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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Baby Girl Bennett

Mariel writes:
We're due with our second daughter on August 15 and haven't yet chosen a name! We had our first daughter's name (Alexandra Ivy) picked out a month after we found out I was pregnant, but we're struggling this time around! Our last name is Bennett.

Our current list includes Georgia, Linnea, Mira, Milla, Noelle, Portia, Priscilla, Sasha, Angelina, Gemma, and Arabella. Here are our requirements:

1. We gravitate towards girly, princess-y names, preferably ones that end in A.
2. We're not purposely going for matchy-matchy names (Alexandra and Arabella), but if we fall in love with another long A name, we won't mind.
3. That said, whichever name we choose should go well with Alexandra.

At this point, we're really looking to narrow down our list. Unless you have an absolutely fantastic suggestion, we don't need to add any more names to the list! If you could give us a good reason for choosing a name or discarding a name, we would really appreciate that. At this point, I love so many names that I wish someone could just say, You should name your child X"!

Thanks for all your help.

I DO have an absolutely fantastic suggestion, and it's Mirabella. It takes Mira from one name and -bella from another, and it gives you a name that goes with Alexandra but less matchily than Arabella.

I think if it were me I would remove Milla from the list because it seems like a nickname for Camilla---which, by the way, I would suggest as another possibility if the goal here weren't to cut down the list.

I think the best one on your list is Georgia. Like Alexandra, it has a clear boy version (Alexander, George), and a boyish nickname (Alex, Georgie). It's so good with your surname, I'm a little jealous of her. Georgia Bennett! It's wonderful. You should name your child Georgia.

In case other people would like to complete the same sentence, let's have a poll over to the right. [Poll closed; see results below.]

Name update 08-19-2010! Mariel writes:
We struggled back and forth for days over what to name our little girl. Finally, we were convinced by all the enthusiastic commenters who supported your choice of Mirabel/Mirabella. Mirabel Sophie Bennett was born on August 12. She is healthy, beautiful, and looks just like her sister. Thank you for all your help!


Annika said...

I agree with Georgia so emphatically that I was prepared to fight about it!

Caitlin said...

Georgia and Alexandra are my two favorite girl names, so I am absolutely 100% in favor of Georgia. So stinking perfect!

Barb @ getupandplay said...

I'm piping up for Portia (nn Peetie). I actually know two darling sisters named Alexandra and Portia so they go hand in hand in my mind!

Georgia is lovely, too, as is Mirabella.

Alison aka Baby B said...

I love Georgia! Sweet, old-fashioned, and great with Alexandra.

Also, I'd throw Mirabelle (or Mirabel) in there too. Bella is BIG (Isabella, Twilight, etc.) and avoiding "bella" in the name will make it less easy for everyone to assume your daughter is supposed to be called Bella. Yet, Mirabelle/bel still allows her to choose that nn if she wishes. I know picking a name in the Top 10 or close to a name in the Top 10 is a huge problem for some people and non-issue for others. Just something to think about. :)

Karen L said...

I'm not a fan of the ----bella with Bennett (which otherwise is an enviably good surname to work with.) So, I'd actually rule out Arabella and Mirabella.

I'd also rule out Sasha because it's a nickname for Alexander (and other variants.)

Georgia Bennett is wonderful and I voted with it but you have a great list and I don't think you can go wrong. Good luck!

Carolyn said...

My first thought was Georgia, too.

Mirabella is inspired, though, I have to say.

Suzanne said...

I don't suppose there's any chance of talking you into Jane or Elizabeth is there? Pretty, pretty please?

Ok, then definitely Georgia.

The Mrs. said...

Great, GREAT list!

Two names really fit to me.

The first is Georgia. Alexandra & Georgia Bennett. Classic, strong with southern belle gumption, and fun to say!

The second is Linnea. Alexandra & Linnea Bennett. Delicate, fresh, and elegant.

Something that really appeals to my obsessive/compulsive nature is that each daughter gets her own inital... organization was never so easy (especailly if they might be "borrowing" from each other's wardrobes at some point).

The perfect name is there in your list; you will choose the best one for your new sweet miss.

Best wishes!

Jess said...

Sasha is too close to the nn for Alexander, so I'd nix that one.

I would HATE someone to call my child Prissy, which I think is an acceptable nn for Priscilla, so I'd nix that one too.

I really like Noelle. Such a great name. You might want to consider Noelia (No-el-ee-ah), to make the name end in an A sound.

Georgia. Meh. Ok. This does not meet the princess-y requirement for me.

beyond said...

My favorites are Linnea and Mira.
(I like Georgia very much too, but it sounds the least 'girly' to me. Same for Noelle.)
I love Camilla, nn Milla.
(Or Liliana, nn Lily?)
To me, Sasha is a nn for Alexander, so I would eliminate it. Not a big fan of Priscilla or Portia for you. Not a big fan of Arabella or Mirabella either, mainly because of the nn Bella, which I find is very common now.
Good luck!

Frazzled Mom said...

I agree Georgia Bennett sounds and looks great. If you are looking for middle name suggestions, to carry on the botanical theme there is Georgia Fern or you could use another noun name, such as a gemstone with Georgia Pearl, Georgia Opal or Georgia Ruby.

