Middle Name Help!

We're expecting a girl in a couple of weeks. We are naming her (and calling her) Harriet. We're stuck on a middle name. Any thoughts on the following? 

Harriet Louise

Harriet Clare/Claire (will take thoughts on spelling)

I'm also open to other suggestions. We'd prefer something one or two syllables long. Last name ends in a -y so we'd like to avoid something that rhymes. We'd like to avoid anything too trendy.



By Guest (not verified)
July 30, 2012 2:47 PM


Harriet Elise

Harriet Elaine

Harriet June

Harriet Rose

Harriet Iris 


July 30, 2012 5:21 PM

Harriet Eloise

Harriet Lauren or Laurel

July 30, 2012 7:07 PM

I know a Harriette Jo and a Harriet Jane

July 31, 2012 11:02 AM

I like Harriet Louise but have to caution you that it sounds like a tribute name to the book Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. That's a plus for me!


July 31, 2012 12:41 PM

Even though I like the names separately, I think Harriet Claire repeats the "air" sound too much - it just sounds a bit harsh.

Harriet Louise flows nicely.

Harriet May?





July 31, 2012 1:36 PM

I'm amused that June keeps coming up! Harriet June and Harriet Jane both were on the long brainstorm list. We crossed of June because it came from the person who suggested Harriet and we didn't want to let her come up with the whole name. Jane we crossed off because I had an evil Aunt Jane. It's just interesting to see the similarities in what people think sounds good. 

I'm curious to know if everyone thinks the repeating "air" sound is harsh in Harriet Claire/Clare. One of our earlier short list names was Nora (nn for Eleanor) George. 

I appreciate the help! Keep it coming!

By Guest (not verified)
July 31, 2012 4:19 PM

Hi A23baby,

I agree that Harriet Claire is a bit unpleasant sounding because of the "air" sound.  I also find Claire an overused middle name, like Rose and Grace.  

I think that there are only so many names that work well as middle names to the multisyllabic first names that are in style, and have been for a while.  Think about how many kids of the 78's and 80's had mns Lynn, Lee, or Anne.

Have you considered a two-syllable mn?  I think that might work nicely with three-syllable Harriet.  Louise is great with Harriet, although that's another somewhat over-used mn. Elise (ditto)? Sabine? Doreen? Nadine? Claudine? For some reason I'm liking the -ine ending with Harriet. 

By Guest (not verified)
July 31, 2012 4:31 PM

I think Harriet Claire is fine. The "air" sound would only be truly applicable if the name were pronounced "HAIR-iet," which it's usually not. 

July 31, 2012 4:38 PM

Many parts of the United States do say HAIR-iet. It's all a question of whether your area is Mary-marry-merry merged or not.

I, for one, do say HAIR-iet.

July 31, 2012 4:51 PM

Agreed, I also say HAIR-iet, and I think the repeated air does sound a bit harsh.

I like Harriet Louise, which is saying something because I usually have an unreasonable dislike for Louise (sad, as it is my middle name).


By Guest (not verified)
July 31, 2012 9:07 PM

Maybe the child will just have to correct people that her name is not pronounced "HAIR-iet"? Or maybe the parents do want to pronounce it "HAIR-iet," in which case perhaps they should avoid the middle name of Claire. 



By mk
July 31, 2012 5:39 PM

I don't pronounce Harriet with an "air" sound but even when I try to, it still sounds fine with Claire to me. Not harsh.

August 1, 2012 4:47 AM

I love the name Harriet!

Harriet Claire doesn't rhyme or have too much 'air' sound for me. I don't love it though. I think I prefer Harriet Louise. Both are nice but they are pretty common middle names. If it's to honour someone then I think it's great, if it's a random middle name I think you could have better options.

I also love Harriet June

Harriet Lucinda

Harriet Allegra

Harriet Emmeline

Harriet Juniper (if you wanted a variation on June)

Harriet Nell

Harriet Eleanor (unless you wanted to keep Eleanor for a future bub)

Harriet Alice

Harriet Marin

Harriet Ondine

August 1, 2012 12:17 PM

Congratulations! Of your two options, I'd go with Harriet Louise over Harriet Claire. Claire does rhyme with Har- in Harriet in my accent; I can hear the difference in others' accents and could train myself to pronounce Harriet differently if someone asked me to, but it doesn't come naturally to me. I wouldn't call the combination harsh; it actually sounds OK to me with the rhyme, but I like Louise better. Then, I have a soft spot for Louise (it's a family name for me), plus I like that it's a bit more unusual. If you go with Claire/Clare, I'm more drawn to the Claire spelling in general (and I like it better visually with Harriet), but both versions of the name have nice associations. Claire is French and shares its spelling with the word for "clear/bright," which highlights the meaning for me, while Clare brings to mind the saint and the county in Ireland. If you are Catholic and/or have ties to the Emerald Isle I like the idea of going with the latter.

