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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Baby Girl P-truso: Adalyn?

Lauren writes:
We're expecting our first in June, a baby girl, and I'm completely second-guessing our name choice! Our last name is P-truso and our chosen girl name is Adalyn. We had never heard the name until it was used on a shelter dog, named by a woman who had also never heard the name before. I didn't know of its popularity until I brought it up to a group of out-of-state friends, one girl knew several baby Adalyns and said it was too trendy. Now I'm concerned about popularity, not so thrilled for her to be one of many Addys, and to be super trendy like Addison/Madison and one of many in her class,so we're trying to come up with alternatives but none are as appealing to us as Adalyn, so we need help!

Names we considered:
Elise - love the nickname Elsie but something about the S in both names wasn't working
Natalie - but she called Nat, so had to nix
Lydia - love it, but seems everyone is naming their babies Lydia this year, and my husband wouldn't commit.
Elena - I loved everything about this name but my husband has an aunt with a similar name and adamantly refuses to use it
Katelyn - a bit, boring.
Caroline - there's two pronunciations for the same name and for Caroline I like the ine like nine pronunciation, would be annoying to constantly have to tell people how to pronounce it.
My husband also likes Haley and Madison but I prefer more flowing, girly names so have to find a girly name he also likes.

We're still thinking about sticking with Adalyn. We've been calling her Adalyn for almost two months which makes it hard to switch. We've also gotten mostly really positive reactions from friends and family, compared to other names we've liked. I like Adalyn for its similarity to Madelyn which is a name I love but refuse to use any M names, it has three syllables which I usually prefer, and my husband would actually commit to the name. I'm a Lauren of the 80s and it never bothered me to have two other Laurens in my graduating class of 180, and I still really like my name. I've been stalking baby boards and haven't seen anyone planning to use the name Adalyn (or similar spellings) but I've seen several Lydias which is my next favorite name, and we live in Ohio where according to SSA the name isn't even in the top 100. I'm just seeing conflicting info about how the name is trending, on some sites it seems the name already peaked, just lots of concerns.

Other factors to consider are that for a middle name we both really want Anne. It may be a bit boring, but my mom passed her middle name to my older sister, and I would to do the same with our daughter. Won't use any name that starts with an M or a P. Even though we have a longer last name I tend to prefer longer first names, and also like cute nicknames. Lastly, if our second child is a boy he will be Cameron Joseph and called CJ, two family names that we love.

Hope you can help!

One thing that makes the popularity of Adalyn so difficult to figure out is all its many spellings. Here are some of them, along with the number of baby girls given that spelling in 2010 (according to the Social Security Administration):

Adalyn - 1261
Adelyn - 825
Adalynn - 686
Adelynn - 458
Addilyn - 260
Addelyn - 134
Adilyn - 133
Addilynn - 123
Addalyn - 118
Adilynn - 105
Addalynn - 62
Adalynne - 45

That's only 1,261 Adalyns, but 4,210 when spellings are combined. And I wouldn't be surprised to see a big leap up when the 2011 data comes out in May. I see that in Ohio, Addison and Madison are both in the Top 10 (nationally, only Madison is Top 10, though Addison is #11); if I had to guess, I'd think this will likely make Adalyn popular there too as people search for less-popular alternatives.

Another thing that makes it challenging is what you've already noticed about the similarity of Adalyn to popular names Madison, Addison, and Madelyn (themselves names with many spellings), and the current abundance of the nicknames Maddy and Addy. These things can make a name feel even more popular than it is. A classroom containing a Kylie, a Kyla, a Kayla, a Kyler, and a Kyle is going to make all those names feel as if they're EVERYWHERE, even though the popularity of each name alone isn't so bad.

In your case, the issue that catches my attention is that for a boy you would want to use Cameron: Adalyn and Cameron don't quite rhyme, but they come very close to it. On the other hand, they go together very well in style and in popularity, and the rhyminess is significantly less if I say it Cam'ren instead of Cam-mer-ren. On balance, I think this is a point in favor of Adalyn.

