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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Baby Girl Rothschild

Taylor writes:
I am due with a baby girl in early March. Our son's name is William Jack (goes by Will) and I love the flexibility of a cute nickname and more formal given name. Will is named after 3 men in our family. I knew the namesakes would be special, but was unprepared for the significance Will's name has held for our family! When we discovered it would be a girl this time, I knew I wanted to give her a name that would likewise bless some of the women in our family.

It's become a bit of a puzzle. Here are her namesakes: My mom, Karen Lee, and my MIL, Leslie Anne. Also a possibility, my grandmother, Rae. My mom's maiden name (and grandmother's last name) is Taylor, which is a possible mn, but it is my first name. I'm not interested in naming her after me, and I fear that's how it would appear.

My husband and I are pretty set on calling her Annie. Another favorite name was Lucy, but Lucy seems very nicknamish to me (not a fan of Lucille, Lucia, Lucinda, etc). So our dilemma now is to build the name around the nickname.

Since "Annie" obviously will be a nod to the MIL, I want to honor my side of the family with the mn.

My husband's current favorite is Anne Katherine. My husband doesn't like the name Karen--too dated, so I did some research and discovered Karen is a form of Katherine, and they have the same meaning (pure). I think Anne Katherine is very pretty, but I am not sure about Anne. Some days I think it is sophisticated and elegant and others I wonder if its too plain. Also, I am not sure about the flow of the this name, seems a little choppy or something.

I really like Annabel as well. Annabel Lee and Annabel Rae were early contenders, but I have reservations on each...Annabel Lee is a poem by Edgar Allen Poe, definitely on the creepy side. Also you get "Annabelly" if you say it fast. Annabel Rae is iffy since our last name is similar to "Rothschild"... the double R is a mouthful. Annabel Katherine makes for a really long name when paired with "Rothschild". I like the idea of a 1 syllable mn with Annabel.

Another idea I had was to name her Annabel Kay, using similar logic as Katherine...Kay being a form of Katherine/Karen. I could even spell Kay, "Kae" to try and eke out a nod to my grandmother, Rae. But Kay seems a bit...old- but-not-in-a-cute-way to me. Am I taking this too far??? I feel like I've over-thought it, and I am not sure if these roundabout ways of namesaking are too much of a stretch. I hate to announce her name and then have to go in to a 20 minute explanation to her namesakes.

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

All right, let's see. You're going to call her Annie, so we want a first name that gives you that nickname. And then we want a middle name that honors your mother Karen Lee (or perhaps your grandmother Rae).

Since your mother-in-law gets the first-name slot, but with her middle name, it would be neat if your mother's middle-name slot used her first name, for balance. Your husband doesn't like the name Karen, so my first suggestion is Kara. I think it's beautiful, and it has a more contemporary sound than Karen. I think the flow would be better if you used the first name Anna instead of Anne: Anna Kara Rothschild. One thing that's nice about this name is that both grandmothers' names have been modified, and in very similar ways. Also, I like the rhythm of Anna Rothschild better than the rhythm of Anne Rothschild, though of course some will prefer the rhythm the other way.

A second possibility would be to name her Leanna. You could still call her Annie (or Lee), and it blends the two grandmothers' middle names. Give her the middle name Rae, and little Leanna Rae Rothschild is covering all the name bases.

Anyone else want to help out? What are some more ideas, ideally of the sort that won't make the namesake think, "This is 'after me' HOW?"

Name update! Taylor writes:
Thank you for all the great feedback on my naming dilemma! I appreciated all the creative ideas/combinations as well as the comments that said, "just use the namesakes' actual names...don't make it so complicated". Reading all the feedback helped me identify my favorite first name and how to best honor my mom--by using her actual name and not a variation.

Annabel Karen "Rothschild" was born March 13 at 3:23 am! Annie is beautiful and her name fits her perfectly. Best of all, both Grandmas felt so honored by our choice. (My mom cries every time she tells someone her granddaughter's name).


Anonymous said...

How about:

Annabel Kara
Anne Caroline (somewhat close to Karen)
Anne Karina / Annabel Karina
Annika Caroline
Annika Karin (German or possibly Scandanavian, pron. KAR-in)
Annabel Karenna (like Karenna Gore Schiff)

I would probably stay away from anything that would sound similar to Anna Karenina.

