First Girl - I want to honor family but this is hard!

We're expecting child #3, a girl and we are struggling with how to honor grandparents when they all have names that don't seem to fitright!!

Our first son is Ian Robert - Robert after my husband and his grandfather.  Second son is Garrett David - David after my dad.   

For a girl, I love names like Lydia, Meredith, Brynn & Evelyn but we're still open to ideas.   Not to trendy, maybe a little old fashioned sounding but something I can picture for a litle girl and maybe someday on a business card.

Now our mothers names are Linda Sue and Anita Louise and grandmothers are Louise Dianne, Doris Marie, Betty Margarite and Hazel Colleen.  We aren't crazy about our grandmothers names but could do Louise or maybe Marie.    Ann and Anna is also a family name - my middle name(Ann), my aunts name (Ann Louise) and my great grandmothers name (Anna).  

In my mind I imagined Lydia Sue because it's close to my mothers name but she didn't seem to love the idea.  She suggested Ann or Anna, which I like but I don't think I like it as a middle name to any of the ones we're favoring.   And then there is Louise which is my husbands grandmothers name, his mothers middle name and my aunts middle name.....I can see Lydia Ann Louise, Meredith Ann Louise, etc. as a nice flowing name but that's just tacking on a first name to my aunts actual name.   And while I love her, it seems a bit much to honor an aunt that way when we aren't especially close.  

I'd really like to incorporate a family name.   Is there some combination that I'm overlooking?   Or maybe a different first name that would solve my problems?   I feel like I'm at a dead end and my husband doesn't have many opinions on the subject....he's more of a thumbs up or down guy!


By Guest (not verified)
April 20, 2012 2:19 PM

Remember to try the variants - Louisa, Diana, Maria, Suzanne, and Susannah are all nearly identical to names in your family, but have a different flow.  For grandma Betty, you have Elizabeth and all its nicknames - Liz, Liza, Beth, etc.



April 20, 2012 2:32 PM

Well, there's always the Jewish version of namesakes, which is to use the first initial - so baby Jonathan was named to honor grandpa Jacob, for example.

Betty was probably short for Elizabeth.  Any chance you like any of the other Elizabeth derivatives?  There's about a million of them.  Sue also has Susan, Susanna, and maybe a couple others.

April 20, 2012 2:33 PM

LOL.  the above poster and I posted simultaneously - I guess great minds think alike :)

By Guest (not verified)
April 20, 2012 2:44 PM

Unfortunetly, Betty's name is ......Betty!    Not sure why they decided to go with a nickname on the birth certificate!

April 21, 2012 11:02 PM

Have the exact same problem as you - love the aunt, not so much the name (and she's not too fond of it either).  I discovered the rather pretty Betia the other day, and I'm quite taken with it so far.  I don't mind sharing if you're interested!  :)

By mk
April 20, 2012 2:34 PM

Lydia Suzanne: you get both the Sue and the Ann

Lydia Susan

Lydia Dianne

Lydia Marie

Lydia Colleen


Is there a relative you are particularly close to?

By Guest (not verified)
April 20, 2012 2:48 PM

We are close to his grandmother Louise Dianne and my grandmother Betty Margarite (nope - not nicknames - that's what was on the birth certificate!)   

By mk
April 20, 2012 5:32 PM

Keeping Lydia, I think Lydia Dianne works best from those, or maybe Lydia Margarite. Or what about Lydia Beth?

Betty as a stand-alone name was very common in the early-mid 1900s (think Betty White). So lots of Bettys from that era are really just Betty, and not Elizabeth!

By Guest (not verified)
April 20, 2012 6:13 PM

I vote for Louise Margarite!  What a great name.

April 20, 2012 7:16 PM

I think all the names are lovely. If I were to do that I'd have Dorothy, Vera, Viola, and Margaret to work with. Margaret is the only one I'd even consider.

Lydia; Meredith; Brynn; Evelyn; Linda; Sue ; Anita; Louise; Dianne ;Doris; Marie; Betty; Margarite; Hazel; Colleen

Using them in combos I like: Meredith Louise-Meredith Colleen-Lydia Dianne-Brynn Margarite as my favs. If you use Anna as a fn then I like Anna Colleen or Anna Louise

By Guest (not verified)
April 20, 2012 7:50 PM

I agree Susanne or Susannah would be a great way to combine Sue & all the Ann's (technically it could also inlude Anita as Anita is a common nickname for Anna in Spanish speaking cultures).  Lydia Susanne, Meredith Susanne, Evelyn Susannah.   

