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Friday, November 12, 2010

Baby Girl or Boy Long-With-an-A

R. writes:
I've thought about writing for your advice several times, but my husband and I would decide on a name and we thought that was that. Until I would bring up the name and my husband would agree that he was over it as well. I think at this point we are going to go into the hospital with a list and a prayer, but I hope you and your readers can help us fine tune our choices or discover something new!

So, here's the scoop:

I'm due 12/23 and we don't know what we're having. I'm a little shy about posting our last name, but it is critical to the naming process because so many names we love just don't work with it. Our last name is Long if you substitute an 'a' for the 'o.' Funny, and long, touching story is, my husband actually took MY name, but ever since we've had this naming dilemma I've had second thoughts about it. Well, not really, but it's definitely crossed my mind:) We do not know what we're having. In trying to keep this short, I'll give you (abbreviated) lists of names we've considered.


Adelaide: I've loved this name forever and my husband agreed to it to my surprise. But it's horrible with our last name.
Adele: The nickname we would have used for Adelaide (we didn't want Addy). We still may use this, but it's still not the best with our last name. Maybe a middle name.
Marin: We were both set on this for awhile, but now agree that it just doesn't seem 'right.'
Genevieve, Felicity: I love, he doesn't.
Celia: Okay for both of us.
Corrine (nn Cora): This is our current front runner. Does it sound like 'Coral' when you say Cora with our last name? Does that matter?
Victoria: My husband's mother's name. He's not sure if he wants to use it or not, and I'm letting him decide. I think it would be a middle name if we use it. We both like the name but aren't crazy about 'Vicky' and 'Tori' as nicknames. I know we could just use the full name, my niece has never been nicknamed and her name is one that is often shortened, but I'd like the obvious nicknames to be ones we like.


Callum: I loved for awhile and my husband came around to it. But now I'm kind-of over it.
Kai: I like it, husband loves it, but I think it's too short with our last name.
Dexter: Husband is coming around to this one.
Seth: Hubby's favorite. I could live with it, but I think it's too short with our last name.
Asa, Elias: On the list at some point.
Gideon, Sebastian, Everett: I've suggested but husband doesn't like or is only luke-warm to the idea.
Kieran: This is our current front-runner. I just worry that it's odd (as with some of our other names) because it's very Irish when neither of us are Irish. The strongest cultural tie we have is Italian.

Any 'rules' we have aren't too uncommon for parents when considering names for their children: we want something that's not too popular or trendy and will fit an infant as well as an adult. We have considered some more unusual, but not 'made up,' names and still will if it's right. I think a lot of the names I like fit into The Baby Name Wizard's 'Antique Charm' and 'Why Not?' lists in the current book. I work with children (from birth on up) so I feel pretty close to the trends and want something that doesn't bore me. I just asked my husband what his requirements are and he said "something unique." As you can see, our rules are flexible since our current lists are all over the place! Do you see anything we may be missing? Help!!!!

We appreciate any input you can offer!

My favorite name on your boy list is Kieran. I think Kieran sounds great with your surname, and I don't think it's over-Irish: that is, I do think it sounds Irish, but I don't think it seems inappropriate to use it.

Callum makes me think of Calvin and Callan and Camden.

I also wonder if you might like Elliot or Emmett.

Matthew, Theo, and Timothy have the gentle sound of Seth, but with more than one syllable.

The name Kyle is like Kai with another syllable, so it's too bad that extra syllable had to be an L-sound. Kyler would work better but I like it less.

From your girl names, my favorites are Genevieve and Felicity, and in fact I was a little squee-ish because those are probably my top two favorite girl names on my OWN list. Can we bring your husband around, do you think? I particularly like Genevieve with your surname. It sounds smart and professional and sassy and confident. And Genevieve has such cute nicknames: Gen and Genny and Genna, of course, but also Evie and Vivi.

I also love Cora, but on its own rather than as a nickname. I do think it runs together a bit with your surname, but on the other hand the name Coral is so uncommon, it might not occur to anyone. And if you do use Corrine as the official first name, I don't think it matters if the nickname runs into the surname a bit.

Kieran and Marin and Corinne make me think of Karenna.

I also wonder if you might like Bethan or Bethany. (I wouldn't have thought of it from your girl name list, but thought of it when I was trying to think of "names like Seth but longer.)

Celia and Felicity make me think of Cecily and Clarissa.


Shannon said...

As a mother of a 4 year old Kieran I can say that (at least where I live) it is not a common name, but not so bizarre. Everyone knows how to pronounce it without thinking too hard. You do constantly have misspelling (Keiran, Kieren, and the more traditional spelling of Ciaran, etc.) but that is to be expected with 3 vowels. My only caution is that while Kieran is not a "trendy" name, "K" names ending in the "en" sound are VERY trendy right now. I didn't realize this when I named my son 4 years ago but in his preschool class of 15 kids there were 3 others with K names, two of which ended in "en". It made me sad that his name kind of gets lost in the bunch. But perhaps it is different in the area you live? These things can be kind of hard to figure out. Still, I love the name and don't regret choosing it. Just some thoughts from my experience. :) Good luck!

beyond said...

