This blog has moved! Please join us over at!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Baby Girl Schiff

Jess writes:
My husband and I are expecting our first baby, a girl, on October 9th, so time is running out to find this kid the perfect name.

Well, actually, we need to find the 2nd most perfect name. I already have a girl's name that I just love and adore beyond all reason but I can't use it, and it's all my husbands fault!

It's not that he hates my perfect name, oh no, he actually likes it a lot. It's just that his perfect girl's name, which he's had in mind for his future daughter since he was a little kid, is Summer... &, well, I get ragey feelings of HATE whenever I hear it. Now don't get me wrong, Summer is a perfectly nice name... for someone else's daughter. Everything about it just rubs me the wrong way (I'm sure the fact that I knew a Summer back in grad school who was horrible, mean and really gross doesn't help). But hubby was relentless & fought so hard for and was so upset by my rejection of his dream name, that eventually I agreed that we could use Summer as a (never used) middle name. This concession came about before I stumbled upon the name at the top of my list, however. And that name? Arabella. I love it. The flow, the sound, the fact that it's unusual yet familiar at the same time...everything about it is fantastic.

And like I said, even hubby likes it! BUT! He will not give up on using Summer as her middle name. And this is bad because our last name is Schiff. If we give our daughter the name Arabella Summer, her initials will be ASS! And I just cannot do that to my baby.

It's been suggested that we use Summer Arabella, and just always call her by her middle name but...& this might be totally irrational, but I hate the name Summer so much that even the thought of using it as her first name (even if we never call her by it, you know that someone will use it eventually) makes me sick to my stomach.

So! Do you know of any names (besides Isabella, because that's just way to popular right now & we'd like to stay away from names in the top 50-100 if possible) that has a similar style to the name I love so much, but won't give us horrible initials when paired with Summer? Something unique-ish but still familiar sounding, & girly is good. But really, I'm open to all suggestions! There must be another name out there just waiting for us to fall in love with it.

So you see, we really need your help!

Oh, dear. This IS a pickle. I think you're right not to go the "Summer Arabella but never call her Summer" route. It's tricky to pull it off, it leads to a lifetime of confusion and corrections, and you'd be giving your daughter a name you hate---which she could START USING. Well, I mean, she could call herself Midnight Thorn, too, but what I'm saying here is that it would be hard to roll your eyes at her for using her own legal first name. Also, I feel defensive of your bargaining position: you've already given up a big piece of territory (the middle name position), and I don't want to see you lose all ground.

In fact, what I'd like to see here is a renegotiation. You hate the name Summer, it makes you sick to your stomach, and you are never going to use it. There is therefore no gain to your husband to get his way on putting the name Summer in the middle name slot, and the resulting loss of the name Arabella is a loss to him as well as to you. It seems like it would make more sense for the two of you to make the first name---the name you are going to USE---a priority. Perhaps you can find...some other way to make it up to him?

So my first solution is to use Arabella and think of a different middle name. Perhaps something from his side of the family, or another name he likes, or perhaps even another name you both agree on and like.

I know, however, how these naming things go, and I realize this may not be a possible solution at this point, so let's find you some more options to consider:

Clarabella Summer Schiff (CSS)
Clarissa Summer Schiff (CSS)
Emmeline Summer Schiff (ESS)
Gabriella Summer Schiff (GSS)
Lissandra Summer Schiff (LSS)
Maribel Summer Schiff (MSS)
Mirabella Summer Schiff (MSS)
Noella Summer Schiff (NSS)
Rosabel Summer Schiff (RSS)

Notice that the name Clarabella is Arabella with a Cl at the beginning. Also, it can be shortened to Clara if the whole thing is a little Much.

Maribel/Mirabella are also "almost Arabella"---but with an M.

Many of the -el/-ella options can be tweaked by making the endings -el or -elle or -ella: for example, Rosabel/Rosabelle/Rosabella, or Clarabel/Clarabelle/Clarabella.

What do you all think? What's best? What are some other options? What would you do if this were you?

Let's put a poll for the names over to the right. [poll closed; see below]

[Poll results (214 votes total):
Arabella (not using Summer): 56 votes, roughly 26%
Clarabella: 27 votes, roughly 13%
Clarissa: 14 votes, roughly 7%
Emmeline: 31 votes, roughly 14%
Gabriella: 25 votes, roughly 12%
Lissandra: 6 votes, roughly 3%
Maribel: 16 votes, roughly 7%
Mirabella: 20 votes, roughly 9%
Noella: 9 votes, roughly 4%
Rosabel: 10 votes, roughly 5%]


Anonymouse said...

