Starting the debate for number three!

Ok, so no positive test yet, but we're starting to talk names in prep (as this is going to be a long debate--we ended up taking forever with our daughter this last time).

We have Alex@nder J@mes (X@nder) and Ev@ngeline K@thryn (Ev!e) currently. All were family names. There are a lot of family names we cannot use, so just be prepped that I might have to shoot down suggestions that would normally be an awesome fit simply because someone else is currently named that. Last name is Sh@ffer.

He came up with just one name he liked for a boy and one for a girl: Stephen/Steven and Erin/Aryn/Aeryn. In the (recent) past he has like Maximus, Octavian, Augustus, Cassandra, Angelique, and Cassiopeia (I can't stand any of those). 

I sent him my list, and this is what is left after he vetoed names I suggested:

Boys: Patrick, Matthew/Matthias, Benjamin, Samuel, Nathaniel  (middles only--family names): Stephen (I moved this to a middle only), Richard, Theodore (he moved this to a middle only)

Girls: Anneliese, Lydia, Caroline, Madeleine, Isadora  (middles only): Elisabeth/Elspeth, Gabrielle(a) 

Names that he vetoed (that I love!): Zachariah, Oliver, Edward, Jameson/Jamison, Margaret, Olivia, Linnea, Eleanor, Leanora, Cecelia


Nathaniel is almost the same as my cousin, Nathan who goes by Nate. I would want to use Thane or Tate for a nickname (not fond of Nate or Nat). Is it too close to Nathan? Does Thane with the Sha-- last name sound too much like a lisp?

Patrick and Benjamin -- Initial difficulties:  PS and BS. 

Anneliese would give two kids the same initials, leaving one odd man out. While I would like to have more children, we are approaching 40, so who knows if we actually could/would have a fourth.

Lydia seems so short in length when put with the other two. Plus the only nickname I could think of would be Lyd. Which seems weird when we chose the other two because they would have a formal name and many choices of nicknames.

I'm really bummed that Margaret and Leanora were vetoed. Those are my two favorites. I love the idea of a Maisie/Maggie or a Lea/Nora. Oh well. Once he decided he doesn't like a name, that's it for him. 

Thoughts on combos? Other suggestions I could make for him to veto? ;-)



July 13, 2012 3:28 AM

To add: we pronounce Ev@ngeline with the -leen ending, not the -liyn ending.

Would Caroline (-liyn ending) or Madeleine (-liyn ending) be too weird?

July 13, 2012 6:16 AM

Ok I'll have a go.....  

From the boys first name list I think they could all work well. I think Matthias/Matt might be the most 'interesting' choice with a standard nickname. Patrick nn Paddy has always been a favourite of mine. I actually really like Nathaniel nn Thane/Tate. Benjamin and Samuel are nice but a Ben and Sam is a little plain (for me) against Xander/Evie. Of your middle name options I love Theodore but I think Stephen and Richard make good options. You could potentially use any of the non used first names as well so you have some good choices there.  

I don't find Thane Sh@ffer too lispy. I can see what you mean but it isn't too bad and I'd keep it in contention. The PS initials for Patrick wouldn't phase me at all. BS is a slight downside but it wouldn't be a dealbreaker for me.

From the girls list I adore most of those names. I think Isadora is awesome, but would you use a nickname? Isa or Dora seem like the logical options and I don't mind either but some people might not like the Dora the explorer link. Madeleine isn't too matchy with Evangeline to me.  The sounds and cadence are different enough. I like Madeleine but abhor Maddy (just a personal thing). Maddy/addy is very popular at the moment so you may not want to go there. Likewise with Caroline, I don't find them too matchy, it also avoids the Maddy issue. I like Caroline as slightly more unexpected than Madeleine. Lydia looks shorter but it's still 3 syllables and I do like it next to the other names. Lyddy could be a good nickname? I don't like Lid/Lyd much but Lyddy sounds nice. I honestly don't think it 'needs' a nickname though. Anneliese is awesome! I have friends who have 3 kids and one of them is Alexander and another Anneliese! Both go by their full names but I think Annie is adorable for a nickname if you want one, Anne and Leese/Leesy are also good options. I don't think the repeated initials are a problem in this instance. I wouldn't use a J middle with an A first but don't rule out Anneliese on the inital. I think Elspeth/Elisabeth and Gabriela make great middles. 

A lot of the names I thought of are on your veto list (Oliver, Margaret, Eleanor, Edward, Olivia) :( Here are some that I still thought might work, lets see if any can hit the mark!

