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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Baby Girl Acksum, Sister to Jonathan

Kacie writes:
I am 33 weeks pregnant (the 40-week mark is Dec. 16) with a little girl. My husband and I cannot figure out who she is! I'm thinking we'll probably need to see her before we can truly decide, but in the meantime, I'm desperate for some suggestions we can work with.

Our last name, spelled phonetically, is ACK-sum. To me, this eliminates all first names that begin and end with an "a" sound. That's a LOT of girl names! Also, names that end with an "m" sound too sing-songy to me. I think names that end with a consonant sound best.

My son has a traditional name that is fairly high on the SSA chart. He is Jonathan and goes by Johnny. When we chose it, we thought we picked a name that anyone could spell. Nope -- even our own family has spelled it Johnathan or Jonathon. Oh well.

Names on our "maybe" list:

Vivienne (this is the front-runner for now)
Jocelyn (nickname of Josie is cute, but we think Jocelyn sounds too similar to Jonathan. We liked this one a lot for awhile, but it just has grown out of favor for us)
Evelyn (not sure if I like any of the nicknames for it)
Evangeline (my husband thinks this is too clunky and not that pretty)

Names on our "nope" list:

Caroline (I like it but my SIL has claimed it for her own future daughter, and I'm not about to cause drama by stealing it!)
Madeleine (not liking nickname possibilities)
Marilyn (I always think of Marilyn Monroe)
Clementine (I thought this would be a fantastic middle name but my husband vetoed that one pretty strongly)
Charlotte (it's nice, but it's the name of someone in our family and so that's why we don't want to use it)
any name that ends with an "een" sound

Can you help? First name suggestions would be great, and if you want to throw in some middle name ideas, so much the better!

Jocelyn/Josie makes me think of Josephine. Jonathan and Josephine don't sound too close to me, and Johnny and Josie is too adorbs for words. But it ends in an -een sound.

Evelyn and Evangeline and Clementine make me think of Emmeline. Emmeline Acksum, Jonathan and Emmeline. My mom and I have noticed that "Louise" makes a great middle name (not only for the "fun to say" factor but because as others have mentioned you can shorten it to Lou and use it for an extended nickname with the first name): Emmeline Louise Acksum, and you could call her Emmie Lou sometimes.

Vivienne and Evelyn make me think of Lillian. Lillian Abigail Acksum, Jonathan and Lillian, Johnny and Lilly.

One of my favorites is Celeste. Celeste Olivia Acksum, Jonathan and Celeste.

Margaret sounds similar to Charlotte and has so many nicknames. Margaret Louise Acksum, Jonathan and Margaret, Johnny and Maggie/Meg/Greta/Daisy.

Name update! Kacie writes:
Thank you for your help with narrowing down our baby name choices. I'm happy to announce that our daughter, Vivienne Elise, is here! She was born on Dec. 17.

I think my husband needed extra assurance that Vivienne really is a great name, even though we don't know anyone with that name in our generation. He was worried it would be too uncommon or old-fashioned, but he's grown to really like it. And after we announced her birth, we've had lots of positive feedback.

I suggested Elise way back in the middle of summer, and he vetoed it because he hadn't ever heard of it. And wouldn't you know it, a month or so ago he suggests it for the middle name spot. We like the delicate sound and think it all flows nicely.

Thanks again!


Suzanne said...

I like Vivienne and think you should keep it at the top of your list. It might be gaining popularity but it's not going to be top 10 anytime soon. Johnny and Viv is super cute.

I LOVE using Louise to make a cute first-name-middle-name nickname but Emmy Lou makes me think of EmmyLou Harris, which isn't exactly a BAD connotation, I just don't know if you want your baby reminding everyone of a country singer.

But I REALLY like Celeste. It has cute nicknames - Cece, Celie, Ellie - and goes really well with Acksum.

Good luck!

M.Amanda said...

At first I saw Jocelyn and thought, "Yes, beautiful!" But sadly saying it with Jonathan, I think I agree they are very similar. Other suggestions:


Kacie said...

SQUEEEEEE! I am so excited to see my post appear. THANK YOU, Swistle, and everyone for commenting! I promise to update you when my baby is born. Pinky swear.

It's so funny you mentioned Margaret. That is the name of my great-grandmother, who passed away in August. Her middle name was Evangeline and we might use her first or middle name for the baby's to honor her somehow.

Another name that has sorta jumped on my radar lately is Ruth. I think it could be nice in the middle name spot, or even as a first. Ruth/Ruthie.

Not as sure about Evelyn anymore. I'm hearing it EVERYWHERE suddenly.

My son will be 2 around the time this girl is born, so we're always asking him, "What is the baby's name" in hopes he can give us something to work with. The very first time, he said "Paige." We were startled because that is a real girl's name, and he'd never said that word before. So maybe that can go in the middle spot.

Out of all our choices, the only name he can sorta say is Vivienne, and he says, "Vivie!" with enthusiasm. It's cute.

Anyway, this is incredibly helpful to me and my husband and I will go through this post later today and hopefully hash out some final choices. This girl is coming soon and I bet she wants a name!

Christine said...

I love the name Vivienne and think it works beautifully with Jonathan. I also like Margaret and like the family tie in. Maybe Vivienne Margaret. Vivienne Paige would be cute too!

Good luck!

brooke said...

Vivienne is beautiful! I think that it sounds great with Jonathon/Johnny.

Some other ideas:

Noel - she will be born in December
Adaline - too close to Caroline??

beyond said...

I love Vivienne for you too. Maybe Vivienne Evangeline... Vivienne Margaret is good too. (or Vivienne Paige?) Johnny and Vivie. Cute
But! I really like Evangeline in the first name spot too. Johnny and Evie. Adorable. Maybe you have to take two finalists to the hospital and decide after you see her...
Good luck!

StephLove said...

I think Vivienne is a great choice for you. And from your follow up, Ruth or Paige would be good middles with it. Ruth Vivienne or Paige Vivienne work, too.

StephLove said...

Oh, and I like Margaret, too. Margaret Ruth or Margaret Paige or Vivienne Margaret.

The Mrs. said...

Vivienne Ruth sounds classic.

And Margaret Evelyn is dignified and elegant. (And so many great nicknames for Margaret! Greta, Maisie, M -and pronounced 'Em'-, Margie, and Retta!)

All the best to your family as you meet your little girl!

Carolyn said...

Johanna nn Josie could also work. In order to keep the short /a/ sound from being too repetitive, you could pronounce it Jo-hah-na.

Or Josette will also give you Josie.

I like Vivienne with nn Vivi! Very cute!

Good luck!

Anonymous said...


Adey said...

I also think Vivienne is a good choice.

Vivienne Evangeline
Vivienne Ruth
Vivienne Paige

I think they all sound good!

In case you want some other suggestions, the following are names on my "list" that don't end in A.

Kensington (Kensie)

I hope you find something you love!

Anonymous said...

Vivienne is gorgeous.

What about:

Josephine (Josie could work as a nickname, it's not too close to Jonathan)
Joselle or Giselle