Some names

Jul. 24th, 2016 07:36 am
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The best name I know of right now is Casper's classmate, a rising 8th grader named Majestic.

Dillo's elementary school class lists came out yesterday. Most of the kids in his grade I have known for a while so their names do not bring anything new, but the early grades are a great mix of names. Gotta love a class where there are kids named Nigel, Egypt, Bhuvan, and T'yanna (those are 1st graders). Best name, presumably female: Princess-Ashley (1st grade); best name, presumably male: Kal-El (K). Worst name for a child living in modern America: Jihaad.

Baby Names!

May. 8th, 2015 07:09 pm
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The Social Security top baby names list has arrived:

Note that Charlotte is up to 10, but after Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, I am sure it will rise next year. (I am surprised the Windsors chose such a trendy name; my (hypothetical) money was on Alice.)

Dillo's name is slowly falling at 204; Casper's name continues to skyrocket and is at 16 (was 88 in 2003 when we named her; happily the nickname she uses is 460); I am still slowly rising around 400 and mr. flea is steady at #7, after decades in the top.
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Since I just entered all of these into a spreadsheet, here are the rising 3rd graders who will be Dillo's cohort at the gifted magnet public school:

Adam, Addison, Sophia, Reid, Analucia (Lucy), Nicolas, Marie, Sebastian, Jaydrian, Rishika, Brooklynn, Simone, Love, Benjamin, Graham, Withwala, Ea (F), Courtney, Nicholas, John, Peter, Charles, Benjamin, Barrett, Leandros, Samanyu (Sammy, M), Selima, Tonee, Tyler, Theo, Nelson, John, Jameh, Owen, Gavin, Sheridan, Ravanth, Iraj (M), Nia, Aahan, Ian, Elizabeth, Niranjan, Hanniel, Megan, Kirsten, Stefan, Walker (M), Peter, Dennis, Fatima. I only know about 10 of these kids; where gender is not obvious and I know, I have noted. (Soooo many boys.)

Dillo seems to have grown up a lot lately. He turned 8 last month. He managed 2 weeks with my mother without parents pretty well. He's about 4'4", not sure of weight - quite skinny to look at. He sits in a booster in our car, but we don't worry about it for other people's cars. His last of 8 adult incisors is coming in, finally; he hasn't lost any other baby teeth yet. He's fair and a little freckly, definitely brown-haired and not at all blonde. Still has lovely big blue eyes. He's been doing karate over the summer and will start group piano lessons this fall; not sure about continuing soccer. Probably will continue karate. He loves science and reading nonfiction and the Warriors series and stuffed animals and picked a Lego Eiffel Tower kit for his birthday present. He's still a cuddly kid, and still on the shy/intellectual side.
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Zachary Ethan
Palmer (F)
Aerin, Devon, and Drew (F)
Angelica Rebecca and big brother Hugo
Lila, big brother Jonah
Henry Martin
Olivia Ines, big brother Joaquin
Charlie Ray
Grace Hartley
Ayla J.
V. Grant
Mercedes "Mimi" Myers
Ada Zeynep
Fulton Keverling (M)
William Henry
Daphne Gautam
Juliet Jay
Ryan Rose (F)
Ryan Coddington

Note there were births reported from only the high school classes '94-'00, now aged approximately 30-36, and clearly in the prime childbearing years for the upper middle classes.
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We finally got a school directory. Although this school has Asian students adding some name diversity, as a rule it is much less interesting than our school in Georgia in terms of names. There is ethnic diversity at the school, but little class diversity, so kids of all ethnicities tend to have upper middle class white people names.

Girls: Elle, Ellie, Kyla, Kayla, Chaya, Lila, Lila, Lily, Emma, Amy, Savannah, Vivienne, Danika, Alexandra, Reilly, Delaney, Sena.

Boys: Alexander, James, Elliott, Nicholas, Noah, Charlie, Henry, Owen, Owen, Max, Robert, Robert, Sean, David, David, Jonah, Matthew, Tate, Gabriel, Brayden, Kaden, Rohan (South Asian, not a LOTR fan), Raj, Ajai, Ziyin.

