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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Baby Girl Brown

Amanda writes:
Hi there! I am due with girl #2 on Sept.3 and my husband and I are beyond stumped about what to name her. With my first pregnancy I had my heart set on a particular girl's name (Anneliese) but he loathed it. We fought about it for the entire 40 weeks, and then after a 40 hour labour, while I was still soaked in sweat, I pleaded, "Can we PLEASE call her Anneliese?" And he still refused. In the end we went with "Avelyn" (pronounced with a soft "a", like Evelyn, but with an A) and it suits our daughter (now two years old) way better than Anneliese ever would have.

All that back story is to say that this time around, I don't have a front-runner, so while we're not fighting about what to name the next baby, we're not coming up with any clear winners, either. We seem to have very different tastes in names, my hubby and I. One thing that's really important to me is that her name be uncommon (but not strange) and unique (but not too "out there" like Muse, or Lyric, or Harmony, or something). I love Avelyn's name because it is feminine, but uncommon. A little twist on an old-fashioned name. So, something else like that might be good.

Here are the names I am liking:

Alida/Elida (pronounced Al-eye-dah)...hubby HATES this one
Elise...he doesn't really like this one either
Evanie (probably too close to Avelyn, in that their nicknames would be Avi and Evi, but I REALLY like this one)

Here are the names my hubby likes:

Aliyah (just reminds me of the singer who died in the plane crash)

By the way, we have the world's dullest surname: Brown. Which is also why I'd like a first name with some flair/uniqueness to it.

HELP US, please!!

I thought your labor/delivery naming story was going to have a totally different outcome! Your husband is one tough cookie! I think it's safe to say he's not going to cave on any name he doesn't like no matter what, so we might as well take Alida/Elida and Elise out of the running right this minute before we get our hearts set on them any further.

And is he a little crazy to unshakably loathe Anneliese but like Annalie? Yes, I think so.

All right. Let's get started. I LOVE the name Avelyn. LOVE IT. Am adding it to my personal Girl Name List. That's beautiful. Let's find some sister candidates.

How about Amelie? It's close to Annalie, and I see that three out of the four choices on your husband's list feature combinations of the "uh" sound and the "lee" sound: Leah (lee-uh), Aliyah (uh-lee-uh), and Annalie (ann-uh-lee). Amelie seems like it might be just his style. Avelyn and Amelie. Amelie Brown.

Here's a name I've been saving for a special occasion: awhile back a friend sent me the name suggestion Briarley, which she said she'd wanted to use for her own child but the association with the one Briarley she had ever known would have been a little awkward (they didn't have a "name my child after you" level of friendship). I penciled it into my naming book and this seems like the moment to bring it out. What do you think? Unusual, beautiful. The only problem is I'm not sure it works with your surname. Briarley Brown. That's a lot of "Br" for a single name to carry.

Ariadne, perhaps. Beautiful, classic, but unusual. Avelyn and Ariadne. Ariadne Brown.

Have you considered Elodie? Your choices Elida and Elise made me think of it. Avelyn and Elodie. Elodie Brown.

Isadora gives you the cute nickname combination Avi and Izzy. Avelyn and Isadora. Isadora Brown.

My friend Mairzy and I are totally split on this one: I love the name Minerva and she doesn't. I think it's particularly good here: Avelyn and Minerva. Avi and Minnie. Minerva Brown.

Rosalie. Avelyn and Rosalie. Rosalie Brown.

Mariel. Avelyn and Mariel. Mariel Brown.

This may be too many choices---it was really hard to narrow it down at all. There are so many names that are good with the surname and sibling name, and it was hard to stop leafing through the book looking for just! one! more! Poll is to the right. [Poll closed; see below.]

[Poll results (465 votes total):
Amelie: 170 votes, roughly 37%
Briarley: 36 votes, roughly 8%
Ariadne: 7 votes, roughly 2%
Elodie: 110 votes, roughly 24%
Isadora: 55 votes, roughly 12%
Minerva: 5 votes, roughly 1%
Rosalie: 50 votes, roughly 11%
Mariel: 32 votes, roughly 7%]

[Name update! Amanda writes:
Baby girl Brown arrived and after much deliberation we decided on the name Jolie Grace. We are pronouncing the name Jolie with a soft 'J' and the accent on the last syllable, so it has a bit of a French flair to it.

Sorry we didn't end up using any of your suggestions...I liked them but the ol' hubby thought some of them were a little too "out there". He's such a stick in the mud. :)

The name suits her perfectly and she's a dream baby.

