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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Baby Girl Jenkins

Katie writes:
My name is Katie and my husband Paul and I are expecting our first baby. We are having a girl and she is due on the 28th of August. Our surname is Jenkins, and the middle name will be a family name which we will most likely decide after we choose the first name. If it helps we like names such as Max, Callum and Finn for boys.

The name we like the most is Lyric. Is that too weird though? Can you imagine a lawyer named Lyric? Also if we name the baby Lyric does that mean we have cornered ourselves into a certain naming style for future siblings? We would like to have at least two more babies, although that could change once our daughter arrives ;-)

Other names we like are:
Selah (probably our second favorite, we like it pronounced as SAY-luh, but is that how it is normally pronounced?)
Amelia 'Mila'
Astoria 'Story'

We also really like Glory, but feel as though it should be a nickname for Gloria which neither of us really like.

So I guess you could say we like names of all different styles. We are pretty much open to any suggestions, we would love to find a less common name but overall we aren't too fussed.

Thanks a heap!

I was mentally composing my reply while getting breakfast for the kids, and what I was planning to say is that Lyric is not too weird, that there were nearly a thousand new baby girls named Lyric born in 2011, and that although I do think it would rule out names such as Amelia and Eleanor for future girls, it looks like you have plenty of good sister names in Selah, Luna, and Astoria.

But then I got to my computer and re-read the part about a lawyer named Lyric, and it's true it's hard to imagine. Part of this, though, is just my generation: I'm having trouble picturing lawyers named Caden and Madison, too, but that's because I think of those as "kid names." Just as Jennifer and Jessica don't seem like old lady names but soon will, the current kid names will soon seem natural as grown-up names---including lawyers.

On the other hand, Lyric does have a certain nounish style that may always sound a little funny with certain professions. Crystal and Brandy were popular names that have had a chance to fully grow up now, and yet they still don't have as serious a sound as peers like Amanda and Kimberly. It's very hard to know which names will grow up to have which connotations, though: Heather and April and Brooke are also noun names, but grew up to easily fit lawyers.

Luckily, there is a common naming solution to this: different styles for first and middle names, to hedge your bets. This solution is particularly applicable in your case, since your list is split right down the middle between riskier and more conservative choices. If you choose your favorite style for the first name, you can use the other style as a middle name. A woman named Lyric Eleanor or Eleanor Lyric can go by whichever name seems more appropriate for her personality and job choice.

Another possible solution is to find names that have similar sounds to the ones you like, but are of a different style. Instead of Lyric: Lyra, Mira, or Lyla. If you like Story and Glory and Eleanor, maybe you would like Aurora, Cora, Corinne, Dorothy (Dory), Ellery, Emory, Flora, Florence (Florrie), Jory, Georgia, Lorelei, Maura, Morgan, Mallory, Nora, Orianna, Rory, Victoria. If you like Callum for a boy, maybe you'd like Calla for a girl.

Yet another possible solution is to choose a name with flexible nicknames. An Eleanor can be an Ellie, a Nora, a Linny, or of course an Eleanor. An Astoria can go by Story or Ree or Ria, and also has the full Astoria to fall back on. Luna and Lyric have fewer options.

Yes, according to The Baby Name Wizard, Selah is pronounced SAY-lah and Sela is SEE-lah. It's hard to know, though, what actual usage is. If I encountered a Selah, I'd be prepared to find that her name could be pronounced SEE-lah.

Name update! Katie writes:
My husband and I ended up narrowing the names down to Lyric and Eleanor and decided to wait until she was born to decide. As soon as we saw her we both knew she was a Lyric. Our little Lyric Helena was born on the 1st of September, and we both love her name! Thanks to all who gave input, it definitely helped :-)


Anonymous said...

I work at one of the top law schools in the country, and there's a student here named Lyric. If it is your favorite, I say go for it.

Anonymous said...

I Agree Lyric can be a lawyer. It is different, but being the kind of noun that it is, ie relating to literature and poetry and speech, I think the name lends itself to many varied personalities and occupations. And I am surprising myself by saying this because I am very conservative with names, but I wish I had thought of Lyric for my daughter. Much better than Selah or Sailor or Sella.
I agree to give her a conservative feminine middle name so she can choose later. Eleanor is a nice choice. Or something else with 3 or 4 syllables as it flows well. Josephine, Elizabeth, Margaret, Suzanna.

Anonymous said...

How about Katherine or Catherine as middle name to link her to you? Lyric Katherine is lovely.

LiciaLee said...

I love Lyric. And in today's world there are far more unusual baby names, and people are just going to have to get used to it. I'm like swistle, there are many popular names I have a hard time imagining on adults. But its going to happen, and they will be professionals as well. I like the idea to go with Lyric, but give her a more traditional middle name in case she ever wants something a bit more sedate.

StephLove said...

I noticed as I read your list that the names do divide into traditional and less so rather neatly so I agree using one category for firsts and the other for middles would be a good strategy for this and future babies. Lyric Eleanor or Eleanor Lyric fits the bill nicely. Along a similar vein, I know a girl named Anna Luna (and always called by both names) so I thought I'd throw that in there.

liz said...

