The (almost) final shortlist

The countdown is on, baby is arriving next week and we have only just got the final shortlists of names. We don't name until after the baby arrives but I'm having a last minute panic about missing something or needing something else to consider. We both agree that we'd like somethign Scanidnavian, French or Scottish but there are still plenty of names on the list that don't fit this critera.

Anyway, for those that remember the sibs are Astr!d El0die and S0ren Augustus, surname is similar to Worth.

Any comments or thoughs welcom and any last minute suggestions also welcome.

Boys, first names (not in any order): Ambrose, Octavian, Otto, Caspian, Etienne, Remy, Clement, Balendin, Tavish.

Boys middle names (any of the first names and additionally): Everett, Lucian, Emmerich

Husband is leaning towards Ambrose, Octavian, Tavish or Etienne for a first name. Etienne is a recent addtion to the list.

Girls, first names (not in any order): Clementine, Cordelia, Xanthe, Zinnia, Saskia, Elke, Juniper, Wilhelmina, Delphine, Nora

Girls, middle names (any first name +): Eirlys, Ariadne, Magnolia, Eirlys, Juliet, Otillie, Agnes, Mathilde (ma-TEELD).  

Husband wants Mathilde on the first name list, I would except Matilda is exceedingly popular here in Australia and we would get that constantly. Nora is his suggestion and is new. He isleaning towards Elke or Delphine and is less keen on Wilhelmina and Xanthe but is happy to leave them on the list.

As you can see, our lists aren't short and I'm still not convinced we aren't missing something but any further thoughts are appreaciated.  Once baby arrives we'll narrow it down and I'll probably post again. You never know he/she might just arrive and we'll know straight away the perfect name but it's taking longer each baby so the poor bub may be nameless for a month!!!


November 10, 2018 12:23 PM

Well you know I'm down for Ambrose because it's just wicked cool but to be honest, I find both lists striking.  I can't honestly think of anything I could suggest that would make either side better.  

I'm curious because you said Matilda is extremely popular where you live; is Nora less popular?  

I adore Clementine; I think Zinnia is a fantastic flower name that is underused, and Xanthe, Saskia, and Juniper all mesmerize me.  I think since you're both fans of Mathilde, that's a front runner for a middle name but I think it goes with all of the names on hte first name list.  

For the boys, as I said, Ambrose is my favorite but I also really like Otto, Etienne, Remy, and Clement a WHOLE lot, and I'd like to learn more about Balendin.  I'd never heard this until the first time you mentioned it.

Out of curiosity, do Astrid and Soren have any suggestions/input?  We told our boys about their brother or sister earlier this week and my oldest immediately said we should name her Alice if it's a girl.  I really like Alice; I don't think it's along the line of our "style" as far as names go but I would definitely consider it in the middle name slot just because I find the fact that older brother thought of it just makes the name that much more charming.  So perhaps they can shed some insight into anything that might be missing?

No matter what, I don't think you can go wrong with any of the names on your lists though!

November 11, 2018 2:06 AM

I'm glad you like the lists!

I'm in Australia and Matilda is top 50 here (top 20 in some states) which violates my popularity rule!  Nora is definitely more mainstream than most of the choices but it's on there because my husband suggested it and he never suggests names!

The kids do have a few suggestions S has suggested Ida = EE-da, Addie and Petey. Of those Ida I would consider as it's also Scandinavian. A has apparently got a list of 100 names but with only a couple of days to go she won't give them to me and wants to wait until the baby is born :)

November 11, 2018 2:16 AM

Ida is nice,  um,  wow that will be cool to see what other names are on her list.  Petra you could use Petey as a nn is Scandanavian

By Eko
November 13, 2018 12:00 AM

Ida would be sweet with your daughters name, there's a literary connection that would be obvious to most Swedes but maybe not to a lot of people where you live. I'm thinking about the children books about Emil of Lönneberga.

But writing that I just realized that Ida is the ending and beginning of Astr!d. They sound different so I didn't think of that before.

