Name hypocrisy: names you bend your rules for

I was thinking about the threads on least favorite names, unpopular name opinions, and name pet peeves, and realized that often when I’d talk about one of mine, there was often a names or two I really liked that could fit into a category of names I hate! So they risk making me a hypocrite, though there’s usually a reason why I make the exception. For example:



What are some names you love that technically fall into a category of name you usually hate?

The only one I can think of at the moment: I dislike virtue names for girls. Some people consider [name_f]Felicity[/name_f] and [name_f]Hannah[/name_f] virtue names, so I’m a hypocrite since I like them both.

For me the rules seem to be changing instead of bending. I didn’t use to like nickname names but I love [name_f]Millie[/name_f]. I certainly don’t like the long form [name_f]Mildred[/name_f]. I still dislike son names for girls except for [name_u]Allison[/name_u]. What is wrong with feminine names anyway?

I am a huge name hypocrite.



[name_m]Just[/name_m] had to comment on this. We also have [name_m]Audun[/name_m] on our list (it was my grandfather’s name), but I would probably go with the [name_u]Auden[/name_u] spelling if we ever use it. This is because the -dun and -den sounds are different in Norwegian and I think the latter one would be more wearable today.

Now, to answer your question: I don’t really have any ‘rules’. If I like a name, I put it on the list and I honestly don’t care what anyone but my DH thinks of it. But here are some of the unusual (for me) names I like:

  • I like [name_f]Nell[/name_f] and [name_u]Charlie[/name_u] on their own, although I’m not a fan of nicknames as given names.

  • I’m not a fan of place names either, but [name_u]Salem[/name_u] and [name_u]Cairo[/name_u] work for some reason.

  • I like [name_u]Jude[/name_u], [name_u]Indigo[/name_u], [name_u]Silver[/name_u], [name_m]Esra[/name_m], [name_f]Noa[/name_f], [name_u]Valentine[/name_u] and [name_m]Augustine[/name_m] on girls. Many of these are actually girl names, but I still get bashed for it (hah).

  • I also like [name_u]Vesper[/name_u], [name_u]Artemis[/name_u], [name_u]Robin[/name_u], [name_f]Soleil[/name_f], [name_f]Victoire[/name_f], [name_f]Eir[/name_f], [name_u]Hero[/name_u], Taran, [name_u]Juniper[/name_u], [name_f]Mary[/name_f] and [name_u]Seren[/name_u] on boys.

  • Finally, I dislike the tradition of passing down the same name for generations (as in [name_m]John[/name_m] sr, [name_m]John[/name_m] jr, [name_m]John[/name_m] III), but I’m strangely tempted to pass on either DH’s name or my own father’s name (whom I am named after). I guess that makes me a bit of a hypocrite?

Hm, interesting - my issue is that that [name_u]Auden[/name_u] is an English surname and the Au- in it is pronounced differently than in Norwegian - AW-dn, like in [name_f]Autumn[/name_f], rather than OW-dn like in [name_f]Audi[/name_f] - and I prefer the latter. The second syllable is unemphasized and therefore is more of a schwa [ə] in English, which is a kind of non-vowel, more swallowed than pronounced. I’m thinking of my cousin Torunn, and it seems like the second syllable of her name is a schwa, too, but perhaps it’s just too subtle for my non-native ear? I am debating about whether I would really use [name_m]Audun[/name_m], as regardless of whether it was spelled [name_m]Audun[/name_m] or [name_u]Auden[/name_u] he’d have to correct people in spelling and pronunciation, which I know from my own name can be a pain, despite that mine is actually quite common for Americans!

Um, this isn’t really a ‘rule’ but almost all of my favorite names are longer names that have a lot of nickname potential, like [name_f]Maddalena[/name_f] nn [name_f]Maddie[/name_f] or [name_f]Lena[/name_f] and [name_f]Azalea[/name_f] nn [name_u]Aza[/name_u] or [name_f]Lea[/name_f] or [name_m]Zale[/name_m]. But my favorite name of all time is [name_f]Ella[/name_f], a short name with not very many nickname options.

