Alrighty! I’m going to use the same process I did on Parts 1 and 2, because it was actually super revealing, if long-winded and time-consuming. I’ll tally up the votes for and against each name, and reflect on how that feedback makes me feel about the name, before deciding which to keep, which to question, and which to let go of.
Here we go!
- Oceane - 5 votes for, and 1 against, with several comments about varying pronunciations. I had fallen in love with the first pronunciation I heard, which was oh-see-EHN. I realize now that regardless of which pronunciation we went with, no two people are going to say this name the same way, and that definitely makes me feel less enchanted with it.
- Octavia - A whopping 18 votes in favor and 0 against! This is the new record for most votes in favor! I’m so excited to see the overwhelmingly positive response. T also mentioned this morning that [name_f]Octavia[/name_f] was still on their mind - and T never initiates name conversations. This is definitely going near the top of the list.
- Oleanna - 0 votes for, 2 votes against. This is why I’m so grateful for you Berries - I had not read the play in question, and was just like, “Oh, there’s a play about this, how neat.” Ha! That was a very disturbing plot summary! I do love @rosepip’s suggestion to just use [name_u]Oleander[/name_u] instead, and don’t know why it didn’t occur to me (pregnancy brain?). I’m taking [name_f]Oleanna[/name_f] off the list, but adding [name_u]Oleander[/name_u] as a middle only option.
- Olwen - 8 votes for, 0 against. I thrilled with every yes vote! And I so appreciated all the little comments that were made on this name - they just made me love it even more.
- Oona - 9 votes for, 1 against. I was delighted by every yes vote, and disappointed by the no. I can see the logic - there are other names on the list I do feel more strongly towards - but I’m not ready to let go of [name_f]Oona[/name_f]. That magical double-O just gives me all of the feels!
- Opal - 11 votes for, 0 against. I was very surprised by my own reaction to all these yes votes. Instead of being pleased by them, I just felt uncomfortable, like I was trying on an ill-fitting shirt. On paper, this name should be perfect for me, but something in me does not love it. I think I need to let this one go. @rosepip The [name_u]Raven[/name_u] Cycle is one of mine and T’s all time favorite book series!! We recently discovered S has not yet read it and immediately devoted ourselves to getting her to give it a try. So. Effing. Magical. [name_f]Maggie[/name_f] Stiefvater’s wordsmithing is just everything. chef’s kiss
- Ophelia - 17 votes for, and 1 against. I thrilled with every single yes vote, and every time someone commented that the name was obviously important to me because of how much I wrote about it, I was definitely nodding along with their words. And let me tell you, my hackles went UP with @skylerros’s criticism! I won’t repeat it here because I can’t figure out how to blur out the word, but you can reference their comment. What do we think, Berries? Should I be concerned that this will be a common association?
- Oriande - 0 votes for, 2 against. I had very little negative reaction to the lack of yes votes, and found myself agreeing with the nos.
- Orinthia - 1 vote in favor, 1 soft against, and 1 firm against. I love this name on paper - the look, sound, feel, and even the meaning - but I don’t think I have the kind of scintillating connection to it that I feel with many of the others.
- Pandora - 7 votes in favor, 1 soft against, and 1 firm against. I’m so divided on this name. I was thrilled with all of the positive feedback, even as I question her usability. Does anyone know of an actual child named [name_f]Pandora[/name_f], and if so, how do strangers usually react to her name?
- Pearl - 8 votes for, 2 against. I really appreciate everyone who left comments about the reasoning behind their vote. I have a vicious inner battle over this name, perhaps even more so than with [name_f]Lily[/name_f], [name_u]Briar[/name_u], and [name_f]Circe[/name_f]. [name_f]Pearl[/name_f] has been at the top of my middle name list for years, and I would use her in a heartbeat if it weren’t for this person. I even feel resentment at the [name_f]Pearl[/name_f] we know for tainting this name that I love so much. But the [name_f]Pearl[/name_f] in question is a very problematic individual for S and I, even as she’s also an important person in T’s life. I would never want to give the impression that I named my child after her, and even though it’s just an internet handle rather than her real name, internet is how we all interact with her. Ugghh. It’s like pulling teeth to convince myself to let this one go!
- Phaedra - 7 votes in favor, 3 against, though all the no votes were qualified by a variation of, “I love this name, but you seem concerned.” I expected to be more on the no side of things, so the thrill I got with every yes vote, and the strong sense of defensiveness I felt with every no were both surprising to me. [name_f]My[/name_f] brain countered my own concerns about the myth with arguments about how I’ve kept [name_f]Ophelia[/name_f], [name_f]Juliet[/name_f], [name_f]Lilith[/name_f], etc., so how is [name_u]Phaedra[/name_u] any more of a challenge? I must have stronger feelings for this name than I thought. I think I need to keep her for now.
