This blog has moved! Please join us over at!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Baby Girl Deusterman

Kelsey writes:
As of right now, I will bring into the world a beautiful baby girl with gallons of potential!.......but no name. My husband and I are basically polar opposites when it comes to taste. The following is an excerpt of a recent 'name-versation': "Me: How about Isis?" "Him: Meh. How about Jessica?" "Me: Umm, no. How about Esme?" "Him: Ha! How about Stacy?" "Me: Why do you hate our child?"........and on and on and on.

We've got 2 boys, Emery Pope (4 1/2) and Pryor Steffen (18 months). These names were relatively easy to agree on. Pope and Steffen are family names, Emery is after the street in Dever where he was, ahem, thought up, and Pryor I saw on the back of a football jersey on TV. No big deal. Buuuuut, baby girl is proving to be more difficult. I'm Kelsey, husband is Peter, last name is Deusterman (pronounced DOOsterman), which is a dumb last name to have to work with. I feel like anything besides a 2 syllable name is either too short or too long to go with such a commanding last name.
We've already decided that her middle name will be Ransom, which we both absolutely love (might it work as a first name?). But since Ransom and Deusterman are both such strange names, I unfortunately feel like the first name should be more toned down....but I hate toned down! I like the super weird old fashioned names, and also names that are things (nouns). Peter likes the very traditional (read: boring) names with a mid-nineties flair.
Here's my list:
Maven (love love love)
Rozlyn (or Rosalyn or Rosa or something along those lines)
Elsa (sounds too much like Kelsey?)
Maybel (Peter actually doesn't hate this one, but is it reminiscent of cows?)
Ruby (we'd both be completely sold on this one if it weren't so trendy)

Here's Peter's list:


To further complicate matters, very early on in the pregnancy Peter and I got into an argument about the dimensions of a Rubik's cube (I said 4x4, he said 3x3). We made a bet, the terms being a KitchenAid Mixer for me, and naming rights for him (plus he would get to give our 4 year old a mullet). Despite being 100 trillion percent sure I was right, I was wrong. So technically he has the trump card in all this, which makes me tremble. But he also knows that if he values our marriage/my mental well being, he will concede to let me have a heavy say in the final decision.

So to sum up: I hate trendy and boring, he hates weird and unusual. Please, oh please, help us.

Dear Kelsey, You guys are screwed. Love, Swistle

Ha, no! We can help! I'm sure we can!

("Why do you hate our child?"---HA HA HA!)

The name I'd like to tell you to choose is Ruby. You're both totally sold on it. It goes with Emery and Pryor. It's a great compromise between your taste and his. Yes, it is a WEE bit on the trendy/hip side, but that's what makes it a good compromise name: it's a noun, but it's a familiar noun; it's unusual old-fashioned but not wayyyyy out there old-fashioned. One of the best ways for a couple with wildly different tastes to choose a name is for one person to pick the name from the other person's list, which is exactly what you guys did: it's YOUR list, but HE chose.

Well, but is the repeated oo-sound too much repeated oo-sound? ROOby DOOsterman? And then there are the repeating R-sounds in Ruby Ransom.

Perhaps Emerald. It's unusual and nounish for you, but not hip or trendy. He can call her Emmy if he wants something more mainstream. And it's wonderful with the rest of the name: Emerald Ransom Deusterman. Oh shoot: Emery and Emerald, that's no good.

Maybel holds no cow associations for me. The spelling Maybel makes the emphasis unclear: is it MAYbel? mayBEL? May Bell? I think if I wanted MAYbel I'd spell it Mabel; if I wanted mayBEL I'd spell it Maybelle. With your surname I like Mabel. Maebel might work, or it might have the same issue as Maybel, I can't tell.

Mabel makes me think of a highly-unusual noun name you might like (but your husband probably won't): Fable. Fable Deusterman.

And of course Fable leads me to Story. It seems like more men are willing to consider the name Story than some of the other nounish names---and perhaps you could sell it as being similar to Stacy? Story Deusterman; Emery, Pryor, and Story. I love how they all have five letters and all have a RY, and yet they're all so different.

