Unique/Unusual names vs. Common/Popular names

Nichole - posted on 07/06/2010 ( 215 moms have responded )

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Just a debate for fun. Which names do you prefer for naming your kids? Common/popular names or unique/unusual names? Why?



I love unique names for a first name so the name my child goes by will never or very rarely be the name of another kid. My son will never be 1 of several kids with his name in a class at school or such. But for his middle name I chose a common name (his fathers name). So his name is Lacota Ryan.



For future children I will follow the same pattern. Unique first name, common middle name.



How about all of you?

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Eloise - posted on 07/09/2010

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It's also a good idea to say the full name out loud, to listen to the cadence of it. ( Alisa Leanne is a wonderful cadence) Also, just the first and last names..to make sure it's a nice feel. Try to avoid the first name ending with the same letter as the last name, hard to pronounce. Don't name your baby a nickname, name him/her the full standard name.. not Eddie, but "Edward" so he can decide what he wants to be called later in life. It's your job to give that child the name he'll answer to for decades, so think less of the fun you're having with the naming, and think more of this child's experiences in carrying that name forever.

Josie - posted on 07/06/2010

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I don't like unique names. I don't get what the fascination is with them. Your child will grow up having to correct people all their lives. My son's name is Edward, no middle name. He's named after his dad.

Rochelle - posted on 07/10/2010

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well my son is part hawaiian so i wanted to give him a hawaiian name that meant something...so for his first name i choose Kekoa, which i thought was adorable name and it means" the brave one", and for his middle name i choose Kahelemeakua (ka-hey-lay-meh-a-kua) which means "the one walking with God"..i like unique names just because not many people have them and i my name is common and i dont really like my name ha

Karen - posted on 07/09/2010

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I like unique names, but as a substitute teacher, please spell it like it sounds. It is hard on kids when their names can't be pronounced correctly. My 20 year old is Ethan--NOBODY had that name then, Now it is in the top 5, so know that even if it is unique, now, it may not be in 5 or 10 years.

Amy - posted on 07/06/2010

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I went with pretty common names. When you choose an unique name you are making it hard on them down the road when it comes time for them to get a job. I know that potential employers aren't allowed to discriminate but you are setting them up for that possibility, that and they will always have to correct everyone. Before I got married I had a last name no one could pronounce and I found it annoying to either correct everyone or listen to them mispronounce all the time, now I have one where they screw up the i and e equally annoying!

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Jennifer - posted on 07/14/2010

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I try to stay away from popular names, but I also prefer to stick with traditional names. For example, my son's name is Theodore (Teddy) - it's traditional but not popular - it's unlikely that there will be more than one in his class, or even in his school. I generally don't like unique names or spellings as I wouldn't want people stumbling over the spelling or pronunciation of my child's name for their whole life, jmho though.

Crystal - posted on 07/14/2010

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My husband and I named our son Jedidiah Paul, we are Star Wars geeks and call him Jedi for short. Our next son we would like to name him Whittaker James and for daughters Audrey Lenae and Cadence..well haven't gotten a middle name yet.

Shannon - posted on 07/14/2010

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Unique names are the way to go, you want your children to have their own identity! My daughter is Ryenne (pronouced Ryan) I've heard this name before for a girl but very unpopular! People would look at me all strange when I would tell them her name...they would always say, that's a boys name!! Actually, it's unisex to be honest! My son's name is Rhys,(pronounced Reese) it's not popular now but I think it soon will be, I'm hoping not...I like the fact that it's short and simple, no shortening of names! I paired Ryenne's name with Oliviah to make it sound more feminine and I spelt it more Femininine, I think it's an unique spelling and hoping that it stays that way! Everyone is different, they think with a popular name they won't get teased but kids will find a way no matter what, that's just part of growing up! It's natural for kids to do it, not saying its right or wrong, just it's the way of life! btw, I like Lacota Ryan, that's really cute!

Denise - posted on 07/14/2010

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I love unique names! Or at least the spelling. There are some cons though. My kids will never get to buy a suvenior with their name on it from the spinners full of brushes, key chains, etcetera. Which doesn't sound at all important to us at this age but to a kid, it is the exact kind of exclusivity we seek that makes them feel "left out"....I have a Devynn Raeann, Delaney Renae and Demmy Rochelle.....

