’t end up happening.

[name_u]Nolan[/name_u] [name_m]Christopher[/name_m] was just a name I liked. I was in love with pretty much any boy name that was 2 syllables and ended in N (Torin, [name_m]Ronan[/name_m], [name_m]Soren[/name_m], [name_u]Hudson[/name_u], etc), and I liked how [name_u]Nolan[/name_u] was modern but soft. [name_m]Christopher[/name_m] just flowed.

[name_u]Berry[/name_u] [name_f]Vintage[/name_f] [name_f]Era[/name_f]

2015: [name_f]Violet[/name_f] [name_f]Eilonwy[/name_f] and [name_u]Leo[/name_u] [name_m]Hadrian[/name_m]

around this time, I had a full list revamp during which I replaced every name with a modern feel with vintage names that I saw all the time on nameberry and grew to love. I really do believe I liked these names, although they were heavily inspired by the people on the site who got lots of compliments on their names (and the people on the site who called anything that wasn’t currently in its hundred-year revival “tacky” and “dating”). my mom loves violets so I thought the name would honor her. [name_f]Eilonwy[/name_f] was a fun, unique middle, which was my vibe to match the short and sweet names I picked in the first spot for girls.

I actually hated the name [name_u]Leo[/name_u] for the longest time. thought it was bland compared to Liam—can you imagine?? well, now I just think they’re both bland, but still! then I finished the Heroes of [name_m]Olympus[/name_m] series by [name_m]Rick[/name_m] [name_m]Riordan[/name_m], and before you call me a superfan, I want to clarify that while [name_u]Carter[/name_u] would’ve been inspired by the character, [name_u]Leo[/name_u] would’ve been a direct honor for the character. throughout the series, [name_u]Leo[/name_u] was by far the character who never failed to make me laugh, and his sacrifice at the end of the book made the name jump to the number one spot on my list overnight.

2016: [name_f]Iris[/name_f] [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] and [name_u]Leo[/name_u] [name_m]Matthias[/name_m]

I would say this was my peak berry-era. [name_f]Iris[/name_f] and [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] were two names I just loved, and I also loved how everyone else on nameberry seemed to love them too.

I struggled for years to find a middle name I loved for [name_u]Leo[/name_u], and ended up growing tired of the name before finding a solid answer. this was just a random idea I had for a bit, and I justified it because of the character in Six of Crows by [name_u]Leigh[/name_u] Bardugo… even though I had mixed feelings about the books, however he was my mom’s favorite character, so it was a roundabout way of honoring her.

[name_u]Honor[/name_u] [name_f]Era[/name_f]

2017: [name_f]Maeve[/name_f] [name_u]Alaska[/name_u] and [name_m]Torin[/name_m] [name_u]Elliot[/name_u]

okay, I cheated. maybe. were these my favorite names at the time? no, that would go to [name_f]Iris[/name_f] [name_f]Michaela[/name_f] and [name_u]Leo[/name_u] [name_m]Cassius[/name_m]. but I’ve talked about [name_f]Iris[/name_f] and [name_u]Leo[/name_u] before, so I chose these instead, but for good reason! at this point, these names had been on my list for the longest time.

I first heard [name_f]Maeve[/name_f] on a little girl who played soccer with my sister, and it was an instant favorite. I had several middle names for [name_f]Maeve[/name_f] over the years: [name_f]Maeve[/name_f] [name_f]Ottilie[/name_f], [name_f]Maeve[/name_f] [name_f]Tallulah[/name_f] (fun fact: a poster on another site claimed that [name_f]Maeve[/name_f] [name_f]Ottilie[/name_f] and [name_f]Maeve[/name_f] [name_f]Tallulah[/name_f] were, “no offense, but about the ugliest names [they’d] ever seen in [their] life.”), and finally, [name_f]Maeve[/name_f] [name_u]Alaska[/name_u]. I loved the look of [name_f]Maeve[/name_f], especially the “ae” together, which mirrors the “ae” in my own full name, and I adored the meaning, “she who intoxicates” as well. [name_u]Alaska[/name_u] was another honor for my mom, as [name_u]Alaska[/name_u] is a place she loves and has always wanted to take us kids.

[name_m]Torin[/name_m] was the name of a volunteer at a confirmation retreat I attended in 8th grade who had, by far, my favorite speech/story of the night. while the other volunteers told moving, emotional stories about their personal walks with faith, [name_m]Torin[/name_m] told the story of how he accidentally glued his laptop shut, stabbed himself in the leg trying to pry it open with a knife, and then sat in the car on the way to the emergency room while his mom got her nails done. I have no idea how that was relevant to the retreat, but it was wildly entertaining, and I fell in love instantly. with the name… he was pretty cute too though

2018: [name_f]Sabrina[/name_f] [name_f]Auli'i[/name_f] and [name_m]Cassian[/name_m] [name_u]Micah[/name_u]

[name_f]Sabrina[/name_f] is also inspired by a book character, this one from The Sisters Grimm series by [name_u]Michael[/name_u] [name_m]Buckley[/name_m]. she sat on my long list for a long time, until I made a thread asking posters to eliminate their least favorite names, and I realized that the name which upset me the most when it was eliminated was [name_f]Sabrina[/name_f]. I also knew a sweet girl named [name_f]Sabrina[/name_f] who made the name feel so young and fresh.

