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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Baby Girl or Boy Dwyer, Sibling to Florence

Leonie writes:
Our second baby is due on July 14 (not sure of it's a boy or girl). We have the girls name more or less sorted but we are stuck on a boys name. Our surname rhymes with Dwyer.

Our daughter is called Florence Elizabeth Grace, which we both love. It was chosen from a short list the day she was born and if this baby is another girl it will be a similar combination of beautiful classical names - Eleanor, Marguerite, Loretta, Mathilda, Rosalie, Pearl etc....we'll figure it out on the day!

We have a few of boys names in mind but we are not as confident about using them... We have both started to doubt them at the last minute (is that normal?) Here they are...

Menzies Franklin Huw
Menzies Alexander Felix
Menzies Alexander Owen
Menzies Amos Alexander

I should point out that my husband is Welsh and so we would like a Welsh name in the mix. Also, the name Menzies has a nice family significance. While it would be nice to include these elements it's not a essential.

We also like
Edwin
Selwin
and most recently my hubby has thrown Marvin into the mix...I was unsure but it's growing on me (and it's Welsh)

We are open to brand new suggestions at this stage too - nothing is set in stone yet! Also, if you can think of some middle names for Marvin that would be great...

Thanks!

The first thing that sprang to my mind when I said the name Menzies aloud was "menses." I have gone around and around about this since I got your letter, wondering if I should even mention it: it seems like there is always someone who has a peculiar association with a name (Paul and I still quote this SNL skit to each other), so maybe this is me saying "Hey, Benjamin, IS MONTANA A STATE YET?" Or maybe not, and so I mention it anyway but with hesitation (and with Julia Sweeney giving me a perplexed look).

I'm looking at the Welsh section of The Best Baby Names in the World From Around the World, and I'm seeing a ton of nice options: Bevan, Bowen, Brice, Cai, Calder, Colwyn, Davis, Dylan, Evan, Gavin, Griffith, Kent, Maddock, Price, Rhys, Tristan, Vaughn. Since you've mentioned Edwin and Selwin, Colwyn and Bowen stand out to me from that list. Maybe something like Colwyn Alexander Felix or Bowen Amos Alexander. Or Menzies would work well in a middle name position: something like Colwyn Alexander Menzies or Bowen Felix Menzies.

With Florence, my favorites are Calder, Colwyn, Davis, Price, and Rhys. Of those, Rhys is probably my top favorite. Rhys Alexander Felix, Rhys Franklin Menzies, Rhys Alexander Menzies, etc.

Marvin is not in the Welsh list of The Best Baby Names in the World or in the Welsh list of The Oxford Dictionary of First Names, so I think I would use a Welsh middle name as well. I like many of the middle names you've already chosen for Menzies, or names from the Welsh list above: Marvin Alexander Felix, Marvin Franklin Menzies, Marvin Rhys Menzies, Marvin Davis Menzies, and so on.

26 comments:

StephLove said...

I like Edwin for you. It seems to have a similar vibe as Florence. I also like Alexander as the first middle. I think it has a nice rhythm with a one or two syllable name in front of it. Edwin Alexander Menzies perhaps? Franklin could be a good first name too if you don't mind repeating an initial. Also, Selwin is growing on me the more I think about it.

I don't know much about Welsh names but from Swistle's research I like Davis, Dylan, Evan, Gavin, Griffith, Price, Rhys and Tristan best. I think Tristan is my favorite. Tristan Alexander Menzies?

Laura said...

Oh Rhys is a fantastic name!! Rhys Menzies Alexander - good call, Swistle! Edwin is also a great name. Sadly, I had the same thought re: Menzies and menses.

Jessica said...

I don't think I ever would have thought of the menses connection, so you might be safe using it. On the other hand, now that I've seen it I can't NOT see it!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the Menzies/Menses point. I would highly recommend keeping it in the middle name section if you use it at all. Unless the family name part is not optional or will cause serious hurt feelings if you don't use it, it's going to have some bad associations for most people in North America. Good luck with your search! I particularly love Felix from all the names up there!

Noelle said...

That was my first thought when I read Menzies too. My personal favorite on Swistle's list is Rhys.

Anonymous said...

Edwin has a great old-fashioned feel with Florence.

EP said...

I immediately thought of menses too and scrolled right down to Swistle's response to see if she made the same association. Sadly, I would avoid using this name altogether, even as a middle name. I really like Rhys. What about Rhys Alexander Marvin?

Anonymous said...

Edwin! Perfect. I love it.

Anonymous said...

For me, Rhys is too close to the end sound of Florence. And it is very jolting with one short syllable next to Florence. Eain or Ian or Euan or Ewan or a Welsh version of spelling seems fine with your surname and with Florence. But I also love Morgan (Welsh version is Morgwn). I have a friend with this name and I love it. Morgan Dwyer and Florence Dwyer. Nice. Can I also mention that his (Welsh) sisters are Carys, Catherine, and Eleri. I love ALL of these for your girl , but with the spelling and sound issues, I like Eleri the best.

