Back again to name baby #3!

Hi fellow onomasts!

I don't know if anyone remembers me around here. I was a frequent commenter back in the pre- and early-forum days. I consulted the wisdom of this group when naming my son S1mon K3lly and daughter H3nrietta (Hattie) J@ne, the latter of whom was born almost exactly four years ago. The intervening four years were fairly eventful with finishing my dissertation, writing, moving to a new state, starting a new job and the children, of course. But I am now 20 weeks along with our third child and back again to say hi and get some crowd-sourced name advice!

Once again, we have opted not to learn the baby's sex, so we need to choose both a boy's and a girl's name (lucky us). I'd like the name to sound well with our other kids' names (both Hattie's full name and her call name) and to be outside the top 100 if not the top 200. My husband this time around does not want a full name that is different than the child's call name, as he finds explaining Hattie's name situation to teachers and doctors and the like a bother. I really love having the two names for her and would be excited to do the same thing for another child, but so it goes. Both of our kids also have family names-- K3lly was my mother's maiden name and H3nrietta was my husband's great-grandmother--and it's important to me to continue that tradition with the next child. (Actually, S1mon and J@ne are both names in our families as well, but since we chose them independently of their family connections I don't count them as family names).

Right now, our boy's list consists of basically one name:

G3orge Arthur.

Those were our grandfathers' names. Even though George is more popular than I typically like, I really love this name. I love how straightforward, serious, and also friendly the name is. I love how it sounds with my other kids' names. For me, this name is it and I can't imagine any other. For my husband, he says it will do until we think of something better, but we agree on nothing else other than both liking the nickname Gus. I refuse to give a nickname on the birth certificate and he refuses to give a formal name that we don't use. He also hates all the longer forms that get you to Gus and won't even consider something like G3orge August as a path there. So G3orge Arthur it remains.

On the girl front, we're even more stymied. He's rejected most of my suggestions and I've rejected most of his. I was really feeling Cecilia or Cecily for this baby and he just won't get on board. His favorite girl's name is Ramona, which is too hipster for me. We've got a current list of three/four names:

L0uise Georgiana (I love the combo but he hasn't agreed to the middle yet)

L0uisa Geraldine

Ge0rgia Mary/Georgia Louise

Marg0t Geraldine

Geraldine was my great-grandmother. Georgia/Georgiana would be in honor of my grandfather, same as George.

Of all these names, Louise is my favorite. I think it sounds nice with the other two kids' and hits that sweet-spot of familiar and rare. One thing I love about Hattie's full name is how many incredible and accomplished women there are in history who bore it, and I think Louise would have the same kind of legacy. I prefer it to Louisa, which is also more popular, but am fond of that name as well. My husband is still debating which he prefers. He suggested the other two, which I like, but which don't feel quite like me. Margot is too midcentury, and I've pretty much eliminated it. Georgia I like when it strikes me as British but I like it less when it strikes me as Southern. He prefers Louise as a middle for that name, but that crosses over to really Southern for me.

One last possibility: he's very into the name Mary right now (which is weirdly not a family name for us). As I'm Catholic that works for me, though I'm surprised my Jewish husband suggested it. It doesn't feel as exciting as I'd like, though. I had suggested Mary Louise and calling her Millie-- he likes Mary Louise but not with a nickname. Our daughter did mention she'd like Millie for the baby's name if it's a girl and I've always loved that name. My husband would consider Mildred as the full name, as it was the name of a beloved great-aunt of his. But Mildred is a bridge too far even for me!

Finally, we both were charmed by the idea of Winnifred/Winnie for another daughter, but my husband has declared that he simply can't be the father to daughters named Henrietta and Winnifred :)

Sorry for the novel! I would love your insight, impressions, and advice. I'm sure this conversation will develop quite a bit over the remaining months. Thanks!


November 12, 2017 10:56 PM

Gosh, you have lovely taste in names (and rather unimaginative acquaintances, who can't make the leap from Henrietta to Hattie!).


Along with the August- names, has your husband rejected Fergus and Angus?  Either would be a nice complement to Simon and Hattie.


George Arthur is exceedingly handsome though.  You have a winner right there.


Linus, Malcolm, Walter, and Jasper (or possibly Caspar?) also come to mind.


I, too, am charmed by Winifred (one "n").  I'm laughing at your husband's feeling that Henrietta is Winifred is "too much."  I do see what he means!  Winnie could be derived from Guinevere, but I don't see him going for that either.


I actually kind of like Mildred, though I don't think I could go there myself either.  With your husband's reluctance on nicknames, I suppose Millicent is really the only other possibility.  There are several other options in Emilia, Amelia, Camille/Camilla, Ludmilla, etc....  I do think Mary Louise "Millie" would be sweet, but it would definitely require explanation.  I personally like Maisie for Mary (and Molly and Polly as well), but those are no longer intuitive for the general public.


I'm not a huge Louise fan, but it does take on a throwback charm when paired with your older children's names.  How do you feel about Eloise?  It's a little more contemporary while still being "old-timey".  More popular, I assume.


Cecily pairs with Simon and Henrietta gorgeously too!


I wonder if you might like Cordelia (or, to venture further, Cornelia); Cora would be an easy nickname.  I could see Frances (Frannie?) as a possible contender too.  Clearly, I'm struggling with this no-nickname thing! :D  I'm a sucker for a long, stodgy name with multiple - and unexpected - short forms.

