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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Baby Girl Wilson, Sister to Micah and Madelyn; Does It Have to be Another M Name?

Linsey writes:
Our baby girl (third and last child) is due in just a few months and we need your help! My first question is: Does it have to be an "M" name?? Our four year old son is named Micah James and our two year old daughter is named Madelyn Kate (husband and I are James and Linsey, FYI). Family and friends are insisting that we have to stick with the "M" theme we have going or this baby will be "left out". I understand what they mean as most of the names that I like that don't start with an "M" just don't seem to go with Micah and Madelyn. I really don't have a problem using an "M" name except that the girl's names we like at all are extremely popular. With the last name Wilson we don't want anything too very popular. Micah and Madelyn are actually pushing it. Can you suggest some "M" girl's names that compliment Micah and Madelyn without being too common? 

One name that my husband and I both love is Evelyn. It's my grandmother's middle name and sounds similar to Madelyn. Does that make it seem like a name that fits in with our family or is it too similar to Madelyn? We've talked about using my mother's middle name so that would make Micah James, Madelyn Kate, and Evelyn Kit. Are the girl's names just too similar? Or does Evelyn stick out like a sore thumb? And is Evelyn gaining popularity too quickly to go with a common name like Wilson

Another thought is that both my mother and my husband's mother passed away before we got married. We of course would love to honor them in our naming, but didn't end up doing so with our first daughter because we just don't necessarily care for either the name Mary or the name Lezlie. One name that I've recently run across is Marilee. This kind of sounds like a combination of Mary and Lezlie and of course starts with an "M" like our other two children. What do you think of it? What middle name to you think would work well with it?

Any other name suggestions you have would be much appreciated!

Thanks So Much!

It doesn't have to be an M name, but I see the pressure for it to be one. I think if you don't use an M name, there may be a little whining about it at first from friends and family, but that it isn't likely to be a big deal in the long run: hardly anyone cares very deeply what other people name their children, even if they enjoy making a bit of a fuss about it in the anticipation stage. If the third child doesn't have any reason to believe that he or she was deliberately not given an M name in order to exclude him or her, and if you answer any questions with, "For each child, we just chose the name we liked best," then two M names in a row doesn't seem like enough names to establish an unbreakable theme. If, however, you LIKE another M name, then I think it is a fun theme to have.

Normally I might avoid matching endings for two names, but Evelyn seems like a great way to tie the names together without using another M name, and the front halves of the names have such different sounds. However, I don't think I'd then use such similar middle names on top of that. If you wanted to please the people clamoring for a matched set, you could do Evelyn Jane: she'd tie in to her sister's first name and both siblings' middle names.

Evelyn is quite popular (#24 in 2011, according to the Social Security Administration, and continuing to rise), but the name Madelyn/Madeline/Madilyn/Madeleine is so popular (combining spellings puts it into the Top Ten), the similar popularity of Evelyn is a selling point for me.

Katelyn would also work, but is perhaps too strong a sister-name tie since it connects to both the first name and the middle name.

Jocelyn would work well.

Marilee seems like it honors neither grandmother (it's particularly hard to imagine the family of a Lezlie feeling any honor from it), while also leading to spelling issues and Merrily puns. On the other hand, I do think people would be touched by the effort to combine the grandmothers' names, and Merrily is a very cheerful sort of pun. If you use it, I think Marilee Jane would be pretty, or Marilee June, or Marilee Rose, or Marilee Celeste.

I'd like to segue into recommending Meredith, but I think the repeating M and D sounds probably make it too similar to Madelyn.

Mallory might be better. It's uncommon but familiar. It does repeat the L and Y of Madelyn, but in a very different way. Micah, Madelyn, and Mallory.

