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Monday, July 23, 2012

Baby Girl Williams, Sister to Silas and Judah

Lauren writes:
Oh I would be most appreciative of some naming advice! We're coming down to the last few weeks (due date is August 10) and having trouble landing on a name for our baby girl. I really need a sounding board especially because my husband wants to keep all naming ideas on the down low among our circles because, as we all know, everyone has an opinion and most of them are not very helpful! : )

This is our third child (I'm pretty sure last) and coming into a home of two brothers, Silas Jay and Judah Dennis. Our last name is the ever-common, Williams, which despite it being familiar, I've found to be rather difficult to pair names with (it's a mouthful and a lot of vowel and consonant sounds).

So far, our naming style has been vintage/Biblical for the first name (and I really prefer it if the names are more unique--if I know anyone with the name it's pretty much out) and the middle names honored my husband's side of the family (as well as our second son has the JD initials because of a family tradition). I don't love the flow of either of their names--and had similar freak out points with both of their namings--but opted for significance over perfect flow).

With this little girl, it's been understood that we would honor my side of the family with the middle name (I really love Kaye for my mother's and maternal grandmother's middle name) but during my pregnancy, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with terminal cancer and so we've strongly considered a nod to her as well (her name is Marlys Anne and I've been thinking of giving this baby a second middle name of Anne, which would be purely for significance and not so much for style).

Please weigh in on how best to formulate a middle name from Kaye and Anne (do I just have two middles? A Franken-name hybrid? A hyphen? Something else entirely?).

We also haven't landed on a first name. The name we both have liked (my husband Loves!) is


but even though we don't personally know anyone named Lydia, I am concerned that it's a little high on the popularity scale. Also not entirely pleased with the mouthful that is "Lydia Williams."

Others I've suggested that he likes: Bethel / Bethany (although this is less popular, it feels less unique for some reason, perhaps a little dated at the moment?)

Ones I've liked but are off the table at this time:
Elizabeth (love the name and it's my middle name but too common)
Honorah (nn Norah)
Also, we both liked Jane but with a last name like Williams feels too, uh, "plain"

Finally, as part of my late-pregnancy nerves (and despite rather conclusive ultrasound evidence), the boy names we have in our back pocket are:
Ezekiel "Zeke" Marek (Marek being a Polish form of Mark to honor my dad's mn and my uncle)
Nile Marek

Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Oh, this is very difficult! The last child, and time to use an honor name from your side---but of course it would be very touching and special to use your mother-in-law's name right now. I don't think I could give up either honor name.

Would you want to consider using Kaye as the first name? I think of it as classy, pleasingly retro name, similar to Jane, and I love it with your surname: Kaye Williams. I would want that name for myself. I would then consider using your mother-in-law's first name to increase the honor: Marlys is a name that is currently out of fashion, but the sounds themselves are pretty, and I find the repeating Y visually pleasing. Kaye Marlys Williams.

But if Marlys is not in the running, Kaye Anne Williams would also work.

Are there any other names from your side that could be used as the first name? I know the original plan was to use a family name as the middle name, but it seems as if a third honor for your husband's side (in addition to his family being honored each time with the surname, if Williams is his family name) justifies a first-name upgrade for your side---which would also make things significantly smoother and easier for using your mother-in-law's name in the middle.

If you want to use both honor names as middle names, I suggest using both rather than combining. Already the honor names are the middle names of the people being honored, which is a step away, honor-wise; and then being used in the middle name position, which is a second step away. Combining them into one name (such as Kayeanne) is a third step away, and at that point it feels like there's almost no honor left in it. Kaye Anne or Anne Kaye are both a little choppy in the middle, but you and I are in agreement about significance trumping flow.

On reconsideration, I think a hyphen would also work. I guess if Anne were my middle name, I really would think of Kaye-Anne as quite a bit better than Kayeanne. I still prefer having the names separate, however, to avoid seeming to combine the two honors---and also to avoid having the hassle of a hyphen.

I've also heard the idea of giving the child the same initials as the person of honor. I tried to picture this with my own initials, and I do think I'd feel slightly honored by that: I probably identify with my initials more even than with my middle name. It would mean finding a different honor name from your family, however, to match your mother-in-law's initials.

