The Thinking 

Austin, Biffy and Whitaker

November 11, 2010



Your entry on names struck a nerve. I have been keeping a file of girl names that are not particularly feminine for a few years. When I encounter a new one (sometimes in person, often in local newspaper articles), I add it to the list. Some might doubt that I got the list right, but I am 100 percent certain that these are all girl names I have encountered:

Alex, Ashlan, Ashley, Austin, Biffy, Blair, Coty, Douglas, Hampton, Hayden, Jordan, Kendall, Kevin, Kirby, Kyle, Madison, Marlow, Mickey, River, Rory, Schafer, Spencer, Sutton, Taylor, Turner, Tyler, Whitaker.

                                                                 — Comments —

Natassia writes:

Although I’ve never told anyone, not even my husband, I suggested the name Brodric for my son (who is about 2 and 1/2 now) because of how masculine it sounds (I was a closet-conservative at the time). My husband liked the name, never questioning why I liked it. I don’t think it could EVER pass for a girl’s name. He’s a cream puff now, but I think he is going to end up being a very strong and protective brother and son. And my daughter, now almost 4, received the name Jolene…a strong, but decidedly feminine name. And it was a good name for her too, because she is incredibly strong-willed and courageous although still endearingly girly. 

So, what’s in a name? I think it helps to shape a personality. I know mine did.

Y. writes:

Sidney has been used as a woman’s name and don’t forget Miley Cyrus’ younger sister, Noah.

Fred Owens writes:

I named my son Eugene. I named him after my paternal Uncle Skip. All my life we called him Uncle Skip, and I never knew his real name until my wife was pregnant with our first born. That’s when I asked, “What was Uncle Skip’s real name?” My mother answered “Eugene,” and I had my name.

The second child we just knew would be a girl, and it was my wife’s turn, so she liked Eva Dee Marie, and I did too. Eva, for the mother of us all, Marie, for my Mom, and Dee because my wife was from Oklahoma and it just sounded kind of homey.

There is no more powerful moment in the life of a parent than the naming of a child. Try we as might to protect and build a life for our children, there are simply too many things beyond our control. But we can NAME them, and that act of naming is a powerful tool in character formation.

Mrs. P. writes:

Names are certainly important. They can have spiritual significance, too. Our son was born breach. It was an extremely difficult birth. My husband nearly lost both our son and me in the process. I remember lying there after the birth and watching as the doctor worked with our son attempting to get him to breathe. I remember praying and giving our little boy to God to do with him according to his will. 

We had chosen a first name for our son prior to his birth, but we had not chosen a middle name for him. After he was born we decided on a middle name of Matthew. Later we learned that Matthew means gift from the Lord. Our little boy, Gene Matthew, is in his forties today. I can’t write or talk about his birth without crying.

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