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As someone who was a child in the 70s, I don't think I would have blinked about Pete or Natalie. I went to school with a couple of Petes and several Natalies. Jack seems like it might be a bit off, simply that I didn't know any as a kid (though I did know several Pauls), but not so off I would have given it much thought. With Grace back then I would have assumed a more religious family (less so now) but it still wouldn't have been surprising.
I go back & forth on Gavin. I am/was familiar with Gavin McLeod & I would have recognized Gavin as a surname. Back in the day, I think I would have noticed Gavin as being unusual, but still sufficiently familliar that it wouldn't have seemed weird. Is the character American? On an American of that age, it would seem out of place to me now, but less so if they were from someplace else. I ask because Karl Urban is from New Zealand, so it's possible the character was also.
I'm with you that maybe the movie will help keep Elliot/Elliott from going girl. Probably depends on how well the movie does at the box office. Do they keep to the original story? From the trailers I've seen, it kind of looked like they didn't follow much of the original plot.
I think Mina would be a lovely namesake for Guglielmina. You could also look at other variants or names relatedd to it, just as Willa or Minna. If using the 1st initial would work, Geneva is also lovely. Other G names that could work: Gemma, Guiliana, Ginevra
Alfea just reminds this English speaker of the word alfalfa, so it's not really my favorite. But perhaps Althea as a sound-alike? Some other A names: Alea, Alannah, Adele (also similar to Odell)
You mention your FIL wants to you to name the baby after his late wife. But is that what you want? What about your husband? I think it's a lovely idea if you can find a name you like that could be considered a namesake & you both want to honor tradition, etc. But I'm not sure it's something you should do because of family pressure. Perhaps a first name you like with a middle name honoring your late MIL would be enough? Odell Mina or Odell Geneva could both work.
I love all of your old lady names, and I think Edmund is fantastic!
Other old lady names that I've always had a soft spot for include Agatha, Helen, Cordelia, Martha, Claudia & Augusta.
I'll also throw out Margaret, which really strikes me as more timeless than the others, but would still be a good fit.
OP should definitely check the regulations in her state by calling the office of vital statistics. It seems this is one of those things that varies greatly from state to state.
In the state where I had my 2nd son, birth certificates had to be filed by the hospital before the baby was released (midwives had to file within 48 hours after delivery for home births). If a name wasn't chosen yet, the certificate would be filed as "Baby Boy/Girl Surname." Parents would then have to go through an amendment process (with associated fees) to have the original certificate changed.
In the state where my first son was born, hospitals had 5 days before they were required to file for a birth certificate, meaning it would be possible to leave the hospital without a name. Parents would just need to be sure and contact the hospital before the 5 days were up, otherwise the certificate would be issued as Baby Boy/Girl Surname. In that state, parents had up to 30 days after they received the birth certificate to request amendments to the information free of charge. After that, fees were involved for any amendments.
Oops, my bad. I read the original post as Alexandre is a family name his side was pressuring him to use. I see now you were probaby referring to his surname when you mentioned pressure to use the "family name."
I think that reduces some of the issue, as there are no family traditions involved. In that case, if you allow Alexandra now, the agreement becomes "you get your favorite for this child, and I get my favorite next time, regardless of the next chid's gender."
Though I would still argue that a clear agreement should be made that Alexandre & all variants are completely off the table for future sons (first & middle) if Alexandra or a variant is used now. I say this because I know a family where they used a feminine version of dad's chosen name on a girl, thinking it would be the last child. When they later had a surprise son, he advocated really hard to use the masculine version anyway. They ended up with 2 kids with bascially the same name. I won't share the exact names here, but it was something along the lines of dad wanted Robert, they named a girl Robin, then ended up with a son called Robert anyway.
I lean more towards Irene, with Ida as my 2nd choice.
suggestions-Alice, Lucy, Joan, Nancy, Lena, June
I don't think an extra syllable is a huge deal. This sounds more like a preference as opposed to an actual "rule." A shorter nickname for daily use could help.
Starting with the same initial as her dad & a cousin seems like a minor point. If initials are a concern, I think it is more important that she not share an initial with a sibling. For practical purposes, you won't regularly need to initial her things in order to tell them apart from the belongings of dad or her cousin (unless the cousin actually lives with you).
It's not just a name. It is a name with significance to her father & his family. I suspect Stella has more significance to you than it did to your husband. The narrative does't have to be "we wanted a boy but got a girl, so you were named Alexandra." The narrative could just as easily be "Stella got a family name from my side, and you got a family name from your dad's side." Perhaps the name would have more meaning for you if you get to pick the nickname (there are lots to pick from, I've copied & pasted a list from behind the name below) and if you get more say over the middle. I think it's fair for you to get the middle if he gets the first. Other options would be to simply move Alexandra to the middle position, or chose a variant/diminutive version of the name instead.
Taking into consideration your preference for using Alexandra on a girl over Alexandre for a boy, I do lean towards going ahead and using Alexandra for this baby. However, I think a conversation should be had about ways to compromise (middle name instead of first, variant versions, letting you have full control over the middle, etc.). I would also suggest having him run this by the family members pressuring him to use Alexandre. Some families would not be satisfied with a cross-gender namesake and it's possible he could continue to get pressure for Alexandre if you have a future boy. I would want to make certain that you and your husband are in full agreement that using Alexandra (or a variant) now absolutely rules out Alexandre (and variants) later.