More M possibilities:


Molly is the traditional nickname for Mary, if that would be a slight and pleasing connection to one of the grandmothers. Perhaps the other grandmother's middle name could be used. Or I see that the name Lezlie/Leslie/Lesley is derived from the surname Lesslyn, which might make a good middle name with a parallel slight connection. Micah James, Madelyn Kate, and Molly Lesslyn. If that's too rhymey with Wilson, maybe Lynn would be better---though by now we're so far removed from the honor name, I think I'd just choose something you like: Molly Jane, maybe, or Molly Kit, or Molly Joy.


Moomoo said...

Marissa, Matilda and Molly are great. I would use an M name, and I would be VERY inclined to use Mary- it is underused these days in its original form, it starts with an M, and it is an honour name.
Otherwise, Marissa Kit, Matilda Jane, Molly Jane, or to honour Lezlie by just using Lee or Lea - Marissa Lee, Matilda Lee, Molly Kit. All lovely combos!
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I agree that you don't have to use another M name, though I think it would be nice if you did. I think it's especially important since this will be your last child. If you planned on a couple more you'd have the chance to mix up the initials even more, and I think there'd be less chance that this child would notice or care that you broke the trend with their name.
I will disagree with Madelyn & Evelyn. It's just too rhyming/matchy for my taste. If you called them Maddie & Eve then maybe, but you didn't mention using nicknames, so I assume you don't.
I am not a big fan of Marilee. The spelling looks a little made up, and I'm just not excited about the sound. Mary Lee or Mary Leigh as first and middle are nice, though Mary doesn't have the same feel as Micah and Madelyn.
I really like Molly for you and I think it's fine to use Molly as an honor name for a namesake. There are a ton of Mary variants that you could consider:
I especially kind of like Malia for you, it has the M of Mary and the Lee sound for Lezlie.
Taking from your idea of Marilee, Lee or Leigh would make a good namesake name for Lezlie. Something like Molly Leigh perhaps?
Oh-what about Marley? It has the Mar of Mary with the Lee sound of Lezlie. You could spell it Marlie for an even closer feel to Lezlie.

Em said...

Sorry but Madalyn and Evelyn are just too much alike. I wouldnt recommend it. Michelle is not commin anymore and goes nicely with Micah and Madalyn, and keeps the M initial going, which I would do as having one stand out of the three seems a bit mean!
Molly is lovely, Molly and Maddy.... Or Milliy Jane. U like the suggestion if Mary Lee or Mary Leigh.
But I especially like Meredith. It goes beautifully in sound with Madalyn, without being matchy is kind of honouring Mary, and has a sweet nickname Merri. Meredith Janr, Meredith Kit or Meredith Leigh- all lovely choices.

Barb said...

I really like the Marilee idea. FWIW, I know someone with that name and she pronounces it more like "Merry Lee/ Mary Lee" (mehr-ee-lee) and not as much as "merrily" (mehr-ih-lee).

monicabenson said...


Viv said...

Molly is perfection with Madelyn and Micah! As much as i love Matilda, I would avoide using her since her nn is often Matty, which of course is too similar to Madelyn/Maddie.

xo Viv

Jill said...

Don't give into pressure about M names unless you're sold. I don't think your little girl would have any reason to feel left out. I think it would be worse if your children were "Aiden" "Kayden" and....Mary. Madelyn and Micah seem like individual names, and there's room for options with your last child.
Evelyn does seem a little close to Madelyn to me but Everly doesn't. It seems to match your style and combines Evelyn and Lezlie in a way. Everly Kit is a really cute name.
If you decide to go with a sandwich of Mary and Lezlie I would do Marlie or Merrilie.

Manday said...

I love Marilee! I have considered it myself, though ended up with a boy, and I DO think it honors both Grandmas. But perhaps my sense of honoring is off because I believe its the intention that matters the most.

Jill said...

Me again! In response to a previous poster I hear Tilly more as a nickname for Matilda than Matty.

Kiri said...

My brother and I have names that are one letter different than each other. It's never been a problem and I honestly only realized that it may be considered strange to others recently. So, I don't think Evelyn is too close to Madelyn to be an issue.

