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Monday, February 25, 2013

Baby Girl or Boy S!mon, Sibling to Amelia Eve

Jessica writes:
You might remember helping me & my husband name our daughter, Amelia Eve, a year and a half ago after an epic battle of naming styles. Well, we are at it again - due in May with our second (and probably last) baby. Eve was my favourite name from day one but husband was lukewarm, Amelia was his top choice and I really liked it (and the nickname potential; Murray calls her Amelia, but I call her Mia most of the time). We had to compromise on popularity but overall we both love her name.

Sibsets are very important to us (okay, to me) and I would like another classic first name that can be shortened, coupled with an already-short-but-completely-gorgeous middle. Preferences for the first name are more than two syllables, not starting or ending in A, not top twenty. This child will also have either my or my husband's middle name as a second middle which has to be taken into consideration for overall length. Easy, right? Hah.

Knowing in advance that it would be a struggle, we started straight away this time and after hearing FOR THE LAST TIME that I will never be naming a son of his Sebastian, Murray has agreed that if this baby is a boy-child, he will be Oliver Fox. THE PERFECT brother name. My guess is that means we're having another girl.

So after starting from scratch (again), we have narrowed it down to  names  - none of which quite work. But here they are:

Eloise. The last remaining girl name on our list of three from Mia, we were both agreed that we would use it if we had another girl. Unfortunately we've both gone rather lukewarm on this name. It does seem to go SO WELL with Amelia, though, and gives me Lo & Lola - so cute.

Evelyn. This was a suggestion of yours from the first round which was - surprise, surprise - vetoed by my husband. Today he looked over at me and said, apropos of nothing, "I don't mind the name Evelyn." I wanted to kill him. Instead, I edited this draft. Nickname: Evi (eh-vee), possible middle name Mae. BUT, is it too close now that we've used Eve as Mia's middle name?

Anastasia. Yes! It's back! Vetoed immediately last time, hubby has finally seen the light and agreed (albeit reluctantly) to put it on the list. Nicknames Ana or Ani, check. Hopefully Fifty Shades of Grey has not ruined this name for us (don't get me wrong, I loved the book despite it being perhaps THE worst edited best seller of all time, but not an association I really want for my baby girl). Problems here are the repetition of both the first and last letter of her sister's name, which I really wanted to avoid, plus it's a bit of a mouthful unless we can come up with a tiny little middle name for it.

Quilla. This is Murray's top choice and was his great-aunt's name. At first I said NO WAY. Maybe if we had gone with one of our outliers like Piper or Winter or Sunday the first time around, I said. It doesn't go with Amelia AT ALL, I said. Then I thought... Is it really that far off? I've never heard it before, but if you introduced yourself as Quilla, I'd spell it just like that without hesitation. There are three things that put me off it: it's two syllables with our two-syllable last name, it has zero nickname options (Q? Illy?) - and it is MY TURN to choose the first name! (Included for the sake of honesty although it makes me sound selfish. It just seems so unfair given that I have been compiling name lists since primary school.) Middle name would likely be Isobel, a name we both love but can't use as a first. If we had just named our first Eve Anastasia like I WANTED to, I would use Quilla Isobel without hesitation - but does it fit now?

Names that have been vetoed by my husband: My first choice, Imogen (unfortunately, Murray feels the way about Imogen that I did about the phrase "and then he found his own release" by the middle of book two of the Fifty Shades trilogy - I really did love the books, though, I swear. Well, the first one, anyway), Eliza, Eleanor, Coraline, Madeleine, Electra, Adelaide, Louisa, Miranda, Clara, Elodie, Corisande, Clementine, Vivienne, Rosalind, Adeline, Juliet. We both seem to prefer vowel names. Are there any left?

Names that we have rejected for other reasons are Sophia, Charlotte, Violet, Scarlett, Georgia and variations.

Middle names are another problem as it turns out Eve and Ivy were the only already-short-but-completely-gorgeous names on our list, and Murray has gone from 'meh' to utter loathing upon careful consideration of Ivy. He has already rejected Wren, Snow, Swan, Jane, June, Io, Aria, Lyra, Lyric, True, Alice, Elise, Claire and Rue as well. I would prefer a bite-sized word name that's not too 'out there', but does it exist?

So what we are looking for here is a name like Amelia Eve, or Imogen Ivy, but NOT those names... Help!

Oh, I do love Eloise so, so much. I wonder if the name would freshen right up again when it was on the baby herself? I might try doing a Google image search for newborns, and then looking at their little faces and thinking "Eloise."

I don't think the first name Evelyn is too close to her sister's middle name Eve. I don't think I would even have noticed if you hadn't mentioned it---and if I DID notice, I'd think of how I'm the same way: certain sounds and letters appeal to me again and again. Perhaps we will find a middle name that has some small thing in common with the name Amelia, and that will make an even cuter sibling set! Amelia Eve and Evelyn Anne, for example, to have swapped initials; or Amelia Eve and Evelyn Leigh to have swapped sounds.

I think Kate would make a nice short middle name for Anastasia. Amelia Eve and Anastasia Kate.

