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Monday, November 5, 2012

Baby Girl M!n, Sister to Theodore: Hard to Give Up the Name Eliza

Jane writes:
I really need your help! Our baby girl is due soon (Nov. 12) and we’re having an impossible time agreeing on a name. Her middle name will likely be Jane and we’re using my husband’s last name, which is M!n (rhymes with tin). I love the name Eliza, but my husband really doesn’t – to such a degree that it sadly won’t be her name. His favorite names are Lucy and Penelope, which are nice, but I'm having a hard time moving beyond Eliza. Because of the last name, we can’t use first names that begin with “C” or “Se,” and I would prefer to avoid names beginning with “B.” Also, we have a son named Theodore (Teddy).
Tremendous thanks in advance for your help! I am extremely eager to hear your suggestions and ideas from your readers.

I love the name Eliza, too, and Eliza Jane is so wonderful. Would it work to use Eliza or Eliza Jane or Jane Eliza as the middle name(s)? Then you'd still have your special name in there. This solution works especially well if your husband will be getting his choice of first name: the deal becomes "You have the name you love as the first name; then in victory you graciously allow me to use the name I love as the middle name." Lucy Jane Eliza M!n, Lucy Eliza M!n, Penelope Jane Eliza M!n, Penelope Eliza Jane M!n, etc.

The name Lila is similar in sound to Eliza. Lila Jane M!n.

Eloise, too. Eloise Jane M!n.

I also really love Penelope. That would be my choice over Lucy, especially with a Theodore: Theodore and Penelope are so great together.

Other names that come to mind when I think of Eliza/Penelope/Lucy and Theodore:


I might add to this list, but want to get this posted quickly since this could already be too late.


Jen said...

I would guess this has already been thought of but just in case, could you both get behind the name Elizabeth and then you could call her Eliza? I realize Eliza is a name in and of itself but Elizabeth Jane is lovely and it gets you Eliza but then the husband can use the full name or even another nickname.

Otherwise, Penelope Jane is really great.

Annika said...

I was also going to suggest naming her Elizabeth and using different nicknames.

Bethany Haid said...

I wanted Eliza so much too!!' Husband couldn't get in board. He loved Elsa. I suggest this for you bc it was the compromise for us. We went with Elsa Kate (Catherine) but also likes Jane. Other kids Daniel Henry and Samuel for background

Anonymous said...

I too love Eliza, but I would give it up for Penelope. Teddy and Penny are adorable sibling names!

Anonymous said...

I know you don't need anymore issues added into the mix, but if you're wanting to avoid the issue that a C initial produces altogether I would also avoid Lucy. Since it ends with a C sound you definitely get that word when you say the name together. I think Penelope is ok but I agree that Eliza Jane is just the best! I like the suggestion of Elsa as a compromise, and will add in plain Liza. There's also Isla which has some of the same sounds.

Jennifer said...

How about Eleri?

Anonymous said...

I agree Elizabeth Jane would be nice. He could call her Elizabeth, or another nickname for it & you could call her Eliza. I know families where the parents have different nicknames for the kids & it works fine. However, in the cases I know, the child usually uses the full first name with friends and in school.
Jane Eliza is also really sweet and I think Jane or Janey and Teddy work well together.
Elsa, Elise & Elisa all feel similar to Eliza, maybe your husband would like one of these?
I agree with the previous poster that Lucy M!n sounds like Lu Semen, so anything ending in the "c" sound should probably also be ruled out.
I will also suggest Violet, Josephine, Amelia, Audrey, Ruby & Molly.

Mary said...

Would you feel bad about having a name that is close to Eliza but just isn't Eliza itself? I.e. Elise or Elsa? If that would not feel quite right, maybe it would be better to go for a completely different name.

Teddy is adorable. I think another classic and slightly preppy name would be great.

Penelope and Lucy are cute and could be really lovely next to Theodore.

I like Swistle's suggestion of using Eliza as a middle name.

If you don't mind a name sounding similar to Eliza, what about


StephLove said...

Elizabeth (nn Eliza) was my first idea, too, like so many other people. My daughter has a friend named Elizabeth Mae and her mom calls her Eliza Mae. It's so cute to hear her yelling it from the sidelines of the soccer field.

Elsa's a good one, too.

I think Lucy and Penelope are both great names, too, though. Really you can't go wrong.

Lauren said...

I love Eliza as well! So sad you can't use it. :/ I'll agree with above posters about Lucy and perhaps wanting to avoid that with your last name. Eliza, Lucy, and Penelope all sound to me like Jane Austen-esque names (and so does Theodore!), so I have a few other suggestions, in case you're not sold on hubby's names either.

Beatrice (I realize this is a "B" name, but I think it's just darling with Theodore—Teddy and Bea!)
Louisa (This has a few of the same sounds as Eliza and Lucy, so perhaps it could be a good compromise? And Teddy and Lou sound so great!)

Gail said...