If you like the sound of Ida (ee-da) then you might like Frida too.


November 10, 2018 4:20 PM

I agree that if you choose any of the names on your lists, you'll have a winner.


Personally I'd lean towards Elke on the girls' side because I love it with your sibset (Saskia too, if you don't mind the repeated initial). Mathilde seems like a good option for a middle if your husband loves it but you feel it's too close to Matilda - and Elke Mathilde is cute. I do find some of the other names a bit heavy in the sibset, but if you decide Wilhelmina or Clementine is "the" name, then go for it.


For the boys, I love Caspian and Ambrose, but I really like Otto for you!It's just fun to say and I think it works really well in the sibset. Otto Caspian, perhaps?

November 11, 2018 2:09 AM

Hubby is really liking Elke, it wasn't on our final shortlist for Astr!d but I do like it in the sibset.  He is less keen on Saskia, I think the sound overlap with Astr!d is the main problem. Plus the shared first initial while not a deal breaker is somewhat irritating until it's 'the name'.  He is also less keen on Wilhelmina.

I like Otto too and while a friend in another state says she knows 4 I've never come across one outside of Europe!

November 13, 2018 1:16 AM

Just with Elke in Australia,  I've known one other and people would always pronounce her name wrong,  and with Otto I think of the rubbish bins

November 17, 2018 1:38 AM

I didn't even think about how to pronounce Elke, because I assume it's El-kuh (like the swimmer, Elka Graham). But maybe I'm wrong?


And Otto, yes, I do see it on all the rubbish bins but I still think it's useable.

November 10, 2018 6:04 PM

I love Saskia  but wouldnt do the double up of initials

I prefer 2 syllables to go with the others Remy, then Clement then Tavish.  Otto is ok,  reminds me of the bins though

Delphine, Xanthe, Nora, Elke

others Bridget, Caryn, Casper, Davin, Erik, Jensen, Kallan, Kirsten, Mia, Mikele, Nessa, Thoren, Trina, Magnus, Beatrice, Clara, Edith, Elin, Elise, Emil, Eva, Felix, Fredrik, Frida, Gina, Greta, Heidi, Henrik, Hugo, Ingrid, Ivan, Janna, Jesper, Karin, Kenneth, Kerstin, Klemens, Kristin, Laila, Laura, Lena, Lina, Linus, Lisbet, Lotte, Lukas, Magda, Marcus, Mari, Nina, Oscar, Petra, Roland, Thea, Tilda, Victor, Vincent, Yvonne, Clemens, Ida, Irene, Iris, Julie, Karine, Katrine, Leo, Toril, Vera, Ella, Emma, Esa, Jasmine, Jenna, Kaisa, Martin, Rasmus, Carsten, Freya, Maren, Milla, Robert, Vita, Elva, Inga, Katrin, Lara, Odin, Kara

Bonnie, Brody, Caelan, Callum, Camden, Duncan, Elsie, Eilidh, Elsbeth, Elspeth, Ewan, Fergus, Finley, Fraser, Graham, Hamish, Ian, Isla, Ivor, Ishbel, Kendrick, Maisie, Lochlan, Malcolm, Maxwell, Mirin, Munro, Niven, Rory, Rowan, Wallace

Bertrand, Camille, Cecile, Celine, Chantal, Charlotte, Christine, Claudette, Claudine, Colette, Curtis, Danette, Diane, Elaine, Estelle, Evonne, Florin, Francine, Gisele, Harvey, Helene, Justine, Lizette, Louise, Margo, Nadine, Nicole, Odette, Patrice, Perlette, Porter, Rochelle, Talon, Travis, Yvette, Zenna

November 11, 2018 2:15 AM

Funny that everyone is worried about the initial double up! My husband and daughter share initials (although different middel, we very nearly did exactly the same initials and pulled the pin on that at the last minute). We've agreed that we wouldn't do a complete double of initials so if they share a first initial they need a different middle initial so that eliminates a small number of combos.

