I have been putting off writing to you because I kept thinking we would find the perfect name. This is not yet the case, and my due date (September 1, 2010) is drawing near. I need to enlist your expertise. My Husband and I have been married for 9 years now and together for around 12. I gave birth to our first child, Beckett Finn, last summer. We adore his name as it reflects our love for all things literary, our time spent working in theater, and our Irish/English roots. Further, it's a unique (unpopular) name that doesn't lend itself to a nickname and is easily spelled. We are now expecting a daughter and are really having a hard time finding a name that measures up (in our eyes) to her big brother's name. If #2 had been a boy, we had decided on Truman Tate. This obviously won't work for us now. We are leaning toward a more unisex name and perhaps another surname, however, there are a few traditionally female names that we like as well. We would really like to use Quinn for her middle name, if possible, because we LOVE it, and really like how it "matches" with Finn. We only plan on having the 2 children, but realize if we were to have another one we could use Brynn, Lynn, or Wynn to keep the theme going. FYI: When I picture my baby girl she has blonde hair, blue/green eyes, and is quite the spunky little conversationalist. She is very nurturing and loves all things pink and girly, but is also quite the little aggressor out on the soccer field and certainly isn't afraid to get dirty. We want a name that suits her whether she decides to be an artist or a Supreme Court Justice. In Laura Wattenberg's The Baby Name Wizard, she describes the name Beckett as, "a literary name with a rock star spirit." Please help us find a name with this type of "feel" for our daughter!
This is our current list:
Literary Reference: Author Harper Lee.
I feel like this may be the best "match", but I see Harper climbing the popularity charts quickly and I don't want her to have a popular, dated, or trendy name. Also, it just doesn't seem especially pretty to me.
-London Quinn/Grace/Belle/Blue (?)
Literary Reference: Author Jack London
This is the most popular name on our list and my Husband's favorite. I hate the popularity. I love the name and it's significance to us. We both love the writer Jack London, and we spent much of our courtship eating sushi and listening to jazz in Jack London Square in Oakland, CA. My Hubby equates this name to the time in our lives when we were falling in love. I haven't found the perfect middle to pair with it as Quinn repeats the 'N' sound and I'm not sure if it sounds right. Grace is pretty but feels like a "filler" name. Belle is pretty as well, but it turns the name into a noun. Blue is a bit edgy and has literary significance as well as personal significance (we've called this little one "Blueberry" for almost 8 months now), but I'm just not sure it's a perfect fit.
Literary Reference: ???
I love this name combo but it simply doesn't have the literary significance of some of our other choices. This makes it less desirable to my Husband. However, I still think it's beautiful and love Quinn as a first name paired with sweet and feminine Felicity.
Literary Reference: Title character in Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
I keep hearing negative feedback on the name Sawyer for a girl. But WE LOVE it! However, I don't want everyone to always automatically assume that she's a boy before they meet her. Also, one of our best friends of over 15 years has this surname and it would be a nice tribute to him.
Literary Reference: Author Beatrix Potter
This is a great classic underused name with a saucy edge (love the unexpected "X"). Although I don't typically like nicknames, I think a little Bea would be darling and very unique. Not sure if the style pairs well with Beckett, and if we do happen to have more children, this limits us to 'B' names. Had to convince my Husband this was a real name, but now it has really grown on him.
Literary Reference: ???
This was the name I chose for my fake I.D. in high school. I think it's beautiful, however, it lacks literary significance and a 4-syllable first name would surely be shortened to an undesirable nickname.
Literary Reference: Holden Caulfield's sister in Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. Found in Greek myths and Shakespeare as well.
Phoebe has been my favorite name for a girl since I was a teenager. However, it's not overtly literary like some of our other picks. Quinn makes it feel more modern while Jane makes it feel more classic. Also, not sure if the style pairs well with Beckett...but we both love this name.
Literary Reference: Character in Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Beautiful, charming and sweet little vintage name that has unfortunately been climbing the charts at an alarming rate. Violet Quinn is adorable to me in every way. But again, I'm not sure if the style matches up with Beckett or if it's "literary enough". I'm also worried about both names ending in a 'T' sound...oh, and the initials V. D.
Other Names that were seriously considered but ultimately ruled out:
Adelaide - Hubby suggested. I think there are too many girls nicknamed "Addy" already, and it feels very German to me;
Arden Quinn - Hubby thought it sounded too harsh...but I still like it;
Auden - Liked the literary aspect, not the "odd" sound;
Bronte Quinn - I thought it sounded too pretentious and didn't want to put an umlaut over the "E," I dislike any punctuation in a name;
Boston Blue/Belle - Lacking literary substance, but feels very "cool" to me;
Campbell Grace - Hubby couldn't stop thinking of soup and I didn't like the nickname options;
Eliot Quinn - An inevitable nickname, I prefer the Elliott spelling, which takes away the literary significance (T. S. Eliot);
Emerson - I don't like "son" as part of a girl's name;
Harlow Reese/Jane - Lacking literary substance;
Juliet - Too frilly for me;
Maisie - So cute, but ultimately ruled out nickname names;
Miller - Love the playwright and the nickname (Millie), but Hubby tends to think of the beer; and
Story - Seems a bit trendy, but love the way it sounds and how unique it is.
We would love your help to narrow down our list or even suggest something completely different if you think it would be a better match. I know I've given you a lot of information (maybe too much?) but I'm hoping it will help you have a better idea of what we're searching for. We do not have any family names that we want to use nor do we want to purposely chose blatantly Biblical names. We want our children to have their very own unique names that are simply meaningful to us.
My favorite from your list is Beatrix Blue, although I think I like Beatrix Quinn even more. I think it goes well with Beckett, and that only two B names wouldn't be enough to force you into using a third if you had another child.
Another favorite is Phoebe Quinn. If that's been your favorite girl name since high school, and if your husband loves it too, it seems like a good choice. I think it goes well with Beckett.
Another possible choice is Flannery. VERY unusual, very literary, very pretty, excellent with Beckett, great with Quinn. Flannery Quinn.
Name update 10-18-2010! Amy writes:
After much deliberation, we named our sweet baby girl Phoebe Quinn. When she first arrived, I immediately thought she was a Phoebe, but my husband thought she was a London. Shortly after that, we both thought that maybe she was a Harper...but was it pretty enough for our little princess? Over the next 24 hours we "tried on" all of the names from our list as well as all of the suggestions from you and your readers. The birth certificate lady came by several different times, but we still weren't ready to commit to a name. It took the hospital threatening to write "Baby Girl" on her birth certificate to help us make that final decision. Almost 24 hours after her birth, my husband announced that she was Phoebe Quinn -- and she was. I'm not sure why it took us so long to see it, but Phoebe just fits her perfectly. Thank you to you and your readers for all of your help!