This blog has moved! Please join us over at!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Baby Boy or Girl Carmody (Edited)

Katherine writes:
I never thought I'd have trouble with baby names, but we're due with my second child on April 24 and there's no clear front-runner yet! Our three-year-old daughter is named Gloria Charlotte. We like the slightly old-fashioned vibe of her name, and would like to use that same style with our second child. We'd like to stay away from very popular names. The last name is Carmody. (CAR-muh-dee.)

For boys, we like Theo, Harrison, Leo, William, Oliver, Owen. None of those stick out as "the one" yet, although we've been toying with the idea of Theo Harrison or Harrison Theo. We're open to the idea of using Robert as a middle name to honor my father, but it's not necessary. While I'd like our second child's name to match Gloria's stylistically, we don't care for many 1930's/40's boys' names, when Gloria peaked in popularity. What would you suggest to match Gloria?

For girls, we have a much longer list. We each have several favorites - it's been difficult to whittle the list down! Margaret "Maggie", Juliana, Madeline, Nora, Vivian, Cecilia, Georgina "Georgie", Marilyn, and Belle have made the list. At this point, we like Juliana Belle as a combo and we've agreed that we'd only consider Madeline and Vivian as middle names - other than that, we're stuck! Any suggestions or ideas?

To wrap this up, we're looking for boy suggestions, opinions on Theo Harrison / Harrison Theo, and suggestions or combos for girls names. Let us know what you think!

I think Harrison is wonderful with Gloria. Theo too. Those are my favorite two from your list, and I like them in either order: Harrison Theo Carmody or Theo Harrison Carmody. A few more possibilities:

August (Gus)
Charles (Charlie)
George (Georgie, Geordie)

You have such a great surname. I like so many names with it. I think my favorite from my list is Simon: Simon Robert Carmody, Gloria and Simon. But I'm also very drawn to Everett: Everett Harrison Carmody, Gloria and Everett. And Charlie and Georgie both have a warm energy that goes so well with Gloria: Charles Harrison Carmody, Gloria and Charlie; George Theodore Carmody, Gloria and Georgie. And Frederick is a name I wish more people would use: Frederick Robert Carmody, Gloria and Freddy.

For a girl, I love all your choices. I get a little tongue-tied with Nora---saying, for example, Gloria and Noria, or Glora and Nora, or Glora and Noria. I like Georgia and Georgiana in addition to Georgina, and in fact maybe Georgiana would be a good tie-breaker between Juliana and Georgina? I like Cecily in addition to Cecilia. For combinations, I like:

Cecilia Madeline Carmody
Cecilia Margaret Carmody
Cecilia Vivian Carmody
Cecily Margaret Carmody
Georgia Vivian Carmody
Georgiana Margaret Carmody
Georgina Cecile Carmody
Georgina Madeline Carmody
Georgina Margaret Carmody
Margaret Cecile Carmody
Margaret Cecilia Carmody
Margaret Eleanor Carmody
Margaret Georgina Carmody
Margaret Juliana Carmody
Margaret Nora Carmody
Marilyn Cecile Carmody
Marilyn Margaret Carmody
Nora Madeline Carmody
Nora Margaret Carmody
Nora Marilyn Carmody

I think Eleanor, Jean, Louise, Lucille, and Mae would be other good middle-name choices. Margaret Eleanor Carmody. Cecelia Jean Carmody. Georgina Louise Carmody. Georgina Lucille Carmody. Nora Mae Carmody.

Oh dear, there are so many good ones. I like Georgiana Margaret Carmody, Marilyn Cecile Carmody, Margaret Eleanor Carmody, Cecily Margaret Carmody, and Cecelia Jean Carmody.

[Edit: I had another idea for a sister name: Frances. I was reading to the kids, and I came upon one of the Frances books, in which Frances's little sister's name is Gloria.]

Help! Too many possibilities! What would you guys choose?

Name update 04-29-2010! Katherine writes:
Harrison Theo Carmody was born on April 16, 2010! Reading through the comments definitely reassured me that Harrison Theo was "the one." If Harrison had been a girl, we would have gone with Juliana Belle. (But we loved your suggestion of Marilyn Margaret!)

