The Dentist’s Proffered Testimony

To the Venerable Owners,
Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railroad
Wiscasset, Maine

June 22, 1912

Honorable Gentlemen:

By now you have closed your case on the train that disappeared.  You have done the only prudent thing.  You conducted an investigation.  I am pleased to know that the records of the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railroad will always show that the Two-ten of April 27 left China Lake on time, also that the Five-fifteen, the same train, never arrived in Wiscasset.  Those are the facts.

Your investigation concluded that, since no train can simply disappear, since you also did not find it in a ravine or in a river or run aground in the woods somewhere, it clearly was stolen.  You could not prove as much in court, so you fired the train’s engineer, fireman, and conductor, and the dispatcher in China Lake, the last men officially in charge of the train.  As surely it befit the circumstances, you accused agents of the Maine Central Railroad of conspiring somehow to obtain the narrow-gauge passenger cars by diverting them to their standard-gauge flat cars and whisking them away, a feat whose execution you have not explained, and whose purpose could only be obscure.  And to save your reputations you will probably claim, at some later date, that the locomotive itself was dismantled and its boiler put to stationary heating service in a shop in Wiscasset.

Curiously, you left unbesmirched the name of the dispatcher in Wiscasset, whose innocence I can avow anyway even though I have never met him.  You also failed to convince anyone in Wiscasset or elsewhere that a train could silently sneak across a town at evening, past ticket-holders at the station, past workers waiting to load ice, past the distraught Wiscasset dispatcher as well, in order to reach the tracks of the adjoining railroad company, where it would have taken many men and substantial conspicuous equipment to accomplish the theft of a train.

Your representatives who came to China Lake those several weeks ago to investigate the mystery promised to interview the passengers who had been set off from the last car just before the train vanished.  There were five of us, besides the train’s three-man crew.  I am one of those five.

Yet, you have not returned to interview us, and we can see by the newspapers that you consider the case closed.  Therefore I propose to reach you by personal correspondence.

Now learn what truly happened to the Five-fifteen.  I shall begin by introducing myself.

I am a dentist — B.S. Chemistry, Bates — 1904, Dentariae Medicinae Doctorae, Harvard – 1907.  I have resided in Waterville and Winslow most of the ensuing years since embarking upon my calling.  However, the villages of China Lake, North Vassalboro, East Vassalboro, and others proposed that one of my profession serve their communities as an itinerant dental surgeon until one or two of their own young citizens could complete the rigorous training in dentistry.  That is how I came to be in China Lake off and on recently, particularly in the days preceding the April 27 disappearance.

I had come there most recently from a few day’s work in North Vassalboro, therefore I listened with particular interest one evening at dinner when my host, Mister Chet Flewes, commented that that poor village was being visited by a peculiar stranger.  This conversation took place a couple of weeks or more before you lost your train.

The stranger had personal business in the area, Mister Flewes had heard: He was seeking information concerning a lost ancestor.  Apparently he was succeeding poorly or not at all in his quest, but was lingering until he had exhausted all sources.

Mister Flewes, a headmaster, learned a little bit more each day, and so Mistress Flewes, as well as another boarder, and I listened eagerly for more news each evening at dinner.

The stranger in North Vassalboro was a Mister Efferfelz.  He was residing in a room at the home of the elder Mistress Prouty, the same Lisbeth Prouty who had only recently provided my lodging there, and a person known to many in China Lake.

What we learned next had the character of a tale blown out of proportion in the telling.  Mistress Prouty, a reputable and honest woman of modest means in her widowhood, was watching Mister Efferfelz as he approached her house one evening at dusk.  He was described as a lean man of shadowy ways and foul disposition, whose age showed only in his hair, once red and curly but now like meringue: white throughout except for wavy tips that still showed burnt orange.

As the man came nearer, Mistress Prouty assessed that he had been drinking – perhaps not excessively, but enough that he would weave slightly.  In so weaving, Mister Efferfelz strayed from the sidewalk and struck his foot against a low iron figurine decorating Mistress Prouty’s crocus patch.  As he reeled from the blow, barely remaining erect, the man cursed, and, before her eyes, he pointed at the statue and caused it to glow instantaneously, then disappear.

The night this story was told at dinner I promised that one day I would return from another visit to Mistress Prouty’s house and would tell the people back in China Lake what really happened.

Then another story came home with Mister Flewes.  Mister Efferfelz had gone to the home of the town clerk of North Vassalboro, there to peruse some old town records.  Due to his morose manner and reputation for raising people’s anxiety, he was asked to stand at the back door as the clerk, an aging Mister Aberly, brought things to him.  Mister Aberly had a wind chime in a tree near his door, which instrument evidently annoyed Mister Efferfelz.

Presently, (annoyed also that he was made to stand outside), Mister Efferfelz whirled on the noisemaker, snarled, and waved his hand at it, causing it to disintegrate where it hung.  The tree branch was unaffected.

These were the facts as told us by Mister Flewes.  Other stories less credible also circulated in China Lake, and were especially exaggerated by the children.  All feared, of course, that this stranger eventually would make his way to China Lake.  And, of course, he did.

Now, in China Lake there was one person who, we all knew, would best avoid a confrontation with this stranger.  “Chuck-the-Talking-Ox” Wilbert, as he’s called behind his back, runs an all-purpose business on the shore of the lake.  He rents boats and canoes, he sets a table and runs a restaurant when someone wants to buy a meal, he has a cot in the boathouse so he can claim to be an innkeeper.  He repairs automobiles, builds privies, and does anything that might bring in a nickel.

Chuck Wilbert is also outspoken without inhibition, and one can tell as much just by looking at him.  He peers through magnifying eyeglasses, which match his unusual height and broad girth.  He wears overalls that are too short, and sneezes into countless rags that drip from his many pockets.  The sole listener to his incessant opinionating is usually his cat, but any human being who passes within earshot usually finds himself snared in conversation — or shall I say, in “uni-versation” — as I learned one day when I recklessly passed his open-fronted establishment.

On or about April 21, as it happens, (it was that Sunday), I myself had skirted Wilbert’s storefront in order to sink a worm into a stream I had found a little distance from town.  I was horseback this day, for once I was a mile or more from town I expected to cover about another mile off-road.  I was not much disturbed by the gathering clouds, but if I had been more sensible that day I would have stayed indoors for what they forebode.

I was well out of town, on the road to the Vassalboros, I must add, when I realized that I must surely turn back.  The horse was nervous due to the imminent storm, and hardly knew me.  But then, in the distance, I saw a man approaching on foot.  A little shabby in appearance but also retaining an air of dignity, he carried a light bag and made no effort to hail or detain me.  Nonetheless, I paused until he drew near enough that I could offer him a lift.

He would have trudged past me as if I were a two-headed, four-legged bush at the road’s edge, but I spoke to interrupt his pace and know his desire.  His up-turned gaze said leave-me-alone, and when he faced me squarely I knew whom I had intercepted.  Beneath the straw hat grew the aptly-described hair.  The face wore a look of disgust at my interruption of his journey.

“Sorry to stop you, Sir,” I explained, sliding from my mount but holding her reins fast, “but I thought I could offer to share my horse for a faster ride into town.”  I wanted to study his face from the advantage of being a stranger, but somehow he turned his head this way and that to prevent my scrutiny of him.

After a mild sigh the traveler said, (unpleasantly, but less threateningly than I had expected): “You go your way, I’ll go mine.”

I indicated the storm with one arm after I rose back to the saddle, and as if joining me in contemplation of the sky he squinted into the first few heavy drops of rain.  So, I good-naturedly patted the horse’s rump and said: “Last chance!” or something like that.  But the words were barely off my tongue when the man shouted: “I don’t want your horse!”  As soon as he had yelled this he swung his free arm at the sky as if batting cobwebs from a ceiling.  I saw his face clearly in that moment: His jaw was set in a fierce frown, his eyes aglare, his nostrils flared, and his hair seeming to squirm out from under the edges of his hat.

Ignoring his gesture I spurred away toward town, for the poor mare had become edgy almost beyond control.  But then, after — how long was it? — a half a minute? — the horse seemed to ease her gallop, and I drew her to a stop to assimilate what she had already discovered.  The clouds, you see, had given way directly overhead.  The rain, that had already begun to sting the back of my neck, was no more.  Sunbeams shot across the road the fields and the forest at a crazy angle, setting the budding deciduous trees aglow against the moistened conifers.  Still, the sunlight itself was an enigma under the blackened sky all around.  The wind had barely had a chance to blow in with the first raindrops, and now it, too, was restrained.  In the shadows beyond the horse’s flank a dozen evening grosbeaks stood, nearly offering to be trampled, but casting about as if to understand what was become of their expected weather.

I wanted to glance backward, to see whether the traveler had come into view, but I didn’t care.  He had already refused my hospitality, and I understood too well what had become of our storm.  I probably could have enjoyed my afternoon of fishing after all, but in truth I couldn’t have enjoyed anything at all at this point.  I spurred the horse once again, scattering the dumbfounded birds, and didn’t ease up until I neared my hosts’ house.

As I was stabling the horse I thanked God that I was not, of my own innate goodwill, the one who personally brought Mister Efferfelz into China Lake, for, had I done so, the citizens of the town would never forget such a faux pas.  I said nothing to Mistress Flewes, who was merrily entertaining guests.  Within hours, I guessed, they would hear of the strange man’s arrival, and I could then be as “surprised” as everyone else.

And hear about it we did.  For Mister Efferfelz, regardless what his other powers might have been, evidently was not gifted at discerning flawed character, so to avoid undesirable consequences.  He walked into the village a half hour or so after I had returned, and immediately spied Chuck Wilbert’s signs.  As Chuck later regaled everyone repeatedly, they haggled over the price of cot privileges and meals, and Wilbert himself admits to being subdued by the gaunt man, to the point of accepting the stranger at his opening offer.

But later, after Mister Efferfelz had settled his things and was politely eating the supper Wilbert had set before him in the open doorway of the boathouse, the innkeeper warmed to his usual talkativeness.  Presently, a couple of Wilbert’s cronies sidled into the boathouse to have a look at the guest.  Wilbert acknowledged them but continued to inform the visitor of all the political and social problems of China Lake.  The three locals recall clearly that, without any extraordinary provocation, Efferfelz looked up from his plate and asked: “Why is it that as people grow older they lose the use of their eyes, their ears, their limbs, their bladders, their teeth — almost everything — but the voice doesn’t even falter?”

Wilbert turned red and stammered, quick to take the insult, and gripped his stool as if to rise in wrath, while the others scowled at the scene uncomprehending.  The stranger calmly swept his arm at the talking ox’s seat as if whisking away a fly, and the stool disappeared — disintegrated completely.  Gravity being what it is, therefore, Wilbert simply tumbled backwards, out the doorway and into the water lilies that clogged the shallows around his establishment.

Chuck Wilbert was unhurt, of course.  And when he was back on his feet making puddles on his dock, his rage unabated, he was able to see Mister Efferfelz, bag in hand, sauntering purposefully toward the center of town.  For the next several days Wilbert remained aloof from everyone, but it was said that he had hired a spy to inform him should Efferfelz ever again approach his business.

It’s a fact that China Lake, like any other town, boasts a half a dozen houses each with a discreet sign in a window advertising “ROOMS”.  By such a sign at the Flewes house I was able to find lodging.  However, when word of the mysteries happening in North Vassalboro had spread far enough, the signs simply disappeared, one by one.  Thus, on a Sunday evening at dusk, a traveler in town became a vagrant.

No one knows where he slept for the next couple of nights.  By day, no more dusty or unkempt than any other traveler might of necessity be, Efferfelz made his way about town inquiring after his lost ancestor.  We now knew the name of the person he sought, the Reverend Mister Percival D. Welch.  But it meant nothing to those whom he asked, nor to anyone else who heard about the stranger’s business.

Efferfelz took all his meals at the sandwich counter in Stuart’s Store, a tedious diet after a couple of days, I can attest.  He eyed everyone who entered the place hour after hour, as if watching for the unknown ancestor to happen along.  I had a different theory, though.  I think he was looking for someone who resembled the person he sought.  Mister Philip Stuart, a quiet and devout Christian, treated his dour customer with courtesy, and the Stuarts might have suffered a loss of business were it not for the fact that they were such respected citizens that the town simply would not abandon them.  Sometime during the week Philip Stuart even made up an apartment for Efferfelz upstairs over a white, clapboard-sided storage building behind the store, generously shaded by a great chestnut tree.

Mister Stuart was ultimately able to determine that Percival D. Welch was an uncle to the stranger, and Efferfelz did not know whether the uncle was living or dead.  What business he had with this uncle he would not say.

All through his first five whole days in China Lake I was able to avoid a reunion with the man I had met on the road.  And on Saturday afternoon I was scheduled to leave on the Two-ten, so I might have escaped altogether, as it were.  I had my ticket and would be making connections southward to Falmouth to visit an aunt for a while, before resuming my own dentistry practice in Winslow.  But late Saturday morning I had need to visit Stuart’s Store myself, for the store was also the Post Office, and I had dental records and a bank draft to send home.

Efferfelz rounded the corner to the entrance to the store just as I also reached the door.  I nodded politely and held the door open for him, which gesture he did not acknowledge.  In that moment, perhaps from the surprise of finding myself side-by-side with the man in public, I felt like a stranger to town myself.  Indeed, I sensed some pairs of eyes on the two of us together, thinking: “There are those two outsiders.”

It happens that there are street urchins in China Lake, as you might call them, children not yet in puberty who are free to roam the streets and yards, the water’s edge and the forest’s edge, from the school’s last bell until dusk.  I saw about six such children almost every day, such that within a week or ten days I could put names or nicknames to every one.  I had been in the home of at least one such to treat a mother’s putrid gums.

A group of these ragamuffins flew into the store like a flock of snow buntings, shortly after Efferfelz and I arrived that Saturday.

“Be about your business and then be gone!” Mister Stuart warned the children, expecting that one of them had been sent to buy the two-cent day-old bread or some salt pork for beans.

They set about their business, all right.  Two or three went to the back of the store and began stinging Efferfelz with projectiles from home-made pea shooters.  Efferfelz spun and glared at them in disbelief, while I, certain of his power but unsure how he might use it, stood nearby, numb and mute.

One of the hooligans near the door began urging another to “Tell him what he is!  Tell him!  Tell him what he is!”  The ones with pea shooters hurried front, for Efferfelz had risen to his feet and was moving to intercept them.

But the little roaches were too quick, and the last one to reach the open door, a child I had previously learned was called “Petey” or something like that, stopped and shouted: “You’re the devil, you are!”

Petey reached the street still spouting: “You’re the devil himself!”

Efferfelz nearly caught the kid but missed.  He stood in the store’s open doorway and listened to the same group of kids taunt him from the middle of the rutted street: “Devil in disguise!” and other shouts.  I roused myself and would have gone after the man had he taken another step.  But as I watched, his chin quivered and his eyes reddened and filled with liquid.  And then, from my front corner of the store, I glimpsed the fleeting motion of his arm as he raised it to sweep a dreadful curse into the street.  I’m told that, as I watched the child called Petey through the store’s front window, I shouted: “No!” in that moment when the little boy rose ever so slightly from the ground and then disappeared in a weak orange flash that seemed, as a lens, to magnify whatever was beyond it.

The remaining kids wasted no time analyzing what had happened.  They all dispersed instantly.  I half turned to glance at Philip Stuart, who had also seen.  He had the large eyes and open mouth of a man whose deep religious foundation had just been shaken by an earthquake that could not happen.  Others outside the store, for there were two or three passers-by, stopped in their tracks and raised their eyebrows.  But then, one by one they saw the man standing in the doorway, and their oblivion turned to comprehension and panic.

Efferfelz stalked out the door and lurched around the corner of the building in the direction of his apartment in the back.  Who was going to accost him, after all?

Stuart and I, as well as the others present, slowly approached the spot where Petey had last existed.  A constable, whom I recognized as a local stonemason in an ill-fitting uniform, hurried from a nearby house, wiping his chin with a doily.  Here, perhaps, was Wilbert’s spy.  He too had witnessed the unbelievable.

Minutes passed, I suppose, as more and more citizens gathered around the suspicious spot, and the story had to be told and retold.  It was a telling that could not be exaggerated.  Shortly a diminutive young woman could be seen running and shouting hysterically from the direction of the apartment houses up the hill from the lake.  She was surrounded by other young mothers and by kids, many more children than made up the normal group of street kids, but most of them younger.

Then things happened which are a blur, but the next thing I recall is that I was among a crowd that stood all about inside Stuart’s Store.  It was clear that the boy, Petey, and his mother were somewhat new to China Lake.  It was also whispered that she was divorced, and therefore living in near poverty with this one child, without significant social involvement in the town.  In a sense, the mood of the crowd was not so much that Petey’s annihilation was a tragedy, but that it were now possible for such an unspeakable thing to happen to any “decent” citizen of the town.

Shortly the crowd was of one mind that someone needed to talk with this evil man.  Once this decision was agreed upon, the entire group sort of poured thickly into the street, I along with the rest, agreeing.

Agreeing!  For whom had all minds fixed upon to talk to him?  Why the other outsider in town: me!  I had added my assent, realizing too late that I was the lone designee.

To ponder this prospect I lowered myself to the steps of the store and sat with my face in my hands.  Voices reassured me from all sides that I was perfect for the task.  Perfect, of course, because I was expendable to these people.  Nevertheless, they may have been right.

Without a word I rose and walked slowly around the store.  Without a pause I climbed the outside wooden steps of the storage building to the man’s door.  The door was slightly ajar, so when I knocked, it swung in a little.  “Mister Efferfelz,” I said to accompany my knock.

“Go away.”

I repeated: “Mister Efferfelz…”

“Go away!” he insisted, and I shuddered to think what a turning point this was in my life.  In a little over an hour I could be on a train and out of this town forever.  Or, in a couple of minutes, I could be vaporized, molecule-by-molecule, my displaced soul at the mercy of a power I didn’t comprehend.

I pushed the door and waited until it ceased its swing.  Efferfelz sat in a dusty green colored, stuffed, wing-back chair under a dormer, his back to the entrance.  I stepped into the dark storage room and saw for the first time the minute, Spartan space within the attic that this man occupied.  The sleeping quarters seemed to be in order, and his bag was packed for departure, resting on a cot.

He turned slowly, but with obvious intolerance. “Oh, the dentist,” he remarked, and then turned back toward the window.  “My teeth are fine. Go away.”

“I’m not here to antagonize you, Sir…” I began as I nudged the door with my elbow to close it part way.

“Then don’t,” he interrupted.

I pressed on: “But the town has asked me to insist that you restore the child…to life and body…”  I was out of words.

During the ensuing pause, my mind tried to divert its attention from the danger at hand to any other subject at all, so long as it were more pleasant.  Inscrutably, I found myself trying to repeat silently the steps required for a simple tooth extraction — to prepare the instruments needed and the procedure itself.  My memory was as blank as if I had never heard of teeth.

“It was only a street urchin.”  The voice, slightly edgy, broke my confusion.

I tried to muster words that would answer his condemnation of a child — a pest of a child, yes — whose value to this other human being stood alongside that of an urchin.  A cooked urchin on your dinner plate?  I wondered, or a live urchin in its littoral habitat?

“I can’t do it,” Efferfelz continued meekly.

I didn’t know what to say to this, so I waited behind him in silence.  Petey wasn’t my child, nor did he have any relationship to me, but I felt my anger slowly rise.  I was angry not so much at this man, but at the mere fact that a power could be placed at the disposal of an ordinary man, which power was able to pluck a human being out of time and space without having to account for itself.

Then Efferfelz turned.  “I’ve been trying to think of a way,” he explained.

“Sir,” I ventured, disarmed by his quieter manner, “I do not come to judge you.  Others have judged, and I cannot count myself among them, for I don’t know what experiences may torment a man’s past.”

“That’s good, Doctor Williamson,” Efferfelz said, sustaining the conversation.  “I presume that you have never known another with my special — ah — gift.”

“You’re right.  I have not known another.  Nor can I comprehend such a talent.”

“Sit there, Doctor Williamson.  I shall explain something to you.  For I leave here in an hour, and in my wake I leave a chain of destruction in every town, although not by design.” He looked away and mumbled: “Mostly minor destruction.”

I took a step backwards and lowered myself to a trunk next to the door.  I saw at this point that the door was closed completely.  Should this meeting deteriorate, I was prevented a quick escape.  Then it also hit me: leaving in an hour!

Hiding my scrambled thoughts, I faced him squarely from the trunk.

Efferfelz proceeded.  “You’ve been deferential to me since our first meeting, Doctor.  Perhaps you sense that I am not an evil man.  Or perhaps your manners are so well-honed that you tip your hat to cockroaches before you squash them.  I will assume the former, though.”

“I have not presumed you evil,” I answered honestly.

Efferfelz alternately turned toward the window, then away from it toward me as he spoke.  And this is what he told me: “I once met an angel of Satan.  I didn’t realize his position at the time, and indeed, any one of us could aspire to that distinction, angel of Satan, if we wanted it.  In the same way, any one of us could become a saint in the service of God, and occasion the happening of miracles by summoning profound faith.

“I was vexed by a property boundary dispute, not so very long ago,” Efferfelz went on, “a truly petty thing, now that I can reflect on it clearly.  The details don’t matter, but I was a wealthy man of property, and, of all the stupid things, a rock along a property line created a disagreement over the dimensions of the property, and thus its value.  For the lot description referred to a ‘huge boulder’, and there was this one which troubled me, and there was another several dozen yards away.

“As I stood on the troublesome property line one day, a year and a half ago, a strange-looking man, dressed all in furs, wandered past — a trapper, I imagined.  And, in a way, I was right.  For although he only nodded to me in the field, he showed up at my office the next day.

“‘I can be of some help to you,’ the trapper told me at this encounter, ‘and you to me.’  I told him I was a busy man, so to make the offer and be on his way.

“‘You can will that stone gone,’ the trapper said.  Now it’s possible that anybody could have known of my plight over the stone, so that didn’t surprise me.

“‘I’m not a church-going man,’ I said.

“‘Forget church,’ he said. ‘Meet me at your rock tomorrow at dusk.  And bring with you the one possession you hold most dear in this world.’

“‘I wouldn’t give you my dearest possession just to remove a rock,’ I argued with him.

“‘I won’t ask you for it,’ he assured me.  ‘Just bring it as a symbol of your desire to have the thing gone, and of your faith that it can be done.’

“I knew instantly what possession that would be, of course, but it wasn’t until he left that I pondered how he could guess it was something small enough to carry single-handedly.  I don’t remember his departure from my office.  I must have been deeply preoccupied.  And all the next day I chided myself for my gullibility.  Still, who would know, if I experimented with this odd plan?

“That evening I drove late to the field whose back boundary held the stone.  I reasoned that the old trapper would tire of waiting and would find someone else on whom to practice his con games.

“This stone — this rock, whose total annihilation would be required to satisfy my greed — this solid piece of earth was perhaps a third the size of this building.  I half-expected the furry old man to show up with a few sticks of dynamite, and yet he would realize as well as I that no one could shatter that boulder without drawing a crowd from town to investigate the explosions.  Nor could the large remaining fragments be dragged across the muddy field without leaving traces.  What’s more, a team and driver would be needed, and a place to dump the debris.

“So I knew he had to have another trick to demonstrate, or else he would stand there in the edge of the woods with a crowd of my business colleagues and they would laugh at my stupidity in showing up.

“But the old man was alone, beside the rock.  He had a peculiar gleam in one eye, and he asked whether I’d brought my treasure.  Well, I had, but I also had brought a substitute in case — well, just in case.  So I patted the pocket which held the substitute, and he made a most sinister grin.  He seemed to spring from foot to foot in a little dance, almost as if he desperately needed to urinate.

“Then he pointed at the pocket where my true treasure lay, and he screamed — screamed!: ‘I want what’s in that pocket!’

“‘And I want that gone!’ I shouted, swinging my arm at the rock looming beside me.  I was angry, of course, and more determined than I must have realized.  For the rock made a sort of loud ‘Pop!’ and disappeared.  There remained a brief orange glow in the air, and through the aura I could see the old trapper running away into the woods, clutching something in his hands with which he was obviously well-pleased.

“My hands automatically went to my pockets.  The pocket which had held a man’s jeweled ring, a gift from my father, still contained the gaudy ring.  But the pocket which had held a silver locket with a photograph had been ripped open, as if the pocket had simply burst, and the locket was gone.

“I never saw the fur-bearing man again, and no one else I asked had ever seen him.  And in the days that followed I found myself annihilating things around me with angry sweeps of either arm.  You see, it’s a gesture which I must have used all my life, but now, when I desire something gone at the same time, it truly becomes ‘gone’.

Efferfelz suddenly addressed me directly, as if remembering for the first time that I was in the room.  “Did you ever have the opportunity to do something you knew was wrong — steal an ashtray, for instance — and follow through impulsively, before you could stop yourself?  And then did you discover that it was too late to reverse the act?”

I nodded slowly.  “Something like that.”

“Well, I’ve always been quick to anger, so to Satan I suppose I was a good candidate upon whom to confer such a destructive power.  No one can understand with what determination I restrain myself.”

“If it’s your faith in your ability to do this thing which makes it all possible,” I ventured, “then surely you would understand how to invoke a faith in God for the purpose of relieving yourself of the curse.”

“Do you think I’m stupid?  Of course I realize that!  And so it has become an obsession with me to seek the one man I have known who could, with enough forbearance, lead me to give it up to God.”

I supplied the name: “The Reverend Mister Percival D. Welch.”

“In the silver locket stolen by the trapper is a photograph of my mother and Percival Welch, her brother.  My mother is long dead, but I don’t know what became of my uncle.  I have been led to believe that he and his child, now a grown woman, is living in the central part of the state.  He was married late in life, and had a child perhaps thirty years ago.  I lost touch with him not long thereafter.”

“I don’t know what might have become of him,” I offered lamely.

“Of course not.”

“But perhaps I could put off my plans for a time and join your search.”

The whispery echo of a locomotive’s whistle gave us both pause.

For a fleeting instant Efferfelz seemed to soften, but then he set his jaw and rose from his chair, saying: “Save your energy.  I have a train to catch.  Do you suppose any officer of the law will try to interdict me for causing a child to disappear?”

I became alarmed that he would leave so casually.  “Is that it, then?  You annihilate a child, a human being, and now you walk away?”

Efferfelz gave me a condescending smile.  “I am going to try to bring him back, if you can believe that of me.  But I can only guess how to go about it.  And I think I will have only one chance.  So tell the town that they will have my answer after I have departed.  Now, please.  I must catch a train.”

He moved to retrieve his bag, and I gave him a smile I might put on were I a card-player about to show a good hand, for I was able to pull a ticket from my own shirt pocket and hold it before him.  “I’ll see you on the train,” I said, intending to be friendly.  I don’t know how he took it, though, for he brushed past me, pulled the door aside, and hastened down the stairway to the packed earth below.

I sat inside where I could watch his leave-taking for a few seconds.  No human form interrupted his progress, although many eyes were upon him from within windows and around corners.

I too left the apartment.  My bags were already checked that morning at the station, so I was able to pause at the front of Stuart’s Store and survey the small crowd still loitering there.  Mister and Mistress Flewes were in the group, and the Stuarts, but mostly these were the faces of a distraught populace faced with fear and helplessness.

I sighed, swallowed hard, and shook my head.  Someone asked: “How’d you spend so much time up there and come out in one piece?”

“I let him talk.”

“And let him walk!” someone else charged.

“Doctor Williamson can’t stop him,” Mister Flewes defended quickly.

“What did he tell you?” came another voice.

I didn’t know who asked.  It didn’t matter.  “He has a power he didn’t ask for.  And he doesn’t know how to bring the boy back, but he’ll try.”

“Then let him come and try!” another hooted.

“Go get him yourself,” I invited, and the crowd laughed dryly.

Looking about, I mumbled: “He’s leaving on the Two-ten.  I’m scheduled on the same train.”

Mister Flewes heard me, although the crowd was becoming unruly, and offered to give me a lift in his automobile the short distance to the station just as the whistle pierced the air announcing the train’s imminent arrival.

Ten minutes later the whistle blew again and we were off.  The train was a mixed consist — a single small engine, a mail car, a couple of freight cars, and a single passenger car.  It wasted no time getting up to twenty or twenty-five miles per hour, and jolted and creaked as only those miniature trains can do.

Efferfelz sat at the forward end of the coach.  Four other passengers, a conductor, and I were distributed around the rest of the interior.  When we had gone about a mile or a little more across fields and alongside woods and a stream, Efferfelz rose and exited the car toward the front of the train, where through the open door we could see the back of a wooden boxcar.  No one gave it a thought, I suppose.  But then, presently, the train slowed, and shortly, the engineer and fireman were ushered into the car.

“Run! Run!” the thin, wild-eyed engineer was shouting as he stumbled into the car.

Efferfelz appeared behind them, puffing from the exertion of climbing up and over the freight cars between us and the engine.  I recognized the expression he wore, one of fading tolerance.

The train continued to decelerate, it’s throttle pulled partway back in the empty engine cab.  One by one the passengers sized up the situation and moved to huddle in the rear of the car.

I didn’t fear the man, but I didn’t challenge him.  In fact, I somewhat anticipated him, so that when he ordered us to jump from the back of the creeping train, I led the way.  I hoped it would give the others courage, and it did.

While we all variously sat or stood on the ballast and rails, rubbing our bruises, we watched Efferfelz crawl back across the tops of the receding freight cars to the engine. The little train then picked up speed as it approached a curve ahead.  And then, a couple hundred yards ahead, when Engine Number 5 was only half gone behind trees that lined the curve, but the rest of the train was still fully in sight, there was a dull clap in the air and a weak orange flash that reflected from the smooth crowns of the rails.  A profound silence instantly replaced the hissing and clatter of the accelerating train.  And, except for a sideways-drifting plume of thinning smoke, the Two-ten out of China Lake had vanished.

Eight pairs of eyes saw it all.  The fireman and engineer, still and silent to this point, began running toward their train’s trail of smoke, but both stopped after a few strides.  There was simply nothing toward which to run.

I led the way back to China Lake along the tracks, out-pacing the others in order to avoid the useless debate over what had happened.  It was clear now what his idea had been for restoring the child.  Efferfelz needed a vessel — the train — into which he could place himself, and then he needed to annihilate the vessel itself, and thus him with it.

As I strode over the cross ties, strewn on both berms with flattened, yellow-gray stalks of last summer’s mustard and wild carrots, there was something more I saw all too clearly — too late to posit to Efferfelz that he surely had another recourse.  For he had been playing Satan’s game and losing.  But isn’t the presence of a devil sure proof of God as well?  Couldn’t you see, Efferfelz, (I wanted to say to him as I plucked a sprig of mustard), that you didn’t need to fight such a force with only your own weak power?

Near town we all scrambled onto the auto road where it swung alongside the tracks, and from here I drew back and let the others run ahead.

When I was halfway along the street toward Stuart’s Store I was joined by three of the same street urchins who had taunted Efferfelz that afternoon.  “He’s back!” they shouted — an announcement I didn’t grasp but fully understood at the same time.

“Who’s back?”

“Petey’s back!”

I broke into a run.

In front of the store, the crowd was milling still, and then it parted.  I slowed to let whatever-it-was pass.  Dr. Nadeau, the town physician, appeared, and then Petey emerged, clutched so tightly by his mother that his feet mostly dragged limply on the ground.  His mother wiped at his eyes with her apron as she tried to speak to the doctor through her sobs.  The boy was sooty and unkempt, but not perceptibly different than usual.

Dr. Nadeau hailed me as he led the pair across the street toward his office: “Doctor Williamson!  Perhaps you could assist me here!  This lad has had an unusual experience, and I will be examining him.”

I joined the trio, then, as they reached the doctor’s front steps, followed by the advancing crowd.  Inside, Dr. Nadeau asked, making conversation I assumed: “Now, do I know you, Ma’am?  Did I deliver this child?”  The doctor’s gnarled hands cupped the boy’s face and gently turned his head from side to side, beginning the examination.

“No,” Petey’s mother answered.  “We’ve lived here only a year and a half.”

“Ah…” the doctor said, and sat Petey onto his examining table.  Then he waited for the young mother to continue.

“We, uh, moved here from Rockland when my father died there.  My husband left us, and — and I had a friend here, and so we came here where things were quieter.”  The woman blushed at the admission of divorce.

“Ah…” Dr. Nadeau said again.

“Doctor, I can’t pay for any examination,” the woman protested.

“I’ll not worry about that,” he answered.  After he had obtained a sheet of paper and a pen the doctor proceeded to address the shuddering child.  “What’s your name, Son?”

“Petey Baker.”

“Peter, is it, Ma’am?”

“Aw, Ma!” the boy protested before his mother could answer.

“He’s called P.D.  His name is Percival Darius Baker,” she told us against his protest.

The doctor was writing this on the sheet while I stared blankly at the mother.

“And your name, Ma’am?  For the record.”

“Theresa Welch Baker.”

So there you have it, gentlemen of the railroad.  As it turned out, the boy recalls nothing but a sensation such as that of having fallen off a horse, which he described as having knocked him silly.  He merely found himself sitting in the muddy street staring up at the backs of peoples’ skirts and boots as they still milled about in front of Stuart’s Store.

What more is there for me to tell you?

Well, the Reverend Mister Percival D. Welch, for one thing.  His death in Rockland seems to have coincided with Efferfelz’s encounter with the trapper who made off with his locket.  The Reverend Welch was a much respected pastor there, if his daughter can be believed.

It is not my line to speculate upon theological subjects, but the whole situation is so neat, don’t you see?  Satan needed the good pastor removed from this earthly realm.  Who knows why he had to contrive this method?  And then, he needed to prevent Efferfelz’s discovering his own cousin and her son right there in China Lake.  So Efferfelz was set up to destroy the boy, forcing the unfortunate gentleman, for he may have been a naturally gruff man but not naturally evil, to flee.  I expect that Satan has claimed the tormented man’s soul in the bargain, while losing the good pastor’s to heaven.  As for the boy, well, there’s still another chance to grab him.

And then there is Efferfelz, a man of wealth and property, or so he had told me.  I have not inquired about him since this event happened.  I do not have the resources to hire an investigator, not any personal or professional reason to do so.  Because I have expected to be interviewed, in which expectation apparently I have been flattering myself, I also expected that the good people of China Lake would insist that he be found and made to explain himself, or that the investigative arm of some police force would pursue him.  And perhaps they have done so; I have not been told.  I suspect, though, that if he has been sought, he has not been found.  What’s more, I suppose the people of China Lake have nothing to pursue him for, either.  That which was lost later materialized as if it — the boy, that is — had never been absent.

I doubt that this letter will find its way into the official account of the disappearance of the Five-fifteen.  I hope, though, that you will be kind enough to assign it a place in a lower file drawer, where it may enlighten future investigators of the incident.

Very truly yours,
Raymond L. Williamson, DMD


THIS STORY APPEARS IN THE SHORT STORY COLLECTION TALES TO WARM YOUR MIND BY DAVID A. WOODBURY. ©1999, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Racing the Light at Dershem’s Corner — A line of elms stood sentry on each side of the road just before the new, improved ramp approach to the state highway intersection. As we came upon the elms, which up to now had obscured any view of the traffic light itself, I saw a glint of red through the branches.

Off Course — No one suspected how an elderly couple first met in their younger days.

