I recently found your website and love all the naming advice (I went back and read all the updates where moms wrote back in with that they finally chose--love those. Except when they didn't choose the name I liked).and
Anyway, here's my naming dilemma:
Our last name sounds a lot like Grindelwald*. My husband's name is Thomas (Tom) and I'm Courtney. We have one son, Jackson, who is three. He's named after my uncle Jack and my husband's great uncle.
I'm 18 weeks pregnant and just found out I'm having a girl. Yayyy!!! Even before we had kids, we had talked about names and decided we wanted to try to honor both of our heritages (husband's is Dutch, mine is Irish). So our son's middle name is a Dutch family name (sounds like Jägermeister, but with a Z and without the meister). And for a girl, we wanted to have an Irish bent. We really like the name Grace, but Grace Grindelwald is a little too much "gr" sound. We really want to rule G out entirely. But we did some research, and found that the name Hannah means "grace," and the Irish form of Hannah is "Aine" (pronounced like awn-yeh).
So question one is: Do you think this name is too out there? I think it sounds pretty, but I know people are going to have a hard time pronouncing it (and they already have a hard time with our last name). Will she get teased for the weird spelling? Are people going to call her Anne? Is it mean to give her two names she'll have to spell out and pronounce every time?
Question two is: If you do like the name Aine, what do you think about a middle name? For some reason, I have it stuck in my head that it should start with an L. Originally we had thrown around the idea of Laurel, but that's not really grabbing me any more. I really like the name Lucy, but is that too weird to have two four-letter names? Aine Lucy? My husband likes it too but wants to spell it Lucie, which I think looks even weirder (Aine Lucie--too many e's).
For reference, we had our boys names all picked out, and it was either going to be
Asher Willem (Dutch again)
Declan (not sure of middle name, maybe Emmett)
For girls we've also talked about
Sadie (not sure about middle names for that either, but considered Aislinn for the Irish aspect)
Sydney (used by another friend)
Sophie (husband doesn't like it)
So we tend to go pretty classic but not super popular (um, except Jackson, but I swear it wasn't so popular when we named him that!), and names that have some meaning behind them--even if they're just meaningful as family names. I don't have any real restrictions in terms of names "matching" or anything, aside from no G names, and there are no family considerations at play.
Sorry this is so lengthy . . . I realize this is not a real life-or-death situation but I would really love some objective input :-)
Thanks so much!
* Hoping the HP reference gets me moved to the top of the list?
Just wanted to add, if you decide to post, my husband and I brainstormed a few more names that we would at least consider.
Mirabelle (really starting to love this one--it means "lovely, wonderful")
Amelie (I love this one as well)
Shelby (I do not like this)
Isabel/Isabella (I used to like this a lot but I think it's becoming too popular)
I think Aine would be difficult to get people to pronounce correctly in the United States, but that the spelling Anya would be lovely and perfect. Anya Gridelwald; Jackson and Anya. ...Oh, wait, now we're away from Irish again.
Well, but here is the thing: most of the loveliest Irish names are not pronounceable here without translation. I have finally learned to pronounce Niamh and Aoife, for example, and my brain STILL says them "Nee-am-huh, I mean Neeve" and "Ay-oiff, I mean Eva," respectively. And I have PRACTICED. In general, I recommend translating the more challenging Irish names into the U.S. English alphabet, or using them as middle names.
For a middle name for Anya, I think one with the emphasis on the second syllable would work well: Anya Louise, or Anya Lucille. One-syllable names would also be nice; this might be a great place to put the name Grace. Or Anya Joy, or Anya Jade, or Anya Faye, or Anya Paige. Or a name that ends up being rejected as the first name choice might work well for the middle.
Isabella was the #2 most popular baby girl name in the United States in 2011, after two years at #1. I do think it's too popular, if you're trying to avoid popular. Annabel and Mirabel are great alternatives. I'd also put Isabelle on the list of middle name candidates. Anya Isabel?
I'm not familiar with the name Sezanah, and I couldn't find it in the Social Security Administration's data base or on other baby name sites. I wondered at first if it were a backwards spelling such as Nevaeh. I suggest the underused Susanna instead.
I think Sadie Aislinn is great. The initials are a little dicey but not terrible. I especially like the idea of using a favorite first name, and then a very Irish middle name with the original spelling.
More possible combinations:
I think my favorite is Nora Maeve. Nora Grindelwald; Jackson and Nora. I also love Annabel Maeve and Anya Maeve. Well, and Sadie Aislinn, and Katya Louise. I guess I like a lot of them.
I'm partially limited here by a low familiarity with Irish names (I mostly know the ones I've looked up while reading Maeve Binchy novels). I wonder if there are some good choices in your family tree?