The Baby Name Buff: Felix’s Alternate Names Edition

Today and tomorrow, Kyle is away presenting at a conference in Atlanta. So, I’m on my own at home with my son, Felix. To honor this special little bit of time we’ll have together, I thought I’d share a few of the more unique names Kyle and I considered naming our boyo before we finally settled on Felix Orion.

Quill
Quill (Kwill) was my top choice for our son’s name. I thought this name could be a good option for our family for a few reasons. First, since Kyle and I are both English majors / teachers who met in grad school, naming our son after an antiquated writing implement would have lent a sentimental aspect to Felix’s name. Second, because our family name is a long, hyphenated name, a single-syllable first name would have been nice. Third, though I didn’t actually see the Guardians of the Galaxy movies until after we would have already named our son Quill, I do quite like the title character Peter Quill, so that association would have also been cool. I think the only reason I let Kyle talk me out of choosing Quill instead of Felix is that I was worried that people would think I was saying Will instead of Quill whenever I introduced our son verbally. Still, I will go to my grave thinking that Quill is one of the coolest boys’ names of all time. And while this name has yet to break into the U.S. top 1,000, I feel like it could someday. But then again, we’ve already established that I’m very biased where the name Quill is concerned. The full name combo we had chosen out if we had gone with Quill was Quill Loxley.

Cambric
I was going to say that Cambric (Cam-brick) was my second-favorite name option, but that would be an inaccurate statement. Despite the almost innumerable hours I spent scoping baby names in anticipation of Felix’s arrival (and for about six years prior to that…), I didn’t actually encounter this unique name until after Felix was born, even though I had heard this word before, in a little-known late-60s David Bowie jam called “Come and Buy My Toys.” When doing research for my very first blog post back in January, I realized that this word from an obscure Bowie tune could make a great name! Cambric is actually a fabric, which means that this name joins a long line of traditional fabric names (like Jean and Cotton) and new, trending fabric names (like Paisley or Velvet). If we had named our son Cambric, his nickname would have been Cam. I never actually came up with a middle name to pair with Cambric, probably because I didn’t come across the name before we named Felix, because what would have been the point, other than the fun of it, of course! To date, Cambric has never been in the U.S. top 1,000.

Peregrine
Both Kyle and I love Lord of the Rings, and Kyle is also really into Peregrine falcons, so Peregrine (Per-uh-grin) was a unique and fantastic name possibility for us. And, though I know I said that I loved Quill because it was short, I also really like longer names that can have short, cute nicknames. Peregrine obviously fits the bill, with Pippin, Perry, Reg, and Ryn as possible nicknames. If we had chosen Peregrine as our son’s name, his nickname would have been Perry, and his full name would have been Peregrine Lore. Like Quill, Peregrine is another name I’ve seen around often enough on name boards and sites that I suspect it will make it into the top 1,000 someday, though it hasn’t yet.

Everest
This is one of the first names I ever put on my baby name list. Because Everest (Ev-er-ist) conjures up images of the famous, majestic mountain, this name always makes me think of nature, as well as the ability to achieve things, and I really like both associations. I am really shocked, though, that this name is still not in the U.S. top 1,000, since Everest seems to be climbing in popularity at a very steady rate.

Bodhi
Many of you will be very familiar with more typical spellings of this name, including Body, Bodi, Bode, and Bodee. However, while this spelling of the name Bodhi (Bo-dee) may seem uncommon at first, this version of the name has actually been in the U.S. top 1,000 since 2010, having peaked at #301 in 2017. In Sanskrit, bodhi means “awakened” or “enlightened,” a word and concept central to Kyle’s religion, Buddhism. Felix’s full name if we had chosen Bodhi as his first name would have been Bodhi Dylan.

Rigden
Even though honor names for family members can be really charming (under the right circumstances), our baby name list always prioritized uncommon names that we liked rather than family names. But one of the names I wrote about in my previous My Family Edition of this blog that we strongly considered for Felix was Rigden (Rig-din), which is Kyle’s mom’s maiden name. But, since Sue (Kyle’s mom) didn’t love Rigden as a first name, we nixed that possibility.

