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Monday, July 30, 2012

Baby Girl or Boy Milbank, Sibling to Scarlett

Rebecca writes:
With less than two weeks until our second child is due we are still struggling with names (go figure, we had this same issue with our first :-) Hoping that between you and your readers we might be able to get this last item on our "to do" list complete.

Below is some background information...

My name: Rebecca Lee Milbank
Husband's name: Samuel Thomas Milbank (goes by Toma)
2 year old daughter: Scarlett Grace Milbank (Scarlett was my maiden name)

And this is what we have come up with so far...

Girls names:

- Katherine Detay Milbank (nickname Kate or Kat, Detay is a family name)
- Isabel Reese Milbank
- Noelle Elizabeth Milbank
- Isla Reese Milbank
- Haven Milbank (not sure on a middle name)

(Family tradition dictates that the first name be Samuel. Like my husband he would go by his middle name.)

- Samuel Lucas Milbank (possibly "Luca" as a nickname)
- Samuel Carter Milbank (Carter is a family name)
- Samuel Aiden Milbank (perhaps Aiden is too popular?)

By no means are we set on any of these names. Any guidance, advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated (and lead to a better nights sleep!).

The name Scarlett is now in the top 100 (#80 in 2011, according to the Social Security Administration), but it retains its strong and unusual sound. A classic/traditional name like Katherine startles me with contrast: an author might use the two names to communicate one fiery/sassy character and one sweet/conservative. Isabel would have had the right sort of sound (good strong consonants) before Isabel/Isabella got so popular that the sound of it barely registers. But I also don't think I like the way it sounds with the surname: the bel-mil of Isabel Milbank doesn't feel nice in my mouth.

Of course such things are mostly based on subjective experience/opinion: someone else could right now be thinking of Katherine as in Katharine Hepburn, and feeling it with a big dose of strength and sass---and of course nicknames like Kate and Kat boost that. Perhaps someone else has encountered fewer Isabels/Isabellas, and still hears it with the strong, distinctive, and regal sounds that drew so many parents to it. And of course there will be different opinions on sounds: the double L sound that's bothering me could tie the names together perfectly for someone else. And meanwhile, I'm about to speak in favor of Noelle, while someone else thinks, "What? But that's such a soft, sweet name!"

And Noelle definitely can be a soft, sweet name. But I think it also has the unusual sound I'd be looking for with a sister named Scarlett, and the one Noelle I know has the sort of personality commonly described as "firecracker," so that has influenced me considerably. I also like how it gives you the -elle ending from Isabel, while being considerably less common. But as with Isabel, I don't think I like the way it sounds with the surname: Noelle Milbank, elle-mil.

The name Isla, too, I can see someone else thinking of as sounding too soft and sweet with the hard consonants of Scarlett. But I associate Isla with redheads, and redheads with spirit. And I associate both Scarlett and Isla with actresses; I think that subtly ties them together in my mind. And again, the name has the distinctive/unusual sound I'd be looking for. I also like the way it LOOKS with Scarlett: Scarlett and Isla. But again the L-sounds give me trouble: Isla Milbank, la-mil.

Haven is probably my favorite of your list. It has strength, consonants, an unusual and distinctive sound. Scarlett and Haven are both surnames, which ties them together. Neither one is frilly or girly-sweet, despite Scarlett O'Hara's hoop skirts.

I'd like Haven with the middle name Detay, to give both girls a family name. But I also like the idea of using a more traditional/feminine middle name, as you did with Scarlett. Haven Violet. Haven Katherine. Haven Elise. Haven Elizabeth. Haven Rose. Haven Noelle brings out the soft/sweet side of Noelle; you'd think I'd want to avoid the n-N of the two names, but this is what I mean about how subjective these things are: it sounds good to me (and neither Hava nor Oelle are names, so there's no blend-based confusion). Or I like Haven Rebecca to honor the mother's side again; perhaps the girls in the family could have mother's-side names while the boys have father's-side names.

Hazel would also work with Scarlett. It has the nice Z-sound and -el ending of Isabel, and it's been coming into style nearly hand-in-hand with the name Scarlett. I'm not crazy about the zel-mil, as you'd expect from previous paragraphs, but (1) subjective and (2) I don't dislike it to the point of considering it a reason to rule out the name.

