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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Baby Girl Brown

Suzanne writes:
I just discovered your blog. Can you help us come up with a name for baby #2 (if it's a girl)? We have a daughter named Allison. And if we have a boy he will be named Peter. But if we have another girl she may go nameless because we just can't come up with something. Here is our list of "rules".
  1. Must be two syllables or more. A one syllable first name would just sound silly with our one syllable last name.
  2. Cannot be a color (e.g. Amber, Violet, Ivory)
  3. Should not begin with B. I am open to this but hubby is not.
  4. Prefer not begin with A since we already have an Allison. This is still somewhat flexible. We just don't want to end up with a housefull of "A" names.
  5. Prefer something that has a built in nickname option (For example Allison --> Allie or Lillian --> Lilly or Katherine --> Kate, Katie, etc)
  6. Needs to "mesh" with Allison. In general the style should be the same (i.e. nothing off-the-wall like Rainbow or Sunshine).
  7. Cannot ever be confused for a boy's name (e.g. Taylor, Samantha (Sam), Patricia (Pat), Carson). I understand this is a growing trend, we just don't like it.
  8. Should be relatively esy to spell and pronounce. It's okay if there are some alternate speliings (Allison, Alison, Allyson) but we want a name that 95% of the time, reasonable adults would be able to spell with no trouble.

Some names we have considered are:


Names that are out (due to family or ex association are):


I'd love to get your readers help. Thanks so much!!

I like your idea about avoiding using the same first initial. This is especially wise early on: the Duggars did not at first intend to use J names for every child, but they thought, "Well, our first three are all J and won't the fourth feel left out?" And then when they were expecting a fifth, they couldn't let THAT one be the only one without a J. And look where that has got them.

It looks to me like you've already got a good list. My favorites are Heidi, Megan, and Caroline. I'll add a few more choices:


I think all five of those go well with Allison---although most of them fail the "clear nickname" guideline. And Lindsay might also fail the "easy spelling" guideline, since it can also be spelled Lindsey. Well, still! I'm adding them! Let's take it to a vote! Poll is thataway ----> [poll closed; see results below]

That's a lot of choices, now that I look at it. So why don't you choose two or three favorites instead of just one, if you want to.

[Poll results:
Heidi: 22 votes, roughly 9%
Amanda: 2 votes, roughly 1%
Megan: 30 votes, roughly 13%
Whitney: 18 votes, roughly 8%
Carolyn: 7 votes, roughly 3%
Caroline: 53 votes, roughly 23%
Jenna: 27 votes, roughly 12%
Holly: 15 votes, roughly 6%
Lindsay: 10 votes, roughly 4%
Laurel: 23 votes, roughly 10%
Melanie: 25 votes, roughly 11%]

Name update 01-19-2010! Suzanne writes:
I'm late to respond but Baby #2 ended up being a BOY. So all of these great suggestions never got any use. Peter David was born July 1.

However, we are now expecing baby #3 and we are having the same issues all over again! I'm not sure my brain can take it!


Nowheymama said...

I like Caroline with the nickname "Caro"--like in Rebecca Wells' books.

Carolyn said...

Ooh, great idea nowheymama. My own name is Carolyn, and I was so excited to see it on the list. I don't know any little people with my name. Let me say that I have always loved it, but I would love it even more if people called me Caro.
But, I voted for Whitney. I think it sounds great with Allison.

Barb @ getupandplay said...

Caroline can also be nicknamed Carrie (or a variant spelling). I happen to know a Caroline who went by Ceddy (keddy), which I think is cute.

I voted for caroline and megan, Meg is a very cute nickname!!

Linda said...

Caroline! Caroline! Caroline! Love it.

I will point out, however, that I am saying Car-o-line in my head, not Car-o-lyn. Line as in "I am drawing a line" not Lynn. I think it might be mispronounced sometimes. Also, I'm not a fan of Carol. Would people shorten it to Carol? I like the nickname Cara/Caro.

Carolyn said...

Carolyn here again. No one has ever shortened my name to Carol, although I've often been called Caroline by mistake.

WaitingForBaby said...

