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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Baby Girl or Boy Campbell

Michaela writes:
I've been fond of names for most of my life. At eight, I named my first two cats Zanzibel and Sylvester! Probably a decision which greatly disgusted their cat sensibilities, but I was ever so pleased. My husband and I are expecting our first child (gender unknown) but I'm not feeling no such certainty with my name choices. I'm very lucky I am to have a very open-minded husband - he didn't bat an eyelid when I suggested Zanzibel as a plausible name!

More realistically though, our last name is Campbell, and we like to use either Dianne (his mother's middle name) or Lynn (from my mother's middle name Lynette) for a girl, and Derrick (his dad's middle name) or Dominic (my dad's first name since he goes by his middle name). I'm fond of long vibrant first names for a girl that aren't intuitively reduced to a nickname, but I don't want something that feels too flowery, stodgy or pompous (i.e. I don't really like names that end in -ia, like Cecelia or Alexandria, or names like Eleanor and Elizabeth). But conversely, I'm attracted to short names for boys that (to me) have a strong, resilient and earthy feel, but I don't want one that feels too lightweight (I'm not being difficult on purpose, really!)

We're hoping you can suggest some names similar to these names we like (but don't love).
Girls: Veronica, Felicity (I like the upbeatness of this), Juniper, Meredith, Gillian (but not Jillian or Lillian), Angelica (bordering on fussy for me)
Boys: Reid, Jon, Noah (too popular), Ross, Tom, Adam

I'd love to hear your thoughts, and anyone else who might add some comment, advice or insight please feel welcomed to!

Thank you in advance.


Okay! Let's start with long vibrant girl names that aren't too pompous, stodgy, or flowery, and don't end in -ia, and don't have an automatic nickname. Some of these suggestions do HAVE a nickname or two, but I don't think they'd be automatically reduced to one if you (and the child) used the long version.

Abilene
Angeline
Ariadne
Briarly
Corinna
Delilah
Elisheva
Esmeralda
Evangeline
Francesca
Geneva
Genevieve
Giovanna
Gwendolyn
Imogene
Isadora
Josephine
Julianna
Lisandra
Lorelei
Marigold
Melody
Minerva
Penelope
Philippa
Philomena
Rosalind
Wilhelmina


And now for some short, strong, earthy boy names:

Abe
Amos
Elias
Gus
Heath
Hugo
Ian
Joel
Nolan
Otto
Rufus
Saul
Wade


Name traits such as strength and stodginess are highly subjective, so you may find yourself going through my list saying, "Whuh? But that's, like, the stodgiest of all stodgy names!" or "Ack, that makes me think of the skinny little weakling I went to school with!" This is why it's so nice to have a big group to offer other options: in the comment section we'll get other people's ideas of non-flowery girl names and resilient boy names.

13 comments:

Catherine said...

A lot of great suggestions from Swistle. I don't think I've ever heard or seen Abilene before and I like it a lot! Here are a couple more that come to mind:

Girls:
Sienna
Alessandra (in my mind miles away from Alexandria)
Mirella
Beatrice (maybe stodgy? I dunno)
Giselle

Boys - all I can add is Joss - DH has been watching buffy and this name is stuck in my head! I think it would work, though.

Hannah said...

Here's a whole list:

Melanie Campbell
Harmony Campbell
Cassandra Campbell
Ursula Campbell
Audrey Campbell
Holly Campbell
Verity Campbell
Summer Campbell
Bryony Campbell
April Campbell
Daphne Campbell
Zoe Campbell
Vivian Campbell

Grant Campbell
Dane Campbell
Brooks Campbell
Quinn Campbell
Owen Campbell
Finn Campbell
Clay Campbell
Max Campbell
Gavin Campbell
Gray Campbell
Luke Campbell
Noel Campbell
Wyatt Campbell

Any you like?

From Swistle's suggestions, I really like Delilah, Genevieve, Isadora, Marigold, and Melody for girls, and Elias, Nolan, and Otto for boys.

