Isla, Grant and #3?

Hi namers!
I have a 4.5yr old Isla Hope, 3 yr old Grant William and are working on adding a #3 to the mix. Both are brown eyed, dark brown hair and we live in Vermont.
Boy names have tended to be easy for us to come up with and agree on, but girls names are very challenging. Before finding out if Grant was a boy or girl we spent weeks trying to come up with a girl name, with no luck. I was very concerned about popularity when pregnant with Isla - and Isla wasn't in the top 1,000 when I chose it, though now that she's 4.5 and there are 3 other Isla's in our county that we keep running into from time to time, I'm actually glad for it because that means people will recognize it and know how to pronounce it more easily. So, I am still anxious about popularity but don't think it's as big of a deal any more, though trendy isn't the same as popular in my opinion.

Here is the list we are working on right now:
- Heidi (we both like, dh loves the Swedish origin as his Grannie is 1/2 Swedish and always proud of her heritage. I worry it's a bit dated, wdyt?)
- Audrey (we both think this is sweet, but it's awfully popular, and do you think it sounds old next to Isla?)

Here are girl names I like and dh is so-so on them.
- Zoe (so popular, but it's such a cool name IMO)
- Matilda, nn Tillie (we were close to liking this before but it's such a big name...)
- Bridget (dh said no)
- Fiona (dh thinks about shrek)
- Cosette (haven't brought this one up to dh yet)

- Emmett
- Calvin
- Everett (there are lots of Everetts in my family (old, not young), though I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not)
- Henry (dh likes, I think it's a bit too popular)
- Rowan (maybe? haven't told this one to dh yet)

My little sister's name was Emalie Elizabeth - she passed away a month ago and I' like to honor her in some way in the naming. Would likely use Elizabeth as a middle for a girl, perhaps include Eli for a boy mn, or Emmett is the masculine version of Emma (which is what we called her).
Other boy mn option is Brian, my dad's name, since Grant's mn is my FIL's name.

Thanks for your help!


August 30, 2013 10:11 AM

I quite like Heidi & Isla together. It is not a pairing I would have suggested.  They seem a bit unexpected together, but in a good way.  I can see how Heidi might seem a bit dated to some, but it doesn't strike me that way.  I've only ever known one Heidi IRL, so it doesn't have the same kind of datedness as a lot of other names.

Audrey & Isla are very sweet together & this is a pairing I probably would have suggested.  I don't think it sounds old next to Isla at all.

Too bad about Fiona, as I think it's great with Isla.  Zoe is also nice, maybe you'd also like Chloe or Phoebe?  I don't think they have quite the same level of trendiness.

Of your boy names my favorites are probably Calvin & Henry.  I like the idea of Emmett & Everett, but they do seem more serious sounding to me than either Grant or Isla, though I could overlook this since they are both family names. I also like the idea of Eli as a first name, though it is probably too similar to Isla.  The only boy name from your list that really feels off to me is Rowan.  I like it with Isla, just not sure I care for it with Grant.

Some other boy name suggestions, Reid, Malcolm, Ethan, Leo

August 30, 2013 1:42 PM

Since you did bring up popularity/trendy, I looked up the stats for this past year for Vermont for the names you mentioned so you'd have point of references. First, I looked up the rank in Vermont for 2012, the number after the rank is how many children were actually given the name to get that rank. Then I did the same thing for the US. The Social Security list per state only goes up to 100, so if the name didn't rank on the state list, I only included the rank for the US list. I also included the stats of similar names

Name - State rank (births) / US rank (births)

For reference, here's the current stats for the names you've already used:
Isla - #55 (8) / #230 (1,373)
Grant - #163 (2,455)

Heidi - #334 (928)
Audrey - #48 (8) / #41 (5,266)
-- different spelling: Audrie wasn't on either list 
-- different spelling: Audry wasn't on either list  
-- similar name: Aubrey - #23 (17) / #15 (8,006) 
-- similar name: Audra wasn't on either list
-- similar name: Audrina - #440 (701)
Zoe - #114 (5) / #30 (6,383) 
-- different spelling: Zoey - #72 (7) / #20 (7,411) 
-- different spelling: Zoie - #571 (509) 
-- different spelling: Zooey wasn't on either list
Matilda - #658 (425)
-- different spelling: Mathilda wasn't on either list
-- variant: Mathilde wasn't on either list
Bridget - #453 (682)
-- different spelling: Brigid wasn't on either list
-- variant: Brigitte wasn't on either list
Fiona - #52 (8) / #209 (1,491)
Cosette - wasn't on either list

