This blog has moved! Please join us over at!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Baby Girl, Sister to Carys and Elise

Jen writes:
We’re expecting our third baby girl in October and we’re having a terribly hard time finding a name we LOVE. Our first daughter’s name is Carys Anne. I fell in love with the name Carys many years ago because it’s unique without being too far out there, and the meaning is “love.” Anne is a family name (my middle name, my mom’s middle name and my great grandmother’s first name). Our second daughter’s name is Elise. Again, pretty, but not super popular. Elise’s middle name is Margaret after my husband’s grandmother.

Growing up as a “Jennifer” in the 80s was really crappy (for me). There were 5 Jennifer’s in my kindergarten class and we all were referred to by first name last initial. I hated being a Jenny F. and I wanted to avoid that at all costs for my kids by not picking super popular names.

We thought we were all set with the name Hadley for our baby, with Haddie as a nickname, but now I’m having second thoughts. I like it because it’s really pretty, unique, but not super out there. Plus, my grandmother’s name was Hattie and we thought there was a nice family tie. However, my original goal was to find a name that had an “s” sound at the end, so that it was similar to Carys and Elise, and now I’m bummed that I haven’t been able to find anything. My husband and I really like Emerson, but our big reasons for not “loving” it are that we wanted to avoid another name that started with C or E, and technically it’s a boys’ name. I’m more hung up on the fact that it starts with E though. My husband’s name also starts with an E, so that’s just a lot of E names!

We tend to like the English/Welsh/French type names like Olivia, Harper, Avery, etc. Those names are all on our list, but for various reasons are not “the” name, but are in the style of names we like.

Maybe you can help us by suggesting something we haven’t already thought of?? I would be SO appreciative!

Proof that we are living in a superior time is that when I Googled "baby girl names ending with s" I immediately got a good list on Nameberry. With Carys and Elise I particularly like Iris.

But I think if it were me, I might try to break the S-ending theme, especially if you think you might have more children later on. Two children with something similar about their names (same starting letter, for example) puts on a little pressure to continue it; three makes the pressure almost irresistible---and notice that the list of S-names isn't all that long. And although Iris is my favorite, the repeated -ris sound is probably too much with Carys.

What I might do instead is look for a name with a strong S sound in the middle instead of at the end, to make the names sound right together without backing you into a corner. It's hard to come up with suggestions without a surname to try them out with, but names like Marissa and Josephine and Lissandra and Isis and Cecily and Lucia (the loo-SEE-ah pronunciation) and Elspeth and Millicent and Astrid and Celeste.

Or maybe a starting S. Something like Sadie or Stella or Sabrina or Selena or Silvie or Simone.

Out of left field, I suggest Rose. It came to my mind when I was thinking "Carys, Elise, and ___?"

Another name that came to mind was Merrin. Carys, Elise, and Merrin.

Or Audrey: Carys, Elise, and Audrey.

Because your first two daughters have family names as middle names, the middle name might be a great place for your grandmother's name. Was Hattie short for another name, such as Harriet or Henrietta? That would increase our options, though the name is still a little tricky to work with.

If you're trying to avoid classroom duplication, things are better now than they were back when we were growing up: the absolute most common girl name in the United States is only about a quarter as popular as Jennifer was at its peak. The thing to avoid now may be names that sound similar to a bunch of other names: Kylie, for example, in a classroom with a Kyle, a Kaylie, a Kyla, a Kayla, a Mikayla. Hadley may only be moderately popular (though rising fast: from #921 in 2000 to #178 in 2011), but in a classroom with a Madison, an Addison, a Madelyn, an Adelyn, and a Hailey, she may feel more like a member of a Jennifer pack even if she doesn't have to use her surname initial---and a Haddie may feel like she belongs to a group of a million girls going by Maddy and Addy.


lauren said...

darcy popped into my head first.

Kaela said...

Carys and Elise are very pretty-- not too flashy, but distinctive, and not overly popular. They're also not at all trendy. They sound current, but it would be hard to say exactly when they were born if you just saw their names on a piece of paper (or a resume), and I don't think that will change.

Hadley on the other hand has pretty much come out of nowhere in the past decade, and it also has a lot in common with other trendy sounds right now (all the Add- names combined with the -ley names, like Hayley, Kayley, etc.)

I think that unless you really love Hadley, in which case you should totally go for it, you should keep searching for something that fits the style of your other daughters names a bit more. I like Swistle's suggestion of Merrin or Audrey. I also know a Marin (pronounced MAIR-in) who constantly gets compliemnts on her name.

Other names I thought of:

Adair (also Welsh I think..or maybe Scottish)
Anwen/Bronwen/Bronwyn (also Welsh, andwith really nice meanings)
Isla (somehow just goes with your other girl names I think)

Anonymous said...

I like the suggestion of Rose and Silvie. Both feel similar in style to Carys and Elise without being too matchy. Other names that might work to give you the "S" sound are Rosalie, Sydney, Felicity or Gracie.

Another thought is to incorporate the "L" of Elise to tie the three together. Names like Lael, Lena, Lyla, Olivia (too bad you can't use!), Julia, Lillian, Lydia, Livia.

I think my favorite for you is Sylvie or Sylvia. It gives you both the "S' and the "L" without being too much!

Anonymous said...

I love Tess for you!! It ends with S but has a different sound, and it's pretty, spunky & timeless. I like Tess Emerson.

Anonymous said...

My first thought was Isla= Carys, Elise and Isla flows really well.

Carys, Elise, Ansley
Carys, Elise, Arden
Carys, Elise, Lynessa
Carys, Elise, Kacia (kay-ci-uh)
Carys, Elise, Risa (I love Risa for a girls name!)
Carys, Elise, Hollis

Melissa said...

