Good morning. I have a bit of a baby name conundrum and could really use some help. We are trying to come up with a baby girl name and have a name that we love, but there is a problem. We love the name Claire Elizabeth Welter (whatever first name we choose, the middle name will be Elizabeth. It is my middle name, it was my great grandmothers name, it was my great, great grandmothers middle name, etc. My grandmother always expressed an interest in passing this name down. I love it, so I would like to do that). My husband and I both love the name Claire. This should be an easy decision. However, my sister-in-law lost a baby to Trisomy 18 about 3 years ago at 26 weeks. They named their baby girl Blair Elizabeth. My husband is worried that Blair and Claire are too similar, especially since the middle names would be the same. The more I thought about it, the more I agree with him. However, a number of people that I have talked to didn’t seem to think that it was a big deal. My question is, should we even continue to consider this name, or should we move on to other names? We do have a short list of other possibilities (Ellie, Amelia, Charlotte, and Lyla) but both just love Claire so much. We have a two year old son named Jack Ryan already, so our only real criteria beyond the middle name is that we do not want the name to start with a J. Thoughts?
Thanks so much!
My opinion is that it's too close, but let's have a poll over to the right to get a group opinion. [Poll closed; see results below.] At first I thought it might be okay (it's been several years; it's not exactly the same name), but as soon as I imagined being a family member hearing the name of the new baby, I flinched hard. If it were just the first name I would already be hesitating, but the one-two punch of first and middle seems too painful---and unfortunate for your daughter, too, to have her name so evocative of a family tragedy.
I think it can be very hard to move on and choose another name after something like this. The natural inclination is to compare each new option to the unusable name and find it wanting, instead of choosing which usable option is the favorite. One mental trick I've found helpful is thinking of other situations that would render the name unusable. For example, in your situation I might think "If our surname were O'Hare, we wouldn't be able to use Claire" or "If my husband's first wife's name were Claire, we wouldn't be able to use it" or "If my husband hated the name Claire, we wouldn't be able to use it." I'm not sure why this works for me, but I think it's because it reminds me that there are many reasons names can be ruled out, and that we all have our own groups of such names.
Perhaps if you have another daughter later, you could use Claire as her middle name (it's what I'd be suggesting for this daughter if the name Elizabeth weren't already set). Or perhaps a name like Clarissa would work: it has much of the sound of Claire, but I no longer get a strong flinch from Clarissa Elizabeth.
Or do you like Cecily, Celeste, Cora, or Corinne? Or Abigail?
Or Rose. Rose Welter; Rose Elizabeth Welter; Jack and Rose. I love that. I like the repeating Z sound, and Rose has the sweet simplicity of Claire. [A commenter points out that Jack and Rose are characters in a movie. I wonder if Hope would work? Hope Elizabeth Welter; Jack and Hope.]
Or Eve. Eve Elizabeth Welter; Jack and Eve.
Or Lucy. Lucy Elizabeth Welter; Jack and Lucy.
Or Grace. Grace Elizabeth Welter; Jack and Grace.