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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Woolener Twins

Tiffany writes:
I'm due to have twins in early October. At the ultrasound last month, we found out that baby A is a boy. And baby B is...shy. :) We have come up with a name for baby A: Henry Fox. I'm in love with Henry (although a little worried about its popularity). Someone recently suggested Fox to us because my husband's name is Todd and it apparently means "fox" in Old English. I know it's a little different, but I thought it was a cute and different way to honor my husband. I do need some feedback on the name. What do you think?

Now for baby B. We need help coming up with a name for either a boy or a girl. I don't necessarily want the twins' names to "match", but I do want them to go together. I want "classic names" - especially since my husband and I have such dated 70's names (Todd and Tiffany). :)

For a girl, we like:
  • Kate - I just don't love any longer form of Kate. I'm trying to fall in love with Katharine, but I go back and forth on this one.
  • Grace - One of my husband's favorites. I like it, too.
  • Stella - I love this one.
  • Julia - I love the Julia/Julie option.
  • Sylvia - My husband isn't completing sold yet on this one. I'm trying to get him to see that it has the same style and sound of Sophia and Julia, two names he loves.
  • Elizabeth - We'd probably call her Izzy.

For middle names, we are considering:
  • Susannah - a variation on my mom's name (Susan) and my middle name (Suzanne)
  • Louise
  • Jane
  • May/Mae - a family name
  • Eva - a family name
  • Anne - a family name
  • Charlotte
  • Rose - family name
  • Katharine - if we don't use it as a first name
  • Claire

For boys, either first or middle:
  • Lewis (my husband's late grandfather's name)
  • Matthew (my husband's middle name)
  • William
  • Lucas
  • Colin
  • Simon
  • Owen
  • Stuart (middle only)
  • Sullivan
  • Finn
  • James/Jameson
  • Charles (middle only)
  • Samuel

I'm totally open to more suggestions if you can derive some sort of style out of this collection of names! Our last name is Woolener (3 syllables), which totally nixes two of my favorite names: Oliver and Eleanor. :(

Thanks for your help!!

I love the name Henry Fox! Henry is the middle name (and pseudonym) of one of my sons, and it was ALMOST his first name. Henry is indeed getting more popular (from #126 in 2000 to #91 in 2007, according to The Social Security Administration), but I don't worry about it getting TOO-too popular. Even if it DOES get very popular, it would be a classic, long-rooted, traditional boy name that was experiencing one of many recurring times in the sun---not a trendy, flash-in-the-pan name. And I think Fox is cute with it.

Let's turn our attention to Baby B. First, let's say Baby B is a girl. Well....pretty much ALL your girl names sound good with Henry! Kate is a fine name just as it is, if you don't like any of the names it's a traditional nickname for.

Henry and Kate
Henry and Grace
Henry and Stella
Henry and Julia
Henry and Sylvia (perhaps your husband would prefer Silvia?)
Henry and Elizabeth

All good. With your surname, I think the best options are Kate Woolener, Grace Woolener, and Elizabeth Woolener. Stella Woolener, Julia Woolener, and Sylvia Woolener are harder to wrap the mouth around.

Middle names. The one-syllable first names Kate and Grace go best with the longer middle names; I think both are best with Louise, but I like the family connection to the name Susannah so would probably choose that. The longer name Elizabeth is good with the shorter middle names; I like any of them, but my favorites are Jane and Claire. With Stella and Julia, I like Mae. With Sylvia, I like Claire.

I don't even WANT to mention this, but feel duty-bound to say that the middle name "Claire" CAN lead to The Eclair Problem with first names that end in A. Anna Claire, for example, turns into An Eclair. Even Sylvia Claire, which I have just recommended, could be heard as Silvie Eclair. Still! I would not let that stop me! Eclairs are delicious, and small children are more familiar with Twinkies.

