Name Help is a series at Appellation Mountain. Every week, one reader’s name questions will be discussed.
We’re relying on thoughtful comments from the community to help expectant parents narrow down their name decisions. Thank you in advance for sharing your insight!
My husband and I are expecting our first baby in January. It’s a girl! I’ve known for years that I wanted to name a future daughter Lucie, and my husband is on board.
Here’s the problem: our last name sounds like Carrie. (It’s spelled differently.)
And I just don’t like the sound of Lucie Carrie.
We decided that we’ll choose a longer form of Lucie instead, so she has the option, and also so her formal name will sound a little less like a cartoon.
Lucille is okay. Lucia bothers me because of all the pronunciations. I’m not sure about Louise/Louisa, and my husband isn’t crazy about the “weeze” in the name.
What does that leave?
Also, will we regret spelling her name Lucie? I always wanted to be Jenny growing up, like all the other girls, but now I like being a Jennie. And so the ‘ie’ spelling has lots of meaning. (My mom and grandmother also have names that end with -ie, too.) But maybe I’m just setting my daughter up for years of not being able to find her name on anything?!
Please read on for my response and leave your thoughtful suggestions in the comments.
Congratulations on your daughter!
I’m a little torn.
On the one hand, I get what you’re saying about Lucie Carrie. It’s a little sing-song. And I’m a BIG fan of nickname-rich names.
But, but, but … if you plan to call her Lucie, will you dislike it when she’s called Lucie Carrie at her school assembly?
Or will you get used to it over time, and find that Lucie Carrie sounds just right to your ear?
In other words:
- Formal name or not, you will hear your daughter called Lucie Carrie a LOT.
- If you can live with that, do you actually need a formal name?
- Or, if that really bothers you, then maybe there’s no way to use Lucie for your daughter’s name.
Just something to mull over.
Because there are LOTS of longer names that shorten to Lucie. You’ve ruled out the obvious choices – Louise/Louisa, Lucia, Lucille – but let’s see if we can find something a little less familiar, but still gorgeous.
FORMAL NAMES FOR LUCIE
From a Latin phrase meaning “pure light,” Lucasta was coined by the poet Richard Lovelace in 1649.
A little longer than Lucia, it’s possibly Luciana could invite some pronunciation challenges. And yet, it seems like a soft C is more obvious in this name: loo see ahn ah.
The French feminine form of Lucien, which comes from Lucian, via Lucius. Rare, but wearable in our Josephine-Madeline age.
A seventeenth century literary elaboration of Lucia, both Cervantes and Moliere gave the name to characters. It’s familiar, but uncommon.
A cousin to Louis, by a long and roundabout path. The letters are there – Lu + c – but Lucy isn’t the most obvious sound to pull from Ludovica. Ludivine is another option, even farther removed from Lucie.
A lovely Lou name, Luella could become Lucie … especially with a middle name like Catherine, Claire, or Charlotte.
Of course, most of these longer names for Lucie are pretty different. Luella just barely cracks the current Top 1000. Luciana is right around the 400 mark. So that might add a different kind of complication to your daughter’s name.
All of that said, I’d probably use Lucinda.
It’s familiar, if uncommon.
Most people know how to say and spell it.
Lucinda Carrie sounds great.
And it logically shortens to Lucie, no linguistic gymnastics required.
As for Lucie versus Lucy? Yes, it will be an occasional headache – just like it was for you! But it sounds like it would be worth it. You’ll just have to think back through your personal experience and decide whether it means more to share a spelling, or more to make your daughter’s life a small fraction easier.
Luciana is my favourite.
It feels familiar but rare. And it very intuitively shortens to Lucie.
(I love sing-song names, so I would probably only use Lucie – but if I had to lengthen, Luciana would be it!).
Lucie Carrie is, yes, a little sing-songy, but I think it’s absolutely fine.
I do love the name Lucinda and I think Lucinda “Lucie” Carrie is perfect if you want to go that route. Eloise “Lucie” Carrie would also be very sweet.
