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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Baby Boy or Girl Lin

A. writes:
My husband and I have been talking about baby names the entire pregnancy and have only been able to narrow down to a few for each gender. I'm just so unsure! People say we will just know when the baby is born what the name should be, but I think all babies look alike--smooshed and wrinkly. :)

I like fairly uncommon names. Our last name is Lin; therefore, I think the first name needs to be more than one syllable to avoid sounding like the first and last name run together to make one name. (If it can't be shortened to a one-syallable nickname--even better!) I also don't like the first name to end in -on, -en, -in, or -yn. The -in -in sound with our last name bothers me. What do you think?

We've narrowed it to:


Dexter (I worry about the television show; we don't watch it, but I think it's popular? Also, the Dex commercials. "Dex knows best!" I don't want people to think of a phone book when they think of our child.)

Paxton (My husband's pick. I don't like the -on sound though. Also, I think Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's child is Pax. Especially because our child will be half-Asian, I don't want to seem as if we're trying to be like celebrities.)

Beckett (I like it, but am worried about its increasing popularity.)


Eisley (I like this name a lot, but worry people will mispronounce it a lot. Eyes-ly.)

Gemma (Will people confuse with Jenna? I kind of dislike the name Jenna!)

Ruby (I love this, but my husband thinks its an old lady name.)

Favorites from these? The middle boy name will either be Harrison or Jeffry (depending on the first name). And, the girl middle name will be Lorraine after my mother and grandmother.

Any other suggestions for names? I don't think we feel so confident about any of these names that we still wouldn't choose a different name at this point!

Thank you so much!

Name update! A. writes:
Gemma Lorraine Lin arrived on 5/29 after 31 hours of labor. My husband and I were convinced she was a he right up until she was born. Right before I was ready to push we were trying to decide what to name our boy. After seeing me labor naturally for 21 of the hours, my husband wanted me to name him. Well, we didn;t need to choose! She surprised both of us! We were pretty set on Gemma and everyone's comments here solidified our choice for us. Thank you!


Abby@AppMtn said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean about choosing a name that doesn't run into the surname. Friends of ours have a kiddo with a great name, but the first and last together sound EXACTLY like a name that is catching on.

I guess that's why I lean so strongly towards Beckett for a boy. Yes, it is gaining in popularity, but so are Dexter and Paxton. (Or at least their fashion quotient is up.) Beckett Lin is great - avoids most of the problems, though I guess he could be Becklin ...

Eisley is popping up a lot on message boards - not sure how many parents are using it, though. I find the "ley" with the "lin" an awful lot of "L" sound - especially with Lorraine. Eisley L. Lin ... not my favorite.

Jenna is fading, while Gemma is rising - Gemma Lorraine Lin is fabulous. You'll have some confusion, but every name has SOME confusion.

I like Ruby, too, but Gemma Lin appeals to me more.

A few other thoughts:



Best wishes!

StephLove said...

I like Dexter and Beckett for you, but I understand your reservations. The serial killer association is not a good one, but it might just be a pop culture flash in the pan, hard to know. Beckett's not super popular, although it is rising fast. You have two boy names with an x in them. If that sound appeals, would you like Felix?

I like Gemma and Ruby a lot, esp. Ruby. Maybe your husband will come around. If not, how about Judith or Mia (popular, but oh so pretty)?

Anonymous said...

I like all your boys name - wouldn't have connected Dexter/Dex with Dex know's best at all. Or Paxton with the Jolie-Pitts either. Love Beckett (and have firmly migrated to Swistle's point of view with popularity: if you love it, go for it.) Your boys names sound awesome with both Harrison & Jeffrey. I really like the sound of Dexter Jeffrey.

On the good side, I think Gemma is becoming more familiar, and would be unlikely to be mistaken for Jenna. I used to know a Gemma, and I don't remember any confusion over her name. I think that Eisley will be misprounounced, though. Gemma Lorraine is beautiful. Good luck!

kanah said...

Maybe it's just me, but it seem like all of your boy names will likely be shortened to one-syllable nicknames.. Dex, Pax, and Becks. I love all of those names with your surname, but in my experience, kid's names often get shortened by in school. For some reason, though, I don't think that matters much with your last name; Dex Lin still sounds good, and he could lengthen it when he gets older to sound more professional :)

For girls, Gemma is my favorite followed by Eisley. I always pronounce that name Eyes-lee, for the record. This might be an uncommon opinion, but I do agree with your husband that Ruby sounds kind-of like an old lady. BUT, I believe it is gaining popularity.

