Due any day and STUCK! Josie Mae or Emilee Joyce???

After MANY hours of debate, we've narrowed it down to two (probable) options for baby girl who is due any day now... (older brother is Grant Timothy)

1) Josephine Mae (Josephine for my great-great aunt and hubby's great-grandmother, who had a positive, special influence on his dad)


2) Emilee Joyce (Joyce for my maternal grandma, still living and VERY special/close, and the "lee" in Emilee for my paternal grandmother, already deceased, but was very special/close as well.)

Husband likes both very well... we'd use the NN Josie for Josephine. Emilee seems too trendy/popular to me, but Josephine seems heavy/somewhat obscure.

What do you think??? One of these, or something altogether different?

THANKS!!! :)


August 23, 2015 1:06 AM

I prefer Josephine Mae.  I like the somewhat heavy/fusty vibe, and Josie is super cute and less heavy, so you'd get the best of both worlds.

Emily & Emma have both been popular for so long, so Emilee does seem a bit trendy.  While you have a good reason for the alternative spelling, I'm generally not a fan of them. Especially if a more common spelling is super popular.  

Have you considered combining your names?  I think both Josephine Emilee or Josephine Lee/Leigh would work well.

August 23, 2015 1:30 AM

I'm absolutely a fan of Josephine Mae. I don't think you really need to worry about the obscurity of Josephine, or at least not as much as you would have 10 years ago. Older names, including Josephine, are rising in popularity, so while it is quite possible she could be the only Josie in her class at school, the name is will not likely seem unheard of. And Mae is a special favorite of mine. :)

Emilee, on the other hand, peaked around 2005, according to its name profile. I am an older teen and I am friends with about 5 Emilys. It was the top name in my birth year, so to me, it's definitely already a little dated. And while you have a good reason for doing so, spelling it unconventionally will only create difficulties: for you, your daughter, and those attempting to spell her name. However, I think those issues become much smaller when it is moved to the middle spot. I don't know if that is something you'd want to consider, but it would give you the "lee" tribute. For that matter, Lee itself works well with Josephine, in my opinion.

Whatever name you choose, congratulations, and thanks for letting us weigh in!  :)


August 23, 2015 3:07 AM

I really love Josephine. It fits well in the naming landscape right now without being too popular. 

Have you considered Josephine Lee? You could even nick name her Jolee if you wanted to. (Also the Jo could still be considered a nod to grandma Joyce.)

August 23, 2015 9:46 AM

I like the idea of using Joyce, mainly because that grandmother is still living and I'm sure she would be thrilled to know that she meant enough to you to pass on her name. 

I'm not keen on Emilee as a first name though. My own name is Emily, and while I really like it, the popularity has driven me nuts throughout parts of my life (and I was born before the big Emily surge). What about a different 'lee' name? Looking on the expert name finder there is no shortage of lee names, from Ashlee (ugh) to Jubilee (intriguing!). And while I'm not usually one for trendy names, I do quite like Everly, which could be Everlee, sounds a bit like Emilee but isn't as overused. It also has a nice sort of built-in meaning, as in "lee forever."

Just a thought!

By rooo
August 23, 2015 2:13 PM

Definitely Josephine Mae. It's lovely.

I understand your reason for the alternate spelling of Emilee, but you have to assume most people won't know the reason when they read her name on a class roster, resume, etc.

If you want to honor Grandma Lee, perhaps you would like Leah, Lena/Leena, Leona/Leonie, Leonora, Leila, Marilee, Azalee or one of the -leen names. I think all sound lovely with Joyce as a middle.

By mk
August 23, 2015 2:33 PM

I like Josephine Mae much better and do not consider Josephine obscure.

August 23, 2015 6:39 PM

I guess I'm the only person on this site that doesn't like the name Josephine. Josie is sweet, but I find the full name tooth-grindingly posh.

August 23, 2015 8:22 PM

I adore Josephine Mae.  Josie is just cute as a button.  Good luck!!!

By Fly
August 23, 2015 9:19 PM

I love Josephine.  I think heavy names work really well on adults especially, and of course all adults were children once.  Josie as a nickname helps make it a little less heavy while she is a baby though.

