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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Name Update!

Name update on Baby Naming Issue: Two Middle Names. Amy writes:
Hello!! I just wanted to thank you and your readers for all the great input with our new beautiful son's name. James Francis was born on March 27th at 9:36 am. My husband changed his mind last minute and we went with one middle name. It fits him:-) Thank you again for all the great discussion!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Baby Girl Oliver

Britt writes:
I'm hoping you can help my sister. She is due with her second baby, a girl, in early April. When she was pregnant with her first, she and her husband could not come to an agreement on a name. In fact, my poor little neice was nameless for 3 days before they decided on Clara Grace. I'm hoping they'll avoid that this time. Names she loves are Eliza, Emma, Gloria (an old family name), Audrey, and the most recent favorite is Macy Jane. Unfortunately, her husband is extremely picky and has vetoed all of these except Emma, which she doesn't want to use because of its popularity. I'm hoping you could suggest some names along the same lines that we maybe haven't thought of yet. Their last name is Oliver, which rules out anything ending in -er and another of her favorites - Ellie - because there are too many "l" sounds.

Oh, Clara is such a pretty name! I love it! Let's see if we can find a pretty name for Clara's sister.

I like Anna. It's similar to Emma, and it's great with Clara. I like Gloria as the middle name: Anna Gloria Oliver. Clara and Anna.

Or Lucy. Lucy Gloria Oliver. Clara and Lucy.

Elsa is similar to Ellie, but I think the L sound is less of a problem. Elsa Gloria Oliver. Clara and Elsa.

Sadie. Sadie Gloria Oliver. Clara and Sadie.

(I'm so presumptuous, aren't I, putting that Gloria as the middle name for every single one. I love it, and I love old family names.)

Ruby. Ruby Gloria Oliver. Clara and Ruby.

Louisa. Louisa Gloria Oliver. Clara and Louisa.

Let's have a poll over to the right! [Poll closed; see results below.] And when voting, keep in mind that "Gloria" isn't set as a middle name, even though Swistle keeps pushing for it.

Poll results (296 votes total):
Anna: 48 votes, roughly 16%
Lucy: 88 votes, roughly 30%
Elsa: 21 votes, roughly 7%
Sadie: 63 votes, roughly 21%
Ruby: 46 votes, roughly 16%
Louisa: 30 votes, roughly 10%

Name update! Britt writes:
Even with all your help reaching an agreement on a name was difficult for my sister and brother-in-law. My new niece was nameless for 2 days before my she and my sister were discharged from the hospital. Eventually they went with Macy Jane, and it fits her perfectly - she's a little redhead and it's a spunky and sweet name. We are calling her by both names, which I think is very southern. Thanks for all your help!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Baby Boy Matthews

Molly writes:
We are expecting our second boy to arrive via c-section on 4/7 and are stuck on name options. We keep thinking we have it narrowed down, and then one of us wavers and we're back to square one. Our older son is named Reed Alexander Matthews. Reed is a family name, and Alexander is my husband. We do know that we want to use Wallace as a middle name for this baby. We've kicked around Ryan, Rowan, and Quinn, but keep getting stuck and can't make a decision. Our only requirements are that it go well with Reed and it not be too popular or overused.

Do you have any ideas or suggestions that would meet our criteria that we're just not seeing?

The Baby Name Wizard suggests Grant as a brother for Reed/Reid. Grant Wallace Matthews. Reed and Grant. More options:

Declan. Declan Wallace Matthews. Reed and Declan.
Casey. Casey Wallace Matthews. Reed and Casey.
Tiernan. Tiernan Wallace Matthews. Reed and Tiernan.
Keegan. Keegan Wallace Matthews. Reed and Keegan.
Corbin. Corbin Wallace Matthews. Reed and Corbin.
Cael. Cael Wallace Matthews. Reed and Cael.

But you know what I think I like best? Quinn, from your list. Quinn Wallace Matthews. Reed and Quinn. I also like Corbin. Let's put a poll over to the right and see what everyone else thinks. [Poll closed; see results below.]

Poll results (284 votes total):
Ryan: 30 votes, roughly 11%
Rowan: 16 votes, roughly 6%
Quinn: 88 votes, roughly 31%
Grant: 81 votes, roughly 29%
Declan: 17 votes, roughly 6%
Casey: 4 votes, roughly 1%
Tiernan: 4 votes, roughly 1%
Keegan: 8 votes, roughly 3%
Corbin: 30 votes, roughly 11%
Cael: 6 votes, roughly 2%

Name update 04-22-2009. Molly writes:
Thank you so much for all of your suggestions, and for the helpful poll. We were on the fence right up to the last minute. We hadn't considered the name Grant at all until your poll, and when it became a front-runner and we chatted about it some more, we decided that we liked it quite a bit. When we went into the OR for the c-section, we had narrowed our options down to Grant and Quinn, and agreed to see what he looked like before tagging him with a name. Once we got a good look at him, we agreed that he is definitely a Grant.

Thanks again for all of your (and your followers) helpful advice!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Name Update!

Update on Baby Girl Rothschild! Taylor writes:
Thank you for all the great feedback on my naming dilemma! I appreciated all the creative ideas/combinations as well as the comments that said, "just use the namesakes' actual names...don't make it so complicated". Reading all the feedback helped me identify my favorite first name and how to best honor my mom--by using her actual name and not a variation.

Annabel Karen "Rothschild" was born March 13 at 3:23 am! Annie is beautiful and her name fits her perfectly. Best of all, both Grandmas felt so honored by our choice. (My mom cries every time she tells someone her granddaughter's name).

Friday, March 27, 2009

Baby Boy Not-Theodore

Maggie writes:
We really need you and your reader's help!! Our baby is arriving any day now (officially due next Friday) and my dear husband recently decided he no longer likes the boy's name we agreed on. And it took us literally the whole nine months to find one name we could both live with, so we're back at square one. We don't know baby's gender, but if it's a girl, she will be either Julia, Sophia, or Laurel. We've had these names forever, we love them all, it's just a matter of seeing which one "fits" her once she's here. Girls names are easy!

