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Monday, November 29, 2010

Baby Girl Tom, Sister to Rowan and Griffin

Emily writes:
We are due Jan 1st with a baby girl and have basically exhausted ourselves looking for a name. Our names are David and Emily and our last name is (phonetically) Tom. This baby will be our 3rd child – we have an 8 year old daughter Rowan Terese and a 6 year old son Griffin David. Both of those 2 were SO easy to name, both were named within days of their 20 week ultrasounds, and I’m baffled why we are having such a hard time this go round. Nothing seems “right” for this one. A quick note – my husband is one of 14 kids, so we have a large grouping of nieces and nephews on his side. This will be grandchild #30 for his parents and we’d like to steer clear of cousin names.

Here are some of our (ok, mostly my) parameters:

No T name. I hate matching first with last initials – especially because matching T’s sound like Tater Tot to me.

At least 2 syllables – since our last name is so short.

No overly girly/flowery name – Rowan’s name (to us) is feminine but strong. We’d like to be somewhat consistent. We don’t really think of Rowan as unisex, since I’d always heard it as a girl name, but totally get that it is not “girly” by any means.

Nothing overly traditional – this just would not “go well” with the other 2. Does that matter? Maybe not when they are 30, but I’d hate to have a Rowan, Griffin and then a Gertrude, or even a Jenny. It feels like the “one of these things is doing their own thing” skit from Sesame Street. While we love some other types/categories of names, we don’t want the age gap between our older 2 and this one to be marked or highlighted by an obvious name shift.

Nothing too trendy – we like names that are easy to spell and read… but I am hoping our baby won’t need to add her last initial to her name when in school. I grew up an Emily WAY before it was popular, so I enjoyed being the only one. As a side note, my husband doesn’t really care about this at all – guessing he was one of many David’s in his classes and it never bothered him.

Names we’ve considered but ruled out (for now?):

Delia- husband likes a lot, but I’m not loving it – it isn’t quite right.

Delaney – we both liked, but then found out someone we know has a daughter named it and it was kind of wrecked for us.

Piper – both liked a lot, but same scenario as above.

Harper – we loved but don’t like how trendy it is getting. We’d like her name to be somewhat unique…though not out there.

Hadley – I love, husband hates.

Nora- Husband loves, I don’t.

Fiona – worried about the ogre connection a bit

Finley – love this, but don’t like that it “matches” the end of Griffin’s name.

Neelie – I loved this and keep trying to push my husband to it – it is my Grandma’s name backwards. He is not even slightly convinced. We also dabbled with Eiley for awhile after the same Grandma, but hubby is not a fan.

Nola- we both liked this for awhile, but after getting bombarded with negative comments from family and friends it has lost its appeal. Guess that is a good reason to keep names to ourselves J

Phoebe- one of the 29 grandchildren, so this is out. We both love, though.

Quinn – we both love, but “belongs” to a good friend, and is only 1 syllable.

Ruby – we like this one, but it seems to be trendy… and is a bit matchy matchy with Rowan.

Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated. I’m doing my best to ensure this baby comes BEFORE we ring in the new year, more because of my quickly growing size than for any tax purposes, though that would be nice too.

Rowan and Griffin are both names that could be described as "contemporary, fashionable choices": they're not common enough to be called trendy, but they're fully in style. This is, I think, why you're getting stuck: your tastes are leading you to fashionable, cutting-edge names---but those are the very ones that could suddenly spring into trendiness/overuse.

I advise not trying to fight it too hard: future popularity of a name can't be known, so you could drive yourself crazy trying to avoid it; the current popular names are not as common as the popular names of our decade were; going by a surname initial from time to time is not so terrible; you could name her something highly unusual and still find another in her class just by the luck of the draw; and it would be a shame to give up a name you love just because another child has it, or might in the future have it.

Harper would be, I think, a perfect name: to me it's non-girly-but-still-feminine in the same way as the name Rowan. And, unfortunately, that kind of name is a hot property and, as you've noticed, the name is going up in popularity very quickly, which kicks it off the consideration list.