November 10, 2018 8:27 PM

I think you have some really great options there so I don't think you can go wrong whatever you end up choosing. Try to ignore the last minute panic; it'll all work out fine!

Of your boy list my personal favourites are Octavian, Otto, Etienne and Remy but I like both Balendin and Tavish a lot for their uniqueness too. I don't know how you feel about nicknames but I feel like you could probably get Otto as a nickname for Octavian without too much trouble if you wanted a 2-in-1 name. I would be tempted to use Ambrose in the middle spot for any of those names because I think it works with all of them and it would also mean that all your kids have an A name which is a kind of hidden but nice connection for me. 

On the girl list my absolute stand out favourite is Elke but I also quite like Zinnia and Saskia (although the obvious downside to Saskia is the repeat of an initial but I don't think it has to be a deal-breaker). For middle names with Elke I like Agnes if you want to do an 'A' name but think Juliet, Otillie and Mathilde also flow nicely. With Saskia I think you could do Eirlys (my favourite of your middle list and an E to match Astr!d) but Ariadne, Agnes and Otillie also sound nice to my ear. For Zinnia I like Juliet, Otillie and Agnes again. 

November 11, 2018 2:18 AM

I am actually quite keen to use the Otto/Octavian double if we go that way. At this stage my husband seems to prefer Octavian over Otto.

I like the idea of having an A middle name too.

November 11, 2018 10:53 AM

I like so many of your choices that I'm glad I'm not the one who has to choose!

Elke Saskia would double down on the Scandinavian origins, but would complete the sibling circle of initials. :-)

For a boy, Octavian nn Otto is possibly a front-runner, because of the twofer (and because Octavian is just such a cool name); I'd pair it with Emmerich or Tavish or one of the other not-directly-Latinate names in the middle, just for variety. But I also want to plug for Ambrose and Balendin; I would swoon with delight over either of those, too.

By Eko
November 11, 2018 2:49 PM

Are Elke and Saskia really Scandinavian? I'm not too familiar with them but a quick internet search says German.

November 12, 2018 1:38 AM

Loosely Scandinavian: mostly Danish, if I recall correctly. Perhaps I should have said "Germanic" or "northern European". But in any case, they're both names from the same (not-primarily-English) naming pool.

By Eko
November 12, 2018 11:22 PM

I agree that they're from the same naming pool. It just felt weird to hear them being called Scandinavian when I (living in Sweden) never have come across them and they don't "feel" Scandinavian to me. Other Germanic names like Hans and Elsa totally feel Scandinavian to me and I wouldn't blink if someone said they named their child that because scandi theme, but Elke and Saskia feels foreign to me. I checked the usage now and it's quite even between the Scandinavian countries (following stats are for woman of all ages, not baby names).

97 Elke living in Norway last year.

220 Elke living in Sweden last year, plus 127 that have Elke as middle name.

305 Elke living in Denmark last year.


68 Saskia living in Norway last year.

168 Saskia living in Sweden last year, plus 81 that have Saskia as middle name.

79 Saskia living in Denmark last year.


Someone on the Norweigan wikipedia even bothered to compare how common Elke is in Germany compared to Belgium and Denmark. I'm not controlling how accurate the numbers are, but according to them 0.4% of women in Germany was named Elke in 2007, and 0.2% was named Elke in Belgium 2002, and 0.01% was named Elke in Denmark 2010 (322 Elkes that year, so a few have dropped off since then).

November 12, 2018 4:54 AM

Yes choosing is the hard bit!  Luckily once the baby arrives we find it easier to eliminate some as not working.

November 12, 2018 9:52 PM

From your boys list I like Ambrose the most.  I think it would be familiar enough to Australians thanks to West Indian cricketer Curtly Ambrose.  I also like Etienne but admit the first time I heard it (years ago) I thought it was a girls name.

Having an Augustus would rule out Octavian for me.

From the girls list I like Saskia with the sibling names.  But don't Australian's say it with a short 'a'?  That would probably rule it out for me.

I also really like Xanthe and Delphine.  I can't help thinking that Tatiana or Titania would work well too.

