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Monday, January 3, 2011

Baby Girl or Boy Freedman, Sibling to Camille

Rachel writes:
My due date is January 10th! We are down to the wire but fortunately I found your website...

Our first is Camille Isadora. We chose the first name as a name we both loved and her middle is for her grandfather who was Isidore.

Last name is Freedman. We need a sibling name and are 90% we like Simone for a girl. The middle name is not determined but we like something with a vowel and 3 syllables to follow the "formula" of Camille Isadora. I seem to like feminine, French-sounding names that are also the names are famous feminists...

We are having a much harder time with boy names. I like: Gabriel, Ezra, Benjamin, and Theodor. Husband likes Raphael, Aramis, Lando. He's not wild about my names and I can't stand his (except for Raphael). I think "Freedman" is a difficult last name and probably works best with a first name that ends in a vowel although we did not go that route for our first. For a boy, I think Simon (masculine version of our top pick girl name) is okay but not great. I love Marcel and Julian but husband has vetoed.

I'd appreciate your suggestions!

Simone is wonderful with Camille. Four-syllable middle name possibilities that match Isadora (do you pronounce it with 3 syllables, or is that a typo?):

Simone Aliberty
Simone Angelina
Simone Arabella
Simone Araminta
Simone Anastasia
Simone Annabella
Simone Ariadne
Simone Arianna
Simone Artemisia
Simone Aurelia
Simone Azalea
Simone Eleanora
Simone Elisheva
Simone Elisabeth/Elizabeth
Simone Emilia
Simone Evangeline
Simone Iliana
Simone Octavia
Simone Olympia
Simone Ophelia
Simone Orianna
Simone Ottilie

Or, if you don't mind having three syllables instead of four, you could use one of Simone de Beauvoir's other names (she had four first names, connected with hyphens---now THERE'S an interesting baby name to discuss!): Ernestine. Simone Ernestine Freedman. Ernestine is not a name currently in style, but it certainly would pay a strong tribute to a famous feminist. In fact, to two famous feminists: Ernestine Rose.

Another 3-syllable candidate: Simone Ursula. Or Simone Antoinette. (Antoinette would also be a very nice first name: Camille and Antoinette; Antoinette Freedman.)

If you can waive both the 4-syllable requirement and the vowel requirement, Simone Josefina would be so pretty. Or Simone Marguerite.

All right, that's all the time I want to spend on that (time is ticking away and the baby could be born TODAY), especially since I'm not sure how attached you are to the preferences about syllables and vowels, but anyone who's interested can keep working their way through the list: List of feminists, on Wikipedia. My favorite so far is Simone Antoinette.

Oh, wait, I'm right back to that list, because I don't see any reason we wouldn't continue to work from it for a boy's name. Heinrich might be too hard to work with; I like to use actual namesake names as much as possible, but maybe in this case it would be better to use the U.S. version of the name and go with Henry instead: Henry Freedman. Cornelius has possibility. I wish it had a good nickname. Neil? Lee? But by the time we're working on nicknames for a middle name, I feel like we've lost the benefits of a namesake name.

I really like the name Alan (it was on our Top 7 list for our lastborn). Alan Freedman, Camille and Alan. More possibilities:

Anthony Freedman
Becker Freedman
Brenner Freedman
Carpenter Freedman
Charles Freedman

...Although, this is making me a little uncomfortable. Something about taking a feminist woman's surname and making it a boy name...I'm not sure if it's Very Very Good or if it's Not Good At All. We could stick to the names of male feminists, but (1) that's a very short list, and (2) none of the names stand out to me: they're all Thomas and John and so forth (Frederick is wonderful, but not with Freedman).

Your husband's style is fairly consistent: Lando and Aramis are in The Baby Name Wizard's Fanciful and Fantastical sections, respectively, and Raphael is an Exotic Traditional. Those three sections are more like one section of increasing unusualness. If I look at that section (or three sections) through a filter of the names you like (Gabriel, Ezra, Benjamin, Theodor), I think these might work:

Aidric Freedman; Camille and Aidric
Alistair Freedman; Camille and Alistair
Barnaby Freedman; Camille and Barnaby
Elias Freedman; Camille and Elias
Everest Freedman; Camille and Everest
Ezekiel Freedman; Camille and Ezekiel
Felix Freedman; Camille and Felix
Malachi Freedman; Camille and Malachi
Milo Freedman; Camille and Milo
Orion Freedman; Camille and Orion
Phineas Freedman; Camille and Phineas
Titus Freedman; Camille and Titus

(Ezra, Gideon, and Cornelius are all in this section, too, so perhaps your husband could be leaned toward one of those.)

