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...
- 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.