Names That Didn’t Make The Cut

As many of you know, Cordelia’s name came from Shakespeare – King Lear, to be exact. We’re considering going with another Shakespeare name for baby #2, although looking back through the plays, there are some names that probably won’t make the short list.

Unfortunate Shakespeare names for girls:

Ophelia (Hamlet) – Beautiful name. And I’d put it on my short list in an instant. But let’s be honest: mommy already suffers from a mental disorder (depression), and we really don’t need to encourage it in the kids.

Juliet (Romeo & Juliet) – Again, not a good role model here.

Desdemona (Othello) – She was innocent, but let’s not pick a name with domestic violence attached to it.

Volumnia (Coriolanus) – We’d just be encouraging fat jokes with this one.

Regan (King Lear) – Sorry, I lived through that president. Try again.

Goneril (King Lear) – I have a strict policy on no names that sound like STDs.

Violenta (All’s Well That Ends Well) – That name is just asking for a girl with a chip on her shoulder.

Hymen (As You Like It) – Forget the policy on STDs – no names that sound like anything dealing with reproductive organs.

Mopsa (The Winter’s Tale) – This is an especially bad name if she inherits the same mop of hair that Cordy has.

Dorcas (The Winter’s Tale) – No explanation needed, I think.

Maybe we should branch out to the works of Marlowe or Jonson?

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  1. Hee! Growing up I knew a girl whose father was a Shakespeare scholar. Her name was Erin, but the family dogs were all named after characters from the plays. So when I hear Desdemona, I think “small yappy dog.”

  2. How about Viola (Twelth Night).

    I love the name Cordelia, and all that it connotes.

  3. Hmmmm… He did use some weird names for women, didn’t he? Maybe branching out to other authors would be helpful….

  4. Heh. Dorcas. Josh’s … great-grandmother … or, possibly great-great grandmother was Dorcas.

    Good stuff! It’s not only from Shakespeare; it’s biblical. That said, even with that particular triple whammy (family, Shakespeare and Bible), we’re not using it either. Ever.

    That said, I wish Ophelia wasn’t so damn depressing. Love. It.

  5. Lady M – Actually, when I think of Ariel, I think of my mom’s cat! :) Of course, when most people hear Cordelia, they think of Buffy the Vampire Slayer before King Lear.

  6. Did you see Pan’s Labyrinth? The heroine’s name is Ophelia (thought I think it’s spelled Ofelia in Spanish?) – maybe it will make you reconsider the name: it’s very lovely, especially when pronounced with a Spanish accent.

  7. Like Metro Mama, Viola comes to mind. Does Ariel make you think of the mermaid first, before The Tempest?

  8. daundelyon says:

    *rummaging through a list of characters* Francesca? Diana? Olivia?

  9. I can’t speak for Christina, but I personally think of The Tempest first when I hear the name Ariel.

    That said, I also don’t think of Ariel as being a name for a human. And I’m not even entirely convinced that Ariel has to be played by a female.

  10. THere is an Ophelia in my daughter’s pre-school. Her brother’s name is Percival. I don’t know, I think those are both pretty big names for little kids.
    Some friends of ours are pregnant, and asked me what names were too popular these days. Honestly, these days, if you want your kid to stand out with an unusual name, you should pick Bob. Or Sally.

  11. Candace & Anna says:

    How about Beatrice or Hero from Much Ado about Nothing! That is my favorite Shakespeare play!!!

  12. Candace & Anna says:

    How about Beatrice or Hero from Much Ado about Nothing! That is my favorite Shakespeare play!!!

  13. So, Titania, Curio and Dogberry are still in the running? ;)

  14. What about if you pronounce Regan, as Reegan?

  15. My high-school English teacher named her daughter Dorcas. That’s just cruel.

  16. reluctant housewife says:

    Name her Miranda – from The Tempest. I love that name. I like Shakespearian names too. My son is named Sebastian.

  17. I love Cordelia. And Regan is one of my favs too .. but I am Canadian so maybe that’s why.

  18. Wasn’t OLIVIA in one of the plays? It is wasyyy too common now but it WAS in maybe the Twelth Night???

    My daughters name is Olivia.

  19. How funny! Let us know some of the ones that you are considering!

  20. This is hysterical!

    Thanks for the refresher in Shakespeare, because I have completely forgot about all the reading I had to do in 8th grade. :)

  21. My favorite Shakespearian names are Portia, Miranda, Beatrice, and Adriana. I know some will say “Beatrice?” but I have always thought that kids’ names should go well together. Just imagine having Cordy and Bea running around the house playing together.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I always like Bianca from The taming of the shrew.

  23. Lol great post haha. I would say the only name I like is Regan. I guess none of those names were right lol.

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