Good luck.

By Eko
November 12, 2018 11:33 PM

Btw, I've always thought that it would be a little fun with sisters Astri!d and Tilde because they would get their own special character, * and ~. That sort of works with Mathilde too! 

November 17, 2018 1:03 AM

Update -

I had a little girl a few days ago!!!

No progress on names yet. She looks a lot like big sister which in some ways makes it harder. I think I'm ready to elminate some from the list but we were giving her a few days to get to know each other before we discussed it much.  I'm sure I'll be posting soon with some last minute questions, unless by some miracle hubby and I agree!

November 17, 2018 1:40 AM

Lovely news, congratulations!! I can't wait to hear her name.

November 17, 2018 10:30 AM

Congratulations! This is so exciting!

By Eko
November 17, 2018 11:36 AM


Did Astr!ds show you her list with 100 names?

November 17, 2018 4:07 PM

Congratulations.  Did Astrid show you her list

November 17, 2018 11:47 PM

No, she is still refusing! Her brother has suggested Addie, Bella, Ida and Queedie (I think this is made up).

Astrid has suggested Ruby but she thinks the baby should have an A name.  

November 17, 2018 5:06 PM

Congratulations! I look forward to the shorter short list (or miraculously agreed name announcement!). 

November 17, 2018 11:49 PM

Hopefully we will get down to a few names pretty soon. I have a definite feeling about what it should be so if hubby agrees it may be simple but I'm still open to negotiation.

November 18, 2018 4:07 AM

All the best with negotiation

November 17, 2018 5:13 PM

When I saw your post the first name I thought of was Freya,  I also thought that since the others also share German/Literature for their first names maybe some of these may work, Freya ticks all those boxes as well as being Scandi as does Heidi, Laura, Eva

German names - Clara, Elise, Ingrid, Liesel, Beatrix, Cora, Dana. Elise, Greta, Gretchen, Gretel, Helene, Ida, Iris, Jasmin, Julie, Karen, Karla, Kerstin, Krista/Christa, Lara, Louise, Mia, Nadine, Nina, Petra, Rosa, Thea, Vera, Yvonne, Emma


these have literary associations Beatrix, Beatrice, Colette, Portia, Corinne, Gemma, Helen, Laura, Layla, Lorna, Myra, Zola, Bronte, Clarice, Emma, Hazel, Maisie, Marin, Tamsin, Hadley, Willa, Zola, Zadie, Zora, Darcy, Edith, Daisy, Esme, Hadley, Harper

other scandi names Kirsten/Kristen, Emma

Elsie - scottish

French - Yvette, Chantal, Celeste, Estelle, Giselle, Maeva, Margo



November 17, 2018 7:18 PM

Congrats on Baby-No-Name-Yet, and thanks for the update!

November 18, 2018 7:49 PM

*Update and shorter short list*

OK so we've been through the shortlist of first names and elminated anything we didn't think fitted the baby now that we've met her. Then we got to a final 4 by upvoting names.  I found it hard to elminate names I've loved for ages but it is easier t to say 'no I think I like that name more than that one'.

This has left us with these final 4 contenders for a first name:






Middle name is anything from the original middlle name list and any of the unused first names but we'll debate middle names once we settle on a first name. Happy for people to suggest combos though.

Cordelia I've loved since I was pregnant with Astrid. In fact if I had to have named her before I met her she would have been Cordelia Delphine. I still love that.  I ultimately decided this baby has too much spirit to be a Clementine but she could be a Cordelia.  

Delphine hubby loves, I originally had it on the middle name list. I do like it but am not convinced it goes as well with Astr!d and S0ren.  

Elke - both of us agree that this is the best match for sibling names and is short and snappy.  The pronunciation issue slightly bothers me.  Remembering we are in Australia, it will be either 'EL-kah' or 'EL-kee'.  Neither offend me but aren't quite right.  I could live with it though and I'm seriously considering using it despite it not being a top contender until recently.  It seems to suit her.

