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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Baby Girl Evans-Shives, Sister to Jordan, Corbin, and Alyssa

Sabrina writes:
Hello! We need help!

My husband and I are looking for girl names that go with not only a hyphenated last name but we don't want them to sound like our other kid's names. (We are a blended family and this is our first child together.)

Current kids names:

Jordan Taylor
Corbin Michael
Alyssa Rose

Last name for future child: Evans-Shives

Names we like so far:

Isla (but not sure about the spelling because of other people mispronouncing - this is hubby's concern, mine not so much. In fact I am in love with this name but trying desperately to agree on one we both love.)
Ilah (different spelling)
Isolde (I like, hubby not so much)
Veronica, maybe Isla Veronica?
I also like Gia

Hubby suggested Delaney and Victoria but I suggested Veronica instead. We were trying to avoid names that begin with A, C or J.

Also was trying to incorporate our mothers middle names, Emma and Ruth but haven't had much luck. Thought of _____ EmmaRuth Evans-Shives. It's a bit much I know but thinking by kindergarten child will probably just go by Shives.

I love the "old" names however we do not want a name that will be very common. (Mistake with Jordan and Alyssa). Because of this we rejected:


I have rewritten this email several times over the past couple months with the same dilemma. We appreciate any suggestions!

To my ear and eye, Alyssa and Isla are too similar---despite their completely different styles. I notice it especially when I try out the list of sibling names aloud: Jordan, Corbin, Alyssa, and Isla. They're not so similar as to be a total dealbreaker, but you specified that you didn't want the new baby's name to sound like the other children's names.

I think a mid-name capital AND a hyphen is too much for one child's name. Do you like the name Ruth as a first name? Ruth Emma Evans-Shives. Otherwise I suggest choosing whichever name sounds better with your first name choice.

It looks to me as if the crux of your naming problem is a conflict between "We like common names" and "We don't want to use a common name." One or the other of you liked the names Alyssa and Jordan, and you like Isabella, Ella, Ava, and Madeline---as well as the rapidly-rising Isla (54 girls named Isla in 2005, up to 936 in 2009). I think trying to fight this preference is what's making the hunt so difficult: you have fashionable tastes, which is no worse in baby name than it is in clothing.

You needn't choose the very most popular name in the U.S. if you don't want, of course, but the commonness of names drops so fast: the #10 most popular girl name is used only about half as often as the #1 most popular name. I think you should reconsider the more common names, if they're ones you've crossed off only because of their ranking. I suspect Ella will join Isabella and Ava in the Top 10 this year, but Madeline is less common than the others even taking into account alternate spellings, and is very nice with the sibling names: Jordan, Corbin, Alyssa, and Madeline. Madeline Ruth Evans-Shives.

Or if you like that style but want something less common (though be aware that many such names continue to rise in popularity), something like Molly would be pretty. Molly Ruth Evans-Shives; Jordan, Corbin, Alyssa, and Molly.

Or Ruby: Ruby Emma Evans-Shives; Jordan, Corbin, Alyssa, and Ruby.

Or I like the way Violet pulls in the V sounds from the other names: Violet Ruth Evans-Shives; Jordan, Corbin, Alyssa, and Violet.

Or Stella: Stella Ruth Evans-Shives; Jordan, Corbin, Alyssa, and Stella.

Or Fiona: Fiona Ruth Evans-Shives; Jordan, Corbin, Alyssa, and Fiona.

For something even more unusual, a name I think is way underused is Bianca: Bianca Ruth Evans-Shives; Jordan, Corbin, Alyssa, and Bianca.

If you like Isla but you're worried about the spelling, I wonder if you'd like Iris: Iris Ruth Evans-Shives; Jordan, Corbin, Alyssa, and Iris.

There is also the rhyming name Lila, easier to spell than Isla though also more common: Lila Ruth Evans-Shives; Jordan, Corbin, Alyssa, and Lila.

Or another rhyming possibility: Kyla. Kyla Ruth Evans-Shives; Jordan, Corbin, Alyssa, and Kyla.

Oh, there's another! Mila: Mila Ruth Evans-Shives; Jordan, Corbin, Alyssa, and Mila.

