Elements of Naming Style

For you, what are the elements of your naming style? Are the names on your list grouped by their place in history, their sounds, their femininity/masculinity, their popularity or something else? I’m trying to develop my own naming style classification system but I need to know what are the main elements that come together to form a person’s naming style. Thank you for your help.

My favourite names are characterised by being old-fashioned, or what I like to consider old-fashioned –
We see the old staples, such as [name_f]Anne[/name_f] and [name_f]Mary[/name_f], now at a style nadir –
We see some of the “vintage” names, such as [name_f]Tabitha[/name_f], [name_m]Rufus[/name_m], [name_f]Rosemary[/name_f] and [name_m]Casper[/name_m], that are being revived –
We see some absolute classics, such as [name_m]Philip[/name_m], [name_m]John[/name_m] and [name_f]Eve[/name_f] –
We see some names that have always been uncommon, such as [name_f]Lilias[/name_f], [name_f]Anthea[/name_f] and [name_f]Philomena[/name_f] –
We see some names from legends, myth and folklore, such as [name_u]Robin[/name_u] and [name_f]Enid[/name_f] –
We see many names that fit into the category of literary names, most of which have already been listed –
We see some Celtic names, such as [name_f]Olwen[/name_f], [name_f]Elspeth[/name_f], [name_m]Iain[/name_m] and [name_u]Rowan[/name_u] –
We see some [name_m]French[/name_m] names, such as [name_f]Marguerite[/name_f], [name_f]Hortense[/name_f] and [name_m]Raoul[/name_m] –
We see some names from other cultures besides, such as Cosmin, Alin, and Luminita –
And we see some names that don’t fit into either category, but are fairly ordinary if not particularly popular names, such as [name_m]Colin[/name_m] and [name_f]Marcia[/name_f].

I like super old-fashioned family names and the other component is they have to be Irish/Welsh/Scottish to go with my DH’s and my heritage.

Most of my favourite girls names have an l in it ([name_f]Isobel[/name_f], [name_u]Eloise[/name_u], [name_f]Matilda[/name_f], [name_f]Alice[/name_f], [name_f]Eleanor[/name_f], [name_f]Amelia[/name_f], [name_f]Mirabel[/name_f], [name_f]Felicity[/name_f], [name_f]Eilidh[/name_f], [name_f]Rosalia[/name_f], [name_f]Azalea[/name_f], [name_f]Arabella[/name_f], [name_f]Elodie[/name_f] and [name_f]Tallulah[/name_f]).
They can be classified again theres popular classics: [name_f]Isabel[/name_f], [name_u]Eloise[/name_u], [name_f]Matilda[/name_f], [name_f]Alice[/name_f], [name_f]Phoebe[/name_f], [name_u]Ruby[/name_u], [name_f]Rebecca[/name_f], [name_f]Amelia[/name_f], [name_f]Eleanor[/name_f] and [name_f]Felicity[/name_f]
International Choices: [name_f]Eilidh[/name_f], [name_f]Roisin[/name_f], [name_f]Elodie[/name_f] and [name_f]Rosalia[/name_f]
Pop culture choices: [name_f]Tallulah[/name_f] (which I like from a character I in a cartoon I watched as a child) and [name_f]Azalea[/name_f] (which I began liking because of [name_m]Iggy[/name_m] [name_f]Azalea[/name_f])

Boys names:
Surnames: [name_m]Cooper[/name_m], [name_m]Hayes[/name_m], [name_u]Flynn[/name_u], [name_m]Archer[/name_m], [name_m]Lincoln[/name_m], [name_u]Taylor[/name_u], [name_m]Baxter[/name_m], [name_m]Lawson[/name_m], [name_m]Lewis[/name_m], [name_m]Fletcher[/name_m] and [name_m]Miller[/name_m]. [name_m]Oscar[/name_m] also has a similar feel to most these names which is really why I like it
Pop culture names:[name_m]Eamon[/name_m] (I began liking it because of a swimmer with the name) and [name_m]Caspian[/name_m]
O ending name: [name_m]Tiago[/name_m] and [name_m]Jago[/name_m]
Other: [name_m]Asher[/name_m], [name_m]Finnian[/name_m] and [name_u]Alfie[/name_u]

I don’t do it on the actual lists, but in my head I sort names into categories based on how I perceive them. These categories are based on environment, the kind of place I imagine someone with that name feeling at home in, if that makes sense.

