Baby #3

We have two daughters, Carys and Harper. I'm expecting baby #3 in March, so we are once again compiling our name list. I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

For a girl, we both like Annabelle, but we are stuck on a middle name. Carys has my grandmother's middle name Delphine and Harper has my MIL's name Alice. My middle is Leanne and I have two sisters with L names, but is that too tricky with Annabelle ending in the L sound? I also love the first name Esther and husband likes Norah, so I'd love to hear your thoughts on names that sound good with our daughters' names.  

For a boy, I love William (nn. Liam) and Cormac (nn. Mac). I know Liam is very popular, so my husband doesn't like that and he just doesn't like the sound of Cormac. His favorite name is Declan and this was my choice if our oldest daughter was a boy, but now I'm not sure. Our last name ends in -en, so I generally don't like the way names ending in N sound with it. The middle name will be Scott (after my husband). Another thought was Thomas (after my FIL), but really don't like the name Tom, and other nicknames? Or just Thomas?

Thanks for your help!! 


By EVie
November 6, 2013 12:24 AM

My son is a Thomas, and so far almost everybody just calls him Thomas. My FIL is the one outlier—he insists on calling him Tommy, though my husband has corrected him multiple times (I don't have a problem with Tommy myself, but DH dislikes it). FIL has some general social skills issues, though, so this is not out of character. 

I love William, though I feel like Liam is kind of played out—I know multiple little Liams, and I don't know that many kids. I agree that Declan wouldn't flow that well with an —n last name. Cormac and Declan are not really my style, as I'm not really into Irish names. However, it sounds like you do like them, so maybe Ronan, Kieran, Finn, Killian, Connor, Lorcan, Riordan, Donovan?

I like Annabelle, but I personally wouldn't do an L middle with Annabelle—not only do they run together and not sound that great, but even the middle initial version sounds awkward—Annabelle L. = Annabellell. Norah is pretty; I love Nora without the h, but the h at the end feels very artificial to me (girls' names that end in h are usually transliterations from Hebrew, in which the -ah ending is a different letter than just -a; Nora is not Hebrew, though, and the -h version is a modern invention). Esther is totally respectable, but not one that I'm personally fond of. 

Other names that would match Carys and Harper: Isla, Fiona, Brynn, Maeve, Rhiannon, Penelope, Daphne, Lyra, Lorelei?

November 7, 2013 2:51 PM

Thomas is definitely growing on me. Especially if he can just go by Thomas or I don't mind Tommy. We both liked Ronan, but it doesn't sound good with our last name. I like Penelope and Isla, so I'll have to run those by my husband. And I agree about Nora without the H if that's the more traditional route, so thanks for the feedback! 

November 6, 2013 10:11 AM

Annabelle is such a pretty name, and I love the idea of Leanne after you and your sisters, but Annabelle Leanne is very L heavy -- it sounds like Annabelly Anne when I say it out loud. There's also the fact of Anna in the first name and Anne in the middle -- maybe you don't want to have variations of the same name in both name spots? Though you said you like Esther as a fn, I really like the flow of Annabelle Esther, and Esther seems similar in feel to Delphine and Alice.

I like Norah a lot, and I think it rounds out the sibling set the best of the girl options you listed: Carys, Harper, and Norah. Norah Leanne is gorgeous imo.

William/Liam and Cormac/Mac aren't my favorites for you, though objectively I like both names. I do like Declan with your girls, but I can see the Declan ___en issue -- we have a last name that ends in -in and it has caused us to cross certain names off our list. However, I've also found that first names that end in -n that are a different number of syllables than our last name sound much better than if they have the same number of syllabes: Declan Sutton, for example, isn't my favorite rhythm, but Declan Callaghan sounds fine to me, or Ben Sutton or Jonathan Sutton. Declan Scott is very handsome.

We have a Thomas who is just Thomas to almost everyone (my parents call him Tommy -- my mom because she had a brother Tommy and it's just natural to her; not sure about my dad except he likes to be contrary). Before we decided to just call him Thomas, I had been trying to come up with different nns for it, as I didn't care for Tom/Tommy either (I don't mind them so much now, after knowing my Thomas and hearing people affectionately call him Tommy, especially his little brothers before they can say Thomas -- it's too cute). I'd thought of Toby (his middle name is similar to Robert, so it made sense to me); my husband hated it. My brothers often call him T, which is really cute. Thomas Scott is not my favorite flow though, with the -s in Thomas and the S- in Scott right next to each other, but it's certainly a solid and family-happy name!


November 6, 2013 12:49 PM

I will second the vast majority of this. The only thing I wanted to chime in on with a (slightly) different take is the Declan issue. It really depends on your last name. When I was pregnant with my son, my husband wanted the name Lincoln - it was his favorite name and the ONLY one he would really discuss. My favorite name was James, but my hubs wouldn't discuss James in the first name spot. Then I tried to fight to get Nathaniel as the first name instead and my whole reasoning was that out last name ends in -ton. I felt like when you took the middle name out of the flow, the repeating -n ending was going to drive me up a wall. 

But, in the end, I couldn't get my husband to consider another name because I had, prior to getting pregnant, agreed that I liked Lincoln. Which I did. My best friend (and my son's godmother) lives in Gettysburg, PA, which is very Abraham Lincoln heavy - they have shops, diners, streets, hotels, etc. named after Lincoln, plus statues of him everywhere. So it was a subtle little way to honor her as well. My son was named Lincoln James H----ton and it doesn't bother me AT ALL now. Our last name is 3 syllables, which might help, but even with the repeated sound...he's a Linc, not a Nate.  

November 7, 2013 3:01 PM

Our last name rhymes with Vancullen, so any -an or -en sounding ending doesn't flow well. I do love Lincoln, but again it just doesn't sound right for us. Thanks for your help!

November 7, 2013 2:59 PM

I agree about Thomas Scott. We both have brothers named David, so that would probably the middle name if we decided on Thomas or any other name ending in S. I really like Nora Leanne. My middle name isn't my favorite, but I do love the combination. Thanks!

By rfb
November 7, 2013 6:22 AM

I agree with the others that Annabelle with a L middle doesn't really work that well. Given that you other daughters' middle names are chosen for their grandmothers, I would try to continue that tradition and honor somebody with the middle name, if only so your daughter does not feel left out. As your FIL's name is Thomas, you could do Annabelle Tamsin, or even Annabelle Thomasina.

What's your father's name, any name you could easily feminize? Or perhaps other relatives, or people that are important to you?

November 7, 2013 2:44 PM

I like the Annabelle Tamsin suggestion. I've also always liked Tatum, so that too could be a nod to Thomas also. We have Mary and David on both sides, so those could be some options to look into as well. Thanks for the suggestions!

By JayF
November 15, 2013 1:04 PM

I'm late to the party, but I can't help thinking of the classic poem by Poe, Annabel Lee. And, personally, I think that spelling freshens it up, and the Lee honors the Leanne that you are...

Tatum Leigh would also be pretty, since you like that name and it goes well with Carys and Harper. Then all the girls have first names that have two syllables, too. Also, Carys and Harper are almost androgynous names, as is Tatum. I don't think Annabelle has the same feeling. Even Tamsin as a first name would fit better with the two other girls. Tamsin Belle, maybe? The LL sound is built in and has a tribute feeling to all the Ls in your family.

For a boy, a good strong boy name that is a surname would be good. Something Irish or Welsh sounding. Or even Scottish. Like Dougal or Griffin or Donovan. Thomas would be a fine middle name for anything.