My partner and I (two women) are having our first child in May, the 17th to be precise...and we cannot decide on a baby name. We know that she is a girl, or so they tell us...and that she is crazy active! The only things we are pretty set on are her middle name, which will be Evenia and her last name which will be Woodward...we do not want to name her Bridgette as it is our dog's name. We are also trying to stay away from the names that end in the eee sound that is so popular like Katie, Jenny, Chelsea...those types of names.We have narrowed it down to five names...but could be easily swayed if something better came along...the five are:Grayson (her mother's maiden name)Emmerson (my favorite uncle's middle name)Lorelei (from the Gilmore Girls, not a family name)Layla (also not a family name but we dig it)andAnnalice (which seems to keep popping up in our daily lives and so we sort of feel like it's a sign. Also it's a great combo of my partner's Grandmother's names Ann and Alice).I'm also a fan of Lily and Georgia...LOLHelp us please!
I lean immediately in the direction of Annalice: I love it already, and you have good feelings about it, and it has family-name connections. But I would spell it Annalise: I know it compromises the Alice part of it, but every time I see Annalice, all I see is LICE.
A digression: I have noticed a certain problem when working with Anna-blend names. It is a delicate problem to bring up, and it is not one that I want the search engines finding when searchers are searching for something quite different. And so let me bring it up this way. If you are starting a name with "Anna" and you are going to combine it with something starting in L, keep in mine that "Annal" bears a resemblance to things considered retentive. It is especially important not to, for example, drop that second N, as an actual acquaintance of mine did, spelling her daughter's name Analyn. It's a really pretty name, but it makes me think of that episode of Arrested Development where David Cross's character wants to be known as an "analrapist" (combining the words "analyst" and "therapist"). WATCH THOSE WORD BLENDS, is what I'm saying. Especially if we are going to work with ice or lice. End digression.
It is also wise, I think, to take initials into account, which is why when I think of it, I put initials after suggestions. In this case, where we have "EW" for the second two initials, some initials to be aware of are: DEW, EEW, FEW, HEW, JEW, MEW, NEW, PEW, and SEW. For me, this eliminates Emmerson. (Side note: if our firstborn had been a girl, we almost certainly would have named him, or rather her, Emerson. True story.)
I would also eliminate Grayson. The girls already have way more names to choose from than the boys, and in general they should keep their cute little hands off the few good boy names remaining, or else those of us with many boys to name are going to LOSE OUR MINDS.
Lily is a great girl name, but to me it pales in comparison to some of your other choices.
This narrows it down to:
Annalise Evenia Woodward (AEW)
Lorelei Evenia Woodward (LEW)
Layla Evenia Woodward (LEW)
Georgia Evenia Woodward (GEW)
My favorite from those four is Georgia. I love the sound of Georgia Woodward. And for an active little sprite, I like the high energy levels of a name like Lorelei. But with your reasons for using Annalise, I think Annalise is still in the lead.
That doesn't mean there isn't room to consult The Baby Name Wizard. Her sister-name ideas for Annalise are Lisbeth, Julianne, Arabella, Mariel, and Renata. Sister-names for Georgia are Charlotte, Lucy, Josephine, Virginia, and Violet. The only one of those ten I'd add to the list is Josephine (Josephine Woodward is almost as good as Georgia Woodward), but the initials need to be considered.
Plus, I'm totally lying, because I would also add Arabella. I love that name. I can't picture using it ("Arabella, find your shoes," "Arabella, feed the cat"), but I love it. I would add it just so I could keep looking at it.
My friend Mairzy says:
You've got several good options, all of which would serve a girl well. Just choose your favorite.
My personal preference is to avoid names like Grayson and Emmerson for girls. There are so many girl names, and ever-fewer of the softer boy names (see: Reece, Avery, and the latest I came across, Vaughn), that it seems a shame to borrow any more. Grayson, additionally, will have to identify herself as a girl all her life. (I know at least two girl Emmerson/Emersons, so it's not as likely to be a problem with that name.)
Annalice is hands-down my favorite, with family-name bonus points. As for the spelling, see Swistle's comments above. Annalise Evenia (I'm pronouncing it ee-VEN-ya) is quite the mouthful, but I knew of a Victoria Olivia who lived a happy, if polysyllabic, life.
You can see why Mairzy and I are friends: we came to our conclusions independently, but both of us are against losing more of the already-sparse boy names, and both of us prefer the Annalise spelling. Mairzy felt confident enough to refer to my "comments above"---without having seen what I'd written.
Time to vote.
Annalise: 42 votes, roughly 48%
Lorelei: 16 votes, roughly 18%
Layla: 3 votes, roughly 3%
Georgia: 22 votes, roughly 25%
none of these: 4 votes, roughly 5%]
[Update! Dawn writes:
I wanted to update you and let you know how helpful your baby naming was for us...we were the post from Feb. 26th Baby Girl ____ Evenia Woodward.
We went with Georgia and we love it.
Thanks so much to you and your readers!
Dawn, Amelia, and Georgia :)