Usable, or too much?

Not naming any actual babies anytime soon, but there are some names on my lists that might be considered too unusual/fanciful, but I’d still really like to use them somehow. So out of these names, which ones would you consider usable?

[name_f]Alwyne[/name_f]
[name_f]Avalon[/name_f]
[name_f]Briallen[/name_f]
[name_f]Ceridwen[/name_f]
[name_f]Corisande[/name_f]
[name_f]Delyth[/name_f]
[name_f]Edana[/name_f]
[name_f]Eirian[/name_f]
Elestren
[name_f]Elowen[/name_f]
[name_f]Eluned[/name_f]
[name_f]Endellion[/name_f]
[name_f]Ferelith[/name_f]
[name_f]Hildegard[/name_f]
[name_f]Kerensa[/name_f]
[name_f]Madrigal[/name_f]
[name_f]Melain[/name_f]
[name_f]Melisande[/name_f]
[name_f]Melusine[/name_f]
[name_f]Morrigan[/name_f]
[name_f]Morwenna[/name_f]
[name_f]Nimue[/name_f]
[name_f]Olwen[/name_f]
[name_f]Saga[/name_f]
[name_f]Tanith[/name_f]
[name_f]Valora[/name_f]
[name_f]Yvaine[/name_f]

[name_m]Alaric[/name_m]
[name_m]Aurelian[/name_m]
[name_m]Cadmus[/name_m]
[name_m]Caedmon[/name_m]
[name_m]Caius[/name_m]
[name_m]Emrys[/name_m]
[name_m]Evander[/name_m]
Lir
[name_m]Odin[/name_m]
[name_m]Oisin[/name_m]
Rhidian
[name_u]Taliesin[/name_u]

I’m pretty open-minded when it comes to names so I’m sure others will disagree with me.
From your girls’ list, I’d avoid [name_f]Hildegard[/name_f] as a first name (just [name_f]Hilda[/name_f] would be fine though!) and maybe [name_f]Alwyne[/name_f] for spelling reasons. [name_f]Melain[/name_f] does make me think of melanin but the sound is pretty so I’m on the fence.
For boys, I think they’re all usable, though I’m unsure about [name_m]Caedmon[/name_m] (it sounds a bit like one of those names they use on TV/video games for demon characters if that makes sense, but I do like it!). Also, maybe I’d keep [name_m]Odin[/name_m] in the middle spot, but I wouldn’t be awfully surprised to see it as a first name.

Usable:

[name_u]Alwyn[/name_u]
[name_f]Avalon[/name_f]
[name_f]Briallen[/name_f]
[name_f]Elowen[/name_f]
[name_f]Kerensa[/name_f]
[name_f]Melisande[/name_f]
[name_f]Morrigan[/name_f]
[name_f]Morwenna[/name_f]

Brave:
[name_f]Ceridwen[/name_f]
[name_f]Edana[/name_f]
Elestren
[name_f]Endellion[/name_f]
[name_f]Melain[/name_f]
[name_f]Olwen[/name_f]
[name_f]Yvaine[/name_f]

Too Much:

[name_f]Corisande[/name_f]
[name_f]Delyth[/name_f]
[name_f]Eirian[/name_f]
[name_f]Eluned[/name_f]
[name_f]Ferelith[/name_f]
[name_f]Hildegard[/name_f]
[name_f]Madrigal[/name_f]
[name_f]Melusine[/name_f]
[name_f]Nimue[/name_f]
[name_f]Saga[/name_f]
[name_f]Tanith[/name_f]
[name_f]Valora[/name_f]

Usable:

[name_m]Emrys[/name_m]
[name_m]Evander[/name_m]

Brave:

[name_m]Alaric[/name_m]
Lir
[name_m]Odin[/name_m]
[name_m]Oisin[/name_m]
[name_u]Taliesin[/name_u]

Too Much:

[name_m]Aurelian[/name_m]
[name_m]Cadmus[/name_m]
[name_m]Caedmon[/name_m]
[name_m]Caius[/name_m]
Rhidian

However, my classification should be taken with a grain of salt, as my style is much different!

