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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Baby Girl Butler, Sister to Caroline and Naomi

Katherine writes:
Like many parents, I never thought I would be so stuck. We are expecting our third and final girl on April 1st 2012. (wouldn't that be a fun birthday?) My two older children were both named months before the first ultrasound and here's the thing: I LOVE their names. Caroline and Naomi. Aren't they perfect? (Their middle names are family names, Mary and Julia. Our last name is Butler. This baby will have the middle name of Susan. I don't care one bit about middle name flow) I love saying their names out loud and I even love hearing them on other people. Although I might be a little sad if they skyrocketed to the top ten, I have never once doubted their names. As soon as I considered their names, I knew them to be right. (And thankfully my husband agreed) Now I need a third perfect name. There's a little bit of awkwardness I think bc I feel like some people assume that this pregnancy was an accident (it definitely was not) or that we were "trying for a boy" (insanely ridiculous, I can't believe people even ask that) But I really don't want this little girl to feel like an afterthought, especially bc she's been part of my plan for over ten years! Right now it feels like we haven't done much to prepare for her.

Here's our list of names we like but aren't quite right:
Margot (Husband not a fan of how "French" it sounds)
Josephine (Not sure about nickname options)
Louise (this would be at the top of the list except its a family name that would be really awkward to use)
Lucia/Lucy (Its very popular here, also I ruined it for myself by seeing it on top name lists for dogs and cats)
Sophie (It is crazy popular here. With a fairly common last name, I am especially concerned about using a top ten name)

What's still in the running?

One name doesn't really make a list. Especially bc I just don't think that's her name. I'm not sure if this is immediately obvious, but I like names with like vowels sounds. Clearly my Baby Name Wizard style is Timeless with a touch of Charms and Graces. I have read the book cover to cover, hoping that I've overlooked something.

I read with much interest your column about preferences vs requirements and I've decided I have very few requirements which is not making things any easier. I want a name that fits in with our girls so that they sound like a sibling group of 3, not two plus one. Does that make sense? Every name we try sounds just not quite right and I don't want to settle.

I'd prefer a name that does not start with C or N. (and perhaps K or B. Our names are Katherine and Ben)
I'd prefer a name with no automatic nickname. I know kids today are more likely to go by long versions of names, but I really don't want to fight that fight with my extended family.
I'd prefer names that do not evoke a specific culture too strongly.
I like girl names to have no more than three syllables. I don't like two syllable names ending in the "ee" sound.(bell tone names generally sound dated to me)

Swistle can you please help? Do I need to let go of having that "aha" moment that I had with my first two daughters? In all fairness, I'm generally not an "aha" type of person when it comes to making big decisions.

With a non-negotiable time-limit such as birth, it is definitely possible to cruise all the way there with no lightning bolt of "YES. THAT IS THE NAME." Among my own children, there are two lightning bolt names, one gradual-warming name, one "this was the only name we agreed on" name, and one "chosen almost disappointingly easily/early" name. It does seem particularly disappointing to have two lightning bolts and then one of the other sort, though, so I'm eager for you to find another bolt. I will feel a little silly mentioning name after name you've certainly encountered many times in your perusals---but on the other hand, both of my own kids' lightning-bolt names hit me out of the blue even though I'd seen them hundreds of times in baby name books.

Margaret is probably out because of the endless nickname options, but I think of it because of Josephine (Little Women) and also because it's like Margot with the French removed. Margaret Butler; Caroline, Naomi, and Margaret.

Greta removes the nickname problem. Greta Butler; Caroline, Naomi, and Greta.

Another possibility is Miriam. It's a sweet and underused name; it gives you a new initial; and I like the way the sounds of adjoining names connect (-ne of Caroline to the N- of Naomi; -mi of Naomi to the Mi- of Miriam). Downside: maybe too well-matched with Naomi in both sound and style, possibly leaving Caroline out. Miriam Butler; Caroline, Naomi, and Miriam.

Meredith is more balanced between the two styles, perhaps. I love the sound of Meredith Butler. I would want that name myself. Caroline, Naomi, and Meredith.

Sophie and Josephine make me think of Fiona, because of the distinctive shared "fee" sound. Fiona Butler; Caroline, Naomi, and Fiona.

