Baby Names

Our Baby’s Name ♂: Serge Constantine and Why We Love It

Constantine gives Lucifer the finger as he ascends into heaven in the 2005 film *Constantine.* It is my professional opinion as a church historian that Protestant Reformer Martin Luther did something similar immediately after his death, 18 February 1546.

Constantine gives Lucifer the finger as he ascends into heaven in the 2005 film *Constantine.* It is my professional opinion as a church historian that Protestant Reformer Martin Luther did something similar immediately after his death, 18 February 1546.

I know, this one is very unusual, even weird, but bear with me!

Constantine is a name that I have always loved. Always. It’s partially due to my undergraduate background in classics, partially due to my knowledge of early Christian history, and partially due to my love of comic books (and yes, I thought the 2005 Keanu Reeves movie was decent, even if it had little to do with the comic book. I mean, almost anything with Tilda Swinton in it is decent. Except for Vanilla Sky, but I digress.). I just think it sounds regal and noble and I love its meaning. When I first became pregnant with DD in 2005, one of the first boy names I suggested to my husband was Bruce Constantine. At first he liked it, but later decided he wasn’t fond of “Bruce” for a first name. But the “Constantine” part has stuck with us.

When I first asked DH what kind of names he liked for a boy, he began rattling off French names, with Serge and Cecil near the top of his list. DH spent two years of his life in France and I think that’s where his affection for French names comes from. At first I was like, “Not a chance.” But later he became obsessed with naming a boy “Azrael,” and suddenly Serge and Cecil seemed perfectly tame.

I later learned that Serge is from the Latin family name Sergius, so it actually fits my classics background well. Some sources say that it means “servant,” but others say the meaning is uncertain, that it’s just a family name. Whatever the case, I decided I could give him “Serge.”

As with Evelyn Ivy, we plan to call this baby by his middle name, so it will effectively be “Constantine.” “Serge Constantine” just sounds better than “Constantine Serge,” and we like the idea of calling him “Constantine” better.

We’ve gotten a lot of negative feedback from friends and relatives when we’ve mentioned this choice, because of how unusual it is, but it turns out that variations of both “Serge” and “Constantine” are very common in other countries. “Serge,” “Sergio,” “Sergi” or “Sergei” is common in places like France, Belgium, Portugal, Brazil, Romania, Italy, Spain, Russia, and Bulgaria. “Constantine,” “Constantin,” “Konstantin,” “Konstantine,” and “Konstantinos” is common in pretty much any country where Eastern Orthodox Christianity is prevalent. People need to stop being so xenophobic.

My advice to the haters is as ever: go out, get laid, make your own baby, and name it whatever you want. You sound like you need to get laid, anyways. And if you wanna name your kid something boring like John Michael, go for it. Let me have mine and you can have yours.

Related:Our Baby’s Name ♀: Evelyn Ivy and Why I Love It

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Our Baby’s Name ♀: Evelyn Ivy and Why I Love It

Unlike some expectant couples, DH and I are not fretting about what to name our progeny. We have known the name of our next child (whether boy or girl) for years. This post is about our potential future daughter’s name. If we have a girl, she will be named Evelyn Ivy.

I fell in love with this name just shortly after giving birth to DD, whose name is Harley Kaye. I’d always liked the name “Evelyn,” which lends itself nicely to several adorable nicknames: Evie, Eva, and Lynn. I’d also always liked the name Ivy, and thought it would be great to have daughters named Harley and Ivy. Yes, this Harley and Ivy:

Harley & Ivy

Then one day, I realized that the names Evelyn and Ivy are just perfect together. They both start with vowels and have “v” and “y” as consonants. They sound even better with DH’s surname, which has an “eye” sound and a “y” in it. It was like mixing together peanut butter, M&Ms, and nuts.

I fell in love with Evelyn Ivy back in 2007 or so, when Evelyn was #55 in the SSA Baby Names database (it was #67 according to the revised 2007 list at, which counts phonetically identical names in a single slot, which the SSA database doesn’t do). By 2011, it had climbed to #24 in the SSA Database (#42 at NameNerds). So, the only thing not to love about it is that it’s getting a little on the common side for my liking. I’m going to alleviate this problem a bit by using Evelyn’s middle name as her primary name, so she’ll be known as Ivy, which is safely uncommon (#266/282 in 2011).

Even if the next baby is a boy rather than a girl, I really hope that I have a little girl for #3, because I am dying to use this name.

Related:Our Baby’s Name ♂: Serge Constantine and Why We Love It

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A Baby Names Rant

So, let’s talk baby names.

My husband says that I am a “baby names elitist,” and it’s probably true. I am very opinionated about what makes a good name vs. a bad name. I seldom share these opinions with expectant parents though, because my philosophy is, their baby, their choice.

That said, this blog is my own personal soapbox, so these are my likes and dislikes when it comes to baby names:

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