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Monday, January 28, 2013

Baby Girl Merlot, Sister to Graham Joseph

Anna writes:
We are expecing our second and final baby - a girl in March and are in need of help with finding a middle name.  A little background, my name is Anna Mary (named after my paternal granmother), my husband's name is Eric Joseph and our son's name is Graham Joesph.  Our last name sounds like Merlot.

We aren't sold on the baby's first name, but we are pretty sure it will either be Brynn, Hollis, or Hadley.  Here lies the problem... since my son's middle name honors my husband and his father, I really want to incorporate my father's name somehow.  His name you ask?  Vyto Anthony!  We have tried Vita and don't prefer it. We also thought of Vianna (honoring my father, his mother and myself at the same time).  We are thinking a name simply starting with "V" will do the trick, but I would like to find one with a little more meaning if possible.   Other family names that can be incorporated with the "V" would be Brennan (or any similar variation) or Lee.  Can you help with any other suggestions? Is there another total direction to go in that we haven't thought of?  We just can't seem to find the right fit.

My first suggestion is to use the female form of Anthony: Antonia. I think it's a very pretty name. The main issue is whether your father will feel honored by that. My middle name is Nicole, which gives me a good parallel: I'm imagining if I had a grandson with the middle name Nicholas "after me," would I feel like it was after me? A little bit, but not a lot. Even less so if a grandchild's name shared only the first initial of my first name: I would not want to seem ungrateful for the intended honor, but the middle name Keegan (my first name is Kristen) doesn't seem like it would feel connected to my name at all. You can try this exercise yourself, too, since these feelings would vary considerably from person to person and from family to family: how honored would you feel by a grandson given the middle name Mario? a grandson given the middle name Alexander?

I prefer my second suggestion: since your son's name honors two male family members from your husband's side, could your daughter's name honor a female family member or two from your side? For example, you and your grandmother? Brynn Mary Merlot, or Hollis Mary Merlot, or Hadley Mary Merlot. (I also like Hollis Anna and Hadley Anna, but didn't want the initials to spell HAM.) This would partially honor your dad as well, since the name comes from his mother.

But if you are set on using your father's name, and you think he'd feel honored by the use of his initial, then I suggest the name Violet. It shares several letters and sounds with Vyto.


StephLove said...

My first choice would be a female relative on your side as well. If you are closest to your father, though, I think Antonia is nice with your choices. And I like Vita, too.

kim said...

for what it's worth, we named our daughter after my husband's paternal grandmother, and my father-in-law seemed very touched and honored that we chose his mother's name. so i think that can work just as well sometimes.

Evita said...

I suggest Evita as an alternative to Vita :)

Karen said...

My grandma's name was Hilda, so she named my mom a name that started with an H, and my parents, in turn, gave me a middle name that starts with an H and we gave my daughter a middle name that starts with an H. So we have 4 generations of girls with an H initial, but none of the names are actually the same. Still, i've always felt like i'm named after both my mom and my grandma. Point being, i think that just using an initial for a middle name CAN work.

sarah said...

Would your father's last name (presumably your maiden name) work as a middle name. My middle name was my mother's maiden name, and I gave my daughter my maiden name for her middle name.
If you want a feminine middle name rather than a last-name middle name, I would suggest using Vita even if it isn't your favorite. Or maybe Violet, but I think it's a stretch. Vianna isn't terrible, but it does sound made up to me.

Anonymous said...

Since Vyto is so unusual and almost sounds like a unisex virtue name, why not leave it as-is?

Bryn Vyto
Brenna Vyto

Or, why not take another name with the same meaning: Viva; Vivian; Vida. Hadley Vivian is lovely.

Michelle said...

If you really want the namesake to be for dad, I second Evita. I think it's the closest option to his first name and it happens to be AWESOME. Otherwise, I like the idea of honoring a female relative. Maybe mom would like a namesake. You could then give Anna as the middle. This would honor grandma, and by showing dad that you think enough of his choice for your name to pass it to your daughter, you'll be honoring him, too.

CindyLu said...

