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July 26, 2016 08:58 AM

I can't figure out exactly how to say Azalea so that it rhymes with Day-lee-uh.  I would say Ah-zale-ya.  Is it 4 syllables for you?  Ah-zay-lee-ah?

July 26, 2016 08:51 AM

Jonah for a Hannah would work in my family, but some families will need a more obvious connection.  Only you can decide if your family would consider it an honor name for Hannah.  Though, based on your hesitation I suspect it might be too obscure for your situation.

Generally speaking, I think most people see a connection easier if the start of the names are the same.  Hank (or perhaps Henry with Hank as a nickname), Hans, Hanson, Harry/Harris/Harrison.  

You could try matching something by name meaning.  behind the name says Hannah is Hebrew for "favor" or "grace."  So something like Charles ("grace or kindness" in Greek) could work.  Though I would use caution if matching by meaning, behind the name is fairly reliable as far as online sources go, but most of what you will find online or in baby name books is just made up.

I don't see a problem with a Joe & John in the same family.  My son is friends with a John who has an older brother Joseph and it doesn't seem to be a problem for them.

July 25, 2016 02:11 PM

I have never heard anyone say Dahlia with 3 syllables like your husband is wanting to do.  I would expect something with 2 syllables, either like Dal-ya (sounds like Dallas) or more like Doll-ya (which is closer to what I would say).  I suspect this is largely going to be influenced by regional accent.  To hear the difference, check out forvo.  My pronunciation is like the 1st & 4th ones listed.  The one that sounds more like Dallas is #2.

I mention this not because I personally am bothered or think it is reason not to use the name.  But it might bother some people, and I do think it is something to be aware if you aren't already.  There is a well-known murder victim known as the Black-Dahlia.  You might want to do a quick Google to make sure this won't be an issue for you.

If you decide Dahlia isn't the name, either becaue of the Black Dahlia or because of the pronunciation issues, I'll suggest Darla.  Very similar sound, the spelling is more straight fortward, and pronunciation isn't ambiguous.

July 25, 2016 01:50 PM

I can see quite a few of these having some potential for use on babies, though I don't know that I'd assume a Pokeman connection for any of them.  Most of the more likely options just seem like creative spellings or twists on already trending names.  They are NMS, but I can see Rhydon, Kingler, Eevee, Onix, Abra & Chansey taking off.  They all seem to fit well with current trends.

July 21, 2016 05:23 PM
In Response to Boy #3

Is there any reason why Sebastian has to be a middle name?  I think it fits well with Oliver and Felix.  I realize it is in the top 100, but I would urge you to reconsider that rule.  As you've seen with Oliver, a name right at the cusp can become quite popular.  Another name could be top 100, but on it's way down and therefore might seem less popular.  There are also name pockets, so you may never encounter a top 100 name but could be saturated by a name ranked much lower.

If you like Julien, I'd urge you to use it (see comments about popularity).  If you do nicknames, a less common nickname like Jude could be a plus, just in case he needs it.  Jude could also work as a similar stand-alone name.  FWIW, I've yet to meet a little Julien, though I have encountered a Felix and several little Olivers.

Same for Thaddeus.  I don't think it sends a message that this baby is the last choice or somehow "less than" his brothers. Unless you go pointing it out, it's unlikely he'd ever even know you had considered it for the older brothers.  If he does find out, and actually seems to care, I think it'd be an easy thing to spin.  Something like "we've always loved the name, but it just wasn't right for your brothers.  We were so excited when you came along and we realized it was the perfect fit for you" should be all that's needed.

I like the suggestion of Jasper for you.  I'll add Milo, Myles, Simon, Elias, Titus.  Perhaps a bit more of a long shot, but Nigel also occurred to me.


Knowing that Lila (lee-la) is Hungarian for purple makes me like the name w/ that spelling more.  It also occured to me that I didn't know the word for purple in German.  After looking it up, I find that it is also Lila.

I could see having fun with a sibset with non-English color names.

Sisters named Lila, Blanche & Rosa?  Brothers called Rory & Donovan?