Also, my brother and I both begin with "k", while our sister begins wih "j". She always teasingly says she is left out, but I don't think it's really an issue.

Personally, I absolutely love the idea of combining your mothers names. Marilee is adorable, fits in with your other kid's names, and is such a sweet way to honor your mothers.

I also heard the name Marni today and thought that was cute! Good luck!

Joanna said...

My sister and brother-in-law named their first two children Megan and Michael, and I was (maybe one of the few) hoping they would use a different initial for their third--they did, and called her Emma. Three with the same first letter seems cutesy to me; two with the same letter is nice with or without additional siblings, and I think Evelyn (because of the matching -lyn ending) sounds perfect with Madelyn.

Anonymous said...

Definitely don't feel pressured to use an M name unless you find one you love or really want to use all Ms. If you have another child later, you will feel even more stuck to use an M name. And then, you are potentially in a Duggar situation. Kit as a middle name is really close to Kate, both are nicknames for Katherine, so if that is the name you use to tie your daughters' names together, I wouldn't have matchy first names as well. For M names, I like Molly, Melinda, Moira, Maeve, Milla, Marianne, Mary, Margaret, Margot. For other letter names, Amelia is especially lovely as a sister to Madelyn and Micah. I also like Cecily, Felicity, Violaine, Lorraine, Susannah, Rosemary, Elizabeth, and Charlotte.

StephLove said...

I could see going either way with the M pattern. If you go that way, I liked the suggestions of Maeve or Margaret. A variation on Mary like Mariah or Maura could be good for you. I like Maud, too.

Or how about an N-name? The sounds are so similar it kind of splits the difference. Naomi? Nora? Or a name with an internal m, like Rosemary. Rosemary Lezlie perhaps? You get both grandmothers in but favor neither because the one who has the first name slot has an altered version.

If you go away from M entirely, I do like Evelyn.

sarah said...

I actually know a Marilee so it doesn't seem odd to me. She pronounces it so the MAR rhymes with Bar or Tar, not Mare like Mary.
I like the suggestion of Molly!
I also like the suggestion of Marlie as a combination of Mary and Lezlie.

I would use an M name, but if you don't, I think that Evelyn and Madelyn are too similar.
Good luck!

Rita said...

If you had 2 boys or 2 girls, I'd say go for the other initial, but with one of each just stick to the initial - somehow James, John and Elizabeth sounds logic, but James, Jane and Elizabeth doesn't. I'm sure she will prefer to be part of the same theme as her siblings.

Evelyn Kit is waaaay to close to Madelyn Kate.

And M is one of the best lettters for names, so it's almost inpossible not to find one you really like.

My vote goes to Mary/Molly/Mollie. It honours family (Mary & Lezlie, and it fits nicely with Micah and Madelyn, without being to similar to either of them.

other ideas
* Marie
* May
* Margaret
* Mirabel
* Maeva (since you line "Eve")
* Marlie
* Mila
* Marnie
* Mia
* Mabel
* Mercy
* Melina

Anonymous said...

First: Maria is my favourite name and I'd love to see more people use it, but I think it would work especially well here. It starts with M but doesn't share too many sounds with Micah or Madelyn, and it has the bonus of the great nickname Mia if you're into that. I like it with Wilson, too, and it would honour Mary. Maria Kit sounds great to me! Or Maria Leigh if Leigh would be close enough to Lezlie? (Or Maria Lezlie/Leslie/Lesley?)

As to whether Evelyn is too close to Madelyn: normally I'd say it is. The only way I'd think it would work would be if you happen to always, always call Madelyn "Maddie" and/or Evelyn "Evie". Then it would be pretty unobtrusive on a day-to-day basis.

Personally I don't think you need to use an "M" name, especially since your and your husband's names don't start with M. My high school English teacher used to say when we were analyzing poetry that "three times makes a pattern", so to me if you had three "M"-named kids this would be a bigger issue.

