Okay Nameberry, let's Pow-Wow!

Alright, I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I think this disscussion is warrented.

Let’s talk about name critique! We’ll call it the ‘Question of the Weekend.’

Now, we are NOT and I repeat NOT here to call our name-sisters out, as, let’s face it, they’re the only ones who understand the obsession, no, we are here to discuss how the community at large can improve itself here on the name boards.

[name]How[/name] many of you have posted your name list? [name]How[/name] many of you are terrified? Not because there is any thing wrong with your names, you aren’t spelling [name]Kate[/name], Kaaitteey, you don’t want twins named Blubber and Flubber, in fact you’ve seen many people rave about the names right there on your list! Right? But you’re terrified because you’ve seen those same ravers turn.

Now, on NB, we pretty much have a no Kre8tiv and no yooneek policy; in fact we made up names for these categories, ironic, no? You can rest assured that if you name a baby Pineleopeey we will not like it, so don’t post your list if our ‘it’s not unique only spelled wrong’ arguments have fallen on deaf ears; it’s your baby, don’t care what we think- if we ever teach your daughter we will dilegently spell out P-I-N-E-L-E-O-P-E-E-Y and cringe evertime. However, Nameberry as a whole is too swift when it comes to categorizing.

If someone has never heard/seen a name before: I have witnessed someone saying, “That’s not even a name!” Yes, yes it is. [name]Just[/name] because you haven’t seen it, heard it, or have only ever seen the ‘anglicized’ version of the name does not mean it is illegitimate. As all the [name]Scarlette[/name]'s, [name]Rose[/name]'s, [name]Wren[/name]'s, [name]Ireland[/name]'s, [name]Raine[/name]'s, and [name]Gem[/name]'s of the world have taught us- it’s a name, even if it’s not a “name.” NB, it’s time to accept that fact, let’s all make an awareness pact to not de-validate someone’s love for a non-name-name just because you’ve never heard it/you don’t like it. It’s just not fair, and it’s against [name]Pam[/name] and [name]Linda[/name]'s teachings.

If you don’t want it for your child: Here is a rule of thumb I try and practice, now I am by no means perfect, but I do try and go foreward with this mantra, “[name]Just[/name] because I would never name my child that, doesn’t mean it’s not a great name for you and your baby!” [name]Case[/name] in point: [name]Cosima[/name], I don’t particularly like it, I wouldn’t use it on my baby, but it’s a great name for all the baby [name]Cosima[/name]'s rocketing to [name]Earth[/name]! Now really consider if you are guilty of this name-sin.

I don’t understand: No, you may not get why that name is on the list, but the mother does, she also knows why that spelling it the way it is and why she picked [name]Jemima[/name] over [name]Jemma[/name]. So don’t suggest names unless asked specifically. Also, don’t dis-include names unless specifically asked. Same with nn’s the mother probably likes both [name]Josephine[/name] and [name]Josie[/name]. She’ll probably use them both equally, we’re name lovers, it’s what we do, and who we are. Tred carefully when you are at a loss, because the mother is not baffled and the meaning that name holds, the reason she chose that name, carries more weight than one thousand opinions.

If you’re sheltered: NB is an elite site; we do not settle for common trends…or do we? Yes, NB, we do. However ours are not the trends of the hour, they are the trends of NB and ‘elite’ is becoming a bit more snobbish everday. Think about it, in a year or two it could get really bad. Only the [name]Ivy[/name]'s, the [name]Adelaide[/name]'s, the [name]Sophia[/name]'s and the [name]Eliza[/name]'s will be ‘acceptable’ all others won’t be unanimous enough to matter, therefore not elite, therefore, “Not on NB, you don’t!”

The curt answers: I know that I am guilty, guilty, guiltly here- watch. following list is made up

[name]Alice[/name]- like.
[name]Leona[/name]- [name]LOVE[/name]!
[name]Jeremiah[/name]- Hate.
[name]Arthur[/name]- bleh.

