Baby #4, it's a Girl - names that begin with C


My husband and I are expecting Baby #4 and found out this week that it's a girl.  We have three boys and used an existing naming scheme (all first-born males on my husband's side have the same initials, CEE.  We kept it going with our second and third sons).  We are leaning towards keeping the same initials for our little girl.  We also prefer names that aren't super popular.  (Our mistake with our first born - being that we didn't already have school-age children, we were oblivious as to how popular Caden and all of the "Aiden" names were!!  

Our boys names are Caden.Elias, Callan.Eliah, and Ciaran.Elior.

We found a name that somewhat honors both of our grandmothers (I had always wanted to name my daughter Adeline, but I think the name is a bit too popular now).  My husband's grandmother was Florabel.  The name we like the sound of is Coraline, but we're wondering if it will make everyone think of the book character.  

The other twist is that we would also consider names that somehow honored my husband's mother who is no longer with us.  Her name was Michelle Renee.  Neither of us are particularly taken by her name, but we would be open to names with a similar meaning.  This is not a requirement, but just something we'd definitely be open to in lieu of using Coraline.

Lastly, our sons' middle names mean "The Lord is my God" and "The Lord is my Light."  We'd like to give our daughter a similar middle name (one that describes an attribute of God), though this isn't entirely necessary if we find other names that meet some of the above requirements.  Suggestions welcome.

We haven't done much research yet at all (I had PORED over boy names on this site and got tons of valuable help from this forum in naming our sons, but having a girl has thrown us off a bit and we're just getting into the process.  At this point, my questions are as follows, and I would appreciate insight into any of the following:

1.  Is Coraline a creepy name?  (Does it immediately conjure up thoughts of the book/movie character)?

2.  Can you suggest other names that begin with C that sound nice with our sons' names?  (I realize there are extensive lists on this site and in the book - I will be going through each, but I know some of the folks on this forum are "experts" and can pinpoint awesome suggestions much more quickly than I ever could!)  

3.  Any creative ideas as to how to incorporate the name meanings of either "Michelle" or "Renee" into our baby girl's name while keeping the initials the same (C for the first name, E for the middle name).

4. Thoughts on any middle names that begin with "E" that use our existing pattern?  

I realize this is a lot - just starting the process and would appreciate any and all leads.  (I'm still in shock that we're having a girl - all along, I was thinking it was a boy and that we'd use one of the names that we had narrowed down previously - haha).

Many thanks!!!!





November 19, 2016 2:33 AM

The obvious middle name to go with your sons is Elizabeth: the name books disagree on its exact derivation, but they all agree on the "God is my __" part of it.

No, Coraline is not creepy, but I've neither read the book nor seen the movie. If you're unsure, perhaps consider Caroline, Coralie, or Cornelia.

Florabel and C made me immediately think of Claribel. The pop culture association is Clarabelle the cow, and Things Disney never really go away, but I still think Claribel Elizabeth would be lovely. Another in the same vein is Christabel, which can as a stretch be taken as an honor for Michelle Renee, because in combination, the derivations are very Christian: 'like God' and 'born again'.

November 19, 2016 2:54 AM

I wouldn't use Christabel without being familiar with and OK with Coleridge's quite strange poem.

As for Claribel, my indelible association is Clarabell, the mute male clown on the Howdy Doody Show, a fixture of my childhood.  Clarabell was originated by the actor who went on to play Captain Kangaroo.  Claribel is also the name of the King of Naples' daughter who is referred to but never seen in Shakespeare's Tempest.


November 19, 2016 2:35 AM

Some Hebrew names similar in style to your sons' names:

Emuna(h) (root meaning faith), Erela (root meaning angel), Eliraz (unisex name 'my god is a mystery'), Elisheva (Elizabeth, 'my god' and the root of the second element is unclear, possibly 'seven' or 'oath')

Coraline is possibly/probably a literary coinage.  Whether it is or isn't, it is very heavily associated with the book/film.  If you want to avoid that association, perhaps Coralie.

November 19, 2016 7:44 AM

These are all great suggestions/insights - thanks so much for the replies! Another name we like is Corryn.  (Maybe something like Corryn Elise, which shortens the form of Elizabeth for the middle name). 

Since our sons' names are all two syllables, I'm wondering if it sounds nicer to keep it consistent, or whether as the only girl, she should stand out a bit (as she already, no doubt, will).  ;)


I do like that the suggestions offered so far have a different beginning sound from the boys' names - (Co, Ch, Cl) - that was one of our intents as well, since it makes things *slightly* less tongue-tie-ish.

November 19, 2016 10:03 AM

You say Elias etc. with just two syllables? They're all clearly three syllables for me. I was thinking of Elise as another middle contender for you, since it has exactly the same derivation as Elizabeth, but I'm a sucker for long feminine names, and besides, I like the idea of four syllables for the fourth child. :-)

Corryn has some pronunciation ambiguity: which syllable is stressed? If it's the first syllable, it sounds exactly like how I've always said Corin Thunderfist's name (from the Narnia books), which adds some gender confusion to the mix. However, I don't think there's a spelling or form of the name that entirely clears things up, because both of the people I've known named Corinne have mentioned that they get all sorts of pronunciations: co-REEN, co-RINN, CO-rin.