I wonder if you'd like Magnolia? I like it because the long form is unusual but easy to pronounce and very pretty, and the short form Maggie is easy and gives her something to fall back on if she doesn't want something quite so unusual. Magnolia Deusterman.

He likes Jessica; would he like Cressida? Similar rhythm/sound while being TOTALLY DIFFERENT. Cressida Deusterman; Emery, Pryor, and Cressida.

You like Maven, and Maven makes me think of Maren. Such a pretty name, and great with your surname: Maren Deusterman. Great with the sibling names, too: Emery, Pryor, and Maren.

I notice you have Aliza and he has Elizabeth. It seems like this might be the middle ground you're looking for: can you compromise on Eliza? Eliza Ransom Deusterman. Or Alena?

Or, he likes Anna and Stacy. Do you like Anastasia? I know it's a lot of name with Deusterman but I like it. It's unusual but not at all crazy, and Anastasia Krupnik made the name familiar. This is my top favorite choice for you.

Or show him THIS and see if that takes care of the naming rights problem:

Perhaps the name Rubik would be appropriate, considering the bet. Ruby as a nickname.

Name update 08-16-2010! Kelsey writes:
Our little one was born a couple weeks early on Aug 8, looking very much like a little baby bird. Much to the chagrin of the hospital staff (and all of our family members), she went home without a name. The birth certificate lady told us we had five days before she had to submit baby's paperwork to the county, so WE'D BETTER CALL AND LET HER KNOW AS SOON AS POSSIBLE (insert fist shake). We had it narrowed down to Aliza, Rozlyn, or Betsy, and on Day 4 we finally settled on..........Betsy! Betsy Ransom Deusterman. It's perfect for her (not to mention that her initials are BRD, like bird, which is what she looks like.) Thanks for all the great suggestions; they took some of the tension out of the rubik's cube bet results.


StephLove said...

Go with Ruby. It might be the only name you can agree on.

christine said...

I like Ruby, a lot, actually and while I find it "trendy" I don't think it is overly so. Along the same lines, you might like Pearl? Opal? Pearl particularly strikes me as a little old fashioned, but maybe your husband might still like it? Plus these names seem to go a bit better with Ransom. I liked the suggestion of Eliza, and like Rozlyn spelled Roselyn. Maybe Evelyn?

Good luck!

heather said...

I was going to suggest Maren too... close to Maven, but more of a "regular" name, but not too common. I think Maren is soooo pretty.

Otherwise, I'd go with Ruby. It's the perfect compromise, one you both agree on, and great with her brothers' names. Love it.
I know Ruby seems trendier, and I know I've heard of a few more popping up lately, but I have yet to MEET a Ruby in my life. I don't think it'll be overdone.

Kirsten said...

Given that you both like it, and it ties in cutely with your Rubik's wager, I think Ruby is the way to go.

Another name that might fit, given your lists, is Bethany or Bettany.

Anonymous said...

What about Merit? Two syllables. Noun. Uncommon.

I like Ruby but think it's too much "oo-oo" with your last name. She'd inevitably be called "Roo Doo" or something similar in J-Lo fashion.

Thanks for the laughs; that's the funniest Swistle entry I've ever read!

Dallas Momma

beyond said...

(I would personally keep Ransom in the mn slot.)
Ruby seems like a great name for you!
You like Isis and Ivy, how do you feel about Iris? A bit more traditional, but definitely not boring. Emery, Pryor and Iris. Sweet.
Good luck!

Abby@AppMtn said...

I love the sound of Ruby Ransom! And I do think it pairs well with your sons' names.

There's also Romy & Rory. I especially love Romy Ransom Deusterman ... it neatly sidesteps the "roo doo" problem but stays quite close to your compromise name.

Maven Ransom is too much together.

She could be Elisabeth and called Elsa for short. It also minimizes the "Kelsey/Elsa" repeating el sound, I think.

LiciaLee said...

LOL. that is EXACTLY how DH and my naming discussions would go. We finally settled on Clara Juliet, and he can call her Clair if he chooses. :D. Good luck! And I agree, your names are way better...

Mercedes said...

