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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Baby Girl or Boy, Sibling to Bradley, Molly, Lily, and Karly; A Name Ending in -ly or -ley or -lay

Deanne writes:
I am currently almost 10 weeks pregnant with sweet baby number 5.  We will not find out the gender of the baby until D-day sometime in February.  When our last child was born, she was nameless for almost 24 hours because we couldn't decide on a name that sounded good with our other kiddos' names.  We now have one boy (Bradley Allen) and three girls (Molly Joy, Lily Faith and Karly Grace).  We would like to stick with the "lee" sound ending and a "y" at the end so our kids all have that common theme in their names.

We have discussed these girl first names (middle name is set on Hope):

Elly
Kelly
Ashley
Emily
Zelly

Hubby has his heart set on Riley Allen for a boy name, but I am open to suggestions. :)

Any help or ideas would be much appreciated!


In larger sibling groups, I find it can be a helpful exercise to divide the boys from the girls. So, for example, I'd look for a brother name for Bradley, and then double-check to see how well it would go with the sister names; and then I'd look for a sister name for Molly, Lily, and Karly, and then double-check to see how well it would go with the brother name.

I think Riley makes a very nice brother name for Bradley, and also goes well with Molly, Lily, and Karly. Other possibilities:

Charley
Conley
Connolly
Donnelly
Finley
Huxley
Presley
Rawley
Ridley
Wesley
Westley

Now I hold those candidates up to Molly, Lily, and Karly. Rawley rhymes or almost rhymes with Molly. Charley rhymes with Karly. Finley is a little tricky because it's being used for girls more than boys (given to 502 boys and 874 girls in 2011, according to the Social Security Administration). There's a similar issue with the name Riley; there are a ton of spellings, but looking just at the Riley spelling, it was given to 3427 boys and 5002 girls in 2011, according to the Social Security Association. Adding up the thousands of girls named Rileigh, Rilee, Rylee, Ryleigh, Rylie, Ryley, Reilly, etc., puts it even more tipped toward the girls. And Presley has this issue too, given to 1384 girls and only 123 boys in 2011.

Ridley might be too close to Bradley.

I like how Wesley and Westley would give him a nickname comparable to Brad: Brad and Wes, Brad and West.


Girl names are easier, because so many girl names end in the -ly sound. The challenge with girl names is finding a name that works well in style with but doesn't sound too similar to her sister's names; I'd be looking for something with a distinctly different set of sounds---a different starting sound, ideally, and/or a different primary vowel sound, and/or some different consonant sounds. From your list of girl names, Elly seems too similar to Lily, and Kelly may be too similar to Karly. Other possibilities:

Ainsley
Amberly
Aracely
Bailey
Berkeley
Briarley
Briley
Brinley
Cecily
Emberley
Everly
Hailey
Lesley
Kenley
Kinley
Mckinley
Nataly
Paisley
Tenley


Brinley, Briley, and Briarley might be too similar to Bradley.

Because Molly, Lily, and Karly are all familiar names, I'd be inclined to stick to another familiar name for a fourth girl. And since they're all strictly feminine names, I'd be inclined to stick to another feminine name. Names that meet those two preferences: Cecily, Hailey, Lesley, and Nataly. Ashley and Emily from your list would also meet those preferences.

29 comments:

StephLove said...

From your girl list I like Emily best, followed by Ashley.

From Swistle's suggestions I like Ainsley, Bailey, Cecily and Hailey best.

For a boy, I'd stick with Riley. I think it's unisex enough to work for either sex.

gail said...

My only hesitation with Riley for a boy is that it is firmly unisex, whereas Bradley is firmly boy. Other ideas for boys:

Early
Ripley
Stanley
Crowley
Harley

I like Ripley for the potentially very cool nickname of Rip.