Sara - posted on 07/14/2010

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Reply to Kerri. I like the name Aulden for a boy's middle name if we have another boy

Stacey - posted on 07/14/2010

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I like names that are not too common, but not way out there weird. My oldest daughter is Jodee Renee and my youngest is Rylee Brianne. The spellings are different, but for reason.

For Jodee - My MIL goes by her middle name Jo, my mom goes by her middle name Dee. We just pushed the two together to get Jodee and used my middle name.

For Rylee - Jodee picked the name Rylee. (It wasn't that common at the time she picked it) Since Lee is a common name in my family, I spelled it like that in honor of them.

IF we ever decide to have another I want to use my husband's initials, DS. And if it turns out to be another girl, I will have to continue the "EE" tradition. Right now, my top picks are Dafnee Sine' (pronounced Sin-Ay) for a girl, or Dawson Shase for a boy. (Dawson means "son of David" and David is my husband's name.)

Lindsey - posted on 07/14/2010

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I have to agree with everyone who says they just like what they like haha. I have a 1 yr old daughter Leyah (pronounce leah) middle name Hailey.

Kelly - posted on 07/14/2010

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Actually my kids names are not hugely common and with middle names I always went with a family name. My oldest has a middle name both Grandfathers shared so his name is Jordan William. Then with my next two I used last names as their middle names and used both Grandmothers last names on each side so one is Austin Masterson__________ and the next is Cole MacGeoghegan_______. If I would have had a fourth I would have used my maiden name. I like the historical family use of nsames for the middle and one i really like for their first name. What is a HUGE problem is when people take a common name and change all the spelling up to be unique. Then they have a lifetime of correcting the spelling in school, the work place and other. My mom encountered that as a preschool teacher and she said it was very difficult.

Laura - posted on 07/14/2010

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That's what I did with my daughter, who is now 12. Her name is Ceridwyn (pronounced with a hard "c", or "k" sound). Her middle name is a family name, Jeanette, after her maternal great-grandmother. She hasn't encountered any other Ceridwyns in school so far! (Ceridwyn has several different spellings but they all refer to the Celtic/Welsh Mother Goddess of poetic inspiration and knowledge...)

Carrie - posted on 07/14/2010

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My son is Grah (pronounced Gray). I wanted a name based on my family name, Graham, but not exactly that name. Some people love it and some people hate it, which they make clear that they do. What is important is that it means something to us.

DarLinda - posted on 07/14/2010

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I have mixed feelings on this subject. My brother & I have somewhat unique names (can't find key chains w/ our names). Dakus (Day-cus - brother) & DarLinda. I personally like not sharing my name with many. My dad's philosophy was "When I call my kid at a horse sale, I only want one kid to answer." As a professional business person - this can break a deal so fast. I have found in HR that some people will never even get an interview because of their name. Call it discrimination or whatever you'd like, but it is reality. I have seen some of the most qualified resumes come through various organizations and they get tossed aside because of the 'unique' names. My son came close to being Thayne Bradley, however I decided that I needed to give him real opportunity in life - so I went with Aaron - which also has a lot of personal meaning.

Maria - posted on 07/14/2010

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I like unusual name for a boy and has a meaning on the name. Name like Ashoka, Geronimo , Airlangga, Alexandre, Constantine which are iconic name from the past. My son name is Ashoka- from the great Emperor of India who was advocate for non violence and set the penal code of law in India history. But now, he feel he wants to be Airlangga who was a King of Java and ride a a mythical bird garuda as his vehicle. So, I will call him Airlangga from now on.

Linda - posted on 07/14/2010

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I too love unusual names. However, they can create burdens for the child once they reach school age. An usual name will be mispronounced and misspelled. A name on a class list that is not readily gender indentifiable may result in the wrong color name tag or table assignment. Parents must prepare the child for dealing with these obstacles!

