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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Baby Girl Cor__n, Sister to Daniel and Peter

Katie writes:
I have wanted to write to you for about a month, but I've put it off every time thinking I am surely capable of naming my own child. Yet, here I am two days away from my due date and we are still at a total loss. So, I find myself in the position of having to sheepishly ask your opinion in this, the eleventh hour. Hopefully, you can help us out before baby arrives!

We are expecting our third child, a girl, on January 8. We have two boys, Daniel Henry, and Peter Michael. My full name is Catherine, but I go by Katie to most people in my life. My husband is Henry. Our last name is two syllables, Cor**n. We had no trouble at all naming our boys. We made lists, placed the names in the order of our preference, and it turned out that we both liked the same names the best. Daniel and Peter were our clear favorites from the beginning and we waited until each was born to make sure the name chosen suited them. Our third place name was James, but Peter just suited him beautifully, so we went with it.

We are having so much trouble, though, with girl names. We made the lists and ranked them in order of preference. The trouble is that every time we look at the list, we have different preferences. Worst of all, sometimes I just love them all too much to decide between them. Other times I dislike them all equally and find none of them suitable for my daughter. I'm hoping I can offer you our list and get some opinions. We've never needed opinions before, but given the fact that we've actually gone back and started to look at new names entirely, maybe it's time to call in the reinforcements.

Here is our current list in our current order of preference:

Elizabeth (I really like this name, and love the nn Ellie for it, but my husband is not really on board)
Eleanor (We both love this name, and it gives us our nn Ellie, but I'm not sure it goes well with our last name. The common "or" sound bothers me a little. Henry doesn't seem to mind it, though, and its beginning to grow on me)
Alice (a beloved aunt)
Ellie (the nickname we love on its own, but I really prefer having a longer, more formal name for myself, and I am projecting that desire onto my child. But, if this is a serious enough name on its own, then maybe I should consider it?)

We have also today begun to explore the possibility of Elise, which would also give us the nickname Ellie. I don't like it as much as Elizabeth, and Henry doesn't like it as much as Eleanor. So, its a compromise. But, I'd hate to think that we'd settle for a name that neither of us likes just to get the nickname we like. Especially when Ellie is a pretty decent standalone name.

My worst fear is that we will name the baby and end up with name regret because we are so unsure of ourselves now. Help!

Alice. Absolutely I would choose Alice. Not only is it wonderful with Daniel and Peter, and wonderful with Cor__n, it's a family name---and the name of a BELOVED family member to boot.

Well, but I also love Meredith. I think it's wonderful and underused. So that's a good one too. I like Meredith Eleanor Cor___n.

Ellie is not traditionally a nickname for Elizabeth. However, I've noticed more and more people are doing it as they search for a way to get to the nickname Ellie. Perhaps soon it WILL be a traditional nickname for Elizabeth.

I think of Ellie as a nickname, but of Elle and Ella as full names. Elle Cor__n or Ella Cor__n would be pretty, and you could call her Ellie either way.

I love Eliza even more: Eliza Cor__n; Daniel, Peter, and Eliza. Or Eloise? Eloise Cor__n; Daniel, Peter, and Eloise.

A name that was completely off my radar until a friend's sister used it is Elsa. The baby in question was Elsa Jane, which is lovely with your surname: Elsa Jane Cor__n; Daniel, Peter, and Elsa.

A name I've loved since before I had children is Elodie. It's like Ellie with more substance. I used to think I'd use it with the middle name Jane: Elodie Jane Cor__n; Daniel, Peter, and Elodie. Not a perfect style mesh with Daniel and Peter, but I generally think it's fine to have a boy/girl style split in a family.

Cecilia makes me break into song, but Cecily has a similar sound with no singing. Cecily Cor__n; Daniel, Peter, and Cecily. I love that. Maybe Cecily Meredith Cor__n?

I will stop playing now and turn this over to the commenters to get things going as soon as possible.

Name update! Katie writes:
Baby girl Cor--n has arrived! Our daughter, Alice Catherine, was born on July 10. We are so thankful for all the help you and your readers gave us. Seeing your responses reminded us that we have other beautiful names, besides Ellie, that we both love equally. And, that was ultimately more important than getting just the right nickname. We decided to focus on our other names and had it down to either Alice or Meredith. It turns out she looks just like an Alice. Plus, we couldn't go wrong naming our daughter after a wonderful woman who was so loved.

We'll keep Meredith in our back pockets just in case we decide to try for baby #4!

Thank you so much!


e said...

