Hi!! My sister sent me the link to your website and I am really intrigued (she actually chose a private consultation just the other night). I am pregnant with my fifth child- a little girl due in early May. At a loss about what to name her! I know what I like, and I will share those names with you after I list her siblings (our last name is kind of like Lemon, but not a noun):
Eldest to youngest: Lily Ana Lemon, Jack Price Lemon (his middle name is my maiden name), Abram "Abe" Sims Lemon (his middle name is his great grandfathers name), and Alice Clare Lemon.
I love the fact that all of their names are old-fashioned. They go together especially well when listed without their middle names (Lily, Jack, Abe & Alice). Obviously, I would like another older name (and I prefer a name that is less common than Lily and Jack, which have become very over-used these days).
Some of my favorites are as follows: Mae with middle name Marguerite (Marguerite is my grandmother's name), Clara (but it may be too close to Alice's middle name), Estelle, Rose (but I wonder if it is wrong to name only two of the girls after flowers), Rosie, Mimi... I think you get the idea! My great-aunt's name was Heartcease (which I hate) but we called her "Aunt Heart" which I love, but "Heart" is just too free-spirited to go with my other names.
Some other names we like:
-Evelyn (but just read it is number 24 in the US! I know you say not to focus on that, but I do have a fear of another lily/jack explosion!)
-I like Eleanor-- hubby thinks it is ok.
-I am not a huge fan of Mabel but for se reason Seth is ok with it! He also likes Isabel, but I don't think it goes with the rest so I threw it out as an option.
-my paternal grandmother's name is Joyce and I like the name, but most people think it is toooo old lady to use.
-I like Ellen- Seth doesn't.
-we both love Annie, but three 'A' names in a row?
-Alice's nickname is "birdie" which I love, but obviously takes Birdie out of the running.
-my mom's name is Sally which is so cute, but I'm on the fence about naming the last after the grandmother...
We already have vetoed the following (due to family members / close friends having the name- or because we don't like them for another reason):
-Adelyn, Addison (or any other spelling)
-Avery, Ella, Ava
Just last night, Seth was telling me how much he loves Mae as a first name... Do you think it is going to explode a la Evelyn? And do you have any concerns about using it in the month of may? I thought something serious as a middle name might balance it - Mae Ellen?? I don't know!
We'd love help with first and middle combos!! Thanks soooo much.
If this is your last baby and your last chance to use the name Annie, I urge you to use it. I see what you mean about three A names in a row, but I think it's fine: the name Annie is wonderful with Lily and Alice, and you both love it, and I think in the long run those are going to feel like the important things. I might suggest using Anne or Anna (or maybe even Annabel?) as the given name and Annie as the nickname, to give her more flexibility if she ends up with a job later on where she'd like something less friendly-sounding: I can picture being, say, a trial lawyer or a professor, and not wanting to have to introduce myself as Annie. (I realize choosing Anna bumps into Lily's middle name, but I think that's another "okay in the long run"/"especially when there are more than the usual number of children" sort of thing.) Combinations:
Anna Frances (I like the repeated sound, but it's a subjective sort of thing)
Anna Heart (I see what you mean about it sounding a little free-spirited, but fine for the middle name, and with a good explanation for it)
Anne Elise (I like how this goes together, like Anneliese, which reminds me of Lily Ana / Lilliana)
Anne Heart (I like how this sounds like Aunt Heart, strengthening the connection)
I wanted to suggest Anna Mae but then realized it sounded like "anime"; I wanted to suggest Annie Mae but then realized it sounded like "Fannie Mae." Anne Estelle is so pretty, but Ann Estelle is the name of Mary Engelbreit's cartoon girl; I don't know if that's at all well-known or if it matters anyway. Maybe Anne Esther instead?
I also love Clara. As with Anna, I think it's not-ideal-and-yet-fine that it's close to a sister's middle name. Lily, Jack, Abe, Alice, and Clara is so perfect. I especially like how the three girls all have different endings; sometimes it can be tricky with girl names to avoid too many -y/-ie or too many -a endings.
Clara Heart (I love this)
If Eleanor is not quite right, I suggest Nora. Lily, Jack, Abe, Alice, and Nora. Combinations:
Nora Belle (because of your husband liking Isabel)
And if Clara is not quite right, I suggest Cora. I'd pair it with the same middle names as Nora, except not Heart because "cor" is the Latin root for heart.
If you love Mimi, I feel tempted to pressure you to use Miriam. It's such a pretty name, with such long roots---but so underused. Miriam "Mimi" Lemon. Lily, Jack, Abe, Alice, and Mimi. Combinations:
Miriam Eve (too biblical-sounding?)
Evelyn has surprised me by becoming so popular. I might suggest Vivian instead: Lily, Jack, Abe, Alice, and Vivi. But I think Vivian might follow right behind Evelyn, popularity-wise, because the sounds are so similar.
All the Ev/Av names might be too popular to consider, but I'm very fond of Eve, and so far it hasn't risen as much as the others (it was #546 in 2011). Lily, Jack, Abe, Alice, and Eve. Combinations:
Eve Estelle (but EEL initials)
I love the name Sally. We used a grandparent name for our fourth child after using non-honor first names for all the others, and I was worried it would seem weird, but it hasn't been a big deal. In fact, I ended up glad we'd done it for a later child rather than for, say, the first: it made the honor name less of a big deal, which is what I wanted since the other children weren't going to get them (and so other relatives didn't get their hopes up!). My one concern is that Sally might be too similar to both Lily and Alice---almost a combination of the two names (I had to say them aloud to notice it, since visually Alice doesn't announce its S sound).
It occurred to me that Sadie and Sally are both traditional nicknames for Sarah. If you named your daughter Sadie, you and she and your mother would have a strong, fun, 3-generation link. Sadie might make a good middle name if you don't like it as a first. Nora Sadie, Clara Sadie, Frances Sadie, Ruth Sadie?
Sally also makes me think of Molly:
Tessa would be pretty. Lily, Jack, Abe, Alice, and Tess. Combinations:
Or I put Frances as a middle name for Anna, but I also like it on its own. Lily, Jack, Abe, Alice, and Frannie.
Or Josephine. Lily, Jack, Abe, Alice, and Josie.
Josephine Joy (I love this)
An acquaintance of mine named a baby girl Ruth several years ago, and I've been surprised at what an adorable name it is, especially with the nickname Ruthie.
It's so hard to predict name popularity---I would never have though Evelyn would get so popular, and just LOOK at it! But if I HAD to guess, I'd guess that Mae will follow more the path of the name Rose: becoming quite popular and familiar as a middle name, but still unusual and fresh as a first name. Right now, Mae is just barely in the Top 1000 (the spelling May has been out of the Top 1000 for three decades now), so the name is still very uncommon; even if it gets popular later on, it won't be common among her peers.
Using it in the month of May appeals to me, but I could see how someone might get weary of it: I had a co-worker named April who got tired of being asked if she'd been born in April, and also got tired of the jokes during the month of April. I suspect the spelling Mae would significantly reduce this sort of issue. And on the flip side, my mom and I read a book with sisters who all had birth-month names, and they said they felt like their entire birth-month was their birthday. Mae Ellen is pretty---Southern charm! I also love Mae Marguerite from your first email. Or I like Mae Frances, or Mae Ruth, or Mae Estelle, or Mae Louise. Or you could do Mae Belle or Mae Bella, to approximate Mabel.
Edited to add: Sarah asked if we could do a poll for these combinations: Eve Amelia, Ruby Louise, Ruby Clementine, Ruth Estelle, Ruth Amelia, Annie Louise. I'll put a poll over to the right. [Poll closed; see results below.]