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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Baby Naming Emergency: Jack, Eve, Grant, Flynn, and ______?

Meisje writes:
I am in hospital with my new baby girl born 14th April. She is my second girl and last of five. Problem is that I was 100% convinced she would be a boy and didn't prepare properly for girls names, and in the shock and emotion of the moment(I am absolutely overjoyed she is a girl but it's a big surprise!) I can't think of a name that fits her. She is so tiny.

She will have blonde hair and blue eyes like her siblings. Their names are Jack, Eve, Grant and Flynn. My partner was an actor and the kids names all trace to actors from bygone eras, although that isn't essential. Our surname starts with H, with a long 'a' sound in it.

My name is foreign, so I like that the children have Anglicised, easy to recognise and spell names. I like the meaning of names too, although this also isn't really as essential as I used to think it is, but I don't like names with negative meanings, for example, Claudia means 'lame' and Mary means 'bitter'.

My partner is also pushing me to name her Celeste, which was what we named a baby we lost during pregnancy a few years ago. We named her that after she died, as it means from the stars, or Heavenly, and is the colour blue like her eyes, so we sent her to Heaven with that name,but i dont think it would be her name if she had stayed with us. I like the name, but not in first spot. It is too close. And very different to the others. And doesn't have a nickname or shorter version.
Middle spot would be a nice honour position, I think. But unless you can help choose the perfect first name, he may get his way!

Names I have considered:

But he doesn't like any of them for various reasons. But he did say this final baby should be my choice as the only name I have chosen so far was my other daughter's.
Today he says that if I don't pick one today, he will tell people it is Celeste,
as he cant stand her not having a name. Help!

Hi again Swistle. I wrote earlier today about my quandry I have convinced my partner to give me an extra day's grace for our baby's name as I told him I had written in asking for help. He is doubtful, but if you can give me any feedback that would be great.
I don't really want her first name to be Celeste, but I am tired and emotional and don't seem to be able to do this on my own.....

I hope we can agree on the first point I am going to make, which is that your partner is not the boss of the name. It's not his right to force you to choose a name quickly to make him more comfortable---or, if you fail to work quickly enough for him, his right to choose the name himself and announce it. I can see how it would be an unsettled feeling to not have the name chosen yet, but many parents have gone days or even weeks before choosing, and no one has chosen a name for them or forced them to use a default name. Give a casual little laugh to the eagerly-waiting friends and family and say, "I know! We're just having a lot of trouble deciding! We were so sure we were having a boy!," and it will be nothing but a fun story about her birth. Allow your partner to threaten you with time limits and choose a name you don't like, and it may become a story that overshadows the joy and surprise of her arrival.

It is neither your job nor my job to race to find your partner a name he likes better than Celeste or else he gets to go ahead and use Celeste despite your wishes. If you don't want to name your daughter Celeste, the name Celeste is off the table (just as the names you like that he doesn't like seem to be off the table), and it is his job as well as yours to find other good options from the names that remain.

If the decision has already been made that the choice of this child's name is up to you, and if your partner will not back up on the pressuring/threatening, give him your favorite name from your own list to use as the default instead of his favorite name. Perhaps he can calm his impatience if he knows the hurry-up default name will be one he won't like, instead of one you won't like.

The name of a daughter who died seems like a poor choice for this daughter. Normally when two people share the same name, there is a happy connection, and also an easy way to distinguish the two when necessary for clarity: James and Jimmy, for example, or Big Jim and Little Jim, or "our Jim" and "my grandpa Jim." In this case, it is hard to think of either a happy connection or an easy way to distinguish them. I'm imagining needing to refer to the first Celeste as "Celeste---I mean the Celeste who died." Or, I see my automatic categorization as I wrote was "the first Celeste" and "the second Celeste," which is also unpleasant. Perhaps it would work as a middle name, although if I picture myself in her shoes, I don't think I'd want that. I think I'd want my own name, just as the other children have their own names.

Since the other children have short, film-related names, could another such name be found for this child? Kate comes to mind: Jack, Eve, Grant, Flynn, and Kate.

Or Mae. Jack, Eve, Grant, Flynn, and Mae.

Or Jane. Jack, Eve, Grant, Flynn, and Jane.

Or Lucy. Jack, Eve, Grant, Flynn, and Lucy.

Or from this list of Old Hollywood baby names:

Grace (maybe too close to Grant)
Greer (maybe too close to Grant)
Greta (maybe too close to Grant)

Rose would be wonderful too. Jack, Eve, Grant, Flynn, and Rose.

