More help for #3 please

We have two daughters, Carys and Harper. I'm 32 weeks with #3 and trying to whittle down our lists. We haven't found out the gender, so trying to choose a boy and girl name.

For a girl, we are both pretty settled on Annabel. But which spelling do you prefer, Annabelle or Annabel? Our last name rhymes with Vancullen, so I was leaning toward Annabel just to have less letters, but I know Annabelle is the more common spelling. Also, for the middle name we are clueless. We did family names for our first two, one from my side and one from his. This time, we were thinking of choosing an "L" name to honor my sisters (Lisa and Lynnette), but that doesn't work with the L ending of Annabel. For a boy, we are pretty set on husband's name Scott for the middle name, but would this work for Annabel? Annabel Scott sounds nice to me and my husband likes it, but is it weird to give her her father's name?

For a boy, we are all over the place. My husband loves Declan and I'm rooting for William nn. Liam. Obviously my choice is way more popular, but I'm okay with that. My husband is not a fan of having a nickname that is commonly a given name, but I really love both William and Liam. I don't love the rhyming sound of Declan with our last name. For this same reason, we have vetoed Soren and Ronan, even though we both like them. Any thoughts on which boy name matches our daughter's names best? Any other suggestions?? 



February 7, 2014 11:23 AM

Getting close to go-time, congrats! I love Annabelle/Annabel. For some reason I like Annabelle better, though either one is perfectly fine. That's weird though because I like Isabel better than Isabelle. I think Scott is a fine middle name. I know a couple girls my age and younger that have their father's or another male name as their middle name and I always thought it was cute and spunky. So Scott gets my vote! The only other suggestions I have for a middle is Elizabeth as the name Lisa can come from Elizabeth, but then that leaves out Lynnette. 

I like both William nn Liam and Declan. I like Declan a bit more because of the popularity issue with Liam, but both are great names. The rhyming doesn't bother me much, but I tend to like sort of sing-song-y names as I find them easy to remember. Some other suggestions are: Finn, Cormac, Levi, Broderick nn Brody, and my son's name, Conrad. 

February 7, 2014 12:48 PM

Both Annabel and Annabelle have their pros and cons (fewer letters versus more common/expected). If (like me) you like both spellings equally, I'd say go for the shorter one -- you'd likely need to correct the spelling pretty often either way. There's also Anabel, if you really want to keep it simple!

I don't recommend spending too much time or thought on middle name flow -- they're so seldom used that it's not worth the effort, really. I suppose you could try for some sort of mashup using Elisabeth instead of Lisa (Elin? Elynn?), but -bel El- isn't any improvement over -bel L-, so choose whatever's most meaningful to you and your family. (Hmm: Bethlynn? You'd definitely need to explain that one.)

I think male middles for girls are OK as long as they're chosen for family reasons, not because people think it'd be cute or some such. So Annabel Scott V- works fine (especially since Scott is also often a surname).

The ten-year-old Declan in our extended family has a sister with Harper for a middle name, so I think it fits the siblings, and I don't mind the almost-echo with your surname. (It's far better than my daughter's preschool classmate named F0ster, surname Sh4ffer.) I also rather like Ronan with the siblings, and again don't really mind the slight echo. William/Liam works, too, especially if your surname is uncommon enough that the easy/common given name would actually be a good thing -- but Declan is the Kevin of the current generation, so it will not be likely to present any spelling and pronunciation difficulties, either.

So to sum up: you really can't go wrong, but my favorites are Annabel and Declan, and to simplify life, Scott for the middle name either way. But William, Ronan, and a girl's middle with L- (Lily, Laura, Luna) would also work fine.

February 7, 2014 2:19 PM

I prefer the Annabelle spelling; if a name is long already, what's two extra characters? :) Annabel isn't bad, but it looks sorta unfinished.

I can't come up with an L-name that would work as a middle name with Annabelle, so I say go with Scott. (I don't think it's a clashing-L's problem: Annabelle Lynne V- would be lovely, but it would honor one sister over the other.) Alternatively, go up your family tree to see if there's a maiden name that you could use.

