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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Baby Girl Korph

Jenna writes:
We are having another girl. We were all set with a boy's name - Logan, after my husband's late grandfather who he was very close to. Our 2 and 1/2 year old daughter's name is Zoe which we chose years before we even conceived (because I'm baby name CRAZY) and it was set in stone very early on. It's a name I've always loved and we liked that it was two syllables, easy to spell and pronounce yet difficult to shorten (though, of course, we now call her "Zo" from time to time).

Our last name is the challenge-- Korph (well, okay that's not EXACTLY it but my husband is all Google-shy). So many challenges: the single syllable, the guttural sound, it's just hard to find first names that aren't too clunky with it.

Names we like so far:
Lea(h) (uh, that's it that we agree on. We like it but don't LOVE it.)

Names I like: husband is iffy on all of them
  • Michaela- I like the way Michaela Korph sounds but I just don't think I can go with a name that's spelled so many ways like Michaela (I don't like the other possible spellings, Mikayla etc.)
  • Elena- My husband's cousin named her daughter "Elaina" but they call her "Laney" and my husband and her aren't close so I don't really think it's an issue.
  • Eliza- I've always loved this name, husband doesn't like "Liza" as an inevitable nickname and is a little gunshy about using another Z name lest we look like we're hooked on Zs. (I, clearly, AM hooked on Zs. Also, Xs, though my husband has totally ruled out Roxanne and Maxine. Killjoy.)
  • Twyla- I was a dancer in my pre-mom days and I adore Twyla Tharp (a choreographer). Husband thinks we could MAYBE name a dog Twyla.
I've been trying to find more soft sounding, two or three syllable names that are hard to shorten, not too trendy or crazily spelled. We don't want anything TOO unusual because we'd rather her not have to carefully spell out her first AND last name ALL THE TIME to everyone.

As far as middle names go, it would most likely be either Logan, for the late grandfather, Louise, after my mother, or my maiden name which is, basically (remember my Google-shy husband?), Marshel. But I'm not too worried about middle names.

Thanks in advance!

Eliza seems perfect to me. It's great with Zoe: it goes with it while still being distinctly different from it. The Z just...ties it in.

Phoebe would be good, too. And Lila, which is something like Leah and something like Twyla and something like Eliza. Or Delilah, which is something like Lila.

Both of you like-but-don't-love the name Lea(h), so I'm poking around for some more names like that one. There's Alia, which is part Aliza and part Leah. Lena and Lana both similar---but you mentioned a family member nicknamed Laney, and they might be too close to that.

Tia is sweet, and Adele is sweet plus pleasingly old-fashioned, and I love the name Liane or Liana. Another one on my own list is Linnea. Oh, and Eva. Oooh, or how about Willa? Willa has the cool W instead of the cool Z. Or Elsa? Leonie? Lorelei? Stella? Ruby?

Or Liesl, which gives you the Z sound without an actual Z---but that's probably too peculiar a spelling. Josie does the same thing with less of a spelling problem---but those sounds might be too similar to the sounds in the name Zoe.

My favorite is Eliza from your list. Anyone want to pick favorites or list some more possibilities?

Name update 06-12-2009! Jenna writes:
Our baby girl, Eliza Louise Korph was born on May 19th, 2009 and we finally chose her name a week before she was born. Everyone's suggestions were so great, I could name another 10 girls with the lists your readers came up with! We finally settled on Eliza and it really helped tip the scales that so many of your readers said they loved it too.

Thanks so much for your help!


bellaf said...

Zoe and Willa sound like a fun pair.

Hannah said...

Ooh, I like Willa, Stella, and Ruby. Nice picks, Swistle! (As always.)

I'd like to add Ava, Elizabeth and Isabel to your list - they all fit well with Zoe, Elizabeth and Isabel both have the "Z" sound without actually including the letter, Elizabeth offers the nickname Eliza, and Ava has a cool V. Others you might like:


Hope this helps!

The Schwant Family said...

i love Lila!

Amy said...

I love Lila too!

Anonymous said...

I love Lila, Tia, and Ruby. I think Zoe and Tia sound great together. Both short, simple, and pretty. Okay, so I guess Tia is the front runner for me:)!

