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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Baby Girl Haid, Sister to Daniel Henry

Bethany writes:
We are expecting our daughter to arrive in the middle of April. Our last name is Haid, as in Hyde... not Hey-d, and it is more likely mispronounced than pronounced correctly. I would love to have a name for my daughter that helps in the pronunciation, rather than makes it more difficult. Names like Aiden, for example, are terrible with our last name because of the German vowel pattern.

My name is Bethany, no nickname, and my husband is Daniel, nn Dan. Our son is also named Daniel, a family namesake that has been given to the first son for seven generations now. I have some remorse in naming him after this strong family tradition because I worry it will leave other children from feeling so connected or make them feel less important. I notice this trend in my husband's family's Dan's siblings. However, it was hard to justify not having Daniel Haid #7! Anyway, his full name is Daniel Henry Haid, a name I do appreciate because I think it sounds presidential, strong, and has a good flow. I do often call him by first and middle names, but I probably will never call him Dan, Danny, etc. So we need a name that sounds nice with Dan, Bethany, and Daniel.

If this girl were a boy, I would want a similar strong, presidential sounding name. Maybe Abraham or Solomon. Maybe named after MY father, David Douglas Haid. However, as for naming a girl, I feel really stuck! I don't feel especially compelled to use another family name, but it might be nice to have some sense of the namesake tradition, even if just middle names.

My husband has only mentioned that he likes two names: Elsa and Anna. He says he likes that they are shorter and doesn't mind that our last name is short, too. I think these names are nice, but I don't love them. I do like longer names, ones that are frillier, with more consonants. I suggested Eliza, Elise, Elisa, Annelise/Anneliese, Joanna... and he likes them, but does not love those names. I worry that if we choose Elsa, the nickname Elsie will be dowdy and ugly sounding to my ears. I also don't really like the name Anna because of having a house with a Dan, Daniel, and Ann/Anna would be too much rhyming!

Names that I like (as well as the ones above) are: Vivian/Vivianne, Beatrice, Catherine, Elinor, Mirabelle (middle?). Alice (too short?), Elizabeth... some of these names are family names on my side, which might be nice as a family namesake tradition. Nice, but not necessary. He hasn't really endorsed OR vetoed these names, but when I told him this list all he said, "Oh, Catherine... Kate! That is a nice one." So another really short name!

We both don't want to choose a name JUST because its popular or JUST because its unusual. We both don't really love the top ten girls names right now. They are very nice, but we both were the only Bethanys or Daniels in our classes in elementary school in the 90s, and that was nice!

Names that are out are Ava (we named our first daughter lost in pregnancy this), Rebecca (I like, but its my mother in laws name, and it would be logistically ridiculous to have another set of Daniel and Rebeccas living in the same house... plus, I don't NEED to have a namesake), Charlotte and Emma (BFF just named her girls this in March), anything with a vowel pattern that doesn't really match Haid.

Other trends I noticed in our naming: It doesn't have to be Biblical or historic, but that is nice. We like both modern and traditional names. We want a good flow with first and middle, like our son's name... so a name with repeating first consonants is totally okay.

Can you help us think of a good name solution for our daughter? I am VERY open to totally different suggestions that we might not have thought about. We've been through the Baby Name Wizard (both editions) several times, and still we have the big question of "what shall we name the baby?".

I agree with you about Anna: it's such a great name, but I think it's too much with Dan and Daniel.

I think Elsa is a very pretty name. I'd never considered it until I heard it on a friend's niece: Elsa Jane. I immediately loved it and wanted everyone I knew to use it on THEIR babies. I don't think you'd need to use Elsie any more than you have to use Danny, and if you DID use Elsie I don't think it's ugly (which is not to say YOU won't find it ugly, but sometimes it helps to have other people saying they don't feel that way about it). You could call her Elsa Jane, just as you call your son Daniel Henry. The one downside of Jane as a middle name is that it works against (or at least not FOR) the correct pronunciation of your surname. I'm trying to think of a long-I middle name, but you know what's hard to find? Long-I middle names. There's Jane, Jean, Joan, and June---but no Jine. Elsa Adaline or Elsa Madeline might work.

I wonder if you'd like Amelia? Amelia Haid. I like Abigail Haid even better, but that has the -ai- problem.

Or Clara is similar in style to Anna: Clara Haid, Daniel and Clara.

In keeping with the presidential theme, I wonder if there are any First Lady names that would be pleasing? I like Hillary Haid. Daniel and Hillary. Your choice of Elinor/Eleanor works for this, too, and your husband might like the nickname Nora or Ellie.

