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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Baby Naming Issue: A Long Feminine Form for the Nickname Bo

Kristin writes:
please please tell me what names you think bo (for a girl) could be a nickname for.  like, since elizabeth has a million nicknames: eliza, liza, eli, bette, bette, bess, liz, lizzy, elle, ella, bitsy, bee, bebe, betsy, and so on and so forth, could bo work? 
i'm open to random suggestions.  i heart bo.  bo.  swoon.  see? 
i couldn't imagine using it "as is" but i would love a list of options that i might be able to squeeze it out as the baby's nickname...  i'd love to know what you & your peeps could come up with.


I know an Isabelle whose family calls her Isabeau (her grandpa started it as a joke, and it stuck); from there it would be a short leap to Beau/Bo. But it seems like that's a route to the nickname that would need to happen on its own, as it did for that family; it's harder to picture putting "Isabelle (Bo) Andrews" on a birth announcement. (Though maybe that would work. Hm.)

I could see it coming from Sophia in the same way: Sophia to So-bo to Bo. Again, it seems like this would have to happen on its own.

Same thing once again: Zoe to Zoe-bowie to Zo-bo to Bo.

I don't know if it would work for Elizabeth or not. It comes up pretty often here that someone will say "If Peg can be a nickname for Margaret, then why not [random nickname] for [any name]?" Well, because it's not how it works, that's why. For the most part, when a nickname comes about on its own, it's considered a legitimate/traditional nickname; otherwise, it's not. This is not to say you can't pair up any name and nickname you want: you definitely CAN do that, and many people DO (and some of those then STICK and become accepted/traditional)---but the Margaret/Peg reasoning doesn't back it up. Using a non-established nickname is a choice that comes with other people's furrowed brows: they'll get used to it if you want to use Zoe as a nickname for Elizabeth or Ella as a nickname for Lillian, but they won't think it makes perfect sense the way they do when they hear of a John going by Jack. It's not entirely fair that it works that way, but it's something to take into consideration when choosing a name/nickname combination.

Here are the only girl names in the Social Security Administrations database for 2011 that have the letter combination "bo" in them:

Arbor
Bobbie
Bodhi
Bonita
Bonnie
Bora
Bostyn/Boston
Bowen
Bowie
Deborah
Ebony
Harbor
Rainbow

I can see getting Bo from Bodhi, Bonita, Bowen, Bowie, Ebony, and Rainbow. It also might make an excellent fresh nickname for Deborah, if you wanted to honor a Deborah in the family without the confusion of two Debbies; people are more flexible/accepting about unusual nicknames when honor names are involved. 

In 2011, there were 18 new baby girls named Bo, and another 27 named Beau. I see another 13 named Isabeau.

Isabeau is an interesting possibility. I'd need to think about that for awhile. It seems like it would cause some confusion---but on the other hand, many names come into style as variations on names that feel too popular to use: Madison leads to Addison which leads to Adelyn; Ava and Evelyn lead to Avalyn, etc. When a sound sounds good, we look for other ways to use it. Beau is masculine in French---but we're not speaking French, and in any case Bo/Beau is your goal so I already know that's not an issue.

[Edited to add: According to the book The Best Baby Names in the World From Around the World, the name Isabeau is used in France for girl babies. The Baby Name Bible and 100,000+ Baby Names also list it as a French girl name. None of them list it as a boy name. I'd say this crosses out what I said about beau being masculine in French, if even the French themselves don't consider -beau- too masculine for a girl's name. This may be one of those "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing" things, where we've all learned that it's "beau for boys and belle for girls"---but without knowing the actual language well enough to draw any conclusions from that, or to understand fully how it applies. This is one reason I don't try to do baby name consultations for other languages/countries.]

My favorite route would be to consistently refer to the fetus as Bo during the pregnancy. Then name her anything you want and call her Bo, saying, "Oh, we started calling her that when she was still a fetus, and it just stuck!" Plenty of kids still get called Bean or Peanut or Bear for that very reason, and it's a simple story that lets people quickly unfurrow their brows about it. I think even Little Miss Overly Picky About Nicknames (that's me) would accept that easily.

74 comments:

Rayne DeVivo said...

Girl's Gone Child has a baby girl names Boheme, I think, nn Bo.

ABC said...

I was thinking of GGC's Boheme, too! I think it's beautiful and a natural way to get to Bo. So adorable!

Sophie said...

I like Bo spelled Bowe, which seems like it could stand on its own because of the length.

Gail said...

