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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Baby Girl Overby

Nicole writes:
My husband and I are expecting our third child on May 10th. We have two boys, Jonah Andrew and Henry Thomas, and our last name sounds like Overby (Over-bee).

This baby is supposed to be a girl, and we're having a more difficult time this time around, for some reason! Our just-in-case boy name is Charles Philip.

The finalist names are: Charlotte, Natalie and Maren (pronounced Maw-ren), and her middle name will be Mabel (in honor of the great-grandmas Monica, Avis, Bernice and Eunice). Kind of cheesy, but I like it anyway!

Reasons for not choosing each name:
Charlotte (dh's favorite) is rapidly rising in popularity, and it was just named the #1 Elite Baby Name (whatever that really means). It's also kind of a long name.

Natalie is already extremely popular, and we know a few girls with that name already. It seems a bit common (i.e. bland) compared to the other two.

Maren (my favorite) will be mispronounced and misspelled A LOT. Plus, dh thinks it's too close to the word 'marlin.'

So, what do you think? And if you have any other suggestions, please share. I'm a Nicole, and while it's a fine name, I was always 'Nicole P.' in school because there were so many of us. I'm sure you hear that all the time!

Oh, and we call her Una in utero, but we would never actually name her that - too bizarre and too many vowel sounds with our last name!

Anyway, thanks for the input!

A name I like that's similar to Maren is Mirren. Perhaps that doesn't reduce the spelling/pronunciation issues, though (I'm pronouncing it MEER-rin.)

I love the name Rose with your surname. Rose is common as a middle name but I never hear it as a first name. Rose Overby; Jonah, Henry, and Rose.

I like Eliza, too: Eliza Overby; Jonah, Henry, and Eliza.

Ooo, or Ruth! Ruth Overby; Jonah, Henry, and Ruth! Ruthie is such a cute nickname.

You mentioned you call her Una; I wonder if you'd like the name Junia? (I think it's pronounced to rhyme with petunia.) Junia Overby; Jonah, Henry, and Junia. Oh, I guess it's too close to Jonah. Shoot. Oh! Juniper! Juniper Overby! Jonah, Henry, and Juniper! Juniper Mabel! Cute!

I love Beatrix too: Beatrix Overby; Jonah, Henry, and Beatrix. Oh---but probably we want to avoid the initials B.O.

That makes me think of Josephine: her initials would be J.O., same as her nickname. Cuteness! Well, although then we run into the similarity of Jonah again.

Annika? Annika Overby; Jonah, Henry, and Annika.

Celeste? Celeste Overby; Jonah, Henry, and Celeste.

Claire! Claire Overby; Jonah, Henry, and Claire.

Name update 05-14-2010! Nicole writes:
Our baby girl came three weeks early on April 20, and was 6 lbs., 6 ozs. My hubby (with my approval) chose Charlotte Mabel, which is perfect for her.


Deniselle said...

What about Maura? It's very similar to Maren, but wouldn't have pronunciation issues. It's not overly popular and sounds pretty.

I would personally pronounce Maren like I pronounce Mary. Not sure how the non-native speakers feel though.

Other similar options:
Lauren / Laura

Deniselle said...

*not sure how the NATIVE speakers feel. I'm a non-native. :P

Now that I double-posted:

OK, that's all for now.

Butterfly Chaser Photography said...

Our neighbors have three children, Henry (6), Jonah (4) and a little girl Bridget.I think they call her Birdy as a nickname. Just a thought ;)

StephLove said...

Of your finalists, I like Charlotte best.

I like the suggestion of Maura as a name similar to Maren. Along those lines, how about Mariah or Maris?

Ruth was a cute suggestion, too.

I'll add Delia, Leah, May & Susannah

Emily S. said...

I like Charlotte!

Emilie said...

I like Charlotte the best, but I have a Charlotte, so I'm biased. I will say that my daughter is "Charlotte H." in preschool - hers is the only name that is a duplicate. I think it depends on where you live. We lived in Ohio when I was pregnant and it was not popular there at all (4 years ago), according to my friend the pediatrician. We moved to New England before we had her and the name is very popular here.

I would pronounce Maren like Mary. BTW, I think the name Mary sounds very fresh these days.

Would you consider my other favorite girl name, Georgia?

Annika said...

If you like Natalie, what about Natasha? Less common but feels similar and can be shortened to Nat or Natty as well as Tasha (if you are into shortening names).

I also think June, Ruth, or Rose would be lovely. They just seem to "go" very nicely with your boys' names.

Superjules said...


Anonymous said...

I would pronounce Maren like Marin County in San Francisco (Ma-RIN). However, there are so many similar names that need correcting, even common names. For instance, I'm a Carolyn and am always correcting people from pronouncing it Caroline. To me, pronunciation is a non-issue.

Jodi said...

I have to comment because I was so taken aback to see two of my daughters' names here. While I can wholeheartedly endorse both Juniper and Beatrix, I think Maren is wonderful! Although it's not well-known, I don't think it's at all a difficult name and I think people would get it after hearing it once.

Charlotte is also pretty much perfect with Jonah and Henry.