I can imagine a lawyer introducing herself as Lyric J3nk1ns. But I can imagine it even better with a short snappy middle name like "Anne".

"I'm Lyric Anne J3nk1ns, Attorney at Law"

Anonymous said...

Lets see, the name from my own age group I found a little too nouny upon first hearing it was Destiny (similar to your Glory) and nowadays I don't think anyone would bat an eye if in walked Destiny Johnson, attorney at law. Use Lyric with a lovely, classical middle and I think you have a great all around name :)

gail said...

I've known a girl named Lyrica, now in her late twenties. I always found it beautiful as well as feminine. Maybe Lyrica would be an option to consider, too. Lyrica Brynn is pretty wonderful....Lyrica would give you the options of Lyric and Lyri and Lyra as nicknames, and free you from having to choose a middle name that was distinctly girl.

Anonymous said...

Of all your names I like Lyric the best. There is no better name to give a child than the one you love the most. I find nothing strange about Lyric and find it totally fitting in with the names of today. It seems from your name list you like some traditional and some slightly more unusual names. There are already so many children with the traditional names on your list. I say give your daughter a little more of a unique name. You will never have to worry about her being Lyric J. in her grade school class like you might have to with some of your more popular choices.

Anonymous said...

Is Lyric too weird though? - It is not too weird. That being said though, I wonder if you could imagine yourself walking into a doctor's office and introducing yourself with as Lyric? How about a job interview? To your boyfriend's parents for the first time?

Can you imagine a lawyer named Lyric? - No, I can't. I pick doctors based on sensible shoes and school credentials. I would chose an attorney by their ability to present professionalism in a courtroom...this name doesn't really connote authority to me.

Also if we name the baby Lyric does that mean we have cornered ourselves into a certain naming style for future siblings? - Potentially.

To me, Lyric seems the most extreme on your list. I have a few of these outliers as well on my list of favorite names. For me, I know I will always love the names but won't be able to use them for my children.

My favorite combination from your remaining names is Selah Eleanor. I also like Amelia Brynn.

Good luck!

Michelle said...

Two comments about the lawyer thing- In the courtroom, lawyers are usually addressed as council/attorney/Mr./Ms. lastname, rarely by the first name. Also, a practice that is almost cliche is using first initial, middle name, last name. I know several attorneys who do this, as well as our elected state attorney.

I like Lyric Eleanor.

Anonymous said...

The only problem with L. Eleanor J3nkins is that saying it aloud almost sounds like a stutter: "El- Eleanor..."

Rita said...

If you're worried that Lyric isn't professional enough (personally I agree with this - I also think it doesn't "fit" with your other names), you have a simple solution - use it in the middle with a more adult sounding name up first.

A double first name could be a nice option too: Mary-Lyric, Anna-Lyric, Emma-Lyric, Claire-Lyric - it lets you keep the name you like as "first" but still has a serious edge to it.

Eleanor Lyric Jenkins is lovely - but frankly I think all your names are great and you can't go wrong.

Anonymous said...

Okay so keep the name it's lovely and so are all the others I seriously love your naming style. I wish u the best of luck!

Patricia said...

I can see an Amelia, Eleanor, Brynn or Selah as a lawyer, but not so much the others -- Lyric, Luna, Story/Astoria. says of SELAH:
GENDER: Feminine
USAGE: Biblical
Meaning & History
From a Hebrew musical term which occurs many times in the Old Testament Psalms. It was probably meant to indicate a musical pause.
United States ranked #579

Selah's above pronunciation reminds me of Sheila; visually Selah reminds me of Sarah.

Amelia "Mila" and Eleanor "Nora" would make very compatible sister names, each with the stature you seem to be looking for in your daughter's name. Lyric could be included with either as a middle name, although it sounds like you plan to use a family name.

Looking at your boys' names, I like Eleanor with Max and know a family with children named Eleanor (no nn) and Maxwell "Max". Eleanor "Ellie" would coordinate well with your name too: "Ellie" (Eleanor) and Katie (Katherine?). Therefore, I like Eleanor Lyric Jenkins or Eleanor (family middle name) Jenkins best for you.

Sela Freuler said...

My name is Sela.
It's pronounced SEE-luh, as is the Hebrew pronunciation.
I think it's a fabulous name. I receive nothing but compliments on it. Sure, people misspell and mispronounce it all the time, but I've never met another Sela in person. It's also a place name, the original name of the city of Petra in Jordan. It means rock. It has a long history and a deep meaning.
I know "Selah" is becoming more popular, especially pronounced as SAY-luh. People usually think my name is spelled/pronounced that way. The two names are actually unrelated save for their common language of origin. Selah has an unknown meaning and is no longer in usage.

Alice said...

I say go for Lyric. I promise you that your daughter won't choose not to be a lawyer because of her name. And if she is a lawyer, and somehow is losing work because of her name, she can use her middle name professionally. But I really dont see it being a problem. It's a strong name -- it's not like it's Muffy or Flower. one of the most high profile female lawyers on tv was Ally, and I personally know very successful lawyers named Eden and Harmony. I think you're fine. Plus maybe she'll be a musician of ths will be moot.