I think Bonita is totally usable--fresh, classic, feminine, and gets you to Bo. Plus, no pronunciation issues.

Meg said...

How about Mirabeau? I think it is traditionally a boy's name but seems like it could definitely cross over.

You could also do something like Beatrix Olivia and call her Bo based on her initials.

Michelle said...

I would spell it Beau and name her that. I happen to love Beauregard, and I could actually see Beau as a girl's name- probably because of it's Frenchness and sweet associations. Otherwise, I like the suggested Isabeau.

Michelle said...

Ooh, and I'll second Mirabeau- lovely.

Amanda said...

I've heard Isabeau enough that it wouldn't make me stop in my tracks and that seems like the most logical.

If you swoon when you hear Bo though just go with Beau (I do think BO alone is too short or too "where's the rest of it?")The name makes YOU swoon and a full name doesn't then go for it.

I also know plenty of kids whose nicknames are in no way related to their own names at all. My daughter, for example, will answer to Belle. Her name is Skyler. We got there by always calling her Skyler Bella Bella Boo Boo <-- just try and make sense of that mess.

Amanda said...

Also, we're definitely going to need an update on this one. I'm going to be waiting to hear what you decide on.

StephLove said...

I like Deborah best as the full name, from the ones Swistle listed.

Meg said...

I commented but it seems to have disappeared.

I think Mirabeau could work for you. I believe it was traditionally a boy's name but seems like it should be a girl's name because of the beginning.

You could also do something like Beatrix Olivia and call her Bo based on her initials.

AJ said...

Isabeau is so lovely. And Rainbow is nice for the adventurous.

Jen said...

Would you consider using Bo as a middle name, but going by that name? (Adeline Bo, Ellery Bo, etc)

Courtney said...

Oh yes! I love Mirabeau!

And we're definitely going to need an update on this one. Intriguing!

Kendra said...

I like Deborah or Bonnie as a full name to get you the nickname Bo. The first thing that popped into my head was that maybe Bethany could work. I also agree that Mirabeau is lovely and could work for you. I also think, if you don't like any of those names, just go with the middle name "Bo" (I have a friend with the middle name Jo, so it could work) and call her that instead of her given first name.

MomQueenBee said...

Just to be the cautionary onion in the petunia patch, think about how this one will play in junior high. Bo=B.O. Your li'l dumplin' will need to be extraordinarily popular to overcome that. Of course, I named my kid a lovely old name that is also slang for the male member, so there's that.

Laura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura said...

I know a 30 year old woman nicknamed Bo, short for Boyd; Boyd is a family name, albeit typically for the men in her family. But her parents didn't have any sons and they wanted to use the name, so that was that.

Bo Derek's real name is Mary Cathleen Collins; the name "Bo" was created for her by her first husband John Derek when he remade her image for Hollywood. So there's at least one example of the nickname Bo coming from way out of left field.

Aside from simply naming her "Bo," here are my suggestions:

Barbara - Bobbie can be a nickname for Barbara, so why not Bo?
Boheme - because it's a gorgeous name and obviously leads to Bo
Deborah - one of the Mitford sisters was named Deborah, nicknamed Debo. Bo is not far at all from Debo. (Also, fun facts not related to naming, Debo went on to become Duchess of Devonshire and was a sister-in-law to Kathleen Kennedy.)
Garbo - do you like old films? This name could be kind of fun.
Bonaventura - a male saint's name which means good fortune.
Boyd, Osborne, Melbourne - these names seem like they are part of that group of last names as first names that work for girls.
Jacoba - while it doesn't have the obvious "Bo" in the name, the way it's pronounced in English (ja-CO-bah) doesn't seem that far from Bo.

marilyn c. cole said...

I love Mirabeau, Bowen, and maybe Boden?

As an aside, my husband is called Bo, which came from his name James having all nn's already taken by family except Jimbo! (Yes, we live in the south.) When he was going into 6th grade, he decided to go by Bo instead.

Evita said...

I would think names such as Beatrice, Bernadette, or Bonnie would work!!

Anonymous said...

I like Isabeau and honestly had to look it up because I've heard it just often enough that I thought it was a "real" name. Mirabeau is also a very nice suggestion.

Wendy said...

I like the previous commenter's suggestion of Garbo!

el-e-e said...

I think Bowen is so pretty. But I like all of these suggestions. And I second the request for a follow-up! :)

Kaela said...

I LOVE Isabeau! Oh wow, I think it would be fantastic if that sounds good with your surname and you used it.