I think Josie could also honour a Joyce.  And I will suggest a 'mash-up' of Lee and May as a middle name.  Perhaps Malia, Maëlle, Marley, Mabel or Malena.  Or jusy Maylee/Mailey/Maelee or something else a little more kre8iv.

August 23, 2015 9:47 PM

I think they're both lovely. 

I slightly prefer Josephine, but Emilee is nice as well.

I actually feel like I hear Josie more on wee ones these days, so I think both are on trend. 

Is Mae a family name? It's a lot of Jo but I don't think Josephine Joyce is unusable.

I guess my bottom line is that while I slightly prefer Josephine, I can't help but notice the emphasis you put on your affection for your grandma Joyce.

August 24, 2015 9:55 AM

I think Josephine nn Josie could easily be in honor of a Joyce, even without the two Josephines elsewhere in the family. I also thought of Jolicia or Joleicia, which is a rare name from the Middle Ages. A third thought is Joscelin; for a middle name, I could even endorse a mashup variation like Joyceleen.

My daughter had a classmate last year in preschool named Emalee. It may have been spelled that way in honor of someone, but I must confess that my first impression or instinct on seeing the spelling was, um, not favorable toward her parents. I'm afraid that I'd have a similar reaction to Emilee, unless it was hidden away as a middle name.

August 24, 2015 10:21 AM

In terms of trendiness, as others have said with Emilee you'd be a bit behind the curve since it peaked in the 1990s. Josephine had a pretty high peak about a hundred years ago, so it's in the sweet spot for revival now, and in fact both it and Josie are trending upward right now so you'd be a bit ahead of the curve there.

You've gotten some great suggestions for other ways to incorporate Lee; I'll add that I think Josephine nn Joy would be a sweet and fresh option, and could honor your living grandma as well as your more distant relation. (You could still use Josie, too--most babies pretty easily accommodate a number of nicknames and endearments, as was just mentioned in another thread.)

August 24, 2015 1:54 PM

I agree with this, nedibes! Josephine is very on-trend where I live, too, but not yet very common. It doesn't seem overly posh to me, but I know that in different countries these perceptions can vary widely, and also that England in particular has names that are much more strongly linked to particular social classes. So while I give Josephine my unqualified thumbs-up, as it was high on my own list before we used another Jo- name for our eldest, I think it's worth carefully considering Emily.ei's viewpoint, too, because it may be much more reflective of local opinions, even if it is drowned out by a larger sea of American voices on this site. (I'm pretty sure that the names I've given my kids ALSO qualify as teeth-grindingly posh in an English context, because I've definitely encountered them being discussed on UK-based message boards as such... I'm totally okay with that, as this is not a cultural context my children are growing up in.)

I agree with nedibes about why Josephine feels fresher. Emily by any spelling seems like more of an unsurprising/safe choice because it's been in regular use since the current-parent generation. I think it's a very classic name, so I really don't want to call it trendy, but while I know kids with the name, know even more moms with the name, too.

August 24, 2015 4:23 PM

Josephine Mae would be my preference, but both are nice names with sweet family connections. Perhaps just wait till she shows up and which one seems to suit her?

Though if you want other ideas of names that could honor your special family members, this group is great at that sort of thing.

August 26, 2015 1:42 AM

First of all, thank you all SO very much for taking the time to reply and share your thoughts! Your posts were all very insightful and thought-provoking, so thanks!

We are definitely feeling wary of the alternate "Emilee" spelling at this point, and having known so many Emily's, it's hard for me to get past those name associations... And today, we're even questioning Josephine somewhat. I'm just not feeling in love with it. That being said, it's staying on the "short list" for when she arrives. Maybe it'll seem more fitting once we officially meet and hold her!

So, this is our current "take to the hospital" list:

Julia Mae Stroud
Sadie Joyce Stroud
Josephine Mae Stroud
(& Emily Joyce Stroud...just in case)

No special meaning to Mae, just a middle that we have always liked and feel like "lightens up" both Julia and Josephine. Sadie is one we like the sound of, not so much the meaning, but at this point we're beginning to wonder if we are over-thinking the process a bit... We have almost decided that we were trying to fit too many family references into one package, and it was feeling somewhat forced... So these are the products of our musings tonight on what we like purely based on sound. Any last minute thoughts or insights would definitely be welcome!!! :)

By Fly
August 26, 2015 11:38 AM

Millie/Milly? Could be just Millie, or as a nickname for Amelia/Camilla/Emilia/Mildred/Millicent.

