What about Guinevere and Miranda?

My brain has seized upon these two names lately. I am not actively looking for new names, other than for the middle spot but I keep reconsidering names, most of the time I reject them fairly quickly at least. Except these two. husband and I have agreed upon Miranda nickname Mira, so that's pretty settled (and my current favorite) but I would still like feedback on the name. Guinevere the husband likes but is uncertain about due to being maybe too fantasy? I think for me the appeal stems from one of my favorite names that the husband rejected soundly, Genevieve. (the other favorite names he didn't like were Adelaide, Matilda and Marcella) I love the nickname potential for Guinevere. Is it too out there?

Current list: Miranda, Vivian, Elizabeth "Eliza", Isabel, Caroline, Diana, Iris, Zelda. 

Siblings are Sylvia and Theodore

Replies

1
November 23, 2015 10:24 AM

Oh, and Coraline is also still on the list.

2
November 23, 2015 10:28 AM

I think Guinevere is beautiful but I find it carries too much baggage -- to me it's very like Romeo in that sense. I feel like a child would have a hard time forging an identity that was sufficiently apart from her namesake.

The nickname options are great though, and I know not everyone on here agrees with me about the baggage. What a drag that your husband rejected Genevieve!

3
November 23, 2015 11:18 AM

I feel that Guinevere is like a good character to play, for fancy dress, but as a real name I wouldn't use it. If I met someone with this name, I'd think it was a joke, or that they're parents had a sense of humour. I'd almost expect Lancelot to turn up next. I recommend Gwendolen, or the more modern spelling Gwendolyn. It has loads of great nicknames, a Celtic myth attached, yet it's not associated with anything Too well known, like Guinevere and her infidelity. It means white or fair, brow, circle or ring - which could represent the moon.

Miranda is nice, though be prepared for the reading of miranda rights gag. Mira is a refreshing nn for this.

4
November 23, 2015 11:50 AM

I forgot to mention that Gwendolyn had been on our list. We like it but it just doesn't feel like our daughter's name. Inexplicably Guinevere does! maybe related to the many recent adaptions of Authurian Legends? Very modern takes on the character.

5
November 23, 2015 12:28 PM

I don't have a problem with the infidelity thing (lots of historical/mythical people we name children after did much worse), but I do feel it is heavily identified with a single person...

6
November 23, 2015 1:52 PM

One of my fellow grad students in medieval studies named her daughter Guinevere.  That Guinevere is now forty-ish, but not having kept up with her mother over the years, I have no idea how well the name has worn.  I assure you though that the name was not bestowed as a joke.

7
November 24, 2015 11:10 AM

It is the same as naming a son Lancelot, there is a certain amount of potential quirkiness to naming a daughter Guinevere. The name itself is beautiful, with many cute nn options, (i particularly like Guinie) I actually like Lancelot too - so cute on a boy, and the nn Lance in adulthood would totally carry it through. But it is purely the associated Arthurian legend that Queen Guinevere is infamously known for, the most popular retelling of the story is her affair with Sir Lancelot, which could present a few sideways looks and smirks. I quite like the film First Knight, with Richard Gere portraying Lancelot, and the beautiful Julia Ormond as Guinevere. They had to find a beautiful actress to portray Guinevere, of classic beauty and long dark hair. That is how I see Guinevere. She was reknown across the land for her great beauty and kind heart. Hence why King Arthur chose her as his bride, before all others. Legend has it that she was innocent, forced to marry Arthur, a man much older than her, and then the heroic young and handsome Lancelot caught her eye... But, from reading the comments on behind the name.com, the infidelity is one of the main things that people associate with the name Guinevere. Hence raising a few eyebrows. But then the people who react like this would get over it quick, as desensitized as modern society is nowadays, it's not that shocking. But like the op asked, this is her concern with the name, and if it is too magical/fantasy, which was what I meant when I said it would be a good character to dress up as, with the whole medieval dress (of the Queen - which would be pretty lavish), it is a fantasy character, you can google a "Guinevere fancy dress" costume. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? It would certainly give her an easy, though predictable (for her), costume for Halloween or fancy dress parties etc.

The op asked for opinions, and I have put in mine. I hope it has helped the op decision process :-)

8
November 23, 2015 4:37 PM

I really like Miranda. I think it falls in that sweet spot where everyone knows it, but it's not so common that everyone knows someone with that name. I've only known one, personally- a good friend growing up (though she went by Mandy, which is worlds away from Mira), and she goes by her full name as an adult.

I don't think Guinevere is too out there. I've met one, under age 10, who went by Guin (Gwen?). I'm much more familiar with the modern retellings (particularly the BBC series Merlin) than the original tales, so I don't have the negative view of the character that some have.

9
November 23, 2015 9:16 PM

Randi is another possible nickname for Miranda. 