Joceline said...

As a former English teacher, I shuddered when I read Annabel Lee, so I'm glad you've already nixed that one! Creepy!

How about:
Anna Kate
Anna Katherine
Kara Anne

The second two were actually early contenders for our daughter's name. My husband LOVES Cara/Kara, and I liked Anna Katherine with either of the nicknames Anna Kate or Annie. They're all so classic sounding and very elegant. I love that you're thinking so hard to honor women you love!

I also think that Kay is a cute middle name without sounding too old.

Jana said...

We know a little girl named Anna Catherine. She goes by both names, but the name could definitely be shortened to Annie (love that name, btw!).

shoeaddict said...

Or I like Anna Rae. You don't often call her by her full name. If not, Anna Katherine is good.

Patricia said...

How about Annabel Kate, similar to Annabel Kay but with a more current sounding middle name? A form of each grandma's name would be used, and your kids' middle names would be similar: Jack, nickname for John; Kate, nn for Katherine of which Karen is a form. I think Annabel Kate and William Jack go very well together, both sounding very classic.

I also like Anne Katherine and Anna Katherine.

Jewels said...

Watch out for variations of Anne Karen etc, because of that book Anna Karenina by Tolstoy. Not that it would necessarily be bad, but it was the first thing I thought of when I read that name combo....

Jennifer said...

Anna LeeAnne or Annabel LeeAnne popped into my head right away. Not so much a fan of the Annabel Lee or the Anna Karen for reasons mentioned previously ...

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of using a variation of Lee Anne (Leann/e, Lianne, etc.) though I agree with Swistle that if you use Rae as a mn Leanna Rae has a better flow.

heather said...

I love Annie!!
My first thought too, was Anna rather than Anne. It's little less plain, a little more feminine and pretty, but still sophisticated.
I really like both Anna Katherine and Anna Kay.
What about Annalee as a first name? That would combine both grandmothers' middle names and lend itself perfectly to Annie.

Anonymous said...

What about Anneliese? That way both gma's are honored in the first name. Anneliese Rae sounds really nice to me.

Baby Name Brainstorm said...

Here's several variations on Annie which mean 'grace':

Anita, Ann, Anna, Annette, Anneliese.

Personally I really like Annabelle, which derives from 'grace' and 'beauty'. Annabelle Kathryn sounds nice (grace, beauty, pure). Some other variations on Kathryn are:

Kathleen, Katharina, Caterina, Katelynn.

C N Heidelberg said...

Katherine is a great name and to me it wouldn't matter, but just in case it does to her, it doesn't really mean 'pure' - the original meaning is unclear (see or Oxford's name dictionary for more details) but in any case it's certain that it doesn't actually mean pure. That was a mistake made partway through the history of the name that stuck with it for a long time.

Anne is so graceful and wonderful. I'd go with that!!

Susan said...

I love the flow of Anna Katherine. I think that's a name that would wear well.

I also think Leanna Rae is a beautiful name with a great naming story (after all three women) -- and it gives a lot of flexibility on nicknames.

MC said...

I also immediately thought of Anna Karenina, the Tolstoy book. However, I do really like Anna Kate! I think that would be a great name!

They could also use Anne as a middle name and have her nickname still be Annie. There are plenty of people who call their kids by their middle names.

Frazzled Mom said...

I have a friend named Anna Katherine, who loves to be called Anna Kate. I feel Anna Katherine would be the most timeless approach. It works on a baby, 20 something, 30 something, 80 something, etc.

I also thought of Annalee. Maybe Annalee Rae or Annalee Kay.

Alright - I'm going to go there. Lucy is historically a full name and is actually older than Lucille, Lucia, Lucia, etc. However, it doesn't sound like Lucy is honoring for you, and while Lucy can be a nickname, when used as a full given name, I am unsure of what nicknames would work for Lucy. Since you son has a nickname, I am under the impression that you would like your daughter to also have a nickname. For those reasons it doesn't sound like Lucy’s right for you. But if you were writing off Lucy only because you thought it was strictly a nickname, then I would try to persuade you to reconsider since it is one of my favorites.

Marie Green said...

I love the name Anna- that's my first born's name! I also love Annie.

