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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Baby Girl or Boy Tune

Ashley writes:
I’ve been reading your blog daily for over a year now, well before I was even pregnant, and I’m a huge fan! Since I’m one of those people that have been naming my future children since I was 8, I’m surprised and frustrated that we are having so much trouble. I am currently 33 weeks, due in mid September. We do not know the gender, which has been quite the fete after requiring an amnio and several ultrasounds. With everyone around us (doctors, techs, etc.) knowing the gender, Ive gotten the vibe it’s a boy. My husband however, is convinced it’s a girl. One of us is going to be very surprised!

Anyways, here is some background on us. My name is Ashley Bray, husband is James Anderson and our last name is Tune (spelled differently).

We are pretty set on the boys name, James Wiley and he will go by Wiley. My father in law is James Russell, my husband is James Anderson, so we like the idea of keeping with this tradition. However, both my husband and FIL go by Jim, and it gets really confusing at times, so we want him to go by his middle name. I love that Wiley is unique, but a name most people have heard of before. Possible future brother name is Drake (my maiden name).

Now for the real problem, finding a girls name we both like. My style is last names at first and/or androgynous. I don’t like anything too girly/frilly or overly popular. My husband on the other hand seems to be stuck in the 70’s and 80’s with his naming style.

We would like to use the middle name Bray (my middle name and grandmother’s maiden name) as long as it works well with the first name we decide on.

My list of faves that hubby has vetoed:
Campbell (soup association)
Rowan (because he has a rowing machine...crazy, I know!)
Finley (his neighbor growing up's last name)

His list:
Nicole-nickname Nix

Names we agree on:
Lowen/Lowan (rhymes with Owen)

However, I have issues with each of these names. Is Ellis too close to all the Elle, Ella and Ellie’s out there? Does Lowen/Lowan seem like a made up name? And Nix is ok, but I would want a better full name. Nicole is too old school, I don’t care for Nicolette and Nixon has a negative association. Can you think of any other names Nix could be short for?

I would greatly appreciate any other name ideas you and your readers have for us.


Ha, yes, your husband definitely has '70s/'80s style going on there. I don't know why this is a problem for so many men! Maybe they are less likely to be around little kids, or less likely to think about baby names? I swear that when Paul and I were naming babies he just thought, "Hm, who did I go to high school with?" and made his list from that!

Sometimes it helps to find names similar to the ones someone likes, but more current---just to sort of eeeeease them into it. Instead of Nicole: Nola, Nora, Nadia, Victoria, Annika, Colette, Logan. Instead of Allison: Addison, Adelyn, Emerson, Ellison. Instead of Jessica: Annika, Gemma, Veronica, Danica, Genevieve, Josephine.

But after seeing his reasons for vetoing other names (you can't use Rowan because he...has a rowing machine?), I'm not sure that will help. It may need to be a swift firm explanation: "No, honey, those are the mom names now. Here, take a look at the current Social Security list."

Would he like any names similar to the names on your list? Brinley instead of Finley? Payton instead of Leighton? Arwen or Garnet instead of Arden?

Ellis has almost certainly come into style because of other popular El- names. It's much less common, but may still have a "group" feel to it. Ellery and Ellison are other possibilities; Ellison is particularly awesome because of how similar-yet-different it is to your husband's idea of Allison. If you wanted to avoid the El- grouping, you could consider Hollis.

Lowen ought to be a gorgeous, distinctive choice, but Lindsay Lohan has ruined it for me. She and her struggles will, one hopes, not dominate the name for ever---but sometimes celebrities go on for decades, continuing to be well known mainly for their various issues. It would worry me---and yet the more I say Lowen, the more I want to find a way for you to use it. My mom came upon the name Elowen awhile back, and I wonder if that would fit the bill: no Lohan association, the El- of Ellis, the -owen of Rowan, and even some of the sounds of Nicole and Allison.

Because I've never encountered Nix as a name or nickname, my only association is with the word nix, as in to veto or say no to. Well, and also some Nixon, of course, and some rock star association because of Stevie Nicks and Nikki Sixx. I think it would sound cute (more like how Nicki sounded to our parents: sassy but sweet) once I knew a little girl with the name, but I agree with you that it should be a nickname. You could use it as a nickname for Lennox, which I think meets your other preferences: not too girly, and it's a surname name. Lennox Tune, nickname Nix.

It's perhaps a stretch, but Nix could also be short for Annika or Danica.


Laura said...

Lennox Tune is pretty much the most awesome name I have ever heard.