CROATIAN: Sanda, Sandra, Saša
DUTCH: Alex, Sandra, Xandra
ENGLISH: Alex, Alexa, Alexina, Ali, Allie, Ally, Alyx, Lexa, Lexi, Lexie, Lexine, Lexy, Sandie, Sandra, Sandy, Sondra, Zandra
FRENCH: Sacha, Sandra, Sandrine
GERMAN: Sandra, Sascha
ITALIAN: Alessa, Sandra
MACEDONIAN: Sandra, Sashka
ROMANIAN: Sanda, Sandra
RUSSIAN: Aleksandrina, Sasha, Shura
SERBIAN: Sandra, Saša
SLOVENE: Sandra, Saša
SWEDISH: Sandra, Sassa
Assuming all middle names are equal (and none have special meaning) I prefer Jude Alistair. Jude Oliver is Ok, but I generally don't like Oliver as much as Alistair.
I don't care for Jude Donovan at all. Both names are very nice on their own, but those Ds make them run together. I can imagine him being in trouble & you needing to pull out the first/middle combination. It'd sound like you were calling out "Jew Donovan get over here right now!"
Based on the names in your original post (plus Eric from your response above) I'd suggest you look at the Baby Name Wizard book under names in the Timeless & New Classic categories. These are typically names that have never really fallen out of fashion, so they aren't likely to strike people as passing fads which is what I suspect you mean be "hipster." I would suspect this is how a lot of people will see Jackson & (to a lesser degree) Levi in a few years. They had recent popularity strikes and will likely fall just as quickly as they rose.
I would also encourage you to look at stats for names you like, as I think you might be surprised by the current popularity of some of them. For example, Steven has been in steady decline for the past several years and is currently ranked at #154. Still popular enough that it shouldn't seem odd on a young child, but not certainly "not not-popular."
For names with a nod to your husband's Slavic roots, I'd start with a list of names you like and then look at using Slavic spellings. This might help freshen up some of the names you like but are hesitant to use because they seem more "individual" to you. For example, Stefan instead of Steven would be a nice choice. I'll also suggest Gregor, Viktor, Lukas & Milos. Erik-with-a-K would also count as Slavic.
Not to mention that (I assume) both children have their father's surname, which would come from that side of the family.
I 2nd the comment about Lanayah fitting well with current name trends. I don't find it particularly ethinic sounding at all, and would not be surprised to find this name on a child of any ethnicity.
I agree that Lana/Lane/Laney seem like the most intuitive changes for you. They wouldn't require legally changing her name, as all of these make reasonable nicnames for Lanayah. I also like the suggestion of Nayah. Laya (sounds like Princess Leia) also seems like it could work as kind of a contraction of Lanayah.
Have you considered simply having her go by her middle name? You mentioned thinking about switching them around, but I don't think you'd even have to go so far as making it official. So she'd be L. Middle Lasname. As for your concerns about taking the name away from her, she's 5 months old-she has no attachment to her name and won't experience this as a loss of any kind. If you decide to change her name completely, I doubt it would ever be an issue for her.
I would honestly avoid using Solenn as a first name. I think it's lovely that you want to honor your first daughter with a namesake, and I like the idea of either Solenn or Nora as a middle. However, a first that is an honor name for a deceased sibling could be a rather heavy burden for some children. Your daughter may not ever struggle with it, but some kids (especially during those difficult teen years when personal identity is an issue anyway) might struggle with feeling like a replacement or thinking they have to live up to the memory of their sibling. Having the honor name as the middlle spot will give your daughter more control over her own identity. The connection with her sister can be celebrated and talked about if/when she wants it to be, but it can also be a more subtle connection when/if needed.
Simone is lovely! I really like this for you. I personally wouldn't worry too much about nicknames. Lots of kids only use their given names, so it's unlikely that she'd get stuck with a nickname by default. If you want a nickname, maybe something along the lines of Sunny, Simmy, Si-si, or Sis/Sissy (as a family nickname). I assume it's the Mona, Moni, Mo group of nicknames you want to avoid.
All of your other options are also lovely. I especially like Stella for you.
It is heartening & I'm especially excited that perhaps Robin will make a full-on come back for boys, or at least become more unisex in use. It started as a masculine name & once they "go girl" it seems they rarely come back.
River, Sage & Sequoia all seem more like unisex/nature names to me (though technically an argument could be made for Sequoia as a historically masculine name). I wouldn't be surprised to see any of these on either gender. This is one of the few classes of unisex names I really like.
Ever surprises me, but more because it is so rare. There is a celebrity baby with this name, but I honesty can't remember who the parents are or if baby was a boy or girl. OK-just looked, the one I sort of remebered was the daughter of Mila Jovovich. Apparently Ever is also the son of Alanis Morissette. Word names are generally gender-neutral in English, so it makes sense to me that they'd be fairly unisex as baby names.