BUT if baby is a boy, we have a problem. The name we had agreed on was Theodore, intending to call him Teddy when he's little and letting him decide once he's older whether he wants to be Theo, Teddy, or Theodore. My husband has suddenly decided it's not masculine enough, although he would still consider it for a middle name. It was not my first choice, but I was happy enough with it.

My top picks for boys were Alan and Jonathan. Husband's top picks were John and Matthew. We could both live with Alan or Matthew from the other's list, but don't love them. (And Matthew sort of rhymes with the last syllable of our last name, which sounds funny to me.) As you can see, we partly agree on the John thing, but I dislike one syllable first names --- no offense to anyone -- and so even if we call him John for short, would like a longer formal first name. Are there any other longer names that have the nickname John? Husband will not consider Jonathan because we already have two immediate family members with the name, even though our son would have a different last name than the other two. The other problem is one side of the family is Greek, and would call John "Yanni" which I don't think I can handle. I really really really don't like the sound of Yanni, which makes me reluctant to use John. Our last name is long and Greek and ends with an "ew" sound, which means we want an recognizably male, simple spelling and easy pronounciation first name, nothing new-fangled or creative.

Other names we cannot use because of family: Robert, Andrew, Alexander, Stephen, David, James, Benjamin, Lucas, William, Nicholas. Names I liked but DH refused: Nathaniel, Christopher, Julius, Lawrence.

Any ideas for us? Thanks so much!

Another name that could be shortened to John is Johnson. My brother's dorm floor had a secret pet kitten, and they named him Johnson, and I thought that was the cutest name EVER---until someone explained to me that it was an, er, nickname. For something boys have and girls don't, if you follow me. And according to my brother, EVERYONE knows this, but I did not. Apparently boys know this. And also, maybe boys need a naming blog devoted to their Special Interest? Because they have an awful lot of names for It.

Johnston is slightly less risky. But it sounds like the "Yanni" thing rules out John names for you guys.

And oh dear heavens, look at all the good basic boy names you can't use for family-already-used-them reasons! No wonder you're stuck! Here's a list of some good basic boy names NOT on the veto list:

Edward (could still use Ted/Teddy, or Ned)
Edmund (could still use Ted/Teddy, or Ned)
Jacob (same J/Y problem, though?)
Joshua (same J/Y problem, though?)
Nathan (maybe too close to Nathaniel)

I'm leaning toward Evan: it's a distant relative of the name John; it has the rhythm of Alan; it's simple to spell and pronounce, etc. Evan Matthew. Evan Theodore. But I also really like Caleb. Caleb Theodore. Caleb Matthew. Caleb John.

In fact, I like lots of these. Michael Alan. Edmund Matthew. Daniel John. Edward Alan. Eric John. Ian Matthew.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Name Update!

Name update on Baby Boy Morales! Courtney writes:
Just wanted to say thanks for all of your help and your readers help for baby names! Our son, Zane Rylan was born on March 4th, 2009. He was 7lbs 4oz and 20 inches long. My husband finally saw the light and now loves the name Zane...and Rylan was a reader's suggestion that we fell in love with. Thanks again!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Baby Girl Hayes

Allison writes:
I'm due with my first child in early April. My husband and I have completely different styles! His name (Michael) was the top name the year he was born, so he's drawn to unusual, uncommon names. My name (Allison) was common, but never crazy popular, which is a quality I'd like to have in my own daughter's name. We kept putting off major discussions about names because it's been so hard to reach a solution we both like, but our little girl is going to be here soon and she needs a name!

Michael and I each made a list of our top eight, with our favorites at the top. Mine is: Lila, Sophie, Grace, Ruby, Madeleine, Isabel, Lucy, and Reese. His is: Magnolia, Cecilia, Seraphina, Christabel, Aurelia, Lavinia, Priscilla, and Portia.

From his list, I like Magnolia, Cecilia, Seraphina, and Aurelia - but I don't love them. They're a little too over-the-top for me to use. He says my list is too popular, and she'll forever be known as Sophie H. (Our last name is Hayes.) We both agreed that if he gets final say on the FN, I get to choose the MN (or vice-versa), but in the ideal situation, I'd want both of us to LOVE the whole name, you know what I mean?

So, to recap: We're looking for a name that is a good compromise between unusual names and common names, that fits with the last name Hayes. Any suggestions?

Well, Ruby's a good one. It's common enough to be familiar, but in 2007 it was only used for .1368% of baby girls. (Source: Social Security baby name site.) If we assume a classroom size of 20 children, with 10 of them girls, that means there'd be, on average, one Ruby per 75 classrooms. It's possible she'd be a Ruby H., especially if that area of the country is particularly fond of the name, but it's unlikely.

But what you're asking for is names that are not on either list, so let's see if we can find something between the lists. For example, he likes Seraphina and you like Sophie, so we'll look for something between celebrity-level uncommonness and Top 20. Josephine has that "fee(n)" sound. Phoebe has the "fee" sound, too, and the rhythm of Sophie. The name Serena is like Seraphina with a chunk removed to make it shorter and simpler. Sabrina is classic and beautiful and familiar but not much used. Selina is another good one.

You like Grace and Lucy; he likes Cecelia and Priscilla. Celia shortens/simplifies Cecelia, and also avoids the song. Lucia lengthens and dresses up Lucy. (The Baby Name Wizard says it can be pronounced LOO-sha or loo-CHEE-a or loo-SEE-a; it's loo-SEE-a I have in mind.) The name Lia might appeal to both of you: it's short and sweet, feminine and pretty, and three of his name choices end in it--but it's similar to Lila on your list. Clarice is pretty and unusual, without the frou-frou ending, and it sounds like Reese (you could even use that as a nickname). Clara ends in the -a he prefers, but in style it's more similar to Grace and Lucy.

So here's my list of suggestions so far:

Celia Hayes
Clarice Hayes
Clara Hayes
Josephine Hayes
Lia Hayes
Lucia Hayes
Phoebe Hayes
Sabrina Hayes
Selina Hayes
Serena Hayes

My favorite is Clara. Let's have a poll over to the right to see everyone else's favorites [poll closed; see results below], and also let people chime in with any other simplifications/dress-ups.

