No info yet
No favorite names yet.
It might be helpful in thinking of middle names to clarify how you're planning on pronounding Maren. Are you pronouncing it MAR-in, MARE-in, or mar-IN (like the county)? I've encountered all three pronunciations on women who spell their name this way, so specifying what you're thinking might help us come up with suggestions.
I agree. The Garretts I've known were nickname-less--although Garrett could go by Rhett. Rhett is just so dashing.
Here's a vote for Nelle! I think Eliza is lovely, too, and has real charm as a stand-alone first name, but there's something fresh and lovely--and yet still comfortably familiar--about Nelle.
Yes, I have to say I love, love, love Walter--and I think your little Nathan W. will love it for all the meaning it carries, if not for its own charms eventually, too. Best wishes to you and to him!
I agree with the above posters: Nora absolutely works as a stand-alone name.
However, just a thought: Right now, I'm hearing Nora everywhere. Obviously, there are all kinds of regional, class, and social reasons for this, but I really feel like every third baby I'm hearing of these days is named Nora. (Seriously. And I say this as a name-nerd: It's almost strange.) If you name her Eleanor--a lovely name that has lots of nickname possibilities--she has the freedom to someday become Nell (or whatever) to distinguish herself from all the other Noras if she'd ever want. And it's nice to have options.
How are you pronouncing Anfisa? That would help me think this through a bit more.
My first reaction, though, is that you're right: Anfisa might sound a bit odd to American ears. I don't know why, as it bears resemblances to a number of popular American names (Alyssa, etc.) But something about that second syllable seems a bit off to me. (It reminds me, somehow, of the name of a prescrption drug.)
HOWEVER, I think that, from your posting, it's clear that giving your daughter a Russian name is important to you, and that, if you don't do that, you're worried she'll be cut off from her heritage and from her biological father. So I definitely think you should give her a Russian name (instead of Matilda, which is lovely, but doesn't seem as meaningful.) Are there other more distinctly Russian names that you like? What about a Russian name that has an obvious Anglo counterpart or is already in use in the U.S.? I'm thinking Alina, Valentina, Daniela, Daria, Eva, Liliya, Marina or similar.
It might be easier to ask which mythology names can't be used! There are so many popular choices out there--and lots of less popular but still lovely choices, too--it might be helpful to start to narrow the category a bit. Are you looking for a particular mythological tradition: Greek-Roman, African, Norse, Native American, Hindu...? That might give us a more specific place to start.
The other thing to keep in mind is that, while a lot of mythological names are lovely, a lot of the myths they originate from are filled with things that are...off-putting: murder, rape, incest, so on. Is that a problem for you? Do you want mythological names from stories without those connections, or would that not bother you?
Laurel is definitely my favorite, especially because its evocative of Laura without seeming derivative. Some of the other options you list seem like they just signal mini-Laura or Laura 2.0. Laurel would let you honor and connect to a Laura, while giving the new child a distinct name of her own. (I don't know why I feel that way about the other names exactly; maybe it's because Laurel has its own history as a separate name, rather than being a rather recent invention designed to be a Laura-variation?) Also, Laurel is just a goregous name--elegant and feminine without being frivilous. So that's my vote.
And I know an Eliza Boyd!
I actually quite like Nelle as a tribute to Nelle Harper Lee. She dropped her first name professionally, but I understand that Nelle what her family always called her. Her mother's name was Ellen; in addition to being a nickname for Ellen, Nelle is Ellen spelled backwards. It could be a nice way to honor a beloved author while avoiding the trendiness of Harper.
I like Eliza quite a bit, too. Elena Page would be something I would probably avoid since it sounds so close to "Ellen Page," the name of the actress who played Juno in Juno. She's a fine actress, but I don't necessarily want to (indirectly) name a child after her.
This is one of the leading stories on NYTimes.com this morning, about a wrenching custody battle over a little girl named Veronica. Although the situation is fraught, she is completely precious.
