Which of these do you prefer?

Hi! My name is Beeba, and I'm new here. I'm not pregnant, nor am I even in a relationship **cough**, but I have been considering names for the future! I would like people's opinions on the baby girl names I like, if that's okay? It might help me hone in on one to choose, haha. To go with the middle names "Micah Andrea".

Aureliya - I like this because I love Roman and Greek mythology, it's original variant "Aurelia" being a Roman name.

Alba - I love this name because I am from Scotland, yet have never (thus far) met an Alba! So she would be a nod to my roots, and also a nice unusual name.

Ariyana - this is a Welsh/Hindu variant of "Ariana", and I love this spelling because it looks pretty and allows me to subtly hint at some characters from fandoms I am apart of - Arya from Game of Thrones and Eragon, and Ariana from Harry Potter.

Astrid - I only just started considering this name. While I love it, as it has ties to How To Train Your Dragon (which is my favourite series of all time), I'm not as fond of it as I am of the others, and may scrap it if it doesn't grow on me as my own baby name.

Elowa - this is unique, because I made it up! She's a minor character from the book series I am in the process of writing, and I surprised my self with how pretty and elegant it came out.

Micah - I have toyed with changing the order of the names, considering Micah Andrea seems to blend together and perhaps aren't best suited to being next to each other in her name. Micah is for another female character in my book series (my favourite, as she is partially based on myself), and Andrea is the feminine form of my grandmother's maiden name, MacAndrew. I would consider suggestions for an alternative middle name if people prefer Micah at the beginning, because using the logic I used here, none of my personal favourites would really fit in the middle.


Thanks for all feedback!


November 21, 2017 3:38 PM

I also wanted to point out, as you may have noticed from a couple of the names, that I love the aesthetic of "iy" in a name, I think it's gorgeous and prefer these spellings over simple i's or y's. Of course, there are exceptions, such as Amelie - Ameliye just doesn't look as appealing as Aureliya and Ariyana. If suggesting alternative names, I would be grateful if this was taken into account.

I have also thought about boy names too, and am adamant on Niyle Benjamin Tobias. Niyle is pronounced like Nile, Nyle, or Niall, but don't like these spellings as much. I like the uniquity of Niyle, and my "iy" is in there! Niall/Nyle/Nile is a variant of my other grandmother's maiden name, O'Neill. This was a happy accident that I ended up with a name for each of my future kids dedicated to my grandmothers. Benjamin because it's one of my favourite names for a boy, and it's also the name of a character in my book (which wasn't deliberate; a happy coincidence, we'll call it). Tobias, again, for a character in my story.

I have considered switching his first two names around - Benjamin Niyle Tobias instead of Niyle Benjamin Tobias - because the syllables seem to flow better in this order, and I also like the idea of calling him Ben or Benji as a nn. However, I worry again that the actual names wouldn't flow, with the n at the end of Benjamin flowing too much into the N in Niyle. Which order does everyone else prefer?

November 22, 2017 1:40 AM

Fair warning: the "iy" cluster is a hard sell. I know a Valeriya and a Nataliya, both of whom have their names misspelled on a regular basis. To my knowledge, the only name where the "iy" spelling is most common is Aaliyah.

November 21, 2017 4:00 PM

sorry I prefer the original spelling - so much easier then spelling out each time

Aurelia is ok, Alba is ok, Ariana is nice, Astrid is good,  Elowa sorry I dont like - prefer Elora,  Micah is nice for a boy,  you could also use Mack,  Andrew, Andre, Drew  for boys names from your grandmothers maiden name or possible Makenna, Makenzie, Makayla for girls

Nile, Niall or Niles would be much better for spelling Neil would be great too.  Benjamin is lovely and Tobias is nice - Benjamin Tobias Nile or Benjamin Nile Tobias both work -  or Benjamin Niles or Benjamin Neil

November 21, 2017 10:37 PM

I rather like Elowa. I think it works particularly well as a name in a fantasy novel, but could work well in the real world as well. It reminds me of Eilonwy. I'm not wild about Niyle as I wouldn't be able to hazard a guess as to the pronunciation (Neelee? Nighlee? Niall?). I know two Albas. One is about 75 and the other 2-1/2.