Poll results (309 votes total):
Celia: 46 votes, roughly 15%
Clarice: 4 votes, roughly 1%
Clara: 45 votes, roughly 15%
Josephine: 56 votes, roughly 18%
Lia: 21 votes, roughly 7%
Lucia: 27 votes, roughly 9%
Phoebe: 33 votes, roughly 11%
Sabrina: 39 votes, roughly 13%
Selina: 6 votes, roughly 2%
Serena: 32 votes, roughly 10%

Name update 04-10-2009! Allison writes:
Delilah Juliet Hayes arrived on April 5, 2009. Although ultimately, we didn't go with any of your suggestions, we both love her name and it fits her perfectly. Thank you!

Quick Poll: Virtue Names

Which of these virtue names do you like best?


Poll is over to the right. [Poll closed; see results below.]

Poll results (407 votes total):
Amity: 16 votes, roughly 4%
Charity: 9 votes, roughly 2%
Faith: 52 votes, roughly 13%
Grace: 197 votes, roughly 48%
Honor: 28 votes, roughly 7%
Hope: 58 votes, roughly 14%
Mercy: 7 votes, roughly 2%
Patience: 2 votes, roughly 0%
Verity: 38 votes, roughly 9%

Monday, March 23, 2009

Quick Poll: John or Jon?

Which spelling of John/Jon do you prefer? Poll over to the right. [Poll closed; see results below.]

Poll results (397 votes total):
John: 333 votes, roughly 84%
Jon: 64 votes, roughly 16%

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Baby Girl or Boy Celozzi

Vicki writes:
I am pregnant and due in April 2009. I don't know yet if I'm having a boy or girl. I have a set of twin boys at home that are named Nathaniel Konnor Celozzi and Sebastian Zane Celozzi. I would like a good strong name for my next child.

We've decided to go with Gabrielle if the baby is a girl. We have debated about the middle name between Amelia and Tru. We can't even begin to think of another boy name and could use some help. I appreciate all your assistance.

I like either of your middle name choices for Gabrielle. I like Tru better for coordination with your boys' names, and I like Amelia better with the rhythm of the whole name.

If the baby is a boy, here are some suggestions:

Adrian Celozzi; Nathaniel, Sebastian, and Adrian
August Celozzi; Nathaniel, Sebastian, and August
Benjamin Celozzi; Nathaniel, Sebastian, and Benjamin
Edmund Celozzi; Nathaniel, Sebastian, and Edmund
Elliot Celozzi; Nathaniel, Sebastian, and Elliot
Everett Celozzi; Nathaniel, Sebastian, and Everett
Frederick Celozzi; Nathaniel, Sebastian, and Frederick
Garrett Celozzi; Nathaniel, Sebastian, and Garrett
Isaiah Celozzi; Nathaniel, Sebastian, and Isaiah
Jonathan Celozzi; Nathaniel, Sebastian, and Jonathan

Let's have two polls over to the right: one for the middle name if the baby is a girl, and one for the first name if the baby is a boy. [Polls closed; see below for results.]

Poll results:

Girl middle names (302 votes total):
Tru: 162 votes, roughly 54%
Amelia: 140 votes, roughly 46%

Boy names (296 votes total):
Adrian: 51 votes, roughly 17%
August: 35 votes, roughly 12%
Benjamin: 58 votes, roughly 20%
Edmund: 7 votes, roughly 2%
Elliot: 34 votes, roughly 11%
Everett: 38 votes, roughly 13%
Frederick: 20 votes, roughly 7%
Garrett: 18 votes, roughly 6%
Isaiah: 13 votes, roughly 4%
Jonathan: 22 votes, roughly 7%

Name update! Vicki writes:
Gabrielle Amelia was born March 26th weighing in at 5lbs 3.2oz. She was 3 weeks and a day early but perfectly healthy with a head full of light brown hair. She has Sebastian's eye color so far and Nathaniel's mouth with my chin and my husband's ears. We couldn't be happier. Thank everyone for your suggestions and thank you, Swistle for all your help!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Baby Boy ___ Wayne ______son

Jenny writes:
My husband and I are struggling to come up with a name for our first baby. We know the middle name will be Wayne (four generations of that) and that we don't want the first name to rhyme with our last name, which ends in "son". We originally liked Zeke, but feel that it doesn't sound good with Wayne, and we don't like Ezekial. We are now considering Carver or Adler, both of which we like but not completely sold on. I was really hoping to have a name that could be shortened for a nick name. I am due at the beginning of April. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

My first and favorite suggestion is Isaac: Isaac Wayne Surnameson. An Isaac can be nicknamed Zack or Ike, so I don't think Zeke is too much of a stretch.

Carver and Adler are both surname names, so I'm rooting around in The Baby Name Wizard's surname section. A favorite of mine from this section is Archer: Archer Wayne Surnameson, nickname Archie.

Another possibility is Callahan: Callahan Wayne Surnameson, nickname Cal.

Or Kendrick: Kendrick Wayne Surnameson, nickname Ken.

Or Tobin: Tobin Wayne Surnameson, nickname Toby.

Let's put a poll to the right, and also hope for more ideas in the comment section. [Poll closed; see results below.]

Poll results (275 votes total):
Carver: 16 votes, roughly 6%
Adler: 15 votes, roughly 5%
Isaac: 133 votes, roughly 48%
Archer: 69 votes, roughly 25%
Callahan: 17 votes, roughly 6%
Kendrick: 6 votes, roughly 2%
Tobin: 19 votes, roughly 7%

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Name Update!

Update on Baby Girl ___ Faye Giesbrecht! Liz writes:
So sorry for being so behind on the update! Ellington Faye was born Oct 28, and we couldn't be happier with her name. Thanks so much for the suggestions and it was really neat to see how people voted (Ellington had a strong 41% lead, which did help us decide!) and how they weighed in with the name suggestions. We'll be back when it's time to name Ellie's future brother or sister!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Quick Poll: C or K?

In general, do you prefer C-spellings or K-spellings?

Carl or Karl?

Catherine or Katherine?

Cara or Kara?