I truly wouldn't worry about the popularity of any of the names on your fabulous list. At least in my little section of the world, those names are all underused. Any choice you make would be great!

If, however, you want other suggestions, here are a few you might like: boys- Truman and Harris. You could use Harris, instead of Harrision, for the first name and have Harris Jeffry Lin. Assuming they are both family names, that might be nice! girls- Camilla, Yardley, and Madigan.

Best of luck!!!

Barb @ getupandplay said...

My votes are Gemma and Beckett!

Lynnette said...

I think Gemma sounds wonderful with Lin, but Ruby Lin sounds a little too much like Ruby-Lynn. I actually love the name Ruby, just think it sounds like a folksy two-first-names combo with Lin.

Ms. Key said...

Just to chime in as someone who watches Dexter... his son's name on the show is Harrison; so it might continue to sound connected if you name your baby Dexter Harrison (not that it's a deal breaker, but it's just a continued connection to the show). Oh, and I think the Dexter books are written by a Jeffrey... lemme check... Yes, by author Jeff Lindsay. Sooo, both Harrison and Jeffrey paired with Dexter remind me a lot of the show.

I personally like Beckett for you. Either middle name would be great!

I love Gemma... I think it's such a fun, spunky and pretty name! Gemma Lorraine Lin, sounds wonderful!

kimma said...

When I saw your surname at the top of the post the first name that popped into my head was Daisy. Daisy Lin is such an adorable name! But, maybe you want something more sophisticated than adorable? In this case I think Eisley totally fits the bill – its cute on a child, but will age well. I have never heard the name before but I immediately read it as Eye-ly so I don’t think mispronunciation will be an issue.

My mind wandered to Chester and Baxter when I read your boy names list.

Chester Lin.
Baxter Lin.

… just some more options as you’re having reservations – I do like Dexter and Paxton too.

Anonymous said...

I like Dexter Lin a lot! I wouldn't stress about the connection to the show. Your baby is no more connected to the show Dexter any more than Phoebes are to Friends. I like Beckett but Beckett Lin takes me to the phrase "bucket list."

I also love Gemma Lin! I have NO idea how to pronounce Eisley (Isle-ley? Eyes-ley?), and when paired with Lorraine and Lin you get a lot of L's.

vanessa said...

O this is an easy one for me, as there are two such clear frontrunners: Beckett and Gemma. Although I like Ruby as much as Gemma. I find Eisley confusing and I think it would limit sib names.
OK in more detail:
Beckett has gone from 749 in '06 to 356. That's still pretty low and those aren't GIANT leaps. Paxton has climbed even more steadily and is at 295, so actually MORE popular than Beckett. And I just don''t like it so there's that :) Dexter is less popular than either (454) but I am having trouble with the serial killer association. I still prefer it to Paxton, but I'd go with Beckett.
Beckett Harrison is really nice.
Girls--I think both are equally good. I think by now Gemma is a clear enough choice on it's own to not be confused with Jenna. And it's lovely. Gemma Lorraine is really pretty. Ruby is nice if your husband can get over the old lady association, but I think Lorraine works better with Gemma.If you like the sound of Eyes-ly would you like Isla? Elise? (Elise Lin runs together tho...)

P. Gardiner said...

When I saw your boy name list I thought Baxter right away, interesting that someone else did too. I think Lin is a difficult last name, I've thought of ten other name suggestions, but when I pair them with Lin I hear the repeating L and N sounds. Also consider Nathan, Simon, Carter, Davis, Xavier, Graham, or Oscar.

I like Gemma, but I think the vowel ending blends it with your surname, making Gemmalin, like the name Emmaline. For girls, how about Georgia? Or Shelby, Violet, Erica, Natasha, Heather, or Piper? I think Georgia Lorraine Lin is delightful.

Patricia said...

I love Gemma and think it sounds well with Lin. Ruby sounds fine too, but I prefer Gemma.

Of your boy's name possibilities, I think Beckett best meets your criteria of not usually shortening to a single syllable.