November 22, 2017 4:32 AM

I really like Alba and Astrid, and also Elowa (as a big fan of Elowen and Eilonwy, it hits all the right notes for me). Alba was 112 on the Scottish girls list in 2016, although it's worth noting that this only translates into 42 baby girls, so it is certainly not common. I think it's a lovely choice for a Scot.

The longer names on your list are not my style, just because I tend not to like elaborately feminine liquid names, but I don't have a strong problem with the extra ys. I would probably assume a different ethnic background if I saw them, but it's not a big deal. Micah I personally see as a boys' name.

I do find the Niyle spelling more annoying than Aureliya. I think when you said that Aureliya is lovely but Ameliye isn't you may have hit the nail on the head. Ending in an -a, Aureliya has that extra syllable which creates a natural "ya" sound, whereas with Ameliye you're inserting an extra letter that seems to imply a new sound, but there isn't one. The same thing happens with Niyle. I see the y, my brain wants to do something with it, but then the cluster of letters doesn't suggest anything obvious. I find it confusing for no particular purpose. However, I also don't think it's the end of the world, if that's the only spelling you like.

November 22, 2017 1:39 PM

This was sort of my analysis of Aureliya vs Niyle: The former makes your preferred pronunciation clearer (four syllables rather than three) but the latter makes it much less-clear. As someone who has a non-standard spelling of a familiar name, I would suggest thinking twice about how much of a headache the spelling might be for your child.  I personally am OK with a spelling that won't be the first guess based on hearing a name, if it makes it more likely that the correct pronunciation *will* be the first guess on seeing the name, because correct pronunciation matters more to me than correct spelling. I also think an unusual spelling can be worth it if it doesn't change the pronunciation and the parents think it's much more beautiful or distinctive or culturally authentic. But if the unusual spelling makes correct pronunciation much *less* likely I think the cool look of the name is probably going to be more of a burden than a gift.

(To be honest, this bothers me much more in book characters than in other people's real names, since I can just learn their pronunciation and ignore the spelling. With book characters, on the other hand, I have to constantly connect the spelling with the sound in my head and if they conflict it often pulls me right out of the story. Somewhere on The Writer's Name Board you can read my modest requests from a reader to writers, which includes not having unnecessarily confusing spelling for characters' names.)

November 22, 2017 2:47 PM

^^ This!

I, too, have a name with a non-standard spelling and I have never wished that my parents had spelled it the standard way. However, while people don't spell it properly upon hearing it, they do read it properly upon seeing it. Furthermore, I live in a location that is predominantly French-speaking, and my spelling works much better than the standard because it mirrors the French version of the name, Karine.

Aureliya says to me that you want four syllables: au + re + li + ya. It might not be my personal choice (though I do love the name), but I have no real objection to its use. Likewise with Ariyana. I also appreciate the stealth inclusion of another name you favour within it. There is plenty of precedent for female names with the iy (Aaliya, Nataliya, Priya, Amiyah, Maliyah, and of course Ariya all easily come to mind) and I don't think that it would be too much of a burden to live with.

Niyle confuses me. While I'm not going to go so far as to say that I recommend it, I do find Niyel to be a easier to read and it does preserve your iy. Being "unique" isn't always everything it's cracked up to be and don't forget that it would be your son, not you, who would need to live with the name for the rest of his life.

Count me among those who think that Elowa is pretty (and that Micah is a masculine name)!


Finally, thank you for your honesty regarding your current situation. You'll find that people on this board are more than happy to help with hypothetical situations when they are presented as such, but generally do not appreciate fabricated stories presented as truth.

November 26, 2017 1:03 PM

I'd like to thank the three of you for being kind about my spelling choices (when I mentioned "Niyle" as a spelling on YahooAnswers, the only comment I got was rude). I suppose I've been spelling it as "Niyle" for so long - having decided on it when I was around 15, which was 7 years ago - that it's become more obvious to me than to others that the "Niy" in his name is meant to be pronounced "Nigh". Reflecting, I can see how it would be confusing to others, but I'm unsure how I would change it and still like it. Maybe I could make it his middle name with Tobias and have him be Benjamin instead; therefore, if he ends up not liking it, it won't be something he necessarily has to tell anyone about.