Here, let me sum it up for you in one word, ouch! This kind of critiquing really says, “I just went by the thirty-or-so names worthy enough to be on my list, and since I don’t like [name]Arthur[/name], you can’t name your baby that.” [name]Just[/name] a bit presumptous, but we all do it! If you don’t have time, don’t comment and commit the crime. If I really thought it through I would realize that when baby [name]Arthur[/name] is born no one will be thinking of the king, the child’s cartoon, or anything else but how wonderful the baby is! If I really sat down and processed [name]Arthur[/name], refusing to let his name (yes, his name, if the mommy-to-be likes it, she likes it enough to consider who [name]Arthur[/name] will be, chew on that) go through my own ‘what I would name a baby’ filters and I considered the following:

[name]Arthur[/name] is a strong name, it has great connotations, which I’m sure are inspiring the mother in some way, may it be a handsome and adoring grandfather, or the [name]King[/name] of the round table. Some people may not like the name because it is old, but all things old become new again and again. This name is not going to hold him back because (now NB this is a cardinal sin right here) baby [name]Arthur[/name] is more than his name!

added after a further discussion on the thread I suppose I reason I hate ‘bleh’ so very, very much is not because of it’s rude-o-meter, which I count very high, but because it is so not NB! [name]Pam[/name] and [name]Linda[/name] did not write there books using ‘bleh’ as their curve for whether a name was good/bad/gray, and we shouldn’t either. That name has a face, that face has a mother, and if you really want your thoughts considered about that name, then say something that the mother can take in stride and use to improve what may really be a ‘bleh’ worthy (but only in your thoughts!) name. Let’s not let our standards slip. Could we all agree on that reason to strike ‘bleh’ and all’s it’s friends from our vocabulary?

That name has a face: [name]Arthur[/name] is not an ardvark; [name]Maisie[/name] is not a mouse; [name]Phillip[/name] is not a screwdriver; [name]Ireland[/name] is not a country. They are all names, and all of those names have a face. [name]Evangeline[/name] has a personality, [name]Golda[/name] has interests, [name]Joseph[/name] has a very favorite sport, and yes, [name]Kaylynn[/name] has friends and a family who loves her and her name. I hope I don’t have to say much more, I hope this resonates.

Someone loves that name: You don’t, she does; baby will be more than the name’s connotations whirling about in your mind, baby will grow and people will come to accept her, whether she is an [name]Iris[/name], Tigerlily, [name]Rose[/name], [name]Wisteria[/name], [name]Dahlia[/name] or [name]Daisy[/name]. Yes, someone like’s a spelling different than you do, you’re still going to say scar-lit, whether it is spelled [name]Scarlette[/name]/[name]Scarlett[/name]/[name]Scarlet[/name]. [name]Just[/name] because you like it your way doesn’t mean it’s the right way- that mother could turn those same tables on you. The number one thing to remember is- you don’t really matter in the grand sceme of naming another’s child. Does it go against our community’s foundings? Absolutaly! Is it true? Yes.

Okay, if your feathers are ruffled don’t comment, grab some coffee, your favorite name book and chew on this. I don’t claim to be an expert, that’s [name]Pam[/name] and [name]Linda[/name]'s job; I don’t believe myself to be the model you should all aspire to. However, I have been purposely observing people critiquing others lists for the past couple months, making notes, chewing things over myself; I even posted my own list (it was so hard!) just to solidify my reasoning. This is not a rant, I’ve been writing this post for a while. I’m not targeting anyone, I just think that along with the fabulous new web-format (thanks [name]Pam[/name] and [name]Linda[/name]!) we should all pitch in to redesign our message boards!

If you really feel like calling me out over this, please do it privatly, I, along with everyone else, enjoy our un-catty message boards.

Blessings to you all,

[name]Bella[/name] <3

[name]Amen[/name] to this! And I apologize about [name]Scarlette[/name]/[name]Scarlett[/name] because I and others commented about the spelling of that one, even though I don’t think I personally was too mean about it. It’s not my baby, and it’s important you choose the one you like best. :smiley:

[name]Don[/name]'t apoligize, the way you said it did not come across definant, and I really don’t want this to come across as if I were angry on the feedback from my list, since it was simply part of my ‘research.’

Thanks for not tar and feathering me!

I know I am guilty of some of those things, for sure. A few of the things you said I don’t think are so bad, though, such as short answers. I know if I post a list I appreciate all the opinions, and sometimes people just don’t have time to post an in depth response to each name on your list. I like to get a sense of how lots of people react to a name, and the occasional “hate” or “bleh” helps me figure that out. Of course it’s better to get a long response for each name, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen.

I COMPLETELY agree with what you said about it not being your baby. There are countless names that I personally wouldn’t use. There are so many more names that I wouldn’t use than I would use. That doesn’t mean I don’t like them. In fact, there are more names that I like that I wouldn’t use than I would! There are then still names that I don’t particularly like, but that doesn’t make them a bad name, or a name someone else shouldn’t use. I think we are too quick to judge, here. Maybe [name]Xavier[/name] isn’t the right name for your baby or your family, but for someone else it is perfect. Ok, [name]Xavier[/name] wasn’t the most extreme example, but I think you get what I’m saying. “I wouldn’t name my baby that” is not a valid critique. It’s really self-centered, actually. And yes, I’m sure that I’ve said that before, but I have made an effort recently to be more accepting of names that I don’t personally care for.

