What’s In A Name?

We are NOT pregnant, but many of our friends are, and so are many of the bloggers and YouTubers I follow. I have always loved names and creating lists of names I love and their meanings, and falling in love with new names from characters I love or historical people I find. I love going through the branches of our family tree and finding names once worn by our ancestors and trying to discern what they were like. I enjoy grouping names for short stories I play out in my head, and one day may begin to write them all down. Suffice it to say, there are many, many names I love but will never use for either future fur children or future human children. Still, I thought it would be fun to share 10 boy names and 10 girl names I love but will never use and why I would never use them. This may be something I share again down the road because there are so many names I love, but I figured this was a good place to start.


  1. Nora: light. I have always like the name Nora. One of the girls who was in Oliver with mys sister and I was named Nora and she was so sweet. Unfortunately, there is no way this would work with our surname, so I will never use it.
  2. Eleanor: bright shining one. This is such a classic name, similar to Nora, and I like the classic feel. I like that its a name that suits a woman her whole life, but isn’t common enough for there to be five of in the same class at school – hello! my name is such a common one! – Unfortunately, just like Nora, this just would not work with our surname.
  3. Adelaide: nobility. A name I have loved for as long as I can remember. It is so classic and Germanic and just beautiful. Its uncommon, but is a name you could picture on a neighbor or friend.
  4. Gertrude: strength of a spear. This name is just  adorable to me! I can picture it on a young girl and an old woman, but I know to many people this name sounds like it belongs to someone’s Grammy.
  5. Cora: maiden. We had a sweet elderly neighbor who our whole family adored named Cora. She is someone we all still discuss with so much love in our family and whose memory makes us all smile. Now, whenever I hear Cora I think of her and can’t help but grin. Unfortunately, there are just other names we like more.
  6. Greta: pearl. I adore sweet Greta! It is another Germanic name and I love how it sounds. However, William’s grandmother had a dog with this name, so there is no way we would ever use it.
  7. Virginia: pure. When we were younger, my brother used to say if he had a girl he would name her Virginia. He was obsessed with Virginia and Cody. I’ve known many family friends who have used Virginia as a middle name, and it’s actually my sister-in-law’s middle name, so we would never use it.
  8. Emma: universal. Such a classic, sweet name. But its so common! This is a name my husband has also loved forever, but we know too many people with the name Emma to ever use it ourselves.
  9. Genevieve: tribe woman. I have always loved the name Genevieve. I have a great-aunt Genevieve, my Pappy’s sister, who lived in D.C. and worked for the Library of Congress and who I remember visiting when we were younger and just loving. I love that in the books about Madeline, the dog’s name is Genevieve; we wanted to name our dog Genevieve growing up, but couldn’t because of Aunt Genevieve, so she became Madeline. I just have truly always LOVED the name. We won’t ever use it though because of how it sounds when people pronounce it. We like the French pronunciation and it just doesn’t translate well to all the dialects of the people we love, so I will never use the name, but it will always be one of my very favorites.
  10. Eliza: pledged to God. I like that this name is a diminutive of Elizabeth, the name of my paternal grandmother and my middle name. I love that there were many literary characters named or called Eliza that I enjoyed growing up. I love that it feels spunky and full of life. I won’t ever use it though because there are other names we like better.


  1. Harry: estate ruler. It is so classic, has been the nickname of many kings and would fit both a young boy or an old man, but people would also think we chose the name because of our mutual love of Harry Potter. We just don’t like Harry as much as we like other names.
  2. Gideon: hewer. I have loved the name Gideon for years! It feels classic and different simultaneously, while still being unusual enough that you don’t meet many men names Gideon. I won’t ever use this name for the simple reason that my husband just isn’t a fan.
  3. Ezra: help. I have always like the name Ezra, but I don’t like that he was a central character in Pretty Little Liars and the character of that character. I won’t ever use this name because of its association with that show.
  4. Asher: happy, blessed. Another Biblical name I have always been drawn too! I won’t ever use this name for the simple reason that this name has become too popular among our peers.
  5. Graham: gravelly homestead. This was a name I fell in love with in college. It felt very Southern and New England at the same time, and I met several people with this name when I worked in D.C. It felt fresh and modern, but still classic. I won’t ever use this name for the simple reason that my husband just isn’t a fan.
  6. Wyatt: guide. I adore names that begin with W and names that begin with G for both boys and girls. Wyatt just rolls off the tongue nicely and is a name that would wear well through life. I won’t ever use this name for the simple reason that I have a cousin with this name, and therefore we don’t want to use it.
  7. Noah: comfort. Noah just feels so sweet! Its another name I have enjoyed since I was young. I won’t ever use this name for the simple reason that an N name won’t work with our surname.
  8. Gilbert: bright pledge. If you’ve ever read Anne of Green Gables, you’ll know when I first fell in love with this name! I also love that its a subtle nod to my maiden name, because the first three letters are the same. I won’t ever use this name for the simple reason that my husband just isn’t a fan.
  9. John: God is gracious. Clearly, I adore classic names that have stood the test of time. I won’t ever use this name for the simple reason that the name is too common.
  10. Rhett: ardent, fiery. This name like Wyatt just rolls of the tongue so nicely. I like that its classic but uncommon and feels like it belongs to a different time. I won’t ever use this name for the simple reason that my husband just isn’t a fan and I don’t like that people would always picture Rhett Butler when they heard the name.

Like I said, I just love names and researching their meanings and individuals who have carried them. While we are not in a place to need any names right now, I still love hearing what names other people love! What names do you love?

3 thoughts on “What’s In A Name?

  1. I love Nora and Adelaide but like you, won’t use them (because we have other names that we love more). I also really like Cora and Emma but my cousins (sisters) are named Cora and Emma. 🙂
    I like Ezra too! It sounds like you and your husband find it harder to agree on boy names, right? Because that’s the same thing here. Most of the ones I say I like he has a reason not to like them! But we still have names picked out for some day.

    Also, I’ll be honest, when I saw you shelving a bunch of baby name books on Goodreads I did kind of wonder if you were pregnant! Haha.


    1. No, I’ve just always loved names so much! I truly find them all so interesting!

      We actually agreed on boy names much more easily than girl names. We have two solid names on hold for if we ever need them for boys and girls, but while the two boys are definite, the girls are slightly more fluid. There are just many more boy names I love than he does – probably because so many of my friends have had little boys in recent years that I’ve enjoyed their naming process and helping them find names like what they’re initially thinking to see similar and different options.

      How fun that those are your cousin’s names! I could see Nora working really well with my sister’s soon-to-be surname, so I’m holding out hope she’ll fall in love with Nora as a second name since I know that if she has a daughter her name will be Charlotte.


  2. I have always loved baby names!!! And I love a lot of the ones one your list!

    We actually have an Eliza 🙂 I love that name! It was between that and Emma, but Eliza fit better, plus, like you said, Emma is so popular! But Eliza is getting popular now too, haha.

    And our other child is Abraham (we call him Abe). I love it! (And his first name, by family tradition, is Harold, so sometimes I call him Harry, ha!)

    Our next little girl (if we have one) will be Rosalie, and we’ll call her Rosie. I also love the names Lydia and Camille, among many, many others.

    Our next boy (if we have one) will probably be Noah! But we also like Blake a lot. We also like Gabriel (Gabe) and Isaac, and those don’t go too well with Abe — or maybe a little too well if you know what I mean!


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