Boys: Sebastian, Nicholas/Nicolai, Edmund, Tobias, Elias, Thomas, Finnegan, Dominic, Alistair, Wesley, Lachlan, Henry, Maximillian (Max)

Girls: Genevieve, Marguerite, Penelope, Josephine, Harriet (Hattie), Helena (Nell), Susannah, Sylvia, Vivienne, Juliet

In summary: of the definitely on the table options I like Nathaniel Theodore for a boy. Runner up would be Patrick  or Matthias.

My first choice for a girl would be Anneliese Gabriela with a runner up of Lydia and Isadora.


July 13, 2012 10:19 AM

Thank you for the analysis!

Yeah, I was kinda disappointed that DH relegated Theodore to the middle name slot, but I too think the boys' list is pretty workable with several options. Is it too weird to get Jamie out of Benjamin? I like Jamie far better than Ben anyway. My leanings currently (who knows what it will be by the time we actually get a positive!) are toward either Nathaniel Theodore (Theodore is a great-uncle on my side and a great-uncle on DH side) or Nathaniel Stephen (Stephen is my dad's name).

From the ones you suggested, I've been toying with Sebastian, but having a really hard time getting past The Little Mermaid connection (plus that was one of my favorites growing up and DH's--he even named a cat after Ariel and had Little Mermaid sheets). I like Edmund and Tobias (but DH has vetoed in the past). I prefer Maxwell to Maximillian, but DH prefers Maximus, so we've hit a crossroads with the nn Max (which we both like). Plus, for some reason I think Max Sh@ffer sounds really Jewish (which we aren't)?

I was thinking of using Sadie for a nn for Isadora. I'm not keen on the Dora thing, and I don't like Izzy (which is what I think we'd have to fight with the public), but I love Isa (Ee-sa, the Spanish pronunciation) and Sadie. Yep--I don't even like Maddie/Maddy as a nn; haven't come up with a nn I could use for this one. I do love Caroline (nn Callie, Caddie, or Linny). Lyddy isn't too bad. Since we do nn's with the other two, I want at least a workable option for a nn so they don't feel left out. ;-) Anneliese is probably my favorite. It melds together two family names that we can't use by themselves. I love Annie and Liese for nn's. 

Oh, you hit a good chunk of the "I wish" names the girl list. :-) Family names that are unusable: Harriet/Harriette, Josephine (I cried over this one), Helena, and Vivienne/Vivian. DH vetoed Marguerite and Helena as "too out there". Susannah and Sylvia and Juliet duplicate initials, so DH doesn't really want them (but he didn't veto Anneliese for a repeating initial either).

I'm thinking Anneliese is the front runner, but we'd have to argue a whole lot. ;-) Isadora is probably the second choice, plus that gives us kids with "A, E, I" names in order with 4 syllable first names. Hee hee.

July 13, 2012 10:36 AM

Ooh, I love the nn Sadie for Isadora!

July 13, 2012 12:41 PM

I agree - Isadora nicknamed Sadie is great, and goes really well with your other kids' names.

July 13, 2012 3:58 PM

Since my son has the same name as yours, I'll suggest the names of my other two children: Sarah Br0nwyn and Peter J0seph.

I joked when pregnant with my third that we should go with Iris, with Otto and Lulu for a fourth and fifth to maintain the repeating vowels.

I don't think there's any problem with having two children with the same initial, especially since their nicknames would begin with different letters. Can't imagine how you would get a nickname beginning with 'X' out of Anneliese!

July 14, 2012 5:12 AM

Oh I'm glad I got close to the mark with the suggestions. I think Nathaniel and Anneliese are the picks of the names for various reasons, so happy to see they are your front runners!

I don't think Jamie from Benjamin is weird. I kind of like it as an alternative to Ben. I think it is something you would have to implement from an early age. Benjamin is one of those names that gets nicked to Ben almost inevitably unless you instigate an alternative. I know a couple of Benji's who are Benjamin on the birth certificate. All others seem to go as Ben.

Sebastian doesn't seem Little Mermaid to me at all.  But maybe it does to others? I almost suggested Maxwell of Maximus. I think Max works well with the sibset. If only you could agree on the longer version of the name! I don't think Max Sh@ffer sounds Jewish. I'm not always the best judge of these things but it certainly doesn't scream Jewish at all to me.

Sadie for Isadora is really cute.  I like the ee-sa (Isa) option too. I think you wouldn't have too many problems avoiding Izzy as a nickname. It's not a common enough name that people would automatically go there. I certainly wouldn't.