Emmett - #52 (12) / #186 (2,007)
-- different spelling: Emmet wasn't on either list
-- different spelling: Emmit wasn't on either list
-- different spelling: Emmitt - #659 (356)
Calvin - #189 (1,948) 
-- different spelling: Kalvin wasn't on either list
Everett - #214 (1,724)
-- similar name: Everard wasn't on either list
Henry - #11 (25) / #43 (8,006)
-- variant: Henri wasn't on either list
-- variant: Heinrich wasn't on either list
-- variant: Henrik wasn't on either list
-- similar name: Harrison - #181 (2,111)
Rowan -  #301 (1,138)
-- different spelling: Rowen - #887 (234) 
Eli - #26 (18) / #44 (7,998)

Of the girls names that you already had listed, my favorite was Heidi. It was completely unexpected because with a name like Isla, I probably would have looked to Gaelic names. However, I really like the three names together: Isla, Grant and Heidi. I also really like Heidi Elizabeth. Much better than Audrey Elizabeth - that just feels heavy to me. That being said, I absolutely love the name Audrey and I do think that it works well with the set: Isla, Grant and Audrey. I think that Grant and Audrey work a little better together, but I don't think that Isla sounds off with them. I think that both of those name options are awesome; I just feel like with Elizabeth as a middle name, it works better with Heidi. Although, there are PLENTY of Elizabeth variants (Eliza, Elise, Elisa, Elsa, Elsie, Elspeth, Lizbeth, etc) to play with: Audrey Elise or Audrey Eliza sound much less heavy to me. I don't think you guys really need any more girl name suggestions, but just in case you want some, here are mine: 

Audra - similar to Audrey, but much less common and I don't think that Audra Elizabeth has that same heaviness.

Of the boys names, I like Emmett the best. Isla, Grant and Emmett. I love the idea of using Emmett for a honor name, but I also think that Eli would be fine as a first name for a boy as well: Isla, Grant and Eli. I think it works! I'm not crazy about Calvin with the set and I agree that Henry is incredibly popular right now. However, I also really like Everett. Isla, Grant and Everett. I would still give the edge to Emmett, but Everett's close. In addition, I'm really not crazy about Rowan with the set. I think it goes a little too much to the Gaelic side of things and leaves Grant out. I really like the idea of you using Brian as the middle name, but I'm not sure about Emmett Brian or Everett Brian. They sound backwards to me. Other boy name options: 

Elias (you could use Eli as a nickname)

August 30, 2013 2:54 PM

I love your childrens' names!  And, I think you have a good list.  I live in California and was in Vermont this summer visiting my sister - beautiful state!!  

I love Heidi, which was on our list too!  I sometimes regret not using this name, so I think you will be happy with it.  I love Audrey because I love Audrey Hepburn but I realized I only liked the name because it reminded me of her, and I felt it was too much for someone to live up to! Haha.  Silly I know.  I love Fiona with Isla.  I also like Sadie, Julia, Romy, and Gwen.

For boys, I'm going with Henry!  This is my 1-year-old's name, and although I hear it is becoming popular, we have not met another Henry yet.  And, classic names don't become old and tired even if they are popular. Think of Sarah.  That has been in the top names for decades but because it is a classic, it doesn't feel dated like Jessica, Jennifer, and Ethan.  Names that are "trendy' and very 'popular' would be a bigger issue.  But, I don't think any of your other boy names will be too popular or trendy, so you can't go wrong with any of them.

By hyz
September 4, 2013 9:38 AM

First off, I love your kids' names already.  For the future bub, I really like all of your boy choices very much, and think they would all go wonderfully with your two kids.  Many of these names are on my lists as well, so it's hard for me to choose between them.  Sorry, no help there. :)  I will say, though, that I really like the idea of Emmett as an homage to your sister, and it doesn't hurt that it's a great name.

I like your second girl list better than the top two choices, I think.  Heidi is ok for me, and very cute, but sounds very Swiss/German next to your other two, and I also know millions of people (ok, that's a slight exaggeration) born in the 70s/80s named Heidi, so it does feel a bit dated to me.  Many of those Heidis also have sisters named Heather, so the two names are closely linked for me (seriously, I've met like 5 Heidi/Heather sister pairs, including relatives of mine).  I like it, but it wouldn't be my top choice for you.  Audrey is ok for me, too, and I think it fits fine with your kids, but it's just not a personal favorite.  I don't think it sounds too old next to Isla, although maybe a little... heavier.  The "odd" sound at the front has always bugged me a bit.

I LOVE Matilda, and think that it is a very spunky name that fits fine with your others, especially if you use the nn Tilly/Tillie, which I adore.  It has a bit of a British feel for me, so that it makes sense next to Isla and Grant.  Fiona is a lovely, darling choice, which of course fits beautifully with Isla (the one young Isla I know has a sister named Fiona), and I really don't think the Shrek thing is a huge deal at this point.  Bridget is ok for me but a little bit clunkier to say than I prefer.  The only ones I'd rule out here are Zoe, which is nice, but too popular for me, and Cosette, for both the meaning and association, although I do quite like the sound of it ("little thing" seems so... diminutive and objectified, not to be taken seriously, and then Les Mis itself is not a terribly happy story--I prefer more auspicious backgrounds for names).       

