We are expecting our second baby girl in October and would love your help with her name. Her big sister is Sloane Elinor (her middle name is after my mother), and our last name is similar to Ketler.
We tend to like shorter names that are not overly feminine. "Brisk and breezy," one might say. =) We also like Celtic names, but that's not a must. One of my top priorities is to pick a name that's not too preppy or unusual. We chose Sloane's name because of its Celtic heritage and "female warrior" meaning (and because we love the sound of it!), but I know that to some people, it reads a bit preppy.
Our top names right now (with faves at the top) are:
Tess (love this name, but does it work with the repeating hard "e" sound in our last name?)
Nina (love this name, but does it work with Sloane?)Sydney
For middle names, we have a bit of a conundrum. Since we used my mother's name for Sloane's middle name, we'd love to use my husband's mother's name for our second daughter's middle name. She is deceased, and we agree this would be a nice tribute. But (and it's a big BUT) her name was Barbara, which neither of us love. Neither her middle name nor maiden name would work, and we can't think of any other tribute other than Barbara... other than using a "B" name, but my husband feels like this is a stretch so we shouldn't try to force it. In fact, he's fine with not using Barbara since we don't love the name; I am just trying to make it work since it'd be nice to honor both grandmothers in this way.
For some reason, the only names that seem to sound somewhat ok with Barbara to me are first names that end in "a," like Nina or Stella. Somehow they roll off the tongue a bit more. For that reason we'd maybe consider Tessa as a full name, even though we both prefer Tess.Our other middle name options (also after family members) are:
To give you an even better idea of our naming style, if we had a boy, we would name him Grant, Reid, Davis, Roman, or Ronan, with the middle name Benjamin. That's probably moot, though, as we're pretty sure this is our last little one. (But you never know...)
I'd love to hear your feedback, and the thoughts of other readers. Thanks so much!
I agree it would be such a nice honor to use your husband's mother's name---but I also think if you don't like the name and it's messing with your first name options, that there are other nice ways to honor someone without using their name. I think in your shoes I would give up on the name Barbara, and maybe put up a photo of her in the nursery.
From your list, my favorites with Sloane are Brynn, Maeve, Paige, and Teagan. Paige emphasizes the prep factor, so that one might be out; Maeve most emphasizes the Celtic connection. I keep trying to choose a favorite from the non-Paige three, but I'm stuck. Sloane and Brynn. Sloane and Maeve. Sloane and Teagan. I like all three in different but equal ways.
Tess and Nina are the two you specifically draw attention to, so let's turn to those next. Neither of them are ones I would have pulled from the list: both are great names, but seem so different from the style of Sloane.
Sloane and Nina seems a little N-heavy, but not as I say it more often I wonder if the N sounds may in fact help them coordinate better. Sloane Elinor and Nina Veronica is growing on me.
I'm trying out saying Tess Ketler, and I can't decide about the short-E issue. I think for me it isn't the short-E, but more the short-E combined with the shortness of the name and the S-ending. I don't like the sound of it in my own mouth, and I don't like the way the names run together (Tess Sketler, Tessket)---but these things can be so subjective, with the very next person saying that's what makes the name so great. I think Tessa Ketler helps to resolve both problems, while still letting you call her Tess. And if using Tessa also makes Barbara more pleasing as the middle name, then it might be the perfect solution: Tessa Barbara Ketler. But I also love Tessa Diane and Tessa Veronica.
Just yesterday we discussed the name Louise (with the middle name Marion, even!), so it's fresh in my mind. Like Sloane, it has a war-related meaning, and I think the names are an interesting combination. Louise Ketler; Sloane and Louise.
When I was looking up Louise, my eye fell on the name Quinn. For me it has some of the sound of a name like Tess, but with a style more compatible with Sloane. Quinn Ketler; Sloane and Quinn. Quinn Victoria would give the name a meaning compatible with Sloane's (something like "leader in victory") but unfortunately sounds like Queen Victoria. Quinn Marion or Quinn Barbara are probably my favorites.
So my favorites are Maeve, Teagan, and Brynn (plus Louise). What does everyone else like from the list?
Name update! J. writes:
Thanks to you and your readers for the help in our baby naming process. We went into the hospital with a few front-runner names and ended up deciding Eve Marion fit our new daughter best. We like how it sounds with our last name, we like it next to big sis Sloane Elinor, and we like the meaning (life). Marion was my great grandmother, who was a warm, spirited woman, and my husband and I are happy to give Eve, like Sloane, a middle name from their mom's side of the family.
After a lot of name brainstorming, deliberation, and second-guessing, it took us a long time to arrive at Eve Marion... but we're really happy we did.