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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Baby Girl K., Sister to Owen Grant and Olivia

K. writes:
Our second baby girl and third child is due any time and we can not decide on her name.  My doctor was ready for me to go to the hospital today, but I am worried that I havent decided on her name! 

Our 4 year old son's name is Owen Grant (he goes by both names) Jakob and our 2 year old daughter is Olivia Katharine Grace.  Grant is a family name as are all three of Olivia's names.  They are actually my mother's name, my grandmother's and my great grandmother's so I always knew I what I  wanted to name a daughter and it helped when she was born looking just like my grandmother.

While we were deciding though, I was really torn that Olivia was a top 10 name, but I decided that it was a family name and I had always wanted to use it so I went with it anyway.  I love her name and do not regret it, but because Sophia is not a family name, I worry that it will just seem like I picked a really common name.  (I certainly dont want to have the Jennifer of her generation)  BUT,  I think that Sophia has a similar feel to Olivia (elegant, classic, regal) and I do like that it has the O that both of the other kids have. 

The fact that both of their names began with O was simply chance.  I always knew I wanted to name a baby girl Olivia  and I just loved Owen.  I always knew I would use Grant.  So, I am definitely not looking for a name that starts with an O.  I do want a name that ties to their names though.  Olivia also goes by Livi, Liv and Livia- we use all the variations and love them.  Owen Grant loves his name and will correct people who dont use both. 

So, our finalists are:
Sophia Elizabeth Kate  (my Great Grandmother was Katharine Olivia and she went by Kate)
Sophia Elizabeth Blair  (Blair was my the middle name of my maternal grandfather but my husband doesnt totally love it)
Vivienne Elizabeth Kate   (Elizabeth was the name my mother had wanted to use for my middle name and I always remember knowing that growing up- she definitely had naming remorse even asking if i wanted to change it as an adult)
Vivienne Elizabeth Blair

I think my husband doesnt care nearly as much if Sophia is ultra popular so he has a slight preference for it, but he is open to either name. 

The last two eliminated from our short list were Lila and Corinne.  My husband's last name starts with K  so I felt like Corinne K_____ was too much of a mouthful and the Corinne kind of got swallowed.  Also I really dont care for Cora or Cory as nicknames.  (Also I realized that our children speak spanish with our nanny and our nanny couldnt pronounce Corinne easily at all while all the other names seemed fine in spanish).  
Livi and Lila are sweet together, but where we live I know as many or more Lila's as I do Sophia's so I decided between the two, Sophia was my preference. 
I like that Vivienne is not as common but I wonder if its a little too much to have Livi and Vivi for nicknames.  I thought we might also be able to use Evie for a nickname for Vivienne. 

I also like Leighton and Ashton but I worry that because they are general neutral, they just dont have the same feel or elegance as Olivia's name. 

My husband does not like any of the nicknames for Elizabeth which is why it isnt a first name contender. 

I notice that other people mention their heritage, ethnicity, etc.  We are basically of European heritage and both of us and both of our kids are blonde.  We are hoping this little girl might have red hair which also runs in the family. 

Any help you have would be great!!     Then I would feel like I was ready to go to the hospital. 

Thank you!

Sophia is a masterful choice: well-coordinated with Owen and Olivia in both popularity and style, and with the additional satisfying touch you mention of not starting with an O but still having a strong O sound. Olivia and Vivienne have so many short-I and V and long-E sounds in common, they almost seem like scrambled-letter versions of each other; and I agree that Livi and Vivi is too much. Sophia is indeed a popular name, but it would take three to four times the current number of Sophias to match the popularity of Jennifer at its peak.

Elizabeth is a great middle name: the family story, but also being beautifully coordinated with Olivia's middle name Katharine.

I could go either way on the second middle name: it's not quite balanced to have a second daughter named for the same namesake (especially for a great-grandparent)---but on the other hand, Kate is so perfect as the coordinating name for Grace, and your husband prefers the name Kate to the name Blair. If you didn't mind changing the rhythm, I wonder if you'd like something like Sophia Elizabeth Lila or Sophia Elizabeth Corinne. Or you could use Sophia Elizabeth Vivienne and get both name options in there. Or are there any other female family names, maybe on your husband's side?

There might not be time for this, but it may also be helpful to have a poll over to the right with your four candidates, so let's do that. [Poll closed; see results below.]


22 comments:

Ali said...

I love, love, love Sophia Elizabeth Kate. It is so lovely to say on its own, and it's a great sibling match with your kids' names too.
The popularity issue just seems so different these days--the #1 just isn't as big as Jennifer was.
Would it help to check and see the top ten in your state? I'm always interested in that, since it seems like maybe a better predictor of whether or not my kid will have three other Owens in his class than the nationwide stats.

Anonymous said...

Sophia Elizabeth Kate is perfection! I wouldn't worry about the popularity too much. In 1974 Jennifer was given to over 63,000 babies! Last year Sophia was given to only 21,695. So while it's popular, it is nowhere close to the popularity of Jennifer-and I doubt any name will reach those levels of use again.

Swistle said...

