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Monday, November 1, 2010

Baby Girl or Boy Reese, Sibling to Harper Grace

Rebecca writes:
We're expecting baby numero dos on or around December 23rd, 2010, gender unknown. Somehow we've gotten ourselves into quite the naming conundrum this time around! Which is why we would love to enlist you and your readers' help. Our daughter's name is Harper Grace and our surname is pronounced 'Reese'. My naming 'rules' are 1) must be somewhat uncommon, not trendy, 2) must be able to look at the name and pronounce it correctly, 3) must flow well with our daughter's name. Two and a half years ago when we picked the name Harper, we had no idea how popular it would become (and quickly!). Sorta trying to avoid that this time around, but I just need some opinions that come from outside my own head!

We welcome any and all ideas and new names as well. For some reason, our boy names have always been very biblical-sounding and girl names, not so much. Clearly, we're open to anything. Thanks a bundle!

Matilda, nn Tilly (my husband's favorite; I'm on the fence)

Middle name options for girls include: Kathryn, Kate, Paige, and Madeline.

Silas (one of my favorites, just don't know if its too many 's' sounds with our surname)

Middle name options for boys: Benjamin (my husband's name), but if we go with Shepard, it would be Eli or Elias.

Shepard is one of my favorite unusual boy names, but I think with Harper it's too careery. Or too nativity, or something. Were harpists present at the nativity? Anyway. Too many trade names.

My favorite from your boy name list is Silas. If you decide it's too much S, I wonder if you'd like Simon or Simeon? Simeon Elias, maybe.

The girl name list is harder to narrow down. Morrow and Eisley and Atley seem too unusual with Harper (and for me, both Morrow and Eisley break the rule about being able to look at it and pronounce it correctly), and Matilda and Gretta are such a totally different style (sturdy and retro rather than trade/literary/surname name). Briar would be my choice except that then both names end in the -er sound. I think that's okay since the names are so different in other ways, but I'd still prefer to avoid it. And maybe Atley wouldn't be too unusual: it's highly uncommon, but I feel as if I'm familiar with it---in a way I don't feel about Morrow and Eisley.

More possibilities:

Averil Madeline Reese, Harper and Averil
Cleo Madeline Reese, Harper and Cleo
Ellery Kathryn Reese, Harper and Ellery
Ellison Kate Reese, Harper and Ellison
Elodie Kathryn Reese, Harper and Elodie
Flannery Kate Reese, Harper and Flannery (too literary?)
Hollis Kathryn Reese, Harper and Hollis (repeating H-)
Jensen Paige Reese, Harper and Jensen
Kiefer Kathryn Reese, Harper and Kiefer (repeating -er)
Madigan Kate Reese, Harper and Madigan
Marlowe Kathryn Reese, Harper and Marlowe
Quincy Kate Reese, Harper and Quincy
Waverly Kathryn Reese, Harper and Waverly
Yeardley Kate Reese, Harper and Yeardley

Name update! Rebecca writes:
Just wanted to let you know our babe decided to make an appearance on December 22, 2010. Its a girl! After much contemplation and back & forth, we named her Rowan Kate. It was one of your reader's suggestions and my husband and I both loved it--and that isn't easy to achieve! It suits her just perfectly and we feel so blessed. Thanks again for all your help!


Anonymous said...

Harper Grace and Avalon Paige or Willow Madeline?

I really like the suggestion of Simeon Elijah for a boy.

Other ideas:



beyond said...

I like Atley from your list. Atley Kate. Harper and Atley. Other possibilities:
(I love Auden! Auden Paige, Harper and Auden)
For a boy I like Silas for you.
Or maybe:
(I like the sound of Griffin for you. Griffin Benjamin, Harper and Griffin.)
Good luck!

StephLove said...

I like the subtle repeating r in Harper Grace Reese. I think you could replicate that with something like Tamara Kathryn Reese. Tamara is a different style name than Harper, but I think it goes well with it anyway. I like Briar and Matilda best from your list. Tilly is adorable. Maybe Briar Madeline or Matilda Paige? I also like Joy as a middle for you. Matilda Joy perhaps?