The Resting Place — cool, dark, and too well hidden

How Miss Plover Handled Boxer Poop — without using gloves

That Face — When we pedaled our bikes back toward Kenny’s house, taking turns with the sloshing pot, we discovered what happens when a black, cricket-sized catfish hits blacktop that has been bubbling under the noonday sun.

Unjust Desserts — a fable

Weary — Memories were pleasant when they showed up, but they were like chipmunks or like hummingbirds: they came and went of their own accord, not to be captured and held for later examination and enjoyment.

In School Days — He lives to learn, In life’s hard school, How few who pass above him, Lament their triumph and his loss, Like her — because they love him.

Stop, Look, Listen — the song by the Irish Rovers that inspired the title of the short story collection, Tales to Warm Your Mind

The Practice of the Presence of God – Letters

FIRST LETTER — undated

My Reverend Mother: Since you desire so earnestly that I should communicate to you the method by which I arrived at that habitual sense of God’s presence, which our Lord, of His mercy, has been pleased to vouchsafe to me, I must tell you that it is with great difficulty that I am prevailed upon by your importunities; and now I do it only upon the terms that you show my letter to nobody.  If I knew that you would let it be seen, all the desire that I have for your perfection would not be able to determine me to it.

The account I can give you is this.

Having found in many books different methods of going to God, and diverse practices of the spiritual life, I thought this would serve rather to puzzle me than facilitate what I sought after, which was nothing else than how to become wholly God’s.  This made me resolve to give the all for the all; so after having given myself wholly to God, to make all the satisfaction I could for my sins, I renounced, for the love of Him, everything that was not His, and I began to live as if there was none but He and I in the world.  Sometimes I considered myself before Him as a poor criminal at the feet of his judge; at other times I beheld Him in my heart as my Father, as my God.  I worshipped Him the oftenest that I could, keeping my mind in His holy presence and recalling it as often as I found it wandering from Him.  I found no small trouble in this exercise, and yet I continued it, notwithstanding all the difficulties that I encountered, without troubling or disquieting myself when my mind had wandered involuntarily.  I made this my business as much all the day long as at the appointed times of prayer; for at all times, every hour, every minute, even in the height of my business, I drove away from my mind everything that was capable of interrupting my thought of God.

Such has been my common practice ever since I entered monastic life; and, although I have done it very imperfectly, yet I have found great advantages by it.  These, I well know, are to be imputed solely to the mercy and goodness of God, because we can do nothing without Him, and I still less than any.  But, when we are faithful to keep ourselves in His holy presence and set Him always before us, this not only hinders our offending Him and doing anything that may displease Him, at least wilfully, but it also begets in us a holy freedom and, if I may so speak, a familiarity with God, wherewith we ask, and that successfully, the graces we stand in need of.  In short, by often repeating these acts, they become habitual, and the presence of God is rendered as it were natural to us.  Give Him thanks, if you please, with me, for His great goodness toward me, which I can never sufficiently marvel at, for the many favors He has done to so miserable a sinner as I am.  May all things praise Him.  Amen.  I am, in our Lord,

Yours, —-

SECOND LETTER — 1 June 1682

(apparently not authored by Brother Lawrence but by another in his monastery)

My Reverend Mother: I have taken this opportunity to communicate to you the sentiments of one of our Society concerning the wonderful effects and continual succor which he receives from the presence of God.  Let you and me both profit by them.

You must know during the forty years and more that he has spent in religion, to be always with God; and to do nothing, say nothing, and think nothing which may displease Him, and this without any other view than purely for the love of Him, and because He deserves infinitely more.

He is now so accustomed to that divine Presence that he receives from it continual succor upon all occasions.  For above thirty years his soul has been filled with joys so continual, and sometimes so transcendent, that he is forced to use means to moderate them, and to prevent their appearing outwardly.

If sometimes he is a little too much absent from the divine Presence, which happens often when he is most engaged in his outward business, God presently makes Himself felt in his soul to recall him.  He answers with exact fidelity to these inward drawings, either by an elevation of his heart toward God, or by a meek and loving regard to Him; or by such words as love forms upon these occasions, as for instance, My God, behold me, wholly Thine: Lord, make me according to Thy heart.  And then it seems to him (as in effect he feels it) that this God of love, satisfied with such few words, reposes again, and rests in the depth and center of his soul.  The experience of these things gives him such an assurance that God is always deep within his soul, that no doubt of it can arise, whatever may betide.

Judge from this what contentment and satisfaction he enjoys, feeling continually within him so great a treasure.  No longer is he in anxious search after it, but he has it open before him, free to take of it what he pleases.

He complains much of our blindness, and exclaims often that we are to be pitied who content ourselves with so little [of what God has to bestow].  God’s treasure, he says, is like an infinite ocean, yet a little wave of feeling, passing with the moment, contents us.  Blind as we are, we hinder God and stop the current of His graces.  But when He finds a soul permeated with a living faith, He pours into it His graces and favors plenteously; into the soul they flow like a torrent which, after being forcibly stopped against its ordinary course, when it has found a passage, spreads with impetuosity its pent-up flood.

Yes, we often stop this torrent by the little value we set upon it.  But let us stop it no longer; let us enter into ourselves and break down the barrier which holds it back.  Let us make the most of the day of grace; let us redeem the time that is lost, for perhaps we have but little left.  Death follows us close; let us be well prepared for it, for we die but once; and a miscarriage then is irretrievable.

I say again, let us enter into ourselves.  Time presses, there is no room for delay; our souls are at stake.  You, I believe, have taken such effectual measures that you will not be surprised.  I commend you for it; it is the one thing needful.  We must, nevertheless, always work at it, for, in the spiritual life, not to advance is to go back.  But those whose spirits are stirred by the breath of the Holy Spirit go forward even in sleep.  If the vessel of our soul is still tossed with winds and storms, let us awake the Lord, who reposes in it, and He will quickly calm the sea.

I have taken the liberty to impart to you these good thoughts, that you may compare them with your own.  It will serve again to rekindle and inflame them, if by misfortune (which God forbid, for it would be indeed a great misfortune) they should be, although never so little, cooled.  Let us then both recall our early fervor.  Let us profit by the example and the thoughts of this brother, who is little known of the world, but known of God, and abundantly blessed by Him.  I will pray for you; do you pray instantly for me.  I am, in our Lord,

Yours, —-

THIRD LETTER — undated

My Reverend and Greatly Honored Mother: I have received today two books and a letter from Sister —-, who is preparing to make her “profession,” and upon that account desires the prayers of your holy Community, and yours in particular.  I perceive that she reckons much upon them; pray do not disappoint her.  Beg of God that she may make her sacrifice in the view of His love alone, and with firm resolution to be wholly devoted to Him.  I will send you one of these books, which treat of the presence of God; a subject which in my opinion contains the whole spiritual life; and it seems to me that whoever duly practices it will soon become spiritual.

I know that for the right practice of it the heart must be empty of all else, because God wills possess the heart alone; and as He cannot possess it alone unless it be empty of all besides, so He cannot work in it what He would, unless it be left vacant to Him.

There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual walk with God.  Those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it; yet I do not advise you to do it from that motive.  It is not pleasure which we ought to seek in this exercise; but let us do it from the motive of love, and because God would have us so walk.

Were I a preacher, I should, above all other things, preach the practice of the presence of God; and, were I a “director,” I should advise all the world to do it, so necessary do I think it, and so easy too.

Ah! knew we but the need we have of the grace and assistance of God, we should never lose sight of Him — no, not for a moment.  Believe me; this very instant, make a holy and firm resolution nevermore wilfully to stray from Him, and to live the rest of your days in His sacred presence, for love of Him surrendering, if He think fit, all other pleasures.

Set heartily about this work, and if you perform it as you ought, be assured that you will soon find the effects of it.  I will assist you with my prayers, poor as they are.  I commend myself earnestly to yours and those of your holy Community, being theirs, and more particularly

Yours, —-

FOURTH LETTER — 3 November 1685

To the Same: I have received from Mdlle. —- the things which you gave her for me.  I wonder that you have not given me your thoughts on the little book I sent to you, and which you must have received.  Pray, set heartily about the practice of it in your old age; it is better late than never.

I cannot imagine how religious people can live satisfied without the practice of the presence of God.  For my part, I keep myself retired with Him in the very center of my soul as much as I can; and while I am so with Him I fear nothing, but the least turning away from Him is to me insupportable.

This exercise does not much fatigue the body; yet it is proper to deprive it sometimes, nay often, of many little pleasures which are innocent and lawful, for God will not permit that a soul which desires to be devoted entirely to Him should take other pleasures than with Him: that is more than reasonable.

I do not say that therefore we must put any violent constraint upon ourselves.  No, we must serve God in a holy freedom: we must do our business faithfully, without trouble or disquiet, recalling our mind to God meekly and with tranquility as often as we find it wandering from Him.

It is, however, necessary to put our whole trust in God, laying aside all other cares, and even some particular forms of devotion, although very good in themselves, yet such as one often engages in unreasonably, because these devotions are only means to attain to the end.  So when by this practice of the presence of God we are with Him who is our end, it is then useless to return to the means.  Then it is that, abiding in His holy presence, we may continue our commerce of love, now by an act of adoration, of praise, or of desire; now by an act of sacrifice or of thanksgiving, and in all the manners which our mind can devise.

Be not discouraged by the repugnance which you may find to it from nature; you must do yourself violence.  Often, at the onset, one thinks it is lost time; but you must go on, and resolve to persevere in it until death, notwithstanding all the difficulties that may occur.  I commend myself to the prayers of your holy Community, and to yours in particular. I am, in our Lord,

Yours, —-

FIFTH LETTER — undated

Madame: I pity you much.  It will be of great importance if you can leave the care of your affairs to M. and Mme. —-, and spend the remainder of your life only in worshipping God.  He lays no great burden upon us: a little remembrance of Him from time to time; a little adoration; sometimes to pray for His grace, sometimes to offer Him your sorrows, and sometimes to return Him thanks for the benefits He has given you, and still gives you, in the midst of your troubles.  He asks you to console yourself with Him the oftenest you can.  Lift up your heart to Him even at your meals and when you are in company; the least little remembrance will always be acceptable to Him.  You need not cry very loud; He is nearer to us than we think.

To be with God, there is no need to be continually in church.  We may make an oratory of our heart wherein to retire from time to time to converse with Him in meekness, humility, and love.  Everyone is capable of such familiar conversation with God, some more, some less.  He knows what we can do.  Let us begin, then.  Perhaps He is just waiting for one generous resolution on our part.  Have courage.  We have but little time to live; you are near sixty-four, and I am almost eighty.  Let us live and die with God.  Sufferings will be sweet and pleasant to us while we are with Him; and without Him, the greatest pleasures will be anguish to us.  May He be blessed for all.  Amen.

Accustom yourself, then, by degrees thus to worship Him, to beg His grace, to offer Him your heart from time to time in the midst of your business, even every moment, if you can. Do not scrupulously confine yourself to fixed rules, or particular forms of devotion, but act with faith in God, with love and humility.  You may assure M. and Mme. and Mdlle. —- of my poor prayers, and that I am their servant, and particularly

Yours in our Lord, —-

SIXTH LETTER — undated

My Reverend Father: Not finding my manner of life in books, although I have no difficulty about it, yet, for greater security, I shall be glad to know your thoughts concerning it.

In a conversation some days since with a person of piety, he told me the spiritual life is a life of grace, which begins with servile fear, which is increased by hope of eternal life, and which is consummated by pure love; that each of these states has its different stages, by which one arrives at last at that blessed consummation.

I have not followed all these methods. On the contrary, from I know not what instincts, I found they discouraged me. This was the reason why, at my entrance into religion, I resolved to give myself up to God as the best satisfaction I could make for my sins, and for the love of Him to renounce all besides.

For the first year I commonly employed myself during the time set apart for devotion with the thought of death, judgment, heaven, hell, and my sins.  Thus I continued some years, applying my mind carefully the rest of the day, and even in the midst of my business, to the presence of God, whom I considered always as with me, often as in me.

At length I came insensibly to do the same thing during my set time of prayer, which caused in me great delight and consolation. This practice produced in me so high an esteem for God that faith alone was capable to satisfy me in that point.

Such was my beginning; and yet I must tell you that for the first ten years I suffered much.  The apprehension that I was not devoted to God as I wished to be, my past sins always present to my mind, and the great unmerited favors which God bestowed on me, were the matter and source of my sufferings.  During this time I fell often, yet as often rose again.  It seemed to me that all creation, reason, and God Himself were against me, and faith alone for me.  I was troubled sometimes with thoughts that to believe I had received such favors was an effect of my presumption, which pretended to be at once where others arrive with difficulty; at other times that it was a wilful delusion, and that there was no salvation for me.

When I thought of nothing but to end my days in these trouble and disquiet (which did not at all diminish the trust I had in God, and which served only to increase my faith), I found myself changed all at once; and my soul, which, till that time, was in trouble, felt a profound inward peace, as if it had found its center and place of rest.

Ever since that time I walk before God in simple faith, with humility and with love, and I apply myself diligently to do nothing and think nothing which may displease Him.  I hope that, when I have done what I can, He will do with me what He pleases.

As for what passes in me at present, I cannot express it.  I have no pain nor any doubt as to my state, because I have no will but that of God, which I endeavor to carry out in all things, and to which I am so submissive that I would not take up a straw from the ground against His order, or from any other motive than purely that of love to Him.

I have quitted all forms of devotion and set prayers but those to which my state obliges me.  And I make it my only business to persevere in His holy presence, wherein I keep myself by a simple attention and an absorbing passionate regard to God, which I may call an actual presence of God; or, to speak better, a silent and secret conversation of the soul with God . . .

If sometimes my thoughts wander from it by necessity or infirmity, I am soon recalled by inward emotions so charming and delightful that I am confused to mention them.  I beg you to reflect rather upon my great wretchedness, of which you are fully informed, than upon the great favors which God does me, all unworthy and ungrateful as I am.

As for my set hours of prayer, they are only a continuation of the same exercise.  Sometimes I consider myself there as a stone before a carver, whereof he is to make a statue; presenting myself thus before God, I desire Him to form His perfect image in my soul, and make me entirely like Himself.

At other times, when I apply myself to prayer, I feel all my spirit and all my soul lift itself up without any trouble or effort of mine, and it remains as it were in elevation, fixed firm in God as in its center and its resting place.

I know that some charge this state with inactivity, delusion, and self-love.  I confess that it is a holy inactivity, and would be a happy self-love were the soul in that state capable of it; because, in fact, while the soul is in this repose, it cannot be troubled by such acts as it was formerly accustomed to, and which were then its support, but which would now rather injure than assist it.

Yet I cannot bear that this should be called delusion, because the soul which thus enjoys God desires herein nothing but Him.  If this be delusion in me, it belongs to God to remedy it.  May He do with me what He pleases; I desire only Him and to be wholly devoted to Him.  You will, however, oblige me in sending me your opinion, to which I always pay a great deference, for I have a singular esteem for your Reverence, and am, in our Lord, my Reverend Father,

Yours, —-

SEVENTH LETTER — undated

My Reverend and Greatly Honored Mother: My prayers, of little worth though they be, will not fail you; I have promised it, and I will keep my word.  How happy we might be, if only we could find the treasure of which the Gospel tells us – – all else would seem to us nothing.  How infinite it is!  The more one toils and searches in it, the greater are the riches that one finds.  Let us toil therefore unceasingly in this search, and let us not grow weary and leave off, until we have found . . .

I know not what I shall become: it seems to me that peace of soul and repose of spirit descend on me, even in sleep.  To be without the sense of this peace would be affliction indeed; but with this calm in my soul even for purgatory I would console myself.

I know not what God purposes with me or keeps for me; I am in a calm so great that I fear nought.  What can I fear when I am with Him?  And with Him, in His presence, I hold myself the most I can.  May all things praise Him.  Amen.

Yours, —-

EIGHTH LETTER — 12 October 1688

Madame: We have a God who is infinitely gracious and knows all our wants.  I always thought that He would reduce you to extremity.  He will come in His own time and when you least expect it.  Hope in Him more than ever; thank Him with me for the favors he does you, particularly for the fortitude and patience which He gives you in your afflictions.  It is a plain mark of the care He takes of you.  Comfort yourself, then, with Him, and give thanks for all.

I admire also the fortitude and bravery of M. —-.  God has given him a good disposition and a good will; but there is in him still a little of the world and a great deal of youth.  I hope the affliction which God has sent him will prove a wholesome medicine to him and make him take stock of himself.  It is an accident which should engage him to put all his trust in Him who accompanies him everywhere.  Let him think of Him as often as he can, especially in the greatest dangers.  A little lifting up of the heart suffices.  A little remembrance of God, one act of inward worship, although upon a march, and a sword in hand, are prayers, which, however short, are nevertheless very acceptable to God; and far from lessening a soldier’s courage in occasions of danger, they best serve to fortify it.

Let him think then of God the most he can.  Let him accustom himself, by degrees, to this small but holy exercise.  No one will notice it, and nothing is easier than to repeat often in the day these little acts of inward worship.  Recommend to him, if you please, that he think of God the most he can, in the manner here directed.  It is very fit and most necessary for a soldier, who is daily in danger of his life.  I hope that God will assist him and all the family, to whom I present my service, being theirs and in particular, Yours, —-

NINTH LETTER — undated

(Concerning wandering thoughts in prayer)

My Reverend and Greatly Honored Mother: You tell me nothing new; you are not the only one that is troubled with wandering thoughts.  Our mind is extremely roving; but, as the will is mistress of all our faculties, she must recall them, and carry them to God as their last end.

When the mind, for lack of discipline when first engaged in devotion, has contracted certain bad habits of wandering and dissipation, such habits are difficult to overcome and commonly draw us, even against our wills, to the things of the earth.

I believe one remedy for this is to confess our faults, and to humble ourselves before God.  I do not advise you to use multiplicity of words in prayer; many words and long discourses being often the occasions of wandering.  Hold yourself in prayer before God, like a poor, dumb, paralytic beggar at a rich man’s gate.  Let it be your business to keep your mind in the presence of the Lord.  If it sometimes wander and withdraw itself from Him, do not much disquiet yourself for that: trouble and disquiet serve rather to distract the mind than to recall it; the will must bring it back in tranquility.  If you persevere with your whole strength, God will have pity on you.

One way to recall the mind easily in the time of prayer, and preserve it more in tranquility, is not to let it wander too far at other times.  You should keep it strictly in the presence of God; and being accustomed to think of Him often, you will find it easy to keep your mind calm in the time of prayer, or at least to recall it from its wanderings.

I have told you already at large, in my former letters, of the advantages we may draw from this practice of the presence of God.  Let us set about it seriously, and pray for one another.

Yours, —-

TENTH LETTER — 28 March 1689

To the Same: The enclosed is an answer to that which I received from our good Sister —-; pray deliver it to her.  She seems to me full of good will, but she wants to go faster than grace.  One does not become holy all at once.  I commend her to you; we ought to help one another by our advice, and still more by our good examples.  You will oblige me by letting me hear of her from time to time, and whether she be very fervent and very obedient.

Let us thus think often that our only business in this life is to please God, and that all besides is but folly and vanity.  You and I have lived a monastic life more than forty years.  Have we employed those years in loving and serving God, who by His mercy has called us to this state and for that very end?  I am filled with shame and confusion when I reflect, on the one hand, upon the great favors which God has bestowed and is still bestowing upon me; and, on the other, upon the ill use I have made of them, and my small advancement in the way of perfection.

Since by His mercy He gives us still a little time, let us begin in earnest; let us repair the lost time; let us return with a whole-hearted trust to that Father of mercies, who is always ready to receive us into His loving arms.  Let us renounce and renounce generously, with single heart, for the love of Him, all that is not His; He deserves infinitely more.  Let us think of Him perpetually.  Let us put all our trust in Him.  I doubt not but that we shall soon find the effects of it in receiving the abundance of His grace, with which we can do all things, and without which we can do nothing but sin.

We cannot escape the dangers which abound in life without the actual and continual help of God.  Let us then pray to Him for it continually.  How can we pray to Him without being with Him?  How can we be with Him but in thinking of Him often?  And how can we often think of Him unless by a holy habit of thought which we should form?  You will tell me that I am always saying the same thing.  It is true, for this is the best and easiest method I know; and as I use no other, I advise all the world to do it.  We must know before we can love.  In order to know God, we must often think of Him; and when we come to love Him, we shall then also think of Him often, for our heart will be with our treasure.  This is an argument which well deserves your consideration.  I am,

Yours, —-

ELEVENTH LETTER — 29 October 1689

Madame: I have had a good deal of difficulty to bring myself to write to M. —-, and I do it now purely because you and Mme. —- desire me.  Pray write the directions and send it to him.  I am very well pleased with the trust which you have in God; I wish that He may increase it in you more and more.  We cannot have too much confidence in so good and faithful a Friend, who will never fail us in this world nor in the next.

If M. —- knows how to profit by the loss he has had and puts all his confidence in God, He will soon give him another friend, more powerful and more inclined to serve him.  He disposes of hearts as He pleases.  Perhaps M. —- was too much attached to him he has lost.  We ought to love our friends, but without encroaching upon our chief love, which is due God.

Remember, I pray you, what I have often recommended, which is, to think often on God, by day, by night, in your business, and even in your diversions.  He is always near you and with you; leave Him not alone.  You would think it rude to leave a friend alone who came to visit you; why, then, must God be neglected?  Do not, then, forget Him but think on Him often, adore Him continuously, live and die with Him; this is the glorious employment of a Christian.  In a word, this is our profession; if we do not know it, we must learn it.  I will endeavor to help you with my prayers, and am, in our Lord,

Yours, —-

TWELFTH LETTER — 17 November 1690

My Reverend and Greatly Honored Mother: I do not pray that you may be delivered from your troubles, but I pray God earnestly that He would give you strength and patience to bear them as long as He pleases.  Comfort yourself with Him who holds you fastened to the cross.  He will loose you when He thinks fit.  Happy those who suffer with Him.  Accustom yourself to suffer in that manner, and seek from Him the strength to endure as much, and as long, as He shall judge to be necessary for you.  The men of the world do not comprehend these truths, nor is it to be wondered at, since they suffer as lovers of the world and not as lovers of Christ.  They consider sickness as a pain of nature and not as from God: and seeing it only in that light, they find nothing in it but grief and distress.  But those who consider sickness as coming from the hand of God, as the effect of His mercy, and the means which He employs for their salvation — such commonly find in it great consolation.

I wish you could convince yourself that God is often nearer to us, and more effectually present with us, in sickness than in health.  Rely upon no other physician; for, according to my apprehension, He reserves your cure to Himself.  Put, then, all your trust in Him, and you will soon find the effects of it in your recovery, which we often retard by putting greater confidence in medicine than in God.

Whatever remedies you make use of, they will succeed only so far as He permits.  When pains come from God, He alone can cure them.  He often sends diseases of the body to cure those of the soul.  Comfort yourself with the sovereign Physician both of the soul and body.

I foresee that you will tell me that I am very much at my ease, that I eat and drink at the table of the Lord.  You are right: but think you that it would be a small pain to the greatest criminal in the world to eat at his king’s table and to be served by his king’s hands, without however being assured of pardon?  I believe that he would feel exceeding great uneasiness, and such as nothing could moderate, save only his trust in the goodness of his sovereign.  So I can assure you that whatever pleasures I taste at the table of my king, my sins, ever present before my eyes as well as the uncertainty of my pardon, torment me: although in truth that torment is pleasing.

Be satisfied with the state in which God places you: however happy you may think me, I envy you.  Pains and sufferings would be a paradise to me while I should suffer with my God, and the greatest pleasures would be hell to me if I could relish them without Him.  All my joy would be to suffer something for His sake.

I must, in a little time, go to God.  What comforts me in this life is that I now see Him by faith; and I see Him in such a manner as might make me say sometimes, I believe no more, but I see. I feel what faith teaches us, and in that assurance and that practice of faith I will live and die with Him.

Continue, then, always with God: it is the only support and comfort for your affliction.  I shall beseech Him to be with you.  I present my service to the Reverend Mother Superior and commend myself to your prayers, and am, in our Lord,

Yours, —-

THIRTEENTH LETTER — 28 November 1690

My Good Mother: If we were well accustomed to the exercise of the presence of God, all bodily diseases would be much alleviated thereby.  God often permits that we should suffer a little to purify our souls and oblige us to continue with Him.

Take courage: offer Him your pains unceasingly; pray to Him for strength to endure them.  Above all, acquire a habit of conversing often with God, and forget Him the least you can.  Adore Him in your infirmities, offer yourself to Him from time to time, and in the very height of your sufferings beseech Him humbly and affectionately (as a child his good father) to grant you the aid of His grace and to make you comfortable to His holy will. I shall endeavor to help you with my poor, halting prayers.

God has many ways of drawing us to Himself.  He sometimes hides Himself from us, but faith alone, which will not fail us in time of need, ought to be our support and the foundation of our confidence, which must be all in God.

I know not how God will dispose of me.  Happiness grows upon me.  The whole world suffers; yet I, who deserves the severest discipline, feel joys so continual and so great that I can scarce contain them.

I would willingly ask of God a share of your sufferings, but that I know my weakness, which is so great that if He left me one moment to myself I should be the most wretched man alive.  And yet I know not how He can leave me alone, because faith gives me as strong a conviction as sense can do that He never forsakes us until we have first forsaken Him.  Let us fear to leave Him.  Let us be always with Him.  Let us live and die in His presence.  Do you pray for me as I for you.  I am,

Yours, —-

FOURTEENTH LETTER — undated

To the Same: I am in pain to see you suffer so long.  What gives me some ease and sweetens the sorrow I have for your griefs is that I am convinced that they are tokens of God’s love for you.  Look at them in this light and you will bear them more easily. As your case is, it is my opinion that you should leave off human remedies, and resign yourself entirely to the providence of God.  Perhaps He stays only for that resignation and a perfect trust in Him to cure you. Since, notwithstanding all your cares, medicine has hitherto proved unsuccessful, and your malady still increases, it will not be tempting God to abandon yourself into His hands and expect all from Him.

I told you in my last that He sometimes permits the body to suffer to cure the sickness of the soul.  Have courage then; make a virtue of necessity.  Ask of God, not deliverance from the body’s pains but strength to bear resolutely for the love of Him all that He should please and as long as He shall desire.

Such prayers, indeed, are a little hard to nature, but most acceptable to God, and sweet to those that love Him.  Love sweetens pain; and when one loves God, one suffers for His sake with joy and courage. Do you so, I beseech you; comfort yourself with Him, who is the only physician of all our ills.  He is the Father of the afflicted, always ready to help us.  He loves us infinitely more than we imagine.  Love Him, then, and seek no other relief than Him.  I hope you will soon receive it.  Adieu.  I will help you with my prayers, poor as they are, and shall always be, in our Lord,

Yours, —-

FIFTEENTH LETTER — 22 January 1691

To the Same: I render thanks to our Lord for having relieved you a little, according to your desire.  I have been often near expiring, but I never was so much satisfied as then.  Accordingly, I did not pray for any relief, but I prayed for strength to suffer with courage, humility, and love.  Ah, how sweet it is to suffer with God!  However great the sufferings may be, receive them with love.  It is paradise to suffer and be with Him; so that if even now in this life we would enjoy the peace of paradise, we must accustom ourselves to a familiar, humble, affectionate conversation with Him.  We must prevent our spirits’ wandering from Him upon any occasion.  We must make our heart a spiritual temple, wherein to adore Him unceasingly.  We must watch continually over ourselves, that we may not do nor say nor think anything that may displease Him.  When our minds are thus filled with God, suffering will become full of sweetness and silent joy.

I know that to arrive at this state the beginning is very difficult, for we must act purely in faith. But although it is difficult, we know also that we can do all things with the grace of God, which He never refuses to them who ask it earnestly.  Knock, keep on knocking, and I answer for it that He will open to you in His due time and grant you all at once what He has deferred many years.  Adieu.  Pray to Him for me as I pray to Him for you.  I hope to see Him very soon.  I am,

Yours, —-

SIXTEENTH LETTER — 6 February 1691

To the Same: God knoweth best what is needful for us, and all that He does is for our good.  If we knew how much He loves us, we should always be ready to receive equally and with indifference from His hand the sweet and the bitter.  All would please that came from Him.  The sorest afflictions never appear intolerable, except when we see them in the wrong light.  When we see them as dispensed by the hand of God, when we know that it is our loving Father who abases and distresses us, our sufferings lose all their bitterness, and our mourning becomes all joy.

Let all our business be to know God; the more one knows Him, the more one desires to know Him.  And as knowledge is commonly the measure of love, the deeper and more extensive our knowledge shall be, the greater will be our love; and if our love of God be great, we should love Him equally in grief and in joy.

Let us not content ourselves with loving God for the mere sensible favors, how elevated soever, which He has done, or may do us.  Such favors, although never so great, cannot bring us so near to Him as faith does in one simple act.  Let us seek Him often by faith.  He is within us; seek Him not elsewhere.  If we do love Him alone, are we not rude and do we not deserve blame if we busy ourselves about trifles which do not please and perhaps offend Him?  It is to be feared these trifles will one day cost us dear.

Let us begin to be devoted to Him in good earnest.  Let us cast everything besides out of our hearts.  He would possess them alone.  Beg this favor of Him.  If we do what we can on our parts, we shall soon see that change wrought in us which we aspire after.  I cannot thank Him sufficiently for the relief He has vouchsafed you.  I hope from His mercy the favor of seeing Him within a few days.  Let us pray for one another.  I am, in our Lord, Yours, ——

Brother Lawrence took to his bed two days after the date of this letter and died within the week.

The Practice of the Presence of God – Conversations

FIRST CONVERSATION with Father Joseph, Abbe de Beaufort

3 August 1666

The first time I saw Brother Lawrence was Upon the third of August, 1666.  He told me that God had done him a singular favor in his conversion at the age of eighteen.

That, in the winter, seeing a tree stripped of its leaves, and considering that within a little time the leaves would be renewed, and after that the flowers and fruit appear, he received a high view of the providence and power of God, which has never since been effaced from his soul.  That this view had perfectly set him loose from the world and kindled in him such a love for God that he could not tell whether it had increased during the more than forty years he had lived since.

That he had been a footman to Monsieur Fieubert, the treasurer, and that he was a great awkward fellow who broke everything.

That he had desired to be received into a monastery, thinking that he would there be made to smart for his awkwardness and the faults he should commit, and so he should sacrifice to God his life, with its pleasures; but that God had disappointed him, he having met with nothing but satisfaction in that state.

That we should establish in ourselves a sense of God’s presence by continually conversing with Him.  That it was a shameful thing to quit His conversations to think of trifles and fooleries.

That we should feed and nourish our souls with high notions of God, which would yield us great joy in being devoted to Him.

That we ought to quickeni.e., to enlivenour faith.  That it was lamentable we had so little; and that instead of taking faith for the rule of their conduct, men amused themselves with trivial devotions which changed daily.  That the way of faith was the spirit of the Church, and that it was sufficient to bring us to a high degree of perfection.

That we ought to give ourselves up entirely to God, with regard both to things temporal and spiritual, and seek our satisfaction only in the fulfilling of His will, whether he lead us by suffering or by consolation, for all would be equal to a soul truly resigned.  That there was need of fidelity in those times of dryness, or insensibility and irksomeness in prayer, by which God tries our love to Him; that then was the time for us to make good and effectual acts of resignation, whereof one alone would oftentimes very much promote our spiritual advancement.

That, as for the miseries and sins he heard of daily in the world, he was so far from wondering at them that, on the contrary, he was surprised that there were not more, considering the malice sinners were capable of; that, for his part, he prayed for them; but knowing that God could remedy the mischiefs they did when He pleased, he gave himself no further trouble.

That, to arrive at such resignation as God requires, we should watch attentively over all the passions which mingle as well in spiritual things as in those of a grosser nature; that God would give light concerning those passions to those who truly desire to serve Him.  That, if this was my design, viz., sincerely to serve God, I might come to him (Brother Lawrence) as often as I pleased, without any fear of being troublesome; but if not, that I ought no more to visit him.

SECOND CONVERSATION with Father Joseph, Abbe de Beaufort

28 September 1666

That he had always been governed by love, without selfish views; and that, having resolved to make the love of God the end of all his actions, he had found good reason to be well satisfied with his method.  That he was pleased when he could take up a straw from the ground for the love of God, seeking Him only and nothing else, not even His gifts.

That he had been long troubled in mind from a sure belief that he was lost; that all the men in the world could not have persuaded him to the contrary; but that he had thus reasoned with himself about it: I engaged in a religious life only for the love of God, and I have endeavored to act only for Him; whatever becomes of me, whether I be lost or saved, I will always continue to act purely for the love of God.  I shall have this good at least, that until death I shall have done all that is in me to love Him.  That this trouble of mind had lasted four years, during which time he had suffered much; but that at last he had seen that this trouble arose from want of faith, and that since then he had passed his life in perfect liberty and continual joy.  That he had placed his sins betwixt him and God, as it were, to tell Him that he did not deserve His favors, but that God still continued to bestow them in abundance.

That, in order to form a habit of conversing with God continually and referring all we do to Him, we must at first apply to Him with some diligence; but that after a little care we should find His love inwardly excite us to it without any difficulty.

That he expected, after the pleasant days God had given him, he should have his turn of pain and suffering; but that he was not uneasy about it, knowing very well that, as he could do nothing of himself, God would not fail to give him the strength to bear it.

That, when an occasion of practicing some virtue offered, he addressed himself to God, saying, Lord, I cannot do this unless Thou enablest me; and that then he received strength more than sufficient.

That, when he had failed in his duty, he simply confessed his fault, saying to God, I shall never do otherwise if Thou leavest me to myself; it is Thou who must hinder my falling and mend what is amiss.  That after this he gave himself no further uneasiness about it.

That we ought to act with God in the greatest simplicity, speaking to Him frankly and plainly, and imploring His assistance in our affairs just as they happen.  That God never failed to grant it, as he had often experienced.

That he had been lately sent into Burgundy to buy the provision of wine for the Society, which was a very unwelcome task to him, because he had no turn for business, and because he was lame and could not go about the boat but by rolling himself over the casks.  That, however, he gave himself no uneasiness about it, nor about the purchase of the wine.  That he said to God, It was His business he was about, and that afterwards he found it very well performed.  That he had been sent into Auvergne the year before upon the same account; that he could not tell how the matter passed, but that it proved very well.

So, likewise, in his business in the kitchen (to which he had naturally a great aversion), having accustomed himself to do everything there for the love of God, and with prayer, upon all occasions, for His grace to do his work well, he had found everything easy during the fifteen years that he had been employed there.

That he was very well pleased with the post he was now in; but that he was as ready to quit that as the former, since he was always finding pleasure in every condition by doing little things for the love of God.

That with him the set times of prayer were not different from other times; that he retired to pray, according to the directions of his Superior, but that he did not want such retirement, nor ask for it, because his greatest business did not divert him from God.

That, as he knew his obligation to love God in all things, and as he endeavored so to do, he had no need of a director to advise him, but that he needed much a confessor to absolve him.  That he was very sensible of his faults, but not discouraged by them; that he confessed them to God, but did not plead against Him to excuse them.  When he had so done, he peaceably resumed his usual practice of love and adoration.

That, in his trouble of mind he had consulted nobody, but knowing only by the light of faith that God was present, he contented himself with directing all his actions to Him, i.e., doing them with a desire to please Him, let what would come of it.

