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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Baby Girl Schott

Ashley writes:
I am due with baby #2 at the end of August and my husband and I are having a really hard time agreeing on a name. Our son was born 6 weeks early, and it's looking like this baby will come early too, so we are running out of time! We know we are having a girl, and we like names that start with the letter R. Our 2 yr. old son's name is Riley, and it took FOREVER to agree on his name. As in, we sat in the hospital staring at him for awhile before I finally gave in and let my husband pick Riley. I really liked Landon or Camden, but he wouldn't go for either of those. Naturally, since I pretty much let him decide on our son's name, I feel that I should get to name this baby. At the same time, I still harbor a little bitterness about not being *IN LOVE* with the name Riley, and I'd hate to have him feel that way about our daughter's name. I would really like for us BOTH to love the name we choose. Anyway, I'm finding that there aren't a lot of girl's names that start with the letter R. We'd like something a little different, but not weird. We don't like Rachel, Renee, Robin, Rose, etc. I was in love with the name Reagan, but he hates it, particularly the association with former President Ronald Reagan. We both like the name River, but are unsure since it's mostly a "boys" name. He wants to spell it differently (ex. Ryver, Riever) but I think this is a horrible idea. I think we should stick to spelling it the way it's meant to be spelled. I'm also having a hard time deciding on a middle name. We want it to be a family name, and have narrowed it down to Margaret (both of our deceased grandmothers), Michelle (my sister, and we are very close), or Lavergne (his deceased grandfather). So what do you think about River for a girl? And what about the middle name? We are totally open to new suggestions for a first name, but are not really flexible on the middle names, aside from the ones I've listed. Baby's last name is Schott, pronounced Shot.

I think of River as a boy's name---and yet, there is no reason at all it shouldn't be a girl's name, and in fact if anything I think it works BETTER as a girl name. If you use it, I'm with you about the spelling: if nothing else because Ryver and Riever look like they'd be pronounced RY-ver and REE-ver, but also because it seems wise to limit the Unusual Situations to one per child. If you have to explain that it's a girl name AND that it's spelled differently AND that it's pronounced differently than it's spelled, I think you're going to lose your minds.

If you use River, I like River Lavergne best. River Michelle is my next favorite. Margaret gives some seriousness to the name but may be too startling a style change.

Some more R possibilities:

Rainey. Perhaps too sing-songy with Riley, which is too bad because it has a similar flavor to the name River while being more distinctly feminine. I think it works fine with any of the middle names, though again my top two would be Lavergne and Michelle.

Raphaela. Oh my goodness do I like this name. It's so pretty, but like many girl versions of boy names it has BACKBONE. I like it best with Lavergne: Raphaela Lavergne Schott.

Raven. Similar in style to River, but used more often for girls. I like it with either Lavergne or Michelle.

Reese. Androgynous, but Reese Witherspoon makes me think of this as the feminine spelling. Riley and Reese is a nice sibling set. I like Reese Margaret.

Rhonwen. Like Bronwen/Bronwyn. I like it with Margaret.

Romilly. I love this one, but I guess it shares too many sounds with Riley.

Romy. Adorable. Perhaps not use it with the middle name Michelle, because of the movie. Romy Lavergne is my favorite.

Rory. It really is too bad so many of these good R names share not only the first letter of Riley but also the last letter. I like Rory with any of the three middle names.

Rowan. Love it. Riley and Rowan. My favorite is Rowan Margaret.

Ruby. I like the way Riley and Ruby as a sibling set makes the name Riley seem more obviously a boy's name. I think it's good with all three middle names.

These are my favorite combinations:
River Lavergne Schott; Riley and River
Reese Margaret Schott; Riley and Reese
Romy Lavergne Schott; Riley and Romy
Rowan Margaret Schott; Riley and Rowan
Ruby Michelle Schott; Riley and Ruby

Let's have a poll over to the right [poll closed; see results below], and more combination ideas (and/or votes for names not on the poll) in the comments section.

Poll results (248 votes total):
River: 35 votes, roughly 14%
Reese: 55 votes, roughly 22%
Romy: 17 votes, roughly 7%
Rowan: 65 votes, roughly 26%
Ruby: 76 votes, roughly 31%


Tatiana said...

I love "River" for a girl and totally agree with you about not changing the spelling at all.

Raphaela is really pretty too.

Abby said...

Rowan Margaret gets my vote, but River for a girl? Why not! Though I think I would use River Margaret - or maybe River Micaela, as a twist on Michelle? - just in case your daughter is ever frustrated by having a "boy's" name. River Michelle seems a bit abrupt, and River Lavergne seems like it could STILL be a boy.

Carolyn said...

I know the preference is names that begin with "R", but I'm going to suggest a name that sounds like "R"...What about Ariana, Aurelia, or Aurora? nns could be Ria, Riana or Rory.

I also love Resa.

Raven said...

I am a little partial to the name Raven - mainly because I'm a Raven. It's been a great name to have and people have always loved it and thought it was unusual. I was named Raven because I was born with black hair and Shea as a nod to my Irish ancestors. I also love the name Ruby - it was my great grandmothers name.