- Reverie - 14 yes votes, and 0 against! [name_f]My[/name_f] heart did a little giddy dance with every yes and every positive comment! @eattacosforbreakfast I have NOT read this book, but the first phrase I encountered when Googling it was “joyously, riotously queer.” I don’t think I’ve ever added a book to my “to-read” list so heckin fast!
- River - 7 votes for, 1 soft against. I was very puzzled by my own lukewarm reaction to this name, considering how long it’s been on my list. I still love both namesakes, but the name itself seems to have lost its luster for me… I’m not sure if that’s a popularity thing, the fact that I see it most often on boys, or something else entirely. Whatever the case, it just doesn’t sing to me like it used to.
- Rosalind - 14 votes in favor, 0 against. [name_f]My[/name_f] feelings are just all over the place with this name! Part of me thrilled with every yes vote and delighted in all the positive comments. Another part was just hanging out in the back of my head, turning up her nose and saying, “but it’s so normal.” I think the bit that swayed me was @rosepip’s comment that it “sounds like the name of the daughter of a witch (or three!).” How could I ever say no to that??
- Rowena - 7 votes for, 5 against (I think that’s a record for most no votes!). THIS NAME RIGHT HERE is the proof that pregnancy brain has well and truly taken over, and I have to thank @findemaxa13 for saving my bacon. [name_u]Rowan[/name_u] is second only to [name_m]Caspian[/name_m] on our list of masc names, so OF COURSE I can’t use [name_f]Rowena[/name_f]!! I can’t believe that did not even cross my mind. @_@ But I’m pleased you liked the [name_m]Ivanhoe[/name_m] reference!
- Rune - 11 votes for, 0 against. I was surprised both by the number of positive responses, and my own lack of thrills at those positive responses. I expected this to be one of the names that I would have a very visceral feeling about.
- Sabriel - 1 vote for, 2 against. I’ve always heard it said SAY-bree-el, as in rhymes with [name_u]Gabriel[/name_u]. I appreciate that the no votes articulated their reasons why, because the points are very valid. I would not want the name to be constantly misheard as [name_u]Gabriel[/name_u]. I’m surprised by how willing I am to let this one go.
- Saffron - 13 votes in favor, 0 against. I was very surprised by my own feelings of disenchantment throughout, because I love the look and sound, and that there’s an herbal connection. I think it was feeling insubstantial to me, and then T made a comment about not liking the Firefly character. I don’t think I will keep this one, even as a middle, which is unexpected, but feels right.
- Samara - 4 votes for, 2 against. The nos make some good points. Despite the fact that this is a more unusual name, it doesn’t feel all that unique, and my knowledge of the association is coloring how I experience the name - synesthesia is generating very gloomy, drippy dark blues and greys. [name_f]Senara[/name_f] is far superior.
- Satia - 3 votes for, 1 against. I use the SAH-tee-ah pronunciation. I confess that despite the spiritual connection and how much I like the sound, I had completely forgotten this was on the list. I think that says it all.
- Senara - 7 votes for, 1 soft against. I don’t think I love this one as much as some of the other names in this section, but I still feel very strongly about it. The sound is so fluid and calm with a hint of drama, and the mermaid connection delights me. @rosepip I appreciate that the [name_f]Azenor[/name_f] variant makes the connection to the Mermaid of [name_u]Zennor[/name_u] more obvious, but my synesthesia really does not like that Z sound.
- Serafina - 13 votes in favor, 0 against. I find myself more torn than I would have ever expected. I love the fierceness I associate with this name, from the fiery meaning to the personality of the namesake, truly one of my favorite fictional witches. [name_f]Eva[/name_f] [name_u]Green[/name_u] played [name_f]Serafina[/name_f] Pekkala in the (admittedly flawed) film adaptation of the first book, and it was the perfect casting, because her sharp, fey, otherworldly beauty is exactly the vibe I get from this name. At the same time, the angelic association does distance me a little from my love of the name, and I’m suddenly worried that rather than honoring S, it would be so similar to her name as to be confusing to have them both in the same household.
- Sereia - 2 votes for, 1 soft against, 1 firm against. As pretty as this name is, and as much a sucker as I am for mermaid names, I don’t love the way it’s so obscure as to sound made-up, and I don’t like that’s not really used as a name even in its origin country. Letting this one go.
