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Hm...this one is difficult! To me it feels a little like your taste in boy-names is different from your taste in girl-names, but it's hard to tell with only Jayden to go on.
What about Cleo, or maybe Scarlett?
I agriee -- it'd be nice to know the actual names in question, because we may know of related or similar names, in addition to working from associations.
I have a 10 yr old niece named Iris, and I've never found her name old-ladyish. It feels fresh and alive and young, perhaps because she is!
I love that movie unreasonably, and it STILL took me a moment to realize what you were thinking of. I really don't think you need to worry.
Gracyn, with a brother Brady, I would not be sure if you were telling me you had a daughter Gracyn or a son Grayson.
The first two names that came to mind reading your list of likes are Regan and Riley....
Jake is often short for Jacob -- if you name him Jake, a lot of people will assume he's Jacob. (Personally, I love both Jake and Jacob, so I would have no problem with this, but I'm not you!)
Jonathan Declan I find too rhyme-y.
I'm going to vote for Solange, just because I love the name (and also I love Solange Knowles).
Other feminine S/S-sounding names that came to mind:
Salome, Sandrine, Simone, Celine.
Boy's names, hm...
Joachim, Jerome, Jules?
Jacinthe and Jasmine lead me to Jacqueline, Jade, Janine, Jocelyn, Justine, all of which read fairly race-neutral to me. According to Behind The Name, all of them have some use in French (although "Joceline" appears to be the preferred French feminine spelling).
Hm, what about Katherine Mary, instead of Mary Kate?
I decided that this would be a fun one for Nymbler, esp. as there are enough inspiration names to get some different choices. Of course, some of the suggestions it generated are -- not surprisingly! -- names of other kids in the set!
Some it came up with that I like:
Boys - Tobin, Leo, Foster, Reid, Rowan
Girls - Avery, Raine, Nola, Sydney, Sloane
Salome is one of my favorite names. I've known it for years -- went to Catholic school growing up, and Salome is the woman who requests the head of John the Baptist -- but I really got to love it by hearing it in song! The Old 97s have a song called "Salome" -- it's worth looking up on YouTube.
Nash and Magnolia is ADORABLE.
I wonder what Georgia considers a combination of the two? I assume they mean "hyphenated or double surname", but my sister and her husband recently gave their baby a portmanteau.
My daughter's legal name and her nickname appear to be around the same popularity in the UK -- both came up with "Faye" as the alternate name.
I have an acquaintance named Fleur. It's a lovely name.
Is the meaning important to you, or more the sound?
If you're looking for sound, there's Sid/Sidney. This is *extremely* Anglo, and is also in use as a girl's name -- not sure how you would feel about that, as it seems like it would be a poor fit in a different way than Saeed.
Simon might work. There's the nickname Sy, and it's a very international name -- there are versions in scads of languages. You will end up with some people pronouncing it sigh-mun and some pronouncing it see-moan, if that bothers you.
I loved that article. It's fascinating and brings to mind some of the issues friends of mine who are inter-ethnically married or interracial have had in the US.
I have one friend who has encountered outright rage because she's not Chinese (her married surname is Chinese), and other friends who have been called liars and fakers for having non-Asian surnames (when their father is non-Asian and they have his surname, or their married surname is non-Asian).
tbh if I had another child & it was a she, I might give her Hillary as a middle name out of sheer fury at the sexism hurled at Mrs. Clinton. But I wouldn't give it as a first name because it's too not-my-style.
wow. my son wasn't sent to the principal's office for "goddammit" in first grade. being sent for darn or shoot is really strange!
The scientist thing makes me want to suggest Darwin for a boy (but I'm on a quest to get someone to agree with me that Darwin is a brilliant name).
For a girl, Leila, Lola, Laurel?