Monday, October 10, 2011

The Name Game

To start off, I'd better say that I have a minor obsession with names. Well, words, really. I love etymology and meanings of words, and because of that, I love names even more so. When Daniel and I named our daughter Naomi, we (but especially I!) placed a lot of weight on meaning, sound, spell-ability, and where the name fell on the popularity charts. I still enjoy researching names, sometimes with an eye for future children, and sometimes in the genre of "what were her parents thinking?!"

For instance, a couple of years ago I was working at a coffee shop. A very pregnant lady came in and ordered a drink. As I was making it, I chatted with her about her baby due in a few weeks. I found out they already had a little girl, and were struggling to come up with a name for their new little girl. I asked the name of their daughter, and she told me it was Kennedy. "That's cute!" I said. "What does it mean?" She had no idea, so I had the brilliant suggestion to look it up, and pick a name with a similar meaning for her next daughter. She thought that might be a good idea, got her drink, and left. I never saw her again. A year later, I was expecting our daughter, and remembered this conversation. I didn't care for the sound of the name "Kennedy", but was curious what it meant, so I went to to find out. I wonder if that pregnant lady never came back in the store because she was mad at me or embarrassed at her daughter's name? When I finally withdrew my foot out of my mouth, I told my husband the story, and the meaning of "Kennedy". It means "ugly head", literally from the ancient Celts who would wear helmets in battle, and their heads would become misshapen from this practice. Yikes! But I digress.

As Daniel and I were driving in the car the other day, I brought up some names I had been thinking of. I had noticed that some girls' names sound good with either an -a or an -ey/ie/i ending, but some names only work with one of them. Here are the names we came up with that work for either:

Liza/Lizzy (different pronunciation for the "Liz" part, though)

The ones that DON'T work:

Shella (lol)
Isabelly (lol)

Anyone have any names to add to either list? Anyone else play "name games" in your head too?