naming the baby

naming the baby

I know you want this. :-)

We’re not going to announce the name until the birth of our baby, but in the meantime I wanted to share our current options. Because it’s fun to help friends pick out baby names, I think!

Here are the stipulations:
1. In general, I love multi-syllable names and dislike one-syllable names. However, I’m sensitive to the fact that our last name is 3 syllables long, so I want to make sure the name doesn’t sound TOO long when said altogether. One way to get around this is to have a shorter nickname – i.e. from Elizabeth to Beth.
2. No names beginning with “B”. (Which knocks out Elizabeth/Beth. :-))
3. No names of immediate family members, though I do like the idea of honoring someone special in my family.
4. A name that’s recognizable, but not every-third-child popular. No weird spellings to make the name “unique”.

Here is our current list. I seem to have a thing for A names, though I promise not to name all my children starting with “A”. :-)
1. Analiese
(I really like this name when spoken, but I’m worried that it’s too hard to spell. Also, Paul’s sister is named Anna.)
2. Alison
3. Lilian (call her Lily)
(I like this name on multiple levels. For one, I think Lily fits really well with our last name. Two, my great-grandmother’s name was Lilian. Three, my mom’s name – “Susan” – means lily, so it would be honoring a very special woman. My biggest hesitation is that “Lily” is very popular these days – I feel like I’m always coming across girls named Lily.)
4. Caroline
(My grandmother’s middle name is Caroline, so this is a way of honoring her. Paul doesn’t like this name as much.)
5. Savannah
(I like this name a lot, but I’m concerned with it being too long with our last name, especially because it isn’t easily shortened.)
6. River
(I have to add this to the list because it’s Paul’s top choice. He *LOVES* the name River, and has for years and years. I like the name – for someone else’s child. He hasn’t convinced me yet.)
7. Zoey
(I named a dog we had for two months Zoey. Is that weird? I love the name. Perhaps we should add Kaylee and Inara to the list as well…)
8. Rachel
(This name means “ewe”. Our last name means “lamb” in Spanish. I think it’s kinda fun to have the meanings be the same. :-) Rachel is a very popular name, though, especially among Christians who name their kids biblical names. We’ve also thought about going with the Spanish variation – Raquel.)
9. Annabel
(I like this name, but Paul’s sister is named Anna.)
10. Elaine
(This isn’t a first-name option, but my and my mom’s middle names are Elaine so it would be fun to carry on the tradition. I’m not tied to it though – I’d consider it if I like how it flows with whatever first name we pick.)
11. Sparkleberry
(Just kidding!)
12. Abigail
(Another really popular name. Also, I don’t as much care for the nickname Abby, and the nickname + our last name don’t flow as well together – too many B’s right together. But, it’s a pretty name and it’s biblical!)
13. Natalie
(Natalie is a special name for me. It’s higher on the name rankings than Lily, but I haven’t heard it too often. But does that make it too popular?)
14. Rebekah
(I like this name and this spelling, but the common nickname Becky breaks our second stipulation. Also, Paul’s aunt is named Becky, which breaks our third stipulation, though I think we can get away with Rebekah.)
15. Amelia
(I love this name! But four syllables – is that too long?)

Okay that’s enough for now. I might add more to this list. Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?

24 thoughts on “naming the baby

  1. My top 2:

    1. River
    2. Sparkleberry

    But then if I had to pick two others.. ;)

    3. Lilian
    4. Rachel

    I do REALLY, REALLY like these two choices!! Although all of them would be lovely. :)

    Fun idea to let us “be a part of it” in a sense. :)

  2. I don’t think you need to worry about the name sounding too long. I feel like the longer the name, the more sophisticated it sounds. Shorter names just sound more fun :) I like Savannah and Natalie. You’ll make up a nickname for Savannah if you go with it. And I think you’re right about Natalie not being as common as the lists say.

  3. I think Amelia and your last name fit well together. Obviously I like Abigail, but I’m still using it when we someday have a girl- even if our kids have the same name! ;) I also like Lilian. :)

  4. I like Natalie and Rachel for first names. I also REALLY like the idea of having Elaine as a middle name and carrying on that tradition. My great grandmother, grandmother, mom, aunt and sister all have Ann as a middle name and I think that is so cool. People always love hearing that about us and I think its a unique tradition.

  5. OOH! I think you have a lovely list. Anything you choose will be wonderful for your baby girl!

    I like your first name on the list (it’s pronounced Anna Lisa, right?) but I agree it would be hard to spell.

    NN for Savannah? Vannah! Lolz. I’d like to buy a vowel.

    Rachel sounds good with your last name, and I love Raquel. Sounds pretty awesome if you ask me.

    I like Natalie as well. I’m not familiar with the meaning, but it sure sounds lovely.

    Amelia is also pretty. Maybe consider going with a one-syllable middle name. I don’t think its too much of a mouthful, actually.

  6. Analiese would be pronounced “Anna-lees”.

    Natalie means “Christmas child”. I should have been named Natalie! :-)

    I agree about one-syllable middle names, especially for some of these long names. We’ll have to think of something special. When I was little, I wanted to name my daughter “Jennifer Ashley” and call her Jenna. I love that first-middle combo, though it’s a bit narcissistic. ;-)

  7. I think I have delurked on your blog once or twice before….

    I love the names Analiese and Savannah! They are on my future baby names list :) And since we don’t actually know each other I am putting my vote in for one of them :)

  8. I love Caroline as a middle name.

    Natalie Caroline or Lilian Caroline
    are both very pretty, I think :)

  9. Your comment after #7 absolutely cracked me up, because of course, I immediately thought of Firefly as soon as you mentioned the name River! (And I’m with you in my opinion of that name.)

