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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Baby Girl Annabel, Anna, or Elizabeth

Jennifer writes:
I really hope you and your readers can help me and my husband choose a name for our little girl. We have narrowed down the first name to three possibilities: Annabel, Anna, or Elizabeth. I have always liked Elizabeth, Anna is a family name on my side, and Annabel I just thought of from Anna. My husband prefers Anna and Elizabeth. He worries if Annabel sounds too Southern, old-fashioned, or Disneyish. We do live in the South though, and are pretty old-fashioned people! I am leaning toward Annabel or Elizabeth. Anna sounds a little too serious to me. If we use Anna or Annabel, we are thinking we should maybe not use Elizabeth as a middle name in case we have another girl someday, and vice versa. (This is our first child.) We also aren't sure about middle names, but here are our ideas:

Annabel Catherine
Annabel Kathryn
Annabel Elizabeth
Annabel Hiers
Annabel Teresa

Anna Catherine
Anna Kathryn
Anna Elizabeth
Anna Teresa

Elizabeth Briggs
Elizabeth Hiers
Elizabeth Teresa

Catherine, Kathryn, and Elizabeth are all family names on my husband's side, as is Hiers (pronounced high-ers). I also have a niece named Katherine, so that's why we did not want to use it as a first name. Teresa is from my family, as is Briggs. We are open to other names, but feel pretty sure about the choices for first names. We like having family connections and names that flow nicely together. Some other names in our familes are Mary, Colleen, Laura, Kelly, Ellen, Lillian, Nora, Augusta, Jean, Virgina, Margaret, Pauline...

And Jennifer writes again:
We have narrowed it down (I think) since my last e-mail to Anna Kathryn, Annabel Hiers, Annabel Kathryn, and Elizabeth Briggs.

Okay, I'll put those four finalists in a poll to the right [poll closed; see below], but everyone feel free to chime in if you prefer other combinations!

[Poll results (264 votes total):
Anna Kathryn: 62 votes, roughly 23%
Annabel Hiers: 50 votes, roughly 19%
Annabel Kathryn: 79 votes, roughly 30%
Elizabeth Briggs: 73 votes, roughly 28%]


Meg said...

I love Anna Catherine, my second choice is Anna Kathryn

Anonymous said...

I love the name Anna. Not as crazy about Annabel, but I am not a fan of any of the 'bell' names. One thing to consider with Elizabeth, is to make sure you can live with any of the nicknames that she might get---Beth, Liz, Lizzy. Betty is an old nickname of Elizabeth, but that's the one I kind of like....

Daycare Girl said...

If you name her Annabel you can sing the Don Henley song to her. That makes it a winner right there for me. :)
Also, you could still call her Anna if you name her Annabel.

Sarah said...

I like Anna, too. It's the name we gave our own daughter, in fact.

I think I would choose Elizabeth, if I were you, though. It's certainly a timeless name and has a lot of fun and feminine nicknames, if that's your style.

If you go with either Elizabeth or Annabel I would choose a shorter middle name. It helps to emphasis the longer first name and keeps the name from being a mouthful.

Firegirl said...

For some reason, my brain clicked over to Annabeth...a combination.

I hesitate with Elizabeth because there's approximately one thousand nicknames for it and everyone seems to use a different one.

Anonymous said...

I like Annabeth Briggs !

Cass said...

I like Annabel, since you could still call her Anna if it *fit* but would have other nickname options if you wanted them. But then, I'm big on having nickname options, since for a long time growing up I didn't like my own name and was constantly trying to reinvent myself within my own name.

Both middle names you've suggested with Annabel are great - for me, the deciding factor would be the family connection to the middle name. Which one has a stronger connection for you?

Kathryn said...

My name is Kathryn Elizabeth, and I've always loved it. Not that you're taking any more suggestions ;) Off to vote!

Erin said...

Elizabeth Briggs sounds very cool, yet classic. its got my vote. From your list of other family names though, I think Augusta and Lillian are great too!

Anonymous said...

What about Annie?

Anonymous said...

I would save Briggs for a boy. Love it for a first or middle name for a boy! (Not that I don't like it for a girl, but boy names are so hard!)

I agree that Annabel can always be shortened to Anna. (But I guess I do know an Anna that we call Annabel as a nn)

shoeaddict said...

I went to HS with a guy named Briggs. You should save that for a son.

Jen said...

Personally, I like Lillian Hiers. But from the narrowed choices, I chose Elizabeth Briggs. Briggs would be a great boy name but I do think it makes Elizabeth (such a classic and beautiful name) a modern funky twist.

For some reason Annabel Hiers doesn't flow well for me. But it would depend on the last name too.

Really, all great names.

Jan said...

I really like Elizabeth Briggs, too. I think using Briggs for a girl follows a great Southern tradition - think (Mary) Flannery O'Connor.

I don't know if they were all Southern, but here are some other women who went by masculine (most likely family) names:
Eileen Evelyn Greer Garson
Laura Mackenzie Phillips
Lula Carson McCullers
Nelle Harper Lee

These are taken from an old post on the Baby Name Wizard blog.

Jenny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hi there,

This is Jennifer. Thank you so much for all your responses so far. Our last name is Blalock, so that is something we are considering in terms of the "B" and "L" sounds. We don't really like any of the nicknames for Elizabeth very much except maybe Ellie, but we do like Annie and Anna Kate. Thanks!

Kate said...

I like Anna Kathryn the best. You could call her Anna Kate which is super cute and fits with the southern tradition of using 2 names if you think Anna is too much by itself. I think this is a super feminine and cute name!

Dashrashi said...

With Blalock, I'd change my vote from Annabel to just Anna. I agree about the Bs and the Ls.

Anonymous said...

Anna Kate! Cute!!

bren j. said...

I voted for Anna Katherine, but I love the sound of Anna Lillian too - so pretty!

Frazzled Mom said...

Of the choices I like Annabel Hiers. But if you are open to suggestions from your other family names, I really like Nora as a first or middle name. I like Annabel Nora.

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

I voted Annabel Kathryn but only because from the four choices, it sounded the best.

I really like the name Elizabeth. I think Elizabeth Nora would be beautiful but I know that you're probably choosing these particular middle names because of a particular family connection, so I will definitely not judge on that. I think using family names are a beautiful and wonderful choice for middle names.

I'm not much of a help because I think Anna, Annabel or Elizabeth are all very nice names. But I will wish you good luck and say congratulations on your first baby. :-)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your kind wishes! I really like Nora also. I think we are leaning toward saving Elizabeth for if we have another girl someday (hopefully!) and trying to decide between Anna and Annabel. I really like both names and I think I really like Anna Kate for a nickname. I never thought it would be this hard to make a decision!


Anonymous said...

My name is Annabel.
My middle names are Mary and Louise. People say it flows quite nicely and i really like it.Out of your choices my favourite is Annabel Elizabeth!
Congrats on your 1st baby.