I also wonder if you'd consider Mabel as a first name. Cheesy or not, I *love* the significance of it. LOVE it! Mabel Charlotte? Aww! It's perfectly gentle and old-fashioned, but has that very current -bel ending. This is my favorite for you!

Barb @ getupandplay said...

I like Mabel as a first name as well!

I also had a friend named Mauri (Maw-ree) which I thought was a cute alternative. I read Maren as mare-in, if I saw it spelled Mauren or Maurin i would think of it more like rhyming with Lauren.

I love Charlotte, too!

Katie V. said...

I really like Josephine and Celeste for you! Eliza is great but Eliza and Henry are too My Fair Lady imho (Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins). I hope you find a name that you love!

Anonymous said...

Love the suggestions of Rose and Delia. I like Charlotte, but I do think it is becoming very popular and the problems with spelling & pronouncing Maren would drive me crazy. How about...


Anonymous said...

Hi, I love your names! I know a Maren who lives in Marin and she pronounces it like the start of Mary with the -en sound. My vote is Juniper Mabel or Rose. Charlotte has a great sound like no other name too! Have fun!

beyond said...

I really like your sons' names. I also think the names you chose for the baby girl are great, but I understand you reasons for hesitating with each one. I LOVE the middle name Mabel, and what is stands for. Here are some suggestions for a first name.
Good luck!

Fran said...

If you like the sound of Natalie but not the popularity, I would like to suggest Atalie/Atalee. A teacher at my son's school just na,ed her daughter this and I love the sound of it!

Megz said...

If you love Charles and Charlotte, why not consider Sharleen? I think it sounds fantastic with your surname.

The Amazing Trips said...

I think Emily Rose has a wonderful ring to it, with those two other strong and traditional boy names. Although, I do love Charlotte, too. Especially since I'd probably shorten it to Charlie as a nickname because that is so darn cute for a little girl!

(Maybe that'll be a name I consider if it turns out baby #5 is a girl!)

Anonymous said...

I definitely wouldn't go with Maren if you are wanting it pronounced Maw-ren instead of Mare-en ... It will absolutely be pronounced wrong.
What about Macyn?

Karen L said...

My favourite suggestions so far are Mabel, Juniper, and Claire.

For some of the sounds of Maren in a more pronunciation-proof, but not terribly common, names that go with Jonah, Henry, and Charles:
- Audrey (anon also suggested this)
- Pauline
- Jocelyn
- Rosaline

Other names that remind me of: Natalie and/or Charlotte
- Coralie (too? or pleasantly melodic with Overby)
- Rosalie
- Philippa

Anonymous said...

Instead of Maren (which will be mis-pronounced), how about Miriam? Jonah, Henry, and Miriam?

Lisa said...

I really like all 3 of your choices, although I would say Maren (like rhyming with Karen). I liked the suggestion of changing the spelling to Mauren (but then I guess I'd want it to sound like rhyming with Lauren, and that's not right either).

My favorites are Charlotte and then Natalie next.

I really love Claire and Grace.

What about Charleen or Kathleen?

Alright, I love Natalie and Lauren the best. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

No need to worry about Charlotte being the "number one elite baby name". The article "The Elite's Top 50 Baby Names", published on March 10 in the online "The Daily Beast", gives misleading information. While the writer talks about "elite" (read very well-off) parents and their preferences for elite schools, elite pediatricians, etc., the accompanying list of baby names relects the top 50 names NAMEBERRY (the author's website) users looked at most during the months of Jan./Feb 2010 and are NOT the names the "elite" or any other specific socio-economic group are naming their babies, in rank order.

While Charlotte, like many current baby names, may be more popular in certain areas of the country, for the entire USA it ranked only 87 in the most recent SSA stats (2008). Baby name stats for 2009 will be released this Friday (YEAH!), and while it's likely that Charlotte will move up the chart a bit, it won't be #1.

I see no reason not to use Charlotte if that's your favorite name. It's a lovely name and not even in the top 50.

Patricia said...

I love the name Charlotte Mabel Overby and think it would be the perfect name for Jonah and Henry's little sister!

Charlotte is not #1 on any list of what babies are actually being named, and it's not even in the SSA top 50, so I don't think you need to be concerned about the name being too popular.

And although Charlotte has 4 more letters than Jonah or Henry, it still has only 2 syllables, like those names.

So no reason not to use your husband's favorite name!

Very clever of you to find a nice middle name that includes the first initial of each of the great-grandma's names. Very thoughtful too to include all of them. They will be delighted I'm sure.

Best wishes!

Patricia said...

PS I find the names Charlotte and Mabel very compatible vintage names, having had a Great-aunt Charlotte and a Great-aunt Mabel both born in 1905 (they were sisters-in-law).

Anonymous said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the way you came up with the middle name Mabel! LOVE it!!! Just to add my 2 cents in, I don't think Maren Mabel works very well, but Charlotte Mabel is dynamite! Do NOT let some silly article that most people haven't read ruin the name for you - I saw go for it! :-)

Lizyanbudy said...

My grandaughters are named Natalie Elizabeth and Charlotte Celina. My daughter is pregnant with baby #5 and I think the name Samantha would be nice. She has always liked the name Malory too.