Katy said...

Wow, I just had to leave a comment on this post. My name is also Katy Jenkins. We have a similar taste in names too. Luna and Mila have been on my mental list for years.

If you love the name Lyric and feel a bond with it, but are unsure, I also agree that moving it to the middle name position and choosing a second name you love for the first is a graet idea.

Another factor to think of is the hard sounds of the last name Jenkins. It is nice that you have names with soft sounds to balance it out. My own parents went more traditional for my sibling set: Edward, Kathleen and Anne (Ted, Katy and Annie). I have always adored my younger sister's name Anne Marissa, so beautiful. Sweet first name and more unique middle name. You could go the same route if you felt comfortable moving your #1 name to the middle.

I could list dozens of names that I have matched with our last name, but I feel you already have a winner with Lyric or Luna. Might I also add that my mother's best friend from childhood was named Rhapsody, how great!

I can picture a gaggle of girls named Lyric, Luna, Mila and Nora. No matter which route you go, you have a winner. :)

The Mrs. said...

Lyric is lovely. Leelee is a cute childhood nickname for it, too.

My favorite from your list, though, is Astoria. It is utterly classic, totally unique, and an excellent place (some place names sound good, but when you think about them... ew. Case in point: Orleans, Vegas, Miami, etc.).

You and your husband are wise to consider future sibling names before giving this sweet daughter her life-long moniker. Best wishes to your growing family!

Mary said...

hmm, I think Swistle has a point - I have trouble seeing Lyric as a name but in 20 years or so, would we still?

I do prefer Lyra and Lyris (or Larissa, nn Lyric) but if you're in love with the name, use it.

Would you consider Lark? Lark J*nkins has a really nice ring to it. I think it goes well with all the other potential sibling names you have.

For Glory (love!) what about Gloriana?I do think Glory works fine on its own.

Or other ideas:

Cadence - Cady

Trudee said...

I'm probably in the minority, but Lyric feels more boy to me, probably because of the "ric" (Rick) sound. For that reason, I find I like all the others on your list before Lyric. Selah is lovely, and I think Astoria is pretty great. Glory makes me think of an evil character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer but that's because I just watched that series for the first time recently. I'm sure it's not a common association. Good luck! Looking forward to the update to find out what you chose.

Eva.G said...

I love your more edgy naming style! Count me in as another person who thinks you should go with Lyric. It is your favorite, so why should you settle for something else? It is definitely not too weird, and will fit right in with all the children named untraditional names. Vintage traditional names are very popular currently - and if you went with Eleanor, you risk her being one of many in her grade - but the idea of coming up with something unique is a popular idea as well, and Lyric is a wonderful choice. I think in 20-30 years when she's working professionally, she won't stand out at all, and I don't think her name should hinder her from anything. It will be very normal by then (I hope) to meet all kinds of people with unique and wonderful names.

That being said, I really love Selah. Our friends' daughter is Selah, pronounced SAY-la, and that's how I've been used to hearing it pronounced (when reading from the Psalms - also the Christian musical group Selah). I have to admit, when I first heard of Baby Selah's birth announcement, I thought it was one of the best baby names I've ever heard of anyone using and honestly wish I had been able to use it first!

Would you also like Honor, Poem, Sonnet, or Willow?

AB said...

And even though Crystal and Brandy never grew to sound as professional as other names, I know a surgeon named Crystal, and I guarantee she is always taken seriously. Once you have a face to put with the name, most things will fit.

Lise said...

I have a baby granddaughter named Lyric. Every single time I have told someone her name, their first reaction is, "Oh! How pretty." By the time your daughter is an adult, noun names will be much more common.

Anandi Raman Creath said...

i LOVE Lyric and Astoria as well (and how cute that the nn would be Story!!). As someone with an unusual ethnic name, born and raised here in the US, I'm not sure if it matters if you can "imagine" a professional with xxx name.

Certainly most people have never even heard of my name and I'm sure there are people who think it's made up ;)

I say, if you love it, then go for it. But I do like the option of having a more traditional nickname, for choice.

SF said...

I do admit I have some trouble seeing Lyric as a grown-up name, but as it's been pointed out, that would probably change over time. I think Lyra is a great alternative, though.

If you like Glory but not Gloria, maybe it could go as a middle name. Also, I know a teenaged Selah who pronounces it SEE-lah, but some names have more than one pronunciation so I guess SAY-lah is fine too.

Astoria from your list is also a great pick as you have the full professional-sounding name and some cool nickname choices. Go with what you love!

Erin said...

A name that runs in my family is Arsella! I think it sounds very similar to some of the girl names you have picked out. It's unusual and fun, and sounds mighty nice with Jenkins :)

Katie said...

Thanks so much for posting this Swistle, and thanks for all of the great comments!

We certainly feel a lot better about Lyric, and liked some of the suggestions quite a bit. I think we will try to narrow our list down to a few names and then wait until she is born to decide.

Thanks again :-)