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Monday, January 14, 2013

Middle Name Challenge: Emerson ____ Greenwald

Nicole writes:
We have two weeks left to name baby girl Greenwald, and I'm still stuck on a middle name.  We decided to go with Emerson as her first name, although it has NOT been well received by our families.  Apparently, everyone thinks it sounds like a boy's name.  But, I keep thinking about naming her something else, and then meeting a little Emerson weeks later, and I just know I'd be filled with regret.  Anyway, to balance out the "boyish" quality of the name, I want to go with something ultra feminine and sweet for the middle name.  We love Emerson Rose, but it feels like Rose is all over the place right now.  Do you have any names that are short and sweet like Rose?

The problem is nothing sounds right to me...  Here's our current list of middle names.  I was thinking maybe you could do a poll on your site? Or give us your honest opinion on these?  I think it would help... I've become obsessed and it's not helping me sleep any better!

Emerson Nicole (my name)
Emerson Sofia (hub's favorite)
Emerson Rose (overused middle name?)
Emerson Victoria (my favorite, but hub says it's too long)
Emerson Amelia

Here's my list:

Emerson Abigail (EAG)
Emerson Anne (EAG)
Emerson Claire (ECG)
Emerson Chloe (ECG)
Emerson Elena (EEG)
Emerson Ella (EEG)
Emerson Eve (EEG)
Emerson Faye (EFG) (fun three-in-a-row initials!)
Emerson Fiona (EFG)
Emerson Hope (EHG)
Emerson Jane (EJG)
Emerson Joy (EJG)
Emerson June (EJG)
Emerson Kate (EKG)
Emerson Kay (EKG)
Emerson Linnea (ELG)
Emerson Louise (ELG)
Emerson Lydia (ELG)
Emerson Mae (EMG)
Emerson Meredith (EMG)
Emerson Noelle (ENG)
Emerson Sabrina (ESG)

Emerson Victoria doesn't seem too long to me (it's only one syllable longer than your husband's first choice), but I like long girl names. I also like that 3-4-2 rhythm, and would add Emerson Felicity and Emerson Elizabeth.

I love the idea of using your name as her middle name. It bugs me a little that the tradition is so common with boy names and not with girl names.

If this helps, I will say that it doesn't matter very much what you choose. We had it down to three middle names for Henry, and I lay awake agonizing about it---and then I thought, "Does it make any difference in any of our lives which middle name we choose of those three?" and answered myself "No. We can just pick one." And indeed it didn't matter much: I have to think for a second to remember what his middle name is, because the subject comes up so rarely after the birth announcements are sent out. And with Elizabeth, I wanted an entirely different type of middle name than we ended up choosing (we went with Paul's favorite as part of a naming compromise), and that doesn't matter much either. In fact, I've come to like her middle name very much, and I just go ahead and call her Elizabeth Jane and and Elizabeth Louise (and Elizabeth Marie and Elizabeth St. Claire, even though those were never on the list---they're just fun to say) whenever I want to anyway.

Let's have a poll over to the right with your finalists. [Poll closed; see results below.]


Wendy said...

Boy, I sure do like Emerson Kate. And I love the idea of being able to call her Emmy-Kate or Emma-Kate.

Lauren said...

I love Emerson Rose, but I agree with your assessment that Rose is everywhere, especially as a middle name. To me, and I love all three of these names, but Rose and Grace are currently what Ann was for many decades: simple, one-syllable middle names that are ubiquitous because they sounds good with almost any first name. This is not to disparage anyone who chooses that for their daughter, because the universal appeal of that is evident, and the 3-1 syllable rhythm sounds really nice, I think.

Emerson Sofia and Emerson Victoria are both also quite lovely, and as Swistle points out, they are not that different. I think I would personally choose Emerson Victoria—but you also don't say whether Emerson was a choice you pushed for and your husband agreed, or if you both are very enthusiastic about it. If the former, that pushes Emerson Sofia up the preference list, so that way both you and your husband get names you love.

Anonymous said...

Of all of the choices, EMERSON JANE is my favorite! SO SO SO cute!!! i LOVE the name jane. What about the nn Emma Jane? So adorable!!

And i think people will definitely come around to the name when they meet your cute Emerson. it is more feminine than your family realizes.

Anonymous said...

Emerson is a traditional male name that has in more recent used started to switch over to a girl name. To older generations especially, it's still going to feel very boy. But then, Lindsey and Ashley were once boy names and everyone seems to adjusted to them having changed in usage to being girl names-they'll get used to Emerson too.

I do really like Emerson Rose-the repeated R sound is very appealing to me. But I can understand your hesitation.

Emerson Victoria is lovely & not at all too long.

But my vote is for Emerson Nicole. Like Swistle, I love to see the mother getting a namesake as it seems to be much less common than the father getting one.

Averella said...

Love the idea or Emerson Felicity! I would also suggust Emerson Faith or Emerson Ruth. If you really like Rose but don't like it's popularity have you considered a Rose- name in the middle, like Emerson Rosemarie, Emerson Roseanna, Emerson Rosalind, or Emerson Rosalie?

Bonnie said...

I don't think I would worry about popularity in the middle name spot. Rose is quite lovely and I agree with a previous poster, the repeating R is nice.
I would like to add Emerson Grace (although it is also a popular middle name)

This might be a good time to explore the family tree and see if there are any hidden treasures that flow well with Emerson.

Brigid said...

