The Edith Project

We’re expecting our first child in [name]August[/name], and won’t know the sex until, at earliest, my 20-week ultrasound in two weeks, so we have plenty of time to find a name for the baby, but…
I am extremely picky and my partner is maybe even pickier. So far I have only come up with a couple of potential names I don’t hate, and my partner has summarily nixed each one. Until I came up with “[name]Edith[/name]”.

I love the soothing sound of the initial long “e” and “th” ending, and I love that it is a very old, classic name that is also #730 on the SSA popularity list. Most of all, I love it’s association with [name]Edith[/name] [name]Piaf[/name], [name]Edie[/name] Sedgwick, and [name]Edith[/name] [name]Wharton[/name]: all mysterious, artistic icons who represented the zeitgeist of their times (albeit eccentric and sometimes tragic).

I told my partner, and this was the first time he didn’t shoot down a name instantly. Then we mentioned it to my mom, and she said “Ewww… No! [name]Edith[/name] Bunker!”

So apparently there was a show on TV decades ago, with a character named [name]Edith[/name] Bunker who was a ditzy, frumpy old lady. Neither I nor my partner have ever seen the show or heard the name before (and we’re 31 and 32, not kids) but it seems it was very popular, and after my mom made that comment, two people in my yoga class agreed. I admit when the name [name]Edith[/name] first occured to me, I had to shake a vague feeling of “fustiness”, or that it is an “old-lady” name, but once I got to thinking about it, I really fell in love.

Here’s where I would really appreciate some help:

First, how hard is it to shake a name association, especially when the person bearing the name is the opposite of the association? For example, I hardly think “Aunt [name]Selma[/name]” when I see the pretty young actress [name]Selma[/name] [name]Blair[/name]. Why do people think [name]Edith[/name] Bunker instead of [name]Edith[/name] [name]Piaf[/name], and will they do so when the name comes attached to a pretty toddler? Is there a way I can change the association for people we know?

Secondly, while my partner and I both love the nickname “[name]Edie[/name]” he’s less enthusiastic about “[name]Edith[/name]” than I am. Is there a similar name with the nickname “[name]Edie[/name]”?

Finally, I secretly worry that “[name]Edith[/name]” won’t be such a best-kept secret for long. Its nameberry page said it’s already becoming stylish in [name]London[/name], although not here yet. With the films “Factory Girl” and “La Vie En [name]Rose[/name]”, I worry that in the next few years it could get noticed by the avant garde, only to become the next “[name]Emma[/name]”, “[name]Olivia[/name]”, or “[name]Stella[/name]”. Anyone else see this happening?


I love [name]Edith[/name], totally, so I’m on your side. [name]Do[/name] I think it’s going to become more popular? Yes, in the way that most old-lady names are experiencing a revival. But I would be really surprised if there were more than one [name]Edith[/name] in her class. I’m aware of [name]Edith[/name] Bunker but to me the name is all [name]Edith[/name] [name]Wharton[/name]. It’s not so much [name]Edith[/name] [name]Piaf[/name] for me because I’m an auditory person and that’s a completely different name for me. (Ay-DEET) But I think it’s gorgeous, and on a sweet little girl it’s going to be fresh, feminine and lovely.

It sounds like you and your partner have come across a name you love, and for so many wonderful reasons. Yours is the only opinion that truly matters (unless, of course, you agree with something you hear, in terms of a given name being a source of teasing, for example), so while you may hear different opinions, you need to be true to yourself. :slight_smile:

I’m actually your age, but I’m one of those people who associates [name]Edith[/name] with All In The Family’s ditzy, frumpy [name]Edith[/name]. It aired in syndication when I was growing up, and can presently be seen on TV [name]Land[/name].

Had I not seen the show, and if my [name]Edith[/name] associations weren’t already formed, I do think I’d like [name]Edith[/name], which just goes to show you how lovely names can be ruined by not-so-lovely associations.

Take, for example, [name]Hope[/name]. It’s a beautiful name, but because I knew someone with the name who was a total shrew, I associate [name]Hope[/name] with her, and I can’t use it. She ruined [name]Hope[/name] for me, but I love it on other people’s kids.

Had I known a beautiful, elegant woman named [name]Edith[/name] when I was growing up, or if I’d had a wonderful friend with the name, [name]Edith[/name] would be an entirely different name for me. Different people have different associations with different names due to differing life experiences. We’re all exposed to different people, events, and situations, and it’s these experiences that shape us and form our associations and opinions.

With regard to revived classic and antique names, many that seem fresh to us ([name]Beatrice[/name], [name]Maude[/name], [name]Ezra[/name], [name]Nathaniel[/name], [name]Cora[/name], [name]Genevieve[/name], etc.) likely seem very musty to our parents, who associate them with older relatives.

If you have positive associations with [name]Edith[/name], that’s all that matters!

