First, I'd like to butter you up a bit by saying I really love your blog. Well before we found out we were pregnant I read every word you wrote and have thought of your advice as the most objective and thorough naming advice on the internet. Which is precisely why we're turning to you and your readers.My name is Emily and my husband goes by William (it is his middle name). Our last name rhymes with 'Mall", starts with an H, and we've had to nix the use of "Carnegie" as a name, for obvious reasons. We do plan on having more children but our "number" is four. If we have less than that... splendid, but certainly no more than that. We're having a baby of our own (due in October) and she has no name.If we have a boy his name will be William Bradley and he will go by "Liam" as opposed to "Bill/Billy" or "Will/Willy". He'll be named after my husband and my father. We love honor names and plan to give our little girl the middle name "Mae". It is her great-grandmother's middle name just as I have my great-grandma's middle name and so does my mother and hers. (I know it's a mistake to choose a middle name first but with a tradition like that how could I not?) We have girl's names that we like, but they all have reasons why we can't (or won't) use them. The other issue we've considered is that we'll never know where our children will be growing up and so we can't gauge name popularity in a particular region. We currently are in Doha, Qatar but who knows where we'll be stationed next! I wish I could say "Avery is really popular in California... luckily, we'll never go there. Let's use it!"Rather than prattle on about the agonizing I've been doing I'll simply give you our list of can't/won't.Reagan - this was the first name we loved and my husband decided it is a little sister name. So he vetoed it for use on our first girl. While I think he's a bit odd, I won't question his logic as long as we can use it in the future.Avery Mae - I love this name. I think its a lovely name that pairs well with Reagan and Liam. I like the sound symmetry with my name but I just cannot get over how very popular it is. I don't want her to be one of four Avery's in her class. And even though I've heard the "If you love it, use it. Who cares how popular it gets?" advice... I can't move past it.Everly Mae - I love this name like I love Avery. The sounds, how gentle it is, and how unusual without being weird. We would call her "Evie" if we chose this name but I cringe when I think of our daughter spending her whole life going, "It's Beverly, without the B". It's so feminine though and I do like the way it pairs with Liam.Evelyn Mae - This name was a compromise after Everly. I like it, but I don't love it. And really, just can't imagine using it.But that's it. Those are all the girls names that we can come up with that we like and each one has a reason not to use it. Why on earth was a boy's name so easy? Any advice or recommendations you could give would be sincerely appreciated. I am certain you and your brilliant readers can get us out of this mess. As you can see we are up a certain creek without any means of propulsion.
So if this baby is a girl, we are looking for a big-sister name for a Reagan or a Liam or both. It is fun to be looking for a name for an older member of a sibling group for a change!
I agree that Evelyn doesn't seem right with Reagan. I suggest Avelyn instead. Avelyn Mae.
Instead of Avery, I suggest Averil. Far less common than Avery, and so pretty. It is maybe a little jokey with Mae (April May), but I don't THINK that would bother me. I'd have to think it over more. It is a lot of L with the surname, and that WITH the April/May issue might together rule it out for me.
Waverly has a similar sound to both Avery and Everly. Waverly Mae.
My favorite, though, is Everly from your list. It's quite feminine, but it's also a surname name and goes well with Reagan. I don't think I'd use the helper phrase "like Beverly but without the B." I MIGHT say "like the Everly Brothers," but I think the most likely is that I would just say it more clearly and/or spell it, as I would with a name that didn't have a "like this, but that" helper.
If you decide against Everly, there's Ellery. Ellery Mae. Is it too much L with the surname? It isn't to me, but these things are subjective.
Or there's Ellis, or Ellison. Ellis and Regan, Ellison and Reagan---those work as sister names, I think.
To move from El- to Em-, there's Emery and Emerson.
Or Brinley, or Finley.
Or Delaney. Delaney, Liam, Reagan---I like those all together.
Name update! Emily writes:
Last night we named our little Halloween baby, and first son, William "Liam" Bradley Hall. He is absolutely perfect (and has the Apgar score to prove it). Thank you for your girl name recommendations; had Liam been a girl he would have been Eleanor Delaney Hall. Thank you so much for your help!