Caitlyn or Kaitlyn?

Curt or Kurt?

Christiana or Kristiana?

Caden or Kaden?

Eric or Erik?

Poll is over to the right. [Poll closed; see results below.]

Poll results (362 votes total):
Prefer C names in general: 245 votes, roughly 68%
Prefer K names in general: 117 votes, roughly 32%

Monday, March 16, 2009

Baby Girl or Boy S____an

Jennifer writes:
We don't know if we are having a boy or a girl. In the past, my husband has pretty much let me have command of the names. He always has names to put on the list, but it seems that either he has chosen one that I have liked, or has acquiesced to my favorites. We already have 2 girls, Kate Lorraine (3) and McLaren Josephine (2) whom we mostly call 'Claire'. Our last name starts with 'S', and has an 'an/en' sounding ending. One of my biggest annoyances with names is when they blend together, as in Max S--, so any name with an 's' or 'z' sounding ending is out (sadly, this nixes Chase, Chance, and Alexis, all of which I LOVE). Also, I would like to stay away from the 'en/an' names to avoid being too rhymey. I am less worried about this last part if it's a girl, but really don't want the 'en/an' ending for a boy.

For a girl, I love Allie/Ally/Ali (undecided on spelling - thoughts?), but I think I would rather her have a more 'proper' name, and just use Allie/Ally as the nickname. I also like Lexi, so I'm sort of leaning towards Alexa. I also like Allison/Alison. Really, what I love is 'Ellie', I think, (and someone just told me about Ellery, which is SO cute) but the name Ellie is already taken by one of my BIL's daughter's, and I think my husband's family would flip if we also used it. I also like Ruby, but am pretty sure my husband will nix that one. My husband's top pick for a girl's name is Audrey, which I think is okay, but we're totally stuck for a middle name.

If it's a boy, my favorites are Luke and Matthew (not trying to go biblical; I just like them). I also like Jack, but again with that darned popularity. I would really like to use James for the middle name (my father's name, my grandfather's name, BIL's name). My problem here is that Luke James sounds sort of weird to me, as in not-flowy. But I don't really want to name him Lucas James (which I think sounds great) because of the whole 's' ending thing! I call my daughters by their first and middle names a lot, and am just not sure that I would love saying, "Luke James come here right now!" very often. Matthew James sounds great to me, but at the moment I like Luke better. My husband likes Peter, which I am not hugely fond of, and there also seems to be some family history with Nicholas. I do not have a problem with the 's' ending for the middle name, just the first name, so I wouldn't have an issue with Nicholas as the middle name, except then I can't use James for the middle name.

My last issue is that I am also leaning towards James as the middle name for the baby even if it's a girl. Is that too weird? Each of our other daughters have family aspects to their names, and I would like for the last child to also have some family history to her name. Any thoughts and ideas you guys have would be greatly appreciated!

Audrey is a beautiful name, and I also like Aubrey. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Audrey. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Aubrey.

You like Allie and Ellie, so I'll suggest Elsa and Eliza and Callie and Delaney and Elena. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Elsa. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Eliza. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Callie. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Delaney. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Elena.

You like Ellery but want to avoid Ellie, so I'll suggest Everly and Avery and Hillary. (There's also Emery/Emory, but that ALWAYS makes me think of filing my nails.) Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Everly. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Avery. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Hillary.

And one more that comes to mind is Darcy. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Darcy.

Let's put a possibly-too-gigantic-to-be-useful poll over to the right, and then we can move on to the next issue, which is whether it's okay to use the middle name James for a girl.

I am in general opposed to the name-rich girl side stealing a single one of the name-poor boy side names (though I do submit to it once a name is transferred: look how I just recommended Avery for a girl with hardly a flinch), but middle names are different because they're so often used to honor family names. Audrey James is...well, that's really CUTE, isn't it? I think part of it is that it's reminiscent of the middle name Jane.

I don't think I WOULD do it, though, with a more boyish first name. If you choose Avery, for example, it's gender-neutral enough that people look to the middle name for a clue. Avery James is a boy. Everly James is confusing. Eliza James is a girl, and adorable.

And here is something I hesitate to mention, but I will do it anyway. When I was growing up, we knew a family that had only girls. One girl was named Andrea (called Andy) John (her dad's name was John). It was generally assumed that this was because her father had wanted a boy so badly and had finally given up on getting one. The message it conveyed was "We were disappointed to have a girl." The reason I hesitate to mention this is that this was SUCH an unfair assumption.

If you don't use James as a girl middle name, here are a few others to consider:

1. Jane. Audrey Jane, Aubrey Jane, Elsa Jane, Eliza Jane, Callie Jane, Delaney Jane, Everly Jane, Avery Jane, Hillary Jane, Darcy Jane.

2. Ruby. Sometimes when one parent likes a name and the other parent doesn't, the middle name slot is the perfect place for it. Elsa Ruby, Eliza Ruby, Elena Ruby.

3. Alexis. Sometimes when a beloved name doesn't work in the first name slot, the middle name slot is the perfect place for it. Audrey Alexis, Aubrey Alexis, Callie Alexis, Delaney Alexis, Avery Alexis, Darcy Alexis.

4. Other first name candidates. Audrey Elena, Aubrey Eliza, Elsa Delaney, Eliza Delaney, Callie Elena, Elena Audrey, Everly Eliza, Avery Elena, Hillary Eliza, Darcy Eliza.

Okay! On to boy names! I see what you mean: "Luke James" is a nice combination, but not melodic for calling out lovingly across the house. I think the trouble here is that you like short snappy boy names, but you've got a short snappy middle name already and need something a little longer to carry it off. I'm going to see if I can find some names that have that snappy feeling but in longer versions.

I wonder if you might like the name Isaac? I think it has a similar sound to the name Luke (that hard c/k sound) but it sounds better with James: I can just picture you calling out, "Isaac James, sweetheart, wash your hands and come for lunch!" Well, or maybe you don't say sweetheart; maybe you say honey. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Isaac. [Edit: Jen says in the comments that they can't use Isaac because another in-law has already used it.]

And here's another possibility: Eric James. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Eric.

