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Celia is beautiful and I think it sounds great with your last name! I personally have a Z3lia and love her name :) Natalie is a perfectly good name, but perhaps less fitting with your heritage. Your call!
We have named our daughter Irene Florentina!
Thank you everyone for all of the help brainstorming names. Irene is very different than today's fashionable and popular names, for her clunkiness especially, but really it was a name that this time around resonated with us more than Iris or Olga when we met our baby. I pronounce her name the Portuguese way and my husband and his family the standard English way, EYE-reen. I don't mind it at all. When it comes to my father's side of the family, I had to make it clear that my mother are very special and nothing he said would change my mind. So far no complaints. My step-mother was honored through the middle name Florentina, which she chose. She is just so delighted and that really makes me even happier with our choice.
If she were a boy, Irene would probably be Otavio Florentino or Ulysses Balthazar as Balthazar was my mother's last name.
And before I forget, Irene was born on the morning of March 17th and is a beautiful, healthy and very big baby. Her name means peace and I think it suits even more this moment of political turmoil in Brazil. Democracy is at a serious risk and the thing we need most in this world is peace.
Once again thank you!
This entire Peter and P@ul thing has reminded me of the lovable folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary. I honestly love them and my kids love "Puff the Magic Dragon", I've sung it to them at bedtime countless times already.
I actually think that symbolically, brothers Peter and P@ul with such an age gap and several siblings in between, sort of reflects what's going on now with the Church of Rome and the Church of Constantinople (Eastern Orthodox) coming closer again (through Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew), so many centuries after the Great Schism. Maybe in a couple of years we will see the followers of Peter and the followers of P@ul strengthening their ties?
My Yara is spelled with a "Y" as opposed to "I" which is the Portuguese-correct form because in the Amazon, traditionally, where my mother and family are from, the siren's actual name was Uyara... but it later was popularized as Iara. I'm surprised the members of your family don't like it or approve of it!
I highly recommend you to use Iara for your daughter! Everywhere I have lived and visited outside of Brazil, all I ever got were comments on how beautiful and unique my name was. Also, the legend is a great conversational topic! Due to spelling similarity to names like Mara, Lara, Tara, etc in English-language contexts, usually I get my name pronounced YAR-uh (first syllable rhymes with car), instead of the wide open "a" from our language, as in the "a" from the second syllable of Hawaii... To spell phonetically is not my forte.
If you love Elena so much with the Eh-lay-na spelling, maybe you would like Leila?
Vivian, Iara and Elena are some strong and beautiful contenders. Mas claro que vou puxar a brasa pra minha sardinha, haha! Boa sorte!
Camila, I am Brazilian too if you haven't yet noticed from my usernames!
I honestly believe that the best way to go is far away from the creative spellings, so no Aleyna.
Aline, Alina, Ana, Anita, Thaís, Iara/Yara, Olivia, Livia, Elena/Helena, Marina are all names that would perfectly fit a Brazilian-American baby.
My children are named T0bias and Z3lia and even though the pronunciation of their names change a little bit in the different language contexts (it's actually something they find cool and fun), we have had no problems. Out of all of your names the most beautiful to me is Elena, although I lean more to the version with the "H".
Other ideas: Elisa, Bruna, Bianca, Stella, Antonia, Ines, Laura, Luisa, Alice, Isabel, Isabella, Isadora, Clara, Amelia (talvez parecido demais com Amanda), Angelina, Flora, Maria, Ariana, Gabriela, Victoria, Vivian, Valentina... All of these names fit perfectly well in a Brazilian school but also in an American school.
Laís is a very nice name but most people would mispronounce it and the results would not be pretty for your little girl ;) Mila is too close to your name, but Milena, Mirella, Martha, Emilia would be very beautiful. They are not too common in both countries, but everyone knows how to spell them.
With my husband and family having no say whatsoever:
Girl: Imogene "Gem"
Boy twins: Lysander "Andy" & Balthazar "Baz"
Boy: Leopold "Leo"
Girl & Boy twins: Jessamine "Minnie" & Bernard "Bernie"
Boy: Albert "Albie"
Girl & Girl twins: Marika "Mari" & Amapola "Pola"
Girl: Capitolina "Capitu"
Phoebe with Birdie as a nickname is double the fun and adorable-ness. Congratulations!
Congratulations on your baby boy!
I love your ideas! At this point we're going with the version of Florentina that will flow best with the first name. I love Helena too (especially associated to the actress who is AMAZING!) My other half as you put it, he studied English Literature, so he really loves literary names, especially the names from Shakespeare and books he reads for his students and our kids.