One thing that's interesting to me is that in all of the gifted classes at the school, boys outnumber girls, usually at about the rate seen above in the 4th grade. I know that at extreme outliers males tend to test higher (and lower) than females, but the requirements for the school are only testing in 95%ile, and as far as I know there's no inherent gender disparity in giftedness at that level. But my suspicion is that gifted boys are not as successful in mainstream classrooms, as a result of the way boys and girls are socialized at school and in our culture generally (girls - organized, high achieving, good behavior; boys - disorganized, underachieving, boredom causes disruption). I would guess that of the percentage of kids who are eligible for gifted, more girls than boys are already flourishing in their schools, and parents are reluctant to change something that works, whereas more boys are not doing well in their schools, so when they test into gifted, the parents are open to change.
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Aidan and Dylan (m); parents Alistair and Jennifer (both British)
Sam (f) and Eli; parents Brian and Kara
Isla, Avery (f), and Jagger (m); parents Jonathan and Amber
Georgia and Constance; parents Judith and Scott

(not all of them are actually from the UWS)

baby names

Sep. 3rd, 2012 05:58 pm
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Samuel Henry, big siblings are Alex and Emma, parents Jennifer and Chris
Rory Alexander, big siblings are Elise and Elliott, parents Alexandra and Brad

Sibling sets from the playground at the kids' new school: Rowen (M) and Sloane (F); Roman (M) and Ramsey (M); Alex (M) and Gr(a/e?)y (M).

In celebrity baby names, Elizabeth Nicole (better known as Snooki) named her son Lorenzo Dominic, and Tori Spelling named her fourth child Finn Davey, joining siblings Liam, Stella, and Hattie.
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Henry James, big siblings are John Emerson (Jack) and Catherine Eloise (Eloise), parents are Chris and Emily

Patrick Gregory, big brother is Philip, parents are Jack and Emily.

Both mothers are librarians.

baby names

May. 3rd, 2012 09:43 pm
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Rose Elizabeth, born to Kate and Mark.

Molly Jo, born to Lola and Jay.

Maxwell Drew, born to Jessica Simpson. (I am interested that Max has gone very gender-neutral - I have a college friend with a daughter Max who is 2. Sidney, spelled that way, is on a lot of girls, too. I would have thought of them as "little old Jewish man" names!)

baby name

Apr. 19th, 2012 09:10 am
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Aimery Isidore, born to Donald (my step-brother, technically) and Jane.

They live in Montreal, and Aimery is certainly French, though uncommon since the Norman era as far as I can tell. Isidore is for a great-grandfather.
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I've reduced my hours and my duties at my job to 4 hours a day, shifting the journals (a complex back-to-front flip in tight space, with the need to leave room for growth for some titles but not all, the need to shelve in oversize titles (resetting shelves as necessary), and the need to integrate a formerly separate modern Greek journal collection.) This allows me to put the kids on the bus at 8:45 and pick them up from the bus at 4:10 and it feels so luxurious not to be rushed and exhausted all the time.

The bad part is, I am taking the public bus to and from work now (instead of driving with mr. flea.) Day 1: I caught the AM bus and all went as scheduled. I expected a 3:32 pm bus; the bus actually came to the stop at about 3:50. This was late enough that I was in danger of missing the pickup from the school bus. I called mr. flea and it turned out he got to the school bus stop right as the kids got off. I didn't know that, though (we only have one call phone and I had it), and saw the bus turn down the next block as I ran to the stop, and saw a kid I took to be Casper looking out the window, and saw the other family walking away from the bus stop, and didn't see mr. flea or my kids. So I kept running home, now sobbing, thinking nobody had met the kids and they'd been taken back to school on the bus. That sucked, even though everyone was fine except me.

Day 2: I caught the AM bus. Less than halfway into the 4-mile journey, it broke down. The driver didn't actually make any announcement for a few minutes, so we just sat there. Then he said there wouldn't be another bus for half an hour, so I got off and walked at top speed and was only 7 minutes late to work, although somewhat sweaty. The afternoon bus (I shifted my schedule to take a bus 45 minutes earlier, so no matter how late the bus was I could make it), worked as scheduled.

Either The Gods don't want me to do this job, or the Cincinnati public transit folks suck. And people wonder why everyone drives everywhere.