A similar thing with Micah: in the past, people were rude and completely wrote off my use of it. They argued Micah was more masculine, as have the people here, although everyone here has, again, been kinder about it. I personally like Micah as a girl's name because it *is* a unisex name, and because she's always been female in my story - again, with using it so long as a feminine name, that's become my preference. However, I do understand it isn't everyone's cup of tea for a girl. I think I just see it as more feminine since it ends with an "a" sound, although I am aware there are boy's names ending with an "a" too.

I'm glad you all don't particularly object to my use of "iy" in my girls' names :)

And thank you, Karyn. I felt it necessary to be genuine; I generally don't like lying, and wouldn't want to do so when I hoped (and was, thankfully, proven right) people here would be kind. It wouldn't feel right :)

November 26, 2017 8:32 PM

I want to join in with the thanks for your honesty: your post was a welcome respite amidst a spate of glaringly-fake posts about naming multiples. (I enjoy coming up with theoretical matched sets as much as anyone, and if they had been presented as such, I would've joined in with goodwill.)

As a middle name it matters little, but have you considered writing it as Mica, without the 'h'? Then it's the mineral rather than the (completely masculine) Biblical prophet, and the gender associations loosen.

I agree with other commenters that adding 'iy' in a single-syllable environment makes for a rather confusing jumble of letters. Niyle is borderline in this regard: we don't really think of Nile (as in the river) as being polysyllabic, because one of the syllables is really barely there. In a name like Anastasiya, there's some precedent for the added letter (as an alternate transliteration of the Russian spelling) as well as some orthographic sense (as an indication that it's 5 syllables rather than 4), but it would still be a hard sell in real life. As a fictional character's name, Anastasiya works for me; Niyle less so. (Hmm, maybe Niyall, as a cross between Gaelic Niall and Norse Njall? Of course, the i/j in that is /ee/, not /eye/...)


By EVie
November 27, 2017 1:23 PM

Yes, one of the reservations I had about the "iy" spelling is that it signals very strongly that "this name is a transliteration of a Slavic name." I've known quite a few girls with names like Mariya and Nataliya, and they have all been of Russian or Ukrainian descent. I, personally, am a bit wary of names that signal an identity or membership in a community that doesn't belong to me -- partially because it feels a little like cultural appropriation, partially because I just feel like it's awkward and sends a misleading message. 

Take a look at the entries for these names on Behind the Name:

(And just as a point of trivia, the -ija spelling is usually from the Baltic states or the Balkans -- Lithuanian, Latvian, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, etc.)

I will also add my thanks for being upfront and genuine! It's cool to be interested in names with or without a pregnancy or partner. I found this site long ago, before I met my husband, and started participating before we were actually married or had a baby planned, just because names are fun and interesting.

November 22, 2017 12:11 PM

I like Alba the best from your list. I like Aurelia, as well, but with the more traditional spelling. I think Astrid is okay, but it always reminds me of The Office (Jan's baby is named Astrid), and I feel that there are also some potential nicknames there that are very unflattering... I don't really know how to say Elowa, which is an automatic negative IMO. I feel like it would be very confusing to people, and they would try to correct it to sound like something more familiar. Micah to be is masculine, and I don't like it for a girl. I do like Andrea, however.

By mk
November 22, 2017 2:39 PM

I like Alba, and Aurelia without the y. I don't like how the added y looks and at first glance, it made me think you actually meant some other name that I couldn't figure out.

November 27, 2017 1:40 AM

I'd like to add my appreciation of your honest assessment regarding where in your naming journey you are. I'm probably nearly two decades older than you and now done with naming my own children, but I remember being a name obsessed teenager quite well... and I really value the ability to discuss names with people from different generations than my own, here on this board. I am very happy to entertain theoretical names, and thank you for not inventing fantasy sextuplets as a cover story.