That useless thoughts spoil all; that the mischief began there, but that we ought to reject them as soon as we perceived their impertinence to the matter in hand or our salvation and return to our communion with God.

That, at the beginning, he had often passed his time appointed for prayer in rejecting wandering thoughts and falling back into them.  That he could never regulate his devotion by certain methods as some do.  That, nevertheless, at first he had meditated for some time, but afterwards that went off in a manner he could give no account of.

That all bodily mortifications and other exercises are useless except as they serve to arrive at the union with God by love; that he had well considered this and found it the shortest way to go straight to Him by a continual practice of love and doing all things for His sake.

That we ought to make a great difference between the acts of the understanding and those of the will; that the first were comparatively of little value, and the others, all.  That our only business was to love and delight ourselves in God.

That all possible kinds of mortification, if they were devoid of the love of God, could not efface a single sin.  That we ought, without anxiety, to expect the pardon of our sins from the blood of Jesus Christ, laboring simply to love Him with all our hearts.  That God seemed to have granted the greatest favors to the greatest sinners, as more signal monuments of His mercy.

That the greatest pains or pleasures of this world were not to be compared with what he had experienced of both kinds in a spiritual state; so that he was careful for nothing and feared nothing, desiring only one thing of God, viz., that he might not offend Him.

That he had no qualms; for, said he, when I fail in my duty, I readily acknowledge it, saying, I am used to do so; I shall never do otherwise if I am left to myself.  I fail not, then I give God thanks, acknowledging the strength comes from Him.

THIRD CONVERSATION with Father Joseph, Abbe de Beaufort

22 November 1666

He told me that the foundation of the spiritual life in him had been a high notion and esteem in God in faith; which, when he had once well conceived, he had no other care but faithfully to reject at once every other thought, that he might perform all his actions for the love of God.  That, when sometimes he had not thought of God for a good while, he did not disquiet himself for it; but after having acknowledged his wretchedness to God, he returned to Him with so much the greater trust in Him as he had found himself wretched through forgetting Him.

That the trust we put in God honors Him much and draws down great graces.

That it was impossible not only that God should deceive, but also that He should long let a soul suffer which is perfectly surrendered to Him and resolved to endure everything for His sake.

That he had so often experienced the ready succor of divine grace upon all occasions, that from the same experience, when he had business to do, he did not think of it beforehand; but when it was time to do it, he found in God, as in a clear mirror, all that was fit for him to do.  That of late he had acted thus, without anticipating care; but before the experience above mentioned, he had been full of care and anxiety in his affairs.

That he had no recollection of what things he had done, once they were past, and hardly realized them when he was about them; that on leaving table, he knew not what he had been eating; but that with one single end in view, he did all for the love of God, rendering Him thanks for that He had directed these acts, and an infinity of others throughout his life: he did all very simply, in a manner which kept him ever steadfastly in the loving presence of God.

When outward business diverted him a little from the thought of God, a fresh remembrance coming from God invested his soul and so inflamed and transported him that it was difficult for him to restrain himself.

That he was more united to God in his ordinary occupations than when he left them for devotion in retirement, from which he knew himself to issue with much dryness in spirit.

That he expected hereafter some great pain of body or mind; that the worst that could happen to him would be to lose that sense of God which he had enjoyed so long; but that the goodness of God assured him that He would not forsake him utterly, and that He would give him strength to bear whatever evil He permitted to happen to him; and therefore that he feared nothing, and had no occasion to consult with anybody about his soul.  That, when he had attempted to do it, he had always come away more perplexed; and that, as he was conscious of his readiness to lay down his life for the love of God, he had no apprehension of danger.  That perfect abandonment to God was the sure way to heaven, a way on which we had always sufficient light for our conduct.

That, in the beginning of the spiritual life, we ought to be faithful in doing our duty and denying ourselves; but after that, unspeakable pleasures followed.  That, in difficulties, we need only have recourse to Jesus Christ and beg His grace; with that everything became easy.

That many do not advance in the Christian progress because they stick in penances and particular exercises while they neglect the love of God, which is the end.  That this appeared plainly by their works, and was the reason why we see so little solid virtue.

That there was need neither of art nor science for going to God, but only a heart resolutely determined to apply itself to nothing but Him, or for His sake, and to love Him only.

FOURTH CONVERSATION with Father Joseph, Abbe de Beaufort

25 November 1667

He discoursed with me very fervently and with great openness of heart, concerning his manner of going to God, whereof some part is related already.

He told me that all consists in one hearty renunciation of everything which does not lead us to God in order that we may accustom ourselves to a continual conversation with Him, with freedom and in simplicity.  That we need only to recognize God intimately present with us, and to address ourselves to Him every moment, that we may beg His assistance for knowing His will in things doubtful, and for rightly performing those which we plainly see he requires of us; offering them to Him before we do them and giving Him thanks when we have done.

That, in this conversation with God, we are also employed in praising, adoring, and loving Him unceasingly, for His infinite goodness and perfection.

That, without being discouraged on account of our sins, we should pray for His grace with perfect confidence, relying upon the infinite merits of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  That God never failed to offer us His grace at every action; that he distinctly perceived it and never failed of it, unless when his thoughts had wandered from a sense of God’s presence or he had forgotten to ask His assistance.

That God always gave us light in our doubts when we had no other design but to please Him and to ask for His love.

That our sanctification did not depend upon changing our works, but in doing that for God’s sake which commonly we do for our own.  That it was lamentable to see how many people mistook the means for the end, addicting themselves to certain works, which they performed very imperfectly by reason of their human or selfish regards.

That the most excellent method he had found of going to God was that of doing our common business without any view of pleasing men, (Galations 1:10, Ephesians 6:5, 6), and, as far as we are capable, purely for the love of God.

That it was a great delusion to think that the times of prayer ought to differ from other times; that we are as strictly obliged to adhere to God by action in the time of action as by prayer in the season of prayer.

That his view of prayer was nothing else but a sense of the presence of God, his soul being at that time insensible to everything but divine love; and that when the appointed times of prayer were past, he found no difference, because he still continued with God, praising and blessing Him with all his might, so that he passed his life in continual joy; yet hoped that God would give him somewhat to suffer when he should have grown stronger.

That we ought, once for all, heartily to put our whole trust in God, and make a full surrender of ourselves to Him, secure that He would not deceive us.

That we ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work but the love with which it is performed.  That we should not wonder if, in the beginning, we often failed in our endeavors, but that at last we should gain a habit, which will naturally produce its acts in us, without our care and to our exceeding great delight.

That the whole substance of religion was faith, hope, and love, by the practice of which we become united to the will of God; that all besides is indifferent, and to be used only as a means that we may arrive at our end, and be swallowed up therein, by faith and love.

That all things are possible to one who believes; that they are less difficult to one who hopes; that they are more easy to him who loves, and still more easy to him who perseveres in the practice of these three virtues.

That the end we ought to propose to ourselves is to become, in this life, the most perfect worshippers of God we can possibly be, as we hope to be through all eternity.

That, when we enter upon the spiritual life, we should consider and examine to the bottom what we are.  And then we should find ourselves worthy of all contempt and not deserving indeed the name of Christians; subject to all kinds of misery and numberless accidents, which trouble us and cause perpetual vicissitudes in our health, in our humors, in our internal and external dispositions; in short, people whom God would humble by many pains and labors, within as well as without.  After this we should not wonder that troubles, temptations, oppositions, and contradictions happen to us from men.  We ought, on the contrary, to submit ourselves to them, and bear them as long as God pleases, as things highly beneficial to us.

That, the greater perfection a soul aspires after, the more dependent it is upon divine grace.

MORE ON BROTHER LAWRENCE

The particulars which follow are collected from other accounts of Brother Lawrence.

Being questioned by one of his own Society (to whom he was obliged to open himself) by what means he had attained such an habitual sense of God, he told him that, since his first coming to the monastery, he had considered God as the end of all his thoughts and desires, as the mark to which they should tend and in which they should terminate.

That, in the beginning of his novitiate, he spent the hours appointed for private prayer in thinking of God, so as to convince his mind of, and to impress deeply upon his heart, the divine existence, rather by devout sentiments and submission to the lights of faith than by studied reasonings and elaborate meditations.  That, by this short and sure method, he exercised himself in the knowledge and love of God, resolving to use his utmost endeavor to live in a continual sense of His presence, and, if possible, never to forget Him more.

That, when he had thus in prayer filled his mind with great sentiments of that infinite being, he went to his work appointed in the kitchen (for he was cook to the Society).  There, having first considered severally the things his office required and when and how each thing was to be done, he spent all the intervals of his time, as well before as after his work, in prayer.

That, when he began his business, he said to God, with a filial trust in Him: O, my God, since thou art with me and I must now, in obedience to thy commands, apply my mind to these outward things, I beseech thee to grant me the grace to continue in thy presence; and to this end do thou prosper me with thy assistance, receive all my works, and possess all my affections.

[“We can do little things for God.  I turn the cake that is frying on the pan for love of Him, and that done, if there is nothing else to to call me, I prostrate myself in worship before Him, who has given me grace to work; afterwards I rise happier than a king.  It is enough for me to pick up but a straw from the ground for the love of God.”]

As her proceeded in his work he continued his familiar conversation with his Maker, imploring His grace and offering to Him all his actions.

When he had finished, he examined himself how he had discharged his duty; if he found well, he returned thanks to God; if otherwise, he asked pardon; and, without being discouraged, he set his mind right again and continued his exercise of the presence of God as if he had never deviated from it.  “Thus,” said he, “by rising after my falls, and by frequently-renewed acts of faith and love, I am come to a state wherein it would be as difficult for me not to think of God as it was at first to accustom myself to it.”

As Brother Lawrence had found such comfort and blessing in walking in the presence of God, it was natural for him to recommend it earnestly to others; but his example was a stronger inducement than any arguments he could propose.  His very countenance was edifying; such a sweet and calm devotion appearing in it as could not but affect all beholders.  And it was observed that, in the greatest hurry of business in the kitchen, he still preserved his recollection and heavenly-mindedness.  He was never hasty nor loitering, but did each thing in its season, with an even, uninterrupted composure and tranquility of spirit.  “The time of business,” he said, “does not with me differ from the time of prayer, and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several people are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament.”

[Continue to the letters.]

The Practice of the Presence of God – Foreword

The transcriptions of four conversations with Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, which took place in 1666-1667, and 16 letters about him or by him written circa 1682-1691.

About Brother Lawrence

Born Nicolas Herman in the French town of Herimenil, Lorraine, Brother Lawrence lived from about 1611 – 1691.  His family had no money to provide for education, so young Nicolas had some home schooling along with some education by a parish priest.  His uncle, Jean Majeur, was a member of the Discalced Carmelites.  Forced into military service by his poverty, Nicolas was a young soldier by 1629, during the Thirty Years War, and in 1635 suffered a near-fatal injury to his sciatic nerve, which left him crippled and in chronic pain for the rest of his life.

After returning from war, he himself tells us that he had found work “as a footman to Monsieur Fieubert, the Treasurer” (and Madame and Mademoiselle Fieubert), and that he was “a great and awkward fellow who broke everything.”  In 1640 he was drawn to a Carmelite monastery in Paris, where he could suffer and endure scorn for his failures.  It was here where he took the name Lawrence of the Resurrection and remained for the rest of his life.

He died with his pain, convinced that he had lived in obscurity, still marveling that he had not been damned for his failures, but in perfect joy due to the closeness he had known with God.  He had lived as called upon in Micah 6:8, “to act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with your God.”  In what he called his Maxims, Brother Lawrence wrote: “Men invent means and methods of coming at God’s love.  They learn rules and set up devices to remind them of that love, and it seems like a world of trouble to bring oneself into the consciousness of God’s presence.  Yet it might be so simple.  Is it not quicker and easier just to do our common business wholly for the love of him?”

Most of what is known about Brother Lawrence was provided by the Abbe de Beaufort — Father Joseph de Beaufort, later counsel to the Archbishop of Paris, who collected writings of Brother Lawrence, and after the monk’s death, compiled what he described as The Practice of the Presence of God — The Best Rule of Holy Life.  Abbe de Beaufort had been sent to interview the humble monastery cook, Brother Lawrence, who granted four interviews after discerning that the Abbe was sincere.  Those interviews became the basis for the four “conversations” in this book.

In addition to the four interviews, a series of letters written by Brother Lawrence have also been preserved.  The letters apparently were long ago retrieved from their recipients in order to be collated into this remembrance.  These recipients were “My Reverend and Greatly Honored Mother” or variations on that, a mother superior whom held in high esteem, “Reverend Father”, who doubtless was the abbot of his own cloister, and a woman of his acquaintance, addressed as “Madame”, whose husband, Monsieur (rendered simply as M. —-), was clearly an active soldier and who together had a daughter identified as Mademoiselle (Mdlle. —-).   The interviews and letters together comprise the little book now known as The Practice of the Presence of God.

From the Preface to the original French edition, A.D. 1692

“Although death has carried off last year many of the Order of the Carmelites Deschausses, brethren who have left in dying rare legacies of lives of virtue, Providence, it would seem, has desired that the eyes of men should be cast chiefly on Brother Lawrence…

“Several people, having seen a copy of one of his letters, have desired to see more, and to meet this wish, care has been taken to collect as many as possible of those which Brother Lawrence wrote with his own hand…

“All Christians will find herein much that is edifying.  Those in the thick of the great world will learn from these letters how greatly they deceive themselves, seeking for peace and joy in the false glitter of the things that are seen, yet temporal.  Those who are seeking the highest good will gain from this book strength to persevere in the practice of virtue.  All, whatever their life work, will find profit, for they will see herein a brother, busied as they are in outward affairs, who in the midst of the most exacting occupations, has learned so well to accord action with contemplation, that for the space of more than forty years he hardly ever turned from the presence of God.”

Preface to this digital edition, A.D. 2016

I no longer recall when, where, or how I came to own a copy of this little booklet.  About the dimensions of a 3” x 5” card and containing forty-eight pages, counting the thin front and back covers, it bears a handwritten price of 65¢.  I have read it through several times and have quoted from it or referred to it often.  For what it has given me in return for the price, I hope that I actually paid for it.

Normally I am put off by a foreword in a book.  I want to get to the words of the author, (Why else have I picked up the book?), and a foreword or introduction strikes me as confrontational.  So feel free to skip this one; Brother Lawrence will be almost the same to you if you do.  You may also come back here later, once you have begun asking yourself some questions about this little book.

This digital edition includes a section of conversations and a section of letters.  For the text of these two sections I have relied entirely on the earliest paper copy that I have obtained, a pamphlet from Forward Movement Publications issued in 1941.  Later editions of my acquaintance have attempted, it appears, to make it more readable, with distressing capitulation to the jargon of one or another later decade.  Other digital editions are clearly copies of the same translation that I have used, but with peculiar editing in order to appease, perhaps, The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage — I don’t know.  Modern style books cannot be applied to this, and I have even set aside my Strunk and White as well.

I am comfortable with the less-modern language of the edition I hold dear.  If it is difficult for someone else to read, then I encourage anyone to obtain a translation or revision that is comfortable.  (In this edition, for instance, we find “loose” used as a verb meaning to unbind, “apprehension” to mean understanding, “vouchsafe,” and other words not commonly in use in America.  I am familiar with these uses, but perhaps younger readers are not.)  It is more important that everyone read this book who can be encouraged to do so, in any edition!

In this digital edition, I have retained not only every word of the Forward Movement publication but also in its same word sequence, the temptation being to transpose or augment some phrasing for clarity.  I have added perhaps one word or two.  I have retained, (parenthetically), the smattering of footnotes found in the 1941 Forward Movement edition, itself a re-issue of a much older translation from the French, with the translator’s excess of commas, the antiquated use of the semicolon, the emphasis on certain words and expressions given in italics.

I have retained the grammatically-grating capitalized pronouns, He, Him, and His, referring to God.  They do prove useful when the writer refers to God and to Brother Lawrence in the third person repeatedly in the same sentence; at least we can tell which Him applies to which antecedent.  I doubt that the original letters by Brother Lawrence, written in French, employed all this capitalization, commas, italics, and such.

I have presumed to reduce to lower case some words that were capitalized by Forward Movement or earlier translators to English, who had inserted them, I suppose, in an attempt to avoid offending God by failing to capitalize everything that suggests God, for instance, when referring to God’s “holy Community” or “the Blessed Sacraments.”  (I want to ask: How do you capitalize those words in speech?)

I have also omitted a select few commas where they seemed to be sprinkled without purpose and added a couple back only to set off an appositional phrase, for instance.

The language of this edition, while it is not the English of the King James Bible, is comparably beautiful in its brevity, slightly archaic, and charmingly lyrical.  Even if I could rewrite it in a modern tone, the result would be to present Brother Lawrence himself shaved, wearing socks, and smelling of Right Guard.  As it has been handed down and re-issued here, the very language of this translation carries us back, if not to the late 1600s, at least to a century vaguely earlier than our own.

In my Forward Movement copy of the pamphlet, some of the conversations and letters each include a date of authorship, although the person of authorship is not identified, an omission which I trust I have remedied.  Where my tattered printed copy included a date, I have retained it in this edition.

This collection of writings conveys Brother Lawrence’s advice and method.  Some of it is attributed to Brother Lawrence himself, and some of it, chiefly the conversations, can be attributed to Father Beaufort.  It is remarkable how well the contributions of the two or three separate authors intertwine to produce a cohesive message and remain neither contradictory or redundant.  (I say three because one of the letters is apparently written by someone other than Brother Lawrence, but by whom, then?)

While it is not my place to draw a contrast between the advice of Brother Lawrence and the official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, I am struck by the Church’s acceptance and promotion of Brother Lawrence’s advice.  For while he urges that, whatever we do from moment to moment we do it for God, as one who has an individual relationship with God, he does not at any point advise doing it for the glory of God.

This is not to say that God does not want to be glorified or that Brother Lawrence thought as much.  He seemed to understand, though, that the majority of people who seek God have not the talent nor the money nor the pulpit with which to attract a following.  Many are intimidated by the heady knowledge of the scriptures in the religious people they meet.  Many may suspect that religious leaders have to become experts in the Bible in order to be acceptable to God.  Many of us do not expect ever to be smitten by some welcoming sudden wave of spiritual warmth and so do not expect to come into the presence of God by the combination of baptism, confirmation, and re-birth, the hurdles that so many churches throw between the sinner and God.

In a way, Brother Lawrence too had stood before the awe-inspiring edifice that the Church had erected to represent its appreciation for (and also its authority over) God and found himself unworthy to cross the threshold of the mighty house of worship.  Instead, he shuffled around the side, so to speak, found a door ajar, and, in the cellar beneath the altar found God completely available where the pots boil on large kitchen stoves and in the other back rooms where sandals are mended and rats are chased from the grain sacks.  If he discovered God there, this book tells us, so can anyone else.

What’s more, his method was to dismiss, in a sense, the practice of organized worship and to go it alone.  He was, after all, in a monastery, which is to say that he was always in church, but one has the impression that, had the Carmelite brotherhood turned him out for any reason, he would have carried on in the same way.

Brother Lawrence did not seem to concern himself with going to Paradise or with his “salvation” as we often hear it described.  He even questioned his own worthiness and said that, if he would be turned away to Purgatory, he would go there loving God nevertheless.  I have had this same sense too, (although not being a Roman Catholic myself I am not persuaded of the existence of a state of Purgatory), and if condemned to Hell I intend to go there singing God’s praises just the same — God grant me the courage to do so.  Maybe Hell would consider me a misfit and consign me to God’s presence, or at least to Purgatory.

-=David A. Woodbury=-  [Continue to the conversations.]

Babie Nayms – Part 4

All lists combined, A-Z

I hope I have avoided repeating any.  But since it is offered as a free book I haven’t invested strongly in red-eyed proofreading.  If you want to count them, you may be able to verify that I have listed below about 3,450 names altogether, but I’ve given you enough ideas to come up with 100,000 more.

– AAAA –

  • Abbot
  • Aben
  • Aberie
  • Abra
  • Abra-Lee
  • Abrielle, 2006
  • Acadia, 1984
  • Achorn
  • Ackerson
  • Adder
  • Addie, 1980
  • Addyson, 2008
  • Adea
  • Adelina, 1969
  • Aderyn, 2005
  • Adia
  • Adrea
  • Adria, 1982
  • Adyn, 2006
  • Aerika
  • Agricola
  • Agrod
  • Aidia
  • Ailelia
  • Aisia
  • Aixia
  • Aixian
  • Alamo
  • Alane, 1948
  • Alaska
  • Albin
  • Aldea, 1919
  • Alden
  • Aledela
  • Aleeza, 1989
  • Alelia, 2000
  • Alene, 1926
  • Alexus, 1999
  • Alexys
  • Aleyne, 1971
  • Aliah, 2008
  • Alicen, 2007
  • Alina, 2009
  • Alioma
  • Alkira, 2009
  • Alledella
  • Aller
  • Alley
  • Almida, 1923
  • Almire, 1947
  • Almon, 1942
  • Almond, 1937
  • Aloe
  • Aloe Vera
  • Aloma, 1944
  • Alona, 1947
  • Aloura, 2004
  • Alric, 1913
  • Altara, 2002
  • Aludula
  • Alura
  • Alycin, 2002
  • Alyvia, 1998
  • Amalie
  • Amapola, 1961
  • Ambrose
  • Amélie
  • Ameliese, 2000
  • Americk
  • Amerida
  • Ameriese
  • Amerus
  • Anara
  • Anaraivyn, 1998
  • Anethia, 1962
  • Anitina
  • Annaliese, 1993
  • Anwerr
  • Aodoa
  • Aoroa
  • Aqua
  • Aquina
  • Aracara
  • Arbra
  • Archer
  • Ardean, 1933
  • Ardella, 1931
  • Arden, 1935
  • Aren, 2000
  • Argent
  • Argos, 2004
  • Arica, 1980
  • Aricira
  • Arikka
  • Arilira
  • Arisira
  • Arivira
  • Arletta
  • Armstrong
  • Arnrew
  • Arrico
  • Arrikirra
  • Arrowsmith
  • Arseneault
  • Artasaso
  • Artassoa
  • Arulura
  • Arvidson
  • Aryn, 1999
  • Asabelle
  • Asabeth
  • Ashe
  • Asher, 1991
  • Ashfield
  • Ashford
  • Ashli, 1990
  • Aspen
  • Aston
  • Atkinson
  • Atrus, 2006
  • Atwater
  • Atwood, 1917
  • Aubine, 1930
  • Aubrey, 1976
  • Aubrie, 2010
  • Audette
  • Auffrey
  • Auger
  • Auger
  • Augerie
  • Augherton
  • Augine
  • Augusta, 1906
  • Augustus
  • Aujerie
  • Aujora
  • Aujurie
  • Auletta
  • Auqua
  • Aura
  • Aurelle
  • Auriemma
  • Aurus
  • Autrey
  • Auxer
  • Auxerie
  • Auxery
  • Auxie
  • Auxier
  • Auxor
  • Auxora
  • Avan
  • Avard, 1957
  • Avella
  • Avellar
  • Avelle
  • Avena, 1940
  • Averie, 2008
  • Averill
  • Averille
  • Avery
  • Avilda, 1930
  • Avner, 1988
  • Awalt
  • Awtry
  • Axie, 1921
  • Ayala
  • Aydea
  • Ayden, 2004
  • Aydia
  • Ayer
  • Aygarn
  • Ayle
  • Aylie
  • Ayn, 1905
  • Aynya
  • Ayotte
  • Ayra
  • Ayva, 2009
  • Ayvya
  • Azibel
  • Azibet
  • Aziza, 2006
  • Azure, 1980

– BBBB –

  • Backus
  • Badger
  • Bae
  • Baeza
  • Bahr
  • Baileigh, 1999
  • Bailer
  • Bainer
  • Baines
  • Baird
  • Baldwin
  • Baleen
  • Baline, 1994
  • Ballard
  • Ballinger
  • Balsam
  • Balthazar
  • Bamford
  • Banaitis
  • Bandy
  • Bangor
  • Bankston
  • Barbeau
  • Barchard
  • Barden
  • Barlow
  • Barlowe
  • Barnard
  • Barnett
  • Barrett
  • Barriault
  • Barrows
  • Barteaux
  • Bartlett
  • Bartley
  • Bartok
  • Barton
  • Bassett
  • Bauer
  • Baughman
  • Baxxtor
  • Bay
  • Bayleigh, 1999
  • Bayler
  • Bayne
  • Bayner
  • Baysa
  • Beacon
  • Beagan
  • Beal
  • Bearce
  • Beath
  • Beaumont
  • Beauregard
  • Beauvais
  • Beck
  • Becker
  • Beckett
  • Beckler
  • Beckton
  • Behr
  • Behrens
  • Belisa
  • Belisle
  • Belissimo
  • Bellace
  • Belland
  • Bellavance
  • Benée
  • Benson
  • Bentley
  • Bettina, 1945
  • Biauce
  • Bickford
  • Biel
  • Bierce
  • Bion, 1961
  • Birch
  • Birchum, 1923
  • Bixel
  • Blair
  • Blakely
  • Blanchard
  • Blane, 1961
  • Blayke, 2003
  • Blaylock
  • Blue
  • Bodacious
  • Bode, 1977
  • Bohen
  • Booker
  • Boone
  • Bouchard
  • Boudreau
  • Boughman
  • Boune
  • Bounne
  • Bourbon
  • Bourgoin
  • Bourgoine
  • Bourque
  • Bourre
  • Bouwan
  • Bowden
  • Bowen
  • Bower
  • Bowie
  • Boyce
  • Boyd
  • Bracey
  • Bracy
  • Bradbury
  • Bradshaw
  • Bradyr
  • Braigan, 1997
  • Braleau
  • Braley
  • Branch
  • Brannan
  • Brannen
  • Bravier
  • Braylyn
  • Brayson
  • Breamus
  • Breckin, 2004
  • Breemus
  • Breighane, 1986
  • Brenna, 1988
  • Brennan
  • Brennick
  • Brenton
  • Breonah, 2008
  • Breton
  • Bretta
  • Breylee, 2007
  • Bricker
  • Brickham
  • Briel
  • Briene
  • Britt
  • Brockway
  • Broderick
  • Brogue
  • Bromley
  • Brondie
  • Bronie, 1945
  • Bronson
  • Brooker
  • Brookings
  • Broone
  • Broughan
  • Broune
  • Brownell
  • Bruger
  • Brunton
  • Bruyere
  • Bryand
  • Bryer
  • Brygar
  • Bryson
  • Bryttani, 1990
  • Bryttnie, 2001
  • Buchanan
  • Buckley
  • Bucklin
  • Buckner
  • Budd
  • Bulay
  • Bunting
  • Burbank
  • Burbeck
  • Burch
  • Burgess
  • Burgoyne
  • Burke
  • Burlock
  • Burnell
  • Burnett
  • Burr
  • Burrell
  • Burrill
  • Burris
  • Burroughs
  • Burrows
  • Burwood
  • Bushnell
  • Buskirk
  • Buxton
  • Buxxton
  • Buzzell
  • Byard
  • Byers
  • Bynum
  • Byram
  • Byrd
  • Byrne
  • Byrnyrd
  • Byron
  • Byrum

– CCCC –

  • Cade, 1997
  • Caden, 2001
  • Cadence, 2007
  • Cadie, 1996
  • Cadieux
  • Cadin, 2002
  • Cadorette
  • Cadye, 1997
  • Cae
  • Caen
  • Cain
  • Caine
  • Caird
  • Caisson
  • Calcott
  • Calder
  • Calderwood
  • Caldwell
  • Caletia
  • Calhoun
  • Callahan
  • Callier, 1936
  • Cami, 1981
  • Cammac
  • Cammack
  • Camper
  • Camryn, 1998
  • Canade
  • Candage
  • Cander
  • Cane
  • Canfield
  • Cannon
  • Canoe
  • Canon
  • Cantara
  • Cantrell
  • Canu
  • Capone
  • Caramel
  • Carella
  • Carew
  • Carica
  • Carliff
  • Carlisle
  • Carmalene, 1949
  • Carmel
  • Carmichael
  • Carmody
  • Carney
  • Caroly, 1945
  • Carpenter
  • Carsley
  • Carssha
  • Carver
  • Case
  • Cash, 1961
  • Cassi, 2000
  • Cassia
  • Cassio
  • Cathcart
  • Catre
  • Catrine
  • Catyr
  • Caugin
  • Caul
  • Caver
  • Caverly
  • Cawley
  • Cayford
  • Caylen
  • Cayler
  • Caylub, 2008
  • Cazella
  • Cazelle
  • Cedina
  • Cedine
  • Ceiline
  • Celise
  • Celsia
  • Celt
  • Cesare
  • Cesere
  • Chadwick
  • Chaelyn
  • Chaisson
  • Chaleigh
  • Chalette
  • Chalize, 1990
  • Chalon, 1992
  • Chana
  • Chandler
  • Chandonait
  • Chandonette
  • Chanette
  • Chanteuse
  • Chapelle
  • Chapman
  • Charbeth, 1974
  • Charland
  • Charleston
  • Charlize, 1975
  • Charron
  • Chase
  • Chason
  • Chauntelle, 2002
  • Chauvette
  • Chauvin
  • Chavaree
  • Chavarie
  • Chaz, 1992
  • Chelci, 1990
  • Chelette
  • Cheney
  • Cherelle, 1984
  • Cheriez
  • Cheryldene, 1932
  • Chesley
  • Chessa
  • Chessintra, 2001
  • Chevala, 1974
  • Cheverie
  • Cheyanne, 1997
  • Chiarell
  • Chiarella
  • Chika
  • Chilton
  • Chimere, 1950
  • Chipman
  • Choiniere
  • Churchill
  • Clai
  • Claiden
  • Clarella
  • Clarelle
  • Claretta
  • Claverie
  • Clavette
  • Clawson
  • Cleave
  • Clotell, 1990
  • Clover
  • Clydean, 1952
  • Clyve
  • Coan
  • Cobb
  • Coburn
  • Codi, 1984
  • Codie, 1995
  • Cohen
  • Cohn
  • Colbry
  • Colburn
  • Cole, 1891
  • Coleisha
  • Coleman
  • Colson
  • Colt, 1990
  • Colver
  • Colvin
  • Comstock
  • Conant
  • Conary
  • Condon
  • Conley
  • Conlogue
  • Connar, 2008
  • Connell
  • Connelly
  • Conner
  • Connery
  • Connick
  • Connolly
  • Connor
  • Conover
  • Conroe
  • Conway
  • Cooley
  • Coolidge
  • Cooper
  • Coover
  • Copeland
  • Coplan
  • Corbett
  • Coreise
  • Corelle
  • Coreyna, 2003
  • Corinth, 1995
  • Corliss
  • Cormac, 2006
  • Corona
  • Corraine
  • Corrigan
  • Corson
  • Corvis
  • Cosmo
  • Cossa
  • Cossack
  • Cossar
  • Cossette
  • Costain
  • Costigan
  • Cota
  • Cotter
  • Cottrell
  • Coty, 1993
  • Coultan
  • Coulter
  • Coultin
  • Coulton
  • Courbron
  • Courchene
  • Covell
  • Covey
  • Coyle
  • Coyne
  • Cozan
  • Cozen
  • Crace
  • Craine
  • Cramer
  • Crandall
  • Cratre
  • Cratyr
  • Crawford
  • Cray
  • Creagan, 1991
  • Creath
  • Creighton
  • Cressa, 1933
  • Crichton
  • Crocie
  • Crocker
  • Crockett
  • Cronan
  • Cronin
  • Crosby
  • Crosier
  • Crossman
  • Crowe
  • Crowell
  • Crowley
  • Croyder
  • Crozan
  • Crozier
  • Cullen
  • Curran
  • Currie
  • Curry
  • Cushing
  • Cushman
  • Cusick
  • Custer
  • Custis
  • Cuthbert
  • Cuthbertson
  • Cutler
  • Cyan
  • Cydney, 1993
  • Cynara, 1971
  • Cyrus

– DDDD –

  • D’Amboise
  • Dace
  • Dacey
  • Dae
  • Daegan, 2000
  • Daeja
  • Daejae
  • Daesen
  • Dahlgren
  • Daigle
  • Dailey
  • Daine
  • Dainer
  • Dakin
  • Dakoda, 2006
  • Dakotah, 1993
  • Daleko
  • Dalgaard
  • Dalin
  • Daline
  • Daling
  • Daller
  • Dallis, 1930
  • Dalton
  • Damon
  • Damren
  • Danarae, 1963
  • Danby
  • Dancer
  • Dancine
  • Danforth
  • Danie
  • Danil
  • Danis
  • Danser
  • Dante, 2004
  • Danya
  • Dapice
  • Darcel, 1967
  • Dardanelle
  • Darden
  • Darel, 1988
  • Darelle
  • Dargon
  • Daria
  • Darian, 1999
  • Darianne
  • Darice, 1947
  • Dariesus
  • Darlyn
  • Darrah
  • Darrick, 1977
  • Darrow
  • Darveau
  • Daryn, 2004
  • Dase
  • Daudelin
  • Daunais
  • Daura
  • Davad
  • Daval
  • Daveena, 1982
  • Davida
  • Dawning
  • Dawson
  • Dax, 2007
  • Day
  • Daye
  • Dayla
  • Dayler
  • Dayling
  • Dayna, 1987
  • Dayne, 1960
  • Daynel, 1949
  • Daysa
  • Dayson, 2002
  • Deabay
  • Deaja, 2000
  • Deane
  • Deason
  • DeBeck
  • DeCarlo
  • Decenza
  • DeCesere
  • Decker
  • Deegan, 2003
  • Deighan
  • Deiken, 2009
  • Deja, 1996
  • Delano
  • Delces
  • Delcie, 1968
  • Delicia, 1920
  • Delight, 1931
  • Delisle
  • Dellaire
  • Delphin, 1925
  • Delsus
  • Deltha, 1946
  • Demarey
  • Demaris
  • Demiken, 2001
  • Deming
  • Dempsey
  • Demyan
  • Denbow
  • Denée
  • Denett
  • Deni, 1963
  • Denielle, 1989
  • Denner
  • Dennings
  • Dennison
  • Deringer
  • Deron, 2003
  • Derosier
  • Derrah
  • Derris
  • Derusha
  • Desantis
  • Desarae, 1985
  • Desaray, 1993
  • Deschaine
  • Deschene
  • Deschesne
  • Deshane
  • Deshon, 1973
  • Desimone
  • Desman, 2000
  • Desmarais
  • Destina, 2003
  • Desty
  • Destyni, 1987
  • Desvergnes
  • Devan, 1988
  • Devaney
  • Deveau
  • Dever
  • Devoe
  • Devra, 1946
  • Devvan, 1991
  • Dewley
  • Dewlie
  • Dexter
  • Deyone
  • Dezaray, 1995
  • Deziree, 1985
  • Dhana
  • Diamante
  • Diamone
  • DiCesare
  • Dickens
  • Diehl
  • Diem, 1984
  • Dieter
  • Dietra, 1960
  • Digby
  • Dika
  • Dillane
  • Dillanne, 2003
  • Dimon
  • Dimone
  • Dinatale
  • Dineen
  • Dion
  • Diondre, 2000
  • Dionne
  • Diotte
  • Dirigo
  • Dita
  • Dixon
  • Doan
  • Doane
  • Dodge
  • Doe
  • Dola, 1939
  • Dolan
  • Dominyk, 1999
  • Donaghy
  • Donahue
  • Donaldeen, 1928
  • Donat, 1930
  • Dondi
  • Donelan
  • Donnelly
  • Donner
  • Donni, 1986
  • Donovan
  • Dontay, 1996
  • Dorice, 1947
  • Dorleene, 1946
  • Dormida
  • Dorrice, 1945
  • Dorsey
  • Doucette
  • Dover
  • Doxie
  • Doyle
  • Dracard
  • Drager
  • Draier
  • Drake
  • Draker
  • Dravier
  • Draward
  • Dreama, 1973
  • Drennan
  • Drewerd
  • Drexler
  • Drocord
  • Drouin, 2008
  • Drozier
  • Drummond
  • Druzelle
  • Druzette
  • Duchesne
  • Duella
  • Duffy
  • Dugan
  • Duggan
  • Dulcey, 1968
  • Dumond
  • Dumont
  • Dunbar
  • Duncan
  • Duner
  • Dunivan
  • Dunn
  • Dunne
  • Dunnett
  • Dunning
  • Dunroe
  • Dunstan
  • Dunston
  • Dunton
  • Duran
  • Durand
  • Durant
  • Durgin
  • Durrah
  • Durrell
  • Dushane, 1992
  • Duska, 1969
  • Duval
  • Dwaine, 1976
  • Dwinal, 1937
  • Dyana, 1983
  • Dyer
  • Dyllon, 1998
  • Dyman
  • Dymand
  • Dymond
  • Dysart
  • Dyson