I can think of other names that seem similar, but they have their own issues. Evelyn, for example, is similar in rhythm and sound to Adalyn, and similar in style to Lydia---but it too is getting popular, and it's not a great style fit with Cameron. Emlyn is rhymier with the Cam'ren way of saying Cameron, and Em- names are very popular. Adeline has longer roots than Adalyn, but it still has the Addy nickname, and the style isn't as good with Cameron. Juniper has the right rhythm and style, but the repeating P-sound with P-truso is choppy.

Violet is possible: the style isn't quite right with Cameron but it isn't a clash either, and Vi and Cam is cute---if a little evocative of Viacom.

If you wanted to go cutting edge, the popularity of Hadley makes me wonder if Hadlyn could work. But it still fits into that group of names that seem more common than they are.

Ellery comes to mind, and Ellery Anne is adorable. But the El- names, like the Em- names, are right up there with the Addy/Maddy names.

Linnea (linn-NAY-ah) might work. It's similar to Lydia and Elena; it goes fine with Cameron; it has the cute nickname Linnie; it's not a bit trendy.

But if you want to stay with Adalyn, going into a name with eyes wide open is much different than if you're surprised by issues later on. (And perhaps you could set the nickname Lynnie up early on, to avoid Addy.) Every name will have its own downsides, it may be worth it to take the "popular/trendy" downside instead of the "not our favorite name" downside.

Name update! Lauren writes:
Sorry so late but I wanted to give an update! Our Adalyn Anne was born on June 26th and is the happiest little girl around!  Surprisingly everyone we know and even nurses at the hospital commented how unique the name was!  I've considered using nicknames but I preferred Lynnie and my husband liked Addy, so we just stick to calling her Adalyn, or A or Abug :)  I still love her name and she seems like an Adalyn to me.  Thanks for all your help!



StephLove said...

It sounds like you really want to name her Adalyn, so that's my advice, though I think Adeline is a great alternative, esp. since you like Caroline with the long i sound.

Mary said...

Your other names soubd more classic that Adalyn, whivh with the 'y' sounds/looks more trendy. That said, if you love it then use it!

I personally prefer Adaline, Adelaide, Adrienne, or Avalon but get why those would not work for you.

If you loved Elena, what about Eliana (nn Laney), or Elowen? Leona Anne or Elenore Anne would also be fab!

Names similar in sound / style to Haley and Adalyn are

Sadie Anne
Isla Anne
Wylie Anne
Ayla Anne
Layla Anne
Eliza Anne
Ruby Anne

Fran said...

I think you should stay with the name. You love it and can picture it as your daughter's name. We didn't even think to consider a name's popularity when naming our three kids. I can't imagine how that would drive me nuts. A friend of mine named her daughter Attalie because she loved the name Natalie but they were using A names for all their kids. I think it's adorable :)

Anonymous said...

A friend used the name Avelyn (pronounced the same way as Adalyn, with a "v" instead of a "d"). It's a lovely name and avoids the Addy nickname. They call her by her full name, not Avvy. You probably don't need another option, but there's one for you!

The Mrs. said...

A name similar to Natalie and Adalyn that might work: Atley.
Atley Anne P-truso

Or Everly... Everly Anne P-truso

Going in the direction of the more classic names like Lydia and Elise: Lisel.
Lisel Anne P-truso

Or Lorelei... Lorelei Anne P-truso

Do you like Coralyn? Coralyn Anne P-truso. Her nickname could be Cora. Cora and Cam sound cute together.

What about Linette? Perhaps Liora (lee-OHR-ah)?

Best wishes to you as your family grows!

Anonymous said...

If the only issue with Caroline is pronounciation, that seems like a really small margin of people who don't know the pronounciation for Caroline vs. Carolyn. Other people's lack of understanding about English phonetics shouldn't keep you from that name, IMO.

Caroline said...

My name is Caroline (with the long i sound). Honestly, some people do say Carolyn, but after correcting them the first time, they get it right. I love my name.

I do get annoyed when people say Carolyn and I always say to my friends, "it has the word "line" in it, how hard can it be??" but then of course there are Madelines that pronounce their names Madelyn, which doesn't help us CaroLINEs!

