My husband and I are having our second baby in the middle of July. We don't know what we are having. Our first child is Evangeline Mae. It took us many months and many discarded names to decide on this one. I love elegant, older names for a girl and I would strongly prefer a name with good nicknames. Male or female, we do not want a name that is too popular or too "out there." We have pretty much decided on Porter West for a boy. I always wanted to name my kids after jazz musicians. Once Cole became so popular, it fell off my list. That's where I came up with Porter (Cole Porter). The only real suggestion my husband has made for a girl is Nora. It's his name spelled backwards and he has been fighting for it since I was pregnant with Evie. I don't hate the name, I'm just not sure I want to use it. I love the name Isabel. Though it is a less common spelling, it is a VERY common name. I would LOVE to use it, but I don't want "her" to be just another Linda or Stacey. I also love Vivienne and Charlotte. Both are either too popular or soon to be. I love Isla, but I worry it is the next Lila or Lola. Our last name is Carroll. We don't want any names that start or end with a hard K sound. Please help!
Your husband likes the name Nora, and you like elegant older names with good nicknames, so I suggest Eleanora or Eleanor, with the nickname Nora.
You love Isabel but it's too common for you to want to use it, so I suggest Isadora. It's beautiful, VERY unusual, and it has good nicknames (Izzy, Dorrie, maybe Zora or Sadie). Evangeline and Isadora is a GREAT sister set. I'd thought Isadora might increase in popularity as parents looked for alternatives to Isabel, but so far I haven't heard it ANYWHERE. I wish I could see if the popularity had shifted at all, but it's not in the Top 1000 baby names (source: Social Security Administration), so if it's moved from, say, #3000 to #2000, we wouldn't know. But again, I haven't heard it at ALL, not even on people's possibilities lists.
If you're considering jazz musicians, here's a few possibilities from Wikipedia's handy list:
Adderley (Addy, Lee)
Amina (Amy, Mina, Minnie)
Calloway (Callie)---but starts with hard-C sound
Ginger (Ginnie, Gigi)
Harriott (Hattie, Ettie)
Vivien (Viv, Vivi)---the popularity might be balanced by the jazz connection
None of those seem right with Evangeline, though Ginger and Alice would both be good with Porter. My vote is with Isadora.