I do think Silas Reese is a lot of s. Simon Elias Reese spreads the s out a bit more. I like that. Simon Benjamin is nice, too. I like Christopher with your last name as well. Christopher Reese. Harper and Christopher.

Anonymous said...

How about India for a little girl? India with the nn Indie sounds amazing with Harper. India Madeleine Reese and India Kate Reese sound so sweet!

As for boys, how about Everett? It has the same feel as names on your list, being sort of nature-y. Everett Reese..hmm you may not like the strong "r's" but i don't mind it! His nn could be Ev, or Rhett, but Rhett Reese is a bit much! You may also like Abbott or Bishop. Bishop Eli Reese sounds so cool!

Clarabella said...

I like to use when people have lists. Here's some ideas from the list "Harper, Atley, Eisley, Matilda, Morrow, Gretta":
Eudora (literary & cute nicknames: Dora, Dorie; Harper & Eudora)
Adele (lovely nickname Addie)
Delaney/Ainsley (similar to Eisley, but more familiar?)
Zelda (I love this with Harper, & it's also literary)

Perhaps Riley & Finley could be either for a boy OR a girl & are reminiscent of Eisley & Atley.

Quinn (I love it with Harper; Harper & Quinn)
Graham (reminds me of Abraham, but not so heavily biblical, also good with Harper)
Jonah (reminds me of Judah)
Tobin/Tobias (Depends on how you feel about the nn Toby, which will be probable)

Good luck!

Becky said...

One name that occurred to me while reading your list of girl names is Ailey. A friend recently named her daughter that, and I love it. Familiar, as in Hailey, but different! And it has a lot of the sounds of other names you like. Also, I think it's relatively inconspicuous. It doesn't even show up on the Baby Name Wizard chart of popularity.

Summer, Justin, Blake, and Sutton said...

Hatley, Hattie, or Briarley??

kanah said...

For girls: Hollis, Hali, Ellison, Asli, Atley- good choice!, Yardley, or Chloe.

For boys: Judah is my favorite! Also, Judson, Sadler, Sawyer, Teague, Ryder and Nolan are some you might like.

Good luck!!

Elizabeth said...

If you are really keen to avoid something that might become more popular, I might caution you about Matilda/Tilly. I've recently been living in the UK and it seemed to becoming more popular there and these name trends tend to cross the Atlantic.

Still a great name and unlikely to become as popular as say Madison or Ava or Ella so if you both decide you love it, go for it.

sarah said...

Bryony/Briony is similar to Briar but avoids the repeating -er sound from Harper.
I agree with swistle that Morrow, Eisley and Atley are a little too unfamiliar to be a good pair with Harper.
For a boy, I like Shepard best from your list.

The Mrs. said...

You've got some fine name options floating around here...

My favorite from your girl list is Gretta (Harper and Gretta seem like long-lashed, black and white movie sirens when paired together. LOVE IT!).

From your boy list, Shepard is solid, stong, identifiable, and subtly connected with Harper (the profession thing is kind of cool). And Shepard Elias 'Reese' is very respectable.

Best of wishes to you and your growing family!

Suzanne said...

I LOVE Matilda. Love love love. But I think the previous commenter who says it might be getting too popular is probably right.

And I wanted to say the same thing about Everett for a boy - I know two Everetts born in the past two years and have seen it on a lot of people's lists.

So from the already suggested list my top choices are Hollis (With Paige, Joy or Kathryn as middle names) and Griffin. Or may I suggest my future boy child name: Lincoln. We don't get to use it this time but I WILL use it some day.

brooke said...

Congrats on baby #2! In my opinion, the names on your list the most "at risk" for popularity are Gretta and Silas. Quick question: Any reason for the double tt? I am more familiar with Greta. My favs on your list are
Matilda and Shepard


Cormac, nn Mac

Anonymous said...

Just thought of Hadley for a girl. I really like Bronwyn with Harper too.

Jess said...

Of your list, I stumbled over the pronounciation of Eisley and Morrow. Also, Gretta caught my eye because it seemed unusual with two t's. I like these names; I just think you should consider that there might be some initial confusion. I have a few others you may like.

- Gretchen (996). This name is more uncommon than Gretta, with a very similar feel. Gretchen Paige seems classic and spunky at the same time.