Some other, more of a stretch ideas: Tallulah, Melusine, Lourdes, Laurence?
Lucinta * Lucelia * Lucivinia * Lucidia * Lucella * Lucelle * Lucette
I once met a Russian woman named Ludmilla who is nicknamed Lucy. Apparently Lucy is the common English translation for Ludmilla.
Erin Beth says
I admire the name Lucretia and would enjoy seeing it used, but it has a lot of historical and literary baggage. So I personally would choose Lucinda, which also happens to be fabulous with your last name. I know a young Lucinda who goes by Lucy, and I love her name.
Jean C. says
I think, especially if the “real” version of Carrie also starts with a C, that the only important part is the L or Lou depending on how picky you want to be. I am partial to Lucinda and Luella. Cecily would make a fun middle name, especially if you went Luella and want a soft C tie-in. Or even a name like Emmylou Cecilia would make Lucie not too far fetched to me.
I am a big fan of a double-barreled first, like seriously swoon. So Lucie-Jane or Lucie-Beth or any those type of options are pretty great too.
I also think there are worse things than a slightly clunky name and if her name is Lucie her name is Lucie.
This is probably not what you’re looking for, but a name like Louisiana (like the state) might worth considering since the “weeze” sound isn’t too obvious.
Delucca? I think it’s neat when common names come from more elaborate formal names. It’s such a surprise.
Or add a double barrel to separate the -ee sounds? Lucie-Jane or Lucie-Rose?
Or use your maiden name for her? Complicated perhaps but maybe you saw this coming when you married Mr Carrie?
But honestly if I were you I’d just use Lucie. It’s her name. I feel like I see my names together a lot, but don’t hear them often. Definitely not as often as just my first name.
C in DC says
1. Please use the -ie spelling. The connection to family outweighs any spelling headache, and she’ll appreciate it later. I know a Luci and people get it after a moment. (She’s Lucille.)
2. Another way to approach this is with a good middle that can be used as a double name. Lucie Ann, Lucie Beth, Lucie Jane, etc.
3. Lucinda or Luciana are my favorites from Abby’s list. (There are 2 women named Lucinda Williams who give positive vibes to this name.)
I think it is such a good point that you will hear Lucie Carrie a lot if that is what you are going to call her anyway. Maybe just go with it if you love the name! Personally, I think it sounds fine but I tend to like alliterative names. Also, it’s not longer, shorter actually, but could you go with Luca nn Lucie? Love Luca for a girl. But maybe it’s too different of a sound.
Mandie L says
My first thought, before reading Abby’s suggestions, was Lucinda. Other ideas might include the Spanish name Luz. Or, if you want to go really meta, the whole Helen/Ellen/Elaine family share the meaning “light” with Lucy/Lucie.
As far as spelling, I’m Mandie with an -ie, and, similar to your own experience, have had people default to spelling it with a -y all my life. Is it annoying? Somewhat. But not enough to make me change it. However, I DID name my daughter Milly (with a -y) specifically so that she could avoid all those annoying misunderstandings. Only to discover that most people default to spelling it Millie! So my advice would be that it’s a battle you can’t win, and I think your multiple-generation-connection is a very strong argument for going with Lucie.
Lucie seems quite similar to Lizzie, if a little softer. I think if you can get Lucie from Louise, you can get it from Elizabeth/Elisabeth? Elisabeth is possibly a bit more intuitive.
Lucina — Roman goddess associated with childbirth.
Lucentia — also Latin, means shining. Lucentio is Bianca’s suitor in Taming of the Shrew.
Lucent — Why not just use the vocabulary word?
Luscinia, latin name for nightingale genus
Megan K. says
Wow I love this! i was leaning Lucinda but Luscinia is just wow.
Also I agree with everyone saying to go IE for the family connection.
In my experience growing up, schools always used the legal name for assemblies and what have you. Teachers don’t usually use the last name unless the name is a repeat, and most teachers use the student’s preferred name. Think of all the James called Jimmy who were announced as James for graduation, or when called to the office.