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Monday, July 16, 2012

Baby Girl or Boy Cartons, Sibling to Carys and Hollis

C. writes:
I have read every last drop of your site and still can't find a name that grabs me for our third baby due in October. I am obsessed with finding a name. I've run many a cell phone battery dead during my search!!!

My main issues are trouble with a sibling set, desire to have a different but not weird name, and finding a name with some semblance of meaning.

I have a daughter named Carys Campbell. We chose her name based on the fact that I am Welsh and that the name means "love". Campbell is my maiden name.  Perfect fit, had it in mind for ten years and never wavered.  My son's name is Hollis Lincoln. Chose his name from a book and it stuck.  No real attachment to the meaning ( in the holly bushes). We thought it sounded Celtic and strong, it is perfect for our rough and tumble, red haired boy!

The sibling set issue....Not sure if we should stick to a name that ends in an "s" sounds to match the sibling set already established. We are pulling our hair out trying to find a girl name that would work.  Our last name sounds like "Cartons".
There are several names we've experimented with and tried from Caybree to Landry, Harlow to Dallas. We just can't seem to come up with a name we love like we did with the other two.

Other names we have considered for a girl are:

If the baby is a boy we like the name Royce,  but we aren't stuck on that name in particular. We also like:
Lachlan (I love, but hubs isn't sold)
Samson Davis ( a nod to my grandpa Samuel and my husband's grandpa David)
Damian will be the middle name in honor of a loved one who passed away recently.

My hubby and I would love to hear your opinions/suggestions of a name for our new little snuglette!

Thanks Swistle!!

Because the name Carys is used in the U.S. exclusively for girls but the name Hollis is unisex (according to the Social Security Administration, 60 girls and 101 boys were named Hollis in 2011), I would strongly suggest removing unisex and boyish names from the girl list. A two-girl-one-boy sibling group with a Carys, a Hollis, and, for example, a Sawyer, is going to make things difficult: Sawyer, with 2168 boy babies and 383 girl babies born in 2011, is going to seem like the boy name of the group.

This cull would leave you with only four names on your girl list:


And maybe Wren, too: it was given to 32 boys and 206 girls in 2011, and maybe that's enough of a girl lead.

If you want the matching S-endings, Arlis is your girl. Carys, Hollis, and Arlis. I might consider spelling it with a Y to make it look more like Carys: Carys, Hollis, and Arlys.

My own preference would be to avoid a third S: with only two siblings, it's not a pattern that needs to continue; and when I say three S-ending names aloud together, it feels sibilant and matchy. I also find I start accidentally swapping syllables: Harlis and Carlis and Harris and so forth.

A mid-name S or initial S might give you a similar coordinating sound. Coincidentally, we just did a post last week on a very similar group: two children with S endings and what to name the third. Their second daughter's name is Elise; perhaps that would work for you: Carys, Hollis, and Elise. By breaking up the syllable-emphasis pattern, it knocks out most of the syllable-swap and matchiness issues for me. Other possibilities that came up for that other post:


I'm uncertain if I should pillage the comments section and put all the names I wish I'd suggested, or if I should let those commenters make their suggestions again on this post! I will say that I particularly liked Kaela's suggestions of Bronwyn, Isla, and Gwyneth, and Katita's suggestion of Tamsin.

From your list, I like Wynne and Aubrey. I love the name Jorja/Georgia, but it seems too sassy with the gentler Carys.

Arlis and Wynne make me think of Arwen. Carys, Hollis, and Arwen. But maybe that's rhymey with the surname.

For a boy, I think your idea of Royce is pretty genius. It has the S sound, but the one-syllable and actually-a-C aspects keep it from seeming too repetitive. Carys, Hollis, and Royce. Bryce has a similar effect.

I also like the idea of the two H names, since the matching initials seem to help clarify that Hollis is a boy. I like Hudson for being another place/surname name, and Heath for having a gentler sound that coordinates well with Hollis. Heath comes out as the winner for me: Carys, Hollis, and Heath.

Would you like Hayes? Carys, Hollis, and Hayes.

I think Davis would make a great first name. Carys, Hollis, and Davis.

For a mid-name S, I suggest Jasper. Carys, Hollis, and Jasper.

I wonder if we're far enough away from the TV show Dawson's Creek to use Dawson? Carys, Hollis, and Dawson.

If not, Lawson is one of my favorites. Carys, Hollis, and Lawson.

Or Ellison. Carys, Hollis, and Ellison.

Or Jenson. Carys, Hollis, and Jenson.

Or Wilson. Carys, Hollis, and Wilson.

Sullivan would repeat the double-L of Hollis. Carys, Hollis, and Sullivan. But if you'd want to call him Sully, I might be nervous that that would lead to Hollis being called Holly.

I love Wesley, in part because I think of Wes as one of the best boy nicknames ever. Carys, Hollis, and Wesley.