Alba is I think my favorite from your list -- unexpected and very fresh.

Aurelia is also a name that I love, and I think that the addition the y doesn't really put me off -- it seems like it clarifies the pronunciation, which is notoriously wishy washy wih this name. 

Ariyana is a name that I'm not wild about. Ariana seems much more generic to me than the other names on your list, and belongs in my mind to more frilliana sort of names. Aureli(y)a seems like a much more dignified example of the flowy elaborate style, to me. It's also worth noting that the y works less well for me, because visually Aryan sort of jumps out at me with its inclusion, and that's not something I'd want to alter a default spelling to draw attention to. Other names to consider: Ariadne, Oriana.

I like Astrid quite a lot! I have a hard time with the "As" beginning in terms of wanting to use it myself (I am parenting a child who is currently in the throes of finding "the a-word" hilarious), but it's one of those pleasingly clunky names that I'm always delighted to encounter in the wild. 

Elowa is a pleasing set of sounds. I like Elowen even better I think, and Eilonwy is another one of my favorites in the more contemporary innovation realm.

Micah is I think a perfectly reasonable name. To me, the history of unisex use is long and stable enough that it feels like a reasonable choice on a boy or a girl. I can't get super excited about it, but I don't think there's anything wrong with the choice at all. 

I love your reasoning for using Andrea. I wouldn't worry too much about the flow of Micah Andrea in the middle name spot; I find that middle names collapse to an initial most of the time, and ultimately I think that the sentiment trumps flow every time.

I understand the appeal of the iy combination. I think Niyle would be fine to tuck away in the middle name spot, but it seems like a fairly difficult spelling to use daily, especially for such a sound-wise straightforward name (when someone hears "Nile" they will confidently think they know how to spell it). I saddled my eldest with a counterintuitive y-rich name that is comparably perplexing, and I regret nothing... but I think it helps to have a strong compelling reason for adding that complication. I think just liking the spelling of the iy cluster wouldn't be enough for me to make my kid jump through those hoops, myself.

December 2, 2017 10:59 AM

I'd like to thank everyone for their responses and, as I said in another reply, for not being rude when pointing out things you don't particularly like, as has happened to me in the past. As for the thanks for being genuine and not making up a silly scenario, the thought of lying never even crossed my mind, and I'm glad it didn't. I wouldn't want to mislead any of you, especially since I was hoping for the courtesy taht you've all extended to me in your kindness. To lie just wouldn't feel right.

I've a lot to think about. Thankfully, most seemed to either like or not be bothered by the "iy" combination in my female names, and I think my favourites are still Alba, Ariyana, and Aureliya. As pointed out to me by lucubratrix, the blending of Micah and Andrea as the middle names probably won't be as bothersome as I imagined, considering most middle names are simply reduced to initials for the most part.

As for my son, I think I'm going to go with Benjamin Niyle Tobias. Keeping Niyle as a middle name means, again, it will more often than not be reduced to an initial, and he won't have to worry about it too much. So, Benjamin it is :) I kind of wanted to nickname him Ben/Benji anyway, which is more understandable when it's his first name rather than one of his middle names that he's nicknamed after.

Thank you again to everyone for your replies and kindness! I feel very welcomed here :)

December 2, 2017 1:17 PM

I like your final list! I think that gives you a lot of room to play with when you actually come to the point of having children... and if you have them with a partner, they may have opinions to contribute as well, but you have a nice diverse base to start discussions from. 

I also hope that you happen to have children in the sex ratios that you can come up with names with. I could draft boy name lists of names that I'd be delighted to use ALL DAY but girl names were much more difficult and we could only confidently settle on one (which is all we ended up needing). 

I will say that Alba and Aureliya are distinct enough in feel and number of syllables to be usable to me on siblings, in spite of the shared initial. I would find Aureliya and Ariyana more problematic on sisters, with the similar length and frilliness and the unusual iy cluster. What that all boils down to is that when it comes to actually using those names on children, there might need to be more tweaking or narrowing down... but I suspect you know that already!