For the boy's name, I'm afraid that Declan really will be this generation's Kevin: it'll date-stamp your little boy like nobody's business. In contrast, yes, William nn Liam is much more popular, but there's no way to guess the age of someone named "William" just from the name. It's popular, but not trendy, whereas Declan is the other way around. On the other hand, I do agree that Declan "matches" your daughters' names "better", for whatever "matches" and "better" mean in this context.

February 7, 2014 3:32 PM

I'm afraid I'm not much help on the spelling issue.  My favorite version has always been Anabel.  :)   I agree with previous posters that Annabel does look unfinished, so I guess Annabelle would be better.  Or perhaps Annabell?  Really I'm not sure it matters that much, there is only a 2 letter difference, so I think you should pick the spelling that looks most right to you.

I like the suggestion of Elizabeth, though that really only honors Lisa.  Lisette could work as a mashup, the start of Lisa + end of Lynette.  I agree flow isn't ideal with the first name, but I don't think it really matters so much.  Most people will never hear her first + middle together.

Scott does work and I don't think it is weird to giver her dad's name.  I happen to be a big fan of cross-gender namesakes.

For boys, I lean towards William/Liam.  William is so classic, I don't see it ever sounding date-stamped like Declan or just Liam might.  William will also provide him options if he ever decides he does't want to use Liam for whatever reason.  

I also really like Ronan, I don't think it is as problematic with the last name as Declan.  The shared C/K sound in Declan Vancullen makes it seem more sing-songy than Ronan Vancullen.  In fact, I might like Ronan a little better than William as far as matching the style of Carys & Harper.

February 13, 2014 4:03 PM

Thanks everyone for the feedback! I think we are both loving Annabelle Scott, even though the spelling may change. For a boy, we aren't in complete agreement yet, but we are keeping Declan and William/Liam on the list, as neither of us hate the other's choice! We are also really considering Soren. We initially ruled out any -en or -an endings because of our last name, but this is still a name we both really like. Would Soren Scott be too much? Other options for middle name would be David or Thomas, thoughts? Also, still open to new ideas for boys. I liked the suggestion of Cormac and Levi. Both were on my list until husband vetoed. 

Lisette was my plan for the middle name if it is a girl, as it's a perfect blend of my sister's names. It also has the old-fashioned sound that matches the middles of our first two, Delphine and Alice. But I just don't like it with Annabelle, and I don't think I want to go back to the drawing board for another first name :)  


February 13, 2014 6:42 PM

I just met a newborn named Alistair Soren for whatever that's worth.

February 14, 2014 10:54 AM

I know a little Annabelle whose sister-on-the-way will be named Harper, so those names go together for me! I like Annabelle Scott too -- Lisette would have been cool for the reasons you mentioned, but the connection to your sisters aside, I think Annabelle fits with Delphine and Alice and Scott (for a girl) fits more with Carys and Harper, so I think Annabelle Scott is still well-balanced and fitting with your other two girls. I personally prefer the spelling Annabel with Carys and Harper, but Annabelle is certainly very pretty as well.

I like all your boy names! I like alliteration, so I don't think Soren Scott is too much, though I admit I'd prefer Declan, William/Liam, or Cormac because of the Celtic feel, which fits more with your daughters. (Incidentally, the little Harper-on-the-way I know is so named because of the Irish harp -- I love that!) (If it's helpful, if the Harper I know was a boy, she was to be Henry.) I like all your middle name options for boys too. Good luck!

February 24, 2014 8:30 PM

Annabel, I think you should go with less letters considering your last name. Also, the "L" names that work as a middle name with Annabel are fairly lengthy.

I think there are "L" names that would work with Annabel. If you want an "L" middle name just pick one that stands clearly on its own. I like Annabel Lorraine. Not Leah, Layla, Laura, etc. They would all sound like extended endings of Annabel. Lorraine is clearly not an extension.

I would consider Scott if you have a boy but I wouldn't use it for a girl's middle name. There are feminine variations of Scott; Scottina, Scotia, and Scotti come to mind.

I like the alliteration of Declan Vancullen and I think it sounds better together than William Vancullen which is close to forming alliteration but just misses the mark. Better to go together or not at all than to almost alliterate.

Someone else mentioned Allistair. I was going to say the same thing. I think it sounds lovely with Carys and Harper. Allistair Scott Vancullen would be an excellent choice.