Rowan isn't feminine to me at all. It's a traditional masculine name that has only fairly recently started to see use on girls in the U.S. I believe its use in the UK/Ireland is still masculine (I think it's actually more of a "dad name" across the pond).
The vast majority of "son" names do literally mean "son of..." In the case of Emerson, the literal meaning is "son of Emery" and the original meaning is still pretty obvious seeing that the "son" element of the name is still in common use. I have the same issue with the Mc/Mac names, I just can't seem to get past the fact that by giving a girl the name McSomeone, the parents have literally named their *daughter* "son of someone." It annoys me less if the name is a family name, but I'm still not a huge fan.
Lots of traditionally masculine names do eventually "go girl." I have to admit it bothers me for a number or reasons, but primarily because girl names never "go boy." I think it sends the message that as a culture, we value masculine attributes over feminine. A little girl with a boyish name is "cute" & some even state they like boys-names-on-girls because they "sound strong." But as a culture we don't want our boys to be "cute." A boy named Sue would be appalling to the majority of people, and would signal the opposite of strength, simply by virtue of being feminine. I think there are plenty of tradtionally feminine names that can sound strong, without the implication that only something masculine can truly be strong. (I'm not saying any of this is true for the OP, just reporting on observations I have made in the past).
Girls: Harper Rose
Boys: A toss up between Cade & Lane.
Of your other options, Wesleigh is just no. I do not understand changing a traditionally male name to make it appear more feminine. On the playground or in class, it's still going to sound just like Wesley. Boys-names-on-girls are NMS, but I think people who want to go that route should accept that they are using a boy name and keep the traditioal spelling. I have a similar problem with Emersyn, but to a slightly lesser degree since this name has already "gone girl" where Welsey has not.
Jensen is OK. Not a fan of Ryder & I prefer just Cade over Caden.
No on Mila Ashton. It's too celebrity couple.
I am also generally not a fan of Mc/Mac names on girls. However, it bothers me much less knowing there is an actual family connection to McKinnon as opposed to picking it simply because it fits with the current trend of Mc/Mac names on girls. If you wanted a nickname, I do think Mila could work (though it is a stretch). Something like Miki or Kinsey could also work and seem like they might be more intuitive.
Can't say I'm a fan of Bridie at all, sorry. Probably doesn't help that I kept wanting to read it as Birdie. I read through your post a couple of times to make sure it was consistently B-r-i-d-i-e and not just a typo.
If you are interested in mixing things up, I think Mila McKinnon could also work.
First, let me reassure you that you have not left this too long. There is no rule that says you must have a name picked out before baby's arrival. You've got time. :-)
With siblings named Harper, Silas & Kai, I would assume Ashton was also a boy. This may not matter to you, but you may want to consider if it will bother you if people assume 4 boys and/or struggle to remember which name belongs to the sister of the group.
Do you like Ashton on its own, or are you mostly drawn to it for the family connection? Did your husband articulate any specific reason why he doesn't like it? Are there any other names you like but can't use for some reason? Or perhaps you could share girl names you considered with your sons? Anything more you can give us will help us refine our suggestions.
With nothing to go on but the siblings names + one parent likes Ashton, I'll suggest Avery, Aubrey, Brenna, Sage, Kira, Drew, Mila. You may also want to consider other "Ash" names as a nod to Ashton. Perhaps your husband would like something along the lines of Ashley, Ashby or Ashlynn better?
Willa Quinn & Damon Lucas
Congrats & welcome to the world little Heur@/Ivy!
Well, "hipstery" is subjective & likely to be influenced by region. But, from your girl list, I think Nigella & possibly Milicent (to a lesser degree) would both lean hipster where I am. From your boy list, Herbert is very hipster, though I think it's fair to make an exception for a family namesake.
How sold are you & your husband on having a Jr? I'm guessing not very, since you both seem to have other candidates on the list. Honestly, I'm not generally a fan. However, if you are going to do it, I think it should be because at least one of you feels strongly about having a Jr. as opposed to having a Jr. as the default in case you can't decide on something else.
I think agreeing to remove Stefan & Jasper is fair. Of the remaining boy names, my favorite is Miles. I'd rank Murray 2nd. I see Gregory noted as a "family suggestion" but you don't mention if you actually like it. Personally, I don't really think extended family should get a vote, so hopefully you don't feel pressured to include it on the list (same with Grace & Claire).
I can't imagine Nigella being mispronounced often, but a teacher or anyone. It's not common and may strike people as hipster/fusty, but it's still familiar. You can also use Nigel as an easy to help hint for anyone who does seem to struggle. Perhaps it'd be a name to test out in public. Use it at Starbucks & keep track of how many times people seem stumped on how to spell it. Write a long list of names, including Nigella, and ask acquantance-type people to read the list out loud, keeping track of how many times they mess Nigella up. If you know people with school-aged kids, ask them to read the name and see what their reactions are.
I do really like Alice, Claire & Cassandra. However, if you really love Nigella, all of these seem a bit boring or safe in comparison.
Boy name suggestions: Walter, Silas, Felix, Marius, Simon, Benedict.
Girl suggestions: Antonia, Marcella, Camilla, Colette, Lucille, Lisette