Madeleine nicknames: Maybe Dell, Della, Delia? Laine? Lainey? Some of them might be a stretch but I could see them working.

Lydia: Lyddy, Dee, Deeah/Dia.

I don't think the spelling variations of Anneliese are that big of an issue. Anneliese is the most common spelling (I think, I haven't checked). But, certainly it is one of the most popular. I also don't think it's too German. None of the Anneliese's I've known are German or have any German heritage.  

Maybe see if your DH is still unsure on the names he thinks are too out there or duplicate initials. I really think that Isadora is more out there than Susannah or Marguerite!!  (I love all 3 names, but honestly Isadora is probably the least common and well known of them all). 

I think you have a pretty solid list, with good frontrunners.  If I were you I'd refloat names that have been vetoed in the past. He might have changed his opinion in the last couple of years :)

July 16, 2012 3:18 AM

I'm going to run through my lists again. I found lists from when we were talking about baby #2 (which wasn't that long ago!) and also from about 7 years ago (when we weren't talking names), so I'll run those by him too.


July 16, 2012 6:56 AM

It will be interesting to see what else you come up with!  Your Xander is pretty close in age to my daughter from memory? She just turned one! I am so not ready for another one yet but I do enjoy helping everyone else name theirs in the meantime :)

July 16, 2012 11:40 AM

No, he's my almost 11 year old. :-) My Ev!e is almost 15 months. However, I'm an older mom, so we're making plans and not really preventing at this point. ;-)

July 16, 2012 8:38 PM

I do remember you posting about names when I was pregnant so it must have been for Evie!  Hopefully, it won't be long til they get a brother or sister :) I am also not a spring chicken so maybe next year will be a baby year again.

July 17, 2012 9:10 AM

Oh, that would be fun! :-)


July 13, 2012 2:53 PM

Not to talk you out of Anneliese, but it does have more variant spellings/pronunciations than Evangeline and Alexander.  It does remind me of Liesel from Sound of Music. :)

I have an Evangeline, and for 2 months of my pregnancy I was calling her Lydia.  (Husband vetoed it.) it's such a classic name, with 3 syllables even though it's short.  When I talked to that baby in my belly, I called her Lydie, and Lydie Lou.  

I also got hung up on Charlotte, nn Lottie, but that doesn't work with your name, does it?

Matthias would also be on my boy list, but my brother called dibs.  He wants to name his kids Sonia and Matthias.  Whenever he finds the right girl and has some....  If you had a Matthias, would you call him by his full name? Matt? Matty?

I like Matthias for you, and Nathaniel nn Thane.  Patrick and Benjamin seem ordinary next to them.

July 13, 2012 3:01 PM

Yep--my hesitation with Anneliese is the spelling/pronunciation variations, the duplicate first initial, and I'm worried that it's "too German" next to the others.

Oh, I adore Charlotte nn Lottie, but that is exactly the problem. The alliteration with the last name just doesn't work. I deal with it every day with my name, but I made the concious decision to take on the alliteration. I would hate to give that to a kiddo. Plus my husband hates the name. *sigh*

Probably Matt for Matthias, but I'm not sure.

July 14, 2012 5:13 AM

I thought maybe Matthias could go by Ty or Tee (depending on whether you are using the pronunciation Mat-tee-as or Mat-ty-as)

July 15, 2012 1:53 AM

Hmm... I need to ponder that. I like that it isn't the "usual" nickname. :-) 

July 15, 2012 10:40 AM

would hubby go for Margot Anneliese or Anneliese Margo Sh@ffer?  i like what you picked, but was trying to fit in the mar type name you like. i also really like Mathias Stephen with Alexander. as far as jamie for benjamin, it could work, but my jokester hubby and me would probably use Jammin' !

July 16, 2012 3:16 AM

Hubby gets Maggot out of Margot (or started singing "Margot Escargot"). *sigh* He's just not fond of the "mar" sound. Oh well.


LOL about Jammin'!


July 16, 2012 6:58 AM

Margot also reminds me of Maggot (even though I like the name) so my preferred spelling is Margaux. If he doesn't like the 'Mar' sound though I'm not sure you are going to win that one.

July 16, 2012 11:41 AM

Yeah--he's vetoed them. This is starting to remind me of the Friends episode when Ross and Rachel are first debating names for Emma. Phoebe, "Is it just me or is Veto starting to sound good?" 

August 4, 2012 11:02 AM

Ok--so we talked about previous lists of names, and other names I was trying to work in there somehow...

