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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Baby Girl, Sister to Harley Jane

Claire writes:
We are about to have our 2nd daughter and really need help with a name. We have a 3 year old named Harley Jane. My husband and I both love her name and agreed on it instantly! This time around, no such luck.

The only thing we have agreed on is the middle name: Diane (for my mother who passed away from cancer last year)

Hubby loves the name Kennedy. Me, not so much.
I love the name Lila. Hubby, not so much.

I mentioned the name Hannah, and while we both like it (and how it sounds with Harley), we aren't sure about both the girls having names beginning with "H". We do plan on having more children,so we don't want to lock ourselves into using only "H" names. And if we used the name Hannah, and have another child with a name beginning with something other than "H", we don't want them to feel left out.

We really need your help! Do you have any suggestions for our baby girl? I am afraid she will be born and we will call her baby girl for the rest of her life!

It's a good idea to think ahead about initials, especially if you'd feel trapped into having more H names. I think an even bigger issue for me in this situation would be that the names Harley and Hannah are different in both style and popularity. Harley is contemporary, creative, and boyish/androgynous; Hannah is traditional, conservative, and girly. The name Harley was #481 in 2007; the name Hannah was #9 (source: Social Security Administration).

As with the issue of initials, this is purely personal: some people like more matchiness than others. I like names to be roughly similar in style and popularity (though I don't let it stop me from using a name I Love Love Love), but you may not feel that way about it. And "Harley and Hannah" does have appeal: it sounds almost like a children's television show. But you can imagine what the show would be about, right? Harley would be tough and bold and outgoing; Hannah would be sweet and polite and scared to get into trouble. The appeal is in the contrast, and for siblings you may not want that.

I think the name Kennedy goes great with Harley, but if you're meh about it, I'm tossing it. And your husband is meh about Lila, so that one goes out too. Let's see if we can find some more options:

Aubrey; Harley and Aubrey
Avery; Harley and Avery
Darcy; Harley and Darcy
Delaney; Harley and Delaney
Ellery; Harley and Ellery
Ellison; Harley and Ellison
Emerson; Harley and Emerson
Jalen; Harley and Jalen
Larkin; Harley and Larkin
Merrit; Harley and Merrit
Rowan; Harley and Rowan

Some of those may be too similar for your tastes: for example, do you want a repeating "ar" sound, as in hARley and dARcy, or hARley and lARkin? It's a matter of personal preference: some people will love the way those names are very different and yet coordinated by a common sound; other people will find the common sound too matchy.

The two that stand out to me are Delaney and Emerson. Because I can't choose just one, I won't make you choose just one either: please vote for TWO choices in the poll to the right [poll closed; see below].

[Poll results (476 votes total):
Aubrey: 53 votes, roughly 11%
Avery: 65 votes, roughly 14%
Darcy: 18 votes, roughly 4%
Delaney: 68 votes, roughly 14%
Ellery: 22 votes, roughly 5%
Ellison: 22 votes, roughly 5%
Emerson: 78 votes, roughly 16%
Jalen: 4 votes, roughly 1%
Larkin: 32 votes, roughly 7%
Merrit: 41 votes, roughly 9%
Rowan: 73 votes, roughly 15%]

[Name update 10-21-2008! Claire writes:
Thanks to everyone for the help and all the great suggestions! We were really torn between Emerson and Merrit (although the hubby kept trying for Kennedy!).

However, we are pleased to announce that Emerson Diane was born on Friday, October 3! Mother and baby are both doing extremely well. We love her name and love her even more! Thank you!]


Fine For Now said...

YES! It does sound like a television show, so right about that!

I loved Aubry, Avery, Delany, Larkin and Merrit! All great ideas :o)

Kristi said...

I think Emerson Diane would be perfect with Harley Jane!

Emerson is cute, creative, and has the same androgynous feel to it. Plus with the classic middle names.'s just too perfect!!

Anonymous said...

Names that go with Harley...

Kate said...

I voted for Aubrey and Emerson. I think they both sound great with Harley and they both work well with the middle name of Diane.
Aubrey Diane
Emerson Diane

Another option though...Emory. It is just like Emerson, so you could use it as a nickname or you could go with just Emory. I think this fits well with Diane as a middle name and still flows well with Harley.

Anonymous said...

For some reason, I really like Aubrey or Avery. I actually know an Aubrey Diane.

Lara Jane said...

I agree that Harley's sister should also have an androgynous name, so I like Aubrey, Avery, and Emerson best.

I think I lean more towards Emerson than the others because, like with the first initial, I don't think you should get "locked in" with similar name endings. Harley & Emerson don't sound as "cutesy" together as Harley & Aubrey.