Oh, I see Hugo listed as a brother name for Ezra. Would that work? Hugo Freedman; Camille and Hugo.

Your name choices lean more toward Biblical and French. Looking at those categories with your husband's preferences in mind, I wonder if any of these would work (note some repeats from the previous list):

Abner Freedman; Camille and Abner
Asher Freedman; Camille and Asher
Barnaby Freedman; Camille and Barnaby
Ezekiel (Zeke) Freedman; Camille and Ezekiel
Judah Freedman; Camille and Judah
Levi Freedman; Camille and Levi
Lucius Freedman; Camille and Lucius
Malachi Freedman; Camille and Malachi
Phineas Freedman; Camille and Phineas
Silas Freedman; Camille and Silas
Tobias Freedman; Camille and Tobias
Titus Freedman; Camille and Titus

And I see Raphael is both Exotic Traditional AND Biblical, so that might be one to consider hard if nothing else seems right.

(I will add parenthetically that I think Titus is risky, considering how much it might sound to co-students like tight-a$$. But it was so cool that it was in both categories.)

Out of the blue I will mention Darien (or Darian or Derian or a number of other spellings), because it was a name agreed on by a couple I know who had a very hard time reconciling one parent's more fanciful tastes with the other parent's more traditional tastes.

I think my top choice for you is Hugo, followed by Raphael, Becker, Aidric, Barnaby, and Milo. If Raphael isn't a name you can quite agree to, it might make a very nice middle name. Hugo Raphael Freedman would be really nice.

Last minute possibility: Pascal. French and dramatically underused. Pascal Freedman, Camille and Pascal.

Name update! Rachel writes:
Our baby was born on January 13th. We decided that Camille Isadora's little SISTER would be Simone Aviva. We had agreed on Simone all along...I have always loved the name Aviva, an Israeli name that was popular when I was growing up. My husband had vetoed the name early in the process but at the birth, decided to give me a "gift" of using this name as the middle. I was thrilled and I feel like the middle name is closer to our Jewish heritage and rounds out the "French-ness" of our girls' first names. (We are not French).

Thanks for your help!


Patricia said...

Simone Adriana/Adrianna
Simone Adelina
Simone Alexandra/Alessandra
Simone Annabella
Simone Arabella
Simone Araminta
Simone Arianna
Simone Eleanora
Simone Elisabeth (totally French)
Simone Olivia

Of your boy's names, I like Theodor "Theo" best with Camille.

StephLove said...

Raphael seems like an easy choice for you since you both like it. How about Raphael Maxmillian?

I think Simone is lovely, too. My favorite Simone-combo is Simone Jane, but that doesn't meet any of your sound requirements. Swistle came up with some good ones, but Simone Arabella is the one I like best. I've like Arabella ever since I read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

StephLove said...

Or how about Simone Alexandra? That's pretty. Or Simone Angelina?

Anonymous said...

What about Simone Genevieve? That's a French, 3 syllable name that was missed.

Christine said...

I love the name Simone and think you have lots of great mn possibilities.

For a boy I like Raphael and Theodore, and think maybe you'd like Julian too?

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Simone Anais would be awesome!

Barb @ getupandplay said...

I LOVE Felix! What about Zane, Jude, Julian, or Roman?

Anonymous said...

For a boy, what about:


Anonymous said...

Thanks everyone who made suggestions and especially to Swistle. We have a lot to think about and discuss...I hope to post back with a follow-up by next week! Rachel

beyond said...

I love the name Simone! Simone Anaïs as suggested above is lovely.
A few mn suggestions, sticking to vowels and 3 syllables:
Simone Adrienne
Simone Amélie
Simone Emilie
Simone Elodie
Simone Eugenie
Simone Isabelle
Simone Océane
accents are optional, of course... ; )
For a boy I like Phineas from Swistle's suggestions, and I LOVE Tobias. Camille and Tobias, swoon!
Maybe Raphael is a good choice for you since both of you like it. Different, yet very familiar, and French.
Or: Andreas, Dominic, Jasper, Marius, Zachary.
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Your daughter has a family name as her middle name. Maybe another family middle name for your second child? That might be more meaningful than having a middle name that copies her sister's middle name in number of syllables; meaningful for a boy/man to have a family name as his middle name too, especially since big sister has that connection.

Just my thoughts...

Anonymous said...

I love Felix with your family.

StephLove said...

One more idea: Raphael Matai.