The name Elsa recently caught my attention when a friend's niece was given the name. Elsa Butler; Caroline, Naomi, and Elsa.

The name Simone might be too French, but I mention it anyway for how well I think the sounds of the three names tie together. Simone Butler; Caroline, Naomi, and Simone.

Harriet is a name I remember startling me back in the early 1990s when someone I knew used it for their baby. Now it seems like a very sassy and likely option. Harriet Butler; Caroline, Naomi, and Harriet.

If Eliza isn't quite right and Louise would be the top choice except for an awkward association, would Eloise work or would it be too close to the awkwardness? It's one of my own favorites, and I think it's great with the surname and with the siblings. Eloise Butler; Caroline, Naomi, and Eloise.


Beth said...

Fiona is a wonderful suggestion! I think it makes a lovely sibling set with your other daughters.
Please let us all know what you end up choosing.

Katie said...

Great suggestions Swistle! I love Eloise and Fiona...both are great with the sibling set!

-R- said...

I love Swistle's suggestion of Miriam!

I would also suggest Evelyn.

Nicole Trager said...

I agree Fiona is my fave suggestion! I think it is perfect for you

Fiona also makes me think of Phoebe
Phoebe Susan Butler
Caroline, Naomi and Phoebe

Phoebe makes me think of Daphne
Daphne Susan Butler
Caroline, Naomi and Daphne

Some other options that are classic and charming but not too popular and not apparent nick-names
Sylvie, Jane, Viola, Stella

Good luck, I love your style, anything you choose will be lovely

StephLove said...

If not for the nickname possibilities, I would jump on Josephine or Margaret for you. I think they go very well in the sibling set. I like Lucy quite a bit, too. That one might be my favorite, though it has that ee sound at the end. Lucy Butler. Caroline, Naomi & Lucy. Here are some suggestions:


Anonymous said...

With the same last name, I have tossed around the name Harriet for all the reasons Switsle suggested. However, my husband, having lived with the last name Butler through elementary school, is convinced our sweet little Harriet Butler would be called "hairy butt"... And I just can't have that! It's just a thought!

Jen said...

I really do like Josephine and Margaret.

Eliza makes me think of Elise.

A said...

I think keeping three syllables will help get the unity between the three names that you desire. I think Miriam and Harriet are perfect options. Miriam probably more so because there is no usual nn for it. Caroline, Naomi, and Miriam, beautiful!

Jen said...

Oh and I just saw the name Gwen and thought of Gwenyth.

Rosie said...

I like Harriet and Fiona from Swistle's list (but the comment above mine puts me off Harriet a bit!). What about:
Helen (or Helena)

Anonymous said...

I like the Eloise suggestion (bit fancier than Louise, hope it's not too close).

I also like Ophelia. You could probably stretch it to nn Opal if you like!

Anonymous said...


liz said...

Another vote for Ella.

Megan said...

Naomi and Louise/Louisa are both on my top favorite list (that hubby vetoed). I wonder if you would like any of these?
Love those sweet classic girls names!

Portia said...

I love both Margaret and Meredith with your daughters' names.

Other suggestions (based simply on what sounds good with Caroline and Naomi):


I think I'm drawn to names with an a-ending because the different ending vowel sounds tie all the names together nicely.

bunnyslippers said...

You seem to like names with a hard 'o' sound to them.

How about:
Nicole (my favourite with Caroline and Naomi)

Mary said...

I love your daughters' names and like so many of the suggestions already given - Fiona, Meredith, Miriam, Eloise!

I like the repeating "a" and "i" sound

Some more ideas:

Caroline, Naomi and..

Matilda (!)

Anonymous said...

I love the names Caroline and Naomi!

I like the suggestion of Magnolia! I think of it like a less stuffy version of Margaret. It has a long o sound and ends in a, so in ties in perfect with your other girls!

Pick Magnolia! Pick Magnolia!

Anonymous said...

I love Eloise with Caroline and Naomi! They're all unique and classic with 3 syllables, plus they share the same long O sound! I hope that it's far enough from Louise for you to love it!

If not, Fiona would also work. But fingers crossed for Eloise Susan!

Clarabella said...

(Opal really inspired me.)
Good luck!

