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Laura, I'm very sorry about the loss of your father.
My great, great grandmother was named Sarah but was always called Kate (and her gravestone reads Sarah Kate). It was explained to me that after she was married, she met her husband's brother for the first time. He declared that she looked like a Kate & not a Sarah. I guess everyone agreed with him because she went by Kate for the rest of her life.
It was also very common for my ancestors on both sides of the family to go by their middle names, or common nicknames for their middles-to the point that their own children did not know the full given name. It's made geneaology a nightmare.
3 days isn't that long, especially since it was a name you only first considered in hospital. I agree with the previous poster that it might settle more for you if you give it more time. That said, I can understand not wanting to wait too long, as it seems it would be easier to change a baby's name sooner rather than later.
In previous discussions on this form, it has been suggested that parents try to find examples of the name. This could be either IRL or in books/movies/music. Sometimes hearing the name in different settings can help it seem more like a "real" name. It also has the potential to help you find positive associations with the name, which might help you feel warmer towards it.
According to behind the name, Grady derives from an Irish surname that means "noble." Noble it a rather nice association I think. There is also a prominent Irish O'Grady family (per Wikipedia). Wikipedia also has a list of several famous'ish people named Grady, including politicians, sports players, musicians, & ministers-so maybe that list would be a place to start. Keep in mind that it's likely that not all of these people will be a good fit for your values or personal beliefs. I'd look at this as more of an experiment to see if Grady can become more familiar to you as a name, not as a way to find a namesake after the fact.
You could also try out various nicknames & see if they help you feel happier with Grady. Gray is an obvious one, or perhaps something using first/middle or middle/last initials or combining some of the sounds of first/middle name.
With baby #1 we had a short list before he was born. With baby #2 we agreed to not discuss names with each other at all until after the birth. We each created a short list on our own, and then husband & I shared our lists after baby was born.
For baby #1 we really didn't expect much pushback as his first is a family name on both sides. I was surprised to get some pushback about our occassional use of a nickname. I had known before birth my MIL was anti-nickname, but did not realize the depth of her dislike until he was born. With baby #2 I fully expected pushback. I was pleasantly surprised that there was none from my side (it was a family name for my grandmother, and I suspect she told everyone off before they had a chance to be rude about it). My MIL & SIL were horribly rude for about 6 months, but eventually got over it. Or, at the very least, they learned to stop with the rude comments once they realized we didn't care.
With #1, I think we were probably 90% certain of the boys name, but we both had hesitations. I think for us, it was just that we needed to meet the baby to be 100% certain. When discussing names with others, we kept our real favorite secret, and mostly sought opinions about our runners-up list. For #2, it was easier to not talk about names at all, especially since I wasn't talking to husband about them. If someone asked, I tended to default to the runners up list from pregnancy #1, even though many of them were no longer serious contenders for me.
I didn't have any issues with not wanting to disclose. With #1, I think it helped that I would talk about decoy names, so I never had to have the whole "we aren't sharing names" conversation with anyone. With #2, I think most people were quite taken aback when I told them husband and I had decided not to talk about names At All until after the birth. The conversation there usually led to questions about why, and wasn't it hard to do. People tended to be so distracted that they didn't press for me to reveal anything.
No consequences for me one way or the other. I was happy with the choices we made regarding disclosure and I still am. I would likely make the same choice as I did with #1. Not sure about #2-that was a very peculiar situation. I suppose if it were to happen the same way again, I would probably make the same decision. However, what I would do in the future is hypothetical since my baby having days are over.
first attempt to post was spam filtered because of the abbreviation for et cetera.
Juniper is lovely & I think it is the perfect type of name to use when you want a little whimsy, adventure but one or both parents aren't particularly daring in their name preferences. It fits well with current trends, sweet vintage flair nickname, ends in "er", nature name, so forth. I think it works well with Iris, though I do hesitate because they are both botanical names. You may want to consider what you'd want to do if you were to have a 3rd daughter. Would a pair of Iris & Juniper lead you to feel obligated to keep up the theme? If so, are you OK with that? If you don't mind themed siblings sets & there are other botanicals you like, or you'd be OK with breaking a theme with baby #3, I see no reason not to use Juniper.
