My husband and I need help naming our first child, a baby girl, who is due to arrive at the very beginning of April. I'm Courtney and his name is Joel with the last name of F-urn (but it's spelled like the plant). We cannot agree on any sort of name. We plan on having 3-4 kids, so the thought of naming a sibling is in my head. I love older names (Charlotte) and he loves extremely popular names right now (Sophia and Olivia). One of the problems comes in because I teach high school and I have MANY students who I would never want to name my child after (which is why I am adamantly against Olivia). I love the idea of using family names but between the two of us, the only decent family name is Elizabeth, which is my middle name. Right now I am leaning towards Elizabeth as a middle name because everything seems to go with it and because of the family connection. I am Southern so I am definitely open to the double name; my husband also likes the double names except it seems that everything is paired with Beth. I want to stray away from all the Kaleeys, Baileys, etc. I want a name that is decidedly feminine (no gender neutral names or anything with a gender neutral nickname). One of our other requirements is that it is 2 syllables, since we have a 1 syllable last name. Our favorite name is Lily, but there is no way we could ever name our daughter Lily Fern (as a teacher I would laugh out loud seeing that on a roster).
Sophia (and call her Sophie)
My choices: (I really like the letter C in case you can't tell)
Caroline (this is lower on my list)
Claire (although it only has 1 syllable and he veotes it because it's the name of a Kardashian)
Emma (but it is SO popular right now with little girls)
My hesitation comes in giving my daughter the same initials I have and I don't want to name my child after myself (which is what my husband's sister did). I prefer to not be in the top 10 names, but it seems like the styles we like are all on the top 10 list. I feel like I've searched through every website and and every book (including the Baby Name Wizard, which I know you recommend). I'm hoping you and your readers can offer some help!
Thanks so much!!
I am a little embarrassed to have Kardashian trivia easily at hand, but there it is: you have a subscription to People magazine, you pick up on certain things. I don't think there are any Kardashians named Claire (or as they'd certainly spell it, Klaire). There is, however, a Chloe, which they spell Khloé. (The others are Kourtney, Kim, Kendell, Kylie, and Casey who must feel quite left out, but Kris didn't name her so what can you do.)
So that would put Claire back on your list, except I agree it's choppy with the one-syllable surname. Instead I suggest Clara. Clara Elizabeth F-urn. I think sharing your initials and middle name is sweet, without being very noticeable or seeming like an obvious namesake.
You're right, Emma is very popular. Gemma, however, is not. Gemma Elizabeth F-urn.
Because you have Cecilia, I'll suggest Cecily. Cecily Elizabeth F-urn.
Cecilia also makes me think of Felicity. It depends on how you feel about alliteration, but I think Felicity F-urn is pleasingly whimsical without overdoing it.
The suggestion of Sophia always makes me think of Fiona, because of the similar sounds. Then Fiona and Sophia make me think of Bianca, because that's another one with a similar rhythm. Fiona again depends on how you feel about alliteration.
A less common version of Olivia is Liviana. It gives you the nickname Livvie---similar to your favorite Lily but without the botanical association.
Another name with a similar sound is Lydia. The nickname Liddy is again reminiscent of Lily.
Another name with a good strong V sound is Genevieve.
Mulling over Sophia and Olivia brought Sabrina to mind. Sabrina F-urn.
If your favorite name is Lily, I wonder if you would like Milly. It can be short for Amelia, Camilla, or Emeline, all of which seem compatible with the other names on your list.
Or Lila. I'd caution that I think Lila along with its alternate spellings is heading for the Top Ten---but many names look as if they're heading that way before hovering nicely in the non-top-ten Top Fifty.
Or Jillian, with the nicknames Jill and Jilly.
Or Willa is so pretty. Willa F-urn.
Another goes-with-almost-everything middle name I like is Louise, especially since then it gives you Lou for nicknames. Gemma Louise becomes Gemma-Lou; Clara Louise becomes Clara-Lou; Lydia Louise becomes Liddy-Lou.
Name update! Courtney writes:
I wanted to email you and let you know that we finally decided on a name for this baby. We are going with Lila Elizabeth. I think you are right about it becoming a popular name because we know of a couple other Lila's being born this year also, which is fine with me. I cannot thank you and the readers enough for helping us decide on a name for this baby.
Thank you for your help!!