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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Baby Girl or Boy Ele____

Nicki writes:
I've been following your blog for most of my pregnancy, hoping to find the perfect name for my child, but so far, no luck! We are due in the next month, we don't know the sex and we are floundering without a solid name for either a girl OR a boy! Please help! my husband and I have some very mismatched name lists and would love some additional suggestions from you and your readers!

Husband's list of names:

Ava - (Solid 'no' from me as it's way too common)
Katrina - (Both of us are losing confidence in this one. We don't like Kat, but are fine with Kate)
Christian - (Also a 'no' from me, and this might be weird but I don't want people to refer to him as "that Christian guy" :)
Sebastian - (I can't find a decent nickname for this one)
Luca - (I like this one; husband think it sounds like a pro footballer)

My list:

Maya - (Always loved it, husband is warming to it but prefers Maia)
Ivy - (Husband hates it and is really good at coming up with horrible ways to distort beautiful names! H-I-V for this one)
Fern - (l love that it's from Charlotte's Web. Husband and our families all disapprove!)
Oscar - (Husband sings the Oscar Meyer weiner song) (does anyone else have a husband like this?!!)

I should also mention that many of my favourites were cut early on due to the mismatch with our last name that is three syllables and starts with Eli- (like elephant). These were:


As for middle names, we both feel strongly about using family names. We would probably choose based on sound match, but as you can see, this is going to be tough!



Any advice you can pass on will be helpful!! THANKYOU!!

PS. I should also mention that this baby will be born in France. Everyone seems to think we should find a french-sounding name, but I havent come up with anything (aside from Noelle, I guess). I also really liked the name Paris when we thought we would be delivering in Canada, but now that we are in France, I refuse to be that corny :( I feel that all my favourites have been thrown out the window! I need some fresh and expert name advice!

My problem has become a little more specific so I hope that you and your readers can help. Basically, we have more or less decided on a girl's name, but are stuck if this little one ends up being a boy! We can't agree on even a short-list so we are hoping for some fresh advice from you and your readers before this baby comes (due this month!).

Our last name is 3 syllables, starting with the sound Eli- (like elephant). The names we would like to use as middles are from our families: John and Rudolf, and we wouldn't be opposed to using both for one child (I have two middles). We are even in mild agreement over using the name Jonathan Rudolf, but thats the closest we have gotten to a boys name at all. Since John/Jonathan is a major family name on my side, there are many in my family and so I do feel a bit repetitive using it for our child. Other names we have liked are:

Husband's choices:


My choices:

Nicholas (although it is similar to my name.. so I wouldnt want to use the same nickname that I go by. I like the nn Cole though.)

Girls names that we have decided on are:

Maya Noelle
Maya Christine
Katrina Alexis
Alexia Grace

Any and all help is much appreciated!

From his list, it sounds like the name Christian is probably out for you; from yours, it sounds like Oscar is out for him. That leaves us with Luca, Sebastian, Felix, and Nicolas.

Sebastian appeals to me most because it's in the French section of The Baby Name Wizard, but it doesn't hit us over the head with its Frenchness. I would probably spell it the French way (but leaving off the French accent mark): Sebastien. I've heard two nicknames for Sebastian/Sebastien. Back in middle school, I knew a Sebastien who went by Bas (pronounced Baz, to rhyme with jazz). And one of my former classmates now has a child named Sebastian, and she calls him Seb or Sebby.

Speaking of the French section, don't react right away to this name: I think it's a tough sell because of being unfamiliar (only 28 boys were given the name in the U.S. last year), but that it has tremendous potential for working wonderfully. Ready? Pascal. It's French, and I think the sounds in it are similar to both Felix and Oscar (but with no song for your husband to sing).

I also wonder if you'd like Hugo. It has the rhythm and some of the sounds of Luca, plus it's in the French section.

His choice of Luca and your choice of Nicholas make me think of Nico.