Lydia is a lovely first name choice, and biblical/vintage just like your sons' names. Its upward progress is slow and steady---the kind of progress that means a classic coming into favor once again, rather than the rapid, leaping progress that can indicate trendiness:

(screenshot from the Social Security Administration)

It's taken twenty years for the name to move just a hundred rank points; a name heading worryingly up the charts frequently jumps more than that in a single year. And I know these things are subjective, but I like the sound of it with your surname. Lydia Williams! Very pretty. And then I'd pop both honor names in the middle: Lydia Kaye Anne Williams. I really like that. I like the repeating Y in the first two names, and the repeating double-letter in the second two, and the repeating -ia- in the first and last, and the repeating 4-letters/E-ending in the middle two. (I realize these are small things, but they are pleasing.)

I see Elizabeth on your off-the-table list: your middle name, but too popular. Eliza is one of my own favorite names, familiar but underused; I wonder if that would work well? Eliza Williams; Eliza Kaye Anne Williams; Silas, Judah, and Eliza. I like the way Eliza shares a long-I sound with Silas and an -ah ending with Judah, but then breaks free with three syllables instead of two.

To go back to biblical, I suggest Naomi. Naomi Williams; Silas, Judah, and Naomi.

I think Ruth Williams would also be wonderful, but with two 1-syllable middle names I'm inclined to go with a longer first name.

I would expect Claudia to be more common than it is, with the popularity of names like Chloe and Sophia. Perhaps as Lydia and Nadia become more fashionable, it will as well. Claudia Williams; Silas, Judah, and Claudia.

Which brings me naturally to Nadia. I heard this for the first time on the baby sister of one of my children's classmates. Nadia Williams; Silas, Judah, and Nadia.


Jessica said...

I love Kaye Anne Williams! I know a lot of people (including Swistle!) have double middle names and say it's no problem, but I would prefer not to myself.

Jessica said...

I love Kaye Anne Williams! I know a lot of people (including Swistle!) have double middle names and say it's no problem, but I would prefer not to myself.

Tracy said...

I love Eliza (its our 4th child's name). Lydia is pretty, too. I think it sounds nice with the Kaye Anne middle names.

Anonymous said...

I hear ya, my guy LOVES Lydia. Personally I can't get past the Beetlejuice association ;) I am all for honor names though, and if you're not sold on Lydia but like the significance of Kaye Anne then I would go for it! I think Kaye Anne Williams is a very pretty, vintage sounding name and I have never encountered or even heard of a little Kaye!

Liz said...

The pronunciation of Kaye Anne (and looking at the name too, but to a lesser extent) makes me think of cayenne, like the pepper. Not necessarily a negative association, but a strange one.

Rita said...

Lydia Anne Kaye Williams is very pretty.

Since Marlys is a contraction of Mary and Elizabeth, have you considered Mary-Elizabeth Kaye? You would honour both sides of family, including yourself.

More ideas:
Using a smoosh name to honour your MIL -
Marianne Kaye Williams
Annelise Kaye Williams
Mary-Kaye Williams

Different names to honor a Marlys Anne or a Kaye-
* Katherine / Kathleen / Katharina
* Kayla
* Mary
* Marley
* Maris
* Maelys (mah-eh-lys)
* Alys
* Anaïs
* Anna
* Ania or Anka (Polish diminutive forms)
* Anouk
* Hannah
* Annabel
* Anastasia

Mary said...

Would Katherine be too "popular" for you? I think Katherine Anne Williams sounds great, and Kaye could be the nickname you use.

I like Lydia a lot, Lydie could be a cute nickname and less of a mouthful - Lydie Williams. Lydia Kaye Marlys Williams sounds well balanced.

What about Liesl as a version of Elizabeth? Liesl Kaye Anne Williams?

Alina Kaye Marlys would also be really nice.

Nicole Trager said...

I really like Lydia, but I agree it is steadily moving up into the danger "popular" zone, but it is a beautiful name. Lydia Kaye Anne Williams would be nice.

My initial thought for you was vintage bible Ruth.. and then I thought what about adding the Anne to the first name.