I liked another commentator's mention of Mirabeau too. (And wow, the computer doesn't think Mirabeau is a typo.)

I also thought of Girl's Gone Child's Boheme nn Bo... But I am not a big fan of the name Boheme. I think it is a bit hard to pull off. Harder than Isabeau or Mirabeau.

I also liked the idea of names like Beatrice Olivia, Bella Olivia, Bridget Olivia, Blythe Odette, Briony Olivia, Birgitta Olive... or some combo therein.

But I say the natural name for a nickname of Bo is Isabeau.

Lucy Bea said...

Roberta -Bobby to Bo is a sensible nn jump

any B name: Beatrix, Beatrice, Bonnie, Blair, Blythe, etc. is fine imo

Good luck!

Jaime said...

I have an Aunt Bo, whose full name is Roberta. But maybe a bit too old-fashioned?

eponymia said...

What about using a double name, like Lila-Bo or Bo-Esme? There's also Bodille, which I like a lot, or pretty much any B-name. Maybe Bellamy?

Fourandcounting said...

I think Bo can be a free agent nickname like Scout - it doesn't have to mesh with the given name. That being said, I like the suggestion of Roberta or Elizabeth.

I have a niece named Nora who is always called Binky because that was her name in utero. It works for her and doesn't seem strange.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Margo/Margot?

Sarah said...

I know a little girl named Bowen, sometimes called Bo or Bobo.
I like the suggestion of Bodhi, though I have only seen it used on boys I think it works for girls too.

I'm not sure I would use Beau or Isabeau or anything ending in -beau. It is French for "handsome" and is very masculine.

Anonymous said...

What about a first name beginning with B, but not necessarily Bo-? For example, I wouldn't think twice about a Bethany nicknamed Bo. It does seem to make more sense if a vowel follows the B. (So, Bethany, Bella, or Bonnie nicknamed Bo makes more sense than Brianna nicknamed Bo.)

Sela Freuler said...

I know an Isabeau, although she goes by Isa.

Jenny Grace said...

I went to school with a girl named Bo. Just Bo.
Her brother's name is Guy.

Anonymous said...

You could also spell Bo with a w like Clara Bow. Maybe Bo could be a nn for Clara based on the association. I also think "Bow" would be a super cute middle name

Portia said...

I think pretty much any B name can be nicknamed Bo (especially, as a previous commenter said, when the B is followed by a vowel.)

My favorite, hands down, is Bonnie.

I knew a woman once from Bulgaria named Boriana, which I thought was pretty.

A few other suggestions, all different styles:

Belinda
Bronwyn
Boston


I dislike using "beau" in a girl's because it's the masculine form of the adjective in French. But if that doesn't bother you, Mirabeau is pretty.

Laura said...

Perhaps a name that starts with B and ends with the -owe sound could work well here too. Barlowe? This seems a little masculine to me, but then I love Marlo or Marlowe for a girl so why not? Bordeaux (place in France)?

Anonymous said...

My husband's grandmother is Bohdana. It has a nice meaning. I love Boheme though.

Lucy Bea said...

Oh my stars, Clara nn Bow/Bo is brilliant and adorable!!! I also love the suggestion of Bronwyn

Erica said...

I like the idea of simply using the name Bo. You can fancy it up as Bohe or something if you wanted to. But if you want a daughter named Bo, then have a daughter named Bo :)

My only other suggestion is going the initial route. When I was pregnant with my second child the girl's name I chose was Beatrix Ophelia in honor of both my husband's and my grandmothers. I can easily see using Bo as a nickname there. If you address the issue of her initials being B-O by calling her Bo, I don't think kids would call her B-O as a pejorative. Besides, do kids even use that term anymore?

Guinevere said...

I think the initials would not be my preference because I think B.O. (said "bee oh") as shorthand for Body Odor is still in existence. So, I'd consider one of the excellent options of first names that contain Bo as a prominent syllable.

There is a little Bo (and I am pretty sure that is his birth certificate name) in our community, but he is a boy. I would want something more substantial on the birth certificate, myself.

I do know a little Isabeau and I think it's very charming and perhaps your best choice. I have overheard "This is Isabeau!" "Isabelle?" "No, IsaBEAU!" "Oh, cute!" exchanges, and it seems like it's not such a hard thing to correct.

You could also go the surname-y route (Beauen, Beaumont, Bonham, Bodin, Bowan, Bohden are SSA-listed, though for boys) - I think this works especially if you have a Bo-containing surname in your family or that belongs to a historical figure you admire.

