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I think they are fine, but it depends on what you can personally live with. My two younger sisters have names that are approximately as similar as Clara and Gloria, and much closer in style, and my name is significantly more different than Susanna, and it has never been an issue (my mother does confess that she worried initially that the sisters' names were too similar).
That said, if Clara and Gloria and too similar for you personally, Gloria may not be the name.
I had heard of Little Lulu and strongly remember Casper from childhood, but had never heard of Little Audrey until now.
Audrey for me is 1. Hepburn, and 2. Tautou (the actress who played Amélie). Bother of those are pretty positive associations, in a quite-similar way.
I think Melissa is lovely. I also think it escapes the Mom name category for a couple of reasons: its mellifluous flow fits right in with Bella and Leila and their cohort, and its lovely meaning ties in with the nature name trend. I also feel this way about Heather -- it's dated, but I would still seriously consider it because it ticks a lot of other boxes.
I would tend to EYE-trus (but I live in Spain, where Aitor, pronounced that way, is relatively common) or AY-trus.
I have no negative feelings towards it, and am generally neutral, but pushed into a positive stance by your having a great story behind it.
I have a daughter with a name that is fairly unpronounceable in English -- I would cultivate a zen attitude, an easy reminder (AY rhymes with day) and would be prepared to explain the name (either the real story or an easy substitute) often. That said, I grew up with a Menolly, named for a character in an Anne McCaffrey book, and "my parents named me for a book they liked" proved an easy explanation for her.
I've seen a lot more middle names since social media became a big thing. People who don't want to use their full name (often for privacy reasons, because they are teachers or what have you) tend to go by their first-middle. Parents will often refer to their children by first-middle on social media for I presume the same reason. While it's not exactly an official setting, using Lucy-Whatever as your social media name might give you an outlet for having a middle name.
I never use mine; nonetheless, I did briefly consider changing it, as I have never been a fan of my middle name, to something I felt represented me better. I decided not to, because the thought of all that paperwork, plus living in a different country and needing to explain all the paperwork to them when they barely get the concept of middle names as it is, just didn't seem worth the hassle. In your situation though, I might have gone for it.
I LOVE Harriet Nancy. I would like it anyway, but I think the family connection is perfect and that you should definitely use it if you get the chance. Your girls names are all nice in my opinion except Ramsey which is a) Gordon Ramsey and b)the reason I can't watch Game of Thrones any more, I just can't take that level of stress and torture. Is there a reason why people are asking about Ramsey for girls recently? I feel like there must be a pop-culture reference I'm not aware of. Anyway, apart from Ramsey, all good.
On the boys side I like them all except Shepley, which I'm not familiar with (is it like Shipley?) My favourites there are probably Luca, Elliott and Henry, with a middle name that is meaningful to you.
I think they are both good names. My personal favourite is Daphne (I'm a big Daphne du Maurier fan) and am less keen on Georgia as to me it is mostly state. But I do agree with the above posters that you should try to upvote one over the other, or wait and meet the baby.
Oh, and any reason why Daphne Lucille is out of the running? That would be my personal favourite!
I just have my dad's surname. He was against a hyphenated surname when we were born because "only posh people have double barrelled names." My mom I guess agreed at the time but now says that she disagrees and wishes she had lobbied a bit more for her name to be included.
My daughter, per Spanish naming law, has both her father's surname and mine. Everyone, (my dad included!) think this is a far more civilized way to name babies. You do still lose one of the surnames in the text generation, generally but not always the mothers (my partner chose to pass on his mother's surname, so my daughter is Name Paternal-grandmother's-surname Maternal-grandfather's-surname)
My mother didn't change her surname at marriage and I found it absolutely no hassle (unless you count people occasionally calling her Mrs. Dad-s-Surname as a hassle.
That is true. I think it comes down to culture, how it's formed and what we value. In Spain, the name rules are stricter (you must have two surnames, you must have no more than two first names separated by a hypen; in practice almost everyone just has one). There isn't much confusion.
North America is a lot more anything goes. Not absolutely anything goes, but there is a higher degree of flexibility. I like to think it's because generations of immigrants and furious women have insisted on their rights to honour their cultures, keep their identity, and so on. That is obviously going to result in higher levels of confusion, but it also does mean that you can adopt your husband´s name or not (I wish more people would choose not), give your kids both names, or a mashup.
