Sunday, February 21, 2010

Name List

I have been suggesting baby names to FB since long before Snapdragon was conceived. Some have been offered in jest, but others are serious attempts to gauge his naming style.

In general, he has not been very excited about coming up with names of his own, content to accept or reject names that I offer. I told him that he will need to come up with his own name list at some point, but he is of the opinion that he should wait until we know the sex before he puts in too much effort. I've tried to convince him that there's no time like the present (the baby might be shy! the ultrasound tech could be wrong! if you make 2 lists now, you can reuse the other one for Snapdragon 2.0!) but to no avail.

Frankly, I cannot wait another 8-10 weeks to make my lists. I'll need some time to live with names to make sure that I can love the same name for seven months straight. My tastes fluctuate.

So here are my Top 5 lists, as they stand at the moment, with explanations, nicknames, etc. Anyone who is reading this blog better chime in and tell me what they think, since FB isn't really ready to engage on this subject yet. The first-name, middle-name combos are not set in stone — they can be shuffled around.


1. Amalia Pasqualina (nickname Mollie)

pro: middle name honoring my Papa, suitably Italian with our Anglo last name, neither name popular (though Amalia is close to Amelia, which is very popular), super cute nickname

con: very girly, trouble pronouncing first name (I say ah-MOLL-ee-ah, others might say ah-mah-LEE-a) Pasqualina is weird to English-speakers, it's a lot of name

2. Una DeAngelis (no nickname)

pro: middle name honors my family, I LOVE Una, easily pronounced in many languages, unusual, but not baffling

con: rhymes with tuna, somewhat unusual, no nickname potential if she really hates it

3. Susanna DeAngelis (nickname Una)

pro: I'm not kidding when I say that Una is my favorite name at the moment, I like Susanna but not Sue or Susie (Zuzu is ok), Susanna was a top 10 name in 1710 but it's not a top 1,000 name now

con: Una isn't the most obvious nickname for Susanna, there's a lot of nasal short a sound with this combo

4. Ellen Mathilde (nickname Nell)

pro: Ellen honors many women in my family (including my mother, Mary Ellen, and her grandmother, Nell), Pete has a whole line of Mathildes in his family and I got rather attached to them after doing their family tree this past Christmas, both Ellen and Nell are easy to spell/pronounce

con: not Italian, Mathilde is an unusual spelling of Matilda, could replace Mathilde with Modestina (my adorable great-grandmother's unfortunate name)

5. Cecily, Harriet (nn Hattie), Lydia, Luna, Philippa (nn Pippa)

pro: I like these names

con: they are not family names and I can't really find a way to justify them other than I think that they are cute


1. Benjamin Pasquale (nickname Ben)

pro: my grandfathers are Benjamin and Pasquale, there have been 4 generations of Benjamins in my family (grandfathers and grandsons — it skips generations), yet it is the most palatable name in a family of Manfredos, Armands, and Ilarios, Ben seems like a sturdy name

con: I have a brother named Ben, so they'd be Big Ben and Little Ben forever

2. Benjamin Conrad (nickname Ben)

pro: see above, Conrad is FB's grandfather's name

con: see above, I don't like Conrad very much

3. David Americo (nickname Dave, I guess)

pro: David is one of only two names that is in both of our families (the other is Armand), Americo is my great-grandfather's name (my dad, Mark, was named after him while my grandparents were trying to assimilate)

con: it's ok I guess, FB's brother's name is Dave (Big Dave/Little Dave), I like Americo better than I like David

4. Walton Pasquale (nickname Walt)

pro: I've always liked the name Walter, but FB's middle name is Walton, which is close enough, middle name honors my grandfather

con: it sounds pretty WASPy, which it is

5. Oliver Pasquale

pro: I like both of those names, FB's great-great-etc. grandfather, Oliver Fiske, died in the Revolutionary War, thus making our kids eligible to join the DAR

con: Oliver is pretty popular in our neck of the woods, if I had an Olly, we could never have a Mollie

That's where I am right now. There are other names that I like and could learn to love, but this is what I have at the moment.

What say you?


  1. My two cents:

    1) Amalia. Ama is a darling nickname.
    2) Una

    Pasqualina is a beautiful name. Keep it for the middle.

    1) Oliver. Agreed - Ollie is precious.
    2) Benjamin. I've never met a Ben I didn't like.

  2. I don't know what it is about Ben — it just seems like a nice guy name. I can imagine a jerk named Ryan or Justin or any of those other popular '80s names, but Ben just sounds good-guy-ish.