I never thought I'd need baby name advice, but here I am. I have a 4 year old son, and a less than one year old daughter and I am unexpectedly pregnant with baby #3 (definitely the last) due in April 2012. Our last name rhymes with Garnet (emphasis on first syllable). My son is named Brendan and my daughter is Bridget. We didn't necessarily plan on two names with Br- but we didn't see it as problematic either. They were names we both loved and had family connections.
Middle name: Probably going to be Maria in honor of my mother-in-law. Less concerned with it working with middle as I am with last.
Names we've considered:
Brynn (I like, husband doesn't, and is it too cute to have three names have Br- starts?)
Fiona (husband loves, not sure I do. Shrek association?)
Bevin (I like, husband doesn't)
Ellen (I don't love, maybe variations? Kind of like Ellie as a NN)
Nora (probably out because of negative family association)
Maeve (probably out because of negative family association)
Names that are out (due to use by family): Claire, Kayleigh, most anything ending in -een (Maureen, Eileen, Kathleen, etc.), Meaghan, Catherine. I generally don't love the idea of a hugely popular / trendy girl name (there goes Ava, Olivia, Emma, etc.) Husband likes Isabella. Feels far too popular/trendy for me. As you can see, we (generally) like Irish sounding names, but my husband balks at the more traditional names with spellings that don't "match" the pronunciation (see, e.g, Aisling, Aoife, Niamh) -- though I've advocated a phonetic variation like Neve.
I could really use some fresh suggestions and a new perspective.
I think I might not do a third Br- name in a row (I wouldn't rule it out, either, but it's a very distinctive theme so I'd want to be sure it was what I wanted), but I think I WOULD be hoping to find a B name I liked: a B name would keep the third child from standing out, but would also keep the theme from seeming too forced/cute. Some possibilities:
Brendan, Bridget, and Beatrix
Brendan, Bridget, and Bethany
Brendan, Bridget, and Bianca (similar to Fiona, but no ogre)
The trouble is, a LOT of good girl B names are Br. If you do go that route, I'd look for ones that have a distinctively different sound (i.e., not Brenna because it's so close to the Bren of Brendan; not Brecken because it shares not only the Br but also the short-E and the N-ending of Brendan). I've put Brinley on the list because the -ley adds such a different sound---but the short-I and the N might make it too close to the Bren of Brendan and the Brih of Bridget. (Spelling it Brynley might remove some of the visual similarity, and also give you the Brynn you liked.)
Brendan, Bridget, and Braelyn
Brendan, Bridget, and Bria
Brendan, Bridget, and Briar
Brendan, Bridget, and Briarley
Brendan, Bridget, and Brielle
Brendan, Bridget, and Briley
Brendan, Bridget, and Brinley
Brendan, Bridget, and Briony
Brendan, Bridget, and Britton (Britten? Brittyn?)
Brendan, Bridget, and Bronwyn
Brendan, Bridget, and Brooklyn
If I weren't going to use B/Br, I might look for a name with a strong B/Br sound in the middle (Gabrielle, for example), or I might find some other tie-in: Margaret, for example, to echo the ending sound of Bridget, or a strong D sound to tie it to the D sound in each of the other names. Some of these might not work with the surname, depending how close it is to Garnet.
Brendan, Bridget, and Aubrey
Brendan, Bridget, and Cambria
Brendan, Bridget, and Danica
Brendan, Bridget, and Gabrielle
Brendan, Bridget, and Greta
Brendan, Bridget, and Gretchen
Brendan, Bridget, and Gwendolyn (too rhymey with Brendan?)
Brendan, Bridget, and Juliette
Brendan, Bridget, and Keelin
Brendan, Bridget, and Kendall
Brendan, Bridget, and Madigan
Brendan, Bridget, and Margaret
Brendan, Bridget, and Meredith
Brendan, Bridget, and Sabrina
Brendan, Bridget, and Violet
Since you like both Ellen and Nora, Eleanor would be a nice way to get the sounds of both while diluting the negative family association. I'm also reminded of Lauren.
Ellen and Bevin and Brynn and Maeve make me think of Evelyn.
Fiona makes me think of Bianca, and also of Ione, and also of Catriona (I'm thinking of the four-syllable cat-tree-OH-nah pronunciation, rather than the Celtic three-syllable cat-TREE-nah pronunciation).
Oh, or Rowan! It's similar to Fiona, Ellen, and Bevin.
Name update! B. writes:
Maeve Teresa was born on 4/18.
We decided it was silly to choose a name we didn't love just to keep the B "thing" going (Bonnie, though, was a strong contender for a while). Though I loved a few of Swistle's suggestions for the 'br' sound elsewhere, husband wasn't on board with any. One of the commenters generated a nice list of strong Irish girl names, but I had difficulty selling husband on most of them (Deirdre, Aislinn, Caitlin each was a contender at one point, as was Maura). We went into delivery pretty set on another name (Fiona), but neither of us thrilled with the choice. Then she was born, and she just looked like a Maeve, and we haven't had one moment of naming regret since. Thanks for everyone's suggestions and help!