StephLove said...

Since you have very different naming styles, I'm inclined to look seriously at the names you have in common. I think Ellis is the most promising there. Do you think he'd like Jessamine instead of Jessica? That's another possibility.e

changelivlife said...

Nix, or Nyx, is the Roman goddess of the night. I believe the name has come to mean night.

It might be a stretch, but you could find a name meaning night (Leila, Nisha?) and call her Nix.

Otherwise, a Nic variant (Nicosia, Nica, Nikita, Nicola, Nichelle) would work to get you to Nix.

Personally, I love Swistle's suggestion of Lennox. And I don't see why you couldn't spell it Lennix if you wanted to, having Nix right there in the name.

Good luck to you!

(P.S. Swistle, the Nikki Sixx reference made me smile!)

AirLand said...

Elowen is a really good suggestion... I too think of Lindsey Lohan with Lowen/Lowan. Elowen makes it seem like more of a real name to me (if that matters to you).

I like Ellis as well.

Other ideas:
-Phoenix nn Nix (although I've never heard it on a girl, why not?)
-Beatrix nn Rix
-Lux (no nn, just a name on its own)

Trudee said...

Your husband sounds exactly like mine. In fact, switch Jessica for Jacqueline and your husband's list matches my husband's. We haven't been lucky enough to get pregnant yet, but we've pretty much agreed on a girl's name. One we considered was Alexis. But I think Swistle's suggestion of Elowen is awesome and one I just came across myself not too long ago. I'd probably spell it Elowyn. My husband vetoed Lennox but I love that one too.

Nicole Trager said...

When I saw that you both like Lowan and Nix..
I thought of Lennox nn Nix, and then saw swistile's last suggestion. I think this is perfect for both of your styles.. good luck!

Clarabella said...

I have nothing to add because Swistle has worked her thistle magic AWESOME on this post, but I just cannot WAIT to hear what they choose.
PLEASE send an update, Ashley!

Leah said...

I wish I could jump on the "Nix Tune" bandwagon, but I immediately think of Nicktoons on Nickelodeon. And this next thought might be dated, but since Swistle has gotten me thinking of initials, any of the Ellis variety will be "E.T."

Because you like Nix, what about Quinn or Quincy? The Q seems to give the same rocker(ish) spunk the x does. Or Beatrix? Zoe? I also second Swistle's suggestion of Victoria.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if their last name is spelled T 0 0 N? Because if it is (and maybe even if it's not) - Wiley Tune makes me think of Wile E Coyote. Although I'm sure it's hard to get away from associations with a common word last name, it's just something I saw.

The name Nix also makes me think of Nixxie Nox (sp?) - a name in Dr Seuss's ABC - but this is a positive association for me

Anyway, I absolutely love Elowen. Beautiful!

liz said...

I like Elowyn, it's beautiful.

Lennox is also lovely. What about Linnea?

I agree that Nix Toon brings up Nick Toons.

Abbe said...

As the mother of an Ellis, I'll say that the El- names tend to run together because so many of them lead to (and many are chosen to lead to) the popular Ellie nickname. We chose our daughter's name with no intention of nicknaming, but it happened very easily and naturally. Now she's nearly ten, and insists on going by Ellie. We call her Ellis sometimes, both because we love it and to remind her that it is her name. But she could very well be Ellie all her life. My daughter also has a cousin named Elliot and a friend names Ellaree who also go by Ellie. On the other hand, if you can resist the nickname temptation, you'll have a lovely, stand out name that she'll share with very few others.

Anonymous said...

Another caution against Lowan - it sounds like the way a very young child might mispronounce the name Lauren. I have a cousin Lauren and some family still call her Lo / Lowen based on the way she and her brothers used to say her name.

Christine said...

I like Lennox, but would stay away from a Nix Tune as well. But hey, if you love it, rock it!

When I read over your list and your husband's I thought maybe Audrey? I love Arden and this has some of that feel, but is a firmly female name with a history. I also thought Quinn, Brinn, and Peyton might be a good way to bridge the gap.

Otherwise, Ellis is really such a lovely name. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Could you reintroduce Arden to your husband? My niece's name is Arden and she gets so many compliments on her name as its a name that can stand the test of time. Arden Bray Tune sound lovely. On a different note, we are naming our baby girl Ellery so I'm a bit biased to that name, while we've received mixed feelings on the name, it is an awesome name.

Also, what about naming a son James Nixon and then you can call him Nix, I think I like the nickname Nix better for a boy than girl.