Zinnia - I ultimately elminated a lot of other names on the list by upvoting this. She seems like a Zinnia to me. It's also unusual enough and snappy enough to go with the sibling names.  I only cut Juniper from the list as it has a similar feel for me but Zinnia is more uncommon and a ittle more snappy.

I'm going to debate the merits of each and see how they fit and sound with our surname but I really don't know!

Thoughts, opinions, and combos welcome! 

November 18, 2018 8:16 PM

Congratulations on the new arrival, and on managing to narrow down your amazing lists.

Honestly, I don’t know if you can go wrong with any of these. Cordelia Delphine is divine, and you’ve loved the name for so long that I hope you decide it’s right for this baby. Otherwise, Elke is fantastic (regardless how we butcher the pronunciation), and I found a forgotten packet of zinnia in my seed collection this weekend (red and lime green, very striking!), so maybe that’s a good sign too!

Good luck for the final decision.

November 19, 2018 9:42 PM

Thanks Cee Cee.  I'm having trouble deciding as there are positives for every name!

November 18, 2018 9:23 PM

What a sublime list! It's not helpful, but you're honestly in "can't go wrong" territory. 

Cordelia - You know my stance on this name ;) It sounds great with your stand-in surname. You didn't use it for your first daughter and love it enough to still have it in your top 4 years later. Since you feel like it suits this babym if you don't use it now when you have a second opportunity, will you regret it?

Delphine - It is a beautiful name that I find very elegant. The French-ness of it does stand out to me, but should you decide that it's THE name, I suspect that you'll forget about how well it "goes with" the other names. It will just be HER name. I do still love Delphine in the middle with Cordelia or Zinnia, though!

Elke - Yes, it really goes superbly with her siblings' names and going on style alone, this is the clear winner. But the goal here should be to give your daughter your favourite girl's name. She's going to have this name for her entire life and will not be identified as a unit with her siblings outside the family. Her classmates, coworkers, friends, and romantic partners will not care whether her name goes well with her siblings'. If it's your favourite name, yay! You happen to love a name that also makes a great set with her sister and brother.

Zinnia - I love that this would make your kids A to Z. It's a beautiful name, but as far as -ia names go, I prefer Cordelia. I do think, however, that it goes very well with your older kids' names (best after Elke) because it has a certain taylored feel due to not containing a lot of different phonemes. If I take Elke's pronunciation difficulties into account, I think that this is my favourite if creating a cohesive group is your priority.


A note from personal experience: Regarding "going with" the older kids' names... I have a trim, two-syllable, ends-with-N name (much like Soren) and my sister has a 3-syllable, ends in -ia, highly feminine name. I honestly don't think anybody has given a single thought to our "mismatched" styles. I've noticed, but don't really care beyond the point that my sister's name fits my personal style more. Within our family, we're a unit because our names have been said together a million times, and I don't think that we would have felt any more like a unit had my name been Karina.


And congratulations! Mazel tov!! I hope that you and she-who-is-currently-nameless are both doing well XOXO

November 19, 2018 9:49 PM

Thanks Karyn! I do love Cordelia and think that she could be a Cordelia and it does sound good with our surname. Actually the only names I was iffy about with the surname were Xanthe and Wilhelmina. Sometimes I liked them and sometimes I didn't. Hubby wasn't that keen on Wilhelmina and she doesn't seem like a Wilhelmina so that was an easy dismissal. Xanthe I think she could be but I would pick Zinnia over Xanthe and with the surname repetitiveness it was out.

I really don't know whether I'll regretit if I don't use Cordelia.  I love it but I think my husband prefers the others.  Still I'm trying it out for a few days. Does your daughter go by any nicknames?

Spot on about Delphine in the middle spot. I'm pulling for either Cordelia Delphine or Zinnia Delphine.  Despite the slightly overly botanical edge to Zinnia Delphine it does balance the French Elodie that Astr!d has in her middle name and I like the sound mix.

