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I love the name Alice although I am inclined to agree that Ace is going for a name that sounds like his! I personally think it would be charming to allow your boys to choose a middle name for #4, within reason of course (not Pudding!). Perhaps they could choose from your shortlist or something, or each nominate 3 names for your shortlist to choose from, or something.
For the record, at the age of 3 I named my brother after my Raggedy Andy doll. It's not that my parents let me choose his name, it's that they had a girl name picked out but couldn't agree on a boy name. I launched an ultimately successful adovcacy campaign for Andy. It suits him great and this is one of our charming family anecdotes.
Middle names are rarely used, and if you have a cute story or reason behind #4's middle name, everyone will love it.
You know, a lot of everyday names have Biblical origins: I would consider David, Joseph, Luke, Paul, Adam, and Jonathan to be examples of names that do not have a religious feel to me at all. Names that scream religious at me are ones like, well, Evangeline or Hallelujah. I met a man named Hezekiah once, and I admit my first thought was his parents must be waaaaay Biblical.
Levi strikes me as being distinctly but not necessarily Biblical. I would put Eli in the same bucket as David etc though, especially if it was just Eli (as opposed to Elijah). As per above poster, you could make it short for Elliot. Ellis is another name I love, but its similarity to Alice might be hard.
I also like Zee.
Kiel sounds like, well, a boat part to me.
Of your choices, I like Oz. I like pet names that are somehow cute, clever and NOT what I would name a person.
Can you let us know what you are looking for in a dog name? My personal random vote is: Gravy.
Why not Laura?
While I am chiming in a bit late, I am nevertheless going to offer a dissenting voice. Yes, Harriet and Henrietta are matchy-matchy, but if those are truly the names that make your heart sing, just go for it. I have a close friend whose children's names are even closer, simply because they are a trilingual family (his native tongue, her native tonge, speak English together) and the pool of names that worked in all three unrelated languages was very small. Factoring in what names they like, well, very few to choose from. And they are SO glad they did not give their son a name they liked less, just because it's so similar to his sister's. It's the name they WANTED, and in the end none of this is a big deal at all.
Do you use nicknames? The matchy problem would magically disappear if Henrietta's everyday call-name was Rita or something. Then again, if you're going to call her Rita, then why not just name her Rita.
If you hit on Henrietta becasue it "goes with Harriet" rather than you really and truly adore the name Henrietta, that's another matter. Avoid.
Are YOU going to pronounce her Spanish-phoenetic, or the way it is normally pronounced by English speakers? I think that's a key factor here. I think you will have much more difficult time getting the world to change prononciation of a French name altogether, than to let Spanish speakers know that Elodie rhymes with Melody.
For what it's worth, my daughter has an antique, largely unfamiliar Gaelic name, which has a goofy spelling to boot. I only have to tell people once "rhymes with WORD" and they get it. Sometimes twice. ;)
Lodi, Lili, or even Lola, could work from Elodie, but Ellie is by far the smoothest. Leoda is an interesting old-timey name that's mostly disappeared. There is also Eloise....
I love Greta and do not think it is too 'out there' to constitute cultural appropriation. I also happen to live in a pocket of little girls named Sophie -- my daughter's had a zillion classmates and friends with that name. I understand that name pockets are idiosyncratic, but at this point to me, Sophie is like Jenny in the '70s. Greta sounds fresh and beautiful.
Why not Marie as a first name? It's beautiful. The fact that you've got a middle but not a first says quite a lot: for example that this is a name you really6 love.
How about Laura?
You made a reference to you mother tongue -- is there a name in that language that could get you to the nickname Indie? That could be a nice bridge between cultures and traditions.
That said, my daughter has had friends named Ben, Allie, and Edie which are NOT derived from any longer or more formal given name. In all cases, parents just went versions of "well we love Edie but not Edith or Eden or Edna so we decided to just name her Edie." Indie as a standalone name would not be unusual or incomplete. In fact, it is lovely.
I am wondering if there is a communication problem going on? BOTH of your lists include some that are weird and some that are common. (Note on the word "common" -- while pejorative in British English, that is not the case in American English so the post might be interpreted very differently by people in different countries.) It might be helpful to diffuse a potential "I don't like your wierd names" versus "yeah well I don't like your common names" spat. Maybe reframe as "let's decide together to avoid names that are unfamiliar, but also those that are too popular -- and definetly let's choose somethng that is spelled the way it is pronounced."
It would also help to frame what it is that you DO like. Do you want Biblical names because you are religious, or because they are familiar? You have listed several criteria like easy-to-read: I assume this means easily spelled and pronounced? I admit that I'm a bit confused by Ezekiel meets NONE of your stated criteria ( it is rare aka "wierd" and not at all easy to spell or pronounce). Meanwhile his suggestions of Quinn and Darius DO meet your criteria of being familiar and easy. In short, it would be help to clarify what you both are looking for.
I also don't know WHY he likes his names. 3 are Celtic, but the fourth is Persian. Or is he going simply by sound? Other than the Celtic vibe, the only similarities are that two end in N and two with S. Are there boy names that you like that fit that?
