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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Baby Girl Marley, Sister to Joseph (Jed)

Nikki writes:
I love reading your blog and hope that you could be of assistance in naming our new little girl due in early April 2012.

We have a beautiful 22 month old boy named Joseph Edward - called Jed. I am Nikki (actually named Nicole) and Hubby is Joey (Joseph III... our son is a fourth!) Last name starts with an M and sounds like Marley. We are planning to have more children after this girl as well.

We had a horrible time choosing our sons name as I am a bit more out of the box on naming boys and my husband is more traditional. Our son was born at 35 weeks and we knew that he would be the 4th but did not decide on Jed until he was almost 3 days old! I really loved the idea of calling him Ford to play on the fourth or even Ward as a nickname from Edward... in the end Jed fits him perfectly and I am so glad that we chose it! I love that his nn is unique yet he has a classic name too if he ever wants to go by that when he gets older.

We are very excited about having a girl and I really want to get her name settled on early so we aren't at the hospital unsure of what to call her! We both love the name Sloane but 2 friends have just used that name for their little girl. We both gravitate towards the more masculine sounding names for girls. We also really loved Hayes but I worry that it is too masculine and also not sure how I feel about it for when she gets older. That had me thinking of names that we might use to get Hayes as a nn and thought of Hazel. It doesn't seem to jump out at me as the one though. This led me to Quinn which I love but can't seem to get a middle name that works with it as I feel it needs a longer middle name. What do you think about the names we have on our list (really just Quinn and Hazel) and also any suggestions for names that are similar to them or Sloane that we might have missed?

Thanks so much for your help!

Well here we are at 33 and a half weeks and still nameless! I am starting to get really nervous as my son came at 35 weeks! Please help and I promise for an update from the hospital bed!

We do now have a top 5 list that we review nightly and are trying to slowly get down to our little girls name. So here it is in the order of our preferences... We are both happy using the middle name of Quinn with most of these names but open on that too!

1. Seraphina (nickname Phina) - like that it feels classic but still unique. Is it becoming trendy? Do people think of the Afflecks every time they hear this?

2. Fiona (nn Fia) - love the meaning and have never met anyone with this name! Will we be setting our daughter up for the Shrek teasing?

3. Karalina (nn Lina) - we like the Kara leena pronunciation? Would you pronounce this way?

4. Lilyana (n Lana) - love the name since I am due at Easter time. Not a fan of the Lily nn with our last name. Think that could be avoided?

5. Sophia (nn Phia) -love the name hate the popularity. Think that this will be a deal breaker.

We really want a unique name that is also not going to feel dated or weird with a fun nickname like our son has. Are we missing a name that fits this?

Thanks so much!

1. Seraphina. I immediately think of the Afflecks, but I think that will change with time as the name becomes more widely-used and the associations therefore become more diluted. I think of it more as the Afflecks making the name usable. But the celebrity connection can definitely give a name a "trendy" feel, even if the name isn't very common.

2. Fiona. I've seen Shrek, and I've heard the connection mentioned periodically when the name is mentioned in a post, but it's not one that comes to my own mind. I don't know if children would tease about it or not. I'm hoping someone here has an elementary-school-aged Fiona and can report.

3. Karalina. I'm glad I pronounced it in my mind before reading the rest of the section, so that I can report that I first pronounced it with a LEE sound. If I encountered it out in the world, I would probably ask if it were LEE or LIE. Two similar possibilities: Karenna, Linnea.

4. Lilyana. I'm not sure if Lily could be avoided. Certainly this is a good generation for avoiding a nickname, and maybe if you set up the Lana thing early on? But Lana is not a natural nickname for Lilyana, and Lily is, so you may meet with resistance. Spelling it Lilliana could help a little: Lilyana visually suggests the nickname Lily. But if popularity bothers you, I suggest crossing this one off the list: the spellings and variations (Lilliana, Lilianna, Lilyanna, Liliana, plus all the Lillians and Lilys) add up to a very popular name. Would you consider going straight for Lana? That's a name in its own right, and significantly less common.

5. Sophia. I think you can cross this off the list if popularity bothers you. It also seems like Joseph and Sophia might have too many sounds in common. (Even closer: I'd nearly suggested Josephina because of its similarity to Seraphina and Sophia, before remembering that your Jed is actually Joseph, as is your husband. Oops.)