Deborah - posted on 07/14/2010

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I like well known but not common. Laura is known by everyone, but I hven't met anyone around her age yet with a child called laura. Its one of those beautiful but forgotten names...



i spent my whole childhood spelling my surname and hated every phone call. When ordering chineses or taxis I used my mums maiden name. So I guess my choice of a name reflected that... I didn't want my daughter to grow up resenting her name, after all mine was a surname and when I got married it changed, but you can't change a first name so easily...

Vanessa - posted on 07/14/2010

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I LOVE K's...no idea why but i wanted to use K's. i always wanted to name my kids Kayden and Khloee but too many people are call kayden of some form and my brother in law stole khloee 4 mths before my daughter was born...and he spelt it the traditional way chloe..=(

my daughter is now Kaleigh which i love much more then Khloee and i think she looks more like a Kaleigh too. with my son my hubby suggested cole..do not like that but then we decided on Kolby which i LOVE too...they arent too far out as i know kids can be mean and target you for any reason but they are spelt differently so not many others will have the same spelling.

Tanya - posted on 07/14/2010

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I have a common name that people have always spelt wrong, so I wanted names for my kids that were less uncommon, even if it's only a little. Both my kids have been named after their great-grandparents for first names and celebrities for middle names.
The first one - Petamaree, a combination of Peter and Mary, and Shania (Twain).
The second one - Jenell, a combination of Maxwell and Jenny, and Jorja (Fox). She gets called JJ.
Another reason I hate common names is that I have so many people in my family that share the same names. Most notably are two of sisters who are both called Debbie (they themselves are not related). My ex-sister-in-law also has that name. My ex-husband has the same name as my brother. I also recently found out that I have two nephews named Tyler. There are a few other shared names in the extended family too. It can be so confusing.

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I like uncommon names, but with a meaning and some age. On the whole I can't bear the whole made-up name thing, especially if coupled with unexpected spellings. Ultimately, it's the choice of the parents, but please don't complain when people spell/pronounce the name incorrectly or ask for spelling/pronounciation.

I have three girls, Stephanie Jade, Thalia Julie and Victoria Isabel. Where we live (SW UK) the names are well known but not common. The only problem we've encountered is with Thalia's name where we pronounce it Ta-lia and other people say Taa-lia or Tha-lia. Luckily, Thalia has got used to never finding personalised mugs or pens in shops.

I don't know about anyone else, but I notice a huge difference in the names chosen by parents on one side of the Pond, compared to the other.

We're still thinking about names for baby #4 who is due in December.

Roxanne - posted on 07/14/2010

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My daughters name is also quite unusual, Makennae, pronounced Mckenna, i had a dream about it before i fell pregnant. We also gave her the second name of my husbands sister who past away, its also unusual, Chanine, Pronounced Shanine. So in all i have a pretty unusually named litte girl. Makennae Chanine Chase

Amanda - posted on 07/14/2010

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I like names that arent so popular you end up with 3 in your childs class.My eldest son is Leon Ceri,my next child is Felix Alexander and my daughter is Lani Isabella.Although ive met children with the same names there not the same year groups either.Apart from when Felix went to school his nursery class was in two groups and there was another Felix in the other group.But we both moved to the area were from uk and there from Denmark.

Susan - posted on 07/13/2010

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Very briefly...girls can carry unusual/unique names easier than boys. Boys tend to get chided for sounding too "weird". Just quoting a research article so "Don't shoot the messenger, please."

Ali - posted on 07/13/2010

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I chose a name that is becoming more common but used the European spelling as I didn't want my daughter to have the same initials as me and I spent a lot of time overseas pregnant so this influenced me as well. Therefore Amelia became Emilia. I decided on this name as it meant lively and energetic and Emi never stopped moving on the inside and is now a very energetic 11 month old.

Valerie - posted on 07/13/2010

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I like names that everyone knows that are not that common, Simon, Jane, Heidi, Lucy so far they seem to be the only kids their age with those names.

Carissa Marie - posted on 07/13/2010

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My name is Carissa Marie. Not so unique anymore. But when I was growing up it was very unique. I named my children Destiny Tamara and Kamaya Gene. I like a name that is unique as it stands out and is different. Although one problem with unique names is you can never find your name in any of the merchandise that comes preprinted with your name. You have to have it made special.