It comes down to this: it’s not about you. It’s not about your favorite name. Your purpose on nameberry is not to get everyone to use your favorite names. It’s to help people find the perfect name for THEM and THEIR [name]BABY[/name].

One thread that comes to mind is the one asking if you’d rather be named [name]Paige[/name] or [name]Lucia[/name]. I would rather be named [name]Paige[/name]. But that in NO way means that I think [name]Paige[/name] is the better name or the name the mother should have chosen or even the name I prefer of the two. All it means is that [name]Paige[/name] would suit my personality better.

I love to see the different naming styles everyone has on nameberry. I love the names people choose on here, even the ones I would never use. Heck, especially the ones I would never use. [name]Just[/name] because they’re not my style doesn’t mean they’re not beautiful. Its just like clothes. I mean, I love lots of things I see on the runway that I would never in a million years wear… I can still admire them, right?

OK, I agree that we shouldn’t make mean or derisive comments about someone ‘s favorite names. BUT, the purpose of asking someone’s opinion is to GET their opinion. When I ask about the name [name]Blythe[/name] (which I have), and someone says that they find it lispy and old ladyish (which they have), I weigh that opinion against all the others I receive. I actually want to find out other peoples’ perceptions of a name I am considering for my child. Which is why I ask. And I’m a big girl, so I can handle the answer. If a name gets lots of negative feedback, hey!, I might want to reconsider bestowing it on an actual human being who will have to live with those opinions. Nameberry is a place where I know I can get honest opinions, good or bad, and not people just saying they like a name because they don’t want to hurt my feelings. And in return, if someone asks what people think about the name Anallie, I am going to feel obligated to inform them that their child is going to be called Anally [name]Jones[/name] for the rest of her life.

A very thoughtful post. It’s really an application of the [name]Golden[/name] [name]Rule[/name] to these boards, and to baby-naming in general: while it doesn’t mean “Name others as you would have them name you”, it does mean “Give others and their naming process the same courtesy and respect that you would request in your own name journey.”

Thanks for reminding us of this, and for doing so with tact.

I’m really appreciating everyones feedback! I think everyone is right!

I am definitely guilty of being a “name snob” at times… like a little [name]Emma[/name] or [name]Jaden[/name]'s parent isn’t as creative or free-thinking as I am or whatever. But in cases like this board I try to remain positive or at least polite. If you ask me to be brutally honest I’ll tell you how much I hate the names [name]Mackenzie[/name] and [name]Ayden[/name], but only if that’s what you want. I know that I recently responded in your thread and I’m sorry if my short answers or questions about spellings were offensive to you. I actually prefer short responses when I post my lists on here, because I have HUGE lists and nobody has the time to read them and give me a deep, in-depth discussion on why they like it or hate it. Plus the “Like, Dislike, [name]Love[/name], Hate, Meh” answers are easier for me to read. If I really care about the name I’ll go back and ask why later. Likewise, if I feel really strongly about a name I’ll explain my reasoning.

I know I can be an elitist when it comes to names, but it’s probably because I’m not a parent. I naively want my child to have a name that is totally their own and completely special because I haven’t yet had the life experience that tells me my child will be special and the only one of his or her kind no matter what his or her name is. It won’t matter when I’m a parent if I yell “[name]Ella[/name]” (for example) across the playground and three other little girls come running, because she will be MY [name]Ella[/name].

Likewise, I’m an education student. So when I student teach each semester I meet preschoolers with names from [name]Aidan[/name] to Nakhi to Krystelle and back again. Yes, if I saw a little [name]Philomena[/name] on my class roster I would probably jump for joy, but that doesn’t mean I won’t dedicate as much time to MuhKennzieygh or teach her as well as [name]Philomena[/name] just because I cringe every time I write her name. I think it just matters more to certain people that their child be the only one with that name in their class/city/tri-state area. Is there a wrong way of making sure that your child’s name is unique? Absolutely not. But then again, if you have MuhKennzieygh and [name]Mackenzie[/name], they’re still going to get called [name]Mackenzie[/name] A. and MuhKennzieygh B. during roll. [name]IMO[/name], if you’re going for uniqueness, go for a unique name, not a respelled one. And yes, I admit to being the grammar/spelling Nazi who started the “it’s not unique it’s just spelled wrong” thread… but I never meant for it to be about [name]Catherine[/name] v. [name]Katherine[/name] v. [name]Katharine[/name]… it was supposed to be about the really ridiculously out-of-your-mind spellings. Like Gzeremee ([name]Jeremy[/name]).