10
November 24, 2015 4:38 AM

I live in a really big Mira pocket. I know a Miranda, too... but also just-Miras, Miriams nicknamed Mira, even a Mirette and a Mirabai, and I swear I am forgetting some others. I think some of this is extremely local, but I think it's a name that seems patchier than other names in terms of it's local density. It's also an example where a call name is distributed among several different names on the birth certificate, so the national statistics for just-Mira don't tell the whole story. They're beautiful names, all, and I really LIKE Mira, and love the full Miranda, but after having had kids out in the world it's a name that I wouldn't want to use because of how frequently it seems to be cropping up in my particular circles.  You have older kids so I think you're well equipped to assess whether this holds true for your area!

Guinevere I love, though I agree it's a step in the more out-there direction from your older kids' names. (I wouldn't let that stop you, as I don't think siblings seem to match at all and I'm a more bold-choice namer myself... I'm just reaffirming that your husband's impression is shared by other people.) Anyway, I don't think Arthurian legend need be an obstacle. It is certainly an association to be aware of, but I will second that the modern feminist spin got equal airtime for me growing up (and as a Jennifer I had my feelers out for the issue) so I wouldn't find it a dealbreaker personally. Gwen (or Neve or Evie or what have you) are certainly devoid of the association, though, so if your daughter DID find the association problematic I think she'd have many options.  The thing that I'd be aware of is that Guinevere seems like a name that some people have a very hard time spelling, so I'd go in accepting that there would be a lot of spelling-out.

11
November 24, 2015 9:33 AM

Interesting that you live in a Mira pocket. I haven't heard any in my neighborhood yet so I'm not worried. Isabel on the other hand! It's kind of strange that I've been feeling a pull towards more unusual names during the second half of my pregnancy. I remember a similar taste shift happening during my last pregnancy (from antique charm to ladies and gentlemen) and I felt pretty daring at the time for picking the "old lady" name Sylvia. Then I discover she seems to fit right in, there is even another in our area. Maybe I'm reacting against what is popular in our area? With older kids I've noticed Ladies and Gentlemen isn't an uncommon style here. Although I've never really been one to stand out for the sake of standing out. Or maybe Ive been frequenting name sites so much unusual names have become normalized for me. Zelda seems pretty popular in New York City and Guinevere is much loved over at Nameberry. I know a little girl recently named Calliope, which I was surprised by as the siblings have pretty popular names. So I started arguing a bit with myself over being brave enough to use an unusual name.

12
November 24, 2015 10:51 AM

In the Middle Ages Guinevere was spelled numerous ways, including starting with a W.  Somehow of all the historical  variants today Guinevere seems to be the most likely.  Maybe peop;e would find one of the other variants like, say, Guenevere more intuitive.

13
November 24, 2015 11:15 AM

Gwenevere is another option. Personally I prefer Guinevere and Gwendolyn, respectfully.

14
November 24, 2015 11:44 AM

It probably would be more intuitive -- except for the people who are familiar with the commonly accepted spelling.

It's funny, but parents who love these old names are often keen to avoid the "kree8tive spelling" label (at least I extrapolate from my own feelings here), which is completely at odds with how flexible the spelling of many of these names has been throughout history.

15
November 24, 2015 12:49 PM

I finally took some time to check out the usage stats for Guinevere, it's not currently in the top 1000.

2008 Guinevere 59

2009 Guinevere 62

2010 Guinevere 58

2011 Guinevere 91

2012 Guinevere 101

2013 Guinevere 126

2014 Guinevere 161

Gwenevere and Gwenivere are also fairly popular spellings, at 38 and 24 respectively. There is also Guenevere, Guinivere, Gweneviere, Gwenavere, and Gwenyvere. I'd go with Guinivere probably since it's most common and seems to be the most common spelling for the recent adaptions. Although I do find the Gwen spelling more appealing visually. I'm not sure what I'd consider more intuitive, maybe one of the Gwen spellings.

16
November 24, 2015 11:51 AM

I think Guinevere is a great choice - go for it! It has great nickname potential (Gwen, Neve, Vera) and I don't feel that it is *that* unusual. It's uncommon, but it's not an unheard of name and it's certainly not made up. And it has a similar sound/vibe to many names that are more popular - Genevieve, Gwendolyn, Gweneth, etc,

17
November 24, 2015 7:14 PM

I like Miranda and the nickname Mira.

I also like Guinevere and don't think it is too out there.  I agree it has nice nickname potential and the nicknames can be a nice alternative that keep the name from straying into too fantasy.  If your husband just can't get on board, I think Guinevere also has nice middle name potential.  The middle position is a great place to use a more daring choice, especially if there isn't an honor name or something you want to use.  I'll also suggest Geneva & Ginevra as alternatives to Genevieve/Guinevere.  

If I had to rank your first name list, I think Miranda & Vivian would be tied for 1st place.  #2. Elizabeth/Eliza  #3. Iris  #4 Caroline tied with Isabel  #5 Diana & #6 Zelda (which to me is far more "fantasy" sounding than Guinevere).  If Guinevere is truly in the running as a first name, I'd rank it at #2 with Elizabeth/Eliza.