Irene - posted on 07/13/2010

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I like unique names but with a meaning. I do not like naming after people though. I wanted my children to have their own unique identity and reflect that through their names. My 1st gal is called Shani Neema both swahili names meaning Wonderful Grace and my 2nd gal is called Nia Imani swahili names meaning Faithful Purpose. I love their names but they are becoming more and more common in our society now.

Shannon - posted on 07/13/2010

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I prefer using unique names for my kids first names as well. My son's name is Tobin Edward Joseph. I fell in love with the name Tobin when I first saw it, his middle names are his dads middle name and my grandpas middle name. My daughters name is Aili Lynne. Aili pronounced eye lee. Lynne after my best friend. If I were to have one more baby I would name it if it is a girl, Daisy for the first name and either Elaine or Jean for the middle name. I haven't picked a boys name yet. Just thought i'd share this info with ya since my kids names are pretty unique. Oh, I really like your son's first name, I've never seen it before.

Lauren - posted on 07/13/2010

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My baby's name is Camden :) I thought it was old and unique. I call him cam or din ♥

Lanae - posted on 07/13/2010

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We're all for unique/uncommon names in my family! Not weird or far out ones, just not common ones. For the first 3 of our kids, we used family names for middle names....Adair Freeman, Baylen Wilder, Corle' ( cor-lay) Reece, and then Delys Layla. Delys rhymes with Denise and the middle name belonged to a sweet little girl who lost a brave battle to cancer, so it's sort of in memory of her. If there were a 5th surprise, yes, we'd find a unique and uncommon E name!

Kelli - posted on 07/13/2010

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My daughters name is Sunshine. I have never been fond of common names. I love the fact that when people learn that Sunshine is her name, you can see their faces light up instantly.

Tanya - posted on 07/13/2010

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I love unique names, I have 2 boys and i wanted to name them names the would never or rarely be heard and if heard not on a girl. We wanted to name our boys powerful names.
My oldest son is Xavier and youngest is Achilles.
I've only met 1 other Xavier and never an Achilles.
by the way love your son's name:) I always love to hear different names on kids, not the every day names.

Holly - posted on 07/13/2010

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I much prefer unique or interesting names. I think the classics are popular for a reason, they're good names but I like the idea that my child's name is unique.

Millie - posted on 07/13/2010

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Well, my girls named their boys: Hunter, Tanner, Lofton, and Keller, ( Common names:Daniel,and Nathan) so I guess I go for the unusual names.:) I just hope that they don't have problems with their names when they grow up!

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I really didn't have a strong opinion. And didn't think I would have 'strange' names, but I did. My baby is Samuel Fox, and we call him Fox. My daughter also has a family name, but it is not an animal.

Heather - posted on 07/13/2010

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I think unique names are ok just not for me..my daughters are Emma June and Eryn Elizabeth....the craziest I got was the different spelling of Eryn! hee hee

Tanasha - posted on 07/13/2010

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Our daughter is renae marie. Renae is my middle name and marie is her dad's mom's middle name. Our son is Dyllan Jacob. He liked the name Dyllan I chose the spelling, its Welsh/Irish (depending on who you ask it shows up under both nationalities) which reflects my Irish heritage since he has his dads scottish last name (Ridpath). I prefer slightly more common names over unique names.... most because kids can be so mean sometimes. My name is Tanasha and I got teased - ALOT from about 5th grade up to high school for it. Nobody knows what it means or even what its nationality is, if it even has one lol. I decided I didnt want my children to be teased the way I was over a name.



On a side note: I am adopted, so I guess its my biological mom I should be angry at lol.

Tania - posted on 07/13/2010

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Im not in to the really unusual but i like to try and pick names you dont here everyday. My eldest her name is Heidi Leigh, leigh as her middle name because its her dads and my youngest is Xander Tasman, tasman as his middle name after my dad and brother. But Xander is becoming more and more popular these days

Nicole - posted on 07/13/2010

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After having worked over 10 years in the finance industry before having kids, I wanted traditional names with traditional spelling (you have no idea how long it took me correct documents for Philip (one L). My sons are Jack Alan and Cameron James. Most legal documents only have room for one middle name anyway. I have a stutter, so at least I don't have to spell their names every time.

