Name This Baby
August 19, 2010 6:08 PM   Subscribe

What should we name this unborn person (gender unknown)?

We're quickly approaching D-day and can't come up with a baby name. We've decided not to find out the gender, so that means the field of options is so wide that we feel overwhelmed and a little sweaty. I'm starting to panic.

Part of the challenge is we want the name to fit with our first kid's name: Oz. We call him Ozzie. His name came from nowhere, that is to say my husband's brain; we feel no specific affinity toward Judy Garland or heavy metal bands.

The last name that we'll use for the kiddo is one syllable and begins with an "S," but we're not overly concerned with that or with a middle name at this point.

What we do know: we don't want a popular name (eg, Jayden); we don't want a classic name (eg, Henry); we like that "Oz" has a Hebrew origin (among others) but aren't looking for a typical Hebrew/Jewish-sounding name; on the other hand, the kid probably won't be suited to a typical Nordic or Greek name (eg, Thor), if the stature of Oz is a prototype.

Ultimately the name "Oz" stuck because it is fun, unusual, quirky, memorable, and happens to have some solid pop culture associations. Is it possible to find a few more names (even just one more of each gender) with these sorts of characteristics?
posted by rabidsegue to Human Relations (54 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I liked Saul, but my wife didn't.

Matches a few of your criteria.
posted by antiquark at 6:12 PM on August 19, 2010




posted by Sassyfras at 6:13 PM on August 19, 2010

Sorry, I thought you said you wanted the name to start with S. The alliteration of S.S. probably means Saul won't work.
posted by antiquark at 6:14 PM on August 19, 2010

I like Jules/Jude because of the Pulp Fiction connection, and of course Jude goes well with Oz because of the Judy Garland Wizard of Oz tie-in, but it isn't too cutesy.

Of course, there was also an Oz on 'Buffy', so you could go with Anya or Xander, too.
posted by misha at 6:20 PM on August 19, 2010

posted by kimdog at 6:31 PM on August 19, 2010

Don't fret it - just wait to see the little dude/tte. It will come.

Some ideas.
posted by Sebmojo at 6:33 PM on August 19, 2010

Some options with Hebrew origins:

Ham — but you could call him Hammond

Leah, if it's a girl

Both go nicely with number one: Ozzie and Ham, Ozzie and Leah.

For more ideas, browse Wikipedia's list of Biblical names, and look for the short ones.
posted by beagle at 6:35 PM on August 19, 2010

Griffin (inspired by the movie The Player)

Roxanne (previously)
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:40 PM on August 19, 2010

I like Effie—the name of my old neighbor. Ham is awesome too.

David is my favorite name. I will name my first child David, even if it's a girl.
posted by lhude sing cuccu at 6:41 PM on August 19, 2010

For a boy:
Ezekiel (Zeke)

for a girl:
posted by KathrynT at 6:41 PM on August 19, 2010

I'm sorry, but you can't name a child "Ham." My ideas? Boy: Zidane. Girl: Sookie.
posted by smorange at 6:45 PM on August 19, 2010 [5 favorites]

For boys:

Morris (Moe for short)

For girls
Lilith (Lil)
Maureen (Mo)
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:47 PM on August 19, 2010

I'm sorry, but you can't name a child "Ham."
Beg to differ, I've known several Hams in my life. I stand by my suggestion. If you want to avoid connotations or associations, make it Hammond or Hamilton.
posted by beagle at 6:55 PM on August 19, 2010

Zoe for a girl
and for a boy:
Ezekiel (call him Zeke)
posted by Anitanola at 6:56 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, you do realize that you can contact your doctor and he will tell you, right? Just because he didn't tell you during the ultrasound doesn't mean that he/she doesn't know. Its right there in the ultrasound. 3 lines of 2.

Lots of....European names here.

My advice is not to give the kid a nickname as a name. He can always shorten his name as a informal nickname...but "Oz isn't short for anything, its my full first name" kinda limits him/her.
posted by hal_c_on at 7:12 PM on August 19, 2010


posted by antgly at 7:15 PM on August 19, 2010

Best answer: To match with Oz, why not choose another fictional land?. Avalon might be a girls name (?). Maybe Pala (apparently the island in Aldus Huxley's Island).