Looking ahead to future sibling name implications might help narrow things down. I'd say that using Oscar would eliminate Maya (speaking of the song) and vice-versa. Oscar and Felix would also be unusable as a sibling set for me, but I'm not sure how many people are still familiar with The Odd Couple. Felix and Alexia might be great together or might be too much X.

Name update! Nicki writes:
Thanks to you and your readers, we went into the hospital with a confident list for either a girl or a boy (finalists were Felix, Nicolas, Theodore/Teo, and Jonathan), and after a long labour we met our baby boy and named him: Benjamin Rudolf. It was such a random, out-of-nowhere name that I had vetoed from the very beginning. But oddly, the day after the birth, my husband and I just looked at eachother and said his name is Benjamin! After nine months of crazy name discussions, we didnt even hesitate. Regardless, we thank you all for your naming help and perhaps one day a little Maya or Felix will join our clan!

Thanks again!


sara m said...

I know a Bastian and a Seba (SEE-bah) nn for Sebastien. I also really like Swistle's suggestion of Hugo. I wonder if it would be corny in France because of Victor Hugo or if it would just be like naming someone William in England - no one would necessarily relate it to Shakespeare. I don't know if Hugo goes with any of your middles though. I like Sebastien John. For your girls names I like Maya Noelle (love the name Maya!) and Katrina Alexis. Katrina might still have some stigma here in the States because of the hurricane, but I imagine that is not an issue in France. Good luck!

Kit said...

What about Lucien with the nn Luca/Luc? I also love Sebastien. I know a guy named Bastille, who goes by the nn Bast - that would also work for Sebastien. Another good French name is Benoit (pronounced "Ben-wa", for those that are only familiar with the name through the basketball player who pronounces is "ben-oyt"), nn. Ben.

Jan said...

I like Swistle's suggestions of Hugo and Nico and would add Hugh, one I've always liked. Out of your lists, Luca and Felix seem like the least objectionable for both.

StephLove said...

Jonathan Rudolf is a good fall-back name since you agree on it, though it sounds like neither of you is crazy about it. It's good to have one in your back pocket, though, that you know you can use. That might take some of the stress out of considering the others.

I liked the idea of Sebastien spelled that way. Another familiar name with a French spelling is Julien. Julien John if you like the alliteration; Julien Rudolf if you don't.

I also like Luca, Felix and Nicholas from your lists.

For a girl, I favor Maya Christine or Katrina Alexis.

beyond said...

I like Sebastian (Bas, Baz, Seb, Bastian). And I think Swistle's suggestion of spelling it Sebastien is great! Sebastien Rudolf, perhaps? Oh! A French speaking cousin of mine just named his son Bastien. Very cute, too.
I also adore Oscar. (which my husband vetoed because of Oscar Meyer, Oscar the Grouch, and The Odd Couple, and the Academy Awards.) I also really like Nicholas for you, nn Cole. Nicholas John? I love it!
Love all your girl possibilities, with a slight preference for Maya Noelle, which just sounds fabulous.

kimma said...

A slightly unusual nickname for Jonathan is Jonty - used in South Africa which is where I heard it. I really like it and it might make the namesake name seem fresher to you.

As for whether Nicholas is too close to your name - I don't see anything wrong with a son being given a namesake name after his mother. It should probably be done more often! And Cole definitely takes it away from being a "mini-me" name.

BTW - I have one of those husbands! Not to add fuel to your hubby's fire, but mine always sings "Felix the cat, the wonderful, wonderful cat" when I mention how much I love that name.

Anonymous said...

I like your shortlist, but thought I'd add some more names that will be familiar in both locations.
Julien (already mentioned)

From your husband's list it seems it may be more important to him that the name has a french leaning than it is to you.

Shannon said...

I don't know if you've considered Avery for either a boy or a girl? I know it's becoming more common for girls but I think it's still widely accepted as a boy's name as that's what it traditionally was. I don't think it's crossed over like some boy's names that are now considered exclusively a girl's name. And it's also from Charlotte's Web (Fern's brother)! I have a daughter named Avery but I think it's a very lovely and underused, traditional boy's name as well. I think all your choices listed above are pretty good but Felix is such a fantastic name, in my opinion. :) Good luck!