I’d consider a lot of these brave but usable.
The ones I’d personally avoid are:
[name_f]Eirian[/name_f]
Elestren
[name_f]Eluned[/name_f]
[name_f]Hildegard[/name_f]
[name_f]Melain[/name_f]
[name_f]Melusine[/name_f]
[name_f]Yvaine[/name_f]

[name_m]Cadmus[/name_m]
Lir
[name_m]Odin[/name_m]
[name_u]Taliesin[/name_u]

[name_f]Elowen[/name_f], [name_f]Olwen[/name_f], [name_f]Delyth[/name_f] (I know sisters [name_f]Delyth[/name_f] and [name_f]Olwen[/name_f]), [name_f]Ceridwen[/name_f], [name_f]Morwenna[/name_f], [name_m]Alaric[/name_m], [name_m]Evander[/name_m], [name_m]Oisin[/name_m], and [name_m]Caius[/name_m] all strike me as very usable

These are usable to me:

[name_f]Ceridwen[/name_f]
[name_f]Corisande[/name_f]
[name_f]Delyth[/name_f]
[name_f]Edana[/name_f]
[name_f]Elowen[/name_f]
[name_f]Eluned[/name_f]
[name_f]Endellion[/name_f]
[name_f]Kerensa[/name_f] (love this, have a friend named [name_f]Kerensa[/name_f], her dad is Cornish)
[name_f]Melisande[/name_f]
[name_f]Morrigan[/name_f]
[name_f]Morwenna[/name_f]
[name_f]Olwen[/name_f]
[name_f]Tanith[/name_f]
[name_f]Valora[/name_f]
[name_f]Yvaine[/name_f]

[name_m]Alaric[/name_m]
[name_m]Aurelian[/name_m]
[name_m]Emrys[/name_m]
[name_m]Evander[/name_m]
[name_m]Oisin[/name_m]
Rhidian
[name_u]Taliesin[/name_u]

I want to say [name_f]Briallen[/name_f] is usable, but the reality is, unless you’re actually living in [name_m]Wales[/name_m], no-one is going to pronounce it correctly…

I think fanciful names can be usable if they have significantly more common nicknames. So from your list, I’d put [name_f]Alwyne[/name_f], [name_f]Corisande[/name_f], [name_f]Edana[/name_f], Elestren, [name_f]Elowen[/name_f], [name_f]Eluned[/name_f], [name_f]Madrigal[/name_f], [name_m]Alaric[/name_m], [name_m]Evander[/name_m], [name_m]Caius[/name_m] in that category–[name_u]Allie[/name_u], [name_f]Cori[/name_f], [name_f]Edie[/name_f], [name_f]Ellie[/name_f], [name_f]Ellie[/name_f], [name_f]Ellie[/name_f], [name_f]Maddie[/name_f], [name_m]Al[/name_m]/[name_u]Ricky[/name_u], [name_u]Evan[/name_u], and [name_u]Cai[/name_u]. Also [name_f]Valora[/name_f] if you live somewhere that [name_f]Valerie[/name_f]/[name_f]Valeria[/name_f]/[name_f]Valentina[/name_f] is currently really trendy.

My problem with [name_f]Alwyne[/name_f] is that it looks like a boy’s name. I spelled it as [name_u]Alwyn[/name_u] at first, which is undeniably masculine. I wouldn’t use it for a girl.

[name_m]Odin[/name_m] is really popular right now in some circles, so it’s definitely usable, but I think it’s really overdone, and the people who name their kids [name_m]Odin[/name_m] are either smug hipsters or white supremacists.

I don’t care for [name_m]Oisin[/name_m]. Nobody will pronounce it right unless you actually live in [name_f]Ireland[/name_f]. My first thought was ‘[name_m]Oy[/name_m]-shin’, like [name_u]Ocean[/name_u] in some bad parody of a [name_m]New[/name_m] [name_m]York[/name_m] accent. Same with [name_f]Nimue[/name_f]. [name_m]Nim[/name_m]-you-ayy? [name_m]Nim[/name_m]-you? I don’t know! Same with Lir–Leer? Lure?

