We are adopting a baby, but we don’t have a due date… yet. It could be anywhere from next week to February. Not so helpful, huh?
Our last name rhymes with “fire”.
We have a daughter whose name is ‘Holiday Phoenix’ (most people call her ‘Holly’, but she is wildly proud of all her name). To us, it is the perfect girl name… unusual, happy, and has a nature-y (and tame) nickname.
For boys, we like ‘Daryle’, ‘Gus’, ‘Samuel’ (the only case of an open adoption in the Bible except for Moses, and ‘Moses’ isn’t an option), and ‘Oscar’ (not a possibility, though, with the whole ‘Fire’ aspect). For the most part, my husband likes men’s names that don’t have nicknames (‘Sam’ is the obvious exception). The only two boy middle names we’ll consider are ‘Holmes’ (family name) and ‘Dean’ (family name). And we aren’t fans of boy names that begin with the letter ‘B’. (We don’t want ‘Dean’ for a first name because we’ve recently known it as a girl’s name).
For girls, we like the name ‘Serenity’ (‘Wren’ for a nickname). We’ve recently discarded ‘Liberty’ (‘Libby’ for short) because we found out that there’s already one at our daughter’s school—and my father-in-law had a very difficult time with a Libby. A good friend just had a baby girl named ‘Story’ (which we both adore… especially with the nickname ‘Rhee’). Middle names for a girl are ‘Valentine’ and ‘June’ (both have a sweet tale behind them). For a long time, ‘Valentine’ was a nice first name choice (with ‘Valley’ for a short name), but ‘Val’ is unappealing to us. We’re all about the full name/nickname combo with a girl.
Thank you SO MUCH for your help.
If it doesn't have to be a BIBLICAL adoption (and if it does, you could add Jesus to that list), I found a list of famous adoptions. The trouble is that most of the names are either common names you'll likely have already considered (David or Thomas for Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's and of an adoption foundation; Alexander for Alexander the Great; Charles for Charles Dickins; Steven for Steve Jobs; James for James Michner; John for John Audubon) or quite unusual (Michner for James Michner; Audubon for John Audubon)---and it's a lonnnnng list. I think you'd just have to look through it and see if anything caught your eye.
If you like Oscar but want to avoid hot dog advertising jingles, I wonder if you'd like the name Otto? It's unusual, it's a palindrome, it's nicknameless. Unless your surname sounds like Buyer, in which case I wonder if Otto Buyer sounds like someone shopping for a car.
If you like Gus and Sam, I wonder if you'd like Wade? Cal? Beck? Mack?
All right, enough talk about boy names, let's tackle the girl name. Ideally we need a noun name with a mainstream nickname.
A name I wouldn't have expected to like but DO like is Epiphany. I first-and-only encountered it in a book by Haven Kimmel called The Solace of Leaving Early. By the end of the book I was thinking, "You know, actually that is a BEAUTIFUL name." Its meaning is excellent: a sudden insight or enlightenment, with connotations of it being a positive experience. It has a name-like sound, similar to names such as Stephanie. The "mainstream nickname" part is where we get stuck. Eppie? Pip?
Gossamer would be a pretty name, but again there's a nickname problem. Gussie? Sammie?
Poetry, but for a nickname? Ack. Stuck. Poe?
Fidelity: so name-like, but no good nickname! Fifi? Della?
Memory, same problem. Nightingale, same problem. Finally, same problem. Morning, same problem.
A less-used month name such as January, September, or December would be nice, but yet again: no good nicknames.
My 5-year-old Elizabeth says the best girl name in the whole world is Windiest. Winnie would be a cute nickname.
Allegro (a musical term that means to play it all perky and lively), with the nickname Ally.
Maybe Serendipity, with the nickname Sera/Sara?
The more I look for names, the more I feel the perfection of the name Holiday. How did you find it? Do the same thing again, because you have a knack!
Here are my top choices:
- Epiphany June or Epiphany Valentine, with the nickname Pip or Pippi
- Minuet Valentine, with the nickname Minnie
- Serenade Valentine, with the nickname Sera
Name update 08-31-2010! Jenna writes:
Our son was born last week! His whole adoption story happened in the month of August, so we were this close to naming him August and just calling him Gus (thanks to the poster who suggested it!). But when we realized that August was a ‘dual gender’ name, we decided to cut to the chase and go with the nickname as his official name. So Gus Holmes “Fire” is the newest addition to our family. Thanks, Swistle!