Our current list now reads:

Matthew/Matthias (leaning Matthias)
Stephen (middle only)*
Andrew (middle only)*
Richard (middle only)*
Theodore (middle only)*

Elisabeth*/Elspeth (middle only)*
Charlotte (middle only)*
Gabrielle/Gabriella (middle only)

*family/honor names of some sort

We don't agree on top picks, but that can come later. I was only able to convince DH on Eleanora/Leanora because it's Greek like the other kids' names. :-) Whatever works. 

My favorites at the moment: Nathaniel Stephen, nn of Tate and Leanora Anneliese (3 syllables), nn of Lea or Nora.

His favorites at the moment: Patrick Stephen, no nn and Anneliese Gabrielle (4 syllable Anneliese), no nn.

I'm just glad to have a few additional choices in there. :-) 

By EVie
August 4, 2012 2:14 PM

Nice set of choices! For boys, I think maybe Benjamin is my favorite—maybe Benjamin Patrick, Benjamin Stephen or Benjamin Richard? Actually, Theodore is really my favorite, but you've got it marked middle-only... Benjamin Theodore could work, I suppose, though it's two long names of identical meter, so I guess I would reluctantly say no. Patrick Theodore or Matthias Theodore? Too much -th- sound in the second, maybe.

Of your girls' names, I love most of them. Jillian/Gillian is a bit dated to me, and Madeleine comes a bit too close to the trends (though I love this traditional French spelling much more than the trendy versions or even the Anglicized Madeline). They both work really nicely in the middle slot, though. I prefer the simpler Eleanor to Eleanora, and the spelling Leonora to Leanora (Leonora is the traditional spelling with which I'm familiar, and Leanora looks like a mistake to me. Also, don't tell your DH, but these names aren't really Greek! They're actually derived from a Provençal name (Aliénor) of uncertain etymology. It may be related to the Greek Helen via Italian Elena, but it also could have a separate Latin or Germanic derivation). 

In terms of your combos: Nathaniel Stephen is great, but Patrick Stephen is too choppy for me with your last name (if I remember it right, it's also two syllables with the stress on the first, right?) Leanora Anneliese doesn't really work for me—the -a An- runs together a lot, and the meters of the two names are very similar (even with the 3-syllable Anneliese), which makes it also sound choppy. I also prefer the 4-syllable Anneliese. Anneliese Gabrielle is ok, but I think you can do better with the options on your list—it has the same similar-meter problem as Leanora Anneliese. Both girl combos also have a string of unstressed syllables in the middle, which makes the names sound very unwieldy to me—the unstressed syllables all kind of get lost in the middle and the whole thing comes out kind of mumbly.

You're working with a lot of multisyllabic names ending in -a here (Anneliese, Lydia, Isadora, Eleonora/Leanora, Christiana, Natalia, Theodore). When I make combos with this type of name, I like to look for middles that 1) start with a hard consonant, 2) end in a hard consonant, and 3) don't leave too many unstressed syllables between stresses. On your list, I find that Gillian and Charlotte provide the best balance for the longer names, with Madeleine and Caroline sometimes working as well:

  • Anneliese Charlotte
  • Anneliese Gillian
  • Lydia Madeleine
  • Lydia Caroline
  • Lydia Charlotte
  • Isadora Gillian
  • Theodora Gillian

Natalia also creates a lovely dactylic meter with some of the longer names, so even though it's a lot of name, the rhythm flows:

  • Isadora Natalia
  • Christiana Natalia
  • Anneliese Natalia
August 4, 2012 2:48 PM

I love the name Benjamin--I'm hesitant with the intials BS though. I too adore Theodore, but my husband has relegated it to the middle slot only. Maybe I can talk him into the first name slot at some point before baby is born (not even conceived yet!). :-)

I too prefer Eleanor, but DH said a flat no to that, so I managed to convince him with Eleanora or Leanora (I don't like how Leo looks, myself--I found both to be variants of Eleanora from what I could find online). Yeah, I was able to show him the Greek reference on here (coming from the Greek Helene) to sneak in one more name that I liked. I still wish I could get him to agree on a variant of Margaret since that's my favoritest name for a girl ever.

I know we'll end up changing our minds on combos (and didn't really discuss them, I just asked what he likes best from what we have) before any imminent birth. :-) Plus, once we decide on a first name, I'm not really sold on any of what we have for a middle for a girl, so we'll have some discussing to do there. I'd like to use Louise or Ruth as name honoring, but he flat out dislikes the names. He likes the long, cumbersome names for some reason--I had to talk him out of Anneliese (4 syllable) for a middle name for our Ev@ngeline. It's just too much name IMO!

