Sunday, September 16, 2012

When surname-names are ok

A little on my personal taste...

Two names I was recently impressed with were guys I met named Ford and Miller. However, these were their actual surnames, not surnames-as-first-names. I've always thought it was very cool/cute when friends call someone by their last name. But I still do not encourage using surnames as first names, especially on girls.

It is also very acceptable to use a surname in the middle, such as the mom's surname or somthing further down your family tree.

On another note, I just had a conversation today with a long time friend about the unfortunate need some parents feel in giving their child a creatively spelled name, such as Elyzabeth instead of Elizabeth, Rylee instead of Riley, etc. We were reminiscing about the days we grew up in, where pretty much everyone's name was spelled conventionally (and if anything, it was one letter off, not something random and out of left field), and how much easier our jobs would be if people spelled names right. I had enough trouble with my own name being an Italian variant of a common and popular name, so I can't imagine why anyone would trouble their children with a lifetime of misspellings and correcting.

And for the record, I've been seeing everyone spell the word spelled as spelt. Seriously? Why? Spelt is a type of grain.


  1. My parents named me after a boy's first name, which originally was a surname. It was popular as a boy's middlename in England during 1886-1901, and at least 6 boys had it as their name. In the U.S. it hit the 1000 charts and peek popularity in 1979 but died down by 1986, but as since picked up. Most of my life, I have heard been plagued with remarks sush as, "Were your parents hippie or stoned when they named you that.." It took me until I was an adult to appreciate my name. My sister, However, has loved her name from the beginning. It was until I was married that my name took on a deeper meaning to me. My sister's name is Summer Rose, which is a rather popular version of first and middle name. My name is Winter Fawn. Side note, I married my Husband Kelvin. Lord Kelvin invented the thermometer to measure cold temperatures, a slight reflection toward my first name. Kelvin in Scottish means Scottish river. My maiden name Swede, Flodman, formally Flodmanson before the move to the U.S., which means water under the bridge. I NEVER imagined being ridiculed for having "supposively" hippie parents (which they aren't) because I was born during a snowstorm, to in turn marry my husband and have my name take on a different meaning. I mostly agree with you on surnames aren't always the best choice, but sometimes it reflects current societies ignorance, because we aren't always emerced in our history as other culures are. Also, my husband is an English major, he graduated from a private school which tried pushing the word "HUNGED" instead of I hanged my coat on the coat stand. It drove him crazy to hear it.

  2. Oh yes, I agree. And for the record, Winter is lovely (as is Summer). Every once in a while I write about surnames that are not gender specific being just fine, like Winter, a season name turned surname. It is more when parents pick something without meaning - like Gregory on a girl without reason. You have a great story to the meaning of your name!

  3. Thank you! I totally agree and it is the child whom suffers. Think of a business interview, the employer is expecting a boy and in return is a woman. This could be a potential lawsuite issue, akwardness, and embarrassment. Sidenote: not just with surnames but regular or madeup names, it can get overwhelming for parents to have correct their invention,they call names.....In our school district, a little girls name was LA-A, pronounced LA(dash)A. Terribly confusing.I know a Mykel, pronounced MY-Kel, the Kel part is like the sound in Kelly (Kel-Lee), not like Michael. Yet, some go by Michael spelled Mykel. A bit over excessive in the spelling change.