We are expecting our second child, a little girl, Christmas day (please. PLEASE. please. come earlier) and would love some name advice. Our son’s name is Wilson (named after my grandfather). Our last name is Smith. We like classic names that are strong or make you think of strong women. We also like a family connection, but also want something that is not too common (we already have the most common last name there is).
My maiden name is Hudson and we are strongly considering it for her name. We like Hudson Kathleen (Kathleen was my grandmother’s name) but I am afraid it is too harsh for a girl and doesn’t go well with Wilson. Other names on our list are: Ayla Grace (Ayla means oak in Hebrew. Oak is a nickname I have for my husband. He is my oak tree--strong and dependable.), Grace Kathleen, and Anna Lee (our mother’s middle names). Anna is quickly leaving the list... Okay, it is pretty much off the list.
My husband loves Ayla. I like it but it sounds similar to our niece’s name Alana (pronounced: A-lane-uh). Grace has always been my favorite name. I think it is the most beautiful name in the world, but it is so common that I don’t know if we should name her that.
Some other names we like are: Charlotte (My husband likes this name more than me. If we went with it we would most likely use the nickname Charlie), Violet and Olivia.
Naming this little one seems harder than I remember. Although, we didn't actually name our son until we saw him. The original names we had for him (Grant and Scott) just didn't fit. He came out looking like a wise old soul and naming him Wilson (after my grandfather) just fit. Maybe she will be the same.
So what do you think regarding the names we have? Do you have any other suggestions? Your help is appreciated!!
Smith is such a tricky surname! It rules out the common end of the spectrum (Jane Smith, Elizabeth Smith), but it can make highly unusual names sound comical, like that Monty Python skit about political candidates where it's like Broomdiddly Rang-Rang Biscuit-Barrel Montgomery...Smith. And because it starts with an S, it blends with first names that end with the S-sound: Grace Smith sounds like Gray Smith; Iris Smith sounds like Ira Smith.
Hudson, for me, is neither classic nor strong woman. Even as a boy's name, I think it would out-boy the name Wilson. I suggest using it in the middle name slot.
The meaning of Ayla is a good one, but it seems confusing that it reminds you of the nickname you use for your husband. A name that symbolizes someone whose strength and dependability you can count on is perfect for a spousal relationship, less perfect for a parent-child relationship. And without knowing the meaning, I would have put the name Ayla in the same category as names such as Kayla, Jayla, Braelee, etc.---good names, but not classic or strong.
I'm not sure I have a handle on what kind of name you're looking for: "classic" and "strong woman" doesn't fit for me with Hudson or Ayla; "not very common" doesn't fit with Grace or Olivia. And for me, Grace and Violet are more like "gentle woman" names: a charm/virtue and a small flower.
Here are some names that make me think of strong women:
This list would vary hugely from person to person: associations are so subjective. I've got Diana on the list because it makes me think of the goddess, but someone else might think of Shy Di. I have Julia on my list because of Julia Sugarbaker, but someone else may have never watched Designing Women. And maybe I'm thinking of biblical Esther and someone else is thinking of a frail grandmother, and so on and so on.
It influences me strongly that you think Grace is the most beautiful name in the world. There are two strikes against Grace: it's commonness (because of the commonness of your surname), and the way the ending S-sound blends with the starting S-sound of your surname. But if your husband feels close to the way you do about the name, I think those issues are minor and my vote would be to use Grace. Wilson and Grace is a WONDERFUL sibling set (the sitcom Will and Grace doesn't bother me, especially now that it's over). Grace Hudson Smith would be my top pick, but other options are Grace Kathleen Smith and Grace Charlotte Smith. Kathleen Hudson Smith would be another possibility.
From my own strong-woman list, my favorites are:
Claire Hudson Smith; Wilson and Claire
Claudia Grace Smith; Wilson and Claudia
Eleanor Grace Smith; Wilson and Eleanor
Georgia Grace Smith; Wilson and Georgia
Julia Hudson Smith; Wilson and Julia
Louisa Hudson Smith; Wilson and Louisa
Margaret Grace Smith; Wilson and Margaret
Nora Grace Smith; Wilson and Nora
Rosemary Grace Smith; Wilson and Rosemary
Name update 01-15-2010! J. writes:
Dear Swistle and Readers,
Thank you so much for your feedback!! I can happily report that it was YOUR suggestions that helped us name our daughter... Eleanor Lynn Smith was born on December 20, 2009 at 7:07 pm- weighing 7 pounds 14 ounces and measuring 20.5 inches long. She is just perfect! We call her Nora, Nora Lynn, and Eleanor.