I also love Arabella. What about 2 middle names a la "Arabella Summer Breeze Schiff" (but perhaps replace Breeze with an actual great name that doesn't start with an S)? I know a family with 3 girls and they each have two middle names.

I love the idea of one of the middle names being a family name as well. Perhaps your maiden name, or a grandmother's name, etc.

In my opinion, this is the perfect solution. But I usually like my own ideas. ;)

Meredith said...

This is so funny, my friend is due next week as well and her son's initials will be ASS. Yes, they know. We had to point it out however. They love the first name and are using her maiden name for the middle name. No compromising. So yeah... ASS it is. Apparently, the kid will have to have tough skin to make it through life.
Use Arabella - I love it. But, thank you for not sticking her with the initials ASS.

Meredith said...

Oh, I think you have to get out of Summer. Maybe promise it for your next child and deal with it later?

If it's any help, here are some reasons to not go with Summer (I'm really reaching here). Maybe one of them will work for you when you try to re-persuade your husband:
- What if she marries someone w/the last name Knight? Arabella Summer Knight! TERRIBLE!
- Summertime: Used in way too many catchy songs.
- Summer rhymes with Hummer AND Dumber.

Well, that's as many as my inner child can think of.

I don't think you should give up Arabella. It's too perfect.

Summer, Justin, and Blake said...

Awww, be nice people, MY NAME IS SUMMER!! And I kinda like it! :)

Meredith said...

Oh no! I feel so mean, Summer! I didn't mean to offend - I was just trying to help. Please accept my apology.

Summer, Justin, and Blake said...

No, I know you weren't being mean! Different people just like different names!!

Mrs. M said...

Well OF COURSE i think in terms of monograms and you simply CANNOT do summer arabella with that last name S because then her monogram is ASS.

could summer be the first name of a future girl?

if not then I totally love Clarabella. Too cute!

Kristi said...

Part of me doesn't think it matters that her initials would be ASS. Most of the time she would really only need to use AS.

I think Arabella is a BEAUTIFUL name, and I would hate for you to give it up because of a middle name issue.

Find a way out of Summer!! Arabella is too pretty!!!

Caitlin said...

What about Sarabella as a first name? It's sort of a compromise of both names, without actually touching 'Summer' with a ten foot pole.

Anonymous said...

I voted for Arabella. I think it's gorgeous, and IMO you should use it and try to get out of "Summer" any way you can.

This sounds crazy, but what if you use summer in a different language as the middle name? Spanish for "Summer" is Verano; Portuguese is Verao (tilde over the "a").

Or what if you choose something summer-related? Like June, July, or August. Or maybe a flower name, like Violet or Rose.

Good luck! As you can tell, I REALLY think you should not give up on Arabella.

Caitlin said...

OOo! Oo! Arabella Rose! Arabella JUNE! SO CUTE! I looove Arabella June!

Anonymous said...

I voted for Rosabel, but Clarabella is also adorable. :) Clarabella Summer has amazing flow. It's gorgeous! I would definitely pick this if I were you.

Other suggestions you might like:

Georgina Summer Schiff (GSS)
Caroline Summer Schiff (CSS)
Marissa Summer Schiff (MSS)
Maria Summer Schiff (MSS)
Christabel Summer Schiff (CSS)
Delilah Summer Schiff (DSS)
Rosemary Summer Schiff (RSS)
Hania Summer Schiff (HSS) [prn. HAHN-yah]
Cynthia Summer Schiff (CSS)
Evangelina Summer Schiff (ESS)
Emilia Summer Schiff (ESS)

I think Summer is a great middle name. It's girly and versatile. I'm sure you can find a great first name you both love to go with it. :)

One final thought - if hubby has total control of the middle name and it comes down to two choices for the first name, I think you should get the final vote on the first name if Summer is *that* important to him.

Frema said...

Personally, I would hate to know there was a part of my name that one of my parents hated. So THAT is a perfect reason to exnay Summer and for your husband to just let it go. Baby naming is a big deal, and both of you should like all parts of the name. It's only fair!

What about just going with Bella? Bella is a beautiful name in its own right, and Bella Schiff sounds very cute. Bella Emmeline Schiff is my suggestion!

Good luck to you!

d e v a n said...

Go with Arabella. Scrap the name Summer and find something else. Let him pick even! It can't be worse than having ASS as initials. lol

Snoopyfan said...

I think Summer is cute, but if you hate it you have to play the "I pushed this kid out and can't name her that name" after delivery. Any husband who knows what is good for him will back down.

M said...

Oh. I like the name Summer. It was in the running (before we found out that 2.0 was a boy).