Lila always makes me hesitate.  My first guess would be lie-lah, but I could also see some people wanting lee-lah, similar to the name Mila.

Like you, I like the look of Lilah best.  I also don't have the hesitation I have with Lila, perhaps because I can't think of any names that look similar with the "ee-ah" sound to them.  This is the spelling I think I would use.

I've never really cared for Lyla.  I lean more towards wanting it to sound like Lee-lah, probably because of lyra and lyric.

July 20, 2016 12:16 PM

I don't see anything wrong with the same middle name for brothers, especially if it is a name with strong family connections.  However, I think you would need to do it for All boys in a family.  You may want to consider if you'd want to pass this on if you ever have a 3rd son.

All that said, I'd suggest you consider thinking out of the box.  Why do you have to use a male family name?  Are there any females in your family you'd want to honor?  If so, I'd encourage you to think about possible maiden names or look for masculine versions of female names in your family.  If you aren't sure about this, I'd suggest posting some feminine names. The regular on this site tend to be really good and ideas for cross-gender namesakes.

July 20, 2016 12:11 PM
In Response to Ellery or Esme

I'll 2nd all of this, and agree that my sources indicate Ellery & Alden do not have a shared root linking them to the Alder tree.

Beyond all of that, my vote would be for Esme over Ellery.  Ellery has a bit of a made-up feel to me, and to be honest, it reminds me very strongly of the word celery.  

July 20, 2016 12:07 PM
In Response to Baby boy suggestions?

If the goal is to find names you and your husband can agree on, it would help if we could have some ideas of names your husband likes. Providing suggestions based only on your names will likely result in more names of the same style, which it appears he doesn't care for.

With nothing else to go on, I'd throw out Owen, Quinn, Jasper, Keane, Jude, Felix & Rhys.

July 17, 2016 08:30 AM

Congratulations, and welcome to the ranks of "retired" name nerds!  I also experienced a rather traumatic birth/c-section with George.  I'm glad everything worked out well for you.  Remember to take it easy for a while (more excuse to simply enjoy your not-so-wee one).  

And I still swoon over Wilfr3d George.  :-)

July 15, 2016 04:21 PM
In Response to Wesley- for a GIRL!

Yes, I think Wesley for a girl is too far.  I'd suggest a less obvious nod to her father's name.  Perhaps something with similar sounds or letter combinations-Wendy (possibly short for Gwendolyn or Gwenyth) or Waverly.  

If Danielle is really your name & not just an internet name, you could do something that combines part of your name with some of the sound of Wesley.   Daisy comes to mind as an option.  

Another option would be to look for names with similar meanings.  Behind the name says that Wesley derives from a place name meaning "west meadow."  In that case, I think Meadow would be a lovely tribute.

July 15, 2016 04:11 PM

I have to agree that an honor name seems a bit heavy of a burden to place on this child.  I love the suggestions of names that have meanings similar to "life" or "miracle" or perhaps even faith, hope, strength, etc.  

July 14, 2016 01:20 PM
In Response to Matching Twins

My FIL had a brother named Junior.  He wasn't actually a  Jr., Junior was his first name.  Nobody seems to have an answer as to why.  

July 14, 2016 09:25 AM

I had no idea!  That'll teach me to jump to assumptions instead of simply doing a google about things.  

And I had forgotten all about Bobbie Gentry, that does increase the "country music" association with Gentry.

July 14, 2016 09:21 AM

Have you considered using Solomon as a first name?  It's a great name and doesn't seem too far off from the other names on your list.  I think it'd work well with Bennett.

Other suggestions:  Lachlan, Weston, Everett, Emmett, Donovan

July 13, 2016 09:17 PM
In Response to Twins!

I've known several sets of twins, including a couple in my extended family.  If they feel like individuals are part of a set, if they are very close or not so much, if they have trouble separating for school or not all seems (to me) to be one of those things you just can't predict.  Do what works for you and your family and keep open lines of communication.  I'd say give them names that coordinate but aren't too matchy & encourage their interests be they different or the same.  The rest should all work out in the end.