Fendor
The other family name we somewhat-seriously considered was Fendor (Fen-door), a name to honor my beloved Grampy, whose father’s name was Fendor. My Grampy loved tracing our family’s lineage and making family trees / charts. If he had actually been alive when Felix was born, I might have considered this name a little more strongly, since Grampy would have been tickled pink. I love Fendor for its fantasy vibe and the nickname Fenn.

Ziggy
Kyle never actually let me put Ziggy (Zig-ee) in our final top 10 names. But, as a David Bowie super fan, this honestly would have been the perfect name for my kid. (Then again, I had already named a previous car Ziggy, so maybe that would have been weird to name my kid Ziggy?) Shockingly, this name has never been in the U.S. top 1,000, unless the SSA website is just giving me trouble again…

Corwin
I have always loved the name Corwin (Core-win), a name that’s only been (barely) in the top 1,000 for three years: 1969, 1970, and 1988. (It was in the 900s all three years.) We had a cat named Corwin growing up, a pet I truly adored. Corwin was very smart for a cat; he could play fetch, for instance–a trick I have actually also recently taught Felix to do! And while he could be very loving, he also had a lot of cattitude and didn’t take shit from anyone. This means that, for those who believe in reincarnation, Felix may actually be Corwin having returned to Earth as a human, so Corwin might have actually been the perfect choice. The full name we would have gone with for Felix if we had gone with Corwin instead was Corwin Asher.

Casper
Yeah, I know–Casper (Cass-purr) the friendly ghost. Still love this name, though. We would have done Casper Lennox as the full name.


Bonus: Top 5 Picks If Felix Had Been a Girl!
Delaney Celeste
Novella Celine
Gwendolyn Grace
Phaedra Jubilee
Sylvana Dawn










The Baby Name Buff: Veteran’s Day Edition

When I started this baby-name blog back in January, I had some grand plans for my first Veteran’s Day post. I wanted to ask my veteran friends to share their names, nicknames, and names of their compatriots, along with stories honoring said veterans. Unfortunately, I didn’t get my act together in enough time to make it happen this year, but I still hope to do this blog next year, with the help of my friends Cortney and Jim, among others.

Instead, I’m going in a different and perhaps surprising direction for Veteran’s Day. A day or two ago, someone in one of the Facebook baby-name groups I frequent was looking for baby names that are also….weapons! While all veterans join the services for different reasons and often have wildly disparate experiences of being in the military, one thing all veterans have in common is that, at some point, they wield a weapon. So, I thought this focus could work well for a Veteran’s Day post.

However, there’s an additional twist that made this week’s post a bit of a (fun) challenge. The person from the FB baby-name group who was requesting weapon names that could make good baby names also (ideally) wanted the full (weapon) name to be able to be shortened to a cute animal name, since her existing son’s name is Barrett nn Bear.

So, please enjoy this list of weapon names with potential animal nicknames!

Boys’ Names
Arrow nn Roo
Buckler nn Buck
Colton nn Colt
Flintlock nn Fly or Lox
Lance nn Ant
Paladin nn Dino
Rocket nn Kit
Sabre nn Bear
Shooter nn Hoot
Tomahawk nn Hawk
Wesson nn Sunny
Winchester nn Cheetah

Girls’ Names
Benelli nn Bee
Katana nn Kat
Remington nn Wren or Mink


Photo credit: Andreas Overland











The Baby Name Buff: My High School Classmates–Surnames

I recently checked out my high school yearbook for some possible name inspiration. Unfortunately, the Elk Lake class of 2001 is a unique-name wasteland when it comes to first names. However, many of my fellow HS graduates have surnames that would make really cool first names, so enjoy this list!

Blaisure
Caines
Canfield
Collins
Copeland
Dunn
Finlon
Gleason
Guiton
Hallock
Hibbard
Higgins
Jenner
Jennings
LaRue
McKeon
Nasser
Murphy
Naylor
Newhart
Nulton
Rockerfeller
Ruark
Stone
Stark
Traver
VanWinkle