Is there anyway you can convince your husband to "save" the name Summer for a summer baby? I mean, that just makes sense.

If you both like Arabella, then that becomes more important than your husband's one-sided like of Summer.

And if he won't budge ... make sure he doesn't get the paperwork. Just let the nurse know ahead of time ;)

Rayleen said...

I think Sarabella would be so cute, but I agree witht the rest - you can't let you're child's name be a name that you hate. That is just wrong.

Anonymous said...

Some men are not moved by the whole labour/delivery ordeal. I know, because I married one! I thought you would relent just a little after my agonizing hours of labour, but no. He still got the final say on the first name, and the middle name too! It took us over 24 hours to fill in the papers because we could not agree. I finally gave up fighting and just said okay, and now I regret not INSISTING at least on the middle name I wanted (after my grandma). Some men are really stubborn about names!

brooke said...

Emmeline Summer is a very nice name. Any appeal? I also like:

Bethan Summer
Camila Summer
Cecilia Summer
Cora Summer
Geneva Summer
Liliana Summer
Mattea Summer
Marina Summer
Vivian Summer

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

I'm not a fan of the name Summer either, so I understand. But as a middle name, I think it could work. The "A.S.S." thing isn't ideal...but then again, as someone said in a previous comment, most of the time the initials "A.S." would be written down. Most people I know ignore their middle names completely except for government forms.

However if "A.S.S." is really bothing you, I would say try to save Summer for a future daughter middle name if you both agree on Arabella as the first name. And maybe there's a nice family name you can use as a middle name with Arabella?

If not, then I loved the suggestion of just using "Bella". Especially since I recently finished reading the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, and now am totally in love with that name. Bella Summer Schiff is very nice.

Frazzled Mom said...

I agree Arabella should be the first name if that is what you both like. I did some research. Here are some alternative middle names to Summer that you and your husband may like:

From my head:
Arabella Iris (AIS)
Arabella Opal (AOS)
Arabella Onyx (AOS)

From Baby Name Wizard:
Arabella Jasmine (AJS)
Arabella Hope (AHS)
Arabella Eden (AES)
Arabella Harmony (AHS)
Arabella Haven (AHS)
Arabella Jade (AJS)

From Nymbler:
Arabella Joy (AJS)
Arabella Verity (AVS)

I also like Arabella June, which I think someone already suggested. Good luck.

Susan said...

I think saving the name Summer for the middle name of the next little girl is genius. An argument for this plan is that while "Arabella Summer" isn't bad, it doesn't flow as wonderfully well as "Arabella Rose," "Arabella June," or other summery options. Promise your husband that for Girl #2 you will find a first name that will perfectly complement "Summer" as the middle name. Swistle and the rest of us here will be happy to help you with this challenge when the time comes ... to find the perfect first name to go with "... Summer Schiff." But meanwhile, I say go for Arabella!

Mayberry said...

I hope you can use Arabella too--it's just beautiful.

From the suggestions above I also love Georgina and Camilla. Or how about Fiona?

Bethtastic said...

I think if there is any name that either of you HATE. It should be off the list entirely. I agree with frema that it would make me sad to know that my Mom (or Dad) hated part of my name.

Use Arabella - you both love it, and find a middle name that you both love.

Ivy said...

Use Arabella. It's adorable, and Bella makes a fantastic nic-name.

You should mark Summer off your list. I had to forget about using some of the names I liked because my husband hated them, and vice-versa.

It's compromise - what marriage is all about!

Anonymous said...

How about Arabella Autumn, you know, going with the seasonal theme? Then you get those great A.A. initials like A.A. Milne.

Amanda said...

As a woman whose parents were not so thoughtful, let me commend you on your foresight. I whole-heartedly disagree with those who say the middle initial will not be a big deal. My middle name is Sue and people did find out. It's on almost every official document - last name, first name, middle initial.

My last name does not start with an S (Thank heaven), but I worried for years about getting involved with a boy with an S last name. It got worse when I got a job that required me to initial loads of paperwork. Since their are a surprising number of people with A as a first initial, it wasn't long before I had to use the S to differentiate mine from other people's initials. Imagine if I had to sign everything ASS because there was already an AMS!

Fortunately, I fell for a nice, safe M, but I still resent being saddled with AS initials. How about Carissa? I knew one in college. Such a sweet girl.

Bird said...

Um. This is the weirdest suggestion, but I wanted to throw it out there: How about Erabella? Same sound, and it eliminates the initial problem. It's a little weird, but you never know.

Anonymous said...

I like the suggestion of using two middle names.

Also, how about spelling Arabella as Erabella - same sound, different first initial?