A name that kept coming to my mind as I read the possibilities was Philomena. It has sounds in common with every name on your list, it's not in any current danger of trendiness, and it's unusual without being weird.

Another possibility is Willemina/Wilhelmina. I prefer the first spelling: it's the one from my own Dutch family tree, but I also think it fits better with current styles and is easier to spell. This gives you the nickname Willa as well as Mina.

Both Philomena and Willemina also bring us around to the more boyish sound you were looking for in your first letter: Phil and Will/Wills are other possible nicknames.

A name similar to Sloane is Lane. Lane Marley; Jed and Lane. She'd also have the nickname Laney if she wanted something more feminine.

Or another idea would be to give your daughter a traditional name and unusual nickname, to coordinate with your son's name and also to help avoid datedness and trendiness. Elizabeth, for example, with the nickname Beck. Joseph and Elizabeth; Jed and Beck.

Or I wish I could suggest Margaret with the nickname Daisy, but that probably won't work with your surname.

If you decide to go back to Quinn as the first name, we did a Middle Name Challenge for that awhile back.

Name update! Nikki writes:
We are so very excited to announce that our beautiful daughter, Fiona Quinn was born on 3/29 weighing in at 6lbs 13 oz and nearly 2 weeks early. Thanks so very much for all of the feedback and comments! They really helped us to choose the perfect name!


Anonymous said...

I would sugget naming her Lana.

StephLove said...

I like Fiona best from your current list (but I liked Hazel and Quinn from the old list). Fiona Quinn would be darling.

If you use Lilyana and want to avoid Lily, I agree the Liliana spelling is better.

How about Louisa or Lucy, nn Lulu. Seems like it might work for you.

Anonymous said...

I love, love, love, Fiona Quinn. My sons are both familiar with the character from Shrek and happen to think she's pretty cool-which doesn't happen much with female characters (they are 8 & 4). I also really liked Hazel Quinn from your first letter-using the nn Hayes is adorable and still give her something more traditional & feminine to fall back on if she wants. Hailey could also give you the nn Hayes. Cordelia, nn Cordy, Del, Cora? Ellowyn nn Wyn or Elle for something more feminine. For some reason I really like Coraline for you

Anonymous said...

How abouat Lena?

Anonymous said...

When you mentioned Sloane I immediately thought of Reese. This wouldn't give you nn options though.

You could also use Quinn in the first name slot with a feminine middle such as Elizabeth or Katherine.

Hazel made me think of Beatrice with the adorable nn Bea. Or Mabel with the nn Mae. Or Maeve with the nn Mae.

If you're looking for a feminine name with a nn here are my suggestions.

With Lilyana, could you use the nn Ana? It seems like this would be less of a stretch.

Seraphina makes me think of Savannah with the nn Anna. Or Sylvia/Sylvie.

Elizabeth- nn Ibby (this was my mother's nn), Bess, Libby, Bette, etc. So many cute nicknames!

Eleanor/a- nn Nell, Nora, Elle

Vivian, Vivienne, Viviana- nn Viv

Emilia- nn Lia or Em

Livia- nn Liv

Eloise- nn Elle, Lola

Christine said...

If you guys still love Quinn, before I got to the second part of your post I was going to suggest Quinn Elizabeth. Felicity also works with Quinn, but might be rhymey with Marley.

From your new list I like Seraphina best and Willemina from Swistle. Fiona Quinn works as does Liliana or Lena, etc. basically I like all of your choices! Good luck!

gail said...

Going with your final five list, my favorites are Fiona and Seraphina, both with the nn of Phi or Fee or Fia--I'm sure this nn would evolve. I know a young woman with the very unusual name of Aphelion, who's always gone by Phe. I also know a young woman now in her 30's with the name Seraphina, so for me, the Afflecks don't spring to mind. The Seraphina I know goes by the full name. I love the combo of Joseph and Seraphina--the symmetry of both names containing ph.

My only other thought is that if you like Lilyana and you like Quinn, might you like Quilla? More unusual than either, and you could then use the nn of Quill.

Good luck!

Nikki said...

