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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Baby Girl or Boy Butcher

Corrie writes:
Hi there, I’m PRAYING you can help. I’m due in six weeks but we don’t know the sex. My husband and I are sort of agreeing (ish) on names but I don’t feel like we’ve nailed it yet. Our surname is Butcher (bad times) – so girl names need to be really pretty and soft to counterbalance it (I quite like the old-fashioned names but with Butcher, it often sounds like a 99 year old woman so we have to be careful!) I also like the idea of giving a daughter my middle name, which is my mum’s maiden name (she gave it to me to continue the name as she’s an only child) – it’s Lane. The trouble is that the only names we actually agree on are so common and I’d love something a little bit less obvious.

We both like:

Lily Lane
Ella Lane

But they’re both so common…

My husband has vetoed:
Romilly (I LOVE this but he won’t budge)

Names we can’t consider because of family: Evie, Amelie, Oliver, Sam, Louis, Maisie, Charlotte, Arabella, Max

We both like good, solid names. I would LOVE to go with something more whimsical/trendy (Marlo, Auden etc) but there’s no way my husband will go for it. He wants something traditional. It’s just trying to get a balance between traditional but not too obvious. Er, I haven’t even got as far as the middle name for a boy…

We both like (ish):

Atticus (Atty for short) – I kind of love this – husband less so - but don’t think we’re brave enough to do it
Arthur (Arty) – this is my husband’s favourite but I’m just not feeling it enough; I don’t really like the nickname
Oscar – bit obvious
Teddy (full name Edward) – I love this but my husband isn’t keen – I think it’s adorable!
Fred/Freddie – both like this but it’s so obvious

My husband has vetoed:
Albert (Bertie for short)

I would really appreciate any guidance – I’ve been through a zillion books and just can’t seem to crack it!

Thank you

Another issue with both Lily and Ella is how much L they have with Lane. But this is less of an issue with a middle name it would be with a surname.

I'd like to recommend Ivy instead of Lily, but with Butcher it suddenly makes me think of I.V. needles.

Iris, maybe, instead? Iris Lane; Iris Butcher. Sweet and feminine, and reduces the L problem. In the U.S., it's significantly less popular than Lily and Ella---but I see in the U.K. stats it's barely an improvement.

I see Lydia has fallen there. It's so close to Lily, but now it's out of the Top 100. Lydia Lane is fun to say. But does it sound as good there as it does here, where it's rising?

This is one reason I am hesitant to give advice for any other country: names have so many associations, and it's hard to figure out the associations they'd have for another country. Those of us in the U.S. might make a suggestion that leaves you thinking "WHAT on EARTH are they TALKING about??"---or we might give positive/negative feedback that would only apply to a name used HERE and would be otherwise useless. Do we have any UK readers to lend a hand with this one?


liz said...

I really like the names of characters in books I read as a kid, like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; any of Noel Streatfeild's books (she wrote many! So many kids in them!); and Frances Hodgeson Burnett.

One name that comes up again and again is Lucy, and I just think it's so pretty.

Lucy Lane Butcher.

I also love Phoebe. Phoebe Lane Butcher.

For boys, I like Edmond (nn Teddy), Christopher, and Benjamin.

Elizabeth said...

Lane would make a good middle name for a boy as well as a girl.

StephLove said...

From your lists I like Ella, Lily, Arthur and Edward. I also liked the suggestions of Iris, Lydia and Christopher.

If Ella and Lily are close but not quite right, how about Eleanor or another botanical name like Clementine, Fern, Hazel or Rosemary? Those are somewhat off the beaten track.

For a boy, how about Abraham, Allen, Baxter or Marcus?

Anonymous said...

I don't often suggest my son's name, but it seems to fit in with the crowd that you've been thinking of.

His name is Gilbert. We call him "Gilly" and we have had such wonderful complements on his name, from friends both in the US and the UK.

I love the suggestion of Lydia, too.

"Gibby" or "Gilby" are also nicknames.

Anonymous said...

Oh - and I agree that Lane is a good middle choice for a boy or a girl.

Carolyn said...

The suggestion of Gilbert made me think of Gideon. I love that name for a boy and my only hope is that it doesn't catch on like wildfire.

What about Josie for a girl? It could be short for Josephine, Joanna or Johanna.

Angie said...

When I saw you mention that Freddie was obvious, I figured out you must be from the UK.

Since you don't mind the repeating L with Lane, would your husband agree to Cecily?

I only ask because for some reason when you said you LOVE Romilly but your husband won't budge, you reminded me of when I really loved Cecily and my husband wouldn't budge. We ended up having a boy anyway, but if we would have had a girl, I was prepared to stand my ground on Cecily until the very end!

If your husband could use Milly as a nickname for Romilly would he reconsider? The last I checked, Milly (or Millie?) was in the UK's top 100 which may be a bonus for your husband. Men seem to like more mainstream names in general. Romilly is more original for you, but a mainstream nickname might be comforting for your husband. Unless one or both of you hate Milly, then scratch that idea.

I would reconsider Arthur. Arty would fit in well with the Alfie's and Ali's (I think that's the common nickname for Alistair?) over there.

I can't claim to be an expert on UK culture and naming traditions, but I really enjoy the name styles over there and have noticed some of the popular UK names make their way to the US top ten a few years later.

Good luck.

The Mrs. said...

