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October 6, 2017 08:43 AM

On second thought, Flora and Floria run into Anderson too much!  Florienne actually works better after all, I think.  A bit sing-songy but not over the top.  Or maybe Fleur or Florence?


October 5, 2017 02:02 AM

Yeah, I'm thinking "literary / happy ending / overcoming challenge" is a bit vague.  It might be helpful to narrow it down to a particular era or genre of literature might be helpful.  You can find a good or bad literary allusion to so many women names!  And they can be all over the place.  I love the name Laura.... but is Little House on the Prarie the literary connection you are going for?  But then Laura in The Hours is pretty miserable even if she does run away in the end.  My favorite book's protagonist is named Villanelle - but almost nobody else knows that contemporary novel. This raises another question: are you looking for a literary character that speaks to YOUR heart, or something others will recognize as being literary?

For the record, absolutely nothing wrong with Odette!  Not my personal favorite, but nothing wrong with it. 

I'm a bit confused on the Aurora front - maybe I only know the Disney version, but definitely not an empowerment figure.

Also agree that Hermione is definitely Harry Potter - and certainly will be recognized as such by her elementary school classmates!



October 5, 2017 01:17 AM

To answer the question the Original Poster posed to me - the Florianne I know (American) pronounces it Flory-ann. 

If you really love the sound of Florian, I do think that spelling it Florienne makes it look firmly French feminine and therefore be a much better bet.  I have to agree though that it the fact that paired with your surname, it's is a bit too sing-songy for me. I agree with something like Flora or Floria might work better.

October 5, 2017 01:09 AM
In Response to Gender of Callahan

I agree that Callahan is a surname, and therefore gender-neutral.  I'm not a personal fan of the surname-as-given-name trend, but absolutely nothing wrong with it, either.  But if you're going to call her Callie, I agree that naming her Callie is just fine!  Calla is pretty too.



October 4, 2017 01:18 AM

Florien/Florian is a man's name in central Europe.  I've known two, Dutch and German, but I don't know the origin of the name.  I wouldn't recommend it for a North American boy because it does sound feminine to my anglophone ears, but if you like it for a girl how about spelling it Florienne or Florianne?  I do know a Florianne, so you wouldn't be the first!



October 4, 2017 01:14 AM

I love Diana.  It's a familiar name with strong but very different powerful associations (UK royalty, Wonder Woman, Roman goddess), but not much in use for your daughter's generation so will stand out a bit.  I think you have a winner.



October 4, 2017 12:54 AM

The Z and the TH sounds are absent in many non-European languages.  Just because a name is common across European languages does not make it easy globally.  If by "international" she means going to France, that's one thing.  But it's a very hard name across Asia, as are the nicknames Liz and Beth which turn into things like Li and Bet.  I've know some Elizabeths who turned into Ellie or Lisa or somesuch when that was not their original nickname.  All this is perfectly fine, but globally Elizabeth can be tricky to pronounce.  Elisabeth does lighten that by zapping the Z.



October 3, 2017 10:33 PM
In Response to Isolde/Isolda/Iseult

She was born around 1971 and her parents were total hippies: the kind of people who would have totally consulted a New Age Encyclopedia of Goddesses and gone "hey, Cybele!  That's pretty!"


October 3, 2017 01:36 AM
In Response to Isolde/Isolda/Iseult

Re: where did I get that pronounciation of the name Cybele from -- I had a friend in college named Cybele, pronounced sa-BELL.  She's the only Cybele I've ever met so it never occured to me that's not the standard pronounciation!

October 3, 2017 01:23 AM

You might also like Elio - a Spanish/Italian name that's much less common than Leo.  Not Jewish, but you said he will also be part Latino...  You could also use Elio as a nickname for Elliott or even Elijah, Elias, etc.



October 3, 2017 12:55 AM

You indicated that you wanted an "international" name - if that is important to you then I think you should eliminate Elizabeth.  Both the Z and the TH are unpronounceable in many languages (especially the TH at the end).  Elizabeth is actually a very,very challenging name globally.  Sophie is much more accessible. 


(from an American who has spent half her life in Asia.....)

PS - my favorite is Diana!


September 26, 2017 11:51 PM
In Response to Isolde/Isolda/Iseult

You've presented two front-runner names (each with a few variants), but are only discussing the Isolda ones, and not with much enthusiasm, I have to say!  You present these as options that you like but are not thrilled with.  To me, that says that you really want to name her Sibyl.

You may also want to consider the name Cybele, which sounds the similar but with emphasis on second syllable, and has a different origin (ancient goddess).



September 26, 2017 01:25 AM

First of all, I love the name Reese.  Well done!  I would however be sure to pair an androgynous first name with a firmly feminine middle name.  I find that people with gender-neutral first names often rely on their middle (for example, in email signatures etc) to ward off confusion.

There are a lot of other names that end in -line if you want to go that route, i.e., same ending (rather than beginning) as your first daughter's name. For example, Reese Madeline, Emmaline, Jacqueline, Pauline....

September 26, 2017 01:16 AM

I think that if Therese is an important family name, then it should go in the middle name slot and you don't need to overthink flow and style with the first name.  Her middle name will rarely be used, and any of the names you've listed go just fine with Therese.  The question is: if you put aside paring, what is your favorite FIRST name? 



September 26, 2017 01:10 AM

How about Annabeth?  You love Anna but worry it's too common; Elizabeth is a family name.  Put them together and kill two birds with one stone.

All that said, my vote is by far and away Vivian.  Gorgeous!

September 13, 2017 01:10 AM
In Response to Hard name to pair

Ooooh, I'm loving the Aurelia suggestion above.  And you mentioned that you have a Sleeping Beauty link to your first daughter's name.  I believe in the legends where she's not Briar Rose, her name is Aurora.  So Aurelia nods to  both chemistry AND Sleeping Beauity just like your Beryl Rose.  I'm not a fan of matchy sibling name sets, but this is clever and subtle.  Not to mention gorgeous.

Aurelia Elionwy?  Vavoom!

September 12, 2017 11:08 PM

I agree that Liyla is a funky spelling of Lila and will not inspire the pronounciation you are aiming for.  My daughter's best friend is Leela and there is no ambiguity, and it is not a 'made-up' spelling.  I also think Leila is pronounced same as Layla.

September 11, 2017 08:05 PM

If Audrey is the name you really love, than that should be her name.  Don't overthink it or fuss about others - this is not a market branding excercise.

September 11, 2017 07:55 PM

Whether the siblings have multiple last names is not an issue!  That said, I have two middle names and it can be a hassle.  Usually on forms there is only room for one initial and the second one gets dropped.  There have been a few cases in my life where things got mixed up - like duplicate entries of me in a computer using different middle names.  I think it would be a lot easier now than when I was a kid, though, and having two middle names was rare.


September 11, 2017 08:01 AM
In Response to Harlow, Cleo, or...

Another vote for Cleo.  And yes, if your husband hates Tallulah it's game over there!  There are zillions of other names that can get you to nickname Lula or Lula.  In addition to the ones already suggested, there is the Portuguese name Lusila; Eloise, Luelle also get you there. Hallelujah/Alleluya/etc?  I think that one's too much, but just putting it out there.  You could also get "Lula" from first two letters of a first + middle name.  Something like Lucille Laura.