- Sinfai - 2 votes for, 1 against. This one definitely is not a popular choice, and there are even some reasons why it could be cut, but something keeps holding me back. Part of me is just too enchanted with this name to let go. @Araminty I have never heard of this story! [name_f]Do[/name_f] you remember what it’s called?
- Sireli - 3 votes for, 2 against. I think the nos have it on this one. The look and feel are absolutely beautiful, but there’s no connection here. The affection is all superficial.
- Snow - 11 votes in favor, 0 against! This name gives me a very pure and simple joy, and I was delighted with every yes vote.
- Soraya - 8 votes for, 1 soft against. I notice I haven’t really raved about this name, but I do find it to be so captivating. Keeping at least for now.
- Starling - 6 votes for, 0 against. I’m not sure what’s going on with me today, but I felt very little of anything when I was tallying up these votes. I had expected [name_u]Starling[/name_u] to be one that I really loved and reacted to.
- Sylvana (and variants) - 10 votes in favor, 0 against, though some commenters did express preference of one of the other variants over [name_f]Sylvana[/name_f] herself. I agree with @rosepip that [name_f]Sylvia[/name_f] is the least interesting of the variants. I have [name_m]Sylvan[/name_m] and [name_f]Sylvaine[/name_f] on here primarily because they work well in combos where there a lot of names ending in -a.
- Sylvestra - 7 votes in favor and 0 against! I was beside myself with glee at every yes vote. I am thrilled that so many of you see the magic in [name_f]Sylvestra[/name_f] that I do! She just feels so mysterious and magical and drenched in nature, all these beautiful shades of green and silver. @Araminty even though we’re going for double middles, your [name_f]Sylvestra[/name_f] [name_u]Lark[/name_u] and [name_f]Sylvestra[/name_f] [name_u]Fable[/name_u] combo suggestions both had me absolutely swooning.
- Taika - 0 votes in favor, 2 against. I was not familiar with [name_f]Taika[/name_f] Waititi, and he seems to be the strongest association. His work appears to be incredible, but not so much that I want to keep this one on the list.
- Tanith - 3 votes for, 1 against. Despite the mythological connection, I don’t think I love this one enough to fight for it.
- Thalassa - 0 votes for, 1 soft against, and 1 firm against. While I’m extremely surprised by the lack of positive feedback - [name_f]Thalassa[/name_f] is so lovely! - I feel like this is one of those names that I want to love more than I do / feel like I should love because it ticks all the boxes on paper. Time to let go.
- Thalia - 6 votes for, 2 against. This one is clearly more popular than [name_f]Thalassa[/name_f], but unfortunately, my feelings for them are almost identical, except that [name_f]Thalia[/name_f] has the added burden of pronunciation issues. I’ve always thought it was THAH-lee-ah. @eattacosforbreakfast The only mer connection I could find for this one is that it’s the stage name of a few professional mermaids.
- Thelema - 0 votes in favor, 2 against. I love the spiritual connection, but the inevitable confusion with [name_f]Thelma[/name_f] does not spark joy. This one can go.
- Titania - 3 votes for, 0 against. I was definitely disgruntled that there was not more [name_f]Titania[/name_f] love, even as I second-guessed my pronunciation. Which is more common: tih-TAHN-ya, or tie-TAY-nee-ah?
- Vashti - 2 votes for, 2 against. As surprised as I am by the lack of [name_f]Vashti[/name_f] love, since I’ve always found this name so lush and rich and fantastical, I also found myself more in love with it in theory than in practice. I just can’t see myself calling a little [name_f]Vashti[/name_f] to dinner.
- Viola - 10 votes in favor, 0 against. Despite all the yes votes, I found myself utterly indifferent to this name, which I think is fairly damning.
- Vivendel - 5 votes for, 0 against. I’m delighted to be the one to introduce this name to some of you! As I was tallying the votes for this one, I was really unclear about what I was feeling until someone mentioned using it as a middle, and then I felt much better. So I think I will keep this one on the list for now, but move it to middle only status.
- Vivienne - 9 votes in favor, 2 soft against. I don’t know if I am just getting pickier as this process goes on, but I was again surprised to feel very little excitement for a name I used to enthusiastically love. I don’t even feel like putting it on the questioning list. I think I’m getting more ruthless with my cuts.
- Willow - An incredible 18 votes in favor, with 0 against! I think we all knew [name_u]Willow[/name_u] wasn’t going anywhere, haha. I do think, given the comments about her increasing popularity, that I might just move this one to the top of the middle list, and use one of my more unusual choices as a first.