To sum it up, don't discount the name Caroline if all you are worried about is pronunciation. It doesn't make my life any more difficult by saying "oh sorry, it's Caroline, not Carolyn"

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

We named our daughter Adeline 5 years ago, thinking that the name was in the "I can recognize it but no one else is using it," and we have been shocked by how many little Addies and Addys and Addisons and Addalyns and what-nots are running around.

Not to dissuade you, but it is becoming a more popular name. Our other children have not-so-popular/traditional/old-man-and-old-lady names, so sometimes our little Addie sticks out style-wise!

kimma said...

If popularity is the only thing holding you back from using the name you love - just go with it. Our 4yo has a name in the top 50 and in four years we have only ever run into one other child with his name at the playground. And they were pretty impressed to meet each other.

THat being said, have you considered the more traditional Adelaide?

gail said...

Along with the preponderance of Addy's & Maddies, all the different spellings of Adalyn make me inclined to suggest something less trendy so she won't have to be spelling her name for others for the rest of her life.

For this reason, I like all your other ideas more. With Anne, either Natalie, Caroline or Lydia have the best flow. (Natalie needn't be shortened, or could be shortened to Atty--at least there's consensus on how to spell Natalie.) And Caroline is most commonly pronounced the way you say you like--I'm never heard anyone with that name using the soft ending.

I like Swistle's suggestion of Violet, and Charlotte also comes to mind. (Lettie or Lottie).

For girly names with some similar sounds to Adalyn, there are beautiful names not often used: Miranda, Marion, Caterina, Roslyn, Jacqueline or Tamsin. But you do want your daughter to fit in with her generation, so maybe these names are too old.....?

Good luck to you, you still have some time and will no doubt find the name that feels perfect to both of you.

Anonymous said...

What about Adalee?

Angela said...

I think if you love it this much, just use it! It's very pretty and works great with Cameron. :)

Jilian said...

What about Adelaide or Livia?

Adelaide (Addie) Anne
Livia (Livy) Anne


Cameron Joseph (CJ)

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Adele is a good alternative? You could introduce the Elle nickname early. For me the slight difference in the A sound would make the nn of Addie odd for Adele.

Lydia rhymes with a name for an STD, so it is out for us. I wonder if you would like Lorna instead. It is uncommon, but familiar.

Selena gets you close to the Elena name you like, but might make it different enough for your hubby.

Anonymous said...

We live in Indianapolis, and it seems like Adalyn and Adeline have both become SUPER popular. That being said, Cameron is popular (for both boys and girls) and if that doesn't bother you then I don't think the popularity of Adalyn should bother you, either!

Anonymous said...

What about Ada Annaleigh?

Anonymous said...

Oops, I meant Ada Annalynn?

Anonymous said...

While I'm in the "I prefer Adelaide" camp, I think Adalyn/Adelyn is a good name with strong nickname potential. I know an Adelyn (who goes by Addie) and and Avelyn (who goes by her full name), both born in the last two years, so the name SEEMS trendy and popular to me, but not deal breaker popular. For what it's worth, the immediate nickname I go to in my mind with the spelling Adalyn is Ada, not Addie. If you spelled it Adelyn, you also have the option of Adele (but then I'm inclined to ask you why you don't just name her Adele). Anyway, I think if you love the name as much as you seem to, you should use it. But if you don't want to do that I suggest:

Coraline (nn Cora-- love!)
Atalie (I know a couple of women with this name and love it)

lauren.petruso said...

Thank you so much, Swistle! Seems my husband was more stuck on the name than I realized, but I'm now trying to push the nickname Lynnie which I think is really cute! I love the name Adalyn, if it wasn't for the line/lyn issue I would consider Adaline, but I don't want to drop a favorite name for a lesser name that could also become popular in the next few years!

I also realized I was just as unhappy about the name Cameron's popularity as Adalyn's, but I would never change the name Cameron. Cameron has been popular in my family for hundreds of years so I guess my kids are just stuck with popular names! As a Lauren of the 80s I know they'll be okay!