Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Late Helping Hand

Many moons ago we received a question by a reader to help us name her 4th child. And I'm so sorry it has taken so long to get back to Marilyn. You see, we are renovating at the moment to make way for our new baby and it is all a bit stressful.

My first instinct when I got this question was to get my baby name books and have a flick through but this does leave me a limited supply. I think my second instinct might have been a bit more on the money. I don't like to poach ideas from other blogs for originality's sake but my fellow blogger Lola from Lola's Onomastic Fits seems to have quite similar tastes to this reader. So I requested her help to answer this question. Please welcome her as our guest blogger and please visit her blog! This will be a very long and concentrated post!
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I've been asking this question to all the great name-people I can find, so hopefully you have some ideas for me! We're expecting our fourth baby in August and not finding out the gender. I'm looking for girl and boy name ideas that fit well with our current three boys: Abraham Thomas (Abe), Sebastian Dane (Sebby or Seb), and Malachi Norris (Ky). I like names that can be dignified but I also like nicknames that allow a little flexibility/casualness.For girls names, I love nature names like Violet (Lettie)---but is that getting too popular? I also love Daisy but wish I could use it as a nickname for a longer name (Marguerite is one idea, but I think it would confuse people). I like Indigo, Juniper, Calla, and others---but don't know if they fit with my boys' names? I'm not set on a nature name; I also like Jemima and Josephine and many others.So---any ideas?? I would appreciate any feedback you or your readers have. :) Thanks!!
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Lola writes:
Marilyn,
This is indeed a challenge; your boys have fabulous names, one & all, and I'm sure we'll find something equally fabulous for their sibling!

Firstly, I'm not entirely sold on Marguerite, nickname Daisy being confusing. I mean, the French word for Daisy is Marguerite! And while it may confuse a few, I'd consider it a learning experience for those few. Hey, give them a chance to learn something new, right? :) Marguerite is elegant enough to sit well with your boys. And It is sprightly and feminine, to stand apart well. There are also plenty of other nickname options for Marguerite, if she so chose, too. Maggie, Meggie, Maya, Rita. But daisy is my favorite nickname option too.

Now, you also mentioned Violet (Lettie) and wondered if that was getting popular. I'm a Yank and Violet here is leaping up the charts. Violet now stands at 184 of 1000 and that's pretty spectacular to me. Violet didn't chart but sporadically between 1971 & 1998! Spectacular rise here. Makes me wary of it myself.

Now, you also mentioned Jemima & Josephine which completely makes me smile. Josephine is my 5 year old and Jemima is my #3 name for a potential sister. Jemima in particular would be spectacular with your boys. Biblical, naturey (Jemima means Dove) and absolutely beautifully feminine, Jemima would easily be *my* choice if I had your boys.

Indigo is a bit out of step with Abe, Seb & Ky and Indy is quite masculine a nickname to me (I think Jones & 500 right off the bat).

Juniper feels a bit off too, more naturey, not as elegant, and June is a lovely nickname option (as is Juno) but I'd rather see Juno right off with June as a possible nickname. Juno's awesome and feels far more elegant alone than Juniper or June. How awesome is the queen of heaven (according to Roman Mythology), the protectress of women & marriage and the goddess of finance too. Really, just all around strong & elegant!

Calla works too, tiny, elegant and naturey but in a line, Abraham, Sebastian, Malachi & Calla? I want to sing "One of these things is not like the other ones, one of these things just doesn't belong..." like on Sesame Street.

But some other random thoughts:
Oliver - Ol, Ollie
Gabriel - Gabe
Henry - Harry
Raphael - Rafe, Rafa, Ralph
Simeon/Simon - I have one, he goes by Sim fairly often. I still wish I'd gone with Simeon. So much snappier! He could also go by Sy.
Atticus
Dominic - Dom
Phineas - Finn, Finny
Edward - Ed
Demetrius
Jasper
Absalom
Julian/Julius - With your boys, I think Julius fits better but you may prefer the more modern feeling Julian.
Gideon
Barnabas
- Barnaby
Edgar
Ephraim (ef-ram)
Moses
Linus
Adrian
Solomon - I've been thinking "Sol is pretty neat" myself.
Samson - Sam

Jemima - Jemma, Jem, Mimi, Mim
Sarai
Josephine
- my daughter's name, she goes by Josie, Posy, Poppy, Fifi Effie & Jo. Talk about options!
Solange - Ange, Sol
Chaya
Lillian
- Lilly
Miriam - Miri
Zipporah - means "dove" just like Jemima.
Angelina - Ange
Valentina - Val, Tina
Lucia - Lucy
Noemi
Magdalena - Maggie, Lena
Salome
Cecelia - Cecily
Audrey
Phoebe
Susannah
- Susie, Sukie, Lily, Rose (Susannah means rose but earlier, meant lily)
Genevieve - Gen, Evie, Eve
Dinah
Esther
Beatrix
- Bea, Bee, Trix, Trixie
Elspeth
Amira

But my top 3 for each (for you): Josephine, Jemima & Susanna/h (I prefer Susanna, most people prefer Susannah) with Marguerite a runner up. Raphael, Simeon/Simon & Solomon (with Phineas a runner up).

