Feedback on names for #2

I have one son named Gunnar after my husband, but who goes by Jack. We don't know if it s a boy or girl yet so I am having fun thinking of names for both right now. In the Baby name wizard I seem to fall pretty heavily into the "Antique Charm" category. Popularity doesn't bother me too much, though I wouldn't want to be in the top 10.

My top boy names are:
James Anthony (after my grandfather and my patron saint)
Issac John (a name I like and my brother's name)

Other boy names I like are

My top girl names are:
Eleanor Irene (After my two grandmothers--I do worry a little about the popularity of nickname "Ellie" though.)
Cordelia Jade (after a book character and my other brother--way less popular than most of my other favorite names)

girl names I like
Cecily (I LOVE this one but my husband is just meh)

Thoughts? Suggestions?


August 16, 2013 4:13 PM

I've got to say that my favorites are the first ones you listed. James Anthony and Eleanor Irene. Our styles must be very similar becuase James, Gabriel, Theodore, and Samuel are all on my list for boys! If you love Cecily but your husbands not loving it have you thought about suggesting Cecilia? It has the antique charm and is the name of a great saint!

August 16, 2013 4:33 PM

A few observations...

1.) Does your elder son go by "Jack" because it's his middle name? If so, I wouldn't use John for this child's middle -- they're the same name, really. Even if it's not Gunnar's middle, just a random name that he goes by, I'd be somewhat leery of using another John-type name for your second child.

2.) Did you mean Isaac? I've never encountered Issac before...

3.) All of your girl choices are excellent, but my favorite by far is Cordelia Jade: it's beautiful without an ounce of frill. My first (and really only) book character association is Cordelia Naismith in Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan series, which is absolutely a positive. (The other fictional character -- well, besides Shakespeare -- was in Buffy, which is not completely positive, but not too negative either.)

4.) Friends of ours named their daughter Arwen last year, and it works really well (even though the baby is a blue-eyed strawberry blonde): everybody we know automatically knows how to say it and spell it, but it's memorable and fairly unique.

5.) Eleanor is not so long that it absolutely must have a nickname, but if you're the nicknaming sort, there are lots of choices besides Ellie: Lena, Nell(ie), Nora. (Or heck, even Lennie, if you happen to like boyish nicknames on girls.)

6.) I, too, adore Cecily. I especially like that it has "silly" built right in. :-)

August 16, 2013 4:37 PM

There's also Cordelia Gray, a sleuth featured in at least one of PD James's books.

All of your names are great, but my favorites are James and Eleanor as well.

August 19, 2013 4:23 PM

And Small Anne Cordelia, Diana Barry's daughter in the Anne of Green Gables series.  But Cordelia Naismith is my primary association, as well. 

August 17, 2013 12:01 AM

1. It's just a random nickname because there are currently three living Gunnars in the family! I thought about the Jack/John thing too. Something to consider.

2. Yes I meant Isaac, oops!

3. Yes I was thinking of Cordelia Naismith--she's such an amazing character! I'm glad to have another vote for Cordelia since it's not very popular right now I worry that it's too wierd.

Thanks for the input!

August 17, 2013 12:21 AM

It's funny that you worry that it's weird, because I worry that it's getting so much attention around here lately that it's going to take off and not be rare anymore! (It's currently my first choice if my baby turns out to be a girl.)

August 16, 2013 7:29 PM

I like both James Anthony & Isaac John.  Though, I agree that I wouldn't use John if I already had a Jack.  Isaac James could also work, if you find you prefer Isaac as a first.

I love Eleanor Irene!  It has already been mentioned, but I'll 2nd the idea of using a nickname other than Ellie.  Nell & Nora would be my favorites.

I love Cordelia, but can't decide how I feel about it with Jade.  Perhaps it's because Jade seems so different than any of your other name choices.  It just seems a bit out of place.  Not unusuable by any means, just different enough that I'd probably wonder about it. 

August 17, 2013 12:05 AM

Thanks for the input!

I was more worried about Jack and James being too close rather than Jack and John! Interesting to see these comments, but definitely something to consider.

I worried about Irene being so out of fashion but I'm glad someone else likes it with Eleanor. I like Nora for a nickname too, but my husband is just blah about it. I also love the full name Eleanor so I don't "need" a nickname, you're right!

Yeah, Jade is a bit different from the others but my brother hates his first name because it is so common (Nicholas) and I was originally thinking Jane or Juleit (plus the initials C.J. are adorable) but Jade would honor my brother since it is his middle name.


August 17, 2013 11:49 AM

Irene is rather out of fashion, but used as a middle it shouldn't be a problem for her.  Even as a first, Irene might be unsual, but certainly not horrible or especially tease-worthy.  Personally, I have a bit of a soft spot for all of the "ene" names-Irene, Ilene, Charlene, Colleen, etc.

If your bother hates Nicholas, I assume Nicole wouldn't be an option for a namesake.  Though, if you are interested in other options, there are variations & diminutives that might work for Nicholas.  Collin/Cole/Nico for boys or Colette for a girl.  I also thought about Colleen.  It's a name in it's own right, but also strikes me as a bit of a mash-up between Colette & Irene.

Again, I don't think Jade is unusuable.  It just seems a bit out of line with the style of your other names.  That really isn't a huge issue though, especially since it is an honor name.

August 17, 2013 2:28 AM

Gabriel, Theodore and Wesley are much more my style than Isaac, James or Samuel but honestly I think all of them work.  I would echo previous posters about not using John when you call your first son Jack. You'd have to check the stats in your area but Isaac, James and Samuel are all vastly more popular in my neck of the woods (as is Jack) than Gabriel, Theodore and Wesley.

From your girls list I adore Cordelia, it's been on my short list for years. It gets a fair bit of love on these boards but isn't actually that popular. Yet it is familiar from various literature sources and isn't that dissimilar to the much more popular Amelia.

I also like Vivienne, Cecily and Arwen.  All are great names and not too popular or trendy (Vivienne is trendy in some areas so you'd want to check your stats).

I also like Eleanor but I know a lot of Ellie variants so it can feel less special, depending where you are. Nora is a good alternative nickname though and not as trendy sounding.

I think both shortlists are strong so it's hard to pick.  Cordelia and Theodore would be my favourites with Gabriel and Arwen a close second though.

August 19, 2013 9:15 PM

Thanks for the feedback!  I haven't shared any of my picks with my family yet because I worry how they will react, but all of these comments are making me feel much better about my taste.

August 23, 2013 4:39 PM

I love, love, love Cordelia Jade.  Jade would normally not be my style, but as a family honor name, paired with an unimpeachable traditional name (Shakespeare!), it totally works.

How about Isaac James?  It gets you away from the Jack/John problem, but still includes an honor name.

August 25, 2013 10:17 PM

James Anthony is a great name. Saint Anthony is one of my favorite saints. My dad's confirmation name is James.

Eleanor Irene is a great name. These names go together very well.

December 7, 2013 6:41 PM

I love James Anthony, and the family namesake is always nice. Isaac John is nice too, but personally John Isaac would be more refreshing to hear on a little boy. I like all of the other boys names you listed, and if popularity isn't an issue, you shouldnt mind if he's not the only Gabriel or Sam in his class- but then again, I guess that could happen with any name. I really don't have a preferance of any of the six, but the most classic are definitely James and Samuel. For girls, my favorite is Eleanor Irene. As for nicknames, she could just go by Eleanor, or what about Nellie or Nora? Those are adorable as well :) I also like Vivienne, but only if its spelled Vivian. And Cordelia is alright, but I prefer Cordelia Jane. Jade is more modern and doesn't really fit the style of your other favorites. 

Good luck! :)