This blog has moved! Please join us over at!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Baby Girl, Sister to Max

Kim writes:
My husband and I are trying to figure out a name for our baby girl, due 10.5.2009. Her big brother's name is Maxwell, but he is always called Max.

Names I like and thoughts on them:

Lily - I love this one, but my husband doesn't. Also it's popular, we know people who have just used it or want to. But, I like the idea.
Cailin - This is one both my husband and I could be happy with, but I worry about it being too trendy and the same as all the other Jaylyns, Braylyns, etc.
Vivian - Another one both my husband and I like, and was his grandmother's name so has special meaning. It is one of the only 'antique' names he likes. My only problem with it, really, is that I don't care so much for 'Viv' and am not sure I can get over that. 'Vivi' is kind of cute though.
Ivy - Husband absolutely hates, but I really like.
Hazel - Ditto to Ivy.
Eva - I like, but maybe too close to 'Ava', of which we know a lot.
Brooke - I like. Kind of 80s.
Kate - I like. I'm not wild about 'Katherine'. I like that it's a classic name, but I feel like I want something more.
Kyla - Husband likes. I hate.
Josephine - I love this one, but don't really care for any of the nicknames - Josie, etc. Our last name is long and I think it's too much of a mouthful to use as a first name, but this was my grandmother's name and I would really love to use it as a middle if it works out.

Newer ones we have thought of but haven't discussed much are Grace and Nora.

I think my favorites are probably Lily, Ivy and Hazel, but our top two (because we could actually agree on them) are probably Vivian and Cailin right now (which Josephine for the middle), with Kate at a distant third. I would love any thoughts on any of these from the list and any new suggestions that are similar to my taste.

Thank you!!

Taking out the names that one or the other of you dislikes, we are left with these:


My first suggestion is one I'm sure you've already thought of, which is to name her Katelyn and call her Kate. Katelyn (or Catelin or Caitlyn or Katelin) manages to avoid being clumped in with the Braelyn/Jalen/Kaylin group, and gives you a longer version for the nickname you like. Katelyn Josephine is lovely.

I would be interested in collecting impressions from the readers on the spelling Cailin. My eye went right over it, assuming it was Caitlin---but I don't know if it would be that way for everyone. Even when I realized it wasn't Caitlin, it looked to me like Caitlin-missing-the-T. I think I would go with a spelling such as Kaylin or Kaylen or Caylin to make it more clear, but I'm not sure.

I think Vivian Josephine is perhaps the best name of all (especially with the family connection), but am reluctant to lean on it too hard in case you decide against the nicknames. Vivi is super-cute.

Other combinations I like a lot: Nora Josephine, Eva Josephine.

I think you've got such a good list to work with here, I hate to muddy things up by adding suggestions. Let's have a poll over to the right [poll closed; see results below]---and we can discuss the spelling of Cailin in the comments section.

Poll results (243 votes total):
Cailin: 8 votes, roughly 3%
Vivian: 110 votes, roughly 45%
Eva: 24 votes, roughly 10%
Brooke: 6 votes, roughly 2%
Kate: 11 votes, roughly 5%
Katelyn: 33 votes, roughly 14%
Grace: 12 votes, roughly 5%
Nora: 39 votes, roughly 16%

Name update 10-06-2009! Kim writes:
Just wanted to update you - Vivian Josephine was born on 9.30. We
were pretty sure about it by the time the post came up, but I was
second-guessing myself, so I was so glad the majority liked that one -
it made me even more positive we made the right choice. Our little
Vivi is doing great. Thanks everyone for all the help!


Michelle said...

Between Lily and Kyla - what about Lila? :)

Jen said...

With all of the different spellings there are for the same names out there now, I wasn't too thrown by Cailin. That said, it wouldn't be my first pick. I choose Vivian in the poll but it was a tough choice between that and Brooke. Although I don't think you could go wrong with Kate/Cate. I've always prefered Cate. Kate/Cate and Max is cute.

Anonymous said...

I know a Calin and a Kaelen that are both pronounced like Cailin. I kind of like look of Caelen best.

Marie Green said...

I thought too, at first, that she just had a typo for "Caitlin".

Also, my favorite would be Norah Josephine. I really love Norah with an "h".

Sofia said...

I really like the combination Vivian Brooke.

Erin said...

put me down for Eva Josephine, love it. I wouldn't worry about the popularity of Ava, Eva is its own name, different in meaning, sound, attitude, everything. As for Cailin, I've only seen it the more gaelic way of Caelen or Kaelen, as the above poster noted, and would stick with that, though Caitlin seems like it could be a great option for you.

I can't quite get behind Vivian, sounds too old to me, but what about Genevieve with the nickname Vivi? Different middle of course, but just a thought, I've really fallen in love with Genevieve lately.

Sara said...

I'm partial to Nora Josephine. It's our girl name, should our December baby turn out to be a girl. :)

We had chosen it last time when we had a boy, and we still like it. We also didn't like the nicknames for Josephine, so the middle name spot seemed great. Good luck!

legitbabenames said...

Cailin is actually the correct spelling if you are going to follow Irish vocabulary. That said, I think Cailin really clashes in style with Maxwell. I much prefer Vivian, which is classy and has a timeless feel. Vivian also goes amazingly well with Max (Maxwell).