Kate Susannah Woolener (KSW)
Grace Susannah Woolener (GSW)
Elizabeth Jane Woolener (EJW)
Elizabeth Claire Woolener (ECW)
Stella Mae Woolener (SMW)
Julia Mae Woolener (JMW)
Sylvia Claire Woolener (or Silvia Claire Woolener) (SCW)

Now let's say Baby B is a boy. With the name Henry, my favorites from your list are William and Simon: Henry and William, Henry and Simon. Because you're going with a fun middle name for Henry, I'd choose something fun and slightly matchy for the other boy: I like Finn. Henry Fox and William Finn. Henry Fox and Simon Finn. Hm, that was a little quicker than the girl section, wasn't it!

William Finn Woolener (WFW)
Simon Finn Woolener (SFW)

But I'm just choosing names from lists and putting them together how I like them. Now you guys can take a turn: look at the lists and put together a girl name! put together a boy name! What do you like best for Baby B?


Anonymous said...

Henry Fox is absolutely adorable. :) Now let's name his sibling!

If it's a girl, I really like a lot of your choices. You might also like Amelia, Ella, Caroline, and Alexandra, all of which I think fit well with Henry. My favorites of your girls names are Stella Jane/Stella Mae/Stella Susannah and Julia Rose/Julia Charlotte.

If Baby B is a boy, I think William, Simon, Owen, and James are all darling. I like Stuart and Finn for middle names - they have a quirky, fun vibe that matches Fox. By mixing and matching, I came up with William Stuart, William Finn, Simon Stuart, Simon Finn, Owen Stuart, Owen Finn, James Stuart, James Finn. Any stand out to you?

Ultimately, I would go with Henry Fox and Stella Susannah or James Stuart.

bk said...

I think it's kind of unfair to give henry an awesome middle name and baby B um... a regular one. I'd be jealous if I were baby B.

Jenn said...

I like William with Henry, but I am not crazy about William Wollener- that is a mouthful I think. I think Henry & Owen go really well together. Owen Finn or Owen James sound the best to me.
I love the name Henry Fox I think it's great!

For girls I love Kate as a stand alone name (especially with Henry) but I don't like it with any on the middle name list. Kate Louise is ok- but just ok. I like Kate Elizabeth and I love Kate Sullivan.

Mayberry said...

Wow, so many great options. For a girl, I love Elizabeth Jane.

For a boy, I think Simon is just great. I'd pair it with Lewis or Matthew.

Barb @ getupandplay said...

I like Elizabeth Jane and Simon Finn!

I really like all your choices!

The Schwant Family said...

Henry Fox is GREAT!

i love Kate Sullivan and I like Finn for a middle name for a boy because it is cute with Fox but not too matchy. Still thinking on a first name for the boy, my first thought was William but I think it might be hard to say with your last name...I'll be back.

Frazzled Mom said...

I wouldn't eliminate any of these names for style - they all have great style. I am eliminating names based on compatibility with the surname. Any name with a W or an L anywhere I would eliminate, except for Elizabeth and Claire. I agree with Jenn that William is a little too much with your surname.

For a boy, I like Simon Finn. It's too bad you only want to use Stuart as a middle name. Any chance I can convince you to consider it as a first name? Stuart Finn is great too.

Now for a girl, there are great options. I would suggest considering some of those middle name options for a first name. A lot of them get lots of attention as middle names, but are hardly ever used as first names. I'm also thinking of a quirky middle name for the girl. For the shorter names, I like Temperance as a middle name. Here's what I'm thinking:

Kate Temperance
Grace Temperance
Jane Temperance
May Temperance
Anne Temperance
Rose Temperance
Claire Temperance

andrea said...

Before I even saw Swistle's combination suggestions, I'd picked out Stella as my favourite first name (have always loved it) and Mae as my favourite middle name. Stella Mae is gorgeous and is such a good match for Henry Fox.

And I like Lucas Finn for a boy alternative. I agree with PP that Twin B should also get a middle name that is a little bit out there. Mae and Finn are both that little bit unusual.

Mel said...

I like Kate or Grace if it's a girl. They're nice, simple names to go with Henry. Elizabeth is nice too, but I'm not sure I like the nickname Izzy with your last name. I'd definitely stay away from Sylvia if your husband is only partially sold on it - it's his kid too, neither of you should have to settle for a name. As for middle names, the only one I don't really care for is Mae/May, so I wouldn't personally use it - but if it has family significance, I suppose it's fine.

