My husband and I are expecting a baby girl arrival on March 2, 2013. This is our first child and we plan to have 3-4 children. My name is Erin and my husband's name is Daniel. Our last name is Bruce. Yes, two first names :) (actually, three if you count the middle name). We have been following your blog since the beginning of my pregnancy and have spent a lot of time tossing around name ideas for the baby - thanks for making this so much fun!
Ok, here's the current dilemma. My husband and I have had a feeling we were having a girl since we discovered I was pregnant. We fell in love the name Olive. We like it for various reasons ... the sound of it, the strong feeling it gives, the non-traditional feel while still being pretty, the biblical connotation of Olive coming from the olive tree meaning peace, etc. We began calling the baby "olive seed" once we found out about the pregnancy. This was great until we started saying the full potential name out loud "Olive Bruce" ...
[Note from Swistle: While reading this letter for the first time, I paused here and said the name out loud to see if I would discover the same issue: I wanted to see if it would occur to me if I didn't have it planted. I'm putting a big space here in the letter so you can do the same.]
... and discovered that it might sound too much like olive juice when stated! Ah! I have said the name over and over in my mind so much that I have lost all unbiased and objective view on it. I especially love the full name Olive Amelia Bruce and kind of have my heart set on it. BUT, I want to consider all options for our baby girl and don't want to put undue hardship on her by giving her a name that reeks havoc on her Bruce last name. What do you think? Would you eliminate Olive as an option with Bruce as a last name?
The runner-up option right now is Esme. Esme Bruce (not sure on middle name). We love this name, too. I picture a completely different little girl, but I still love it. We have ruled out all first and middle names starting with a B. We also have interest in the following names:
Nell (possibly Penelope with nickname Nell or as a middle name)
Basically, we are all over the map. Names we would use if the baby was a boy: Julian (Jules), Elliot, Pierce, William. Any help is MUCH appreciated.
In my opinion, Olive Bruce does not sound too much like olive juice. When I was first reading your letter, I got to "This was great until we started saying the full potential name out loud...," and I deliberately looked away from the letter and said the name out loud---and couldn't figure out what the issue was without reading on.
The main thing for me, I think, is that "olive juice" is not a thing I would say. I'd say "olive brine"---and olive brine doesn't come up in conversation very often. If the name in question was Apple Bruce, or if the name sounded like orange juice or lemon juice, or if I had more opportunities to refer to olive brine and also frequently called it olive juice instead of olive brine, I might feel differently.
Also, if I were saying "olive juice," I'd emphasize it differently than if I were saying the name Olive Bruce: I'd put more emphasis on the first syllable of the word olive and under-emphasize the word juice: I'd be saying it adjective-noun instead of name-name.
Also-also, even if other people thought it sounded like olive juice, olive juice is not a negative thing. It would be different if the name sounded like something really awful or embarrassing, but saying "Ha ha, your name sounds like olive juice!" or "Olive Bruce, olive juice!" seems like low-impact teasing.
But if you decide against Olive, Esme is also a wonderful name.
Let's have a poll over to the right to see what everyone else thinks. [Poll closed; see results below.]
Poll results for "Olive Bruce (read post first)" (533 votes total):
I thought of the issue; it's a deal-breaker - 45 votes (8%)
I thought of the issue; it's not a deal-breaker - 42 votes (8%)
I thought of the issue; I can't decide - 27 votes (5%)
I didn't think of the issue; it's a deal-breaker - 12 votes (2%)
I didn't think of the issue; it's not a deal-breaker - 375 votes (70%)
I didn't think of the issue; I can't decide - 32 votes (6%)