As to how to change your mother’s association with [name]Edith[/name], name your baby girl [name]Edith[/name], and your daughter will be her new [name]Edith[/name], replacing Mrs. Bunker. In the meantime, you could always show your mom a photo of a little [name]Edith[/name], letting her develop a new association. I think it’s safe to say, however, that while some people’s minds will be swayed and form new impressions upon meeting a little [name]Edith[/name], others will cling to the [name]Edith[/name] Bunker association. I, for one, could definitely be swayed after meeting a little [name]Edith[/name], if that helps you feel better. :slight_smile:

You just need to decide how much you care about what other people think about the name versus your what YOU think about it.

Names other than [name]Edith[/name] that could result in a little [name]Edie[/name] include: [name]Eden[/name], [name]Edna[/name] (no!), and [name]Edwina[/name], and I’m sure other people can think of more! Also, you could give your daughter E.D. initials, and call her [name]Edie[/name].

For example, [name]Esme[/name] [name]Delphine[/name], [name]Eliza[/name] [name]Daisy[/name], [name]Eleanora[/name] [name]Daphne[/name], [name]Evangeline[/name] [name]Daisy[/name], [name]Evelyn[/name] [name]Diana[/name], [name]Ellery[/name] [name]Diana[/name], [name]Elodie[/name] [name]Delphine[/name] (although that’s pretty D heavy), etc.

In case you still have [name]Edith[/name] doubts:

Best wishes!

Thanks so much, both of you, for your thoughts!

[name]Melissa[/name], when you mentioned that you think of the French pronunciation of “[name]Edith[/name]” as a completely separate name, because you are very auditory, that made me smile:
I had hoped to use “AY-deet” as my own little personal pet name. I used to have this boss [name]Robert[/name] who had a major flair for the dramatic, and I quickly became his favorite employee by calling him by his French pronunciation, “hro-BARE”. :wink:

i agree with pretty much everything [name]Jill[/name] said… EXCEPT, I [name]LOVE[/name] [name]Edith[/name] Bunker! I’m 23, but I watched a lot of [name]Nick[/name] at Nite as a kid. I thought [name]Edith[/name] Bunker was the funniest, sweetest lady!

i also associate it with [name]Edith[/name] [name]Piaf[/name], which is a great association. Plus, I went to high school with an [name]Edith[/name] nn [name]Edie[/name], so I think that takes away some of the old-lady vibe for me.

personally, I think [name]Edith[/name] is great. It would be completely adorable on a little girl, and your mother will most definitely love it if you name your daughter that!

I would definitely not be worried about it getting too popular. It probably will gain in popularity, but it’s unlikely [name]Edith[/name] will be the next [name]Emily[/name]. I don’t see it appealing to the masses. At least not very soon.

I have to speak up briefly. [name]Edith[/name] is on my list for another daughter, I think she’s in 5th place atm. I am 41 and grew up with All in the Family primetime. Still doesn’t bother me. She may have been ditsy and brash of voice but she was a sweet dingbat (to quote [name]Archie[/name]) it was a character, for goodness sake! [name]Jean[/name] Stapleton was a lovely lady! If you want to see her at her just about best, go rent the 1958 version of “Damn Yankees” She’s [name]Sister[/name] [name]Miller[/name].

Another point, if [name]Archie[/name] can make a comback, why not [name]Edith[/name]?

I agree that the best way for a parent to get over the “Old” factor is to use it. My Father was around when my boys were little and he quickly got past the “old man” feel of [name]Leo[/name] & [name]Simon[/name] when they were right in front of him, all the time (for 5 years he was their primary male figure).

I don’t think [name]Edith[/name] is going to catch on that badly, not like [name]Ava[/name] or [name]Sophia[/name] anyway, she’s not soft and round enough. She may get a boost up but by no means is she headed for top 10 anytime soon. I’ve found mid 200’s ranking, even are rare enough that yours feels like the only one. (I have a [name]Josephine[/name] and she’s always the only one around under 70 with her name around here!)

So rest easy, [name]Edith[/name] is a fantastic choice!

I’ve met a few “kids” my age (early 20s) with “old” names…[name]Vince[/name], [name]Nell[/name], [name]Cora[/name], and even [name]Lincoln[/name]. After getting to know them, the past connotations of the name drift away and the new image of the name gets imprinted into my mind. I think also it’s really cute to see a young child with an “old” but classic name (like [name]Edith[/name]).

[name]Edith[/name] is a fantastic name, you and your husband love it, you even have a sweet personal nickname picked out”I think you’ve found your girl name! I too was aware of [name]Edith[/name] Bunker, but she’s not the first thing that comes to mind when I hear [name]Edith[/name]. I love girl names that are both feminine and strong and [name]Edith[/name] fits the bill. And the nn [name]Edie[/name] is wonderful.

