We're expecting baby #4(girl) on 2/20/11, she'll join Olivia Grace(age 9), Griffin Caleb(age 5) & Ainsley Faith(age 3). Our last name is fairly common, Myers, so we like different, but not totally weird first names. We're pretty much in agreement that this baby's middle name will be Hope, b/c we feel it flows well w/the other girl's names we have. Olivia has become VERY popular since our naming & I'm not one for "popular" names, so we're trying to stay away from them. I also don't care for gender neutral names or anything that starts with a "B"( the whole initial os "BM" bothers me...). B/c our other 2 girls both begin with vowels, we're rather torn if this should influence our decision this time. So, a name that starts with a vowel, not too popular, not gender neutral & goes well with the middle name Hope. We really like Charlotte, but are concerned about how common it is becoming.........Help, we're really stuck over here!!!!! :)
Let me start by putting in a good word for my top-favorite baby-naming resource: the Social Security baby name site. The problem with trying to avoid popular names is that they are often already popular before we start hearing them, due to the fact that babies are not mingling in many social circles. Let's see, for example, the chart for the name Olivia:
To you it seems as if the name suddenly got way popular after you used it, but if Olivia is 9 years old, you would have been choosing her name about 10 years ago, in 2001. And in 2001, the name Olivia was already in the Top 10, with a clear climbing path behind it: even in 1998 or 1996, it was clear the name was popular, and getting more popular very quickly. So this website is my top-favorite resource for avoiding surprises later on.
If you are collecting opinions about the vowel thing, I think it's unnecessary. I don't think anyone will even notice, especially with a consonant-initial boy name in there. If it's fun for you to try to coordinate (as with the middle name), then by all means! But if it's limiting you in a way that's making you stressed and giving you trouble finding names, then I will assure you there is no reason to force yourselves into that corner.
Assuming you DO want to use a vowel, here are some possibilities:
I included a few names that start with a long A, but I mostly leaned toward the ones that started with a short-A, to further separate it from Ainsley. I did the same with names that included a Z sound: I left a few in, but mostly avoided them. I avoided -ly endings completely.
If you like one of the names on the list but don't feel it goes well with Hope, other middle name possibilities are Charity, Honor, Joy, Mercy, Patience, and Serenity.