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Friday, March 9, 2012

Baby Boy or Girl Carlos, Sibling to Clayton and Chloe

Kimberly writes:
Help! I'm literally losing sleep over a possible baby girl name. We do not know the sex of our third and final child, which will be here in less than 5 weeks! Our twins are 21 months old. Their names are Clayton Joseph and Chloe Grace. Our last name is Carlos. If we have a boy, his name will be Jackson James. I'd like to use Faith as the middle name if it's a girl, but that's not an absolute must. Since Clayton and Chloe are older names, I'd like to stick with that theme. Names we've considered, but I just can't seem to commit to are:

Macie Layne (husband loves)
Ashby Faith (we both love, but not sure about the rest of the world!)
Olivia (beautiful, but so popular)
Sadie (very common dog name!)
Violet (I like, husband isn't a huge fan of)
Harper (I like, husband says it isn't feminine enough)

Please advise...I'm desperate and feeling so unprepared!!

I think the rest of the world would likely be fine with Ashby: it's similar to the well-liked name Ashley but with a fresher sound, and surname names are currently in style. My main hesitation is the vast difference in popularity between the names Chloe and Ashby: according to the Social Security Administration, Chloe was #9 in 2010, but Ashby hasn't been in the Top 1000 since 1907---and that was as a boy's name. In 2010, there were 11,656 new baby girls named Chloe (and another 6,771 named Khloe/Kloey/Cloe/Cloey/etc, bringing the ranking from #9 to more like #3), and only 27 baby girls named Ashby.

Another hesitation is that Chloe is completely feminine in the U.S.----but Ashby is unisex, used in 2010 for 18 boys.

Here's why neither of these hesitations make me feel like you shouldn't use the name: because neither of them FEEL true. Because of Ashley, the name Ashby seems more common and feminine than it is. Also, because the name Clayton falls somewhere between Chloe and Ashby (it was #252 for boys in 2010), it isn't as jarring a feeling as it might be if you had Jacob, Emma, and Ashby---and even THEN, the "Ash" part makes it fit for me. AND you both love it, and I think there are few explanations more suitable for explaining away hesitations.

I do find Ashby a little difficult to say, however. The transition from -sh- to -by requires a mouth adjustment I guess I don't usually have to make, and I find it sometimes means I say the ending with more of a P sound than a B sound: Ashpy rather than Ashby. Would you like the name Shelby instead? Shelby Carlos; Clayton, Chloe, and Shelby; Chloe Grace and Shelby Faith.

I have a slight preference for the spelling Macey over the spelling Macie, but I can't put a finger on WHY. It would also give her a different ending than Chloe's, which could be a plus or a minus.

If you love the name Olivia, I encourage you to use it. Its popularity is very close Chloe's when alternate spellings are taken into account, and it really is a beautiful name. Olivia Carlos; Clayton, Chloe, and Olivia; Chloe Grace and Olivia Faith.

I think Sadie is well-established enough as a human name to be safe to use: it doesn't fall into the "But that's a DOG'S name!" category. But I understand if it rules out the name for you: once I'd met two dogs named Bijou, it made it hard for me to think of it as a possible baby girl name. Sadie is a traditional nickname for Sarah, so one possibility would be to use the name Sarah, and then try Sadie as a nickname; then if it DID bother you, you could drop Sadie and use Sarah or Sally instead.

Sadie makes me think of Laney, which can be a stand-alone or a nickname for another name; my favorite long form is Elena. Elena Carlos; Clayton, Chloe, and Elena; Chloe Grace and Elena Faith. I'm not sure if the repeating "ay" sounds of Clayton and Elena are too similar or if they tie the sibling group together nicely.

Delaney is another long form that would work. Delaney Carlos; Clayton, Chloe, and Delaney; Chloe Grace and Delaney Faith. Again the issue with the repeating "ay" sounds.

Avery is quite unisex, and I'm not sure that goes as well with the very feminine Chloe. But I don't think it's deal-breakingly unisex, especially since although the usage of Chloe is all-girl, the name itself is not particularly frilly.

Ava is more girly and not at all unisex. It's also more common than Avery, but not a lot more common: #5 to Avery's #23---and with alternate spellings such as Averie/Averi/Avarie added in, Avery is in the top 10. Ava Carlos; Clayton, Chloe, and Ava; Chloe Grace and Ava Faith.

I was about to suggest Harlow(e) to make Harper more feminine, and then realized that Harlow Carlos is not the best fit! If you like the -per ending, there's also Juniper and Piper.

Ella is nice with Chloe, both in femininity and in popularity (it was #13 last year, and is even more common than that because of all the girls using it as a nickname for Elizabeth and Eleanor and so on). This is one of my favorites for you. Ella Carlos; Clayton, Chloe, and Ella; Chloe Grace and Ella Faith.