Thanks for your help!

Amanda Brown]


Mairzy said...

Normally I don't go for alternate spellings, but Avelyn softens Evelyn and is very pretty.

Great choices, Swistle! (Minerva aside, and Briarly is just a tad too close to Braylie for me to get enthusiastic over it.) The others evoke a wistful, "I wish I could use that" feeling, though: Ariadne is one we considered for our first girl; I love Rosalie but it's too close to my sister's name; Elodie fascinates me.

I finally voted for Mariel because it's a name that needs to be used. It's also sufficiently different from Avelyn (unlike Amelie) that you won't drive yourself crazy trying to say the right now.

Mairzy said...

"name," not "now."

Anonymous said...

I vote Amelie -- it's like Emilie only with the "A", sort of like Avelyn, a old-fashioned name with a twist.

Bethtastic said...

I'm confused by pronunciations.

Is Avelyn pronounced "Ah-ve-lyn"? Or "Eh-ve-lyn", and then is her nickname "Ah-vie" or "Eh-vie"? Just want to make certain.

Either way, I like Isadora/Izzy and Mariel/Mari best (with either the "Mare-i-el" or the "Mah-ri-el" pronunciation).

Kristi said...

I hate to admit that I'm confused on some of the pronunciations also.

I voted for Rosalie, but I love Elodie also.

Mel said...

I definitely prefer the names that don't start with a Ah or Eh sound, since their first daughter is an Ah name. I voted for Rosalie. A lot of the ones that start with A and E really sound very similar to their first daughter to me. And for some reason, it just keeps making me think Ebony and Ivory.

Susan said...

I'm assuming Avelyn starts with neither the short e sound (eh as in elephant) OR the short o sound (ah as in ox) but with the short a sound (as in apple). "Av" rhyming with "have." Is that right?

If so, I'd reluctantly suggest passing on Amelie. It seems like "doing the same thing" to two common girls' names (Evelyn with a short a and Emily with a short a), and so too close to the same.

Elodie is an excellent match in flavor, but I find myself tongue tied trying to say the two names together -- Avodie ... no, Elevyn! They're too close, in my opinion.

Ariadne may also be a mouthful with Avelyn, but I love the name Ariadne so much I don't think I could resist it.

Briarley sounds GREAT with Avelyn. So does Minerva. So does Mariel.

I think you're right to choose an uncommon name to go with Brown, but I would NOT say Brown was a DULL name. Far from it. It's a beautiful name that enhances the less-common first and middle names so well. The single syllable is also a wonderful plus when choosing first names -- so many beautiful first names flow melodically right into it. My last name is such a challenging name to pronounce and spell that even though I like it a lot, it almost needs to stand alone -- ANY first name with it seems too complicated!

Swistle said...

Oh! I've been pronouncing it like the girl's name Ava followed by the girl's name Lynn, with the emphasis on the AY of the first syllable, and a little bit of a merge between the two parts of the name: same rhythm as Evelyn, but AY-velyn instead of EH-velyn. But maybe Amanda can let us know how they pronounce it.

the hungarian said...

I have an Emma and Amelia, and the names are similar without having the same letter at the beginning. Kids tend to hate that when they grow up! Morgan is a nice name. I have a good friend with this name and it is uncommon and served her well over the years!

Amanda said...

Amanda here! Thanks for all the input, everyone. Avelyn is pronounced with a soft "a", like apple, so it's Ah-velyn, with the accent on the "Ah" sound.

KatieHaugk said...

dang! I grew up on Brierly Way, and I NEVER thought to use it as a name, even though it I have such fond memories of it. And I like 'Brierly' as a name, so different! Well, the good news is I wouldn't change any of my kid's names. And now if God sends us a forth (please, no) I have a name.

ramblin'andie said...

oh! I wish I'd had this blog post to refer to when hubby and I were fighting over what to call our daughter! Wonderful suggestions.

Bird said...

I'm going to throw out a suggestion for Arabella because I like it and think it goes nicely with Avelyn. Really, you've got a lot of good choices.

EM said...

I like Brierly Brown, it sounds like a name in a children's book. It will sound very cool if you have to shout it across a playground, and it contrasts nicely with Avelynn. Not sure if you'll be able to get your hubby to agree though. Good luck with that one. You have me worried. I had total control on the name front after delivery. I could have picked anything I wanted, so traumatized and thankful was my DH. Wishing you good luck and an easy (comparatively) labor.