I think of  the 4 names she (at less than a week old) seems most like either a Zinnia or Elke, but the other 2 work.  Elke is the best sibling match but I totally agree on needing to be a cohesive unit which is why there weren't a heap of Scandi names on the list when we didn't like them more than what was on there.

I pointed out the A to Z thing to my husband and he just laughed at me.

Thanks for the best wishes. Despite there being a 5 year age gap this time the newborn stuff has come flooding back and she is super-cute!!!

November 19, 2018 10:43 PM

My daughter does, indeed, use a nickname within the family and with some close friends. I've told this story many times in various conversations, but I'll tell it again. Before she was born, both Cordelia and Delia were on my list so it seemed like a no-brainer twofer! And yet from the first time I tried using it, it didn't feel right. It simply wasn't her! (So I fully understand how your post-birth naming process works. Cordelia always felt right and Delia never did.) My mom and I did use Delie for a while and that was quite good, but it was never a wide-spread nickname. When she was learning to speak, rather than have her try the full Cordelia, I told her to say Delia. She said De'ia (DEE-ee-uh), which she quickly shortened to Dea and that was it! She's been Dea ever since. It suits her nicely and is a nice contrast to the more flowery Cordelia. I sometimes call her by the Yiddish form-diminutive Dealeh (DEE-uh-leh), and like any good nickname it now has a nickname and these days I often call her Deeds. 

Do your older kids use nicknames (I'm assuming neither uses their first syllable as a nickname...) or are you thinking that you'd need one if you use a longer name than in the past? 

I think that whoever asked this question below was spot on: If this were your first child, would you name her Elke or are you subtly influenced by your previous choices? I'm having trouble mispronouncing Elke and personally couldn't handle Elkee, but if that prospect doesn't bother you, great! I don't see any problem with the Elk association. The Elke I knew was tall with really long, skinny arms and legs and the similarity was never a problem. Zinnias are flowers with long, skinny stems, but I don't think that's an issue, either. If anyone says something about that, you smile and say that it's a funny coincidence and you all move along with life. And you know, my generic image of an Elke is tall and fair, given the part(s) of the world I associate with the name.

Obviously you wouldn't choose Zinnia *because* of the A-Z thing, but is *is* a fun little connection between the kids! You'd just need to make sure that she really was the last one ;)

Would it work if you told yourself that you'd decided on a name (or use a coin toss) to see if you feel regret for not using one of the others or do you love them all too much for that to work?

Finally, I'm going to shamelessly say that if you ever want to send a photo of your family to the moderator email account (bnwmod at gmail dot com), the moderators are all highly discrete with personal information :D

November 20, 2018 5:32 AM

That is so cute about your daughters nickname, I love it!

No, the other 2 don't have any nicknames, well not shorter forms, we have some silly much longer 'nicknames' they go by for fun.

It's an interesting question about whether I'd pick Elke if it was my first baby. It wasn't on the shortlist 7 years ago but neither were a few other names that we have since considered. The sibling mix makes me like it more but I wouldn't pick it unless I think it does suit her.

Oh I have always wanted to swap photos, I'll have to do that!

November 20, 2018 10:16 AM

Obviously everyone has their own tolerance/threshold for people pronouncing their kids' names differently than they do, but knowing that people say el-key makes me drop Elke to the bottom of the list. It's not Greek! Why are people saying it like Phoebe, Daphne, Persephone, et al? I realized that the Elkes I've known have all been named using the Yiddish roots -- which, given Yiddish's origins are very closely related to the German roots. I doubt that the name's use in Jewish circles will affect you in any way, but I thought I'd mention the additional usage for the sake of interest. Nobody in these circles would say el-key, which is probably another reason why it feels so very wrong to me. 

November 20, 2018 7:05 PM

I'm glad I did a quick local poll yesterday. I assumed most people would go for el-kah (although most spell it Elka).  A few people knew it was ehl-keh but it was probably 70% EL-key, 10% ehl-keh and 20% el-kah.   

I did know about the Yiddish origins but I wasn't sure what pronunciation was most common in those circles.  There isn't a big Jewish community here so most people won't make the connection at all.