Stella would also be nice. Stella Carlos; Clayton, Chloe, and Stella; Chloe Grace and Stella Faith.

If you wanted to continue the Cl-sound theme, Claudia would work. Claudia Carlos; Clayton, Chloe, and Claudia; Chloe Grace and Claudia Faith. But I don't think there's any need to do so: the first two children being twins makes it even easier than usual to break the pattern for a third.

Georgia came suddenly to my mind when I was re-reading the letter. Georgia Carlos; Clayton, Chloe, and Georgia; Chloe Grace and Georgia Faith.

Or Molly. Molly Carlos; Clayton, Chloe, and Molly; Chloe Grace and Molly Faith.

Or Audrey. Audrey Carlos; Clayton, Chloe, and Audrey; Chloe Grace and Audrey Faith.

Oh, or Aubrey, since it's more similar to Ashby. Aubrey Carlos; Clayton, Chloe, and Aubrey; Chloe Grace and Aubrey Faith. I really like that.

Ashby and Olivia make me think of Libby, which can be used as a stand-alone name or as a nickname for Elizabeth.

Your mention of Violet made me think of Charlotte. I like the way she'd have a Ch- start to her name like her sister, without having to repeat the Cl- sound. But do Charlotte and Carlos share too many sounds? Charlotte Carlos; Clayton, Chloe, and Charlotte; Chloe Grace and Charlotte Faith.

Name update! Kimberly writes:
Our sweet little boy is here! We were both surprised to hear the words, "it's a boy" because we both thought it was a girl. Easton James was born on April 3rd and is just perfect! We love his name, which was inspired by the country music singer, Easton Corbin. His name literally changed days before his arrival. I was so happy my husband agreed to it. His twin siblings, Clayton and Chloe are adjusting well to their new brother! Thanks for your help!!


StephLove said...

From the comments on the names on your list it seems like Ashby is your stand-out favorite, so my simple answer is use that one. I'm all in favor of using the names you love.

But I also like Olivia and Ella on the list, and if the popularity of Chloe doesn't bother you, Olivia probably wouldn't be a problem either.

I really liked Swistle's idea of using Sarah, and seeing how the nickname Sadie feels on the baby. If it doesn't sit right, you can go back to Sarah, or even Sally. (I know sisters named Chloe and Sally so it seems like a great sister-pair to me.)

Here are some more ideas:

Josephine (Josie)

Sarah said...

Wow, Ashby! I have an Ashby, however, he's a boy. Our Ashby was named after my grandfather who was named after his maternal grandfather. So Ashby has a masculine feel for me because of the family history. But, regardless, it's a great name!

Trudee said...

I think I know what you mean about older names. If Ashby isn't quite right, I wonder if you would consider Ashley. No unisex issues and I think it goes really well with your other kids' names.

Clayton Joseph, Chloe Grace and Ashley Faith. Clayton, Chloe and Ashley.

I also love the names Laney or Delaney from Swistle's suggestions.

AirLand said...

With your name, your twins' names, and your last name beginning with the same sounds (C/K), what about picking a name that shares the same first letter as your husband's name? I think it would bring nice balance to your family.

Anonymous said...

Go with the one you love!

If you're worried about the familiarity of Ashby, I do think Aubrey has a similar feeling.

Anonymous said...

I think you have a great list already, but if nothing feels right yet... what about Everly? It is kind of like Avery but less popular. You seem to like names with v's too :) Good luck!

vanessa said...

Would you like just Ashley? Chloe and Ashley are good sib names, and I know that Ashley feels maybe a bit dated, but I think it is ripe for a resurgence.
Part of my wants to encourage you to use a C name, in hopes that perhaps that might help the baby feel connected to the twins. Although I can understand wanting a non C name, to make the baby feel special.

Maybe a K name could be a compromise? Clayton seems surname-y to me, and Chloe feels more modern, so I am trying to find something that seems like a mix.

Campbell, maybe. Has that B you like, and Cammie is a cute nickname. Clayton, Chloe, and Campbell. Well, but then Chloe seems like the odd one out.
I can't decide if Clara is too close to Chloe.
OH! Cassidy! I like that a lot. It's girl-y but also surname-y. Clayton, Chloe, and Cassidy.
I also really like Sydney for you. Clayton, Chloe and Sydney. That's my other favorite.

Anonymous said...

Go with what you love and both agree on! who cares what others think. we did not find out the sex of our baby and did not share any names we were considering because we simply did not want the comments or opinions.

Ashby is great and unique and goes well with Faith. We went with a unique name(or so we thought) and our little Finn fits his name perfectly

Anonymous said...

I wonder if you would like the name Aster?

Anonymous said...

Ashby, Aubrey, and Elena are my favorites.