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Monday, July 18, 2011

Baby Boy or Girl Wibbly

C. writes:
I'm freaking out! My husband and I are expecting our first child in 4 days and I am way more anxious and stressed about naming this baby than I am about the whole labor process. Its such a big responsibility and we desparately need your help!!!!

We’ve been making lists of names now, since we found out we were expecting, but cannot come up with first/middle name combinations that fit with our last name. Our last name is pronounced Wibbly, which definitely rules out many of my favorite names (Rylee, Hadley, Kingsley), since I don’t want our child to have rhyming first and last names. Also, we’ve made the mistake of sharing our favorite names with opinionated family members… we were settled on Ayla if we have a girl, until a family member told me “it sounds like alien.” Now I’m having second thoughts, although my husband and I both still like it alot…

I don’t know if we have a particular style, but I seem to like names that start with vowels or soft sounds, and prefer names that are less common...

So, here’s what we have so far:


Isaiah - I love Isaiah and its growing on hubby who initially said it was too old-fashioned and biblical…. So, we would like a newer trendier middle name (I like Dax, Jax, or Finn, but hubby is not so keen). I wonder if you would have any other suggestions?

Everett - I like this a lot too, but need suggestions for middle names…



Kingsley - too rhymey

Aidan - My old favorite, but now we have several aquaintances who have used it

Jackson/Oliver - I love the idea of shortening to Jax/Oly, but just too popular for me now


Ayla Reese

Ayla Jean - Jean is after my grandmother, but I think this combo is too old fashioned for me… I worry that it sounds a little Hillbilly when pronounced with a Southern accent... I would love to hear yours and your readers opinions...

Aubrey Jean

Selah Jean

Selah Reese

Ayla Brielle

Rylee - husband’s favorite, but I think too rhymey with our last name

Hadley - again too rhymey

Thanks so much for your help!!!

PS We are feeling most stuck with boys names. So, if you are only able to help with one or the other, we would really appreciate help with our boys names. Thanks again!

There are several tools I think might be useful here:

1. The Social Security baby name website. Oliver is too popular for you---but your frontrunner Isaiah is even more common (#45 in 2010, versus Oliver's #88). However, Oliver's popularity is increasing while Isaiah's is holding steady, and that's a consideration too. Rylee is #102, but it's #14 when combined with the spellings Rylie and Riley and Ryleigh. This is the sort of thing the site is great for: you can see where a name is, and you can also get an idea for where it's going.

2. Choosing Between Two Finalists. You have more than two finalists, but I think these exercises can be very helpful for narrowing a list down.

3. This post, in which I give the advice I give all first-time parents, which is to see if you can figure out what your naming style is BEFORE you name the first baby (is it more Isaiah/Everett, or more Sawyer/Kingsley?), and to look through your lists for names where you could only use one of them (for example, Ayla and Selah: using one will eliminate the other, so make sure you're choosing the one you like most) or names that wouldn't make good sibling names later (would any of the name candidates pair poorly with any of the names you might like to use for siblings later on?).

I think Isaiah Wibbly is a great name. For the middle name slot, do you have any family names you'd like to use? Or any names that commemorate other things that are special to you (places, authors/characters, artists, schools)? Since you're keener on Isaiah than your husband is, are there any names he liked that had to be eliminated for other reasons but could still be used in the middle name position?

You might also like Josiah, which comes with the nickname Joe if you want it---although perhaps Joe Wibbly is a little close to Bo Diddley.

Eli is nice, or Levi, or Ezra, or Asher.

For Everett, I like middle names that might be too common to suit your style: Everett John Wibbly, Everett James Wibbley, Everett Jack Wibbly. Or Everett Reid is less common. (I like Reid with Isaiah, too.)

Everett makes me think of Elliot and Everest.

If you like Kingsley except for the ending, Kingston might work for you.

I like Ayla Jean very much. The name Ayla is similar to Kayla; adding Reese as a middle name increases that similarity, and using Jean decreases it. The "alien" thing doesn't bother me, but I know how these "helpful comments" from family/friends can really wreck a name. Paul and I were considering a pair of names for our twins, and a friend said "Oh, I love them! They sound just like characters from a romance novel!" ...Oh. *names fizzle right before my eyes*

I worry that you'll be unhappy with the popularity of Ayla over time. Right now it's way down in the 300s, but the sounds in it are so current: Kayla and Haley and Lila and Ava and Bella rolled into one. I suspect it will either increase in popularity dramatically---or, more likely, just FEEL more popular because of all the similar names.