As far as coming up with alternatives, it might be helpful to know what drew you to Claire and Louise. If you like the sounds of Claire and Louise, try on the following for size (my favorites in bold/italics): Harriet Carlotta, Harriet Carol, Harriet Carys/Charis, Harriet Chiara, Harriet Chloe, Harriet Cora, Harriet Coral, Harriet Corinne, Harriet Creagh (pronounced CREE-uh), Harriet Elise, Harriet Eloise, Harriet Liesel, Harriet Lisette, Harriet Lois, Harriet Lucia/Lucy, Harriet Lucille, Harriet Lucinda.

If the C or L initials are meaningful to you, I'll add these: Harriet Caitlin, Harriet Calantha, Harriet Callista, Harriet Camilla/Camille, Harriet Candace, Harriet Cassandra, Harriet Catriona, Harriet Cecilia, Harriet Celeste, Harriet Celia, Harriet Ciel, Harriet Chelsea, Harriet Cherie, Harriet Christa, Harriet Christine, Harriet Claudia, Harriet Clemence, Harriet Clothilde, Harriet Clover, Harriet Colette, Harriet Colleen, Harriet Constance, Harriet Cordelia, Harriet Coretta, Harriet Cynthia, Harriet Laine, Harriet Larissa, Harriet Lark, Harriet Laurel, Harriet Leah, Harriet Leona, Harriet Lenore, Harriet Letitia, Harriet Liberty, Harriet Lila/Leila, Harriet Lilith, Harriet Lily, Harriet Lindsay, Harriet Linnea, Harriet Liv, Harriet Loretta, Harriet Loveday, Harriet Luna, Harriet Lydia, Harriet Lynn, Harriet Lyra.

I agree with you and others that short, snappy names like Jane and June work particularly well. A few more along those lines: Harriet Ann/Anne, Harriet Belle, Harriet Beth, Harriet Biss, Harriet Blythe, Harriet Bree, Harriet Briar, Harriet Brynne, Harriet Dawn, Harriet Dove, Harriet Faith, Harriet Fay, Harriet Fern, Harriet Fleur, Harriet Frost, Harriet Grace, Harriet Inez, Harriet Iris, Harriet Ivy, Harriet Jade, Harriet Jill, Harriet Kate, Harriet Mae/May, Harriet Maeve, Harriet Nell, Harriet Neve, Harriet Nora, Harriet Oona/Una, Harriet Pearl, Harriet Pippa, Harriet Quinn, Harriet Rose, Harriet Ruth, Harriet Sage, Harriet Skye, Harriet Sloane, Harriet Star, Harriet Vera, Harriet Vine, Harriet Zoe

And a few others: Harriet Alice, Harriet Estelle, Harriet Hazel, Harriet Ingrid, Harriet Maura, Harriet Rachel, Harriet Rivka, Harriet Simone, Harriet Willa ....

Anything here strike your fancy? Harriet Lark is my favorite so far.

August 1, 2012 2:58 PM

The suggestion of Harriet Lark made me think of Harriet Wren.  I love this combination. There's something extremely pleasant about it visually and aurally. The -eh vowel sound tempers my impulse to say hairy-ett, soften the sound so it's more like heh-ri-et.  I guess it makes sense- Hen is a nickname for Harriet and rhymes with Wren. So that has my enthusiastic vote! What do you think?

ETA:I think Hen is actually a nn for Henrietta, not Harriet. A closely related name, but not the same. Come to think of it, I prefer Harriet Wren and Henrietta Claire, but not vice versa.

August 1, 2012 3:34 PM

Harriet Wren is inspired! Wish I'd thought of it but glad you did. :-)

August 1, 2012 4:24 PM

Inspired by your suggestions, Kalmia :). I hope the op likes it too!

By hwar
August 4, 2012 10:54 PM

I love the name Harriet!

I do notice and dislike the repetition of sounds in Harriet Claire, even though I like both names separately.  Harriet Louise is very appealing. My hesitation with Harriet Louise is that the names are both a bit dowdy. I love old lady names but I think it's possible that in combination they can end up a little dumpy depending on what the kid is like.  Louise teeters for me between sassy and modern sounding (the "Lou") and grumpy matron (the "wheeze").  It does pass my name test, though, which is that it's a name I would like to have myself.

If you wanted to go more fresh and modern in the middle, I like the previous poster's suggestion of Wren.  The one syllable names sound great with Harriet.