So we're about to have numero dos (due date June 20), and we're "waiters," so we don't know the gender yet. We love waiting, but man, picking two names is HARD. I think we've finally narrowed it down, and I'm hoping for some feedback and a vote.
Our first child is two, and his name is Matthew Cole, which we love. We'd picked Matthew while dating in college (although it was kind of a joke back then, because we'd planned on Matthew Zerubbabel - oh, and did I mention it was a Bible college?), and it stuck with us through the years. Cole is my husband's middle name, and bang, we were all set. If Matthew had been a girl, we would have named him Annalise May; Annalise because - well, it's a beautiful name that we actually agreed on, and May because it's my grandmother's middle name (and mine, too, which is a bonus). My husband still loves this name if we have a girl, but I'm kind of leaning toward Amelia, which he thinks is too much of an up-and-comer and will soon be trendy. What do you think? Can we have a poll about which name the readers like best - Annalise May or Amelia May?
For the record, other girl names we'd discussed were:
Hannah (not thrilled with it)
Jane (a bit dull with our last name, unfortunately)
Lily (too popular; doesn't feel like "our baby," and I'd expect her to have green eyes...)
Sara(h) (also boring with our last name, and I know someone with the same exact name)
Emmeline, Cecily, Sadie, or Charlotte (hubby hates 'em all)
Mary (I hate it)
Margaret (both like it, but don't want our first two kids to have the same first initial - saving it)
May (same initial; I want to use it as a middle name, at least, before my grandmother dies)
Elizabeth (my sister-in-law's name, so it's out - and I'm kind of mad about that, because man, what a great name!)
As for boy names, we were stumped for a looong time. We tossed around Benjamin and Noah, but they've both been taken recently by people we know. We'd also discussed Nathan, which I like but don't love, plus it's one of our friend's names (as was Matthew, actually, so it'd be a little weird to do that twice). And Nathan is a bit sing-songy with our last name, which begins with an R, has three syllables and a "-son" ending (which, in our part of the world, is usually pronounced "-sin"). The same problems apply for Jonathan. I also love Henry, but my husband thinks it's too trendy, and we talked about Adam (not crazy about it) or Theodore (Teddy would be adorable as a baby, not so much as an adult... and Theo will forever be a Cosby).
The name we're currently pretty set on is Abraham. Is that too out there? Is it sing-songy? Does anyone know any babies named Abraham? We plan on calling him Abe, and it seems adorable - Matthew and Abe, Matt and Abe, Abe R--son. The middle name will be Michael after my father and brother: Abraham Michael R--son. So, Swistle and readers, what do you think about Abraham? Too long-beardy or top-hatty? Or can we totally work it?
I think we're set on these three names, but we'd be interested in hearing alternate suggestions. I don't know if any will work, since I've scoured my "Baby Name Wizard" and "The Baby Name Bible" a million times and nothing else feels right, but hey, you never know. As you can see, we lean towards Biblical or timeless or classic or "antique charm" sorts of names, and I don't like anything too newfangled or with weird spellings.
Thanks so much for your help!
Amelia and Annalise are both great. Amelia is currently more common than Annalise: in the top 100 currently, as opposed to Annalise's #702 (source: Social Security Administration). Let's have a poll over to the right to see which name is more popular with our group.
Now, on to boy names. I think of biblical names as falling into three basic groups:
1. Names that appear in the Bible but don't have an immediate association with it (e.g., John, David, Matthew, Aaron).
2. Names that used to have biblical associations, but now are commonly used with no intended association (e.g., Noah, Isaac).
3. Names that still have primarily biblical associations (e.g., Jedidiah, Solomon, Nicodemus).
Not only are these groupings totally subjective, but they SHIFT all the time. Back when I was in school, naming a child Noah would have been a startlingly religious thing to do. Now, it's a name that can be used with no religious associations intended.
Abraham is a name I think is shifting. I think right now it's making a move from the Solomon lunch table to the Isaac lunch table, and may already be sitting there: it's in the Top 200 and continuing to rise.
Abraham has another strong association in the U.S. president Abraham Lincoln. A second strong association keeps a name from being too one-note.
If you want something more similar in popularity to the name Matthew, you could go with Isaac. Matthew and Isaac (Matt and Zac, or Matt and Ike) make great sibling names, and I think Isaac Michael R____son sounds terrific.
If you want the nickname Abe but want to get there via a shorter route, you could go with Abram: Matthew and Abram, Abram Michael R_____son. Or Abel, though maybe that's too much L with Michael.
For a nickname similar to Abe, you could name the baby Gabriel and call him Gabe: Matthew and Gabriel, Matt and Gabe, Gabriel Michael R_____son. Again, maybe too much L with Michael.
Drifting further and further from the original plan, Caleb seems like a good choice: Matthew and Caleb, Caleb Michael R____son.
I myself am partial to the name Daniel: Matthew and Daniel, Matt and Dan, Daniel Michael R____son.
Also---and I'm taking this from your "top hat" reference---I like the name Lincoln: Matthew and Lincoln, Matt and Linc, Lincoln Michael R____son.
Okay, so we're having TWO polls: one is a vote between the names Amelia and Annalise, and the other is a question about whether the name Abraham is "too long-beardy or top-hatty." [Polls closed; see results below.]
Poll results for "Which name do you prefer, Amelia or Annalise?" (261 votes total):
Amelia: 120 votes, roughly 46%
Annalise: 141 votes, roughly 54%
Poll results for "Is Abraham too long-beardy or top-hatty?" (245 votes total):
Yes: 114 votes, roughly 47%
No: 131 votes, roughly 53%
Name update 01-14-2009! Tiffany writes:
My husband and I LOVED reading your thoughts on Abraham and the Amelia/Annalise debate. I checked obsessively for more comments, and I'm definitely writing in for our next kiddo! To finally give you the update, we had a GIRL! Annalise May was born on June 23 and was a healthy 7 lb., 10 oz. I was still torn between Annalise and Amelia when we went to the hospital, but my husband was staunchly pro-Annalise, so I went along with him. Even though it took a little while, it feels like "her" (and she never felt like an Amelia). For being as popular as it is, almost no one we talk to has ever heard of it! We're usually complimented on it, and I'm so glad we chose it. Thanks for your votes and comments!