I like Frances, too, and Helen, and Ellen, and goodness, I hardly knew ANY First Lady names before looking at this list. Did you know Lady Bird Johnson's real name was Claudia? Or that Pat Nixon's real name was Thelma? Or that Grover Cleveland was a grown-up when his future wife was born, and in fact he was the one who bought her baby carriage? Well, I am getting a little off track.

Name update is here!


Barb @ getupandplay said...

Perusing the First Ladies name list was a great idea! My favorites were Louisa, Harriet, Margaret, Julia and Caroline.

AirLand said...

Here are some more famous strong women:
Madeleine (Albright)
Lucy (Stone)
Arabella (Mansfield-first woman lawyer)
Victoria (Claflin Woodull- first woman Presidential candidate)
Nora (Blatch- Suffragist)

Hillary said...

Can I get a little off track here for a moment too and say that I already thought you were swell, Swistle, but the fact that you suggested "Hillary" and not "Hilary" bumped you up several notches on my scale of awesomeness.

I love Beatrice with Daniel.

StephLove said...

I do like to look for the middle ground whenever possible so I am latched onto Catherine for you. It was on your list and he likes it with the nickname Kate, which seems to short to you, but would Katie or Kitty work better for you? Or could she be a Catherine who is sometimes but not always called Kate? We do that with my daughter, call her by a nickname about 25% of the time. Then when Catherine/Kate/Katie/Kitty grows up a bit, she can tell you what she prefers.

Other suggestions I liked: Eleanor & Caroline.

Mrs. Haid said...

Thanks for the suggestions so far!

Those presidential names are interesting, but I am not necessarily interested in naming my daughter after a strong woman leader... not necessarily! I actually just like names that sound pretty together, like I think my son's names do.

I am excited to see other suggestions here, too!

Anonymous said...

When Swistle was listing long "I" vowels for the middle name she left out Irene. I've always loved having it as a middle name and because it was my grandmother's name it has a traditional yet fresh feel to me. Plus the I sound in Irene links to the I sound in your last name.

Carolyn said...

I thought of Caroline right away for the repeating long /I/ sound.

What about Isla?

I also love Liesl, not that it has a long I sound, but it is a nice fit with the German heritage, and she can feel that the song from the Sound of Music ("you are 16 going on 17") belongs to her :)

Anonymous said...

I like Bridget. It's so sweet and familiar, similar in style to Emily, but if you look at the stats, it's trending down in popularity. I don't know why, I love it and have known only 2 Bridgets growing up.

Maria said...

I immediately thought of Elena - it is short, but still very feminine, has cute nicknames but can also stand alone. Daniel and Elena sound very nice together.The meaning is also nice - light.

Anna is lovely too. Anya,Anabel, Annette, Anika would all be nice too.

Elsa is growing on me- it seems to fit the current trend - old fashioned but spunky. Elsa reminds me of Alice- Daniel and Alice sounds nice too. I wonder if you'd like Elin, Elvy, or Elodie.

For a boy, I think David would be fantastic.

Maria said...

sorry, I forgot to add this earlier-

Personally I would stay away from long I sounds in the first or middle names because it is most often spelled with an Y or I and it will make it more likely that people think Haid is pronounced Hayd vs. Hyde. If you use a long E or O or U sound it is less confusing. I.e. I would be more confused by Lila Haid (the i and ai look so different) than by Ellen Haid. I expect it would require more explanations than if her names do not have AI or I in them.

just my thoughts though!

Susan S said...

I would like to suggest Susanna. I love it with Daniel. Susanna is a biblical name. (Daniel rescued Susanna in the Bible.) It's my grand daughter's name and before she could say Susanna, she called herself Anna. So Anna could be your husband's petname for her.

kimma said...

I would personally steer clear of names like Annaliese or Susannah (lovely as they are) if you don't want the nickname Anna to stick.

The only middle name option I can think of which might help with having Haid pronounced correctly is Eileen.

kimma said...

Just thought of Antoinette for you. I always think of it as being linked to Anna as I know two sisters by these names and like how they go together without being too close.
I've heard nicknames Toni and Nettie used for Antoinette, so your hubby has a couple of options for pet names.

Mrs S said...

I love Claudia for you. Claudia was the name of Ghandi's wife.

Kim and Eric said...

As of right now, my favorite names include Elia (ellia?) and Regan.

Ashley said...

I think of Ellie as a nickname for Elsa, too- not just Elsie. And as for long-I names, (sorry for repeats) there's Isla, Ivy, Irena, Lyra, Mya, Violet(te), Viola, and Kalliope, among others. Caroline, and other -line names, can usually be pronounced with a long I, as well. Elsa Caroline is pretty! Viola Kate is, too.

Would virtue names appeal to either of you at all? There's everything from Hope, Joy, and Amity, to less popular (but still very pretty) Verity, Patience and Mercy. They're not "presidential," but they have a long history here in American and were used originally to convey strong messages of character and integrity. Might not be your style, but...just a though? :)

Anonymous said...