However, I think your husband's favorite Paxton would be all right, especially if you plan to call your son the full name Paxton. Paxton Lin sounds fine to me (although a name ending in '-in' wouldn't sound very well, eg. Dustin Lin). The shortness of Pax Lin, if others shorten his name, isn't unusual with Chinese surnames: a cousin's child is called Max W00 (his given name may be Maxwell). As for Angelina Jolie having a Vietnamese son named Pax, I don't think most people know -- or care -- what her kids are named and anyway, your son's name would be Paxton.

Thus my votes are for Gemma for a girl, Paxton for a boy.

Best wishes!

Anonymous said...

Having a sister named Becky (sometimes shortened to Beck), I can't help but see and hear Beckett as a girlish name -- like a combination of Beck(y) and (Scar)lett. I think either of your other possible names sounds more masculine.

Kas said...

I love Beckett the best from your boys list Beckett Harrison Lin!!

Gemma is my favourate from your girls list not unheard of but not overly common these days! I also like Ruby and i dont think its an old lady name at all! I know a little 3 yr old named Ruby and it suits her so well!! all the best!

Patricia said...

Some further thoughts... I like the sound of your surname and its simplicity, but agree that Lin is a challenging surname to work with. I think a 2-syllable name that isn't routinely shortened works best with Lin, and that would be my number one criteria.

I like Gemma, but can hear the merging of that name with Lin into Gemmalin (reminding me of Evelyn) as mentioned above. Ruby Lin doesn't do that for me. Or you may want to look for other girls' names that don't end in 'a' or 'ly'(thus ___ly Lin). Daisy and Ivy have been suggested. Some others:

For a boy, again my top priority would be that the name isn't usually shortened to a 1-syllable name. These "last name first" names are in the same style as Dex(ter) and Pax(ton):

How a name sounds is important, but loving the name is even more so. I hope you find one that you and your husband both love.

Anonymous said...

Artist/architect Maya Lin and her mother Julia Lin both have names ending in 'a' which sound very well with Lin. So I think some end-in-a names are perfect with Lin.

Maya Lin's father is Henry Lin; that's another good pairing. Have you considered using a more common first name for your son? Besides Henry, I like Alexander/Alex Lin, Eric Lin, Jeremy Lin.

For a girl, it seems that a 3 syllable name might be a good option too, such as Annabel Lin, Samantha Lin, Stephanie Lin, Juniper Lin (Junie Lin)...

The Mrs. said...

Gemma Lin is so wonderful! And Gemma Lorraine has just a touch of feminine sass... it's GREAT!

Some other boy ideas:


Felix (as someone mentioned above)

Lennox (nickname of 'Nox'... see below)

Knox (I know it's only one syllable)



Zadoc (his nickname could be 'Doc')

All the best to you as you anticipate your sweet baby!

Karen L said...

Of your girls' names, I like Gemma the best and I don't think it will get confused with Jenna very often. I like Eisley but I find Eisley Lin a bit of a mouthful, even moreso Eisley Lorraine Lin.

I have a similar last name (sounds like Lou) and it is quite difficult to work with for girl names. I LOVE the name Mary, but a full name that sounds like Mary Lou is confusing and not my style. Even if it's not confusing, anything too sweet because cutesy. Ruby Lin (Ruby-Lynn) is kinda like that to my ear. I've found that longer, stronger names tend to work better. My own daughter is Margaret Naomi, both of which work with "Lou", she but goes by Naomi.

Stabs in the dark: how about ... ?

I really like Geneva Lorraine Lin.

As for boys' names, I like all the ones on your list but my favourite is Beckett and I think it "goes" better with your girl names, in case the coordination with possible future sisters' names matters to you.

But I throw in a few more suggestions, just for fun:

Katie said...

You seem pretty set in your options (which I think are all great, BTW!) so here are my favorites from those:

Beckett Harrison Lin
Beckett Jeffry Lin
Dexter Harrison Lin
Dexter Jeffry Lin
Paxton Jeffry Lin (Not a fan of the double -n endings with Paxton Lin)

Gemma Lorraine Lin (#1 for me BY FAR!)
Ruby Lorraine Lin (Love this too)
Eisley Lorraine Lin (Not crazy about this one)