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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Baby Girl Watson, Sister to Allegra

Carrie writes:
Help! We are due with our second child, a girl on September 16th, (um, next week). Our 3 year old is named Allegra Grace, last name Watson. Allegra is my grandmothers middle name, and Grace came to me in a dream early on when my husband and I were dating. Early on with this pregnancy I felt strongly that this one have a name that was, well, strong, possibly with a refrence or connection to the sea, and not overly crazy feminine. I really want a name that isn't popular, but that people can pronounce, if given a moment:) Names we love, Esmee, Josephine, but I'm worried about them being too popular right now... I love Elspeth, it may be my top choice, but my husband has a hard time with how it rolls off the tounge. My husband would like a Mae to be involved (as this is his grandmothers middle name), but I'm worried about it sounding, well, too southern, or hokey? Names my husband really likes, Viola, Maebel (but that I can't stand)

Other names we like Lorelai, Clover, Willow, (but it's popular in our area) we both like botanicalish names. But really we seem to be stumped...any help would be appreciated!

Thank you!

I have one word for you: Marin. MARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRIN. Strong! Not overly super-femininista! Connection to the sea! Perhaps Marin Josephine? Marin Mae is pretty cute, too.

There's also Marina or Marinda or Maris or Marney, if you prefer.

Morgan and Meriel mean "bright sea." Nila means "river." Ria and Rilla both mean a small stream. I'll bet Marilla, then is a combination of "sea" and "small stream." Marilla Mae is adorable. Sarita means "river."

Nerissa and Nereida mean "sea nymph."

There's Brooke, of course, and Raine, and River. The names Kindra and Kenda mean "water baby." Lynn means "waterfall." Sailor. Keeler.

(Meanings from Baby Names Made Easy and 100,000+ Baby Names.)

For non-sea names that use Mae, Maelle is pretty---although I just now realized that when said aloud it can sound like "male." Maelin might be better, although the Mae/L combination is still iffy.

One of my favorite botanical names is Magnolia. Another is Fern: people constantly credit Charlotte's Web for their baby name choice Charlotte (#68 in 2009), but in that case we should also be hearing of baby girls named Fern. And are we? No: not even in the Top 1000, and only 26 new babies named Fern in 2009 compared to 4140 new Charlottes (source: Social Security Administration). Fern Watson. Or it would be a good middle name. Acacia is pretty, too, but maybe too similar to Allegra. Iris, Laurel, Juniper. Meadow is similar to Willow but less common.

Name update! Carrie writes:
By the time we came to a name decision she was 2 days old, (better than 4 days old, which our first was before she was officially named). The last 3 contenders were Lorelai, Elspeth and Josephine. I loved them all, so I let my husband make the final decision. He chose Elspeth Josephine Watson:) Because it was my favorite. I have an awesome husband. Even though it wasn't his favorite necessarily, I think (like with our first), he goes through the c-section with me, and the aftermath, and figures I should be able to have the name I love:) But she looked like an Elspeth. Red hair and gray-blue eyes, fair complexion, most gorgeous little creature I had seen since her sister!

Thanks for all the ideas, it was helpful to have names to bounce around, even though we came back to the ones we originally loved:)


Amber Lynn said...

Elspeth is my favorite name as well. I just can't convince my husband either.

Carmen said...

I have the BEST botanical name: CALLA. It's not popular, at least where I love. We'd narrowed our choices to Alexa & Calla and my husband voted for Alexa. I'm only a tiny bit bitter. :)

I also love MARIN.

Anonymous said...

I also vote Marin. Lurve. (Marin Josephine really hits the spot, too.)

Anonymous said...

Some great suggestions here, just wanted to throw out another botanical name I love: Ivy.

beyond said...

I like Espeth too! (Would Elsbeth 'roll off the tongue' better?)
In keeping with the botanical theme I give you:
Camilla / Camille
Some of these might be good as a mn.
Allegra and Daphne is sweet. Allegra and Jasmine works well too. Heather Mae Watson. Camilla Josephine Watson...
Good luck!

StephLove said...

I like Marin and Marina and Maris, plus Maura and Mariah, for sea-names.

Violet is close to Viola and also botanical. It might be a bit popular for you. But speaking of Esmee (which I've usually seen spelled Esme) it's not in the top 1000 with either spelling so I don't think you need to worry about its popularity.

I'd like to put in another vote for Ivy. It's botanical, but not flowery, which makes it seem less frilly.