Other names to consider:
Linden Tune!!! (love this as an alternative to Lowen)
Janelle Tune
Jiselle Tune
Jennika Tune
Jilesa Tune
Jillane Tune

Heidi J said...

My husband did the same thing when I had him make a list when we were naming our first child. He kept picking names that were popular for our generation. With our second, I just picked names and he rated them from best to worst and went from there, which ended up being better.

Lowan immediately made me think of Lindsay Lohan too unfortunately.

I think Phoenix could work as a girl's name. I have friends who are currently in China who have a baby son named that, but in China Phoenix has a feminine association so everyone always assumes he's girl.

Heidi J said...

Oo, I like above suggestion of Linden for you too. Linden makes me think of Laurel, which I think could also work.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the Lowen/Lohan connection and with Nix Tune Though, if Nix is only a family nickname it might be OK. Trying to combine styles (some by sound, others more by feel) I came up with Camille, Rose, Darby, Darcy, Avery, Morgan, Alyssa, Liora & Ashton

Anonymous said...

I know a little girl (2 1/2 yrs), named Luxe and it's suprisingly cute and refreshing! My niece is named Elowyn Claire and everywhere she goes she gets great reactions! what about Bronwyn?

hillary said...

I don't want to rain the parade, but before you get your heart set on Nix, you should know that it is the brand name of the leading lice treatment. For those that don't have elementary-age kids it may not seem well-known but once lice goes around your kid's school, Nix is suddenly not the cutest nickname. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news (my head itches just thinking about it).

Would your husband like Juliet, nicknamed Jet? That one has come up a few times here on Swistle's blog and I think it's darling. Seems to appeal to the guys who like 80's names (Julie) but who also dig a cool rocker-chick kind of nickname.

Carolyn said...

Victoria, nn Vix is another idea.

Anonymous said...

I thought of the lice medication, too. That would be a dealbreaker for me. If Arden is out, what about Auden, like the poet?

Mary said...

Just thinking out loud, sorry for repeats:

Ellis - Elodie, Enfys, Esme
Lowen/Lowan - Llawen, Lilou, Olwen, Branwyn
Nix - Nia, Nieve, Niamh

Campbell - Cassidy, Carys, Cameron
Rowan - Reese, Rhiannon, Romilly, Reverie
Finley - Farrah, Fallon, Farlow, Felicity (nn Flick or Liss)
Leighton - Lena, Lyra, Laeta, Teagan,
Arden - Anwen, Harlow, Haven,

Nicole- Micah, Nina, Nika, Calle
Allison - Alice, Avalon, Aria, Averley,
Jessica - Jessamy, Sera, Senna

Names with x:


Jan said...

For Beatrix there's the nickname Bix. I like the repeat of the t with your last name, too. I think Ellis would be fine (though on a girl it makes me think of the character Ellis Grey on Grey's Anatomy).

Arden said...

I am an "Arden" and so I have to put in a plug for my name. I love it! I get compliments on it all the time -- and have since I was young. I am 28, so it's not like the name is new or trendy. I love when Swistle's readers consider it because it's rare to hear anyone talking about it. I have only met one other Arden in my life -- randomly at a bat mitzvah when I was 11 years old. It has always made me feel special and unique, without ever being teased or anything.

Kiri said...

LOVE Arden. Also Elowen is super cute! I've loved Lux or Luxe for years, and it seems to go along with your "Nix", but honesetly, much better. Agree that Nix brings to mind the lice treatment...and with the last name, would be a breeding ground for teasing.

Anonymous said...

I am not a fan of Nix as a first name or a nickname. I think it is too masculine and also has the flea association. I also think of Lennox as a male name.

I think Ellis is a fine name, if you decide you don't mind the popularity of Ella and Ellie. Since you like Ellis, I wonder if you would consider Eris. Eris Bray or
Eris Lowen sound great. I didnt see Lohan or think of Lindsay Lohan until Swistle and other commenters brought it up. I think is sounds lovely.

Here are some other names to consider:

Lily Bray
Lily Lowen
Romy Bray
Romy Lowen

Lashley said...

1st time commenter!

I love the suggestion of Beatrix. I like the nickname Bex too, which could fall under Rebecca (maybe hitting the 90s vibe for your hubs?) or Beatrix or something else. I also love Auden and Phoenix (with Nix as potential nickname).

What about Pax (meaning "peace")?

Kelsi Jean said...

I myself fall in love with nicknames and then finding it really hard to come up with a full name. I just add "ie" to all of them. Suggestion...Nixie