I don't think the Ruby Ransom combo or the Ruby Deusterman combo are over the top. She isn't going to be going by her middle name anyhow, so I don't think its as important as if, say, Ransom was your last name. And as for the repeating sound in the first and last name, I actually think it sounds really nice - it ties the names together. The sound repeated does not consist of the same letters, and the different spelling gives it variation. I would say it was a problem if your last name was, say, Deusterdudu and you were going with Ruby, but in this case, I think it's fine.
I think it's also a name with a lot of spunk, which I really like. If you're worried about it being too popular (it's expected to be top 10 by 2019) then maybe you could use it as a nickname for a longer "Ru" name? Baby Name Wizard gives me Rubianna, Rubiela, and Rubina, so I don't know if any of those appeal to you (I don't like them, but I'll just throw them out there)

Anyway, I don't mean to be repetative as everyone already said this but I do think Ruby is the way to go, since you both like it, and chances are slim you'll find another name you like so much and agree on. And hey, the SSA is just a statistic. Ruby might be getting more popular, but just because it ends up that 1 in 10 babies are named Ruby doesn't mean 1 in 10 kids your daughter knows will have that name. It is likely that there won't be that many, especially her age because I think you are a bit ahead of the trend.
Good luck!

Ellen said...

I actually love the way Ruby sounds with your last name--the repeating "oo" sounds makes the names flow well together to my ear. Also, Ruby isn't a trendy name where I live--I've heard it on a few people's short lists, but only actually know one Ruby (and she's 7 or 8 years old). If you both love it, I think you should go for it!

janet said...

Some great suggestions by Swistle and the commenters. I cannot wait to read the Name Update on this one!

I have to vote against Ruby in this case, because it does sound trendy to my ears, though it's a lovely name. Really liking some of the other suggestions though, Fable, Merit, Iris, and Eliza especially. Though Fable Ransom is not really working for me either...hmm this is a toughie!

Anonymous said...

I'd go with Ruby: you both like it a lot; it sounds fine with your surname; and it's not that trendy. I know a (just one) little girl named Ruby and it's darling on her. I think Ruby works well for a little girl, teen, adult.

Miriam said...

I loved reading this discussion and can't wait to hear the update!

I have to jump on the Ruby train. Although I did have one new suggestion - Cassidy. nn Cassie if you or your husband want.

Good luck!

Katie said...

Love it. Sounds great with your middle name choice, sounds great with your last name.

Good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

I actually love the nickname Rubydeu for a little one.

Suzanne said...

STORY! Pick Story!! I know there's a celebrity who used it (Jenna Elfman, maybe?) but I LOVE it, especially with your other names and with your last name.

Maren (or Merin as I like it spelled) is my second choice, with Ruby as my third.

Or how about other gem stones?
Pearl - old fashioned, noun
Amethyst She could be Amy or Ames
Gemma - not actually a gem but a name I loooove and it goes well, Gemma Ransom Deusterman

Good luck! I can't wait to hear what your pick!

Carolyn said...

I like Ruby, and suggest Romilly nn Romy as an alternate.

I would suggest an ultra-feminine or at least established feminine name since the boy names are not traditional.

Anonymous said...

Haha I thought Ruby Deusterman sounded like a cool name and I don't think Ransom is too much. Definate star quality there and the added 'Rubiks' cube bet makes it PERFECT! Such a cool story!

But to comment on what someone else commented, Pearl is a really cool name. Pearl Ransom Deusterman is soooo gooood!

Kelley said...

Dear Swistle, when I saw they had Ruby on the list, my very first thought was "OOOOHHH go with another gem name, like Emerald, unique for her, common nickname Emmy for him!" then when I saw your suggestion I squealed with glee!

So yes, my vote would be Emerald. Or another gem, like Pearl, Amethyst (I know an Amethist with the nn Ammy, so cute), OH what's her expected birth month? Is her birthstone an option? I find myself hoping it's September, because Sapphire w/nn Sadie could be SO CUTE.

Some other thoughts: Instead of Elsa, what about Ilsa? sounds less like Kelsey and has that nice Casablanca connection? And on that note what about Ingrid?

Frazzled Mom said...

Of your list, I feel Ruby and Maybel (but I would spell it Mabel) are your best picks because it sounds like your husband could be sold on those.