Addison, Kendall, Jordan, Tatum, Sheridan, and Teagan (I've heard it pronounced two ways, one rhymes with Reagan), are other names I thought would pair nicely with Harley.

Karen said...

I like Swistle's suggestions as matches for Harley but I'm not keen on many of them with Diane as the middle name. Harley Jane has a very smooth flow. Larkin Diane? Delaney Diane? not so much, I think. Knowing the surname would help.

I like lara jane's suggestions and I was going to suggest Reagan myself. Like the others, I think Harley's sister's name needs some androgeny and/or surname as given name.

Reagan Diane. Harley and Reagan.
Rory Diane. Harley and Rory.
Tyler Diane. Harley and Tyler.
Bailey Diane. Harley and Bailey.
Kelsey Diane. Harley and Kelsey.
Sydney Diane. Harley and Sydney.
Leslie Diane. Harley and Leslie.

Mayberry said...

Emory and Kendall are great suggestions! I also think Rory is adorable although I am not sure if it's too similar to Harley.

Clarabella said...

Hmmm, having plugged Mom's short list (Harley, Hannah, Kennedy and Lila) into Nymbler, here are my picks:
Payton Diane; Payton and Harley
Skyler Diane; Skyler and Harley
Piper Diane; Piper and Harley
Reese Diane; Reese and Harley
Parker Diane; Parker and Harley
Sloan Diane; Sloan and Harley
Of these, Piper and Reese are my favorites. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I'm stunned that this is the second kid I know named Harley Jane!

kel said...

I voted for Delaney and Emerson. However, I also really like Merrick, but I don't know how well it goes with Diane.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I like Addison too.


Anonymous said...

OOh, Sydney or Piper! Great choices, that's what I vote!

Verity said...

Delaney immediately came to mind. Harley and Delaney sound like sisters.

I'm not 100% confident of the combo Delaney Diane. I like it, but I can see that it might not be everyone's cup of tea. Emerson Diane or Ellison Diane sound great, too, IMHO.

Best wishes!

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

I voted for Aubrey.

But I also like Avery.

And from commenters, I love Addison or Sydney or Payton (but I'd spell it Peyton, personal spelling preference).

brooke said...

I really like the sound of Tatum Diane. Good luck!

Bird said...

I like Avery and may I suggest Arden as a similar, but less popular alternative.

Mairzy said...

Very good suggestions, Swistle. I chose Delaney and Aubrey, but I also like Merrit and Rowan as well. With Harley, Aubrey seems the best match.

Frazzled Mom said...

Of Swistle's list, Darcy is my favorite, but Darcy Diane I don't like so much.

Androgynous isn't really my style, but I always make exceptions, and one androgynous name I love is Tatum. Tatum Diane sounds ok I think although I like the flow of Diane Tatum so much better. So I'm going to throw Tatum into the mix. Harley and Tatum. Harley Jane and Tatum Diane. I like it anyway.

Frazzled Mom said...

And due to lack of time, I only scrolled through the other comments, and didn't notice two or three other people had already suggested Tatum. Even more reason to consider Tatum, I say.

Stella and Thomas said...

I am pregnant too and want Lila but my hubbie says no....

But my first vote is for Lila. I also love Aubrey and Darcy and Emerson.

Anonymous said...

I've never been one to like the endings of sibling's names be the same. Though I like Aubrey, and think it would fit in this scenario, Harley and Aubrey would be paired, if all the rest of the siblings don't end in -ey as well. (Unless you want to follow the Jolie-Pitts with their -x ending trend) I also hesitate with androgynous names, because the more unisex the names Jordan and Rowan get, the harder it is for those of us who want to stick with those for boys names!

If hubby likes Kennedy, could Kendall Diane work?

Jan said...

I'll also chime in on the preference for different endings and androgyny in this case. Of the poll suggestions, I like Rowan. Of the above suggestions I like Reese and Piper to go with Harley. How about Morgan or Marlowe? Is there a book with Harley and Marlowe? I feel like I'm getting it from somewhere.

Clarabella said...

Marlowe immediately makes me think of *Heart of Darkness* (the narrator's name), but I don't think there's a Harley in there. Been a bit since I read it. I do like Marlowe, but it seems a bit too boyish for a girl.

Frema said...

I like the suggestions of Bailey and Sydney. Delaney's a fine name, but not with Diane, no matter what the surname.

Colby Diane also sounds very nice. Plus, when paired with Harley, the ending sounds aren't as matchy.

el-e-e said...

IF you're not a Project Runway watcher, you might be inclined to try Kenley, the name of one of the contestants and a similar name to Kennedy, but more comtemporary-sounding.

If you ARE a PR watcher, you might not be able to extricate the name from the 'character' on the show. :)

But it's worth a shot maybe. I think Harley and Kenley are kinda nice together. Matchy but not, yknow?