And what about Frederick? I keep pushing this one because it's one of my own favorites (as are Isaac and Eric, if we're being all full-disclosurey here). Frederick James. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Frederick.

Why don't I just keep moving down my list of favorites? Elliot James. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Elliot. There's the Ellie sound you like, but without the tempation to use the nickname and get in trouble with family.

Carter James. Kate, McLaren (Claire), and Carter.

All right, now I'll make another poll for the boy names. Remember there are two polls to vote in, one for (the many, many) girl options and one for boy options. [Polls closed; see below for results.]

Poll results:

Girl names (255 votes total):
Alexa: 33 votes, roughly 13%
Allison: 16 votes, roughly 6%
Audrey: 50 votes, roughly 20%
Aubrey: 24 votes, roughly 9%
Elsa: 13 votes, roughly 5%
Eliza: 24 votes, roughly 9%
Callie: 7 votes, roughly 3%
Delaney: 21 votes, roughly 8%
Elena: 7 votes, roughly 3%
Everly: 21 votes, roughly 8%
Avery: 17 votes, roughly 7%
Hillary: 4 votes, roughly 2%
Darcy: 18 votes, roughly 7%

Boy names (223 votes total):
Isaac: 27 votes, roughly 12%
Eric: 25 votes, roughly 11%
Frederick: 20 votes, roughly 9%
Elliot: 64 votes, roughly 29%
Carter: 37 votes, roughly 17%
Luke: 31 votes, roughly 14%
Matthew: 19 votes, roughly 9%

Name update! Jennifer writes:
We had our baby boy, Luke Arthur, on April 3rd at 10:03pm. Thank you for your help with names - it was great to hear what others had to say, and it certainly gave us some good ideas! My husband came up with Arthur (family name on his side) a few weeks ago, and we both liked the flow of the name. I am a little sad we aren't using James in the name, but think the name Luke Arthur fits our baby boy perfectly.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Name Update!

Update on Baby Boy Holland! Clover writes:
Thanks so much for all of the great suggestions everyone! Gable Ender (had to give in to hubby on the middle name lol) Holland was born March 10th @ 8:09pm, a respectable 8lbs 9oz 22inches! The name is never something I would have come up with on my own, but I absoultly love it and it fits him perfectly! Thanks again Swistle!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Baby Naming Issue: Two Middle Names

Amy writes:
I am due with my third child on March 27th. My husband and I prefer classic names and I think we have settled on James for a first name. I have boy/girl twins whose names are Stella and Thomas. I like the way Stella, Thomas and James sound together. However, the reason I am writing is because of the middle name. I want James Francis and my husband likes James Xavier. The only compromise that we have reached is to name the baby James Francis Xavier. I wanted to get you and your readers opinion about having two middle names. My twins do not have two middle names: Stella Audrey and Thomas Richard. Will it be too confusing to have two middle names? What do you think?

Oh! I can offer personal experience on the two middle names thing! It's a little confusing, but only occasionally, and only mildly. Some forms allow only one middle name, and in those cases you just have in mind which middle name you want to use as the default. When filling out forms, you get used to making a little arrow to the second middle name with "second middle name" written nearby, so that people don't think it's the first half of a hyphenated surname. It comes up maybe once or twice a year, and for me it hasn't been a hassle that would keep me from recommending it.

A bigger issue might be Francis Xavier. But "seeming to be named for a saint" is not exactly a negative, is it? And James Francis Xavier is a glorious name.

Let's have a poll over to the right with the three choices: James Francis, James Xavier, or James Francis Xavier. [Poll closed; see results below.]

Poll results (248 votes total):
James Francis: 83 votes, roughly 33%
James Xavier: 58 votes, roughly 23%
James Francis Xavier: 107 votes, roughly 43%

Name update 03-31-2009! Amy writes:
Hello!! I just wanted to thank you and your readers for all the great input with our new beautiful son's name. James Francis was born on March 27th at 9:36 am. My husband changed his mind last minute and we went with one middle name. It fits him:-) Thank you again for all the great discussion!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

1979 Names: Are You in the Top 10?

Here is a list of the Top 10 girl names from 30 years ago, in 1979, in the United States:
  1. Jennifer
  2. Melissa
  3. Amanda
  4. Jessica
  5. Amy
  6. Sarah
  7. Heather
  8. Angela
  9. Nicole
  10. Michelle

I'm going to put a poll over to the right with these names. [Poll closed; see results below.] If you are a U.S. GIRL, and if you were born, say, 25-35 years ago, and one of these is YOUR first name, vote for that name. If you were born about 25-35 years ago and none of those is your first name, choose "other."

Because my goal is to get a general idea rather than an accurate statistical report, the age range is flexible: If you're 24 or 36 and you want to vote, go right ahead. Also, for the same reason, let's include alternate spellings: any "Sara"s should vote for Sarah; any "Nichole"s should vote for Nicole, etc.

Poll results (441 votes total):
Jennifer: 25 votes, roughly 5.67%
Melissa: 11 votes, roughly 2.49%
Amanda: 10 votes, roughly 2.27%
Jessica: 5 votes, roughly 1.13%
Amy: 15 votes, roughly 3.40%
Sarah: 23 votes, roughly 5.22%
Heather: 9 votes, roughly 2.04%
Angela: 5 votes, roughly 1.13%
Nicole: 5 votes, roughly 1.13%
Michelle: 5 votes, roughly 1.13%
none of these: 328 votes, roughly 74.38%

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Middle Name Challenge: Baby Girl Jenna ___

B. writes:
My husband and I are expecting our second daughter anytime on or around March 20th. We have basically chosen the name Jenna for this little girl, because it's the only thing we can agree on that we both actually like.

My question is about middle names. One of the middle names that we like is Elizabeth, but my first daughter's initials are also J.E. Is it a problem to have both girls have the exact same initials? The other thing is that my husband's older sister's name is Genevieve Elizabeth. Does Jenna Elizabeth sound way too close? Will my SIL think that I'm naming my child after her, even though I'm not? (My first daughter's middle name IS after MY sister. But I don't like my husband's sisters enough to name my kids after them.)