An interesting challenge

Tallis (rhymes with Alice)

sarabean said...

I know two Carys', one with a sister named Stella and one with a sister named Aniston. I love the Beatrice and Alice suggestions above.

gail said...

One of the reasons that Swistle is so adept with naming suggestions can be found in her last paragraph where she says "The thing to avoid now may be names that sound similar to a bunch of other names." This really speaks to the position of Hadley, which is a name I hear suggested more and more often on name blogs.

Of her suggestions, I find Stella, Simone, Rose, and Audrey to be pitch perfect. Each are distinctly feminine and go well with Carys and Elise.

Other ideas:
Carys, Elise and Laurel
Carys, Elise and Freya
Carys, Elise and Margot
Carys, Elise and Tanya
Carys, Elise and Zelda

Joanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joanna said...

Sybil came to my mind. Strong "s" sound, two syllables like her sisters. The vintage but current sound fits with your other girls nicely too.

katita said...

So many beautiful names match with the two you already have. To keep the beautiful and soft sounds of each name going, I first thought of Tamsin.
Lucy also fits into the "s" sounds category.

Carys, Elise and Tamsin or: Sara Beth, Grace, Silvie, Noelle, Nathalie, Amelia, Lucy.

Anonymous said...



Jan said...

I like many of the suggestions given - a name that starts with s, the s sound somewhere in the middle, playing off a different letter/sound. Some of my favorites are Grace, Sabine, and Felicity, Or perhaps something completely different like Ivy or Teagan? Love your girls' names by the way!

Lindsey said...

Read this early this morning and just came back now to comment. Without reading Swistle's answer carefully, my first thoughts were that your naming style matches mine pretty closely (although I had to go a different direction to compromise with my husband). I immediately thought Stella for you, and I see that a few others have suggested it as well. Carys, Elise, and Stella sound lovely!

Sunk Costs said...

Tess is divine. I also love Bess. Odette sounds great with Carys and Elise. Reese? Is Hollis too similar? Molly is adorable and you could use Molls as a nickname to get the -s ending.

Anonymous said...

Also I agree with the name Darcy .
Also ur baby's names are gourges

Anonymous said...

Astrid, Celia, Grace, Sylvia, Lucy, Stella, Sarah.

All names which do not belong in a particular timezone, more common in the countries you named, but not too common, and with lovely meanings that match the sounds of your other girls.

But if you don't mind being a bit more modern, Hazel is coming back in.....

You MUST keep either a hard s or soft c or z sound in this baby's name to keep it similar. Don't break trend altogether. Your name choices so far are exquisite.

JosephIne said...

I keep thinking about this post. Emerson and Hadley to me just don't fit the style. To me they are last name unisex and only recently considered names for girls. While the first two names are so feminine. Tessa, Therese, Theresa, Celia, Anais, Daisy, Antonia. Daria, Lena,, Leonie, Juliet, Janelle, Marla, Moira, Hanna, Helena. I also keeP wondering if Hattie was a nickname for a longer name. Theresa Hattie with nn Tess.

Patricia said...

Others qualities your daughters' names share besides the S-sound at the end:

Totally female names/not androgynous
Evokes a different language than English (Welsh, French)
Rather short (5 letters)

I'd look for a name that shares most of those qualities -- and maybe has an S in it somewhere too. I think non-androgynous and from another language would be at the top of my criteria.

Sonia meets these criteria.

Carys, Elise and Sonia -- lovely together.

gail said...

I'm still thinking about this, too. Going back over Swistle's suggestions, I see Cecily, which I missed in my first response. Cecily would work wonderfully!

Mj said...

You know, Sonya occurred to me too! I actually pictured the European version Sonja, which is beautiful. And your other girls names are classics, which brings to mind Elizabeth and Catherine. Sonja sounds and looks lovely with both of these as middles.

may said...

Lydia! It has the same soft feminine beauty as your other girls' names. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Carys and Elise are SO BEAUTIFUL. Hadley and Emerson strike me as more trendy and somehow not as elegant. Of the suggestions above, I love Sabine, Marin, Isla. Good luck!

Joanne said...

If you like an H name with an S ending, what do you think of Hollis?

Anonymous said...

Celess pronounced (see-less)
It old , unique, and has the s sound you want.

Anonymous said...

To stick with the -s ending, I thought of Hollis.

StephLove said...

I like the idea of moving the s somewhere else in the name and using Harriet or Henrietta as the middle if one of those was her real name.

Stella Harriet?
Josephine Henrietta?

Or how about Sylvia?

Anonymous said...

There's no s in either but Hannah or Zoe would fit nicely in the sibset. Grace would fit as well and still has the s sound and a lovely meaning which works nicely with carys meaning love. Alana or Alanna could fit in nicely as well.

Anonymous said...

Sylvia Catherine. Grace Catherine. Sonya Catherine. Also good are Stella, Hazel, Sabine, and Celia. I wouldn't use Isla because even though it is beautiful, people will be tempted to say the 's' to match that sound in the other girls' names instead of saying it like 'island' as it should be.

Anonymous said...

What about the name Jocelyn? It fits in really well with the names of your two girls and has that s sound. It is of French origin too.

Jocelyn Hattie?

Carys, Elise and Jocelyn. Lovely!

Good luck!

Alice said...

I'm in the UK, and a name I hear a fair bit is Amelie, pronounced like Emily with an A. It's French, like the film, and is close to Emerson without the E issue. I think Carys, Elise and Amelie is a delightful sibset. I also like Adelaide for you becuase it's simliar in sound to Hadley. Or what about just Hattie? I love it!

Anonymous said...

I love the ideas of Cecily, Celia, Sonja, and Lena - all go with your sib-set to me & sound lovely.

Melisa Meneely said...

Rosalie or Rosheen (Roisin) or
Isla Adair