First names: the good, the bad and the fugly

I recently heard a spot on the radio that said there’s been a surge in the UK of babies being named after characters on Game of Thrones. Before it was even stated I just knew the most popular would be “Khaleesi” (never mind that it’s a title rather than a name, and will be spelled in any manner of interesting ways). After my initial eye roll I thought about it and it’s actually kind of nice sounding.

What names, regardless of context, connotations or era do you think are pleasant or unpleasant as the case may be?

My dear mother and aunt were Mildred and Judith respectively. To me (and they agreed) those are both just not pretty names. So much so that I almost assumed it was yet another cruel action on the part of my grandmother. That grandmother’s name, by the way, was Esther, which I think is lovely. Gladys is another one. It brings to mind old, possibly cranky old women - think Gladys Kravitz from Bewitched - but I think the actual sound of it is nice. As for more modern trendy names, despite my initial reaction of “oh, how original.not”, I think Ashley is quite pretty ; Brittany and Lindsey not so much.

So, in as an objective as you can manage, which names should be revived and which should be permanently retired?

If Gladys is ever revived for the modern era, it’ll probably be spelled with an ‘o’


“Judith” is perfectly okay as “Judi.” But another name that belongs on the list of “cranky old lady” names is Gertrude.

Oh, and I am irrationally annoyed at names that, if you didn’t already know, you’d never guess how to pronounce/spell them. So: Joe, Moe, Zoe, Chloe, and Phoe…be—you guys should all rhyme. Make up your mind how that “oe” gets pronounced.

Not Old English names, that’s for sure, you pretentious twats!
Anything ending in “-ayden” for any sex.

On a more specific note:

My mother in law’s name was “Gretchen.” We won’t be passing that along to any future girl babies, I can promise you that.

She passed before I met her, and by all accounts she was a saint. Although a saint with a name that sounded like a combination of “wretched” and the noise a transmission makes before it turns into a pile of scrap.

Sweet lady though, would have loved to have known her.

You’ve never met a male named Duke or Earl?

I forget where I saw it in my internet travels this week, but I saw something attributed to a man named Nimrod <lastname>. I had to pause and wonder if it was a joke name, a snippet from The Onion, or real. What sadist would name his son Nimrod? I’ve always only heard it used to mean an idiot. Is it a real name?

See this thread: Devaluation of “nimrod”

Or starting with “Kay-”

I wanted to name my daughter “Misery” but was talked out of it. I still think it’s pretty and kinda fitting too.

My ex wife is named Judith. It’s funny because shortly after my divorce I noticed that any time you see a character named Judith on TV or in the movies, she almost always is going to be evil. (Examples: Saving Silverman, Two and a half men, etc…)


Well, in the explicit, written Bible, Nimrod was a mighty warrior-king.

On the other hand, in the Jewish oral tradition (Midrash), he was rebellious against G-d and was responsible for the Tower of Babel incident and threw young Abram into a fiery furnace (from which Abram was miraculously saved by G-d). So if one is familiar with these stories, one is not likely to name their kid after him.

Good example; definition aside, it has a pretty sound to it (your last wouldn’t be Chastain by any chance?:dubious: :stuck_out_tongue: )

See, you get it! I’d go change her name right now if she weren’t already grown up.

What, you mean like “Cecil”?

Some are nice, like Tristan and St. John, but I don’t think we need to revisit the likes of Archiblad or Bertram.

As for “ayden” names, is it because they’re trendy and over done or do you mean they’re aesthetically unpleasant to you? I think Jayden is kind of nice for a girl, but the Smith family has tainted it somewhat.

What about people who never use first names? Like “J. Rondolph Blatz”? If they dislike their names, why not change them?

My grandmother and her sisters had Gertie, Nora, Bertie and Ellen.

Ellen is still around, but no one is using the other three.

we need more Trixies in this world.

ETA: My first name, Yancey, is probably not going to win any popularity contests.

I’m thinking “Blatz” is the troubling element in that name.

I really like Ellen and Nora; Bertie and Gertie can remain in retirement.

Trixie doesn’t have a bad sound to it, but it doesn’t seem appropriate as a human’s name either.

Does anyone name their daughters Agnes any more?

My co-worker’s about to become the dad of Leonora Beatrix. His wife plans to call the girl Leonora, but Co-worker’s gonna call her Trixie. :slight_smile:

I worked with a young lady from one of the Eastern Bloc countries - Bulgaria maybe- named Agnes. Perhaps it’s still common in other parts of the world but not really in the US. She was gorgeous, by the way, and it was kind of funny to see the look on the guy’s faces when I would introduce her.

Leonora is beautiful and reminds me of the not so popular name Eleanor which you don’t hear much anymore and with I think is pretty. Did the Beatles use the name Eleanor as a first name for Ms. Rigby because it was popular at the time or because it’s connotation was befitting of one of “the lonely people”?
Also, Trixie is very cute as a nickname.