Sarah said...

Since Menzies is pronounced Mingis, would you be open to spelling it more like it sounds? Particularly if the baby is growing up in North America. Of course, your husband's relatives might shudder at that...

Swistle said...

Oh, Menzies is pronounced like Mingus? That changes everything! I would definitely suggest translating it into the United States English alphabet if that's where the child lives.

gail said...

I just checked on Forvo, and it seems native speakers from Great Britain do pronounce Menzies sort of Ming-us. Rather than Min-gus....But Forvo also had examples where speakers from Canada were pronouncing it phonetically, as Men-zees......So I cannot help but think that if you want the traditional pronunciation, you are going to have to commit to a fair amount of persistent education, spelling included. Even with a western pronunciation, I think there will be many for whom the spelling will not be intuitive.

The only semi-obscure Welsh name I know is Gwydion, a wizard in the Mabinogion. The top 100 list of boy's names currently (2010) being used in Wales doesn't read all that differently from ours, so you must be looking for one not in current usage. Davies is another that comes to mind. Owain is #80, Iestyn, #65, Ieuan, #63, Gethin #49. (Top 10--Oliver, Jack, Ethan, Jacob, Thomas, Alfie, Dylan, Charlie, Joshua, Logan.) You can access the full list on the Baby Name Wizard site under international names list).

Of your 3 outlier names--Edwin, Selwin, and Marvin, I think Selwin might be the trickiest to wear as a first name.

I think Menzies, Selwin, Huw (rather than Hugh), are all in an entirely other category, one a lot more obscure, than the names you're considering for daughters. I would suggest considering Tristan, Thomas, or Lloyd if you're going for beautiful/ classical, and reserving more obscure Welsh names for a middle slot. (Unless, of course, you live there).

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Menses and Flo(rence) - seems a bit ironic... I would translate the spelling to the north american version.

Nicole Trager said...

I too got the Menses and Flo connection.. but I had no idea it was pronounced like Mingus .. I do like Mingus.. but I would say you might want to go with a north american spelling. Edwin is my next pick for you

Anonymous said...

Franklin Hew is def. the greatest middle names.

Anonymous said...

I'm with the others, I DID think of menses as soon as I read Menzies. I absolutely adore the name Bowen (I'm assuming its pronounced Bo-in, like Rowen). Baby Bowen!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Mum to be here. Firstly, we live in Sydney (Australia) so I don't know anything about SNL...My father recently passed away and Menzies was his beloved home town. (We can't use his name as an immediate family member already has). We thought it might be a nice way to honour him.

We would be pronouncing it Men-zies which was the name of one of our prime ministers and not too foreign sounding to Australians.

It's a bit sad that North America is only going to think of Mensus - I'm a bit sad I asked now.

Anonymous said...

Menses was my first thought before I even saw swistle's response. It seems a little unfortunate for a boy, and even more so with flo(rence) is there some other way you can honor your grandfather? Middle name perhaps? I love the suggestion of Rhys! Of your ideas I definitely prefer Marvin over Menzies

Anonymous said...

Please don't let the N. American connection with menses discourage you from using the name. I'm from N. America and didn't make the connection, even after it was pointed out it was hard for me to hear. It sounds like the name is recognizable and unlikely to cause teasing where you are, and that is more important than the opinions of people a world away. Every country has names that don't translate well to other counties and it isn't the end of the world. From your list I like the flow of Menzies Alexander Owen or Menzies Alexander Selwin.

Anonymous said...

With the others re Menses and Flo. I live in North America and ended up eschewing Celtic names I loved because of the spelling/pronunciation issue. Pls use it as a first or second middle if you use it and live in North America.

Anonymous said...

I think you should use Menzies, I can't see any real harm in it if it's fairly common where you live. Brad Pitt is a pretty rude name in Sweden, but I doubt he's affected by this on a daily basis ;)

Janelle said...

I really really like Menzies Franklin Huw, and even more knowing that you're in Sydney and will not have the same negative associations that some Americans mentioned.

Like another poster said, don't let the negative associations of another country influence your decision! If Menzies is seen in a positive light in Australia, I'd definitely use it!

Nichole said...

I immediately picked Rhys out of Swistle's list. Close second is Colwyn. Edwin is also great.
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Are you pronouncing Menzies as Mingus? That is the most common pronunciation in the UK.

Crafty Beth said...

I have a friend whose little guy is named Delwyn, which she tells me is Welsh. I immediately thought of it when I saw Edwin and Selwyn on your list!

Anonymous said...

I'm Australian too and the first thing I thought of when seeing the name Menzies was the Prime Minister, not mensus AT ALL.

I really hope this hasn't ruined it for you. If it is a name you really love, and has special significance for you, go for it!

I have to admit that I really like both Edwin and Marvin. They both seem to fit so well with Florence.

Huw and Owen are great Welsh names too.

Both Edwin Alexander Huw and Marvin Alexander Owen are my favourites.

Good Luck!