November 18, 2018 9:54 PM

With what you've said about each name I would vote for Zinnia as the top contender. I like it with the sibling names even though it doesn't "match" exactly, and I feel like the fact that you feel it fits her plus the fact that it edged out many of the other names on your list says a lot. I think you could do Zinnia Delphine to get two of your top choices and I like the contrast of the softer flowing sounds of Delphine next to the snappy bouncy sounds of Zinnia. Alternatively if you did want to get an A name in there from your earlier list Zinnia Agnes works for me based on the contrast of style (rather than sounds) in the names which I also enjoy, or you could of course explore other A names. 

I do still love Elke for you too, but the pronunciation issue is definitely a drawback. If you truly feel you could take a relaxed attitude to people not getting your preferred pronunciation then it's also a strong contender for me, although I don't know how much weight really needs to be given to matching the style of your older children as none of your final four names are jarring in the sibling group.

I actually think that Delphine goes fine with the older two; for me it just changes the feel of the group from 'Scandinavian' to 'European flair' and if I heard all those names as a sib set I wouldn't think it odd or out of place.

Cordelia I don't mean to dismiss (and if I'm way off the mark then please ignore me) but I feel like it's maybe still on the list just because it's the name you've loved longest and not because it's the name you feel like most suits this baby. To my ear it actually goes less well with Astr!d and S0ren than Delphine if that's something you're factoring in, although I realise that's very subjective and like I said probably a less important consideration. Of course if Cordelia is the name that really makes your heart sing then you should go for it. 

If you go with either Delphine or Cordelia I would be very tempted to give her a middle that is either Scandinavian or starts with an A (or both) as a nice tie in to the older kids' names. 

Good luck!

November 19, 2018 9:53 PM

Thanks Natasha!  Zinnia Delphine I'm a fan of but I like Zinnia Agnes too.  I was also considering Zinnia Mathilde (ma-TEELD) as we both prefer the French pronunciation.

I don't mind the pronunciation issues with Elke. I've only known a couple here in Australia and they have both spelt it Elka, with an a on the end. I much prefer the Elke spelling and the 'correct' pronunciation but don't mind either El-kah or El-kee, just don't love them as much!

That is a good point about Delphine making it more 'European' rather than Scandi.  I think Elke does that too to an extent as it is Dutch/German more than true Scandinavian.  I'd love Freya if it weren't so damn popular here!

You are somewhat right about Cordelia.  Astrid was never a Cordelia. This baby might be (despite the appearance similarities).  But I am having a hard time dismissing it!

November 19, 2018 12:46 AM

Based both on what you wrote and on my own tastes, my vote is for Zinnia for you, and I love another post's suggestion of Agnes for the middle spot. Your kids would be A to Z, they'd all have an A somewhere, the zing of Zinnia contrasts perfectly with the gravitas of Agnes, and she seems like a Zinnia to you. What's not to love?

Cordelia Delphine is a close second. I don't personally love Delphine, for no particular reason, but I adore Cordelia and the cadence and contrast of the two together is swoon-worthy.

While Elke fits the sibling set in place/language of origin, for me it feels a lot less substantial than S0r3n and especially 4str!d. I think this is primarily because to my Hungarian ear, it sounds like a diminutive of the letter L: "little ell". This is reinforced by the name's nickname origins (for Adelheid, according to Behind the Name). If it's what you love most, or what fits the baby best, then it'll work beautifully, but don't choose it for sibling coordination. I agree with Karyn that sibsets should not be a top consideration: by definition, whatever you choose will go with with your older two, because they're all names chosen by the same people. :-)

(If you do choose Elke, I'm still advocating for an S middle. AE, ES, SA. <grin>)

November 19, 2018 9:57 PM

I think of the A names for middles with have Agnes and Ariadne on the list but we could look for others since I am open to any possibility for a middle and I do like the connection of having another A in the middle (no we've ruled it out for a first name).

