Which of These Names?

I'm 24 weeks into my pregnancy and expecting a girl. My husband and I both love the name Dahlia, and we thought that we had settled on Dahlia Pearl. My husband, however, is keenly aware of the tiniest variances in accents, and the myriad of pronunciations associated with Dahlia was proving too much of a bother, especially since we prefer the British pronunciation, DAY-lia. So, yesterday, we started our hunt again, and I'm pretty sure I lost some sleep over it last night. I've narrowed it down to four names, and I would love some opinions. 

1. Azalea Pearl (Azalea solves the pronunciation problem and is very similar to Dahlia, but is it too uncommon? It might be my favorite, but I can't decide if it's too weird or a hidden gem. Pearl is a family name which I love and my husband tolerates.)
2. Flora Beatrice (Flora is a family name which my husband and I both like. I love Beatrice, but my husband only tolerates it.) 
3. Maeve Aurelia (Maeve my husband and I both like and feel that it goes well with our Scottish last name. Aurelia we also both like, and it's somewhat similar to Dahlia.)
4. Madeleine Pearl (Madeleine is my husband's favorite, and I like it, and I've already gone over Pearl.)

Which do you like best, and what would you do?

p.s. Her big brother's name is Abraham (Abe) Alastair, so whether it clashes with that is another consideration.  

Replies

1
February 13, 2013 5:01 PM

You have great options here! My favorite is Azalea Pearl. I don't think it's too uncommon, since people are familiar with the flower.  I know some people mind having 2 siblings with the same initial, but I don't mind as long as they aren't too matchy, and I think Azalea and Abraham make a great pair (as long as you wouldn't feel obligated to go with an A name for a possible #3).

My least favorite is Madeleine, but not because I don't like it! All of the Maddalyn/Madelynn/Maddalin variants have turned me off. Combine them with the Madisons, and Maddie quickly becomes the most common nn in the US.

2
February 13, 2013 9:04 PM

I love Azalea as a name, personally!  I don't think it's too weird, and the nickname possibliities are great (I'm a fan of Aza...)

3
February 13, 2013 9:27 PM

You have fantastic taste :)

I have always liked Azalea and think it works well with Pearl.  It isn't that common but it's not unheard of. It's recongisable and not particularly difficult to spell or pronounce. I think it ticks all your boxes. As per a previous commenter, the only downside is sharing an initial with her older brother (whose name I adore!) but I don't think that is a huge deal either.

My second choice is Maeve Aurelia. I know 2 Aurelias and it's a lovely name. I don't personally know any Maeves but it a lovely name. I know some people struggle with the pronunciation and spelling but I don't think it's that hard. As much as I like the combo Maeve Aurelia, have you considered Maeve Dahlia? It seems to work and might get you Dahlia without having to battle with the pronunciation issue daily.

Flora Beatrice is my third choice. I think this is a strong contender and probably the best stylistic match to your son's name (although I think all your options work well). I only put it third because I like some of the names in your other options better. There is nothing at all wrong with Flora Beatrice, it is a stunning combo.

Madeleine Pearl is not my favourite. I used to love Madeleine but it's just become too diluted with all the Madalyn/Madison/Maddie variants over the last 10 years.  Again, it's a lovely choice I just much prefer your other options. A Madeleine would likely blend into the name landscape much more than a Dahlia/Azalea/Flora/Maeve.

I don't know if you are after other options, but here are some that came to mind for you: Emmeline (if you want something slightly less popular than Madeleine), Zinnia, Allegra, Xanthe, Boronia, Clementine, Acacia, Juniper, Harriet

4
February 13, 2013 9:29 PM

I'm swooning over Flora Beatrice, personally, but I think your entire list is firmly in "can't go wrong" territory. My only hesitation is over Maeve, because I'm not certain how to say it -- like the month of May with a 'v' at the end?

(DAY-lia? Gah, English is impossible!)

5
February 14, 2013 1:16 AM

Flora Beatrice would be my 1st choice.  Flora is a great name that seems very underused.  

I do really like Azalea Pearl and agree with other posters that it isn't too uncommon.  I share some of the hesitation about the two A initials.  The names work well & aren't too similar, but I think you should consider if you'd feel like you had to do another A name if you have a 3rd child.  If it weren't for my hesitation about the initials, Azaela Pearl might have been my 1st choice (or at least tied for 1st).

Maeve Aurelia is 3rd.  I do like Maeve but it I find it sounds too similar to Abe when I say them really fast.  I keep ending up with Mabe and Ave.

Madeline Pearl is my least favorite.  There is nothing wrong with it, but Madeline (and similar names) does seem much more common than any of your other choices.

6
February 15, 2013 11:59 AM

I was just telling my husband last night that I love the name Flora. We have boys (expecting a second), but I still come up with possible girl names all the time. Love the options you have here.

Flora Beatrice is my favorite--although I seem to live in a little Beatrice pocket. There are a couple at our playground and a close friend just used it as a middle name. I also tried to talk my sister into using Beatrix. Regardless, I love this pairing.

Maeve Aurelia is my second favorite--especially with a Scottish last name. Azalea Pearl is nice, but I prefer the other two--I think they sound a little more classic and elegant. Dahlia Pearl is also wonderful if you can get your husband back on board (I'm hearing the American pronunciation in my head though--which I do think you'd be correcting a lot).

I'm not a fan of Madeleine because of the over-popularity problems already mentioned.

By the way, we are considering Abraham/Abram for our second boy--due in a couple weeks. What sort of response have you gotten to your Abraham's name?

7
February 19, 2013 6:37 PM

I love Azalea Pearl (and nn Aza (though with Abe you might feel obligated to name you next child (if one) an A name)) and Flora Beatrice (Flora is very pretty and sort of like Dahlia). I am not a big fan of Maeve because it ia very unusual (in my area), I've never met a Maeve and I rather dislike the sound. I love Aurelia, though. It is a beautiful name. Madeleine is nice as well.

8
February 25, 2013 8:46 PM

I personally adore Maeve Aurelia. Second choice would be Madeleine Pearl. Third Flora Beatrice. 

I don't like matching initials, so I would avoid an "A" name for a first name (and I can't say I'm a fan of Azalea). 

9
By Jude
February 25, 2013 10:43 PM

Flora is just beautiful, and hands-down my favorite. If you are open to other options, I really like Flora Maeve; otherwise, Flora Beatrice is great. I wish I could get behind Maeve, because I love it in general, but I just think it is too close in sound to Abe. Say them together and they start to blend.

I don't think Azalea is weird, but I think it is uncommon enough that it might face some pronounciation issues.  I would say it uh-ZAY-lee-uh, but I could see someone thinking it is AZ-un-LEE-uh, with a short a sound in front. If the mispronunciation of Dahlia was a deal-breaker for you, I'd stay clear of Azalea. 

10
February 26, 2013 12:54 PM

Azalea is uncommon as a name, but where I am at least, the plant is ubiquitous -- it's a favorite of landscapers, because it's relatively low-maintenance, everygreen, and very showy when in bloom. I don't think it'd present any pronunciation difficulty, and as far as I know, it doesn't have an alternate or across-the-pond pronunciation like Dahlia. (Granted, this post was the first I'd ever heard of Dahlia pronounced any other way than doll-ia, but I just checked the online dictionaries, and they only have one pronunciation for azalea, basically uh-ZAY-lia.)