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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Baby Girl or Boy, Sibling to William and Clara

Rachel writes:
I love your baby name blog and can't wait to write you for myself someday, but for now I'm writing for my sister (with her blessing). She and her husband are expecting their third baby (gender unknown) at the beginning of December--the 4th to be specific.

They've got a son, William Charles (age 3.5 years), who is named after two family members, and a daughter, Clara Grace (not quite 2), whose first name is a family name and whose middle name was chosen for the religious significance.

If I get another niece, my sister wants to name her Anna (which is a family name) and my BIL wants to name her Hannah. Both of them love their own choice and strongly dislike the other's choice, which makes everyone want to pull their hair out since the names are SO similar. Any third suggestion to pull them away from the Anna/Hannah debate? My suggestions of Ava, Lydia, and Lila were rejected. They like Elizabeth and Eleanor for a middle name, but my sister doesn't think Eleanor goes well with Anna or Hannah. (And they don't want to move either of those family names to the first name slot.)

If I get another nephew, they both like Elijah for the Biblical character, but my sister doesn't think it goes with the sibset. They're thinking of Patrick for a middle name, which my sister doesn't like well enough for a first name but wants to use in the middle name slot to honor a family member.

Their last name, which my sister does not want included in the post, is four syllables with the emphasis on the second syllable.

Thanks, Swistle!

I love the Anna/Hannah debate! Let's see if we can find some other possibilities to consider:

Eliza
Ella
Emma
Lucy
Helen
Minna
Molly
Nora
Rose
Ruth

My favorites are:
Eliza Eleanor (William, Clara, and Eliza)
Lucy Eleanor (William, Clara, and Lucy)
Molly Elizabeth (William, Clara, and Molly)
Rose Elizabeth (William, Clara, and Rose)

I think Elijah is coming mainstream enough to go with William and Clara, especially if he goes by Eli. It's not quite the same style, but it's not a jarring clash. If they continue to be unsure of it, perhaps they could use it in the middle name slot. Some other first-name possibilities to consider:

Daniel
Elias
Elliot
Emmett
Everett
Isaac
Jonathan
Josiah
Nathaniel
Owen
Samuel
Silas
Simon
Saul

My favorites are:
Daniel Patrick (William, Clara, and Daniel)
Nathaniel Patrick (William, Clara, and Nathaniel)
Samuel Patrick (William, Clara, and Samuel)


Name update 12-17-2009! Rachel writes:
Thanks so much for your help with a name for my sister's new baby. We loved reading your suggestions and the comments. In the end, the Anna/Hannah debate was moot, because I have a new nephew! My sister and I both *loved* your suggestion of Nathaniel, but my BIL had a bad association with the name. Elijah Patrick was born December 1st, weighing in at 8 lbs 2 ozs and measuring 21 inches. Thank you again for your help!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love both Hannah and Anna, but maybe there is a third name they could both love. And I agree that Elijah doesn't quite seem to fit with the other siblings. Here are some more suggestions:

Girls:
Laura
Charlotte
Caroline
Diana
Ella
Alice
Mary
Abigail
Lillian
Amelia
Julia
Catherine
Josephine

Boys:
Henry
David
Charles
John
James
Joseph
Benjamin
Paul
Ethan
Andrew
Thomas

Hannah said...

As a Hannah, I'm a little bit biased, obviously. :) They're both great names, but if they can't compromise, it might be best to go with another name entirely. I love Swistle's suggestion of Rose Elizabeth.

What about Isabel, Rachel, Ada, Audrey, Hazel, Nora, or Olivia?

For boys, I like Elijah. My favorite is definitely Swistle's suggestion of Nathaniel Patrick - very handsome!

Barb @ getupandplay said...

I think Elijah is a little incongruous with the sibset. How about John? It's Biblical but also British like Clara and William.

For a girl: I think Leah or Sarah both have the same feel as Anna/Hannah, what about one of those?

Karen said...

I think I'm only the fourth commenter but already, all my ideas have been suggested. So I'll second them:

Lucy, Mary and/or Molly, Diana, Sarah, and Leah

Samuel, Elliot, Benjamin, Thomas

"Sibset" is useful for coming up with names that are LIKELY to appeal but I don't think people should let it tie their hands. People are entitled to have tastes that span multiple "categories," even for children of the same sex. It doesn't much matter that William is "classic English" and Elijah is "Biblical" because they are both LOVELY names that both parents like. So I'd encourage them to use

Elijah Patrick!

Laura said...

The only thing I can think of to stop the name fight is to call her Hannah, with the nick name of anna, of which the mum can use?

Other girls names Claribel, Clemetine, Violet, Rose. I like Alice and the suggestion of Lucy is lovely!

Swistle said...

Barb @ getupandplay- OMG I LOVE THE IDEA OF JOHN!! YES, they should consider John!! It's wonderful and I'm a little mad I didn't think of it!

StephLove said...

I, too, am scratching my head and wondering how could you love Hannah and hate Anna and vice versa. I love them both. Maybe a name with the Anna-sound in it somewhere:

Annabelle
Diana
Johanna
Riana (there's a girl in my daughter's preschool class with this name). I think they all work with Elizabeth (what doesn't?) and Eleanor.

For boys, I love Elijah and I think it fits well enough, even though it's Biblical and the others aren't. They're all classic names. If they agree on that one, I'd go with it.

Kit said...

How about Julia or Louisa for a girl? They seem to have the same feel as William and Clara.

I love the name Elijah and I think it fits just fine with the sibset. They're all older, classic names.

Erin said...

Boys first - go with Elijah and call him Eli. Its not like they are naming him Xander or something. Will, Clara and Eli are very cute together, and being a little different can be nice. John seems a little more predictable (but certainly fits) which is why I kind of like adding a different spin.

As for girls - Lucy and Eliza are hands down my favorite suggestions. Sarah rhymes with Clara guys (not good) and Clarabelle, again, can't be used. Annabelle, however, might be a nice compromise (maybe your BIL could call her Belle if he hates Anna so much).

If it were between just Hannah and Anna, for me I'd go with Anna. Both names are nice, but Anna just fits a little better in my head with William and Clara, and sounds a bit more classic. I think either works great with Elizabeth, though I agree with your sister that Anna/ Hannah Eleanor doesn't have the best ring. Both are quite a bit more popular than Clara right now, however, which is why I might lean towards a Lucy, Eliza or Violet type name. Good luck!

Steph said...

If the Anna/Hanna debate is still on, would you consider Anise?

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

Wow, debating Hannah and Anna... I actually do see how people could get stuck. Yes, they might SOUND the same, but they still are two unique names. I agree, in this case it is probably just best to scrap both names and choose something new.

Suggestions I agree with plus maybe some new ones:

Ava Eleanor
Leah Elizabeth
Sophia Eleanor
Julia Eleanor
Jenna Elizabeth

And from the "Anna" family:

Annalee/Annaleigh
Annabeth
Annika
Adriana
Liliana
Leanne / Leanna
Anastasia
Audriana
Anya

For the boys name, I love Elijah! And I think it fits great with William and Clara. Elijah Patrick sounds great!

Anonymous said...

I think Lucy sounds great with William and Clara!!

StephLove said...

Here's another idea: Annaliese.

Marly said...

A name is a gift that you give to a baby. The best gifts are those that reflect the person you're giving it to. You shouldn't pick a name because it fits a family theme of names; it should fit that child. What feels right for that child? Maybe you can have a list of 2 or 3 names and then wait until he or she is born and then decide. Think how much that will mean to that child some day to hear how their name was selected because it fit them so well.