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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Baby Girl, Sister to Abigail

Melissa writes:
Hi! We're expecting #2 on October 6th (or, if you believe the doctor, more likely in late September), our second girl, and are sort of stumped on the perfect name. (Although we still agree on the perfect BOY name we picked out the first time around, pretty well ensuring that we will never have boys to name. Oh well.)

We tend to the very traditional on naming and prefer names that have meanings we like. Any name that's likely to get shortened needs to have a "good" nickname that we can establish early on. My husband is Jewish, so using the name of a living relative is off the table, although we'd love to find a name with family meaning otherwise. Not a lot to choose from there on the girl side, unfortunately - we're not big on the Doris, Helen, Mary category (traditional but meh).

Daughter #1 is Abigail Claire - Abigail means "father's joy" (which she absolutely is) and Claire is after my grandfather (Clarence). We loved it as soon as we hit on it, and 2 1/2 years later it's still the Perfect Name. We sometimes wish Abigail weren't so popular (we didn't know - I swear!) but we still love the name. So now we need to match it!

Our front-runner first name right now is Caroline (my grandmother's middle name), which we might shorten to Callie if we get the urge. I also love Margaret (with Maggie or Meg as the short options), Madeleine, and Amelia (would be Mia for short). My husband likes Hannah, Rachel and Sarah. We're considering Elizabeth for the middle name, although I'd also love Emma, especially since it's too popular to use for a first name!

Help us find the perfect name! Thanks!

All of your options look great to me. Let's put them in a list with the sibling name so we can take a good look at them:

Abigail and Caroline
Abigail and Margaret
Abigail and Madeleine
Abigail and Amelia
Abigail and Hannah
Abigail and Rachel
Abigail and Sarah

Abigail and Amelia seem too similar to me for sisters---but then, I get confused if I'm reading a book and two characters have names that start with the same letter.

My favorite, I think, is your frontrunner. Abigail and Caroline is a great combination, and the nicknames are cute together: Abby and Callie. I like Caroline Elizabeth, and I also like Caroline Margaret.

But I don't see how you could go wrong with any of the names on your list. They're all great girl names. Let's put it to the vote and see what everyone else thinks. Poll is to the right. [poll closed; see below]

[Poll results (215 votes total):
Caroline: 122 votes, roughly 57%
Margaret: 20 votes, roughly 9%
Madeleine: 20 votes, roughly 9%
Amelia: 20 votes, roughly 9%
Hannah: 13 votes, roughly 6%
Rachel: 12 votes, roughly 6%
Sarah: 8 votes, roughly 4%]

[Name update 10-21-2008! Melissa writes:
Thanks to everyone for input on daughter #2's name. Caroline Amelia was born on October 3rd, healthy and gorgeous, and her name suits her perfectly! The middle name was up in the air until the last minute, but Amelia finally won out over Elizabeth. Her big sister is very proud of "her baby Caroline" and so are we!

Thanks again!]


Rayleen said...

What about Helena? It's pretty, and feminine and could be a nod to your relative. I think it has the same feel to it as the name Abigail has. Good luck!

Rayleen said...

I would pronounce it HeLAYna, like they do in Europe.

Barb @ getupandplay said...

They're all great options- but I love the special meaning you have for choosing Caroline.

Laura said...

What about Caroline Helena? I also like Elizabeth as a middle name.

Catherine said...

I probably would have gone with Margaret, but since Caroline is meaningful I went with that instead.

I hate to say this, but if I could offer one new name to the list it would probably be my own (Catherine). Shameless self-promotion aside, I think Abigail and Catherine is a great combination, and I still like my name after all these years.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't vote in the polls... I like all your choices! I'm Jewish and live in a community that's about 30% Jewish. Abigail and Hannah, Abigail and Rachel, and Abigail and Sarah all scream "JEWISH!" to me. They're just very common names in the Jewish communities where I live. If that's okay with you, then great. If you'd rather stay away from that, I would go with one of your other choices - Caroline is beautiful, and I love Margaret and Madeleine. Callie, Maggie, and even Maddie are all cute nicknames.

Whatever you choose, I'm sure it will be beautiful!

Jan said...

How about Caroline Amanda (beloved)? I also like Margaret--maybe Margaret Pearl (of great worth)?

Mayberry said...

I love Margaret, but I think Abby and Maggie are a little too similar as nicknames.

I know another little girl named Abigail Claire and her sisters are Rebecca and Jessica. But then again, you don't need any extra ideas! The choices you have are great. I voted for Rachel.

Karen said...

Your names are all lovely but Helena is a good suggestion, too.

As a middle name, I only like Helena after Margaret, of the names on your list. Any soft endings make you sputter out the H of Helena. But Helena could be followed by most the of the other names. Helena Sarah or Helena Rachel are my favourites.

Anonymous said...

i have a friend who has three girls

abigail, hannah, rachel

i think they sound great together. you'll have to go for #3. : )

Anonymous said...

My only caution is that I think Caroline is gaining popularity, so just be forewarned.

Anonymous said...

I voted Caroline, love it, but if you want a really classic but soooooo not popular name, then Margaret it is. I go by Maggie, but throughout public school, highschool, and university I never met another Margaret in my age group. Some professors, but never a peer. And I'm 28! The name is just no where to be found.

Swistle said...

Anonymous Katie- We don't have to think, we can look it up and know for sure! Here's Caroline:

2000: #65
2001: #62
2002: #67
2003: #68
2004: #74
2005: #82
2006: #89
2007: #99