Alliteration Fear

Hi all!

My husband and I are due with our first in 4 weeks. Not sure of gender and we have front runner names for boy and girl but now I am second guessing our boy's name and worried about alliteration... our last name starts with an "S" and is 2 syllables. Think "Deer-a" but it starts with an "s" ....sorry trying to keep this somewhat anonymous as we haven't told anyone our names! For a girl we love Elsie.  Think NN would be Elle or Ellie.  Likely will use Rose as the MN...Elsie Rose. it has signficance - both names are family great aunt names on either side.

The boy is the issue - we love Sam Palmer...again a family name on my side (my MN is Palmer and we don't pronounce the "l"). I am just really worried about the alliteration of Sam "Seera"...what do you guys think?



September 15, 2012 8:33 AM

Sometimes alliteration bothers me--it can sound like a brand name or a comicbook superhero. But for whatever reason, Sam Seera sounds pretty great to me. And Elsie, with the internal s echoing the initial s of the last name, is also quite nice. Sam and Elsie Seera would make a very pleasant sibling set.

September 15, 2012 9:30 AM

I think Sam S.... sounds great!  I grew up with an alliterative name and it never bothered me.  I didn't even realize it bothered anyone until I started frequenting name forums!  I think Elsie S. actually trips me up a bit more.  The -sie-seer sound is a little difficult for my tongue, but that may be just me. 

September 15, 2012 12:23 PM

No, it's not just you. I was going to write the same thing.

Alliteration used to bother me, but over time I've come to appreciate that it can sometimes be perfectly nice and I would not eliminate a name because it's alliterative. Sam S sounds perfectly nice! However, I agree that the internal "s" in Elsie make the full name a bit hard to say. (I thought that maybe Elsie Rose would be easier, but actually, the -z See- is only a little bit easier than the -see See-, I'm sorry to say.) Was the full name of person for whom Elsie would be named Elsie, or was it short for something? And even if not, another form of the name could possibly maintain the honour while helping the flow.

By EVie
September 15, 2012 2:53 PM

I'm also in the camp that Sam Seera sounds perfectly fine, but the see-see of Elsie Seera is kind of awkward (I have the same issue with my name and "ree," and I've eliminated names like Henry from my list for that reason). I also am a bit confused by the idea of an Elsie nicknamed Ellie or Elle. Elsie is already a nickname for me, and *sounds* very nicknamey, so it seems odd to give it a nickname. I mean... usually when people give a formal name plus a nickname, it's because the two names serve different purposes—the formal name is is for situations in which you want to sound dignified and adult-like, and the nickname is for when you want to sound friendly and approachable. Elsie and Ellie are both the latter, though, and so using both is just kind of redundant. On the other hand, some people don't see the need for a formal name and think a nickname is fine for all situations... in which case Elsie fits the bill, and I don't see what purpose Ellie is serving. They're also just really similar to each other to begin with, which I think would add an additional element of confusion.

I think my first choice for you would be using Elisabeth as a first name, with either Elsie, Ellie or Elle as a nickname (and actually, you wouldn't even have to choose—go ahead and use all three, depending on how the mood strikes!) Alternatively, you could totally do Elle as the formal name, and Elsie or Ellie as the nickname (nicknames don't have to be shorter than the original!) If you really want one of the nickname forms as the birth certificate name, though, I prefer going straight to Ellie, as it avoids the see-see trip-up with your last name.

September 15, 2012 2:03 PM

I tend to like alliteration better with some letters, though generally I am not a huge fan.  Softer letters (like in Sam Seera) are usually fine for me.

I do tend to prefer longer, more formal names-so my preference would be Samuel called Sam and something like Elizabeth called Elsie.  However, I do know a lot of people who prefer for the actual call name to also be the official name.  Either way, I think Samuel/Sam & something like Elizabeth/Elsie would make a great sibling pair.  

I don't have a problem saying Elsie Seera, though I do like the double barrel approach of Elsie Rose better than just plain Elsie.   For a nickname for Elsie, I'd probably just use Elle.  Ellie is a name in it's own right and they can both also be used as nicknames for the same names.  Because of this, I think an Elsie called Ellie could cause some confusion.

By sp93
September 15, 2012 5:33 PM

Thanks so much everyone!! I really appreciate the advice and perspective!! There is actually one consanant in our last name in between the 'S" and first "E" that definitely helps give a bit of a break between the "sie" and "see" issue that a few of your brought up for Elsie...apologies for not mentioning that in the initial post - again a result of me being overly cautious that a family member may see this - which I know is HIGHLY unlikely ;)  Anyway - I can definitely see what you guys are saying if that were the case with Elsie and Seera. I also appreciate the thoughts on nickname there.  Elsie is actually the formal name and probably what we would mostly call her - we like Elle for when she gets older if she wanted a stronger type sound too. Sam would definitely be a Samuel as the formal name as well. 

Again - thanks so much for the feedback - it made me feel a lot better and I will update everyone in a few weeks hopefully once he or she arrives with the real and full name!!

September 16, 2012 10:05 PM

I would just chuck my two cents in that Elsie is totally adorable, but we do know many Ellies, Elles, and Ellas.

My instinct would be to do Elsa with Elsie as the nn, or just Elsie and leave it at that.

Apologies for weighing in, when I know you were only asking about Sam! I just wasn't sure if you knew many wee ones, and thought I'd at least alert you to the popularity of the Elle genre.

I think Sam is great, and like others I'm not troubled by the alliteration.

Best of wishes!