– EEEE –

  • Eaglin
  • East
  • Easter, 1918
  • Eastland
  • Eastwood
  • Ebbeling
  • Ebbeson
  • Ebbett
  • Echelon
  • Echo, 1988
  • Eddington
  • Edsall
  • Edson
  • Egan
  • Eglet
  • Ehva
  • Elajale
  • Elan
  • Elavale
  • Eldred
  • Eldredge
  • Eldridge
  • Electra
  • Elegie
  • Elias
  • Eliesha, 1986
  • Elishera
  • Elisheva, 2007
  • Elkins
  • Elledelle
  • Ellery
  • Elleselle
  • Ellingwood
  • Ellison
  • Ellora, 2010
  • Elna
  • Eloi, 1944
  • Elshaw
  • Elward
  • Elxis, 1995
  • Ember
  • Emden, 1936
  • Emerson
  • Emery
  • Emilie (Amilie)
  • Emma-Leigh
  • Emmi, 1935
  • Emmieleen, 1950
  • Englund
  • Engstrom
  • Ennis
  • Enos
  • Enright
  • Eola, 1959
  • Eremita
  • Ericire
  • Errwan
  • Ervilita, 1982
  • Erving
  • Esmae, 2005
  • Estenna, 1922
  • Eubank
  • Euretta, 1925
  • Eusasue
  • Eustis
  • Evanesca
  • Evaughn, 1978
  • Everly
  • Evette, 2003
  • Ewing
  • Exeter
  • Exidis
  • Exydys
  • Eylar

– FFFF –

  • Fader
  • Fadrigon
  • Fae
  • Failte
  • Fairbanks
  • Falisha, 2010
  • Falone
  • Faloon
  • Fanjoy
  • Faraday
  • Farah
  • Farese
  • Fariel
  • Farley
  • Farlow
  • Farnham
  • Farnsworth
  • Farnum
  • Farquhar
  • Farr
  • Farrah, 1947
  • Farrand
  • Farrar
  • Farrell
  • Farrington
  • Farris
  • Farrow
  • Farthing
  • Faruot
  • Farver
  • Fatia, 1989
  • Fatune, 1986
  • Faulise
  • Faulkner
  • Fauna
  • Faunce
  • Faust
  • Favia
  • Favreau
  • Faysa
  • Faythe
  • Feather
  • Feher
  • Fendler
  • Fenimore
  • Fenlason
  • Fenn
  • Fennelly
  • Fenner
  • Fenton
  • Fenwick
  • Fenwood
  • Ferrala
  • Ferrell
  • Ferris
  • Field
  • Fielder
  • Fielding
  • Fifer
  • Finbar, 1957
  • Finch
  • Findlay
  • Findlen
  • Finley
  • Finn
  • Finnegan
  • Finson
  • Firman
  • Firth
  • Fisher
  • Fiske
  • Fitch
  • Flanagan
  • Fleming
  • Fletcher
  • Flint
  • Florey
  • Flynn
  • Flynt
  • Fogarty
  • Foley
  • Folsom
  • Folster
  • Fonda, 1955
  • Fontaine
  • Forest, 1932
  • Forrrest
  • Forsten
  • Forsythe
  • Forte
  • Fortier
  • Fortissimo
  • Foss
  • Foster
  • Fowler
  • Fraser
  • Fraver
  • Fravier
  • Frawley
  • Frazell
  • Frazier
  • Free
  • Fretz
  • Frey
  • Friend
  • Fritch
  • Frith
  • Fritsch
  • Frost
  • Froyd
  • Frye
  • Fulton
  • Furden
  • Furman
  • Furrow
  • Furth
  • Fyler

– GGGG –

  • Gacy
  • Gae
  • Gage
  • Gahagan
  • Gahre
  • Gainer
  • Gaither
  • Gallagher
  • Galley
  • Galvin
  • Ganeau
  • Garceau
  • Gardella
  • Gardiner
  • Gardner
  • Garella
  • Garfield
  • Garland
  • Garneau
  • Garner
  • Garnet, 1951
  • Garnett
  • Garr
  • Garrett
  • Garrick
  • Garrison
  • Garrity
  • Garron
  • Garrow
  • Garson
  • Gartner
  • Garton
  • Garvey
  • Garvin
  • Garwood
  • Gaskill
  • Gaslin
  • Gaspar
  • Gaston
  • Gatch
  • Gatchell
  • Gatewood
  • Gatlin
  • Gaubert
  • Gaudet
  • Gaudette
  • Gaudreau
  • Gaul
  • Gauldin
  • Gaulin
  • Gauvin
  • Gavella
  • Gavelle
  • Gaver
  • Gavin
  • Gavotte
  • Gawrych
  • Gayleen, 1963
  • Gayne
  • Gaynell, 1927
  • Gaysa
  • Gazelle
  • Geagan
  • Geaghan
  • Gean, 1926
  • Geary
  • Geiger
  • Gendron
  • Genée
  • Genesis, 2007
  • Germain
  • Gero
  • Geroux
  • Gerow
  • Gerrity
  • Gervais
  • Getchell
  • Geth
  • Ghana
  • Giberson
  • Gibson
  • Gifford
  • Giguere
  • Gildred
  • Giles
  • Gillespie
  • Gillette
  • Gilligan
  • Gillis
  • Gilmer
  • Ginn
  • Girard
  • Giudice
  • Glaser
  • Glasgow
  • Glazier
  • Gleason
  • Gleeson
  • Glidden
  • Gobeille
  • Goeler
  • Goguen
  • Goldie, 1882
  • Golding
  • Goodridge
  • Goodwin
  • Gorham
  • Gorneau
  • Gorneault
  • Gorrell
  • Goslin
  • Gosselin
  • Gould
  • Gradyr
  • Graeber
  • Graeden
  • Graeler
  • Graelyn, 1959
  • Grafton
  • Graier
  • Grailer
  • Grainger
  • Granger
  • Granite
  • Grant
  • Gravelle
  • Gravier
  • Gray
  • Grayden
  • Grayler
  • Graylin, 1956
  • Grayling
  • Grayne
  • Green
  • Greene
  • Greer
  • Grendell
  • Grey
  • Greyden
  • Greylen, 1973
  • Greyson, 1996
  • Grierson
  • Griffin
  • Grindal
  • Grinnell
  • Grita, 1932
  • Groden
  • Grogan
  • Grogean
  • Grotton
  • Grunwald
  • Guenther
  • Guerette
  • Guerin
  • Guerrette
  • Guerry
  • Guffy
  • Guida
  • Guilleau
  • Guillow
  • Guimond
  • Guiterman
  • Gulliver
  • Gunn
  • Gunning
  • Gunson
  • Gunston
  • Gustin
  • Guthrie
  • Guyger
  • Guyotte
  • Gwinn
  • Gwynn
  • Gynt

– HHHH –

  • Haagen
  • Hadley
  • Hafford
  • Hagan
  • Hagar
  • Haggan
  • Hague
  • Haiden
  • Hailiah
  • Hale
  • Hallsey
  • Halstead
  • Halton, 1917
  • Hampy, 1925
  • Hancine
  • Hanelle
  • Hanette
  • Hanlon
  • Hanscom
  • Hansen
  • Hanson
  • Hardesty
  • Harding
  • Hardison
  • Hardy
  • Harli, 1993
  • Harlow
  • Harmani
  • Harmon
  • Harmyni
  • Harper
  • Harrigan
  • Harris
  • Harrow
  • Hartley
  • Harwood
  • Hasey
  • Haskell
  • Hatch
  • Hathaway
  • Haven
  • Havey
  • Hawke
  • Hayes
  • Hayler
  • Haylyn
  • Hayne
  • Hayner
  • Haynes
  • Haysa
  • Hayward
  • Hazard
  • Hazlett
  • Hazzard
  • Healey
  • Heath
  • Heaven, 1977
  • Hendrix
  • Hermel, 1950
  • Herrick
  • Hersey
  • Hess
  • Hession
  • Hewitt
  • Heywood
  • Hickock
  • Hickson
  • Hill, 1892
  • Hilma, 1920
  • Hisa, 1927
  • Hobson
  • Hockridge
  • Hogan
  • Hogar
  • Holbrook
  • Holden
  • Holder
  • Holland
  • Hollifield
  • Hollis
  • Hollister
  • Holt
  • Hooke
  • Hooper
  • Hoover
  • Hopper
  • Horton
  • Houghton
  • Houlton
  • Howell
  • Hoxie
  • Hoyle
  • Hoyt
  • Huber
  • Huckestein
  • Hudson
  • Hulbert
  • Huntley
  • Hunton
  • Hurlburt
  • Hurley
  • Huron
  • Hurst
  • Hustus
  • Husula
  • Hyde
  • Hyland

– IIII –

  • Idra
  • Igoe
  • Ila, 1925
  • Ilar
  • Ilidia, 1967
  • Ilidili
  • Ilsa, 2001
  • Ingerson
  • Ingraham
  • Injun
  • Innis
  • Innora, 2008
  • Inza, 1934
  • Ione, 1927
  • Iriqiri
  • Irven, 1944
  • Irvin
  • Irvine
  • Irving
  • Irwin
  • Issa, 1977
  • Istanbul
  • Iva, 1921
  • Ivah
  • Ivers
  • Iverson
  • Ivi
  • Ivolene, 1925
  • Ivory
  • Izaiah, 1999
  • Izak, 2004
  • Izayah, 2006
  • Izeldia, 1936
  • Iziah, 1999

– JJJJ –

  • Jacalyn, 1952
  • Jace, 2002
  • Jack
  • Jackson
  • Jadyr
  • Jaelene
  • Jaicee, 2005
  • Jaicie, 2000
  • Jaide, 2001
  • Jaiden, 2008
  • Jaidie
  • Jaidyn, 2004
  • Jailen
  • Jailyn, 2008
  • Jaime, 1983 (for Jamie?)
  • Jaksin, 2006
  • Jalen
  • Jalen, 2000
  • Jamerson, 1969
  • Jammey, 1947
  • Jancine
  • Jander
  • Janesca
  • Janessa
  • Janesse
  • Janetta
  • Jarrett
  • Jarrette
  • Jarrica, 1992
  • Jarryd, 1996
  • Jarvis
  • Jawne
  • Jaya
  • Jayde Danyelle, 1987
  • Jaydee
  • Jaylene
  • Jaymis, 1985
  • Jayna, 1963
  • Jaysa
  • Jazmin, 2009
  • Jazmyn
  • Jeep
  • Jeimz
  • Jellison
  • Jenée
  • Jeneste
  • Jenkins
  • Jenner
  • Jennings
  • Jensen
  • Jensine, 1992
  • Jera, 1956
  • Jerica
  • Jerre, 1942
  • Jescey, 1988
  • Jesci
  • Jesi-Rai, 1988
  • Jeska
  • Jeska, 2010
  • Jessi-Rae, 1991
  • Jeter
  • Jewell
  • Jilbrette
  • Jillena, 1997
  • Jillette
  • Jillison
  • Jillissa, 1996
  • Jina, 2000
  • Jipson
  • Jo-eva
  • Jo’Lin, 1962
  • Joedan
  • Jola
  • Joler
  • Joles
  • Joliat
  • Jolicoeur
  • Jolin
  • Jordan
  • Jordyn, 1997
  • Jordynne, 1990
  • Jori
  • Jory
  • Josalyn, 1998
  • Joshuah, 1987
  • Joshwa, 1994
  • Josiah, 1992
  • Josiha, 1984
  • Jowellyn, 1963
  • Joye, 1948
  • Jozey, 2005
  • Judd
  • Judkins
  • Judsand
  • Judson
  • Junkins
  • Jupiter
  • Juran
  • Justice
  • Justina, 1989
  • Justinian, 483

– KKKK –

  • Kaahdin
  • Kace
  • Kacer
  • Kachan
  • Kae
  • Kaedryn, 2016
  • Kaeley, 1963
  • Kaelie, 1987
  • Kaelin, 1998
  • Kaelyn, 2009
  • Kaelynn, 2009
  • Kaereak
  • Kagan
  • Kahl
  • Kaiden, 2004
  • Kaidence, 2006
  • Kaila, 1990
  • Kailee, 2000
  • Kailer
  • Kailey, 2002
  • Kain
  • Kaine
  • Kainen, 2004
  • Kainer
  • Kaiser
  • Kaitee, 1988
  • Kaitlyne, 1997
  • Kajak
  • Kalara, 1969
  • Kalista, 2000
  • Kaller
  • Kalli, 2006
  • Kalob, 1991
  • Kambi, 1973
  • Kameren, 2004
  • Kameryn, 2004
  • Kamper
  • Kamryn, 1991
  • Kanabis
  • Kander
  • Kane
  • Kaplan
  • Karagan, 2000
  • Karessa
  • Karlsson
  • Karnes
  • Karris
  • Kartner
  • Kartor
  • Karysa, 1995
  • Kassidi, 2007
  • Kassler
  • Kaul
  • Kaya, 2002
  • Kaybren, 2010
  • Kaycee, 2007
  • Kayde, 2010
  • Kaydence, 2010
  • Kaylan, 2006
  • Kaylen
  • Kayler
  • Kaylyn
  • Kayne
  • Kayner
  • Kaysa
  • Kaysi, 1993
  • Kaysie, 1992
  • Keane
  • Kearney
  • Kearns
  • Keating
  • Keefe
  • Keegan
  • Keeler
  • Keene
  • Kehr
  • Kelce, 2001
  • Kelci, 2001
  • Kelcie, 1995
  • Kellan, 2007
  • Keller
  • Kelo, 1959
  • Kelsey
  • Kelsi, 1996
  • Kelvin, 1990 (C-273?)
  • Kenée
  • Kennerson
  • Kent
  • Kenyon
  • Kerr
  • Kerrigan
  • Kersten
  • Kerwin
  • Kessler
  • Ketan
  • Ketch
  • Kevyn
  • Keyser
  • Keyte
  • Khana
  • Khia
  • Khiel
  • Khoury
  • Kiah
  • Kiana, 1999
  • Kiara, 1999
  • Kiaralyn, 2009
  • Kiaran, 2002
  • Kidder
  • Kier
  • Kiernan
  • Kierra, 2007
  • Kiev
  • Kight
  • Kilburn, 1948
  • Kilby
  • Killarney
  • Killinger
  • Killip
  • Kilton
  • Kimbrell
  • Kina, 1987
  • Kinlee, 2010
  • Kinza, 2006
  • Kinzer
  • Kiran, 2003
  • Kirby
  • Kirkendall
  • Kirlin
  • Kirtley, 1945
  • Kitana, 2000
  • Kite
  • Kittrick
  • Kizandra, 1995
  • Klive
  • Kloee, 2005
  • Kloie, 2008
  • Knowlton
  • Knox
  • Kohler
  • Kola
  • Kolt
  • Kolton, 1997
  • Kora, 1934
  • Koree, 1978
  • Korin, 1963
  • Kortni, 1990
  • Kortnie, 1998
  • Kossa
  • Kossia
  • Kotara
  • Koval
  • Kraig, 1982
  • Kramer
  • Krause
  • Kravier
  • Krayer
  • Krayne
  • Kreel
  • Kreider
  • Kremlin
  • Kriel
  • Kriston, 1973
  • Kroehler
  • Ktaadn
  • Kuefler
  • Kulas
  • Ky
  • Kyan, 2004
  • Kyden, 2006
  • Kyes
  • Kyfe
  • Kyla, 2000
  • Kyler, 1996
  • Kyma, 1932
  • Kyra, 1988
  • Kyrah, 2006
  • Kyran, 1997
  • Kyte

– LLLL –

  • Lacadie
  • Lace
  • Lachapelle
  • Laclaren
  • Lacy
  • Ladd
  • Ladner
  • Laeger
  • Laffer
  • Lafleur
  • Lager
  • Laidie
  • Laila, 1956
  • Laird
  • Lajal
  • Lakeman
  • Laken, 2007
  • Lally
  • Lamarre
  • Lamoreau
  • Lamoureaux
  • Lancine
  • Lander
  • Landis
  • Landry
  • Landyn, 2006
  • Lane
  • Lang
  • Langan
  • Langen
  • Langille
  • Langlais
  • Langley
  • Langston
  • Laray, 1973
  • Larby
  • Larkin
  • Larrabee
  • Larsen
  • Larson
  • Lasselle
  • Laurent
  • Lauris, 1907
  • Laval
  • Lavane, 1953
  • Lavigne
  • Lavona, 1971
  • Lawson
  • Laya
  • Laycee, 1988
  • Layne
  • Laysa
  • Leali
  • Leary
  • Leatherette
  • Lecielle
  • Leela, 1999
  • Leiana, 1989
  • Leigha, 1997
  • Leighson
  • Leighton
  • Leilani, 2001
  • Leine, 2002
  • Leisha
  • Lejett
  • Lenée
  • Leonce, 1922
  • Lerel
  • Lerie, 1953
  • Leth
  • Letty, 1925
  • Levesque
  • Lexi, 1992
  • Lexie, 1951
  • Lias
  • Liat
  • Libby
  • Liberty
  • Librelle
  • Liisa, 1956
  • Lillie
  • Lilly
  • Lima
  • Linai, 1991
  • Lincoln
  • Lindquist
  • Lobelia
  • Locke
  • Lockett
  • Locus
  • Lody
  • Loiselle
  • London
  • Longbow
  • Loomis
  • Lorah
  • Lorelei, 1941
  • Lorine, 1932
  • Loring
  • Lorris, 1936
  • Loupine
  • Lovol
  • Lowell
  • Lowery
  • Lowrie
  • Lowry
  • Loxie
  • Loy
  • Loyal
  • Loys, 1919
  • Lozier
  • Lucerne
  • Ludivine, 1979
  • Lupina
  • Lupine
  • Lura, 1916
  • Lurana, 1922
  • Lusa
  • Luther
  • Lutricia
  • Luveille
  • Lybril
  • Lycia, 1962
  • Lycus
  • Lyford
  • Lyman
  • Lynch
  • Lynkyn
  • Lynzi, 2000
  • Lyon
  • Lyric
  • Lyselle
  • Lysette
  • Lyveille
  • Lyvelle
  • Lyvette

– MMMM –

  • Maber, 1936
  • Mace
  • Machias
  • Mack
  • Maclaine
  • Macon
  • MacRae
  • Macy, 2002
  • Maddux, 2007
  • Madea
  • Madelion, 1995
  • Madisyn, 1997
  • Madolin, 1952
  • Madore
  • Magee
  • Magnus
  • Maguire
  • Mahgin, 2005
  • Maidie, 1912
  • Maietta
  • Maine
  • Mainer
  • Maire, 1991
  • Maisey, 2003
  • Maitland, 1951
  • Maizie, 1996
  • Major
  • Makenna, 1999
  • Maker
  • Makiah, 2001
  • Malave
  • Malay
  • Malicky
  • Malik, 2000
  • Malis
  • Mallett
  • Malthus
  • Manique, 1988
  • Manley, 1927
  • Mannette
  • Mannix
  • Mansfield
  • Manson
  • Maple
  • Maragus
  • Marando
  • Marble
  • March
  • Marchel, 1997
  • Marcotte
  • Marden
  • Mardon
  • Margolis
  • Marin
  • Mariner
  • Maris
  • Markham
  • Markie
  • Marklin
  • Marle, 1942
  • Marleighna, 1990
  • Marley
  • Marlissa
  • Marquis
  • Marrinna, 1998
  • Marrs
  • Mars
  • Marsades, 1995
  • Marsh
  • Marshall
  • Marson
  • Marston
  • Martel
  • Martell
  • Martelle
  • Martynne
  • Marus
  • Maryola, 1997
  • Maskell, 1960
  • Matheson
  • Mathias
  • Matlack
  • Mattaleah
  • Mattheson
  • Mattila
  • Mattson
  • Maul
  • Maura
  • Maurais
  • Mauré
  • Mavor
  • Maxcy
  • Maxian
  • Maylyn
  • Maysa
  • Mazie, 1997
  • Mazurka
  • McAdam
  • McAlister
  • McAvoy
  • McCabe
  • McCafferty
  • McCarley
  • McCaslin
  • McCausland
  • McCauslin
  • McClare
  • McCormick
  • McCoy
  • McCullen
  • McDonough
  • McDuffee
  • McDunnah
  • McGarr
  • McGarry
  • McGarvey
  • McGary
  • McGillicuddy
  • McGowan
  • McGrane
  • McGrath
  • McGraw
  • McGuire
  • McHale
  • McHenry
  • McHugh
  • McInnis
  • McIntyre
  • McKay
  • McKeague
  • McKechnie
  • McKenna
  • McKenziey Luv, 2004
  • McKinnon
  • McMorrow
  • McMullen
  • McNally
  • McNichol
  • McQuade
  • McQuaid
  • McQuarrie
  • McRorie
  • McSweeney
  • McVicker
  • Meade
  • Meadow
  • Medella, 1944
  • Medley
  • Meghana, 1985
  • Meghann, 1979
  • Megi, 1992
  • Meka, 2005
  • Melba, 1919
  • Meldon, 1942
  • Meldora, 1927
  • Melea, 1998
  • Melendy
  • Melia
  • Mellissia, 1979
  • Melrose
  • Melvena, 1914
  • Melynda, 1986
  • Mercer
  • Merelyn, 1933
  • Meridian
  • Merin, 2009
  • Merrilenta
  • Merrill
  • Merrin
  • Merry
  • Mersia, 1998
  • Mettie, 1938
  • Mexy
  • Meysha, 2003
  • Micheline, 1941
  • Miclette
  • Mika
  • Mikell, 1988
  • Mikol
  • Mikyla, 2002
  • Milin, 1991
  • Millay
  • Milleo, 1923
  • Miller
  • Minjie, 1992
  • Minke
  • Moiré
  • Moll
  • Monahan
  • Monk
  • Monroe
  • Monson
  • Montero
  • Moon
  • Moore
  • Moose
  • Mora
  • Morgynn, 1999
  • Moriah, 1991
  • Moriarty
  • Morin
  • Morine
  • Morneau
  • Morneault
  • Morrell
  • Morris
  • Morrison
  • Morrissey
  • Morrow
  • Morse
  • Morton
  • Moscone
  • Mosher
  • Moss
  • Moulton
  • Mountford
  • Mowbray
  • Moxie
  • Moyer
  • Mudge
  • Mullane
  • Mullaney
  • Mulligan
  • Muncey
  • Muncie
  • Munitia
  • Munson
  • Munster
  • Muradian
  • Murchie
  • Murdock
  • Mydar
  • Myka, 2000
  • Mykiah
  • Mykle
  • Myrick
  • Myryla
  • Myst
  • Myste

– NNNN –

  • Nadeau
  • Nagy
  • Nailer
  • Naixian
  • Nakissa, 2003
  • Nakomis, 1977
  • Nami, 1972
  • Nancine
  • Narda, 1946
  • Narrew
  • Nasa
  • Nash
  • Nasian
  • Nason
  • Nastassja, 2005
  • Natealia, 2000
  • Naudea
  • Nault
  • Nauquan
  • Naura
  • Naysa
  • Nazhen
  • Nedra, 1935
  • Nekia, 1984
  • Nelligan
  • Neoma, 1985
  • Neptune
  • Nester
  • Neva, 1931
  • Nevaeh, 2004
  • Neveah, 2008
  • Neville
  • Newbury
  • Newell
  • Newkirk
  • Newman
  • Newson
  • Newton
  • Nichols
  • Nicholson
  • Nickerson
  • Nicolar
  • Nicque, 1925
  • Nightingale
  • Nika
  • Niles
  • Niquette
  • Nishelle, 2006
  • Niski
  • Nixon
  • Nobel
  • Noble
  • Noellyne, 1940
  • Nolan
  • Nolton
  • Noonan
  • Norcia
  • Noreaster
  • Norice
  • Norris
  • North
  • Norton
  • Norwood
  • Noulton
  • Nova, 1990
  • Novak
  • Nowell
  • Noxie
  • Noyes
  • Nugent
  • Nutbrown
  • Nutter
  • Nutting
  • Nycholle, 1991
  • Nychyllys
  • Nye
  • Nyer
  • Nyeva
  • Nyfe
  • Nyiah, 1982
  • Nyle
  • Nyles
  • Nylund
  • Nyman
  • Nyoka, 1962

– OOOO –

  • O’Brian
  • O’Brien
  • O’Clair
  • O’Donal
  • O’Donnell
  • O’Grady
  • O’Kane
  • O’Keefe
  • O’Malley
  • O’Meara
  • O’Neill
  • O’Reilly
  • O’Roarke
  • Oake
  • Oakley
  • Oberson
  • Ogden
  • Ogilvie
  • Oke, 1946
  • Okra
  • Olander
  • Olcott
  • Olin
  • Olinger
  • Oliviera
  • Olsen
  • Omerine, 1930
  • Omondo
  • Ondur
  • Oonah, 1932
  • Opie
  • Oqim
  • Orace, 1922
  • Orazio
  • Orcutt
  • Oriana, 2004
  • Oric, 1918
  • Oriciro
  • Orient
  • Orissie, 1927
  • Orlam
  • Orrise, 1928
  • Orton
  • Orvis
  • Osborne
  • Osburn, 1933
  • Otten
  • Ouellette
  • Oxley

– PPPP –

  • Pace
  • Packard
  • Paine
  • Palin
  • Palmer
  • Panther
  • Pappas
  • Paquette
  • Paquin
  • Paradis
  • Parke
  • Parker
  • Parnell
  • Parrick
  • Parrie, 1959
  • Partal
  • Paschal
  • Pasquine
  • Patch
  • Patchell
  • Patry
  • Patten
  • Patterson
  • Patton
  • Paulding
  • Paylen
  • Paylyn
  • Payne
  • Paysa
  • Peach
  • Pearce
  • Peare
  • Pearson
  • Peary
  • Pease
  • Peasley
  • Peavey
  • Pebbles, 1971
  • Peck
  • Pedersen
  • Peirce
  • Peityn, 2011
  • Pelkey
  • Pellerin
  • Pelletier
  • Pellquin
  • Peloquin
  • Pelotte
  • Pelton
  • Pendleton
  • Pennelia, 1943
  • Pennell
  • Penrose
  • Perreault
  • Perrin
  • Perrine
  • Perron
  • Perrone
  • Perrow
  • Perry
  • Persis, 1941
  • Peta, 1982
  • Petal
  • Peterson
  • Petrin
  • Pettingale
  • Petya, 1985
  • Phalia, 1962
  • Phana
  • Philbrook
  • Phylicity, 1994
  • Pickard
  • Pickering
  • Pierce
  • Pierrette, 1942
  • Pierson
  • Pilot
  • Pine
  • Pineau
  • Piquette
  • Pittman
  • Pleiades
  • Plooma, 1928
  • Plunkett
  • Poiuyt
  • Pollard
  • Polo
  • Pond
  • Poole
  • Pooler
  • Porter
  • Portia
  • Powell
  • Praier
  • Praise, 2001
  • Prayor
  • Prescott
  • Preston
  • Preyer
  • Proulx
  • Pruitt
  • Pryce
  • Puckett
  • Purcell
  • Pureza, 1941
  • Purvis
  • Pyne

– QQQQ –

  • Qae
  • Qeanna, 1991
  • Quae
  • Qualey
  • Quander
  • Quasa
  • Quayne
  • Quaysa
  • Queenie, 1920
  • Quenée
  • Quie, 1956
  • Quill
  • Quilla
  • Quillia
  • Quillian
  • Quilna
  • Quinneille
  • Quinnell
  • Quinnelle
  • Quintela
  • Quist
  • Quoddy
  • Quona
  • Quora
  • Qwerty

– RRRR –

  • Rabecka, 2002
  • Rackley
  • Rackliff
  • Rackliffe
  • Radcliffe
  • Radel
  • Radford
  • Radley
  • Rae
  • Rae Jean, 1975
  • Raegene, 1986
  • Raelene
  • Raetae
  • Raffi
  • Rafford
  • Raiden, 1954
  • Rairdon
  • Raitt
  • Rajan
  • Rakel, 1989
  • Rakestraw
  • Ralf, 1966
  • Ralphline, 1925
  • Rambo
  • Ramsay
  • Ramsey
  • Ranagan
  • Rancine
  • Rander
  • Ransford, 1962
  • Ranuel
  • Raqqar
  • Rasaiah
  • Rattigan
  • Raulf
  • Raura
  • Ravisha
  • Ravyn, 2002
  • Rawcliffe
  • Rawlings
  • Rayden, 2009
  • Raydon
  • Rayfield
  • Rayleigh
  • Rayna, 1966
  • Rayne, 1958
  • Rayner
  • Raysa
  • Rayvon, 1998
  • Razar
  • Razen
  • Razyn
  • Rea
  • Reagan
  • Realus
  • Reavis
  • Rebowen
  • Redding
  • Redford
  • Rediker
  • Redmond
  • Reece
  • Reed
  • Reese
  • Reeve
  • Regan
  • Regginal, 1942
  • Regis
  • Reichel
  • Reid
  • Reider
  • Reidy
  • Reiffer
  • Reigner
  • Reil
  • Reilly
  • Reinsel
  • Reizier
  • Rella, 1928
  • Remee, 2000
  • Remian
  • Remick
  • Remington
  • Renabel, 1928
  • Renaud
  • Reno, 1924
  • Renwar
  • Resaida
  • Reshayna
  • Resholey
  • Resholie
  • Ressler
  • Reutter
  • Rever
  • Rewarn
  • Rexie
  • Reyanna, 1999
  • Reyarrel
  • Reyieder
  • Reymer
  • Reynold
  • Reynolds
  • Rhael
  • Rhianna
  • Rhiannon, 1977
  • Rhoda
  • Rhonni, 1991
  • Rhoule
  • Rhule
  • Rhune
  • Rhyal
  • Rhylee, 2006
  • Rhymer
  • Rhyne
  • Riamone
  • Riann, 1987
  • Rianne, 1992
  • Riannon, 1985
  • Richardie, 1971
  • Richens
  • Richmond
  • Richter
  • Rickard
  • Ricker
  • Rickert
  • Riddle
  • Ridenour
  • Rider
  • Ridge, 2004
  • Ridley
  • Ridlon
  • Riedel
  • Riehl
  • Riene, 1922
  • Rienherdt
  • Riever
  • Rigby
  • Riggs
  • Rika
  • Rikala, 2001
  • Riker
  • Riley
  • Rion, 2002
  • Ripley
  • Ritter
  • Rivard
  • Rivella
  • Rivers
  • Rixen
  • Rixon
  • Roader
  • Roan
  • Roane
  • Roavar
  • Roaver
  • Robichaud
  • Robie
  • Robinson
  • Robshaw
  • Robson
  • Roby
  • Robyrt
  • Rochon
  • Rocker
  • Rockwell
  • Rodebaugh
  • Rodel, 1992
  • Rodenbeck
  • Roderick
  • Rody
  • Roebuck
  • Roene, 1946
  • Rogan
  • Rohn
  • Rola
  • Rolfe
  • Roman, 1973
  • Romine
  • Rona, 1936
  • Ronayne
  • Ronson (lighter)
  • Rood
  • Rooney
  • Roop
  • Roope
  • Root
  • Roper
  • Roque
  • Rosaire, 1951
  • Rosell
  • Roselle
  • Rosene
  • Rosezanna, 1982
  • Ross
  • Rossell
  • Rosselle
  • Rosser
  • Rossia
  • Rossignol
  • Roth
  • Roulon
  • Rouse
  • Rovaris
  • Rowell
  • Rowena, 1919
  • Rowene, 1933
  • Rowley
  • Royann
  • Rozelle
  • Rroyd
  • Rrule
  • Rrune
  • Ruane
  • Ruark
  • Ruccock
  • Rudder
  • Rue, 1934
  • Ruhlin
  • Rumford
  • Rumsey
  • Rune
  • Rush
  • Rushlow
  • Rushton
  • Russaw
  • Russick
  • Rustin
  • Rutherford
  • Ryael
  • Rydell
  • Ryder
  • Ryelle
  • Ryerson
  • Ryger
  • Ryken
  • Ryker, 2003
  • Ryki
  • Rykie
  • Rylae
  • Ryle
  • Rylee, 2004
  • Ryleigh, 2002
  • Ryley, 1999
  • Ryman
  • Rymone
  • Ryter