(Any interest in Corisande?)

November 19, 2016 4:39 PM

Sorry - I meant the boys' first names have two syllables.  The middles definitely have 3.  ;)  

You are so right about the pronunciation ambiguity with Corryn.  We actually considered Corin if it were a boy (and considered it for son #3, but went with Ciaran instead) - I remember you mentioning Corin from the Narnia books when I asked for help with #3.  ;)  We both like the name, and while I was working, I had a student named Corryn and I was really struck by it then, too.  (I also have a good friend named Corinne, (co-REEN), but she gets all kinds of pronunciations, too.

I like Corisande a lot - definitely an uncommon one (at least around here) and one I've never heard.  Just mentioned it to hubby and he made a face, but he's repeated it a few times out loud - maybe it's growing on him.  ;)  Any ideas as to the meaning?

We definitely have a few more months to figure out a name - at this point, knowing she's a girl certainly helps narrow things down and personalizes everything further.  :)

November 19, 2016 5:51 PM

I don't think Coraline is particularly creepy, but I do think of the character. Other alternatives to that may be Cora, Coralie, Coral, Clara, and Clarabelle. As far as incorporating Michelle, I think a nice way to honor her would be with Chelle (sounds like Belle) or Chelsea. Some middle name options are Elizabeth (God is my oath), Eliana (my God has answered), and Eliora (God is my light). My favorite combos of these are Coralie Eliana and Chelle Elizabeth.

November 20, 2016 3:19 PM

I definitely like Coralie, and "Chelle" is certainly a less conventional way to incorporate Michelle that we hadn't really considered.

I also like Clara, though again, I think it's a bit popular around here (or at least Claire is).  Eliana and Eliora are great suggestions.  Since our eldest two sons have the middle names of Elias and Eliah (which are super similar and have the same meaning), it may be neat to use Eliora for our daughter's middle name, since our third son's middle name is Elior.  It would connect the two sibilings together similar to my older sons.  



November 20, 2016 9:17 PM

I didn't even realize the middle names would tie together so nicely, and it would be a fun way to connect them that isn't obvious to everyone who knows them. Chelle isn't a name I'd ever heard until a family I follow on YouTube (LiveEachDay if you're interested in hearing them say it or see their adorable daughter) named their baby girl Chell Marie, and I think it's such a great, more modern take on Michelle.

November 20, 2016 4:02 AM

The "British Baby Names" blog has a good summary of what is known about the origins of Corisande:

(What's certain is that Nameberry's confident assertion that it means "chorus-singer" and is of Greek origin is 100% false. Also, while Diane de Poitiers was the mistress of a king of France named Henri, she's not the one who was called "La Belle Corisande". That appelation was adopted by Diane d'Andoins, who was one of the many mistresses of Henri IV of France, ruled 1572-1610. Diane de Poiters was the mistress of Henri IV's first-cousin-once-removed, Henri II of France, r. 1547-1559.)

November 20, 2016 10:29 AM

If Corisande is a possible mashup of Cor- 'heart' and Melisande from Amalsuintha 'work/labor' + 'strong/brave/powerful', I'm surprised that Nameberry et alia haven't pounced on 'braveheart' for its "meaning"....

November 20, 2016 10:58 AM

Thanks for the link re: meaning of Corisande.  It's funny to me how some of the seemingly reputable sites seem to differ considerably in their reliability from name to name.  

(That's why I am so appreciative of the posters on this forum!  It's always great to hear some additional perspectives who are no doubt well versed in their knowledge!)


November 20, 2016 12:21 PM

Almost none of the online "name" sites or the little "name" books they used to sell by the supermarket checkout lines are reliable. For the most reliable information consult reference books published by major academic presses.  The best handy online site I know of for general information on names is behindthename.  Sites like Nameberry are NOT reputable; much of what they say is utter nonsense.

November 19, 2016 6:47 PM


I know the frustration there, when it come to names. I personally like the name Caroline; however, you have a variety of options like: Clair, Cassandra, Chelsea, Camille (I personally like this name), Carmen, or Cora. 

I, personally like something unique. I think Cora (English origin and in Greek it means Maiden, from the coral of the sea) and Camille (English and also French origin) are nice names. I think these are unique names. :) 

Let me know what do you think. 


November 20, 2016 3:13 PM

We really like the name Cora, but feel like it's a little too popular or common (at least around where we live) - at least Coraline is a bit different (though could certainly be shortened to Cora for a nickname).  I also like the "-line" ending, since it's a nod to my grandmother's name, Adeline.  While we don't dislike Camille, there's a neighbor girl whose twin brother is named Caden, so having two sibling sets right across the street from one another with the same names could be a little much.  :)


November 20, 2016 2:38 PM

I don't think Coraline is creepy at all.

I have a simplified thought. Could the "El" in Elise or Elizabeth be a namesake for the "el" in any or all three people you would like to honor?

I also thought of fn Celeste that could do the same thing.