Thank you so much for all your help. You are fabulous!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Baby Girl Davis

Erica writes:
Hello! We are due with our second child, a little girl, on April 28th. Our son's name is Tyson Charles Davis. Charles was my father's name who passed away, and Tyson was a name my husband loved for a long time. My husband's mother also has passed away, and her name was Laura. So for our little girl, we know we want to use Laura as the middle name. I have always loved the name Madison, but it is so popular, and since our last name is also very ordinary, my husband is fearful that she will have 2-3 other Madison's in her class. So far my top choice is Madison Laura Davis. My husband likes Karsen, but we also like names that have easy nicknames (We call our son "Ty") and I don't like "Kar" as a nickname. We also want to have more children- so if we stick with the "son" ending name theme- we are worried we'll run out of other options for future girls. For boys, we like Coleson and Jackson, but we're not sure on girl names. We have family names that we will be using for future children's middle names. For this baby girl, we are open to other possibilities- it doesn't have to end in "son". We tossed around Kaelyn and Briella- but neither one seemed right (I could never remember Kaelyn right off the top of my head!) I loved Isabella and Kennedy- but two of our close friends are having daughters and using those names. My husband wants to start calling our daughter by her name, but I'm indecisive! Please help!

I suggest Madigan. It's so similar to Madison but way less common, and I love the repeating D-sound with your surname: Madigan Davis. Madigan Laura Davis. I love that, and you can still use the nickname Maddy.

For -son endings, I like Emerson, Ellison, and Jenson. I think those all sound good with your surname: Emerson Laura Davis, Ellison Laura Davis, Jensen Laura Davis. And those all have good nicknames: Emmie or Emers or Em, Ellie or Ellis or El, Jennie or Jen.

For future -son boys, I particularly like Anderson, Carson, Edison, Greyson, Harrison, Lawson, and Wilson.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Baby Boy Gunter

Meggan writes:
My husband and I are having boy naming issues. This is our first baby and we can't think of anything we'd really like to name him.

Before we knew the sex, we came up with girl names pretty easily. (I hate to even mention them in case I jinx anything for a future baby, but here goes.) I love love LOVE the name "Thora." It's got a wonderful old-timey feel, it's not popular, it has a lovely Scandinavian flavor, and we agreed on it almost instantly. We also really liked "Eleanor."

For a boy's name, we want the same kind of classic, old-timey, familiar-but-not-trendy feel. I want to "save" Thora, so I'm not really considering names like "Thorin" that would rule it out for future babies. Plus, I like that Thora (at least to me) doesn't smack you in the face with HELLO I AM A NORDIC GOD NAME in the way that a baby Odin might. It doesn't feel like it's trying too hard.

Middle name will likely be Leif, which is my husband's middle name. This likely fulfills our vague desire for a bit of a Scandinavian vibe in the name.

Names we sort of like:
William (Can't tell if I'm convincing myself I like this or if I actually do)
Oliver (a bit too fast-rising for me; feels "matchy" with the last name)
Wesley (so adorable but I wonder if it's too... new-ish? Or trendy?)
Robert (it's a family name on husband's side and has been used a fair amount in the past, though not at all recently)
Jonathan (same caveat as William)

I also really liked "Roland," but I kept saying it "rawl-and" instead of "row-land," husband didn't like it much, and I loved the nickname "Rollie" but our baby will have a (boy) cousin named Riley very close in age, and "Riley and Rollie" sounds stupid and sing-songy to me. So that's out.

Also out:
- Names that end in a -C or -K noise (Mike), because paired with the beginning of the last name you get an unsavory 4-letter-word
- Most -ER ending names (Parker), because they sound too rhymey with the last name
- Any of the Aiden/Brayden/Caiden ilk
- Kre@tiv spellings
- I am more or less okay with popular but am not as okay with trendy, if that makes sense

We just haven't found a name that feels like "our baby." HELP!

I'm going to look for names that would work with a future sister named Thora or Eleanor.

A boy name I think would sound really good with Thora especially is Soren. Soren Leif Gunter. Or Torsten: Torsten Leif Gunter. Or perhaps those names are a little TOO well-matched?