I hope that at least gives you a starting place, Marilyn (I LOVE your name, too!) and if you need any other thoughts, ideas or just general feedback, feel free to ask, I'd love to help some more!
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NFATE writes:
We are very sorry it as taken this long to get a reply out of us but hopefully the what we lack in punctuality we make up for in quality of our responses.

I really like the names you mentioned. Calla is 100% divine! I think as you have only had boys so far I think you could probably get away with just about anything if its a girl, especially considering the difference in styles of Sebastian, Malachi and Abraham. If I were you I would be considering something quite long though. Perhaps Calla could be used as a nickname for Calliope (Cal-Eee-Oh-Pee) or Calantha?

Violet too is wonderful. I don't think she is getting too popular either. As you might have seen I did a post on her popularity in Australia. Even if she is 'too popular' I think that if you truly love it then you should just go ahead and use her. If your a yank your more likely to run into a little Karen, Jacqueline, Jillian or Angel, and how many of those do you know?

So here are my suggestions. Instead of doing things in the way we usually do them round here (a name then a little bit of information about it) I think for consistencys sake I might just do a big list with nicknames like Lola.

The boys:
Kenneth - Ken
Wesely -Wes
Theodore - Theo, Teddy, Ted
Phillip - Philo, Phil,
Graham - Grey
Declan -Dec
Arthur - Art, Artie
Everett - Rhett
Walter - Walt
Russel - Russ
Ernest - Ernie (Oh I just adore this name! I have been dying to sugest him for ages!)
Gilbert - Gil
Augustus - Gus
Angus - Gus
Callum - Cal
Alistair/Alasdair - Ali
Clifford - Cliff (One of my favourite books of all time is Lady Chatterly's Lover)

The Girls:
Persephone (per-sef-uh-nee)
Anais (ahn-na-ees) - Annie
Matilda - Mattie, Tilly, Tilda
Rhiannon - Rhi
Constance - Connie
Viola - Vie (just incase you want an alternative to Violet)
Giselle - Elle
Aurora - Rory (Laura's beautiful little girl)
Georgia - Gia, George, Georgie
Gwendolyn - Lyn, Gwen, Wendy
Sylvia - Sylvie, Via (on my list)
Ayelet (eye-let or ah-yeh-let) so its like Violet with out the V
Seraphina - Sera, Fifi
Iolanthe - Io
Diana-Di
Ophelia-Fifi
Alice -Ali, Al

3 comments:

Sebastiane said...

While I wouldn't consider Violet too popular yet (I do not consider 183 to be anything to worry about),however the fact that it rose so suddenly would leave me concerned too. That might indicate that it will only become even more popular. I find it irritating, because like Isabella and Sophia (which were both favorite names of mine as a little girl), and Violet is also another favorite but not one I ever really planned to use.

Violet does make a great middle name and she might want to consider using it as a middle name instead.

Marilyn said...

Wow!! You are both amazing---thank you SO much for all the great suggestions!! My husband and I spent several hours yesterday going through your ideas and discussing them (we're nerdy like that) :) He is from a big family (9 kids, all of whom have 1-8 kids themselves!!) so several of these good names are "taken" by cousins, but you gave us a lot of new ideas and we're grateful! I will keep you posted and let you know where our thinking goes. :)

And also---thank you for liking my name :) I always felt like it was a little old for me (I was born in 1980) but oddly enough I had 2 other Marilyns in my school class, so I guess it wasn't THAT unusual.

I love your blog---thanks again for all your help!

Marilyn said...

Hi Sarah,

I think I've found more girl names I like than boys names---which probably means we'll have a boy :) But, currently, here are the girls names we like best:
Violet
Jemima
Winifred
Susanna
Adelaide
Genevieve
Josephine
Cecilia
Calantha (I'd never heard this one before, but I love it!)
Dorothy (nn Daisy?)
Ophelia
Giselle

Here's a question: thinking of other ways to get to the nickname Daisy, do you think "Adelaide" could work? The two names sound sort of similar to me, so calling a little Adelaide "Daisy" doesn't seem like too much of a stretch, but my husband isn't sure about that. The other names we've thought of that nn to Daisy are "Anastasia," "Dorothy," and "Desdemona." Do any of those seem good to you?

Another name I just started thinking of (still not sure if I love it, but I like it) is "Aurelia." I like nns "Ari" and "Lia", and I think it's pretty on it's own too---sounds kind of old-fashioned and elegant. (I picture a lady with her hair up and a high-collared blouse---like someone from "Anne of Green Gables").

As far as our current favorite boys names:
Augustus/August (my husband likes August better, and I like Augustus)
Phineas
Lorenzo
Tobias
Theodore
Orlando
Raphael
Jasper
Gilbert
Alasdair
Archibald (my gr. grandpa's name, and I think "Archie" or "Archer" is cute as a nn)

We tried to cut out any that were obviously "Bible" names, because two of our other three have Bible names, and we didn't want Sebastian to be the only one without.

So, that's where we are right now. I always welcome your input and ideas, and I'll keep you posted if we find any new ones we like! :) Have you come across anything new or interesting lately? (Like you said, more inspiration never hurts!)

Thanks,
Marilyn