Um, I don’t mind unusual spellings, except for some specific cases. There are so many spelling variations of [name_u]Cameron[/name_u] and I don’t mind any of them except I know a girl named Kamyron. To me that looks like Kah-[name_m]Myron[/name_m]. So I guess I don’t mind different spellings unless it changes the way a name looks like it should be pronounced? Also, I don’t mind spelling variations except I don’t like the [name_f]Sofia[/name_f]/[name_f]Sofie[/name_f] spelling. I much prefer [name_f]Sophia[/name_f]/[name_f]Sophie[/name_f].

• [name_m]Even[/name_m] though I’m christian, I don’t fancy bible names at all EXCEPT for [name_m]Raphael[/name_m], which, incidentally, is a name I don’t only like but [name_u]LOVE[/name_u] and would seriously consider naming my future child someday. I think it’s because to me [name_m]Raphael[/name_m] has a more renaissance/painterly connotation rather than strict biblical ties. Also the only [name_m]Raphael[/name_m] I’ve ever known was from Germany, so that definitely influenced my perception of the name. Everything else I can’t stand though, especially the ones ending in -iah and -ah. [name_m]Ezekiel[/name_m] is nice, but that I wouldn’t use.
• [name_m]Sylvan[/name_m] technically contains all the trendy elements of boys’ names that I hate: -an ending, and a Y included in the spelling. HOWEVER, the reason I love [name_m]Sylvan[/name_m] so much is because it is the original spelling and NOT variation of anything better. It’s also a legitimate descriptor.
• I love double middle names but I hate making 3-name combos because they use up the best names too quickly!
• I generally only like 2/3 syllable names for first names, but I wouldn’t hesitate to use [name_f]Magdalena[/name_f] in its full form for a first name (no nicknames either!)

I agree, I love [name_m]Sylvan[/name_m]! It doesn’t sound trendy at all, quite the opposite - it sounds very ancient, or at least Renaissance. It’s actually because it so doesn’t sound modern that I’m hesitant to use it - it’s more in my GP bin because of its ancient mythological associations. Fun fact: [name_m]Silas[/name_m] is likely another form of the same root name ([name_m]Silvanus[/name_m]).

I don’t have too many names that fall in a bend of the rule category, but I do have one that comes to mind:

  • ey spellings bug me, thus why I can’t have [name_u]Aubrey[/name_u], but can love [name_f]Aubree[/name_f]. But I love [name_f]Zoey[/name_f] spelling, and only that spelling. I guess because I grew up seeing it that way on a popular tv show and someone I knew, it’s the only form of the name that is correct to me. I also love [name_f]Audrey[/name_f], but the -ey spelling bugs me just a little bit.

Most place names for girls aren’t my style. [name_u]Paris[/name_u], [name_u]Brooklyn[/name_u], [name_u]London[/name_u], etc. Meh. [name_f]Ireland[/name_f] is okay, but only the right type of girl could pull it off.

On the flip side, I’m absolutely in love with [name_u]Dallas[/name_u] on a boy. If I ever have a son, I want to name him [name_u]Dallas[/name_u] [name_m]Frederick[/name_m]. I just feel like that is THE name.

I like [name_u]Dakota[/name_u] on boys too. It’s okay on girls, but it’s not my favorite.

I don’t like boys’ names on girls, or vice versa. But… I love [name_f]Maria[/name_f], [name_f]Marie[/name_f], and [name_f]Mary[/name_f] as hyphenated firsts or middles on boys. And likewise on girls with [name_f]Josephe[/name_f], [name_u]Antoine[/name_u], [name_m]Julian[/name_m] and such. Nightingale? Prefer for boys. [name_u]Quinn[/name_u]? Girls.

I dislike [name_u]Zephyr[/name_u], and adore Zéphryus and Zéphyrine.

I don’t care for “dated” names like [name_f]Melissa[/name_f], [name_f]Brittany[/name_f], [name_f]Stephanie[/name_f], [name_f]Heather[/name_f], [name_f]Tiffany[/name_f], and [name_f]Michelle[/name_f]. And I love [name_f]Vanessa[/name_f] – I think I can forgive myself there.

