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My adivce would be to steer clear of middle names that start with the same sound as the first name ends with. Because otherwise, for example, Griffin Noah can be misheard as Griffin Oah. So that would eliminate Griffin Noah, Griffin Nash ("Griffin Ash"), and Madilane Norah ("Madilane Ora").
I like Esther a lot. I wonder if it works with my last name, which ends in -er, though. Think Esther Waxler Busby. Not our acutal last names, but gives you the idea.
Susanna is one I like too, with the final -a.
And Marguerite. Which makes me think of Margot, which could be a nickname or alternative to Marguerite.
I've been really crushing on Margot lately, but have two friends with daughters they've named Margot in the last few years. I'll have to check out the namempapper to figure out if I'm just in a Margot-pocket.
I think Margot Waxler Busby sounds good. But what do you all think of my husband's idea that a four syllable name is better at breaking up the repetition of the two two-syllable last names? So Sophronia Waxler Busby.
Just realized that the Greek endings have the -ie sound that we're trying to avoid. So they fulfill one of the possible constraints, but not both. Still, great ideas!
Evangeline and Persephone! Brilliant! You managed to find names that suit both constraints! Fun. Keep em' coming.
Thanks for the ideas, missarcasm!
I wasn't expecting the two constraints to necessarily work together. So I was asking for either names that don't end in a or ie or ia that you think would sound good with our last names, or four-syllable names with the emphasis on the second syllable. I probably should have just written two posts, one for each possible constraint. I've made it confusing.
The only name that we can think of that we like that accords with the second constraint is Veronica. We like it, but don't love it because of the -a ending. The other ones are just names I keep thinking of but don't actually like.
I'm keen to explore where these constraints take us, because up to now I've been just collecting names without any particular requirements, and am feeling at sea. I was excited that my husband came up with these two sets of potential rules. In this case, I think constraints can be productive. Good to think with, see where they take you, etc.
From your suggestions, I particularly like Winifred and Harriet. Lieselotte is also intriguing. I hadn't encountered it before.
I'm eager to see what others suggest! Thank you.
Vera is wonderful and beautiful no matter how it's pronounced. I definitely associate it with the "truth" meaning. And I have no idea who Vera de Milo is, and wouldn't worry about that in a million years.
Congratulations on having chosen a truly delightful name! I hope you can work through the OCD and feelings of despair. That's the problem here, if I can be so bold, not the name. Is it possible you're dealing with some post-natal stress? You mentioned seeking professional help for the OCD, but I'm wondering whether you also want to get support for possible post-natal depression.
Just wanted to point out there's a character named Aida on the American television show Parenthood. This doesn't mean it's a popular name or will be, but rather indicates that it's acceptable and not too out-there for Americans. Definitely pronouncable. I should note that the character is bi-racial, so there was some implication that she and her brother (Jabbar I believe) have slightly sub-cultural names. Hope that's helpful.
I love Aida, and also love the suggestion of Iset above.
It's pretty easy for girls:
Nina, Meena/Mina, Anita, Anika (although it's pronounced differently in Hindi), then names like Monica and Anya and Natasha that aren't originally Indian (as far as I know, certainly not Natasha) but are common there. Leela could work in the US as well.
For boy's names it's a bit tougher. There's Nikhil which is pretty common here in the US and can be shortened to Nik. Arya, although that tends to be a girls name in English naming tradition (and has weird racial overtones). Sam for Sameer. I would second Ashwin.
Then there are the Muslim names that are very international. Faisal, Ibrahim, etc.Many old testament names are also common in the Indian Muslim population.
Oh, and my favorite, Iskander, the Indian version of Alexander.
"In an era of parents naming their children Magnus, Lion, Breeze, Marlowe, Clover, Blue and North, I have to say that should I have a son of my own, I will undoubtedly campaign my future wife to bestow on him the mantle of William John the 9th."
--Wow, that guy is pretty spot-on in his characterization of current baby-naming trends. I wonder if he's a frequenter of name sites like this one?
I wonder if using the nickname Mia might help, in that it would sort of train people to pronounce that first vowel correctly. So you could say, 'You can call her Mia, but her full name is Mi-RAY-a, like Mia with Ray in the middle. I still like Reia as a nickname, though.
Mireia is one of the most beautiful names I've ever heard. Please don't change it! I do think Mimi, Miri, Mira or Ray or Reia would be wonderful nicknames- especially Reia! If people have trouble with the pronunciation, perhaps likening it to the French name Mireille (which I first fell in love with from the French in Action series in high school) might help.
I was just reading about the name Elowen, which is apparently Cornish and means Elm. I think it would sound lovely with your children's names.
I really enjoyed looking up "hypocoristic." Wikipedia's etymology for it is really fascinating, funny and, well, offensive: "From Ancient Greek ὑποκοριστικός (hupokoristikos), from ὑποκορίζομαι (hupokorizomai, “I speak in the language of children”), from ὑπό (hupo, “below”) + κορίζομαι (korizomai, “I act like a girl”), fromκόρη (korē, “girl”)."
Gwen can be a boy's name? I had no idea. Is it short for something in those cases, and if so, what?
Miriam, of course the name has nothing to do with the Indian caste! Obviously! I'm just saying one might want to know of the word--spelled the same when transliterated in English--before naming one's child that. Like I said, it's a lovely name in/from Hebrew, isn't pronounced like the Indian word, but is spelled the same way in English.
I really like the pronunciation of Dalit, but if anyone is thinking of using it, you might want to be aware that it is spelled exactly like dalit, which means 'oppressed' in Hindi and other Indian languages, and is the preferred term of those formerly known as the 'Untouchable' caste in India.
Abram Silas "Abe"-Very nice. Sort of Old Testament/ cowboy-ish.
Abram Forester-The flow of this sounds slightly nicer to me than Abram Silas.
Forester Abram-Nice but not as great.
Malcolm Shane "mac"--Both this and Cormac Shane are nice. Malcolm I don't love just because of the Latin meaning of mal- (even though it's unrelated to this name).
Cormac Shane "Mac"
Felix Owen- Sounds cute but less unique. I loved these names several years ago, but it seems everyone in my somewhat hipstery naming pocket did too. I bet you'll meet several other Felix Owens and Owen Felixes.
Maksim Leo "mak"- This one seems very different from the others and reads very Russian/Soviet Union to me (Maksim Gorky and Leo Tolstoy)
Crosby Milo- Cute. Maybe a bit trendy.
I've only ever met female Shannons. It does sound date-stamped to me around the late 1940's, 1950's. I'd group it with other Mom names like Sharron and Cheryl. But I see from the Name Voyager that it actually peaked a little later, in the 1970s. The peak is sharp, indicating a fairly date-stamped trend.
That doesn't mean you can't bring it back, though!
Not knowing the My Girl reference, I was actually thinking Veda would be a more logical spelling for getting the Vay-da pronunciation. People might read it as Vee-da, but would be easily corrected, a la Lena--Lee-na or Lay-na.
Miriam, I find the New Orleans pronunciation of Calliope really interesting, because that's how my Greek colleague pronounces her name.