Choosing a name is so hard when there are so many I love.  On the upside we did well with the first 2 kids and I love their names despite having to dismiss so many others that we also loved, we made the right choice!

November 19, 2018 2:05 AM

Elke - if you think it suits her, it depends if you are going to worry about the pronounciation,  think how much it would worry you or not

Delphine - I like best

I think Zinnia is a little too different

Cordelia is ok



November 19, 2018 12:11 PM

Thanks for inviting us in on your naming process, which is so different from mine!

I love Zinnia for you, both as a name (eye-catching, unusual but familiar) and your reasoning for it. This seems like a strong candidate for your daughter's name!

Elke is a name I love but I don't think I'd want to use it in a predominantly Anglophone culture. I think the pronunciation you'd get here is definitely "Elk" like the animal; they're great but I could see it being burdensome during awkward tween/teen years. (Perhaps not as much an issue in an area where there are no elks, so your mileage may vary greatly.) Subtly wrong pronunciations become the norm is a thing that you are right to consider now; I might wonder if it's a good fit for a middle name where the pronunciations by people outside your family are less likely to become an issue. I'd also worry that the name would due to its difficulty become "Ellie" for most people, and that is a fairly ubiquitous nickname in my parts.

Delphine and Cordelia are also great choices that I have nothing negative to say about whatsoever, but your reasoning seems less compelling than for Zinnia. 

November 19, 2018 10:02 PM

It is indeed very different to most peoples naming process. People are thoroughly confused that she is almost a week old and we aren't worried by the lack of name. Soren took almost 2 weeks. Most people either decided before hand or have a short shortlist and decide within 24 hours!

Now you bring up the Elk thing (we don't have elks in Australia but most people are aware of what they are) maybe that is an issue for concern.  The baby is likely to be tall but she also has incredibly long arms and legs (and fingers). I'd say she got the tall and lanky genes.  Something to consider.  I would definitely prefer the 'proper' Dutch/German pronunciation but don't dislike the EL-kah /kee pronuncation.

I have been mentally thinking she is a Zinnia but I'm trying out the others to see if they work better.  It's hard to judge personality in a newborn but she does seem to have spirit and came out in a blaze of glory and screaming like her big sister, not the calm water birth of her brother.  

November 19, 2018 4:26 PM

It does sound like Zinnia might be the best choice. I do still like Elke for you too. I'd probably use either Zinnia Elke or Elke Zinnia (in combination with Zinnia, though, I really want to say El-kee rather than El-kuh). Cordelia and Delphine are lovely but seem too serious and formal, perhaps.

November 19, 2018 10:04 PM

I do feel that Elke and Zinnia are the 'lighter' choices and Cordelia and Delphine are slightly more serious.  The baby does have fine features and serious eyes so they do work too!  

November 19, 2018 5:46 PM

I think all of your names are potential winners, so this is mostly a "narrow-up" comment.

Like others here, I was also struck by your description of Zinnia—"I like it better than most of my other favorites" and "she seems like a Zinnia" are pretty strong recommendations.

For Delphine, one possible connection to your older kids' names is its near-botanicalness: If you're a gardener, you could plant asters, sorrel, and delphinium :). From an English-speaking perspective, I also think it fits well into a sort of "exotic classics" standard—names that are familiar but not common, and a little bit "foreign"-but-not-too-hard-to-say-and-still-distinctly-Western.

Elke does look like a great fit with the sib-set, and I love the simultaneous sleek and snappy feel (but I confess I'm not sure how it's supposed to be said--is it more like El-kay?). It seems like this would be a good one to try out for dinner reservations and such, to see what pronunciations you get and how much they bother you. Also, how much do you love it on its own? If this were your first baby (and your older daughter's name was off the table for some other reason) would you use it for her?

I love Cordelia, and love that you've loved it so long. Probably the key questions here are whether it's the right name for this baby, and whether you will forever regret it if you don't use it.

November 20, 2018 5:38 AM

Our preferred pronunciation is like this: . more like ehl-keh

A quick poll and most people I know go for el-key.