Tag Archives: Spunky Names

Name of the Day: Winifred

I don’t think there’s any hope of selling this name to Peter, I’ve brought it up in the past. But I think it’s beautiful and adorable, one of my very very favorites! So, I’m going to try.

Derived from Gwenfrewi, it means blessed peace or reconciliation. I love the nicknames Winnie, Freddie or just Win or Fred! It has a lot of pop culture associations including characters in Hocus Pocus, Tuck Everlasting, Angel, Once Upon A Mattress, Mary Poppins, Jungle Book, and more. Through these associations, it is a name most are familiar with, though probably most don’t personally know a Winifred.

According to the legend of Saint Winifred, when Winifred decided to become a nun she had a suitor. When she told him of her choice, he decapitated her. Of course, her head was reattached, her attacker swallowed by the ground and she went on to do lots of great deeds. This tale makes her the patron saint of unwanted advances… which I think is pretty powerful!

Winifred Brunton was an artist known best for the pieces she made depicting Egyptian pharaohs. This is because her and her husband went on archaeological digs and she based her art of the ruins that they found, making her artwork more realistic than anything seen before on the subject.

Winifred Atwell was a pianist from Trinidad that had great success in the UK and Australia. She was without question the most successful pianist of her time, which is all the more impressive considering she was a black woman. Unfortunately for us in the states, she was never well known here. She was supposed to appear on the Ed Sullivan show, but producers thought the audience would be confused by a British sounding black woman and never recorded the segment (though she did fly in for it). Despite this, Winifred claimed to have not suffered from racism in her own life, but was very outspoken about the issue in society. Particularly, she spoke about the treatment of the aborigines in Australia, the place she called home later in life. She also donated her time and talents to charity concerts to help the needy and orphanages.

Winifred Maxwell was an aristocrat who saved her husband from the death sentence. The guards let her in to say goodbye on the night before his execution, she dressed him in woman’s clothing and escaped. I think that tale is a great example of bravery and love!

Other famous Winifreds include a silent film star, the first woman to earn a PhD in mathematics, several writers, one of the founders of modern speech therapy, educators, politicians and more. It’s a magical name, and if you’re reading this and considering naming your daughter Winifred, please do it!




Naming Lucille Beatrice

I’m a big name nerd. I always have been. My Mom got me my first book of baby names when I was about 7. I talk to my husband about what we will name our 3rd baby daily, even though we’re probably a year away from even trying to conceive this hypothetical 3rd baby.

Lucille and Lennon are both names we agreed on way back when we were dating. But of course when I became pregnant, name nerd that I am, I made a whole list of other boy and girl possibilities anyway. In the end, we chose to stick with our original selection of Lucille, but I thought it would be fun to share the other names that Peter and I considered for our first born.

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Gwendolyn: This was probably our 2nd favorite name. We wanted to use the nickname Wynnie. What we didn’t like about the name is the nickname Gwen seemed more natural and we weren’t as crazy about it. (Strangely, the name Gwen has now grown on me since then.) I also love the nickname Dolly. And though we wouldn’t use Wendy because Peter has an aunt with that name, it’s another cute option. Our last hesitation was my niece’s name ends in Lyn, so I didn’t know if it was too close.

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Cecilia: This is a lovely name and after it made our list my mom told me my great great grandmother was named Cecelia. Ultimately, it just didn’t seem like our daughter’s name… maybe because I don’t love the nickname Cece due to a past association. I now think I love Celia even more than Cecilia.

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Penelope: I love this name. I prefer nicknames Poppy and Nelly over Penny. However, my sister’s kids call their grandpa Poppy, so I thought it’d be weird for us personally.

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Phoebe: I think Phoebe is spunky and cute on a child but still elegant on an adult. This name would have fit out little ball of energy perfectly, but I don’t think it flows well our last name. And Peter hates the show FRIENDS so didn’t like the idea of people associating our daughter with the show. (For the record I had no problem with the association, I love FRIENDS!)

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Olive: I love this sweet name. My 2 problems with it are when I say a middle name (Beatrice for example) after Olive it sounds like I love Beatrice instead of Olive Beatrice. Also I hate the food olives so I didn’t know if it was weird for my daughter to share a name with a despised food.

View More: http://whimsyroots.pass.us/babylennon

Willow: I still love this name, so delicate but spunky at the same time. I do think it’s a name that fits certain personalities and appearances much better than others. Since we didn’t know what our daughter would grow up to be like, I kept this as a guilty pleasure name.

I still genuinely love all these names, and so does Peter. At the time that we chose to stick with Lucille I thought it would be nice to come back to this list if we ever have a 2nd daughter. But now I just feel like, even though they are all lovely, they’re Lucille’s backup names and I don’t want my 2nd daughter to have a “backup name”. Totally ridiculous, I know…. but it gives me an excuse to find more names! Which is thrilling for me. (Again, I know I’m ridiculous.)

So anyways, I figured I’d release this list of Lucille’s almost names into the universe and perhaps I can inspire others.

View More: http://whimsyroots.pass.us/babylennon

I suppose, since I included our reasons for loving each name above I should also include why we love Lucille’s name.

I’ve always thought Lucille was a beautiful, classic and elegant name. It’s been a top contender on my list of future daughter’s names since I was in middle school… Besides loving Lucille, I’ve always loved the nickname Lucy. To me it’s always been the happiest sounding name. Perhaps because of it’s upbeat meaning (light) or associations I have such as watching the Peanuts, I Love Lucy and listening to Hanson’s Middle of Nowhere album (The song Lucy was my favorite because it’s sung by Zac, who I wanted to marry. Actually a sad song…. but happy to me because I have happy memories listening to it). Back when we were dating I told Peter about my love for the name and he fell for it too. He loved the Lucille Ball association, agreeing with me that she was not only phenomenally talented, but paved the way for many other successful women.

We called Lucille Lucy most of our pregnancy. We planned on calling her Lucy as a child and figured she’d grow into the name Lucille. The day she was born both Peter and I started calling her Lucille. We never discussed why (until recently) but we ended up never call her Lucy. Lucille just seemed to come more naturally.

Months ago we started calling her Lulu from time to time, thinking that would be an easy name for her brother to say. This is now the name she identifies with most. She introduces herself as Lulu or Lulu Bea. Once in awhile she’ll even correct people who call her Lucy. (She’s a spit fire, that one.)

Her middle name, Beatrice, is after my grandmother. I want to write a post about her soon, so I’m not going to say any more about that right now.

On another note, Lucille is so full of energy, determination and laughter that we sometimes joke Lucille Ball has been reincarnated into our daughter.

What are your favorite girl names? Any from this list you hadn’t considered but are now?