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Friday, April 13, 2012

Baby Girl Brannan

Sara writes:
Hi, my name is Sara and my husband and I are expecting our first baby, a girl!
So I thought baby naming would be easy especially for a girl. Boy was I wrong! Here is our problem, I want to name our baby girl Campbell Elizabeth. Campbell has been a name on my side of the family for generations, but my DH HATES it. He wants to name her Sophia or Paige. I like those names but I love Campbell. One of our friends suggested using the name Sophia Campbell Brannan, but I wasn't to fond of that. We need your help! Thanks!

Normally I think I'd want to start by finding out more about the naming tradition you'd like to follow. In what way has the name Campbell has been in the family? As a girl name? As a boy name? As a surname? Given in a specific pattern (to firstborn daughters, for example), or given sporadically? And so on.

But in this case, your husband hates the name Campbell, and a naming tradition doesn't trump the other parent's right to participate in naming the child, so the specifics of the tradition may be moot. Would he be willing to use the name anyway, perhaps with one of the workarounds other families have used with naming traditions, such as going by a nickname (Cammie is sweet, or Bella) or going by the middle name (maybe a middle name of his choice)? If not, I think it would be nice if he would agree to use Campbell as a middle name, if the tradition is important to you, and if his family's surname will be the child's surname: then the child will have a family name from each side of her family. Or perhaps he would feel differently about the name Campbell used for a possible future son?

Because this is your first child, and because the names Campbell and Sophia and Paige are very different in style, I'm linking here to Naming Advice for First-Time Parents. If you plan on having more children, and if you'd like the sibling names to coordinate in style, it would be good to spend some time discussing what your joint naming style is. Do you both prefer names more like Sophia, or more like Paige? Do you like names that are more feminine or more unisex? Names that are more common, or less common? Longer, or shorter? Nicknames or no? (Do you want to leave room for him to change his mind on Campbell for a later daughter? Then I would probably go for a name more like Paige rather than a name like Sophia.)

A few names that seem similar to Sophia to me (either in sound or style):


And a few names that seem similar to Paige to me (either in sound or style):


Name update! Sara writes:
Hi, I just wanted to let you know that our baby girl Campbell Paige Brannan was born on May 5 and weighed in at 5 pounds 8 ounces. We went into the hospital without a name chosen. When my husband saw her for the first time he immediately said to me "she looks like a Campbell". So when he agreed on naming her Campbell I decided we could use one of his names and we thought Paige sounded the best! We also loved the idea if the nn Cammie, so we decided to call her that. Thank you for your help! Her name is perfect and so is she. 


Anonymous said...

Great suggestions by Swistle. I'm also throwing in Camilla or Camille - they both share the "cam" in Campbell while being more traditionally feminine. Or if you like the "el" sound there's always Eleanor, Elinor, Ella, Elle, Belle, etc.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of putting Campbell in the middle spot, especially if your husband isn't all that crazy about it.

What other names do you like? I like the rhythm of Paige Campbell; I think it sounds fresh with your last name in a way that Campbell Brannan might sound like two last names (Brannan being so close to Brennan, which is used for a first name as well.)

What possible sibling names would you think of? What was your potential boy name?

Anonymous said...

I like pp's suggestion of Camilla, or even Camilla Belle which is a more feminine sounding twist on Campbell. In the end, I agree with Swistle that Campbell is probably out for a first. You and your husband should decide on a first name you both love and maybe use Campbell for the middle. What are some other names that you like?

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of having Camilla Belle or Camille Belle since that would tie in Campbell but have a more feminine flair like your husbands taste.

StephLove said...

I think Campbell as a middle is a good idea because you at least like his first name choices and he doesn't care for yours. But if you want to save Campbell for a later child (a boy or a change of heart about a girl) I think Paige Elizabeth is a very nice combination and would go well with a potential future Campbell.

Meggie said...

I would use use Campbell as a middle name. If you use Campbell, then use something a bit more feminine than unisex for the first name.

Emma Campbell.
Charlotte Campbell (ppl may end up calling her "CC")
Fiona Campbell
Reese Campbell
Zoe Campbell
Liza Campbell

I do love Campbell Elizabeth! If you could come up with a cute nn for that one, I think would work great!

Anonymous said...

The Cam sound could transfer to Cameron or Camryn. Camryn/Cameron Elizabeth.

Mj said...

I think I agree that Campbell Brannan sounds like two surnames, and quite masculine. Middle position is great to tie the two families together with something shorter and feminine as first name. If. You like Elizabeth and he likes Sophia, what about Sophie-Beth?
Or even Celia, which has a similar sound to Sophia, bit more traditional conservative style, with the 'eli' sound of Elizabeth? And Celia Campbell could be C.C. Brannan which has a lovely formal lilt.