For boys, I'd say Aiden has probably reached the "too popular" point for anyone taking that into consideration: it was #9 in 2011, but combining spellings Aidan and Aden and Ayden makes it even more popular than that. More importantly (since I continue in my belief that the Top Ten is not the kiss of death), it's a name that belongs to a group: the rhyming Aidens/Bradens/Cadens/Haydens/Jadens/etc. are now well-known enough that many letters to us specifically mention wanting to avoid them.

I like the idea of using another A name: the initials spelling SAM is fun with the first name Samuel.

Samuel Aidric; Aidric Milbank; Scarlett and Aidric
Samuel Alden; Alden Milbank; Scarlett and Alden
Samuel Anderson; Anderson Milbank; Scarlett and Anderson
Samuel Archer; Archer Milbank; Scarlett and Archer
Samuel August; August Milbank; Scarlett and August
Samuel Asher; Asher Milbank; Scarlett and Asher

I think Samuel Carter is very handsome. I hesitate only because Scarlett and Carter seem very similar in sound: repeating "car" segment in the first syllable, followed by a T-sound in the second syllable.

If I look at boy names to go with a sister named Scarlett, I think of Grant. Samuel Grant; Grant Milbank; Scarlett and Grant.

Or Hudson. Samuel Hudson; Hudson Milbank; Scarlett and Hudson.

Or Harrison. Samuel Harrison; Harrison Milbank; Scarlett and Harrison.

Or Davis. Samuel Davis; Davis Milbank; Scarlett and Davis.

Or Flynn. Samuel Flynn; Flynn Milbank; Scarlett and Flynn.

But Samuel Lucas seems perfect to me.


Anonymous said...

I think Isabel and I think Isla. I think Detay, Reece or the fabulous suggestion of Rebecca.
Samuel Grant is terrific! No need to look further. Scarlett and Grant.

Laura said...

A few names that crossed my mind after reading your letter:

Georgia (but you'd have to really be a fan of Gone With the Wind to use this with big sis Scarlett; otherwise it will irritate you to no end everytime someone brings the connection up)
Nora (Nora Rebecca Milbank! I love this!)

Samuel Clark
Samuel Graham
Samuel Owen

And, just because I love the way it sounds - Samuel Duncan Milbank.

Rita said...

I like all of your girls names, but Katherine & Isla would be my favourites. Samuel Lucas is great, too.

random ideas:

Scarlett & Isobel
Scarlett & Iris
Scarlett & Eliza
Scarlett & Rebecca (maybe with a different middle)
Scarlett & Salomé
Scarlett & Sora
Scarlet & Samuelle (a twist on the family tradition)
Scarlett & Savannah
Scarlett & Honor
Scarlett & Caroline
Scarlett & India
Scarlett & Autumn
Scarlett & Gemma
Scarlett & Sienna

Scarlett & Hayden
Scarlett & Rhys / Reese
Scarlett & Storm
Scarlett & Lee
Scarlett & Theodore "Theo/Teddy"
Scarlett & Archer
Scarlett & Brody
Scarlett & Frederick
Scarlett & Grayson
Scarlett & Everard

Anonymous said...

Samuel Quentin; Scarlett and Quentin
Samuel Matthias; Scarlett and Matthias
Samuel Vaughn; Scarlett and Vaughn
Samuel Levi; Scarlett and Levi

Reese Violet; Scarlett and Reese
Reese Isabel; Scarlett and Reese
Eve Rebecca; Scarlett and Eve
Eve Detay; Scarlett and Eve
Lydia Faith; Scarlett and Lydia
Lydia Reese; Scarlett and Lydia
Abigail Hope; Scarlett and Abigail
Abigail Detay; Scarlett and Abigail

Elisabeth said...

I love Samuel Lucas so much for you that I'm not going to suggest anything else.

From your girl's list, Noelle is my favorite.

Other suggestions...
Georgia (like the previous poster)
Lila (similar to Isla...)

Anonymous said...