Jan said...

From the suggestions so far I like Fiona and Ramona. It's four syllables but I like Olivia and also Georgia.

Natalia said...

Eloise seems like the perfect compromise between Louise and Eliza, great suggestion.

If you like Lucy and Lucia, you may also like Lucianne Or Luciana.
Other L- names I like for you are Laura and Lauren.

I want to suggest Amelia, I think it's beautiful with your girls names: Caroline, Naomi and Amelia. Please use this one! It's so perfect!

Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

My first thought was also Eloise due to you liking Elize and Louise. It also makes me think of Elodie but you don't like "ee" end. Maybe Adelaide? Which makes me think of

Caroline, Naomi and Eloise Susan
Caroline, Naomi and Elodie Susan
Caroline, Naomi and Adelaide Susan

monicabenson said...

I love Josephine - which I weird, because I don't care for Joseph. I like the strong consonant sounds at the beginning of your girls names. Other suggestions:

Genevieve (French, but not too French)
Gretchen (as an alternative to Greta)

Does three a list make? Good luck and congratulations!

Anonymous said...

I forgot to say (I posted at 2:08pm), we have the same last name. And we wouldn't use Harriet due to potential teasing of "Hairy But-ler"

Anonymous said...

I love the suggestion of Eloise and Miriam. If these aren't quite right I would suggest Georgia--I just like this with your other names.

Emilia (similar to Lucia)
Marion (similar to Miriam)
Vivian (reminds me of Josephine and Margot)
Sylvia/Sylvie (similar to Sophie)

Good luck!

Katherine (OP) said...

Thank you thank you thank you to Swistle and all commenters! Please keep them coming. So many of these names are on our close but not quite sure list, but perhaps that list is good enough until we see her face.

When I first met my BIL he made a references to being called Mr A$$ler. As someone with no brothers, the butt joke went right over my head. My two daughters are so far only minimally into potty humor but I am very aware of how easily some people go there (esp elementary school aged boys), so Harriet is definitely out!

Anonymous said...

What about Elena? (I say it ee-LAY-na.) Elena Susan Butler, Elena Butler, Caroline, Naomi and Elena. I would swoon!

Other possibilities:

Talia Susan Butler
Maria Susan Butler
Gabrielle Susan Butler
Isabelle Susan Butler

I also second the suggestions of Helena, Fiona, Georgia (Georgia Susan Butler!), Olivia and Ramona!

I really like your girls' names with your surname. I am also a big fan of how they fit together without being too "matchy". Well done, and the best of luck to you in naming Baby #3!

Anonymous said...

I really like the suggestions of Fiona, Eloise, Martha & Violet. Such a shame that Harriet is out-what about Henrietta? I also really like Adele for you, does the singer make it too trendy for you? I think Eloise and Violet are probably my favorites.

Anonymous said...

How about:


Good luck!

gail said...

I actually love the idea of Josephine, with the nn of Jo. Or Johanna.

Caroline, Naomi, and Johanna.

Of Swistle's suggestions (seconded by many others) my favorite is Eloise.

What about Annabel?

Good luck....I love the idea of a home with three little girls.

Erin said...

I knew a girl named Simona. It's less French-sounding than Simone, but has the same vibe to me.

Opal makes me think of Odette.

Or what about Ivy, Rose, Violet, Daisy, Pansy, Lily -- any flower/plant name?

Crafty Beth said...

I think that Caroline and Naomi are just different enough in style that almost any of these choices make them sound like a lovely grouping. Several of them stand out to me, like Meredith, Elsa, and Eloise; I'll also suggest my own daughter's name, Iris, but I really think you can't go wrong. You have great taste!

vanessa said...

Caroline and Naomi are such lovely names, and I am trying to figure out how to tie them together! I am inclined to find names with an I and that O sound....which makes me think of Olivia, first:
Caroline, Naomi and Olivia; Olivia Susan Butler.
Ramona, as others have said
Eleanor! Has nicknames, but also SO GREAT. Eleanor Susan. Caroline, Naomi, Eleanor. SO GOOD.
Flora? Caroline, Naomi, Flora.
What about Jody or Jocelyn?
Lorelei--Caroline, Naomi, and Lorelei. I dont like how two of the names end with an I though.
Oh! Sonia! Or Sonja! This might be my new favorite, actually! Caroline, Naomi, and Sonia. USE THAT. Sonia Susan Butler. FANTASTIC. SONIA SONIA SONIA.
Otherwise, I also like Sophia for you, or Veronica. (SONIA).

