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If you're entering a name with unknown birthdate, I can see why people entering dates might just plug in a holiday that falls in that month. "July what-day? Not written, hmm, how about July 4." It's the first thing that would pop into someone's name for July no-day-listed.
Now I've got Yankee Doodle Dandee going through my head "born on the fourth of Julyyyyyyy"
I think a lot depends on whether or not your husband's Russian relatives live in the US, and how well they speak English. If they are in Russia and/or speak with thick accents - yeah, I don't think your pronounciation is going to work. The a-like-apple sound is very hard to pronounce and is absent from most languages. On the other hand, if you're talking about his sister who's lived in New Jersey since she was 3, that's another story.
This is hard. My mom unilaterally bestowed a nickname on my daughter that I absolutely hated and she kept on with it, knowing that I hated it. I tried to be nice but clear that I hated it, but she carried on anyway until I had to get, well, very blunt and assertive. It was hard to deal with, very hard.
In defense of Molly: I absolutely love it! It was on my top-four list for my daughter's name. And I know a bunch of women and girls named Molly (including three cousins - yep we're Irish) and none of them have had any awkward implications of their name.
Other long names you could use to get to nickname Molly are Melody and Melanie. Melanie covers your fondness for French-flavored names. As does Marietta - gorgeous, but you don't hear it much.
I also prefer the Dalton spelling (unless family or other sentimental reason for the u), and think it sounds fine with Quick. Alternatives, hmmm. Duncan? Walton?
That sounds like quite the dilemma! When are you going to find out the genders? That should at least reduce some of the guesswork / options. Rather than each of you pinpointing complete combos and pairings that you're attached to as THE FAVORITE, maybe stepping back a bit? Like each of you make a list of 10 girl and 10 boy names and compare. Each of you gets to veto half of the others' list. See what's left, if there's any common ground. Possibly repeat a few times, adding five more names to your lists at every round. Something like that. But if it's a point of tension right now, better step back for a little while, if you're not too far along in the pregnancy.
I do think it will be much easier to think about names individually, rather than as twin pairings (so long as you're avoiding matchy-matchy scenarios like Romy and Roman).
Can you clarify how you want pronounce this name? I agree it's fun and jazzy. I pronounce Isaac like eye-zuck, but some of your +J spellings imply another pronounciation.
There was a thread a year or so ago by someone who loved the nickname Hattie but hated the long/formal names that it was normally tied to. The mad genius solution was to name the girl Manhattan.
Congratulations! My inclination is that for a family of five you probably want to make sure each child's name has distinct sounds. My family is from a family of five kids who mostly had J names; my father ended up always called "Jick" by accident (rather than Rick) because, well, J. That would cut out Noah and Ezra, as you already have two boys with names ending in A. I also agree with the above poster that Liberty and Freedom is too much for a pair of sisters. And while I love both Roman and Romy, I would NOT name a pair of twins that no no no. They need to have their own personal spaces.
Do you like the European spelling Kasper or Kaspar? Less friendly ghost-y.
Of your list, my favorites are Remy and Roman, but like I said not together!
Kaleeya. Does that solve your problems? And it's very pretty, both written and spoken.
I agree that Zeke Ivashkevich rocks, but Ezekiel is.... too much. What about just naming him Zeke without the formal name Ezekiel? Alternatives might be Zane and Zachary/Zack. Come to think of it, I think Zachary / Zack works really, really well. Terrific flow and sounds, but easier and more familiar on a lot of levels which is a plus given your surname.
I love Emmett too, it was on my own boy short list but never had a son. It doesn't have the flow that Zeke does with your surname, but it's still a fine, fine name.
I love love love Miles! I do like Remy, but I think of both Remi and Romi as a girl names. I know several European women and girls with those names.
All right, feeding some of your own criteria back to you....
You want something timeless, unusual-but-not-wierd, flows with your last name, and ideally a bit Frenchy.
I agree with the others that you want 2 or more syllables, sounds better with Beam. I also think that names that end with an -ee sound don't flow well into Beam. I like the name Elodie, but not Elodie Beam. It's not bad, but other sounds are more compelling.
Some have mentioned that there will be lots of Avas and Harpers in her class at school. That may not necessarily be the case, but I think these names will eventually be date-stamped as being clearly typical of the decade and will mark her as being of a specific age. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but not timeless. These names are 'names of the decade.' (When I was pregnant and considering a trendy name for my daughter, what killed it was chatting with a friend about a new guy asking her out, and she was thinking he was too old for her. I asked how old is too old? She answered "Well, his name is Barry." And my response was "Oh yeah, definitely too old." And that killed the trendy name on my baby shortlist, at some point it will mark her as 60ish.)
Of your list, I think Camille is perfect. It's gorgeous, flows well, timeless classic, and French. And I love it!
Are you planning to have two or more children? If you adore Raleigh for a boy, then save it for him - or a second girl if it works out that way.
Agreed that Kai is a boy name, but one that could work on a girl (and I'm not normally a fan of boy-names-for-girls).
I have to preface all of this with a full disclosure that my one and only tattoo is a Star Wars one, so you know I'm a fan.
That said, I'm a bit confused if you are going is Padme okay versus "Padme or Padma"? I would be inclined to actually go with Padma - I like it better, easier to spell, and yes a real name and thus less full-on Star Wars. Leia has multiple associations, but Padme is firmly Star Wars to me. That said - like my tattoo - anybody who recognizes it is likely to be a big fan of The Force to begin with.
On the other hand, if you like Padme go for it! But I would so only if you are okay with her changing to Paddy or somesuch if she wants to dissociate from that particular galaxy.
You know, I have some friends who gave their daughter a made-up Star Trek name (Jadzia) simply because they loved it. It wasn't a fandom thing, it was a "wow what a beautiful name" thing. And while people think they are bigger Star Trek fans than they really are .... so what? And besides, the only people who actually remember the character are hard-core Trekkies themselves.
That is a very good argument for naming him Timothy, nickname Timo. Even if you don't live in an area with a large Spanish population, someday he might get a job in Albuquerque, you know? I'm a bit sensitive to this because my name sounds like a random French word, which made studying in Nice a bit odd. I quickly ended up with a French nickname.
I know a Timo! Pronounced "teemo." He's German, I assume it's a variant of Timothy? I like it, and he's a great guy. You could also use Timo as a nickname for Timothy.
I don't think that Elliott works on a girl, no. That's a joke on the sitcom Scrubs. REALLY.
Have you thought outside of the box on names that could be nicknamed Elle? Like Penelope, Idella, Zelda, Adelaide, Ellery, Ellexa, Melody? Or why not just name her Elle? It's a lovely name on its own.
I agree that both are fine. Also bear in mind that the middle name is rarely going to be used, so 'mouthful' is not that big a deal. It sounds like the name you really love is Alexandria Harper, and it is beautiful. Go for it.
I agree that more criteria would be really helpful.
You said you want French middle name - but what about first? Lots of French (or popular-in-France) boy names would work. Paul, Marc, Jeremy (easier than Jérémie), Jerome, Maurice, Gabriel, Leo, Theo, Julien, Luc / Luke, Pierre, Sebastien....
You could always do something like Mathieu, nickname Matt as well. French spelling for full name, American for nickname. Antoine/Tony that sort of thing.