For a fresher looking Linda varient maybe Linnette?  Louise is a family middle name for me going back about 4 generations...and I admit I hate it.  I feel lucky to have had only boys so I didn't have to pass it down.  Obviously, I'm the wrong person to help you with that one!   Dianne isn't bad, though I think I prefer Diana.  Don't know that anything can be done with Doris.  

I rather like Margarite, Hazel and Colleen (in fact, Hazel Colleen is fabulous!)  Lydia Margarite, Meredith Colleen, Hazel Brynn, Lydia Hazel, Evelyn Margarite, Evelyn Colleen, Evelyn Hazel.

Lydia Susanne, Hazel Brynn and Evelyn Margarite are my favorite combos.

By EVie
April 21, 2012 12:31 AM

I really like the ideas above about using variants of the relative names to give you more up-to-date options. Linda -> Linden or Melinda, Sue -> Susanna/Susannah, Margarite -> Margaret, Louise -> Louisa, Dianne -> Diana. I actually think Hazel is great, and Lydia Hazel is simply lovely—that would probably be my top choice for you.

Other combos that sound good to me:

  • Lydia Margaret
  • Meredith Susanna
  • Meredith Diana
  • Meredith Linden
  • Evelyn Hazel
  • Evelyn Margaret
  • Evelyn Susanna
  • Evelyn Diana


April 21, 2012 3:17 PM

Congratulations! I agree with others that using variant names with slightly different flow opens up a lot of good possibilities, and that Suzanne/Susanne/Susanna is a great solution for honoring several of the matriarchs at once while also making better-sounding combinations than Sue or Ann(a) do with your other names.

A few more name suggestions for you to consider, either as firsts or middles:

Alice/Alise, Anneliese*, Annette, Bettina, Brianna/Brianne, Britta, Colette, Dora,

Hailey, Holly, Liesel*, Linnea, Linnet, Liv, Louanne, (Louisiana!), Lucinda (nn. Lucy, Lindy or Cindy?),

Maren, Margaux/Margo/Margot, Marianne, Mariel, Marilyn, Marion/Marian, Molly

(*Liese/Liesel are forms of Elizabeth, so this could also honor Betty while sounding similar to Louise.)

It's very much a matter of personal taste or family tradition how similar a namesake's name needs to be to represent a true homage, and if you feel strongly that you need to use the names as-is, I think you have some good suggestions for combinations already. If nothing else, maybe something on the list above will feel like a good fit due to similar style. Another thing to keep in mind is whether you are considering more children or this is it. There may be an impulse to load up on the tributes, but your daughter may like to have one unique-in-the-family name, like her brothers, even if it has pieces of others' names as part or inspiration. It sounds like you may be thinking along these lines already ... Anyway, I hope this helps!

April 22, 2012 11:20 PM

Good point about loading up the tributes!  Having one of the names be unique in the family is important to me.  I was a bit suprised to even be having a girl.....I'm the only girl in a family of 5 kids and on my husbands side there are very very few girls, even if you go back a few generations.   So I think I feel a lot of pressure to fit it all in and make everyone happy with this one little girl!    Thanks for the reminder!

April 22, 2012 11:15 PM

My goodness, you are all amazing!   I can't believe the combinations you all have come up with.   There are so many good ones!  And it's made me look at my names with fresh eyes.   I'm excited to start playing around with the suggestions.....I know there is a winner in there!

By Guest (not verified)
April 27, 2012 6:26 PM

My faves of your top four are Lydia and Meredith.  I like Linnea as a variation of Linda.  Louisa is cute for a middle name, or as a nn Lulu.  But it's hard to imagine Lulu on a business card.....unless she's a decorator, then it's perfect.

Margerite is nice as Greta......Sue is nice as Sosie.......Betty could be Elizabeth.  I realize these are a stretch from the originals, but there's a reason the originals went out of style.


Here are some ideas:


Greta Elizabeth

Lydia Elizabeth

Meredith Louisa

Louisa Bess (Lulu!)

Linnea Sosie

Sosie Anna

Anna Meredith


Lucky you with a new baby girl!

April 28, 2012 10:42 AM

how about Annmarie or Marian, or Marianne as the middle name for Lydia or whatever first name you favor.

By Guest (not verified)
April 29, 2012 2:15 PM

If you want to stick to Lydia Ann Louise, you could perhaps do Lydia Anna Louise, or Lydia Ann-Louise - or even turn it around to Lydia Louisanne, if you don't mind the French sound. Or, given that you planned Lydia Sue, Lydia Suzanne. To honour grandmother Betty, you could also do Lydia Bettina, which is an Italian nickname for Elizabeth (via Elisabettina) - close in sound, same origin, but flows a lot better.


Good luck!