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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Baby Girl F-urn

Courtney writes:
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).

His choices:
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!!


liz said...

As soon as I saw your last name, I thought of Charlotte's Web, so I wouldn't use Charlotte, unless you really like that association.

Of the names on your list I would go for Caroline. And I really like Gemma.

christine said...

Exactly what Liz said re: Charlotte, which is a shame because it is such a pretty name.

You might also like: Evelyn, Sonia, Silvie, Celia, Beatrice/Beatrix...

I love the suggestion of Clara and really like Caroline with your last name.

Susan S said...

I have an aunt whose first and middle names are Lila Fern.

Nicole Trager said...

After reading your email, I had the exact name suggestions as Swistle. So my first thought was go with Clara! she is two syllable and not a Kardashian. I also thought of Fiona as a sub for Sophia and I happen to love the alliteration. Then my last thought was Lydia as a sub for Lily. My faves are Clara and Fiona! I think Clara is so classic but underused. But I also love love Fiona F-urn. Good luck!

Diane said...

In addition to the Charlotte's Web association, Charlotte also lends itself to the nickname Charlie, which is at odds with your no-gender-neutral-nickname rule.

I also like Clara for you.

Jan said...

Out of your list, I like Cecelia best, perhaps because I think it's underused (minus The Office baby). I like Sophie as a given name from your husband's favorites. Other C names to consider: Catherine, Cara, Camille, Charity.

vanessa said...

I like Lillian Fern, but I don't know that you could avoid Lily. Maybe spell it Lillie if you ever go with a nickname?
Caroline is so great
Clara is also great
Sylvia! Sylvia Elizabeth Fern.

StephLove said...

Sorry if this is a repeat, but I don't think it posted the first time.

I like the idea of using Elizabeth as a middle and I think it goes with almost everything on your list. My favorite is Caroline Elizabeth but since that's not as high on your list, I'd recommend Cecilia Elizabeth or Chloe Elizabeth.

gail said...

Lots of wonderful suggestions from Swistle. My fave might just be Camilla, closely followed by Cecily.

Another Erin from the 80s said...

I think Betsy would be perfect but since it Is a nickname for Elizabeth, I would use a different mn. Betsy Claire F-urn. Beautiful!
This may be too corny for you, but there is always April!
April Elizabeth F-urn.

The Mrs. said...

It's not a two-syllable name, but I'm pretty certain you've never seen it on a name roster. It is a legitimate name, though.

Carlia Elizabeth

It's pronounced Car-LEE-ah. Her nickname could be Carly Beth or Carly Ella.

I've only met one person in my life with this name, and she must be in her mid-thirties by now. She had a singing voice like warm summer (good association for me).

That's the only 'c' name I have for you. Otherwise, I'd suggest Sylvia. Sylvia Elizabeth.

Best wishes to you and your growing family! Please let us know what you decide!

Anonymous said...

I really, LOVE the suggestion of Cecily (it was what I was going to suggest for you before seeing it in Swistle's reply!), but something tells me your husband might not go for something so old-fashioned. Cecily F-urn is just so pretty and wonderful!

You and your H seem to have pretty similar taste in names (strong, feminine, fairly popular), so that's good. Clara is wonderful suggestion.

What about Emily? It's not quite as popular as Emma, still staunchly feminine and recognizable, but somehow it always seems to pop at me. A friend of mine named her baby girl Emily a couple of years ago and I remember going, "Oh! How great! I forgot about that name!" And Emily F-urn is so pretty!

KWILY said...

What about Cora? One of my favorite names ever! Also, when you mentioned Olivia, I thought of Olive. So perfectly old-fashioned with Liv and Livy as a nickname. Love all of the suggestions!

Anonymous said...

I love love love Cecelia. Celia. Cici. Lia. Cute. I also really love Clara. It always makes me think of The Nutcracker, but that's a positive association. Also, I know a Mary Elizabeth who goes by Mary Elizabeth. Her sister is Anna Katherine and goes by the whole name.

Mary said...

what about Cassidy, nn Cassie, or Cordelia, nn Cordie or Delia? Clementine Elizabeth sounds lovely as well, as does Calista.

Elena also might work for you both- classic but not stuffy? Elena Mae, nn Ellie or Lena? Leora is also nice or Emilia.

or Sadie if Sophia is too popular? Sadie Eliza? Sadie Nell? or Magnolia? Magnolia Eliza?

Instead of Olivia:
Odelia? Odette? Orla? Alicia?

I also think Annabelle Elizabeth would be just perfect- so classic but not trendy or overdone.

some double name ideas:

Ayla Kate
Clara Mae
Lara Jane
Amelia Liv
Isla June
Leah Claire
Nora Rose
Ruby Madeline

AirLand said...

I think you should do a double first name... Sophia Claire! Sophia Claire Elizabeth F-urn :)

Other first/middle names I like:

Clara Emmeline or Clara Elizabeth
Cecilia Claire (you could call her C.C.)
Caroline Elizabeth or Caroline Sophia
Emma Elizabeth (nickname EmmaBeth)

I really like Charlotte Elizabeth, but as others have pointed out, I don't know about Charlotte F-urn. But it's definitely not a negative association, and might actually be very cute.

Katy said...

I'm really late to the party, but I couldn't not suggest Lilla as an alternative to Lily or Lila. Lilla F-urn is gorgeous. Lilla Elizabeth is maybe a lot of Ls, but it flows nicely. Even lilts, if you will! :) Good luck!