If you like William and Wesley but you're not sure about them, I suggest Wilson. Wilson Leif Gunter.

I also like Edmund: Edmund Leif Gunter.

I think Miles sounds great with your surname: Miles Leif Gunter.

Or Silas: Silas Leif Gunter.

Ooo, or Simon! Simon Leif Gunter.

More suggestions for the Gunters?

Name update 03-29-2010! Meggan writes:
Thanks so much for posting our naming dilemma! Everyone's suggestions
helped us narrow things down and in the end we went with what felt the
best: Wesley Leif Gunter was born (early, via c-section due to
preeclampsia) March 25 and we've gotten a lot of great feedback on his
name. Hurray!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Baby Girl or Boy Stanley

Andria writes:
I am expecting my third baby April 9th, and the gender is a surprise. My first two children are a girl and boy, named Ailane and Blake. So, I'm wanting to follow in the alphabetic pattern, and start this baby's name with a C. (Don't worry. I'm not Michelle Duggar. I don't plan to use my vagina as a clown car and pop out an alphabet's worth of kids.) Myself, and both kids have middle names that start with an M, so I want to follow that tradition as well. My last name is Stanley, so the initials will be CMS.

This is what I have so far:

For a girl, I like Claire, Corinne, and Charlotte. Corinne is my great-grandmother's name, so I would like to use her name. What middle names would work well with any of those? Any other pretty C names you can think of?

When it comes to the boy, I just can't come up with much that I like. I like Clark, Connor, Campbell, Corbin, and Calder. Any time I tell someone those names, they wrinkle their noses. Again, I am clueless when it comes to a middle name.

Connor has always been one of my top choices for a boy, but then my Uncle had to go and date a woman whose little boy is a Conner. They've been dating for a couple of years. I know family members get upset about you stealing their kid's names... How about if your older Uncle is dating someone who has a kid with a name you like? Does that automatically rule the name out?

So, once again, initials are to be CMS. Anything is game. (Except names taken by other family members: Caleb, Chelsea, Caitlynn, Christopher, Matthew and Chloe.)
Thank you!

Another C girl name I really like is Celeste, but I think that's too much S-sound with Stanley. Camille and Corinne are similar but have better sounds. I love Clara and Cora and Clarissa. Carys would be good too. But I vote for Corinne because it was your grandmother's name and that seems perfect. Middle name possibilities:

Corinne Madigan Stanley
Corinne Magnolia Stanley
Corinne Margaret Stanley
Corinne Marianna Stanley
Corinne Marissa Stanley
Corinne Mathilda Stanley
Corinne Melina Stanley
Corinne Meredith Stanley
Corinne Michaela Stanley
Corinne Minerva Stanley
Corinne Miranda Stanley

For a boy, I think it's fine to use Connor: an uncle's girlfriend's son wouldn't rule that out for me. From your list, my favorite is Corbin---that was on my list for boys, too! Other possibilities: Callum, Calvin, Camden, Carson, Carter, and Coleman. Middle name possibilities: Marcus, Marshall, Mason, Michael, Miles, Milo.

Callum Michael Stanley
Calvin Marcus Stanley
Calvin Michael Stanley
Camden Marshall Stanley
Camden Michael Stanley
Camden Milo Stanley
Carson Michael Stanley
Carter Michael Stanley
Coleman Michael Stanley
Connor Mason Stanley
Connor Michael Stanley
Connor Miles Stanley
Corbin Marcus Stanley
Corbin Michael Stanley

As you can see, I think Michael is a pretty great middle name. We considered it for Henry's middle name: I felt like people almost don't even HEAR it as a first name anymore (like Jennifer, which is a fabulous name but now the ear just processes it without really hearing the fabulousness) and yet it is SUCH A GREAT NAME. The middle name slot beckons.

Name update 04-06-2010! Andria writes:
Clark Mason Stanley was born March 30th at home, at 6:31 am, after 3 hours of labor. He was 21'', and weighed 9 pounds. I was 2 weeks early, but weighing in at that whopping number, I was totally okay with delivering early!