Bloggy Mama said...

Fun! Brierly is a really cool name. I, also, am personally a fan of Aurelia or Orelia.
Aurelia Brown. Orelia Brown. said...

From your list, I love Elise, Leah, Renata (spelled this way) and Maja (spelled Maja, Maia, or Maya).

Swistle also had some really fabu suggestions. My first thought was Elodie, which she listed and it seems perfect to me. I pretty much like the whole list, though the -ey at the end of Briarly looks funny to me.

More thoughts:

Evadne (a Greek name)

Good Luck!


Rayleen said...

Voted for Elodie and am putting it on my future name considerations list, but also really like Brierly

Anonymous said...

Amelie has been on my list since I saw the movie, I love that name.
-- Teej

Anonymous said...

My suggestions are :

Lorelei Brown (Favorite)
Avelyn and Lorelei (how cute is that!!)

Amelie Brown (cute!)

Caralina Brown (classical!)

Rhiannon said...

I'm loving Amelie and also Ariadne - and those are both on my short list should I ever have a little girl.

Still Awake Sarah said...

Oh it's Amanda's turn! Good. I love her blog.

I voted for Elodie, because I met an adorable girl named Elodie when I was nannying in New Zealand and got attached to the name. I have never met an Elodie in America (I live in the South) and I love the flow of the name. It's melodic and fun to say.

An additional suggestion that might work is Ottalie. It has a vowel that's not an A, and has the "lee" ending.

Anonymous said...

What about Natalie or Natalia? Kind of a combo between Natasha and Evanie? I love the name Natalie!

bri&shawn said...

hey. MY name is Brier Leigh (first name and middle). I've never seen it as one name before, so to me it sounds strange, but I think it could work...

Mary said...

Well, cannot resist such a tempting call for opinions, what about:


I'm sure whatever you choose will be wonderful--I've always loved Avelyn.

Nat said...

Since you have the name Natasha, I was going to suggest Natalie...

I was also going to suggest Anya.

Sara B. said...

I voted for Mariel, but I would spell it Marielle. I think the extra 'le' softens it up a little bit. Elodie was my second choice, though. IMHO, Amelie is too close to Amanda and Avelyn. I also like:

sara b. said...

Oh, I also like Leila. My great grandmother pronounced her name "lee-luh" but I think "lie-luh" is what's most universally accepted. You could also spell it Lila. You get a similar sound to Leah and Aliyah.

Sorry for 2 comments :-)

Hannah said...

I voted for Amelie Brown - it's classy, feminine, and definitely a name that just works together!

BTW, I also thought I'd tell you that while I usually hate names that are made up, Avelyn is really beautiful. Kudos to you for creating such a wonderful name for your daughter!

Anonymous said...

Maliyah - a little play on leah


Anonymous said...

Just another "A" name friend named her daughter Ayla (A-la)....very pretty and I've only met one other person with that name....but I also really like Isadora - and Annalie and Elise (would he like some variation like Elysia or Alina?). I don't know how to pronounce Maea? Is it like Maya? Or Mia?

Annie said...

This may be a little too unusual for you Amanda- but definitely ticks the 'old fashioned' and 'feminine' boxes- how about Loveday? It is an old English name and originates from a day in old English villages when all arguments and feuds were forgotten about, and all debts were cancelled. Avelyn and Loveday. I am English and my great grandmother's name was Loveday Rose Wincott.

Anonymous said...

Thoughts: Maija is my favorite spelling of Maya. It's more Scandinavian.
Aurora comes to mind.
And I second Lorelie. Perfect match. said...

Oooh, I love! Elodie. And have always loved Amelie, or Amelia.

Anonymous said...

My husband is from Europe and I'm Canadian so agreeing on a girl's name has also been a challenge for us. If we have a girl, she will be Amelie so I am partial to that name. It seems a little close to Avelyn though but would probably work. Here are some other names that you might consider:
Briseis (it's Greek)
And I also liked some others mentioned already like Eliana and Natalia. Ariadne and Brier are also a great names. I know a Brier and always admired her name.
I wish you success in finding that perfect name!

DirtyHippy said...

Isadora is an awesome suggestion. Just like Avelyn is the classic Evelyn with a twist, Isadora strikes me as classic Isabella with a twist.

Can't wait to hear what you decide!

Mrs. Wilson said...

I vote for ANNALIE!!