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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Baby Girl McG____

Anne writes:
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.

Other options:
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.


christa said...

Elsa is cute!

How about Ruby? I thought of that when I read Molly...

Anonymous said...

Cora and Molly are two of our favorite names! I really like Greta, but like Swistle, I'm not sure about the repeating "gr" sound. Elsa Jane is really cute, or maybe you would like one of these names:

Evelyn or Eve

Anonymous said...

I like Elsa and Cora-- both were actually my great-grandmothers' names.

Carolyn said...

I love the idea of having a long, classic name, and Margaret is great. What about Mara? (pronounced marr-a)

Another name I like with Cora is Hazel.

StephLove said...

I noticed Mary and Ellen are the only names on your list that don't have some kind of caveat attached and I thought of Mary Ellen, which is cute. Maybe you could even call her by both names. I also like Mary Quinn. Maybe your husband would be less lukewarm to it in the middle name slot.

I also think Elsa's a great suggestion.

Leslie said...

I like Greta or Margaret best of your options. Cora and Greta are adorable together! I also like Greta as a nickname for Margaret, so I think you could go either way on that one.

Personally, I would avoid Quinn. It's very unisex, and I think it seems a bit odd next to the lovely and feminine Cora. I would also assume Quinn Ryan or Quinn Ramsey was a boy.

Mary and Ellen are pretty options, but I like Greta a bit better. Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

I have a Margaret McG- in my family and no one has trouble saying it. I think Margaret has so many great nicknames, including Greta, that your daughter will appreciate it. Greta, Maggie, Margi, etc. So classic and elegant like Cora.

ajs3531 said...

We have friends who have a little Cora and named their next baby Lila. I think Cora and Lila sound so cute together.

Annika said...

Elinor came to mind immediately. I love the way it sounds with Cora and it works with almost any middle name.

Anonymous said...

The three names I always stick in Nymbler are Anna, Cora, and Lydia. I put in Cora, Greta, and Quinn, and got some good results:
In addition to a bunch already suggested above.

Anonymous said...

Whoops, not Nora. Sorry about that. You'd sort of be locked in to Dora/Thora/Lora for any future surprise babies.

Bethtastic said...

I like Elsa for lots of reasons. First I like the combo of Elsa and Cora. Second I like that she would also have a four letter name like the other three of you, especially since you're planning for her to be your last.
And finally, I really like Elsa Ryan McG___.

If Elsa isn't your gig, I also love Greta. I prefer Greta as a stand alone name, and I love the sib set of Cora and Greta.

Congrats on your new baby girl on the way!!

beyond said...

I LOVE Greta. Greta Ryan. Cora and Greta are perfect sister names. I also think you could go with Margaret, and call her Greta. Either way, I don't mind the repetition of the G in your last name.
Others you might like (that are great with Cora as well):
Good luck!

M.Amanda said...

I like Elsa over Greta. While Greta is a great name, the repeated Gs throw me.

Anonymous said...

Elsa is a form of Elizabeth so since your daughter Cora's middle name is Elizabeth it would be inappropriate to name her sister Elsa.

Cora & Greta are adorable!

Swistle said...

Anonymous- I think that kind of thing is pretty silly. Just because one name is related in some way to another, that doesn't make it "inappropriate" to use them both. In fact, even using THE EXACT SAME NAME (Elizabeth as one child's middle name and the other child's first name) would not be "inappropriate" (though I personally would prefer not to do that), but in this case Elizabeth and Elsa are both names in their own right. AND one of them is a middle name! Heavens! That's like saying that if one child's middle name is John, you can't name your next son Evan.