– SSSS –

  • Sabashtin, 2010
  • Sabine
  • Sabre
  • Saddler
  • Sade
  • Sadler
  • Sagner
  • Saida
  • Saidie
  • Sainte
  • Sajack
  • Saku
  • Saliba
  • Salin
  • Saline
  • Saling
  • Salmon, 2007
  • Saloane
  • Saloon
  • Saloone
  • Salune
  • Samara
  • Samiya
  • Sanborn
  • Sanborne
  • Sander
  • Sandstrom
  • Sanford
  • Santana
  • Santerre
  • Sanyer
  • Saulmer
  • Saunders
  • Saura
  • Saurelle
  • Savisha
  • Savoy
  • Savu
  • Sawyer
  • Saxon
  • Sayde
  • Sayler
  • Saysa
  • Scally
  • Schaeffer
  • Schaller
  • Schelling
  • Scheyder
  • Schick
  • Schiff
  • Schiller
  • Schillinger
  • Schneider
  • Schreiber
  • Schreiter
  • Schriver
  • Schrock
  • Schroeder
  • Schultz
  • Scofield
  • Scribner
  • Scripture
  • Scudder
  • Scully
  • Seairha, 1990
  • Searl
  • Sebring
  • Seburn
  • Sedgwick
  • Sedina
  • Sedine
  • Segee
  • Seidell
  • Seigler
  • Seiler
  • Seilies
  • Seiline
  • Selchia
  • Selden
  • Selleck
  • Selune
  • Seneca
  • Senée
  • Seneste
  • Sennett
  • Sensimillia, 1998
  • Senter
  • Sephalie
  • Sepia
  • Sequin
  • Sequoia
  • Serendipity
  • Serenity
  • Serephima, 1997
  • Sessa, 2002
  • Sevene
  • Seves
  • Sewall
  • Seyde
  • Shace
  • Shackleford
  • Shaelyn, 1996
  • Shahan
  • Shain
  • Shair
  • Shalee, 1983
  • Shaller
  • Shana
  • Shancine
  • Shandi, 1975
  • Shandie, 1968
  • Shandra, 1974
  • Shanley
  • Shanonn, 1979
  • Shapleigh
  • Shar-Ron, 1955
  • Shareise
  • Sharette
  • Shariez
  • Sharing
  • Sharise
  • Sharlette
  • Sharra, 1975
  • Sharrae, 2003
  • Sharrow
  • Shaughn, 1972
  • Shaunta, 1990
  • Shaw
  • Shayna, 1997
  • Shea
  • Sheahan
  • Shealy, 2000
  • Shedd
  • Sheehan
  • Shelda, 1941
  • Shelia, 1957
  • Shenequa, 1984
  • Shepard
  • Shepherd
  • Sheppard
  • Shepperd
  • Shera, 1989
  • Sheray, 1985
  • Sherburne
  • Sheridan
  • Sherman
  • Sherrard
  • Sherrerd
  • Sherwin
  • Sherwood
  • Shianna, 1977
  • Shimmeree
  • Shirland
  • Shoan
  • Sholey
  • Sholie
  • Shona
  • Shone
  • Shorette
  • Shorey
  • Shorrette
  • Shubert
  • Shute
  • Siarais
  • Siarra, 1999
  • Sias
  • Sider
  • Sidsel, 1954
  • Siegler
  • Sieleis
  • Sierrah, 1995
  • Silene
  • Silvay
  • Simone
  • Simoneau
  • Simpson
  • Sinclair
  • Singer
  • Sirah, 2001
  • Sireleris
  • Sirois
  • Skinner
  • Slate
  • Slater
  • Slattery
  • Slayter
  • Sloan
  • Smith
  • Smithson
  • Snowie
  • Soarus
  • Sody
  • Sola
  • Solange, 1945
  • Soleel
  • Soleil
  • Sollis
  • Somers
  • Somersen
  • Song, 1950
  • Sonyk
  • Sonyka
  • Sora
  • Soraya, 1966
  • Sorrel, 1961
  • South
  • Southard
  • Spain
  • Sparkle
  • Sparks
  • Sparrow
  • Spaulding
  • Spear
  • Spearin
  • Spearing
  • Speck
  • Spence
  • Spencer
  • Spirit, 2009
  • Sprague
  • Sprandel
  • Springer
  • Spruce
  • Spurgeon, 1946
  • Spurling
  • Stafford
  • Stanchfield
  • Stanwood
  • Stanzel
  • Starbird
  • Starr
  • Starla, 1974
  • Starner
  • Starrow
  • Steel
  • Steele
  • Steelman
  • Steever
  • Stenzel
  • Stephenson
  • Stetson
  • Stevenson
  • Stevets
  • Stewart
  • Stievyne
  • Stillman
  • Stillwell
  • Stinchfield
  • Stinson
  • Stirling
  • Stoan
  • Stoane
  • Stocker
  • Stockley
  • Stockman
  • Stockton
  • Stockwell
  • Stone
  • Stoner
  • Storey
  • Storm Petrel
  • Storm, 2001
  • Storman
  • Stormann
  • Stormy, 1994
  • Stoughton
  • Stover
  • Stowe
  • Stowell
  • Strake
  • Strane
  • Strater
  • Stratton
  • Streams
  • Strebel
  • Strobeck
  • Strout
  • Stryker
  • Stuart
  • Sturrock
  • Suanne, 1967
  • Sucrette
  • Sulander
  • Summer Wisdom, 2000
  • Summersun
  • Summerwind
  • Sumner
  • Surabian
  • Surran
  • Surrette
  • Sutcliffe
  • Swain
  • Swaine
  • Swanson
  • Swazey
  • Sylda, 1915
  • Sylune
  • Sylvain, 1922
  • Symone, 1999
  • Syzygy

– TTTT –

  • T-beau
  • Taber
  • Tabithe
  • Tabor
  • Tace
  • Tae
  • Taerae
  • Taft
  • Taggart
  • Taggett
  • Tahsha, 1980
  • Taijiat
  • Taine
  • Tait
  • Taiyler, 1994
  • Talbot
  • Talcott
  • Talley
  • Talmadge
  • Talon
  • Tamiko, 1995
  • Tamilia, 1971
  • Tamsin, 1975
  • Tamula, 1968
  • Tandy
  • Tapioca
  • Tapley
  • Taplin
  • Tappen
  • Tardiff
  • Tarner
  • Tarr
  • Tarzan, 1942
  • Tash
  • Tasker
  • Tate
  • Tatem
  • Taura
  • Tausen
  • Tawni, 1993
  • Tawnie
  • Tawson
  • Taya
  • Tayara
  • Tayin
  • Tayler
  • Taylore, 1998
  • Tayna, 2004
  • Tayne
  • Tayner
  • Taysa
  • Tayte
  • Taz, 2005
  • Teagan, 2004
  • Teague
  • Teal
  • Tebow
  • Tegan, 2008
  • Telford
  • Tember
  • Tené, 2008
  • Tenée
  • Tennett
  • Tenney
  • Tennise
  • Terrell
  • Terrianah, 2005
  • Terrula
  • Tesseo
  • Tetia, 1960
  • Tetreault
  • Texan
  • Texanne
  • Texie
  • Texin
  • Texine
  • Thaber
  • Thackery
  • Thaine
  • Thainer
  • Thala, 1953
  • Thaler
  • Thana
  • Thane, 1955
  • Thaniel
  • Thayer
  • Theise
  • Thelin
  • Theriault
  • Therlie, 1984
  • Therrien
  • Thesda
  • Thibeau
  • Thibeault
  • Thibodeau
  • Thistle
  • Thora
  • Thorell
  • Thorin, 2003
  • Thorne
  • Thornley
  • Thornton
  • Thorpe
  • Thunder
  • Thurlow
  • Thurston
  • Thylie, 2007
  • Thyme
  • Tibet
  • Tibetan
  • Tierairis, 2002
  • Tika
  • Tiller
  • Tilley
  • Timber
  • Timbre
  • Tinker
  • Tinsman
  • Titus
  • Tobin
  • Toder
  • Tola
  • Toller
  • Tomah
  • Tomer
  • Tomie, 1973
  • Tomus
  • Tondreau
  • Tonette
  • Topica
  • Torin
  • Torina
  • Torney
  • Torni
  • Tornquist
  • Torrey
  • Tosarasa
  • Totem
  • Touchette
  • Tourner
  • Tournier
  • Tourniere
  • Toussaint
  • Towle
  • Townsend
  • Tozer
  • Tozier
  • Trade
  • Trafton
  • Trake
  • Trancine
  • Trask
  • Travart
  • Travers
  • Travice, 1980
  • Travier
  • Trayne
  • Trazart
  • Treasure
  • Treela
  • Treena
  • Treesa
  • Treeva
  • Trefts
  • Treve
  • Trevert
  • Trevus
  • Treyce, 2005
  • Trika
  • Trilla
  • Trillian
  • Tripp
  • Troika
  • Troulis
  • Troxell
  • Trudeau
  • True, 2008
  • Truffle
  • Trula
  • Tryla
  • Tryna
  • Trysa
  • Tryva
  • Tuck
  • Tucker
  • Tukey
  • Tuner
  • Turmel
  • Turnbull
  • Turner
  • Twitchell
  • Tylor, 2003
  • Tyne
  • Tyneisha, 2005
  • Tyreasa, 2008
  • Tyrell
  • Tyrese, 2002
  • Tyrone

– UUUU –

  • Uda, 1929
  • Uhlman
  • Ulman
  • Ulmer
  • Ulura
  • Umbro
  • Una, 1952
  • Upcott
  • Upton
  • Uralaru
  • Urban
  • Urick
  • Urquhart
  • Usaman (USA Man, see?)
  • Usher
  • Usted

– VVVV –

  • Vachon
  • Vadas
  • Vadassy
  • Vae
  • Vagan
  • Vagin
  • Vail
  • Valade
  • Valcourt
  • Valden
  • Valdore, 1933
  • Valente
  • Valicia, 1972
  • Vallance
  • Vallee
  • Valley
  • Valliere
  • Vanadia
  • Vanagus
  • VanAllen
  • Vanaria
  • Vance
  • Vancine
  • Vandall
  • Vandemark
  • Vander
  • Vandermark
  • VanDyke
  • VanDyne
  • Vanetta
  • VanKirk
  • VanPatten
  • Vantel
  • Varga
  • Vargas
  • Varner
  • Varney
  • Varni
  • Varnum
  • Varrick
  • Vars
  • Vashon
  • Vassar
  • Vaughan
  • Vaughn
  • Vaulden
  • Vaura
  • Vay
  • Vaysa
  • Vealey
  • Vega
  • Veillette
  • Veilleux
  • Velanne
  • Velia, 1996
  • Vella, 1955
  • Velli
  • Venée
  • Venis
  • Verda, 1931
  • Vereault
  • Verga
  • Verle, 1928
  • Vermette
  • Vermillion
  • Vernard, 1937
  • Vernice, 1934
  • Vernley, 1956
  • Verow
  • Verreault
  • Verrill
  • Verry
  • Vetal, 1921
  • Veysey
  • Vicaire
  • Vicary
  • Vichael
  • Vickery
  • Vicnaire
  • Victory
  • Vidal
  • Vidas
  • Vika
  • Vilder
  • Villa, 1907
  • Vincetta, 1955
  • Viner
  • Vinson
  • Vlad
  • Vlair
  • Vlane
  • Vlase
  • Vloe
  • Vloë
  • Voisine
  • Vola
  • Volk
  • Vona
  • Voye
  • Vydas

– WWWW –

  • Wade
  • Wae
  • Wagner
  • Waine
  • Wainwright
  • Waite
  • Waitt
  • Walden
  • Waldron
  • Walsh
  • Wandell
  • Waneta, 1935
  • Wanita, 1936
  • Ward
  • Wardell
  • Warden
  • Warman
  • Warner
  • Warnita, 1923
  • Warrick
  • Washburn
  • Washington
  • Wasson
  • Waterman
  • Watson
  • Way, 1918
  • Waye
  • Waysa
  • Weaver
  • Webb
  • Webber
  • Weber
  • Webster
  • Wedge
  • Weinron
  • Weirich
  • Weiser
  • Weizer
  • Welhelna, 1926
  • Welton
  • Wentworth
  • Werner
  • Wescott
  • Wesdan
  • Wesden
  • Wesley
  • West
  • Westan
  • Westerman
  • Westfall
  • Westfield
  • Westin
  • Westleigh
  • Westman
  • Westmark
  • Westmoreland
  • Westney
  • Weston
  • Wetzler
  • Wheat
  • Wheaton
  • Wheeler
  • Whisker
  • Whisper
  • Whist
  • Whisten
  • Whister
  • Whitaker
  • Whitcomb
  • Whitfield
  • Whitford
  • Whitley
  • Whitman
  • Whitmer
  • Whitney
  • Whittaker
  • Whitten
  • Whittier
  • Whittington
  • Whittler
  • Whorton
  • Wicker
  • Wickers
  • Wickett
  • Wiedemann
  • Wigginton
  • Wight
  • Wilcott
  • Wilder
  • Wiley
  • Wilken
  • Wilkerson
  • Wilkes
  • Wilkins
  • Wilkinson
  • Willett
  • Willette
  • Willey
  • Willigar
  • Willmont, 1929
  • Willoughby
  • Willow, 1974
  • Wilmar
  • Wilmot, 1922
  • Wilson
  • Winchell
  • Winchester
  • Winder
  • Windsor
  • Winfield
  • Winn
  • Winship
  • Winslow
  • Winter
  • Winton
  • Witham
  • Witherell
  • Witherly
  • Wixson
  • Wolfe
  • Wolford
  • Wolverton
  • Wood
  • Woodard
  • Woodbury
  • Woodman
  • Woodmancy
  • Woodruff
  • Woodward
  • Woodworth
  • Woolley
  • Worcester
  • Wordan
  • Worden
  • Worrall
  • Worster
  • Worthing
  • Worthington
  • Wraier
  • Wrayer
  • Wrayne
  • Wrazen
  • Wrenar
  • Wrenne
  • Wrey
  • Wreyne
  • Wright
  • Wroan
  • Wroane
  • Wuanita, 1962
  • Wulf, 2009
  • Wyker
  • Wyler
  • Wylie
  • Wylyanne
  • Wylyem
  • Wyman
  • Wyner
  • Wynne
  • Wysan
  • Wyse
  • Wyser

– XXXX –

  • X (just ‘X’)
  • Xace
  • Xacter
  • Xae
  • Xaine
  • Xainer
  • Xair
  • Xaira
  • Xander, 2005
  • Xandir, 2010
  • Xayr
  • Xayra
  • Xaysa
  • Xenée
  • Xiara
  • Xola
  • Xoydan
  • Xoyden
  • Xrivos
  • Xrode
  • Xyleda

– YYYY –

  • Yace
  • Yacey
  • Yachanin
  • Yaeger
  • Yael, 2005
  • Yaesha
  • Yaesher
  • Yaever
  • Yancine
  • Yander
  • Yankee
  • Yanny
  • Yaray
  • Yarbrough
  • Yardley
  • Yarington
  • Yarray
  • Yarrel
  • Yarro
  • Yarrow
  • Yates
  • Yaysa
  • Yazay
  • Yeaton
  • Yecey
  • Yelland
  • Yeo
  • Yeralarey
  • Yerxa
  • Yeshida
  • Yeshina
  • Yever
  • Yider
  • Yieder
  • Yilixia
  • Yiselle
  • Ylektra
  • Ylenne
  • Ylise
  • Yocum
  • Yoder
  • Yonkin
  • York
  • Yost
  • Youcis
  • Youells
  • Young
  • Ysidra
  • Yule
  • Yurick
  • Yuvane
  • Yzyky’l (Ezekiel)

– ZZZZ –

  • Zacarias
  • Zace
  • Zacharias
  • Zae
  • Zaenger
  • Zahner
  • Zaine
  • Zainer
  • Zale
  • Zaller
  • Zanda
  • Zander, 2007
  • Zane
  • Zannota
  • Zara, 1929
  • Zaro
  • Zaroff
  • Zashalynn, 2004
  • Zaura
  • Zavaz
  • Zayne
  • Zaysa
  • Zebar
  • Zeda, 1997
  • Zeigler
  • Zelkan
  • Zeller
  • Zenon, 1929
  • Zephyr
  • Zetterman
  • Zhaelyn
  • Zhaleigh
  • Zhana
  • Zhita
  • Zhuna
  • Zina
  • Zitaner
  • Zody
  • Zohner
  • Zola, 1934
  • Zollie
  • Zolly
  • Zorick, Zoric
  • Zorro
  • Zoulias
  • Zugelder
  • Zyvyz
  • Zyxyz

The future

In different places and times, names were conferred by varying authorities, rules, and traditions.  In present-day North America, there really is no alternative to the practice whereby a parent or pair of parents selects or creates a first name and gives it to a newborn child – a “given” name.  Regulations effectively require this.  Other than the expectation that the birth mother provide a name, there effectively are no regulations today.  Until the beginning of this millennium (in North America), a surname, from the French “sur” (“on” or “above”), has simply been the father’s surname.  (Just because it has changed in this country, we must remain aware that cultures throughout the rest of the world have not followed our regression and have not shown an inclination to abandon their traditions.)

The time will come when a new wave of non-conformists will turn the entire process of naming upside down or inside out again.  Far in the future our descendants may experiment with identifying one another using numbers — not just so that governments can exercise control but as a novel twist on assigning names.  It comes around every 10 years or so – someone petitions a judge to change his name to 23-Skidoo or AK47 or Sixsixsix.  Judges haven’t permitted it.  There was a news story not long ago about someone who wanted to become Nine Oneone.  Rejected by the court.

Eventually the culture will overrun the courts and the strange will become the norm.  Languages will blur.  Alphabets will be blended.  Rules will relax further.  Capitalizing words will fall by the wayside.  Our descendants won’t be able to distinguish a person’s name from a bodily emission.  It will be harder to insult someone when his name at home is actually an expletive in a neighboring country.

For another future volume of names, I may consider how people will mess with the topic in the distant future – how each name may someday include non-letter characters such as @#$%^&*=+ and may even include holograms or DNA; something that will make it impossible for a person to elude government detection and add further sophistication to the art of identity theft.  Ke$ha won’t be an assumed name; it will be conferred by a 17-year-new mom.

As for future surnames, some will attempt to forego them altogether.  Some will question whether we need to have names at all; they will not prevail.

It is our practice as humans to take individual names to identify ourselves.  It is our cultural preference for parents to confer given names on our babies.  It is our habit to become attached each to one’s own given name.  It helps our communication if, as listeners, we are readily able to distinguish a name in the stream of one another’s speech.  If, as listeners, we are continually tripped up by a confusing sound and we are forced to halt communication in order to verify that the sound just uttered was a name, then communication is not helped.  But, for a generation or two or three, we may endure a transition, until a new set of names – Harli and Marleighna (for Marlena), Cori and Jammey – become the standards that replace Jane and Gladys, Michael and Ralph, until indeed, Harli and Jammey replace Esther and Ezekiel – if you believe that is going to happen.  But then, another wave of non-conformity will resurrect George and Sarah, and it will all repeat itself yet again.

Communication, of course, is why we use names: to identify ourselves to one another. Interacting without names just isn’t going to happen.  It’s at the core of what sets us apart from the non-speaking species.  The creation story in Genesis agrees with the findings of anthropology: Humans identified all the creatures and features of nature and gave them names.  Science goes on to postulate how language arose.  Humans probably first distinguished between individuals according to their roles in the group.  By the beginning of recorded history, people bore names, much as we do now.  (We have the recorded history to substantiate it – most of us have been exposed to the lists of names — the “begats” — in the Old Testament.)

While I do not heartily applaud the manifestation of the present trend — the cutesy and stupid — I do not resist it.  With this little book, maybe I do nothing more than to confuse matters.  On the other hand, maybe I make you wish you could have a thousand children so you can use all the best names in the book.

Babie Naymes © 2011 by David A. Woodbury.  Slight revision©2016.  All rights reserved.  This book may be quoted in conversations, reviews, criticisms, and court proceedings but may not be modified, copied, distributed, re-published, or sold by anyone except the author.  Cover illustration by the author.

Babie Nayms – Part 3

Surnames as given names, A-Z

Surnames are a useful source of baby names.  It’s interesting, though, that we accept a lot of words as surnames that would simply not cut it as given names.  It’s too bad that some surnames serve nicely as given names, such as Mason, while other just-as-worthy surnames simply must not be honored in this way.  See what you think about these examples of Anglo surnames just from the -B- and -C- sections of an old phone book:

  • Babcock
  • Bacon
  • Badger
  • Baker
  • Ball
  • Banks
  • Barber
  • Barker
  • Batchelder
  • Beach
  • Bean
  • Beard
  • Beers
  • Betters
  • Betts
  • Bewell
  • Bird
  • Bishop
  • Black
  • Blackmore
  • Blood
  • Blow
  • Boardman
  • Boddy
  • Boobar
  • Boober
  • Boring
  • Boss
  • Bosse
  • Boyle
  • Bragg
  • Brakeman
  • Brawn
  • Brewer
  • Bridges
  • Brothers
  • Brown
  • Bubb
  • Budge
  • Bull
  • Bulley
  • Bumpus
  • Burleigh
  • Burpee (If you burp, you are the burper; if you burp toward me, I’m the burpee.)
  • Bustard
  • Butler
  • Butterfield
  • Butterly
  • Butters
  • Butts
  • Cable
  • Card
  • Carrier
  • Champion
  • Childs
  • Chubbuck
  • Church
  • Cobbledick
  • Coffin
  • Cook
  • Coon
  • Couch
  • Cousins
  • Cowperthwaite
  • Crabbe
  • Cram
  • Cramp
  • Creamer
  • Crook

I recall others that I didn’t have to look up: Glasscock, Kill, Lesser, Messier, Moody, Parent, Quirk.  Would you send a child into the world with one of these perfectly honorable surnames as a given name?

A surname is sometimes the plural of a common word or a given name.  There must be a linguistic basis for this in English, but I won’t venture to guess what it is:  Chambers, Childs, Combs, Cousins, Downs, Gates, Helms, Leathers, Parsons, Rivers, also Andrews, Edwards, Hughes, Matthews,  Michaels, Peters, Richards, Roberts, Rogers, Williams.  Or else the surname doubles the last letter of a given name or word: Flagg, Fogg, Garnett… Or else it adds an ‘E’ to the end of a word, and so you get: Foote, Goode, Hawke, Hooke, Locke.  Or both ‘E’ and ‘S’, as in Oakes.

It’s good to realize that the endings of many European surnames refer to one of the root words for “town”.  It’s probably well understood that “-ville” denotes a town in French, as in Granville.  Gorham or Burnham refer to a “-ham” (“hamlet”) in English.  The “-ton” in Thomaston and Johnston refer to “town”.  When a name ends in “-berg” or “-burg” it brings in the Germanic root for “town”.  And when a town name such as “Waldburg” (meaning “town in the woods”) was brought to England, the English mangled it to “Woodbury”.  Thus, my ancestors carried the name of their town of origin, an English town-in-the-woods.  Koenigsberg in German became Kingsbury in English, and so on.  So when you see “-bury” on a name derived from English, it generally does not imply burying anything but is a corruption of “-burg”.  A few names end in a form of “-boro” (Yarborough, Goldsboro), and the meaning is the same ; -boro from -borough from -burg.

Surnames are already commonly used as given names for newborns.  Girls have been given Bailey and McKenzie and variations for several years; and remember Murphy Brown on TV?  Boys have been named Hunter and Nelson, Parker and Tyler.  My own surname, Woodbury, has shown up as a given name now and then.  Aside from the ones that could be troubling if conferred on a child as a given name, like Butts, there is one more short list of surnames that may prove tricky for a child learning to write and spell her name: Those that begin with O-apostrophe, such as O’Neill.  Computers hate the apostrophe, so she may start life as O’Neill Jones, but her first identification card will insist she is Oneill Jones.  I’ve included some in the list of surnames in Part 3, but I add this word of caution.

In my list of surnames I’ve included quite a few of French-Canadian extraction, because they occur so commonly in Maine.  (Spanish and Italian surnames, while also pleasant-sounding and ubiquitous, are not much represented in the list because these two languages have strong ethnic representation of their own in America, while the French do not, outside of Maine and Louisiana.)  But in order for you, as the parent, to confer a French name requires a special understanding of its pronunciation.  You may look at Desmarais and readily see “De-ma-ray”, which kind of sounds sweet for a girl.  (By the way, Desmarais suggests someone who comes from the swamps.)  But Desvergnes may sound grotesque or unpronounceable without an appreciation of the French language.  Applying the correct rules, it comes out sounding like “Day-van” or “Day-vern”.  Deschesne (with many variations in spelling due to attempts to anglicize it) is “Day-shane” or “D’shane”.  Gobeille is “Go-bay” with a little extra “ee” where you see the ‘y’.  Mainers are well-accustomed to these pronunciations.  While French name spellings are often manipulated to match the anglicized pronunciation, the pronunciation is sometimes anglicized to match the spelling.  So we encounter people with the surname Paradis who pronounce it Para-dee and others who pronounce it Para-diss.

I didn’t bother to list surnames that are already commonly in use, e.g., Mallory, Martin, Mason, Maxwell, McKenzie, Murphy.  If it is a word or place or some other commonly-known name, such as Neptune, but it’s also a surname, I probably kept it in the surname list, just so you could see that someone actually already lives with that surname.

So here are a few dozen surnames from which you may find one that would serve as your child’s given name:

– AAA –

  • Abbot
  • Achorn
  • Ackerson
  • Alden
  • Alley
  • Ambrose
  • Archer
  • Armstrong
  • Arrico
  • Arseneault
  • Arvidson
  • Ashe
  • Ashfield
  • Ashford
  • Atkinson
  • Atwater
  • Audette
  • Auffrey
  • Auger
  • Augherton
  • Augustus
  • Auletta
  • Auriemma
  • Autrey
  • Auxier
  • Avellar
  • Averill
  • Averille
  • Avery
  • Awalt
  • Awtry
  • Ayala
  • Ayer
  • Aygarn
  • Ayotte

– BBB –

  • Backus
  • Badger
  • Baeza
  • Bahr
  • Baines
  • Baird
  • Baldwin
  • Ballard
  • Ballinger
  • Balsam
  • Balthazar
  • Bamford
  • Banaitis
  • Bandy
  • Bankston
  • Barbeau
  • Barchard
  • Barden
  • Barlow
  • Barlowe
  • Barnard
  • Barnett
  • Barrett
  • Barriault
  • Barrows
  • Barteaux
  • Bartlett
  • Bartley
  • Barton
  • Bassett
  • Bauer
  • Baughman
  • Beagan
  • Beal
  • Bearce
  • Beath
  • Beaumont
  • Beauregard
  • Beauvais
  • Beck
  • Becker
  • Beckett
  • Beckler
  • Behr
  • Behrens
  • Belisle
  • Bellace
  • Belland
  • Bellavance
  • Benson
  • Bentley
  • Biauce
  • Bickford
  • Biel
  • Bierce
  • Bixel
  • Blair
  • Blakely
  • Blanchard
  • Blaylock
  • Blue
  • Booker
  • Boone
  • Bouchard
  • Boudreau
  • Boughman
  • Bourbon
  • Bourgoin
  • Bourgoine
  • Bourque
  • Bourre
  • Bowden
  • Bowen
  • Bower
  • Bowie
  • Boyce
  • Boyd
  • Bracey
  • Bracy
  • Bradbury
  • Bradshaw
  • Braley
  • Brannan
  • Brannen
  • Brayson
  • Brennan
  • Brennick
  • Brenton
  • Breton
  • Bretta
  • Bricker
  • Brickham
  • Britt
  • Brockway
  • Broderick
  • Bromley
  • Bronson
  • Brooker
  • Brookings
  • Broughan
  • Brownell
  • Brunton
  • Bruyere
  • Bryand
  • Bryer
  • Bryson
  • Buchanan
  • Buckley
  • Bucklin
  • Buckner
  • Budd
  • Bulay
  • Bunting
  • Burbank
  • Burbeck
  • Burch
  • Burgess
  • Burgoyne
  • Burke
  • Burlock
  • Burnell
  • Burnett
  • Burr
  • Burrell
  • Burrill
  • Burris
  • Burroughs
  • Burrows
  • Burwood
  • Bushnell
  • Buskirk
  • Buxton
  • Buzzell
  • Byard
  • Byers
  • Byram
  • Byrd
  • Byrne
  • Byron
  • Byrum

Have you ever noticed that more surnames (in the USA) begin with a closed-mouth consonant, such as ‘B’ and ‘M’ than with any other sound?

– CCC –

  • Cadieux
  • Cadorette
  • Cain
  • Caine
  • Caird
  • Calcott
  • Calder
  • Calderwood
  • Caldwell
  • Calhoun
  • Callahan
  • Cammack
  • Canade
  • Candage
  • Canfield
  • Cannon
  • Cantara
  • Cantrell
  • Capone
  • Carew
  • Carlisle
  • Carmel
  • Carmichael
  • Carmody
  • Carney
  • Carpenter
  • Carsley
  • Carver
  • Case
  • Cathcart
  • Caver
  • Caverly
  • Cawley
  • Cayford
  • Chadwick
  • Chaisson
  • Chandler
  • Chapelle
  • Chapman
  • Charland
  • Charron
  • Chase
  • Chason
  • Chauvette
  • Chauvin
  • Chavaree
  • Chavarie
  • Chelette
  • Cheney
  • Chesley
  • Chessa
  • Cheverie
  • Chiarell
  • Chiarella
  • Chilton
  • Chipman
  • Choiniere
  • Churchill
  • Claverie
  • Clavette
  • Clawson
  • Clover
  • Clyve
  • Cobb
  • Coburn
  • Cohen
  • Cohn
  • Colbry
  • Colburn
  • Coleman
  • Colson
  • Colver
  • Colvin
  • Comstock
  • Conant
  • Conary
  • Condon
  • Conley
  • Conlogue
  • Connell
  • Connelly
  • Conner
  • Connery
  • Connick
  • Connolly
  • Connor
  • Conover
  • Conroe
  • Conway
  • Cooley
  • Coolidge
  • Cooper
  • Coover
  • Copeland
  • Coplan
  • Corbett
  • Corliss
  • Corrigan
  • Corson
  • Cosmo
  • Cossar
  • Cossette
  • Costain
  • Costigan
  • Cota
  • Cotter
  • Cottrell
  • Coulter
  • Courbron
  • Courchene
  • Covell
  • Covey
  • Coyle
  • Coyne
  • Craine
  • Cramer
  • Crandall
  • Crawford
  • Cray
  • Creath
  • Creighton
  • Crichton
  • Crocker
  • Crockett
  • Cronan
  • Cronin
  • Crosby
  • Crosier
  • Crossman
  • Crowe
  • Crowell
  • Crowley
  • Cullen
  • Curran
  • Currie
  • Curry
  • Cushing
  • Cushman
  • Cusick
  • Custer
  • Custis
  • Cuthbert
  • Cuthbertson
  • Cutler
  • Cyrus

– DDD –

  • Dacey
  • Daesen
  • Dahlgren
  • Daigle
  • Dailey
  • Dakin
  • Dalgaard
  • Dalton
  • D’Amboise
  • Damon
  • Damren
  • Danby
  • Dancer
  • Danforth
  • Danis
  • Danser
  • Dapice
  • Dargon
  • Darrah
  • Darrow
  • Darveau
  • Daudelin
  • Daunais
  • Dawson
  • Deabay
  • Deane
  • Deason
  • DeBeck
  • DeCarlo
  • DeCesere
  • Decker
  • Deighan
  • Delano
  • Delisle
  • Dellaire
  • Demarey
  • Demaris
  • Deming
  • Dempsey
  • Demyan
  • Denbow
  • Denett
  • Denner
  • Dennings
  • Dennison
  • Deringer
  • Derosier
  • Derrah
  • Derusha
  • Desantis
  • Deschaine
  • Deschene
  • Deschesne
  • Deshane
  • Desimone
  • Desmarais
  • Desvergnes
  • Devaney
  • Deveau
  • Dever
  • Devoe
  • Dewley
  • Dexter
  • Deyone
  • Diamante
  • DiCesare
  • Dickens
  • Diehl
  • Dieter
  • Digby
  • Dillane
  • Dinatale
  • Dineen
  • Dion
  • Dionne
  • Diotte
  • Dixon
  • Dodge
  • Doe
  • Dolan
  • Donaghy
  • Donahue
  • Donelan
  • Donnelly
  • Donner
  • Donovan
  • Dormida
  • Dorsey
  • Doucette
  • Doyle
  • Drager
  • Drake
  • Drennan
  • Drexler
  • Drummond
  • Duchesne
  • Duffy
  • Dugan
  • Duggan
  • Dumond
  • Dumont
  • Dunbar
  • Duncan
  • Dunivan
  • Dunn
  • Dunne
  • Dunnett
  • Dunning
  • Dunroe
  • Dunstan
  • Dunston
  • Dunton
  • Duran
  • Durand
  • Durant
  • Durgin
  • Durrah
  • Durrell
  • Duval
  • Dyer
  • Dymond
  • Dysart
  • Dyson

– EEE –

  • Eaglin
  • Eastland
  • Eastwood
  • Ebbeling
  • Ebbeson
  • Ebbett
  • Eddington
  • Edsall
  • Edson
  • Egan
  • Eldred
  • Eldredge
  • Eldridge
  • Elias
  • Elkins
  • Ellery
  • Ellingwood
  • Ellison
  • Elshaw
  • Elward
  • Emerson
  • Emery
  • Englund
  • Engstrom
  • Ennis
  • Enos
  • Enright
  • Eremita
  • Erving
  • Eubank
  • Eustis
  • Everly
  • Ewing
  • Exeter
  • Eylar

– FFF –

  • Fader
  • Fadrigon
  • Fairbanks
  • Falone
  • Faloon
  • Fanjoy
  • Faraday
  • Farah
  • Farese
  • Fariel
  • Farley
  • Farlow
  • Farnham
  • Farnsworth
  • Farnum
  • Farquhar
  • Farr
  • Farrand
  • Farrar
  • Farrell
  • Farrington
  • Farris
  • Farrow
  • Farthing
  • Farver
  • Faulise
  • Faulkner
  • Faunce
  • Faust
  • Favia
  • Favreau
  • Feher
  • Fendler
  • Fenimore
  • Fenlason
  • Fenn
  • Fennelly
  • Fenner
  • Fenton
  • Fenwick
  • Fenwood
  • Ferrala
  • Ferrell
  • Ferris
  • Field
  • Fielder
  • Fielding
  • Fifer
  • Findlay
  • Findlen
  • Finley
  • Finn
  • Finnegan
  • Finson
  • Firth
  • Fisher
  • Fiske
  • Fitch
  • Flanagan
  • Fleming
  • Fletcher
  • Flint
  • Florey
  • Flynn
  • Fogarty
  • Foley
  • Folsom
  • Folster
  • Fontaine
  • Forsten
  • Forsythe
  • Fortier
  • Foss
  • Foster
  • Fowler
  • Fraser
  • Fraver
  • Frawley
  • Frazell
  • Frazier
  • Free
  • Fretz
  • Frey
  • Friend
  • Fritch
  • Frith
  • Fritsch
  • Frost
  • Frye
  • Fulton
  • Furden
  • Furman
  • Furrow
  • Furth
  • Fyler

– GGG –

  • Gage
  • Gahagan
  • Gahre
  • Gainer
  • Gaither
  • Gallagher
  • Galley
  • Galvin
  • Ganeau
  • Garceau
  • Gardella
  • Gardiner
  • Gardner
  • Garfield
  • Garland
  • Garneau
  • Garner
  • Garnett
  • Garr
  • Garrett
  • Garrick
  • Garrison
  • Garrity
  • Garron
  • Garrow
  • Garson
  • Gartner
  • Garton
  • Garvey
  • Garvin
  • Garwood
  • Gaskill
  • Gaslin
  • Gaspar
  • Gaston
  • Gatch
  • Gatchell
  • Gatewood
  • Gatlin
  • Gaubert
  • Gaudet
  • Gaudette
  • Gaudreau
  • Gaul
  • Gauldin
  • Gaulin
  • Gauvin
  • Gavin
  • Gawrych
  • Geagan
  • Geaghan
  • Geary
  • Geiger
  • Gendron
  • Germain
  • Gero
  • Geroux
  • Gerow
  • Gerrity
  • Gervais
  • Getchell
  • Giberson
  • Gibson
  • Gifford
  • Giguere
  • Gildred
  • Giles
  • Gillespie
  • Gillette
  • Gilligan
  • Gillis
  • Gilmer
  • Ginn
  • Girard
  • Giudice
  • Glaser
  • Glasgow
  • Glazier
  • Gleason
  • Gleeson
  • Glidden
  • Gobeille
  • Goguen
  • Golding
  • Goodridge
  • Goodwin
  • Gorham
  • Gorneau
  • Gorneault
  • Gorrell
  • Goslin
  • Gosselin
  • Gould
  • Graeber
  • Grafton
  • Grainger
  • Granger
  • Grant
  • Gravelle
  • Gray
  • Green
  • Greene
  • Greer
  • Grendell
  • Grey
  • Grierson
  • Griffin
  • Grindal
  • Grinnell
  • Groden
  • Grogan
  • Grogean
  • Grotton
  • Grunwald
  • Guenther
  • Guerette
  • Guerin
  • Guerrette
  • Guerry
  • Guida
  • Guillow
  • Guimond
  • Guiterman
  • Gulliver
  • Gunn
  • Gunning
  • Gustin
  • Guthrie
  • Guyger
  • Guyotte
  • Gwinn
  • Gwynn

