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Monday, August 17, 2009

Baby Boy or Girl Van Allen

Amy writes:
I'm due August 24 with my second child. We've chosen not to find out the gender. Our two-year-old daughter is named Caroline Stella and our last name is van Allen.

For boys, our top choice is John. At first, I was worried it was too plain or too Kennedy next to Caroline, but I've been looking through past posts of yours and saw you've already addressed the John and Caroline issue, so I guess it's not too much of a problem! If we go with John, we're stuck on a middle name - we like strong, classic names but want something a little more distinctive to go with John. We've considered John Benjamin and John William, but neither of those seem right to us. Any ideas?

For girls, we are tentatively considering Margaret, with the occasional nickname Maggie. We're not quite sure about a middle name, either. Right now, my husband loves Julia, which I like. We've also considered (for first or middle names): Penelope, Abigail, Camilla, and Jacqueline. Any other ideas would be gratefully appreciated. :)

We find middle names so hard! With Caroline, we picked her middle name when we were actually in the delivery room - I'm hoping we'll reach an agreement soon this time around!

I think middle names are an excellent opportunity to kiss up to someone you know and love, so I'd start with family names (both first names and surnames) if I were you: a father or grandfather or brother? a mother's or grandmother's maiden name? an uncle or friend? It's also a good place for the name of an author or philosopher or political figure or actor or artist or scientist you like.

So that's where I'd go if I were in need of a middle name, but that makes for a pretty sparse post since I don't know what names would be on that list. Here are some other possibilities to consider:

John Caleb van Allen
John David van Allen
John Edmund van Allen
John Edward van Allen
John Frederick van Allen
John Harris van Allen
John Henry van Allen
John Isaac van Allen
John Wesley van Allen

For a girl, my two favorite combinations using your list are:
Margaret Camilla van Allen
Julia Margaret van Allen

Some more ideas:

Beatrice Joy van Allen
Charlotte Mae van Allen
Charlotte Mary van Allen
Eleanor Joy van allen
Georgia Faith van Allen
Georgia Ruth van Allen
Josephine Frances van Allen
Lillian Margaret van Allen
Lillian Ruth van Allen
Lydia Mae van Allen
Lydia Winifred van Allen
Rosemary Adele van Allen
Rosemary Grace van Allen


Catherine said...

I love Julia or Margaret with any of the middle names. Another option might be Natalie (I love Natalie van Allen!)

John is great, so here are some alternative middles to think about:

-John Oliver (if you don't mind him sharing it with that other John Oliver out there)
-John Sebastian (my favorite)
-John Miles (not quite but something in the same vein)
-John Theodore
-John Victor (though Victor van Allen obviously has a bit of illiteration, but I think it could work)

I'm not thrilled with all of these but they come a little closer to my ear. I was thinking of things that are more along the lines of Stella and provide a nice balance to the simple John (instead of William, Henry, Benjamin, etc. - all of which I love but I think something a little different would be best here).

StephLove said...

I like John Benjamin and John William, but here are some more ideas:

John Adam (if you don't mind the presidential sound)
John Jesse (nn J.J.)
John Joshua (you can see I like J.J.)
John Patrick
John Ryan
John Tyler

Margaret Julia is pretty.

Some more combos of your names:

Abigail Penelope
Jacqueline Camille (I changed Camilla to Camille for rhythm)

Sarah said...

John Gideon! Or John Ezekiel! Or John Elias!

(I LOVE the name John.)

I don't know. They just popped into my head.

If you're okay going more biblical-traditional than England-traditional, names of prophets might be a good way to get some flair while maintaining a traditional feel. Jeremiah? Isaiah? Zachariah? Malachi? Elijah? Amos? Even something like Samuel could work nicely.

Anonymous said...

I love the name John. What about a sur name for the middle? Something with some meaning in your family?