More possibilities:

Arden Tom; Rowan, Griffin, and Arden
Averil Tom; Rowan, Griffin, and Averil
Bianca Tom; Rowan, Griffin, and Bianca
Bronwyn Tom; Rowan, Griffin, and Bronwyn
Carys Tom; Rowan, Griffin, and Carys
Cleo Tom; Rowan, Griffin, and Cleo
Darcy Tom; Rowan, Griffin, and Darcy
Daria Tom; Rowan, Griffin, and Daria
Fallon Tom; Rowan, Griffin, and Fallon
Haven Tom; Rowan, Griffin, and Haven
Hollis Tom; Rowan, Griffin, and Hollis
Imogen Tom; Rowan, Griffin, and Imogen
Kiefer Tom; Rowan, Griffin, and Kiefer
Larkin Tom; Rowan, Griffin, and Larkin
Quinlay Tom; Rowan, Griffin, and Quinlay
Yeardley Tom; Rowan, Griffin, and Yeardley

I wasn't sure if I should avoid names that have the same ending as Rowan and Griffin: on one hand it's nice to change, but on the other hand it makes the third name more obviously separated from the first two. I went for some of each.

Name update!
Emily writes:
We hemmed and hawed –and then because she was late, we hemmed and hawed some more. She arrived January 7 – weighing a whopping 9 lbs 10oz. One look at her and both my husband and I knew she was supposed to be named Harper Adelia. Thanks to all the feedback - so many great names – and many of the comments (including yours Swistle) helped convince me that the “trendy” issue was not that important when we really loved a name. Thanks!!


Jen said...

Delia and Delaney made me think of Delilah and Dahlia. I realize those might be a little to girly/flowery but they are so similar to the others I couldn't help suggesting them.

LoriD said...

What about Morgan? I also like Carys from Swistle's list.

Lesley (and Eric) said...

I think Bryony or Garland would fit in with your scheme. Although Garland is a bit like Griffin. As would Marlowe (Marlo).

Abby@AppMtn said...

I love Rowan and Griffin! My daughter is Clio, so I'm biased - but I'm not sure it fits.

Have you considered Ellery or Waverly? Neither has much history of use in the US, and while both might be dismissed as masculine, I think they'd wear better on girls today.

From Swistle's list, I like Hollis. There's also Briar or Linden - like Hollis and Rowan, there's a subtle nature name vibe about the names, but they're not quite Star or Lily.

Best wishes!

Mrs S said...

Arden and Carys are both wonderful from Swistle's list.

I love Delaney and Harper from your list! I also like Ruby but I am surprised to see it o your list considering it is girly.

Grier, Emerson, Aidan, Avery, Kendall, Tatum, Skylar, Aubrey, Bailey, Blair, Taylor, Parker, Zoey or Reagan. I hope I didn't name any of the 29 cousins!

Best of luck!

Jan said...

Harper was the first name that came to mind after reading your parameters and before reading your list. Alternatively, if you like Phoebe, how about Daphne?

Christine said...

Peyton? or is too matchy with Griffin and Rowan? I like Harper, and while it's popular, it goes with the other names so well, I feel like it the popularity doesn't matter so much.

Marlow or Margot (silent "t") might work well for you, since they don't sound particularly "girly".

Riley (too many "R"s with a Rowan?)

Good luck!

Caitlin said...

Since you like Neelie and your husband doesn't, what about Nellie? I think it's adorable on a little girl, and works as they get older. I know it's traditional and feminine, but I don't think of it as overly girlie (Actually, my old landlords loved old family names, and named their youngest daughter Petronella after a family member - and they call her Nellie.) (The name Petra also now comes to mind.)

I love Swistle's suggestion of Hollis. What about Ellis?

Barb @ getupandplay said...

Delaney and Delia made me think of Dana/Dayna. Feminine but not girlie.

Penelope with nn Poppy or Penny?



Mrs S said...

Delaney, Ruby or Harper are my favorites from your list.

I like Arden or Carys the best from Swistle's list.

May I add : Avery, Emerson, Aiden, Taylor, Grier, Tatum, Skylar, Kendall, Reagan, Aubrey, Bailey, Paige, Blair or Kenley. I hope I didn't name any of th 29 cousins!
Best of luck to you!.

I posted earlier but my message didn't show up. So sorry if you are reading this twice.

Katie said...

I think Swistle nailed it with Arden. It's strong and feminine without being too girly. Good luck naming your little girl. You're in good hands!!

Adey said...

Okay I had to start typing my comment as soon as you mentioned the name Nola. We saw this name in our 100,000 baby name book when I was pregnant with our daughter and we ended up going with a name directly below it - Nolana.

We pronounce it "No-lawna" (with Lana "Lawna" as the nickname) but you could use Nola as a nickname as well.