Elias might be too different in style from Hollis, but it keeps coming to mind anyway. I think it's that it would result in one of the "lovely assortment" name sets I find appealing: each name is a different style, but there's no one name that stands out as different---and in this case, the S-endings tie them together. Carys, Hollis, and Elias.

I like Lachlan, too. Would your husband prefer Declan? Carys, Hollis, and Declan.

Not looking for S-sounds but just thinking "Carys, Hollis, and ____?," I thought of Brennan and Callum and Quinn and Rowan and Finn and Finlay.

Name update! C. writes:
We welcomed a sweet baby boy on October 19th, 2012.  We named him Royce Damian, a name that had stuck for a few years. We are very happy with our name choice and have gotten a lot of positive feedback. Thank-you for all of your suggestions and thanks as well to all of the readers who took the time to comment.  Happy Naming!!!


Heidi J said...

You could go with another virtue type name for a girl. My personal favorite is Verity.
But other virtue type names are:
Grace (popular though)

liz said...

Boys: I've never known a male Linden, but know a few women in fiction with that name.

What about Silas? James? Tobias? Thomas? Of the ones on your list, I like Heath best with Hollis.

Girls: I agree you should take Sawyer off your list.

What about Alice, or Rose, or (and this is only because of a sister pair in a book by Georgette Heyer) Frederica?

What about Grace?

Carolyn said...

Arlis made me think of Arden.

Scarlett struck me as a soft, romantic name that would go well with Carys.

I like Royce for your boy name, and Swistle's suggestion of Wesley (or even Westley) is great too.

Another name that came to mind is Miles.

StephLove said...

I like the idea of another virtue name-- Felicity or Joy (or perhaps Joyce-- same meaning I think and it has that subtle s sound).

Royce is a good choice for a boy. I also liked Heath or Samson Davis.

Krista said...

The name Laken on your list made me think of Larkin for a girl. Carys, Hollis, and Larkin--very cute@

Alice said...

I love the name Heath and like the idea of two brothers named Hollis and Heath -- both quite gentle, but strong and relating to nature. Another ideas along the same vein: Reed, Laird, Leith, Kerr, Rhys or Blake, all of which I think go very well with your sibset.

I also love Lachlan. It's quite nice that you'd have a Scottish name to go alongside the Irish/English and Welsh. It make me think of Connall, Cameron, Sinclair, Tarquin, Fraser, Malcolm and Kinnon.

Of your list, I think Hudson was the one that most jarred for me - it seems trendier than the others and not as enduring as Carys and Hollis.

For girls, I like Arlis the most from a sibset standpoint, but agree that it's too much with Carys and Hollis. Georgia is a favorite girls' name of mine, but Jorja seems like a trendy spelling next to your tried and true sib names.

In keeping with your girls' name style, what do you think of Skye? Or Ainsley? Or Greer? Or Sian? Or Briallen (primrose in Welsh)?

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I know a little girl named Nisa. It's pronounced "Neese-uh," rhymes with Lisa, & could also be spelled "Nysa." It means "miracle," from the Hebrew word for miracle, "nace."

Anonymous said...

Elis & Samson
Go well for the sibling set.

Anonymous said...

Allsoura mabee

Anonymous said...

Warren for a boy. Isla for a girl.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love the Welsh name Seren for a girl, meaning star. Kendall is great too and I think Hazel sounds amazing with your sibling set.

Carys, Hollis and Seren (Seryn)
Carys, Hollis and Kendall
Carys, Hollis and Hazel

For boys I think Ridley and Fletcher sound great. Lloyd is also pretty cool.

Carys, Hollis and Ridley
Carys, Hollis and Fletcher
Carys, Hollis and Lloyd

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

For a girl I think Eloise or Lucy might work to bring the "S" in a different syllable. I think Rhys would be a great name for a boy.

Sunk Costs said...

i've got two girls, Wynne and Lachlen. Both names are on your list too, so perhaps our styles are similar! My other favorites were Vivien, Ramona, Lathem, Arden, Emme, Felicity, Liselle, Lila and Vera.

for boys i love gibson, birch, crews, banks, rhodes and haskell. basically, last names are my favorite boy names.

Erin said...

I have to chime in to say that I've primarily heard Arlis/Arliss as a male name, so if the gender-neutral thing is a consideration, maybe look into the popularity of Arlis for boys before settling on it for a girl.

Keeping with your Welsh/Celtic theme, what about, for a girl, Siobhan or Niamh (pronounced Sha-vaughn and Neeve) (or any more phonetical spelling of those)?

There's also a Scottish girl's name, with a convoluted spelling that could be adjusted, but the name itself is lovely. It's spelling Laoghaire, pronounced Leer-ah.

For a boy, what about Callum, Declan, Duncan, Dougal, Malcom?

Kaela said...

Aw, thanks for the kudos, Swistle!

I agree that Gwyneth, Isla, and Bronwyn all go well with Carys and Hollis.