I like Corrine for you. Corrine Victoria 'Long'. Great name.
I also suggest: Coralee, Daphne, Vanessa.
For a boy, I really like Dexter and Sebastian and Kieran. (I agree that names with more than one syllable flow better with 'Long'.) Are there any good family names to use as a mn?
I also suggest: Aidan, Clement, Quentin.
Good luck!

Christine said...

In addition to Emmett, I thought Silas when looking over you boy list. Julian, maybe? I like Kieran with your last name too, for what it is worth.

I like Cora (and Corinne too) and don't think it sounds like Coral when pronounced with your last name. Genevieve is a personal favorite that I'll probably never get to use, so please try and swing your husband around! Others you might like, Maura/Moira; Cecily; Delia; Dorothy (which I love, but never seems to get any name love).

Good luck!

StephLove said...

I like Dexter Seth or Elias Kai for you, thus sneaking the short names you like into the middle slots. Or how about Giovanni for a boy? It has a lot of the same sounds as Genevieve and it's Italian to boot. Or how about Quincy or Sterling? No good reason for those, they just seemed to fit your style.

For a girl, I think Corinne Victoria is a great choice. If you're iffy on Celia and Marin maybe you'd like Cecilia or Mariah better. Amelia or Phoebe might work for you, too.

Carmen said...

We named our son Kieran and we have no Irish background either. I don't think it really matters. I think if you chose an Irish name that was more uncommon and never heard of in North America it might be different, but Kieran is okay. I say use it - but of course I might be a bit biased. :)

Adey said...

Ooops - I realized afterwards I put the last name in the post above. I am going to repost without it and perhaps Swistle can delete my above post?

Kieran - Definitely didn't think strictly Irish and I think Kieran 'Long' sounds good!

And - just like Swistle! - I went immediately to Callen when I heard Callum. I think Callen 'Long' sounds great.

Another name that I thought of for you was Ezra. Ezra 'Long'.

As for girls, I like Cora by itself as well. Perhaps Coralee if you prefer. I have a niece named Cora and it is beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Definitely love Kieran for a boy. Second choice Callum.

I have a cousin with the same last name as you and her name is Marie. Similar to your choice Marin, might work well as a middle name.

My first thought when I read your post was Holly. Holly 'Long'. I agree Cora blends in with your surname somewhat but I think Coral on its own is a beautiful name and maybe you could consider it instead of Cora.

I have a Victoria and aren't keen on Vicky either, but our problem was solved when our then two year old couldn't say Victoria and called her Tora instead, which I like way more than Tori.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Adela?

Carolyn said...

I knew a cute, popular teenager named Annie 'Long', and always thought it flowed really well. Annie or Annabel both sound good with your last name and Annabel reminds me of Adele.

I also like Cordelia, which could give you the nn Cora, or Delia.

Good luck!

Janelle said...

I think you have a very good list with some great options. I like Cora for a girl. While I can see the "Coral" coming out with your last name, I still hear a definite "Cora Long" and not "Coral Long" if that makes sense.

For a boy, I wonder if you would like Malachi/Malakai nn Kai? Malachi Long sounds great. You get a longer name but still keep the Kai you both like.

Otherwise, I think Kieran is a good choice. Your last name sounds Irish enough-- or at least not un-Irish, so I wouldn't worry about that.

kanah said...

For girls, I want to suggest Adele or Emilin..But that might be too many L's? How about Caroline? For boys, how about Emmett or Elijah? Best of luck!!

R. said...

Thanks for all of the great input! I haven't been able to really discuss anything with my husband yet, but I'll keep you posted. The little we were able to talk about, he said he may consider Genevieve--so we'll see...Some of your suggestions were on our list, or never made it for one reason or another (same/similar to family or friend names), but it makes me feel like you all get what we're looking for:) Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I love your name style, your baby is so lucky :)

I think Genevieve is beautiful, it has so much potential and is great with your last name.

Possible alternatives could be Geneva or Guinevere. If you like the overall sound maybe these could also work: Gwyneth, Ginevra, Gwendolen.

It also has an ethereal sound to it, so names that have that as well (for me) are: Athena, Aurora, Lorelai, Valentina, Calanthe, Cassandra, Magdalena, Penelope, Anwen, Elowen, Evanthe.

I'm not a huge fan of Corinne although it is making a comeback lately. What do you think of Cordelia instead? or Cosette or Cosima?

As for boys, what about Hector? It has a fantastic mythical connection and isn't common at all.

I think Kieran is very nice too. Some other ideas:

Theodore (I love the way this sounds with your last name)