A double surname will be a source of some headaches, yes. It just depends on whether the feeling it gives you outweighs those headaches.
Miriam, I am so impressed that you met Borges! Big star eyes over here!
Spanish writers (and people in general) often go by only their first surname, unless they have a dirt-common name and need the second for disambiguation. Hence, Gabriel Garcia Marquez or Gael Garcia Bernal or, basically, anyone with the surname Garcia (including my partner, who is a Catalan writer). I don't know how common Borges is as a surname, but presumably he felt that he didn't need disambiguation.
With Lois McMaster Bujold, if she is filed under the B I would assume that McMaster is her middle name. I would imagine it gets a bit headachey for librarians though...
Martha and Matilda are the clear winners from that list for me!
If you have friends who already have young children, it's worth asking about to see what names crop up in their children's classes at preschool. It's not an exact science of course, but it gives at least a hint of what naming environment you're already in...
Thank you Optatus for clearing articulating how I feel about Elizabeth. I agree, the nicknames are the appeal -- but imagine your daughter settles on the one nickname you don't like? I love Lizzy and Bess and Bessie, for example, but would not be pleased to have a daughter called Liz. I do feel like Catherine is a bity easier to control in this sense: most of the nicknames have a similarity to one another, and Cathy is probably less likely to crop up nowadays since it's fairly dated.
I'll join the crowd that prefers the C spelling, by the way, though either is fine. And I do think Kate is perfectly fine as the nickname...though your daughter may ultimately prefer Cate herself.
I think if you feel that your married surname doesn't represent you, then there is nothing wrong with doing a hyphenated maiden-married, for you or your daughter. I absolutely believe HNG when she says she hates the hyphen, but thousands of people are currently living with hyphenated surnames and the world has not ended.
You will definitely add bureaucracy and occasional moments of panic to your life though. My daughter has, thanks to our countries naming laws crashing into my cultural preferences, a hypenated first-middle name, and two surnames with no hyphen. Bureaucracy hasn't been terrible because I have been extremely consistent about filling in forms and passport applications, writing explanatory notes in the margins where I felt it necessary, but buying flights is a nuisance (when your children are young they can share your seat, but there is a MAXIMUM CHARACTER COUNT per seat, grrrrr).
Anyway, the only way to make hyphens the norm is for people to use them more regularly. I'm personally in the pro camp.
I live in Europe but am Canadian (mainly Western Canada). It's true that I may be pronouncing the names differently than you (on this board my mind is constantly being blown but how people pronounce things). I'm saying AY-vuh, and EH-vuh-lin if that helps. AY rhyming with day and Ehv rhyming with Bev.
I'm going to be the odd one out and lobby for Victor! I do like Wesley, but I just adore Victor. It's such an underused classic in the English-speaking world and I don't hear it nearly as much as I'd like to (well, I live in Spain, so I hear it all. the. time. but I love it anyway). However, to answer your general concern, I think Wesley is fine with your surname.
It's nice to hear from you again, and to know that you are using Ava Lou as a nickname (one of the more adorable propositions I've read on this board.
I tend to think you should go with Evelyn, even if it is too similar. You've been talking about Evelyn for a long time. My sisters have names that almost rhyme, and are both very unusual which makes their similarity to each other stand out even more. My mom admits she always worried that they were too close, but flash-forward 27 odd years and everyone is surviving and not getting mixed up with each other -- or not any more than they get mixed up with me, or the dog).
Otherwise, I like Rosalie, Olivia and Eleanor fine for you, although I think if you go down the similar-to-Ava route I would just go with Evelyn. I second the suggestion of Natalia instead of Natalie, and of Emilia instead of Emily. My own name is Emily, and I don't find it plain, but it's definitely overused. I think that works in your favour in terms of Emilia though. It's a riff on the super-mega-hit of the past two decades, so while it may not be as popular as you'd like in and of itself, it will be recognizable to most people (and many people will know Emilia Clarke). The same goes for Natalia for me...I don't think it's going to require any explanation, but "like Natalie, but Natalia," will be enough in any case.
On the boy front I firmly like Henry for you. I do not think Hen is even remotely an issue, and he can always go by the full name if he decides it is. I think any of your boy names are fine except for Hudson, which I find definitely too trendy, and gives me an unappealing, hulking image that doesn't go with the rest of your choices.