I didn't choose his name until several days after his birth. He was almost a Connor, but in the end, I felt that Connor was too common. (There are LOTS of Connor's here in Austin!) I finally decided to honor my love of Gone With The Wind, and named my dark haired little boy after the dashing Clark Gable. Mason just seemed to fit him well, too.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pet Names

This blog is called "Baby Names," but I would like to talk briefly about pet names. We have a new cat at our house, and he needs a name, and this is the first pet I've named in 15 years or so.

When I adopted two male kittens from a shelter right after college, I gave them people names I considered far too quirky ever to be used for children: George and Oliver. Well, 15 years later the name Oliver is in full swing and the name George still seems quirky but definitely not unusable.

When I took in a female stray, we named her Amelia. Amelia was a quirky choice in 1996 (#222), but it sure isn't quirky now (#68). Not that it mattered, since we soon called her exclusively by the nickname Mouse, so that I had to really reach to remember what we'd originally named her.

I think there are three basic categories of pet names, though there is plenty of overlap between categories:

1. Names based on physical appearance or actions: Tiger, Puddles, Butterscotch, Spot, Jumper, Mittens, Socks, Frisky, Shadow, Midnight, Smokey, Snowflake, Fluffy.

2. People names---either ones the namer would like to use for a child or ones the namer considers too amusing/quirky/eccentric for an actual child.

3. Names that are somewhere in between: Buttercup, Otter, Puzzle, Rocky, Muggle.

My goal is to find a #3 name this time. And not to be morbid, but I'd like it to have enough dignity to work in a sentence in which the vet gives me some bad news.

What kinds of names have you chosen for your pets?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Baby Girl Garcia

Amy writes:
I can't believe I put off a name for 8 months! The hubs and I have been struggling big time this time for some weird reason, I keep saying oh I've still got lot's of time, well I now do NOT have lot's of time. Baby Girl Garcia is due April 4th. Her big brother's name is Cole Valentin Garcia. Valentin pronounced "Val-en-teen" We love using family names (Cole is my moms maiden name, and Valentin is my hubbies grandfathers name) but the women in our families, oi oi oi! We got Berta, and Herta, Appelonia, and Adella, Roxanne and Annette. The only one I am slightly okay with is Adella but I don't like that form of it. The names we both like are: Ava Grace, and Kyrie Grace. I also really like Adelaide, and Adeline but the hubs isn't too sold. I like the idea of Kyrie because it has a lot of meaning for me, as it was one of my first proffesional solo's (I am a singer) but I wonder if it's too far out there you know? And if we do go with it are there any better suggestions for a middle name to go with it? The reason I don't want to use Ava even thoug I also like it is because it's so popular. I tend to like old fashioned names but I also want something a wee bit unique.

Names we do not like:
Ella ( i do love it but it's just too popular)

I also like Caris I just love the whole alliteration with siblings names
Thanks a bunch

I don't think Kyrie is too out there at all.

Appelonia is, I can see, a little too out there---and yet I find myself wishing you'd use it! So many of us have yawny family tree names, but you've got APPELONIA! Kyrie Appelonia Garcia.

Well, if not, I think Kyrie Adella Garcia is wonderful. If Adella appeals to you even slightly, I think it will grow on you with time---and if the namesake is a positive one, I think you'll be glad you used it.

Caris is also a great choice. Caris Adella Garcia would be my favorite combination.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Baby Girl Jacobson

Danielle writes:
My husband and I are expecting a baby girl in early April. We have yet to agree on anything we really like, only some names that we both think are "okay". Our last name is Jacobson, so we'd like to stay away from names starting with "J" and have any kid of "son" sound in it, such as Mayson, which I actually really like. Her middle name will be Kyle as it is a family name, unless we find a first name we really like that does not go with it at all.

Here are some names that are on my list, that my husband could take or leave:
Aurora (call her Rory for short)
Jocelyn and Giselle, although I don't like them with our last name.

My husband's favorites are Ainsley and Ashlyn, which I am not a fan of. We'd really like names that are not tops in popularity, but that people could pronounce and spell somewhat easily. Any suggestions to meet in the middle?