Ruthanne Kaye Williams nn Ruth or Ruthie

Silas, Judah and Ruthanne
Silas, Judah and Ruth
Silas, Judah and Ruthie

I Really like Ruthanne as a junction name better than Kayeanne and I think the name has a beautiful flow at 2-1-2. Ruthanne is not ranked at all in the US and Ruth is safely in the underused category (rankings for Ruth below) So I think the style goes better with your boys and also is less popular than Lydia

Year Rank
2011 362
2010 347
2009 354
2008 356
2007 345
2006 364
2005 346
2004 351
2003 353
2002 337

hillary said...

I love Swistle's suggestion of Naomi for you, and I also love Lydia and think it sounds fine with Williams. Those would be my top two when paired with your boys' names too!

Your middle name situation is a little more problematic, as I'm not sure about Kaye and Ann(e) adjacent to each other. I wonder if you'd think about combining them into a new name that is inspired by the names but not a true portmanteau, i.e. Anya, Annika, Anneke, Karen, Kara, Kathryn, Kaylan (the last is probably too invented).

My favorites are probably:
Lydia Kathryn Williams
Naomi Annika Williams

Anonymous said...

I instantly thought of Naomi. Naomi Kaye-Anne Williams. I also like Lydia and Eliza.

Anonymous said...

Eliza is a very good suggestion that includes a nod to you, and I love the way it sounds with the sibling names. I think it could also work as a double first name with Kaye, leaving Anne for the sole middle. Eliza-Kaye Anne (hyphen optional).
I do agree with the idea of moving the honor name from your family to the fist slot, leaving Anne for the sole middle. On that note, Katherine Anne called Kaye is perfect. One good thing about Kaye as a nickname is that any name starting with K will work. Since you like rarer Biblical names, maybe you'd like Keziah?
If you don't want to go this route, maybe something like Anna Kayte or Anna Kaye in the middle slots would help some with flow, though that does push the honor name from your family further back.

StephLove said...

I like Lydia Kaye Anne best for you. Both of you like Lydia and it get the honor names in nicely.

But I also really like Phoebe Kaye Anne, or just Kaye Anne. Mary-Elizabeth and Katherine were good suggestions, too.

gail said...

Other biblical names currently used less often in the U.S. that are quite beautiful include Esther, Maria, Rebecca, and Susanna. I like the rhythm of a 3-syllable first name with Williams, and don't think of it as a mouthful.....

Of the names you're considering, I like Lydia more than Bethel or Bethany, but those are also beautiful and not currently overused. I really love Bethany, actually.

I love both Kaye and Marlys as middles, Anne not so much simply because it's so expected in the middle.

Bethany Marlys Kaye Williams
Rebecca Kaye Williams
Lydia Marlys Kaye Williams
Esther Kaye Marlys Williams

I like the suggestion of using Kaye as a first name, but it doesn't fit with your preference of using a biblical name in that slot, so I'm resisting plugging for it....

Christine said...

I vote for using Marlys over Anne in the middle. It's easier for me to say as a double middle Lydia Kaye Marlys, plus it's theoretically a "greater" honor as it's your MIL's first name, and it isn't as popular as Anne.

While Lydia has gotten more popular the only Lydia I ever met was my age (now 30) when I was in college, and I'm of the age where it seems everyone is having babies. But then, maybe it's more popular in your neck of the woods.

Anonymous said...

This is rather random, but the first thing that popped into my head is that both of your sons names are also names of characters on the show "Weeds." (Silas is her son, and Judah is her late husband).

On the off chance that you might share similar naming taste with the creator of the show, maybe take a look at some of the female characters? Or maybe that is too themey. I don't know just a random thought. Good luck!

(I also really like Lydia!)

Anonymous said...

I knew a girl named Kahyen. I loved her name. Pronounced like cayenne pepper.

Anonymous said...

I love Lydia Kaye Anne. It is beautiful. Congratulations!

Jan said...

Lydia fits right in with your taste of Biblical names that used to be rare but are becoming more common. Alternatives to Lydia (II agree that for some reason it does sound a little clunky with your ln): I like the suggestion of Naomi. Our little is an alternate form of it - Noemi. You could look at variations i.e. Mariah instead of Mary or Simone instead of Simon. Or how about a virtue name like Verity? Actually, I really like Verity Williams.

Anonymous said...

