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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Baby Girl Redrow

Megan writes:
I’m due on November 7th with my first child, a baby girl. I have 3 stepchildren from my husband’s first marriage, and they all live with us full time. Their names are Gabriella Elizabeth (Gabby), Samarah Michelle (Sammi), and Finnegan Francis Xavier (Finn.) Our last name is Redrow—and sounds just like its spelled, Red (the color) and Row (a boat.)

When we first found out we were expecting, we had no problem picking out a boys name, Connor James. Connor hit me one day, and James is a family name on my side. We still plan to use it in the future, if we should have a boy. Girls names, however, have been difficult. We have a list, but we go back & forth with pros and cons, and nothing seems “just right.”

Right now, our list consists of…

Caroline (which is only on my list...)

I love Audrey, but my husband isn’t a fan of Audrey (but I’m keeping up hope.)

We both love Fiona, but my husband’s stepmother’s nickname is Fee (her name is Charlotte, a nephew couldn’t pronounce it as a baby, and she became "Fee") so my husband is very hesitant to use Fiona.

We both really like Celia a lot, but we have a lot of C’s and K’s in my family (all of my female cousins but me, actually), so I’d like to stay away from C, especially if we’re going to use Connor James in the future.

Moira/Maura has been a great debate in our house. I love Maura, pronounced More-ah. My husband likes Moira, pronounced Moy-rah. I think naming the baby Moira is setting her up to spend her life correcting people who call her More-ah. My husband thinks I’m thinking too much into it.

And we have Marion. Marion was my choice as a middle name, and my husband whole-heartedly agreed. My great-aunt, who was very near & dear to me, passed away right before my wedding. Her name was Marion, and I’d love to honor her, along with the rest of my family (mother Maryanne, grandmothers Mary & Margaret, stepmother Margaret, etc.), since they are all derived from Mary. My only issue is—when I think Marion, I think older woman. Maybe because my great-aunt was a grandmotherly type, I just don’t see it as a child’s name. The more we discuss it, the more my husband loves Marion. I’ve wracked my brain to come up with what I think of as a kid-friendly nickname, and I’m coming up blank. I have Mimi, Minnie, etc., but nothing really grabs me. I just can’t see my daughter, at 6 years old, walking into dance class saying, Hi, my name is Marion. If I can come up with a good nickname, then I’d have no problem naming the baby Marion (middle name Renee.)

Also, on MY list is Caroline Marion. I LOVE THIS NAME, but my husband doesn’t. This is another name that I’m trying to keep in the running.

My only criteria is that the name be classic & different, but not weird & made up. I don’t want the name to be too popular either, she shouldn't be another Grace or Ava (not that I don’t like those names, I just think they’re too popular to me, I don't want her to be Grace R.) We’re also trying to stay away from the C/K craze that my aunts created in my family, and we’re also trying to stay away from R’s, since our last name has a double R.

This is causing quite a bit of tension in my house, so I hope you can help. I’m hormonal & indecisive, and I’m afraid that my husband is running out of patience. I tried to discuss it again last night and he said he didn’t want to talk about it, probably because I just keep re-hashing the same pros & cons, and we never really get anywhere (and I can’t really blame him either.)

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!!

Thank you so much in advance!

I think you need a fresh list to work with: the "going round and round" feeling can come from a list on which none of the names are The Name. Let's take Caroline off: your husband doesn't like it, and it's a C name which you're trying to avoid. Let's take Celia off, too, since it's a C name. Let's take off Maura/Moira, because it sounds like the debate my husband and I had about Elliot/Eliot: neither of us would bend on the spelling, so finally it had to come off the list. Let's take off Audrey because your husband doesn't like it. Let's take Fiona off the list because Fee is a natural nickname for it.

This leaves Marion, which you both like and is a family name. I think the cutest, least-old-ladyish nickname is Mari. Well, all right, yes, it sounds like Mary, and Mary is also a little old-ladyish---but I'm not sure it sounds that way to children, who are steeped in Mary Had a Little Lamb and Mary Mary Quite Contrary. Also, it was very recently that names like Ava and Emma and Grace sounded impossibly old-ladyish, so my guess is that soon Marion/Marian will sound just as revived. (I have hopes for Florence and Millicent!)

New suggestions, keeping in mind the siblings Gabriella, Samara and Finnegan:

Adriana Redrow
Anastasia Redrow
Annabel Redrow
Beatrix Redrow
Bianca Redrow
Elena Redrow
Eliza Redrow
Emmeline Redrow
Felicity Redrow
Francesca Redrow
Genevieve Redrow
Josephine Redrow
Marilena Redrow
Penelope Redrow
Stella Redrow

My pick is Bianca: it's similar to Fiona, which you both love except for the Fee problem; it doesn't repeat any of the other children's initials; and it's good with your surname.

