I stumbled upon your blog over a year ago, and was hooked immediately. I've always been fascinated with naming trends and decision making factors. Your advice is by far the best out there, and my husband and I would be thrilled to have your help in naming our second and final child.
My name is Rachel and my husband is Chris - both common names in our generation (late 70s), but ones that have aged well over time. Our last name rhymes with Chrysler (the car) but starts with an H. Important to note is that due to its German roots, the spelling is a bit crazy (three vowels in a row!), but it's pronounced High-sler. Our son's name is Shane Matthew, which we adore and fits him to a T. He's a sporty and energetic boy. We're excited to be expecting a daughter in January, but are stuck on selecting her name.
Here are our "would likes" in descending order of importance:
1. Our children will always have to spell and pronounce their last name, so we need the first name be one that's easily read, written and recognized.
2. Prefer that it doesn't start with an H or end with -er. I also don't want an S sound in the middle or end because of how it sounds with last name.
3. We are trying to avoid a trendy name that will soon sound dated. Unfortunately, it seems our ear is drawn toward popular names (as you'll see below), but we probably wouldn't choose one in the end.
So, here's a list of names that have at one point been in the mix to give you a sense of our taste. I've also included the reason why I can convince myself that each name isn't the one. Perhaps you can suggest others we might like or convince us why one on the list is just right.
Caroline (Maybe too formal and fancy for us. No standard nickname, though we've talked about Carly or C.J. depending on middle name)
Colby (Too often a boy's name, and the cheese association)
Avery (This would have been Shane's name if he was a girl. We've always liked it, but now it's so popular)
Aubrey (Love the nickname Bree, but know that Aubrey is climbing the charts. It also irks me that it can be spelled Aubree.)
Bree (Cheese association)
Finley (Love the sound, and Finn is a cute nickname, but it's the trendiest on our list and likely to become dated.)
Natalie, Courtney, Mallory, Valerie (Like that they all end in -ee sound, and are no longer very common, but I dislike Nat, Court, and Mal, and Val)
Samantha (like nn Sam, but too popular)
Brooke (maybe too short/choppy)
Julia (pretty, just not sure it's us)
Megan (husband's ex-girlfriend)
Sabrina (We love this one, with nn Bree, but are afraid of the Teenage Witch association, especially because they're making it a movie now)
Cameron (Somewhat ruined by the Kamryn/Camryn/Camden trend)
Darcy (don't like the middle 's' sound with our last name)
We asked my parents to select Shane's middle name, and my mother-in-law to select our daughter's middle name. She will give us a few options so that we can pick one that flows with the first name we choose. So for now, we're just looking for a first name.
Are we neglecting to think of names that are in the same genre as Shane and work with High-sler?
Thank you ever so much!
I am so intrigued by the idea of having a family member, especially a grandparent, choose the middle name. (I admit it: I am mostly thinking of how thrilled I'd be to get to choose for someone else!)
Right away I was drawn to Caroline. I say it with your surname and it seems like magic: Caroline Highsler!
But then I saw Brooke. Shane and Caroline is good; Shane and Brooke is wonderful. I don't think it's too short/choppy at all.
I want to push you to use Sabrina, because I love it and I think the name has enough other associations to get beyond the Teenage Witch one. But I find that when I say "Shane and Sabrina," I start swapping sounds and getting Sane and Shabrina.
Because you like Darcy but not the S sound, and you also like Aubrey/Bree/Colby, I suggest Darby. Darby Highsler; Shane and Darby.
That -by ending makes me think of Ruby. Ruby Highsler; Shane and Ruby.
Instead of Megan, perhaps Reagan or Regan. I had a brief fantasy of inventing a name such as Breegan, but...no. (Not just because we're looking for easy/recognizable names, but also because of The Baby Name Wizard's post about the current trendiness of Bree names.)
Avery and Finley and Mallory and Valerie make me think of Everly and Ellery and Flannery.
Would Juliet/Juliette be more your style than Julia?
This one just came to mind: Meredith. It's a little like Caroline and Mallory. Meredith Highsler; Shane and Meredith. I really like that one. Nickname Merrie is adorable.
Or Miranda. Miranda Highsler; Shane and Miranda. I'm ready to hear more of that name again.
Another one that just came to mind: Jillian. Jillian Highsler; Shane and Jillian.
Name update! Rachel writes:
I can't thank you enough for helping to name our daughter! You zeroed in on a name that had been buried low on our list, but immediately catapulted to the top once you and many of your wonderful readers pointed out that it was just what we wanted. So, Brooke Elizabeth "Highsler" was born on January 23. As you may recall, we asked my mother-in-law to select the middle name. We love Brooke's name and think it fits just right with our family.