- Eloise (917). This name reminds me of Eisley on your list. I think that this name is easier to pronounce and spell. Harper and Eloise.

- Sloane (897). Like Harper, this name originates as a surname.

Boy names are so much harder, don't you think? I'm going to suggest a couple of names that may seem out there. They both have such lovely downward-sloping popularity curves, that I don't think you'll have to worry about you son being one of five in his kindergarden class. Do you like -

- Amos (997).
- Otis (1000+).
- Rueben (1000+).

Good luck!

Christine said...

For a girl, Iris (unless you find it too wordy with Harper - I don't and I think they sound like a great sib set). And for a boy I like your Silas and don't think it is too "s" heavy.

Good luck!

Kelly said...

Someone sent me here and I had to comment. WE have an almost 2 year old named Harper. (I'm like the person here - we picked it because it was unpopular and now it's gotten WAY too popular for me). We are having our second girl in March and are naming her Hollis. (PRAYING it doesn't become popular too!)

Amber said...

From your girls list, I think Briar has popularity possibility. Seems like that is a name I've been hearing more and more.

From your boys list, I like Silas but think it's too much of an "S" tongue twister.

How about...


(surname derived, similar to Briar)
-- Harper and Blair Reese --

(similar to Yeardley, which I also like)
-- Harper and Hadley Reese --

(surname derived, similar in style)
-- Harper and Kendall Reese --

(surname derived)
-- Harper and Sydney Reese --

BOYS -->

(version of Abraham)
-- Harper and Abram Reese --

(surname derived)
-- Harper and Cohen Reese --

Other boy names I like with Harper:
Asher and Ezra.

Good luck! :)

Ben & Rebecca said...

Thank you, wonderful readers and Swistle! It is so refreshing to hear other peoples' thoughts outside of my husband and myself. I'm not sure if this will make it harder or easier, but I love reading everyone's suggestions.

Pretty sure I'm nixing Morrow & Eisley at this point, and we are leaning toward Shepard or Silas for a boy. However, I hadn't thought of the 'careerish' sound of Harper and Shepard until Swistle mentioned it. My husband said we might have to name #3 'Flutist' or 'Wise Man #2' to keep that up. Hilarious. I also love the suggestions of Aram, Amos, & Graham.

Not sure why I spell Gretta with 2 t's, I just like the look of it better! I love Ellison and Eloise, but I don't want the nn 'Ellie'. Is Lou a nn for Eloise? I do like that. I also love the idea of India, nn Indie!

Kelly--too funny because I started randomly reading your blog about a month ago! Hoping Hollis doesn't become too trendy for you! :)

Anonymous said...

Meredith Kate Meredith and Harper. My Fav!
Emma Reece Harper and Emma
Amelia Harper and Amelia
Emerson Harper and Emerson
Isla Harper and Isla. My other Fav!
Maggie Harper and Maggie
Logan Harper and Logan

Mrs S said...

Oh no! sorry I just hit enter too soon. the prev post is from me.

Meredith Kate and Isla Kate I love.
Emma, Amelia, Emerson, Maggie and Logan were my other suggestions!

Jess said...

Hi, Rebecca -

Re your question about nicknames for the girls sugguestions starting with El-: I think Ellison and Eloise are pretty nickname-proof, like Harper. I don't think people are going to immediately create a nickname out of these names. They are distinctly different from a Jennifer dropping to Jen/Jenny or a Rebecca dropping to Becca/Bec. Sure, you can create your own nicknames, like Lou, but I don't think people will default to those until after you start using them. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

If you are worried about nicknames, what about:


Mrs S said...

I like Silas but I agree there would be too many 's' sounds w/ your last name.
Owen Benjamin
Quinn Benjamin
Noah Benjamin

And how about taking Briar from you girl list and move it to your boy list?

Briar/Brier Benjamin Reesse.

Janelle said...

Briony! All the best of Briar but minus the repeating -er at the end with Harper.

Kim@Living with Little People said...

I'd never heard the name Eisley before, but it immediately made me think of Ainsley. This is on my own shortlist if I'm lucky enough to have a girl next time around. I think like Harper its feminine without being sickly sweet.