Good luck.

Patricia said...

Georgia is a nice name, but sounds more tomboyish than princess-y to me.

You should name your baby Mirabella and call her "Mira".

I think Mirabella would be PERFECT as the name of Alexandra's little sister: both names sound regal and both have the lovely feminine 'a' ending you prefer. (with the added compatibility of each having 9 letters and 4 syllables). And if you call Mirabella "Mira" at least some of the time, no need to be concerned that she'll be 'yet another Bella'.

According to "Oxford Dictionary of First Names" Mirabella is the Italian form of the French Mirabelle, from Latin 'mirabilis' meaning "wondrous, lovely". "Both the French and Italian forms were quite common in the later Middle Ages."

Looking for a royal Mirabella, I found a Mirabella among the English peerage -- Mirabella-Jane, born in 1821, a baron's daughter. Mirabella Jane -- love it! (The name of her younger sister is worthy of consideration too: Louisa, in this case, Louisa-Anne.)

Definitely, Mira/Mirabella would be a splendid name for your baby!

Patricia said...

Alison's support for Mirabel(le) over Mirabella has piqued my curiosity about those forms of the name. As Alison noted, the current popularity of Bella is huge. Thousands of little girls are being called Bella from Isabella, the #1 girls' name in 2009 (22,067 babies given that name), or from one of the four 'bella names in the top 1000 - Izabella (#163), Arabella, Annabella and Anabella, or just being named Bella (#58 - 4490 babies). And I agree that the Twilight connection of Bella is something parents might want to avoid.

Checking on the use of the name in England, I found a few London Telegraph announcements during the last few years for babies named Mirabel or Mirabelle, but none for Mirabella. (I also came across an interesting obit about the life of Lady Mirabel Kelly (1931-2008):

Mirabel is the English version of the name. I think there's a certain sophistication in that spelling and less emphasis on the "Bel(le)" aspect of the name. On the other hand, the French Mirabelle may have more of the princess effect that you're seeking. Either way, you have a longer, more regal given name for the lovely and underused name Mira.

Alexandra and Mirabel -- look very English together

Alexandra and Mirabelle -- together may have more of the princess-y look you like

Either way, your little princess will have a lovely and rather unique name. In 2009 in the USA only 345 girls were named Mira (ranking #807), while Mirabelle (56 baby girls) and Mirabel (39 girls) were far from making the top 1000 names. (48 girls were named Mirabella.)

I've changed my vote in the poll to Mira, but recommending giving your baby a longer form of the name -- Mirabel or Mirabelle, with "Mira" as her usual name.

Best wishes!

PS I should add that my darling 3-year-old granddaughter is called Mira (given name Miranda, but that might be too similar to AlexANDRA for your baby?).

Anonymous said...

Your name preference for "girly, princess-y names, preferably ones that end in A " which "should go well with Alexandra" seems to include these names from your list:

Georgia, maybe, but Georgiana seems more princess-y
Mira - or Mirabella might be a closer fit

Linnea, Milla, Portia, Priscilla, Sasha (a pet form of Alexandra as has been noted), Angelina, Gemma don't seem to fit the (actual royal/upper class) princess image, although might turn up as a Disney princess

Noelle doesn't seem to fit your criteria

Just my way of looking at these names. Hope it helps.

Adey said...

Not a fan of Georgia... and I know that you don't really want other suggestions but I have one...

Our daughter's name is Nolana (pronounced No-Lawn-Ah). I only suggest it because it's similar to Noelle and has an "A" ending. Oh and we call her Lana (again pronounced Lawn-Ah) for short.

Just thought I would throw that out there! Nolana Bennett... Sounds nice ;)

Erin said...

I vote for Mirabel! I don't love Georgia, but I seem to be in the minority. I do think of the old tc show "Sisters" where they had an Alex (Alexandra) Teddy (Theodora) Georgie (Georgiana) and Frankie (Francesca). And a fifth one after the show jumped the shark. I think Francesca could really work here too.

I do like long names with long names, so I wish there were more 3-4 syllable names like Elizabeth / Genevieve / Oriana / Penelope / Natalia on your list, but since you don't want to expand it, I'll just shut up now :)

Patricia said...

Just came across some princess names you might want to consider: Princess Letizia of Spain and her darling little daughters Leonor and Sofia:

(I know you don't want to expand your list, but I thought of your name search when I saw these names of contemporary princesses.)

Patricia said...

I have another idea for you which I do think is "absolutely fantastic":
Natalia (could use Talia as a nn).

Both Alexandra and Natalia were royal names -- actual princesses - in Russia, so the names are very compatible.

BNW says of Natalia: "Natalia is an elegant Russian name from which the familiar nickname Natasha springs. It's currently popular as a Spanish take on Natalie, and wide open to all ethnicities."

In 2009 Natalia ranked 103; Talia as a given name, 367.

Pronounced na-TAHL-ya; TAHL-ya

I came across this name when looking for name possibilities for friends wanting a name that goes well with the name of their older daughter, Isabella (Bella). It just occurred to me that Natalia might work for you too.

Patricia said...

Love the name Mirabel Sophie and think it's a great fit with Alexandra Ivy. Congratulations to all!