Baby name: Cyril Ray, big sister Petra, parents Heather and Niclas. Nicknames already include Cy and Spy-baby.

baby names

Mar. 1st, 2012 03:41 am
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I am sort of amazed by how many of my age-mates are still having babies. I mean, bully for them, but mentally my baby years are SO over, so it's so crazy to me.

Vivian Sophie, big brother is Jude.
Eliana Grace
Samuel Eric (Sammy), siblings are Ellie (Elizabeth Lindsey) and Frisco (Fransisco).

And in celebrity news, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner's 3rd child is named Samuel (big sisters are Violet and Seraphina).
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Remember Tyquavious, and Quindarrius, and Montavious? How about the amazingly-monikered Barkevious Mingo, a football player at LSU? ( Given that his nickname is "Key-Key", I would guess it is pronounced Bar-KEE-vee-us, not Bar-KAY-vee-us.

The Facebook friend who pointed it out suggested it sounds like a Harry Potter character name, but (if you assume as I initially did that it's said Bar-KAY-vee-us) it would also be an excellent name for a large, friendly dog.
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From my elite private Connecticut prep school alumni magazine:
Merrill Charlotte
Denali and Birch
Amelie Blaine
Mikhail (father is Russian)
Alexander Steven
Joseph and Jake
Gunnar and Axel
Isabel and Charlotte (okay, I have to quote this: "... relocated from Wellesley, Mass. to London this past August and are settling in to a charming Edwardian row house in Belsize Park. The move follows [husband's] decision to transfer to the relatively new London office of [blah blah], where he is a private equity partner. While here I plan to continue my interior decoration studies, brush up on my language skills, and take in as much as possible." Trying MUCH too hard, no? This woman was in my class.)
Ryan David, big brother John Elliott
Brady Esther (f)
Morgan and Ava
Lillian Jane
Porter Rust
Karis Juliet
Jacoby Bernard
Brooks Lyle (m) ("We are loving parenthood and Brooks enjopyed his first summer in Maine." See, THIS is how you do it.)
Brianna Marlene, big sister Abrielle
Mathilda (they live in Munich)
Bruno, Brooke, and Bruce (last name starts with B also, and contains a U)
Ansley Laine (gender not noted, presumably f)
Katherine Pearce
Peter Grayson
Thomas Frederick
Anne Violet
and a dog named Henry Barkston
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At the library, in a staff of perhaps 150, there are women named Irma, Erma, Ingeborg, and Elna.

Cincinnati is a German city!

(I have only met Erma, and she is probably in her 40s; no idea on other ages but as they are all fairly senior positions, probably also on the older end. I got emails from Erma, Irma, and Ingeborg all in one day, and then had to go looking through the staff list for others. In related but not close enough to lead with news, there are also a Lorna and an Edith.)

Oh, and actual baby born: Margaux Joelee, to Sarah and Jody (m.).
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Names from the children's classes:

K (a double class): Shamar, Nathaniel, Lily, Addison, Marco, Nathan, Melody, Zubin, Megan, Lila, Telly (not a Savales - last name is not even Greek), Amere, Jahnavi, Ariah, Audrey, Samantha, Liliana, Paul, Jason, Tameisha, Christopher, Katherine, Christian, Anna, Chase, Lucas, Christopher, Angelina, Ryan, Kyra, Reese, Gavin, Cristian, Kaitlin, Adeline, Presley, Sabine, Iraj, Fletcher, Griffin, Gabrielle, Maxwell, Peter. Two sets of twins: Kyra and Reese (both girls) and Cristian and Kaitlin.

3: Zoe, Ally, Jupiter (AWESOME), William, Alexander, Marcus, Matthew, Adam, Maria Sophia, Aidan, Erin, Caelan, Madison, Nicholas, Alexander, Lauren, Adrian, Alana, Evelyn, Lila, David.

Each of my children is unique in her/his grade.
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Margot Paige, big sister Eva, to a former coworker.
Zainab, to a college friend, who is Pakistani-American.

I know two other women who are due to have first children any day now, but I was worried I'd forget if I waited on these!
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These are all my personal opinions, of course; yours may vary.