Thank you so much for all of the great feedback! I am now on bed rest so love being able to see Swistle and everyone's comments as I relax and let little girl cook some more! Ironically, my mom is Margaret and MIL is Elizabeth which takes both of those out for us! Love the suggestions and can't wait to see more!

liz said...

Since your son is a 4th, what about Nicollette for your daugher?

Anonymous said...

I pronounced Karalina as Carolina unfortunately. I agree with Swistle on the nn for Lilyana.

From your current list I like Fiona the best. I don't think there is a huge Shrek connection. I also still like Quinn. Quinn Felicity? Quinn Fiona? Quinn Juliet? Quinn Sophia?

Sloane makes me think of Scout. Could Scout be a nn for Scarlett? LOVE THIS!! Scarlett Quinn or Scarlett Sophia or Scarlett Fiona. Scout is such a cute nickname:)

I also like Swistle's suggestion of Philomena. What about the nn Pippa? or Piper?

Laura said...

My kindergarten-age daughter has a Fiona in her class and she is adorable. I don't think there are issues with her being compared to an ogre...I heard one mom comment on her name once but more in a "isn't that a cool, unusual name" kind of way. I love it!

One other thought I had was the name Quinlan, with the nn Quin or Quinn. I love Liz's suggestion of using your name in your daughter's name--Quinlan Nicole.

Another name I love is Tatum with the nn Tate. Gives you that more masculine feel for the nickname. Tatum Quinn is adorable.

Best wishes to you!

Anonymous said...

I like Fiona the best from your list.

Given that your baby girl will be born around Easter, what about ((Magdalena))? You could use the nn Lena still. Mary Magdalene was at the cross and witnessed the Resurrection. It is uncommon but familiar and has a very current nn.

Instead of Salone, would you consider ((Salome))? She was one of the women at the tomb, I believe.

For some reason, ((Philippa)) nn Pippa and ((Delfina)) nn Fina spring to mind as well.

Good luck. Love Jed on a little Joseph Edward.

Anonymous said...

I loved Hazel/Hayes/Haze from your original post.
Since she is due around Easter the name Pascale came to mind.

bryony_e said...

I love Fia as a nickname. Also:





Siofra. (SHEE-fra. It's Irish.)

Alice (not like your other names, but sounds a bit like Alex whilst retaining its original grace and beauty.)

Anonymous said...

My two favorite nn's are Fliss (Felicity) and Flo (Florence).

Irrelevant now, but for me Quinn Elizabeth sounds too much like Queen Elizabeth.

My favorite: Joseph and Florence, Jed and Flo.

Anonymous said...

Joseph and Felicity, Jed and Fliss. Love them both actually!

Trudee said...

What about something like Alexandra? nn Alex or Lex or Lexi Gives you the more boyish nn while giving her flexibility.

I love Alexandra Quinn.

Joseph Edward and Alexandra Quinn.

Jed and Alex/Jed and Lex/Jed and Lexi

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love Seraphina nn phina1! However, I do like Hazel nn Hayes (or maybe Haze) for you. Hazel Quinn is gorgeous! What do you think of the nn Fin (love!) or Nina for Fiona (cute, but a little more masculine).

more suggestions...

Tatum nn Tate
(I love love love the suggestion of Scarlett nn Scout - Scarlett Hazel or Scarlett Quinn is fabulous)
Stella nn Stelle
Nicola nn Cole
Avis nn Avie / Ava
Greta nn Grey
Violet nn Vivi
Elodie nn Lola

Good Luck!

vanessa said...

My strong preference is a traditional name with a kicky, boyish nickname--like Jed. My favorite might be Charlotte/Charley, although Charley is not as unusual as Jed is.
Willemina/Wills, as Swistle suggests, might be even better.
Francesca/Frankie is awesome
Camilla-Cam (I like this! Joseph and Camilla, Jed and Cam!)

Anonymous said...

I'm so confused by your style! Quinn, Sloane, and Hazel are all sort of trending more toward strong and/or unisex and/or not uber-feminine. But then your final five list, with the exception of Fiona, arguably, are very, very feminine, longer in length, all ending in "a" and overall give a rather different sense of what you're going for. Does anyone else agree with me here? And do you have an idea about which mode you think you would prefer?

Emily said...

I wanted to comment on Fiona - my (high school) class somehow started a name discussion a few days ago, and the name Fiona came up. While everyone thought of Shrek, we also agreed that Fiona was a cool, pretty name. So I think the name is completely wearable. Fiona Quinn is my favorite of your choices.