[name_u]Urban[/name_u] names are elegant, sophisticated and in some way defiant or deviant, very off-beat, Euro-chic, metropolitan. Examples would be [name_f]Eos[/name_f], Karou, [name_f]Anouk[/name_f], [name_f]Thisbe[/name_f], Loreto, [name_f]Saskia[/name_f], [name_u]Vesper[/name_u], [name_f]Raphaela[/name_f], [name_f]Zelda[/name_f], [name_m]Aksel[/name_m], Emre, [name_m]Jove[/name_m], [name_m]Yves[/name_m], [name_u]Ari[/name_u], [name_m]Cillian[/name_m], [name_m]Finlo[/name_m], [name_m]Ianto[/name_m], [name_m]Theron[/name_m], [name_u]Pasha[/name_u], [name_m]Lucan[/name_m], [name_u]Lior[/name_u], [name_m]Bram[/name_m], [name_m]Euan[/name_m], [name_m]Cosmo[/name_m] and [name_u]Zephyr[/name_u].
Basically names of people in their twenties who have always been and will always be cooler than you.

Cultivated names belong in trimmed gardens and enjoy afternoon tea. Classic names belong here, vintage, sweet, lacy, elaborate, regal, buttoned-up, elegant, aristocratic with slight eccentricity…
Examples are [name_f]Celia[/name_f], [name_f]Elise[/name_f], [name_f]Clemency[/name_f], [name_f]Helena[/name_f], [name_f]Jane[/name_f], [name_f]Leonora[/name_f], [name_f]Marjorie[/name_f], [name_f]Hermione[/name_f], [name_f]Rosalind[/name_f], Somerilda, [name_f]Juliette[/name_f], [name_f]Audrey[/name_f], [name_f]Ophelia[/name_f], [name_f]Flora[/name_f], [name_m]Johannes[/name_m], [name_m]Edmund[/name_m], [name_u]Constantine[/name_u], [name_u]Valentine[/name_u], [name_m]Emmanuel[/name_m], [name_m]Samson[/name_m], [name_m]Lucien[/name_m], [name_u]Laurence[/name_u], [name_m]Henry[/name_m], [name_m]Samuel[/name_m], [name_m]Solomon[/name_m], [name_m]Arthur[/name_m].

[name_m]Wild[/name_m] names is the final one, this is my favourite and most eclectic category. Almost all nature names end up here, along with anything even remotely magical, dark, mysterious, poetic, obscure, mythic or fey. Almost anything from stories and mythology. These are names from the woods and the darker corners of history, dramatic and earthy, wild, unpredictable, wise, alluring Usually, these names overlap with one or the other of the two categories I already mentioned. It’s like this is the standard, the other two variations on the theme.
Examples: Calluna, [name_f]Freya[/name_f], Hild, Myrto, [name_f]Orla[/name_f], Rohesia, [name_f]Garnet[/name_f], [name_f]Ariadne[/name_f], [name_f]Briar[/name_f], [name_f]Eglantine[/name_f], [name_f]Eluned[/name_f], [name_f]Hera[/name_f], Everild, [name_f]Iona[/name_f], [name_f]Lark[/name_f], [name_f]Lyra[/name_f], [name_f]Madrigal[/name_f], Lórien, [name_f]Nimue[/name_f], [name_f]Ondine[/name_f], Ostara, [name_f]Persephone[/name_f], [name_f]Saoirse[/name_f], [name_f]Starling[/name_f], [name_f]Elettra[/name_f], [name_f]Thora[/name_f], [name_f]Verbena[/name_f], Vieno, [name_u]Wren[/name_u], [name_m]Eilon[/name_m], [name_m]Frey[/name_m], [name_m]Helios[/name_m], [name_m]Merlin[/name_m], [name_u]Rowan[/name_u], Wolfram, Viorel, [name_m]Aneurin[/name_m], Berengar, Beltane, [name_m]Caius[/name_m], [name_m]Cove[/name_m], [name_u]Eden[/name_u], [name_m]Emrys[/name_m], [name_m]Forest[/name_m], [name_m]Hadrian[/name_m], [name_m]Hawthorn[/name_m], [name_m]Idris[/name_m], [name_m]Jupiter[/name_m], [name_m]Llewellyn[/name_m], [name_u]Oberon[/name_u], [name_m]Osiris[/name_m], [name_m]Peregrine[/name_m], [name_m]Sirius[/name_m], [name_m]Sylvan[/name_m], [name_m]Ulysses[/name_m], [name_m]Valerian[/name_m], [name_f]Sparrow[/name_f] and [name_m]Birch[/name_m].

