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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Baby Naming Issue: Andromeda or Andi?

Jolene writes:
I've been following your blog for a while, and have really enjoyed the baby name advice you've provided to others... so I figured I'd give it a go and ask you our question. We are expecting our first child any day now (Due date Dec 20) and are having some trouble deciding on a Girl's Name. (We still don't know the sex, boys names aren't quite so contentious... we both agreed on Malcolm Marshall without too much arguing)

Our last name is kind of long... sounds like "Donaldson". Before getting married I had a fairly short name (2 syllables first name, 2 syllables last name) so I'm a bit intimidated by the length of our last name in pairing it with other names.

My husband is in LOVE with the name "Andromeda" for a girl, and maybe using the nickname "Andi" for everyday. I do like the name, but I wonder if it's too much of a handle for a teeny little girl - it's really long, and uncommon where we live. When she grows up, she could use a shortened form - like Andi, Romi, Meda, etc - but I wonder if we might not be better off to use the nickname right from the beginning. I really love the name Andi, and it fits well with my own middle name.

My proposal is Andi Lynn "Donaldson"... but the husband is insisting that it must be Andromeda Lynn "Donaldson" and still call her Andi everyday.

Are we asking for trouble with such a long name? If we plan on using the nickname every day, is it better to just have that be her legal name?

Thank you for your time :)

In some cases, I like a more formal/serious given name to fall back on. In other cases, it seems silly to force a formal name that will never be used. In general, I lean toward OPTIONS, and so I lean toward formal names with nicknames, rather than nicknames-as-given-names. But it has to be case-by-case, because there are so many issues to consider.

In this case, I am charmed by the father's love of the name, and I am persuaded by the easy nicknames. The name Andromeda is no longer than the name Elizabeth; and although Andromeda Donaldson would be a mouthful with all those D sounds, I see from your email address that the actual surname is a much nicer fit. It doesn't seem too long to me at all, especially with a short middle name.

If you're willing to go with Andromeda, and if you don't think it will cause you problems later when choosing sibling names, I vote for making it the given name, and then using Andi as an easy nickname for any community. Let's have a poll over to the right, to see what everyone else thinks. [Poll closed; see results below.]




Name update! Jolene writes:
Our little girl arrived on December 30, 2011 of course... And we decided to go with the name: Andromeda Lynn Richardson... But with a twist - were calling her Romy for short.

She's a sweet little girl, and though we're completely exhausted, things are finally starting to even out a bit as far as a routine goes.

Thanks to you and your readers for your opinions on the name. I'd be interested to know what the final tally was on the poll as well. We only had one person have a really negative reaction to the name (unfortunately my father in law) and he's saying that he wants to call her his "little Annie" instead of Romy. If they want to have that little thing between them maybe that's ok in the end? We'll deal with it as it comes I guess :)

Thanks again!

21 comments:

liz said...

Go with it.

Guinevere said...

I loooove Andromeda, and think it's a far better match for Malcolm than a birth certificate Andi! A sister could be Cassie for Cassiopeia. :)

Guinevere said...

PS - there was an Annie nickname for an Andromeda in "My Sister's Keeper" and it struck me as a truly great name at the time I read it!

KWILY said...

I think if I were your soon to be daughter, I'd rather have Andromeda on my birth certificate. And Andi is such a charming nickname. I say since you like Andi a lot, you should let your hubby have his way!

Jenny (Bring A. Torch) said...

I am Jenny everywhere but on my birth certificate. I have learned the hard way that if I want to be called Jenny in a new work situation, I had better be Jenny on my resume and cover letter. Getting called Jennifer drives me bananas, but it's also fairly easily undone. Plus I'm in education now, which means I might as well not have a first name. All of that said, Andromeda is so darned awesome that I would go with that for sure on the paperwork, even if I planned to call her Andi from the get-go.

gail said...

Andromeda! Your husband has awesome taste.

LiciaLee said...

I absolutely ADORE the name Andromeda and wish DH would consider letting me use it. I think Andi is two androgynous and nicknamey, but LOVE Andromeda NN Andi. I say go for it!

bunnyslippers said...

I love Andromeda as a name for a girl!

Anonymous said...

Andromeda sounds like 'androgynous' to me, which isn't the most feminine of associations. (I say this as someone who likes rather feminine names.) I find the 'drom' syllable very harsh on the ears. I much prefer Andi, which is quite sweet, although I know two many male Andys to consider using it myself. If it were my child, I would probably use Andrea but I'm not sure that will be to your tastes.

Anonymous said...

I don't think using Andi by itself would be a good idea. Andi to me is very dated, and I would personally hate my name to be Andi.

At least with Andromeda she would have the option to go by something else.


(I'm not trying to be nasty, this is just MY opinion :-) )

The Mrs. said...

Andromeda is lovely. (And isn't it a star as well? Very fitting for a birth near Christmas!)

I agree with Swistle that it is charming that your husband loves it so much. AND it sounds great with Malcolm! (Andi and Malcolm, Meda and Malcolm, Romi and Malcolm).

Best wishes to you and your growing family!

Gigi said...

I love it. I say go for it!

vanessa said...

I like Andromeda a lot more than Andi, and what a cool name it is. Annie is another nickname, too.

beyond said...

Andromeda and lovely and... very cool. (I like the nn Romi, but the possibilities are many.)
Good luck!

Claire said...

I think Andromeda is epically cool and good on you and your husband for being willing to use it. I think it's a great name and lends itself to all sorts of nicknames if you want them - call her Andi if you want but I think having a 'proper' name rather than something so casual is more dignified. Congratulations.

Brittany said...

Andromeda! Love, love, love the nickname Andi you've chosen for her. I'm almost always in the camp that it's nice to have options of other nicknames and a formal name to go by. I think you win all the way around with Andromeda.

Anonymous said...

Andi is a cute nickname, but it's totally one of those "What's that short for names?" like Christy or Kate. Much better to have a formal name for options, and Andromeda is amazing!

-Angela

Anonymous said...

Use Andromeda, nn Andi! Your husband's pull for the name is just too charming, and it's such a mouthful that, most often, I would bet people will ask her if she prefers to go by a nickname. My name is Meredith, and at least half the time I get asked by people I am just meeting whether or not I have a nickname I prefer (people are always surprised to hear that, no, I don't-- not sure why!).

Sebastiane said...

I would definitely go with Andromeda with the nickname Andi, that way, when she gets older and feels that Andi is too childish she has a plethora of other nicknames to fall back on, Andra, Meda, Ann, Annie or even just Andromeda.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I've never heard of Andromeda for a girl's name and it is so wonderful. I'm all for long formal names with short cute nick names (I have daughters with these kinds of names) and the options for everyone to use what resonates most with them. What an amazing name! Please use it - and then let us Swistle-groupies know!

Jennie said...

Congratulations! Andromeda with the nickname Romy is wonderful! :)