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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Baby Girl May

Catherine writes:
We are still very stuck on our baby girl's name and I am having lots of contractions. She could come any day, but the latest is December 22nd. Please help! We are nowhere near a decision.

Our last name is May and my son's name is Andrew Charles May. I am Catherine and my husband is Christopher, but often goes by Chris. I do not go by any nicknames and our son does not go by "Andy" or "Drew" (so far), he is always "Andrew" and he is nearly 2 years old.

Here is the current name list:

Avalon (Avalene) (Avalyn)
Scarlet (Scarlett)
Annalise (Elise)
Annabelle (Annabella)
Arabelle (Arabella)

My husband hates most of the list and is only currently favorable towards Charlotte, Scarlett, or Aubrey. We like the middle name "Helena", after our grandmother's, but are not set in stone on it. If the first named ended in "a", we would change it to Helene. Like "Charlotte Helena May", but "Annabella Helene May". We are also considering Charlotte for the middle name.

I think if I could pick one today, it would be "Avonlea Charlotte May" Same intitials as my son and I loved the Anne of Green Gables books as a kid. I think it is beautiful. My husband thinks it is weird and hates it. Doesn't seem willing to give in. I think "Andrew and Avonlea" are cute together. Hubby hates it.

Although, he did hate Aubrey, but now is coming around to that one. My mom hates Aubrey and says it is a man's name in a Jane Austin book. She really hates it.

Finally, to make matters more complicated, I would like to somehow honor my mother, but her name is "Sandra Amelia" and I don't care for either name. For our girl's first or middle name. So that might just not work out. Any pretty variations on Sandra or Amelia?

Any new name suggestions are also welcome. I tend to love "A" names and girly names that are more current and unusual. No "Linda" or "Mary" or "Elizabeth" for me.

Thank You!!!

I think we can immediately narrow the list down by taking out the names your husband hates, leaving only the ones he's willing to consider. It's possible he'd change his mind as he did with Aubrey, but there isn't much time for that. So here's the new list:


Your mom's hate, though, I'm tossing out of consideration. A LOT of girl names were once boy names: Alice, Allison, Anne, Evelyn, Lesley, Mackenzie, Shannon, Tracy, Whitney. Ashley was a boy's name in a Margaret Mitchell novel, but that doesn't take away its current girl-name status. And besides, you're trying to honor her by using her name for your daughter, so I don't want to hear any lip from her. No lip! (Fine: it influences me that she hates the name Aubrey. I just don't WANT to be influenced, because I love the name and because I think one generation OFTEN dislikes the next generation's naming choices.)

In general, I don't like to alter namesake names. Helena to Helene is about as far as I'd go: after that it starts to feel like it's not really the person's name at all, as when someone names their baby Madison "after" Grandma Mildred. The message becomes: "I want you to act honored and teary over this, but also we hated your name and didn't want to use it." Which, er, is usually a pretty accurate message. Sorry, honorees, but your names sound really out of date.

Amelia could be Amalie (AH mah lee), if you like that better. It has a similar sound/rhythm to Avonlea, Avalyn, Avalon. You could use Lia, except that's such a different name, especially since it's your mom's middle name so there's already considerable distance from the name she'd think of as hers.

I think we might have some luck with the first name, though: Sandra is short for Alexandra. Do you like that name? It starts with A, gives you the same initial as Andrew, and Andrew and Alexandra is a nice sibling set. Alexandra Helene would be a beautiful family name, and Alexandra May is lovely. You could also use Alissandra, a variation I like even better and which has the benefit of emphasizing the Sandra connection.

That's my suggestion: Alexandra/Alissandra Helene May. Or, if you want the same initials as your son's, Alexandra/Alissandra Charlotte May.

From your list of finalists, my favorite is Aubrey but my guess is that Aubrey is out because of your mom, in which case my favorite is Charlotte Helena May.

Name update 12-16-2009! Catherine writes:
Thank you for using my letter on your website and giving me your opinion on our naming dilemma. Our baby girl arrived 3 and a half weeks early, so you picked my letter just in time. She was born on December 11, 2009 at 10:14 p.m. and weighed 9lbs 1 oz and 19 1/2 inches long! She was technically a "late-term preemie" born at 36 weeks gestation, but she was still so big!

We really liked your suggestion of "Amelie" a lot. And debated a long time. But in the end, we chose "Annalise Charlotte May" for her name. I liked the matching initials and sounds with our son, "Andrew Charles May". Both my husband and I felt the name was just right for her and we have had tons of compliments on her name.

Andrew is in love with his baby sister, Annalise, and we think she is pretty special, too!

Thanks for all your help,


Fran said...

What about Audrey instead of Aubrey??

Kit said...

Scarlet Amelia May gets my vote.

Alison aka Baby B said...

I never would have put Alexandra and Sandra together in my head. I LOVE Swistle's suggestion of Alissandra to honor your mom. She would have plenty of options when she grows up if she chose to go by a nickname, Sandra, Ali, Al, Alis, Lis, Lissy, etc.

Tracy H. said...

First off I personally think Aubrey has made the jump to officially being considered a girls name. Aubrey is a good choice and once the baby is born your mother will be so in love she won't even care about her name. Now on to Avonlea, I am not so sure about Andrew & Avonlea going together, but that's just me. Do you pronounce the "A" at the end of Avonlea or not? As for your husband, I've been reading this site long enough to see that husbands often times come around and fall in love with a name the wife loves and he didn't like at first. So if you really love Avonlea, push for it, he just might come around. That being said the names your husband are favorable to are my favorites on the list, Charlotte & Scarlett. I think Charlotte goes better with Andrew. However you could use Scarlett with an "A" middle name and that could be a small way to honor your mother with initials. Btw, I have no problem with the name Amelia. Scarlett Amelia May is an adorable name and the initial are SAM! Amelia May is adorable too if you want to stick with the same initials as your son and honor your mother at the same time. Some other "A" names I like are: Aven, Arden, Ainsley, Ashby and Avery. Good Luck! I can't wait to hear what you pick!

