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).