Oh--last name is Sch@ffer (not spelled that way, but pronounced that way--which is why Charlotte is relegated to the middle slot if I can even really convince him on that. It's *way* down his list of preferred girl names).

Thanks EVie! I appreciate the analysis. Now that we have a list of names (and I have him talking finally about a number 3 as if it is a foregone conclusion now!), I at least have something to work with when the time comes. :-)

August 4, 2012 9:10 PM

I agree with most of what EVie has said above.

My favourites for boys (excluding Theodore) are Nathaniel nn Tate and Matthias. I do like Patrick too though. So really any of those 3 are great. I don't love Benjamin or Samuel. I find them a bit boring for you sibset but they are good solid names. 

For the girls I still love Anneliese. I am also quite fond of Isadora and Theodora. I prefer Elenora to Leanora. I think the Nora nickname works well. Lea sounds a bit matchy to Eva, to me. Caroline is a nice choice but a bit stylistically different to the others. Lydia I can also get on board with, although it's not a name I adore. Madeleine is a bit in the trendy camp for me (although I do like this spelling). I also find Gillian/Jillian a bit dated. Christiana, Natalia and Laura just don't seem as good as the others to me.  You have a lot of girls names that sound similar, so if there is any chance of going back for #4 I'd think carefully about the ones you prefer as using one of them will rule out most of the others.

I think EVie has summed up what I was thinking regarding the middle name combos.

Is there any reason your hubby is willing to consider Theodora for a girl but not Theodore for a boy (only as a middle)?

August 4, 2012 11:22 PM

DH thinks Theodore is too "wimpy" sounding next to Alex@nder. But Theodora is fine for a girl (although he still prefers Isadora).

Most of the time Miss Ev@ngeline goes by Evie or Evie K@te , so I don't foresee Lea as being a problem. That said, our children tend to name themselves fairly well when we're actually pregnant with them, so we'll have to see.  (Alex@nder was supposed to be a Christopher, and Ev@ngeline was going to be Katheryn if my husband had his way--we both came to the conclusion separately that the names were wrong during the pregnancy and went back to figure it out) :-)

Several of these are stretches for both of us, but they weren't vetoed, so we left them there. Way back when we were first married (14 years ago), we had three boy and three girl names picked out. Tastes change and children themselves have a way of changing plans, so we'll see how it goes since DD's name wasn't even on the radar for either of us until 19 weeks pg. :-)

FWIW--our names originally were going to be:
Chri$topher J@mes
P@trick Alex@nder
M@tthew  Ry@n
K@therine Eli$e
M@rgaret RUth
L@ura G@brielle

4 of the 12 have now been removed from consideration by DH. One has been removed thanks to my SIL using it (she knew too!). We've used 3, but not how we thought we would. :-)

Nicknames have been natural progressions and not what we thought (we thought Al3x & Ev@ were the original plans). :-) 

August 5, 2012 11:11 PM

I'm not sure what is wimpy about Theodore (or Theo) but sometimes you just can't convince them!!

Silly me forgot that you use Evie rather than Eva.  In that case, Lea is fine but I still like Nora more :)

Your current name list is very different to your names from 14 years ago, I guess that happens though, tastes evolve and once you have one child the names you hear/see and like change a bit too!

August 6, 2012 11:54 AM

He says it's too "soft" compared to Alexander. I sorta get it, as we *constantly* get comments about what a "strong" name our son has, so I think he likes that and wants to make sure other sons get the same thing. I don't know, I think Teddy Roosevelt and he was a pretty macho man.

I just like to have options, and Nora is the wife of a cousin (not short for anything, she's just Nora). :-)

Isn't it though? I would still be perfectly happy with our original list, but DH keeps changing his mind/tastes (and our son just wasn't a Christopher--moving Alexander to the first name place changed some of the other names simply because of flow or because or relationships in the family). Just 18 months ago, DH's favorite was Katheryn. 4 years ago it was Cassandra. Prior to that it was Angelique and Cassiopeia. He seriously considered Iolanthe (that I threw out there as a joke to keep our Vowels in order, 4 syllable Greek name thing going) about 5 months ago. I had to put the kabash on that one. 14 years ago Margaret was a fine name, and for the last 3 it's an "old lady name". Go figure. :-P

By Guest (not verified)
August 6, 2012 12:54 AM

I love all the names on your original list!

August 6, 2012 11:55 AM

Thanks--I love them all too! I still think a L@ura G@brielle would be a fine name! :-)