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Monday, February 1, 2010

Baby Girl or Boy Shepherd, Sibling to Olyvia Ruth

Lyndsay writes:
Hi Swistle!
I'm hoping you and your readers can help us.. Our daughter's name is Olyvia Ruth. Ruth is a family name that we were set on using. We rarely call her Olyvia, and use Lyv or Lyvie. I don't 'regret' naming her Olyvia but I do wish I hadn't sometimes. We didn't know the sex and had 20 names for girls and 20 for boys (I made the list while in labor!) when she was born, we choose in the hospital the day she was born. Olivia was the only name on our list that was 'popular' and it made the list because I had loved that name ever since I saw Olivia Newton John in Greece when I was little! I really like just LYV or LIV but my husband wanted a 'full' name so we ended up throwing a 'y' in there to make it more unique. Plus Lyv Ruth sounds horrible together. My name is Lyndsay with two y's so we thought having a y would be kind of a connection.

This time we have no middle name that we're set on. My husband liked our method before and doesn't want to even talk about names, whereas I would like to think it out a little more and at least have three to choose from or something so I don't end up with a crazy 'y' to make a popular name seem less popular! Since we do have the 'y' going now we were thinking we should find a name with a y for a girl at least. Once again, we don't know boy or girl. Due very soon so I'm getting nervous! Our last name is Shepherd. We're Catholic and would like a Saints name for at least the first or middle name.

Some of the girl names I like are Carys or Cerys and Adelaide or Adelayde (is this a legitimate spelling?). I like Carys/Cerys because it has a lovely meaning and a legitimate 'y'. We're not sure if Carys Shephard has too much 's' in it. Adelaide/Adelayde we thought we could use with the nn Ady which we think would be cute with Lyv. Adelaide was on our list when our daughter was born (in 2008) but we were talked out of it in the hospital by family! Our friends and family that we've asked all seem to think that Carys/Cerys is weird and Adelaide/Adelayde is too heavy.

My husband isn't hot on either Carys or Adelaide and likes Lucy or Lucia which are both too popular for me, especially in our neighborhood where typically there's three Lucy's on the playground at once. He also likes Abigail but we nixed because it's been taken in our family (plus the whole popularity thing). We also both kind of like Avery but it seems trendy. I was thinking that Lucia or Lucy would be a cute middle name. I personally like Eliza but my husband doesn't and we wouldn't want to end up with a Liz and Lyv. Other name options we've discussed are Jane, Calla, and Clara, but none of them seem right, maybe as middle names.

For boys, I like Rhys but we have good friends with a girl Reese and that might be too close. I also like Asher, Liam, and Eli which all seem to be rising in the popularity ranks. My husband doesn't love any of those but doesn't hate them. He likes Ethan and Luke, once again I think they're too popular. I suggested Luca as an alternative and he thought that sounded girly. I also like Callum but my husband can't stand it.

Any chance you can help? I think I'm the more 'adventurous' namer of the two of us and we'd love to find something we can agree on that is mainstream enough for him but unique enough for me.

I suggest Adelyn. Adelyn Shepherd. It's lighter than Adelaide, it has a legitimate Y, and I think it's good with Olyvia.

My second suggestion is Gwendolyn. It's a beautiful name, unusual while still being familiar, with a legitimate Y. Gwendolyn Shepherd.

Ellery is reminiscent of Avery, but much less common. Ellery Shepherd.

Oh, or how about Emlyn or Emryn? Emlyn Shepherd, Emryn Shepherd.

Since you like Asher for a boy, perhaps Ashby for a girl? Ashby Shepherd.

Or Felicity, which I think goes particularly nicely with Olyvia. Felicity Shepherd.

I looked up the Saints section in The Baby Name Wizard and there are a lot of good ones. A few that pair nicely with the first name suggestions:

Adelyn Louisa Shepherd
Gwendolyn Daria Shepherd
Ellery Beatrix Shepherd
Emlyn Matilda Shepherd
Emryn Anastasia Shepherd
Ashby Josephine Shepherd

Felicity is already a saint's name but would be nice with Lucia:

Felicity Lucia Shepherd.