I just wanted to offer that suggestion since you both like Nola! When we tell people our daughter's name we get "Wow that's different.... I like it!" after they think about it for a second ;)

---- As for other names:

Harper - I agree - it's becoming very trendy which is disappointing because I thought it went perfectly with your other names!

Love the suggestion of Arden!!
Bronwyn is good
Kiefer is strictly masculine in my opinion

Perhaps Laken/Lakin? I knew a girl with that name and thought it was neat and unique!
Maybe Jade?

Good luck!!

Lara + Chris said...

Haven immediately jumped out at me from your list. Love it, especially with Rowan and Griffin.

Patricia said...

I looked at Baby Name Wizard Expert Name Matchmaker and came up with these ideas for you:

Or how about Esme? We have a new baby Esme in our extended family, and I love that name (which isn't in the US Top 1000). I've usually heard the name pronounced as EZ-may, but I've read that in the UK, where the name is quite popular, it's pronounced EZ-mee about half of the time.

E @ Oh! Apostrophe said...

I like Hollis or Haven that were suggested here. Also, have you considered Willa? I think it's beautiful!C

Anonymous said...

I love the suggestions of Averil and Cleo, but when read with the siblings names the lack of an "n" ending sounds out of place to me.

What about...

Great sibling names, I'm sure you will find something that fits!

Kate said...


brooke said...

A few that come to mind:


Anonymous said...

Your existing children's names sound Celtic to me, but I don't know if they are or not. Another Celtic name would tie in well - Fiona from your list or Bronwyn from Swistle's are good fits.

Or Bridget, Morgan, Fallon, or Wynne.


brooke said...

a few ideas that come to mind:


Karen L said...

A few ideas:

Carolyn said...

I also thought of Flannery, as in Flannery O'Connor.

I think Harper or Eisla (as an alternate to Eily) could would be great as well.

TaraRhode said...

love suggestions of Arden, Imogen, and Hollis.

Fran said...

I am glad to see Daria on Swistle's list as it popped into my head when I read that Delia wasn't an option. Other than I am afraid I can't be of much help. 30 grandchildren? I need to go lie down.....

Daniel said...

I love Arden! It seems to meet all your requirements!

Anonymous said...

I think your hubby should come around to Hadley. LOVE IT!

kanah said...

I was going to suggest Fallon and Yeardley, too, Swistle!! Hollis is also great. How about Madigan, Teagan, Gemma, Piper. Even though you have a friend with a daughter named Piper, I still think it fits well. I'd go with that or Fallon. Best of luck!!

beyond said...

I love your list, especially Finley and Nola. Both of them are great with Rowan and Griffan. From Swistle's list I love Cleo.
My suggestions:
Good luck!

brooke said...

I say go with Phoebe - you both love it. With so many cousins it is surprising to see a name repeated (especially a good one!). My second fav on your list is Piper.

From Swistle's list I really like Hollis.

A few more:


Liz said...

I love Fiona and I don't think there's too much of an ogre association. Likewise, I don't think Ruby is too matchy with Rowan. (I agree with you on Finley, though. One letter in common? No problem. One syllable? Deal breaker, especially since both names are only two syllables to begin with.)

Is Quincy too close to Quinn? I also love Swistle's suggestion of Quinlay.

I was going to suggest Eilidh (pronounced Eiley), but then I reread your letter and noticed you wanted something easy to spell. Eiley is such a darling name!

Naomi? Elodie? Elena with the nickname Lainey (which is only one syllable off from Delaney)?

Jenn said...

I love Swistle's suggestions of Arden & Hollis- both are 100% girl to me, but still strong.
Finley makes me think of Flannery
Phoebe makes me think of Daphne
Quinn makes me think of Quincy
Other ideas:
Romily (or Romy)
Luca (Luka)

Jenn said...

Sorry I thought of more- I love unisex-ish girl names and my DH hates them so I have a whole bunch I will never get to use:
Kerrison (Carrison)

mixette said...

I also thought of Darcy when you mentioned Delia and Delaney. And along the lines of honoring your husband's Grandmother: Lena. It has the feel of Nola, which you both liked.

Good luck and congratulations on #3!

Anonymous said...

I especially like Harper and the suggestion of Arden.

Some ideas (my apologies for any repeats):


Devan said...

I really like Hadley! That sounds very nice with your other children's names. I also LOVE Harper and don't know if it's popularity is enough to count it out. (I only know one actual Harper...)