Of your girl names, Ashley is the one I think fits the best, but it's dated in a way the other girl's names aren't. I like Emily a lot, but think it has a really different vibe from Molly and Karly, and sounds too much like Lily. I know two people named Kelly and one is an 8-yr-old boy, so this, too is unisex, but not nearly to the degree that Riley is. I think that Elly will be too common what with lots of little Eleanors/Ellerys running around going by Elly. Zelly seems too out there with your other names--maybe Nelly instead? I think you might entertain the idea of Sally, too. Or Hadley. Of Swistle's list, my favorite is Lesley. All the others seem too trendy for your sibset.

good luck!

Anonymous said...

I like Rosalie with the other girl names. You could spell it Rosely to get the desired ending. It has a nice tie in with Lilly as well.

Janelle said...

From your list, I like Emily best.

From Swistle's list, I like Cecily and Lesley. I'd also like to add Beverly and Romilly as suggestions. Romilly is especially nice because it's a different letter from your other children's names.

For boys, I still really like Finley. There are so many little boys name Finn that to me, the name definitely still reads boy.

I also like the suggestion of Wesley.

Anonymous said...

I agree that you need a more definite male name. I really like the suggestion of Wesley. What about Bentley or Huntley?

What about using Riley for a girl? Would you like Ally?

Laura said...

From Swistle's list, I am intrigued by Aracely. How does one pronounce that name?

Mj said...

Elly is too close to Lily and Kelly too close to Karly. Zelly is too out there compared to the others and again like Lily. Hailey is lovely if you don't mind alliteration of H for Hailey Hope. But again a bit close to Karly. For you I really think Maggie Hope. I know my spelling doesn't have a y, so you could make it Maggy but maybe Meggy is better with the Y. Meggy Hope.
I also like Zoey Hope and Amy Hope: Amy is my favourite there.
Dad's choice of Riley is great with Bradley but not so much with Karly as it sounds pretty similar. How about Cody? Cody is further away from Karly, great with Bradley and doesn't clash with the girls. There is also Harry, which is a bit more classic like Lily but sits okay with Bradley.

Mj said...

Forget my comments. I missed the 'ly' and just got the 'y'. Sorry!

Anonymous said...

Alley is nice!

Anonymous said...

Wesley is my favorite for a boy. I also like Stanley.

For a girl, I like Ashley from your list. I would also put Riley on your girl list. I dig the suggestion of Rosalie, but wonder if you will consider "ie" names. I like Nelly and Sally for you as well.

Good luck!

Jan said...

From your list I would go with Ashley. Other ideas: Sally, Cecily, Hailey. For a boy: Wesley, Huxley, Connolly.

Anonymous said...

Bromley :)

Anonymous said...

Personally I would go as far as chosing a 'ly' ending for a daughter and a 'ley' ending for a son and I don't like creative spellings!

That why I prefer Emily and Cecily. Or what about Nelly?

For a boy, I like Riley, but I prefer Wesley or Huxley!

Good luck!

Alice said...

I think I'd go with a letter before ly that is different from your other names. In other words, I wouldn't use d, a short i, r, or a short o. That removes Emily from your girl list. Zelly, Elly, and Kelly qualify but I think I'd remove the first two because they are nicknames (whereas your first three kids' names stand alone as full names) and Kelly because it's so close to Karly. That leaves Ashley, which gets my vote from your list. I also like swistle's suggestion of Hailey, although maybe it's too many h's with hope. I'll throw Whitley into the mix too.
For boys, I think Riley is fine but Wesley/Westley is great. It is as masculine as Bradley and with great nickname potential.

Swistle said...

Laura- It's a new one to me, too! According to The Baby Name Wizard, it's ah-rah-SEH-lee.

Anonymous said...

My neice is named Lynley, which I think is pretty. It can be a little difficult to pronounce, but Lynley Hope is such a sweet name.

Anonymous said...

boy: Redley
girl: Brailee

Martha said...

My favorite for a boy from the list is definitely Wesley. Wes is a super cute nickname too.
I will also suggest Arley as an alternative to Riley, which is a less popular name that is somewhat gender ambiguous. According to the SSA, there were 56 male Arleys and 29 female Arleys born last year. I have only known one Arley, who is in his late 20s and a male.
For girls, I adore Cecily! If you are looking for two syllable names like your others, I think Paisley is pretty awesome.