Penelope is pretty darn cute, and I agree that Lucy really doesn't work with your surname, but if Penelope requires you to compromise to too great a degree, I think it might be back to the drawing board, even as the birth draws so near. My few suggestions are:


Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I agree, I think Lucy is going to have to get taken out of contention! I shudder to think of years of your daughter having to say what sounds like, "Lu Semen"!

I feel empathy with you having to give up Eliza - what a great name! But, equally great and with the same *feeling* is Penelope. Penelope Jane M^n is fabulous and you get not only Penny but Penny Jane and PJ! I'd have no hesitation using this name, especially with a brother named Theodore.

The name Louisa sounds like a bit of a combo of Lucy and Eliza to me and Louisa Jane M#n also sounds fantastic. Of Swistle's suggestions, I adore Josephine - Josephine Eliza M$n - yay! So many wonderful options

Moomoo said...

Harriet M!n, nn Harry or Hattie or Hettie
Estella M!n nn Stella or Ellie
Rosemary M!n nn Rosie

Anonymous said...

I agree, I would not use Lucy M!n for the above reasons. My mom had a Marcie Munn in her high school and she was teased relentlessly, and that sounds significantly less like "semen" though it had the misfortune of sounding like "more semen". In many cases I overlook potential taunts, but this seems like a pretty obvious target. Penelope with the nickname Penny or Nelly is cute!

Anonymous said...

Liza is the perfect compromise between Eliza & Lucy!!

Other compromises:

Alice (Alice Jane!! How sweet is that?)

I also suggest:


Lucy Bea said...

I adore all of your name choices. I must say, with the wonderful Theodore/Teddy, I cannot resist suggesting K/Catherine nickname Kit or Kitty. Teddy and Kitty are a beyond precious pair and they both have other wonderful nicknames to choose from as they grow. Eliza is beautiful. As others said, I wonder if Elizabeth would be a good compromise, your husband would have so many options for nicknames for her. Some other names with that gorgeous Jane Austen feel: Marianne, Lydia, Charlotte, Georgiana, Rebecca, Augusta, Eleanor/Elinor.

Anonymous said...

I know it is very hard to let go of a name that you love so much but, there are so many lovely names out there, I'm sure you and your husband will be able to find one that you both love.

May I suggest other Saints' names with Theodore:

Helena (Love pronounced Hell-n-ah)
Esther (Love)
Genevieve (Love)
Sylvia (Cute! Sylvie!)

So many gorgeous names!

Good Luck!!!

Megz said...

I second the suggestions of

Elisha (or Alicia)
Katherine nn Kitty

and can I also add Georgina and Suzannah.

Lucy Bea said...

Oh my! I missed it earlier but the suggestion of Louisa is SO wonderful!! Louisa Jane M!n is incredibly pretty.

Ellyse said...

Great suggestions by Swistle! However, I may be biased as I have a Lila Jane! And an Annabelle! All gorgeous names!

Anonymous said...

Your post isn't too late! Thanks for the wonderful suggestions! We're also now thinking about Emerson (nn Emmy), but I wonder if there's too much repetition of m and n with the combination of Emerson M!n. We're also thinking about Lorelei (nn Rorie/Rory, Lori or Lila) or Juliet (but I don't think this would go well with Jane). I'd love to get your reactions to these possibilities, too. Many thanks!

Gail said...

Wow. Real movement in the name discussion!

There are so many ways to consider the choices. With Theodore, the clear winner would be Juliet. As a bridge compromise between Eliza and Penelope/Lucy, Lorelei would come out first. This name also has the most nickname options....To me, Emerson is the outlier. In a sibset of Theodore and Emerson I'd probably assume Emerson was a boy only because both names have a soft aspect. I think Emily would be a better choice, actually. You'd still get the nickname of Emmy, but would have two classic, better-matched names for your children. I wouldn't worry too too much about how the middle name flows with the first because they'll rarely be said aloud after the initial birth announcement. I think it's more important for you and your husband to be comfortable with the given first name. Even the alliteration of Juliet Jane doesn't really bother me, it's memorable and spunky. You've done good work.....

liz said...

I don't know about the rest of you, but when I hear "Eliza Jane" I think of Almanzo's bossy older sister from the "Little House" books.

Anonymous said...

I think Juliet Jane M!n is absolutely gorgeous. This is my favourite of your updated choices. If you still want to use Eliza, Juliet Eliza M!n gives you JEM, which is also fantastic.

Jill said...

I've always been biased towards's one of my favourite names :) Lorelei Jane is beautiful! I agree that Emerson is a little unisex and therefor stands out to me. Juliet is lovely too but I think Lorelei takes the cake!

Mary said...

Lorelei and Juliet would both be lovely, especially with Jane as a middle name. Juliet Jane reminds me of Lois Lane, it has a similar funky feel to it. Julie Jane :) Lorelei Jane has a timeless, classy feel to it. Both are fabulous next to Theodore.

Emerson feels a bit random among all of these other names. Emily or Emilia might stylistically fit better if you want to get Emmy or Emme as a nickname.

Anonymous said...

That is funny. I think of Eliza Jane Wilder and I also think of the song Eliza Jane.