Finally: if you're concerned that a non-M name would stick out, there are names that start with other letters but would lend themselves to M-nicknames - Amelia "Mia", Emilia "Mila/Mia", Amina "Mina", and I knew a little Naomi who nicknamed herself "Mimi" and it was really adorable.

Congratulations, and good luck!

Eva.G said...

I really like the Merilee idea! I actually know two different Marilees, with different spellings though, so the name doesn't seem made up to me at all. One is Marylee, and pronounced like Mary Lee. The other is Marili, pronounced like Merrily....and yes, I do think that spelling (Marili) is strange. :-) It's a good choice for a name for you!

I also like Mary. When I was a little girl I read a book series with the main character named Merry. I've always loved it since then!

One other idea for you is Mora. It's my husband's grandmother's name and I'd like to consider using it myself. Yes, it's much less common than Madelyn, but it rhymes with Nora, which gives it a bigger recognition factor.

Anonymous said...

I think Evelyn/Evelyn Kit is too close to Madelyn/Madelyn Kate.

I also do not think another "M" name is a requirement, but Marilee is a lovely honor name. I vote for Marilee Wilson.

Other suggestions:
Maris, Marise, Mariza

Lyly said...

I vote for picking a name you like as much as the first two names regardless of what it starts with. Maybe just an L name would work. You have two children with M maybe a L name would be be a way to honor both your mothers.


Anonymous said...

For me, Madelyn and Evelyn are too close. It's the two "lyn" endings that bother me. I would try to avoid that. I don't think you have use another "m" name although I can understand the pressure. One idea would be to choose a name with a strong "m" sound within the name such as Karmyn or Gemma. Or a double name with the 2nd name starting with M like Katie Mae or Ella Marie. You still get the "m" feeling and sound without it bring so obvious. But here are some other M names just in case:
Mary Claire

Anonymous said...

Some other names with a strong "m" sound within:

Z said...

I don't like matchy's like when a family wears matching outfits--It just seems cheesy to me. If you had 3 kids with M names, I think the 4th would feel left out without another M name, but since there are only 2, it isn't really a strong pattern yet, so I would just go with whatever name you like, regardless of what letter it starts with. As a compromise, you could follow the suggestion posted above of choosing something with an M in it, just not as the first letter.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE Evelyn Maeve!

Evelyn Maeve flows nicely with the double 'v' sound and Maeve follows the James/Kate/Maeve pattern. And, you'll still have an 'M' name in there! Win-win-win!

Heidi J said...

I don't think you have to go with another M name unless you want to. My husband's two older siblings names both start with L and my husband's name starts with C (no younger siblings). He says it never bothered him and he didn't feel left out.

Mimi said...

Micah James and Madelyn Kate = MJ and MK

I think you made an additional pattern with the JK middle names.

Leaves you with initials ML for baby #3.

MJ, MK, and ML.

I suggest:

Magnolia (nn Maggie)

Middle Names:


Amanda said...

I know a family who has a Chelsea and a Chase, and everyone just knew they would name #3 Chad. Instead, they went with Bryce. People were taken back at first, but eventually just accepted it.

I love Mary. I think it is terribly underused and such a strong name.

Anonymous said...

If you absolutely adore an M name, then by all means! I wouldn't limit your family that way, though. I might seek a name that connects to the other two in a different way. Evelyn is a good example of this - you'll have two children with names that start with M and two with names that end in "lyn". For me, Madelyn and Evelyn would be too close in sound, unless you primarily call them Maddie and Evie, which is adorable.

You can also look for a name that both sounds great with Micah and Madelyn and that has a natural M nn. I think Amelia fits - Micah, Madelyn and Amelia sound fantastic together and Amelia gives you the nn Mia. Amalia (pronounced A-molly-ya) is a variant used in many countries, and this name can give you the nn Molly. I like the sound of Amelia Marilee.

Other M names I like for your family are Mira, Maya/Maia and Mary-Claire.

Anonymous said...

What about MaryElla