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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Baby Girl Will-hell-mee

Lindsay writes:
This has been such a headache, and I have been browsing your archives for inspiration, thinking I'd see something that would tickle my fancy. But since we're having such a rough time thinking up and narrowing down names for our baby girl, I thought it best just to write and get your/your readers' advice and suggestions!

Our last name is (phonetically) Will-HELL-mee. Our first child - a baby girl - is due in late September / early October, and our finalist names are currently: Sophie, Jamison ("Jamie"), Rowan, Nola, and Riley. Sophie (my parnter's grandma's name) is the current front-runner, but we want some others in our back pocket, and also are concerned that Sophie might be a little too "girly." Our possible middle names include Ellen (my grandma's name), Nelle (Ellen backwards), Kate, and Nola (it's both a first name and middle name finalist).

We definitely like gender-neutral names, and tend towards the classic as opposed to the trendy. Celtic/Gaelic names are always welcome for consideration, but we don't like spellings that are too outlandish or impossible to pronounce (like Siobhan or Roisin). We tend to prefer names under three syllables, but if it's a really good one, it can be considered (which is why Jamison is still hanging by a thread on our list).

We've rejected many "-yn" names (think Jadyn, Kalyn, Kamryn, etc.). Other names that one or both of us liked but ultimately rejected include: Sadie, Carlie, Avery, Madison ("Maddy"), Grace, Charlotte ("Charlie"), Josie, Tegan, Ryan, Posey, Presley, Maisie, and Mina.

Thanks so much for any help you can provide! We really like Sophie, but want to decide on some alternatives we like just as much to have in our back pocket when our little girl arrives!


Christine said...

I feel like I suggest the heck out of this name, but I really like it and it seems to fit your criteria of not overly girly, but two syllables: Peyton. Peyton Kate Willhellmee, is my favorite version of it.

I love the name Sophie, but do find it popular in my area (the Northeast). I also like Rowan from your list.

Others that might work for you: Regan (which I pronouce Raygan), Adrienne, Tatum, and Paisley.

Good luck!

M.Amanda said...

Christine beat me to it! I think Regan is perfect for you. Regan Ellen - I love family names.

Kayt said...

I hate to repeat people, but yes! Regan! I was going to suggest Tegan, but then I saw it on the reject list, which is a shame, because I think it hits all the spots for you. I think Rowan is also a great balance of pretty but not too girly. Blair is another one I really like that has a similar feel. I think Rowan Sophie is very sweet, if Sophie is too girly in the first spot for you. I really don't care for Jamison on a girl at all, but I have a James that goes by Jamey, so I'm a bit protective of it for boys!

Also, these popped in my head, but I don't know what middle you'd use. None of your current picks sound nice with them to me:

Maeve -is that too hard to spell? Because it's another one I think would be great for you.

Anonymous said...


from your list i like Nola and Rowan. Sophie and Riley are really popular (not sure if that is a concern for you).

good luck!

beyond said...

I really like Sophie! (To my ears it's not overly girly at all, it is however a bit on the popular side...) I think your mn possibilities are great.
The names mentioned (classic, not girly) make me think of:
For a more 'gender-neutral feel' I suggest:
Good luck!

Patricia said...

I love Sophie and with the family connection, I'd definitely use it. Naming her Sophie Ellen (which I adore) seems perfect, with a grandma's name from each of you. My second choice for you would be Sophie Nelle (I've never noticed that Ellen spelled backwards is "Nelle"), although I prefer Sophie Ellen with your surname.

Sophie Ellen Will-hell-mee

StephLove said...

Sophie Ellen is very sweet. (I prefer Sophia but I can see how you'd want to keep the grandmother's name as is). My favorite from your list, though, is Rowan. I think it meets all your criteria. Riley is a close second, though. And Nola is intriguing. So I don't know if you really need more suggestions but here goes...

My son has a friend, who's whip-smart, very athletic and not al all a frilly sort of girl. Her name is Maura and I think it fits her. Plus, two syllables and Celtic, so there you go.

KMW said...

I love Sophie Ellen. Beautiful!

Melissa H said...

Emery? I also like Tatum that was mentioned above.

That said, Ellen and Sophie are both lovely names. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I like Sophie a lot, too, and also really like Rowan and Nola from your first-name contenders list. I like Riley, too, but there have been two baby girls named Riley born to colleagues of mine in the LAST MONTH, and I seem to run into baby and toddler Rileys (boys and girls) pretty often. I think all of your middle names options are great!

Some other suggestions to add to the pile!

Georgia (Georgie Girl!)

Best wishes!

~ Annie

Anonymous said...

To me, Sophie is a spunky, contemporary version of Sophia. Not at all too girly.

mixette said...

How about Sylvie? Similar to Sophie.

Good luck.

Maya said...

I agree, Sophie Ellen is very nice, Sophie is spunky, although popular. But it has a lovely meaning behind it.
I also think Rowan works great for you, as well as Nola and the afore mentioned Tatum.
Names you might like:
Anouk, Artemis, Arwen (too girly?), Carys (Car-is), Clovis, Elba, Lana, Lileas (Lilias), Muna, Ninian, Peninnah, Philippa, Phoebe, Phyllis, Willa (too much with the lastname?), Flynn, Larkin

Anonymous said...

Sophie/Sophia are getting to be very popular, in my opinion. From your list, I love Rowan. Rowan Kate Willhellmee. Good luck!!

Sandy said...

I also like Rowan. Perhaps Addison?

Anonymous said...

Try using Nelle as the first name! I absouloutley love it!!!! She could go by Nellie as a nick name if she wants, I think it sounds great with three syllable names like Sophia. (Nelle Sophia Willhellmee or Nelle Jamison Willhellmee). Monroe (ronny for short) Jamison Willhellmee sounds nice too! Or Shiloh (Shy for short)Jamison Willhellme has great flow and shiloh is underused but not wacky! Cheyenne (prounounced Ky-anne) is a classic native american name!Plus it comes with the cute Annie nickname!Topaz Jamison would work well too, as Topaz has a girly meaning without a girly sound. Of the names you like Nola is my fave!!! And I like Ellen for the middle name.

Mrs. Haid said...

I think Sophie is a pretty name. And a frilly name, like Fancy Nancy. But I like it for that reason! There are many Sophie's and Elle's and Bella's in my neighborhood who are under the age of 4. So I think it will probably be a really normal name for your child, just like the name Ellen was for her grandmother at the time!

Livinia Redlips said...

Nola! It's unusual and classic at the same time.