Frazzled Mom said...

Like Swistle, I thought Cailin was Caitlin. I didn't even realize the name was Cailin until Swistle pointed it out in her response.

I voted for Nora - simple, elegant, goes with a long last name. In fact I am pregnant with #2 and was considering Nora if this one is a girl - we will know in a month. I was looking for something that went with Fiona as a sister, AND a long Italian last name. However, my husband is hesitant to commit to it because he says we already have a Fiona Apple, we don't need a Norah Jones. Really - I think he's being ridiculous - especially since Norah Jones spells her name with the h.

Vivian is great too, and if you aren't quite sold on it, you may want to consider it as a middle name due to the family connections. But I admit, I can't think of any first name that works with it. Of your list the best I could come up with was Kate Vivian. I guess it's not bad, but I don't feel quite confident about the combination either - but if you like then I feel validated : )

Snoopyfan said...

I too thought it read Caitlin and had to go back and re-read. Vivi is my vote, LOVE LOVE LOVE

Christine said...

I vote Vivian because I love it and know that the fiance will never let me use it. Also I have a cousin named Viviana, so that might work too, if you want a little differentiation with a family name. (My cousin goes by Vivi, if it at all matters.)

Also I would vote no on the Cailin, but yes for Catelyn or other variation. I think the Catelyns won't ever be so trendy trendy as Cailin and its ilk are.

Frazzled Mom said...

Actually Grace Vivian would work - and I kind of like using Grace as a first name with the 3 syllable middle name. So many people do 3 syllable / 1 syllable, that when the patten is switched, I feel it really makes a statement. You end up with something familiar but still unexpected - so many people would do Vivian Grace - why not Grace Vivian? I think I will change my vote now...

Jane said...

I agree with Lila. I thought of it immediately when I read Lily was your top, and then when I saw Kyla it seemed to fit. I think it could go Lila, Lyla, or Lilah...

Leah said...

I love Vivian. The whole "old world" and timeless feeling to names lately is refreshing. The combination of Vivian Josephine honors both grandmothers (so no one is left out). Plus it has a wholesome ring to it, same as Maxwell.

Vivi as the nickname is great. Viv is not my favorite either. But I did notice that one of your hands down favorite first names is Ivy. The middle of Vivian reads "ivi" which could easy become Ivy. So you have a nickname that is not as common and it is one you alreay love. Just a thought.

Ruthie said...

I love Vivian, especially with your family connections. I think you could easily avoid the nickname Viv - that one doesn't seem nearly as natural as Vivi to me.

I also like Nora and Josephine.

Cailin does look like a misspelled Caitlin to me. It's clearer when spelled Caylin, Kaylin, etc., but your other choices just seem so much more classic and timeless, like Max.

Catherine said...

Use Vivian! It's my current favorite for a future daughter. I wouldn't exclude it because of the nn issue. Vivian Josephine is wonderful, and honestly there are so many wonderful names here that you won't go wrong with any of them.

Anonymous said...

I loved Vivian Josephine - it just sounds perfect together! It's beautiful and classic without being popular.

Patricia said...

I think Vivian Josephine may be the perfect name for your baby girl: Vivian is a name you both rank highly and also the name of a paternal grandmother; Josephine was your grandmother's name and a name you would really love to use. I think Vivi would be a darling nn and goes well with Max: Max and Vivi. Maxwell and Vivian are both names with "antique charm" (BNW). I like Kate a lot too, but Max and Kate don't have the same appeal for me as Max and Vivi.

Anonymous said...

Interesting spelling on Cailin. I do think you run the risk of having it mispronounced though. I just had a friend who named a baby Kalyn. They went through Kaylin, Kaelyn because they were worried that Kalyn would have a soft a sound, but the couldn't decide on a better spelling.

If you like Lily, would you like Malia? My favorite name for probably 15 years was Lily, but I really, really love Malia now.

Carolyn said...

I know a little girl who goes by Josephine, with no nn. I think this generation of kids tend to have more formal names, such as Thomas (not Tom) and James (not Jim). If no nickname is given, people will fall in line and call the child by the full name.

Anonymous said...

What about Vera? Similar to Nora and Eva... and I think it's lovely.

StephLove said...

I voted for Vivian. (I actually know someone with 5 y/o twins named Max and Vivian, and that's one of only two Vivians I know. Funny coincidence. Maybe it means the names are meant to go together.)

I like Eva a lot, too. Kate sounds good with Max but I don't care for the sp. Katelyn. Maybe Cate for Caitlin?

You have a nice list. Good luck!

Bethtastic said...

Max and Vivi. Love it. :D

Congratulations on your baby girl!!

Sonja said...

What about Evelyn? Similar to Eva and Vivian. Nickname Evie is so cute!

I also did a double take on Cailin--thought it was Caitlin misspelled. I think I would go with a different spelling if you use this name.

Good luck and congratulations!

courtney said...

i like vivian josephine the best.

we have a josephine and aside from the josie, and ho nicknames there is also jose (not ho-say, but like rose with a j), Josa, and Feeney.

Anonymous said...

My daughter is Cailin. I love the name.