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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Middle Name Challenge: Baby Girl Elise ___ K.

Heather writes:
Hi! I'm due on March 6th with our second baby, somehow having lucked out and gotten a girl this time around. Only there is where the luck ended. We have no idea what to name this little girl! I've been stuck on the name Elise since my 20w ultrasound, but I cannot for the life of me figure out a good middle name. So now I'm sorta back to the drawing board.

Top 9 names: [no particular order]

1. Elise
2. Isabelle
3. Lisette
4. Violet
5. Genevieve
6. Adelaide
7. Lilliana
8. Rosalind
9. Aurelia

Our last name is three syllables and starts with a 'K'. Her older brother's name is Logan Alexander. I think at this point I'm pretty open to a lot of things - I'd really like to see her name be Elise [blank] K, but I'm open to suggestions for other variations since I can't seem to come up with a solution for the [blank]!


I'm trying not to get distracted by your great name list: our primary objective here is to find a middle name for Elise. Well, actually, I'm going to go ahead and get distracted, because there are a lot of good middle names in that list.

Some people like the first and middle names to slide together a little, and some people like the names to stay as distinct as possible. The name Elise lends itself to sliding: the emphasis on the second syllable combined with the easy-blending sssssss sound makes the name want to latch on to the next name. If you're someone who prefers the names to stay as distinct as possible, that might be the snag you're hitting.

Myself, I like a little slide. A name that slides together in a way I find appealing is Elise Aurelia. I like saying it. Both names have the emphasis on the second syllable, which I think is a nice combination.

Another good slide is Elise Adelaide, which slides together but not as much as Elise Aurelia: the consonants and the non-repeating vowel sounds help to keep things separate. Elise Isabelle is similar.

Elise Lilliana has a lot of L sounds, but I think the way the short I sound breaks up the two long E sounds keeps it from tangling the tongue. Possible problem: the initials, which spell ELK.

I'd lean toward either Aurelia or Lilliana, because I like the 2-4-3 syllable rhythm better than the 2-3-3 syllable rhythm. And I'd choose Aurelia over Lilliana, but only because I prefer not to spell ELK. I'll put a poll over to the right and we'll see what everyone else thinks. [Poll closed; see results below.]

Poll results (254 votes total):
Elise Aurelia: 127 votes, 50%
Elise Adelaide: 53 votes, roughly 21%
Elise Isabelle: 24 votes, roughly 9%
Elise Lilliana: 34 votes, roughly 13%
other (leave in comments): 16 votes, roughly 6%

Name update 03-13-2009! Heather writes:
I realized that everytime I went to say something to her, the name "Lilly" kept coming to me. So her first name is Lilly, with a middle of Avelina. I remembered her middle from one of my stints of researching my family tree, its the name of one of my ancestresses from the 11th century France.


Hannah said...

Elise Aurelia K. is beautiful! Similarly, I also like Elise Adrianna, which isn't on Swistle's list, but quite pretty anyways. :)

Karen said...

I don't know if Heather is a regular reader but maybe the very open-ended girl name entry "Baby Girl Vahsstill" (link below) and all the comments would be helpful. Many of the suggestions were not "the usual suspects" that have probably already occurred to her. I suspect that she has tried her other top 8 as a middle name for Elise.

janet said...

For some reason I think EMK are great initials:

Elise Marcela K________
Elise Michele K________

Anonymous said...

I agree with Swistle that a 4-syllable middle name would work best, as was done with Logan Alexander.

Here are my ideas:

Elise Evangeline

Elise Ariana

Elise Gabriella

Elise Isabella

Elise Annabella

Elise Veronica

Jennifer said...

Elise Aurelia and Logan Alexander sound really lovely together, too!

MC said...

I like how Elise Lilliana and Logan Alexander have the same number of syllables. And I am not overly concerned about the initials...ELK is not overly offensive or a bad word or anything, so I think that's a non-issue.

However, if anyone disagrees, then I see Isabelle on the list. Change the last letter to an "a," and you end with the four-syllable Isabella, which gives you Elise Isabella...with the same number of syllables as Logan Alexander. So if ELK is a no-go, that's my vote!

MC said...

Also, Aurelia = close to areola in my head...and possibly in other people's as well.

Lara Jane said...

MC, good point. I feel the same about Ariana, which is my niece's name. I cringe every time I hear/say it!

I like the suggestion of having the middle name's emphasis on the second syllable. I like the sound of a two-syllable middle name with it, too. (Elise and Logan have a different emphasis so "matching syllable" names don't exactly work.)

Elise Corinne
Elise Josette, or Elise Colette, even!
Elise Gisele (too many of the same letters?)
Elise Noelle

For some reason, all of my suggestions are coming out French.

BTW, I love Rosalind, but even more, I love Rosaline. "For doting, not loving, pupil mine..." I'm kind of nuts for Shakespeare names, though.

Good luck!

Patricia said...

I don't think I'd pair Elise with Isabelle as both names come from Elisabeth.

Patricia said...

I meant to add that I like the similar sounding Elise Annabella very much. I think Logan Alexander and Elise Annabella would make a good sibling pair.

Of the four choices in the poll, I don't find Aurelia a very pretty sounding name (maybe I'm not pronouncing it correctly?), especially with Elise, and Elise Lilliana has too many 'Ls' for me. I like the sound of Elise Adelaide best, although I think Elise Annabella is a prettier name.

I also like the sound of Elise Marcela, suggested above.

Jane said...

I think Elise Genevieve K sounds very pretty too.

It seems like many of your choices are French in origin, so may I also suggest

Elise Adeline (you can pronounce the long I or the i like a long E).

Best of luck to you!

Erika said...

My vote is for Elise Rosalind.

Rebecca said...

I like Elise Lisette. The Liliana just makes the full name so long.

Patricia said...

A few more:

Elise Arabella
Elise Juliana (Julianna)
Elise Natalia
Elise Cecilia
Elise Adriana (Adrianna)
Elise Gabriella
Elise Daniela

Elise Sophie
Elise Catherine
Elise Juliette (Juliet)
Elise Charlotte
Elise Natalie
Elise Nicole
Elise Noelle

kdbear said...

I don't like the noun-noun sound, personally. I like:

Elise Nicole
Elise Noelle

Southern jezeBelle said...

violet or genevive

Amy said...

My sister's name is Elise Claire. not sure if that would work with the last name starting with K, but thought I would suggest it anyway.

Anonymous said...

Of your favorites list, I like Violet, Genevieve, and Rosalind best for middle names. Adriana is also beautiful.

I agree with the PP who recommended against Isabella as a mn since both names are variants of Elizabeth.

Anonymous said...


Patricia said...

Lisette is another variant of Elisabeth, so Elise Lisette would be 'redundant' too.

Joanne said...

I like Elise Rosalind and I am prejudiced because I have one but I also like Elisa Maria. I definitely like the 2/3 syllable and the vowel/noun. Elise is a beautiful name!

Frazzled Mom said...

I want to second Violet, Genevieve, and Rosalind. I like the distinct first and middle names. And these seem distinct to me (which I think means the first name doesn't end in a vowel with a middle name beginning with a vowel).

BDS said...

I like Elise with a "J" middle name, like Jacqueline or Julia.

Anonymous said...

I love the name Elise..I named my daughter that and it fits her to perfection. Her full name is Elise Lorel. But, I also like Elyse spelling but my daughter likes the one with the i better.

Anonymous said...

my daughter is elise isabelle I and i think its very pretty, my son is also logan.... how strange. altho with in 1 day of birth someone called her elsie!!