Name update! Megan writes:
Sorry its been so long, but I just wanted to let you know that on November 1, 2010, I delivered a beautiful baby girl named Juliette Elyse. Her name-which wasn't even on "the list"-hit me out of the blue, after a long day of nesting & organizing. When I said it out loud, my husband & I fell in love with it. Its classic, not overly popular, and very feminine. Thanks for all your advice & thoughts (and for those of your readers too.)


TaraRhode said...

i love Fiona, and the only nn i've ever heard for it is "Ona" (oh-nah) which i think is adorable.

i also knew a Marion who went by Marre (pn Mary)... you could also use the nn Ree.

my favorite is probably Marion, but i think that Felicity, Josephine, and Stella are also really cute from swistle's list.

Carolyn said...

I absolutely love Marion. It makes me think of the lovely Maid Marian from Robin Hood. Plus, I think you have hit a new trend far ahead of the curve. This is a beautiful name that's only drawback is that it was popular so long ago and now seems aged. Just like Swistle said, that was once the case with Ava, Emma, and Grace.

I might change the spelling to Marian with an "a", but that's just because my Italian family has some male Marions (derived from Mario, male version of Mary) whereas Marian would be derived from Maria.

nns could be Mair, Maira (mare-uh), May, or Mari, all of which are great.

Or you could go with Mariana and call her Ana or Anna for a nn.
Good luck!

StephLove said...

This is a hard one because you have so many lovely names and so many reasons not to use them. Caroline, Fiona and Maura are all favorites of mine.

How about:


Any of these except Rosemary could use Marion/Marian as a middle. Good luck!

StephLove said...

Also, Fifi or Fia could be nicknames for Fiona if you want to revisit that one.

Alison aka Baby B said...

@Carolyn Interesting! I never would connected Marian/Marion with Maria/Mario. I know a German woman named Marion, so spelling it with an O never seemed masculine to me.

For the Marion I know, she would go by Mari occasionally, not "Mare-y" but "Marr-y." In German, her name sounded more like Marr-ee-an than Mare-ee-an. I like the suggestion of Ree as a nickname.

I like the nn for Fiona suggested above: Fia. But if your husband is super hesitant...

Since you find Marion to be old lady-ish, I don't know how you'd feel about Marilla. It would still honor all the women with Mary-based names in your family. It gives you the nn Mari but also Rilla, which I find adorable. (Yes, I confess, I got this name from the Anne of Green Gables books.) Rilla! So cute!
Gabriella, Samarah, Finnegan, and Marilla. Gabby, Sammi, Finn, and Rilla.

A few other names to consider:
-Amelia or Emilia (nn Amy or Emmy)
Gabriella, Samarah, Finnegan, and Amelia. Gabby, Sammi, Finn, and Amy.
-Camilla (nn Cami)
Gabriella, Samarah, Finnegan, and Camilla. Gabby, Sammi, Finn, and Cami.
-Carissa (nn Cari)
Gabriella, Samarah, Finnegan, and Carissa. Gabby, Sammi, Finn, and Cari.
-Eliana (nn Elly)
Gabriella, Samarah, Finnegan, and Eliana. Gabby, Sammi, Finn, and Elly.
-Lilianna (nn Lily, Lili)
Gabriella, Samarah, Finnegan, and Lilianna. Gabby, Sammi, Finn, and Lily.

beyond said...

I love Marion, and I always associate it with Robin Hood's Maid Marion too. (I wanted to be her when I was 8!) To me it's not an old lady name at all.
Marin might be another possibility for you.
Good luck!

Adey said...

First off - Moira definitely made me say Moy-Rah so if you like that name with that pronounciation I say go for it!!

As for Swistle's suggestions - I LOVE the names Emmeline and Eliana the most. Genevieve has always been a favourite of mine (even the French pronounciation "Jean-Vee-Ev" is beautiful!)
I also love Eliza and Josephine - So many good suggestions!!!

I agree though - if you can't agree on one on your list 100% then perhaps none of those names are meant to fit your little girl! Creating a new list could be exactly what you need to do!

Anonymous said...

I think you should go with Marion, as it seems to tick all your boxes. I think i good nickname could be "Rin" or "Rinnie." I know a few people whose names are "Corinne," and they go by Rin or Rinnie, and i think they are great nicknames for Marion as well. Good luck!