Swistle, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not promote the name Laurel too too much until my baby comes along and I get to use it! We've been waiting for a girl, it's our favourite name, and I don't want her to end up in a whole COHORT of Laurels... please? Just hide the name for a little while longer?
We have a Laura in the family already, and Lauren is way to popular, so we've been treasuring up Laurel as our perfect name.

Leslie said...

I love Caroline and Megan from the original list, and Laurel from Swistle's suggestions. Great name choices! Margaret and Madeleine also struck me when I first read the list of criteria. Maddie is cute, and Margaret especially has so many fantastic nickname options: Meg, Maisy, Daisy, Maggie, etc.

F8hful Lo said...

I picked Whitney, which I really like. However, she asked that it be nickname-friendly, and not many of those names really are. With such a cute name like Allison (Allie), I like the idea of matching it with something equally adorable, like Josie. Or you could name her Margaret and call her Maggie. Or what about Elizabeth - there are a ton of cute nicknames: Lizzie, Izzy, Eliza, Beth....good luck!

Anonymous said...

Yes to Josie! Adorable!

Bird said...

I like Caroline and Megan. I think they're both pretty and classic and no over-used.

Extraordinary_hope said...

Caroline is a lovely name and that's what got my vote.

Other names to consider (though quite a few have more than 2 syllables):

Cassandra (lots of good nicknames with that one. Cass, Cassie, Sandy), Sophie (though no nicknames that I can think of for that), Olivia (Oli, Liv, Livvy), Gwendolyn (Gewn, Lyn), Trisha (Trish), Kristine (Kris, Krissy,), Meredith (Meri), Charlotte (Lottie), Eleanor (El, Eli, Ela), Jillian (Jill, Jilly), Matilda (Matti), Winifred (Win, Winny, Fred), and finally how about Penelope (Penny)?

I love baby names, what fun! I'm SO glad that I found this site, thanks Swistle!

Frema said...

I like the suggestion of Josie as a nickname. The full name could be Josephine. Allison and Josephine or Allie and Josie are both very cute!

Also, I am pregnant with number two and LOVE the name Penelope if I have a girl. Penny is a great nickname, too.

Jill said...

I know two sisters Allison and Meredith. You could shorten Meredith to Mary, and I don't think most people would misspell it. It's also fairly girly.
Of the choices in the post, I like Whitney and Carolyn.

-R- said...

What about Camille? The nicknames could be Cammie or Millie.

I like all the other suggestions too!

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

I voted for:

Jenna, Melanie, and Megan.

Jenna --> Jen

Melanie --> Mel

Megan --> Meg

All three go with Allison, all are classic, well-known names so the spelling shouldn't be an issue, and all are three names I personally just like. LOL.

You've got lots of great options! Best of luck!

Lara Jane said...

Natalie popped into my head right away. Nat or Nattie are cute nicknames.

I also like Bethany, Tabitha, Eleanor, and Isabel.

You know what, Suzanne? Allison was a great choice for your first little darling because absolutely everything sounds great with her name!

Anonymous said...

My name is Holly, and I love it because a) I get complimented on it frequently and b) it's not a super common name. It's common enough that most people know how to spell it, but out of my graduating class('02) of 321, there was only one other Holly.

It doesn't really have any nickname options (people try to call me Hol, but I don't like that), but it's short enough that it doesn't really need one.

The only downside is that it gets a little annoying to have people ask if you're a Christmas baby all the time. (My middle name is the feminine form of Nicholas, so I REALLY get this question a lot.)

shoeaddict said...

WHat about Kristen?

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

I'm back.

I'm taking out my vote for "Melanie".

As "Melanie Brown" is Scary Spice, from The Spice Girls.

I want to second the nomination of Natalie. I love, love, love that name. And Nat is a CUTE nickname.

Natalie and Allison. Natalie Brown.


Swistle said...

Steph- ACK! Good point!

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

I suppose I can't keep your baby-naming site off my mind, and the "Melanie Brown" thing just randomly hit me this morning... so I had to return to retract my vote! LOL.

TeamBrown said...

I'm late to respond but Baby #2 ended up being a BOY. So all of these great suggestions never got any use. Peter David was born July 1.

However, we are now expecing baby #3 and we are having the same issues all over again! I'm not sure my brain can take it!

Anonymous said...

I like Heidi and the suggestions of Natalie and Meredith. How about...