Isabel, Isla or Georgia with Rebecca for middle is lovely.
Samuel with Hayden, Lucas or Carter. I would not use Aiden ( I personally don't like the shortened link to 'aids' and its not a great fit with Scarlett).

Peace said...

I'd say no to Hazel, since it is also a color, like Scarlett, it looks like a theme. Love Haven though, I've only heard it once before, and it is lovely.

Anonymous said...

Scarlett Grace and...

Lucille Detay Milbank
Hannah Detay Milbank

Noelle screams Christmas to me, so it is my least favorite from your list.

For boys, I like Samuel Lucas Milbank the best from your list.

StephLove said...

From your list I like Katherine, Isabel and Isla best for you.

My suggestion is Jasmine or Jessamine. I think they have a similar Southern vibe to them to go with Scarlett.

For boys, I like Lucas best, followed by Carter.

How about:

Zane (This one's my favorite. Scarlett & Zane)

Heidi J said...

I like Isla the best from your girl list and Lucas the best from your boy list. If you're worried about popularity then I would take Isabel and Aiden off your list. Noelle is pretty but reads very Christmas-y to me as well.

Other girl name possibilities:

Anonymous said...

I'm confused about why so much attention is placed on sibsets. Swistle, do we know your siblings' names, or if you even have any? No, we don't, nor do we give a flying frig. For the vast majority of our children's lives, no one pays much attention to or even cares what his/her siblings' names may be. Beyond overtly distracting connotations or pairings, it seems to be important mainly in the minds of the parents.

Anonymous said...

In response to the previous poster, I think what we are named has some impact on both our personality and how we are perceive. Emphasis on *some*. As well as something like birth order and age gap between siblings, I would imagine that our names in relation to our siblings also has some impact. I know that when I've met families with three children with names that begin with one letter, and one child with a name that begins with a different one I've wondered how that child feels - left out? special? - and how the others feel. Likewise, families where siblings have traditional names and one has a very unique quirky name or vice versa. I think we all get known as the *creative/difficult/athletic/quiet/shy/...* one within our family unit. I believe our names can have some impact on that. SO, while we may not know what our adult colleagues siblings names are, their names within their family unit as children *may* have had an impact on how they precieved themselves and, thus, their personality as an adult...WOW, long-winded.

In regards to this specific question: I love either Isla or Haven for a girl and Samuel Lucas for a boy. Although, if you're thinking of having more children, Isla and Lucas are quite similar to me, so Scarlett may stand out, while Scarlett, Haven, and Lucas (Luke?) each sound unique yet sound great together.

Swistle said...

Anonymous 12:29 a.m.- Not everyone DOES care about the names of sibling sets. But for those who do, a baby name site is the place to discuss it.

AirLand said...

It's useful to know the names of siblings at the very least to get an idea of the poster's style... also in the Baby Name Wizard, there are suggestions for sister and brother names... those are great to look at even if you're having your first child.

Besides, if it doesn't matter to the poster if a name goes with their other children's names, they usually say so.

In this case, I think Scarlett would go with any of the names. I think it depends on the name its paired with. Scarlett and Katherine gives me more of a Southern/Gone With the Wind vibe... Scarlett and Isla make me think of the actresses Scarlett Johansson and Isla Fisher... both are trendy names (and I don't mean trendy in a bad way).

Anyway, I like Katherine and Samuel Lucas the best!

Anonymous said...

Also, a little late to the party here, but the parents will always use a sibset. "These are my children..." or "Oh, we have four girls..."
No matter how separate the offspring get, parents will still have to say the names together.

Anonymous said...

I think of the name Scarlett as being quite a strong, feisty name for a girl so I would look at other strong names too.

For a girl I like Matilda, Claudia, Victoria or Beatrix.

For a boy I like Lucas, Connor, Alexander or Hunter.

Good Luck!

Rebecca said...

Thank you everyone for your feedback and suggestions!!! Going to review with my husband tomorrow and see which names we agree on. I'll keep you posted!

Jan said...

I'm in the camp that thinks Scarlett needs a feisty counterpart...of course people's idea of this differs. My suggestions: Tamsin, Pippa, Harper, Stella, Liberty, Eden. I also like another person's suggestion of India.

For a boy: Zane, Tyson, Max.