If it's a boy, my vote goes for Simon and I like the idea of a fun middle name to go with it because Henry has a fun middle name too. I'm not sure it's as important to give a girl a fun middle name - a girl may prefer something pretty.

Paige said...

Henry Fox is to die for. Love it.

I like Elizabeth Jane for a girl. I don't know if you know of the song Liza Jane. It's kind of a children's folk song. I always think that I'd love to name a girl Liza Jane for that reason. The song reference could be a negative to some but it is a positive for me because the song is sweet and my husband is an elementary school music teacher.

Anonymous said...

henry fox, great name!
i like kate susannah if it's a girls and lewis finn for a boy.

Kate said...

When I first read the list of names, I thought that I would want to pick something more traditional for a girl name, since Henry is what I consider very traditional. My first instinct was to look at Elizabeth and Kate. I also really like Susannah as a first name in this situation...Susannah Grace. But...then I saw that you had Mae on your list (which I love) and Stella Mae is just perfect. I think of Stella as more of a trendy name now, but I think it is a perfect name!

Now, the boy was much harder I think...even though Swistle made it look so easy! I love the idea of Finn for his middle name...Fox and Finn. You have the matching middle names instead of the twins will match without being over the top. I was sold on William Finn until I remembered your last name, and now I agree with other posters that it would be too much. My suggestion would be to go with Matthew or Samuel. I think Samuel fits perfectly with the style of Henry. With Matthew, both boys would have part of their Dad's name.

So to finally end this super long post...I think my top choices would be:
Boy--Samuel Finn
Girl--Stella Mae

Verity said...

Henry Fox rocks! It's classic, but quirky and meaningful, too.

It makes me think that Susannah is the obvious middle name choice for a daughter - like Fox, it's a twist on a parent's name.

Kate Susannah seems interesting; my favorite would actually be Claire Susannah, if you're willing to promote Claire to first name status. Katharine Susannah and Elizabeth Susannah are great, too, but perhaps you find them a bit long with a 3-syllable surname.

For a second boy, I have to agree that Finn feels like the obvious middle choice - Fox and Finn are gently matching, but since they're in the middle spot, it's a non-issue.

I like Henry and Simon. I think they both sound smart. Plus, Will Woolener seems too much "w" sound. And if you're worried about Henry being popular, well, William certainly is often heard.

Henry Fox and Simon Finn - they even have the same number of syllables and rhythm to them.

Best wishes!

Dallas said...

Fox is a cool name - I've never heard of it before.

The first thing I thought of with Henry is that it is a King name - and so is William, and Katherine and Elizabeth are Queen names. If you like that, then they make a great pair.

LoriD said...

My sister is having a baby and I'm trying to sell her on Scarlet. I think Henry Fox and Scarlet Mae sound like sound like an adorable pair. For a boy, my pick would be Finn Jameson. Henry and Finn will be heartbreakers!

Laura said...

I loooove Henry Fox. So cool! To me, Grace Susannah goes with it best and sounds good on its own. If a boy, I would choose Owen Charles. Henry and Owen. So cute!

Rayleen said...

Simon Matthew - so his middle name also honours his dad - and Grace Susannah is soooooo full of southern charm. So is Henry, for that matter. Great names.

Ashley said...

I love Owen Finn and Simon Finn.

Stella Mae is lovely. I would also pair Charlotte Mae together. Henry and Charlotte are both timeless, classic, elegant.

sarahgood said...

great choices.. I like felicity louise and garrett finn.

What about Silvy or Silvie instead of (or short for) Sylvia? I knew someone named Silvie of french background once. I think it makes the name a bit more modern sounding.

Jan said...

I like Julia Anne, Susannah Kate, and Stella Mae for a girl. For a boy I like Samuel or Colin with your last name and yes, Finn as the mn. :)

Karina said...

Kate Susannah and Stella Jane are my favorites though I think Stella Claire is cute too. For boys I'm partial to Simon & Sullivan and Matthew would be a great middle name for either. okay, that's my 2 cents!

Stella and Thomas said...

I love Henry Fox!!

My vote is for Stella Mae too. I have twins...Stella and Thomas and I love, love, love my Stella.

Great names.