Anonymous said...

FYI, Isabeau is traditionally female - it's an old French form of Isabel. The most famous one was Isabeau of Bavaria, who became the wife of King Charles VI of France. So, I am not entirely sure I buy the "beau ending always masculine" argument of previous posters.

Anonymous said...

I heard Bow on a girl, after a literal bow in a ribbon and I thought it was so cute and totally held its own when explained that way. I read that Gwen/Wendolyn means "white bow" but to this day I'm unsure whether it was a typo and it was supposed so read "white brow" instead? Still if you like Gwendolyn that might be a nice way to explain the nickname and gives your daughter a longer name to fall back on. I love the sound of Isabeau/Mirabeau but having taken French I'm bothered by the "handsome" translation.
I've got a weird suggestion for you, I've only ever met one: Bodelia. I think it's a variation of Bedilia or an elaboration of Delia.
I'd also suggest a flower name since there are some that if stretched could get you Bo. Betony, Bluebell, Buttercup. You'd have to be pretty free-spirited to pull them off though ;)
Good luck! I have to agree with most posters that Bo can be her nickname no matter what you put on the birth certificate.

Katie said...

I love the name Bo also but I agree that it seems to be missing something to be a full first name. I think Isabeau is lovely but to me it sounds like a "creative" name (even thought it's not) just because of the popularity of Isabelle right now. I think a lot of people would get confused and think they misheard "Isabelle" when your daughter introduced herself.

I recently heard of a vlogger (Nic Haste from Pixiwoo) who named her daughter Edie Bow. I like the name Bo/Beau/Bow best as a second name- it short and sweet, almost like adding Rose, Jane or Jo to the end of a longer name. You could just call her Bo for every day use.

I also really like the idea of using a male sounding name or surname. What about Bowen? or even something like Blythe? Maybe Blythe Elizabeth or Bowen Elizabeth would work. I also really like the name Barrymore.

According to Google, Bo is a nickname for the male name Robert so you could always go with Roberta.

And if you really like Elizabeth but want to call her Bo, just do it.

For refrence, the actress Bo Dereck's real name is Mary Cathleen.



Rita said...

I think Bo/Beau is one of those nicknames that can work for almost anything, especially if it has a B initial.

I love Isabeau - it's a very elegant, and traditional French girls name (not masculine at all).

Other ideas:
Bonaventure
Liboria
Roberta / Robina
Ambrosia / Ambrosine
Bojana / Boyana
Bronagh
Bronwen
Fabiola
Kimbrough / Kinborough (Old English name)



Anonymous said...

I never did very well in french class, but adjectives have both masculine and feminine forms. The female version of the maculine Beau (which is used as a name for boys), is Beaux which means 'beautiful'. To me is seems like the names Belle or Fleur and would be a way to make Bo a longer feminine name if you like that style. If not, I agree that BO initials or any name beginning with B would be fine!!

Lucy said...

Robin nn Bo is lovely imo. And, feels akin to Lorelei nn Rory (from Gilmore Girls lol) as far as getting the nn from the name. Too cute

Butterflyfish said...

I totally get the swoon. Unlike many of the others, I'm not feeling Isabeau. Or Rainbow. Or Beau. Because, OMG what the heck would you call a future sister for Rainbow? But that's me.

My favorites for Bo:
Bonnie
Bronwyn
Bernadette (I think this is not as far off as other might, even though I generally agree with Swistle's reasoning regarding Margaret/Peg)

Not loving Mirabeau, but don't dislike it.

Bonnie Jo said...

I love the name Bo! But I would spell it Beau or Bow instead of BO.

My name is Bonnie and my best friend has called me Bo for years, it is her special name for me and I love it. Come to think of it the spelling doesn't bother me either but if it was my actual name then maybe it would.

A friend of mine looks after a little girl called Bowie and I love it and would use it if my friend didn't already call me Bo.

I think you really should just go with Beau not short for anything and disregaurd the fact that it means bofriend. I would tell little Beau that it is a derivative of Beautiful and really what is a boyfriend? But a beautiful lover! Awesome name meaning. Or use the name just because it sounds good.

if you did want a longer name then my faves are

Bonnie
Bowie
Bowen
Boheme or Bohemia
Maybe Bohdi

Joanne said...

My first choice is Beau, and call her Beau. You could also maybe go with Beaux or Beatrix and call her Beau or Bo. Bonita is my one of my favorite cousin's name and we call her Bonnie, but Bo seems to make sense from it. Lastly I think I'd use Barbara and call her Bo. Best of luck, I think a little girl named Bo sounds SUPER go.

kelseylnwilliams said...