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Going for meaning and family ties, we named our daughter Kathleen Danielle. Obviously, neither name is unique--but when you put it all together with her surname, you have an Irish name followed by a French name followed by a surname that's the most common in the world--and is Chinese!

As a combination, is it unique? I'd have no way of knowing. What matters is that God has already given each of us our uniqueness. What we're named neither completes nor negates what He has done.

Tessa - posted on 07/13/2010

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i love unusual names! but thats just the way it is in my family. i personally cannot stand plain boring names as they have no character. there is nothing better than having someone ask you your name and it being a conversation starter, especially for someone shy like me, gives me something to talk about. My babies are Hunter and Lux. some other naes from my family are: Girls- Tika, Blasi, Zambri, Cedella, Beppina, Paisley, Sian, Kiara Boys- Brae, Tobiah, Zedekiah, Dakota

Bobbiann - posted on 07/13/2010

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Interesting question, Nichole. For my children, we chose names that are common, but not popular: Joe and Louise. Everyone has heard the names before and can spell them, and yet there are no other kids in their school with the same names. I didn't want them to have to deal with a long, hard-to-spell name like I did. :-)

Juliet - posted on 07/13/2010

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As a parent I wanted a unique name but as a teacher I know how frustrated kids get when their names are constantly pronounced or spelt incorrectly. I also feel sorry for the kids who when the teacher calls their name have to ask "which one?"!! (I have 4 "Liams" in one class and 3 in another!).
We called our little girl Zoe Ann. Not a unique name but not overly popular either, and easy to spell. Unfortunately people still can't seem to spell the Ann right!!!

Lindsay - posted on 07/13/2010

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Pamela, obviously I don't know much about numerology, so forgive me if i happen to sound dumb, but when you say you wanted power numbers for your son's name, does that mean his name is like.. Eight?

Janice - posted on 07/13/2010

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I more or less did the same. I gave my 2 children unusual first names but very normal middle names. That way if they didn't like them then they could use their middle names when they were older. They are grown men now and still use their first names, both of them.

Pamela - posted on 07/13/2010

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Thanks for a fun question! I am ever grateful to my Mother for being wise enough for NOT naming any of us, (save my brother) after anyone in our family. She had come from a parent who chosen famous names (at that time) to name her children.

I did that same thing with my first child, but changed to unique names thereafter because I had learned by then, on my Spiritual path, that each of us is UNIQUE and deserves our own name.

If we are strong enough psychically, we can ask our child their name and they will tell us. If not, we choose. I chose using numerology. I wanted power numbers for my sons names and have chosen so. It is interesting that the state never correctly listed their names as requested when filing. I do know their names and therefore am aware that the universe is in accord with me, and not the state records of their births!

Obviously, I vote for unique!

Kerri - posted on 07/13/2010

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I Like original/uncommon names. Different without being weird lol. My sons are named ALDEN and CALEM. People always ask me where I came up with them. I love their names and I don't think they are too different to make them hate me when they grow up :)

Lindsay - posted on 07/13/2010

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it doesn't matter if it's the 5th listed or the 1st, I didn't say it was the only one, I said that it is a definition, proving that people who've said they like/dislike kind of/sort of/whatever unique names, are not wrong just because you choose to follow the absolute literal definition. infact, aside from fingerprints, (which isn't always true, twins, for example) nothing is truly unique using your definition. The word would not exist if it meant absolutely and ONLY your definition.

Vickie - posted on 07/13/2010

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An unique name when your child is young might be fun, but when they become an adult it can cause problems. Life is hard enough as it is without your parents making it harder!

[deleted account]

I do see that listing, as fifth-preference definition in one among several on-line dictionary sources.

Bonnie - posted on 07/13/2010

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My husband picked my first son's name from the Bible. Isaiah Zecharian. So for the second I figured it was best to stick with it. Jeremiah James (but James is also my granfather's name). I find they are nice and not overly common in my area.

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