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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Baby Girl or Boy Guhndail

Jenny writes:
We’re running out of time! I’m now 37 weeks and we haven’t chosen names.

For our first child we found out we were having a boy, and therefore didn’t even pick a girl’s name. We decided on Charles (“Charlie”) Benjamin. We decided on the name just a week before he was born. We liked it because we have two separate people named Charles (one Charlie and one Chuck) who have played a significant role in our lives. Benjamin is my husband’s name. So, there were a number of reasons to choose this name besides that they sound good together and we like both the given and nickname.

For baby #2 we did not find out the gender and are now faced with the task of choosing both a boy and girl name and matching it to Charles/Charlie. For a girl, I was pretty set on Meredith. It sounds classy and familiar, but not too common (and goes well with Charlie). We are completely open for middle names. Lately, we have really liked Hazel (our children are almost sure to have blue eyes; is that a strange thing to cross my mind?). Again, completely open on middle names. I also like Abigail (but too common) and Margot, and my husband likes Miriam and Catherine. Right now our top girl choices are Meredith and Hazel.

For a boy’s name, we’re leaning toward Harrison James. I wasn’t sure about the surname as a first name, but it helps to know we aren’t the only ones who like the name (but again, not too common). James is a family name. My husband would prefer it be a first name, but it’s a little too blah for me. Plus, I don’t like “Jimmy”. We don’t really care for the nickname “Harry” (mostly because of “hairy”), but Harry is also a family name. So, we’re wondering what other nickname could be used for Harrison. Possibly “Hank”? Other names we like include Edward/Edwin/Edmund, Peter, Philip.

Our last name is pronounced GUHN-dail, so most of these names should fit just fine.

We need some other name ideas that fit with our son’s name. Please help us put this decision to rest soon!

My favorite of your girl name choices is Meredith, for all the reasons you mention. I started to try "one parent's favorite" first name choices in the middle name slot, but Abigail rhymes with your surname, and Catherine repeats the TH sound from Meredith, and Miriam and Margot both add another M sound, and none of them seem quite right. Well, maybe your other first-name choice would work? Meredith Hazel Guhndail? Hm, I like the sound of that. It works the other way, too, I think: Hazel Meredith Guhndail.

For boys, I like the name Harrison but agree that the nickname issue is tricky. I wonder what Harrison Ford's friends and family call him? Hank would be a legitimate choice: it's traditionally a nickname for Henry, and Harrison comes from Henry by way of Harry (well, or by way of Harry's son). You could also use Hal, another nickname of Harry. Or you could use Harris.

Another nickname for James is Jamie, if you like that better than Jim/Jimmy. James Harrison Guhndail is nice, and I like how Charlie and Jamie go together. Or you could make the name James longer and go for Jameson, with the same nickname option Jamie.

I'll put two polls over to the right, one for girl name options and one for boy name options. [Polls closed; see below.]

Poll results, girl names (239 votes total):
Meredith: 174 votes, roughly 73%
Hazel: 65 votes, roughly 27%

Poll results, boy names (235 votes total):
Harrison: 108 votes, roughly 46%
James: 65 votes, roughly 28%
Edward: 12 votes, roughly 5%
Edwin: 5 votes, roughly 2%
Edmund: 16 votes, roughly 7%
Peter: 17 votes, roughly 7%
Philip: 12 votes, roughly 5%

Name update 02-21-2009! Jenny writes: "Meredith Jane was born on 2/16/09. Thank you for the input; the name is perfect for her!"


Anonymous said...

First of all, I LOVE Hazel. Love, love, LOVE it. I would be so thrilled to see it on a little girl! Hazel Meredith is pretty, and I'm also liking Hazel Catherine and Hazel Miriam. I think Hazel Catherine is the classiest, and also works best with Charles Benjamin.

For boys, I like both Harrison and James. James Harrison (possibly with the nickname Jamie) and Harrison James (doesn't need a nickname, but could go with Harris.)

The one little tidbit I should mention is that Harry James is the full name of Harry Potter. I don't think it's a huge deal, but it might bother you.

Anonymous said...

Meredith is such a great name. I like the nickname Mer, and I've even heard the nickname "Meridee" which is kind of cute and playful, too.

Also, Harrison is my pick for a boy name. I wasn't sure about nicknames, but Swistle's suggestion of Harris sold me on it.

Melissa H said...