[As a complete aside, whoever made that list has way too much time on their hands]

Alternatively, you could go with a Wizard's name.
posted by bessel functions seem unnecessarily complicated at 7:22 PM on August 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

Oz = Ozymandias
posted by Vindaloo at 7:23 PM on August 19, 2010

Mostly what Sebmojo said with the addition of don't force a name that doesnt fit.

We went into labor (10 weeks ago) not knowing the baby's gender with a list of about 15 names.

Once she was born we didn't even think about names for the first 24 hours even though staff kept coming in and asking us if she had a name yet.

After about a day we started talking about it, and 75% of the names went right out the window; gender inappropriate or they simply didn't fit (she wasn't an Ellie or a Tessa or an Isabelle for example).

We talked about the names we had left on the list, talked about a few that weren't, continued to ignore the "does she have a name yet?" questions and by the time we left the hospital had a name that we felt fit her.

We're both still happy about her name.
posted by dolface at 7:25 PM on August 19, 2010

Jazz (Jasmine)
posted by cocoagirl at 7:27 PM on August 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

Ezra (Ezzy)

Or, since L. Frank Baum claims to have gotten the name of his Oz from a little filing cabinet on his desk (one drawer was labeled "O-Z"), you could move earlier in the alphabet and name your child-to-be Em if it's a girl or Al if it's a boy.
posted by alms at 7:34 PM on August 19, 2010

Best answer: For a girl, how about Zuzu? The referent is lovely (Zuzu's petals from It's a Wonderful Life), and you seem to like "z."
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:35 PM on August 19, 2010

I hunted through my Melting Pot Book of Baby Names, and mostly looked for names that were somewhat unusual, but not beaten-up-in-kindergarten unusual. My list ended up skewing more Jewish than pop culture. I also tended to pick one/two syllable names, ones with a strong consonant sound (to match with the "z" in Oz), and ones with a different concluding vowel sound than the long e sound in Ozzie. And then I had a plate of beans. Anyway...

Abigail, Ada, Adele, Anastasia, Astrid, Beatrix/Beatrice, Charlotte, Chloe, Claire, Esther, Isabel, Lola, Miriam, Naomi, Natalie, Nina, Raquel, Roxanne, Ruth, Simone, Sophie, Stella, Thea, Violet, Zoe

Alec, Alexander, Avery, Bruno, Dominic, Ethan, Felix, Gabriel, Heath, Isaac, Jack, Jacob, Leo, Max, Oliver, Otto, Owen, Sebastian, Simon, Stefan, Tobias, Tyler, Zachary
posted by booksherpa at 7:40 PM on August 19, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks all for the suggestions thus far--you've given us a lot to think about.

Jaltcoh your response is completely eerie: Zuzu has been the only name we've vaguely considered since the positive pregnancy test, precisely for Zuzu's petals. Shocking that anyone would think of it.
posted by rabidsegue at 7:48 PM on August 19, 2010 [3 favorites]

Don't give your kid a name that "goes with" Oz, like Jude/Judy, Dorothy, Willow, or whatever. Without really thinking about it, my parents gave Old Testament names to my closest-in-age sibling and me. It gets sort of tiresome hearing, "Wow Sara and Isaac*, how biblical!" I can only imagine how awful it would have been if we were Sara and Abraham, or some other name that would have been seen in the 80's as "going with" Sara.

On to the positive:

This is largely in non-gender specified order


Many of these are nicknames, or names with a lot of variants. Do with that info what you will. Some people are horrified by the prospect of an Alex who isn't Alexander or a Tess who isn't Theresa. Maybe you are these people? Maybe you don't care?

I also like Asher, which has been mentioned here.

*Not his real name
posted by Sara C. at 7:48 PM on August 19, 2010

Jaltcoh your response is completely eerie: Zuzu has been the only name we've vaguely considered since the positive pregnancy test, precisely for Zuzu's petals. Shocking that anyone would think of it.

Whoa... Now that has to be her name! (If she's a she)
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:51 PM on August 19, 2010

Or, along the movie theme, Clarence.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:55 PM on August 19, 2010

Or, along the movie theme, Clarence.