Because the plan is to use a middle name that is primarily used for boys, I suggest making the first name unmistakeably feminine. When I see an ambiguous first name, such as Tristen or Mayson, I look to the middle name for a hint; if I saw Tristen Kyle or Mayson Kyle, I would think, "Ah ha! Boy!" This is the kind of constant mistake that can get irritating.

It's too bad, though, because I think your style is more toward the less-frilly girl names: Rory, Remi, Aubrey, Tristen, Mayson, Ainsley. Normally I would be suggesting names like Avery and Ellery and Finley and Paisley and Harper. Would you want to consider saving the name Kyle for a future child, and using a more ambiguous first name with a feminine-hint middle name? Something like Ellery May Jacobson? Or Finley Jade Jacobson? Or Shelby Grace Jacobson? Or I really like Romy Brielle Jacobson.

I think Brinley would be a good choice. It's feminine enough to carry Kyle as a middle name, and I think it's good with your surname: Brinley Jacobson.

Another name that uses Rory as a nickname is Lorelei: Lorelei Jacobson.

I also like Fiona for you: Fiona Jacobson.

Averil seems to me to meet in the middle between Ainsley and Brielle: Averil Jacobson.

Oh, Elodie! Elodie Jacobson.

Name update 05-03-2010! Danielle writes:
Thank you for all of your wonderful suggestions. We ended up going with Aurora Kyle, as my husband had a change of heart for the name. She was a week late via c-section and doing great! Thanks!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Baby Boy Bell

Karla writes:
Help! I am due on March 17 and my husband and I STILL don't have a name for our little boy!

Our other children are named Matthew, Hannah, and Adam. Our last name is Bell. We prefer Biblical names that are classic, fairly common, easy to understand, and easy to spell/pronounce.

Our short list includes:

We have gotten suggestions for several Biblical names which we find a little too unusual for our tastes. Examples of names we've ruled out are:

The middle name will be Scott. We are not concerned with flow or anything related to that.

Oh, and if it gives you a better idea of our taste, the girl names we like (but won't get to use) are Rachel, Sarah, and Rebekah.

Thanks! I feel like I really just want someone to tell me, "Name your child ____" and I'll go with it. The names we like seem to fit all of our criteria, but we just don't love any of them enough to choose one.

Oh, man, you know what would be fun? If each commenter writes "Name your child ____" and fills in the blank! Here's mine: Name your child Isaac Scott Bell.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Baby Girl Mazda

Rachel writes:
My name is Rachel, my husband and I are expecing our 2nd daughter April Fools Day (or hopefully a little sooner).
Our first born daughter is named Cailey Elizabeth and our last name rhymes with Mazda. We have a couple names that we like so far but nothing is jumping out at us like the name Cailey did.

Here is our short list:
Taylor (though my husband thinks this will be too popular and he views it as a boys name)

As said before nothing is really jumping out at us yet. We don't want a popular name and my husband would love an older name but we can't agree on any.

We would love to use Riley, Sydney, or Maddison but all have been used in one of our families.

I really look forward to hearing your opinions. Thank you for your time!

Here are some possibilities:


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Baby Boy Blankman

Sarah writes:
Help! We are struggling with boy names for our baby due 31 March. We have one million excellent girls' names but it's definitely a boy. I have seen the evidence on the ultrasound myself...

My husband likes very unusual names, often 'made-up'. These have all been vetoed. We solved this problem with our daughter by choosing a real name that's unusual: Tatiana.

We are not so concerned about middle names. Our daughter has my grandmother's name, my surname, and my husband's as her surname. (That sounds confusing: she is Tatiana Blank Blank Blankman!). We honestly don't really care how the first name goes with the middle names.

For our son, we'd like something similar. We really, really liked Noah but have dismissed it because it is just too popular for my husband. We are considering Gabriel and Josiah.
I know these are all biblical but we are open to other suggestions, and as the surname is Jewish we are also keen to avoid dooming him to becoming a rabbi with something that's just a little too OT (old testament rather than over the top!).

Incidentally: girl's name choice winner was Rafaella. SIgh. And no, we do don't like Raphael!


