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American Mom, British Dad - name question

(100 Posts)
ForestHillFirstTimeMom Wed 07-Mar-12 14:42:18


I'm new here but hoping to get some help from all of you regarding names. I'm American and living in London with my British husband. We don't know the gender of our baby so need to come up with two names. I'm keen to pick names that work on both sides of the Atlantic, so no matter where we wind up, our child will feel at ease.

So far, we have:
Eleanor for a girl
Walter (Walt) for a boy

My husband doesn't know of any Walts over here. Would it still work? I realize it's a bit of an old-man name, but... I know so many young boys with the name Will (which I also like) and want something a bit different. Thoughts/opinions? Thanks in advance!

PosiePumblechook Wed 07-Mar-12 14:43:18

I love Walter, Walt especially....strangely I know two other Eleanors with American Mums and English Dads.

nickelhasababy Wed 07-Mar-12 14:43:47

dd is eleanor so love it.

Walt is not a good name for a boy in the UK.

nickelhasababy Wed 07-Mar-12 14:44:19

really posie?
like Walter Softy?

PosiePumblechook Wed 07-Mar-12 14:47:31

As in the character from the Beano, quite a sexist pile of shite wasn't it?

Walt, amongst my friends, is a perfectly acceptable name in the UK but then I live in the South West and we're pretty damn cool! Besides I have a son Carter which is a name in the top 100 US....

Stellan Wed 07-Mar-12 14:48:32

Why is Walt not a good name for a boy in the UK? Am I missing some unfortunate association with it? I can't see anything wrong with it, personally. It's a solid, sensible name; it's not too common nor too silly. Ticks my boxes!

breatheslowly Wed 07-Mar-12 14:52:28

Walt just reminds me of Walt Disney. I understand he was not a particularly nice man.

nickelhasababy Wed 07-Mar-12 14:52:57

it sounds too american.
i know that's going to sound offensive, which i don't mean to be, but what i mean is that i don't think it sounds contemporary english enough to work in the uk.
it sounds okay for an american boy.

mnistooaddictive Wed 07-Mar-12 14:54:25

I think Walter is bad. Too many bad associations.

hermionestranger Wed 07-Mar-12 14:54:44

Walt is not great IMO. Connotations of "he's a Walt".

mrswoodentop Wed 07-Mar-12 14:54:54

Will is very classic rather like Kate for a girl.Not keen I am afraid on Walt ,of course could become quite trendy you never know but to be frank I think of it as a bit sleazy IYSWIM.

ForestHillFirstTimeMom Wed 07-Mar-12 14:55:23

Thanks for the help so far! We don't have Beano in the US. My husband mentioned this character - sounds like a bad guy. But I don't think our babies' peers would know about him, right? So he wouldn't be mocked, hopefully? (If it's a he!)

ForestHillFirstTimeMom Wed 07-Mar-12 14:59:25

(We also don't say "He's a Walt" so I have no idea what that means! Sigh. Two countries separated by a common language and all that...)

chandellina Wed 07-Mar-12 15:00:43

do what you want - there's always something to be picked at. I would probably go for Wilf(red) to be different from Will if that's a name you like. Walt is kind of cool though IMO.

chandellina Wed 07-Mar-12 15:01:51

btw, I have never heard that expression he's a walt in 10 years in this country. Just don't call any little boys silly willy. ;)

SwedishEdith Wed 07-Mar-12 15:08:28

I think Walt sounds quite cool (ignoring that Walt Disney wasn't supposed to be very nice but people seem happy enough to watch Disney films so they must be ignoring that). I am old and totally unaware of any negative connotations.

squoosh Wed 07-Mar-12 15:15:40

My first thought was Walt Whitman - v good association I would think.

Eleanor - ok (bit dull is what I really mean)

HolyNoSheDittantBatman Wed 07-Mar-12 15:15:57

I'm in London and it may be an accent thing, but Walt sounds very, very similar to 'wart'. It reminds me of the little boy in sword in the stone. Walter makes me think of the Beano. I'd use Will or Wilf.

Eleanor is nice.

lisaro Wed 07-Mar-12 15:20:36

Walter is one of the old names that hasn't travelled well, frankly because it's ugly. That's probably the reason it's so unpopular over here, along with Walter the softie. Walt is so much worse, If he will be spending time over here - please don't.

Tmesis Wed 07-Mar-12 15:24:22

I think right now Walt/Walter does sound rather odd to many UK ears (I had completely forgotten, consciously, about Walter Softy, but that is the kind of association I have with the name sub-consciously). But then, on the other hand, so did Ethan twenty years ago, and now look at it. But then, on a hypothetical third hand that I appear to have produced from somewhere best not questioned, Walter's been steadily declining in popularity in the US over the last seventy years (and yet it still sounds American to us. No one said any of this made sense ) so is unlikely to get the same sort of trans-Atlantic boost to popularity that Ethan got.

Walter isn't terrible. If you both love it unreservedly above all other names, it'd be OK. But there's still a lot of middle ground between William and Walter in which to go looking for names.

It's a nice name, but it won't get pronounced properly, you'll get northerners like me dropping the T, and southerners saying it 'Wawt'.
Eleanor is lovely though, with Ellie as a nn

PosiePumblechook Wed 07-Mar-12 15:24:29

Yes, let's keep all names English....

No Muhammeds, Anyas, Romans, Katherines, etc.

breatheslowly Wed 07-Mar-12 15:26:02

I've also heard people saying "he's a bit of a Walter Mitty character". I have finally looked it up and it isn't great.

nickelhasababy Wed 07-Mar-12 15:26:24

i'm pretty sure that's not what was intended.

i agree with how lisaro put it.

i just don't think it would work here.

EdithWeston Wed 07-Mar-12 15:31:26

I don't think Walter works well in UK. It's used as shorthand for poses as someone he is not (from Walter Mitty), and Walter as the chief "softie" in the Beano hasn't totally gone away. And the idiom of "being a Wally" doesn't help either.

I'd definitely go for Will/William, and I think Eleanor is a lovely name.

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