This blog has moved! Please join us over at!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Baby Girl Mikle, Sister to Daniel, Amelia, Samuel, and William

L. writes:
We are ready for baby number 5, our second daughter, in a few weeks. Her older sibling names are all traditional: Daniel, Amelia (Mia), Samuel (Sam), William. Our last name is Mikle (rhymes with nickle). We really like easy traditional names, but with all of the darling girl options, plus the added pressure of naming our LAST child we are feeling rather stuck. We have a middle name which will be Rae after my Grandmother, but our “perfect” first name still eludes us. Our top names are: Madeleine (pronounced “Line” not “Lyn”), Isla, Tabitha, Harper, and Emeline. Madeleine (Ellie as a nickname), would be our top pick, but I am concerned the spelling with the extra “e” and the pronunciation issue will be tedious for her. I also adore Tabitha, but only seem to get a lukewarm response from mu hubby on this name. We have also loved, but ruled out Louisa, Beatrice, Adele, and Annabelle for various family conflict reasons. Advice????

I notice that all four of the baby's siblings have a strong L sound in their name, tying in with the L sound in your surname. I think that since this is your final child, I would make it a goal (not a trumps-all goal, but a preference) to find a strong L sound for her as well.

Three of the four names also contain an M sound to tie into the surname, and Daniel has an N sound which is very close to that. This makes Madeleine seem like a great choice: both an L sound and an M sound. I do think you'd find it challenging to get Ellie used as a nickname; Maddy is used so commonly. And we discovered when we briefly had a cat named Madeline that the spelling/pronunciation issues are surprisingly constant: everyone seems to know there are two options, so it was "Madda lin, line?" anytime anyone saw her name. If that's the name you love best, however, the good news is that everyone seems to know already that it's an issue---so it'll probably be similar to all of us who have to specify a K instead of a C, an -en instead of an -in, two L's instead of one, etc.

Emeline is another good option for the L and the M, but I think it's much too close to Amelia. And Isla, Tabitha, and Harper don't have the easy traditional feeling you'd prefer. Let's see if we can find some more options.

If Louisa is out, perhaps Eloise is also out. If not, I like that it introduces a new consonant sound to the group, while still including an L sound. And if you like the nickname Ellie, I think you could get it here. Eloise Mikle.

Eliza is another possibility, and one of my own favorites. Again, the L sound to tie the name in with the others, but a new consonant sound to lessen confusion. And I think it's particularly nice with the sibling group: Daniel, Amelia, Samuel, William, and Eliza. It sounds like a family right out of a Laura Ingalls Wilder book!

Or Eleanor, which would be another way to get Ellie. (Or you could go with Nora.)

Or Elizabeth, which would give her even more nickname options.

I also suggest Lucy. It fits well in style with the sibling names, and putting the L sound first may help keep the names from sounding too similar. I also considered suggesting Lillian, but I think that might go overboard on the L.

Or Laura, speaking of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Annabelle makes me think of Abigail. Mia and Abby are cute sister nicknames.

Or Hannah. No L sound---but that's just ME who's looking for an L sound! Hannah Mikle. Daniel, Amelia, Samuel, William, and Hannah. Very nice.

Isla makes me think of Lila. Again, maybe a little overboard on the L---but maybe not. Lila Mikle sounds nice to me; I think it might be the L's AND short-I of Lillian that made it seem like too much.

I think Clara would go beautifully with the sibling set. Clara Mikle.

Or Charlotte. Daniel, Amelia, Samuel, William, and Charlotte.


Jill said...

I don't get an intuitive Ellie out of Madeleine, infact with your last name all I can think is "Maddy Mickle" but I don't think that's necessarily a problem. What might be a problem is that extra e, because guaranteed your Madeleine will have to spell her name for people....alot. Plus, she'll be in a room full of Ellies who got their nicknames from El-names and she might feel like a bit of an odd duck.
Ok that was longer than intended. I feel like Swistle really covered suggestions for you. Any of them would be lovely on your little girl! I wish your husband liked Tabitha, because it's such a lovely name. Did you tell him he could call her Tabby?? :)
I think you have an awesome pool from which to choose, your girl will have a great name guaranteed! Best of luck on your youngest.

StephLove said...

I like Madeleine best for you.

Kimberly said...

I like Swistle's suggestions of Eliza or Elizabeth, and I immediately picked up on the L theme, too. How about Elsa?

Karen L said...

Huh. I didn't notice the L tying the names, but I did notice the dipthongs, like in Beatrice. But Lillian, Eloise and Louisa have both. Other traditional names with dip/tripthongs:


lots of ea/ia ending names

gotta go but I'll probably think of some more.

Anonymous said...

I don't have anything to add other than I love the fact that there are other people out there like me - diphthong patterns in sib sets? Love it!

Good luck with your choice!

Ok, I like Eliza.

Rita said...

Madeleine is easily the best of your names IMO - however, with this spelling the pronounciation you want is very unintuitive. The original prounciation of Madeleine is mahd-LEN, anglicised as mad-a-lyn / mad-a-layne.. For the "-line" ending, use the proper English form of Madeline and save your daughter years of confusion.

With such a strong theme of classic, familiar names I really don't think you can go to far in your choices. Isla, Harper, Tabitha Emeline all feel too modern & unusual in comparison to your other kids' names. WHich brings me back to Madeleine/Madeline as the best choice.

More ideas:
Elizabeth "Ellie"
Helena "Ellie/Nellie" - pronounced [helen-a]
Adeline [-LYN or -LINE]
Matilda "Mattie/Maddie/Tillie"
Isabelle "Ellie"

Anonymous said...

I really like the suggestion of Eliza too but I think Caroline would sound even better with your sibset.

Daniel, Amelia, Samuel, William and Caroline.

Caroline (Carrie) Rae. Lovely!

Good Luck!

Mary said...

Madeleine is, I think, most often - lynn. Madeline can be both. I do think the name goes so well with your other children's names.

One name that immediately came to mind, and has the L sound, is Talitha. As your husband doesn't like Tabitha, maybe this name would work for both of you? Talitha means young woman rise up, and is biblical if that matters to you.

Tallulah could also work well.

Lindsey said...

Basically, ditto everything Rita said. :)

Karen L said...

I'd like to suggest Chloe and Jacqueline.

Anonymous said...

If I were you I'd like to continue the double vowel thing. Maybe my suggestions aren't as classic as your other picks, but as you have not found your perfet name yet... you never know.

How about:

Linnea (Classic, but not so much in the US)
Luana (A royal name like Amelia)
Juliet (Classic, and excellent with her siblings)

Good luck!

Anna said...

Of the suggestions, I love Eliza. It's classy, sounds good with the other names and matches well with sister Amelia's name. Also, what about Elsa or Stella? Both fit well with the middle name "Rae".