I second the suggestion of Bonita. That seems like the most natural connection to a nickname Bo. "Bonita has 5 variant forms: Bo, Bonie, Bonnie, Bonny and Nita."
Read more at http://www.thinkbabynames.com/meaning/0/Bonita#bz2sLGW9z0DuFSe8.99

Anonymous said...

I love the name Boden with the nn of Bo! A super surname name, IMO.

Anonymous said...

I love Beau on its own... if we can use Belle on it's own, why couldn't we use Beau? That would be my pick! Otherwise, I do like Isabeau or Bowe/Bow. :) Good luck and make sure you keep us updated cuz looks like a bunch of people are interested!!

Patricia said...

I've long been fascinated by the name Isabeau -- close to Isabel, yet unique, rare, mysterious. Isabeau would be a lovely name for a little girl called "Bo". Abby at Appelation Mountain profiled the name Isabeau four years ago: "In honor of my sister Bo's birthday, today's Name of the Day is Isabeau." http://appellationmountain.net/name-of-the-day-isabeau/?replytocom=19719

I checked a couple of French language baby name websites and Isabeau was included in both of them. It's rare in France but not unknown. One Isabeau had this to say of her name: "I am also called Isabeau born in 1990, it is true that it is a beautiful name, a little forced sometimes when administrations insist the name is isabelle as if we were not able to write our name correctly on their fact sheets and it is true that it can be difficult when you're a child. But what a chance to have a name so beautiful and rare! ... So I totally agree with the other comments! Be proud to have that name and wear it with honor!"

Isabeau nn Bo might be the perfect name for your baby.

Alice said...

I love Bo and honestly wouldn't think twice about it being short for Elizabeth. Everything is short for Elizabeth and I think it totally works. Otherwise, I think anything with a b and o in it could be fine. Bronwen is great. How about Phoebe? I love that name and think Bo could work there.

Amie said...

Brooke, Blossom, Brooklyn - You could take the nickname Bo from either of those names. I also like Bowen and Boston. Maybe to feminize Bowen you could use Boanne.

bluedaisy said...

I like Bo spelled Beau and if you wanted a longer name Brooke and Isabeau are my favorites. Then you just need a nice middle name to go along.

Things to think about- I second the whole b.o. issue (teasing potential) and add that you might want to consider that her nickname could become "Bo Peep".

Laura said...

I had a great aunt Bova which means "brave". I also knew a Russian pianist named Bodashka. Bova could be a nice middle name to pull from. I also like Boone. It is a surname and town in NC. I think it could be really fresh and sweet on a little girl.

Anonymous said...

I think Elizabeth called "Bo" may be a stretch. But if you go with Isabeau you'll have a connection to both Elisabeth and "Bo". Also, after reading the concerns about B-O and Bo-Peep, I would suggest that you spell her nn "Beau". That would give her both the nn you want plus clearly linking it with her given name. And you might like calling "Beau" the full Isabeau at times.

Anonymous said...

Here's more about "Bo" Derek and her name: She was given the name Mary Cathleen Collins when she was born in 1956 in Long Beach, CA. When she was growing up, she was called by her middle name Cathleen. In 1972 she became romantically involved with John Derek, a married man 30 years her senior. Not long after the two started dating, John divorced his wife, actress Linda Evans, and the couple moved to Germany so that John would not be subject to the American statutory rape law due to Cathleen's young age. They returned to the United States when Cathleen was 18 and they married in 1976, when Cathleen was 20. John was determined to make Cathleen a film star and "sex symbol" like himself. In her first film -- before their marriage -- she was billed as "Kathleen Collins". But by 1976 -- when Cathleen was 20, John Derek had given his wife a so-called Hollywood makeover. She had bleached her hair blonde and adopted the stage-name of Bo Derek.

I don't think Bo Derek's name -- created for her by her husband to advance his career plans for her -- can be used as a good example of using the nickname "Bo" for any name.

Ashley said...

Okay, maybe I'm thinking WAY too hard about this ... but I'd probably name her something that had to do with sheep and shepherding ...because now I'm in love with the idea of an allusion (but, at the same time, not something TOO obvious or cutesy if she wanted to drop the nickname outside of her family when she got older?) to "Little Bo Peep." Maybe that's nerdy, but it's adorable in my head. I love the uniqueness/specialness of it, and picturing the sweet farm-girl scene in my head :) Thought I'd throw it out there just for the quirkiness of it, though!