It's hard to picture a sister pairing of Amelia and Quilla. I don't see any problem with a 2-2 syllable set-up, but I do see an issue with popularity: Amelia was the 30th most popular name for girls in the U.S. in 2011 (and Mia hit the top ten), while Quilla was completely unused. On the other hand, Quilla sounds similar to Ella and Isabella and other names currently in style. I'm not sure. Combined with the lack of nicknames and the your-turn issue, I think I'd use it as a middle name---especially since Q is one of the coolest middle initials ever.

Quilla and Imogen brought the name Gillian/Jillian to mind. Jillian S!mon; Amelia and Jillian. Maybe Jillian Kate or Jillian May or Jillian Jade.

Or maybe Eliana. Eliana S!mon; Amelia and Eliana.

Has he made ANY suggestions other than Quilla? I feel like I can't get a grip on his naming tastes, since all his contributions are almost exclusively vetoes.

I think the best choice overall is Evelyn. It's compatible with Amelia in style, popularity, and length; it sounds similar to Imogen; it starts with a vowel; it has cute nicknames; and your husband has not vetoed it. SOLD. Evelyn Quilla would be nice. Or I think Evelyn Mae accomplishes the possible goal of making her middle name similar to her sister's first name in the same way her first name is similar to her sister's middle name. Eve/Evelyn/Evi and Mae/Amelia/Mia.


Gail said...

Well if Quilla (very unusual) and Anastasia are on the table, why not:

Ulyssa Roo (Liss, Lyss)
Odessa Kay (Essie)
Ottilie Skye (Tillie, Ottie)
Ianthe Pearl (Ani)
Indigo Rose (Indie)

Of names so far under mutual discussion, my favorite by far is Eloise. Perfect with Amelia.

Manday said...

If you like word names for the middle, why not for the first - Felicity. Nicknames Lissy, Fe, or Fifi

Goergie was on your list but got taken off, what about Georgiana. Nicknames like Gia, Ana, Gigi.

If you like Isobel but cannot use it, what about Isodora

You asked for other vowel names. Have you considered Annaliese/Annaliesa, Elowyn, Ophelia, Amanda

The options Evelyn and Eloise are both great for the sibset, but it sounds like your not crazy about either of them? I agree that Evelyn is fine with Amelia's middle name.

Possible Middle Names - Neve, Love, Hope, Kay, Blaire, Lane, Faith, Fate, Elle, Rain, Shay, Ava, Song, Belle, or Liv

Anonymous said...

I like Swistle's suggestion of Eliana. It goes well with Amelia and the nicknames are so cute. Mia and Ellie.

Kim said...

I think that Evelyn Anne is a great sister name for Amelia

Some other suggestions:


Good luck!

Jen said...

I love Amelia so I'm going to suggest some of my other favorites that have not already been mentioned.


But I do like Eloise. I have felt very lukewarm toward our last remaining boy name from the first time around (if that makes any sense). But we are using it. I think it's common to feel that way because it has been around but no baby to go with it so it starts to feel stale. I think/hope that will go away once the baby gets here.

Michelle said...

I like Quilla and Amelia together. Why does it have to 'go'- why can't they just sound nice together? But I think it does go. Amelia still feels very old fashioned to me. Amelia and Quilla sound as though they could have been sisters 100 years ago. In fact, for today, Quilla and Amelia sound like a more unexpected pairing than Amelia and Evelyn.

Having said all this, I think that fair is fair, and if hubby gave you a hard time naming the first one, you should get more vote for this one.

Anonymous said...

Just popped by to suggest Elana/Ilana/Alana or Eliana/Ilyana!

Kit said...

i don't really have a better suggestion or anything, but my middle name is Emma. classic. bite size. if you need it.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I guess I'll be the odd one out when I say that I think Evelyn is too close to use now that you've already used Eve as a middle. However, the idea of using a middle name that mirrors Amelia is starting to appeal to me. Doing it that way reads as a creative & intentional way of creating a bond between the girls. So perhaps I could be convinced with the right middle name? Evelyn Mae, Evelyn Leigh, Evelyn Amity perhaps? I think my favorite is Evelyn Leigh (or Lee).

Eloise is lovely, as is Anastasia. I would prefer both of these to Evelyn. If you still love Anastasia, don't let the matching start & ending letters stop you. You aren't selfish for thinking it is Your Turn, if you want the name I think you should push for it.

Some other first name ideas: Verity, Virginia, Prudence, Cordelia, Elenora. and some bite size word names for possible middles: Hazel, Dawn, Olive, Pearl,Fern, Sage, Ruby, Iris.

hillary said...

I just had an Evelyn a few months ago and I should point out that the name is quite popular (#23) and still rising, since you mentioned not wanting a top 20 name. I think it's likely to be top 20 next year.

