We don't know if we are having a boy or a girl. In the past, my husband has pretty much let me have command of the names. He always has names to put on the list, but it seems that either he has chosen one that I have liked, or has acquiesced to my favorites. We already have 2 girls, Kate Lorraine (3) and McLaren Josephine (2) whom we mostly call 'Claire'. Our last name starts with 'S', and has an 'an/en' sounding ending. One of my biggest annoyances with names is when they blend together, as in Max S--, so any name with an 's' or 'z' sounding ending is out (sadly, this nixes Chase, Chance, and Alexis, all of which I LOVE). Also, I would like to stay away from the 'en/an' names to avoid being too rhymey. I am less worried about this last part if it's a girl, but really don't want the 'en/an' ending for a boy.
For a girl, I love Allie/Ally/Ali (undecided on spelling - thoughts?), but I think I would rather her have a more 'proper' name, and just use Allie/Ally as the nickname. I also like Lexi, so I'm sort of leaning towards Alexa. I also like Allison/Alison. Really, what I love is 'Ellie', I think, (and someone just told me about Ellery, which is SO cute) but the name Ellie is already taken by one of my BIL's daughter's, and I think my husband's family would flip if we also used it. I also like Ruby, but am pretty sure my husband will nix that one. My husband's top pick for a girl's name is Audrey, which I think is okay, but we're totally stuck for a middle name.
If it's a boy, my favorites are Luke and Matthew (not trying to go biblical; I just like them). I also like Jack, but again with that darned popularity. I would really like to use James for the middle name (my father's name, my grandfather's name, BIL's name). My problem here is that Luke James sounds sort of weird to me, as in not-flowy. But I don't really want to name him Lucas James (which I think sounds great) because of the whole 's' ending thing! I call my daughters by their first and middle names a lot, and am just not sure that I would love saying, "Luke James come here right now!" very often. Matthew James sounds great to me, but at the moment I like Luke better. My husband likes Peter, which I am not hugely fond of, and there also seems to be some family history with Nicholas. I do not have a problem with the 's' ending for the middle name, just the first name, so I wouldn't have an issue with Nicholas as the middle name, except then I can't use James for the middle name.
My last issue is that I am also leaning towards James as the middle name for the baby even if it's a girl. Is that too weird? Each of our other daughters have family aspects to their names, and I would like for the last child to also have some family history to her name. Any thoughts and ideas you guys have would be greatly appreciated!
Audrey is a beautiful name, and I also like Aubrey. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Audrey. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Aubrey.
You like Allie and Ellie, so I'll suggest Elsa and Eliza and Callie and Delaney and Elena. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Elsa. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Eliza. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Callie. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Delaney. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Elena.
You like Ellery but want to avoid Ellie, so I'll suggest Everly and Avery and Hillary. (There's also Emery/Emory, but that ALWAYS makes me think of filing my nails.) Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Everly. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Avery. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Hillary.
And one more that comes to mind is Darcy. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Darcy.
Let's put a possibly-too-gigantic-to-be-useful poll over to the right, and then we can move on to the next issue, which is whether it's okay to use the middle name James for a girl.
I am in general opposed to the name-rich girl side stealing a single one of the name-poor boy side names (though I do submit to it once a name is transferred: look how I just recommended Avery for a girl with hardly a flinch), but middle names are different because they're so often used to honor family names. Audrey James is...well, that's really CUTE, isn't it? I think part of it is that it's reminiscent of the middle name Jane.
I don't think I WOULD do it, though, with a more boyish first name. If you choose Avery, for example, it's gender-neutral enough that people look to the middle name for a clue. Avery James is a boy. Everly James is confusing. Eliza James is a girl, and adorable.
And here is something I hesitate to mention, but I will do it anyway. When I was growing up, we knew a family that had only girls. One girl was named Andrea (called Andy) John (her dad's name was John). It was generally assumed that this was because her father had wanted a boy so badly and had finally given up on getting one. The message it conveyed was "We were disappointed to have a girl." The reason I hesitate to mention this is that this was SUCH an unfair assumption.
If you don't use James as a girl middle name, here are a few others to consider:
1. Jane. Audrey Jane, Aubrey Jane, Elsa Jane, Eliza Jane, Callie Jane, Delaney Jane, Everly Jane, Avery Jane, Hillary Jane, Darcy Jane.
2. Ruby. Sometimes when one parent likes a name and the other parent doesn't, the middle name slot is the perfect place for it. Elsa Ruby, Eliza Ruby, Elena Ruby.
3. Alexis. Sometimes when a beloved name doesn't work in the first name slot, the middle name slot is the perfect place for it. Audrey Alexis, Aubrey Alexis, Callie Alexis, Delaney Alexis, Avery Alexis, Darcy Alexis.
4. Other first name candidates. Audrey Elena, Aubrey Eliza, Elsa Delaney, Eliza Delaney, Callie Elena, Elena Audrey, Everly Eliza, Avery Elena, Hillary Eliza, Darcy Eliza.
Okay! On to boy names! I see what you mean: "Luke James" is a nice combination, but not melodic for calling out lovingly across the house. I think the trouble here is that you like short snappy boy names, but you've got a short snappy middle name already and need something a little longer to carry it off. I'm going to see if I can find some names that have that snappy feeling but in longer versions.
I wonder if you might like the name Isaac? I think it has a similar sound to the name Luke (that hard c/k sound) but it sounds better with James: I can just picture you calling out, "Isaac James, sweetheart, wash your hands and come for lunch!" Well, or maybe you don't say sweetheart; maybe you say honey. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Isaac. [Edit: Jen says in the comments that they can't use Isaac because another in-law has already used it.]
And here's another possibility: Eric James. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Eric.
And what about Frederick? I keep pushing this one because it's one of my own favorites (as are Isaac and Eric, if we're being all full-disclosurey here). Frederick James. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Frederick.
Why don't I just keep moving down my list of favorites? Elliot James. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Elliot. There's the Ellie sound you like, but without the tempation to use the nickname and get in trouble with family.
Carter James. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Carter.
All right, now I'll make another poll for the boy names. Remember there are two polls to vote in, one for (the many, many) girl options and one for boy options. [Polls closed; see below for results.]
Girl names (255 votes total):
Alexa: 33 votes, roughly 13%
Allison: 16 votes, roughly 6%
Audrey: 50 votes, roughly 20%
Aubrey: 24 votes, roughly 9%
Elsa: 13 votes, roughly 5%
Eliza: 24 votes, roughly 9%
Callie: 7 votes, roughly 3%
Delaney: 21 votes, roughly 8%
Elena: 7 votes, roughly 3%
Everly: 21 votes, roughly 8%
Avery: 17 votes, roughly 7%
Hillary: 4 votes, roughly 2%
Darcy: 18 votes, roughly 7%
Boy names (223 votes total):
Isaac: 27 votes, roughly 12%
Eric: 25 votes, roughly 11%
Frederick: 20 votes, roughly 9%
Elliot: 64 votes, roughly 29%
Carter: 37 votes, roughly 17%
Luke: 31 votes, roughly 14%
Matthew: 19 votes, roughly 9%
Name update! Jennifer writes:
We had our baby boy, Luke Arthur, on April 3rd at 10:03pm. Thank you for your help with names - it was great to hear what others had to say, and it certainly gave us some good ideas! My husband came up with Arthur (family name on his side) a few weeks ago, and we both liked the flow of the name. I am a little sad we aren't using James in the name, but think the name Luke Arthur fits our baby boy perfectly.