I guess what I’m saying is, there’s no wrong way to name a baby. And I think everybody forgets that sometimes.

I completely agree with [name]Phoebe[/name]'smom. If someone is considering naming their daughter [name]Harleigh[/name] or [name]James[/name] or [name]Jewelle[/name] or something, they should know people’s reactions, and think about how a name like that might negatively affect their child for their whole life. But sometimes it’s a matter of personal opinion, and that’s a totally different situation. For example, I’m not a fan of the names [name]Penelope[/name] and [name]Imogen[/name], but they’re perfectly fine, legitimate names that will in no way be a hindrance to the child. It’s not necessary to say “That’s an ugly name, don’t use it” in that case, which I have seen done. So I agree with you, but only to a certain extent.

I totally agree with Phoebesmom on this. While we shouldn’t call someone names for deciding to name their child [name]Jayden[/name] or [name]Michaela[/name], if you post a list with those names on it then yes we should be able to say that they are over used or warn them that those names tend to provoke a feeling or picture in our heads.
I have posted my baby name list for my son/daughter and appreciate every comment whether negative or positive because those are your true feelings and those are the very feelings that someone [name]IRL[/name] will have for the name that I may choose.
Would you really like to post a list and have everyone say, ‘what lovely names, a girl named Scarface would be so nice’ just because they are too worried about hurting your sensitive feelings to say that really those names would not be great on a child and would subject them to nothing but teasing and hassle for the rest of their lives?
Honestly, we are all adults and should be able to handle criticism and acknowledge that not everyone feels the same way we do about our favorite names and if their opinions don’t matter then you should use the name anyways, but honestly if you don’t want their opinions then you shouldn’t ask for them. Leave your top secret and favorite name off the list if you don’t want to know what people think of it.
We should keep it adult, no name calling, no bashing, but we shouldn’t be scared to be honest about a name. And saying that a certain odd spelling (while maybe being an actual spelling, just unheard of) will make life harder for a child than spelling it the normal way isn’t bashing, it is being honest.
So whether someone posts a list of [name]Aidan[/name] names or a list of [name]Charlotte[/name] names, we should be honest and the person should know that we can’t all look at the world with our filters shut off… that isn’t human.

I’m loving everyone’s thoughts!

I’m another that agrees with everything phoebesmom said! As usual! [name]Phoebe[/name] is lucky to have such a smart mom!

This is a great discussion and one I think should be ongoing. Thank you, [name]Bella[/name], for starting it, and thanks for all your great thoughts. These are the kinds of debates [name]Linda[/name] and I have had through the writing of all of our books and especially now that we have nameberry and these boards have taken such unanticipated flight. To my mind, one thing that makes nameberry, well, unique is that parents can get name advice here that’s both enlightened and opinionated. Most all the time, we are amazed at how admirably you all walk the line between honesty and sensitivity. It’s definitely not easy!

I personally think it’s better/easier/more useful for an expectant parent to hear [name]Arthur[/name]: blech! here than from a friend…or even to be ignorant that that’s what people think. (BTW, I love the name [name]Arthur[/name]) But there’s a big difference between those who ask for Honest Opinions and those who say they just want to air their name choice without hearing any criticism. And there’s also a difference between analyzing a name and name-calling.

But you don’t need me to tell you that. Your collective devotion and insight is evidenced by the very existence of this board. Thank you for making us so proud of the nameberries!

Oh my goodness, I had to restart my heart [name]Pam[/name], I thought I was in trou-ouble! Thank you for weighing in, I’m sure we all appreciate it!

Oh, also, another vote for [name]Phoebe[/name]'s mom! I think we’re all on the same page, I’m glad I got up the guts to post and that I have not been ousted! I love Nameberry so much!

I agree with [name]Phoebe[/name]'s mom and literaturegeek. They make very valid points, and I couldn’t have said it better myself. If someone posts their list, they should understand that we will give honest opinions.
While I don’t think that someone should say “Ew that name is absolutely terrible. Why would someone ever use such a hideous name?” That’s rude. But constructive criticism is fine, which is what most people do here. Like, “Maybe instead of McKayyla, you could choose [name]Michaela[/name], whch is a really nice choice.” That’s definitely what I see from the most loyal Nameberry members.