Here are some sheep/shepherd-related names:
--Pastora ("pastor" means "shepherd" in latin)
--Davida (David being a biblical shepherd)
--Daphne (apparently in Greek mythology she is pictured as a "love-struck shepherd" in two tales)
--Jesse (guess it could be used for a girl even spelled this way? also a biblical shepherd)
--Carden (LOVE this! What a cute name that's slightly tomboyish! It comes from the wool-making process. Ah, I almost want to use this myself now! Also has that 'current sound' appeal without being trendy)
--Loaghaire (okay, this one is a stretch perhaps. It has Irish roots of shepherding and is pronounced like "lee-ra" ... it's an Irish boy's name, but it could totally be feminized. Or americanized by being spelled "Lyra" or "Leerah" .. I don't know, it works in my head.)
--Eder (again traditionally a boys' name, but it means shepherd and how pretty for a girl!)
--Marilis/Amaryllis (means 'simple shepherdess' or country girl; has Greek roots)
--Rachel (apparently one of its Hebrew meaning is a female sheep!)
--Merona (Aramaic for 'sheep')

Anyway, just thought I'd throw that out there :) And can you imagine the incredible nursery decorations?!

Cayt said...

I haven't seen Boadicea/Boudica suggested, but it's the first suggestion that came to my mind. I think it's lovely.

Anonymous said...

Ashley, you just made my nerdy day. That is such a cool idea for any name. I'd like to add to your list the most beautiful name meaning "ewe" that I can't use :(:( To my great pain, it sounds just awful with my last name. It's Rella. I love it to death. Rella nicknamed Bo! Or Rella Bow Lastname. How cute does that sound? Very, that's how much.

Austin said...

Not sure if anyone suggested it but I like Isabeau but spelled Ysabeau as the long form of Bo (different!). But I do like Swistle's suggestion of calling her Bo in utero and naming her whatever you want :)

Kim said...

I don't think anyone has suggested Bodene or Briony yet which could both easily be shortened to Bo.

There is also the old English name Ibota and the Italian name Brio. Brio is also a musical term.



Anne said...

You're over-thinking this. If you want to call her Bo,
why not just name her Bo?
There's nothing wrong with short names.
There can be beauty in simplicity.

Anonymous said...

How about Boleyn (as in Anne Boleyn)?

Anonymous said...

As soon as I saw "Isabeau" as a nickname I thought... "that's a real name." I know I've heard it. I like it.
I thought Swistle's suggestions of Bodhi and Bowen were both really cute... favoring Bodhi. Love it.

betttina said...

Oh, I love love LOVE Bo as your nickname for your fetus! So cute!

My husband's name is Ben, so we called our fetus Muppim (Genesis 46:21). It was REALLY fun to convince his mom that we were really going to name our baby Muppim. She was too afraid that we would actually do that, so she offered NO CRITICISM when we actually named our daughter Jane. It was fun to call our fetus that, since we didn't know ahead of time if she was a boy or girl. It also scared relatives so that no one offered names or criticism - they were so relieved at "Jane" that they never thought to complain, since it could have been Muppim!

And "Bo" is even cuter than Muppim. Go for it!

Emily S. said...

If you think Bo or Beau are too short to be a full first name, you could always hyphenate the name like Sarah-Kate or Mary-Jane. It could be Beau-Marie or something like that with the second name being a family name. But if you are just going to call her Beau all the time, I think it works as is. Although I think Beau works a little better than Bo because it is a little longer than just Bo and it avoids the B.O. teasing.

Abbe said...

I may be showing my age here, but for me, Isabeau seems perfectly natural because of the movie Ladyhawke. Isabeau is the name of the cursed heroine, played by Michelle Pfeiffer at her most radiant. Gorgeous love story, gorgeous name.

Anonymous said...

Someone else already made this fabulous suggestion, but my first thought after reading the post was the beautiful silent film actress:

Clara Bow

Katie said...

We have a friend with a little girl named Boey, and many people call her Bo (but not her parents...hmm, I wonder if they LIKE us calling her Bo now that I think of it...)

Anyway, it's a super cute girl name that very clearly leads you to the nickname Bo.

Anonymous said...

We have friends with a daghter they named Bowen and we all call her Bo.

Anonymous said...

I think a middle name, Bow, would be really cool and a nod to Clara Bow (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clara_Bow). Depending on how conservative or not you are, she makes a great namesake.