Now, for a boy, do you like Calvin? The beginning is the same as Callum, but perhaps your husband would like it better with the -vin. Calvin Shepherd is great; I love it.

I think Rhys is a very good choice, but if you decide not to use it maybe you'd like Reid instead. Reid Shepherd.

Liam is popular; I wonder why Leon isn't? It has such a similar sound. Leon Shepherd.

While I was in the R section for Rhys, I saw Rufus. Talk about underused, I never hear this name but I can't think of any reason why not. Rufus Shepherd.

Eamon is another good name hardly anyone is using. Maybe it's because it's a little tricky to learn to pronounce? (It's like AY-mon.) Eamon Shepherd.

I love Edmund, and it's easier to pronounce. Edmund Shepherd.

Both Evan and Ethan are common, but Ivan much less so. Ivan Shepherd.

Back to The Baby Name Wizard to find saint names to use as middles:

Calvin Oliver Shepherd
Reid Xavier Shepherd
Leon Elias Shepherd
Rufus Quentin Shepherd
Eamon Brice Shepherd

Edmund and Ivan are already saint names, but I like:

Edmund Silas Shepherd
Ivan Darius Shepherd

Name update! Lyndsay writes:
We actually ended up naming her (another girl! I was pretty happy about this!) Carys Lucy. My husband looked at her and said Carys, so away we went! I do love Adelay, I have suggested it to other friends who are looking for an 'A' name!

Carys fits her perfectly, she's the most affectionate little girl around!

Thanks again for all the great suggestions!


Laura said...

We have a niece named Aveline. You could spell that with a "y" to make Avalyn (ave-uh-lynn).

Jane said...

How about Evelyn? Another legitimate "y" name and definitely biblical. I think Swistle's suggestion of Felicity is very pretty.

Fran said...

LOVE Adelyn!!! How beautiful and almost regal that sounds.

Dorie said...

My last name is Shepherd too! How about spelling Jane "Jayne"? My kids are Taylor Jayne and Owen Nathan. I know the two N's together at the end of Owen and beginning of Nathan is "against the rules" but Nathan is after his father and we loved the name Owen so we went with it and it's fine.

Erin said...

I really like the above suggestions of Avalyn or Evelyn because of the legitimacy, popularity, and V tie-in with Olyvia. (Olyvia and Evelyn/ Avalyn how perfect! and Lyv and Eve or Ava aren't too close).

Swistle suggested Ashby, what about Ashlyn? Lovely Irish meaning if its taken from Aisling. Not too popular, not too out there. My other suggestions that follow with that theme are Madalyn, Camryn, and Kathryn, but I like Ashlyn the best.

I like Swistle's suggestion of Ellery too, and would point out that with either that name or Eliza, which you liked, Elle or Ellie is a fine nickname (so as to avoid the confusing Lyv/Liz) issue.

I also love Carys from your list.

Good luck!

Erin said...

And I forgot boys, but what about Bryce? I saw it in Swistle's second name spot and just love that name (and a dear friend I associate with that name). You get your Y and its a bit like Rhys, a bit more common and a lot more masculine.

beyond said...

I really like Adelaide for a girl very much (although not so much with a y, I have to admit)
How about Adeline (or Adelyn)? Lila (or Lyla)?
(I keep thinking of Zelda, maybe because you like Eliza. Zelda Shepherd. Traditional yet quirky. Olyvia and Zelda. I'm liking it more and more!)
For a boy... do you like Lukas (or Lucas) as an alternative to Luke or Luca? Lukas Shepherd. Adrian and Ezra also come to mind. Olyvia and Adrian go well together. Or Fynn is a nice possibility if you'd like a y in the name.
Good luck!

Mommy Daisy said...

Oh, I like the suggestion someone had of Evelyn. You seem to like nicknames, and I love the nickname Evie (ehhh-vie) with that name.

Also for a girl, close to the names Swistle suggested, is Emery. Cute, a little unique, but I think it's still classic sounding.

For a boy, what about Graeme? It's a form of Graham. I fell in love with it a while back when a book I read had a main character with this name. I had Graham on my baby's list, but my husband said like "Graham cracker". Grr. But I think Graeme is a good alternative.

Carolyn said...