If you both lover Ellie I'd try hard to talk hubby into Elizabeth, it is a beautiful formal name and goes great with your boys PLUS he wont really think about it if you call her Ellie all the time. We have a John, Charles, and Samuel who are exclusively Jack, Charlie and Sam. I like it that they have formal names but I never ever think of them as anything but their nicknames.

Mrs. Haid said...

My son is Daniel Henry, too! And we are expecting a girl, and several of our maybe names are yours, including Elinor, Eliza, and Alice. I also like Catherine. It sounds like maybe our tastes are similar! I also am considering Beatrice and Elsa. I agree that Alice would be a great name, even Alice Catherine.

Can't wait to hear your update... and read all the comments to see if I find any other gems!

The Mrs. said...

My first instinct was 'Eliza'. (It's a form of Elizabeth).
Daniel, Peter, and Eliza...

My next thought was 'Amelia'
Daniel, Peter, and Amelia...

But you two really want 'Ellie'... decisions, decisions.

Other names with 'Ellie' as a nickname are:

Elspeth (form of Elizabeth)

I also think girls LIKE having a more 'formal' name that offers at least one nickname, so they can experiment with what type of woman they wish to become.

Anyway, Eliza sounds classic, intelligent, and elegant. Very fitting for your sweet girl.

Best wishes to all of your family! Can't wait to hear what you decide!

beyond said...

It sounds like you both want an Ellie.
I really like Elizabeth for you. Elizabeth Alice Cor__n; Daniel, Peter and Elizabeth (Danny, Pete and Ellie?) sounds great.
I also like Abigail and Eleanor (and all your other picks for that matter).
I love the idea of beloved family members names, so I think Alice would make a wonderful mn no matter what you decide for the first name. Grace Alice, Abigail Alice... Alice is awesome in the mn position.
You have a really nice list, and you can't really go wrong with anything you choose.
Good luck!

Carolyn said...

I know a little girl with the given name Elizabeth who goes by Ellie, as well as another girl whose given name is Ellie.

I think if you both really like Ellie, name her that. Friends can call her Elle for short, and you can honestly say that you gave her the name you both really liked rather than a full formal name that was a compromise.

Another thought is to name her Alice and call her Ellie. I mean, if Williams can go by Bill, changing an A to an E is really not that much of a stretch.

AmyRobynne said...

Oh how cool -- I feel like this is my twin family. My husband is Daniel and my oldest son is Peter (I've got a Leo and a Timothy, too). My older boys were going to be Eleanor and my youngest would have been Audrey or maybe Genevieve.

I agree with the others that Ellie is too short on its own.

Anonymous said...

Elena! It has the same classic feel to it that your boys names have but also sounds up to date. Ellie would make a fabulous nick name, as would Leni, Lena.

jac said...

I vote for Eloise, but only because I love the nickname friends have for their own Eloise - The Weasel. They do use Ellie in public!

Anonymous said...

I like Abigail from your list. Maybe Abigail Alice.

Never heard of Ellie as being a nickname for Elizabeth before. Love the name Elsa. Elora is another beautiful "El" name.

Alice nn Ally is also a good idea.

StephLove said...

It does sound like you keep coming back to Ellie, and I'm in the it's not quite a stand alone name camp. I like Elizabeth, Eleanor, Ella, Elsa and Elise. How about Elaine, Ellen or Eloise?

If you go in the non-Ellie direction, Alice is a sweet name with good meaning for you.

Anonymous said...

my vote is Alice, nn Allie

M.Amanda said...

You can't go wrong with either Elizabeth or Eleanor, both lovely names. I'm leaning toward Eleanor Alice (LOVE family names). The "or" sound isn't likely to be a huge issue if you call her Ellie most of the time, but I wouldn't mind it anyway as it gives her full name a lyrical quality.

Christine said...

I love both Elizabeth and Eleanor; as well as Alice; but it seems you really want an Ellie. My grandmother is an Elvira who goes by Ellie, but I wouldn't recommend going that route. :)

Elizabeth Alice, is just gorgeous. I also like the name Elyse.

Other names and variations on your list you might like, Celia, Amalia, Evelyn.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I second Alice, with the nickname Allie. It's very close to what you want, and maybe you'll find that you like it just as much!

Mrs S said...

I like Alice, Meredith or Elise from your list. Ellie is getting too popular for my taste.

Elsa is a wonderful name or Elsie or Edna, maybe Adele?

Audrey was mentioned already and it is my favorite name for you and your family! Audrey or Alice get my vote. Good Luck!