I LOVE Meredith and would totally use it if it didn't happen to rhyme with my last name. Good luck!

coolteamblt said...

I have to second the Jamey nickname for James. That's my son's name! We just correct people if they try to call him Jim or Jimmy. "James or Jamey only, please." I think it's a bit bland too, but it's the only name my husband and I could agree on. I think Harrison is really nice, though. James and Charles sound better matched to me than Charles and Harrison. If not James, Peter Edwin sounds really nice.

For your girl choice, I think Meredith Catherine sounds really nice because of the repeated 'th' sounds, actually. Hazel Catherine or Hazel Meredith are both really nice.

d e v a n said...

I love both Meredith and Hazel, but voted for Hazel.
For boys, I voted for Harrison. Love it.
What about Davis?

Fine For Now said...

OH Meredith! My FAV name of all time!!!! Yay! No one in my family likes it :( But, I will fight for it when/if the time comes :)

For boys I vote for Harrison.

el-e-e said...

Love Meredith, love Jamie. I think Jamie and Charlie would be Super Cute together, and both are names that grow well.

We had a Jamie in high school and it was just a great name. Some would say it's too "little boy-ish" but I heartily disagree with that.

Patricia said...

Charles/Charlie and James/Jamie are perfect brother names, and each could easily switch to the formal name as an adult. I have a son James who was "Jamie" until about age 12, when he asked to be called James. He's been James ever since.

I like Meredith much better than Hazel. In my mind Meredith sounds far more sophisticated and classy than Hazel. I suppose that's because I remember the popular 1960s TV series called "Hazel," where Hazel is the live-in maid of a well-off family. (The series is still available on DVD.) I think Meredith Catherine would go very well with Charles Benjamin.

Meredith said...

I am a Meredith. I only know a few people with the same name and I get compliments all the time. Please use it. And I love Meredith Hazel.

Anonymous said...

I really like Meredith out of the choices.

I also love the James/Jamie and Charles/Charlie symatry. My DH is Jamie (for James) and I can tell you that it works just as well for an adult as it does a child.

Lisa said...

Love Merideth. And for nicknames for that, I love Meri. So cute.

Love Harrison. Maybe once he is here Harry will sound like a decent nickname and just fit him. I like the idea of Harris. Or even Sonny? Odd, but could be cute.

R said...

I voted for Harrison - but I TOTALLY love Jameson, it was one of my name choices, but the hubs didn't like it - and we had a girl anyway ;) Good luck to you!!

Frazzled Mom said...

You know, when I first read your post, I actually though Hazel was one of the middle name choices, and I thought why all of the hemming and hawing? Meredith Hazel is great and there is no need to find anything better. And then I re-read, and realized you actually were trying to decide between Meredith and Hazel for the first name. Nevertheless, I still say Meredith Hazel is the way to go. I was also going to suggest Meridee for the nickname. I see someone else beat me to it.

For the boy, I do like Harrison, and I like your idea of Hank as a nickname, however, I feel the other names on the list go so much better with Charles / Charlie. I like either Edward / Eddie or James / Jamie. And I agree with all of the other posters who say Charlie and Jamie would make great brothers. HOWEVER - you are not in love with James / Jamie, and therefore Edward James is my vote. I think Charlie and Eddie make a smashing brother pair.

KMW said...

I love Hazel Catherine and Hazel Meredith!

For a boy, my favorite is James Harrison nn Jamey.

Kathleen aka Coffee Mom said...

Since my 10 year old's name is Harrison I have to vote for it here. Absolutely no one calls him Harry. He's always been Harrison.
For girls, definitely Meredith.

Lara Jane said...

Funny. When I was pregnant with my son, his "girl name" was going to be Meredith Grace. I'm glad we ended up with Henry because I detest the main character on the show Grey's Anatomy, whose name is, of course Meredith Grey!

Henry's baby brother, should he have had one, was going to be Charles ("Charlie") Truman. So I guess I think you have a great taste!

That being said, I voted for Hazel for your girl name, and Peter for your boy name.

I liked Peter because I like the nickname Harry, but I don't like Charles and Harrison as a pair. Same thing with James. James & Charles have the same ending, which turns me off. (James is Henry's middle name, and yes, I know full well about Harry James Potter! I love the books but I love the family members we honored even more!)

I lovelovelove Edmund and Edward, but I don't like the nn Eddie or Ed. Ned is kind of cute with Charlie. Charlie & Ned.

Good luck! You have some great choices!