I'm due with my first child in early April. My husband and I have completely different styles! His name (Michael) was the top name the year he was born, so he's drawn to unusual, uncommon names. My name (Allison) was common, but never crazy popular, which is a quality I'd like to have in my own daughter's name. We kept putting off major discussions about names because it's been so hard to reach a solution we both like, but our little girl is going to be here soon and she needs a name!
Michael and I each made a list of our top eight, with our favorites at the top. Mine is: Lila, Sophie, Grace, Ruby, Madeleine, Isabel, Lucy, and Reese. His is: Magnolia, Cecilia, Seraphina, Christabel, Aurelia, Lavinia, Priscilla, and Portia.
From his list, I like Magnolia, Cecilia, Seraphina, and Aurelia - but I don't love them. They're a little too over-the-top for me to use. He says my list is too popular, and she'll forever be known as Sophie H. (Our last name is Hayes.) We both agreed that if he gets final say on the FN, I get to choose the MN (or vice-versa), but in the ideal situation, I'd want both of us to LOVE the whole name, you know what I mean?
So, to recap: We're looking for a name that is a good compromise between unusual names and common names, that fits with the last name Hayes. Any suggestions?
Well, Ruby's a good one. It's common enough to be familiar, but in 2007 it was only used for .1368% of baby girls. (Source: Social Security baby name site.) If we assume a classroom size of 20 children, with 10 of them girls, that means there'd be, on average, one Ruby per 75 classrooms. It's possible she'd be a Ruby H., especially if that area of the country is particularly fond of the name, but it's unlikely.
But what you're asking for is names that are not on either list, so let's see if we can find something between the lists. For example, he likes Seraphina and you like Sophie, so we'll look for something between celebrity-level uncommonness and Top 20. Josephine has that "fee(n)" sound. Phoebe has the "fee" sound, too, and the rhythm of Sophie. The name Serena is like Seraphina with a chunk removed to make it shorter and simpler. Sabrina is classic and beautiful and familiar but not much used. Selina is another good one.
You like Grace and Lucy; he likes Cecelia and Priscilla. Celia shortens/simplifies Cecelia, and also avoids the song. Lucia lengthens and dresses up Lucy. (The Baby Name Wizard says it can be pronounced LOO-sha or loo-CHEE-a or loo-SEE-a; it's loo-SEE-a I have in mind.) The name Lia might appeal to both of you: it's short and sweet, feminine and pretty, and three of his name choices end in it--but it's similar to Lila on your list. Clarice is pretty and unusual, without the frou-frou ending, and it sounds like Reese (you could even use that as a nickname). Clara ends in the -a he prefers, but in style it's more similar to Grace and Lucy.
So here's my list of suggestions so far:
My favorite is Clara. Let's have a poll over to the right to see everyone else's favorites [poll closed; see results below], and also let people chime in with any other simplifications/dress-ups.
Poll results (309 votes total):
Celia: 46 votes, roughly 15%
Clarice: 4 votes, roughly 1%
Clara: 45 votes, roughly 15%
Josephine: 56 votes, roughly 18%
Lia: 21 votes, roughly 7%
Lucia: 27 votes, roughly 9%
Phoebe: 33 votes, roughly 11%
Sabrina: 39 votes, roughly 13%
Selina: 6 votes, roughly 2%
Serena: 32 votes, roughly 10%
Name update 04-10-2009! Allison writes:
Delilah Juliet Hayes arrived on April 5, 2009. Although ultimately, we didn't go with any of your suggestions, we both love her name and it fits her perfectly. Thank you!