I think there might be another category for whimsical names as well, along the likes of [name_f]Aminta[/name_f], Sunflower, [name_f]Isabelline[/name_f], [name_m]Amed[/name_m]ée, [name_m]Aloysius[/name_m] (nn Wish) and [name_m]Elmo[/name_m]. It’s like the lighter version of the wild names, the I’m-not-sure-I-can-take-you-seriously-but-you’re-delightful category. There aren’t that many names in it though…

Popularity isn’t the biggest factor to me since my surname is unique enough that they will be the only one with it.

For girls, I separate based off femininity and length. When it comes to sound, I tend to like endings with the -ee, -ah, and -ette sounds.

  1. I have some names that I consider more frilly and feminine than others; they are usually longer too with 3+ syllables. These also tend to fall in the GP category because I don’t know if I can actually see myself using these names on a child and/or they don’t get the best reactions. [name_f]Ophelia[/name_f], [name_f]Cressida[/name_f], [name_f]Romilly[/name_f], [name_f]Ottilie[/name_f], [name_f]Viviette[/name_f], [name_f]Cecilia[/name_f], [name_f]Ophelie[/name_f], [name_f]Viviana[/name_f], [name_f]Madeline[/name_f], [name_f]Odessa[/name_f], [name_f]Delphine[/name_f]/[name_f]Delfina[/name_f], [name_f]Felicity[/name_f], Raphaella, [name_f]Vevina[/name_f], [name_f]Geneva[/name_f], [name_f]Aurelia[/name_f], [name_f]Aurora[/name_f], [name_f]Liora[/name_f], [name_f]Philippa[/name_f], [name_f]Leona[/name_f], [name_f]Maisie[/name_f], [name_f]Mina[/name_f]
  2. These tend to be the shorter names (2 syllables) and are still slightly feminine to me, but not as much as the others. [name_f]Alette[/name_f], [name_f]Tessa[/name_f], [name_f]Gemma[/name_f], [name_f]Audrey[/name_f], [name_f]Colette[/name_f], [name_f]Nora[/name_f], [name_u]Piper[/name_u], [name_f]Georgia[/name_f], [name_f]Thea[/name_f], [name_f]Scarlett[/name_f], Ylva, [name_f]Signy[/name_f], [name_f]Viveca[/name_f]
  3. These are the names that either lean unisex or feel unisex to me. I usually put these in the middle spot to help balance really feminine names. [name_u]Sage[/name_u], [name_u]Lior[/name_u], [name_f]Loire[/name_f], [name_f]Bardot[/name_f]

For boys, I usually separate based off sound. These aren’t as definitive as my girl style; there’s a lot of cross over between these.

