Is My Favorite Baby Name Too Weird?

Filed under: Baby Names

I've been having a love affair with the name Calypso since I was 16 years old! I love the name, I love the sound, I love the Greek mythology and I love the nickname Caly to go with it. My husband also loves the name, but neither of us are sure if we should use it. We aren't sure how our families, or friends -- or anyone else -- will react to this name! Do we take a chance? Or should we be looking elsewhere with these doubts?

- Calypso Lover

You want to know how people will react to the name Calypso? I have two syllables for you: Day-O. Most folks who hear the name will think "Harry Belafonte" sooner than "Greek nymph."

That's not necessarily a bad thing. Calypso music has made the name familiar, so people will be able to pronounce it. That gives Calypso a big leg-up on fellow nymphs such as Clymene or Oenone. Also, the mythological Calypso had that unfortunate habit of seducing married men and holding them captive. It can't hurt to keep a bit of distance from that image.

So, the name you love is familiar, but decidedly unconventional, with a classic girlish nickname. That's a mighty fashionable recipe. The biggest challenge the name poses is the -o ending, which is a tough sell for girls' names. (Think of the nymph Callisto, who is reflected in the girl's name Calista.)

Now I have a question for you. If you're so concerned about how your family and friends will respond to your favorite name, why are you asking me instead of them? My encouragement won't mean a lot compared to wrinkled noses from the people you love.

If you don't want to give away your secret name choice this early, conceal it with red herrings. Give your friends a list of 10 names you're "considering," from the average to the truly outrageous. That will keep them off the scent, and will make them feel more free to give their real opinions on each name.

How did you handle outside opinions on your name choices? Share your experiences here. And if you have your own question to Ask the Name Lady, drop her a line!

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.