By mk
August 30, 2013 4:42 PM

I am sorry about your sister.

I think Audrey is very pretty and not too popular (I've never met anyone with the name, anyway.) Audrey Elizabeth is so lovely.

Heidi is cute. I don't like it as much as Audrey, though. Again, I've never met anyone with the name, so my only association is with the literary character. Heidi Elizabeth does sound nice.

Out of the other list, I like Fiona best. I never think of Shrek when I hear that name. I like the suggestion of Phoebe instead of Zoe.

For boys, Emmett is a great name, as well as a great way to honor your sister. you could use Henry as a middle name: Emmett Henry.

By EVie
August 30, 2013 6:01 PM

I'm going to disagree with the others and say that I think Isla, Grant and Rowan would be a fabulous set. Grant has origins as a Scottish surname, so it doesn't feel out of place with Isla and Rowan. On the whole, I'd say that the whole set has a "modern Celtic" feel, rather than traditional—Rowan is a very old Irish name, but Isla is a modern adaptation of a Scottish place name, and Grant, as a surname, also has that modern feel to it.

I also really like Everett and Calvin in your set. Emmett is close, but I don't like it quite as much. I really love the snappiness of that v in the others. On the other hand, the connection of Emmett with your sister's name is really nice, so maybe that overrides the style factors. Henry is a great, classic name, but maybe a little too strait-laced compared to your other children's names, which feel a little more quirky and whimsical to me.

On the girl side, I love Fiona with Isla and Grant—really a perfect match. I don't really see the problem with the Shrek association—it's a great movie and she's a strong, spunky character. Of the other names, I think that Audrey and Zoe fit best with your set. They're both quite popular, however, so it depends on how much that matters to you. I don't think that Audrey sounds old, as it has really picked up steam in recent years; in fact, I think that Heidi sounds much older (all the Heidis I've known are probably in their 40s or 50s now). I totally agree with what hyz said about Cosette. I love Les Mis (knew all the words at one point in my life), but she's kind of a weak, helpless character, and the name is just very cutesy to me. Bridget and Heidi are both a bit too dated for my tastes. Matilda I like, but it feels a bit heavy and serious with your other kids, so that would depend on how important it is to you to have a matched sibset (my feeling is that it's nice if all else is equal, but a stylistic mismatch shouldn't be a dealbreaker if you truly love the name).

Also, you should note for your DH's sake that Heidi is not a Swedish name (though it might get some use in Sweden, I'm not sure). It's a German nickname for Adelheid/Adelaide, which has Germanic origins. Would you or your DH be interested in suggestions for names that are Swedish?

Have you considered Amalia as a tribute to your sister? Given the variant spelling of Emalie, it's pretty close, and though it's rising in popularity, it's still very uncommon.

August 30, 2013 6:57 PM

I just want to chime in and say that my reaction to Rowan with Isla and Grant was the same as yours: that it works really well because of the Irish/Scottish connection.

August 30, 2013 9:37 PM

What great, thoughtful responses! I will think about it and get back to you tomorrow. I realized though that I meant Colette, not Cosette:) Theres a little girl I met named Colette and I thought it was sweets.

September 2, 2013 12:54 PM

I'm leaning towards these as my final 4 (5?) now, haven't pinned down middle names yet.


- Fiona- gonna convince the hubs, he's an easy mark ;-)

- Audrey


- Emmett

- Calvin


- Henry and Hazel are maybes...



September 3, 2013 10:11 PM

I love both Audrey and Fiona with your sibset. It's a tough pick between them. Maybe Audrey? But really both are great!

With the boys names I agree with previous posters that Rowan and Emmett work really well. If Rowan is still in the mix I'd vote for that, otherwise definitely Emmett. I don't care for Calvin in this case although it does work in the sibset, just not as well as the others.

Henry is very, very popular in my neck of the woods. Great name but your other options seem more in line with what you want! 

Hazel is great and a name I like but I think Audrey and Fiona work better for you.

September 3, 2013 2:07 AM

I'm loving Audrey Elizabeth and Emmett Brian. 

Audrey and Isla have a similar mix of spunk and elegance to my ears (both names on my list but dh says no). I love the name Emmett, and the family significance makes it a winner all the way for me. 

September 3, 2013 2:09 AM

Or Rowan Emmett for a boy - I do like the sibset with Rowan, as much as I do Emmett.