As far as [name]Edith[/name] becoming popular, I agree with other posters that I don’t see it becoming a Top 10 (or even 20) name by any means. I actually think that if some people don’t like the name you’ve chosen, that’s a good thing as far predicting its future popularity. I’m a 32-year-old [name]Olivia[/name] and believe me, around the time I left for college, every woman of child-bearing age that I met seemed to be smitten with my name. If everyone you meet loves the name you’ve chosen, you can bet there will be a lot more of them.

So, another vote for lovely [name]Edith[/name]!

I completely agree with pretty much everything said. [name]Edith[/name] is adorable, but hubby vetoed it way back when naming our eldest, so I can’t use her!

I have absolutely no idea who [name]Edith[/name] Bunker is?! I’ve never ever heard of her (would she be heard of in Australia? maybe I just live under a rock?), and my biggest associations with her are identical to yours - [name]Edie[/name] Sedgwick, [name]Edith[/name] [name]Wharton[/name] and [name]Edith[/name] [name]Piaf[/name] (all of whom I love, btw and are fantastic namesakes for a little girl!)

The only other name I can think of associated with [name]Edie[/name] is [name]Eden[/name], as previously mentioned. She’s a little lacklustre, and has just cracked the Top 100 in my state, so I’d definitely go with [name]Edith[/name]! You and your partner have found a name that enchants you both - congrats!! :slight_smile:

[name]Sophie[/name], I don’t think “All in the Family” aired in Australia. It aired 1971 to 1980 here. (I was 4 when it started, 13 when it ended. So it’s a HUGE part of my childhood, but it’s still not my overwhelming first thought!

Oh, okay - thanks [name]Lola[/name]. I asked [name]Dan[/name] if he knew what it was, and he had no idea either. I think I’ve heard of it before, but I don’t know! I was born in 82, maybe I’ve heard my parents going on about it or something :slight_smile:

You never know, [name]Sophie[/name]. It was a huge thing here in the States and might have crossed over for a bit, I have an Aussie friend here ([name]Jason[/name]'s his name, he’s married to one of my best friends!) I should ask him what he thinks, He’s about 40 himself, so he’d know if it crossed at all. I’ll see what I can do, there. [name]Just[/name] emailed him and asked, hopefully he’ll get back to me quickly!

I think [name]Edith[/name] is beautiful and timeless and just about every name has someone else in the public eye (fact or fiction) with that name so don’t let that deter you! As soon as grandma hold sweet little [name]Edith[/name] she will forget all about Bunker!

That said, I also love the suggestion of [name]Eden[/name] and thought I would also throw [name]Elodie[/name] in there since no one has yet.

I think [name]Edith[/name] is beautiful. As the pp poster said, if [name]Archie[/name] is making a comeback (and I associate that name far more with the TV show than the secondary character), why not [name]Edith[/name]?

Another thought–why not just [name]Edie[/name]? I think of [name]Edie[/name] Brickell (sp?) and her beautiful voice. I also like the slavic [name]Edita[/name].

[name]Just[/name] wanted to check back in here and thank everyone so much for your thoughts and reassurances!!

Update: We found out we are having a girl, and [name]Edith[/name] is on the list with a few other potential names… We’re going to keep open to inspiration and pick a winner when we see her face for the first time. :slight_smile: Thanks again!

Good luck, Yogini! :slight_smile:

Today I met an [name]Edith[/name] who must have been about 17 or 18, and I immediately thought of this thread." At first I thought she seemed like more of an [name]Erica[/name] or [name]Ellie[/name], but she likes having an unique name (for her age). Which goes to show that not every teenager hates having an “older” name.

I started off reading this post thinking “no, no, no, no, no” but I think I may be an [name]Edith[/name] convert now. It seems ripe for revival but I agree is unlikely to become too popular. [name]Love[/name] it!

Another idea is [name]Enid[/name], which has been hanging out at the edge of my consciousness for a while now, and I think is so pretty! You could probably use [name]Edie[/name] as a nn with it too.

[name]Hi[/name] yogini, I just wanted to weigh in as someone who has never been an [name]Edith[/name] fan–you just made a pretty convincing case for it! It’s still not my style but I can appreciate its appeal to you so much better now after considering its historical presence and several cool Ediths. I doubt it will rise to great popularity because of the contemporary distaste for names with that “th” sound. I think the French pronunciation is sweet, and if I were to meet a young [name]Edith[/name], it probably wouldn’t take long for the name to lose its mustiness.

Wait a minute, you said you were due in [name]August[/name]–that little potential [name]Edith[/name] should be joining the world at any time now… Good luck to you! :slight_smile:

Another idea is [name]Enid[/name], which has been hanging out at the edge of my consciousness for a while now, and I think is so pretty! You could probably use [name]Edie[/name] as a nn with it too.

I love, love, love [name]Enid[/name]. [name]Edith[/name] is nice, too.