All that said: I suggest Silas. It's an unusual-but-familiar Biblical name which has some of the sounds/vibe from his list. My runner-up suggestion is Lucas: a derivative of Biblical Luke but has that end-in-S that he seems to like. If your heart is not set on Biblical names per se, other candidates might be Quentin, Keaton or Keenan, Lionel, Darren, Amos, Cyrus.
I'm going to chime is as an American expat... traveling/moving globally with a place name can be a bit awkward. Place names are trendy in English-speaking countries, but can be very confusing in others where they are not. I'm thinking of my American friend France, who is constantly explaining that she is American not French and then getting sucked into 5-minute conversations about "then why isn't your name America?", "why did you parents name you another country" etc etc. And once upon a time I lived in Australia and fostered a dog who had an American state name. EVERYONE thought I named my dog after my home state and it was a standard conversation that, ummm, no, she actually came with this name and it's a total coincidence that I'm American. My point here is that giving a child a place name often leads quite automatically to conversations about their connection to that place. This shouldn't be a deal-breaker if you absolutely love the name, but something to be aware of.
I also love Indigo! So much fun kid nickname potential: Indy Go Go, Go Indy Go etc etc.
I love the name Lilith, much fresher and more interesting than the other-ways-to-get-to-Lily. I had no idea that the name had any sort of Jewish demon folklore link whatsoever until I just googled it. Lilith is all gorgeous granny chic to me. My main association is the music fair. Upon reflection, I had a vague "ancient goddess power" vibe about the name, but I had to think about it to come up with that. Bear in mind that a lot of women in ancient stories have gotten filtered through a couple of millenia of misogyny, and if your concern is feminist-bent then there is a lot of reclaiming those stories out there. And if your concern comes from a religious bent, I still would not worry that this is an inappropriate name. There are tons of girls running around named Morganna, Freya, Avalon, Diana, Maeve, Rhiannon etc who are NOT assumed to be some sort of ancient pagan. I would absolutely put Lilith in this category.
I much prefer Genevieve, but this is not about what I prefer, it's about what YOU prefer! All that said, Evie is another fun Genevieve nickname.
I'm a bit confused. In May 2017, someone posted about Iranian-American names. A few days ago someone added to this thread - inactive for a year and a half - with a list of names. Is the new poster also Iranian-American? Some of the listed names are unfamiliar to me and might be Persian, but others are clearly not (for example, Liam). Is the new post a random add-on to an old thread, or is are they trying to specifically link to to Iranian names?
I agree that it's fine. Lily and Ian is not too matchy at all, and even Lillian and Ian are sufficiently distinctive from each other.
True story: I have a friend with two children who have very matchy names, along the lines of Lia and Leo. Not ideal, but you know what? It's absolutely not a big deal in real life. In their case, they were not looking for matchy names, but she's Israeli, he's Cambodian, and they speak English together. The pool of names that worked well in three wildly different languages was very small and, well, these were the names they both also loved. And they are SO glad that they did not choose a less-favorite name, just to sound more different.
I think the matchy issue could be a deal-breaker, like if you were choosing between Ian and Amos. But if Ian is the name you love, then that should be his name!
Hooray!!! And as the first person to suggest the alternative spelling Florienne, I am smugly glowing with pride here!!!
I am totally going to take credit for this as second baby that I named who wasn't mine. The other was someone I knew -- American guy, nice but young and kinda flaky, with Chinese girlfriend. Mom would choose Chinese name, Dad would choose English. Name meaning is very important in China, and as they were both outdoor travel enthusiasts who actually met while hiking, she had her heart set on a name that meant "voyager" or somesuch. Dad wanted a tie-in to an English name, but the closest in sound were Evan and Ethan, and he just wasn't enthusiastic about those names. So he decided he wanted a meaning-theme and somehow hit on.... Journey. Everyone including me was going NOOOOOO DO NOT NAME YOUR SON JOURNEY but he kept insisting it was an awesome name. Fortunately, Chinese girlfriend pronounced it "Jenny" and he just couldn't quite deal with having a son named Jenny. That's when I suggested Miles, and it turned out he really liked it. Nice travel theme, goes with voyager, not silly! Hooray! And that's how I saved a boy from being named Journey/Jenny.
Hooray for Silas!
I agree that Isaias and Silas are very similar, but especially as one is usually Ike, this doesn't have to veto anything. Put it this way: the similarity might be a deal-breaker, but if your hearts sing for Silas then that should be his name! True story: I have a close friend with two children with VERY matchy-matchy names, way more so than Isaias and Silas. More like Jenny and Jamie. And it is really NOT a big deal at all. In their case, she is Israeli, he is Cambodian, and they speak English together. Finding names that worked in Hebrew, Khmer, and English meant an extremely short list of options and, well, now they have 2 kids with matchy-matchy names. And SO WHAT. It is no big deal at all. And they are so happy they didn't give the younger a different name they liked less just because it sounded different.
If you like Silas.... how about Cyrus? The nickname Cy might be less likely to be interpreted as "see" as per your concern abov.e