Since you like Noah (#15 in 2008), I wonder if you would like Nolan (#131) or Noam (not in the Top 1000)? [All rankings from the Social Security Administration.]

Since you like Gabriel (#24 in 2008), I wonder if you'd like Grant (#142) or Gideon (#534) or Gable (not in the Top 1000)?

Since you like Josiah (#96 in 2008, but way way higher-ranked in religious circles), I wonder if you would like Jude (#224) or Jonas (#274) or Jaron (#819)?

Maybe Milo (#449). And I really like Arlo (not in the Top 1000).

Silas (#313). Aidric (not in the Top 1000). Atticus (#689). Felix (#354). Barnaby (not in the Top 1000). Corbin (#262). Alistair (not in the Top 1000).

Monday, March 1, 2010

Baby Girl Livingston

J. writes:
We're having a girl, due March 29, though we're anxious to pin down a name soon. My husband and I seem to agree on our top three first names, though, not in the same order. And we're having trouble with the first name/middle name combinations. Our three first names that are in the running right now are Rose, Scarlett and Evelyn.

We love Rose as a first name, but are having a really hard time finding a middle name that sounds good with it. And I'm worried that she'll constantly hear "oh, Rose is my [sister's, friend's, etc]. middle name" because Rose is so popular these days as a middle name. Which, brings up another issue. Rose is traditionally used as a middle name in my husband's family and so we like that as a middle name possibility, too, but I'm not that thrilled with her having the same middle name as most of the girls her age.

We also love the name Scarlett, and Scarlett Rose Livingston is one of my top choices right now, except the middle name issue. I also wonder if the name Scarlett will become too popular in the next few years? I also love Evelyn Rose Livingston, though I wonder about the repetition of the L and N sounds in Evelyn Livingston.

So I guess what I'd like to know is, do you have suggestions for good middle names for Rose, Scarlett and Evelyn? And any thoughts/suggestion about using these names or the combinations I've listed above.

Thanks so much for any feedback!

I love Evelyn Rose Livingston, and to me the repeating L/N sounds are a pleasing tie-in.

I too love Rose as a first name. And I agree: it's very hard to find a middle name for it. Some possibilities:

Rose Alice Livingston
Rose Cordelia Livingston
Rose Eliza Livingston
Rose Elizabeth Livingston
Rose Ella Livingston
Rose Ellen Livingston
Rose Esther Livingston
Rose Frances Livingston
Rose Helena Livingston
Rose Louise Livingston
Rose Margaret Livingston
Rose Marilena Livingston
Rose Marie Livingston
Rose Mary Livingston
Rose Melina Livingston
Rose Minerva Livingston
Rose Noelle Livingston
Rose Priscilla Livingston
Rose Victoria Livingston
Rose Virginia Livingston

I think my favorites are Rose Alice, Rose Eliza, Rose Frances, and Rose Noelle.

I don't think I would pair Scarlett with Rose, since it emphasizes the wordness of both names: suddenly it's an adjective and a noun instead of a first name and a middle name. Some possibilities to consider:

Scarlett Adele Livingston
Scarlett Anne Livingston
Scarlett Cecile Livingston
Scarlett Claire Livingston
Scarlett Elise Livingston
Scarlett Faye Livingston
Scarlett Ida Livingston
Scarlett Jane Livingston
Scarlett Jo Livingston
Scarlett Kate Livingston
Scarlett Kay Livingston
Scarlett Leigh Livingston
Scarlett Louise Livingston
Scarlett Lucy Livingston
Scarlett Mae Livingston
Scarlett Mia Livingston
Scarlett Rae Livingston
Scarlett Ruth Livingston
Scarlett Sue Livingston

You know, I'm finding Scarlett just as challenging as Rose. Anyone who knows a Scarlett or a Rose, what's her middle name? And can you think of more suggestions? And what do you think of Evelyn Rose?

Name update 04-06-2010! J. writes:
Thanks so much for your post! Rose Amelia Livingston was born on March 20, 2010. Her dad and I are both super happy with her name. I think we knew she was Rose all along. :)