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!
I would love your and your readers help choosing a name for our third baby!
Our son is named Andrew Nicholas and our daughter is Marnie Isla. This baby is going to be a girl and I’m just really struggling to find a name I like as much as Marnie.
I love Marnie because it is British (I was born in England and grew up in Scotland), classic and yet unique. I guess I like it so much because I grew up with a unique, yet classic, British name, and I can’t imagine having been one of many with the same name at school growing up. I liked being unique and want that for my children.
So why would I name my son a popular name like Andrew? My husband’s family are of Greek heritage, and it is his family’s tradition to name the first born son in the family after the child’s paternal grandfather. We actually haven’t had any issues with other Andrews his age, and I do really like that St. Andrew is also the patron saint of Scotland.
As for this baby, I have been keeping a list of names I like, but so far there’s nothing I love. I feel like this baby’s name can’t start with an M or have an “y” or “ie” sound at the end of it will be too rhyme-y with Marnie. I don’t love the too frilly/girly names like Amelia, Arabella, Aurora, Ariella, etc. Anything too unusual won’t fit with the classic feel of Andrew and Marnie.
I’ve ruled out Briony and Poppy for that reason. India is taken.
Other options I was considering, but am not sold on (either I don’t love or are too popular) are:
We’ll most likely use Evangelia as a middle name (my husband’s great-grandmother – a lot of the women in his family have this middle name), but that’s not definite.
Our last name starts with L and ends with an IS.
Please read on for my response and leave your thoughtful suggestions in the comments.
Congratulations on baby three!
My mom’s family follows a similar custom for naming their children, so I completely understand how you ended up with a traditionally-named son. We modified the practice, but our son ended up with a Top 25 classic name, while our daughter’s name is really uncommon.
Naming your third does present some challenges, but I think you’re on the right track. Andrew and Marnie sound a little throwback, kind of vintage, but with a lot of modern energy, too.
In this case, it probably makes the most sense to focus on matching Marnie without getting too close – and it sounds like that’s what you’re focusing on, so that’s a step in the right direction!
We need something that reads a little British, so I’m going to look to the England and Scotland popularity charts for names that are bigger in the UK than the US. We’re avoiding anything too frilly and probably any M names or names ending with the EE sound.
That seems like it should leave lots of options, right? But I can see how hitting that right mark in terms of popularity and sound is tough!
A SISTER FOR MARNIE and ANDREW
Even though Freya is borrowed from a Norse goddess name, it’s been big in the UK in recent years. That makes it feel nicely British. And while it’s catching on in the US, it’s yet to crack the Top 100. It’s a perfect style match, but it is possible that you’ll look up in another five years and feel like all the new babies are being name Freya, so I’m not sure it checks the uncommon-enough box.
Ida, like Marnie, isn’t in the current US Top 1000 – that’s pretty rare! While Marnie spiked in the 1960s, Ida was a nineteenth century favorite. Still, I think they’re both clearly from another time. (There’s an old Gilbert and Sullivan musical titled Princess Ida.) And the name is brief, complete, and easy to wear.
Midway between popular, classic Grace and current, stylish Laine is Jane. It’s bright and spirited, a little bit of insightful author Jane Austen and acclaimed sharpshooter Calamity Jane, all at once. It’s possible that your Jane might become a Janie, which is closer to Marnie. But otherwise, Jane feels like the perfect bridge between Andrew and Marnie.
I’m not positive that I’m pronouncing Lara correctly in British English. Sometimes – in all accents – it sounds like Laura. But I’m thinking of Lara, rhymes with Cara and Sarah. And it’s a good mix of familiar and underused, especially in the US.
Possibly the most obvious Nora substitute ever. Orla has never been especially popular in the US, but it’s a go-to name in much of Great Britain.
Niamh strikes me as Irish-y Irish, at least in the US. Spell it Neve, though, and it’s a rare, tailored possibility.
Poppy might not work, but how about Pippa? Yes, Americans think it’s British thanks to Pippa Middleton. But it does have the same feel as Marnie – casual, but with a long history of use. Sparky and intriguing. And definitely not common in the US!
Because you ruled out Sable, would you ever consider Sybil? Andrew, Marnie, and Sybil sound like they belong on the passenger log for an ocean liner a hundred years ago. They’re polished and poised, and – at least for the girls – names no expects, but everyone recognizes.
Overall, I keep coming back to Sybil and Pippa. Avoiding a Top 1000 name in the US might matter most of all here, and I like the way they sound with Marnie and Andrew, too.