This blog has moved! Please join us over at!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Baby Naming Issue: Is the Third Child's Name Too Different in Style?

Nicole writes:
We are quickly approaching the due date of baby # 3 and would love your opinion on our potential girl's name...
My husband and really like Joelle Aimee.  It honours both my sisters in different ways, we love the meaning, and think it's pretty, elegant, and timeless.
Here's where I'm stumbling: We already have two daughters: Peyton & Mackenzie.  I realize that both their names fall into the "unisex/british surname" category/style (generally speaking) and I'm worried that 'Joelle' deviates too much from this?  I know that these categories and rules (as you so recently reminded us all!) are only guidelines... but I also don't want to choose a name that stands out like a sore thumb!  If you have other suggestions as alternatives, we'd love to hear... We'd prefer a name that has a different ending sound than our girls' names, and would consider the following names as middle names: Nicole, Sara, Danielle, or Aimee (all are significant within our family).

Name update! Nicole writes:
Thanks so much for posting my question back in November... To refresh your memory: we were unsure whether 'Joelle Aimee' sounded too different than our daughters' names, Peyton and Mackenzie. We were very encouraged by your readers remarks and were confident about our choice once receiving their feedback.

Only trouble was... We had a BOY!! He arrived December 7th (13 days overdue) and his name is Bennett Daniel. We love how this name fits with our girls' names... My only concern is that Bennett has crossed over as a female name, but most feedback (and I agree!) is that 'Ben' will always be a masculine name.

Thanks again,


Wendy said...

I don't think Joelle is too far off from the other names. It sounds nice together to me.

Peyton, Mackenzie and Joelle.

Manday Y said...

I think it fits totally fine! I would not call it a different style at all. Its a nice sibling set!

Anonymous said...

It does seem a slightly different style, but not in a way that I find jarring.

If the slight style difference really bothers you, something like Jolie might be a good way to incorporate the "joe" into a more surname as 1st style. Though, that does loose the "elle" component and perhaps both Joe & Elle are equally important to you.

All 3 names are linked (in my mind) because they all have a trendy, very current feel. Peyton because it is a surname as first. Mackenzie because it fits the McName surname as first category and Joelle has the very popular "elle" component used in a lot of other names. If you love it, I say go for it!

Anonymous said...

Have you considered switching the names and going with Aimee Joelle?

This names better fits with the sibset: Peyton, Mackenzie and Aimee.

StephLove said...

I was expecting the sibling names to be much more different in style than they are. It's true Joelle is not unisex or a surname, but I don't find them off-putting together. Plus it's an honor name and you both like it which I think is reason enough to use it.

Annika said...

It is stylistically different, but it doesn't bother me.

Here's a fun anecdote about sibling names: my friend Jen has a sister Sarah. Why yes, they WERE born in the 70s, why do you ask? Oh, and they have a third sister: Siobhan. All together now: WHAT?

Nedra said...

I have never met a male Peyton or McKenzie before, so both of these names no longer strike me as "unisex." They feel vaugely surnamey, but not even all that much anymore, since they are such trendy first names.

I don't think that Joelle seems out of place at all with them. Peyton and McKenzie strike me as ultra-feminine and modern, as does Joelle.

Gail said...

Sometimes I think that if I'd had my daughters when I was older, in my 40's say, they'd both have been given honoring names, an idea that just didn't resonate with me when I was it doesn't surprise me that you've landed here with your third daughter.

I think Joelle works with your other daughter's names mostly because it's such a surprising choice in 2012. It's a hard name to categorize--it has a somewhat modern sound, streamlined yet feminine. It may be that it's the streamlined part of the name that makes me feel that it does work with Peyton and Mackenzie. It rolls off the tongue in a similar way.

The other reason I think you should just go for Joelle is that you and your husband both really like it! From reading Swistle and other name blogs, I've come to realize that this kind of agreement isn't always easy to come by.


Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree with other posters that Joelle works in this sib-set. It has the feel of a trendier name (Brielle for example) but doesn't sound tired like alot of -elle names. It sounds like a slightly feminized version of the more masculine Joe. I wouldn't even bat an eye if I was introduced to a Peyton, Mckenzie, and Joelle.

Anonymous said...

I think it is great. As mentioned previously, I have only ever heard of / met female Peytons and MacKenzies. If you did go with the uni-sex side of the names Joelle is close enough to Joel that in my head it goes well, but is not TOO boyish, just like the other names that seem close to a boys name, but somehow more feminine.

Anonymous said...

With a daughter named a hyper-feminine name like Joelle, I'd assume that Peyton and Mackenzie were sons.

Portia said...

I think Peyton, MacKenzie, and Joelle work nicely together. I do see Joelle as a slightly different style, but not in a way that bothers me. Perhaps because I see Peyton as the only truly unisex name of the three (I know it's used for girls more often, but I still think Peyton Manning). So MacKenzie, which is feminine but also surname-y, bridges the gap between Peyton and Joelle and ties all three names together. Also, I love honor names.

Megan said...

Before reading the previous post, I had also thought that Aimee Joelle would be a better choice for the sibset.
But if you love Joelle, I don't think it's a problem.

Rita said...

The style is different, but not in a deal-breaker way. All three names are trendy and contemporary, and Joelle doesn't strike me as "hyper-feminine" as Lily or Olivia. If you picked Josephine or Elle, that could be a problem.

That being said, if you want to keep the surname/unisex trend, what about:
* Jody
* Josseline / Jocelyn
* Jordan
* Joplin
* Joliet
* Joline
* Eliot(e)
* Ellery
* Ellis

Lashley said...

Go for it! Even though I know it's more feminine than your older girls' names, the feel of Joelle fits with the other two to me, maybe because of the similarities to Joe and Joel.

I see no sore thumb!

Anonymous said...

I like the suggestion of Jocelyn. It sounds nice with the other names, but keeps the feel of Joelle. Joelle is a beautiful name, so if you love it...use it.

Patricia said...

I don't think that Joelle matches your older daughters' names as well as Peyton and MacKenzie match each other. But there's no rule that all sibling names have to closely match in style. You like this name and have an excellent reason for choosing it. I don't think most people fixate on whether sibling names match -- or even notice that unless they're outlandishly different. Joelle fits well enough. I think you could say that each of your daughters has a contemporary name (not names that you can trace way back in history as first names for girls), and thus the three names DO match in that way. I vote that stick with Joelle Aimee.

Michelle said...

I like them together. In fact, I tend to like it when there's a bit of contrast. Given the right names, I think choices from different styles can go very nicely together. These are some of those names.

Anonymous said...

I think the three names go together quite well. They're all quite spunky and Joelle has the "Jo" nn if you want something unisex!

Anonymous said...

Thanks you all SO MUCH for your input and opinion!!! It has helped tremendously, and has given us some peace of mind in committing to a name!! DD is any day now... I'll keep you posted! Nicole

beccaloo said...

Just wanted to say- I have both an Aunt Joelle (zho-ell, from France) and a best friend (JO-ell,early 30s) and while I have never been able to categorize the name, I have always loved it. And Jo as a nn is great! Glad you are going for it :)

Anonymous said...

When I hear the name Joelle, it sounds like a boy's name. I live in an area with a large Hispanic population and the name is a common boys' names.

Leslie said...

Congrats on the arrival of baby Bennett! It's a great name.