Some feedback on a few girls names........

We haven't seriously started discussing names yet, and we don't know whether we are having a boy or girl. Several of the names I'm contemplating get discussed frequently, but a few others are rarely mentioned, so I thought I'd get some feedback on those that don't get a lot of discussion.

What are your thoughts and impressions on (would be a sibling to Astrid):



April 22, 2013 1:34 AM

Fun! It's nice to contemplate new names.

*Eirlys --> Want to like it but read it as "Airless", which doesn't feel flattering somehow, even though it's not really insulting fpr a person not to be full of air...

*Otillie --> I'm a fan, but should I be reading it as a 3-syllable French name or a 4-syllable German one? (Also, I may be wrong, but doesn't it usually have two Ts and one L?)

*Saskia--> "Adorable" is the first name that came to mind. Now, I don't know if that's what you're going for, but I really like it both visually and aurally and think that it might actually be my favourite with Astrid.

*Zosia --> Like it in theory and love how it looks, but have to rethink how to pronounce it every time I see it written. ZOH-sha?

*Isolde/Iseult --> Much prefer Isolde and actually think that it's an intriguing sibling name for Astrid. Unexpected but somehow really works for me.

*Thais --> tah-EES, as though it had a ï? Not a fan. I can't help but read it as multiple people from Thailand.

*Ariadne --> Fantastic name, though I'm not positive that I'm feeling it with Astrid.

April 22, 2013 6:43 AM

I thought it would be good to talk about some of these some more before I decide whether they go on the shortlist or not....... we seem to talk about a few favourites a lot (Allegra, Cordelia, Xanthe, Zinnia etc) but some of the others don't get much air time!

Eirlys - This was a middle name only option last time around due to the potential pronunciation issue. We would use eithe IRE-liss or IRE-lees but the 'airless' thing had occurred to me and it's a definite negative.

Ottilie (my typo, it should be two T's and 1 L!) - I like both the French and German pronunciations. We use the French pronunciation for our daughter's middle name so hubby might be tempted to go French again. Last time around Ottilie was middle name only in the end so I think it's most likely to be in that category again. I'm quite keen on another French middle since we recently lived in France for a few months and it would be a nice connectio if we had another girl. I do have Delphine on the list too though which I'm very fond of.

Saskia - wasn't even on my radar last time around but I am really growing to like it. I also think it works well with Astrid and has a similar quirky/spunky vibe.

Zosia - Again this wasn't on the radar last time around. I have heard both Zoh-SHA and Zaw-shah and I do like both. i'm not sure if it's too different though and/or two tied to the actress from Girls?

Isolde/Iseult - This was on my long list last time but I never got around to suggesting it to hubby as we had a lot of other options.  I think I"m leaning towards Isolde as well. Again it has pronunciation issues but nothing too substantial I hope.

Thaïs - yep it should have the accent over the i........ now you mention it, it does look like the plural of Thai.  Given no accents get recorded on birth certificates or pretty much anything else legal here that could be a problem.

Ariadne - I still love this although I'm less inclined to do another A name unless it really is the one.

April 22, 2013 12:12 PM

Eirlys: I have no idea how to pronounce this; "airless" definitely comes to mind. Unfortunately Gaelic spelling so completely re-purposes the alphabet that it really ought to use a whole new set of symbols -- it'd be less misleading.

Ottilie: some pronunciation question (I'd default to OH-till-ee, is that even remotely close?), but I like Ottilia.

Saskia: for some reason I think of this as a Star Trek name; it actually works surprisingly well with Astrid.

Zosia: again, no idea about pronunciation, and I can't even really "place" it as a name: what's its origin?

Isolde: nice literary/historical flair, but it could blend in with all the Isabellas around (dunno if you have them there).

Iseult: much like Isolde, but even less likely to be familiar to most people. I'd like it with a proper French pronunciation (which I can't quite manage).

Thais: I recognize the Greek name in there, but without diacritics it looks like the plural of Thai, so it would not be an easy name to live with.

Ariadne: I love this name, and I actually know someone (college student) named this. She goes alternately by Ariadne and Annie. The repeated initial is the only sticking point, although some people would consider that a plus.


All in all, I like Saskia and Ariadne best of this list, with Ottilie and Isolde second.

April 22, 2013 5:41 PM

Just to point out that there are other historical spellings of Isolde, including Isolt, Yseult, Isolt, Isolda, Isotta, Esyllt, some with altered prounciations as well.  If I were planning to use this name, personally I would choose Yseult.

April 23, 2013 11:26 PM

OH-till-ee would probably be what people would use, but I do prefer the German pronunciation (with the schwa) although I think it would be next to impossible to enforce unless we used the Ottilia version (which would get closer).

Zosia is Polish and is related to Sonia/Sonya.  

Isabella/Isabelle is popular here....... I also have the same concern about Cordelia blending into Amelias here (Amelia is very popular). I would have thought Isolde would probably stand out. Although Astrid gets misheard as  Ashleigh all the time!

I think Thais, is just too difficult now I think about it with the lack of diacritical marks being recorded. It maybe OK for a middle but I'm even questioning that.

I'm undecided on the matching starting initial thing. I'd ideally like to avoid another A name (hubby is also an A) but I won't rule them out entiely at this stage.

