Who is Miss Abigail?

Abigail Grotke
Silver Spring, MD
email: missabigail at missabigail dot com
twitter: @DearMissAbigail

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Miss Abigail has a collection of over 1,000 classic advice books, spanning from 1822 to 1978 and covering a variety of topics, from love and romance to etiquette and charm. The collection sparked the idea for this site, then a book, Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage, which has inspired an Off-Broadway production of the same name!

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Posts Tagged ‘baby names’

Naming the Baby

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

Marietta Fish is not so goodI’m so excited! My sister and her husband are having a baby! The entire family had a lively discussion about names during Thanksgiving dinner. If it’s a boy, he will be named after his papa; the girl’s name is still not finalized. There were as many opinions as people there, but we all know that whatever the name, baby Perez will be much loved. The following is from Mother’s Own Book, published by the Parents’ Publishing Association.

Now, I need to work on my new persona. Aunt Abigail. Auntie Abster. Aunt Abbie. Hey, I kinda like the sound of that.

1928: Naming the Baby: A Few General Principles

Apart from fashion and social distinction, there are a few general principles to follow in naming the baby. Take into consideration the initials. Consider the suitcase of the poor girl named Alberta Susan Spear! Then there is euphony. Do not try for too much softness. Names like Lenora Malloy simply lack backbone. Beware in general of names with two ls or beginning with l and containing n or r. If you have a harsh last name like Quigley, or Higgins, you can tone it down by a softer first name, such as Barbara. But avoid too great contrast or you will get something like Lenora Quakenbush, which gives the impression of the cooing of a turtle dove interrupted by the crackling of a hen.

Last, there is the accidental meaning that some names acquire ~ such as June Day or Mary Christmas. Such practical joking at the expense of helpless children ought to be stopped by the Humane Society. If your last name means anything ~ Fish, Green, Fry, or Brewer, for instance, be careful what name you choose to go with it. Among first names, Helen is most dangerous ~ Helen Berne or Helen Boyle will never enjoy her name. Names ending in ette or eta are also to be used with care. Marietta Fish is not so good. Remember, it is a life sentence you are bestowing.

Source: Parents’ Publishing Association. Mother’s Own Book. New York: Parents’ Publishing Association,1928.
~ p. 14 ~