November 13, 2017 2:25 AM

G3orge Arthur - is nice that's its a family name - what about Angus, Argus,  or Fergus

 what about Celia, Lucille, Jocelyn, Josephine, Cordelia, Cornelia, Marguerite, Prudence, Beatrix, Eleanor, Marianne, Elsbeth, Elspeth, Guivivere,  Delphine, Primrose, Rosemary, Mabel, Wilamina, Frederika, Victoria, Philippa, Augusta, Jacqueline, Theodora, Bernadette, Clementine, Francesca, Alexandra, Valentine, Sybil

L0uise Georgiana (I love the combo but he hasn't agreed to the middle yet) - nice or Louise Georgina

L0uisa Geraldine - its nice having a family name too,  what about Louisa Georgette

 Ge0rgia Mary/Georgia Louise - Georgia Louise is nice

 Marg0t Geraldine - I think this goes best with Henrietta or Margo Georgette

 Millicent nn Milly - Romilda or Romilly nn Milly

 Edwina - nn Winnie

what about Geraldine as a first name

By EVie
November 13, 2017 1:17 PM

Welcome back, Coll! I had been wondering where you'd gone :) Congrats on the dissertation and job! 

I wish I could help with suggestions for dealing with a stubborn husband, but I'm still figuring out how to deal with mine. No nicknames really restricts your options, and I do think that if he's going to be strict about that he should give you more leeway in picking a full name that you're happy with. 

Your choices are all great, though. Too bad about Cecilia/Cecily -- was that a deliberate Burney reference? On the flip side, though, I don't actually see Ramona as overly hipster anymore. I also prefer Louisa to Louise, as I find it reduces the impact of the "wheeze" sound (especially when pronounced with more of an s than a z), but that's arbitrary. 

I do think that Mary comes across as more exciting nowadays than it would have in the past. It's one of those names where I didn't see its beauty for the longest time because I was just so used to hearing it, but recently I've been noticing how pretty it is. Some friends named their daughter Mary Rosalind a few years back and I was just charmed. 

Any chance of Georgiana as the first name instead of Georgia? It's more of a mouthful, but definitely skews it fully toward the British.

And a last thought: would your husband be more open to a nickname if it was used on a more casual basis, maybe with a more intuitive connection? E.g., Georgiana could be the full Georgiana to her teachers, so no hassle with explaining the nickname, but you could still use Georgie at home when the full name is too much bother. That's what my family did with me -- I've never gone by my nickname at school or professionally, but it's what all my family calls me. 

November 13, 2017 1:21 PM

Oh I love George Arthur!  My youngest is a George, and Arthur was on my longer list (vetoed by husband.)  FWIW, I think George is a undercover name, it looks like it should be more popular than it actually is.  I secretly suspect that a good share of them must go by their middles or something. My son is nearly 10, and we have never met another wee George.  

Louise is a family name for me, and I honestly have never cared much for it. It does strike me as quite Southern when used as a middle for anything.  Probably because my family tends to jump to the Mary Lou, Georgie Lou, Winnie Lou style nicknames.  So I agree that the Georgia Louise combination feels strongly Southern.  What about Georgina Louise?  No state association, and it sounds as f your family is unlikely to do the whole Georgie Lou thing.

I am strongly tempted to tell your husband to get over his aversion to nicknames.  Henrietta to Hattie shouldn't require a ton of explanation, "Meet our daugter Henrietta.  We call her Hattie."  Or simply "This is Hattie."  Do you encounter a lot of people unfamiliar with Hattie?  I'm honestly feeling confused about why this would require much explanation.  It sounds like maybe your husband would be ok with Mildred called Millie.  So perhaps you could sell him on a nickname that seems more like an obvious shortened version of the given name?  Millicent strikes me as similar to Winnifred.  Or perhaps something like Melisande?  Would that be close enough to Mildred for you to count as a family name?  

FWIW, I find the idea of daughters Henrietta and Winnifred quite charming.  Sometimes husbands are just silly.  :-)


November 13, 2017 6:59 PM

First of all I just want to say I love the nickname Hattie so I think having a Henrietta nicknamed Hattie is charming! I think you should send your husband here so that we can all tell him to get over this nickname aversion ;-) or more seriously maybe point out that he won't be the one having to explain it for much longer as your daughter will be old enough to do that herself soon. (Although I admit I'm also not sure why it's requiring so much explaining; surely at places like the Dr you would just use the full Henrietta and I thought most schools had spaces on the paperwork you submit when the child joins for both full name and preferred call name?)

George Arthur is a great, solid classic name so I really don't think you can go wrong with that. Personally I would do Arthur George because I LOVE the name Arthur but I can see the appeal of George as well.

For girls I am with you on not liking Ramona, it also just feels like a totally different style to your older kids. On the other hand I can actually see Mildred being do-able with a sweet nickname like Millie. Winnifred gets a lot of love on here but it's too much for me, it's not bad just really not my taste. 

I will go against the general opinion here and say that I really like Louise (Louisa is nice too but I find the extra syllable unnecessary), to me it is sweet and a timeless classic and I love how it sounds with the names of your older children. 

Mary is nms, it reads as a bit plain to me (perhaps more so next to Henrietta) although I can see how it would just read as sweet and simple in today's naming climate, which is how I feel about names like Alice. I love Millie as a nickname though and if your husband was on board with the Mary Louise called Millie that would sway me a little more to it, but I'd probably still prefer just Louise. If you can talk your husband into any name that nicknamed to Millie though I do think Hattie and Millie would be adorable as sisters, and it would be very sweet to have a nickname her big sister helped choose.

November 14, 2017 7:27 AM

This! Particularly on the preference for Louise over Louisa, and the liking of Mary.