Anonymous- The percentages are even more impressive than the numbers, since the numbers don't take into account the total number of babies born. In 1974, the name Jennifer was given to 4.03% of baby girls: just over 4 Jennifers per 100 female births. In 2011, the name Sophia was given to 1.13% of baby girls: just over 1 Sophia per 100 female births.

Anonymous said...

I voted for Owen Grant, Olivia and Sophia.

But I really want you to use Elizabeth: Bess, Bessie, Beth, Betsy, Betty, Ellie, Elsa, Elsie, Libby, Lissy, Lizzie, Lizzy, Tibby, Tizzy... All fab nicknames for Elizabeth! And it starts with a vowel like your other children's names.

Anandi Raman Creath said...

Another couple of suggestions (though maybe you don't want more names at this point) are Ophelia or Orla. Maybe I'm more attached to the idea of O names than you are :D

Congratulations!

Erin said...

I prefer Vivienne personally, but that's because I know a set of Olivia-Sophia siblings and a boatload of other Sophias who've been born in the past year. And I voted for Kate over Blair because your husband prefers it and it seems to fit better -- Sophia, Vivienne, and Elizabeth are all soft, feminine names, and Blair seems a little jarring next to them as compared to Kate.

Mj said...

Sophia Elizabeth Kate is abeautiful name and a perfect match to her siblings. Dont spend another minute in doubt. Just go enjoy your baby! Welcome, Spphia!

Anonymous said...

Sophia is beautiful but if you choose against it, it occurred to me that Nicola was a great fit with the sibling sounds- 3 syllables, long O, upper end alphabet letter. Nicola Elizabeth Kate would be less common, has several nicknames, is a strong girls name. Good luck!

Jan said...

Sophia sounds like the name you want and I'm happy to affirm your choice! If you wanted a slightly different ending than Olivia you could go with Sophie which is common as a full name, especially in the UK I think.

StephLove said...

I voted for Sophia Elizabeth Blair. I like the sound of Sophia with the other two children's names, but I didn't care much for the idea of repeating a version of a name you've already used.

Nedra said...

I prefer Sophia to Vivienne. I actually love the name Vivienne, but I think Sophia sounds so much better with the sibling names. I also might recommend Fiona (combining both the "n" sound of Owen, the "a " ending of Olivia, and the "o" sound of both).

Also, I prefer Kate over Blair. While I do agree that it's strange to have both Katherine and Kate as middle names for your daughters, Kate just sounds better than Blair with the rest of the name.

Anonymous said...

I personally think Blair would make a great first name. It is beautiful and refreshing. It is seems like the perfect name for a caboose baby.

Anonymous said...

Have you considered as a first name Kate?

Owen Grant, Olivia & Kate sounds great and isn't a mouthful and Kate is a perfect first name which is feminine & strong.

Kate Elizabeth ...

Mary said...

What about Sophia Elizabeth Vivienne? or Sophia Elizabeth Viva?

Elodie may also be nice with Olivia, Liv and Ellie.

StephLove said...

I was just thinking I like Chloe for you for the same reasons I like Sophia, so I thought I'd put it out there.

Also, I liked the idea of Sophia Elizabeth Vivienne.

Jill said...

I think Owen Grant, Olivia and Sophia are beautiful together. I do like Sophia Elizabeth Kate. If you wanted a different twist on Elizabeth, you could consider going with Eliza.

I have an Olivia Madeleine and an Eliza Charlotte. If we'd had a boy, I liked Owen! For me, I liked that Olivia and Eliza were both vowel names ending in "a" (although with different sounds) and I like the short "i" in Olivia with the long "i" in Eliza. They just seemed to be a good match stylistically. I also considered Vivan/Vivienne but agreed that it seemed too similar to the sounds in Olivia.

Best of luck!

Megz said...

I think Sophia fits in great with your other childrens names.

Rather than repeating a name or using Blair which doesn't quite fit with the others, what about using another Virtue name like you did with Olivia Katharine Grace. For example:

Sophia Elizabeth Joy
Sophia Elizabeth Faith
Sophia Elizabeth Hope
Sophia Elizabeth Honor

(I like that Faith sounds a lot like Kate)

Congratulations, and good luck.

Another Erin from the 80s said...

Just going to throw some ideas out there: Julianne, Leanne/Leigh Anne or victoria, or Vera.

Joanne said...

I think Vivienne is beautiful and you could say Vee Vee for a nickname and then it wouldn't rhyme with Livi.

kdn said...

Thank you so much for your input! Baby girl is taking her time and I am off to the dr. again now. We actually got Olivia's nursery school roster for the fall and we were so sad to see another Olivia and a Sofia. Even one of her teachers is Sofia. We immediately went back to Vivienne (nn Evie) and my husband even pulled Graceyn back from the list we had moved away from earlier. I was wondering if we needed to go back to the drawing board!
We havent decided yet, but we did feel better seeing your thoughts! Also, the only other family name we have considered as a middle name contender is Danielle, but with Elizabeth its quite long. I think my husband preferred Blair to Danielle but he is open to most any of these at this point!

Anonymous said...

Ooooh, Eliza! Great option.

Mary said...

What about Luella? Luella Elizabeth Blair? Liv and Lu

I think Evie is adorable!