We are less than a month away from having a baby girl and though we've been trying for months to come up with a name, no luck yet! I'm starting to feel the pressure. We already have two boy names we love: Nicolas (shortened to Nico) and Atticus. Our last name sounds like la-GARE-y but is filled with many more vowels (three i's). It's Fijian, though we have no cultural connections to Fiji, and usually mispronounced and misspelled. We'd like to use a family name if possible as a middle name, but it's not our top priority. We would like to avoid a name that's becoming extremely popular (top 25 or so). Here are the girl names we've considered:
Zoë: This is probably #1, but my main concern is how it sounds with the last name. Is it too sing-songy with the double "ee" sound? Would the umlaat be annoying? Is it getting too popular? My husband likes the spelling Zoey better (which I don't like). Grace is our first pick for a middle name, but Mae would be an alternate--it's both my grandma's and mine.
Beatrix: Love the "x" and that it's old-fashioned sounding. Bea and Trixie could both make for cute nicknames (though Trixie might be a little much). One of our families loves it, the other hates it.
Fiona: Worried about Shrek connotations and Fiona Apple.
Grace: Love the name, but it's just getting so popular.
Eva: I like it as is. Am worried about pronunciation (we like "EH-va," not EVE-ah"). Husband wants long version to be Evaline, which is cute but I don't know that it is a good match for our pronunciation of Eva or if that matters. Also, Ava is getting super popular. Husband is worried that Eva sounds too "Germanic."
Nico: Husband's favorite, even though we like it for a boy. Long version Nicolette or maybe Nicola. I'd like to save it for a boy and can't decide if Nicolette is too frilly.
Agnes: We both like the name, but husband has bad connotations due to "Agnes of God."
Middle names we've considered: Grace, Mae, Pearl (husband's grandma's middle name).
As you can tell, we're finding faults with every name we come up with (and there aren't many we agree on). Help!
I LOVE the name Beatrix. LOVE! IT! I think it's sassy and strong and feminine. It brings to mind the independent, strong-willed, artistic Beatrix Potter. I would use the nickname Bee, which I think is so adorable it almost makes me keel over---or possibly the nickname Bix, which ditto. And when she's in her cynical cool stage in high school, she can go by Beat. Plus, it's great with your last name. LOVE THIS NAME. WANT YOU TO USE IT. FORCING SELF TO MOVE ON TO OTHER POSSIBILITIES.
The name Fiona was a finalist for my one girl child. I love the name, and it's great with your last name.
As you say, the name Grace is getting popular: #17 in 2006 (source: Social Security Administration). Still, it's a name with long roots, and that makes it popular as opposed to trendy: it's a name that will rise and fall over millennia, not a flash-in-the-pan we may never see again. If the popularity bothers you, I agree it would make a good middle name.
If you want the name Eva pronounced a way other than EE-vuh, I think you're going to go bat-crap crazy trying to make it happen. If what you're looking for is AY-vuh, use Ava---but again, you're right on about popularity (Ava was #5 in 2006). If you want EH-vuh (like Evan without the N), then.....Evva, maybe? Evaline is darling.
Let's get you some more choices to consider. The Baby Name Wizard suggests these sister names for the boy names you like: Gia, Halle, Anika, Ivy, Elle (for Nico); Beatrix, Artemisia, Athena, Paloma, Anaïs (for Atticus).
Hey, it's Beatrix! I love Athena and Gia, too. I think Halle and Elle are difficult with your surname. I'm not sure how to pronounce Anika--is it an-NEEK-uh, or AN-ih-kuh? Either way, it may be too similar to the name Nico, if you think you might use that boy name in the future.
Ivy is one of my top-favorite girl names---but when I mentioned it to my kids, they went to "Poison Ivy, she's poison, don't let her touch you!" in 2 seconds flat. My mom was skeptical of my results (we both LOVE the name); she was teaching third grade at the time and mentioned the name experimentally to her class, and they made the same immediate leap. I'm hoping the name will soon become more common so that this will be less of a problem.
