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Honor Names

We have a gal in the family named Kenzie, and recall that her parents were asked many times after the name announcement, "it's just Kenzie?" Friends and family considering it an invented name, or version of the top 100 at the time, MacKenzie.

We recently posted the name Kenzie on our instagram feed. A follower commented that she had the name on her list because her dad was (Ken)neth and her mother was Mit(zie). We thought, brilliant! We also know of a sweet little girl with the middle name Jack! Adore.

It got us thinking, what are the ways that you can pay tribute to someone when naming your baby? As we worked on this idea, we saw an extended family member post that her brother Jonathan had a baby girl this week and named her Johnna.

Dad's Name for Daughter
One of our favorite stories is of a loved one we know, Stephanie Leah who is named after her father, Stephen Lee. Female versions of male names are playful and make for such a fabulous honor name. It doesn't have to be as obvious as switching up the spelling or adding an "a" Here are some dad's names with a unique name for daughter:
Philip ~ Philomena
David~ Vida
Luke~ Lucia
Ryan~ Rhianna
Daniel~ Danica or Daniela
Matthew~ Matilda
William~ Willa
John~ Joni
Please leave a comment with a dad's name you could change up and give to a daughter.

Using Mom's Name for a Son
Elizabeth to Eli: The classic name "Elizabeth" can be shortened to the charming and trendy "Eli" for a son, celebrating the mother's name with a modern twist.
Katherine to Kaden: Transforming "Katherine" into "Kaden" retains the initial sound and offers a fresh, contemporary name choice for a boy.
Alexandra to Alexei: "Alexandra" can be transformed into the elegant and distinctive "Alexei," incorporating the mother's name while giving it a unique twist for a son. 
Originally for passing on names from father to son, by adding "son"think:
Jenny~ Jenson
Andrea~ Anderson
Emma~ Emerson
Olivia~ Olson? WDYT?
Please leave a comment with a mom's name you could change up and give to a son.

Combination of Names
We knew of a Kimathee. Yes, mom Kimberly and and Timothy. Putting names together can lead to a new name, and give special meaning to your name story. The jury is out on this idea, some namers are just not fans of "invented" names. We think that how a name makes you feel is everything, so if you can find a combination that works, go for it. There are some silly online tools that can give you every possible combination once you enter two names. Just for fun we tried a few using some couples we know on Most of the combos were jibberish.... but we had a blast trying it! We would love to hear if your combos produced any possible names. Here are some we thought could actually work:
Pamela and David~ Davela
Zachary and Megan~ Zachan
Blaine and Karen~ Karlaine
Kelly and Jeffrey~ Kellyrey
Amy and Justin~ Amystin
Ross and Rachel~ Rosachel

Embrace Family Tradition
One of the most direct ways to honor loved ones is by selecting a name from your family's history. This could involve resurrecting a long-forgotten name that was once held by a beloved ancestor. By giving your child a name that has been cherished by generations, you're carrying forward a legacy and celebrating the enduring bond of family.

If your great-grandfather's name was "Henry," you might consider naming your son "Harrison" as a modern twist on this timeless classic.

Place Names and Family Ties
Place names can also hold a wealth of sentimental value. If there's a location that holds special significance to your family, consider using its name as inspiration for your baby's name. This could be the city where your grandparents met or a tranquil vacation spot that brings back cherished memories.

If your parents' love story began in Paris, the name "Paris" could be a beautiful way to honor their journey. I've thought of somehow incorporating "Oak" as my childhood was spent at Oak Hill Park. (and/but those Oak- names are on the rise for sure!)

Creative Variations
Putting a unique spin on a loved one's name can result in a name that's both meaningful and original. Play around with variations, nicknames, or even initials to create a name that captures the essence of your loved one while giving your baby an identity all their own.

To honor a grandmother named "Margaret," you might opt for the name "Greta" or use the initials "M. G." for a son's name like "Maxwell Gray."

Why a Variation?
We admit, changing an "i" to a "y" is one of our least favorite trends in naming. That being said, a variation is one way to honor a loved one with your naming choice. We just think it should be obvious. One conversation I recall is about a mother wanting to honor the family name Baker, but was seeking an alternative. We thought, "why not just go with Baker?"

Go for It!
Be Bold. Stand Out. Honestly, if it feels right, go for it. If there is one thing we've learned is that there are WAY more name possibilities than we could even begin to imagine. You could just use your loved ones name as is.

When choosing a name to honor loved ones, remember that it's essential to find a balance between your heartfelt intention and a name that your child will carry with them throughout their life. 

In the end, choosing a name that honors your loved ones is a beautiful way to create a lasting connection between generations. Whether you opt for a traditional family name, a place with cherished memories, or a creative variation, your baby's name will carry the love and legacy of those who mean the most to you.

Here is a link to one of our gender neutral baby name videos, Boy Names for a Baby Girl. Check it out, and please let us know how you could or have already honored a loved one with your baby name choice.


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