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Gabaldon has stated she wrote the 1st book for practice (thinking nobody would ever read it) and was therefore not as careful with some of her research. For example in book 1, Jamie calls Claire "mo duinne" but this is changed in later books because she found out later her Gaelic translation wasn't accurate.
BOOK 2 SPOILER ALERT BELOW!!!
The name that really bugs me is Brianna. I understand the explanation for it, but I just find it really off for a child born in the late 40s. I think Ellen would have been a better choice. Briannna strikes me as very 80s. I also struggle with trying to figure out exactly how Jamie says it & that bugs me.
I think both Astra & Astrid would be fine. In fact, I know a little Astra (her middle is Elean0r & brother is 0liver).
I'll second Miriam's comments about the meaning of Adrienne. Even if it does mean dark eyes/hair/etc. (and it seems that's a pretty big if) that isn't what people think of when they hear the name. The modern meaning of Adrienne is simply "a girl's name."
Vivian does not sound like an old lady name. However, it does have a vintage feel that fits in well with current name trends. To your daughter's peers, it's likely to seem like a young name.
I don't find Josie & Lexie too plain, but I do find them very child-like/nicknamey. They don't strike me as names that will age well. I'd prefer them both as nicknames for something else. If you don't like Josephine, perhaps Jocelyn, Joanna, Joan,etc
I try to call people by the name they prefer. If I met a Teresa, I would call her Teresa unless she (or her parents) indicated a preference for something else.
Having a nickname ready should help keep chronic nicknamers from latching onto something you really dislike. In addition to Reese & Ressa, Tess & Tessa can also be nicknames for Teresa.
Based on flow I also prefer Jack William. However, I agree that the sentiment behind the namesake matters more than flow (and the flow of Jack Steven isn't bad).
Yes, I agree with all of this.
Many of your names feel more like nicknames to me & generally I prefer formal names on the birth certificate. In your case, I think using a more formal version with a nickname could also reduce the chances of people assuming your daughter is Asian if they see her name on a class roster or resume or something.
Susan/Suzanne/Susannah called Suki
June/Juniper called Juno
Ruth/Ruby called Rue
Miku is the most Asian sounding and I am having trouble thinking of things it could be a nickname for. However, I do like the previous sugggestion of using a first/middle combo to get to Miku. Similar names with a less distinct Asian sound include Mila, Mira & Mika.
I notice you have a lot of "U' sound going on in your names. This makes me think that other names with a "U" sound might appeal. Louise/Louisa, Euna, Luna, Julia/Juliet/Julie/Jewel, Lucy, Unity, Trudy, Talullah.
Anouk isn't my cup of tea. For names similar in feel, I prefer Anya or Annika.
Mae isn't bad. It is short & sweet like the names on your list, though I suspect you aren't crazy about the sound of it. Maeve is similar, or perhaps you could do a mashup? Mae+Rue=Rae
Madeline is pretty, though a bit past its prime. It seems the most different from the names on your list, so I'm finding it hard to come up with compromise suggestions.
If you want something classic, I would eliminate Elliette. Despite the changed spelling, it's still the boy's name Elliott. Since you are concerned about popularity, I'll add that Elliette is likely to just get lost in a sea of Elle/Ellie/Ella/Belle/Bella names.
I would also eliminate Harlow. It is the least classic & most trendy name on your list. If you like the sound, perhaps you'd also like Margo? It doesn't break the top 1000 baby names in the U.S (Margot is #944 & Margeaux doesn't rank). This would make it much less popular than many of the names on your list.
Evelyn & Charlotte are pretty popular nationwide. I know of only one Scarlett, despite it being fairly popular (#42) Scarlet comes in at #370 & Scarlette at #874, so the combined names would be higher than 42.
Juliet doesn't strike me as very popular by itself, but when I consider it as part of a group including Julia & Julianna it probably is higher.
Cicily, Penelope & Daisy strike me as names that are just about right popularity wise. Familiar and they won't seem odd to her classmates, but it'd be unlikley she'd encounter many others.
Colette & Anne are both quite uncommon, ranking in the botton 500. I think they'd both be a pleasant surprise on a little one.
I did notice you have several "ette" names on your list. Perhaps similar names would appeal? Harriet, Margaret, Lissette, Henrietta, Violet
Are there any names with meaning that you would want to consider? I find that family names or names with other significance tend to work well in the middle position.
Hints on what you are looking for in a middle name would also be helpful. Do you prefer something that is the same style as Aria? In that case, I might suggest names like Lily, Elliana, Luna, Juliet or Mina.
Personally, I find Aria very fluid sounding. I think something short & snappy would work really well with it. Clare, Kate, June, Brooke.
Classic names could also work well, and would provide her with more options if she were to ever want to experiment with her name a bit. Katherine, Margaret, Caroline, Violet
Finnian Glenn is a bit sing-songy for my taste, so I prefer Elliott Finn.