If you do think that Elizabeth is a no-no because of initials or similarity to my husband's sister, do you have any suggestions for middle names that sound good with Jenna? We don't really have any other options. We've talked about Noelle, but I decided I didn't really like it, and we've talked a little about Beth, since it's part of my name. But we've had a hard time coming up with something that we actually like. I tend to not like really girly/popular names (pretty much anything on the top 10 list except for Emily and Elizabeth).

I'm not sure what to do, so if you or your readers have any thoughts, I'd appreciate it!

If you were very keen on the name Elizabeth, I'd say that The Best Name trumps the initials problem. But since you sound "love but not IN love" about it, and since there's the additional sister-in-law-name problem, I say let's ditch the name Elizabeth and find you something else.

One post that might be helpful: a list of 4-syllable middle names to replace Elizabeth. Most of those either don't work with the name Jenna or else are too girly.

I also like 1-syllable middle names with the name Jenna: Jenna Fay, Jenna May, and Jenna Ruth are nice; Jenna Bess is similar to Jenna Beth; and if you like repeated-consonant sounds you might like Jenna Joy.

Other ideas:

Jenna Frances
Jenna Louise
Jenna Margaret
Jenna Meredith
Jenna Morgan
Jenna Peyton
Jenna Parker
Jenna Simone
Jenna Suzanne

The middle name slot is also a great place for any name that you didn't want to use as a first name for one reason or another: didn't work with your first child's name, a namesake name where you love the namesake but not so much the name, too out-there, too common, etc.

More suggestions for B.?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Baby Boy Heavens

Dawn writes:
I am in desperate need of your help. I am due with our second child, a boy. Our 3 1/2 year old daughter is named Molly Deane (the "e" at the end is silent it's pronounced like Dean) and was named after my husbands favorite aunt Molly and my favorite aunt Deane. We are at a complete loss for a name for this child, all the boy names I always thought I LOVED just don't seem right for our boy.

We know the middle name will be Thomas (after both my dad and my husbands dad) so that part is easy, it's a first name we can't seem to find. Our last name begins with an "E" it is Welsh and sounds like Heavens.

A few of my "naming requirements" would be that I like names to flow, like our daughters name it just flows so nicely. I also prefer for sibling names to fit together, it makes me crazy when I hear siblings and the names don't seem to fit together or to even be in the same category like one is a classic name and the other is a way out there trendy name, does that make sense? Also both mine and my husbands names begin with a "D" so while D names are not out of the question I think I would like to avoid them. Oh and no funky spellings, I have spent my life correcting people on my name (as simple as it is) I do not want to do that to a child.

Some names we like but are off limits due to family or close friends already having them would be Andrew, Kasen, Wesley, Jackson, Connor, Justin, Jacob, William.
Some names we have considered but are not loving are Jeremy, Jared, Jonathon (this is my husbands middle name but, I am afraid he would end up being called John), Mason, Max, Shane (I like, husband hates), Gavin, Liam, Ben.

I hope you and your readers can help, your our last hope, as we have scoured all the baby name books and web sites we can find and still we are without a name.

I like coordinating styles, too. In this case, it depends on how you see the name Molly. I find it hard to pin down names like Molly and Sadie and Lucy: are they down-home old-fashioned revival names? or are they modern sassy nickname names? Or both? or what?

So I'm going to give a little variety in the suggestions: some names coordinate better with a down-home old-fashioned feel, and some coordinate better with modern; some are more like nicknames and some are less like nicknames. I'll use "Heavens" as the stand-in surname here so we can get a feel for how things fit, but I'll keep the E in the initials to remind us.

Caleb Thomas Heavens (CTE). Caleb Heavens. Molly Deane and Caleb Thomas. Molly and Caleb.

Charlie Thomas Heavens (CTE). Charlie Heavens. Molly Deane and Charlie Thomas. Molly and Charlie.

Clark Thomas Heavens (CTE). Clark Heavens. Molly Deane and Clark Thomas. Molly and Clark.

Cole Thomas Heavens (CTE). Cole Heavens. Molly Deane and Cole Thomas. Molly and Cole.

Henry Thomas Heavens (HTE). Henry Heavens [not actually a double H sound: surname starts with E]. Molly Deane and Henry Thomas. Molly and Henry.

Kyle Thomas Heavens (KTE). Kyle Heavens. Molly Deane and Kyle Thomas. Molly and Kyle.

Leo Thomas Heavens (LTE). Leo Heavens. Molly Deane and Leo Thomas. Molly and Leo.

Luke Thomas Heavens (LTE). Luke Heavens. Molly Deane and Luke Thomas. Molly and Luke.

Milo Thomas Heavens (MTE). Milo Heavens. Molly Deane and Milo Thomas. Molly and Milo.

Nathaniel Thomas Heavens (NTE). Nathaniel Heavens. Molly Deane and Nathaniel Thomas. Molly and Nathaniel.

Riley Thomas Heavens (RTE). Riley Heavens. Molly Deane and Riley Thomas. Molly and Riley.

Simon Thomas Heavens (STE). Simon Heavens. Molly Deane and Simon Thomas. Molly and Simon.

Spencer Thomas Heavens (STE). Spencer Heavens. Molly Deane and Spencer Thomas. Molly and Spencer.

More ideas for Dawn?

Name update! Dawn writes:
Baby boy "Heavens" Arrived late in the evening on March 24th (the little stinker was a week early!) and only had to wait three more days for a name. We went into the hospital with the list narrowed down to Jeremy, Spencer or Wesley and while Wesley was on our list of can't use because we know one already in the end we decided the Wesley we know is a great kid and we wouldn't mind our little guy sharing a name with him. So our little guy is now named Wesley Thomas and it fits him to a T. Thanks again to everyone for their suggestions.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Baby Girl or Boy Naming Emergency!

This post is not even done, but I just got word that she is IN LABOR RIGHT NOW and doesn't have a name! So I am posting it as-is, and I'll keep working on it during the day if I think of anything else. Good luck, Tamarah!