And as a bonus, he gets to be named after one of America's leading jurists!
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:58 PM on August 19, 2010


By the way, here's a great way to test a name. IT'S THE ANNUNCIATE WHILE SHOUTING TEST! It'll get you a name that will sound great on important occasions. Graduation. When being introduced formally. Etc and so on and so forth, etc.


posted by 2oh1 at 8:12 PM on August 19, 2010 [4 favorites]

My wife and I had a long list of acceptable names if we had a girl but none that we could agree on for a boy. After reading every baby name book in the library, we finally came across "Pace" which is one variant of the Middle English spelling for "Peace" (and also means peace in Italian though we didn't know that at the time.)

Of course when baby came out to meet us, he was a boy. We were a bit nervous about telling people (eg. grandparents) the name because it was so unusual and not just "trendy" unusual (Jaxson) but "are you sure you didn't just make that up completely?" unusual.

Ironically, it was bumping into an Italian gentleman in the elevator at the hospital who said "Ahh, Pah-chey!" when they told him the name that helped justify our otherwise weird choice. We also liked that the name, though unusual, was short and a common word so our son wouldn't have to spend his life spelling/explaining it to people. (What we didn't count on was that because it is so out of left field that this happens anyhow.)

You also have to accept that you would be connected to any phrase like "keep up the pace" and the popular salsa brand.

But otherwise, if you ultimately are looking for "fun, unusual, quirky, memorable" (no direct pop culture associations but I'm sure our son will be called a hippie love child when he reaches school age), Pace is one suggestion if your baby is an outey rather than an innie.
posted by Jaybo at 8:36 PM on August 19, 2010

Best answer: Arlo

I call my son Zachary "Zoo-Zoo" sometimes. Zuzu passes the yelling out the back door test.
posted by artychoke at 8:56 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Maisy or Hazel. My sister would kill me for recommending Maisy, since it's "her" name for a girl, but she's got three boys now and I don't think she's aiming for another one.
posted by Hildegarde at 9:04 PM on August 19, 2010

You can name a child Ham. It is Bacon that is prohibited.

I would go for enunciate while shouting rather then annunciating .

As previously suggested, wait until the child is born. A name will seem right for who the child is rather than what you liked in advance.
posted by llc at 9:04 PM on August 19, 2010

For a girl: Trena, Evie, Isra, Freya, Reva, Keely, Selah, Alina.

For a boy: Darby, Easton, Ruskin, Zion, Pierce, Keane, Stiles, Yacoby.

You could have the initials spell something; e.g. Yacoby Easton S___ or Keely Isra S___.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 9:18 PM on August 19, 2010

My grandfather's name was Jim Warren Lastname, not even James. My great grand parents then proceeded to come up with Denver Lucerne, Lacy, Jule and Pinkney for the following sons and Hebe for the one sister. I also have an ancestor named Hardy. I like those names just not quite enough to have a new set of little people to carry them. Probably just me.
posted by Carbolic at 9:21 PM on August 19, 2010

And another great uncle named Speed. (Some sort of north of New Orleans Louisiana phenomenon using the family names of friends.)
posted by Carbolic at 9:29 PM on August 19, 2010

If you like Sookie, make sure that you're aware of the character in the HBO series True Blood with the same name.
posted by kylej at 9:31 PM on August 19, 2010

posted by sanko at 9:34 PM on August 19, 2010

I've only got two suggestions, but they immediately popped into my head. For a lil dude: O'Neil (from a book by Justin Cronin called Mary and O'Neil). For a lil dudette: Trine (got a Norwegian friend named that, and I think she pronounces it Treen-eh [roll the r!], but I think "Treen" sounds pretty on its own and it's monosyllabic).
posted by LokiBear at 12:17 AM on August 20, 2010

Girl: Ivany, Amity, Opal, or Echo.

Boy: Zane, Jude, Pax, or Quint.
posted by houseofdanie at 12:26 AM on August 20, 2010

You could give it an IP address.
posted by llc at 1:59 AM on August 20, 2010

Oz makes me think of Australia. So does Taz (tassie, tasmania), koala, Uluru, wombat, dingo, and Dundee.

