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Yes, you are overthinking this name! Looking over your post, your pluses are all reasons why you truly love this name. It makes your heart sing. You think it's gorgeous and elegant and all that. Your concerns are all what other people think. Frankly, it's not THEIR daughter. Some will love the name, some will hate it and that also applies to every other name out there so you can't fuss about that too much. This is your child, not a marketing or branding excercise. You want your little girl to have the most beautiful name in the world, and to you that is Audrey. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the name, no red flags anywhere. You have a winner.
I absolutely love the name Melissa. If you do too, go for it.
I struggled to have a baby too. You could pull Vera from perserverance, or even Percy although it's more of a boy name. Or perhaps something like Miley or Mila to represent a long journey (like mile).
Firstly, I don't know much about German names but I am an American who has lived overseas most of my adult life (mostly Asia), and I have defiinitely noticed that 'old' names seem to revive in one Western country and then catch on in others. My predictions for the next hottest name trends in USA are what I pick up on the playground from my daughter's European playmates. I expect that becasue Eleanor is on-trend in English-speaking countries, it is likely to shake off any old-fashioned feel in Germany very soon. I've seen this pattern over and over again! (And while I'm at it everyone on this site: the comeback names in Europe that I predict will be crossing back to USA soon are Arthur, Hugo, and Maud. Yes, you heard me right. And I saw Leo and Sophia coming way before you did!) Eleanor also lends itself to a lot of nicknames, including those popular in Germany like Leni and Neli, so I don't think you can go wrong here.
On the middle name front - I have no idea how this sounds in Germany, but do you ever do mashups, i.e., innovative combinations? Like your grandmothers are Hildegard and Marlis. How about something like Hillis? Margarete is a real German name and certainly works, combining elements of both your grandmothers' names.
I think you have a fine name that means a lot to both of you. This is not a popularity contest, but you are wise to check out any red flags here! And I don't see any, so long as you don't mind correcting spelling and pronounciation sometimes. I have to do that with my girl, but it's really not a big deal. That said, I did pair her unusual first name with a really common middle name which I also love and has family significance - so just in case she hates having a "weird" first name, there's an entirely "normal" backup in there. Ha!
Another vote for Clarita!
But if it's really down to two names of Claire and Rita: sounds like you need a tie-breaker. Does your SIL have a partner? It's not clear from your post if it's that SHE can't decide which name she likes better, or THEY, as in one likes Claire and the other likes Rita. Some more background would be helpful to figure out how to best navigate the decison-making process.
In absence of that... does she want more children later? I would actually not go for Clarita if she wants to save the other name for a second girl. Another good idea is to think through "what if #2 is a boy?" If favorite boy name is too matchy-matchy with one of the girl names, then you choose the other one. For example: let's say favorite boy name is Clarence. Easy decision now: baby #1 is Rita, #2 is either Claire or Clarence.
Another good way if she/they are truly stuck between the two is to let the baby's grandparents be the tie-breaker.
I love love love Clarence, I think it's a fabulous name. And I am not at all fond of many of the fusty comebacks (Henry, Arthur, Walter....) But yes to Clarence! And I would not be surprised to meet one at the playground.
If you simply google that exact question, there are a whole bunch of answers.
I prefer Daphne as well!
Question: do you intend to have more children? If so, I would save the other's favorite name for a possible second daughter, rather than putting it in middle name spot that nobody will use.
On the deal-breaker level, what are your boy names? For example, if George is a top contender, then definitely save George/Georgia for baby #2 - you so don't want kids hamed George and Georgia, whereas Daphne would be fine with either. Or, if one of you has a super-favorite boy name that's totally different, that partner gets lead on choosing name for baby #2. This kind of thinking might help you sort though whose favorite name goes to your little girl.
Hooray! And I so love it when posters come back and tell us the final choice. Congratulatons on your little girl.
I have hazel eyes, so that is totally a color to me!
Sounds like a winner to me!
I echo that Jameson is a whiskey - and a porn star. Great name, but don't go there with your son! And I do have a friend who has a surname that is usually a given name (sort of like James, though it's not), and they gave their son a surname-as-first-name (a la Harris). I confirm that the boy's first and last names are indeed constantly reversed into James Harris rather than Harris James.
Another vote for Wesley! Well done!
Of your girl list, the names that are most distinct from your sons' names are Penelope and Veronica. But, I'm not sure if that's really important for you. It's not that big a deal that Vivian and Colin both end with an N, for example - or Violet and Everett both with T.
Long names are much more likely to get nicknamed, such as Penelope. And while it may be climbing in popularity, with four distinct syllables it's almost certainly going to get shortened. If you want to avoid a too-popular name, maybe think through the nicknames? There will probably be a ton of little girls running around called Ellie, but not Penny or Nell. And on any of the long names, think through the short ones.
For you, I'm kind of crushing on Veronica! I love the name, and you don't run into many. It also includes several letters from both your sons' names, without being at all matchy-matchy. There's also the French variant Veronique.
Diana is by far and away my favorite, but not paired with Moon -- too goddessy! I'm not crazy about most of what people call 'timeless classics', they tend to make me yawn. I think the spelling Catherine is more classic though, very Wuthering Heights! Among the timeless classics names I do like, huge fan of Laura, Mary, Lydia, Melanie, Bianca, Idella.
Oooooh, good point. I have an only child, but yeah.... she's going through a princess stage (ugh), and if she had a boy name plus a big sister with a princess name.... Not a good scene.
How about Autumn as another alternative?
I think it's charming. But Penelope is a mouthful - while nicknames are mostly avoidable these days, that does NOT apply to one with 4 syllables! Make sure you stake out a nickname you REALLY like. Since your partner chose this name, maybe you can choose the nickname? I really like Ellie or Nell much more than Penny.
If Auden is the name you love, then go for it! But definitley pair it with a distinctly feminine middle name. Most of the people I know with gender-neutral names like Jordan also use their middle name in email signatures etc for this reason.
Most people are commenting on the contrast between very feminine name Arabella and neutral name Auden. The names are very close in sound though. That's not a problem, just about observation. What about Eden as an alternative? Very distinctly feminine, and the different first letter makes them less matchy.
Pairing two word names together is tricky, yes! One more thing to watch out for: how does it sound backwards? Like in school and other settings, sometimes we are seated or called out Lastname, Firstname and you don't want that sounding awkward. I think Ivy Fence might work, but not "Fence, Ivy" when a professor is handing back graded term papers, you know?
In terms of nature names - do they HAVE to be nouns per se? What about the names of bodies of water? There is overlap between 'real' names and nature ones there. Like I think that Hudson Fence works as a very fine boy name, I like it a lot. It certainly nods to the Hudson River, but by avoids a name that is two words. Girl options include Shannon, Sabine, and so forth.
What about Celeste or Soleil? Somehow the sky/heavens etc connections seem to avoid evoking, well, a field of flowers or something when paired with fence.
As an American who lives in Southeast Asia, I would avoid country names (and possibly place names in general) for a child who is not from that country. If they ever go to work, travel, or live abroad it will be a source of constant confusion. Case in point: my friend France, who is American with no particular ties or heritage to that country. Not Frances, France. Nonstop explanation and confusion in Asia, and even more so to the French who she runs into almost every day.