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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Baby Girl Terrazas

Shelly writes:
I love reading your suggestions for names, and would really appreciate any names you could think of for our first child, who is due July 11, 2010.

My husband and I very quickly decided on a boy's name: Max Armando (Armando is my husband's middle name and my father-in-law's first name). But we've recently found out the baby is a girl, and we're stumped.

Our last name is Terrazas (pronounced "tear-AS-is", and is Spanish for terrace). We loved how Max went with the Spanish-sounding last name and seemed unique to us (but I've noticed it is quite high on the popularity lists).

My husband wants a cool-chick, strong, feminine and beautiful name. I want a name that is traditional, beautiful, feminine, with likable nicknames for when she is a baby/little girl, but is strong/professional sounding for when she gets older. I don't want the name to be too popular or high on the usage lists, though.

My husband really loves Alexandra, but I dislike the nickname Alex for a little girl. I could live with Lexie, however. I'm just not super-in-love with it, though.

If we have boys in the future (we plan to have 1-2 more children after this one), their names will be Max Armando and Samual Warren, in respective birth order (all family names). But girls' names have us stumped (none of the female names in either of our families are particularly appealing to me).

We like the idea of using family names, though, and because I'm so close to my father, whose first name is James (but he goes by his middle name), I was thinking of pairing James (or Jaimes) as our baby girl's middle name. But if she's called Alex James, I'm afraid she'll get a complex that we gave her two masculine names.

Here are the names on our list, but none of them light my fire. The problem is, NOTHING has struck me as THE ONE in terms of a girl's name. What is wrong with me? Am I expecting too much to have a lightening-bolt moment in terms of choosing a baby name, or is it normal to just choose a name that is "OK"?

Names Still On Our List
Alexandra (Lexie)
Irene / Irena

Names We've Discarded:

Thanks for any help you could give us!

To address your most important question first, YES it's definitely normal to have nothing in particular stand out as THE NAME. Sometimes a name hits like a lightning bolt, sometimes it grows on you gradually, and sometimes you run out of time and just have to pick what seems like the best bet on the list.

Sometimes it helps to play games, like taking your list and seeing how you'd feel if each of those names was a baby in your arms, or how you'd feel if you knew the name was the one you were choosing, or how you'd feel if you knew the name was off the list. Or imagine each name in turn is the one, and then imagine someone saying, "What's your baby's name?" and giving the answer. Or handwrite each name with your surname a few times and see how that feels, or say each name with the two boy names you like and see which group sounds like YOUR group of children. Or each parent take turns crossing off a name from the long list until you get down to, say, the final three, and see how you each feel about those names. Or each parent put the name list in order, and see which names you both have high on the list. The point of the games is to try to get opinions to surface and solidify.

Would you like the name Alexandra better with the nickname Ally? Or you could go with a variation such as Alissandra and use Liss/Lissie.

I think all your name choices are good ones. They all go well with your surname and with the two possible future boy names. Let's see if we can make a list of more possibilities to consider.

Anastasia (Anna, Annie, Stace)
Cassandra (Cass, Cassie)
Francesca (Frankie, Chess)
Emeline (Emmie)
Geneva (Gennie, Eva, Evie)
Genevieve (Gennie, Evie)
Josephine (Jo, Josie)
Karenna (Karie, Rennie)
Lissandra (Liss, Lissy)
Meredith (Merrie)
Philomena (Phillie, Mena)
Veronica (Ronnie, Nicki)
Willemina/Wilhelmina (Willa, Mina, Minnie)
Winifred (Winnie, Freddie)

I had Georgia (Georgie, Gigi) and Penelope (Penny, Nellie) on there too until I saw they were on the discard list. I like both of them a lot. I think my favorite is Francesca, because I think it's beautiful and feminine and strong and unusual, and also cool-chick with cool nicknames.

Name update! Shelly writes:
We ended up naming our baby girl Alexandra Rose Terrazas, and we call her Lexie. The middle name was a last minute call, as I thought of Rose when the doctor in the delivery room exclaimed that she was born very pink and rosey.

Thanks so much for your name suggestions, my husband and I really appreciate it!


Sarah said...

What about the name Imogene? It's uncommon here in the States, but I think it's more popular in England.

There's also Jessica, which doesn't get used very much, but I could see making a comeback.

I'm also fond of Eloise. There's a children's book character by this name who is strong (willed) and charming (because she's not my kid). It's something to consider.

Good luck!

beyond said...

From your list I LOVE Irene as a first name. It's beautiful, classy, underused, and spunky. I like it combined with other named from your list: Irene Morgan Terrazas; Irene Madeline Terrazas.
Other suggestions:
You might want to bring your two favorites to the hospital and decide when you meet her...
Good luck!

StephLove said...

I like your whole list, but Alexandra, Audrey and Madeline best for you.

How about Isabel (somewhat less popular than Isabella) or Olivia?

Anonymous said...

Lucia sprang to mind.

Other ideas:

I also loved Swistle's suggestion of Cassandra (nn Cass or Cassie). Spunky and/or pretty, as the situation requires.

