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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Baby Girl M., Sister to Clayborne

Josie writes:
I am due October 1st with a girl. We already have a son, Clay. Our last name begins with M and is common enough that we don't have to worry about anything clashing with it. however, we would like to avoid names that begin w C, K or M. (We're not fans of alliteration. clay and chloe. clay and kristen. Meredith M_______.) The middle name will most likely be Brooks (family name.) so we want a first name that is more than one syllable.
However, my husband and I have completely different ideas about what the name should be. He likes very popular names (Abigail, Charlotte, Sophia, etc.) I really don't want a name that is too popular or too common. I like unisex names that still can be girly. There are only a few names that are on the "possible" list and we're not sure if we love any of them.

Avery (too popular?)
Lainey (nickname but we can't figure out what the "official" name would be)
Harper (but way too popular)
Quinn (but only one syllable)


If Harper is way too popular at #174, then yes, Avery is too popular: Avery is #32. And Skyler might be too popular for you, too: that spelling is at #419, but the spelling Skylar is #185; if we combine the 755 girls named Skyler in 2009 with the 1,749 girls named Skylar in 2009, the rank of the two names together is #129---also more popular than Harper. (Source: Social Security Administration.)

I love Lainey. I would use Elaine as the full name, but Delaney is another possibility. Or plain Laine, if you changed your mind about Brooks. Or Helene or Helena (though it will sometimes be pronounced heh-LEEN/heh-LEEN-ah, so it depends on your tolerance for gentle correcting). The sounds of cLAY and LAIney are very similar; I'm not sure if it's too similar or if it ties the names together perfectly.

More possibilities (taken largely from the "Last Names First" section of The Baby Name Wizard):



Anonymous said...

I know a little girl who is Alaina, nickname Lainey.

beyond said...

I love Lainey too. Elaine, or Elaina. I really like Elaina!
Elaina Brooks M.; Clay and Lainey.
Otherwise for the nn Lainey we have Adelaine, Avelaine, Delaine, Helaine, Laina. (and Madelaine, but starts with M)
Other possibilities:
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I like Teagan, Lorelei and Yeardley for you. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I think Lainey sounds too similar to Clay...
How about Holland? It gives you the girly nickname Holly.

Meredith said...

We have a Helena and call her Laney (and Lena and Lane as well as her given name)! Good choice, but I agree that it is awful close to Clay. Oh, Swistle, I've always adored Waverly but never had the guts...I heart Everly, too.

The Mrs. said...

I went to school with a girl whose name was Lalanya (Lah-LAYN-ya). There's also Linnea with the nickname of Lainey.

I like that Lainey and Clay sound cohesive... but one is distinctly masculine, and the other is clearly feminine.

Otherwise, since you like Avery (and, you're right, it IS popular), what about Aviary? Or Haven? Her nickname could be Ava (or Vi/Vee if you go with Aviary). It has a 'nature name'-sound like Clay, and it too is not in-your-face. And Brooks is her middle name!

Aviary Brooks M.
Haven Brooks M.

You'll pick just the name. Best wishes to your family!

Anonymous said...

I love the name Jensen! It's my grandfather's last name, but everyone thought it would be 'weird.'
I also love love Emery & Everly. No reason (other than my daughter's perfect name- Avery lol)

What about Ireland?

The other comment about 'naturey': we hang out with a Clay & his new baby sister will be Fern. Very cute :)

StephLove said...

I like both Elaine and Delaney.

I was also thinking nature: e.g. Ivy, Willow, Rosemary. I especially like Rosemary.

Patricia said...

I love Elaina (Lainey) Brooks for you. Elaina Brooks M_____ is a very substantial name; Lainey is a darling nickname which works equally well for a young girl or an adult. As for the similar 'lay' sound in Clay and Lainey, I find that a subtle linking of the two names.

Lainey comes from Elaine which is from the French form of Helen, so I would use the spelling Elaina (instead of any spelling beginning with an A).

Clayborne Joseph M_______
Elaina Brooks ________

Clay and Lainey

Sounds excellent to me!

Patricia said...

PS I think Elaina Brooks ("Lainey") could be perfect for you. But if not, then I'd suggest choosing another traditionally female first name to pair with the masculine-sounding surname Brooks. (All the other names on your possible list are surnames; Avery sounds the most feminine, but it's very popular.) I would suggest finding another less popular girl's name -- along the lines of Abigail, Charlotte, Sophia -- to pair with the masculine-sounding surname Brooks. You might find some inspirations here: or among YCCII posters' choices for names in the 300s, 400s, etc., on that website.

Carolyn said...

Eleni is the Greek form of Helen. I've heard it pronounced Uh-LEN-ee and Uh-LAY-nee, so it could work for you.

Delaney is my favorite way to get to the nn.

Jessie said...

I vote for Helena Brooks. It can be given a cutsey nn--Lainey and also grow up really well and sophisticated...Helena. I like Alaina too, but Helena a bit more unique.

Jan said...

I like the Lainey suggestions - the spelling does suggest Elaine but there do seem to be a lot of possibilities. I like Elena myself. Lainey as a given name is #697 on the SSA 2009 list.

I do see the concern of having two boyish names for your girl. But other unisex suggestions: Parker, Cameron, Harlow, Micah, Ryan, Evan, Kendall, Campbell, Regan.