One of the most unexpected and rewarding parts of baby name blogging has been connecting with other great women. I recently got to have a virtual sit down & interview my new name friend, Kara. Kara is the creative genius behind theartofnaming.com. Don’t you just love the title of her site? Naming truly is an art form!
What is your name? Do you have any nicknames?
My name is Kara Yvonne. I don’t have any nicknames that are relevant to my name. These days I’m mostly known as Mama.
Do you know how your name was chosen? Do you feel that your name fits you?
My parents were going to name me Kevin if I were a boy (and that ended up being my younger brother’s name). Mom originally suggested Jenna Rae but Dad didn’t like it. They somehow just decided they liked Kara but took a while to find a middle name. Yvonne suddenly came to my mom while waiting in line at a Wendy’s drive thru (random! haha!) I think my name does fit me; I’ve never had a problem with it but I’ve never truly loved it either. I think I would change it if I found something that I connected better with.
What would you rename yourself if you had to?
This has been a big dilemma for me. I don’t know. However, since I gave my daughter Juliet as a middle name, I feel like I want to have a Jul- name too. I’m leaning toward Julia Caroline. My grandpa used to call me Karolina (with a Spanish accent) so that’d still connect me to Kara in my mind. Not sure if I’d make a good Julia Caroline but that’s what’s repeating in my head these days.
When did you first become interested in names?
I feel like I was always good at it. As a kid, I’d always know everyone’s name in every class when most of them didn’t know or care who I was. Then when The Sims 1 game came out, I started browsing baby names so I could name my characters well. Then I’d make A-Z name lists in my high school computer class when I was bored. Then my obsession grew when I was engaged to my husband and the prospect of actually having kids to name became real.
What were some of the first names you remember loving? Do you still love them?
As a teen, I liked names like Lainey, Lexi, Kady, Claire, Hailey, Riley, Bailey and Juliah. Clearly I still enjoy the Jul- names. I like Claire but the others aren’t my style anymore. For boys, Evan, Joshua, Tavey, Caden, Ian, Davey, Braden, Kyle, Gavin, Charley, Eli, Seth, Andrew and Jake. Not really fond of any of the boy names now. These are all on a list I made in 2005 when I was 18.
When did you begin blogging? Tell me a bit about your website.
I started The Art of Naming on May 30th, 2013. So nearly a year and a half ago. My website has evolved over time, but I’ve always tried to feature interesting names and lists of themed names, as well as helping parents find the perfect name.
How would you describe your naming style?
My general taste is that of strong names with a history behind them and good meanings. For boys, I like big Greek and Latin names like Benedict, Cyrus, Constantine, Augustus, etc. For girls, I like the very girly but very strong names like Freya, Aveline, Margot, Susannah.
What are your children’s names?
Our son is Maximus Alexander. It means “greatest defender of the people” and we loved everything about it. It was always our top pick. Girl names were harder. We originally had Ava Genevieve, then Avalina Juliet, then Juliet Cordelia. We ended up naming our daughter Audrey Juliet Sophia. It’s different than my general style but we love it. I’ve almost always wanted a Jul- name so that was an easy one. Sophia is after my husband’s sister. And we just fell in love with Audrey, partially because I’m a Hepburn fan.
What are some other names you love?
Besides the ones I already mentioned, Vincent Leonidas and Alice Magnolia. I also like quirky middle name ideas like Snow, Fable, Sonnet, Marvel, Frost, Stone etc.
What are some great names that you feel are underused?
My go-to’s for this kind of question are Amabel and Caius. Also, Leopold, Benedict, Rafferty, Caspian… Lavinia, Calliope…
What are some of your favorite literary/character names?
I don’t read much so I’m not sure I can answer this. I watch a lot of TV but hardly anything worth naming a kid after. But looking at a list of classic literary names, I like Atticus, Edmund, Sebastian ; Briony, Eloise and Rosamond.
Do you have a favorite name book and/or website?
I own exactly one baby name book that I bought when I was 18: “The Very Best Baby Name Book in the whole wide world” by Bruce Lansky, 2004 edition, so its super old. I have lots of sites I use frequently for coming up with names for my blog and for parents. Behind the Name is my favorite. Baby Name Wizard and Nameberry too among others. There’s lots of lovely bloggers out there.
Please share any naming tips or words of wisdom.
Naming is hard. Use the name that you and your partner mutually love the most. Don’t give in to pressures from friends and family. Do what YOU want! And if you need help, ask me! 😉
Be sure to check http://www.theartofnaming.com later this week were Kara will be interviewing me!
A special thanks to Kara ❤
Naming truly is an art and a joy,