I think both Ruby and Ruth would be lovely, if you don't mind the beginning sounds being the same as Rowan.

Anonymous said...

I really like Delaney best
with your other children's names. If that name is absolutely out, how about Darby?
Darby Tom sounds spunky.

My next favorite from your list is Nola. I'm not sure why people would object. I see you also like Nellie and Nora. Those all make me think of the name Neala (sometimes spelled Neila). It is very cute and also has the same Celtic flair as Rowan.

Lastly, I thought of Shea but I am sure if people are familiar enough with that name or if it would be mistaken for the French "chez" with your last name.

StephLove said...

I'll start by trying to convince you to reconsider some of your rejected names. Delaney for starters, is a great name for you. Depending on how close you are to the friends who named a baby Delaney and whether or not their baby is likely to be an important person in your baby's life, it could be a non-issue.

Next up, Fiona. It is lovely and fits well with the siblings. I know a 4 year old Fiona and I think once you know a child with the name you stop thinking ogre.

I'm not too keen on Neelie, but why not Eileen? It's a good name without turning it inside out. I know a toddler named Ailyn, which I think might be a variant spelling, and I've also seen Aileen, if you prefer that.

From Swistle's list I like Arden, Bronwyn and Carys best. My suggestion is Deirdre. It's familiar and Celtic, but not at all popular or trendy. I want to suggest Gwendolyn as well, but I'm not sure if it's too close to Griffin, starting and ending with the same letters. Good luck. I'm looking forward to hearing what you choose.

Sandy said...

Perhaps Kinley, Quinlen or Peyton?

Anonymous said...

How long does it take for the comments to show up? I know a bunch of people sent some yesterday but they haven't been approved yet ~ Thanks.

The Mrs. said...


Maven 'Tom'.

Rowan, Griffin, and Maven.

Everyone would have their own initals, it doesn't begin with a 'T', it's two syllables, AND it ends with the same sound as her siblings. It has a different vowel sound, so each child would know EXACTLY who you're calling from the bottom of the stairs.

It's contemporary, but not trendy. Familiar, but not common. There's only one way to spell it. Hopefully, one of your many neices does not have this one already!

Best wishes to you all!!

Patricia said...

Swistle, I listed some name suggestions more than 24 hours ago -- and still they haven't been read and posted. I hope you can soon return to your usual way of doing the blog, as there as no incentive to respond when nothing appears.

Swistle said...

Hi, everyone! I hope you can cut me a little slack as I figure out this new way of doing things. It's only been one day since I changed things, and I don't like it any more than you do, but I hope to have things running smoothly again soon. In the meantime, I'd appreciate your patience. I'd also appreciate it if you could throw eggs at any spammers you see, because they sure are making things difficult.

Meredith said...

I agree that Delaney really is perfect for you. And I was going to suggest Auden, but someone else did. I second the suggestions of Maeve, Sloane, and Sutton. Linden makes me think of Laurel.

Christina Fonseca said...

My faves from Swistle's suggestions: Bronwyn, Carys, Darcy and Daria.

Other ideas:
Abbey / Abbie
Carrie / Cari / Kerry / Keri

Emily said...

Wow... you all rock! I plan to spend some time today perusing all the ideas/lists/comments. Thanks so much for the comments and Swistle's time and energy!! My husband has basically washed his hands of me by now... too much hemming and hawing for him to handle. Add that to pregnancy hormones and he is seeking refuge in the basement "man cave" whenever he can.

Just a note- some of the cousins were mentioned, but it is a large pool to try to avoid! We've got a Chloe (which is a bit close to Cleo/Clio), a Zoey, a Morgan, and a Courtney (among others). As you can imagine,you've all touched on various dogs/cats/birds that are part of our large extended family as well :)

Anonymous said...

I really like Afton or Rhiannon as they're strong and feminine names without the frills.

Elle said...

Just want to echo Liz's suggestion of Lainey. One syllable off of a name you both love, similar enough sounding (to me) to compliment Eileen, and -- with the mid-name n sound -- a nice complement to your first two without resulting in a matchy-matchy set of all three names ending in the n sound.

Rowan, Griffin, and Lainey. I'm sold, if you're not. ;)

Lisa said...

Look at those cheeks! Yummy! I think you did wonderfully! Enjoy Harper (and Rowan and Griffin)!

Christine said...

What an adorable baby with the perfect name! I'm pretty sure there are two pounds just in her cheeks! adorable :)