Certain names I dislike for proper use, such as [name_f]Coco[/name_f], [name_f]Lulu[/name_f], [name_f]Minnie[/name_f], etc. And I would just love to meet a little [name_f]Cricket[/name_f] {boy}

Also, I strongly dislike [name_u]Alex[/name_u] on girls. And [name_u]Alix[/name_u]? Well, I just love [name_u]Alix[/name_u]. I prefer it to [name_f]Alice[/name_f], and perhaps [name_f]Alys[/name_f].

I don’t think it counts as a virtue name if it’s just the root or the meaning that is a virtue, not the name itself. If it did, a huge percentage of names would be virtue names! [name_f]Virtue[/name_f] names are restricted to names like [name_f]Faith[/name_f], [name_f]Hope[/name_f], [name_f]Grace[/name_f], [name_f]Charity[/name_f], [name_f]Chastity[/name_f], [name_f]Honor[/name_f], etc. I think even something like [name_f]Honora[/name_f] is on the edge of not being a virtue name because it’s been namefied. You could maybe make an argument for [name_f]Felicity[/name_f], but I think the word is antiquated enough that it doesn’t really count anymore. But [name_f]Hannah[/name_f], no way.

Oh yes, I am certainly a huge name hypocrite at times!

I much prefer the idea of giving a “proper” formal name with a nickname you love, rather than just the nickname itself, but my top boy name at the moment is [name_u]Kit[/name_u] - just [name_u]Kit[/name_u]. I also love just [name_u]Dash[/name_u] (but it feels a bit kiddish and informal to actually use), just [name_f]Liv[/name_f] (I know it isn’t just a nickname, but it feels like one), and just [name_f]Nell[/name_f] (though luckily I also adore the legit long form [name_f]Helena[/name_f]). Still, I generally dislike the sweeping nicknames-as-given-names trend here in the UK, especially the -ie endings: [name_u]Charlie[/name_u], [name_u]Alfie[/name_u], [name_m]Archie[/name_m], [name_u]Freddie[/name_u], [name_f]Maisie[/name_f], [name_f]Ellie[/name_f], [name_f]Tillie[/name_f], [name_f]Lottie[/name_f]. They feel too cutesy and incomplete to me, hypocritical though that may be.

A pet peeve of mine is the so-called “filler middles”, especially [name_f]Rose[/name_f] and [name_f]Mae[/name_f] for girls and [name_u]James[/name_u] for boys. But look at my signature and you’ll see [name_m]Leopold[/name_m] [name_u]James[/name_u] in there, as well as [name_f]Minerva[/name_f] [name_f]Grace[/name_f], which lots of people have commented on as “fillerish” (an entirely fair assessment!) I do try and avoid the most common middle names wherever possible, but in both of those cases I just can’t find another middle I love as much. I feel like both [name_m]Leopold[/name_m] and [name_f]Minerva[/name_f] need something solid, traditional and dependable to stop them feeling overblown, and I happen to love both [name_u]James[/name_u] and [name_f]Grace[/name_f] on their own and especially in these combos.

Another general dislike is surname names, especially celebrity surnames. But I love the name [name_f]Winslet[/name_f] for a girl (though I would never use it), and I have a real soft spot for Scottish and Irish surname names for boys, like [name_m]Rafferty[/name_m], [name_u]Sullivan[/name_u], [name_m]Finnegan[/name_m], [name_m]Calloway[/name_m] and [name_m]Montgomery[/name_m]. They have such a lovely, lilting, musical rhythm and fantastic nickname potential!

I also generally really dislike double firsts, and especially hyphenated firsts. But there are a few exceptions to this: [name_f]Anna[/name_f] [name_f]Sophia[/name_f], [name_f]Anna[/name_f] [name_f]Maria[/name_f] and [name_f]Anne[/name_f] [name_f]Mette[/name_f] (a potter whose work DH is crazy about, and I’m crazy about her name!)

