Need help deciding!

Hi everyone, first time post here!

We have a first and middle name for our daughter and know we want to use both names- love the meaning of both. I keep on going back and forth about which to use. My husband prefers one way and I tend to prefer the other way because I like the meaning as well as the nickname. Has anyone had a situation where one parent uses one name and the other parent uses the other?


September 3, 2017 7:23 AM

The names in question are Celine Ariella vs Ariella Celine. I like the nickname Ari. 

September 3, 2017 7:47 AM

I think it would be confusing for one parent to use one name and the other parent to use another,  sometimes different pets names are used though


I like Ariella Celine,  both are nice though,  just to complicate things what about Arielle Celina/Celine /Celina Arielle /Celine Arielle

September 3, 2017 8:45 AM

I think it would be confusing for others, but not for the child. After all, kids adapt just fine to parents who speak different languages, so I don't see why it would be confusing to have dad use one name and mom another. It would be normal for the kid. Other people, however, would probably find it confusing.

By rfb
September 3, 2017 8:52 AM

Independent of whether one parent will use one name and the other parent the other name - you'll need to decide how others should call her, so you'll need to make a choice anyway. If you'd prefer everyone calls her Ari or Ariella and your partner isn't ok with that, and vice-versa, you should probably re-think her name.

September 3, 2017 11:45 AM

Yes I agree. Everyone else in her life will have to be told what her (first) name is and will call her by that. Then you'll end up with a situation where one of her parents is calling her a totally different name to the rest of the world, and while I think that works fine for nicknames I think if it's her actual middle name then at some point she is going to question that and really the only answer is 'well I like your middle name more than your first' which is not great. From what you said in your first post I'm assuming you both love both names, just each have a slight preference for one over the other, so hopefully it's not too much of a wrench for one of you to give in to the other's preference.

September 3, 2017 9:07 AM

What about hyphenating her name to Ariella-Celine or Celine-Ariella, so she could go by both? 

September 3, 2017 11:34 AM

I haven't had a situation like that, but I have had a couple of children (in my work as a nanny) where the middle name was more part of the call name although it wasn't officially hyphenated or intended to be when the parents picked the names. So one of my girls will get called by her first and middle name probably 50% of the time, when she was a baby it was probably more like 70-80% but it's tapered off a little, she's only 2 so I don't know if she'll ever go by the first and middle with friends/at school. Another one of my girls got called by just her first name most of the time but first and middle maybe 20% of the time and just by her middle (or a nickname from that) another 20%. That is just within the immediate family though, as far as I know she never used both names at school.

I agree with what Elizabeth T said that it likely wouldn't be confusing at all to your daughter (as it'll just be completely normal to her) but would probably cause a lot of confusion for other people. What would you do about extended family? Let them each choose which name they preferred to call her or have them all use the official first name? What about when she goes to school or with friends you make at baby classes or whatever? I think that is where it wouldn't really work unfortunately. 

September 5, 2017 2:03 PM

thanks for all of your responses!


new question- what do you think of the spelling Selene (moon goddess) vs Celine?

September 5, 2017 4:24 PM

Definitely Selene. I love it's mythological associations, and that it differs from Mrs. Dion. It also appears younger and fresher to me. However, both are beautiful.

September 5, 2017 5:12 PM

I don't really have a strong preference, but if pushed I'd go with Selene for much the same reasons as this. It's always cool to have mythological ties I think, as well as the nature/space connection to the moon it gets you.

September 5, 2017 5:08 PM

I think I prefer Selene

September 6, 2017 2:59 AM

I probably slightly prefer Celine, perhaps because I know people with that name so it doesn't at all sound like Ms. Dion to me. But it´s a toss-up; Selene is beautiful too. Possibly with slightly more pronounciation confusion. 

September 5, 2017 2:12 PM

To me the problem isn't that it might be "confusing" (though it might, I'm a little confused just reading about it), but that the bottom line is that your kid will have a birth certificate with her full name on it. One name will be the first name, and the other name will be the middle name. Period. You can call her what you like, obviously, but there WILL be a specific correct answer to which order to use the names in and what her first vs. middle name is. It's not something you guys can both have your own way. 