My favorite is Aubrey, but I don't like the bree/blee combination with the surname. The name Audrey eliminates the B, but still is a little rhymey.

Since the -lee/-lie/-ly endings (and some of the -ee/-ie/-y endings) have been nixed by the surname, I think -lyn and -anna and -ella endings might work well, or -ra or -is or -er. If Rylee is a favorite, do you like Rianna? Rilyn? Raelyn? If Hadley is too rhymey: Hadlyn or Hayden or Adelyn. Aylyn would be even MORE like alien, but Kaylin/Caelyn/Braelyn/Ashlyn are less, or maybe Avelyn or Ariella or Sierra or Iris or Aida.

Name update! C. writes:
So, I am way late sending in an update. My baby is already 3 months old! We named him Isaiah Steven. Thank you for all of your help, I was so happy to have such positive feedback on the name Isaiah, which had always been my first choice. And, Steven is after his Daddy, which we hadn’t seriously considered until you suggested choosing a name with meaning behind it. Thanks again, we are very happy with his name!!!


SheLikesToTravel said...

A friend of mine just named his baby girl Kyla. It's also pretty, but eliminates some of your other concerns.

Kas said...

I love Ayla its so pretty and does not sound at all like Alien! I named my daughter Ava and often wished i had gone with Ayla or Ada as they are much less common but just as pretty! I also love Aubry which is what my next child will be if she is a girl!! I love Ayla Reese or Aubry Reese!

From your boys list i like Declan or Sawyer the best. If you like Isaiah do you maybe like Xavier, Xander?

If you like Aiden and Hadley i think Hayden/Haiden is a great name for you which can be used for both a girl or boy!

congrats and all the best! x

Anonymous said...

Ayla is a beautiful name!

The only reason I'd hesitate to use Jean is the link to Jean Auel -the author that some say coined the name Ayla (=the Clan of the Cave Bear). Not sure how many people would have that same association though!

What about Ayla Jane or Ayla Janae?

Isaiah is nice, it goes well with your last name. You could give him the nickname Zay if you want something trendier.

I don't know how you pronounce Ayla and Isaiah, but both have the same -ay sound. If you are more attached to one name than the other, I'd keep that in mind. So if you have a boy now but would love to use Ayla for a girl later, maybe Isaiah isn't the best choice for you, or vice versa.

In that sense, I would go for one of your other names, Everett or Declan. I wonder if you would like Callum or Callan. Callan Aiden Wibbly sounds really great! Or Kieran for that matter. Kieran Everett Wibbly.

c_girl said...

Aubrey (Aubree, in our case) Jean is my sister's name! Jean is a family name for us as well, though we sometimes cheat and use Jeannette.

Avery? Ellery? To avoid the b/Wibbly issue.

beyond said...

I like Sawyer from your list best. Sawyer Wibbly. Love the sound of it, and that it's a good name for a little boy and a grown man. Sawyer Isaiah Wibbly, perhaps? Also with Sawyer, it seems you could use any of the girl names on your list, if you have a daughter in the future.
I would have pronounced Ayla 'eye-la', but that's not a big deal. With the correct pronunciation, I don't have an 'alien association'. Very pretty name.
Do you like Anya? Maya? Nina? Zara?
I love Jean as a mn (for any first name you choose), and I think the family connection is very special.
Good luck!

kimma said...

I don’t think Ayla Jean Wibbly sounds at all hillbilly, nor does my mind go immediately to alien. If this is your preferred name and it has special meaning to you (with the family connection) I would ignore your friend’s comment and use it.

For a boy I’m not a fan of Isaiah, because I agree with your husband that it is overly old-testament sounding to me. Then again, I like Elijah and hubby always dismisses it as too biblical, while I don’t really make that connection with it (he’s Catholic, I’m not). Names are so subjective!

Purely as a personal preference from your boy’s list I like the idea of Sawyer Wibbly.

Anonymous said...

Sawyer Wibbly is such a great name. I love the way it sounds together, so much so that I would want to call him by his full name all the time. Love it.

Of your list for girls, Selah Jean is my favourite. I also like a commenter's suggestions of Isla (pronounced Eye-la, as in island), Anya and Maya.

Congratulations -- & please send an update for us!

Anonymous said...

What about Audra instead of Aubrey/Audrey? That would fix the rhyming issues and is adorable!