I will admit that I’m guilty of being mean about people’s choices, although I try to be as polite as I can to people online and to their faces. But I’ve definitely passed judgment on names I don’t like, for example my brother has a friend named Cariana [name]Beth[/name]. But I would never tell her I don’t like her name.
If someone on NB had Cariana on their list, I’d probably suggest something else, but I would never outright say it’s terrible. Which, like I said before, I feel like most people on here do.

Interesting post though, I think it’s important to put out there.



It’s true! :slight_smile:

Oh, [name]Lord[/name]. [name]Phoebe[/name] just wishes I’d shut the computer and make some macaroni, already!

I have to say i agree with [name]Phoebe[/name]'s mom, Rachelmarie and Literaturegeek. I think nameberyy is a place were we go to get honest opinions. I have seen threads where people say, i dont want you to bash my names, if you dont like it, dont say it. And i think thats fine, and i think everyone should honor that poster’s wishes. However i have seen threads where the poster asked others to brutally tear apart their namelist, and when us berrie’s do, they cant be mad, and nor should they, they asked and we are all opinionated, especially when it comes to names.

I think everyone on this site is more then likely guilty of some name bashing or being a slight name snob at times, but i dont think anyone really does it all that much. I think one of the bigger problems on the nameberry boards is when we get a few posters here and again that get mad and attack other people (i belive i have only seen this about 2 or 3 times), however that is a totallty diffrent and irrelevant problem.

I think that Nameberry is a place to explore new names, and give your opinions when it is appropriate. And i [name]DO[/name] think everyone (and just about everyone is) needs to mature enough to handle critisim. Because their are some threads that i think start arguments where arguments dont need to be (such as threads started to talk about names people dont like, while its not really constructive to anyone, if its going to offend you, maybe you shouldnt post or go through and read every comment and count how many times people said they didnt like your favorite name, then complain about it; it just seems odd to me i guess.

I think that for the most part, all the posters on nameberry are respectful to others, and i think that if you dont want an opinion, except from the poeple that like it, then say it, and everyone should oblidge (spelling?) and if they dont like it, simply skip over it. However i think it should be fairgame if you say ‘what do you think?’, however going ‘Oh my god i hate that name its so ugly’ isnt constructive, but saying that you dont much care for it and giving other names similar to what they have listed, i dont see a problem with that.

As for the ‘your not naming their baby’ thing, while your deffinatly not naming their baby, i dont quite see how any opinons could ever be given if we all have to think ‘well its perfectly fine for you’, there would be no advice or opinons there, it would be sugarcoating to not hurt their feelings, and i dont think that is that purpose of nameberry. We should always be respectful, but i dont know, it seems a little redundant to share with people and have them all say the same thing, then why would we even have nameberry? I think if we ask, we need to be able to take the critique because i know i ask looking for honest opinons, if i hear the name sh*thead, and dont think anything of it, i would like someone to tell me the negative connotations before i name my child that, so i can decide wether or not it matters to me or not, and maybe in all of the suggestions i would find the perfect name.

Now, like i said earlier, the post’s saying ‘that is just terrible’’ arnt fair or nice or even constructive. The post about the girl who had the 5 children (i only remember apocolypse, xray, and igloo from her children’s names) their was about 3 pages of rude comments and only 2 or 3 actual helpful comments. I think the phrase ‘If you dont have anything nice (or constructive) to say, then dont say anything at all’, should be used to help solidfy the full meaning of what we are trying to say :slight_smile:

All of that is jsut my opinon though, and i hope it didnt come across as mean to anyone :slight_smile:

“I think that for the most part, all the posters on nameberry are respectful to others, and i think that if you dont want an opinion, except from the poeple that like it, then say it, and everyone should oblidge (spelling?) and if they dont like it, simply skip over it. However i think it should be fairgame if you say ‘what do you think?’, however going ‘Oh my god i hate that name its so ugly’ isnt constructive, but saying that you dont much care for it and giving other names similar to what they have listed, i dont see a problem with that.”

That right there is what this post is really about, I hope I don’t sound like I can’t take it, or dish it out, there is a fine line and I just hope that evertime we long on we straddle it!

I’m really hoping I didn’t over-sugar it, y’all, opinions, for the better, if sometimes a bit dark, must always be honest and yet kind. It’s what makes us elite, we really, really, really care!

Blessings to you all,

[name]Bella[/name] <3