Anonymous said...

I love zoe and eva together, love that they are both two syllable three letter names with zest and about the same on the popularity chart. That said, Eliza is my all time favorite name, and future DDs name, so you can't go wrong with that.

If not Eva (or Eliza), Stella or Phoebe would be my picks -

BTW, since you call Zoe Zo, I think instead of Liza (for Eliza) you could definitely use the nicknames Liz or Ellie if that is what husband is queasy about. Zoe and Ellie, or Zo and Liz are great!

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Just a random name that you might like: Talia. It's got that cool three syllable sound you like with Elena and Eliza, and it's got that L sound that you seem to like. It's almost an elaboration of Leah. I like the way it sounds with your other children's names: Logan, Zoe and Talia.

It's not really that much of a trendy name - it was ranked #392 in the US.

Best wishes,


Karen said...

Great suggestions, Swistle!

My favourite of Swistle's suggestions is Lorelei. I, too, think Lila's a good suggestion but Jenna may want something a little more eye-catching, like Roxanne, Twyla, and Zoe. Or maybe Lila's a little old-fashioned to stand up to Zoe and (a possible future) Logan? Nah, Lila is fresh enough. So are Eliza, Phoebe, Ruby and Leonie. I think Stella is in danger of becoming terribly trendy. Eva (EEvuh) will always be spelled correctly but may get pronounced Ava (AYvuh.) If you want Eva (AYvuh), it will get spelled Ava.

How about?
Daphne (I love this name these days. I like the alliteration with Korph, maybe they won't.)
Scarlet (I love this one, too.)
Josette (too easy to nn Jo or Josie?)
Iona (Fiona has already been suggested.)
Deirdre (Nymbler keeps giving me this one. I'm not a fan but I guess it fits the style I'm trying to hit.)

Fun query. I could play all day.

Carolyn said...

What about Maisie? I absolutely adore this name, and again, it has the Z sound without being spelled that way outright.

My other thought is, what about Lyra? (Pronounced Lee-ra). That may add some confusion as far as pronunciation/spelling, but it sounds similar to Leah and looks similar to Twyla.

Clare said...

What about Thea? It's nice and simple like Zoe and would go well with Louise and Korph.

Frazzled Mom said...

Of Jenna's suggestions, I like Elena the best. Of Swistle's suggestions I like Willa, Phoebe and Delilah the best. But note, Jenna wants something easy to spell, and I often misspell Phoebe. I get the o and e mixed up. Another one of Swistle's suggestions that I often misspell is Lorelei. Please bear in mind, I'm a terrible speller - I spell check my posts always - and perhaps I'm not a good representation of the general public.

All spelling problems aside, I love Phoebe, and feel it would go really well with Zoe since both names are Greek inspired.

I also like the suggestions of Daphne, Nora, and Iona. I'm going to contribute Malia, Delia, and Ivy.

~ T ~ said...

I like Eliza the most. If you think the Z tie-in is too much, what about Elise?

Both names could be shortened to Ellie of course, but they're not long names so I think if you insisted on calling her the full names that other people would oblige.

Best of luck!

melanie said...

we have a zoe and a tessa. and we aren't the only family i know with both those names, so they must go together, right? i have always thought if we had another girl i would want a lola (but my husband doesn't want a name with a song attached), leila (same problem), lily or mckenna

clueless but hopeful mama said...

OH MY! This is so exciting, especially since I'm due next week and we STILL haven't decided!

LOVE: Lorelei (but will she always have to spell it?), Willa, Fiona (will have to run by the husband). Am leaning toward names ending in "a". Unfortunately, Eva, Lila, Tessa and Amelia are all taken by close friends or family.

Oh THANK YOU. More ideas to run by my husband!

clueless but hopeful mama said...

Ooops, should have signed in as "Jenna"!

Hannah said...

I'm back again with another list. ;) What about:


Hope these help! My favorites from this list are Leila and Julia.

Heather said...


Karen said...

spelling of Lorelei: Lorelei is such a great name that it's worth spelling now and then. Lorelei will hardly need to spell her name more often than most people. Since people are becoming sensitive of those with alternate spellings, even people with the most familiar names (Mark Smith - Mark with a k or c? Smith with an i or a y?) are asked to spell.