I’m sure there are many more examples of my name hypocrisy, but those are the main ones which spring to mind!

I [name_u]LOVE[/name_u] [name_f]Rosalie[/name_f], although it technically breaks two of my “rules”: #1 - I usually avoid names that end in [name_u]LEE[/name_u], LEY, LIE, [name_u]LEIGH[/name_u] (think [name_f]Haylee[/name_f], [name_u]Bailey[/name_u], [name_f]Kylie[/name_f]). #2 - [name_f]Rosalie[/name_f] would get shortened to [name_f]Rose[/name_f], and I usually dislike all word names.

One for the boys is [name_u]Elliott[/name_u] - I really dislike unisex names or giving girls boy names and usually cross these types of names off for both genders. But I really love [name_u]Elliott[/name_u], even though he would probably meet a few female [name_u]Elliot[/name_u]/[name_u]Elliott[/name_u]'s.

That totally makes sense to me - the -ie ending, especially where there is an obvious name it is a nickname of ([name_m]Alfred[/name_m], [name_m]Archibald[/name_m], [name_m]Frederick[/name_m], [name_f]Matilda[/name_f], etc.), is so weird as a full name. But something like [name_u]Kit[/name_u] doesn’t have an obvious root name, and feels more like [name_m]Kip[/name_m] or [name_m]Kent[/name_m]. I feel similarly about [name_u]Jody[/name_u], which is a derivative of [name_m]Joseph[/name_m] but feels distanced enough from it that I like it as a first name.

Oh I agree with you on [name_f]Winslet[/name_f] - it’s such a pretty sound. But I remember that when Titanic came out when I was about 12, kids were relentless with the “Winslut” comments, and she wasn’t even a peer! That is enough to deter me from even considering it even if I wanted to.

Generally I hate extremely foreign names on kids with parents who have none of that heritage whatsoever. But some names I like are [name_m]Miguel[/name_m] and [name_u]Angel[/name_u] for boys, though I’m not Hispanic at all! I would consider the name [name_m]Miguel[/name_m] (not [name_u]Angel[/name_u]) realistically but I would not hesitate to use either of them if my partner is Hispanic.

What a difficult, yet interesting topic.

[name_m]Just[/name_m] curious, in your first point you mention not liking names on girl girls that end in -son. I was wondering how you feel about names like [name_f]Maddison[/name_f] and [name_f]Alison[/name_f]? Or if you’re just referring to unisex names?

I think for me, I feel like I tell myself I don’t like a certain type of name (ex. color names, flower names, nature names, long girl names, etc)… But I actually have quite a few names that would fall under these categories.

For example, I love the names [name_f]Violet[/name_f], [name_u]Blue[/name_u], [name_u]Indigo[/name_u].

I love [name_f]Rose[/name_f]/[name_f]Rosie[/name_f], [name_f]Marigold[/name_f], [name_f]Lily[/name_f]/[name_f]Lillian[/name_f].

I love the name [name_f]Moon[/name_f].

I love the names [name_f]Philomena[/name_f] and [name_f]Penelope[/name_f]. Granted I would nn them [name_m]Philo[/name_m] and [name_f]Nell[/name_f]/[name_u]Nelly[/name_u].

I also don’t like names that begin with D, but really like the name [name_m]Dashiell[/name_m].

[name_u]Madison[/name_u] and [name_u]Allison[/name_u] are actually both unisex! I really, really hate [name_u]Madison[/name_u] for girls - it started out as a presidential surname strictly for boys and skyrocketed for girls in the '80s. [name_u]Allison[/name_u] is sort of a special case, as it’s existed as a diminutive of [name_f]Alice[/name_f] since the Middle Ages. I don’t really like it either, but not for the same reason as other -son names applies to girls, whose histories are as surnames and whose etymologies actually mean “son of [name].”

I don’t like names ending in N and think that is generally way overdone and, like, so 2008. But some do really strike my fancy like [name_u]Arden[/name_u], [name_u]Camden[/name_u], and [name_m]Corentin[/name_m].