Would your maiden name (or part of it) work as a middle name? I also like the idea of finding a female relative to honor, and using Mary as a middle name would be a great fit. The above suggestion of Evita is a also a great idea, and Vianna could work nicely.

SarahK said...

is Antoinette a little too long or too out there for you? When I first start reading your story, Antoinette was the first name that came to me! I'm surprised I didn't think of Antonia because I even have a family member (female) named Antonia. I think Evita is also pretty. Did anyone recommend Veda? I love that name (pronounced Vay-da).

Lucy Bea said...

Love the suggestions of Evita, Veda, and Antonia. Those are all beautiful suggestions to honor your father. The idea to honor women on your side is fantastic too.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Swistle's suggestion-your son is named after male family members on your husbands side, so let your daughter be named after female family members on your side.

If you decide that you really do want to name your daughter after your dad, then I think Antonia would be the best way to go. It seems like a more straight forward namesake than anything you'll be able to come up with for Vyto-and using your dad's middle name corresponds with using your husband's middle name for your son.

Reyzl said...

What about a name made up of letters or sounds from your father's name? Such as:

Vytoria (a play on the Italian name Vittoria)

My favorite for you is Vytoria--I think it works with your first name picks.

Brynn Vytoria Merlot
Hollis Vytoria Merlot
Hadley Vytoria Merlot

The Mrs. said...


What if you gave your daughter the same initals (first and middle) as your father? Verity Anna or Victoria Adele or Veronica Aimile? "We used your initals, Dad," is a pretty powerful phrase as he gazes at his precious granddaughter for the first time.

Vyto/Vito means life. Other 'life' names include Zoe, Betha, Enid, Eve, Saisha, Hava, Vida, etc. Would this feel like an honor to your dad still?

Vica also is a variation of Vito. Do you like that better than Vita?

Otherwise, Antonia is a WONDERFUL name! It is similar to your name your grandmother's name (which would make it three times as special).

Brenda is a lot like Brennan. Lee could just become Leigh, or your could go for a name like Leanna (incorporating both Lee and Anna). You could spell it Leeana or Liana or Leana or Leighanna, too. (Not that I'm a huge fan of cre8tive spelling, but maybe in this case...) On a different track, you could combine Brennan, Lee, AND Anna and get Brianna. Just a thought!

All the best to you and your growing family! Please let us know what you choose for your sweet daughter!

Sharon said...

I immediately went to Violet (even before I read Swistle's suggestion). It has the V, and it has a Lee component. Of course, my daughter's best friend is Violet so it's also a salient name to me.

Anonymous said...

Vita Antonia
Vyta Antonia
Antonia Vyto
Antonia Vyta
Antonia Mary
Marianna Vyto

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Just use Vyto! I don't think that inventing a new name has the same sentiment as using the original name. Plus, Vyto is amazingly awesome and different and not explicitly gendered. Hadley Vyto, Hollis Vyto, Brynn Vyto, all lovely!

Maureen said...

I echo all of the suggestions to include a name as close as possible to the originals. I feel like forsaking a name that you like better/sounds better/flows better, etc. for the name of the honouree is exactly what makes an honour name honouring!

I like the suggestion of Antonia, and also Vyto.

Best of luck, and please keep us posted!

Kerry said...

I like the suggestions of Vyto or Vytoria as a middle name.

Also -- how about spelling Violet, "Vyolet" -- that would be VERY close to Vito and make her name quite unique!

Anna said...

Thank you so much for the suggestions! I have them all written in a list and the hubby and I are going to go through each option :) I will certainly send an update once she arrvies! Thanks again!

Courtney said...

I like Vianna.

My daughter is Julianna Valeigh. We hesitated greatly on the middle name since Julianna is not a family name (it's just one we liked) and we knew we wanted at least part of her name to be from family. My middle name is Leigh and my husband's mother and grandmother both have the middle name Valee. We combined them for our daughter to be named after all three and made Valeigh. Before she was born I thought it may be hokey, or I would regret it or whatever but looking back I am so, so happy we went with a unique family name instead of with Grace (the middle name of every little girl around here now). It's special and no matter if it matches the other family members names exactly, the intent was still to honor them and they knew it.