Help! Team Green! Long List!

Expecting my second child. We already have a little girl, Olivia. We like classic, old-fashioned names. I'm in love with so many names I can't narrow it down anymore. Here's my list. Our last name ends in -son.
 
GIRLS

Ada
Adele
Agnes
Alice
Anneliese
Audrey
Ava
Camille
Coraline
Charlotte
Clara
Della
Dinah
Edith
Eleanor
Ella
Eloise
Esther
Etta
Gwendolyn
Isabelle
Katharine
Lenore
Lillie
Lorene
Lucille
Lydia
Maura
Mathilda
Ruby
Violet
Vivienne
Willa
Zelda
Zora
 

BOYS

Alexander
Bennett
Byron
Calvin
Davis
Dwight
Everett
Gerald
Henry
Huey
Isaiah
Jacob
John
Lincoln
Linus
Leland
Lewis
Nicholas
Richard
Sterling
Theodore
Walter
William
Wyatt
 
How do I narrow it down? Help!

Replies

1
September 9, 2015 12:58 PM

One fun way to narrow down a big list like this is to have a name-off. Put the names into a bracket, March-madness style, and then decide between each pair, moving the winner of each pair to the next level for a new face-off. So for example, between Ada and Adele, which one would you be more bothered by taking off the list? The winner of that decision faces off against the winner between Agnes and Alice or Zelda and Zora. Etc. (You could put similar names together early on, or mix them up.)

Obviously a number of names that's a power of two works best for this exercise, if you want to narrow down to ONE name. With your girl's list, if you could knock a few out of the running now you could narrow your list down to 32 names and have a five-round series. For boys, you could try to add names to get up to 32 (I think I counted 24) or stick with the list you've got and narrow down to three names.

You might also want to post in the main "Baby Name Ideas and Dilemmas" sub-forum, as it gets higher traffic (and thus more input) than this sub-forum.

Good luck!

2
September 9, 2015 7:45 PM

I second nedibes' comment about posting in the other forum.  Also, one super easy step that you may or may not have taken: is this your personal list, or have you already run this by your partner?  If this is your joint list, color me impressed that you have so much overlap. If it's your own list, you'll probably cull quite a few of them by running it past your other half :)

Also, I would think about what traits you want your kids' names to share vs. what you want to be different.  It's easier to apply to the girls list, but think about whether you want another name that has a similar flowing liquid quality, or a name with similar consonents and vowels, similar ending sounds, etc.  Think about whether you like that idea, or whether you'd rather have more distinct names.  Either way is valid! But it might be a way to get you thinking about where your real preferences are.

 

3
September 10, 2015 7:21 AM

Working in your favour, you have a great list and your little one's name is flexible to go with many different options.

On your girl list, the names that jumped out at me were the ones that sounded the most different from Olivia (so I discounted anything beginning with an L as the L is very dominant in Olivia) whilst still sounding as though they could reasonably be siblings. Obviously, the second is quite subjective!

The names that jumped out at me were Anneliese, Audrey and Gwendolyn, in addition to Coraline and Edith. Edith is perhaps the most different in style from Olivia, but I do think little girls nicknamed Livvy and Edie, or Ollie and Edie, sound wonderful together. Of all the girl's names, Audrey really seemed to combine the energy and elegance of Olivia, without sounding anything like it.

With the boys list I had less criteria, because in general boys names are harder for me, but I though Bennett (for old-time charm à la Pride and Prejudice), Byron (for romanticism), Hugh/Huey (I think Huey as a nickname for Hugh might fit better with your daughter's name) or even Sterling (I don't know why, it reminds me of the Scottish town Stirling mainly) sounded unexpected but fluid with Olivia.

Just my two cents!