– HHH –

  • Haagen
  • Hadley
  • Hafford
  • Hagan
  • Hagar
  • Haggan
  • Hague
  • Haiden
  • Hale
  • Hallsey
  • Halstead
  • Hanlon
  • Hanscom
  • Hansen
  • Hanson
  • Hardesty
  • Harding
  • Hardison
  • Hardy
  • Harlow
  • Harmon
  • Harper
  • Harrigan
  • Harris
  • Harrow
  • Hartley
  • Harwood
  • Hasey
  • Haskell
  • Hatch
  • Hathaway
  • Haven
  • Havey
  • Hayes
  • Haynes
  • Hayward
  • Hazard
  • Hazlett
  • Hazzard
  • Healey
  • Heath
  • Hendrix
  • Herrick
  • Hersey
  • Hess
  • Hession
  • Hewitt
  • Heywood
  • Hickock
  • Hickson
  • Hobson
  • Hockridge
  • Hogan
  • Holbrook
  • Holden
  • Holder
  • Holland
  • Hollifield
  • Hollis
  • Hollister
  • Holt
  • Hooke
  • Hooper
  • Hoover
  • Hopper
  • Horton
  • Houghton
  • Houlton
  • Howell
  • Hoxie
  • Hoyle
  • Hoyt
  • Huber
  • Huckestein
  • Hudson
  • Hulbert
  • Huntley
  • Hunton
  • Hurlburt
  • Hurley
  • Hurst
  • Hustus
  • Hyde
  • Hyland

– III –

  • Igoe
  • Ingerson
  • Ingraham
  • Innis
  • Irvin
  • Irvine
  • Irving
  • Irwin
  • Ivers
  • Iverson
  • Ivory

– JJJ –

  • Jack
  • Jackson
  • Jarvis
  • Jellison
  • Jenkins
  • Jenner
  • Jennings
  • Jensen
  • Jerica
  • Jeter
  • Jewell
  • Jillison
  • Jipson
  • Joler
  • Joles
  • Joliat
  • Jolicoeur
  • Jolin
  • Jordan
  • Judd
  • Judkins
  • Judson
  • Junkins
  • Justice

– KKK –

  • Kacer
  • Kachan
  • Kagan
  • Kahl
  • Kain
  • Kaine
  • Kaiser
  • Kanabis
  • Kane
  • Kaplan
  • Karlsson
  • Karnes
  • Karris
  • Kassler
  • Kaul
  • Keane
  • Kearney
  • Kearns
  • Keating
  • Keefe
  • Keegan
  • Keeler
  • Keene
  • Kehr
  • Keller
  • Kelsey
  • Kennerson
  • Kent
  • Kenyon
  • Kerr
  • Kerrigan
  • Kersten
  • Kerwin
  • Kessler
  • Ketch
  • Keyser
  • Keyte
  • Khiel
  • Khoury
  • Kiah
  • Kidder
  • Kier
  • Kiernan
  • Kight
  • Kilby
  • Killarney
  • Killinger
  • Killip
  • Kilton
  • Kimbrell
  • Kinzer
  • Kirby
  • Kirkendall
  • Kirlin
  • Kittrick
  • Knowlton
  • Knox
  • Kohler
  • Kotara
  • Koval
  • Kramer
  • Krause
  • Kreider
  • Kroehler
  • Kuefler
  • Kulas
  • Kyes

– LLL –

  • Lacadie
  • Lachapelle
  • Laclaren
  • Ladd
  • Ladner
  • Laeger
  • Lafleur
  • Laird
  • Lakeman
  • Lally
  • Lamarre
  • Lamoreau
  • Lamoureaux
  • Lander
  • Landis
  • Landry
  • Lane
  • Lang
  • Langan
  • Langen
  • Langille
  • Langlais
  • Langley
  • Langston
  • Larby
  • Larkin
  • Larrabee
  • Larsen
  • Larson
  • Lasselle
  • Laurent
  • Lavigne
  • Lawson
  • Layne
  • Leali
  • Leary
  • Leighson
  • Leighton
  • Levesque
  • Libby
  • Liberty
  • Lillie
  • Lilly
  • Lima
  • Lincoln
  • Lindquist
  • Locke
  • Lockett
  • Loiselle
  • London
  • Loomis
  • Lorah
  • Loring
  • Lowell
  • Lowery
  • Lowrie
  • Lowry
  • Lozier
  • Lucerne
  • Luther
  • Lyford
  • Lyman
  • Lynch
  • Lyon

– MMM –

  • Mace
  • Mack
  • Maclaine
  • MacRae
  • Madea
  • Madore
  • Magee
  • Magnus
  • Maguire
  • Maietta
  • Major
  • Maker
  • Malave
  • Malay
  • Malicky
  • Malis
  • Mallett
  • Mannette
  • Mannix
  • Mansfield
  • Manson
  • Maragus
  • Marando
  • Marble
  • Marcotte
  • Marden
  • Marin
  • Mariner
  • Maris
  • Markham
  • Markie
  • Marley
  • Marquis
  • Marrs
  • Mars
  • Marsh
  • Marshall
  • Marson
  • Marston
  • Martel
  • Martell
  • Martelle
  • Marus
  • Matheson
  • Mathias
  • Matlack
  • Mattheson
  • Mattila
  • Mattson
  • Maul
  • Maurais
  • Mavor
  • Maxcy
  • Maxian
  • McAdam
  • McAlister
  • McAvoy
  • McCabe
  • McCafferty
  • McCaslin
  • McCausland
  • McCauslin
  • McClare
  • McCormick
  • McCoy
  • McCullen
  • McDonough
  • McDuffee
  • McDunnah
  • McGarr
  • McGarry
  • McGarvey
  • McGary
  • McGillicuddy
  • McGowan
  • McGrane
  • McGrath
  • McGraw
  • McGuire
  • McHale
  • McHenry
  • McHugh
  • McInnis
  • McIntyre
  • McKay
  • McKeague
  • McKechnie
  • McKenna
  • McKinnon
  • McMorrow
  • McMullen
  • McNally
  • McNichol
  • McQuade
  • McQuaid
  • McQuarrie
  • McRorie
  • McSweeney
  • McVicker
  • Meade
  • Meadow
  • Medley
  • Melendy
  • Melia
  • Melrose
  • Mercer
  • Merrill
  • Merrin
  • Merry
  • Miclette
  • Millay
  • Miller
  • Moll
  • Monahan
  • Monk
  • Monroe
  • Monson
  • Montero
  • Moon
  • Moore
  • Moose
  • Mora
  • Moriarty
  • Morin
  • Morine
  • Morneau
  • Morneault
  • Morrell
  • Morris
  • Morrison
  • Morrissey
  • Morrow
  • Morse
  • Morton
  • Moscone
  • Mosher
  • Moss
  • Moulton
  • Mountford
  • Mowbray
  • Moyer
  • Mudge
  • Mullane
  • Mullaney
  • Mulligan
  • Muncey
  • Muncie
  • Munson
  • Munster
  • Muradian
  • Murchie
  • Murdock
  • Myrick

– NNN –

  • Nadeau
  • Nagy
  • Nash
  • Nason
  • Nault
  • Nelligan
  • Neptune
  • Nester
  • Neville
  • Newbury
  • Newell
  • Newkirk
  • Newman
  • Newson
  • Newton
  • Nichols
  • Nicholson
  • Nickerson
  • Nicolar
  • Nightingale
  • Niles
  • Niquette
  • Niski
  • Nixon
  • Nobel
  • Noble
  • Nolan
  • Noonan
  • Norcia
  • Norris
  • Norton
  • Norwood
  • Novak
  • Nowell
  • Noyes
  • Nugent
  • Nutbrown
  • Nutter
  • Nutting
  • Nye
  • Nyer
  • Nyle
  • Nylund
  • Nyman

– OOO –

  • Oakley
  • Oberson
  • O’Brian
  • O’Brien
  • O’Clair
  • O’Donal
  • O’Donnell
  • Ogden
  • Ogilvie
  • O’Grady
  • O’Kane
  • O’Keefe
  • Olander
  • Olcott
  • Olin
  • Olinger
  • Oliviera
  • Olsen
  • O’Malley
  • O’Meara
  • O’Neill
  • Opie
  • Orazio
  • Orcutt
  • O’Reilly
  • O’Roarke
  • Orton
  • Osborne
  • Otten
  • Ouellette
  • Oxley

– PPP –

  • Pace
  • Packard
  • Paine
  • Palmer
  • Panther
  • Pappas
  • Paquette
  • Paquin
  • Paradis
  • Parke
  • Parker
  • Parnell
  • Parrick
  • Partal
  • Paschal
  • Pasquine
  • Patch
  • Patchell
  • Patry
  • Patten
  • Patterson
  • Patton
  • Paulding
  • Payne
  • Peach
  • Pearce
  • Peare
  • Pearson
  • Peary
  • Pease
  • Peasley
  • Peavey
  • Peck
  • Pedersen
  • Peirce
  • Pelkey
  • Pellerin
  • Pelletier
  • Pellquin
  • Peloquin
  • Pelotte
  • Pelton
  • Pendleton
  • Pennell
  • Penrose
  • Perreault
  • Perrin
  • Perrine
  • Perron
  • Perrone
  • Perrow
  • Perry
  • Peterson
  • Petrin
  • Pettingale
  • Philbrook
  • Pickard
  • Pickering
  • Pierce
  • Pierson
  • Pilot
  • Pine
  • Pineau
  • Piquette
  • Pittman
  • Plunkett
  • Pollard
  • Polo
  • Pond
  • Pooler
  • Porter
  • Powell
  • Prescott
  • Preston
  • Proulx
  • Pruitt
  • Pryce
  • Puckett
  • Purcell
  • Purvis

– QQQ –

  • Qualey
  • Quill
  • Quillia
  • Quintela
  • Quist

– RRR –

  • Rackley
  • Rackliff
  • Rackliffe
  • Radel
  • Radford
  • Radley
  • Rafford
  • Rairdon
  • Raitt
  • Rajan
  • Rakestraw
  • Rambo
  • Ramsay
  • Ramsey
  • Ranagan
  • Rasaiah
  • Rattigan
  • Raulf
  • Rawcliffe
  • Rawlings
  • Rayfield
  • Rea
  • Reagan
  • Reavis
  • Redding
  • Redford
  • Rediker
  • Redmond
  • Reece
  • Reed
  • Reese
  • Reeve
  • Regan
  • Regis
  • Reichel
  • Reid
  • Reider
  • Reidy
  • Reiffer
  • Reil
  • Reilly
  • Reinsel
  • Remian
  • Remick
  • Remington
  • Renaud
  • Ressler
  • Reutter
  • Reymer
  • Reynold
  • Reynolds
  • Rhoda
  • Rhymer
  • Rhyne
  • Richens
  • Richmond
  • Richter
  • Rickard
  • Ricker
  • Rickert
  • Riddle
  • Ridenour
  • Rider
  • Ridley
  • Ridlon
  • Riedel
  • Riehl
  • Rienherdt
  • Rigby
  • Riggs
  • Riker
  • Riley
  • Ripley
  • Ritter
  • Rivard
  • Rivella
  • Rivers
  • Robichaud
  • Robie
  • Robinson
  • Robshaw
  • Robson
  • Roby
  • Rochon
  • Rocker
  • Rockwell
  • Rodebaugh
  • Rodenbeck
  • Roderick
  • Roebuck
  • Rogan
  • Rohn
  • Rolfe
  • Romine
  • Ronayne
  • Rood
  • Rooney
  • Roop
  • Roope
  • Root
  • Roper
  • Roque
  • Rosell
  • Rosene
  • Ross
  • Rossell
  • Rosselle
  • Rosser
  • Rossignol
  • Roth
  • Rouse
  • Rovaris
  • Rowell
  • Rowley
  • Rozelle
  • Ruane
  • Ruark
  • Ruccock
  • Rudder
  • Ruhlin
  • Rumford
  • Rumsey
  • Rush
  • Rushlow
  • Rushton
  • Russaw
  • Russick
  • Rustin
  • Rutherford
  • Rydell
  • Ryder
  • Ryerson
  • Ryman

– SSS –

  • Sabine
  • Saddler
  • Sadler
  • Sagner
  • Sajack
  • Saliba
  • Samiya
  • Sanborn
  • Sanborne
  • Sandstrom
  • Sanford
  • Santana
  • Santerre
  • Saulmer
  • Saunders
  • Savoy
  • Sawyer
  • Saxon
  • Scally
  • Schaeffer
  • Schaller
  • Schelling
  • Scheyder
  • Schick
  • Schiff
  • Schiller
  • Schillinger
  • Schneider
  • Schreiber
  • Schreiter
  • Schriver
  • Schrock
  • Schroeder
  • Schultz
  • Scofield
  • Scribner
  • Scripture
  • Scudder
  • Scully
  • Searl
  • Sebring
  • Seburn
  • Sedgwick
  • Segee
  • Seidell
  • Seigler
  • Seiler
  • Selleck
  • Seneca
  • Sennett
  • Senter
  • Sequin
  • Sevene
  • Sewall
  • Shackleford
  • Shahan
  • Shain
  • Shair
  • Shaller
  • Shanley
  • Shapleigh
  • Sharrow
  • Shaw
  • Shea
  • Sheahan
  • Shedd
  • Sheehan
  • Shepard
  • Shepherd
  • Sheppard
  • Shepperd
  • Sherburne
  • Sheridan
  • Sherman
  • Sherrard
  • Sherrerd
  • Sherwin
  • Sherwood
  • Shirland
  • Shone
  • Shorette
  • Shorey
  • Shorrette
  • Shubert
  • Shute
  • Sias
  • Sider
  • Siegler
  • Silvay
  • Simone
  • Simoneau
  • Simpson
  • Sinclair
  • Singer
  • Sirois
  • Skinner
  • Slater
  • Slattery
  • Slayter
  • Sloan
  • Smith
  • Smithson
  • Sollis
  • Somers
  • Southard
  • Spain
  • Sparks
  • Sparrow
  • Spaulding
  • Spear
  • Spearin
  • Spearing
  • Speck
  • Spence
  • Spencer
  • Sprague
  • Sprandel
  • Springer
  • Spruce
  • Spurling
  • Stafford
  • Stanchfield
  • Stanwood
  • Stanzel
  • Starbird
  • Starner
  • Starr
  • Steele
  • Steelman
  • Steever
  • Stenzel
  • Stephenson
  • Stetson
  • Stevenson
  • Stewart
  • Stillman
  • Stillwell
  • Stinchfield
  • Stinson
  • Stirling
  • Stocker
  • Stockley
  • Stockman
  • Stockton
  • Stockwell
  • Stone
  • Stoner
  • Storey
  • Storman
  • Stormann
  • Stoughton
  • Stover
  • Stowe
  • Stowell
  • Strane
  • Strater
  • Stratton
  • Streams
  • Strebel
  • Strobeck
  • Strout
  • Stryker
  • Stuart
  • Sturrock
  • Sulander
  • Sumner
  • Surabian
  • Surran
  • Surrette
  • Sutcliffe
  • Swain
  • Swanson
  • Swazey

– TTT –

  • Taber
  • Tabor
  • Taft
  • Taggart
  • Taggett
  • Tait
  • Talbot
  • Talcott
  • Talley
  • Talmadge
  • Talon
  • Tandy
  • Tapley
  • Taplin
  • Tappen
  • Tardiff
  • Tarr
  • Tash
  • Tasker
  • Tate
  • Tatem
  • Tayara
  • Teague
  • Teal
  • Telford
  • Tennett
  • Tenney
  • Terrell
  • Tesseo
  • Tetreault
  • Thackery
  • Thayer
  • Theise
  • Thelin
  • Theriault
  • Therrien
  • Thibeau
  • Thibeault
  • Thibodeau
  • Thorell
  • Thorne
  • Thornley
  • Thornton
  • Thorpe
  • Thurlow
  • Thurston
  • Tilley
  • Tinker
  • Tinsman
  • Titus
  • Tobin
  • Toder
  • Tomah
  • Tomer
  • Tondreau
  • Tornquist
  • Torrey
  • Touchette
  • Toussaint
  • Towle
  • Townsend
  • Tozer
  • Tozier
  • Trafton
  • Trask
  • Trefts
  • Tripp
  • Troulis
  • Troxell
  • Trudeau
  • Tuck
  • Tucker
  • Tukey
  • Turmel
  • Turnbull
  • Turner
  • Twitchell
  • Tyne
  • Tyrell
  • Tyrone

– UUU –

  • Uhlman
  • Ulman
  • Ulmer
  • Umbro
  • Upcott
  • Upton
  • Urban
  • Urquhart
  • Usher

– VVV –

  • Vachon
  • Vadas
  • Vadassy
  • Vail
  • Valade
  • Valcourt
  • Valente
  • Vallance
  • Vallee
  • Valley
  • Valliere
  • Vanadia
  • Vanagus
  • VanAllen
  • Vanaria
  • Vance
  • Vandall
  • Vandemark
  • Vandermark
  • VanDyke
  • VanDyne
  • VanKirk
  • VanPatten
  • Vantel
  • Varga
  • Vargas
  • Varner
  • Varney
  • Varni
  • Varnum
  • Vars
  • Vashon
  • Vassar
  • Vaughan
  • Vaughn
  • Vealey
  • Vega
  • Veillette
  • Veilleux
  • Velli
  • Vereault
  • Verga
  • Vermette
  • Vermillion
  • Verow
  • Verreault
  • Verrill
  • Verry
  • Veysey
  • Vicaire
  • Vicary
  • Vickery
  • Vicnaire
  • Victory
  • Vidal
  • Vidas
  • Viner
  • Vinson
  • Voisine
  • Volk
  • Voye
  • Vydas

– WWW –

  • Wade
  • Wagner
  • Wainwright
  • Waite
  • Waitt
  • Walden
  • Waldron
  • Walsh
  • Ward
  • Wardell
  • Warden
  • Warman
  • Warner
  • Warrick
  • Washburn
  • Washington
  • Wasson
  • Waterman
  • Watson
  • Waye
  • Weaver
  • Webb
  • Webber
  • Weber
  • Webster
  • Wedge
  • Weinron
  • Weirich
  • Weiser
  • Weizer
  • Welton
  • Wentworth
  • Werner
  • Wescott
  • Wesley
  • West
  • Westerman
  • Westfall
  • Westfield
  • Westin
  • Westleigh
  • Westman
  • Westmark
  • Westmoreland
  • Westney
  • Weston
  • Wetzler
  • Wheat
  • Wheaton
  • Wheeler
  • Whitaker
  • Whitcomb
  • Whitfield
  • Whitford
  • Whitley
  • Whitman
  • Whitmer
  • Whitney
  • Whittaker
  • Whitten
  • Whittier
  • Whittington
  • Whorton
  • Wickers
  • Wickett
  • Wiedemann
  • Wigginton
  • Wight
  • Wilcott
  • Wilder
  • Wiley
  • Wilken
  • Wilkerson
  • Wilkes
  • Wilkins
  • Wilkinson
  • Willett
  • Willette
  • Willey
  • Willigar
  • Willoughby
  • Wilmar
  • Wilson
  • Winchell
  • Winchester
  • Winder
  • Windsor
  • Winfield
  • Winn
  • Winship
  • Winslow
  • Winton
  • Witham
  • Witherell
  • Witherly
  • Wixson
  • Wolfe
  • Wolford
  • Wolverton
  • Wood
  • Woodard
  • Woodbury
  • Woodman
  • Woodmancy
  • Woodruff
  • Woodward
  • Woodworth
  • Woolley
  • Worcester
  • Worden
  • Worrall
  • Worster
  • Worthing
  • Worthington
  • Wrazen
  • Wright
  • Wylie
  • Wyman
  • Wyner
  • Wynne

– XXX –

There are no suitable surnames under ‘X’ in the local phone book..

– YYY –

  • Yachanin
  • Yaeger
  • Yanny
  • Yarbrough
  • Yardley
  • Yarington
  • Yarrow
  • Yates
  • Yeaton
  • Yelland
  • Yeo
  • Yerxa
  • Yocum
  • Yoder
  • Yonkin
  • York
  • Yost
  • Youcis
  • Youells
  • Young
  • Yule

– ZZZ –

  • Zacarias
  • Zacharias
  • Zaenger
  • Zahner
  • Zale
  • Zane
  • Zannota
  • Zaro
  • Zaroff
  • Zeigler
  • Zelkan
  • Zeller
  • Zetterman
  • Zina
  • Zitaner
  • Zohner
  • Zoulias
  • Zugelder

Babie Nayms – Part 2

Contrived names, A-Z

I bet the hospitals wouldn’t let you give a child a funny name in the old days, like when I was born.  But here are some ideas for creating a name that your child might be the first to wear (or bear).  OK, an aside: You can create a name that will endure with your child, or you can create a name that your child will endure — heck, even both at once!

Here’s an exercise.  Pick a name and recombine the letters: Warren.  Narrew, Anwerr, Wrenar, Renwar, Arnrew, Rewarn, Errwan.  Choose a name or some letters that have some significance to you and recombine them.  For instance, say you lived in Sarasota.  Recombine the letters to Artassoa, Artasaso, Tosarasa.

How about these variations for words/names that already have traditional spellings?
Harmony – Harmani – Harmyni
Exodus – Exidis – Exydys
Liberal – Librelle – Lybril

Now for some more ideas:

Bryttnie – Take a name that’s oft-enough corrupted and abuse it even further, so that forevermore people will have to ask her how to spell it…

Take a name like Aloma, add an ‘i’ to make Alioma…

Take a pretentious name like Baxter or Buxton and make it more stuffy — If we can have Maxxtor in computers, then why not Baxxtor or Buxxtyn?

Take a perfectly precise name like Chlöe and slaughter it to Cloe — or maybe that’s an alternate spelling of Sloe… (Make mine a fizz.)

Put Mac or Mc in front of any other name.

If it doesn’t sound masculine enough, then fix it…

Make it sound like an aboriginal name translated into English in the manner of Sitting Bull.  I recall reading a very good book years ago, Blue Highways, by the author, William Least Heat Moon.  I could nearly envy him that name.  So put together some neat words like that and you might come up with Red Oak Heavy Timber.

Look in a field guide to birds, flowers, rocks and gems, taxonomy (plant names).  Look both at the common names of trees and other plants, and at their scientific names.  Find books that describe the parts of plants.  For instance, Samara, which I once considered as a name for a child, is the term for the seed pair on a maple tree — the helicopter part.  I thought Sequoia sounded like a good name, too.

Look on maps for interesting place names.

Look at days and months, (in other languages, too).

Look at names from Israel, India, aboriginal America (American Indians).

For a real eye-opener, open a history book and find some interesting names (which also may have some significance attached).  While you’re there, read some history.

If you don’t like the way it’s spelled, reverse the letters, or scramble them, or replace all the letters with new letters, or just make something up.

By all means, find a musty dictionary and look up the meaning of any plain word or contrived name before you confer it upon a child.

Here’s another approach.  Start with an ordinary word: sailor.  (Capitalize it: Sailor.)  Change the spelling: Sayler.  Now change the first letter: Dayler, Hayler, Grayler, Tayler, Bayler, Kayler, Bailer the Sailor with a Pail.  Jailer, Jailen, Jalen, Nailer, Cayler, Caylen, Kaylen, Kaylyn, Maylyn, Paylyn, Paylen, Palin, Dalin, Salin, Daling, Saling, Daline, Saline, Sailing, Grayling, Dayling, Haylyn, Braylyn… See?  The names just tumble out.  Maybe you would use some of them, maybe not.

Look for names among the terms used in art, dance, music.  In most towns there is still a library where you may find old books about mythology — the names of the gods and lesser characters of old may stir an idea for a name.  Idea: Aydia. See?  I just made a name from the sound of a word!

As a sample of my thinking, in how I just made up names, here are some strings of names that I came up with, each group in the sequence by which they occurred to me.  There may be some repeats, which I ultimately weeded out of the final lists.

Silene, Seiline, Ceiline

Chandonait (a surname), Chandonette, Chanette, Chanteuse

Garella, Gavella, Gavelle, Gaver, Gavotte, Gazelle

Lyselle, Lysette, Lyvelle, Lyvette

Dimon, Dimone, Dyman, Dymand, Diamone, Rymone, Riamone

Rune, Rrune, Roader, Roaver, Roavar, Riever, Rhule, Rhoule

Thaler, Thaine, Thainer, Maine, Kaine, Daine, Bayne, Gayne, Hayne, Kayne, Taine, Tayne, Tayin

Tuner, Tourner, Tournier, Tourniere

Waine, Zaine, Xaine, Mainer, Kainer, Dainer, Bayner, Bainer, Hayner, Kayner, Tayner, Rayner, Xainer, Zainer

Roulon, Rrule, Rroyd, Froyd, Croyder, Loy, Loyal

Kaysa, Raysa, Maysa, Jaysa, Naysa, Daysa, Baysa, Faysa, Gaysa, Haysa, Laysa, Paysa, Quaysa, Saysa, Vaysa, Waysa, Xaysa, Yaysa, Zaysa

Dace, Crace, Kace, Lace, Nasa, Quasa, Shace, Tace, Xace, Yace, Yacey, Yecey, Zace

Kae, Bae, Bay, Cae, Dae, Fae, Gae, Quae, Qae, Rae, Tae, Vae, Vay, Wae, Xae, Zae

Daller, Aller, Goeler, Kaller

Vlad, Zaller, Vloe, Vloë, Vlane, Vlair, Vlase

Sody, Lody, Quoddy, Rody, Zody

Vika, Vichael, Mikol, Mykle

Tomus, Jeimz, Robyrt, Jawne, Stievyne

Cossa, Kossa, Kossia, Cassia, Cassio, Pleiades

Catre, Catyr, Jadyr, Bradyr, Cratyr, Cratre, Gradyr

Stoane, Doane, Roan, Roane, Doan, Shona, Vona, Wroan, Wroane

Vola, Kola, Jola, Quona, Quinnelle, Quinneille, Rola, Sola, Soleil, Soleel, Tola, Xola

Auger, Augerie, Aujurie, Aujerie, Auxie, Auxery, Auxerie, Auxer, Auxor, Auxora, Aujora, Quora

Dancine, Lancine, Jancine, Hancine, Nancine, Quinnell, Rancine, Shancine, Trancine, Vancine, Yancine

Vander, Jander, Kander, Lander, Quander, Rander, Yander

Zephyr, Ryle, Ryael, Ryelle, Ryter, Ryger, Rylae, Rhael, Rhyal

Taya, Jaya, Kaya, Laya

Asabelle, Azibel, Asabeth, Azibet, Tibet, Tibetan

Mora, Maura, Naura, Fauna, Daura, Raura, Taura, Vaura, Zaura

Fravier, Dravier, Bravier, Gravier, Kravier, Prayor, Preyer, Travier

Selune, Salune, Sylune, Saloone, Saloane, Saloon

Ghana, Shana, Dhana, Chana, Thana, Khana, Phana, Zhana

You would think that a young mother with an average American public education (God, save us!) would be aware-enough to avoid pretty-sounding words such as Placenta or Treacle or Cloaca.  You’d think so, wouldn’t you?

Now for an alphabetical list of contrived names.  Contrived doesn’t mean that I made them all up myself, although many I did.  Contrived means that they are not, to my knowledge and therefore probably to yours, in current use as given names for whitish Americans.

This list includes some words or place names that might serve as given names.  Except for a few that might have come from fictional characters, I have not heard of anyone bearing one of these, or else he would be listed in Part 1.

(A double letter in the header will indicate Part 2 and so on.)

– AA –

  • Aben
  • Aberie
  • Abra
  • Abra-Lee
  • Adder
  • Adea
  • Adia
  • Adrea
  • Aerika
  • Agricola
  • Agrod
  • Aixian
  • Alamo
  • Alaska
  • Albin
  • Alexys
  • Alioma
  • Aller
  • Aloe
  • Aloe Vera
  • Alura
  • Amalie
  • Amélie
  • Americk
  • Amerida
  • Ameriese
  • Amerus
  • Anara
  • Anwerr
  • Aqua
  • Aquina
  • Argent
  • Arikka
  • Arletta
  • Arnrew
  • Arrowsmith
  • Artasaso
  • Artassoa
  • Asabelle
  • Asabeth
  • Aspen
  • Aston
  • Auger
  • Augerie
  • Augine
  • Aujerie
  • Aujora
  • Aujurie
  • Aura
  • Aurelle
  • Aurus
  • Auxer
  • Auxerie
  • Auxery
  • Auxie
  • Auxor
  • Auxora
  • Avan
  • Avella
  • Avelle
  • Aydea
  • Aydia
  • Ayle
  • Aylie
  • Aynya
  • Ayra
  • Azibel
  • Azibet

Agrod (main character in Alien Destruction II); Aixian (pronounced Asian); Amalie (remember Amalie Motor Oil?); Amélie (2001 French film); Argent (look it up in French).

– BB –

  • Bae
  • Bailer
  • Bainer
  • Baleen
  • Bangor
  • Bartok
  • Baxxtor
  • Bay
  • Bayler
  • Bayne
  • Bayner
  • Baysa
  • Beacon
  • Beckton
  • Belisa
  • Belissimo
  • Benée
  • Birch
  • Bodacious
  • Bohen
  • Boune
  • Bounne
  • Bouwan
  • Bradyr
  • Braleau
  • Branch
  • Bravier
  • Braylyn
  • Breamus
  • Breemus
  • Briel
  • Briene
  • Brogue
  • Brondie
  • Broone
  • Broune
  • Bruger
  • Brygar
  • Buxxton
  • Bynum
  • Byrnyrd

Benée: We all know that the name René (boy) and Renée (girl) are “born again” in French.  Just replace the first consonant and you have a completely nonsensical two-syllable name that looks especially impressive when it retains the accent aigu.  Thus you will see more of this series further on.

– CC –

  • Cae
  • Caen
  • Caisson
  • Caletia
  • Camper
  • Cander
  • Cane
  • Canoe
  • Canon
  • Canu
  • Caramel
  • Carella
  • Carica
  • Carliff
  • Carssha
  • Cassia
  • Cassio
  • Catre
  • Catrine
  • Catyr
  • Caugin
  • Caul
  • Caylen
  • Cayler
  • Cazella
  • Cazelle
  • Cedina
  • Cedine
  • Ceiline
  • Celise
  • Celsia
  • Celt
  • Cesare
  • Cesere
  • Chaelyn
  • Chaleigh
  • Chalette
  • Chana
  • Chandonait
  • Chandonette
  • Chanette
  • Chanteuse
  • Charleston
  • Cheriez
  • Chika
  • Clai
  • Claiden
  • Clarella
  • Clarelle
  • Claretta
  • Cleave
  • Coan
  • Coleisha
  • Coreise
  • Corelle
  • Corona
  • Corraine
  • Corvis
  • Cossa
  • Cossack
  • Coultan
  • Coultin
  • Coulton
  • Cozan
  • Cozen
  • Crace
  • Cratre
  • Cratyr
  • Crocie
  • Croyder
  • Crozan
  • Crozier
  • Cyan

Celt can be pronounced Kelt as it is in Ireland, or Chellt as it would be if it were an Italian word, (or Zelt if you want to throw people off); Cyan is a color, but a pretty color at that.

– DD –

  • Dace
  • Dae
  • Daeja
  • Daejae
  • Daine
  • Dainer
  • Daleko
  • Dalin
  • Daline
  • Daling
  • Daller
  • Dancine
  • Danie
  • Danil
  • Danya
  • Dardanelle
  • Darden
  • Darelle
  • Daria
  • Darianne
  • Dariesus
  • Darlyn
  • Dase
  • Daura
  • Daval
  • Davida
  • Dawning
  • Day
  • Daye
  • Dayla
  • Dayler
  • Dayling
  • Daysa
  • Decenza
  • Delces
  • Delsus
  • Denée
  • Derris
  • Desty
  • Dewlie
  • Dhana
  • Diamone
  • Dika
  • Dimon
  • Dimone
  • Dirigo
  • Dita
  • Doan
  • Doane
  • Dondi
  • Dover
  • Doxie
  • Draier
  • Draker
  • Dravier
  • Drozier
  • Druzelle
  • Druzette
  • Duella
  • Duner
  • Dyman
  • Dymand

Dace is a fish; Daleko (look it up in Russian. OK, if you can’t it’s “far away”); Dondi (orphan boy who never grew up, from an old cartoon strip)

– EE –

  • East
  • Echelon
  • Eglet
  • Ehva
  • Elan
  • Electra
  • Elegie
  • Elishera
  • Elna
  • Ember
  • Emilie (Amilie)
  • Emma-Leigh
  • Errwan
  • Evanesca
  • Exidis
  • Exydys

– FF –

  • Fae
  • Failte
  • Faruot
  • Fauna
  • Faysa
  • Faythe
  • Feather
  • Finch
  • Firman
  • Flynt
  • Forrrest
  • Forte
  • Fortissimo
  • Fravier
  • Froyd

Faythe (for someone who wants to hide faith behind a misspelling); Froyd (Freud, get it?)

– GG –

  • Gacy
  • Gae
  • Garella
  • Gavella
  • Gavelle
  • Gaver
  • Gavotte
  • Gayne
  • Gaysa
  • Gazelle
  • Genée
  • Geth
  • Ghana
  • Goeler
  • Gradyr
  • Graeden
  • Graeler
  • Graier
  • Grailer
  • Granite
  • Gravier
  • Grayden
  • Grayler
  • Grayling
  • Grayne
  • Greyden
  • Guffy
  • Guilleau
  • Gunson
  • Gunston
  • Gynt

Gynt (from the Norwegian play by Henrik Ibsen and the suite by Edvard Grieg)

– HH –

  • Hancine
  • Hanelle
  • Hanette
  • Harmani
  • Harmyni
  • Hawke
  • Hayler
  • Haylyn
  • Hayne
  • Hayner
  • Haysa
  • Hogar
  • Huron
  • Husula

– II –

  • Idra
  • Ilar
  • Injun
  • Istanbul
  • Ivah

– JJ –

  • Jadyr
  • Jaelene
  • Jaidie
  • Jailen
  • Jalen
  • Jancine
  • Jander
  • Janesca
  • Janessa
  • Janesse
  • Janetta
  • Jarrett
  • Jarrette
  • Jawne
  • Jaya
  • Jaydee
  • Jaylene
  • Jaysa
  • Jazmyn
  • Jeep
  • Jeimz
  • Jenée
  • Jeneste
  • Jesci
  • Jeska
  • Jilbrette
  • Jillette
  • Jo-eva
  • Joedan
  • Jola
  • Jori
  • Jory
  • Judsand
  • Jupiter
  • Juran

Jeimz — if you want to play cutesy with James

– KK –

  • Kaahdin
  • Kace
  • Kae
  • Kailer
  • Kainer
  • Kaller
  • Kamper
  • Kander
  • Karessa
  • Kartner
  • Kartor
  • Kaylen
  • Kayler
  • Kaylyn
  • Kayne
  • Kayner
  • Kaysa
  • Kenée
  • Ketan
  • Kevyn
  • Khana
  • Khia
  • Kiev
  • Kite
  • Klive
  • Kola
  • Kolt
  • Kossa
  • Kossia
  • Kravier
  • Krayer
  • Krayne
  • Kreel
  • Kremlin
  • Kriel
  • Ktaadn
  • Ky
  • Kyfe
  • Kyte

– LL –

  • Lace
  • Lacy
  • Laffer
  • Lager
  • Laidie
  • Lancine
  • Laya
  • Laysa
  • Leatherette
  • Lecielle
  • Leisha
  • Lejett
  • Lenée
  • Leth
  • Lias
  • Liat
  • Librelle
  • Lobelia
  • Locus
  • Lody
  • Longbow
  • Loupine
  • Loxie
  • Loy
  • Loyal
  • Lupina
  • Lupine
  • Lusa
  • Lutricia
  • Luveille
  • Lybril
  • Lycus
  • Lynky
  • Lyric
  • Lyselle
  • Lysette
  • Lyveille
  • Lyvelle
  • Lyvette

Leth, like Seth, only — well, Leth; Lynkyn (Lincoln, get it?); Lyveille (with a French pronunciation, roughly Lee-vay).