Millie Joyce, Milly Josephine..

You could also look through some other J names and see if they might work for you... Jasmine, Juliet, Jayne, Jocelyn, Joy, Jacqueline...

August 26, 2015 11:45 AM

Curious as to the problem you have with the meaning of Sadie.  Sadie is a diminutive for Sarah, and Sarah is derived from a root meaning something on the order of princess.  Given the aggressive marketing of Disney and other toy brands, there is a good chance that your little girl will go through a stage of pink and lavender princess obsession.  Perhaps you are not looking forward to a house full of princess paraphernalia.

August 26, 2015 8:36 PM

That was definitely a poor word choice... It's more of a name association I'm thinking of, I believe, than the actual meaning. Growing up, I knew a Sadie who was VERY outspoken/proud of the princess meaning of her name...in a really snotty, mean kind of way. Her parents endorsed (possibly even created/fostered) the attitude, so it's just something that I think of in conjunction with it. BUT, that being said, after pondering it today, I continue returning to the fact that she'll be her own person, with her own attitudes, regardless. It's a meaning that can certainly take on a great tone in the right context and with the right attitude. It is definitely growing on me as I imagine a little baby Sadie! :)

August 26, 2015 9:08 PM

I really like Julia as a sister to Grant.  I also was wondering since you are considering Sadie as a stand alone name what about using Josie and skipping Josephine?

August 30, 2015 1:33 AM

This is a great short list! You really can't go wrong with any of them. Please let us know what you choose. :)

August 27, 2015 10:41 AM

Unlike most others I lean slightly more towards Emliee (Emily) Joyce! I don't know why, but somehow I'm not too keen on Josie/Josephine, so that's why I'd go with Emilee Joyce, which I think is lovely! Also I prefer names that are rather uncommon in the middle name spot these days. Every other child's middle name is Mae/May or Rose or Grace these days. No offense to anyone! Those are lovely names, but unfortunately they seem to be pretty overused as middle names. So that's why I'd personally go with Emilee Joyce

Edit: Just saw your hospital list afterwards and I really love Julia Mae for you! Even though I personally wouldn't use Mae as a middle Julia is a gorgeous name!! We considered it as a middle for our baby, but her first name starts with an M and her sisters name is Matilda Jane so they would have had the same initials, which we wanted to avoid.


Good luck!!

August 30, 2015 1:37 AM

I rather like Josie Joyce!

September 16, 2015 7:44 PM

Well, our sweet baby girl FINALLY arrived! By the dates she was 3 weeks "overdue," but I think she was right on time. Labor was less than 3 hrs start to delivery, so the wait definitely paid off! And her name is (Drumrollllllllll...) Josephine Joyce! Big brother prefers "Josie," for now. I'm very pleased with the style combined with the family heritage. All of that to say, I just want to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who took the time to reply and offer ideas! Your thoughts were very helpful, and I'm grateful for the input! So thanks!!! :) 

September 16, 2015 7:53 PM

Congratulations on the new arrival!! Welcome Baby Josie.

By Eko
September 16, 2015 8:36 PM

Congratulations! Great name choice, I like alliterations :-)

September 16, 2015 9:44 PM

Yay! And I love it when people come back and let us know the final outcome.  Congrats on baby Josie!


By LunaEverleigh7896 (not verified)
September 16, 2015 9:56 PM

Congrats with baby Josie! Sweet name.

September 17, 2015 5:36 AM

Congratulations!!! Josie is lovely and I'm glad you were able to use your grandma's name too. :)

September 17, 2015 5:58 PM

Awwww, congratulations!! Thanks so much for the update -- it's always fun to hear a little bit more about the birth stories and it's very satisfying to hear the final name choice. That's especially true when the choice made is as fantastic as Josephine Joyce -- I like the combination very much!