Magic27 said...

Sebastien is commonly shortened to Seb in France (where it's a commonish name, but mainly among young adults and up, I can only think of one boy with the name at my daughters' school); Pascal is definitely an "adult" name in France (no kids called that at all I shouldn't think). I'm not saying this to say you shouldn't use them, just that a) they'll be very familiar to French ears (everyone knows at least one of each!) and b) your little boy (if he's a boy!) will likely be the only one in his class, which is cool.
Felix is also popular, but there are kids with this name (one in my elder daughter's class). Hugo is one of the most popular boy's names in France (a bit like Jack in the US), they're everywhere (no problem with Victor Hugo associations - au contraire, I'd say). Other popular-ish names include Vincent, Theo, Julien, Adrien...
I love Maya (my daughter's best friend is called Maya, but she's Swedish!) for a little girl.
Best wishes!

Carolyn said...

One quick thought about Alexia...would you be willing to switch to Alexa? As a reading teacher, Alexia is a term that means inability to read (similar to dyslexia--a reading disorder). Not too many people will probably make the connection, but wanted to let you know.

If you like Katrina but aren't decided on a nn, I love Trina or Trini. There's a lovely actress who played Meg in Little Women named Trini.

Patricia said...

I was pleased to see Katrina (possible nn Kate) on your on your girl's list and even though you seem to have decided on a girl's name (it might be Katrina), I want to put a plug in for that name. I have a granddaughter named Catrina Jane -- called by Catrina, then Catie, then mostly Cate. She loves her name! And I think the name works in France, as the French pronunciation of Catherine is 'Ca-TRINE'. Our Catrina was to be spelled with a K, but then her mom decided she wanted to begin the name with a C as her own name Catherine does. Similar
C-forms are the Italian Caterina and the Scottish Catriona, pronounced as Catrina.

As for a boy's name, you might want to use a name that's currently popular in France, but much less so in the US. From an official list of the top 100 names in France in 2006 -- --
Hugo, Theo (or the French form Théo -"tay-oh"), Clement, Paul, Nicolas and others would work well in both English and French.

Kas said...

I love the name Alexia Grace for a girl a is so pretty! I also like Maya.

From your boys list i love Luca or Nicholas with the nn Nico!

I used to work with a girl whos parents were from France her name was Capri' pronounced (ca -pree) which is very pretty and French! her litle sister was Paris both were born in France!!

Congrats and goodluck with your name choice x

The Mrs. said...

Oohh! Capri is beautiful! (Although, Maya Noelle is gorgeous as well)... elegant, soft, composed.

For a little mister, Sebastian is good, especially with the nickname of Bass (pronounced phonetically). But Baz is very cool.

Since you're in France, what about switching John to Jacque? After all, it might be an enjoyable twist in the middle name spot. Something different for the boy list (I know, you probably aren't looking to add MORE to your lists) is Andre. I rather like the sound of George Andre. Or Andre Jonathan.

All the best to you and your family! Excited to hear what you choose!

Anonymous said...

Maya is lovely :) Katrina as well- if you're still not sure about the associations or nicknames, perhaps Catriona (pronounced the same way) would be an option? I've also seen Nina used as a nickname, instead of Kat. Perhaps that would appeal?

Sebastian is my favorite of your boys list- I don't think you need to change the spelling, it's fine as it is.

Possible nicknames, aside from Bas or Seb:


Cayt said...

I was coming to say what Carolyn said - would you consider using Alexis instead of Alexia for a first name? I've seen alexia defined as inability to read stemming from brain damage, so I would avoid putting it on a baby. Just a heads up in case that hadn't occurred to you.

I love Sebastien, Luca, Hugo, Julien. I think Bas is adorable for a little Sebastien.