Anonymous said...

How about Avery? It could work for a boy or a girl.

Anonymous said...

How about Bailey? Perhaps too close to Bradley.
Yeardley Hope
Lindsley Hope
Ainsley Hope
Denaly Hope
Kinzley Hope (strangely awesome with your other kiddos!)
Merrily Hope
Paisley Hope
Polly Hope
Shealey Hope

Another strategy might be to explore names that end in -ly or -ley but don't phonetically read like "lee" - as in July. Maybe Lorely?

For boys, I seem drawn to another "B" name:
Berkely
Bentley (both favorites)
Huntley

Anonymous said...

What about Siddalee. I love the character from the book. Siddalee Hope
From your list love Ashly.
For something unusual my daughter grew up with a girl named $ockley. Her sisters were Mary and Molly.


Boys. I kind of think Riley is a great name it fits in the mix nicely. Is it too girly? I don't know. I think there was a poster once that complained about all the boy names being taken over by girls.

I really like the name Wesley for its appeal of having the grown up name like brad is for Bradley. But Riley Allen I almost like better because it does seem different from bradley because the name is not inside a name which counteracts withe the matching of the names.

Rita said...

I'd avoid same initials, but I like the pattern of the "-ley" ending for boys and "-ly" for girls.


Boy
Arley
Conley
Daley
Finley
Findley
Hartley
Lakeley
Riley
Rockley
Seeley
Sulley
Sorley
Thorley
Tulley
Wiley

Girl
Amely Hope
Aurely Hope
Cecily Hope
Coraly Hope
Emily Hope
Joely Hope
Seely Hope
Sibly Hope
Tilly Hope
Thessaly Hope
Sally Hope
Zaley Hope

Anonymous said...

what about:

boys: Wellesley nn Wells
girls: Billey, Billie, Natalie, Nataley, Ally, Bailey, Marley, Shelly, Charlie, Dolly,

Anonymous said...

LOVE Wesley for a boy, but I also know a girl named Wesley and it's darling. I also love Langley for either sex, but might work best for a boy in your case.

AirLand said...

I like Emily the best of your favorites. If it were me, I wouldn't change the spelling of name that usually ends in "ie" to "y"... it looks odd to me.

I'm not a fan of Riley, though I can't really put my finger on why... maybe it's that it doesn't sound like a grown-up name at all... and it's unisex, which I don't think would go with your other children's names.

For a boy, I like Swistle's suggestion of Wesley or Westley.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE Riley or Wesley for you for a boy. I don't have a problem thinking of Riley as a boy name or as a girl name. It's like Jaime to me, and still very unisex. And Allen is such a boy name, I don't think it's an issue at all.

For girls I like Emily from your list and Everly from Swistle's list. Everly is actually on MY babyname list and I love that it gives baby #5 her own initial too. Everly Hope is just perfect!

-Angela

Anonymous said...

Of your girls' list, I like Ashley the best; Emily and Lily seem a little matchy to me, and Kelly and Karly definitely do. Ashley or maybe Elly seem to fit better (but Elly sounds like a nickname to me, not a full name). Zelly does not match your other children's names at all (though it's a cool name I haven't heard before!)

For a boy, Wesley seems perfect to me--keeps the theme and has a great nickname like Bradley does. Out of curiosity, is there a reason for duplicating the middle name? I'd be inclined to look for something different since each of the girls has her own middle name. If it's a family surname, maybe look for a second in the family tree? If it's dad's name or another family member's name, I'd choose another family member to honor. The only time I like to see middle names repeat is if it's mom's maiden name and *all* of the kids have it, not just a few of them.

Anonymous said...

ooh Wellesley is so cute!! I know a boy named Wells and it's adorable! I actually like Wellesley for a girl or boy...

Anonymous said...

What about Lindlee or Lindley for a girl? Also love Annsley (pronounced Annes-lee), but we have an Ainsley in our family.