Or Nora. Jack, Eve, Grant, Flynn, and Nora.

Or Claire. Jack, Eve, Grant, Flynn, and Claire.

Or Leigh. Jack, Eve, Grant, Flynn, and Leigh.

Name update! Meisje writes:
She has a name and I love it! And I love you, Swistle, and all your beautiful commenters (although to be honest, I love absolutely everybody now as I am sooooo happy!)

So here's how it went- after sadly putting aside all the long -a- names that are too similar sounding to our surname (Grace, Kate, Jane, Mae - and I LOVED Mae!) the names which really stuck were Stella, Rose and one last minute suggestion, Ingrid.

The baby's birth date is the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, which is a sad thing, but the main character of the movie is Rose, who SURVIVED, which is a GOOD thing, So I knew I had to use it but......couldn't get past the Rose and Jack thing. For me it would be like I I had named one of my sons Adam after having my daughter Eve. So I pushed it to middle.

Then I really had to decide between Stella and Ingrid so I put each of them next to the sibling names and, while Stella is 'prettier', I felt Jack, Eve, Grant, Flynn and Ingrid made a better Old Hollywood set- and Ingrid is a little nod to my European background as well! The two syllables is ok, as my daughter is often called Evie anyway.

But I wanted to give a little tribute to Celeste, so it became Ingrid Stella Rose. But I had no nickname. Then one of my boys was holding her and I hadn't told anyone the names I was almost decided upon, and he said "Mummy, she's such a little flower. Can't I just call her my little rose?"

So that was that. My baby girl is Ingrid Stella Rose H-, and her nickname (which we will probably call her most of the time) shall be Rosie. Which is perfect! (sister set Evie and Rosie is so sweet, and for her formal name, Ingrid Bergman is so iconic in the Eve Arden, Cary Grant, Errol Flynn and Jack Lemmon/Palance category.)

Thank you again for all your help!


PinkieBling said...

Couldn't agree more with Swistle about not letting your husband pressure you on this, and using a name YOU like as the default if he continues.

I would vote for a one-syllable name to fit with the siblings. I really like Kate, Claire, and Mae. I wouldn't use Jane, only because I like the fact that the siblings each have a unique first initial.

Good luck, and I hope the naming dilemma passes quickly so you can just enjoy your new little girl.

Magic27 said...

I totally agree with Swistle - you can't call your little girl Celeste if you don't like it, no matter how much "threatening" there is going on (my ex wanted to name our younger daughter Smilka - a Yugoslave name meaning "basil" (the herb) - and I vetoed it outright because of its proximity to Milka chocolate and purple cows, just like he vetoed all my flower names for reminding him of old ladies. Fair's fair.).
I love Swistle's suggestion of Mae and would like to add my own suggestions of
Good luck, and congratulations on your new daughter!

StephLove said...

I agree, he should give you the time you need as it was already agreed it was your turn. And I don't think I'd use Celeste, except maybe as a middle. It would be a heavy load for a child to carry.

From Swistle's suggestions I like Leigh, Jane, Jean, Joan and Rose. And Mae, too, though I must warn you as the mother of a child with a month name not born in that month you will constantly be telling people, "No, her birthday is in April." And if that doesn't bother you--it doesn't really bother me-- there's June, too, which is my daughter's name and you get a June Allyson tie-in to boot.

There's also Anne, Grace, Joy (good story about your happy surprise at her being a girl), Joyce, Lynn, Rae and Ruth for short girl names. Good luck and please report back when you decide.

Sarah said...

I think Stella is a nice name. It means "star".

I like Lana from Swistle's list as well as Kate and Mae. Have you thought of Maeve?

Give your new little baby a kiss from us and congratulations!

Joanne said...

What about Ellen? It means torch, bright light, which is kind of reminiscent of Celeste's meaning. Congratulations on your baby girl!

beyond said...

I agree with Swistle, of course, and I can't even imagine the kind of pressure you're under. After my baby was born I was a tired (happy!) hormonal mess for a few days.
Lillian (Lily)
Lucille (Lucy)
Congratulations and good luck!

Ashlie said...
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Ashlie said...
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Ashlie said...

I agree with Swistle & the other commenters. Wait to find a name you both love. I don't think either of you would want the other to have negative feelings towards your daughter's name.

I like the previous poster's suggestion of Lynn.

