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Monday, April 14, 2008

Baby Girl, Sister to Claire

Kari writes:
I am pregnant with baby number 2 and we can’t seem to agree on a girl name. If this baby is a boy, he will be Everett Eli. For a girl, we have no idea. Our first is Claire Elisabeth. I love the name Ingrid for a girl, but it is out by association with an ex-. We like Lucie Jane, but I wonder how that fits with Claire or if it is too trendy. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

When I am in doubt, when I know not which way to turn---that is when I find I do in fact know which way to turn, because I turn to The Baby Name Wizard. You have a girl named Claire already, so let's look at sister names: Elise, Caroline, Isabel, Leah, Hope. Ooo, nice! I especially like Elise and Hope.

And since you have a boy name chosen, we can look at sister names for Everett, too, just to see what sorts of names might be similar in style: Genevieve, Cora, Adele, Estella, Antonia. More good pickings. I love Genevieve (first runner-up for our girl), and I like Estella, too, although I think I'd go for Estelle.

You're worried that Lucie/Lucy might be too trendy, so let's take a look at that. I'm going to quote from The Baby Name Wizard because coincidentally it addresses that very issue: "The numbers may look modest, but don't be fooled. Lucy's a stealth hit among affluent, trend-setting urbanites who appreciate its sweetness and absolute lack of pretension." The name Lucy was the #152 most popular baby name in the U.S. in 2006 (source: Social Security Administration), and that doesn't include variant spellings such as Lucie. (For comparison, Claire was the #86 name in 2006.) I think Claire and Lucie are great together.

Let's ask Mairzy!
I like the name Lucie very much. It's sweet and cute. It will always sound a little cute, but she'll be growing old with Lily, Emily, and Kaylie, so the cuteness won't stand out. It can grow up ("For more information about our Angel Tree project, please see Lucie Jones.") and I like it with Claire. My comments on the name are:

1. If it's going to be a full name (not a nickname), then I approve of the -ie spelling. It signals that it's a full name in and of itself.

2. A little Lucie might want a longer name to take her through adulthood. But the only options I've found are Lucinda, Lucille, and Lucia. The first two I don't like, and the third one is formidably elegant, with built-in pronunciation headaches. Not, come to think of it, that any of those are reasons not to use those names. ("I'm sorry, Lucie. I knew you would want a longer name, but years ago I found out that Mairzy didn't like any of the options, and that was that.")
Other suggestions along the Lucie line, not all of which I love personally, but most of which I've seen work well on a little girl:

Laura Jane
Annie Jane
Violet Jane
Louisa Jane
Lilly Jane
Nora Jane
Mercy Jane
Ella Jane
Stella Jane

Stella is a name I'm trying to like, because it's a great name... just a bit stale. And Mercy? I know, it's still an old-lady stretch. But I like the name -- mostly because of the meaning -- and my husband gives me the crooked-eyebrow look every time I mention it. So I'm offering it to the world. Is that a crooked eyebrow I see?

Best wishes as you bring up two girls!

I especially like Violet and Lily with Claire.

Mairzy and I disagree on the spelling of Lucie/Lucy: I think "Lucie" looks like the nickname, and that "Lucy" looks like the complete name. I do, however, like the way the spelling Lucie looks with the name Claire: I think it's visually pleasing the way the L, C, I, and E all repeat.

Okay! Time to vote! Pick a favorite from the poll to the right [poll closed; see below], and leave comments/suggestions below!

[Poll results:
Lucy/Lucie: 58 votes, roughly 63%
Hope: 1 vote, roughly 1%
Elise: 19 votes, roughly 21%
Genevieve: 2 votes, roughly 2%
Estelle: 1 vote, roughly 1%
Violet: 6 votes, roughly 7%
Lily: 5 votes, roughly 5%]


Tessie said...

Well, I voted for Elise since I love and adore that name. So beautiful and goes great with Claire.

But I also think Lucie is great.

And I like Lucia with OUR (Fake Hispanic) last name. (Why do I keep making these posts about ME?)

LoriD said...

I LOVE Lucie! It's cute and grown-up;old-fashioned and modern; sweet and strong - all at the same time. At first I was thinking you should spell it Lucy, just because she might spend a lot of time correcting people. However, Lucie and Claire look so elegant together - very French-inspired.

pseudostoops said...

Big fat crooked eyebrow on Mercy. I have a niece Mercy and while she is a delightful child her name has proved a constant headache (Mercy Mercy Me, Have Mercy, and the ongoing, constant questions about "are your parents really super-religious or something?")

Glad that's off my chest.

I like Lucy a lot, and also Elise.

fairydogmother said...

I was thinking about baby names while I was trying to get back to sleep last night, and Lucy was at the top of my list as I drifted back to sleep.

What? Like I'm the ONLY one who reads this blog who lays in bed at night thinking about baby names!

Sarah said...

I agree: Lucy is the name, Lucie is the nickname. And I vote for Lucy/Lucie either way.

Clarabella said...

My name is Claire and my sister's name is Laura. So I think Laura Jane is cute. Also, my brother's name is Erik, and I've always thought Claire and Erik sound good together, just as Claire and Everett do. Wonder if Erika/Erica might work? That said, I voted for Lucy, because it is my fave name ever and will be my daughter's name if I ever have one. Good luck.