Finn/Finnian seems to "match" a little better with Duncan, if that is important to you. In that case, Finn Elliott is quite nice. If you prefer the longer form, I also think Finnian Elliott could work.
Cora Jane is my favorite, followed by Jane Elizabeth. However, since the tradition seems important to you, I think Elizabeth Jane would be fine to use. Elizabeth offers enough nicknames that they wouldn't both have to go by the same call name. You could also do something like Eliza Jane as the given name if you wanted.
Malia & Kayla both seem very trendy at the moment, which makes me like them less. Of the 2, I would choose Malia over Kayla.
From your boy names I like Jason David (that spelling, I don't care for Jayson at all) and Steven David the best.
I also have to agree. The words "hurl" and "hurling" were my first thoughts when I read the original post. The spellings Hurlie & Hurlee did increase the association for me. The Hurlie spelling especially made me think of hurling. I saw the "I" and my brain wanted to fill in the the rest.
From this group, my favorite is actually Helen Veronica. Harmony Veronica is probably the closest to matching the rhythm of your daughter's name.
If you don't like Otis, don't use it. End of story.
I do think GQ is a bit gimmicky, but I also don't think it's unavoidable. The kind of teasing you are thinking of only seems probable if you intentionally choose & enforce GQ as a nickname. His friends aren't likely to know or care what his middle name is.
Well, "not ugly" is pretty subjective.
H names that I think could work with Aria as a sister: Harmony (if you don't mind a musical theme), Holly, Honor/Honora, Haven, Hyacinth.
I think there are more V name options: Violet, Vanessa, Veroninca, Vivian, Victoria, Verity, Viola (another option if you like the musical theme idea). If these seem too traditional for your taste, you might want to look at variations. For example, maybe you'd like something Victory or Victoire better than Victoria.
Do you mind sharing the specific names you want to honor? Picking something with the same first initial isn't the only way to choose a namesake. Maybe we can help you come up with other ideas based on sound or meaning.
My husband is also a pilot & it seems that as a group, they can be a bit weird when it comes to baby names. We know a family who have given all of their kids aviation related names (P!per, C3sna, Ry@n & Curt!ss). My suggestion to you is to try & get your husband to be less literal about finding a pilot name.
Are there specific aviators that he likes/is inspired by? Charles (Lindbergh & Yeager), Amelia, etc. Plenty of classic names there. If you like names with an Irish flare, look specifically for Irish-born pilots from WWII. Edward (Mick) Mannock & Brendan Finucane were WWII aces. Maybe Mick, Mannock or Brendan would appeal to both of you.
Plane/helicopter names & manufacturers are also a good place to look (though I suggest you avoid Fokker). Bell, Piper, Curtiss, Electra, etc. McDonnell could be shortened to just Donnell, which has the Irish flair you like.
FWIW, Archer is a type of plane made by Piper. Lee Archer was also the name of one of the Tuskegee Airmen. Perhaps one or both of these points could help you sway your husband to consider Archer.
I'll suggest Albert, Henry, Walter, William, Edward, Edmund, Felix, Theodore, Evertt, Oliver
Though, it really sounds like what you need is a break from baby names. I realize you are getting close to your due date, but take a week off from thinking about names. You may be surprised how some names might strike you differently once you've taken a step back for a while.
Depending on what you decide for the middle, his initials could make a decent nickname. Killian Cormac called KC (which could also be Kasey I guess), Killiam James called KJ, etc.
If you want to keep the one syllable thing, then it seems you are down to Miles & Sam. Of the 2, I do prefer Miles. I'm not a huge fan of diminutives as given names, so I really want something more than "just Sam." Of your 2 syllables names, I prefer Calder, though it dos feel off with the sibling group. it also strikes me as possibly too close to Clare.
I'll suggest Rhys, Leo, Saul & Brooks. They are probably too common for you, but both John & Jack would make nice first names & would provide the namesake you are looking for.
If you are open to breaking the 1 syllable theme, perhaps Solomon? It's biblical like Sam/Samuel and offers the nickname Sol, which feel similar. However, it's much less common, so it may appeal to you more. I'll also offer Milo, Arden & Silas.
I don't think Vincent is uptight sounding at all, especially considering the possible nicknames Vince & Vinny. I also really like Vincent with Julian & Cecelia. I find them all classic & familiar but still slightly unexpected.
I also like your "family names with a twist." I've always been a big fan of cross-gender namesakes, so I think what you've come up with is great. Ellis is nice. I could see it striking some as feminine because of the popularity of "ell" names for girls; however the numbers indicate Ellis is still very much a boy's name. It currently ranks #529 for boys, but isn't in the top 1000 for girls.
If you are looking for other namesake ideas, perhaps Eli, Elias, Elton or Elliott? I especially like Elias since it incorporates more of the letters in Elisabeth. Behindthename.com indicates that Elisabeth & Elias also share a linguistic element meaning "my god is." I'm sure Miriam will have additional information about this connection.