Duana Names: A Different -Den

August 15, 2014 18:04:49 Posted at August 15, 2014 18:04:49
Duana Posted by Duana

I feel like I’ve been waiting a lifetime to email you Duana. After severals years of loss and heartbreak, it would seem as though we have a wee one that wants to stick around for the long haul. At the moment we have decided to wait until the big day to find out if we’re having a boy or girl.

I think our biggest challenge is finding a name that we hadn’t already wanted in previous pregnancies. Those names feel… tainted now. Or maybe bad luck. I think we’ve narrowed our choices down a bit, but some feedback or suggestions would be most appreciated.

For a boy, we’ve always liked Hayden. I love Hayden, and it has some family significance as well. The problem? Jayden, Cayden, Aiden etc. I always felt Hayden was set apart from the other “-dens”, but is it really? For a girl, we’ve always liked Evelyn…but I feel like we missed the boat on that one. We also fell in love with the name Nyrie (Nyree?) when we were overseas, but it’s so similar to “Nori”, and well….who needs that comparison. I think most people will expect a rather “crunchy” name from us, but I don’t want anything too hippy dippy. Help! Any other suggestions would be appreciated.


I am so happy to hear that your long-awaited and anticipated bundle is giving you name trouble! It’s a good problem to have. I understand wanting to discard any names that you’d been thinking of before so I’m excited to have you go forward.

As for Hayden – you’re right in two instances. Yes, he’s separate from the others, having been a surname for a long time, and yes, he will be lumped in with the other “-dens”. You have a reason and a story and a different perspective, but none of that is going to matter to his grade six teacher when he and Broydon and Jaylen are misbehaving before gym. 

But you know, I wrote that out and thought that – maybe not. Hayden might be at the tail end of the Jaydens – the name trend has been so roundly abused that it might be dying out. 

If you’re feeling contrary, one way around it might be Haydn.  No, it’s not just taking a letter out for the sake of being contrary, it’s HIGH-din, after the composer, and might set him apart. 

Of course, it might also set him apart for having parents who couldn’t just name the child Hayden. So. If you can’t come to terms with it, how about Henry or Marvin or Asher or Hawthorne or Magnus?   

As for girls, yes there are a million little girls aged 1-3 named Evelyn, so while it’s still pretty, it’s not unusual. However, you can get in there if you want to, or choose Edith (if she can live down the water-bottle controversy) or Enid or even Aveline.   What I really like about Evelyn is the accent on the front syllable – similarly CAR-o-line or EL-ea-nor. While the only girls name I can think of with this same pattern that we haven’t overused lately is “HEP-zi-bah”. It has a nice rhythm to thing about.

Nyree turned up in my searches as being of Maori origin. It’s beautiful, undoubtedly, and I can’t say anything against it, especially where Nori is concerned. I recently ran into someone who assumed North West was a boy, so I don’t think there are overbearing comparisons to be made with Nyree at all but I do think  you might want something with a little more consonants as a middle at hand, in case it proves to be misheard. 

I don’t know why, but I feel like your soft-yet-strong naming tendencies will lead you to Marlowe, and so I have to point out that it is soft-yet-strong, lovely and lyrical – but that I know three born in the last month or so, and there are half-a-dozen prospective others in my inbox. So go forth and beware.

I also don’t go in as much for meanings as some people who love names, but I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that two of my favourites, Felix and Felicity, mean Luck. 

xo. Let me know. 

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