A name I think sounds like one of the currently-popular names (and specifically like Madeline from your list), but for some reason isn't common, is Emeline. Emeline Ruth Evans-Shives; Jordan, Corbin, Alyssa, and Emeline.


Tara said...

I have a middle name suggestion, though it honors your mothers fairly loosely I guess - Eve. You could say that it's one syllable like Ruth, and starts with 'E' like Emma. Or how about Elle? Not only is it one syllable like Ruth and start with 'E' like Emma, but it is also four letters like Ruth and Emma. You could also use Ruby which is the opposite to Eve and Elle.

To me, Jordan and Corbin rhyme, and I actually disagree with Swistle about Alyssa and Isla being too similar, but even if someone thinks they are, it would be as though the boys names are similar and the girls names are similar. I think that Jordan, Corbin, Alyssa and Isla work well together! Isla Ruby would be cute!

I also love Swistles suggestions of Ruby, Violet, Stella, Lila and Mila.

Allyson said...

Is Jordan Taylor a boy or a girl?

Christine said...

I didn't like Isla and Alyssa together either. Not bad, per se, but too similar for my tastes.

I love the suggestion of Emeline Ruth.

I really like your Veronica with the other sibling names. Veronica Ruth Evans-Shives.

If you like "old" type names, maybe:

Lorena or
Vivian might work.

Good luck!

beyond said...

I was thinking Mila when I read Isla, so that's my fave from the suggestions so far...
(EmmaRuth seems like too much for me as well. I would go with either or for a mn...)
Some names that are not too popular, but feel 'familiar':
Good luck!

StephLove said...

I think Phoebe is my favorite on your list, but I also like the idea of using Ruth as the first name, with Emma as the middle.

Carolyn said...

You could also spell it Eisla, but I think the spelling Isla is so much prettier and getting more well known because of the actress.

Emmeline (pronounced Emma-LINE) is really sweet and I know two little girls with this pronunciation who go by Emmie (or Emme) for their nn.

What about Emilia?

Other ideas:
Sylvia, nn Sylvie

kimma said...

I would definitely stick with the traditional spelling of Isla if you are to use the name. I find this less confusing to pronounce than your suggested alternative of Ilah.

I like Swistle's suggestion of Emeline, as Emeline Ruth would honour both mothers. How about Emerson in the same vein?

Elle said...

What about Remy for a middle name that honors both grandmothers?

I would pair it with a more clearly feminine name on your list. Veronica Remy Evans-Shives sounds nice.

e said...

Emeline Ruth is perfect! Emeline sounds like Emma and is so pretty with Ruth. I know the sweetest baby Emory Ruth which makes me love it even more.

Megz said...

The name Isla always makes me think of the Scottish islands Ione and Skye. In fact I looked it up and the name Isla comes from the Scottish island Islay. These are some other Scottish islands which kinda sound like names:


Congratulations on your baby girl

KMadge said...

Congratulations on your baby girl! I just wanted to post regarding the name Isla. It's the name of my niece, although her name is spelled Iyla. To me, it takes some of the confusion out of the pronunciation.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't worry about Isla being pronounced incorrectly. Isla Fisher is pretty well known now - and it's quite a popular name which most people will have come across more than say roisin.

Good luck:)

Oh and how about rue as a middle name? the ru from ruth and the e from emma. I think you'll be better off with a one syllable middle name.

Anonymous said...

Oooo, I really like Swistle's suggestion of Emeline! You could also spell it Emmaline or Emmalyn to get the "Emma", followed by the middle name Ruth to honor both of your mothers. Emmaline Ruth Evans-Shives. Emmalyn Ruth Evans-Shives.


Anonymous said...

Swistle - Emeline Ruth Evan-Shives is such a gorgeous name. I love that suggestion.

airland said...

I love the name Emeline, but put it just with the last name:

Emeline Evans-Shives

I don't know, it sounds really rhyme-y to me.

Other ideas:

Anonymous said...

Swistle~ Thank you for the wonderful suggestions! Now we just need to go through them together! I must say I thought of Mila too so it is in the running.

I also like the spelling Iyla for Isla!

Jordan Taylor is a boy, he is 13 now and was my first and I never put this much thought into his name, I just liked it. It is much harder this time!

Thank you all and I will keep you posted on what we decide. :)