1. Names should have some dignity. This does not mean they should be traditional (though my personal inclination is for traditional). Apple, for instance, has a certain dignity, or Sparrow. Khloe does not.

2. The more unusual, complex, and/or difficult to pronounce the last name, the more traditional, simple, and straightforward the first name should be. My kids have a short but nearly unique last name (their great-grandfather made it up) that is not easy to pronounce when you read it, or to spell when you hear it. Their names are both traditional and nearly everyone can spell them. Conversely, if the child's last name is White, or Smith, you should strive for a less common name, lest your child one day receive bizarre misdirected emails continually. When in doubt, Google your name combination and see how many hits come up.

3. Meaning is great in a name, but "I liked the sound of it" is fine as well. Deep personal meaning can excuse some oddities in naming choices. You do not get a pass, however, if you argue that you named your child Mercedes because you adore the automobiles. A Mercedes named after a beloved grandmother, a fascinating ancestor, or a saint all are fine. You child will, one, day, ask why you named her that (often as a result of a school assignment) and you need an answer that is not embarrassing.

4. Obviously foreign names should not be used unless the child has a close connection to the culture of origin of the name; the exception is in number 3 above, meaning. WASPy parents should not name their kid Dimitri unless Dimitri was the father's college roommate and best man. On the other hand, if the parents are a Chinese-American man and a woman from Florence, I think Francesca Chang is an awesome name.

5. Be aware of how your chosen name ranks in the Social Security statistics, and also in your local community. You may choose to name your daughter Emma and your son Jacob, but you are not allowed to be surprised that these are very common names. (This is especially a problem with firstborns; before having children oneself, one tends to not know much about what people are naming babies these days. In some circles, a name ranking quite low on the Social Security charts turns out to be very common; this is especially true if you are a hipster.)

6. If there is a standard spelling for a name, do choose it. You may choose a well-documented alternative (Clare for Claire), but you must not be surprised when people spell the child's name wrong. "Creative" spelling is Right Out (see number 1, dignity).
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Back to school ice cream social this afternoon to meet the teachers, and this means I have baby names! Not so much babies at this point.

With Dillo in Kindergarten will be: Ana Maria, Lillian, Kr'eme (I do wonder how they pronounce that), DeAngelo, Maya, Mariona, Horumalachi, La'Neric, Benjamin, La Niya, Camaya, Deyanira, Sofia, Yvana, Kaleb, John, Tyrus, Joshua. Haru (if it's the same kid - how many kids named Horu/Haru can there be?), Deyanira, and Yvana were all in PreK with Dillo, and the rest are new (Maya had a dance class at the same time as Casper last year, so we've met her mother).

I do wish he'd gotten one of his special friends, and he got the K teacher I know least about, and not one of the two I hoped he'd get, so I'm not super-thrilled about it (though all the K teachers are good). He was VERY shy at first but warmed up over the 2 hours we spent there. I hope this year is better for him. He's so clever, I hope he can find his groove.

Casper is in 3rd grade!! Her teacher started as a mid-year replacement last year and knocked everyone's socks off, a just-out-of-school, very energetic woman. Wasn't my first choice but I am happy. Her classmates are named: Remington, Tyana, Juliana, Cynthia, Markah, Ashleigh, Lil Rodrick, Owen (not the Owen she sat next to last year), Angelo, Gabriel, Kourtney, Zariah, Allison, Alexandra, Trinity, Dillon, Aydan, Kimberly, David, Ietta. Most of these kids have been in her class at one point or another, and she is special friends with Ietta and Allison, so that is good.
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Laura Wattenburg has the scoop and commentary:

In my family, Casper held steady at #39 and Dillo dropped a point to #192. My name continued its recent meteoric rise and landed at #309, now well above my sister's much more traditional (and spellable) name. Michael is, as last year, #3.

In bizarre news that makes us fear for America (or at least, the traditional names of America), Khloe is #42, Bentley is #101 (for boys), Nevaeh has reached #25 for girls, and the fastest-rising names of the year are almost all associated with reality television:

In recent births news, I have:
Felix, a first child
Samuel, 4th son, with big brothers Henry, William, and John
Samuel, with big sister Ivy


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