What about Alice or Rue?

Kas said...

Congrats on your little girl!

I wouldnt use celeste as its the name of your little girl who is no longer with you and that should be kept special for her and not used on another child!!

A friend of mine has a daughter Eve she recently had another daughter and named her India she goes by Indy, Indy and Eve is very cute!

Other suggestions

Lilly (nn Lil)

Congrats again and good luck

Anonymous said...

From Swistle's list, we like Grace and Mae the best. From your list, we like Tess best. We immediately thought of Stella as well. We think you almost have to name this little girl after a movie star, too, or else she may feel left out. Here are some other suggestions:
- Alice
- Bea
- Belle
- Ruth
- Ava
- Ilona

Perhaps you should suggest to your partner that he use the decoy name "Groucho" while you two decide. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I can't see Rose. I automatically saw "Jack and Rose" from Titanic. Especially since the 3D version is coming out right now.

I definitely would not name her Celeste. I think that's the other baby's name and should stay that way. I feel like she would lose her identity if the next child is named Celeste.

I like all the other selections. I love the names Nora, Lana, Vivian best.

Veronica M. D. said...

I really like Swistle's Old Hollywood suggestions, especially Audrey. It seems like you like shorter names, so maybe you would like Audra?

I also agree (OF COURSE!) that that man better watch himself and stop putting ultimatums on the naming of your baby. You can fill out those forms when you are good and ready. You have to love this name for the rest of your life! A week calling her "sweet baby girl" isn't going to hurt anybody.

Shannon said...

Like a few others, both Stella and Grace immediately cams to mind. Both have nice meanings and are short like you'd other kids' names. I don't think you should feel you have to choose a one syllable name even though your other children have one syllable names. Bet Stella is a favorite of mine. Good luck and congratulations!!

Anonymous said...

Swistle's suggestions are great. I think Mae fits in best with your other children's names. Good luck and Congrats!

Anonymous said...

Mae, Jane, Joy & Nora are wonderful suggestions.


Anonymous said...

one more-- Cora, nickname Coco or Corie

Meg @ Mr.C and Me said...

so agree with swistle! :) and i wish you the best of luck with the name and congratulations on your newest addition!

my favorite suggestion was Mae. and perhaps a middle name could be Celia (heavenly), Cela/Sela (rock), Lucinda (light, moon), Calumina (little dove), Cerelia (from the spring in the meadow), Cerys (love).

Anonymous said...


Rose (I think Rosie is cute on a baby and the Titanic thing doesn't phase me at all)

and Louise. (I also love Lou and Lulu)

I will also suggest Margaret, but mostly bc of the many many wonderful nicknames like Daisy. I love a flower name on a spring baby.

I also love Calla (as in lily)

Anonymous said...

Well, clearly Lynn and Flynn cannot be sibling names. I also think of the Rose and Jack connection.

My favorite of those listed is KATE! So cute! Claire is great too.
I like Tess the best from your list of names.
Other Ideas:

Nichole said...

I, too, am in agreement with Swistle: don't succumb to the pressure!

That said, I LOVE Kate, Lana and Nora for your sibset.

Keep us posted with an update!

Jan said...

I like the name Tess from your list to go with the sibling names. I wouldn't choose Rose - with Jack it makes me think of Titanic. I like Kate, too. I see that they're all one syllable/Hollywood. How about Faye?

Anonymous said...

Your daughter shall NOT be named Celeste. It's a terrible idea and a terrible ultimatum. That name is off the table completely, not even for middle name.

sarah said...

I agree that her name should not be Celeste, though it would be ok for a middle name.
I also agree with other posters that it should be a one syllable name like the others.
Love the suggestions of Mae, Claire, Bea, Tess and Kate.
My daughter's name is Rose, so of course I am also biased towards that one. :)
Good luck and keep us posted!

Anonymous said...

I like all of your ideas and think Swistle had some great suggestions as well. A simple, sweet one syllable name is what you need. Between your list & Swistle my favorites are Tess, Rose and Claire. The Jack & Rose thing don't bother me at all, it might if there were only 2 siblings but not so much as part of a larger group. I'll also suggest Jane and Pearl. I strongly suggest against the use of Celeste. It's like your recycling her name Celeste deserves to be remembered and loved with her own name and this baby deserves her own identity. She's not a replacement for the dear girl you lost. Hopefully if you explain this POV he'll understand.

Lindsey said...