I think Mae makes a good middle with a wide variety of names. Marina Mae, Violet Mae, Ivy Mae...

Karen L said...

What a great question and so many great suggestions. I can't even decide which my favourite is. Marin is awesome, though. Also Daphne, also Rilla/Marilla, also Calla, also Camille/Camilla ...

According to Behind The Name, Rosemary "in reference to the herb, which gets its name from Latin ros marinus meaning 'dew of the sea'." So you get sea AND botanical! But rather feminine and perhaps mn trouble. Mae doesn't really work, IMO.

I don't think Mae sounds hokey or Southern unless it's paired with a short or cutesy name. Cindy Mae or Lula Mae kinda Southern. Elspeth Mae - not at all Southern.

If you're one to honour with a modified name, maybe Maeve suits your tastes better than Mae? Or if you're a little adventurous/creative, many of the Mer- and Mar- names could become Mae-. Maybe Maeriel or Maerilla. Although the sight of those kinda hurts my brain.

Finally, I think Lorelai Mae Watson is beautiful.

Good luck and do let us know what you choose!

Carla said...

I vote for Lorelai from your list or Marin/Marina fron Swistle's. I'm sorry but I have to side with your husband on Elspeth.

Melissa H said...

I like Elsbeth as a more familiar feeling version of Elspeth (which I don't actually know how to say). Marin came immediately to mind from your description and I love Magnolia. I saw someone mentioned Rosemary--I knew a Rosemarie in college (all one word). I think it's very pretty but she spent a lot of time explaining that it wasn't Rose (first name) Marie (middle name). still Rosemarie.

Good luck!

Carolyn said...

What about using the word Sea? I knew a little girl whose name was a modified version of Sienna, spelled Seanna. I might break it into a first and middle name (Sea Anna) that you could use together a la Mary Ann. Or you could just call her Sea, which I like because it sounds like a cute nickname, similar to "Bea" for Beatrice.

The Mrs. said...

This might be too far from your list, but a gorgeous selection of tropical islands off of Africa is the Seychelles.

Seychelle Mae Watson.

Allegra & Seychelle...

There's also:

Chrysanthemum (there's a whole children's book about this name by Kevin Henkes)
Acacia (with the nickname Cay... which is a body of water)
Amaryllis (with the nickname Rilla... which means small stream)

Best of wishes to your family as your next daughter makes her entrance into the world!

Megz said...

I love the suggestion of Fern.

I think that if Mae is paired with a sophisticated or elegant first name then it sounds classy rather than hick. E.g. Marina Mae sounds classy to me. I think this is my favourite out of all the suggestions.

Moana is a Polynesian word for sea and often used as a first name.

Some other botanical names:

Good luck

Elisabeth@YCCII said...

Love Elspeth Mae! I so wish you could convince him on that one.

Other sea-related names:


sarah said...

May I suggest Olive, Ivy or Amandine?? I have such a thing for noun names!!
(Otherwise, I vote for Marin. Fern also reminds me of Charlotte's Web. I'm loving this conundrum!)

P. Gardiner said...

I love Camelia! Also Laurel or Oceanna. I think Laurel & Allegra or Camelia & Allegra sound great.

Marin always confuses me a little, I know 3 of them (man & woman). One pronounces it MERR-IN, the others MARR-IN.

Marie Green said...

Love Marin. It's the name my youngest uses on my blog... the name that was HER NAME until my husband named her something else and I was too post-birth disoriented to disagree at that moment. Months and months later I felt like we'd named her the WRONG NAME. I started blogging when she was around 5 months old, and decided to use in on my blog, which helped. But still. LOVE THAT NAME. (I say it Marr-in.)

Anonymous said...

I love Marilla Mae! I was going to suggest Mairin instead of Marin, because the extra vowel seems to help break up the sameness of MARin WATson....but Mairin Mae doesn't go well at all. Marilla is a much better suggestion, and I do think it hits the strength button — it's a grownup name that's softened by the middle name and yields the adorable little girl nickname Rilla. And while Carrie doesn't want *overly* feminine names, Marilla is clearly a woman's name whereas Marin is perhaps too gender-neutral for sibling name Allegra.

Jack said...

Why on earth did this come up on my google reader feed?

Swistle said...

Jack- Heck if I know, if you don't subscribe. Do you follow someone who did a "share" on it?

mixette said...

There was a little girl named Elspeth who lived next door to me when I was a teenager; I always thought it sounded like a "movie name" a period piece. Ha!

How about Ivy in the botanical vein?