Nameberry's name commentary

Have the descriptions of names on here made you love them even more, or reconsider a name? Or, have they made you cross one off your list? Any descriptions you don’t agree with?

My husband mentioned [name]Alethea[/name] as a suggestion the other day to which I replied “Hmmm, well… nameberry says it’s like [name]Alicia[/name] with a lisp.” Now he can’t get it out of his head. Hey, I’m glad someone told us! Kind of. :slight_smile:

On the flip side, I liked [name]Rhonwen[/name] before, but nameberry describing it as “delicate and haunting” made me like it all the better.

[name]How[/name] about for all of you?

Well, I looked up my own name only to be told ‘most Westeners prefer [name]Wren[/name]’. I was quite offended! :frowning: Lol. Why aren’t I ‘delicate and haunting’ or what not? Nameberry is clearly biased :stuck_out_tongue: I also looked up a few of my favourite names like [name]Vasiliy[/name] and [name]Ira[/name]. Surprisingly, Nameberry thought [name]Vas[/name] would be a ‘choice for the adventurous’ but it also suggested I just use ‘snow’ instead of [name]Ira[/name] "-_- [name]How[/name] about no Nameberry! [name]Snow[/name] is a word!

In conclusion I’m not entirely sold on the comments. In some instances they might be helpful but most of the time they just seem rude and pointless, unless - of course - the person doing the writing thinks a name is particularly pretty! :wink:

I usually ignore the name commentary completely. I rely on Behind the Name for name meaning and origin. Some of the comments on the names are borderline catty, and that just doesn’t fly with me.

I don’t read the name entries, so they don’t impact me one way or the other (though I did just look up my favorites out of curiosity, and I didn’t disagree with anything that I read).

I respect [name]Linda[/name] and [name]Pam[/name]'s opinions, but when trying to figure out the good/bad points of a name or how it will be perceived, it’s more useful to me to hit the forums and to discuss it with RL friends and family. Like southern.maple, when I want factual info, I turn to behindthename.

I dislike the name comments on here. For one, half the Greek names on here are listed with a mispronunciation, or the gods have the wrong descriptions (like [name]Athena[/name] being described as a goddess of wisdom and fertility which isn’t right at all!) and second, I find some of the comment they make on names offensive. My example: I love [name]Lafayette[/name]. Nameberry describes it as “Foppish name” and that’s what half the people on here told me when I talked about it when first joining. It was like they were just quoting what the site said and not giving a real opinion at all.

Or like in the comment for [name]Persephone[/name] – " kidnapped by [name]Pluto[/name]"…[name]Pluto[/name] isn’t Greek…it’s [name]Roman[/name]. They’re mixing myths there. “decreed by [name]Jupiter[/name]” again…[name]Jupiter[/name] is [name]Roman[/name]. [name]Zeus[/name] is Greek. If they’re going to do [name]Roman[/name] myth, they need to do it with Proserpina, the [name]Roman[/name] version of [name]Persephone[/name]. Her name also doesn’t mean “bringing death”…most people are unsure of the meaning of her name but associate at it with something to do with sound (because of the -phone ending as in other Greek words to do with sound – homophone etc) and Nameberry calls her the goddess of [name]Spring[/name]. She’s not. She’s the goddess of spring growth. Eiar is the goddess of spring.

To sum it up, I have tons of issues with these name comments and tend to avoid them. I don’t even look up name meanings on here because I find more accurate name meanings on


This is the only place I can talk names with people who appreciate the thought behind what I choose and the unusual names we are considering. So if several people on here point out something I didnt think of, or, suggest I think about this or that I will mill over those ideas with DH. As far as the name commentary stuff, I haven’t searched enough names on here honestly to read what is written there but do know what they are…I tend to rely more on what dh refers to as “the council” which are members who respond to my posts. :wink:

Actually, some rather snarky descriptions made me value the NB commentary a lot less, I totally agree with @renrose that Nameberry is clearly biased. I don’t take NB’s name commentary seriously tbh largely because of that. I value the board users opinion far more.

And like other PPs, I go to behindthename for commentary/more info.

Yeah, I noticed they mix up meanings a lot.

Like [name]Alessandra[/name], it supposedly means “God’s defender” on here, yet [name]Alexandra[/name] means “defending warrior”, and [name]Alexandria[/name] means “man’s defender”…which one is it?
(Previous research tells me it’s man’s defender/defender of men)

@east – The sad thing is that when I try to point out that those things are wrong, I generally get ignored or they change the pronunciation or meaning for a while then change them back…

I find that very confusing/frustrating.

The comments are all opinion, and I also respect that since we all have rights to our opinions but they aren’t mine so I usually don’t look at them. I also rely on behind the name for my name meanings. There are so many names that have different meanings on different websites. Behind the name seems to be one of the most reliable from what I noticed. I could be wrong though.

The only names I’ve ever looked up here are [name]Leire[/name] and [name]Iker[/name], and the pronunciation is wrong for both of them, so I’ve never looked for anything else. I’ve seen what other posters have noted about the comments (like in the All About Nameberry section) and since realizing that the comments section is largely an opinion blurb about the name, and not always based entirely in objective fact, I don’t see the point in my searching names here. If I want an opinion, I’ll ask for it on the board. When I’m looking for factual information, I go to language academy name databases first, then BtN.
I do appreciate that there’s a database here because it does open a lot of peoples’ eyes to different types of names and a lot of people use it, it just isn’t the kind of database I personally find helpful.

Ouch. I’m sorry to hear that you all have so many issues with the Nameberry database, which [name]Linda[/name] and I have been working on for 25 years and which represents our life’s work. When there are mistakes and people bring them to our notice, we do independent research and change if appropriate. As for the meanings here, they are based on extensive research and can be relied upon – again, when there are mistakes or inconsistencies, we research and change.

As for the commentary, this is a two-edged sword as many of you have pointed out, and one we have thought long and hard about. Yes, the commentary represents our personal opinion but we believe that brings value and offers something that most other sites, which are basic dictionaries or include opinions written by a hired assistant, don’t offer. Certainly, those of you who are interested in and knowledgeable about names will often disagree or have something to add.

We are close to adding a space for people to comment on names, which will add to the existing commentary and provide a way for people to offer a counter opinion or illuminate a point.

If anyone has information to add or correct about a name, they can send it to me a and and we will change if appropriate – and I guarantee you, never tiptoe in later and “change it back.”

Hm… I feel weird about this thread now. I guess I expected some good thrown in with the critical which is not your fault berries. I think I might lock 'er up, but I’m glad [name]Pam[/name] addressed the concerns. Thanks for the replies though!