We are excited to welcome a second girl to our family on/around April 18, 2011, but we can’t get traction on her name! We just had a girl two years ago, and agreeing on her name was a big enough challenge! She is Aerin R-----. Think of our last name as “Goldstein,” but it starts with a “B.” We love Aerin’s full name. The problem is that my husband and I vetted so many names with her; we have very different tastes; and I would like to avoid common names.
My dream is a fresh, pretty, interesting, but non-trendy name. My husband would be happy with names like Jessica or Mia (too common for me), but he will defer to my choice if he likes the name enough. Why is this so hard? I like names in theory, but end up rejecting most! Any new ideas, or thoughts on our existing options, would be much appreciated!
Current short list:
Sela (a Hebrew name – my husband’s favorite of the ones I’ve suggested)
Isla (I LOVE this one, but we are both nervous because of the likely mispronunciation issue)
Serena (seems long to say, but sounds perfect with our last name)
Names liked in theory …
Eden (LOVE, but already used by close friend)
Ivy (LOVE, but my husband rejected as a stripper name, which I think is crazy!)
We live in a big city. I am Southern, and my husband is Jewish.
“S” names are good because they would honor my husband’s grandfather (who was Sidney, but we don’t love the girl’s name Sydney except as a middle name).
Middle name could be Adelle (strong family associations), a “J” name like Juliet, Sydney as mentioned above, or something totally different.
I would prefer NOT to use a nickname.
If I gave birth today, “Sela Adelle Goldstein” would be our frontrunner. But I can’t help but think that Sela doesn’t sound “strong” enough, AND I worry about people hearing “seal” when they hear it (insert seal barking noise!). Thoughts?
Thank you SO much!
Ivy a STRIPPER name? Oh, I wonder if he's thinking of Drew Barrymore in Poison Ivy? She was a bit, er, provocative in that movie. And the DC Comics character Poison Ivy also dresses scantily. Maybe Iris instead?
If you love Eden but can't use it, I suggest Haven. It's similar in sound, and I think the association is nicer: less paradise/nakedness/temptation, more safe/comfortable/protected.
If you're worried about the seal in Sela, I wonder if you'd like Celia? It has the same sound in it, but because the name is more familiar, the "seal" is less noticeable. Or Cecily and Celeste are both very pretty. Or maybe you'd like Selah? According to The Baby Name Wizard, that's the Hebrew name (pronounced SAY-lah), and Sela is "an unrelated biblical place name." If that's true, that would let you keep the S and the Hebrew while losing the seal.
If you like Isla but want to avoid the tricky pronunciation (though it's getting common enough that I think soon most people will know how to say it), maybe a rhyming name such as Lila? Or I think Mila is so pretty, and that might remind your husband of his frontrunner Mia.
Serena doesn't seem too long to me.
Name update! Cam writes:
Our dear baby girl, Isla Adele, arrived nearly two weeks late, at the beginning of May. I was about to lose my mind waiting for her! My husband and I had numerous conversations about names as we waited for her to arrive, and yet we still didn’t name her until just before leaving the hospital. All along, I loved the name Isla the most, but we were afraid of the pronunciation issue. (We pronounce her name “EYE-lah,” but it reads like “IZ-lah” or “EES-lah.”) Finally, we decided to go with the name we loved, even if it might get mispronounced when people read it. We figure that “Isla” is short and simple, so it’s easy for people to remember once they hear it. Plus, we like how it sounds with her big sister’s name, Aerin.
The Swistle input was super helpful, both in making me feel good about our ideas, and in giving me new ones. I was really frustrated about our inability to choose a name while I was pregnant, but reading the responses to my question (and many others) was informative and just plain fun. I thought it was interesting that so many readers liked Sela (my husband’s first choice). I admit I still sometimes wonder if we should’ve picked Sela instead of Isla, but I just don’t LOVE it the way I love Isla. We get a ton of compliments on Isla’s name. I just hope she likes it when she grows up!
P.S. My husband never retreated from his view that Ivy is a “stripper name,” but we all know that he’s wrong about that! :)