Our daughter is due around New Years. We've reached an impasse and need some help.
Some ground rules:
- Our last name is 4 syllables, lovely, uncommon, starts with an L and is rather commanding; similar to Leonardo. So nothing too long (as much as we love it, no Juliana / Alexandra / etc.). Also, nothing that starts with an L (we liked Lillian / Lauren, but had to leave them out)
- Nothing too trendy or "weird", and no "creative" spellings. We are looking for simple, elegant names with a little whimsy.
- Must go with Benjamin Henry -- we would like to use it if we have a boy
Our favorites so far are Julie / Julia and Natalie
We keep coming back to Julie / Julia Elisabeth but can't figure out which to use. We really like Julie (we've used it since we found out it was a girl), and don't like Julia that much. I'm worried Julie will start sounding dated soon, but it's popular in Europe, so maybe? With our last name, Julie hardly sounds boring. Plus Julia, Natalie and Sophie just doesn't work as well as Julie, Natalie and Sophie. We'd like to use those if we have more girls, and I love love love "Ben & Julie". But maybe we could put Julia on the birth certificate but call her Julie, and she could choose to use Julia if she wanted. Would love some input on the status of Julie vs. Julia these days.
Natalie keeps coming up and I must admit it's growing on me a lot. But we can't agree on a middle name that we both love. I love Natalie Frances except for one thing -- the initials (NFL). Football fan I am not, and even if I were I don't think I could go through with it. Can't use Frances for a first (family reasons). I like Natalie Eleanor but my husband prefers Natalie Elisabeth. We just can't agree. See the baby name wizard's comment on Eleanor. So true for us! Natalie Therese works, and we both like it a lot, but, we just don't love it. Other middle names for Natalie?
Would love some input on all this, especially the Julie / Julia issue.
I think that if you like Julie and don't like Julia much, you should use Julie and not use Julia. I think of Julie as its own name, and don't think it needs to be a nickname for another name. The only thing I'm wondering is if the "-lee" ending sounds awkward with the "Lee-" beginning of your surname. Julie Leonardo, for example, would have a juLEE LEEonardo issue, as would Natalie Leonardo. It's a minor issue, though, and not one that would rule out the name for me.
Julie is indeed the 1960s/1970s version of the name, whereas Julia has been the version used more often in recent years. A more modern sounding version would be Jolie, but that name is strongly associated with Angelina Jolie. Pretty name, though, and in fact the name means "pretty."
You say you like the name Lillian; how about Jillian? You could call her Jilly, which is one vowel sound off from Julie. Jillian Leonardo has a pleasing repeating lee sound (because the lee is in the middle of the first name rather than at the end), has a more modern sound than Julie, and I think it's nice with Benjamin: Jillian and Benjamin, Jilly and Ben. I'd go with Jillian Frances, I think, but I also like Jillian Elisabeth.
Let's put the candidates in a poll to the right and see what everyone thinks. [Poll closed; see results below.] After you vote for a first name, come to the comment section to discuss middle name preferences: Elisabeth, Frances, Eleanor, Therese.
Poll results (227 votes total):
Julie: 46 votes, roughly 20%
Julia: 51 votes, roughly 22%
Jillian/Jilly: 106 votes, roughly 47%
Natalie: 24 votes, roughly 11%
Name update 01-03-2009! Catherine writes:
We welcomed Julia Elisabeth (with an -s-) into the world on December 30th. We'll call her Julie or Jules, but she'll have a lovely grownup name to use in the "real world." I also fell in love with the Beatles song "Julia" recently, so that helped. We are happy with our choice. My husband loves the name Elisabeth / Elizabeth, so we went with that (though I won on the -s- vs. -z- issue!). I'm still not crazy about her initials (JEL) but honestly I don't think it's that important. We're really happy with the name, and so far it seems to suit her quite nicely.