I am having a terrible time coming up with a name for girl #2, due to arrive in June. My first baby's name is Esme, and I love, love, love this name to pieces. It seems impossible to come up with another girl's name that seems as special to me and resonates as much.
My criteria are: It has to be uncommon, but not "made up." It must go with a last name, two syllables, Erdos, pronounced "AIR-dose" (with emphasis on the first syllable--so first names with the emphasis on the last syllable are out, as they make the two names together sound awkward). I don't want cutesy, but I do want feminine.
Anyway--my top choice right now is Astrid. What do you think? Middle name will be McManaway (family name on my side, and non-negotiable). I'm not too concerned about the flow of the first name with the middle name, since it won't be spoken aloud very often. The problem is, I like Astrid, but I don't LOVE it the way I love Esme. Other thoughts I have had were Greer (but doesn't go with the last name), Henrietta (which I think is adorable, but I fear would not be enjoyed by the baby, who might think it's ugly and grandma), Luella (which my husband hates), Arden (but waaaay too trendy sounding), Odile (but emphasis on the wrong syllable), Delphine (same), Elodie (love, but hard to say in way that doesn't sound either too French and snotty or too American and like "melody"), Clementine (but I think people would think this was a joke).
Anyway, any guidance would be much appreciated--I am spending far too much of my time obsessing over this, and really need to get back to work!
I, too, am a fan of the name Henrietta. I'm not quite ready to use it on a baby of my own, but I'd be thrilled if someone else did. I think its time is coming---perhaps when everyone is done with Emma and Violet. The nicknames are darling: Henrie, Hennie, Hen, Ettie. People generally love long girly names with short boyish nicknames (Samantha/Sam, Alexandra/Alex), so why not Henrietta/Henry? Well, you and me and the little bird agree. Maybe we'll have granddaughters with that name.
Hey, since we agree on Henrietta, I wonder if you'd like another of my favorites that gets dissed as too old-ladyish: Millicent. I think it's beautiful. I think it's great with Esme, too: Esme and Millicent. Also, don't you think people have SOME CHEEK calling names "too old-ladyish" while they continue to say they like "old-fashioned" names like Emma and Violet? ME TOO!
I turned to the name Esme in The Baby Name Wizard to find sister names, and look! Sister names: Elodie, Clio, Ivy, Noa, Fleur. Elodie is the first one! I love the name Elodie and I don't think it sounds snotty---but then, I pronounce it like Melody without the M. Cute monogram, too: EME.
(I notice, saying these possibilities aloud, that your surname is wily: it combines with first names. Elo-dee-air-dos sounds like one long word---perhaps a vacation destination. So does Astri-dare-dos.)
I'm going to keep looking at sister names in The Baby Name Wizard:
Astrid: Sigrid, Dagmar, Signe, Greta, Margit
Henrietta: Winifred, Cordelia, Beatrice, Matilda, Wilhelmina
Elodie: Esme, Amelie, Sabine, Cecily, Ariane
Clementine: Millicent, Violette, Henrietta, Marguerite, Eloise
Any of those strike your fancy? Look, there's Millicent! It's like a SIGN!
Or what about:
What does everyone else think about a sister for Esme?
Henrietta: 16 votes; roughly 11%
Millicent: 16 votes, roughly 11%
Elodie: 49 votes, roughly 33%
Astrid: 9 votes, roughly 6%
Arwen: 6 votes, roughly 4%
Linden: 4 votes, roughly 3%
Ariadne: 5 votes, roughly 3%
Larkin: 4 votes, roughly 3%
Linnea: 14 votes, roughly 9%
Lorelei: 17 votes, roughly 11%
Hazel: 9 votes, roughly 6%]
[Updated! Anne writes:
As promised, here's the verdict: We named our baby, born June 4, Astrid. I was thisclose to choosing Elodie, having consulted with a French friend and everything, who assured me it was pronounced more "Eh-lo-dee" as opposed to "Ay-lo-dee", which almost got me there, but in the end it was just too similar to Melody, a name I very much do not like. Anyway, now that she is an Astrid it seems to suit her very well and I can't imagine anything else, though I keep reading sites like these because I find the whole process of naming one's children to be endlessly fascinating!