I'm hoping you and your readers can help us. I'm 28 weeks along with baby number two and we're seriously stuck on a middle name. Here's a bit of background info: I'm Morgan, my husband is Jeremy, our son is Jackson Kelley (nn Jack) and our last name is Hirsh (with a different spelling). Jackson's name came easily. His first name is a place that has a special significance for us and his middle name is an honor name (Kelley was my great grandmother's maiden name and also happens to be my middle name as well as that of an uncle and a cousin). We love his name.
After narrowing our list of girl names down we have decided on Phoebe for this baby's first name. We are both in love with the name and plan to use Bee as a nickname. The problem we're having now is the middle name. We'd like to continue the tradition we began with our son of using an honor name for a middle name. The LONG list of potential middle honor name contenders has been whittled down to three. They are all from my husband's mother's side of the family. The contestants are:
Phoebe Lefebvre (pronounced Le FEV) Hirsh
Phoebe Adele Hirsh
Phoebe Pascale Hirsh
My mother-in-law is French and Lefebvre was her maiden name. Pascale was my husband's great grandmother's first name. Adele was his great great aunt's first name. Both were wonderful women and both lived to be over 100. I am somewhat partial to Phoebe Adele, while my husband is favoring Phoebe Lefebvre. My concern with Phoebe Lefebvre is the double "f" sound. Does that make it awkward to say? Does the "v" sound at the end blend into the "H" at the beginning of our last name? At this point we've said all three of these names so many times that they are starting to sound the same.
Any advice you and your readers can provide would be so greatly appreciated. Oh and I PROMISE to send a name update in October with a photo.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I think all three are great choices. The up side: it doesn't really matter which one you choose, because any of the three will give her a very good name. The down side: that makes it hard to choose. We had a similar issue when naming our youngest child: three excellent, family-honoring middle names to choose from, and all of them seemed equally good. We finally just...picked one. I like the one we chose, and I think I would have liked either of the others, too.
I would lean toward Lefebvre, because the other two seem like more distant honors: your husband's mother is a much stronger connection than a great-great-aunt or a great-grandmother. Also, I love when it's possible to preserve maternal family names as well as paternal ones. Also-also, part of the joy in using an honor name is surprising/pleasing the person being honored, and your mother-in-law is the only one of the three who is alive. The repeating F sound doesn't bother me unless in your family you frequently use the first and middle names---and actually, if you DO, I like how that sounds: it's fun to say! And I don't find it blends with the surname: I find I naturally pause between them. But most people find their middle names all but disappear and are rarely said aloud, so in general I don't worry much about that.
This is a minor thing, but I like to think about the minor things: Pascale would give her P.P. initials which, along with I.P., I like to avoid for Pee-Related Teasing. But since it's first and middle instead of first and last, it's unlikely that other children would even know about it. And Pascale gives the cutest monogram, if you like monograms: a central H, bookended with two P's.
Let's have a poll over to the right. [Poll closed; see results below.]
Name update! Morgan writes:
Just a quick note to thank you and your readers for the wonderful baby naming advice. Our daughter Phoebe Lefebvre H!rsh arrived on October 19th weighing 8lbs 2 oz and measuring 22 inches long. We were stuck on the middle name, but ultimately ended up going with my mother-in-law's maiden name of Lefebvre (as opposed to the other front runner Adele, which was the name of a great great aunt). Ultimately it felt more special to honor a close living relative as opposed to a more distant relative who has passed away. Mommy, Daddy and big brother Jackson are all completely in love with our little Phoebe and have taken to calling her Baby Bea.