    If it helps, I haven’t met any little Lilys or Lilians. And I only know 1 young Natalie. Well, 2 if you count the baby of a blogger whose blog I read.

    I personally don’t think the number of syllables matters much. But that’s me. If you like multisyllabic names such as Amelia, don’t let that stop you! As someone who grew up with a rather long name, it really didn’t bother me or anyone else to say it.

    I’m partial to Caroline, as I have niece with that name, but I also know there are a ton of little Carolines running around.

    Really, I think all of your names are lovely. I hesitate to vote on anything because this is such a personal decision for the parents.

  10. My favorites from that list are Lilian (love Lily as a nickname), Zoey (I have a cat named Zoey and after we named her that I thought darn, it would probably be weird to name a child Zoey now, lol), Caroline, and Amelia (we have considered Emelia as a name, after my mother).

  11. Pretty names! My personal favorite is if you combine two of them… Lilian Rachael! But…I know it’s long. Another fav is Natalie Ann. But the problem with that one is that Paul’s sister is named Anna….

    but you know, your daughter is going to be beautiful and you will know what to name her no matter what! Can’t wait to see you this summer!!

  12. I love the name Annalise (but prefer this spelling – though either is pretty). Lillian and Caroline too! And actually other ones. You have good taste. Except River and Zoey, I must admit. Zoey would remind me of your dog, and River is. . . um, yeah. I’m not in Paul’s pay, obviously ;-).

  13. I love all of your choices! I will warn about about mispronunciations and misspellings with Analiese, but I absolutely adore that time. And you get over the aforementioned issues. Having an original name is totally worth it.

    I really like Lily. And I don’t know of any kids with that name.

    In any case, you are going to have a beautiful daughter with a beautifully perfect name and I am so excited for you!

  14. Anne Marie: It is really personal decision, but it’s also been interesting hearing people’s reactions to names. Sometimes people can have thoughts that you don’t think of, or reactions to a name that my child would have to deal with all her life. Paul already knows what name he wants and I like it too so right now we’re leaning towards that one. But there are so many OTHER pretty names too! By the way, I suggested to him “Annemarie”, and he’s like, You know my sister Anna’s middle name is Marie don’t you? Hehe

    Joanna: I never thought of using Rachel as a middle name! I like that idea. I think we could do Ann as a middle name (I’m okay with repeating family names for middle names – I just don’t want things like “Big Ashley” and “Little Ashley”). But Joanna, surely you of all people, with your red hair, should know that we always spell Anne with an e! ;-)

    Susan: I tried lots of different spellings of Analiese, and I really liked the look of “liese”, which is how I decided on the spelling I did.

    Alisse: Yeah you probably know about misspellings and mispronunciations! It used to annoy me in Peru, trying to get people to understand my name – half of the time it was just easier to pick a completely new name (Elena). That’s why I want to go with a known name/known spelling, especially because our last name causes people to stumble. So while I think it’s really pretty… maybe it’s not the best idea?

  15. Well I actually really like the spelling you picked, since it’s more authentic, and I would probably totally go for that spelling for a middle name, actually. It looks really authentically German. I’m just thinking of her having to spell her name constantly growing up ;-). But she’d get used to it. And really, don’t let that detract from your choice. If you picked that name and spelling, it would still make a great name. One of my favorites, in fact.

  16. My mother always wanted a Becky but figured it would not work with her last name. That is why you have a niece with that name. I must side with the guys, I like River. But I also like Savannah. To throw a new name into the mix, I like Yvonne, brings back fond memories of …. never mind.

  17. I laughed out loud in a restaurant when I read on my BlackBerry the part about Kaylee and Inara. : )

    I thought River was a joke last time we talked about it – I didn’t realize Paul was serious about it. I actually really, really like “River B.” River fits all your critera. How about River Elaine?

    Of course, there’s still the option of Kia!

  18. Well, I’m very partial to Caroline as you can imagine. And while it is being used, it isn’t super popular. I think it is in the 80’s on the list of popularity. There were some names I loved, but they were in the top 10 or 20 and I didn’t want something being used that much.

    One of things we thought about was how the name would fit her throughout life. Some names are really cute when she’s 3 or 10, but how will she feel about her name when she is 18 or 34 or 65? That mattered a lot to me. I wanted a name she could use her entire life and not feel like it was extremely dated or trendy or even an embarrassment.

    Can’t wait to hear what you decide! :-)

  19. If you’re concerned about popularity you already know to look at the Social Security website. I imagine it’s as near an accurate reading you’ll get. (I used it. It was *really* important to me not to pick an uber-common name.)

    My husband and I have a 10-letter last name, but we didn’t particularly look at length as we were choosing. It was more important to have names we liked (and we figure the girls have a pretty good chance of marrying shorter anyway).

    Each of our kids has over 20 characters and their father and I are fiercely resistant to shortening and nicknames– we picked names we like and we expect them to be used ;o)

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