- Wisteria - 11 votes for, and 0 against! I am beyond thrilled with all this [name_f]Wisteria[/name_f] love! I was bracing to be told she was too fanciful. I also gave little happy squeaks when someone mentioned liking the nickname Wish. So delighted and relieved to have a positive response to this name! @rosepip [name_f]Wisteria[/name_f] will always make me think of “mysterious” before “hysteria.”
- Yesenia - 3 votes for, 2 against. I’m having those “what was I thinking” feels again. [name_m]Don[/name_m]’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely name and fun to say, but we have no connection to it whatsoever.
- Yvaine - 6 votes for, 0 against. I expected to get more of a thrill from this one than I actually did. I may just be getting name fatigue. At any rate, I am not ready to get rid of it.
- Zafiri - 0 votes for, 2 against. Another “what was I thinking” moment. I like the sound, but there’s no real significance to this name beyond its prettiness.
- Zelda - 6 votes for, and 0 against, though one of the yes votes was a little cautionary. I am crushing so hard on this name right now, so I thrilled with every single yes!
- Zorya - 5 votes for, 0 against. I am delighted to see underused [name_f]Zorya[/name_f] getting some love! It did occur to me, however, that [name_f]Zorya[/name_f] and [name_f]Soraya[/name_f] are very similar, and between the two of them I prefer [name_f]Soraya[/name_f]. I am also wondering now if [name_f]Zorya[/name_f] is a [name_u]Saxon[/name_u] and Russian variant of the Persian and Turkish [name_f]Soraya[/name_f]?
And that’s it for Part 3! Let’s see what we’re left with:
[name_f]Octavia[/name_f], [name_u]Oleander[/name_u] (middle only), [name_f]Olwen[/name_f], [name_f]Oona[/name_f], [name_f]Ophelia[/name_f], [name_u]Phaedra[/name_u], [name_f]Reverie[/name_f], [name_f]Senara[/name_f], [name_u]Snow[/name_u] (middle only), [name_f]Sylvana[/name_f] (and variants), [name_f]Sylvestra[/name_f], [name_u]Willow[/name_u] (middle only), [name_f]Wisteria[/name_f], and [name_f]Zelda[/name_f] (middle only).
Keeping, but Questioning
[name_f]Pandora[/name_f], [name_f]Rosalind[/name_f], [name_u]Rune[/name_u], [name_f]Serafina[/name_f], Sinfai, [name_f]Soraya[/name_f], [name_u]Starling[/name_u], [name_f]Titania[/name_f], [name_u]Vivendel[/name_u], and [name_f]Yvaine[/name_f].
[name_f]Oceane[/name_f], [name_f]Oleanna[/name_f], [name_f]Opal[/name_f], Oriande, [name_f]Orinthia[/name_f], [name_f]Pearl[/name_f] (sob), [name_u]River[/name_u], [name_f]Rowena[/name_f], Sabriel, [name_f]Saffron[/name_f], [name_f]Samara[/name_f], Satia, [name_f]Sereia[/name_f], [name_f]Sireli[/name_f], [name_f]Taika[/name_f], [name_f]Tanith[/name_f], [name_f]Thalassa[/name_f], [name_f]Thalia[/name_f], Thelema, [name_f]Vashti[/name_f], [name_f]Viola[/name_f], [name_f]Vivienne[/name_f], [name_f]Yesenia[/name_f], Zafiri, and [name_f]Zorya[/name_f].
Out of 48 potentials, we narrowed this section down to 14 keepers and 10 maybes. Once again, we cut the list exactly in half! This round was really difficult for me, because synesthesia brain loves all these O, R, S, and W names. I couldn’t have done it without you! Special shoutouts to @alatari for her individual analysis of each name and ever-helpful ranking system, @amal2970 and @HarderToBreathe for their detailed comments, and @rosepip for their in-depth analysis of each name. These responses must have taken you all so much time and effort, and I can’t tell you how much that is appreciated!
It’s official, folks. We have made it through round one of edits to the Monster List!! We started out with a total of 141 names and narrowed this down to 43 keepers and 30 maybes. We cut 68 names in the first round of edits, and I think that is a heckin huge accomplishment!
I’m not entirely sure where to go from here and how to continue whittling down the list. I’d still like to end up taking about half this many names to the hospital. Part of me thinks I should close these initial threads and start a new one (or two) for the second round of cuts. ([name_m]Can[/name_m] you even still close threads anymore? I’m still getting used to the new UI.) Regardless of what I end up doing, I’ll be sure to let you all know and post links to any new threads I create.
Thank you again for helping me navigate this journey! Sending you all much love!