Patricia said...

Ellie sounds like the name you and your husband would both love to call your baby, but I definitely think she needs a more formal name like the rest or your family:
and Ellie -- just doesn't fit.

I like Eleanor Catherine Cor__n.
-- Ellie has traditionally been the nickname for Eleanor or Ellen.
-- Eleanor is a name with 'stature' similar to the other names in your family.
--I think Eleanor Cor__n sounds fine together; most people will not notice the repeating 'or', but if they do, I doubt that they will think twice about it. And mostly she'll be known as Ellie Cor__n.
--Since your first son has your husband's name as his middle name, why not give your daughter your name as her middle name? (Eleanor Kate Cor__n would also be a fine name.)

I noticed that Ellie turns up three times in your list of possibilities. Both of you LOVE Ellie; one of you prefers Elizabeth as the given name, while the other prefers Eleanor. I'd go with one of those two instead of compromising with a name neither of you REALLY loves. While Eleanor called "Ellie" is the more natural combination, I think Elizabeth called "Ellie" would be fine too (that's not so unusual these days). Either way, your daughter will be called Ellie which seems to be the #1 choice for both of you.

Flip a coin or defer to Mom (you) because you're the parent of the same gender. I love how well Katie and Ellie go together, as do Catherine and Elizabeth, so maybe that's the way to go. And if Ellie was thus named similarly to you, then maybe Alice as her middle name to include your beloved aunt too.

I think either of these option would work superbly with the other names in your family:

Catherine and Henry
Daniel Henry
Peter Michael
Eleanor Catherine (nn Ellie)
[or Elizabeth Alice (nn Ellie)]

Best wishes!

StephLove said...

I saw a new (to me) El-name today: Elora.

Anonymous said...

Would you consider Luella? Ellie could be a nickname as could Lou, Lulu, Elle/a, etc.

Patricia said...

Regarding Elora, there's a similar name, Elara. Although used very rarely, Elara is recommended by prolific baby name authors Rosenkrantz and Satran in "The Baby Name Bible". They say the name is from Greek mythology, but the name also originated, independently, in Brittany and because of that, some references call it a Celtic name.

And regarding Ella, I just came across this young British actress named Ella:

Ella Catherine would be a very pretty name, and Ella, though a short name, sounds more formal than Ellie as a given name. Penguin Reference Dictionary of First Names (UK) has an interesting write-up on the name: "Ella - English first name derived via French from the old German Alia, itself from the German 'al' ('all'). [Oxford Dictionary of First Names says that Ella was originally a short form of any of various compound names containing 'ali', meaning 'other, foreign'.] It is often considered to be a diminutive form of such names as Eleanor and Ellen. It came to England with the Normans in the 11th century but it was not until the 19th century that it began to appear with significant regularity on both sides of the Atlantic. It has suffered a marked decline since the early years of the 20th century. [Oxford - "increasingly popular in Britain since the 1990s".] ...Ellie is a common diminutive form."

If you want a longer form for Ellie that is also a classic name like the other names in your family, Ella is a name that goes back to the Middle Ages. According to another British source, "Ella was fairly common in England from the Conquest [1066] till about the middle of the 14th C... It was one of the medieval names revived in the 19th C by the Pre-Raphaelite writers, and has come into general use again..." In the US the name Ella was one of the top 25 names for girls born in the 1870s and 1880s.

Patricia said...

Another suggestion: Friends of my daughter were going to name their baby girl Ellie Mae but didn't like the reference to a character in The Beverly Hillbillies. So they named her Alice Mae instead and call her Allie. Maybe Alice "Allie" would appeal to you too since Alice is one of the names on your list and Allie is so close to Ellie. (Alice Catherine would be lovely too.)

Kate said...

Oh, I love the previous commenter's suggestion of Adele. I think that ellie would work as a nickname for Adele, at least in my mind!

I also love Meredith and I think it is a wonderful fit with your boys' names.

Dearest said...

I don't have any more suggestions to add, but I would like to mention something I discovered a week ago: The old Norse name Elli. It's legit, not a nickname and sounds exactly like Ellie without being Ellie, and perhaps you like that?
Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

Would your husband like Elizabeth more if it were spelled Elisabeth? Event though they are the "same" name it seems so much softer to me spelled with an S and it really gives a different feel to me. But, maybe I'm crazy!
I would vote for Elisabeth or Alice.


Patricia said...

Alice Catherine - what a beautiful and perfect name for your daughter! Congratulations!