Clarabella said...

Oh and P.S., friends of mine have a Lila Jane, and I have to say L.J. is just about the cutest pet name ever for a little girl.

Misty said...

I actually like Caroline best. But I just like the name Caroline. It was considered for our last child.

alitalia said...

I like Claire and Lucie together not only because they're both great names, but also because of their meanings. Claire means clear or bright, and Lucy/Lucie comes from the Latin word for light. Excellent match!

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

I voted for Lily because it's a name I happy to love, but my best friend went and named her cat Lily so I personally feel I just can't use it now. LOL. But I want others to use it! (If it helps, Lily the Cat just won "Most Striking Face" at a recent cat show!).

I do like Lucie. I actually prefer that spelling. "Lucy" is my aunt's doberman's name, so I think of that dog when I see "L-u-c-y".

How animal inspired is this post? And why did I say I liked the cat name over the dog? I'm more of a dog person, usually. LOL. ;-)

Names I actually love from the Baby Name Wizard's sibling suggestions are Leah and Cora. Leah Jane would have a nice ring to it, similar to Lucie Jane or Lily Jane. "Claire and Leah" sound nice together.

So I would like to throw Leah more into the mix. :-)

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

I have to correct something...

"It's a name I happy to love..."

Should be... "It's a name I HAPPEN to love...".

I've got mad grammar skillz.

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

One more thing!!! Because I JUST noticed it!

From the time I was 15 (I'm 22 now) I used to say I was going to name my daughter "Claire Elisabeth". Even Elisabeth with an "S" even though I grew up only knowing Elizabeth's with the "Z".

I find that very cool. LOL. Excellent name choice for your first daughter! ;-)

Giselle said...

I just wanted to say that I was in a maternity boutique today trying out slings. I had my new baby with me, and the owner of the store was telling me that she has had 5 new babies visit her this week. 3 of the five were named Lucy. THREE out of FIVE baby girls walked into the store named Lucy. Isn't that weird. Maybe it's a sign that it's going to take a huge turn toward trendiness!

Just thought it was really weird that I just had a conversation about the name Lucy, and then I read about it here. Strange...

Laura said...

Now that I read the 3 out of 5 comment, I'm leaning toward Leah or Lila. Although Lucie is adorable, it can be annoying to have the same name as everyone in your elementary school class. I have a one year old son named Max, and I hear his name EVERYWHERE! I had no idea it was so popular, and I'm a teacher.

Jen said...

I have another suggestion: Temperance. The name 'Mercy' made me think of it. My youngest daughter's name is Claire, and my sister's daughter's name is Temperance. They call her Tempie for short. I think Claire and Tempie sound cute together.

I also think Lucy is very cute.

Luna said...

I like Lucy/Lucie, and I think Lucie looks nicer, but I would stick with Lucy to avoid a lifetime of incorrect spelling.

That being said, I love Lucia, even with the pronunciation problems it raises (Loo-sha/Loo-see-ah/Loo-chi-ah)

Susan said...

I like Lucy with Claire because they both have a pleasing British sound to them. They sound great together. I do think "Lucy" looks like the full name, "Lucie" a nick-name.

Frema said...

Another vote for Lucy, however you choose to spell it. :)

Lily is also adorable.

Jill said...

I'm in my (mid-to?)late 20s, and I work with both a Lucy and an Elise. I like both names, but I voted for Elise here. It does seem that Lucy is making a comeback, so she might end up being Lucy X at school. I would vote for Lucy over Lucie, though.

Mairzy said...

My opinion of Lucie/Lucy is influenced by a girl I know named Mollie. I see the -ie ending the same way: it's her full name, so it gets its own spelling.

Apparently Lucy is getting very popular in some quarters, but Claire is very popular as well, so I'm thinking that the quest for an uncommon name isn't as important here.

-- Mairzy

Barb said...

1. Lucie
2. Lily
3. Violet

I think these three are all darling with Claire and I really like your first choice of Lucie. I don't think it's too trendy, I think it will be timeless! Congratulations!

Tk said...

I do like Lucie but think she'll spend her entire life correcting the spelling from Lucy. I'd probably lean toward a full name version and nickname Lucy/Lucie, but that's just me.

Genevieve is too long and flowery to go with Claire to me, despite the fact that they're both from the time period, Claire is timeless, Genevieve still has a medieval flair.

I voted for Elise or Elyse. But Lucie/Lucy are both nice choices too.

Lucy said...

As an actual Lucy I thought I would weigh in on the spelling issue. My given name is Lucy. In the last few years I have had to start spelling my name for everyone, well mostly those people who call you on the phone, or who you call to sign up for something. I think this is because people are starting to name their children Lucie more often. So I feel like no matter how she spells it she will probably have to clarify for a great number of people.

That said I do feel like there are many more little girls named Lucy/Lucie than there used to be, but I think it is a fine name :)

I also love Elise as a choice to go with Claire.

Bird said...

I like Lucy (or Lucie), but I do think that it will have a bit more of date stanmp than Claire. Other than Lucy, I was drawn to Elise which goes nicely with Clair and has those Es that you and your husband seem to like.