Tamarah writes:
We are expecting our first child on March 17th! My husband and I are having a difficult time finding names that we're in love with. I have loved the name Charlotte for a very long time - it was my grandmothers name (she passed away when my mother was only 2). Charlotte is also the name of my first cousin, named after our grandmother. I was feeling very confident that I was OK with naming my babe Charlotte - I don't believe anyone "owns" a name or that it would be a terrible thing to have two Charlottes in the family - she would be my child's second cousin, and there would be 20 years between them. The middle name for Charlotte would be Flora - We chose Flora because both of my hubby's grandmothers are named Florence - and mine is named Rose (flower = flora) - I love the way it flows - AND it pays tribute to all the grandmothers. In the past month or 2, I have been feeling less jazzed about Charlotte, I'm not sure why. I now like Auden - I would use the middle name Danielle (my dad is Daniel, and my husband has a uncle Danny that passed away recently) and Dylan - I would use Rose for a middle name - (Rose is my grandmother's name and my sister's middle name.) So these are the 3 girl names we've come up with that Id love some feedback on:

Charlotte Flora
Auden Danielle
Dylan Rose

NOW - the major issue? BOY NAMES! This is so difficult! I can't seem to find anything that really speaks to me. I like the name Miles, Miles Daniel - but other than that, nothing has been jumping out, for first or middle names. I like the name Jasper - but that sounds harsh with our last name - Begins with a F, is one syllable (5 letters) and very German sounding. My husband has mentioned liking Dexter, but that doesn't do anything for me. We both are leaning towards older sounding names, but are quite open at this point! My husband is also Jewish (emphasis on the ish) and he would like to use names that honor people in our families. Though he is not dead set on this, there are a few names in particular that he would like to use - or use a derivative of (first letter works): Harry, Danny, Aaron, Frederick, Florence.
Here is our list of boy names, where only 1 sounds "right" so far.

Miles Daniel**

Any help would be amazing!

One thing I notice is that you have a lot of style variety in your options. I think in your shoes I'd start by thinking of names I might want to use for future children, and see which category of names you prefer. If you're leaning more toward Miles and Daniel, I'd go with Charlotte for a girl; if you're leaning more toward Wyatt, I'd go with Dylan or Auden. And since you like Dylan for both girls and boys, it may be that you'll want to use Dylan for your first child regardless.

Hey, you wouldn't want to consider the name Florence, would you? It's one of my recent top favorite girl names. I lovvvvvvvvve it. It's strong and feminine, and Florrie is an adorable nickname. I think it's due for a revival, just like the Charlottes and Emmas. Florence Charlotte is pretty, or I like Florence Rose even better. Oh, wait, though: your surname is one syllable and starts with F, and maybe that would be too harsh with Florence. If your surname were Fiest, for example, that would be Florence Fiest. Well, actually, I still like it a lot.

I also suggest Audra, Audrey, and Aubrey since you like Auden. I like all of them with the middle name Rose.

And I suggest Delaney, since you like Dylan. Delaney Rose.

On to boy names. I, too, have trouble finding ones that bowl me over. I think Miles Daniel is wonderful: both of those names are on my own boy list. Here are a few other boy names I wonder if you might like:


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Name Update!

Update on Baby Boy or Girl Birchall! Gillian writes:
Thank you so much for the suggestions and all the help in picking out a girl's name. It turns out we needed it! Our beautiful baby girl arrived on February 26th and we named her Josephine Elizabeth. We've had lots of comments on her name and everyone loves it. Most importantly, so do we! Thanks again.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Baby Naming Issue: Sibling Initials

Leah writes:
We are expecting a boy, our 3rd child. We have a daughter, Caroline and a son, Oliver. We've narrowed down the names to either William or Wilson for the baby. We are nowhere close to deciding between the two. Most likely he will end up being called Will either way, but to me Wilson will always be a volleyball. My husband is not convinced.

However, that is not my question. Here's my question: I'm a little worried because our children's initials will spell COW. This might not be an issue in every family but our surname is Ellcey (pronounced Elsie). Think Elsie the Cow from Borden Milk. My husband thinks this is hilarious. I'm a little horrified. So I'm wondering if this will be an issue or if anyone else will notice this little fact? And does it really matter? They will spend a large part of their lives as separate people whose friends and co-workers won't even know their siblings, much less their names.

I don't think I ever would have noticed the situation on my own, and in fact I immediately did an inventory of my own kids' initials to see if they spelled anything. Now that you've pointed it out to me, I come down on the side of amusement. I think if I were you I'd go ahead and use Wilson/William.

Let's take a vote and see what everyone else thinks. The poll is to the right. [Poll closed; see results below.]

Poll results (280 votes total):
Go ahead and use W name: 271 votes, roughly 97%
Don't use W name: 9 votes, roughly 3%

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Middle Name Challenge: Baby Girl Elise ___ K.

Heather writes:
Hi! I'm due on March 6th with our second baby, somehow having lucked out and gotten a girl this time around. Only there is where the luck ended. We have no idea what to name this little girl! I've been stuck on the name Elise since my 20w ultrasound, but I cannot for the life of me figure out a good middle name. So now I'm sorta back to the drawing board.

Top 9 names: [no particular order]

1. Elise
2. Isabelle
3. Lisette
4. Violet
5. Genevieve
6. Adelaide
7. Lilliana
8. Rosalind
9. Aurelia

Our last name is three syllables and starts with a 'K'. Her older brother's name is Logan Alexander. I think at this point I'm pretty open to a lot of things - I'd really like to see her name be Elise [blank] K, but I'm open to suggestions for other variations since I can't seem to come up with a solution for the [blank]!


I'm trying not to get distracted by your great name list: our primary objective here is to find a middle name for Elise. Well, actually, I'm going to go ahead and get distracted, because there are a lot of good middle names in that list.

Some people like the first and middle names to slide together a little, and some people like the names to stay as distinct as possible. The name Elise lends itself to sliding: the emphasis on the second syllable combined with the easy-blending sssssss sound makes the name want to latch on to the next name. If you're someone who prefers the names to stay as distinct as possible, that might be the snag you're hitting.

Myself, I like a little slide. A name that slides together in a way I find appealing is Elise Aurelia. I like saying it. Both names have the emphasis on the second syllable, which I think is a nice combination.