C.-- I would avoid Sawyer on a girl for the same reasons Swistle mentioned-- it's just too confusing when you already have 1 unisex name used for a boy (Hollis) and 1 gender-specific name used for a girl (Carys)

Out of the names you listed for girls, I think Aubrey, Wren, Wynne, and Arlis are nice with Hollis and Carys. But none of them seem exactly right. I would avoid Wynne though because it's one of those word names that can sound tricky with a last name that is also a word (Wynne Cartons-- win Cartons. It's not terrible but it gives me pause). Arwen Cartons doesn't have this problem.

Out of your boy names, my fave is Heath. Heath, Hollis, and Carys-- what a great combo! Heath Damian is really handsome too. I also like Royce.

Other names...I love Swistle's suggestions of Wesley and Davis. For boys, what about Hale, Cassius (nickname Cash), Austin, Jesse, or Sawyer? Also, it's different stylistically but for some reason I thought of Cedar (maybe because you considered Linden?) Lennon? Arran?

If you like Ebyn for a girl, why not Eden or Ebony? Or Arden or Arwen instead of Arlis? Or Bronwyn, Anwen, Gwyneth (tying in the Welsh aspect)? Or Juniper, which is a bit quirky, but ties in subtly to the Holly part or Hollis, and sounds nice with Carys. I also thought of Laurel and Eira (the latter means "snow" in Welsh).

best of luck!

Kaela said...

Don't know if anyone suggested this yet-- but I also thought of Tegan/Teagan for a girl! Or Tristan for a boy.

sassafrassy said...

What about Jewell or Jules?

Bryony said...

Alys! It's a real name, it's got history, and it's almost like Arlis. Fits every requirement.

Anonymous said...

I thought Arlis was a boy's name, mostly because of the tv show Arli$$, which I never watched, but have heard of over the years. I thought Wynne was a boy's name too.

nieke said...

Your kids' names are gorgeous and unexpected. From your list Wren, Heath and Samson are beautiful and sound great together.

Ellis and Arlis (and probably anything else ending in s) sound too close to Carys and Hollis, otherwise I'd suggest Emrys. The very masculine sounding names for girlsare jarring with such a feminine first girl's name.

Some other names with soft, lilting sounds that don't end in s:



I would really love

Carys, Hollis and Leolin
Carys, Hollis and Elowen

Anonymous said...

How about Olwen for a girl? I've always thought it was such a pretty name.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Swistle's comments about picking an exclusively feminine name for your daughter. There are plenty of Welsh, or more broadly celtic, names you could use:

Carys, Hollis & SEREN
Carys, Hollis & ALYS - my favourite for you: the Welsh form of Alice
Carys, Hollis & FFION
Carys, Hollis & MEGAN
Carys, Hollis & NIA
Carys, Hollis & TEGAN
Carys, Hollis & ANGHARAD
Carys, Hollis & GWEN
Carys, Hollis & BETHAN
Carys, Hollis & BRANWEN
Carys, Hollis & BRONWEN
Carys, Hollis & CATRIN
Carys, Hollis & FENELLA
Carys, Hollis & FIONA
Carys, Hollis & IONA
Carys, Hollis & ISLA
Carys, Hollis & LOWRI
Carys, Hollis & ORLA
Carys, Hollis & RHIANNON
Carys, Hollis & AILSA
Carys, Hollis & AOIFE
Carys, Hollis & ANWEN
Carys, Hollis & CELYN
Carys, Hollis & DELYTH
Carys, Hollis & KERENSA
Carys, Hollis & LIADAN
Carys, Hollis & ELERI
Carys, Hollis & CERI
Carys, Hollis & ELSPETH
Carys, Hollis & OLWEN
Carys, Hollis & MYFANWY

Carys, Hollis & STEFFAN
Carys, Hollis & TOMOS
Carys, Hollis & RHYS
Carys, Hollis & GWILYM
Carys, Hollis & GETHIN
Carys, Hollis & GARETH
Carys, Hollis & IOLO
Carys, Hollis & ALED
Carys, Hollis & BRYN
Carys, Hollis & CARWYN
Carys, Hollis & EMRYS
Carys, Hollis & GERAINT
Carys, Hollis & GLYN
Carys, Hollis & OWEN
Carys, Hollis & OWAIN
Carys, Hollis & RHODRI
Carys, Hollis & TALIESIN

Anonymous said...

Carys, Hollis and Siorese (Seer-sha or sometimes Sir-sha) or Siobhan
Carys, Hollis and Hayes or Bruce
I definitely think you should use a name with some cultural significance, and some kind of 's' sound.

Rita said...

I like the idea of keeping the ending and chosing a definitely feminine name.

Carys, Hollis, and Avis
Carys, Hollis, and Annis
Carys, Hollis, and Iris
Carys, Hollis, and Isis
Carys, Hollis, and Dilys
Carys, Hollis, and Eirlys
Carys, Hollis, and Maelys
Carys, Hollis, and Betrys