Trudee said...

I really like Meredith and Eloise of Swistle's suggestions.

The mentions of Olivia make me think of a name I would love to use: Odessa.

Swistle's suggestion of Elsa makes me think of Isla (EYE-la), which I think is so fresh.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

For me I'm finding it difficult to find a name to complete the set because I find Caroline and Naomi very different names. They do sound great together but I see Caroline as more traditional and soft and Naomi slightly more modern and spunky.

That being said, I love Fiona and Margaret!

Anonymous said...

The suggestions I like most so far are Eloise, Meredith Greta, and Sonya.

A suggestion of mine to complete the sib set is Bridget. Caroline, Naomi, and Bridget. Though, if you use the middle name Susan (which seems set) you do get BS...but, come on, doesn't Bridget Butler sound fantastic?!

gail said...

Antonia....I forgot to mention.

VirginiaMom said...

Instead of Susan as a middle name, how about Susanna as a first name? Caroline, Naomi, and Susanna.

Anonymous said...

Please consider Anna! Caroline, Naomi and Anna. It's classic and wholesome-sounding like Caroline and Naomi, and seems less common among this new generation.

Anonymous said...

I think Elsie would be adorable!

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

Halfway through this post, I wanted SO BADLY to suggest Marion or Louisa to you! But then Swistle suggested Eloise and O! it is so perfect!

Beth said...

I'm soaking up these suggestions...we are expecting our third child in Sept, and fully anticipate another girl to make us a lovely little family of three girls. daughters names are Cate Meredith and Naomi Caroline! Sounds like Katherine and I have very similar tastes, and many of the names on our list have been suggested by the other commenters. I'm getting lots of good ideas!

One name I love but my husband doesn't is Willa. Willa Butler. Lovely. But my favorite of the suggestions is probably Meredith. Or Eleanor/Elinor.

All the best with naming your daughter!

Megz said...

There are a lot of really great suggestions here. The only one I want to add is Monica (another 3 sylable name).

Caroline, Naomi and Monica

I like the idea of the girls names starting with the consonant their older sisters name ends with. And the ending of Monica also ties right back to the start of Caroline again.

Laura said...

I love your naming style...Naomi is at the top of my personal list of "names that got away." :)

I love the name Olive. Caroline, Naomi, Olive. All with that "o" stringing them together but each its own unique name.

I also love Hazel. Caroline, Naomi, Hazel. Hazel Susan.

I too love Swistle's suggestion of Eloise and that made me think of Louisa. Louisa Susan might be tricky to say...maybe scratch that. Still love Louisa though.

Best wishes to you on your third sweet little girl. Please let us know what you choose!

Swistle said...

Seeing Laura's comment made me think of another suggestion: Laura. Laura Butler; Caroline, Naomi, and Laura.

Clotilde said...

You might like:

Caroline, Naomi & Felicity Butler
Caroline, Naomi & Elizabeth Butler
Caroline, Naomi & Isla Butler
Caroline, Naomi & Phoebe Butler
Caroline, Naomi & Florence Butler
Caroline, Naomi & Rose Butler
Caroline, Naomi & Violet Butler
Caroline, Naomi & Helena Butler
Caroline, Naomi & Louisa Butler
Caroline, Naomi & Susannah Butler
Caroline, Naomi & Iris Butler
Caroline, Naomi & Zoe Butler
Caroline, Naomi & Dinah Butler

Anonymous said...

Haha! I was reading down the list, and I thought of Eleanor and Laura, and there they were suggested.

Candice said...

My sister-in-law had thought she wanted a "Josie" but didn't like Josephine, so she chose Jocelyn instead. (The funny thing is, my niece goes exclusively by Jocelyn. :)) Anyway, I think Jocelyn goes very nicely with the sib-set and surname. (it's perhaps not the best with Susan as the middle name, but if flow is not an issue, maybe Jocelyn is your thunderbolt name!) Good luck finding a name you love!