  1. These names are ones that tend to feel more feminine to me or have a more regal feeling to them. [name_m]Adrian[/name_m], [name_u]Auberon[/name_u], [name_m]Caspian[/name_m], [name_m]Raphael[/name_m], [name_m]Lysander[/name_m], Ithuriel, [name_m]Leander[/name_m], [name_m]Sebastian[/name_m], [name_u]Seneca[/name_u], [name_m]Ronan[/name_m], [name_m]Ezra[/name_m], [name_m]Eben[/name_m], [name_m]Gabriel[/name_m], [name_m]Alistair[/name_m], [name_m]Laszlo[/name_m], [name_m]Dimitri[/name_m], [name_m]Damian[/name_m]
  2. The names with the -ik/-k sound endings. I don’t know what it is about that sound, but I love it. It may be that they feel more masculine to me (and less likely to be shared with the opposite sex). They are sort of their own category, but can also be a part of 1 or 2. [name_m]Erik[/name_m], Jorvik, Rorik, [name_m]Alaric[/name_m], [name_m]Ulrik[/name_m], Wolfric, Leofric, [name_m]Aldric[/name_m], [name_m]Dominic[/name_m], [name_m]Frederick[/name_m], [name_m]Roderick[/name_m], [name_m]Osric[/name_m], [name_m]Patrick[/name_m]
  3. These are the shorter, more masculine feeling names. [name_m]Anders[/name_m], [name_m]Abram[/name_m], [name_m]Bjorn[/name_m], [name_m]Heath[/name_m], [name_m]Cole[/name_m], [name_m]Isaac[/name_m], [name_m]Magnus[/name_m], [name_u]Orion[/name_u], [name_m]Ozias[/name_m]

I also have a pet list that is specifically for the names that are almost beyond GP. They are names that I don’t think I could imagine on a child, so they go into the pet name list. [name_f]Alabama[/name_f], [name_f]Alaska[/name_f], [name_f]Capella[/name_f], [name_f]Perdita[/name_f], [name_f]Araceli[/name_f], Circini, Apodis, Albiorix, Kentucky, Lysithea, Antares, Oleander

Hmmmm… my names are primarily vintage.
For girls, I prefer feminine yet strong, names that have historically been used for girls.
For boys, there’s definitely a feminine presence with names such as [name_m]Stellan[/name_m] and [name_u]Harper[/name_u], but most of my top picks are traditional and masculine.
I really love bright lively combos and adore a bit of assonance/consonance.

I tend to prefer traditional names that are unusual in the UK (I don’t mind if they’re common in other countries). By “traditional”, I mean names that have a history and are not recent inventions. I’ve noticed that I gravitate towards two-syllable names for boys (e.g. [name_m]Jasper[/name_m], [name_m]Felix[/name_m], [name_m]Sylvan[/name_m], [name_m]Laszlo[/name_m]) and longer names for girls that end in -a.

My name list has a mix of traditional names like [name_f]Margaret[/name_f] and [name_u]James[/name_u], Irish/Scottish names like [name_f]Niamh[/name_f] and [name_m]Ciaran[/name_m], and family names or names that honor family members like [name_f]Ana[/name_f]ïs and [name_u]Arlo[/name_u].

My taste skews traditional and old-fashioned, and I separate the names I would want to give to an actual person from names I just like. This list only consists of classics, safe names if you will (I’m a full-on conservative namer). As I’m a bilingual non-white, non-US resident, I don’t have any English names on that list.

For the rest, besides traditional English names, I like, in no particular order:

  1. clunkers (e.g., [name_f]Agnes[/name_f], [name_m]Archibald[/name_m])
  2. eccentric Dickensian/[name_m]Harry[/name_m] [name_m]Potter[/name_m]-style names (e.g., [name_f]Primula[/name_f]).
  3. For the English-language pretties, I like the stately aristocratic names ([name_m]Ingram[/name_m], [name_f]Portia[/name_f])
  4. Also, Tolkien names.
  5. For girls, non-frilly names (girls’ names that don’t end in “a” also make me take notice)
  6. And names from cultures I have no claim to (e.g., [name_f]Noor[/name_f], [name_f]Zainab[/name_f], Mineko, Shiori).