Oh, I didn't realize that Emerson Nicole would be after you. That's lovely.
I voted for Emerson Victoria, because I think Victoria is gorgeous and under-used.

Others that flow beautifully: Emerson Estelle, Emerson Eileen, Emerson Jane, Emerson Faye, Emerson Ann, Emerson Kate, Emerson Joy.

I love the sound of Emerson with a one-syllable like Rose, and also Emerson Da-DAH (like Emerson Elaine).

I do know an Emerson Rose, she's about 9 and a bit of a rascal.

Amie said...

There are so many names that sound beautiful with Emerson - Emerson Jane, Emerson Grace, Emerson Faith, Emerson Claire, Emerson Reese, Emerson Rose, Emerson Marie, etc - I think it is hard to narrow it down to the best one because there are so many that sound perfect. I love Emerson Nicole because of the it being a namesake. How special to be able to give your daughter your name. Also, the middle name slot could be used for a lovely more popular name, since Emerson is so distinctive. Emerson Olivia, Emerson Sophia or Emerson Sofia, Emerson Charlotte, etc. So many nice choices. But I love you using your name as the middle name.

Anonymous said...

I have always thought of Emerson as a girl name. The nicknames are ALL girly.

Ten years ago, my first apartment with my husband was on Emerson Ave and I thought what a lovely name for a daughter with a fun story too (except for someone else, its not my particular naming style)

I feel like I have seen it discussed for hypothetical daughters on Swistle and elsewhere online.

And then one of my BFFs named a son Emerson. And it bugged me for a very long time. Clearly it is a named that be for either gender, but it still bugs me quite a bit. (I promise I have never even hinted at this IRL)

I'm glad you are using it and count me on your side of it is definitely 100% a girl name.

Michelle said...

I like Emerson Louise. Emerson Nicole would be second in taste, first in sentiment.

Issas Crazy World said...

Emerson Paige is my number one girl name right now. However, I have also considered Emerson Amelia. I'd say go with that. :)

Jenny Grace said...

I voted for Nicole because I like that it's your name but for sound alone I like Emerson Rose, followed by Emerson Victoria.

Anonymous said...

What about Emerson Pearl? Has the same feeling as Rose, without being overused!

Gail said...

Seconding Emerson Pearl. Lovely......

Anonymous said...

I love Emerson Pearl too. Gorgeous!


Emerson Ruby
Emerson Ruth
Emerson Elise
Emerson Eve
Emerson Opal
Emerson Rachel
Emerson Mia
Emerson Molly
Emerson Rue
Emerson Rain
Emerson Renee
Emerson Lily
Emerson Mara
Emerson Marlowe
Emerson Charlotte
Emerson Skye

Good Luck!

Hilary said...

We have a 9mo old baby girl Emerson Paige.

Hilary said...

Me again :). We also considered Emerson Ella and Emerson Kate. As far as it sounding like a boy's name, we considered that too, and even thought of possibly changing it to EmersYn. But Allison, Madison, Addison, etc all have -son and are common girls names.

Angela said...

I have a friend with the middle name Mae Rose. Emerson Mae Rose is beautiful. Combining two more common middles gives it a fresh sound. Love Emerson. Great name.

Carolyn said...

I think Emerson Margaret is pretty. Or Emerson Ann. Ann is so pretty and simple, and seems like a refreshing change to the other middle names we are commonly seeing.

Angela said...

I say if you love Rose, use Rose! With an androgynous, less common first name, a common feminine middle name is EXACTLY what you need to balance out the name. I hope you go with your gut and use Rose! It's beautiful!

(And I also love Emerson for a girl, don't listen to those naysayers!)

Laura said...

Rose is an incredibly appealing middle name - beautiful meaning, easy to say and spell, goes nicely with other names, and yes, with Emerson, Rose is just a fantastic combo. So Emerson Rose is my favorite.

If you just can't use Rose, I am strongly in favor of using the middle name slot as a honor opportunity. It could be you, your mom, m-i-l, a favorite cousin, whatever, but middle names are a nice place to connect a child to her family/ancestors.

Kelly said...

I have an Emerson Kate.. She is almost two and her name gets TONS of compliments.. Matter of fact almost every time I say her name to someone that hasn't heard it before they remark how adorable it is.. A lot of my friend and her friends call her Emmy, which I thought we would as well, but I have stayed with calling her Emerson or even Emerson Kate so far and I adore her name.. So obviously.. that is my vote.!!!!

Taylor said...

The first time I ever heard of Emerson for a girl was when I read about Terri Hatcher naming her daughter Emerson Rose. It's definitely an attractive combination, but to me the minus of Rose's popularity as a middle name would be escalated by the fact that this particular combo was the original form in which Emerson was publicized as a girl's name. I love the idea of using your name as middle, too, but I voted for Emerson Amelia Greenwald--I love how it all sounds when you say it out loud, as the m and l sounds repeating and tying it all together. Any way you go, you have some gorgeous combos to choose from!

Anonymous said...

I kind of can't believe I'm seeing this post! I was JUST talking two weeks ago to my sister-in-law, telling her that Emerson is SO popular for girls right now, and that I had just met a little boy named Emerson- I was shocked that anyone would use it as a boy name!! So girly. AND I told her that everyone was using "Emerson Rose"!!!!! So, I think you should definitely skip that one. The combo is SO popular where I am (Indianapolis). Here are some combos I like:
Emerson Avery
Emerson Harper
Emerson Claire
Emerson Grace/Hope/Faith
Emerson Louise

best wishes!