On the other hand, there is one obvious compromise: one parent picks the Official Birth Certificate Name, while the other picks her informal call name (i.e. what you guys call her at home day to day). Give your husband Celine Ariella, then you guys can have Ari as her nickname even though it's actually from her middle name rather than her first. 

September 5, 2017 4:06 PM

My daughter has a birth certificate name, and then a totally different (same literal meaning) nickname that about 50% of people call her. I wouldn't say it wasn't the "correct" choice.

That said, I agree that Celine Ariella, nn Ari, is the best solution, as people do get a bit funny ("yes but which name is on her passport?" is a question we get fairly often) about officialness, and that way you both win and you both compromise!

September 6, 2017 3:52 AM

I strongly urge one single name that you both call her.  One will eventually 'win out' and the other forgotten.  I have seen this a milliion zillion times because I live overseas and my social world is full of couples from different countries.  They very, very often choose two names - one from each parent's country/language - and it never works.

How about Celia as a compromise between Celine and Ariella?

A second question: are you planning more children?  If so, I think you should save the other favorite girl name for a possible second daughter.  You don't want to use up BOTH your favorite girl names if another might come along.  Another way to break the tie is to think about what would baby #2 be named.  You can decide something like, okay MY favorite names are Max and Ariella, but YOUR favorites are Celine and SoemthingElse, let's agree for now that baby #1 is Celine, and baby #2 is one of my two favorites i.e., Max and Ariella.

PS - Ari is a boy name, Hebrew I think.  So if what you're grooving on is Ari that would work for baby #2 whether it's a boy or a girl.

September 6, 2017 11:20 AM

Ari is one of those names that have different origins in different languages. In Hebrew it's a lion name. In the Scandinavian languages it's an eagle name.

September 6, 2017 1:13 PM

My cousin was actually in a similar situation with her son. My cousin lived with her mother and sister when her son was a baby. Grandma called the baby "Buddy," Auntie called the baby "Werbles" (long story) and my cousin and her husband called the baby by his name. As he got older, he was slow to speak. The doctor told them that the multiple names were confusing and to all call him the same thing, which they started doing, and his speech improved. Now obviously this isn't your situation and your baby may adapt better than my cousins' son did to having multiple names, but I think the principle that one name is best may apply here.

By rooo
September 7, 2017 5:21 PM

My dad was supposed to be named A.B. but when it came time to do the birth certificate my grandfather put down B.A. and as you can imagine my grandmother was pissed. So most of his childhood he went by A, which is what his mother and extended family called him. But my grandfather called him B, and as he got older he chose to be called by his first name. He still has some extended family that calls him by his middle name. I don't think it ever bothered him that much. It confused me as a kid when we went to family reunions, but once he explained it wasn't a big deal. 

I prefer Celine as the first name, with that spelling.

September 8, 2017 12:41 AM

Okay thank you all so much for your input. It has confirmed that the art of compromise is necessary here. We are planning for our daughter to be our last child so we are using both names. What do you think of the vibe of Celine/Selene vs Ariela (yes, one L) for a little girl all the way into her later years?

September 8, 2017 6:10 AM

I think all of the names you're considering are perfectly nice, and there's no reason why a girl/woman couldn't wear any of them her whole life. 

Celine/Selene stand out more for me. I think I would find a person with those names more memorable. Ariela sounds like a variety of other names I'm used to hearing, from Ariana and Ariadna to Adriana/Adria to Aria, and also has the liquid sounds of a lot of other names that are collectively, if not individually, popular: Lila, Luna, Lily, Olivia. This doesn't make it a bad name at all, and there is nothing wrong with sounding like your generation. With Celine I MIGHT think the child was European; then again, I might not.

These things are highly personal, but vibe-wise, Ariela makes me think of someone happy and sunny, Celine is somewhat more serious and tailored (I think this is exclusively due to the Paris fashion-house), and Selene likewise serious and a bit ethereal. That said, I know a Celine who is very much a hippie, so vibe clearly has nothing to do with outcome.

I think you can't really go wrong. You could see which one fits her best when she arrives?

September 10, 2017 10:00 PM

Celia Arlene (or Irene) strikes me as the ultimate compromise on the Celine vs. Ariela question.  Any chance you also like it?  ;)