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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Orenstein Twins

Hannah writes:
I'm having fraternal twin girls arriving October 2! They will join big sister Cecelia Claire, age 3. Our last name is Orenstein, pronounced OR-en-steen.

For Baby A, we were considering Rosabel, my grandmother's name, for a long time. We're on the fence about whether to use it as a first name or a middle name – we like Rosabel Charlotte, Rosabel Olivia, and Veronica Rosabel. My husband, Nathaniel, prefers Rosabel as a first name. He likes the idea of the nicknames Roo – the initials of Rosabel Olivia Orenstein – or Rosie. I'm not 100% sold on it – I'm really loving the name Veronica right now.

For Baby B, we're so conflicted on what to choose! I really love the name Ava Catherine, but Ava is the #1 name in my state for baby girls at the moment, and popular isn't really our style. I would still consider it as a middle name, though. We also like Alexandra, Georgina, Julia, and Stella. We would also really like to use Eleanor as a middle name, if possible. Eleanor is Nathaniel's grandmother's name.

We're open to all combinations, new suggestions, and whatever you have to offer. Thanks in advance for all your help!

I love Rosabel: it's beautiful and unusual; there's a family tie-in; and the popularity of the name Isabelle means the sound of the name is likely to be a big hit. Olivia is my favorite of your middle name choices, and "Roo" and "Rosie" are both great nicknames.

But I'm no good as a tie-breaker here, because I also love Veronica Rosabel. And if you use both grandmothers' names as middle names, it gives a very pleasing balance.

Wait---you're having two girls. Could you use Rosabel AND Veronica? Rosabel Olivia and Veronica Eleanor? The name Eleanor runs into your surname a little (EleanOR ORenstein), but I think that kind of thing is fine for a middle name, especially when there's a good family reason to use the name.

Looking at your other candidates, they all look too strong and sassy to pair with Rosabel: Rosabel and Georgina. Rosabel and Ava. Rosabel and Stella seems like it might lead to people saying Rosabella accidentally. Rosabel and Alexandra might work, except the name Alexandra is so much more common: Rosabel hasn't hit the Top 1000 any time in the last 200 years, while Alexandra's been in there solidly since 1938---and in the Top 50 since 1988 (source: Social Security Administration).

How about Alessandra? It's similar to Alexandra, but less common and it increases the femininity to be a better match for Rosabel. The name Lissandra seems even better to me, and less prone to people mishearing it as Alexandra: Rosabel and Lissandra. Lissandra Eleanor Orenstein. You could use Leo as a nickname, to go with Roo.

Or maybe Clarissa? Or..... Well, I'm finding what you probably found, which is that Rosabel is a tough name to coordinate, and especially as part of a twin set where the coordination or lack thereof is going to stand out even more glaringly than with other siblings.

I think there are two good options here:

1. Go with his first pick (Rosabel) and your first pick (Veronica). Rosabel Olivia Orenstein (ROO) and Veronica Eleanor Orenstein (VEO). Cecelia, Rosabel, and Veronica. This is my favorite option, because I like the way you both get your first choice. I also like the way HE'S the one who wants YOUR grandmother's name promoted to first-name status: that evens out any potential family ruffles about whose family name is more favored.

2. Shift Rosabel to the middle name slot, like Eleanor. Pick two of your remaining choices, perhaps Veronica and Julia, or Georgina and Stella, and pair them up with the middle names. Maybe Georgina Rosabel Orenstein (GRO) and Veronica Eleanor Orenstein (VEO); Cecelia, Georgina, and Veronica.

What do the rest of you think? Are there more options here? What would you do?

[Name update! 10-02-2008 Hannah writes:
Thank you to all your readers for your help! Rosabel Olivia Orenstein and Eleanor Veronica Orenstein were born on October 2, 2008. They're both healthy, beautiful girls and their names suit them perfectly!]


Casa Wasabi said...

I absolutely love the idea of twin girls named Rosabel and Lissandra. And the nickname potential of ROO and LEO is freaking adorable. I wonder if the parents ever considered calling the first daughter Coco, since her initials are CCO. Just a thought.

Cecelia, Rosabel and Lissandra

Coco, Roo and Leo. What a dynamic trio!

Casa Wasabi said...

I meant to mention, that my little girl's nickname is Coco (short for Cousteau).

Barb @ getupandplay said...

I LOVE Rosabel, so I definitely think you should use Rosabel Olivia. I also quite like Veronica Eleanor for baby B. I think Cecelia, Rosabel, and Veronica are a beautiful little trio with lots of nickname options for each one!


Clarabella said...

Option 1, option 1!

Tabby said...

I love Rosabel Olivia (Roo!) and Lissandra Elise.

Great and unusual name choices.

Rayleen said...

Option 1 looks like the perfect fit! Way to go Swistle!

aibee said...

I think Rosabel is a delicious first name, and I wish you'd consider Eleanor as a first name too.

I don't have the same issue with Eleanor Orenstein that swistle does though. In fact, think it sounds liltingly sweet. It's a beautiful name, and a lovely way to honor BOTH of your daughters' great-grandmothers.

Cecelia, Rosabel and Eleanor go so well together too, so all things considered, it would be a shame to tuck Eleanor somewhere in the middle where it would rarely get heard.

Now for second names to go with the firsts. Hmm.

*assumes Deep Though position*

How about Rosabel Olivia and Eleanor Veronica?

ROO and EVO, with Roo and Evie as nicknames maybe?

I like Eleanor Ava too, and it goes wonderfully well with Rosabel Olivia. The only drawback I can see with that combination is that the initials don't lend themselves toward a cute nickname.

Hannah said...

Thanks for all your comments! I think my husband and I are currently leaning towards Option #1 - Rosabel Olivia and Veronica Eleanor.

We like the idea of Roo and Leo. The drawback to that idea is that the only L name we like is Lillian, which is becoming very popular. (Currently #33.) Still, Lillian Eleanor does sound beautiful, so we will keep it as an option.

aibee, I do really like Eleanor Ava. It sounds very pretty, and it does fit with our family trend of uncommon first names paired with popular middle names. However, I can't get past how it runs together. EleanOR ORenstein. It just doesn't work for me. :/ Thanks for suggesting it, though!

Hannah, Nathaniel, and Cecelia

Anonymous said...

Love the first option, but some other ideas:

Beatrix Eleanor (Bea or Bee as a nickname)
Louisa Eleanor
Lydia Eleanor

Anonymous said...

I love Rosabel with the nicknames of Rosie or Roo. I'm not as sold on Veronica though, because the nickname of "Ronnie" doesn't sound as classy as the other girls. My favorites are Rosabel and Lissandra.

Anonymous said...

For some reason I like the idea of using both grandmothers names for the first names. Rosabel and Elenor.

Anonymous said...

another vote for option # 1!!! it's perfect!

Anonymous said...

hii aww omg i have an older brother 4 and a half years older and im a freternal twin =] we're 14 and our names are Veronika and Juliya, im veronika by the way =] i like rosabel, its cutee =] i love both the names =]