Hi Swistle! I'm due on 5/6 with a girl but have been having crazy pre-term contractions scares so am thinking it's going to be any day now...we thought we were settled on a name but I'm having last minute doubts and am hoping your readers can help!
Our first daughter is Cora Elizabeth, chosen because we just loved the first name and the middle name is a family one on my side passed down for many, many generations. That part was easy. And of course the "problem" is I love her name so much, I'm having a hard time finding another one I'm equally as in love with this time around.
Our last name is a very Irish, 2-syllable McG____ name. It's pretty easy to work with, I've found, but I don't want anything that sounds like a pub name or a heroine in a song you'd sing at such a pub when you've had one too many pints. Hence Molly McG____ is out, even thought I love the name Molly.
Our #1 contender right now is Greta. I adore it and feel like it fits well with Cora, and I'm half German so that part feels nice to honor.
Ellen (always liked)
Mary (another family name)
Quinn (new contender I really like - hubby is lukewarm on it at best)
Margaret - but call her Greta. This is my husband's first choice but I have issues with naming her something just to know we're going to use a nickname. Plus it feels REALLY long compared to the rest of our 4-letter names!
In general, I don't like names that have easy nicknames.
Middle name is TBD, but likely using my husband's name (Ryan) since I'm pretty certain I'm not doing this pregnancy thing again and thus a boy is out of the question for us down the line. Our other option was Ramsey, to honor a family friend who passed away years ago.
Would love to know people's opinions on using Greta versus any of our other options, or even throwing new ones in the mix!!
I'm the same as you about nicknames: Paul and I both really like the name Charlie but not Charles, and we didn't want to name the child a nickname OR name him a name we didn't like, so we were stuck and we crossed it off our list. For some reason, though, I feel differently about names that have classically been nicknamed, such as Elizabeth and Margaret. Although it's possible to name a girl Margaret and call her Margaret (and I love that option too), I feel just as happy if it's "Margaret, and we'll be calling her Maggie." Inconsistent? Well, there it is!
But! Margaret McG___ is hard for me to say with all those repeating sounds. I think Greta is better (though I wish the Gr sound didn't repeat). It doesn't give me the "Charlie" feeling---I think of it as a stand-alone name as well as a nickname.
And I also really like the sound of Mary Ryan McG___. Sassy and Irishy without being over-the-top. And Molly is a nickname for Mary, in case you want that option without putting it on the birth certificate.
A name I heard recently on a little girl and FLIPPED for is Elsa Jane. Elsa is similar to Ellen, it's German like Greta, and I think it's great with your surname and with the name Cora. My eyes had never lingered on the name Elsa as I went through my baby name books, but as soon as I heard it with Jane and on a real little girl, it became a favorite. Elsa Jane! Adorable.
Update 05-20-2010! Anne writes:
What fun to read everyone's suggestions! I spent most of my time in labor staring at a whiteboard in the delivery room with "Margaret Mary" and "Greta Ryan" both written on it, and in the end she came out and we instantly said "that's a Greta!" So Greta Ryan is here, born May 4th.