November 20, 2016 3:14 PM

That is definitely a good though, having the "El" multitask - I hadn't considered that.  :)

While a good suggestion, I'm afraid I'm not such a fan of Celeste.

November 20, 2016 4:03 PM

I don't think Coraline is creepy. It does, a little bit, bring to mind the graphic novel (I haven't seen the movie), but I remember the main character as smart and resourceful and ultimately triumphant, so it's a good association.

Another possibility might be Celine (with our without the accent ague over the first e). It would give you a different starting sound, two syllables, -line for your grandmother, and French for the very French Michelle Renee. It's apparently derived from a Roman name that meant "heaven",  and at a stretch I think you could even consider the nature-y nature of the name a nod to Florabel.

Along similar lines but a little more elaborate is Celandine, which preserves the -ine ending. It apparently comes from the ancient Greek word for the swallow (the bird, not the verb).

November 20, 2016 6:48 PM

I know you said you're not a fan of Celeste, but do you feel any differently about Celestine?

November 20, 2016 10:31 PM

Eh... not a fan of Celestine exactly.  Reminds me of the book title, the "Celestine Prophecy." Always good to hear suggestions though, so thank you!!

November 20, 2016 10:35 PM

Coraline was in our top 2 when choosing our first daughter's name (we ended going with the other choice). I completely agree with nedibles above that the book character is worthy of a namesake for all the reasons mentioned. I was disappointed with the film though, because they changed the plot of the book (in which Coraline creatively and singlehandedly defeats the villian) to a version where she is rescued from a frantic struggle with the villain by the boy character (who was invented just for the film). They threw out her inventiveness and bravery and replaced it with luck and a "damsel in distress" moment. Anyways, all that to say, I totally love the name and literary namesake.

November 21, 2016 12:58 AM

Oh, darn it! I really enjoyed the book but have never seen the movie, and now I don't think I shall, because that sounds like they messed with it in unacceptable ways!

I do like Coraline very much as a name, too. I also know a little Coralie and a Coral, too.

November 21, 2016 3:11 PM

:)  It's awesome to hear from you and another poster about the positive attributes of the character.  (And I love that it was in your top 2 names - I do think it's beautiful.  

I've not actually read the book nor seen the movie, but when we stumbled upon the name for our last child and really liked it, I read up on both a little bit and was struck by how dark some of it seemed and I guess I placed a more negative spin on it.  Hubby reminded me that while my first name is Marnie, I don't really think that too many folks nowadays associate it with the Alfred Hitchcock film (and if they do, I don't think it's the only association that they have).  



November 21, 2016 12:28 PM

I really like Coraline and think it ties your grandmothers together nicely. It does make me think of the book (I haven't seen the film) but that is a positive association for me. There are also more Coraline's in the world as a result, so the single reference will likely get diluted.

I would personally not go with Corryn. I agree with those who says it has a bit of gender confusion, and with three older brothers each with a name beginning with C and ending in -en/an, your daughter might appreciate a little bit of differentiation.

November 21, 2016 1:38 PM

Some more C names for you! Claudia/Claudine/Claudette, Clementine, Clemency, Colette, Cecily, Carina

November 21, 2016 3:06 PM

Clementine was my great grandmother's name (Adeline's mother) - neat that you suggested it.  :)  I went ahead and purchased the Baby Name Wizard book this time around (after having renewed it several times from the library with our last child).  In flipping through last night, I thought it neat that they listed Clementine, Adeline, and Coraline all beside one another in a particular paragraph.  It almost seems like choosing Coraline is meant to be. 



November 21, 2016 3:02 PM

I can't thank you all enough for your input - it has been truly helpful.  I think we are leaning very strongly towards using Coraline as our daughter's first name, and are just tryling to narrow down the middle (though we certainly still have some time at this point).  

I am leaning towards Elise, but I also like Eliana, Eliya, & Eliora.  (My husband thinks that the repeated "ora" combination would be a bit much if we used Eliora and after considering it more closely, I think I age, though I did like the idea of tying our 3rd and 4th children together using similar middle names).

Any other ideas for middle names in that same vein?  (beginning with El and having an attribute of God as the meaning?)



November 21, 2016 3:12 PM

If you're open to starts-with-E but not El- you could use Emmanuelle; it's from the Hebrew for "God is with us", and I think could also work as a nod to your MIL.

November 21, 2016 3:24 PM

Ohh- I really like that.  :)  Great suggestion!!  


November 21, 2016 9:20 PM

As soon as I read Coraline, I thought it was great and could be paired with Elyse. The whole conversation here has supported that, so I only offer another vote in favor.

By EVie
November 23, 2016 3:23 PM

I think Coraline is great, but in case you're still entertaining other ideas, I wanted to throw out Cateline. It's a medieval French form of Catherine (not to be confused with Catiline, the Roman senator of the Catiline conspiracy). 

I really like the suggestions of Eliana, Eliora or Elizabeth/Elisheva for the middle, since they echo the Hebrew origins and "El"/"my god" beginnings of your sons' middle names. I also wanted to throw out that the "elle" in Michelle derives from the same thing (it's a feminine form of Michael, "who is like God?"), so you've partially covered that name as well.