April 22, 2013 7:10 PM

Tier 1 names from this group would be Otillie, Zosia, Isolde.  I really like all of these, especially Isolde.  

I'm going to call Eirlys & Ariadne solid middle name contenders.  In a vacuum, I would call them both tier one.  Eirlys especially is a name I've always loved the sound of-and the meaning of snowdrop makes it even better.  However, I think the constant pronunciation problems would really annoy me.  Ariadne is also a name I really like for you, but the repeated first initial bothers me.  If it were the only great name on your list, I'd encourage you to do use it anyway. But since you do have other really nice names on the list, I lean more towards not using it.  

Tier 2 names are Saskia & Iseult.  Neither are bad, I just don't find the sound of Saskia as nice as some of the others & the Isolde spelling is visually better to me for some reason.

Thais is the only name I really don't care for.  The correct pronunciation is difficult and the similarity to "more than one person from Thailand" gives me pause.  I do like the related name Thaisiya, though getting proper pronunciation would still concern me.


April 23, 2013 11:29 PM

Your reasoning is why we had Eirlys as a middle name only contender last time. I think it will end up the same this time too.  

I thin with Ariadne if the baby seems to fit the name I'd use it as a first but I'm inclined to use a different initial if one of the other names is a hot contender.


By mk
April 22, 2013 9:49 PM

I like Ariadne and Isolde but have to admit that I'd have a hard time pronouncing most of the others. Thais and Saskia are my least favorite.

I don't think repeating intitials is a big deal, people should do it if they have names the like that share a first initial.

April 23, 2013 11:31 PM

Thais seems to be universally problematic for everyone, which is good to know..... I think it's just too hard to use here. In another country it might be more usable.

Interesting that people are very split on Saskia.....

By hyz
April 23, 2013 3:16 PM

I thought I replied here the other day, but apparently I forgot to hit post....

In any event, I will say that Saskia is by far my favorite from this list.  I love it on its own, and I think it pairs perfectly with Astrid.  To me, Saskia sounds pretty, smart, upbeat, and interesting.  I like all the others in theory, but there is something about each that gives me pause.  Zosia is my second favorite, I think, but it seems like it may have some pronunciation problems, possibly minor.  Ariadne might be my third choice--I tend to avoid repeating initials, and Ariadne honestly isn't a personal favorite of mine, but I think it might be more "wearable" than others on the list which I theoretically like better.  I like Isolde, and I want to love it, but again, pronunciation is an issue, and I think you will get "I sold" a lot, both as a mispronunciation and as a lame joke.  I'd be tempted to change it to Isolda, but maybe that just yields "I sold a what?" jokes.  I like Iseult and Yseult, but Iseult particularly makes me think of insult--and again, pronunciation confusion may abound.  Eirlys is lovely on the page, but the sound of either "airless" or "ireless" are not ideal, even though they are not necessarily bad in meaning.  Ottilie is another one I want to like but can't quite get behind--the sound (assuming you are not saying the last syllable as a schwa, as in German) makes me think of oddly and haughtily, and is a bit awkward for me to say.  Thais is only ok for me, and I would generally avoid any first names requiring diacritics/accents for proper pronunciation, although I think they are fair game for middle names.    

April 23, 2013 11:33 PM

The 'I sold' thing is what gives me pause about Isolde/Iseult.  It's a name I really do like in theory though (and I do like the Yseult variant too).

Ottilie I think sounds less like Oddly and Haugtily in our accent but both of those had occurred to me.

I agree that Saskia is a good match with Astrid, I'm just unsure whether I love it as much as some others on the list. It is definitely on the short list to be husband vetted though.

By Coll
May 6, 2013 8:21 AM

I love Zosia, Ottlie, and Saskia for you. They are all short, have a lot of impact, have a sophisticated/Continental feeling, and also seem spunky and cute. And I think they work well with Astrid. And have reasonably straightforward pronunciations I LOVE Isolde and being an opera fan have no worries about pronunciation or it seeming strange. many opera fans does one encounter on a regular basis?

May 6, 2013 7:15 PM

Thanks Coll, I do think that Zosia, Ottilie and Saskia all have that vibe which is why I like them (and like them as a sib for Astrid).  Nice to find another Isolde fan......  :)

May 24, 2013 8:39 PM

Chimu, many congratulations! 


For what it's worth, I love Saskia and Isolde (in any form) with Astrid. The only drawbask I see to Saskia is its shared "AS" sounds with Astrid, but that's also part of why they mesh well together. As long as you're not prone to calling for "Sastrid and Askia"... ;p


Isolde is a guilty pleasure of mine, partly because of the Tristan and Isolde legend but mainly because of Maud Gonne's daughter, Isolde Gonne MacBride, who infamously inspired many of WB Yeats' poems and plays (along with her mother, but that's another story). Anyway, the "I sold a" problem is potentially best solved with a variant spelling: I'll second (or third) Yseult, which carries a kind of continental air, a la Yvonne/Yvette while echoing the mythological Ygraine. 


In any case, with such a lovely list, you can't really lose :)

Best of luck in your pregnancy & best wishes for a happy healthy and well-named babe!