I loooove Swistle's suggestion of Clara. Clara Haid. Danciel and Clara.

I also like Cecily for you. Cecily Haid. Daniel and Cecily.

I also keep wanting to suggest Theresa to you. Theresa Haid. Daniel and Theresa.

I think of these three, my favorite is Cecily, both with your last name and in your sibling set!

Megz said...

My first thought on reading yours and your sons names, before I saw your short-list, was that Catherine would be a good fit. Maybe Catherine Anne.

I also really love Claudia. Daniel and Claudia sound great together, and the long I sound lends itself well to the Hyde pronounciation.

But I also like Elsa too. I don't think it's too short - it's two syllables, just like Catherine and Beatrice. I also think three short names, e.g. Elsa Jane Haid or Elsa Kate Haid has a nice balance to it.

Other four letter names you might choose for a middle name with Elsa:


Good luck

brooke said...

Someone suggested Violet above and I think that is perfect! Violet and Daniel go so well together.

I also like Catherine/Kate.

Anonymous said...

I second the suggestions of Claire, Abigail and Lucy!

Christine said...

I love the name Abigail and thought of it immediately for you. Abigail and Daniel. Abigail _____ Haid. Cute!

I don't think Elsa is too short and I think Catherine (nn. Kate) works perfectly with your desire for a longer name and your husband's apparently like of shorter names.

Julia might work for you too. Three syllables, but only five letters! I actually like names that end with a syllable sound better for you with the last name Haid though. I like Anneliese a lot, but I don't know if you'll find it too much with the other Dan/Daniels going on in your house. Emmeline, might be nice, nn. Emmie or Emma for the husband, nice long I sound. Cute name, sounds good with Daniel and Haid.

Good luck!

Patricia said...

My daughter and SIL had a similar naming dilemma four years ago -- only it was he who preferred longer names, while she liked shorter names, especially Anna which her husband found "too boring". They too were naming a second child, a girl, following a boy. Not long before the baby was born, they finally agreed on a name they both loved: Miranda (dad), nn Mira (mom). I notice you like Mirabelle, so perhaps Miranda/Mira is a name that would appeal to you and your husband too.

Or how about another classic/biblical name for Daniel's sister, like Sarah or Rachel. Rachel Emily would be a subtle match with Daniel Henry: both first names are biblical, ending in 'el'; both middle names are classic, non-biblical ending in 'y'; same number of letters in each first and middle name too.

Daniel Henry
Rachel Emily

I like those names together, but of course if you think you may have more children, naming these two so similarly would be difficult (impossible?) to repeat with a 3rd child.

Patricia said...

Have you considered naming your daughter Elisabeth, with Elsa as her nn?

Elisabeth Anna Haid, called Elsa, has a pretty German American sound.

Or Elsa with Ellie as the sometimes nn? (Although I don't think Elsa needs a nn and know a girl named Elsa who is always called Elsa.)

Elsa Emily Haid would be a good match with Daniel Henry Haid.

Penguin Reference Dictionary of First Names (UK, 2004) - Elsa: English, German and Swedish first name derived from ELIZABETH or ELISABETH. It became popular among English speakers in the 19th century, promoted by the appearance of the name as that of Lohengrin's bride in the Wagner opera "Lohengrin" (1846-8). ELLIE is a familiar form of the name. Well-known bearers of the name include British-born US actress Elsa Lanchester (Elizabeth Sullivan; 1902-86).

Note, there's no mention of Elsie in this description of the name Elsa. Elsie is more often said to come from Elspeth, the Scottish version of Elisabeth. I looked in several first name dictionaries and baby name books, and except for BNW, Elsie was NOT associated with Elsa. I find Elsa similar to Lisa, another short form of Elisabeth that doesn't usually have a nn of it its own.

Swistle said...

I'm reading a book with a really great Melanie in it, and so I suggest that: Melanie Anne Haid. This pleases me because earlier I thought maybe Melody, but wondered if Melody Hide sounded like too many WORDS.

Mrs. Haid said...

Thanks for all the suggestions!

Writing to Swistle and hearing feedback helped me to change a few of my ideas. First, I don't have to have a long I sound in first or middle name. Second, a long I sound could actually be distracting from saying the last name right! Third, I know I don't want a long A sound (like Hayley Haid or Braden Haid).

We're still deciding (but have less and less days to do so!) but fab names for us are Elsa, Elinor, Eliza, Elizabeth, Catherine, Anneliese, Amelia or combos of these... so sadly, my few preferred names are out - Vivian, Beatrice.

We did decide on using David Douglas Haid for a boy's name, really liking that.