A couple of comments:

My aunt's name is Karen Lee and her son named his daughter after her by naming her Kaelee- taking out the "r" and "n". I don't like that spelling of Kaylee, but it's a neat idea.

Also, my mom's name is Katherine, so we gave one of our daughters the middle name of Kate, which worked better for us and is a nickname for Katherine OR Karen.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I think Swistle's suggestion of Leanna Rae is great the way it includes all three women, and also because you get your nickname of "Annie" while your child gets a lovely, but not often used, name. I also think Annabelle Katherine Rothschild has a nice flow to it, and while alluding to the names it's meant to honor, it doesn't prioritize one over the other since both are altered slightly from their namesakes. Good luck!

Jane said...

I echo the pro Anna Katherine option. I also love the nickname Annie and feel the same way about "Anne" as a name. I do love Anna though!

I also prefer Annalee/Annalea over Leanna. I think with your last name Annalea sounds prettier and more elegant than Leanna.

My 2 cents; both of my children have first and last names honoring people from our family, so I think this is a really lovely tradition (although we struggle thinking about what we will choose if we have another!)

Nowheymama said...

Anna Katherine.

Stormin' said...

I love Anna Catherine. It's classic, but not overly common.

Anonymous said...

I like Annalee. Even more, I like Annilee. Just changing the "a" to an "i" seems to lend itself more to the nickname Annie, to me.

Nicki said...

I really really love the name Anna Katherine, but if my name were Karen I wouldn't think of Katherine as being in my honor, so it's tricky. I wouldn't think of Kay/Kae as being in my honor, either, if I were named Karen.

Barb @ getupandplay said...

I really like Anna Katherine and Anna Kate and I much prefer Anna to Anne.

Patricia said...

Nicki's comment brought up something I've been wondering about: would your mom think of Katherine, Kate, Kay, etc. as being after her? I'm wondering because when I was thinking about using a name which seemed related to my mother's name as the middle name for one of my daughters, my mother's response was: "that's not my name." (Her name is Edna Millie and I was thinking of contracting her name to Emilie: E(dna) mil(l)ie. However, years later, when our family was complete, she wished I had used Emilie in her honor...)

It seems that if parents want to name a child in honor of a relative or friend but not use the exact name, it's probably safest to mention it to the honored person before they make a definite decision. It could be that the similar name is one the person has never really liked, or otoh, she may be delighted with the similar name for her namesake.

Karen said...

How about Kerry?

I'm a Karen and sometimes family called me Carrie/Kerry when I was little. In the North American pronunciation, Kerry is very close to Karen, so another alternative to Kara, Kay, or Katherine as a variant.

Kerry-Anne sounds nice and now that I think of it, I know a Kari-Ann. Kerry Anne or Kerry Anna sound nicer to me than Kara Anna (too many "a"s for me).

I think Katherine and Kay are much more of a stretch than either Kerry or Kara.

I also quite like Lee Anne/a or Lianne/a or Leanne/a or ... with or without the Rae.

Anonymous said...

While Annalee or variations of this look nice and seem to fit your requirements it sounds much to close to 'anally' as far as I'm concerned.

The Anne(a) Karenina link pretty much disqualifies Karen in the middle name spot for me as well.

If I were named Karen I wouldn't really associate any form of Katharine or other 'k' names as being a namesake, but perhaps I'm overly picky.

As far as I can see the best choice is to use your family name and go with Anne or Anna Taylor. This covers everyone - you, your, mother, and grandmother. I don't think it would look like you are only naming the child after you.

That leaves the Karen and Lee names open for future children - they might fit better with your next choice.

Southern jezeBelle said...

i've ALWAYS loved the name Anna Leigh. Seems you may be able to use that here.

Anna Lee?

What about using AnnaLee as one name, similar to LeAnn but opposite. AnnaLee or Annalee.

AnnaLee Rae
AnnaLee Karen
AnnaLee Taylor

I really like AnnaLee Taylor, who goes by Annie.

Maybe you'd decide you want to call her AnnaLee which would be a thrill to both grandmothers and sounds very similar to Annie.


Christina Fonseca said...

Love the suggestion of Leanna Rae! Two other alternatives are Annarae Katherine or Annarae Karina. You get the nn Annie with all three.