Birdy does not need to be a nickname for an actual bird name.  I like Miriam's suggestion of Bridget for you.  It has the same kind of feel as Robyn & Sean do.  I think Birdy could also work as a nickname for some other B names liked Beatrice, Bernadette, Belinda, etc.  You could also go with a less common bird name-Avis or Wren perhaps.

As for deciding which baby gets which name, do whatever works for you. Maybe one baby will seem more like a Birdy than the other.  Or you could decide in advance that the first name you finalize will go to Baby A (or B).  If you go with Birdy, maybe that could be baby B & you could find an A name for baby A.  Mostly I don't think it matters.  Though, I do think if you use an honor name for one, you should do so for both.

If husband isn't on board for Robyn or Sean, you could suggest those as possible middle name options.  I'd probaby be more inclined to push for including Robyn somehow due to the personal connection it has.  You could also decide on rules, like nobody can veto a name without making an alternate suggestion. Or Parent 1 gets more say in Baby A's first name & Parent 2 can pick Baby A's middle, then reverse the order of who gets what for Baby B.  Again, there's really no right way to do it, just go with what works for you.

Any chance you can share more names you like?  Particularly some names your husband is interested in?  It'd give us more to go on to make suggestions.  Based only on Sean, I'd probably suggest using some Celtic inspired names that are a bit more current & therefore less likely to hold negative associations.  Brennan, Lachlan, Declan, Rowan, Collin, Ian, Eamon, Rhys.  Or perhaps you like Sean because it's short & sweet?  In that case, I'd suggest names like Shane, Grant, Jack, Heath, Jude, Cole, Drew, Paul.

July 11, 2016 07:21 AM

Likely because there is a country band named Montgomery Gentry.  I suspect the name was chosen for the band because the particular combination of a southern city + gentry evokes a general antebellum feel. Actual gentry from Montgomery in that era were likely to be plantation owners (landed gentry) so not exactly a plus as far as I am concerned.  

July 11, 2016 07:17 AM
In Response to Lorah

Technically any made up spelling is a "variant."  But I always feel cautious when variants aren't at least something people will be familiar with.  To say "Sophie with an F" isn't a huge deal.  But "Laura with an O and an H" is just going to lead to confusion.  If you are wanting something other than Laura, I'd suggest Lora.  People are more likely to be familiar with it, and I think it will be at least a little easier for her to explain/correct people when they get it wrong (and they will get it wrong).  Though, to be honest, I really don't see what the problem would be spelling it Laura.

July 11, 2016 07:12 AM

I have to agree with previous posters that I'm not really excited about any of these names.  Bexley strikes me as very masculine surname, I also just don't really care for the way it sounds.  If you like Bexs as a nickname, there is always the more traditional Rebecca/Becky/Becs.  Though I suspect that more traditional isn't what you are looking for.

Is Sawyor a typo?  If you intended to spell it that way, I would encourage you to go with the traditional spelling.  It'd just be setting her up for a lifetime of confusion and having to constantly correct people.  However, even without the variant spelling, it does strike me as very masculine.  It's NMS in general, but I especially can't get behind it for a girl.

Of the 3 names, I dislike Dellen the least, but I can't say I actually like it.  I agree it will likely be misheard, perhaps as Ellen or perhaps as Dylan.  It's another name that will just be setting her up for a lifetime of confusion & correction.  It also strikes me as more masculine, perhaps because the only Del I know is a boy.  

I like the suggestion of Della instead of Dellen.  Instead of Bexley, perhaps Lexy or Kinsley?  The "er" tradesmen names are technically masculine, but Piper, Harper & Taylor are more commonly used on girls.  Something like Miller would offer a feminine nickname (Millie).  I'll also throw out River, Silver, Skyler, Winter, Vesper.

Have you & your wife talked about boys names at all?  Since all of the names you are looking at are masculine, it might not be a bad idea to consider future brother names.  Using something like Sawyer now would mean you'd have to rule it out for future boys.  Some parents also find it difficult to pair boy names with very masculine sounding girl names. Everything ends up making the sibling set sound like all brothers & no sisters.