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Hi, all! Just wanted to give an update that our baby girl arrived earlier this week. Irene is her name. We are over the moon! :) Thanks to everyone who gave input!
My favorite is Ryan Chin.
I remember on the Flinstones, when they put gas in their car (but why did they need to if the car operated courtesy of Fred's two feet?), they pulled up to a wooly mammoth named Ethel, who would dispense the fuel from her trunk. :)
Actually, I think there are more Irene votes than Irena so far. It's been good to hear people's thoughts!
Wow, an 8-year old Edna!
It's funny because if you think of just the phonemes of Ethel, and strip away the cultural associations, it seems it should be thought of as a soft, gentle name. The vowel sounds are short, and the consonants are kind of breathy and ethereal. But still, it's thought of as clunky and heavy!
I glanced at the recent Social Security top 200 list, and within that whole list, I think the only other name that ended with an "-EEN" sound was Josephine. Within the top 10 names, most of them ended with the letter A (the Olivias and Isabellas, etc.). So I suppose the sound of Irene is really unfashionable right now, at least in the US. I do see that Irene is rather popular in Spain and a few other places. Irena, while less familiar, will sound like it belongs more with her cohort. I could really go either way, as I like both names, but I feel like I'll get a lot of secret "yuck" reactions to Irene, and I wonder if that will affect my daughter negatively. I think the commenters here represent a segment that is more sophisticated about names than the average person. I could maybe see Irene taking off again in the US in future years, but I wonder if the world is generally ready for baby Irenes right now. For those who feel Irene is old-fashioned, would you say it is more or less old-fashioned than "Ethel?" Ethel is sort of a good baseline for comparison. I feel like it is so old-fashioned that I would be too scared to use it. So how does Irene compare? Would meeting a baby Irene be as jarring as seeing a baby Ethel?
EVie, especially in Jamaican and Rastafarian speech, "Irie" is a word meaning "good," "pleasant," "copacetic", and if you are feeling Irie, you are feeling good, but there is also a connotation of having a sort of mellow, inner peace. At least, that's my understanding!
With Irena, I agree either pronunciation is logical, depending on one's linguistic background. I don't think one pronunciation is more legitimate than the other, and in fact, I think the more European ee-REH-nuh version is really pretty. But we would probably opt for eye-REE-nuh, if we used that name, as it is closer to the English eye-REEN most familiar to us as English speakers. For me to say ee-REH-nah kind of feels like I'm momentarily lapsing into a foreign accent, which seems maybe a touch pretentious or something lol. Plus, when I floated the idea for Irene or Irena, hubby straight away commented that "Irie" would be a cool nickname (he's West Indian, if you are familiar with that word in that context), and I agreed that would be a cute nickname, but it depends on the "eye" sound to work. Also, big brother is Silas, which we pronounce with the I as "eye," so the pronunciations would be consistent. I know speakers of other languages might say "SEE-las" and "ee-REH-nah," and that doesn't bother me. Our last name is Spanish (though neither of us are native speakers or culturally Hispanic) so that might further tip people to assume the other pronunciation, but that's fine.
My favorites from your list are Amelia Lan and Ariana Lan.
Because Lan is a very short surname, I like how longer names, containing 3 or 4 syllables, sound with it.
Probably a lot of my hesitation and "disenchantment," as you put it, is tied to its chart position. Since this is very probably our last child, there IS a sense of pressure from that (that I'm putting on myself). The middle names (two of them, per my husband's family's British-influenced tradition) are pretty much decided upon. They are family names, and they do add a bit more flair ("L@rk!n" and "Jest!n@"). So she'll have options, in any case.
Yes, "conservative" is a good way to put it. My style isn't what I'd consider to be very conservative, and yet, I feel pulled to go in a more conservative direction with this girl's name. Maybe because traditionally girls were given the more trendy names. Maybe because she is a Capricorn. lol Who knows!
Reading Laura's comparison to "Ashley and Courtney" kind of made me panic, I admit. Your comment makes me feel better. I really like Clara, but it rhymes with our last name. A confession: I've never heard the name Imogen pronounced (only read the name on baby name sites) and am not sure what it should sound like.
Not overthinking things isn't my strong suit! I wish I could just find a "good enough" name and be done with it...instead, I'm here thinking about how this will be my one chance in my lifetime (in eternity?) to name a daughter. I'm making myself miserable, yet I can't help it!
I'm sure outliers with the name exist, but Ashley just screams 1980's/1990's to me. I find it hard to imagine there won't continue to be names that sound dated in the future--names like Miley and Tynslee, etc. But who knows!Everything you listed about your name Julia I find so desirable in a name. So it's nice that you see those qualities in Audrey; it affirms a lot of the reasons I like the name too.I agree Julie and Julia are totally different names!
It makes me feel better to hear people say that it isn't the equivalent to Ashley or Courtney. Nothing against those names at all, but as a kid of the 1980's, I think I've just got a lot of fatigue with those names due to their wide use in my generation. I like Iris a lot but feel it may be too close in sound to Silas (also our issue with Alice). Your other suggestions seem to capture the style I tend to like (Quirky Classics?)--thanks!
I was only joking about not getting lauded for my creativity, I swear! :) I am not really trying to impress people with my creativity above all else, but in a way, the name kind of fails to impress me, which does seem to matter to me. I guess it's the agony of having to make a choice, but it feels sort of anti-climactic to choose this name over all the names out there. On the other hand, I'm not sure I'd be willing to give my baby a particular name just because it was the coolest name I could think of. I can think of lots of "cool" names that don't seem right to bestow upon a person, just because I find the style intriguing right now. My heart is at odds with my practical brain. I wouldn't say I love this name best (and that's probably why I am finding it hard to commit to it), rather that it fulfills a number of requirements. It feels like something is missing, feelings-wise.
The spelling Liyla would make me stumble and be unsure of how to pronounce it, but Leela would certainly make me use the pronunciation you're after.
I'm going to see if I can find some of Audre Lorde's writings to check out. I've heard of her, and know her as a feminist writer, but that's it. Interesting that she is your main association. I guess she still pronounced her name as "Audrey" after the spelling change? I'd want to pronounce it as "Audre" like a French speaker would.
I like "Audra" and considered it until my husband nixed it because he thinks it is too similar to his sister-in-law's name, which is Andra, pronounced like "ON-dra."
Thanks for all your other input!