Engloutie said...

I think Scarlett May is a little too wordy. It sounds like a poetic description of flowers bursting into bloom or something. (On the other hand, maybe you like that!) So my vote would be for either Charlotte or Aubrey.

Lisa said...

I was also going to suggest a S.A. name to honor your mother's initials, but still having your daughter get her own name.

Scarlett Avonlea May
Scarlett Amelia May
Scarlett Aubrey May

I love the idea of Alissandra and the nicknames that go with it. Alissa and Ali are my favorites.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the Alexandra suggestion! LOVE!

Carolyn said...

Cassandra is another idea to include Sandra, and it reminds me of Catherine when I see it written.

I love Alexandra Helene and Scarlett Helena as well.

I think you've got some great names to choose from, so good luck!

Christine said...

If you're going to go with Alissandra, can I push Alessandra as the alternate spelling. It's the Italian version of Alexandra, still gets in your Sandra, but I think it looks a little better than the Ali version.

Alessandra Helene is nice and it all works well with May.

My favorite though is Charlotte for you guys. I think Charlotte Amelia is cute, but then, I like the name Amelia.

Good luck!

StephLove said...

There are so many spot-on suggestions from Swistle and commenters (Alexandra/Alissandra, Cassandra, an S.A. name) I hardly feel I have anything to add. But since we don't know how your husband will feel about any of the new contenders, I'll focus on your pared down trio. I like Charlotte best of those. But my vote is for Alexandra.

Erin said...

Cassandra, Cassie, very nice Carolyn. Love it. I also love Alexandra too, but I don't really care for Alissandra. I'm sold on those two and don't think I can come up with anything better. I like a longer name with the short but pretty last name, and both go with Helene nicely.

Ruthie said...

I hate to say it, but I agree with your mom on Aubrey (to me, Audrey is worlds classier) and with your husband on Avonlea. Your whole family has such classic, graceful names that an Audrey or Avonlea would seem out of place, I think.

But Charlotte Helena and Scarlett Helena are both beautiful! And the Alexandra and Cassandra suggestions are great, too. Good luck!

Pixie said...

How about Avelina, very close to Avonlea but more along the classic feminine sounding lines like Charlotte as your husband seems to prefer.

haj said...

The Alissandra/Alessandra and Cassandra suggestions really endear themselves to me - honors your mother, girlie flowery name, but classic.

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

I prefer Charlotte between Charlotte, Aubrey, and Scarlett.

That said, I do not see Aubrey as a boy's name; but I've only ever met female Aubrey's so I guess that'd be why! I prefer Audrey to Aubrey though, personally.

If you do go with the Alexandra/Alissandra thing (which is a great idea too, and both names are beautiful), I also think "Alessandra" is a little nicer to look at than the first spelling.

M.Amanda said...

Charlotte Helena would be lovely.

Second pick would be the suggestion of Allesandra Helene.

To honor your mother, would Sandrine or Sandrina work?

Pocket said...

I love Scarlett Helena May! That is so sweet. As for Swistle's fine suggestion of Alissandra (genious, btw), my only caution would be that having two kids with the same first initial puts you in "the trap." If you're not planning to have any more kids, you're good to go, but if you have another one then you HAVE to give it an A name or it feels left out. Then you mights wind up like that crazy reality show family with four thousand J-named kids. Yipes! Gotta watch out!

Peace said...

I would NOT so Scarlett A. May, because 'Scarlet A' is what the adulterer wears as punishment in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Also, if you like Camille and want to use Amelia, consider Camelia. Camelia Avonlea May. LOVE IT!

Carmen said...

Isn't Mia a nickname for Amelia? You could use that.

Susanica said...

Even though you don't like Amelia, have you considered Amalia? I have a friend with that name and I've always thought it sounded very melodic. Amalia Charlotte May would get my vote! -M

Darlene said...

Alexandra jumped to my mind immediately after reading the 2nd paragraph. That it is a way to honor your mom is a plus. Avonlea doesn't fit in with the other three names in your family, in my opinion.

mjb said...

I think Cassandra is great, myself.

Catherine said...

Thanks for everyone's comments. I absolutely *love* Amalie. I think Amalie Helena May or Amalie Charlotte May is gorgeous. Now I just need to convince my husband!

Not so fond of Audrey, Alexandra, or Alissandra.

Am still considering Aubrey, Charlotte, Scarlett, and Avonlea. I do like the suggestion of Avelina, too. But it's going to be a tough sell to my husband.

Thanks for everyone's help, will update after she is born. 18 days to go (maximum!). -Catherine

Anonymous said...

I love Amelie (or Amalie)! I know an adorable little girl named Aveline (Ah-va-lynn). I hope your husband comes around for you.

CC Donna said...

Oh heavens....your mom has already had her opportunity to name her children. As a Nana, I support my children in the names they choose regardless of what the are. I'm frustrated when a Granny intrudes. Please tell Granny to hush up as this is a decision between you and you husband.

Anonymous said...

If you like Aubrey I think you should go with it and not let your mother keep you from using it! (I like that name too, and it's my favorite from the ones that have been mentioned.) In my opinion only you and your partner have to agree on the name.