– MM –

  • Machias
  • Macon
  • Maine
  • Mainer
  • Malthus
  • Maple
  • Mardon
  • Margolis
  • Marklin
  • Marlissa
  • Martynne
  • Mattaleah
  • Maura
  • Mauré
  • Maylyn
  • Maysa
  • Mazurka
  • McCarley
  • Meridian
  • Merrilenta
  • Mexy
  • Mika
  • Mikol
  • Minke
  • Moiré
  • Moxie
  • Munitia
  • Mydar
  • Mykiah
  • Mykle
  • Myryla
  • Myst
  • Myste

Minke — pronounced Minkie: pretty, but it kind of goes with Orca

– NN –

  • Nailer
  • Nancine
  • Narrew
  • Nasa
  • Nasian
  • Naudea
  • Naura
  • Naysa
  • Nazhen
  • Nika
  • Nolton
  • Noreaster
  • Norice
  • North
  • Noulton
  • Noxie
  • Nychyllys
  • Nyeva
  • Nyfe
  • Nyles

Noxie (if it isn’t noxious); Nychyllys (a great abomination of Nicholas, see?); Nyeva (starts like “Nyet!” in Russian).

– OO –

  • Oake
  • Okra
  • Omondo
  • Ondur
  • Oqim
  • Orient
  • Orlam
  • Orvis

Oake (or try Red Oak Heavy Timber); Omondo (like Amanda, or kind of like almond, the nut); Oqim (Abnaki word for loon)

– PP –

  • Palin
  • Paylen
  • Paylyn
  • Paysa
  • Petal
  • Phana
  • Pleiades
  • Poiuyt
  • Poole
  • Portia
  • Praier
  • Prayor
  • Preyer
  • Pyne

Petal — flower part, not foot pedal; Portia — character in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice

– QQ –

  • Qae
  • Quae
  • Quander
  • Quasa
  • Quayne
  • Quaysa
  • Quenée
  • Quilla
  • Quillian
  • Quilna
  • Quinneille
  • Quinnell
  • Quinnelle
  • Quoddy
  • Quona
  • Quora
  • Qwerty

Qae: Could also be Qæ.  How would you pronounce it?  In Latin, the ‘ae’ or the grapheme ‘æ, Æ’ is pronounced as the ‘i’ in ice.  So this name could be pronounced the same as Ky.  But I discourage using a ‘Q’ without the ‘u’.  You are free to do so — that’s the point of a contrived name.  For that matter, try a double ‘qq’ in the middle of a name: Raqqar, for instance, if you want to.  But don’t expect to be understood.  (Everyone understands Qwerty, though.)  Quinneille (French pronunciation sort of sounds like Kee-na-ye, or Lee-naa — just hold the second syllable for a second).

– RR –

  • Radcliffe
  • Rae
  • Raelene
  • Raetae
  • Raffi
  • Rancine
  • Rander
  • Ranuel
  • Raura
  • Ravisha
  • Raydon
  • Rayleigh
  • Rayner
  • Raysa
  • Razen
  • Razyn
  • Realus
  • Rebowen
  • Reigner
  • Renwar
  • Resaida
  • Reshayna
  • Resholey
  • Resholie
  • Rewarn
  • Rexie
  • Reyarrel
  • Reyieder
  • Rhael
  • Rhianna
  • Rhoule
  • Rhule
  • Rhune
  • Rhyal
  • Riamone
  • Riever
  • Rika
  • Rixen
  • Rixon
  • Roader
  • Roan
  • Roane
  • Roavar
  • Roaver
  • Robyrt
  • Rody
  • Rola
  • Ronson
  • Roselle
  • Rossia
  • Roulon
  • Royann
  • Rroyd
  • Rrule
  • Rrune
  • Rune
  • Ryael
  • Ryelle
  • Ryger
  • Ryken
  • Ryki
  • Rykie
  • Rylae
  • Ryle
  • Rymone
  • Ryter

Riever (careful: it’s a thief); Ronson (lighter); Rossia (an anglicized spelling of Russia’s own word for Russia).

– SS –

  • Sabre
  • Sade
  • Saida
  • Saidie
  • Sainte
  • Saku
  • Salin
  • Saline
  • Saling
  • Saloane
  • Saloon
  • Saloone
  • Salune
  • Samara
  • Sander
  • Sanyer
  • Saura
  • Saurelle
  • Savisha
  • Savu
  • Sayde
  • Sayler
  • Saysa
  • Sedina
  • Sedine
  • Seiline
  • Selchia
  • Selden
  • Selune
  • Senée
  • Seneste
  • Sephalie
  • Sepia
  • Sequoia
  • Serendipity
  • Serenity
  • Seyde
  • Shace
  • Shana
  • Shancine
  • Shareise
  • Sharette
  • Shariez
  • Sharing
  • Sharise
  • Sharlette
  • Shimmeree
  • Shoan
  • Sholey
  • Sholie
  • Shona
  • Silene
  • Slate
  • Snowie
  • Soarus
  • Sody
  • Sola
  • Soleel
  • Soleil
  • Somersen
  • Sonyk
  • Sonyka
  • Sora
  • South
  • Sparkle
  • Starrow
  • Steel
  • Stievyne
  • Stoan
  • Stoane
  • Storm Petrel
  • Strake
  • Sucrette
  • Summersun
  • Summerwind
  • Swaine
  • Sylune
  • Syzygy

Soleil (look it up in French; great name if you can master the pronunciation); Stievyne (is to Steven as Brytteinae is to Brittany); Sucrette (sort of sweet); Syzygy (alignment).

– TT –

  • T-beau
  • Tabithe
  • Tace
  • Tae
  • Taerae
  • Taine
  • Tapioca
  • Tarner
  • Taura
  • Tausen
  • Tawnie
  • Tawson
  • Taya
  • Tayin
  • Tayler
  • Tayne
  • Tayner
  • Taysa
  • Tayte
  • Tebow
  • Tember
  • Tenée
  • Tennise
  • Terrula
  • Texan
  • Texanne
  • Texie
  • Texin
  • Texine
  • Thaber
  • Thaine
  • Thainer
  • Thaler
  • Thana
  • Thaniel
  • Thesda
  • Thistle
  • Thora
  • Thunder
  • Thyme
  • Tibet
  • Tibetan
  • Tika
  • Tiller
  • Timber
  • Timbre
  • Tola
  • Toller
  • Tomus
  • Tonette
  • Topica
  • Torin
  • Torina
  • Torney
  • Torni
  • Tosarasa
  • Totem
  • Tourner
  • Tournier
  • Tourniere
  • Trade
  • Trake
  • Trancine
  • Travers
  • Travier
  • Trayne
  • Treasure
  • Treela
  • Treena
  • Treesa
  • Treeva
  • Treve
  • Trevus
  • Trika
  • Trilla
  • Trillian
  • Troika
  • Truffle
  • Trula
  • Tryla
  • Tryna
  • Trysa
  • Tryva
  • Tuner

T-beau — hyphenated names are popular now; Thaler — origin of the word ‘dollar’.

– UU –

  • Ulura
  • Urick
  • Usaman
  • Usted

Usaman — USA Man, see?

– VV –

  • Vae
  • Vagan
  • Vagin
  • Valden
  • Vancine
  • Vander
  • Vanetta
  • Varrick
  • Vaulden
  • Vaura
  • Vay
  • Vaysa
  • Velanne
  • Venée
  • Venis
  • Vichael
  • Vika
  • Vilder
  • Vlad
  • Vlair
  • Vlane
  • Vlase
  • Vloe
  • Vloë
  • Vola
  • Vona

Vlad — good old Russian name, short for Vladimir.

– WW –

  • Wae
  • Waine
  • Wandell
  • Waysa
  • Wesdan
  • Wesden
  • Westan
  • Whisker
  • Whisper
  • Whist
  • Whisten
  • Whister
  • Whittler
  • Wicker
  • Winter
  • Wordan
  • Wraier
  • Wrayer
  • Wrayne
  • Wrenar
  • Wrenne
  • Wrey
  • Wreyne
  • Wroan
  • Wroane
  • Wyker
  • Wyler
  • Wylyanne
  • Wylyem
  • Wysan
  • Wyse
  • Wyser

Wylyem — 21st-century-style William

– XX –

  • X (just ‘X’)
  • Xace
  • Xacter
  • Xae
  • Xaine
  • Xainer
  • Xair
  • Xaira
  • Xayr
  • Xayra
  • Xaysa
  • Xenée
  • Xerxes
  • Xiara
  • Xola
  • Xoydan
  • Xoyden
  • Xrivos
  • Xrode
  • Xyleda

Let’s pause here.  The ‘X’ at the beginning of a word may be pronounced as a ‘Z’ or as a ‘Zh’ like the ‘s’ in ‘measure’.  In Greek, Russian, and languages with comparable pronunciation, it has the hard ‘H’ sound, poorly rendered in English as ‘Kh’ (Khruschev) or as ‘Ch’ (Christos, for Christ).  You pronounce it as if you are trying to clear a popcorn hull stuck on the back of your tongue — way, way back.  So Xrivos would be pronounced this way.  Aw, go on!  Torture his kindergarten teacher!

– YY –

  • Yace
  • Yacey
  • Yaesha
  • Yaesher
  • Yaever
  • Yancine
  • Yander
  • Yankee
  • Yarrel
  • Yarro
  • Yaysa
  • Yecey
  • Yeshida
  • Yeshina
  • Yever
  • Yider
  • Yieder
  • Yilixia
  • Yiselle
  • Ylektra
  • Ylenne
  • Ylise
  • Ysidra
  • Yurick
  • Yuvane
  • Yzyky’l (Ezekiel)

Yzyky’l — If it’s OK to have an apostrophe in a given name such as O’Neil, then it should be OK to have an apostrophe in any other name.  Watch out for the anglicized Arab names; they’re full of apostrophes.  Kind of gives you pause…

– ZZ –

  • Zace
  • Zae
  • Zaine
  • Zainer
  • Zaller
  • Zanda
  • Zaura
  • Zayne
  • Zaysa
  • Zebar
  • Zephyr
  • Zhaelyn
  • Zhaleigh
  • Zhana
  • Zhita
  • Zhuna
  • Zody
  • Zollie
  • Zolly
  • Zorick, Zoric
  • Zorro

Zephyr – “They Call the Wind ‘Mariah’”

Contrived palindromes

– AA through ZZ –

  • Aidia
  • Ailelia
  • Aisia (pronounced Asia)
  • Aixia
  • Aledela
  • Alledella
  • Aludula
  • Anitina
  • Aodoa
  • Aoroa
  • Aracara
  • Arbra
  • Aricira
  • Arilira
  • Arisira
  • Arivira
  • Arrikirra
  • Arulura
  • Auqua
  • Ayvya
  • Cammac
  • Davad
  • Dracard
  • Draward
  • Drewerd
  • Drocord
  • Elajale
  • Elavale
  • Elledelle
  • Elleselle
  • Ericire
  • Eusasue
  • Hailiah
  • Ilidili
  • Iriqiri
  • Ivi
  • Kaereak
  • Kajak
  • Lajal
  • Laval
  • Lerel
  • Lovol
  • Naixian
  • Nauquan
  • Oriciro
  • Raqqar
  • Razar
  • Reizier
  • Rever
  • Seilies
  • Seves
  • Siarais
  • Sieleis
  • Sireleris
  • Stevets
  • Taijiat
  • Travart
  • Trazart
  • Trevert
  • Uralaru
  • Yaray
  • Yarray
  • Yazay
  • Yeralarey
  • Zavaz
  • Zyvyz
  • Zyxyz

Aisia — pronounced Asia or maybe Izha; Iriki — short ‘I’ throughout, as in  “it”, stress on the second syllable: i-RIK-i-ri; Naixian — pronounced Nazhen (like Asian)


I must protest that, even though I didn’t put an explanation after every trick name in Part 2, it doesn’t mean I’m unaware that Ghana is a country or saline is a chemical term.

You may think of words that sound alluring as potential baby names.  But if you have to admit that you’re naïve about language, you certainly should run your list by someone who is better educated than you are.  A baby named Anemia or Moleste would later wish that you had done so.

Babie Nayms – Part 1

Names that someone already bears, A-Z

Even though the list begins with ‘A’ I hardly know where to begin to “wrap my mind around it.”  Each name is followed by a year, which for many is the year I know someone was given the name, or is the best I can estimate the year of birth.  Am I suggesting that these are all terrible names?  No!  Many have been around for quite a few years, are lovely names for a child or adult, and deserve to be perpetuated.  Therefore a few classic examples are included.  Many, though, leave a lot to be desired, especially an explanation.  So, here we go:

– A –

  • Abrielle, 2006
  • Acadia, 1984
  • Addie, 1980
  • Addyson, 2008
  • Adelina, 1969
  • Aderyn, 2005
  • Adria, 1982
  • Adyn, 2006
  • Alane, 1948
  • Aldea, 1919
  • Aleeza, 1989
  • Alelia, 2000
  • Alene, 1926
  • Aleyne, 1971
  • Alexus, 1999
  • Aliah, 2008
  • Alicen, 2007
  • Alina, 2009
  • Alkira, 2009
  • Almida, 1923
  • Almire, 1947
  • Almon, 1942
  • Almond, 1937
  • Aloma, 1944
  • Alona, 1947
  • Aloura, 2004
  • Alric, 1913
  • Altara, 2002
  • Alycin, 2002
  • Alyvia, 1998
  • Amapola, 1961
  • Ameliese, 2000
  • Anaraivyn, 1998
  • Anethia, 1962
  • Annaliese, 1993
  • Ardean, 1933
  • Ardella, 1931
  • Arden, 1935
  • Aren, 2000
  • Argos, 2004
  • Arica, 1980
  • Aryn, 1999
  • Asher, 1991
  • Ashli, 1990
  • Atrus, 2006
  • Atwood, 1917
  • Aubine, 1930
  • Aubrey, 1976
  • Aubrie, 2010
  • Augusta, 1906
  • Avard, 1957
  • Avena, 1940
  • Averie, 2008
  • Avilda, 1930
  • Avner, 1988
  • Axie, 1921
  • Ayden, 2004
  • Ayn, 1905
  • Ayva, 2009
  • Aziza, 2006
  • Azure, 1980

Now, examine a couple of these, if you will.  Alyvia: Was mom looking for a different way to spell Olivia?  Sounds almost the same, but is no longer a tribute to the mighty olive.  Ameliese: A twist on Analiese?  Atrus: son of Gehn and grandson of Ti’ana is the main character in the Myst computer game series.  (For a whole bunch of additional contrived names, just Google “Myst”.)

– B –

  • Baileigh, 1999
  • Baline, 1994
  • Bayleigh, 1999
  • Bettina, 1945
  • Bion, 1961
  • Birchum, 1923
  • Blane, 1961
  • Blayke, 2003
  • Bode, 1977
  • Braigan, 1997
  • Breckin, 2004
  • Breighane, 1986
  • Brenna, 1988
  • Breonah, 2008
  • Breylee, 2007
  • Bronie, 1945
  • Bryttani, 1990
  • Bryttnie, 2001

Baileigh and Bayleigh: touching variants of Bailey and the suffix -leigh, (a rightful name unto itself, from the English “meadowv).  Bailey, as a name unto itself, stands corrected — or corrupted.  Baline: meant to put one in mind of a cetacean?  Bion: a little too old to have derived from bionic; maybe there’s a family history.  Birchum: Great name!  It recalls a woman I once knew named Birchard, which was also the middle name of our nineteenth President.  Breonah: Were we trying for Briana, the feminine form of Brian?  Bryttani/Bryttnie: Lord have myrci…  Some time back it became de rigueur to drop heavy-sounding names on girls, such as Madison and Courtney.  Did it seem bolder, then, to suggest a dog, that is, the Brittany spaniel?  A pretty name, though, and who could argue with an audacious name on a pretty girl, especially one who could smartly point out that Brittany is not a dog but a region in France?  (A region recognizing Great Britain.)  So, what happened to the name in the 1990s?  Is it anything else but an attempt to be cutesy with the original spelling?  (A revolt against the original spelling?  Britney Spears wasn’t heard of in 1992, was she?)  I confess to assuming that two spellings with the same pronunciation are the same name, Stephen and Steven, OK?  Marc and Mark.  Candi and Candy.  Maybe Bryttni is not a reference to Brittany at all!  Maybe it’s a made-up nonsense word.  Or maybe I’m missing the simple explanation: Maybe Bryttni is to Brittany as Libby or Beth are to Elizabeth, as Meg or Peg substitutes for Margaret, Sandy for Sandra, Dick for Richard, Tom for Thomas, Bill or Willy for William, Gerry for Gerald, Bob for Robert.  As with Willy and Sandy and Gerry, what is sometimes the nickname to one is someone else’s given name; I’ve met plenty of people named Betty or Cindy whose original name is not Elizabeth or Cynthia.  Maybe that’s what Bryttni’s mom had in mind, (and assumed everyone would understand).

– C –

  • Cade, 1997
  • Caden, 2001
  • Cadence, 2007
  • Cadie, 1996
  • Cadin, 2002
  • Cadye, 1997
  • Callier, 1936
  • Cami, 1981
  • Camryn, 1998
  • Carmalene, 1949
  • Caroly, 1945
  • Cash, 1961
  • Cassi, 2000
  • Caylub, 2008
  • Chalize, 1990
  • Chalon, 1992
  • Charbeth, 1974
  • Charlize, 1975
  • Chauntelle, 2002
  • Chaz, 1992
  • Chelci, 1990
  • Cherelle, 1984
  • Cheryldene, 1932
  • Chessintra, 2001
  • Chevala, 1974
  • Cheyanne, 1997
  • Chimere, 1950
  • Clotell, 1990
  • Clydean, 1952
  • Codi, 1984
  • Codie, 1995
  • Cole, 1891
  • Colt, 1990
  • Connar, 2008
  • Coreyna, 2003
  • Corinth, 1995
  • Cormac, 2006
  • Coty, 1993
  • Creagan, 1991
  • Cressa, 1933
  • Cydney, 1993
  • Cynara, 1971

Cadye: Is this a play on Katie?  Camryn: Nothing says that there is only one spelling for Cameron, derived perhaps from a Scottish word describing a crooked nose earned in battle.  But if we spell it Camryn (see also the abuses under ‘K’) we can make something cutesy from something dignified.  Chelci: Is there a tradition I’m not aware of that we are invoking to corrupt these names?  There is a place called Chelsea.  We seem to like the sound of it, but we butcher the spelling.  I just don’t get it.  Codi: There are many variants of this.  It seemed to peak in the early 1980s about the same time as the more common Cory and its many spellings.  Colt: I’ve already asked whether he becomes Stallion when he grows up.

– D –

  • Daegan, 2000
  • Dakoda, 2006
  • Dakotah, 1993
  • Dallis, 1930
  • Danarae, 1963
  • Dante, 2004
  • Darcel, 1967
  • Darel, 1988
  • Darian, 1999
  • Darice, 1947
  • Darrick, 1977
  • Daryn, 2004
  • Daveena, 1982
  • Dayna, 1987
  • Dayne, 1960
  • Daynel, 1949
  • Dayson, 2002
  • Dax, 2007
  • Deaja, 2000
  • Deegan, 2003
  • Deiken, 2009
  • Deja, 1996
  • Delcie, 1968
  • Delicia, 1920
  • Delight, 1931
  • Delphin, 1925
  • Deltha, 1946
  • Demiken, 2001
  • Deni, 1963
  • Denielle, 1989
  • Deron, 2003
  • Desarae, 1985
  • Desaray, 1993
  • Deshon, 1973
  • Desman, 2000
  • Destina, 2003
  • Destyni, 1987
  • Devan, 1988
  • Devra, 1946
  • Devvan, 1991
  • Dezaray, 1995
  • Deziree, 1985
  • Diem, 1984
  • Dietra, 1960
  • Dillanne, 2003
  • Diondre, 2000
  • Dola, 1939
  • Dominyk, 1999
  • Donaldeen, 1928
  • Donat, 1930
  • Donni, 1986
  • Dontay, 1996
  • Dorice, 1947
  • Dorleene, 1946
  • Dorrice, 1945
  • Dreama, 1973
  • Drouin, 2008
  • Dulcey, 1968
  • Dushane, 1992
  • Duska, 1969
  • Dwaine, 1976
  • Dwinal, 1937
  • Dyana, 1983
  • Dyllon, 1998

Dakoda/Dakotah: The Dakota were a band of Sioux, and maybe when the language was first rendered in English these alternate spellings were used and the young moms who conferred these spellings on their babies are much better informed about 19th-century US history than I am; but then again, maybe not.  (Cutesy wins again.)  Dallis: actually a valid spelling of the Gaelic that is commonly seen as Dallas, implying from the dales (valleys).  Dante: Why don’t we see this name more often?  Dante Alleghieri had a profound and positive influence on literature and the Italian language, a worthy name to bestow on a modern child.  Delicia and Delight: Wow!  These names must have created a stir in the 1920s and 1930s.  Donat: Actually, I know this to be a French-Canadian name, but I admire the man I know whose name is Donat so I couldn’t resist including it.  Destyni: Ah, swete mystyre of lief!  What dose it mattre wheer the leettrs flla?  As with Bryttani, the letters are all there, and let the reader unscramble them!  Devvan: A real double vé, may the French rejoice!  It almost looks like a ‘W’.

– E –

  • Easter, 1918
  • Echo, 1988
  • Eliesha, 1986
  • Elisheva, 2007
  • Ellora, 2010
  • Eloi, 1944
  • Elxis, 1995
  • Emden, 1936
  • Emmi, 1935
  • Emmieleen, 1950
  • Eola, 1959
  • Ervilita, 1982
  • Esmae, 2005
  • Estenna, 1922
  • Euretta, 1925
  • Evaughn, 1978
  • Evette, 2003

Easter: Named for the holiday of the Paschal season in Christianity, which has nothing to do with the compass direction, east.  But you could go that way anyway, especially if you have quadruplets.  Name one for each compass point.  Evette: equals Yvette?

– F –

  • Falisha, 2010
  • Farrah, 1947
  • Fatia, 1989
  • Fatune, 1986
  • Finbar, 1957
  • Fonda, 1955
  • Forest, 1932

Falisha: equals Felicia?  Forest: I first saw it as Forrest.  But that doesn’t mean it has to be misspelled.  (Add a third ‘r’ and make it Forrrest.  Then you could trill the ‘r’.)  If you did, imagine your kid going through life correcting everyone who doesn’t give it the trippple ‘r’.)

– G –

  • Garnet, 1951
  • Gayleen, 1963
  • Gaynell, 1927
  • Gean, 1926
  • Genesis, 2007
  • Goldie, 1882
  • Graelyn, 1959
  • Graylin, 1956
  • Greylen, 1973
  • Greyson, 1996
  • Grita, 1932

Galen is a name that many middle-aged men bear.  It has gone out of favor because it sounds like gay.  Frankly, Gay (sometimes Gaye) was a great name back when gay meant light-hearted and carefree.  Graelyn: I know quite a few men whose names are built on the color gray-grey.

– H –

  • Halton, 1917
  • Hampy, 1925
  • Harli, 1993
  • Heaven, 1977
  • Hermel, 1950
  • Hill, 1892
  • Hilma, 1920
  • Hisa, 1927

Names beginning with ‘H’ are scarce.

– I –

  • Ila, 1925
  • Ilidia, 1967
  • Ilsa, 2001
  • Innora, 2008
  • Inza, 1934
  • Ione, 1927
  • Irven, 1944
  • Issa, 1977
  • Iva, 1921
  • Ivolene, 1925
  • Izaiah, 1999
  • Izak, 2004
  • Izayah, 2006
  • Izeldia, 1936
  • Iziah, 1999

Yes, Iziah.

– J –

  • Jacalyn, 1952
  • Jace, 2002
  • Jaicee, 2005
  • Jaicie, 2000
  • Jaide, 2001
  • Jaiden, 2008
  • Jaidyn, 2004
  • Jailyn, 2008
  • Jaime, 1983
  • Jaksin, 2006
  • Jalen, 2000
  • Jamerson, 1969
  • Jammey, 1947
  • Jarrica, 1992
  • Jarryd, 1996
  • Jayde Danyelle, 1987
  • Jaymis, 1985
  • Jayna, 1963
  • Jazmin, 2009
  • Jensine, 1992
  • Jera, 1956
  • Jerre, 1942
  • Jescey, 1988
  • Jesi-Rai, 1988
  • Jeska, 2010
  • Jessi-Rae, 1991
  • Jillena, 1997
  • Jillissa, 1996
  • Jina, 2000
  • Jo’Lin, 1962
  • Jordyn, 1997
  • Jordynne, 1990
  • Josalyn, 1998
  • Joshuah, 1987
  • Joshwa, 1994
  • Josiah, 1992
  • Josiha, 1984
  • Jowellyn, 1963
  • Joye, 1948
  • Jozey, 2005
  • Justina, 1989
  • Justinian, 483

Jammey: The whitish name with the most cutesy male/female variations.  I’ve included just one other here, Jaime.  Until now I’ve delayed mentioning the problem of determining pronunciation phonetically.  I knew a man born in the 1960s or so who was also Jammey, pronounced with a long ‘a’.  But, phonetically, the first syllable should sound like a short ‘a’ as in blackberry jam.  It appears that young parents are attempting to use phonetics in reverse; sometimes, it seems, maliciously.  How else do you explain Alicen or Joshwa or Kloie?  (Well, I have my suspicions how else.)  So, phonetically, how do you pronounce Jammey?  Jerre?  Josiha?  Jazmin: Many annoying variations, but so far I haven’t seen Jazman for Jasmine.  Now for Jensine: Don’t ask me why, but I like that one.  Josalyn: for Jocelyn?  Justinian: Just playing with you here.  The first one I know of really was born anno domini 483.

– K –

  • Kaedryn, 2016
  • Kaeley, 1963
  • Kaelie, 1987
  • Kaelin, 1998
  • Kaelyn, 2009
  • Kaelynn, 2009
  • Kaiden, 2004
  • Kaidence, 2006
  • Kaila, 1990
  • Kailee, 2000
  • Kailey, 2002
  • Kainen, 2004
  • Kaitee, 1988
  • Kaitlyne, 1997
  • Kalara, 1969
  • Kalista, 2000
  • Kalli, 2006
  • Kalob, 1991
  • Kambi, 1973
  • Kameren, 2004
  • Kameryn, 2004
  • Kamryn, 1991
  • Karagan, 2000
  • Karysa, 1995
  • Kassidi, 2007
  • Kaya, 2002
  • Kaybren, 2010
  • Kaycee, 200
  • Kayde, 2010
  • Kaydence, 2010
  • Kaylan, 2006
  • Kaysi, 1993
  • Kaysie, 1992
  • Kelce, 2001
  • Kelci, 2001
  • Kelcie, 1995
  • Kellan, 2007
  • Kelo, 1959
  • Kelsi, 1996
  • Kelvin, 1990
  • Kiana, 1999
  • Kiara, 1999
  • Kiaralyn, 2009
  • Kiaran, 2002
  • Kierra, 2007
  • Kilburn, 1948
  • Kina, 1987
  • Kinlee, 2010
  • Kinza, 2006
  • Kiran, 2003
  • Kirtley, 1945
  • Kitana, 2000
  • Kizandra, 1995
  • Kloee, 2005
  • Kloie, 2008
  • Kolton, 1997
  • Kora, 1934
  • Koree, 1978
  • Korin, 1963
  • Kortni, 1990
  • Kortnie, 1998
  • Kraig, 1982
  • Kriston, 1973
  • Kyan, 2004
  • Kyden, 2006
  • Kyla, 2000
  • Kyler, 1996
  • Kyma, 1932
  • Kyra, 1988
  • Kyrah, 2006
  • Kyran, 1997

Kaitee: second-most-abused name over the years, after Jamie.  Kalara: Alternate spelling of cholera?  Kambi: twin of Babmi?  Kameren, Kameryn, Kamryn: for Cameron?  Kaycee: How about Jaycee too?  Kaysi: Cutesi; (“Kaysi at the Bat”)  Kelvin: Warm in here?  Kelsi: See Kaysi.  Kizandra: Cassandra?  Kloee, Kloie: Chlöe?

– L –

  • Laila, 1956
  • Laken, 2007
  • Landyn, 2006
  • Laray, 1973
  • Lauris, 1907
  • Lavane, 1953
  • Lavona, 1971
  • Laycee, 1988
  • Leela, 1999
  • Leiana, 1989
  • Leigha, 1997
  • Leilani, 2001
  • Leine, 2002
  • Leonce, 1922
  • Lerie, 1953
  • Letty, 1925
  • Lexi, 1992
  • Lexie, 1951
  • Liisa, 1956
  • Linai, 1991
  • Lorelei, 1941
  • Lorine, 1932
  • Lorris, 1936
  • Loys, 1919
  • Ludivine, 1979
  • Lura, 1916
  • Lurana, 1922
  • Lycia, 1962
  • Lynzi, 2000

Lynzi: It’s hard to say just what is on the cutting edge of cutezi.  For a while (in the 1950s and earlier) there was a rush on the name Mitzi, due to the popularity of a singing, dancing actress, Mitzi Gaynor.

– M –

  • Maber, 1936
  • Macy, 2002
  • Maddux, 2007
  • Madelion, 1995
  • Madisyn, 1997
  • Madolin, 1952
  • Mahgin, 2005
  • Maidie, 1912
  • Maire, 1991
  • Maisey, 2003
  • Maitland, 1951
  • Maizie, 1996
  • Makenna, 1999
  • Makiah, 2001
  • Malik, 2000
  • Manique, 1988
  • Manley, 1927
  • Marchel, 1997
  • Marle, 1942
  • Marleighna,1990 (for
  • Marlena?)
  • Marrinna, 1998
  • Marsades, 1995
  • Maryola, 1997
  • Maskell, 1960
  • Mazie, 1997
  • McKenziey Luv, 2004
  • Medella, 1944
  • Meghana, 1985
  • Meghann, 1979
  • Megi, 1992
  • Meka, 2005
  • Melba, 1919
  • Melea, 1998
  • Meldon, 1942
  • Meldora, 1927
  • Mellissia, 1979
  • Melvena, 1914
  • Melynda, 1986
  • Merelyn, 1933
  • Merin, 2009
  • Mersia, 1998
  • Mettie, 1938
  • Meysha, 2003
  • Micheline, 1941
  • Mikell, 1988
  • Mikyla, 2002
  • Milin, 1991
  • Milleo, 1923
  • Minjie, 1992
  • Morgynn, 1999
  • Moriah, 1991
  • Myka, 2000

Madelion?  When I was a Cub Scout, I made Lion.  First I made Wolf and Bear, and I still have the uniform patches to show for it.  I don’t remember whether I made Webelos.  Madisyn: Maybe with some research I could get to the origin of Madison the surname.  Most names ending in ‘son’ simply indicate that the bearer of the name, originally, was the son of whomever.  Williamson, Johnson, Harrelson, Stevenson.  Maybe Madison has the same sort of origin.  So, what is ‘-syn’?  Would you name your kid Johnsyn or Stevensyn?  I suppose you would.  Maybe you’d change Tyson or Mason or Carson or Sampson to Tysyn or Masyn or Carsyn or Sampsyn.  (Maybe you’d change Mason to Maysin.  Why not?  Permission-by-name.)  It strikes me funny that a name such as Allison or Madison or son-of-anyone would be applied to a girl, but perhaps the parents recognize the gender-neutral aspect of ‘-son’, the way we used to recognize the gender-neutral application of ‘-man’ in ‘chairman’ and ‘mankind’.  Marsades: That’s neat.  Is it a spin on Mercedes or a new name that just coincidentally sounds similar?  Or maybe it doesn’t even sound similar but is condensed from the Marquis de Sade, (who drives a Marsades Bends).  Melea: biblical.  Minjie: This is a real Maine name.  First, Mingie is a valid surname.  But consider midges, those pesky little non-biting flies in the order Diptera, smaller than black flies and a nuisance chiefly due to their cloud-like abundance at certain times.  They can create quite a mess around windows and in your hair and in your mouth, (if you happen to draw a breath while you’re in a cloud of them).  In Maine, midges are commonly called mingies, with an ‘n’.  According to one source, mingies are also female prostitutes in the Dominican Republic.  And if that’s not enough, minges, without the second ‘i’, is also a term for a woman’s pubic hair or a vulgar term referring to women in general.  So it’s a name fraught with local color and other colloquial implications.  I also recall a female co-worker from many years ago who called herself Midge.  Myka: meaning Micah?

– N –

  • Nakissa, 2003
  • Nakomis, 1977
  • Nami, 1972
  • Narda, 1946
  • Nastassja, 2005
  • Natealia, 2000
  • Nedra, 1935
  • Nekia, 1984
  • Neoma, 1985
  • Neva, 1931
  • Nevaeh, 2004
  • Neveah, 2008
  • Nicque, 1925
  • Nishelle, 2006
  • Noellyne, 1940
  • Nova, 1990
  • Nycholle, 1991
  • Nyiah, 1982
  • Nyoka, 1962

Nami: Eh??  Neva: A river in Russia, pronounced more like Nyeva, but avoid calling your child Nevus.  Nycholle: Is this a kyootsye spelling of Nichole?  Yes, I looked it up and see that one book on this subject acknowledges 50 spellings and variations of the name.  Nevertheless, it is derived from Nicholas, which has undergone its own transitions over the years.  I just wonder what it’s like to be a kindergarten teacher these days…

– O –

  • Oke, 1946
  • Omerine, 1930
  • Oonah, 1932
  • Orace, 1922
  • Oriana, 2004
  • Oric, 1918
  • Orissie, 1927
  • Orrise, 1928
  • Osburn, 1933

Oke: Long ‘E’ – I happen to know this one and I think it has some Scandanavian origin.

– P –

  • Parrie, 1959
  • Pebbles, 1971
  • Peityn, 2011
  • Pennelia, 1943
  • Persis, 1941
  • Peta, 1982
  • Petya, 1985
  • Phalia, 1962
  • Phylicity, 1994
  • Pierrette, 1942
  • Plooma, 1928
  • Praise, 2001
  • Pureza, 1941

Pebbles: Where do you suppose that comes from?  Peityn: Getting cute with Peyton?  Peta: I met her once, and she rises to the name.  Maybe it should be all in caps because that suggests that acronyms might serve as given names as well, especially when they recall something that evokes a lot of emotion.  Later I make the suggestion of Nasa (from NASA).  That doesn’t generate much emotion, but if your other kids are Quasar, Pleiades, and Arcturus, then Nasa is a nice fit for the babie.