I don’t put [name_f]Hildegard[/name_f] in the same category as these–I see it as a name that hangs out with [name_f]Bertha[/name_f] and [name_f]Hortense[/name_f]. But I think that actually does make it more usable, since it’s ‘great-grandma revival’ and not ‘fantasy novel character’. If you live in a neighborhood where people are calling their daughters [name_f]Dorothy[/name_f] and [name_f]Beatrice[/name_f], [name_f]Hildegard[/name_f] fits right in.

[name_f]Avalon[/name_f]
[name_f]Ceridwen[/name_f]
[name_f]Delyth[/name_f]
[name_f]Eirian[/name_f]
[name_f]Elowen[/name_f]
[name_f]Eluned[/name_f]
[name_f]Endellion[/name_f]
[name_f]Ferelith[/name_f]
[name_f]Morrigan[/name_f]
[name_f]Morwenna[/name_f]
[name_f]Tanith[/name_f]

[name_m]Caedmon[/name_m]
[name_m]Caius[/name_m]
[name_m]Emrys[/name_m]
[name_m]Evander[/name_m]
[name_m]Oisin[/name_m]
Rhidian

I’m Welsh so lots of these I consider usable and actually know of people with these names, whereas they may seem a little bit outlandish to others.

Usable:

[name_f]Avalon[/name_f]
[name_f]Ceridwen[/name_f]
[name_f]Delyth[/name_f]
[name_f]Edana[/name_f]
[name_f]Eirian[/name_f]
[name_f]Elowen[/name_f]
[name_f]Eluned[/name_f]
[name_f]Ferelith[/name_f]
[name_f]Kerensa[/name_f]
[name_f]Morwenna[/name_f]
[name_f]Tanith[/name_f]
[name_f]Yvaine[/name_f]

[name_m]Alaric[/name_m]
[name_m]Aurelian[/name_m]
[name_m]Caius[/name_m]
[name_m]Emrys[/name_m]
[name_m]Evander[/name_m]
[name_m]Odin[/name_m]
[name_m]Oisin[/name_m]

Thanks for the feedback, guys - I live in Australia if that helps. When the time comes for me to have kids, I do intend to go for a more unusual name choice, as my own parents went the safe/traditional route with my name and I always wish I’d been named something a bit more interesting. However I’m so used to my own name I can’t see myself being called anything else.

That’s interesting re: [name_f]Hildegard[/name_f], I can see how it would be interpreted as “old-lady”, but I think of it more as a name for a little Viking girl. I like names with a Norse/Germanic feel to tie in with my interest in Norse mythology and northern European history. Might have to save that one for a middle then.

Usable:

[name_f]Avalon[/name_f]: Easy to pronounce, and with history and literary ties dating back to Arthurian times.
[name_f]Corisande[/name_f]: This choice is absolutely stunning, and with the number of Ancient Greek revival names, it remains an outstanding and unusual but very usable name.
[name_f]Delyth[/name_f]: Very unusual for sure, but many popular sounds and a great meaning.
[name_f]Elowen[/name_f]: This tailored, gentle beauty has been used consistently throughout history and would make a great choice similar to but less popular than [name_u]Eloise[/name_u] or [name_f]Elora[/name_f].
Kerenesa
[name_f]Madrigal[/name_f]
[name_f]Melisande[/name_f]
[name_f]Yvaine[/name_f]

All of them are fabulous! I would honestly use any of those… but I love wild names, so I may be the wrong person to ask.