Some sibling name ideas:

Penelope and Amelia
Poppy and Amelia
Pippa and Amelia
Viola and Amelia
Margaret (called Daisy?) and Amelia
Araminta and Amelia
Aveline (an old form of Evelyn that would let you use Lena/Lina or Ava as a nickname) and Amelia
Linnea and Amelia
Winnifred (Winnie) and Amelia
Tilda (Tillie) and Amelia
Delilah (Lila) and Amelia

And as for bite size middle names, I offer up my Evelyn's middle: Dale. I also love Bee/Bea as a middle and would have used it if it worked with our last name.

Brigid said...

I adore Evelyn Anne.
Evelyn Mae is also lovely.
Evelyn Kate
Evelyn Belle
Evelyn Joy
Evelyn Kay
Evelyn Marie
Evelyn Mary

If you like Evelyn, would you like Catharine?
What about Valerie? Valerie Simon. Val and Mia.
Olivia? Liv and Mia.

Hm, I do like Lydia. Lydia and Amelia. Lydia Simon.

Why can't Fox be a little girl's middle name? It's not terribly feminine, but it's charming and adorable, and the first names you like are beautifully feminine.
Lydia Fox Simon
Evelyn Fox Simon

Rayne DeVivo said...

I like Wilhelmina nn Willa because it's so much like Quilla but goes with Amelia more naturally. I offer Jane/Layne/Rayne as the middle name.

Anonymous said...

How about Stella?

Jenny Grace said...

I like Quilla as the middle name although it is not a very short and utterly gorgeous noun name. I just like the idea of being "so-and-so Q S!mon".

Sarah said...

My favorite is Evelyn Mae. I love how it sounds with Amelia Eve. If you want something a little different, I knew an Evelina.
Eloise would be my second favorite.

I'm not crazy about the name Quilla, but it could work as a middle name.
Evelyn Quilla. Eloise Quilla.
Other vowel names could be

My niece's name is Elspeth. It is the Scottish form of Elizabeth. It gives you the nickname options of Ellie or Elsie and is much much less common than Elizabeth. I think it sounds nice with Amelia.
Elspeth Mae. Elspeth Quilla.
Amelia and Elspeth.
Maybe my new favorite for you!
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I vote for making Quilla the middle name and then using that concession to your husband to get a first name you really love. Quilla is not short-but-completely-gorgeous, but it is gorgeous, and the initial Q. gets you the adorable short usable middle name.

Anonymous said...

I love Amelia Eve & Oliver Fox!

some ideas:

Luella Faye
Ilona Lake
Joanna Roe
Elisha Dove
Viola Day
Quinlan Rose
Elenore Lys
Lenore/a Hale
Elaine Clove
Elena Bryn

Anonymous said...

I was going to to push for Anastasia,it works so nicely with Amelia. But, then I remembered two problems with the nn set of Ana and Mia. The first reason is not a big deal IMO, but the second is a killer:
1. In the Fifty Shades books, Christian's sister is named Mia. This might make the association between the books and the name Anastasia more noticeable.
2. Ana and Mia are slang terms for Anorexia and Bulimia.

Anonymous said...

I really love the suggestion of Willa as a first name! Old fashioned like Amelia, and sounds like Quilla! Could be a compromise? I love Mia and Willa.

I also love the suggestion of Fox as a middle name for a girl. Evelyn Fox sounds great!

Tabby said...

I havent't read the books, so I have no associations for the name but I think
Anastasia Kate
is adorable.
I love the suggestion of using Fox as a middle name regardless of gender, it's cute, punchy and especially as your choices seems to be overly feminine, the middle name doesnt need to be. If you're not sold on that, I think Kate is lovely.

Emmeline Fox
Penelope Fox
Delilah Fox
Hermione Fox
Fiona Fox

Audrey Kate
Araceli Kate
Adrianna Kate
Ophelia Kate
Sylvia Kate

Isadora Isis

But Quilla is such an awesome name to pass on for a middle name.

Felicity Quilla
Ianthe Quilla
Eugenie Quilla

StephLove said...

I like Eloise and Evelyn for you. Mae, May, or June could be good middles. Or putting Quilla in the middle could work, or if you want to keep the middle to one syllable Quinn, though that's probably stretching beyond the point of it still being an honor name.

Brigid said...

After reading others' comments, I second using Quilla as a middle and calling her Q, ie Evelyn Quilla S!mon, called Evelyn Q or Evi Q.

Another Erin from the 80s said...

I remembered you right away without clicking the link! I almost don't want to suggest anything because it sounds like you have made up your mind on Anastasia (even if you haven't realized it yet). Even though it starts and ends with an a like Amelia, it sounds so different ( as opposed to name like Cecilia). I thought of Margaret or even Marilyn instead of Evelyn.

Anonymous said...

already-short-but-completely-gorgeous name that is never used: Fleur. Evelyn Fleur. It has the nature vibe of the other short names you like but is much less popular.

Anonymous said...

I'm actually kind of obsessed with Quilla Fleur.

Anonymous said...

I recently discover Quilla and I love it! Quilla Bee would be my #1 suggestion.
I like Eloise too!
Anastasia makes me think of anesthesia every time, but I do think Amelia and Anastasia are cute. That Anorexia and Bulimia comment above would make me rethink the Ana nn though, so I'd stick w. Ani.