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I love your pairings, especially Octavian and Marius.
I plugged Iris, Ione, and Simone into the name matchmaker, and some of the more intriguing choices it came up with were Ruby and Celia. Don't know if *more* name possibilities are what you need right now... :)
Um, no. Just, no. Please. I beg you.
I'm a twin. While it's wonderful to have a built-in best friend for life, one who understands you as no one else ever can or will, it's also a delicate balancing act between trying to be an individual while at the same time being one of a pair. A HUGE part of the "being an individual" thing is your name, because it's something you don't share with your twin. Heck, as a kid, it's probably the ONLY thing you don't share with your twin. (Birthday? Yup. Room? Check. Toys? Of course. Clothes? Yep. Germs? Heck yeah...)
But if the names differ only by a single letter in the middle, then there's really no individuality possible - your boys will either grow up hating each other as a reaction to your forcing them into the same box like this (a cruel thing to do to twins), or will grow up dependent on each other, unable to function as individual adults (also a cruel thing to do to twins, or anyone).
I find myself hoping that this is not a real question, i.e. you're not actually expecting, twins or otherwise. But in case you are, I really can't put it strongly enough: Don't Do This.
As Laura's recent blog post pointed out, not a single boy's name last year hit the 1% mark: even the most popular, top-10 names were given to less than 1% of the boys born last year. So in terms of what we used to know of as popularity - i.e. looking at a group of boys and being able to guess the names of a third of them - there simply are no popular names anymore. If you happen to live in an Isaac pocket, your son might still end up having to use an initial or nickname to differentiate, but (1) that's almost impossible to predict, and (2) it's not the end of the world. :)
I see a little bit of tongue-twistyness with Wesley and your last name, so I'd probably upvote Isaac for you, but you might still consider taking both names to the hospital and seeing which fits the little guy better once he's here.
I'm with nedibes on this: it has to be a name that was perfectly innocuous when the kid was born, else why didn't Mom nix it from the outset? So I'd bet money that it can't possibly be Adolph. But I also don't know enough (read: anything at all) about recent British scandals, so I can't come up with a name that it could be.
Given the age of this thread, the child in question is around 6 months old by now, so suggesting middle names at this point is rather... pointless.
So there are actually some girl names today that meet the 1% threshold? What are they? Emma, Olivia...? This is pretty surprising, because traditionally, it's girls names that are more diverse.
Also, it's strange the that *number* of names meeting the 1% threshold was *increasing* from 1880 to 1980, before suddenly dropping off the cliff.
I would be absolutely charmed to meet a baby named Melissa. Or, for that matter, Karen. I never much liked the name Tiffany, not even at its height, so maybe not that one.
Note that Karen's peak in 1957 is a full generation before Melissa's peak in 1979, so the two names are not actually that similar. Note also that, as nedibes mentioned, Melissa was given to 1228 little girls last year (that's #256 in rank), so it's definitely still in use. Karen was at about half that at 614 (ranked #503).
Isn't Rosalind a horse-related name rather than a rose-related one?
Uh, Magnolia is actually the correct spelling, of both the tree and the name. I've never seen Manolya before; a user-submitted entry on BehindTheName says it's the Turkish version of Magnolia, but this site's Namipedia doesn't have it. Certainly, in an English context for someone who is not of Turkish extraction, it would be... well, unusual and unexpected (read: jarring).
Joni, while I understand where you're coming from (in my work, I often [jokingly] want to prohibit post-graduate students from getting married, because name changes are a pain in the neck), nicknames serve a purpose, and so do full names. If you give your child just the nickname, then they have no flexibility - no ability to use one form of their name for formal occasions, and a different one for informal situations. Chewey Smith is fine for a teen, but not so much for, say, a Supreme Court justice.
The Irish use the Latin alphabet just to confuse foreigners. Evidence: most of the names on this list. I mean, "Caoimhe" to represent the sound /kee-va/? Really? Which of that jumble of random letters is supposed to represent the /v/ sound?
It's one thing to come up with digraphs such as "ch" to represent sounds that aren't present in Latin, and therefore the Latin alphabet doesn't have a letter for it. But /v/ has not one, not two, but THREE possible, established representations: u, v, or w. Why make up a completely different one? (Or actually, two: Siobhan uses a different jumble of letters to represent that same exact sound.) Especially out of letters usually used to represent phonemes that have nothing at all to do with /v/?
Let's just say, you're not the first person, nor likely the last, to make that typo. :)
LeBron - yeah, total sports know-nothing here, and even I immediately think of LeBron James.
Leif - this has two potential problems: pronunciation and spelling. As Miriam will tell you, it's supposed to be pronounced /layf/, but probably 90% of the people you meet will say /leaf/ instead. (Including history teachers, who theoretically ought to know better.) As far as spelling, many people - including some who've replied to this thread - will sometimes misspell it as Lief. In fact, people will blithely spell it two different ways within the same sentence, and never notice the discrepancy. I think the Leif Eriksson association still exists, but it's not a problematic one, if you know what I mean.
Phoenix - the alliteration is a bit much for me, but you might have a different opinion.
Rowan - this is my favorite for you; just be aware that it's somewhat unisex these days. With a clearly masculine middle name like Arthur, it shouldn't be a problem, but it's something to know going in.
I love her parents without ever having met them. :)
My brain keeps trying to make it into Atreus. Interestingly, I think I'd have less trouble with Atrus. Added bonus, Atrus really only has two possible pronunciations (/ay-trus/ vs. /at-rus/), while the Ai- spelling adds the third possibility of /eye-trus/.
However it's spelled, it certainly seems name-like, just without actually being a name in common use. (At least in English.)
I've never had a middle name, and it just doesn't come up. Very, very rarely do I meet a form that even has a spot for a middle name, in which case I just leave it blank and it's never a problem.
Of course, my first name is pretty rare for my age group, and my last name is very rare, period (and unpronounceable to most English-speakers), so it's not like I need a middle name for differentiation. I also don't use social media, so haven't encountered the need to be anonymous and not-anonymous at the same time.
Yeah, Ramsey just makes me think of Ramsay Bolton from Game of Thrones, which is about as awful an association as it gets. (The only positive thing one can say about the character is that he's dead.)
Could Madison become Addison and still keep the plot reason for the name? Similarly, could Monica become Valerie? Could Macy be Sierra or Kyla instead?
McMaster was her maiden name, which she uses as a middle name. (Her dad was a pretty famous engineering professor and author.) Bujold is after her ex-husband, but trying to change your name after you have books published is... generally not worth the hassle.