I agree most of your husband's list is very dated to the 70's-90's. really who names girls Stacy anymore? I didn't even like it when it was popular. I knew too many Tracy / Stacy sister sets growing up. Yuck.

But I want you to reconsider Betsy. Betsy is just dated enough to be ahead of its time. I feel Betsy is just as spunky as Ruby. Think about it: Now old-fashion nickname-names like Millie, Nelly, etc are coming back into fashion, but consider after those names were fashionable the first time around and started to decline, Betsy started to rise. Betsy is cool - Betsy is spunky - Betsy is a surprising pick! Don’t overlook it.

Maybe you would also both like Sally, Polly, Poppy (flower) or Juniper (flower) with June as a nickname or even just June.

Anonymous said...

HA HA! This is exactly the type of conversation/wager my husband and I would have (including the mullet as part of the bet)!
What a fun post! I absolutely loved reading this & all the suggestions. My vote is for Ruby - I think the repeated sounds roll off the tongue so well. I also like Eliza and Marin - familiar, yet not too common.

AND...I agree - your list is better! = )

Janelle said...

Much as I love Ruby, I have to vote no on it with your LN.

What about Seraphina? It's a bit long, but such a beautiful, unusual old name. You've got two great nicknames: Sera (for your husband who wants traditional) and Fina/Phina for a more exotic sound.

Jess said...

I love Ruby with your last name! This is my first choice for you! When different styles have to compromise, the parents generally choose something totally boring. This would def not be the case here. Ruby Ransom. Adorable!

In case you need some other ideas:
- Felicity. It is a noun. It's a GIRL's name, which I agree you likely need given the uniqueness of your boys' names. Also, the TV show aired in the '90s, so I'm thinking your hubby will like it. :) It's one of the few virtue names that doesn't seem over-the-top to me.
- Elizabeth. I know this is on your hubby's list. I'm wondering if there is any nn that you like for this name. I think Liesel is cute and unique.
- Cora.

Susan said...

In my opinion, it's gotta be Ruby, and I see no problem at all with the middle and last names. I also think that even though you've chosen more unusual names for your boys, that very fact makes it important to establish in no uncertain terms which is the girl. It doesn't seem like a good time for a Blake or a Mason.

Kristen said...

Sorry, not really sold on Ruby with your last name. But I like the other jewel names: Pearl, Emerald.

I love Maren. Or the compromise of Eliza.

Swistle, that was a GREAT post. I was laughing hard enough my husband wanted to know what you said.

the post girl in dc said...

A coworker of mine's baby girl is named Opal. Opal Duesterman. Fits all the criteria. Try it out! I found that I was kinda like, hmmm, at first. But now I think it's a fantastic old-fashioned but still works in this new century name.

Nan said...

Love Ruby, especially with the Rubik's tie in. Or Iris.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Magnolia SO much. I think it is such an amazing, beautiful, unusual, and elegant name. It is almost never used as a baby name, yet is VERY familiar to our culure. If I had half your baby naming guts, I would choose Magnolia.

amy said...

i absolutely love the way Maren sounds with your last name. beautiful.

Gemma would be my second pick.

Ruby emphasizes the "ew" sound of your last name too much for my taste

Anonymous said...

Oh, man. This one is heartbreaking for me, too, because Ruby has been a favorite of mine for years, but I am totally turned off to it now for the same reasons the poster is.

Given that, I also really love Eliza Duestermann and Mabel Deuestermann (and I don't think Mabel spelled Mabel is reminiscent of coes the way Maybel is).

Good luck and I adore your taste in names! I can't wait for the update!

Anonymous said...

I vote for Ruby! I love how it sounds with your last name, and with Ransom as a middle name. I also think it fits really well with your sons' nes, and the Rubik tie in is just precious! I don't think it's too trendy, either.

I also like Maybel or Mabel, it's a lovely name that goes well with your last name and the brothers'. To me, though, it's maybe too pretty to pull off Ransom as a middle name. I liked an earlier commenter's suggestion of Merit...similar sound but with a little more spunk! But shoot, Merit Ransom sounds a little phrase-y. I guess Ruby Ransom does, too, but the spunkiness of it still wins me over!