I like Maya or Mya for a girl. Alyson is another idea, or Elyse.

For a boy, I think Swistle's suggestion of Reid is perfect.

StephLove said...

For a girl I like Carys from your list and if the only thing holding you back is friends and family, I say use it.

From Swistle and commenters' suggestion, I like Gwendolyn, Felicity and Evelyn. I'm going to make a plug for Emily here which may seem odd, since it's the #3 girl's name and you are trying to steer clear of popular names. It's just that you listed Jane as a possible middle and I think Emily Jane sounds so sweet. Olivia and Emily sound good together, too.

For a boy, I like Rhys from your list. Also, if your husband likes Luke and you like Luca, maybe Lucas could be a compromise. I'm fond of Timothy and Zachary, too.

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

I am LOVING Carys these days! Use it!

Also love Alyson. Lyv and Aly! Cute! You sort of get your Ady from Adelaide, slightly changed to the L -- Aly. It's a great nickname.

I just love Carys though, so if you can, do it! Olyiva and Carys are pretty sibling names!

Oh-- and Aislyn is another name I'm seeing more; it's traditionally pronounced "Ashlyn" BUT... now people seem to just be naming their kids Aislyn with the pronounciation of "Ace-lyn"/"Ayz-lyn" (depending on how YOU want the emphasis to sound, like a C/S or Z).


For boys, I love Swistle's suggestion of Eamon. I like Callum too, too bad your hubby isn't into it! Lucas/Lukas (either spelling) is another favourite of mine.

Lyndsay said...

Wow thanks Swistle and everyone!
I was so excited to see this! I hadn't considered Adelyn, I think it's very pretty. When I asked my husband he said now he likes Adelaide more- he changes his mind a lot though! Gwendolyn is pretty too but he said he doesn't like Gwen. I love Ellery and Emryn! I think they could grow on him too. And Avalyn and Evelyn are both great 'y' alternatives that I think we'll add to our list! I'm not sure I could say 'Felicity' all the time- it's beautiful but seems really long, Daisy you're right we do like nn's. I still like Carys a lot but not sure about ending with an s with an S last name.

On the boys side I really like Reid and hadn't thought of that as a Rhys alternative. Edmund is neat as it's a family name. My husband told me that his favorite boys name is now Bennett. He thought Eamon, Rufus and Leon were too weird for him. I hadn't considered Bryce, neat as it has a 'y' if we decide to go that way for all our kids. I feel that I’m having a girl (which probably means I’m having a boy) so I find myself thinking about girls names a lot more!

Thanks for everyone’s suggestions! Keep them coming as we still have a couple weeks! We’ll be sure to update when the baby finally gets named!

Swistle said...

Lynnie would be another cute nickname for Gwendolyn. Or I knew one who went by Gwinnie (I don't know how she spelled it, but that's how we said it; it sounds better than it looks).

Lisa said...

I'll put in Camryn. I know, stealing from the boys. But we did it and love it. We call her Cami. Or you could do Cammy/Camy.

Also, have a friend with a girl named Adalyn and also one named Adalie (like Natalie) which could be spelled Adaley perhaps.

I love the idea of Jayne. Or Jayna.

Boys - I love Bryce. Tyler. Ryan. Ryder.

Good luck!

Rufus Shepherd said...

I'm kinda partial to Rufus Shepherd :-) Now you've heard of it and yes, he does exist.

Frazzled Mom said...

I think Olyvia and Calvin make a good set because you have that "v" tying the names together.

I've always been partial to Felicity, and you could call her Lissy or my husband has a new Dr. named Felicity who goes by Filly. I prefer Lissy myself or maybe Lis.

I selected Felicity for my future daughter's name years ago before I even met my husband, and once I did meed him, he had to go an veto Felicity before I even got pregnant. I'm so bummed, especially now that he has this new Dr. he talked about the name as if he sort of liked it. Now we have a a daughter named Fiona (very loosely based on Felicity) and we are expecting a second one, this time a boy. I doubt we will have more.

My husband is like your husband, in that he is the more mainstream namer. I think he has to meet someone with a name before he will even consider it. He agreed to Fiona because he actually knows one in her 30's.

Anonymous said...

I say go with Carys. Great name!