Auli’i is a beautiful Hawaiian name. I loved the connection to the [name_f]Moana[/name_f] actress, Auli’i Cravalho.

[name_m]Cassian[/name_m] was my compromise for loving [name_m]Caspian[/name_m], but having it not feel quite right for so many years. while [name_m]Caspian[/name_m] was a prince and sounded like it, [name_m]Cassian[/name_m] was a boy with tousled hair and a dirty soccer jersey, and I loved that image way more for me. [name_u]Micah[/name_u] was in honor of my uncle. he passed away in [name_u]December[/name_u] of 2016 from cancer, and losing him really impacted me. I was close to him, and he was such a kind, funny, spontaneous man who loved life and his family, and it shook my family a lot to lose him. I had [name_f]Michaela[/name_f] as a middle name on my girl list for the same reason. 🩵

2019: [name_u]Parker[/name_u] [name_f]Eloise[/name_f] and [name_m]Cassian[/name_m] [name_u]Micah[/name_u]

maybe another cheat, but I don’t think I could talk about my eras and my style without bringing up [name_u]Parker[/name_u]. I fell in love with [name_u]Parker[/name_u] in 2016. a young dancer in my competition circuit named [name_u]Parker[/name_u] was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor around that time, and she completely changed how I viewed the name. she was spunky, spirited, and a firecracker until she passed away in [name_u]July[/name_u] 2017. hers was another death that impacted me deeply. [name_u]Parker[/name_u] became a beacon of light, of bravery, of spirit, and of persistence to me. I no longer have the name on my shortlist because I think it carries a weight that wouldn’t be fair to put on a child, but [name_u]Parker[/name_u] will always have a special place in my heart :purple_heart:

YA Protagonist [name_f]Era[/name_f]

2020: [name_u]Cleo[/name_u] [name_u]Solstice[/name_u] and [name_u]Koa[/name_u] [name_m]Somerled[/name_m]

like it was for many, 2020 was a year that changed my perspective and outlook, and this reverberated throughout my life. my names did not escape impact. [name_u]Cleo[/name_u] is a name that I’ve loved since watching H2O: [name_m]Just[/name_m] [name_m]Add[/name_m] Water as a kid. I loved how it was spunky, witchy, and distinct, but I loved it even more when I learned the meaning: “glory.” my favorite soccer team is Sporting [name_u]Kansas[/name_u] City, and the team chant/club motto is, “for the glory of the city.” I have so many fond memories of watching SKC with my dad, my best friend, my sisters, and I loved how it could subtly connect to so many aspects of my life.

[name_u]Koa[/name_u] was a bit of a dark horse. I liked the name but one day, it became the name of my son. soft and unisex, uncommon and boho, it checked all of my boxes. [name_m]Somerled[/name_m] means “summer traveler,” which seemed so perfect for someone who is always planning her next adventure.

2021: [name_u]Fable[/name_u] [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] and [name_u]Finn[/name_u] [name_m]Galileo[/name_m]

although it’s now my #2 name, I don’t think there’s a name out there that feels more perfect for me, on paper. [name_u]Fable[/name_u] is uncommon but accessible, fit for a YA warrior princess, and honors my love of storytelling, and how I would love to make it everything I do. [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] just perfected the warrior princess vibe.

[name_u]Finn[/name_u] was inspired by the character in [name_f]Star[/name_f] Wars, although I loved the name because it was short and punchy, and had a modern feel. I loved the science and exploration vibe of [name_m]Galileo[/name_m]

2022: [name_u]Rowan[/name_u] [name_f]Ariadne[/name_f] and [name_u]Cove[/name_u] [name_m]Somerled[/name_m]

we’ve reached my alluring, beloved [name_u]Rowan[/name_u]. I was inspired by—you guessed it—a book character named [name_u]Rowan[/name_u], specifically a character in [name_f]Michelle[/name_f] Harrison’s 13 Treasures trilogy. I actually loved the name [name_u]Rowan[/name_u] forever ago, back in middle school when I read the books, and fell in love with it again around 2017, after my transformation to letting myself consider unisex names. (before 2017, unisex names were all but banned for girls on the nameberry forums.) [name_u]Rowan[/name_u] (the character) was a sassy, brave, determined, angsty teenage runaway who was everything 13-year-old me wanted to be when she was 15. I love the modern yet witchy feel of [name_u]Rowan[/name_u], and I fall in love more and more every time I hear it spoken.