Lydia Kaye Anne Williams sounds great! I'm not a huge fan of double middle names, but since they are both significant honor names, I love it. I also like the repeating 'y' and repeating double letters in Anne and Williams. I think Kaye Anne Williams is a nice name; I like the 'e' ending of both Kaye and Anne. But I just don't think it fits with Silas and Judah. Silas, Judah, and Kaye? Silas, Judah, and Lydia sounds more like a siblings set, but maybe that isn't important to you.
Good luck with the baby!

Carolyn said...

Yay for the suggestion of Nadia! I love this name, and think of it as a forgotten, but surprisingly pleasing name every time I hear it.

But for this situation, I think the name Lydia Kaye Anne or some combination of the names you already had would be best. Since this is the only girl and last baby, I say pick the name you love best.

Anonymous said...

Lydia Marlys Kaye Williams is lovely. While Anne is a suitable middle name, I think Marlys is more unique.

sassafrassy said...

stick with lydia. it is a beautiful name.

Portia said...

Hmm, this is tricky! Since you do want something unusual, have you considered Marlys as the first name? I've never heard it before, but I think it's lovely. Marlys Kaye Williams has a very nice flow. Or perhaps Marlo Kaye, or Marla Kaye?

If you decide to use two middle names, I do think Marlys flows better with Kaye than Anne does. However, I actually think Kayanne is a rather pretty mashup-- I wouldn't use it for a first name, but as a middle I think it's nice, especially when you tell the story that goes with it! Both names stay almost completely intact, so I don't think it decreases the honor much. Lydia Kayanne Williams -- nice!

As for first names, since you like Lydia, what about Linnea? It's significantly less popular, but very pretty. Cynthia is another name that reminds me of Lydia, but is less common. Or, for a really unusual choice, what about Meridia?

Sela Freuler said...

My brother's name is Judah, and my name is Sela (NOT a variation of "Selah," which is an archaic word with unknown meaning/pronunciation.) Sela is the former name/Hebrew version of Petra, a gorgeous archaeological site in Jordan. It's pronounced "See-luh" in Hebrew, which is how I pronounce it. I get nothing but compliments on it, have never met another Sela (other than hearing about the actress), and I think it goes well with Judah. Maybe not so much with Silas, though.
My sister's name is Salome. Sal-oh-may. I think that could go well with Silas and Judah, and has a similar sound to how you're probably pronouncing Selah. Silas, Judah, and Salome. You could call her May, or some such thing.

Vivian said...

I would use Marlys in a heartbeat as the middle, instead of Anne! Something like Lydia Marlys Kaye Williams would be absolutely stunning, and you get to honor everyone you wish with a beautifully flowing name.

Other thought. You could use the name Bethany from your list, with the nn of Annie (taken from the ending of Bethany) as a way to honor Marlys Anne. Silas, Judah & Annie make an awesome set!

Marlowe could also be a beautiful way to honor Marlys Anne. Marlowe Kaye Williams is fun, and upbeat. A great pairing with Silas & Judah (though unfortunately not biblical). Perhaps you could use your favorite biblical name as a second middle name in this case? Marlow Selah Kaye Williams, Marlowe Lydia Kaye Williams, Marlowe Ada Kaye Williams, Marlowe Bethel Kay Williams, Marlowe Eden Kaye Williams.

I think out of all those options listed, my favorite option for you would be Marlowe Selah Kaye Williams.

All the best,

xo Viv

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

Thank you so very much for such thoughtful feedback and lovely suggestions! I'm really appreciative of the time taken to assist me. You've definitely given me and my husband some great options to discuss! Will update as we land on something. Thanks, again!

Eva.G said...

I also like Kaye, but agree that it doesn't seem to match your sibset, especially if you're going for vintage Biblical.

I love Selah (pn SAY-la) so much! I almost want to push you to use this! Our friends' daughter is Selah and I love it every time I say or hear it.

I also think Lydia is perfect for you and even though it's ranked at #96, I've never met a little Lydia! I've only met one Lydia ever, in fact, and she's a mommy now!

I like the suggestions of Esther, Naomi, Rebekah and Ruth. What about Dinah, Hannah, Lois or Miriam? Eden and Pearl are also word names found in the Bible that I love.

Myra said...

Came here to post, but I see that Hillary said almost exactly the same thing that I would have: I LOVE Lydia and Naomi with your boys' names. I would also suggest Anneka as a middle.