Hoping you (and your readers) could help me name my little girl who is due to arrive in early November. This will be our second child (and last!!) who is a sibling to Benjamin Ray. I chose the middle name Ray which was my maiden name (Rae) as well as my grandfather and aunt's middle name. This time it's a little harder. I would like to honor my grandmother whose name was Esther (no middle name), however, she hated her name! I stumbled across the name Estelle and discovered it has the same meaning as Esther, "star". So I'd love to use that in the middle name slot. I've considered it as a first name but a close friend just named her daughter Stella and I'm afraid it's too similar. If Estelle doesn't work in the middle name slot, I've also considered using the initials EJ, as that was my grandmothers maiden name initials. Other possibilities to consider in choosing our daughter's name is that my husbands background is Scandinavian (I'm a bit of a mutt) and my husband LOVES aviation.
Thought so far:
Other names we haven't ruled out: Freya, Helena, Amelia. Names my husband (shockingly) suggested: Matilda, Imogen (too similar sounding IMO to Benjamin), and Ingrid.
Thank you for your thoughts... We are open to new suggestions that you think might suit our style!!!
Sometimes a namesake is difficult or even impossible to achieve. You'd like to honor your grandmother, but her first name won't work and she didn't have a middle name. By the time you're as far into it as using not even her maiden name but her maiden INITIALS, or using a name with the same MEANING and putting it in the middle name slot, I'm not sure we have a namesake at all. On the other hand, it may still remind you pleasantly of your grandmother, and restricting your choices may make it easier to choose a name.
I do think, though, that her first name DOES work, even if she hated it. I'm assuming from your verb tenses that she has died, and even if she hated her name it was still HERS. The name represents HER---which is why namesakes are considered an honor: our names become a stand-in for our SELVES. You wouldn't be naming your daughter "after the name my grandmother hated," you'd be naming her "after my grandmother." Your grandmother's feelings about her name are unconnected to your feelings about your grandmother, and unconnected to what it means to use her name.
So my suggestion is that you name your daughter Esther. It's a beautiful name, and it's perfect with Benjamin. I like Esther Rae if you want to use your maiden name again, or practically any one-syllable name: Esther Jane, Esther Rose, Esther Mae, etc. I also like Esther Matilda and Esther Imogen and Esther Eliza. Or to give her even more flexibility, Esther Olivia or Esther Avery.
From your list I find it hard to choose favorites because I think they're all such good options. If you twist my arm, I'd choose Audrey Estelle and Eliza Joanne.
Name update! Patti writes:
Happy to say this week we welcomed Eliza Rae into our family! Thanks for your input!