Adele is also lovely, and I personally do not find it too strongly associated with the singer. Though, I had a friend called Adele growing up, so the singer-association is likely more diluted for me than for other people. People will likely comment, so you may want to consider how much this might bother you. If it's something you think you can shrug off easily, go for it. I think Del & also Elle are fine as nicknames if you want to avoid Addie (the Adele I knew never used a nickname).
Personally, the deciding factor for me isn't one you mentioned. I generally don't care for themed siblings sets, so I lean more towards Adele. However, some people like themed sets, so please don't let my irrational dislike cause you to 2nd guess Juniper if it's the one you really want. They are both great names that work well with Iris & with the middle name. If in doubt, I don't see any reason why you could't go to the hospital with both names and see which one seems to fit better after you've had a chance to meet your daughter. Sometimes I think it's easier when there is a real little person to name vs. before the baby is born when things are still hypothetical.
Theodore & Oliver are both lovely. To me, it really sounds like you have it narrowed down to 2 solid names.
I like middle names that are in some way meaningful to the family & the middle slot is the perfect place to tuck an honor name that isn't your name style. Middle names are rarely used anyway, so a disliked name is not going to matter much in daily use. Unless there is some reason you feel strongly that your husband's father isn't worthy of a namesake, I see no reason not to do it.
I suggest making a deal with your husband, if you get your first pick of first name, then he can pick the middle. At the very least, it would push your husband to decide which he wants more, pick of first, or an honor name for his father. Theodore Brian or Theodore Scott are both fine. If you use Oliver as the first, then you get to pick the middle, and I think an honor name from your side would work great (I would probably save Vincent as an honor-name from dad's side). Then suggest that you alternate for any future babies.
Baby #1 Mom'sFirst + Dad'sMiddle, Baby #2 Dad'sFirst + Mom'sMiddle. Or, you can make it even more specific and require that middles be honor names that switch from your side to husband's side of the family. Baby #1 Dad'sFirst, MomsSideHonorMiddle and Baby #2, Mom'sFirst, Dad'sSideHonorMiddle.
Ava is lovely & I think it goes well with Ella. The shared "A" end is the only sound in common, so it doesn't strike me as too similar the way something like Eva might.
Looking at the other names on your list, Paige also really stands out to me. Not an L sound in sight & I think it works great with Ella & Ben (and meets your other criteria).
I'll also suggest Ada, Avis, Ivy, Amy, Cora, Anne/Anna, Gemma, Ruby, Maeve, Ruth & Jane.
I must also be old, because I remember that episode of the Fresh Prince. And now th.e theme is going to be stuck in my head all day.
I agree that there are likely some cultural issues in Israel and within Jewish communites in the U.S. for little baby Aleph. But at least amongst non-Jewish communities in the U.S., I think the name probably for the majority of people. If someone is totally unfamiliar with the Hebrew alphabet, my guess is Aleph would have a bit of international flair while still seeming like a "normal" name.
Well, Ess might strike some as silly. But it wouldn't be shocking (to me) to see it as a nickname for something along the lines of Esther.
And we do have "alphabet" names in English. I doubt many of us bat an eye when introduced to someone called Kay, Jay, or Bea. I've also come across a couple of Cici's (cee-cee) and Didi's in my day, and didn't think anything of it. I think it's all just about what we are used to seeing as names. If enough people did it, Ess or Que would quickly become pretty standard. Though, I doubt Pee will ever catch on.
Thanks for the explanation Miriam! I did vaguely know that Hebrew letters also have numerical values, though I had no idea that this is part of what Kabbala is supposed to be about. My entire knowledge of Kabbala is that Madonna is/was into it and something about a red-yarn bracelet? Meh, it didn't take much for me to dismiss the celebrity version as hokum.
Without knowing Ms. Portman's reasons for picking Aleph, I think it's just too hard to try and predict what the next baby will be named. It's possible that whatever she calls baby #2 will give us a clue as to her thought process. Maybe baby #3's name will be easier to guess?
My first thought was to look at some feminine versions of the boys names you like. Theodora wouldn't work because of the A ending, but maybe swap it around to Dorothy? Since you ike Thomas/Tam, perhaps you'd also like Tamsin?
Do you also like Scottish names for girls? Perhaps something like Elspeth, Lilias, Mairead? Or to cast a wider net, perhaps look at Celtic names that aren't specifically Scottish? Maeve or Carys?