The Schwant Family said...

Reese Margaret or Margaret Reese and call her Reese would be my vote.

StephLove said...

I love Rowan and Ruby. I don't know if I can even vote in the poll because I can't choose between them.

To throw out some more ideas: Rhiannon or Rhianna. Both sound good with Michelle or Margaret.

StephLove said...

p.s. I agree about not changing the spelling of River if you use it.

Anonymous said...

Hi sorry. Random blogger here. Promise I'm not a stalker!! My husband and I can never agree on girl names. It's impossible!! What about Remy? different, but cute! Good luck!

Karen said...

I would have voted for Raven for Riley's sister but it wasn't in the poll. I also love the name Raphaela but I doubt it's Ashley's taste. I agree that it's too bad that so many of the R names also end in EE, like Riley. The Baby Naming Wizard blog just posted about the name Ronia/Ronja. That might work.

As for the middle name, I don't really like Michelle with Schott.

Erin said...

I like Ruby and Raven, and even Rowan, although with the sibling set I would have guessed Riley was the girl and Rowan was the boy. Other more feminine names to try on:

Roxanne (Riley and Roxy - so cute!)

But these might all be an "antique charm" style than what you are looking for. I agree with the above poster that a name like Aurora or Iris, while not starting with an R, gives you plenty of R tie ins which can be fun.

Good luck!

mayberry said...

I think River could be fine for a girl, but I am not a fan of two noun names together (River and Shot/Schott). I voted for Rowan, but also really like the suggestion of Ruth/Ruthie.

Barb @ getupandplay said...

I like River for a girl. I also really like Raven, Rowan and Rory!

Anonymous said...

I like Rowan the best, and someone's suggestion of Rebecca-Rebecca Margaret Schott is lovely. Plus it is a versatile name-w/ nickname options of Becca, Becky, Beck. Please don't name your daughter River-for one, it doesn't fit the name type of Riley, people do think of it as a boy name, and it doesn't sound great w/ your last name. This is coming to you from someone who changed her 1st name legally at the age of 20. Best wishes to you!

Meredith said...

River is also the name of a female character in the TV Show Firefly (and subsequent movie Serenity). So that was always my association. I love the actual spelling, so I vote for that.

Anonymous said...

Love Roxy and Remy! And I agree Rowan makes Riley seem girly.

Frazzled Mom said...

Maybe you don't plan to have any more kids, but with a name that has an r emphasis yet doesn't start with r, like Aurora, you aren't locked into the R's should there be a third kid.

Lara Jane said...

I agree with Frazzled Mom. Are you sure you want to get locked into this pattern? (Some people are all for it, just be certain before you make the decision!)

That said, I would go with Ruby or Raven. I love the name River but it has a strong male association, and you don't want another androgynous name or people will be mixing up which of your kids is the girl.

I was actually sort of surprised that your hubby picked Riley; men tend to choose more traditional, masculine names, at least according to my baby name books.

Good luck! I love your middle names!

Anonymous said...

I really like Rebecca. Or how about Rowena, a more feminine version of Rowan? The worst would be River with an alternative spelling.

hashak said...

I agree about not changing the spelling of River, and I like it as a girl's name but I feel like on paper it looks too much like Riley.

I love Ruby with Riley.

Here are a few other suggestions: Ria, Raina, Rhea (pronounced Ray-uh), and I like the suggestion above of Remy.

Lisa said...

Some more R names:

Rayna (Like above, but different spelling)
Raime (like Jaime with an R)

I agree with other commenters to try to find a feminine R name so that it is clear that she is a girl and Riley is a boy. If you go with River, I agree to not change the spelling.

I really like Rayna, Rebecca, and of course I LOVE Reagan. That's my girl's name, and I still love it (She's 7). But we are both Ronald Reagan fans, so it's a good association for us. Too bad he hates it :(

Jane said...

I am not a fan of River for a girl, but that is me, but I would definitely say keep it as it is spelled and don't change that.

Seeing the name Rainey above reminded me of the name Raina (or Rayna as someone else commented) I think it goes great with Riley and any of your middle names.

taylor said...

Ruby!!!! So precious.

StephLove said...

Seeing Rosemary in the next post made me think it would work for you, too. Riley and Rosemary.

Anonymous said...

As the mom of a boy named River, I associate it with boys only...but if you do use it, please don't change the spelling! I think it would work fine with Riley since I know both girl and boy long as you're ok having 2 androgynous names. I think I know more girl Rileys and only boy Rivers, so you may end up always having to explain which child is the girl and which is the boy!

millennialkelly said...

My vote went to Ruby. As for your original idea of River for a girl, I say that's okay but since you already have a son with a unisex name beware that using one for your daughter might introduce mix-ups on who's the boy and who's the girl.

Ashley said...

These are all great suggestions! I also worry about the fact that Riley is a unisex name, and it may be confusing to some as to who's the boy and who's the girl. As of yet, we are still pregnant and undecided.