Our son's middle begins with O- and is the name of a famous Shakespeare character, with a play of the same name. Zizi's middle name is Coraline except with an "a" at the end instead of an "e". It's a nod both to American literature through the Neil Gaiman book that my husband likes very much (I loved the animation film), but is also the name of a Brazilian poet, Cora Coralin* who became famous for her poetry in 1978, at the age of 89.
What do you think of Iris as an alternative to Irene/Irena/Irina?
I think that it'll always be flexible here at home. Dad and his family say EYE-ris and I say both EE-rees and EYE-ris. We really like both. I guess that's the rule with all of our kids' names. Zel1a goes by ZEE-lya in English and ZEH-lya - like in the word Zeppelin ;) We call her Zizi as a nickname.
Cool game! Category: Girls
Q: Quiteria (after Brazilian revolutionary Maria Quiteria)
W: Wilhelmina (Dracula)
E: Edelweiss (The Sound of Music)
Y: Yara (My name, mythical Siren who inhabits the Amazonas river)
P: Petroline (French variation of a town in Brazil)
A: Antonietta (Antoinette in Italian)
D: Dorothy (Wizard of Oz)
F: Fermina (LN: Daza, character in Love in the Time of Cholera)
L: Leonora (Carrington, artist)
Z: Zelda (Fitzgerald)
C: Clarice (Lispector, author)
V: Viviane (Lady of the Lake)
N: Nara (Leão, singer)
M: Morgana (Le Fay)
Yes, he does go by Toby sometimes, especially around my husband's family. At home we mostly pronounce his name Toh-bee-us, which is how we say it in Portuguese, but we don't mind at all the standard English pronunciation and he answers to both.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Sylvana and Silvana are both variations of the same name, that indeed derive from the Latin roots of Sylvester and Sylvie/Sylvia/Silvia "of the Forest". The French form that I know is Sylvaine.
It's quite common in my country for women in their mid-forties and fifties, just as Silvia is as well.
The most common last name ever is Silva from the same Latin roots and Silveira is also way up there. These are never used as first names, last names as firsts are almost completely unheard of. The word "selva," also is of the same roots and is our equivalent of the word jungle.
I hope I helped!
My best friend is a Barbara who gets called Deborah almost daily. We also have another friend named Deborah who many times gets called Barbara. It's so funny! I wonder why though, that people mix-up these two names so much.
Oh wow! That's unbelievable! I'm so glad Florentina is what you were looking for! Wow, this is so awesome it's crazy!
Thank you for your insight!
I am beginning to have second and third thoughts on using Irene. I love it the way my mother pronounced it, but am in no way into the way it's said in English and all these confusing variations. Perhaps they are too many?
The husband and I are considering Iris as an alternative because we both like how it sounds in both languages. Is it close enough to honor an Irene?
What are your impressions on the name Iris?
Isa is perfectly usable and in my opinion, way beyond the whole Isis association. In my country, it's a well-used nickname for the very common Isabel/Isabelle/Isabela/Isabella names. It's a wonderful alternative to Bel and Bela which lately have become associated with old ladies' pet poodlesIsa is the nickname of a relative of mine who considers Bela too girly-girl and princessy for her taste. Isa is also the most common name for Isadora, which I think would be perfect for you both. Another idea would be Thais/Tais or Taisa, which are short as you seem to prefer, but not too common.
As to honor the grandmothers, I really love Alexandrine/a or Sandrine (as in actess Sandrine Bonnaire). Cassandra is decidedly amazing! @Lucubratrix gave you some really great suggestions. I don't see why your friends can't use Sandra as a middle name or second first if that's common in their name cultures... I think it's due to revival.
Alessandra is very beautiful, romantic and much more attactive and soft to the ears than Alexandra or even Alejandra.
How about Penrose Catalina or Penrose Catharina/Catarina as alternatives?
Can Iris be considered a suitable name to honor an Irene? It's a name the husband and I have been tossing around since we were expecting our daughter, but Zeli@ ended up named after my grandmother.
For a boy, we had a few names that were either too foreign and difficult to translate into English or so little used in English that pronunciation and spelling would be an issue (as in Joachim)... so we had been considering Ulysses. The thing is, we have settled on B@lthazar for a son's middle name. It's my maiden name and was also my mom's last name, so it would be the perfect way to honor us both... We just don't find Ulysses B@lthazar a handsome enough name... We really have a preference for shorter firsts.
The matchmaker suggested Levi and Caio which we both liked very much. Caio has similar sounds to the name I love, Caetano, but is SO common in my country that it loses it's charm in that context. With Levi, I don't have that problem, it's not too popular in either places.
I think that with Penrose (so pretty, and new to me), I would choose a feminine name for the middle, not too long... I really like the idea of names ending in A with Penrose.