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)
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.