I wouldn't use James as the middle name, though. I think (especially if you choose Alexandra and end up using Alex), it'll cause some irritation down the road. (For what it's worth, Jacqueline and variants are all derived from James/Jacob, and AJ is a great nickname.)

Hannah said...

Another alternative nickname for Francesca: Frenchie. Cute, right? Frenchie Terrazas.

A few more ideas:
Katrina Terrazas (Kat, Trina)
Amelia (Mia, Lia)
Isabel (Izzy, Belle, Bella)
Eleanor (Ella, Nora)
Jacqueline (Jackie, Jacqui)
Evelyn (Eve, Evie)
Samara (Sam, Mara)
Delilah (Lila)
Ariana (Ari)

Any jump out at you? Good luck choosing a name!

Carolyn said...

Jaimette or Jaima are two ways to make James seem feminine and work as a middle name. Or even Jamison.

I love Alexandra because I think it epitomizes both cool-chick and very feminine. What about nn Alexa or even Andi/Annie since the emphasis is Alex-AND-ra. (It's a stretch, but I like it:) )

My other favorite for you is Marissa. Although I'm not sure if it would be a tongue twister with your last name. Still, I really like it.

Marissa Terrazas

Anonymous said...

Hmm. how about

Daniella (Dani, Ella)
Sabrina (Bri)
Clarissa (Clari, Lissa, Rissa)
Elizabeth (lots of nicknames!)
Amelia (Lia, Ames)
Marina (Mari, Rina)
Johanna (Jo, Hanna, Anna)
Lydia (Dia)
Miranda (Mira, Randi)
Meredith (Mere)
Caroline (Caro, Carrie)
Camilla (Cami, Milli)

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

I like Audrey! Audrey, Max and Samuel! They sound so nice together. I've so rarely met Audrey's, but I think it's such a beautiful and classic name.

janet said...

When I read this post, the name Paloma immediately came to mind.

Anonymous said...

How about Erica or Frederica ?

Deniselle said...

There's Maxine and Maxima, of course, but if you're saving Max for a future boy, those aren't great options.

Some other Al- names:

If it's not too personal, I was wondering why you're not using James for a boy name? It's such an established boy name, I wouldn't use it on a girl. Up to you, of course, but here are some similar-sounding girl names:
Jamie (unisex)

The Mrs. said...

Carmen Terrazas?

It has strength and glamor.

Max, Sam, and Cara Terrazas.

Great last name, by the way!

pb said...

Your requirements sound very similar to ours, and we finally decided on Amalia w/ nn Molly. I don't know whether Molly and Max is too cutesy for you, but it seems like a good fit for a feminine first name w/ cute nickname opportunities.

M.Amanda said...

I like Irena and Alissandra with the middle name of James.

Also, janet's suggestion of Paloma reminded me of one of my favorite Spanish girl names, Pilar. I first heard this name in a soap opera and just love it, though I rarely hear it.

Christine said...

My girlfriend just had her first child and she named her Antonia James, nn Nia. But you could also do Annie, or Ann, or Toni (although I prefer Annie or Ani, myself).

From your list I really like Lilly or Lily with your last name.

Good luck!

Frazzled Mom said...

I really like Francesca too. For nicknames you could also use Fancie.

For you, I started to think of nicknames first for inspiration and THEN I came up with long-versions:

Nickname - Long name
Rory - Aurora or Lorelei
Romy - Rosemary
Susie or Sukie - Susanna/h
Annie - Annika or Annalise
Lucy - Lucinda or Lucia

And now I can't take complete credit because I'm referening the nickname section of the Baby Name Wizard:

Dolly - Dolores or Dorothea (you can also use Thea for Dorothea).

Gracie - Graciela (Grace is so popular but with your last name I feel Graciela would be perfect!)

Ooooo how I wish Dolores would come back - and it is also perfect with your last name!

Good luck

Frazzled Mom said...

AND... sorry I forgot to add... you can also use Dot or Dotty for Dolores! I am so excited with the possibilites you have with your nickname preference and your last name. I hope you tell us what you choose.

Melissa H said...

I love Francesca and Irene is my daughter's middle name--I chose it because it's a family name and it's totally grown on me. good luck!

Jess said...

I love the name ((Francesca)). I've only met one Francesca in 30 years. She went by her full name. It's such a beautiful name that I almost think I would require everyone to call her that until she could make up her own mind.

((Camellia)). nn Cam or Lia or Mel. It's a flower name that is not as common (not in the top 1000) as Lilly (125) or Lily (24).

I second the recommendation of ((Susanna)) or ((Susan)).

((Alaina)) with the nn ((Lanie)) is soooooo cute. To me this is a cute choice that falls somewhere between Alexandra and Lilly.

I'm not such a fan of these, but ((Sandy)) and ((Sandra)) are also nn for Alexandra. The fact that someone might use these names would be a huge turn-off for me on this name.

Last week, a friend of mine gave birth to an Audrey Eloise. I thought that was a great combo of names.

Patricia said...

Alexandra Rose is a lovely name. Congratulations!