I love Kate and Tess best for you, and I agree that you musn't use Celeste.

How about Katharine Joy nn Kate? Katharine as in Hepburn gives you a Hollywood connection with a 1 syllable nn and Joy for the happy surprise?

I hope you'll keep us updated. Congratulations!

Portia said...

I agree that one of your names should be the default name until you can agree -- and if you can't agree, then your husband has already admitted that it's your turn to have the first choice.

My favorite from your list is Tess. It's such a sweet, spunky name and it goes perfectly with the sibling names.

I also love Faye (Faye Dunaway!)

Other one-syllable names:

Elle (maybe too close to Eve)
Bess(similar to Tess and Beth)

Good luck! All your name choices are lovely, so you can't go wrong.

Ali said...

Mae is adorable but would the possibility of misspelling be a problem (May/Mae)?
Pearl is maybe my favorite suggestion so far, but I also love Claire, Jane, Stella and Nora.
And I am having trouble coming up with polite words for how I feel about how your partner is behaving. It is ... not ok.

Leslie said...

Here's a list of 200 old Hollywood actress names:

Of your original list, I love Tess and Anna. I like the suggestions of Audrey and Katharine (Kate) as well. I also love Jane/Joan/June, Mae, Jo, Greer, and Lena if you're looking for something short and sweet. Or, more like Celeste: Simone, Claudette (I know the latter means the same as Claudia, but I still think it has a pretty sound).

I would be incredibly disturbed if my parent's told me I was named after a baby who died. I know that used to be a common practice a few generations ago, but a) I think it's much less common now, and b) I know I would find it personally upsetting, PARTICULARLY as the other siblings all have Hollywood namesakes (I would feel left out). Since you don't like the idea, either, please talk to you partner about his pressuring behavior. Would he possibly be willing to read these comments? It's quite common to have a baby go a few days (or weeks) with no name, and I agree with other posters that he's behaving unfairly to you.

Best of luck on everything! I hope you and your partner find something you both love, and congrats on your baby girl!

Meggie said...

I agree in not using Celeste - it would be too much to explain and not a "happy" association, as Swistle said.

I like a one syllable name for you since all the others are one syllable.

Liv (maybe short for Olivia)

I guess two or three syllable could work, too - something maybe ending in "ie" or "ey" to contrast Eve and Mae
Emily nn Emmy or Emmie
Emma (maybe full name Emma Jane)
Liza (maybe full name Liza Jane)

Celeste reminded me maybe of Savannah - do you all like that name?

Hope you decide on one you are both happy with!

gail said...

I love Tess for you. Or Wren. Love the soft "e" sound which none of your other children have.

You have received a lot of suggestions for names with a long "a" sound--Jane, Kate, Grace, etc. If you also have a long "a" in your last name, you need to be comfortable with the alliteration....

Beth is also beautiful and very rarely heard.

Anonymous said...

How about Brynn, Ada, Lyla, Aria or Kaia.

Myra said...

I love Mae, Jane, and Kate!

vanessa said...

I worry about your husband threatening you--that seems very sketchy to me.
I would not use Celeste anywhere in your daughters name. Way too heavy a burden.
Kate is great, though!

Anonymous said...

I wanted to suggest Gwen! I have a friend who spells it Gwyn which could be short for Gwyneth.

Christine said...

I thought Mae and Audrey immediately and love them both. I would stay away from Celeste too; it would be too hard for me to do that and it sounds like it is for you too. Best wishes!

Anonymous said...

I love the suggestion of Mae (West). Clara (Bow) and Audrey (Hepburn) are also fantastic and seem to suit your naming style. Both Clara & Audrey go very well with Celeste as a middle name, should you choose to go that route. Mae doesn't as well but it still my favoutrite for you!

JoLee said...

Ingrid jumped out at me as I was pursuing the list of old Hollywood names. You can't go wrong with Casablanca.

Congrats on the surprise girl. How fun.

Emblita said...

What a wonderful surprise!
I had a great deal of fun perusing the old Hollywood names and these I think could work with your sib set.
Have fun naming your little girl!

Jessica said...

I'm so happy you found a name YOU love!

Kristin said...

I LOVE Ingrid Stella Rose - what a lovely, lovely name! Congratulations!

JoLee said...

I think this is the first time I have every commented with a name suggestion. I am so glad I did! The name you picked is so perfect. I love that each name is so special.

Superjules said...

I'm so glad this story has a happy HAPPY ending! Beautiful name choice!