Suzanne said...

I say go with Marion, even Marion Caroline if you can talk your husband into it.

Marion makes me start singing "Marion the Librarian" from The Music Man, which doesn't make me think of an old grandmotherly type at all. Second is the Maid Marian from Robin Hood, another non-old lady. And truly, once you name a baby something and everyone starts calling them that the name becomes less and less about any of the previous associations you had. I know babies named Calvin and Gideon and Hazel and Hester and Ramona - all names I don't think sound like "baby" names at all but work great for the kids that have them.

Anonymous said...

I say go with Marion/an too. But my favourite 'Mary' name is Mariel (if you're looking for new choices). Oh, and while I love the name Moira, after saying it a few times with your last name I felt a bit tongue-tied (the 'r's). Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Ok, having just read the previous posting (I'm anonymous, just above)...Miriam!It's related to Mary, I believe. And it's another name I love to come across. Can nickname Miri too.

Kim@Living with Little People said...

Have you thought about Merrilyn with the nn Merri? I love Merri for a little girl and Merrilyn is beautiful for an adult.

The Mrs. said...

Marion is so incredibly 'YES'!
It's classic but fresh, simple but elegant, AND it has a wonderful family connection. She never tire of hearing of her great-great aunt (and you honor so many other lovely ladies in your family at the same time).

As for an up-to-date nickname, Rhee is a marvelous option.

And May-May is sweet for a little one!

Best wishes to your growing family!

Megz said...

I think Marion sounds like the right name for you. Personally it reminds me of Marion Cunningham from Happy Days, but as someone else said, once you know someone else with the name you forget any previous associations.

Moira/Maura are quite different names to me. Would using Maureen make it better for you?

I know someone named Margaret Deidre and her parents nicknamed her Mardie from the first three letters of each name. If you did the same Marion Renee could become Maree.

In fact Maree/Marie could be a good compromise name honouring Marion, Maryanne and Mary. Marie Caroline Redrow.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I'm going to be the voice of descent here. Particularly w/ the stepkids names, I feel Marion doesn't fit. I agree w/ what the poster said about thinking it an older person's name when she says it/hears it. Of note, I was named Ruth in an era of Karens, Jennifers, Kims, Beths, etc, and when an adult, after much consideration I legally changed my name to something more versatile (Leah). So... May I suggest Maren? It's still a nod to Aunt Marion w/ a pretty updated feel to it. Maren Fiona Redrow is pretty. Or Maren Audrey Redrow. Audrey as a 1st name tends to trip up w/ Redrow. Caroline Redrow is pretty but I think I'd pair it w/ Fiona or Audrey for a middle name rather than Marion. Best wishes to you and your famiy!

Christine said...

I like Marion better as a middle than a first, just because it doesn't seem to jive as much with the stepkids...but then, maybe not jiving exactly is a good thing? Up to you! I don't like Marion with Caroline though...each time I say it, I jumble it. (Like them both separately).

My favorite is still Fiona, with the nn Fia. Francesca and Genevieve are personal favorites with the nn Frankie and Vivi, respectively. Evelyn is another personal favorite that you might like, Evelyn Fiona works. Good luck!

Lisa said...

I love Marion/Marian with the nickname Mari. I think longer name with the nickname goes well with the stepkids as well.

I also love the idea of using Marin/Maren.

What about Aubrey instead of Audrey?

I pronounced both M names right. If that is any informal survey for you.

I agree with not using C names if you possibly want Conner in the future. Although I really like Caroline, my fav of you names.

I really feel like picking a longer name with a great nickname that would "go" with the stepkids. That is just my matchiness...
Adaline nn Addy or Ada (Similar to Caroline, kinda Audrey)
Marielle nn Mari or Elle/Ellie

Good luck!

Mark said...

I found your blog because some of my daughters have the names you were considering. I love the name you picked!

My oldest is Fiona Suzanne. No one ever calls her "Fee" (a nn I do not personally like). She is always Fiona, or "Nona" when her sisters are very young. My 2nd is Moira Clare. We do have problems with people saying it correctly, but it was my husband's favorite name for so long . . .it really suits her. Our third is Calista ("Callie") Rose. Our fourth has a hard spelling but I could not think to spell it any other way. It is Niamh (NEEV) Catherine. It's very popular in Ireland . . .so changing the spelling seems wrong to me. I am now on the lookout for one last name. Not sure if it will be a boy or girl . . .feel bad if it is a girl because we have been through the name books SO many times before, and I don't want it to be a name we had vetoed before.