2 out of 2 of the people I polled spelled it correctly without hesitation. Admittedly, my husband and I are generally good spellers.

I really like Hanna's suggestions of Isla, Bridget, Noelle, Cora, and Nina.

Thanks for being a little adventurous, Jenna! Too fun.

cerridwen said...

Oh, Willa! I love Zoe and Willa.

And Zoe and Phoebe is great too, but I keep having the feeling I've seen them together before, but can't put my finger on it...

Anonymous said...

I think I prefer Willow to Willa. The "o" sound ties it back better to Zoe, and the name doesn't trend as much toward old-folk-trendy Wilhelmina or similar.

Also, as much as I love the name Cora, I don't think Cora Korph works at all.

Joanne said...

I think Eliza is my favorite of your choices too. I want to recommend Helena, which you could pronounce HeLAINa, which is super similar to Elena, but isn't as close as the cousin's. Is also easy to spell and sounds good with Korph. There's also Adelaide, which is just cute. Good luck!

Jan said...

Great name list.
- I totally agree about too many spellings for Michaela
- Too bad your husband's not keen on Roxanne or Maxine. I think they're ready to be used again!
- Zoe and....I like the idea of staying Greek and would second Daphne/a.
- Other suggestions that end in a: C/K/Tara, Celia, Dana, Delia, Nina, Ramona, Sabrina, Selena, Serena, Vera
- Honoring your mom with Louisa?
- I know you like soft sounding names but I think something with a strong sound like Christa or Ingrid would be great with your last name.

Jan said...

Oh, and I like Swistle's suggestion of Liesl, too!

Alison said...

What about Lena? It's two syllables, easy to spell and pronounce, hard to shorten, and Lena Marshel sounds really nice. Just a thought...

Anonymous said...


Amy said...

I haven't read through all of the comments yet, but what about Elise? It is similar to Eliza, but softer I think.

Or my own name, Amy. It kind of has the same feel as Zoe, though not as exotic...though it might be more exotic now than it was 30 years ago when it was given to me. :)

Anonymous said...

I agree that you're on the right track making the name somewhat feminine-sounding (names ending in the "uh" sound tend to sound feminine), since the surname is somewhat harsh. Halfway through the post, I was going to suggest using Louisa as the first name, but then I saw that Louise is a middle-name contender. Louisa Louise Korph is not good.

But speaking of Louisa and Leisl as names...I definitely say the "s" as an s-sound, not a z-sound (Swistle mentioned Leisl may work because of the z-sound which would match Zoe).

I think you've got lots of nice options :-)

Anonymous said...

Hmm, how about Luna, Claire, River, Junia or Miriam?

Anonymous said...

Malia maybe? Zoe and can use Lia as a nickname which you both like.

Tracy H said...

I believe sibling names should sound good together. Zoe was on our list and I never realized how hard it would be to find a name to "go" with Zoe. I like the suggestion of Willa, I think Fiona is okay. How about Mia? Zoe & Mia are cute together. Good Luck!

kinsey said...

use Logan for a girl! i know several PRECIOUS little girls named Logan :-)

Ms. Molly said...

Like Caroline my suggestion is Maisy, I also think Eva would work well! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Lots of great suggestions. I'll add:

Helene (pron. Hel-EEN)

Dahlia / Dalia (DAH-lia)


Mira (MEE-ra, could be nn for Miranda)

Anya (I like it on its own, or it could be nn for Annika)

Freya (FRAY-a - Norse goddess, big name in UK right now)

Barb @ getupandplay said...


Hope T. said...

How about Celeste? I like it with Zoe and with the middle name choices.

Anonymous said...

Alexa has the cute x, and they could have book-end intials (A-Z)

Anonymous said...

heheh Okay I am going to throw this one out there because I love this name (it is my cousins... and shes the only one i know with it, but I will never be able to use it because it is my cousins)
Alida (A (as in apple)-Leye-Da)
I think it is beautiful!!!
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I like Elena and Eliza from your list. Other names I like with Zoe and your last name: