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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Baby Girl or Boy, Sibling to James and Sam

(I'm out of town but didn't want to fall too behind on the May baby names. Here's one for you to work on while I'm gone.)

Stefanie writes:
I am due with my third child in May. We have two boys, James Anthony (7) and Samuel Arthur (3). We call the youngest Sam exclusively, and his older brother goes by James. Both boys are named after family members (my father and husband in James' case and my grandfather in Sam's case). We do not know whether this baby is a boy or a girl, so we are casting about for two names.

If the baby is a girl, we are almost certain we want to name her Margaret, after my late mother. I suspect we would call her Maggie, since Margaret seems like a lovely name for an adult but maybe a bit grown up for someone with pigtails. As to middle name, I am leaning toward Quinn, but I would happily take suggestions. If it helps, other names I've loved in the past are Olivia, Aniston, and Peyton. I would love to name a daughter Peyton Margaret, but as our last name starts with an S, the initials are a major dealbreaker. She'd have every right to hate me as a teenager. My husband has a (horrifying) preference for unisex names for girls. If it were up to him he would name a daughter Charlie, Alex, or Sam. All fine names, but not really to my taste. When I asked if there were any more feminine names that he liked he suggested Roxy. Clearly, we do not see eye to eye on this one. But, he has acknowledged that my desire to honor my mother trumps his lousy different taste in names, so don't feel too constrained by his love of unisex names.

If the baby is a boy we are up a creek. We would like to use another family name, probably in the middle name slot. Our options are George or Joseph. But we are really struggling to find a first name that we love and can agree on. Thus far we've come up with William (we'd likely call him Will), Jackson (we'd call him Jack), or Benjamin. We also like Elliott but neither of us thinks it works all that well with James and Sam. So we are really open to suggestions.

Our last name starts with an S and is two syllables. It ends in a long eee sound.

This is the most trouble we've had selecting a name, and it's made worse by the fact that we steadfastly refuse to discuss possible names with friends and family. We discussed names when I was pregnant with James and it never ended well. Help? :)


Diane said...

You could name her Margaret Peyton S__ to avoid the PMS thing, but still call her Peyton. Peyton has enough of unisex vibe still to appease your husband, maybe?

Christina Fonseca said...

Margaret Quinn is wonderful - you honor your mom and she gets a unisex middle name. Margaret Peyton would accomplish the same thing.

As for boys, you could use John if you like it and still call him Jack. Other names that tie in with the traditional feel of James and Samuel: Andrew, Byron, Clayton, Dean, Emmett, Grant, Frederick, Jefferson, Matthew, Wade and Wesley.

Karen said...

I think that all of your boys' choices are excellent. You may just need to meet the baby to "know" that his name really is Will or Jack or Ben. I also actually think Elliot works really nicely with James and Sam and any future Margaret.

Elliot Joseph, lovely.

or maybe you'd prefer Eli.
Eli Joseph. also lovely.

It seems that for the most part you like boys' names that can be shortened but not really nick-named. You could put Joseph in the first slot. How about

Nicholas/Nick. James, Sam, and Nick
Robert/Rob. James, Sam, and Rob
Stephen/Steve. James, Sam, and Steve
Patrick/Pat. James, Sam, and Pat
Phillip/Phil. James, Sam, and Phil
David/Dave. James, Sam, and Dave
Joseph/Joe. James, Sam, and Joe

Maybe those feel a little stale. Fresher, maybe:
Callum/Cal. James, Sam, and Cal
Zachary/Zack. James, Sam, and Zack
Joshua/Josh. James, Sam, and Josh
Findlay/Finn. James, Sam, and Finn
Mitchell/Mitch. James, Sam, and Mitch
Jonathan/Jon. James, Sam, and Jon
Gabriel/Gabe. James, Sam, and Gabe

Karen said...

I see your challenge with dad's taste so "cutesy". Although the surname-ish girl names you like are boyish, none of the names you like are even remotely cutesy. Quinn is seemingly like a really good option if you both like it.

I like a one- or three- syllable middle name for Margaret S---ey.
Maybe some boyish names that have gone girl in your mind but dad might find unisex? A few ideas:
Margaret Scout S---ey
Margaret Avery S---ey
Margaret Adrian S---ey
Margaret Cameron S---ey
Margaret Delaney S---ey
Margaret Reese S---ey

Of these, I like Scout best. not overly-traditional, boyish, cute, but still dignified.

Although neither you nor dad has many "classic" names on your girl list, would you consider another family name?
Margaret Josephine S---ey?
Margaret Georgia S---ey?

Good luck!

Karen said...

I meant to add
Margaret Georgina S---ey

Anonymous said...

I really like Margaret Quinn, or Margaret Peyton. Maggie is such an adorable name for a little girl.

Boys: have you though of Emmett? Jasper? Or what about Quinn if it's a boy? James, Sam, and Quinn. (Or Finn.)

Rebecca said...

I think I like Margaret with a short middle name. I like your idea of Quinn. I also like Ann and Leah.

Of your choices for boys, I really like William Joseph.

Frazzled Mom said...

I don't think you need to hem and haw much over the girl's name. I feel either Margaret Quinn or Margaret Peyton are lovely. If you want opinions to help you narrow it down, I prefer Margaret Quinn myself. As others have said, Quinn or Peyton for the middle name is a good way for your husband to get a unisex name in the mix.

For the boys, I think you have some great options. For narrowing it down, I don't see Jackson / Jack as being as classic as James or Samuel / Sam. I actually think Elliott would go better with James and Sam than Jackson / Jack. Therefore I would personally eliminate Jackson / Jack. John / Jack would be better, however that doesn't really narrow things down.

The other names, William / Will, Benjamin, and Elliott are all of the same stature as your other son's names. It basically comes down to personal tastes. I actually think Elliott is my favorite. OK. I told myself I wouldn't give you more options since you don't need them, but I also love the idea of Thomas / Tom with your family. Good luck.

StephLove said...

Margaret Quinn and Margaret Peyton are both nice. Or maybe Margaret Roxanne, since he likes Roxy.

I think you have a lot of good boy options: I like Will, Jack, Benjamin and Elliot, probably Will best. Other options: Adam, Alexander, Ian, Joshua, Matthew or Owen.

brooke said...

I really like Elliott with James and Samuel. James, Sam, and Eli sound like a nice trio to me!

Elliott George is my favorite.

There is also:
Thomas Joseph
Edward George, nn Ned/Eddie
Henry Joseph
Harris Joseph
Oliver Joseph, nn Ollie

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Margaret Quinn definitely - and I think it has a much nicer ring than Margaret Peyton. Girl, done.

Boy, I really love William, called Will, and it fits with the classic nature of the other two boys. William Joseph is a very good strong name, William George as well, if a little royal feeling. I think you've already got a great selection, so I would vote for William Joseph and Margaret Quinn.

If you are still looking for other girl names though, would the Charlie/Alex/Sam be short versions of Charlotte, Alexandra/Alexis, or Samantha? Because then you could have your girly fun and dad can play catch with her and treat her like the tomboy she might very well become, having two older brothers. Charlotte Margaret doesn't really work though, too many ar sounds, but Alexis/Alexa Margaret and Samantha Margaret definitely work.

Good Luck!

Bethtastic said...

I really like Margaret. Especially with it's special meaning. Perhaps Margaret Aniston - since your boys both have A as a middle initial. It might be nice to continue that.

Your boy selections are also great choices. I lean toward Will(iam) or Ben(jamin). Mostly because you already have a J name (James) and I might avoid another J name unless you plan for more children. (I only bring it up because my husband has two brothers with D names, and his is an H. It has always bugged him that he didn't have a D name, too.)

Excellent choices - you really can't go wrong!!

Congratulations on your pending arrival! :)

Hannah said...

Margaret Olivia is a stunning combo! I also like Margaret Quinn and Margaret Aniston - both have a ton of spunk and personality. I think I would lean towards Margaret Quinn, just so you could call her Maggie Q on occasion. Too cute. :)

For boys, I think you have some lovely names! William/Will and Elliott are definitely my two faves. I could also see them working well with a potential future Margaret/Maggie. Elliott definitely works - it's not quite as classic as James and Sam are, but it still has a long history, famous bearers (T.S. Eliot comes to mind), and gives me a strong, intellectual vibe. My one suggestion would be to spell it Elliot or Eliot - most people forget adding the second T!

MamaK said...

I like Margaret Peyton... and William Joseph or William Thomas (royal, biblical).

The link above may be one that you- and Swistle and other Swistle folks- might like... you get to see how many people in the US have your name (first, last, complete). It's a ballpark figure, them claim, but I think it's pretty cool. Especially if the popularity of a given name plays into your decision!!

oh, but it doesn't include the middle name(s), which is a slight factor to consider too. Good luck!

StephLove said...

I thought of another that would be good for you: Andrew.

Also, we know a Margaret Rose, age 3. I thought it was a pretty combination.

tracynicole22 said...

I think Margaret Quinn is a wonderful name, no need to look any furthur there! And my boy's name pick was going to be William Joseph nn Will, which I think is great with James & Sam, but then I saw the suggestion above of Elliott Joseph nn Eli and I loved it! James, Sam & Eli sounds like a great group of boys. I think Elliott "goes" great with James & Samuel as well. FYI: I think Roxy is an adorable little girls name! LOL!

Anonymous said...

I think Elliott goes great with James and Sam!

Peyton said...

As someone with the initials PMS (Peyton Michelle), I can say from experience that your child would be teased in middle school, when all children are still suffering the immaturity of childhood and sadly starting to go through puberty.

That said, EVERY child will be teased for something in middle school. Living with the initials, it's really not bad once you've gotten past middle school, which is hell anyway and will always be. (In high school, the name-related teasing stemmed from the fact that the only other Peyton well-known at the time was football player Peyton Manning; my mom was just ahead of her time.) In fact, I even elected to keep my last name when I got married.

But if you really can't deal with the initials (they're really not that bad, and family connection makes it even easier) Margaret Peyton is absolutely lovely.