I'm due at the end of August with our daughter and we just can't seem to pick a name.
We already have a son names Oberon Elwood. Elwood is a family name.
We wanted a girl's name that was strong but feminine and uncommon but not strange or difficult to pronounce. We also want a name that has a nice meaning or a literary reference would be a bonus. Our background is German, Scottish, Irish and I grew up in a French speaking area so I name from those background would be a bonus. A great nickname that is a standalone name too would be ideal. Oberon goes by Obie. Basically, we were looking for a feminine equivalent of Oberon.
I liked Aurora and Rory for short but my husband couldn't get over an association he had with someone else and we determined it was too popular. We've always liked Isla but weren't sure if it was strong enough and the meaning didn't stand out. Ultimately, this name is too popular too. My husband liked Lorelei, which I love on paper but to me it sounds like Laura-Lye and I didn't care for that.
We also loved Asher for a girl but feel it's a very popular boys name and we don't want her to feel like she was given a boy's name.
I love Veruca but it means wart and is associated with the spoiled girl from Charlie and the Chocolate factor so that one got ruled out.
I love Oleander. I love how it sounds. I like Lola as a nickname but it doesn't have any significant meaning and my husband is concerned about it actually being a highly toxic plant. I'm just having a hard time letting go of this name. My husband is fond of Adelaide and I'm luke warm on it. There isn't a nickname that I love for Adelaide. I'm trying to stay open to it.
We both love Beatrix but we worry a little about the "ks" sound in the X running into the S in our last name. We're also concerned about her having the initials B.S. but aren't sure how important that is with a middle name. Finally, it's hard to find a nickname that we like for Beatrix. It's sweet that it could be Bea or Betty, which coincidentally are the names of both mine and my husband's grandmothers. But Obie and Bea are a bit much. I also like Bebe but the same issue with Obie and Bebe, especially when we call Obie, Obiebie sometimes. I don't like Trixie. We have considered Bex or Bexie or even Pixie. We would use Viola as a middle name. It's another family name - actually Elwood's wife was Viola in my family so there would be that connection between our children. And it has the literary reference and has a great meaning plus it doesn't seem that common.
The other name we've given a lot of consideration to is Ursula. It has a similar meaning as Oberon which is thematically nice. I like Lula or Zuzu for nicknames. It seems strong and feminine and uncommon. Coincidentally it is a crater on the moon Titania which was the name of Oberon's wife in Midsummer night's Dream. Another nice connection albeit an obscure one. We would use the middle name Ellen, which is my mother's name and also has a nice pairing with Oberon Elwood - Ursula Ellen. Our hesitation over this name is whether Ursula is viewed as an ugly name in this culture in addition to its association with the witch from Disney's Little Mermaid.
I suspect it's going to come down to Beatrix Viola S. or Ursula Ellen S.
So what do you think? Any suggestions?
Thanks so much in advance for your help. We've been spinning our wheels and I've been making myself neurotic!
Because you like the name Oleander but are concerned about the toxicity of the plant, I suggest the name Magnolia. It's not in the Top 1000, it has the great nickname Maggie, or you could use Nola or Lia, or Nolly which is like Molly or Polly or Dolly but less common than any of them. It's great with her brother's name: Oberon and Magnolia. A magnolia is a beautiful tree with sturdy flowers and several medicinal uses. I like Magnolia Ellen.
Maybe this is reaching, but the place-name Arcadia got its name from the word arktos, or bear (source). I think it has the same dignified sound as Oberon: Oberon and Arcadia. Cady would be a great nickname. I like Arcadia Ellen.
To avoid the problem of Disney's Ursula, you could use Ursa. Same meaning, but no evil witch. It loses the nicknames, however. You could use the English variant of Ursula, which is Ursella---but I find this alters the pronunciation, and also you might not want to seem to be in on the -ella trend.
I'm reading a book right now in which the main character is a girl named Olympia. Oberon and Olympia---nice. But I'm stuck for a nickname. Lippy? Limmy? Olly? Pippi?
I like Cressida (a Shakespeare name, like Oberon) for you, but again there is a nickname problem. Cressie? Siddy?
Verona is similar to Veruca but without the wart/Wonka association. I love how it sounds with Oberon: Oberon and Verona.
One of my favorite German names is Wilhelmina. So pretty, not in the Top 1000, and good nicknames: Willa, Mina.
The name Bernadette is French AND has the bear connection to Oberon. A cute nickname is Benny. I knew a Bernadette who went by Bernadette (her husband called her Bernie but I don't think anyone else did), and I was surprised how the name grew on me.
My top two choices for you are Magnolia and Arcadia.
Name update! Karen writes:
This is a long overdo update on our daughter's name.
I really appreciated all your feedback and your readers' feedback.
It was nice to see how loved the name Ursula and Beatrix were as well. Our daughter didn't end up "looking" like an Ursula. She's nearly 4 months old now and the name doesn't seem to fit her.
In the end we named our daughter Aurora Ellen (although I still love Viola, I really wanted to pay tribute to my mother they same way we had to my father in giving our son the middle name Elwood).
My husband finally came around to the name Aurora and since I have loved it since I first heard it when I was six we went with it.
We call our daughter Rory for short.
Turns out that Aurora was sleeping beauty's name. I had no idea. Our daughter is definitely a good sleeper.