I'm an American, so disreguard any ideas that just don't work in the UK.

Do you like Susannah? Suzie Lane?

What about Marietta? Mari Lane?

Miriam? Miri Lane?

Your husband doesn't like Silvie, but what about Sylvia?

Do you care for Callista? Callie Lane?

The suggestion of Rosemary from above is a good one.

For a gentleman, how about Edgar? It reminds me of Edward and Arthur. Teddy is a nickname for it.

If Oscar seems dull, do you like Orville? Orson?

Redford is definately masculine but well off the top ten list. You could have the nicknames of Red and Ford.

Finally, does Jasper strike either of you?

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

Natalia said...

If you like Silvie, Elodie and Gracie, maybe you'd like also Sadie. Sadie Lane. What about Maggie? Is it too common? I like it! Maggie Lane.

Instead of Ella, it could be Stella, although it has the same problem with all the L sounds: Stella Lane.

I like Lucy Lane, but it makes me think of The Beatles, Lucy in the sky with diamonds and Penny Lane. Maybe you like this association, maybe you don't.

I don't know if Molly is too popular for you? Molly Lane, too cute! Molly Butcher.

For a boy, I really like Atticus, you should use it!!

From the above suggestions I like Gideon very much.

What about Henry? or Anthony (Tony)? or Vincent (Vinny)? Vincent Butcher is my favorite!

Please, let us know your thoughts and your final decision!!

Anonymous said...

i knew a family with a son named Atticus and his nickname was Ticus (pn Teek-iss) which i thought was very cute - would your husband like the name better with a different nickname?

beyond said...

If you like Lily and Ella, perhaps you'd like Eleanor (nn Nora or Ellie), Evelyn (nn Evie), Lauren, Lila, Stella.
I do like Ella for you. Ella Butcher. And I really like the sound of Evelyn and Stella, as well. Evelyn Lane Butcher, Evelyn Butcher. Stella Lane Butcher, Stella Butcher. I think they're both pretty and soft, and classic, and out of the top 50 names, at least here in the US.
I love Lane as a mn for a girl, and would use it for a boy mn, too.
I love the boy list! You can't go wrong. I love Arthur, but I just said it a few times out loud, and now I'm not sure I like how it sounds with your surname. Hmmm. (Do you like the nn Art better than Artie?)
I think Henry is an awesome suggestion. Henry Lane Butcher, Henry Butcher. Do you like Benjamin, James (too obvious?), Luke, Noah?
Good luck!

Kate said...

Since you like Silvie, you might like Solveig (pronounced Solvay or Solvee) Lane Butcher
Or maybe Annabel “Annie” Romilly Butcher
Or Elsie Lane Butcher
Or Victoria Lane Butcher
Or Romney Lane Butcher (I know this wouldn’t work in the US cause of Mitt Romney, but I met a girl by this name and had a very positive reaction to it.)
Or even Maren Lane Butcher

For the boys, here are some more oldish names with punchy fresh nicknames

Caedmon “Cade” Butcher
Remington “Remi” Butcher
Channing “Chan” Butcher

Alice said...

Would you consider Lane as a first name for a girl? I think it's lovely and I like the idea of using Laney as a nickname. It's a bit like Grace/Gracie in sound but you don't hear it as often.

I am hesitant to suggest any names that describe things/objects because of your surname. Even Lily Butcher makes me think of someone taking a weed wacker to a bed of lilies (sorry!), but it's very possible this is just me!

Some other (UK-based) thoughts:


Milo - It's not as out there as Marlo but has the same feel.

Hugo - also has the O but is a bit more traditional.

Angus - More traditional than Atticus (although I do really like Atticus), but is slowly gaining favour again and is starting to sound fresh to my ears.

Tobias -- another one ending in S with the cute-on-a-little-boy nickname Toby.

Arch/Archibald -- I really like Arthur (wouldn't even bother with a nickname), but an alternate is Archer with the slightly more digestible nickname Archie. It sounds a bit more modern as per your request, but is still strong and masculine. My only obvious reservation is Archer Butcher sounding too rhymey/profession-heavy, so maybe Arch/Archibald or even Archie on its own is better.

Jenson: A bit like Auden in that it's modern. Jenson Butcher sounds great.

Some other traditional-but-not-obvious thoughts for boys: Wilbur (Wil), Dominic (Dom), Caspian (Cas), Griffin (Grif), Edmund (Eddie), Crispin (Cris). I also liked the Abraham/Abram suggestion because I think the nn Bram is great.


Eloise: Similar to Elodie, but maybe more traditional British sounding.

Lacey: I'm starting to hear this more here and could be a good alternative to Lily and Lucy.

Tallulah: A bit different but you get the la as in Ella and ll as in Romilly plus a whole host of interesting nicknames like Lulah, Lulu and Tallie. I've even heard Tillie as a nickname for this.

Calla: It's a flower name but more descriptive and less object-heavy than Lily. Callie is a nn. Sort of a merge between Ella and Lily and sounds similar to Lane.

Other thoughts for girls based on your list:
Phoebe, Esme, Sydney, Macy, Elsie, Lottie

I think my favourites are Milo Arthur Butcher and Calla Lane Butcher. Adorable!

Good luck!!

Alice said...

Just realised that angus, as a type of steak, might not work very well with Butcher! :-)

liz said...

Oooh! What about Rosily (alt spelling Rosalie?)