Thinking about pop culture, pop... poppies - Jamie Oliver's kids: Petal Blossom Rainbow joins big sisters Daisy Boo and Poppy Honey.

There's an old Australian joke.

Yes sweetie?
Why did you call me Rainbow?
Because rainbows are beautiful and unexpected.
Why did you call me Rainbow Dirt?
Well, I added Dirt because all our vegetables grow in the dirt, and it's fun to play with, and it's so grounded and earthy.
Yes, dear?
Why did you call me Rainbow Dirt Collingwood?
Oh, they were your father, dear.

With that in mind,
(Red) Sox
49er (Clementine?)

Kayfer (K for kid)

and finally, this link may assist.
posted by b33j at 2:00 AM on August 20, 2010

If you like Sookie, make sure that you're aware of the character in the HBO series True Blood with the same name.

Then again, as long as you spell it Sukie and pronounce the first vowel sound to rhyme with "boot" or "true", you're probably fine. Sookie from the TV series is pronounced like book/cook/look.

Also, I see nothing wrong with naming babies after TV characters, since most likely the show will be long off the air and forgotten by the time your kid is old enough to be aware of such things.
posted by Sara C. at 7:21 AM on August 20, 2010

Depends on the TV show and how iconic the characters become. My parents almost named me "Laura" and my younger brother "Luke" (both their names begin with L and they toyed with the all-L names idea). Mind you this was BEFORE the national phenomenon of a soap opera supercouple: so I'm doubly glad they didn't end up choosing that route, as Bro and I would have been in elementary school for the big wedding.
posted by 100watts at 7:40 AM on August 20, 2010

Sure, but aside from the association with your sibling, nobody would care. I grew up with several Lauras and Lukes (in the 80's, when the Luke and Laura thing was a thing). Nobody cared. Those kids never got any comments worse than the "Oh, that's so biblical!" that my brother and I got.

Which, btw, I'm sure they already get with their son named Oz - a prominent character on a 90's TV show, the title of another well-known series, not to mention all the "Off To See The Wizard" connotations.
posted by Sara C. at 7:54 AM on August 20, 2010

I like Sukie and Zuzu best out of the names listed here. Remember that in ten years time True Blood won't be on air anymore.

Lulu is cute. Or Theda. Basically, I like 20s flapper names for girls - Iris, Evie, Stevie, Mo.
posted by mippy at 8:27 AM on August 20, 2010




Xan, this comes from my own name, Alexandra. A nickname my parents gave me growing up was xannie.
posted by fontophilic at 8:29 AM on August 20, 2010

For Hebrew names, some of my faves are:

Yael - (strength - which, BTW, so does Oz)
Aviv or Aviva (spring)
Emmett or Emet (truth)

BTW - Zusa means sweet in Yiddish.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:46 AM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Linus is my personal suggestion (I'm biased) but comes up with these possibilities:


posted by pyjammy at 11:28 AM on August 20, 2010

posted by jstarlee at 1:04 PM on August 20, 2010

Boy or Girl: Marley, Sloane

Girl: I always have liked the name Migle because I find it quirky yet pretty.

Boys: Cash, Miles, Ramone
posted by heatherly at 1:21 PM on August 20, 2010

Will you please report back after the grand event? I would love to know who Oz's sibling turns out to be.
posted by houseofdanie at 3:26 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Twyla Mae was born under a full moon. She would have been named Arlo Moss if a boy (thanks very much artychoke). Jaltcoh, we tried so hard to maintain the nerve to keep Zuzu but became fearful of some sort of Zsu Zsu pets backlash once we discovered their existence. Twyla came to me after researching bessel functions seem unnecessarily complicated's idea of another fictional land: I used Land of Oz maps to brainstorm other names, and found an area called Twi, which somehow became Twyla in my head.

Your responses were a great help. I hope this follow-up will encourage others not to hesitate to ask meta their baby naming question if/when the need arises. Thanks to all of you.
posted by rabidsegue at 7:44 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yay! Congratulations! Twila Mae is a great name!
posted by artychoke at 9:57 PM on October 26, 2010

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