I’ve bolded the ones I think are perfectly fine

[name_f]Alwyne[/name_f] - Too much like masculine [name_m]Alvin[/name_m]
[name_f]Avalon[/name_f]
[name_f]Briallen[/name_f]
[name_f]Ceridwen[/name_f] - Probably a little much outside of [name_m]Wales[/name_m]. Would be hard to pronounce offhand.
[name_f]Corisande[/name_f] - Definitely brave, but doable
[name_f]Delyth[/name_f] - Sounds too much like Dillis with a lisp
[name_f]Edana[/name_f] - Never heard of this before, but it’s definitely pronounceable
[name_f]Eirian[/name_f] - Too similar to [name_f]Erin[/name_f] to be on its own
Elestren - This sounds a bit too much like something out of a fantasy novel
[name_f]Elowen[/name_f] - Huge fan of this - flowing and pretty, a bit like [name_f]Willow[/name_f] but with more cred
[name_f]Eluned[/name_f] - I mean, it’s okay, but the “d” ending is rather heavy
[name_f]Endellion[/name_f] - See Elestren
[name_f]Ferelith[/name_f] - I don’t know what’s putting me off with this one, but I’m not a huge fan
[name_f]Hildegard[/name_f] - See [name_f]Eluned[/name_f], except this one has two "d"s.
[name_f]Kerensa[/name_f] - Pronounceable and with easily accessible nicknames if necessary
[name_f]Madrigal[/name_f] - Actually, not too bad with all the Madisons and Madelyns
[name_f]Melain[/name_f] - Sounds a bit like malign
[name_f]Melisande[/name_f] - Personal favorite, like [name_f]Melissa[/name_f] but cooler
[name_f]Melusine[/name_f] - Not bad; like [name_f]Melanie[/name_f] and [name_f]Lucy[/name_f] and [name_f]Maureen[/name_f] all in one
[name_f]Morrigan[/name_f] - Too much like [name_u]Morgan[/name_u] to stand on its own
[name_f]Morwenna[/name_f] - Easily pronounceable and feminine
[name_f]Nimue[/name_f] - ending in -ew is probably not great
[name_f]Olwen[/name_f] - Sounds a bid old
[name_f]Saga[/name_f] - Too much of a word. Great middle though!
[name_f]Tanith[/name_f] - I don’t hate this; easily pronounceable. Like [name_f]Tamsin[/name_f] and [name_f]Lillith[/name_f].
[name_f]Valora[/name_f] - -ora names are all good
[name_f]Yvaine[/name_f] - Great alternative to [name_f]Yvonne[/name_f]

[name_m]Alaric[/name_m] - One of my favorites! -ric names are all good, and al- names are in right now
[name_m]Aurelian[/name_m] - So much classical elegance
[name_m]Cadmus[/name_m] - a bit heavy…see [name_f]Eluned[/name_f]
[name_m]Caedmon[/name_m] - Somehow the soft “mon” makes the d okay, but I hesitate to bold it due to the “cae” spelling
[name_m]Caius[/name_m] - [name_u]Kye[/name_u]-us? [name_u]Kay[/name_u]-us?
[name_m]Emrys[/name_m] - A little too soft for a boy, I always thought. Like [name_f]Denise[/name_f] or [name_f]Bernice[/name_f].
[name_m]Evander[/name_m] - A cooler [name_u]Evan[/name_u]
Lir - Leer? Lur?
[name_m]Odin[/name_m] - Not bad. Like a cooler [name_u]Owen[/name_u].
[name_m]Oisin[/name_m] - Now, I love me a [name_f]Roisin[/name_f], so I can’t fault you for liking this :wink: However, we’re both going to have to suffer for pronunciation, so I won’t bold it.
Rhidian - I’d hesitate due to the “rid” sound at the beginning. Like you want to get rid of something.
[name_u]Taliesin[/name_u] - Like Talisman?

Agree! [name_f]Hildegard[/name_f] is a great name. I think American/Anglo people (and especially Nameberries) have a preference for girl names that ‘sound pretty’, and these Germanic/Scandi girl names (with ‘garde’ and ‘hilda’ at the end) can rub our ears the wrong way. But with the renaissance of turn-of-the-century girls names like [name_f]Myrtle[/name_f], [name_f]Hildegard[/name_f] is a total possibility. Plus, St [name_f]Hildegard[/name_f] of Bingen was a total badass (ln a holy way of course).

Another (slightly more user-friendly) option is [name_f]Clothilde[/name_f].