From your list, then, I'm taking Beatrix (use it use it use it), Fiona, Grace, and Evaline. From the sister name lists, I'm taking Athena and Gia.
I asked Stephanie G. of The Wonder Worrier to weigh in:
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+This is FATE!My own middle name is "Mae". M-A-E, Mae.So, with just a pinch of bias, I say choose Mae for the middle name. Here are my reasons:
1. It's short.2. It flows with a wide variety of first names.3. Although it's an easy-to-pronounce name ("May"), it has the added bonus of an unusual spelling with that "–ae" ending.4. I love to see people using a family name as a middle name.5. It's MY middle name, and I'm a pretty cool cat.
Now let's move on to the first name!I like your name ideas very much, my favourites from your list are Fiona and Zoe (FYI – for our reader's visualization and help with pronunciation, I am using "LaGAREy" as the last name beside my full names below).Fiona: This name has grown on me, as there was an ADORABLE little girl in the childcare centre I used to work at named Fiona. Fiona Mae LaGAREy flows really nicely. I think the Shrek franchise has helped rather than hindered this name – more people will be accepting of Fiona without finding it too outdated or strange (they'll feel like they've heard it recently, but not all will realize its because of Shrek), and the Shrek franchise will not be as popular when your child reaches school-age (let's be realistic, it's no Little Mermaid, haha!). And if Shrek does last, in her future as a five-year-old who might be princess-obsessed, she'll appreciate that her name is a princess name!Zoe: I prefer this spelling to "Zoey" (sorry to your Hubby). Zoey looks like "Zoo-ey" to me. I don't think Zoe is too sing-songy either, I think it's sort of cute when a name slightly rhymes with the last name (plus, you don't say both names together ALL the time, it'll just be an introduction thing – and think of her friends later, she'll always be "Zoe LaGAREy", easy to say and memorable!). I feel like Zoe is a well-known enough name to not have pronunciation or spelling issues, and yet I don't see this as an overly popular/overused name. Just be prepared, you can spell it with the dots over the E (in layman's terms), but I see that being dropped before long, especially if you're located in North America. For Zoe I would choose Grace as the middle name for better flow, but Mae is still a solid choice.Beatrix LaGAREy is a no for me. I think of Bellatrix LeStrange from the Harry Potter series, and also Trixie is a little too ... lady of the night ... for my tastes. Or something better suited for a pet than a child.Nico (Nicolette, Nicola... or another option: Nicoletta) is lovely, but if you have your heart set on it for a boy, you might not want to use it yet for your first child (because maybe the second will be a boy and you might regret having already used it; conversely, if the second is a girl too you can still choose Nico then, but at least you gave it a try at using it for a boys name). I see the nickname Nico as a more masculine nickname, but that's just personal preference.Here are a few other suggestions that I feel are a similar style to the types of names you're coming up with (these are from my own head, haha):
- Chloe Mae
- Olivia Mae
- Gwendolyn /Gwenyth (nn Gwen) Mae
- Sofia/Sophia Mae (nn Sophie/Sofie)
- Ava Grace (becoming very popular though)
- Claudia Mae
- Alexa Mae / Alexa Grace (for a name with an "x" in it – or perhaps Alexandria or Alexis)
Nice stuff, Steph!---even though you disagree with me on Beatrix, which NOT ALLOWED. Let's pluck Gwendolyn and Claudia from that list above and add them to our contenders.
Zoe: 15 votes, roughly 13%
Beatrix: 43 votes, roughly 38%
Fiona: 20 votes, roughly 18%
Grace: 4 votes, roughly 4%
Evaline: 14 votes, roughly 13%
Athena: 1 vote, roughly 1%
Gia: 5 votes, roughly 4%
Gwendolyn: 7 votes, roughly 6%
Claudia: 3 votes, roughly 3%]