Anonymous said...

For Girls I like:
Mara
Gemma
Eva
Audra
Carissa
Ivy

Boys are harder, but here goes:

Hank
Ty
Clete
Gregory
Craig

tracynicole22 said...

I love two of Swistle's suggestions! Lorelei for a girl and Nolan for a boy. I think these are both great names that fit your criteria! And I'll throw in two more, Harper for a girl and Asa for a boy. Good Luck!

Diane said...

These might not be quite what you're looking for, but you might consider Dianna (Diana) or Linnea for the connection with your family members' names. To me, they seem more up-to-date than Dianne and Lynn.

Another thought I had for a girl was Dominique, to honor your father.

The only boy name that strikes me that fits your criteria is Dane. Which I guess could be a reference to your mother-in-law as well with a little stretch.

Anonymous said...

Fallon (boy), Beatrix, Ezra, Penn (girl), Scarlett, Jasper (boy), Erik, Jeshua (boy), and that's all I've got.

Frazzled Mom said...

For a girl: Silvestra (inspired by you cat), Calista, Dorothea.

And I want you to honestly consider Cynthia. But Cynthia is a Mom's / Grandma's name! you might be thinking. I know. But hear me out - The Greek moon goddess connection really gives the name a non-stodgy, non-flowery feel, and the name's mid-20th century popularity take away any pompousness. Give Cynthia a chance! Of course Cindy is a downside since you don't want a nickname. But with Cynthia's decline in usage, Cindy may be more easily avoided for a modern kid then a someone from your Mom's generation.

Ok, boys are harder for me, but here goes: Rex, Hank, Frank, Gil.

Carolyn said...

What about Danica? Its ending is similar to Veronica and Angelica.

Meredith leads me to think of Mallory, Marissa, or even Marisol.

My favorite longer name for girls is Emeline/Emmeline.

Karen said...

I definitely had a harder time with girls' names. Upbeat but not flowery is a perfect combination but hard to find. But how about...?

Aurora
Camilla/Camille
Rhiannon
Valentina
Natasha
Raphaela

Dean
Blake
Leo
Lee
Toby
Neil
Sean
Alex
Drew
Bram
Chase

Like other posters, I was going to suggest Craig and Luke. I also like the suggestions of Scarlet and Dominique. My favourites from Swistle's list are Lorelei and Heath.

A previous post elicited a number of "strong" boy names, though dad's taste was a little unconventional. Still, perhaps worth a look:
http://swistlebabynames.blogspot.com/2009/03/baby-boy-holland.html

Rachel said...

I second Evangeline!

Clover said...

(Though I worry about the nickname thing with most of these & the too flowery bit as well, I think they're all lovely)
Girls:
Adrina
Philomena
Tatiana
Abrielle
Drusilla
Bernadette
Chelsea
Olivette(ahl-i-VET)
Fiommetta
Zipporah

Boys:
Cain
Blake
Clark
Rex
Bram
Kurt
Grant
Ike
Kirk

Frazzled Mom said...

Regarding Clover's suggestion of Bernadette, it's my Mother-in-law's name! And a middle name candidate should we have another girl. I considered for one of my suggestions, but only left it out because of the nickname - Bernie. However, if you are open to changing your stance on nicknames, I would consider Betty or Ette as nicknames over the unfortunate Bernie.

Finding a long name without an intuitive nickname really is a tall order. One advantage with selecting a name with an intuitive nickname is that you are going in with your eyes wide open knowing there's a nickname, whereas you may pick a name you THINK doesn't have a nickname only to discover other people, including your own daughter, have discovered one!

Jan said...

Girls: I like Veronica, Felicity and Meredith from your list.

I agree that the no nickname thing is hard. How about: Imogen, Hermione, Giselle, Genevieve, Adrienne (yep, all international). I was also going to suggest Susannah; the one I know is never called by a nn.

From your boys list I like Adam, second Rex and would add Amos, Bruce, Todd, Jed.