Carolyn said...

I am a teacher and I have a student named Fiona - no teasing issues, great name. Great choices! I love Pippa!

Nikki said...

To answer Annonymous... Our style is more towards the masculine like Quinn, Hazel, or Sloane... But as we have had more time to think about naming a girl did not want to lock our daughter into a name based on our preference. For this reason, the final five has more feminine names but with more quirky/masculine options to them in the form of nicknames. Again- thanks so much for the great suggestions and feedback about to read with husband!

Anonymous said...

What about Calla nn Cal? Calla would help tie in the Lily of Easter while allowing you to avoid the nn of Lily. If you went with something like Calla Catherine, Claire or another "C" name in the middle you could use the nn CeCe.

Angela said...

Yay for another fourth! My five week old son is the fourth and we only decided on a nickname after three weeks of calling him "the baby" lol.

For your girl, I think that Hazel Quinn is my favorite on your list, though Fiona is a close second!

Anonymous said...

I vote Fiona :)

FYI - Salome was the Biblical character who asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter (after seductively dancing for Herod).

Natalia said...

From your list I love Seraphina, nn Phee, Phina Or Phin. From all the suggestions, I love Charlotte (nn Charley), Francesca (Frankie), Alexandra (Alex) and Philippa (Pippa).

I want to suggest:
Samantha nn Sam/Sammy
Antonia/Antonella nn Toni
Georgina nn Georgie/Geenie

I like Karalina, but what about Katarina Or Catarina? Or Karalyn? Or if you like the nn Lina, Catalina, Paulina Or Angelina may work.

What about the name Luciana with the nn Lana? Another nn could be Lulu, Lou, Lula or Lucy.

I love the idea of a long girlie name with a boyish nn!

Best of luck! Hope you find the perfect name for your girl!

Claire said...

I do think Seraphina has a bit of an Affleck connotation, but I think it's a pretty enough name to merely say "we did hear them using it first, but we love the name, so we're glad for the inspiration!" In the same vein, I think Swistle's suggestion of Philomena is wonderful - rarely used but definitely a real name - and it lends itself to the "Fia" nickname you seem to be striving for, or Mina, which is also cute.

I'm having Fiona burnout currently, but I used to have an Irish neighbor who was named Fiola, which I personally like more.

I think if you like the name Lana, it's a stand-alone name - you don't need to derive it from something else.

I think your pronunciation of Karalina is pretty, but would prefer if it were spelled in a more traditional way - Carolina. I'd rather correct someone's pronunciation of my name than have to spell it to everyone I ever met, because "Karalina" is not going to by anyone's first instinct of how to spell that.

I'm with you on Sophia burnout as well. Pretty name, but very prevalent at the moment.

Good luck! We look forward to an update.

Anonymous said...

How about Sage?

You could construct it the same way you constructed Jed. Like

Sadie Genevieve (Sage)

Or something... good luck!

Sandy said...

Hello! You might like the name Henley? I think it's a pretty name but still a touch of masculinity (like Hayes).

BTW, love how you got Jed's name!

Anonymous said...

Philomena was my grandmother's name- LOVE IT. Love the nickname "Mena" although SHE went by Minnie, which I definitely don't like.

Emily said...

I really love Hazel, Lane and Sage. I have a friend named Hadley, nn: Hads but perhaps that is too similar to Jed?

Anonymous said...

Would you prefer Liana instead of Liliana?

Nichole said...

1. Seraphina: I did NOT immediately think of the Afflecks.

2. Fiona: I did NOT immediately think of Shrek.

3. Karalina: Love this and I did the pronunciation in my mind as Kara-leena.

4. Lilyana: Agree with Swistle - I don't think you can avoid Lily.

5. Sophia: Agree with Swistle. I'm on a due date board and the top name for little girls being born in May is Sophia.

I love Swistle's suggestion of Laney! And Karenna is a neat play off of Karalina - nn could be Wren.

Mary said...

Elena Quinn, Lenka
Felicity Quinn, Fee-Fia-Fliss--Flick
Laurel Eve
Selwyn Liliana
Sutton Cara
Sage Caroline
Susannah Quinn, Susie or Sannah