Although the middle name is longer than 1-syllable, Rothschild is only 2 syllables long.

Lisa said...

Another suggestion is the name Karlie or Karlee. For Karen/Lee or Karen/Leslie honoring. Maybe in the middle name slot?

My mom's name is Karen and when I was thinking of namesaking with my daughters, I also thought of Karrie or Kari. (My Dad's name is Gary. Maybe get 2 birds.) I actually never thought of Katherine as similar to Karen. My daughters mn is Kate...I'll have to tell my mom that she has a namesake after all!)

I have a friend named Karren (CAR-N), maybe a different pronunciation helps?

I think Taylor is a great mn idea as well. And I think Kae or Rae are great mn, too.

Taylor (the mama) said...

Yea Swistle and friends! These are AWESOME ideas. Thank you so much...I'll see what my husband thinks.

I'd thought of Leanne as a mn at one time (My initial pick was Raina Leanne...Raina for Rae. But my husband really disliked Raina). But I hadn't considered Leanna as a first name! Leanna Rae is pretty much the inverse of Raina that appeals to me.

I also LOVE Annabel Kate. Problem is, I have a SIL named Kate...seems strange for Kate to be after my mom when baby's aunt is Kate. Darn!

Annalee is super cute, too, as well as Karianne. I have so much to think about now. :)

Lonna said...

What about the name Raeann (ray-ann) I know a girl with the name and it would be a nod to both sides of the family and has possible nn of Annie.

Raeann Lee Rothschild?!

coolteamblt said...

As a Katherine Elizabeth who was almost named Anna Elizabeth, I'm voting for Anna Katherine. I think it's nice that both names are clear variants of family name. I'm personally named after two people: Kathleen and Elissa. You get to have your own name, but you're also connected to your family. I think Raeann or Leanna kind of sound country-ish, and not in a good way. Anna Katherine and William Jack sound like siblings to me.

Karen said...

My name is Karen, and if someone told me they'd named their daughter Katherine or Kay in my honor, I think I'd think, "They hate my name!" or else, even less fairly, "They want to get credit for honoring me when actually they're not." (Yeah, I know, I'm a real treat.) I'm afraid the name has to be pretty close or it sounds like it's a contrived/fake honor.

Patricia said...

Taylor, I can see where Karen is coming from above. Maybe Anne Karen *is* the best way to name your daughter after both her grandmas, with the delightful nickname "Annie". I think Anne Karen Rothschild sounds very substantial and clearly honors both grandmas equally. And personally, I like the classic Anne -- like your son's classic William -- far better than most of the Anne/Lee/Kari/Rae etc. blended names that have been suggested.

Anonymous said...

What about Anna Rae-Lee (when said faster is like Rayley)
Its unique and pretty and uses the namesakes
Anna Rae-Lee
Anna Raylee
Anne Rae Lee
Anne Raylee

I dunno just a thought;)

bellaf said...

I'm not at all a fan of naming kids after relatives, specially when it just feels like an obligation, but if you want to do it, than do it right - go with Anne Karen or Anne Lee. She'll be called Annie anyways, which is lovely, so why complicate it and potentially hurt one grandma?

Anonymous said...

This is a great thread - we are facing a similar challenge of naming baby after both our moms (Katharine Anne and Kay Louise)! It can be hard to find a name you love and also find one that still honors the original name. You're right, it's so worth the challenge, keep trying you've got some great option!

Love Anna/e with nn of Annie, so cute and perfect match to her brother! Anna Karina is beautiful!
All the best!

Patricia said...

I like Anna Karina too and think it really doesn't matter that the name is similar to "Anna Karenina". First of all, Anna Karina is not exactly the same as the name of the main character (Anna Arkadyevna Karenina) in Tolstoy's classic novel. Second, Anna Karina is a lovely name that would meet your name requirements very well, changing the less musical Anne Karen by altering each grandma's name just a little. Third, how often do we use our entire name -- first and middle?

I think Anna Karina Rothschild sounds very pretty, elegant and sophisticated.

Anonymous said...

I'm an Annakathryn, so I love this name! I always get many compliments on how beautiful it is. As far as names go, I think its best to stay classic and timeless. Think about it, how many people name their girls Tiffany now that it not 1982?