my husband and i have...an issue. our baby isn't due til halloween (and i hope she comes that day, how great would that be!) but we are a little freaked out about the whole thing. for lots of reasons, but one of them is the name!
this will be our first child. we want to have at least 3, maybe 4. the names that we BOTH like and also would both be willing to actually use are:
so you can see, fairly classic names. Our names are Nora and Thomas, so we fit in with that kind of pattern as well. the thing is, hubs and i grew up together, and we've always wanted to honor a family that was very important to us growing up with our first child. their surname was Malone. well, it still is. we can't overestimate what this family did for us--every last one of them which is why we want to use their surname not one first name. the trouble is, Malone doesn't go with the other names that we like, and it isn't our style generally. If we have 4 kids and we name them Malone, Hannah, Edward and Oliver isnt that going to feel weird for Malone? and are we dooming her to a life of being called Baloney?
We really, really want to honor this family, though. and we don't want to use it as a middle--there is a tradition in my family that the firstborn girl always has the middle name Rose, so that will be her middle.
oh--surname is like bells but with a W (kids will have my surname).
Considering sibling names from the very first child is one of the best ways to make the naming process smoother later on. Because many people DON'T consider it ahead of time, AND because many people have naming traditions in their families that result in using a name for their first child that would not be their usual choice, I think it's relatively common to have the first child's name not quite line up with the others. I think it can even be a bit of a point of pride for the first child.
And of course, it can also be a bit of a burden. So. It comes down to this, I think: do you love the name? Do you want to use it? Do you love it and want to use it enough to take it with its complete assortment of upsides and downsides? (It's like a marriage, isn't it? Do you take this name for better and for worse?) There are other ways to thank and honor a family that meant so much to you, if you decide not to do this particular one---though of course, this is an especially spectacular way!
Another possibility is to use Malone as a middle name for a future child, or as a first name for a future boy (though that adds risk: maybe there will be no boy). According to The Social Security Administration, the name Malone was given to 11 girls and 6 boys in 2010, so right now it's a gender-neutral surname name. Girls TEND to care more about their names, but on the other side TEND to be given a wider variety of unusual names including boyish names (even though we tend to avoid girlish names for boys)---so it's a matter of whether you think the name Malone works better as a stand-out from her sisters, or as a stand-out from his brothers. Pick various groups of sibling names and try it out to see what your own preference is.
But I think there are a number of things working in your favor if you want to use it now, and as a first name. The aforementioned commonness of a first child having a name of a different style. The TYPE of style difference Malone is, which I think goes better with your group of names than some other styles would. The coolness of the name Malone, which seems like it would work better for the child than an honor name of the "popular in another generation, hopelessly dated now" type. The middle name Rose, which gives her something traditional and feminine to fall back on if she prefers.
And most of all, I think "having a good explanation" is HUGE. Have you ever seen the effect on a crowd of something like this? A parent will mention a name that surprises everyone in the group---and then the parent adds "It's my mother's maiden name" or "It's my sister's name" and everyone visibly switches to Positive Reaction. "Oh! It's an HONOR name! That's a different story!"