1) Isaac: A standard Biblical name that's not too overused and has such a nice unusual sound--and meaning.2) Daniel3) Soren: Trendy in certain circles right now, but I really like it all the same. 4) Nicholas: Both Nicholas and Ben are classics, but have had such a wave of popularity in the last half-century, that they don't seem quite as timeless as they might otherwise.5) Ben: Not Benjamin? I might like it more if it were the full name. 6) Francis 7) Vincent: I ought to like this one more. Maybe have just had bad personal experiences with it...? 8) Richard 9) Riley 10) Tyler: I agree with everyone else that this one does seem date-stamped to me.
I've been thinking about this one. Kamal (or Kemal) means "perfection" in Arabic, which is what you're trying to get at with whole--although, I agree, that if that word, in particular, was meaningful to you, you'd want to find something as like to it as possible. In that case, what about Holos? It's the Greek word from which the English "whole" derives. It's not a name, per se, but it's specific definition seems so right for this: it's actually an adjective (more like "wholly") and it describes a thing where all necessary parts are present and working together, where the total is greater than the sum of its parts. It might be a lot for a first name, but as a middle name it could be very meaningful.
My thoughts for you and your little one.
"Veronica" by Elvis Costello. Here's a video (with a very long intro.) It's super-catchy, probably because it was co-written by Paul McCartney.
For a certain swath of the population, Veronica is Veronica Mars, the cult TV show that is currently filming a follow-up movie. She's a smart, resourceful, complicated heroine and has spawned a devoted fanbase. The movie was funded by one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns of all time and is scheduled to come out next year. That might bring more attention to the name (if that's something you're concerned about) but it's very positive attention.
If it matters, I hardly remember the Archie Veronica.
I love Juliette Douglas. Especially these days--and especially as a middle--no one will bat an eye at a girl with a masculine name. Plus, Douglas actually has a rich history as woman's name; it was particularly popular in the 16th-18th centuries (Like Lady Douglas Howard Sheffield, for instance.) Mostly, though, it seems like a wonderful way to keep a family tradition alive and to help your daughter feel connected to her dad, grandpa and great-grandfather. I think it's lovely.
Yes, just to affirm: Winter and Wren also read as feminine to me. (Of course, they're nouns, so this is a bit like that 30 Rock joke about naming a baby girl "Bookcase, or Sandstorm...or Hat, but maybe that's more of a boy's name.") But I know of at least a couple little girl Wrens and one little lady Winter.
Rowan is more gender-neutral, especially given its long, rich history as a masculine name, but it's rising quickly as a girl's name. Especially in my pocket of the country, I knew several girl Rowans (in fact, two were born just this month) but no boy Rowans.
I like Gabriel quite a lot, but, of your other choices, I think that the alliteration makes Hunter Hoy sound fantastic, a name with a lot of verve.
I just saw this article and came here to post about it! I don't really like Messiah as a given name; it has too much...baggage, I think. And naming your child Messiah might betray some religious insensitivity (or at least insensitvity to the way some religious people might perceive your child's name). But legally forbidding someone from naming their child Messiah strikes me as going too far. Especially because the judge seems to be making that decision based on her personal religious belief system, not out of concern for the welfare of the child (as with the Hitler kids) nor within concern to context (that lots and lots of babies are being named Messiah right now.)
Plus, the parents were actually concerned about the child's last name and the judge automatically changed the child's first name! That seems problematice to me--problematic at best.
Wow! Thanks so much to all of you for all these wonderful suggestions. I'll run them past my husband and see if any take. I appreciate all of your great input! This is great.
Thanks so much for the responses! It's really helpful to hear from all of you and start to see some consensus, as well. Is there a way to signal pronunciation of the first syllable through spelling, too? Ah-ne-LEES, rather than Aan-ne-LLES. Or is that just something that will have to be done verbally?
Thank you again, name folks!
I just heard that tennis star Roger Federer and his wife had twin girls yesterday and named them: Charlene Riva and Myla Rose.
I'm mostly posting this because, well...Charlene? Really? That was totally not one that I saw having a revival anytime soon. Of course it's possible that she's named after a relative or something similar. Myla fits more into that geek-chic trend that everyone was talking about recently (the only Myla I know is a great-aunt) and has some contemporary sounds. But Charlene really surprised me.