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.