I tend to break mine up by the feel that they give me:
[name_f]Maisie[/name_f], [name_f]Millie[/name_f] and [name_f]Rosie[/name_f] are cutesy and playful;
[name_f]Kayleigh[/name_f], [name_f]Gemma[/name_f], and [name_u]Abbie[/name_u] are a bit more 1990s/my generation;
[name_m]Thomas[/name_m], [name_m]Henry[/name_m] and [name_m]William[/name_m] are classic names that are never out of style;
[name_m]Ernest[/name_m], [name_m]Albert[/name_m] and [name_f]Florence[/name_f] are buttoned-up, newly trendy choices, etc.

I also like to chart popularity - it seems like, with girls names, I tend to favour ones found on the UK top 100 lists from 1996-2014 - British trends are most definitely my style, I think that’s the only way to sum mine up really. Sure, some of them are dated names in both the UK and [name_f]Canada[/name_f], but some ‘dated’ names here are perennially popular in the UK ([name_f]Jessica[/name_f], for example), while others that are dated in the UK currently haven’t really taken off here ([name_f]Gemma[/name_f], [name_f]Kirsty[/name_f])

Another thing I take into account is sounds -I favour the ‘ee’ ending for girls; [name_f]Maisie[/name_f], [name_f]Lucy[/name_f], [name_f]Ellie[/name_f], [name_f]Sophie[/name_f], [name_f]Lily[/name_f], [name_u]Ruby[/name_u], etc. I think about 75% of my list ends in an ‘ee’ sound, and easily another large portion ends in ‘ah’.

I can’t think of anything else right now, but if I do, I’ll add it to my response. :slight_smile:

I have always been drawn to complicated names. Why stop with [name_f]Frances[/name_f] when you can have a [name_f]Francesca[/name_f]? I like [name_f]Lily[/name_f], but [name_f]Lilian[/name_f] is better and [name_f]Liliana[/name_f] is better yet.

Along the same lines, I like silent letters in classic names. I like the extra a in [name_f]Rachael[/name_f]. [name_f]Theresa[/name_f], [name_f]Mathilda[/name_f], [name_f]Sophia[/name_f] and [name_f]Hannah[/name_f] all need those h’s. [name_f]Anne[/name_f] with an e is much more distinguished. [name_m]Leonard[/name_m] and [name_f]Eleanor[/name_f] and their myriad of friends. [name_m]Malcolm[/name_m]. [name_m]Aaron[/name_m]. [name_m]Geoffrey[/name_m]. [name_m]Isaac[/name_m]. [name_m]Elijah[/name_m].

Word names, especially if they remind me of names I already consider names. Names like [name_f]Cadence[/name_f] (reminds me of [name_f]Candace[/name_f]), Rosary (redolent of [name_f]Rosemary[/name_f]), and [name_f]Clarity[/name_f] (connections to [name_f]Claire[/name_f] (with the i!) and [name_f]Charity[/name_f]) work for me. I’m not sure about names like [name_u]Blue[/name_u] or [name_m]Granite[/name_m].

Names with nicknames that are more than just hack jobs. Chopping [name_f]Elizabeth[/name_f] into [name_f]Eliza[/name_f] or [name_f]Beth[/name_f] or [name_f]Liz[/name_f] is fine, but I’d rather see [name_f]Theresa[/name_f] turn into [name_f]Tess[/name_f] or [name_f]Dorothy[/name_f] turn into [name_f]Dottie[/name_f] or [name_m]Edward[/name_m] into [name_m]Ned[/name_m].

Names with nicknames that can evolve with the bearer. You know… Father calls me [name_m]William[/name_m], sister calls me [name_m]Will[/name_m], Mother calls me [name_u]Willie[/name_u] but the fellers call me [name_m]Bill[/name_m]! Lots of boys’ names on my list fall into this category.

Most importantly, I love any name with a story behind it.

My names are mostly Scandinavian even though I am not.
Most of them are at least under the top 500 but there are some exceptions.
I have been told that my style is unusual romantic :slight_smile:
I also seem to favor names with O’s, A’s, -ie, -us, and -ar/er I had to take names off of my signature because I realized that I had names that were very rhyme-y Eulalie, Lazuli, Azelie/Magnus, Thaddeus, Titus
Very fond of word names but I can’t stand most word name combos Story Rose, Iris Lily, etc.