Another good slide is Elise Adelaide, which slides together but not as much as Elise Aurelia: the consonants and the non-repeating vowel sounds help to keep things separate. Elise Isabelle is similar.

Elise Lilliana has a lot of L sounds, but I think the way the short I sound breaks up the two long E sounds keeps it from tangling the tongue. Possible problem: the initials, which spell ELK.

I'd lean toward either Aurelia or Lilliana, because I like the 2-4-3 syllable rhythm better than the 2-3-3 syllable rhythm. And I'd choose Aurelia over Lilliana, but only because I prefer not to spell ELK. I'll put a poll over to the right and we'll see what everyone else thinks. [Poll closed; see results below.]

Poll results (254 votes total):
Elise Aurelia: 127 votes, 50%
Elise Adelaide: 53 votes, roughly 21%
Elise Isabelle: 24 votes, roughly 9%
Elise Lilliana: 34 votes, roughly 13%
other (leave in comments): 16 votes, roughly 6%

Name update 03-13-2009! Heather writes:
I realized that everytime I went to say something to her, the name "Lilly" kept coming to me. So her first name is Lilly, with a middle of Avelina. I remembered her middle from one of my stints of researching my family tree, its the name of one of my ancestresses from the 11th century France.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Baby Boy Holland

Clover writes:
My husband and I are in desperate need of your (and/or your clever readers) help in picking the perfect name for our baby boy who's due March 2nd!

The trouble is that we have totally different tastes when it comes to boy's names. I like more traditional(ish) yet not overly popular names (my top list includes Dexter, Sebastian, & Jasper) and he likes names that are...I don't even know what category they fall into (but his top list includes Cable, Ender & Garson)!

And did I mention that this will be our 5th (& final) child together (the only boy of the bunch!) and that we also each have a daughter from a previous marriage? That's a lot of names already, and I'd kind of like our son's name to fit in with his sister's if at all possible, which seems unlikely with the husband's list of strangeness..*sigh*

Anyway, hubby's daughter is the eldest and her name is Dorothea (called Thea), my daughter is next and is named Willa. All the girl names that we've come up with together and have totally agreed upon are; Charlotte (called Lottie) Katherine (called Kat) Rebbecca (called Bex) and Elanor (called Ella). Pretty traditional, yes? I don't know why his taste in boy's names is so out there, but it's driving me nuts!

Some other names that I like but hubby isn't sold on; Davis, Vincent, Edwin, Aleck. More names that he likes; Cage, Dock, Red, Blade (I keep telling him these are THINGS, not NAMES lol).

So you see our trouble? Are there any names that maybe combine out tastes, at least a little bit? We need to find something that we can both live with, even if it's not exactly to our tastes. I am willing to compromise a bit, but I'd really like to find a name that is an actual NAME and not a THING. We are open to any and all suggestions here, and our last name is Holland so it's pretty easy to find names that work with it.

Thank you so much for any help you can provide!

Okay, here is my list!

Gable. Close to his choice of Cable, and in fact gable is a noun which may please him, but also it's a surname name with the name Gabe as a nickname.

Gage. Close to his choice of Cage.

Cade. Close to his choice of Cage.

Carson. Close to his choice of Garson.

Slade. Close to his choice of Blade.

Reed. Close to his choice of Red.

Anders/Anderson. Similar to his choice of Ender.

Mac/Mack. This is similar to current popular choices Jack and Max, but less common. His choice of Dock made me think of it.

Anyone have other suggestions?

Name update 03-14-2009! Clover writes:
Thanks so much for all of the great suggestions everyone! Gable Ender (had to give in to hubby on the middle name lol) Holland was born March 10th @ 8:09pm, a respectable 8lbs 9oz 22inches! The name is never something I would have come up with on my own, but I absoultly love it and it fits him perfectly! Thanks again Swistle!

Name Update!

Update on Baby Girl or Boy Young! Jodi writes:
Thanks so much to you and your readers for all your help with our boys' name situation. In the end, we didn't need it! We welcomed our 4th *daughter*, Juniper Lucy Young, early Wednesday morning, and I guess we will never know what she would have been called had she been a boy :)

Quick Poll: Top 10 Boy Vs. Top 10 Girl

The past couple of days, we've done polls on Top Ten boy names and Top Ten girl names. Here's the next poll: which GROUP of names do you prefer? Do you prefer the Top Ten boy names, or do you prefer the Top Ten girl names? Here they are again, to refresh your memory:



Poll is over to the right. [Poll closed; see results below.]

Poll results (248 votes total):
Prefer the boy names: 112 votes, roughly 45%
Prefer the girl names: 136 votes, roughly 55%

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Quick Poll: Top 10 Boy Names

Which is your favorite Top Ten boy name? If you were required to choose one for your baby, which would you choose? Here they are from the Social Security name list for 2007:


Poll is over to the right. [Poll closed; see results below.]

Poll results (380 votes total):
Jacob: 54 votes, roughly 14%
Michael: 14 votes, roughly 4%
Ethan: 59 votes, roughly 16%
Joshua: 23 votes, roughly 6%
Daniel: 26 votes, roughly 7%
Christopher: 19 votes, 5%
Anthony: 8 votes, roughly 2%
William: 106 votes, roughly 28%
Matthew: 30 votes, roughly 8%
Andrew: 41 votes, roughly 11%

Monday, March 2, 2009

Quick Poll: Top 10 Girl Names

Which is your favorite Top Ten girl name? If you were required to choose one for your baby, which would you choose? Here they are from the Social Security name list for 2007:


Poll is over to the right. [Poll closed; see results below.]

Poll results (434 votes total):
Emily: 29 votes, roughly 7%
Isabella: 37 votes, roughly 9%
Emma: 37 votes, roughly 9%
Ava: 50 votes, roughly 12%
Madison: 8 votes, roughly 2%
Sophia: 50 votes, roughly 12%
Olivia: 70 votes, roughly 16%
Abigail: 25 votes, roughly 6%
Hannah: 36 votes, roughly 8%
Elizabeth: 92 votes, roughly 21%