[name_f]Ariadne[/name_f] is another longtime love of mine. I first used her on a book character of my own, and even when I abandoned that plot, I tried desperately for years to fit her into something else, since I thought she was just so cool. she was a witch, a runaway with a found family, and just all around sassy. yeah, as a teenager (at 24; for the rest of my life) I really had a type.

I first heard [name_u]Cove[/name_u] on a girl but came around to loving it on a boy. for a time, I worried it would be too connected to Covid for me to ever use, until I decided that Covid had ruined so much for me, and I wouldn’t let it ruin my love of names too.

2023: [name_u]Rowan[/name_u] [name_f]Itsaso[/name_f] and [name_m]Kelso[/name_m] [name_u]Sky[/name_u]

shoutout to @acajou for the amazing, genius suggestion of [name_f]Itsaso[/name_f]! when I dropped [name_f]Ariadne[/name_f], partly for its length and partly because of the religious meaning that I just couldn’t get over, I never thought I’d be able to find a middle name I loved for [name_u]Rowan[/name_u]. nothing seemed to work. but [name_f]Itsaso[/name_f] is everything. I love the sound, the flow, and the meaning, which connects to my family’s cottage near the beach, and countless summer memories.

I came across [name_m]Kelso[/name_m] on nameberry, not too long ago, actually, at least in the grand scheme of things. if you can’t tell by now, I’m a sucker for -o endings, and I love Kelso’s soft, outdoorsy sound, especially when paired with [name_u]Sky[/name_u].

wdyt? do you think I’m entering a new era? did any of these combos bring back memories for those who have been around long enough to remember them?

thank you, nameberry, for an amazing 10 years. here’s to the next decade!


A whole decade on Nameberry!!! :tada:

I definitely remember the [name_u]Honor[/name_u] [name_f]Era[/name_f] (I think your [name_f]Maeve[/name_f] [name_u]Alaska[/name_u] introduced me to [name_u]Alaska[/name_u] as a given name – I still think it’s so cool!), and of course all of the names from the YA Protagonist [name_f]Era[/name_f]. As far as the [name_u]Berry[/name_u] [name_f]Vintage[/name_f] [name_f]Era[/name_f], it was before/just as I was joining NB but I went through a very similar phase where I had to take a step back and ask myself how much of my like for Berry-esque names was just because of how they were perceived on here :sweat_smile: . I also agree with 2013 [name_u]Abby[/name_u] that [name_f]Adalyn[/name_f] is the nicest spelling of that name :wink:

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This is so cool to read through, [name_u]Abby[/name_u]! I think your style has definitely been through several eras and I’m sure will keep evolving (in a good way!). I definitely remember the times when some of these names were peak berry - that’s when I first started to lurk the forums (didn’t end up joining for a few more years tho lol). 10 years is impressive :tada:

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I remember seeing you talk about about [name_u]Parker[/name_u] a few years ago. I’d never been a fan of the name before but hearing your story completely changed it’s image for me and now it has a soft spot in my heart :heart:

I also just want to say I love how unique your style is and how you’ve really come into your own with regards to your name taste!


This was so cool to read! I’m way too new to have been here for most of these but I think it might have been you that I first heard of [name_m]Kelso[/name_m] from. Also, I can totally relate to the [name_u]Berry[/name_u] [name_f]Vintage[/name_f] [name_f]Era[/name_f], the forum that I was on before this had a huge impact on my lists that I’m only recently starting to sort back through.

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Congratulations on your ten year berry-versary!!

I loved reading these descriptions. [name_f]My[/name_f] favorites are [name_u]Leo[/name_u] [name_m]Hadrian[/name_m], [name_f]Iris[/name_f] [name_f]Michaela[/name_f], [name_f]Sabrina[/name_f] Auli’i (so in love with this one it’s crazy), [name_u]Parker[/name_u] [name_f]Eloise[/name_f], and [name_u]Rowan[/name_u] [name_f]Itsaso[/name_f] (so excited that this is your [name_u]Rowan[/name_u] combo!)

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I properly started using nb in 2017 and I remember you having [name_f]Iris[/name_f], [name_u]Leo[/name_u], [name_f]Maeve[/name_f] and [name_m]Torin[/name_m], along with [name_f]Sabrina[/name_f] Auli’i and [name_m]Cassian[/name_m] [name_u]Micah[/name_u] and so on!

I like how your style has certainly taken it’s own direction, departing from NB-style (when you want it to) and reaching for names that feel very you!

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Thanks for sharing, I love seeing this evolution! [name_f]Sabrina[/name_f] Auli’i has always stuck with me – I remember thinking it was so unexpected for Nameberry at the time (in a good way!)

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It’s awesome that you’ve been on nameberry for ten years! (then there’s me who just joined a few days ago after lurking for months haha)

i actually love all your eras! it’s fun to see how the names you like have evolved over the years!

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“YA Protagonist Era”

That is a perfect name for my style :joy: my poor children :grimacing:

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