Looking at the boy names you like + Linnea, Rose & Beatrix, I think you probably lean more towards vintage revivals, or even a bit of the exotic traditionals categories as opposed to timeless names. With that in mind, I'd suggest trying to venture a bit further away from standbys like Elizabeth or Rose. Linnea is lovely & I think probably closer to the type of name I'd suggest for you. Verity, Audrey, Astrid, Violet, Estelle, Scarlet, Rosalind, Juliet, Adele, Annalise, Daphne, Claire, Vivian
Also, I'd also suggest changing the requirement about matching initials and consider names that start with the initials of you and your partner. For practical reasons, you might use the initials of your kids to label things so it does make some sense to avoid repeating initials in the sibling grup. However, labeling things for the parents is not usually needed. Also, parent's first initials & names don't matter since as much within the family because we tend to become Mom and Dad. Loosening up on this could open you up to more options that you feel excited about.
First, I'd suggest stop looking for a name you love as much as your chidren's names. If you managed to do it for babies 2 & 3, consider yourself lucky. A lot of people struggle to love any names as much as those they've already used because usually, part of the reason we love them so much is because they are already attached to real children. Settle for finding a name you like, and trust that you'll learn to love it once it's associated with the baby.
To me, you seem to have a different style for boys vs. girls. To match the style of Brody & Archer, I'd probably look towards more modern surname-as-first style names. Cooper, Flynn, Sawyer, Mason, Gibson.
If I were trying to match the style of Kate, I'd look for more traditional names and/or nicknames that get some use as given names. Jude, Jake, Liam, Theo, Miles.
For something that would kind of bridge the gap between the 2 styles, I'd look at nicknames for classic/traditional names that have a more modern feel or pattern of use. Perhaps something like Cole, Drew, Xander.
Has anyone heard anything about why they picked Aleph? Like, I could kind of see it as a compromise between 2 honor names that both started with the letter (which I think is actually a pretty cool work-around). Although, it could also just be another Hollywood unique Apple/Pilot kind of name (which seems much less cool).
Knowing why Aleph was picked might help us predict what this baby will be named. For example, if Aleph was somehow meant as an honor-type name, I wouldn't be surprised if baby #2 ended up with something pretty traditional that was also an honor name. If it was just meant to be unique, baby #2's name is more likely to be something random.
I realize the entire post isn't up yet. But going on the information posted so far, I think the question is really deciding which is most important to you-keeping the patterns, or going with a name you love.
How many kids are we talking about? You posted 5 names, but I'm not certain if that is for illustration purposes, or meant as placeholders for 5 actual names. I think the longer a pattern is used, the harder it is to break. So if in reality this is only something like your 3rd child, I'd be more inclined to just go ahead and break the pattern. If this baby is really your 6th, I might lean towards trying harder to find a virtue name for the 1st name.
However, I do think that the virtue name would be less significant to carry on than the family honor name. It's also possible the first name being considered has equal meaning for you as the virtue names you've aready chosen. In that case, I'd vote go ahead and skip the virtue requirement, regardless of which # baby this is.
As for the middle, I think I'd give up on trying to find a middle name that meets both criteria. For one thing, it seems like it would be too limiting to meet both criteria with just one name. Even if you did find one, it kind of seems not worth the effort since the virtue element will be more or less hidden from most people. Most people will hear the names of all the siblings and assume the pattern was broken on the last one anyway. I'd probably just pick an honor name from whichever branch of the family whose turn is next.
Another option that you didn't mention (so I assume you haven't considered) would be to give this baby 2 middles. Something like Perferred First, Virtue Middle, Honor Middle perhaps?
Love Juniper and I think a little Juniper would not seem out of place where I live, but would also not be seen as common or boring. You also have the nicknames June or Junie to fall back in, just in case Juniper is a bit more on the unusual side where you are.
Don't know if this will help, but I made only a few minor changes to get my post past the filter. Deleted the word style deleted some slash marks and deleted the abbreviation for et cetera.
Blocked by spam filter, so I'm trying again.
I second the suggestion of trying to find common ground with the middle name. A family name, place name, name of a literary or historical figure you both like or admire would be the perfect way to take the argument away from "old lady" or "boring" and into areas that are meaningful for both of you.
Yes, I also agree.