– Q –

  • Qeanna, 1991
  • Queenie, 1920
  • Quie, 1956

See my suggestions in Part 2 if you are looking for more name ideas beginning with ‘Q’.  This letter, as well as a few others, are woefully under-represented among current names and I have tried to rectify that.  Even though there is a live example here — we hope Qeanna is still alive — I don’t recommend using ‘Q’ without the ‘u’ because people will forever be trying to insert one.

– R –

  • Rabecka, 2002
  • Rae Jean, 1975
  • Raegene, 1986
  • Raiden, 1954
  • Rakel, 1989
  • Ralf, 1966
  • Ralphline, 1925
  • Ransford, 1962
  • Ravyn, 2002
  • Rayden, 2009
  • Rayna, 1966
  • Rayne, 1958
  • Rayvon, 1998
  • Regginal, 1942
  • Rella, 1928
  • Remee, 2000
  • Renabel, 1928
  • Reno, 1924
  • Reyanna, 1999
  • Rhiannon, 1977
  • Rhonni, 1991
  • Rhylee, 2006
  • Riann, 1987
  • Rianne, 1992
  • Riannon, 1985
  • Richardie, 1971
  • Ridge, 2004
  • Riene, 1922
  • Rikala, 2001
  • Rion, 2002
  • Rodel, 1992
  • Roene, 1946
  • Roman, 1973
  • Rona, 1936
  • Rosaire, 1951
  • Rosezanna, 1982
  • Rowena, 1919
  • Rowene, 1933
  • Rue, 1934
  • Ryker, 2003
  • Rylee, 2004
  • Ryleigh, 2002
  • Ryley, 1999

Ralphline: This is a woman.  She was known far and wide as Dolly.  No wonder.  Ravyn: At first it probably seemed bold to name a girl Raven.  But now let us play with it.  Rayvon, Ravyn.  Maybe we can go forward to Rave-in.  Moving on, consider Remee: This happens to be a girl.  Now and then I look at a name on this list and imagine a grown man going about town with it.  That’s not to say that I believe a name should connote things about its bearer, unless the person wearing the name has labeled himself.  A guy going by Crash Octane must intend that his name create a particular impression.  But, no matter what I think, there will always be a faction of society, a feature of our culture, that will judge a person by a name. It has to do with language.  A name that too closely resembles a common word, or worse, evokes a vulgar image, will unavoidably be associated with that word.  Could you take an adult seriously whose first name is Yurin or Knipel? vYou would first need to suppress your involuntary facial response to the name, then retreat into forced politeness.  If I meet a person named Orka, my mind will say “whale”.  What strikes the majority of 20-year-olds funny and what amuses me are, of course, different things.  Ten years from now, today’s 20-year-olds won’t know the newest slang, but Kinlee and Caylub, their 10- and 12-year-old children at that time, will have a whole new street language, and names that seem innocent now will be funny to them.  (Maybe this is an argument, weak though it is, for re-using a tried-and-true set of names that are sort of exempt from abuse and scorn.)

– S –

  • Sabashtin, 2010
  • Salmon, 2007
  • Seairha, 1990 (dryh)
  • Sensimillia, 1998
  • Serephima, 1997
  • Sessa, 2002
  • Shaelyn, 1996
  • Shalee, 1983
  • Shandi, 1975
  • Shandie, 1968
  • Shandra, 1974
  • Shanonn, 1979
  • Sharra, 1975
  • Sharrae, 2003
  • Shar-Ron, 1955
  • Shaughn, 1972
  • Shaunta, 1990
  • Shayna, 1997
  • Shealy, 2000
  • Shelia, 1957
  • Shelda, 1941
  • Shenequa, 1984
  • Shera, 1989
  • Sheray, 1985
  • Shianna,1977 (Rhianna)
  • Siarra, 1999
  • Sidsel, 1954
  • Sierrah, 1995
  • Sirah, 2001
  • Solange, 1945
  • Song, 1950
  • Soraya, 1966
  • Sorrel, 1961
  • Spirit, 2009
  • Spurgeon, 1946
  • Starla, 1974
  • Storm, 2001
  • Stormy, 1994
  • Suanne, 1967
  • Summer Wisdom, 2000
  • Sylda, 1915
  • Sylvain, 1922
  • Symone, 1999

Sabashtin: Makes you want to hold your breath for a second or two, doesn’t it?  Does the original name no longer have any meaning whatsoever?  Salmon: Salmo salar in Maine, a noble fish, also recalls Salmon P. Chase, who preceded my cousin Levi Woodbury as US Treasury Secretary.  Siarra, Sierrah: similar to sierra, Spanish for ‘saw’.  Sirah: a variety of grapes, a character on Star Trek, the word “head” in Java, a songstress with an interesting history.

– T –

  • Tahsha, 1980
  • Taiyler, 1994
  • Tamiko, 1995
  • Tamilia, 1971
  • Tamsin, 1975
  • Tamula, 1968
  • Tarzan, 1942
  • Tawni, 1993
  • Taylore, 1998
  • Tayna, 2004
  • Taz, 2005
  • Teagan, 2004
  • Tegan, 2008
  • Tené, 2008
  • Terrianah, 2005
  • Tetia, 1960
  • Thala, 1953
  • Thane, 1955
  • Therlie, 1984
  • Thorin, 2003
  • Thylie, 2007
  • Tierairis, 2002
  • Tomie, 1973
  • Travice, 1980
  • Treyce, 2005
  • True, 2008
  • Tylor, 2003
  • Tyneisha, 2005
  • Tyreasa, 2008
  • Tyrese, 2002

Taz: Hmmm, besides the Warner Brothers character affectionately known as Taz, is there another source for this name, or is it just a chance use of a simple syllable?  True: An old name resurrected; two of my distant male ancestors, born in 1756 and 1782, carried this as their given name.  Tyreasa: meaning Theresa?

– U –

  • Uda, 1931
  • Una, 1952

– V –

  • Valdore, 1933
  • Valicia, 1972
  • Velia, 1996
  • Vella, 1955
  • Verda, 1931
  • Verle, 1928
  • Vernard, 1937
  • Vernice, 1934
  • Vernley, 1956
  • Vetal, 1921
  • Villa, 1907
  • Vincetta, 1955

– W –

  • Waneta, 1935
  • Wanita, 1936
  • Warnita, 1923
  • Way, 1918
  • Welhelna, 1926
  • Willmont, 1929
  • Willow, 1974
  • Wilmot, 1922
  • Wuanita, 1962
  • Wulf, 2009

Waneta, Wanita, Wuanita: The Spanish is Juan for a man, Juanita for a woman.  The ‘J’ is pronounced much like our ‘H’ and the ‘U’ is what gives the name the ‘W’ sound.  These variants beginning with ‘W’ are examples of earlier manipulations of the spelling to adapt to the perceived pronunciation, ignoring the source of the name.  If you can’t appreciate the linguistics behind a foreign name, can you just avoid anglicizing it?

– X –

  • Xander, 2005
  • Xandir, 2010

We may assume that the leading ‘X’ is pronounced like ‘Z’.

– Y –

  • Yael, 2005

– Z –

  • Zander, 2007
  • Zara, 1929
  • Zashalynn, 2004
  • Zeda, 1997
  • Zenon, 1929
  • Zola, 1934

Hey, if whitish people without strong traditional influences commandeer names from other traditions, who’s to prevent it?  I already mentioned it in another sense but it is worth repeating: Italians, Hispanics who aren’t from Hispania, Jews, Japanese, Muslims, Chinese, Indians, Mormons, and even Irish and to some extent Polish all have ethnic cohesiveness in USA.  Germans, French, Scandinavians, Russians, Greek, and Iowans not so much.

(Those Greeks!  It isn’t in the lists, but I ran across the name Spyridon Akrivakos while putting this together.  Isn’t that a great name!)

Babie Nayms – Preface

Thousands of suggested first names for whitish babies who don’t have strong ethnic or pseudo-ethnic roots

Available in quality paperback, 245 pages, $8.50 at Amazon, Kindle edition $3, or read it right here…

This book is comprised of five sections:

Preface – How we name our babies
Part 1, A-Z – Names that someone already bears
Part 2, A-Z – Contrived names
Part 3, A-Z – Surnames as given names
Part 4, A-Z – All lists combined

bn-bar

This Preface and each of the parts, 1-4, are published here as separate posts.

Preface

IF

  • you are about to have a baby,
  • you are certain that you don’t want to name her after your grandmother,
  • you’re at least a little bit rebellious,
  • you don’t have a religious tradition to draw from,
  • you don’t have pretensions to ethnic roots,and especially if
  • you aren’t well-educated either (so spelling and word origins elude you),

then this book is for you.

In here you will find thousands of unusual names, some truly unique names (meaning the only one ever), and ideas for creating a new name from scratch.  You’ll find so many good names that it will make you want to have a lot of babies.

You may instead be someone with a half-finished collection of tattoos, a lot of debt to walk away from, a court record of minor offenses, and aspirations to make it in a new performing arts career, and you’re tired of living your life as Jessica Johnson or Gregory Grant.  Well, let this little volume assist you.  You can find a new, unique identity here that no one else has ever heard of, unless they too have read this book.

Another individual who may find this useful: an author who needs to name some characters in a story or novel.

Or you may have a parrot, parakeet, ferret, ferrekeet, snake, scorpion, or dog that needs a name.  This book is for you too! (I haven’t figured out why people name cats.  They ignore a name worse than a terrier does.)

Whoever you are, I would appreciate a note if you have made use of this book in any way.  And if you read something here that offends you, write to me and even the score.

This book is almost entirely facetious.  If it weren’t, it would probably insult you, for I’ve pointed out some peculiar things about a lot of names, and you are probably related to someone I’ve poked fun at.  But, although facetious, a pair of sharp realities also make this book as serious as a two-bit ax: It exposes the astonishing truth that hundreds of corny names are already on living people’s identification cards, and as a result of this irreverent little volume, other ethnically-challenged parents may be inspired to give such names to many more yet-to-be-born children.  If it weren’t for those two misfortunes, it might be a harmless effort.

In addition, this book is almost entirely sincere.  The field of names from which my parents chose was limited by fiercely Puritan, Anglo-Saxon traditions.  Even though my own family was as poor as color-neutral people can be — just as poor as folks of any other race can be; after all, nothing is nothing no matter who you are — they were instantly alert at the mention of anyone with a funny-sounding name.  If, as a teenager, I had brought home a friend named Sonny Lee Swill, they would have welcomed him to the dinner table or on a family ride to the fair, but if I had suggested that I might plan to go out with his sister, Nonny Jee Swill, they’d have cautioned me about all kinds of potential problems.  If, instead, I had made friends with someone named Crofton Linscott Bradford the First, they’d have been arranging my marriage to his sister, Prudence Grace Bradford, before they’d have laid eyes on Crofton or discovered that he was Sonny Lee’s poor relation — and all this based on the name.

What’s more, this book is sincere because I heartily approve the movement that is overrunning those prejudices.  I happen to like the sound of many new (and renewed) names.  Two things about the new names, though, do irritate me: the apparent pretensions, especially in naming girls, and the silliness, evidently borne of downright illiteracy, in creative spelling.  You’ll better understand what I mean if you read on.

Disclaimer and note to the sensitivity police

This is not a racially-prejudiced or race-baiting book.  Take it at face value: It’s a list of suggestions for people who don’t have a solid ethnic, religious, or national heritage to draw from.  It may also be a source of extra ideas for people who already do have their own traditions.

And to the political correctness police:

Yes, I have used some “modern” names to illuminate what may be ignorance or oblivion, or may instead be defiance or plain indifference to historic rules for naming children.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I also conclude that the majority of children in America today are born to unmarried young moms who, therefore, are mostly responsible for deciding what their babies’ names will be.  Whenever someone wriggles free of tradition’s leather straps, whether it’s in art or science or politics or naming babies, she exposes herself to scorn and ridicule — some of which I employ here — but she may ultimately earn admiration and emulation.  So, if those who have led the way into alternate spellings of Cameron and Chelsea have inspired you to experiment on your own, then thank them, as I do.  For without them, I might not have had so much to write about.

How we name our babies, a little history

When my parents (born in the 1920s) were choosing names for their six children, born in the 1950s and 1960s, they drew a little from family heritage, a little from literature, a smidgeon from the Bible, and from what simply sounded good to them.  My wife’s parents, hailing from the same decade as mine, did the same.  So, in no particular sequence and including our middle names and our parents’ names, we are Heidi, Shirley, Amy, Mae, Marie, Richard, Peter, Walter, Ann, Andrew, Ruth, David, Victor, Charles, Dorothy, Hugh, Laura, and Elizabeth.  Even the other marriages in my generation, involving my siblings and my wife’s, have added only names such as Robert, Sonia, Katherine, Randall, George, Benjamin, Timothy, Cindy, and Bette.  (Duplicates in all these groups, which are numerous, have been omitted, otherwise you’d see Dorothy, Dorothy, Dorothy, Dorothy, and so on.)

When it was time to name our own children, my wife and I studied the baby-name books of the 1970s and added Samuel, Claire, Erin, and Leigh to the above list of “given” names in the family.

Be aware that I consistently use two simple terms throughout this book that I hope you will understand: A “given name” is what we commonly call a first name, and a “surname” is what we commonly call a last name.

I always liked the lyrical sounds of many “foreign” given names, especially those from Italian, French, and Spanish, but also many in the slavic languages.  However, I am of predominantly Anglo-German ancestry with only a token infusion of American aboriginal DNA, (that is, both my parents have an American “Indian” a couple generations earlier).  I would have sounded pretentious to name my own child Natasha or Ivan, and the only suggestion I made to my wife for such a deviation (Samara) was effectively protested.  (My grandfather Miller had the middle name Ivan, with no Russian roots, but this wasn’t enough to bring the name forward into my children’s generation.)

Then, in the 1970s and early 1980s, we began to hear of more and more young people with names such as Jamal and Shaquille and Beyoncé, Shemekia and Rozanda and Keshia.  These were names that we couldn’t avoid hearing because, as with Aretha and Odetta and Lamont before them, they belonged to celebrities we liked to watch and who had an obvious racial uniformity among themselves.  Some we especially admired: Condoleezza and Oprah, for instance.  I remember being silently pleased with the trend when I realized how widespread it was becoming among darker-skinned Americans.  Maybe, to an extent, it was a rejection of western European, and especially English, names, but also maybe it was a matter of taking command of a minor difference in appearance by mating it with a minor variant in appellation.

For several years during the 1970s and 1980s, ethnically-challenged parents seemed to be reading only from the ‘J’ section of the baby-naming books.  Every child I heard of, born around the time my daughters were coming into the world, was a Jessica, Jennifer, Justin, Jacob, Jeremy, Jason, Jamie, Jillian, Jared, and such.  One exception: A popular television soap opera in the late 1970s, “Ryan’s Hope”, spawned a generation of boys named Ryan across America.  If you’re a Ryan born about 1980, you may not have realized until now the inspiration for your name.

By the 1990s I had begun to notice a freakish trend in the names of whitish children.  My daughters had friends from school with normal-sounding names, but when we were addressing birthday invitations, for instance, we had to learn new spellings for Rebecca and Rachel.  Girls’ names began sporting a perky ‘i’ at the end (thanks to a misspelling of Barbie dolls?), or at least the diminutive of many a girl’s name did.  So we had to learn which girl was Kathy and which was Cathi, which was Cindy and which was Syndi.

From that point on, there were no rules for spelling children’s names.  And, from that point on, there has been no hesitation to simply contrive a name from two or three syllables that join to form a pleasing sound, (pleasing in the language of whitish Americans, which is, of course, a bludgeoned, uncultured variant of English).

The ethnic disconnect

As an ordinary native American, (meaning a person born in and therefore native to North America, nothing more), I resist using any term describing skin color — red, yellow, black, white.  If no one is offended by being called white or black, neither of which even approximates the wearer’s skin color, then why is anyone offended at being called yellow or red?  Or the reverse: If someone is offended at being called red or yellow to denote race, then why aren’t others offended to be called black or white?

It is with the greatest reluctance that I allow anyone to call me a “white” person.  I resent the term as much as a “red” man in America resents being called a redskin.  My washing machine is white.  Next to it, I am not.  Jackie Chan is not yellow.  A buttercup is yellow.  If coal is black, what does that make Oprah?  Was Louis Sockalexis red or is a stop sign red?  Skin color means nothing to me in my associations with individuals.  It means something in my associations with people who present themselves to me in a group only insofar as that group forces me to deal with it on the basis of the color of its members’ skin, which means its members have surrendered their individuality to the group.

If I must hereafter use a term for a person’s color — perhaps for your convenience — then it will be whitish (should I say pinkish?) or brownish or some term such as that.

So, why concern myself with whitish babies?  Well, because it has happened — “it” being a phenomenon among non-dark-skinned parents to create their own naming conventions for their children.  Children with solid family roots in China, Italy, India, Russia, Congo, Sudan, Puerto Rico, France, and so on, or with strong ties to traditions that have arisen in Islam or Judaism, or with mixed non-Anglo urban ethnic identities, are still often given names that reliably establish identity with the family’s cultural past or contrived present.

Identity with those other groups is not really an option for suburban and rural homogenized light-skinned Americans.  There is probably a blond boy out there with indistinct northern European blood sporting the name Shaquille, but that doesn’t make him brown or big (or athletic).  So, young whitish mothers are confronting tradition themselves — gnawing at the leather straps, as it were.  Some of the results of this liberation are pleasing and, one may allow, deserving to become solid traditional names.  (Why would we expect tradition to grow where tradition was trampled?  Because it does.)  Many of the results are silly, meaningless, and likely to be a lifelong annoyance to the one who bears the name, not to mention an annoyance to kindergarten teachers.  (Does a boy named Colt become a man named Stallion?)  Many more are puzzling and can be explained partly by rebellion or by an attempt to be creative, but chiefly by ignorance on the part of the parent — (one no longer dares assume that there are two parents involved in every naming) — ignorance, because the only other explanation is malice, and I am not willing to ascribe that motive to any young mother selecting Chaz or Taz for a baby’s, and ultimately a woman’s or man’s, name.

Traditions

What is missing, when a newborn’s name is contrived, is a history or meaning to the name.  A girl named for a flower, Rose, for instance, will always be associated with that blossom.  A boy named after a person of daring or victory will, at least among those who have the historical perspective, always recall that shining figure.  Most names that have long been in circulation can be traced to a word root in some language or can be traced to an historic or biblical figure: Bruce, the strong defender of the king.

Far back in the history of most parts of the world, a man’s name told much about him.  (Far back in the history of most parts of the world, a woman’s name was generally inconsequential.  When I was a kid, the proper form of address, when referring to my mother, was Mistress Victor Woodbury — Mistress being generally shortened to Mrs.)  In some regions of the world, a name still tells much about the person.

And here’s a news flash to young Americans who attended public schools: Throughout much of the rest of the world, women are still inconsequential in politics, religion, and the professions.  That’s a fact of their culture.  It’s not something I applaud, and it’s not something over which indignant American meddlers-in-the-affairs-of-others will have any influence.  You and I may deplore it, but if someone else’s culture thinks it is right, we must accord their traditions the same respect we expect that culture to accord ours.  We can let them see our example of men and women living here as equals.  We can’t force it on them.

In the distant past, where superstition exceeded reason more than it does today, there were those who believed that, for someone to learn your name was to confer onto that person some power over yourself.

As we gaily jettison the traditions of the 1900s and before and ignore the realities of other nations, and as we retire the conventional American names, we are, mercifully, getting away from three centuries of naming our American children after British royalty — a practice that defied the logic of American history but may well be rooted in our insistence on carrying forward our ancestors’ names: George, Catherine, William, Richard, Phillip, Frederick, Charles, Mary, Edward, and of course, Elizabeth.  (While our politics rejected British rule and influence, a fascination with royalty persists in our culture.  Witness that throughout the 20th century we have had a surfeit of historically useless romance novels set in an 18th- and 19th-century England that never existed outside fiction.)

A shift in naming trends has occurred a few times before in our history.  From 1750 to the early 1800s my family tree is filled with Sally, Lemuel, Elijah, Silence, Prudence, Hope, Ebeneezer, Zebediah, Obadiah, Ezekiel, Abagail (no Abigail), Hannah, Ephraim, Hiram, Jeremiah.  In the early 1900s the popular names (not just in my family) included Howard and Ralph, Mildred and Maude, Alice and Gladys, Earl and Harold.

Some common, traditional, seemingly Anglo-Saxon names are anglicized versions of names from other languages.  The biblical names we are familiar with may be the best, if least-suspected, examples of this: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, just to toss out a few; Daniel, David, Jeremy, James, John.  You can add more.

Not a given name for a child but a place name is my favorite example of the arrogance of anglicizing a name.  In a country which the inhabitants call Italia there is a seaside town they call Livorno.  I have spent the night there after watching the sun set over the Ligurian Sea.  My English maps, however, insist that the Italians don’t know the name of their own city; it is persistently re-named, or anglicized as, Leghorn.  I can only surmise that such an awful abuse of the name was the gift of some early British traveler, ignorant of the local language and egotistical enough to regard their own language as deficient for naming places within their own country.  Similarly, Napoli came to England as Naples, Firenze as Florence, and so on.  (The British were equally arrogant in conveying the names of other places they visited: Moskva is called Moscow, Nihon-koku is Japan, Yangon is Rangoon, and so it goes.  These substitute words are called exonyms, and there is evidence that the French of that country’s colonial periods also contributed many such mispronunciations as well; Praha in Czech came to English as Prague by way of the French.)

But you can avoid learning the etymology of your baby’s name by simply making up a new name or by taking random letters out of an existing name and substituting new ones.  Jasmine can be Gezmynn, and you don’t need to trouble yourself to learn a thing about Jasminum sambac or its botanical cousins.

Contrived names and alternatives

What follows is a list of over three thousand names; thus the title.  Actually, I was sure it was at least a thousand when I started out, and as I worked on the accompanying lists, I kept noticing more examples already in use and I kept thinking of new ones myself.  It’s a combination of

  • given names from birth records (with the year of birth)
  • given names from other public sources, for instance, I’ve collected names from newspaper stories and birth announcements for many years
  • school yearbooks
  • names of classmates of my children; thus I’ve deduced a year of birth for many of my kids’ contemporaries, and by the way, with nine children, there have been kids in my house attending public schools continuously from 1982 to 2012
  • names I’ve run across in other ways
  • some more old family names that may not appear in the official naming books
  • surnames that may or already do serve as given names
  • names that I’ve simply made up or heard on the street or seen in the media.

Anything that isn’t obscene is fair to include, and so I have done so — suggestions from the mildly unusual to the ridiculous.

The lists are set forth in categories and sub-categories.  I start with a list of names that are already in use for whitish people.  After that comes a list of names that I made up just for this book, a sub-category of which are palindromes.  Then I add a list of surnames from the phone book, many of which may already be in use as given names and many of which may not be yet.

So, you benefit both from the thinking of hundreds of others and also my own thinking as well.  (Someone may say: “Hey, he didn’t make up the name, Vika.  I’ve been named Vika since 1996!”  Well, maybe you have been, but I’ve never heard of you, and so I made it up too.)

Palindromes are names, such as Hannah, that are spelled the same forward and backward.  For a contrived palindrome which I just thought of as I wrote the last sentence, consider Draward, (from the word ending on “backward”).  How’s that for a new name?  (Add a second ‘W’ and you can make it difficult to write as a signature: Drawward.)

Consider a special idea which I have not developed here, but which I offer as a thought.  If you happen to have a surname that lends itself to this idea, look at how you could develop a child’s whole name from one word: Madeleine Adeleine Deleine, for instance.  But who’s surname is Deleine?  What if your surname is Hopper and you like motorcycles?  You could name your child Chopper Hopper.  Or just be pretentious: Graham Ingraham.  Or redundant: Jay Jacob Jacobson.

These lists may include names of foreign origin — Japanese, French-Canadian, Russian, etc., but I’ve done my best to avoid those influences and provide mostly contrived names for people who have no clear ethnic heritage.

Some of the names included may have clear origins, e.g., Nakomis (a name someone already bears, evidently a random spelling variant of Nokomis).  Some, unknown to me, may derive from characters or actors on television or examples of other broadcast fantasy.  This list avoids most names that aren’t even worth mentioning, for instance, the Sunshine/Autumn/Sunbeam trend of the 1960s-70s.  Some of these names may show up in other name books and I just don’t know it.  I’m certainly not going to read other volumes of baby names in order to omit duplicates.  I might if I were making money from this, but I did it for fun, not for the pay.  (I’ve left a few examples in, because, well, I decided to.)

I’ve noticed that some children are now being named for characters in computer games, as a generation ago they were sometimes named for characters in fantasy novels and science-fiction movies.  Thus we have Atrus, for an observer in the game Myst, and somewhere there is surely an Agrod, after the main character in Alien Destruction III, just to name a couple examples.

Unless they are words plucked from a map or dictionary, these new names from computer games and sci-fi are essentially nonsense words.  In order to be used as a person’s name, a nonsense word needs to avoid some negative association or connotation.  This can be tricky, because a young parent with no exposure to other languages may combine a couple of syllables that sound pleasant but actually fall into the Italian dictionary of expletives.  Or the Russian, or Swedish — pick one.  I make no promise that the names I’ve suggested are clean in all languages, nor have I included any that I know to allude to anything negative.  So don’t blame me.  I have, however, studied or am well-acquainted with Russian, Latin, French, German, Ukrainian, and Spanish, and I have rattled around in Italian, Greek, and Polish.  If I have provided a Greek expletive as a possible baby name for an American child (which will then ultimately be an adult’s name), well, you still had a better chance of avoiding that misfortune than you would if I hadn’t studied languages.

A nonsense word is just combinations of syllables that, up to its invention, has no definition in the subject language.  New corporations and products are continually being launched, and no doubt their lawyers spend great deals of billable time directing their underlings in researching a potential name’s hazards.  They must assure that the same nonsense word is not already being used for a company or product, as well as assure that it is not the most popular brand of toilet paper in France.  The results are corporations with names such as Lucent and Encana and Meritain, new drugs such as Avandia and Aricept and Celexa, new foods and other products being named such as Purina and Fritos, Swiffer and Kindle and Compaq, Lexus and Nuvis and Neos.

(I once read that when Coca-Cola first came to Japan, the brand name was transliterated into a phrase that meant: “Bite the wax tadpole.”  I have not had a person from Japan verify that for me, but the story goes that Coke somehow fixed the problem by changing the way it was written.)

Moms seem to be competing to invent the most scintillating name for a little one.  Perhaps, a couple centuries from now, a man of our era named Gancie will be honored in a book of baby names with a meaning behind his name: “inventor, innovator, visionary (after Gancie Briel Williams, who in the year 2146, created the first plasma-feedback circuit for artificial eyes)”.  It could happen!

Where it goes from here

Young moms don’t need to avoid other instances of the same name; there can be any number of people with one given name.  Remember how startled you were at the age of three when you discovered that someone else also had your name?  I’m sure we can all think of a kid we knew named for a commercial product.  When she was about 15, one of my kids mentioned a new friend named Corelle.  She was “dishwasher safe” to all her acquaintances in junior high.  We all know kids nowadays named Harley (or some variation of the spelling).  Can there be any doubt that their parents were thinking of the motorcycle?

Of course, the focus is on newborns.  It seems that a young parent, wondering what to name the baby, hardly gives a thought to what it will do for the child after junior high.  Do they consider how a contrived name will be shortened to a nickname?  Suppose you decide to name your son Khaki.  Along comes his great-grandma, who hasn’t picked up a new word of slang since 1960.  She thinks it’s cute to call him Kha-Kha.  (That expression, as slang for poop, arose in the 1980s or so.  In my childhood, in the 1950s, it was just poop, or shit, if you dared say it.  Kha-Kha would be the next generation’s slang; I never heard it until I had kids in school.  What other word did we need back then?)  By age two, thanks to your grandma, your son is telling people that his name is Kha-Kha.  You see how it goes and why you want to be careful.

Way too many names and words-as-names are butchered for cuteness, and only a few are included as examples.  I’ll let you find the abuses of Jasmine, for instance.

Two syllables seems to be the norm, sometimes three, which names generally lend themselves to one-syllable nicknames.  One-syllable given names must be made interesting: Fay, Joy, Lee, Ruth, Troy, Jay.  Among the more recent, contrived examples already on live people, there are surprisingly few one-syllable entries that I have collected.  Cade, Cash, and Chaz are some.  So I have been diligent to recommend others that I have contrived, which you will find.

Even though conferred by someone else (parent), each individual normally becomes fiercely attached to his name.  And if he has adopted a nickname of his own choosing, such as Bick, he clings all the more fiercely to it.  There must be deep psychological reasons for this.  Us older folks all know someone who insists on being called ‘Bud’ or ‘Peg’ and someone else who goes by his middle name, John, because his first name is Caldwell.  Or he goes by CJ.  We all know a guy, TJ or CJ, or some combination of letters like that, and never knew what the letters stood for.  We all know a woman (less often, a man) who goes by first-and-middle names at all times: Mary Jane or Tommy Lee.  I’ve always been a little puzzled by people I’ve known who do this, though: W.P. “Bob” Gregory, A.D. “Pete” Correll.  How do you get Bob from W.P. or Pete from A.D.?  (Just a coincidence on Corelle and Correll, by the way.)  And, by the way, Bob and Pete were high mucky-mucks in the paper industry, and we who worked under them never learned what their initials stood for.  (Gregory was Bob’s surname.)

There is one more open field ripe for seeding.  I could compile another book of surname suggestions.  Not surnames as given names, but new surnames that people could assume.  It’s nothing new for someone to revise the spelling of a family name or even to adopt a new last name altogether.  I once worked with a man with the surname, Tile.  He speculated that there are very few Americans with that name, but explained that his near ancestor — grandfather, if I recall — had changed the name from Thaille upon arriving from Europe.  I have two sisters who did something more decisive.  After a couple of dissolved marriages each, they avoided resuming the family name, Woodbury, and both adopted the surname, Sweetwater.  Our great-grandmother was Goldie Sweet, whose own parents built the first home on what is now Sweet’s Pond in Franklin County, Maine.  So, evidently, each one thought she might submerge the past under a quiet wash of sweet water.

Did they pay a court to change the name to Sweetwater?  I haven’t asked either of them.  That doesn’t seem to matter much these days, unless one has property and thus legal considerations, which they do not.  But there is a vast opportunity for a cottage industry, not to mention a law practice, built just around changing people’s surnames.  I shall leave that to another installment of this effort.

I said I would not take up space with the Sunshine/Autumn/Sunbeam trend that arose in the 1960s, (remember River Phoenix?), but in case you are inclined to participate in the craze, don’t forget to check the liquor store, watch a few weather reports, and maybe also peruse the dessert section of a cookbook for ideas.  I’d hate for you to miss the opportunity to name your boy Cuppycake.

Middle names

A neat thing about naming is that you get to choose a second name for your child as well.  Almost every kid gets a middle name, too.  So keep that in mind as you go through your several naming books.  But be considerate to the child.  Consider how the two given names will sound together — or three, if you decide to go that far, (Billy Joe Bob, Mary Lou Jane).  Richard Maxwell Dunton Cunningham.  Consider how the string of names will sound, appear in writing, and challenge the one who must ultimately fill out forms and create a signature.

Consider, too, how a middle name will be used.  For instance, I’m acquainted with a woman whose given name — her first name — is Pamela Sue.  Computer databases sometimes don’t accept two-word first names, so people who transcribe the handwritten form to the on-screen boxes will insist that Sue is a middle name.  Then other people open the database and dial her up and call her Pamela, and she gets angry and tries to correct them.  But the computer always wins, the computer user always feels stupid, and Pamela Sue is always angry.  When she goes to seek counseling for her anger, what’s the first thing the counselor does?  Opens the database and calls her Pamela!  So, when you’re adding a middle name and you decide, for instance, that your child will be named Tae Rae Dawning McLaughlin, feel free to omit the space in TaeRae.  See?  (Computers have long been demolishing the linguistic purity of surnames such as von Trapp or de Tocqueville.  They capitalize the prepositions — von and de — or jam them into the next part, resulting in Vontrapp.)

The hyphenated first name is usually misunderstood, too.  Ask any Bobbi-Jo or Jessi-Rae.

Incidentally, I have four sisters, all younger than I.  They are the only Americans I’ve ever known, male or female, who were not given middle names.  Our father decided, when his first daughter was born in 1952, that a girl doesn’t need a middle name, since her maiden name will become her middle name when she marries.  (He assumed that Ann would become Mrs. George Laube, or Ann Woodbury Laube.)  So when each was born she was given just a first name.  All four did marry, and all four later divorced.  So they all landed in a situation that may be unique.  My youngest sister, upon enlisting in the Air Force in the 1980s, discovered that her papers listed her middle name as NMN — no middle name.  She is now known by her original given name and surname, but she inserts NMN when the occasion suggests.

Gender, or Where’s the girls’ section?

If gender is not obvious, then it must not matter.  The converse applies as well: If gender mattered, it would be obvious.  Therefore, this is probably the first book of Babie Nayms that makes no effort to ascribe gender to any name.  If a name sounds masculine enough to you, then use it for a boy.  If it sounds feminine enough, use it for a boy too, if you want to.  It has hardly mattered for many years whether Ashley is given to a girl or a boy.  I’ve heard of women named Michael, Randy, Stevie, and Alex, men named Jean, Pearl, Beverly, Amie, Sandy, and Fay.  Millions of men and women share the name Terry, spelled that way.  And now, millions of children of either gender share spelling variations of the name Dakota (along with quite a few dogs).

Since this book celebrates contrived names, as the author I am spared researching an origin or meaning for each entry.  That made the writing far less tedious.  I could have pretended there is a meaning for each one, the result being something akin to Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary:

Destiny, n. A tyrant’s authority for crime and a fool’s excuse for failure.

Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 explained

Remember that, in Part 1, these are names of existing whitish people and essentially are not of anything but Anglo- or indistinct heritage.  Maybe a few French-Canadian individuals are represented inconsequentially.  Some Slavs and Scandinavians, perhaps.  It’s impossible to filter them out entirely, and for that matter, it would be a pleasure to compile a list of names of everyone in Aroostook County, Maine.  The French influence there makes for a musical lilt to the spoken language, and the authentic French spellings are delightful.  As for the non-French names in the book: How do I know they’re all whitish?  Because they’re almost all from Maine, and Maine had a mere one tenth of one percent non-whitish in the population that was covered by the 2000 census.

In Part 2, which are my made-up names and other random suggestions, I have included a few names or words of other languages, just to give some examples of what can be done.  Part 2 also includes a few suggested words from the dictionary and place names and the like.  And it includes a short list of palindromes that could make nice given names.

Part 3 includes a list of surnames that may strike you as appropriate to become your child’s given name.  But I have avoided including too many that would certainly already occur to you, such as Horton.  If you know the book, Horton Hears A Who, then why do I need to suggest Horton to you again?

In Part 4, I have merely compiled a straight alphabetical list of all the names in the previous parts.

Without further adieu, here are the lists.  I can’t avoid commenting from time to time at the breaks, and if you stay with it, you will see why.