Big no to these.
[name_f]Ceridwen[/name_f] (only works for a boy)
[name_f]Melain[/name_f] (melanin)
[name_f]Melusine[/name_f] (not nice to the tounge or ear)
[name_f]Corisande[/name_f] (like many others to hard to pronounce)
[name_f]Ferelith[/name_f] (not my favorite sound for a lady)
[name_f]Madrigal[/name_f] (no)
[name_f]Eluned[/name_f] (no no)
[name_f]Hildegard[/name_f] (oh no)
[name_f]Nimue[/name_f] (all I think of the bird Emu)

[name_f]Eluned[/name_f]
[name_f]Endellion[/name_f]
[name_f]Ferelith[/name_f]
[name_f]Kerensa[/name_f]
[name_f]Melisande[/name_f]
[name_f]Nimue[/name_f]
[name_f]Saga[/name_f]
[name_f]Yvaine[/name_f]

[name_m]Alaric[/name_m]
[name_m]Cadmus[/name_m]
[name_m]Caius[/name_m]
[name_m]Emrys[/name_m]
[name_m]Evander[/name_m]

[name_f]Lovely[/name_f] names, not all are names I would use myself but if I could I would choose these ones :slight_smile:

I think usability depends really on where the baby will grow up. Perhaps, where I live most of the names on the list wouldn’t even be recognizable. However, it other countries it might be pretty normal.

The ones I recognize as being totally usable:
[name_f]Avalon[/name_f]
[name_f]Ceridwen[/name_f]
[name_f]Edana[/name_f]
[name_f]Eirian[/name_f]
[name_f]Elowen[/name_f]
[name_f]Endellion[/name_f]
[name_f]Madrigal[/name_f] (in my language means poetic composition, so I think it’s really pretty)
[name_f]Melisande[/name_f]
[name_f]Morrigan[/name_f]
[name_f]Morwenna[/name_f]
[name_f]Olwen[/name_f]
[name_f]Saga[/name_f]
[name_f]Valora[/name_f]
[name_f]Yvaine[/name_f]

[name_m]Alaric[/name_m]
[name_m]Aurelian[/name_m]
[name_m]Cadmus[/name_m]
[name_m]Caius[/name_m]
[name_m]Emrys[/name_m]
[name_m]Evander[/name_m]
[name_m]Odin[/name_m]
[name_m]Oisin[/name_m]

[name_f]Avalon[/name_f]
[name_f]Briallen[/name_f]
[name_f]Corisande[/name_f]
[name_f]Edana[/name_f]
[name_f]Kerensa[/name_f]
[name_f]Melisande[/name_f]
Melisine
[name_f]Morwenna[/name_f]
[name_f]Saga[/name_f]
[name_f]Valora[/name_f]
[name_m]Alaric[/name_m]
[name_m]Aurelian[/name_m]
[name_m]Caius[/name_m]
[name_m]Odin[/name_m]
Are all great

Noticed people aren’t sure how to pronounce [name_f]Nimue[/name_f] - I’d be saying [name_m]Nim[/name_m]-oo-ay, as if it ended with an accented é, as I believe that’s the proper pronunciation.

I live in Australia and while my preference typically is towards softer sounding names, there’s just something beautiful and strong about the name [name_f]Hildegard[/name_f] that I love. I picture a heavily armoured warrior woman with a sword and shield.

[name_f]Clothilde[/name_f] is pretty in theory, but the word “cloth” jumps right out at me and I imagine it would do so for others too.

Usable:

[name_f]Avalon[/name_f]
[name_f]Ceridwen[/name_f]
[name_f]Corisande[/name_f]
[name_f]Elowen[/name_f]
[name_f]Eluned[/name_f]
[name_f]Kerensa[/name_f]
[name_f]Melain[/name_f]
[name_f]Melisande[/name_f]
[name_f]Morrigan[/name_f]
[name_f]Nimue[/name_f]
[name_f]Olwen[/name_f]
[name_f]Saga[/name_f]
[name_f]Tanith[/name_f]
[name_f]Valora[/name_f]
[name_f]Yvaine[/name_f]

[name_m]Alaric[/name_m]
[name_m]Aurelian[/name_m]
[name_m]Caius[/name_m]
[name_m]Emrys[/name_m]
[name_m]Evander[/name_m]
Lir
[name_m]Odin[/name_m]
[name_m]Oisin[/name_m]
Rhidian