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!
We’re in need of some help with coming up with a few possible name options for our little girl who is due in early May.
In a nutshell, I’m a Gemini and a planner – a difficult combo. I need a short list to ponder for at least a few months to name our third little girl. Older sisters are Vivienne Rose and Georgia Violet. My
husband and I are not agreeing on much, and feel like we have gone over every possible name. I’d prefer a flower or nature middle. I’m loving Magnolia, and he’s fine with that, so it’s a strong preference. I’m not a fan of Maggie and we cannot use Nola/Nolie for too close reasons, so Magnolia is not an option for the first name.
He leans towards strong, often classic names. A few names he likes are Emerson, Katherine, Emilia, and Charlotte. I’m not loving Emerson with our sibset, and just eliminated Emery. I know a million Emilys and can’t get behind Emilia, and don’t love Amelia. Charlotte falls flat for me because I know so many right now. I’m not opposed to Katherine, but like having easy nicknames and don’t want Kate, Katie, Kit or Kat.
Right now we have a penciled list of Katherine. A very light penciled list includes Sylvie, Tessa, and Ella, all of which I have one reservation or another over.
I’d love to find a name or two that I’m excited about! Other names we’ve discussed and ruled out for a variety of reasons include: Cora, Emmeline, Ruby, Audrey, Caroline, Lorelei, Abigail, Willa, anything that starts with P, Josephine or any name with an -een sound as our last name is pronounced “Preen”, Calista, Eloise, and Madeline.
Can you help with this puzzle?
Please read on for my response, and leave your thoughtful suggestions in the comments.
Dear Carolyn –
How exciting to be expecting your third daughter! So many of your suggestions sound like they’re close, but not quite The Name. That must be frustrating!
I’d call Vivienne and Georgia sweet spot names – familiar, but not too common.
Classic Katherine could be a sister for Vivienne and Georgia, but it sounds like you’re not thrilled with the nickname options. Are you sure you want to use a name with such potential for headaches? It seems like you ruled Magnolia out for that reason.
Let’s start fresh, and consider traditionalish names that don’t appear on your current shortlist. Both Georgia and Vivienne appear in the current US Top 200, so these suggestions mostly fall in that range.
Adelaide – It feels like your style is traditional-with-a-twist, something a little to the left of classic. Adelaide fits that description – it has history galore, but doesn’t quite belong with the evergreen Mary, Elizabeth, and Anne. The challenge, of course: how do you feel about the possible nickname Addie?
Annabelle – Annabelle feels gently old-fashioned, but spirited, too. Like Vivienne and Georgia, nickname options abound. But I typically hear this name used in full. It reminds me of Emmeline, and the very traditional Ann- might appeal to your husband.
Daphne – I feel like I suggest Daphne a lot, but that’s because it hits the mark for so many families. It’s feminine, but not frilly. We all recognize it and can spell and pronounce it immediately, but it’s not terribly common. I also think it pairs beautifully with Vivienne and Georgia. One more factor: Daphne comes from the Greek for laurel tree, so this matches your nature name theme. But it’s not so obviously a word name that you couldn’t use it with Magnolia for the middle.
Eliza – As with Adelaide, Eliza makes this list because it’s just a step or two removed from the most traditional of names. It has as much spirit as Georgia, and thanks to that ‘z’, a sound every bit as big as Vivienne.
Juliet – Julia seems like an evergreen classic, but Juliet is her literary cousin, the -et transforming it to something just slightly different. While it brings to mind Shakespeare’s tragic romance, it’s also a reasonably mainstream choice for a daughter.
Louisa – If Eloise isn’t quite the right fit, might Louisa work? Louisa spent decades out of the US Top 1000; believe it or not, it’s the less common name on this list. It actually ranks just #826! And yet, no one would find this name different. Lou and Lulu are easy nicknames, and maybe even Lucy.
Matilda – Magnolia makes me think of Matilda. Matilda sits just inside the current US Top 500. It’s quirky, but traditional, too.
Stella – Ella is such a lovely name, but would you consider Stella? It reminds me of Willa, too. I think Stella sounds exactly like a sister for Vivienne and Georgia. It’s a current Top 100 name – and has been 2010.
Overall, Juliet is my favorite. I like Juliet Magnolia quite a bit, and I think it sounds exactly like a sister for Vivienne and Georgia.
But I know our readers will have more fabulous suggestions, so I’m turning it over to the community: What would you name a sister for Vivienne and Georgia?
Anneleise is my favorite for you. But you do have a lot of lovely options here…. 🙂
Good luck and congrats!!
Sorry! I think it’s actually spelled Anneliese. 😉
Elizabeth! It’s classic but not that popular, and it has so many nickname possibilities! Also I have friends with an Elizabeth (nn Lizzie) and a Georgia, so it just came to mind. Vivienne, Georgia and Elizabeth sounds like a beautiful sibset to me.
All the best!
Margo or Ramona would be lovely matches I think!
The 1st name I thought of is Elisabetta. It’s as lovely and poetical to my ear as the other two children’s glorious names, but I don’t know if it sounds like it should be paired with Magnolia. On the other hand, no name will really be up to Magnolia, given how strong and distinct it sounds. There’s also Gwendolyn. Or Arabella. Or Emmeline. I think the main name, the first name, is Most important and should hold its own with her two older sisters’ names. She should feel like her name is as lovely as theirs. Isabella is another choice. Or Sophia. Lavinia springs to mind. Or, hey, even Tristenne.
Zena Eve says
N walby says
What about Lavinia? Or Lucille to be called Lucy?
Also, a good middle is Magnolia doesn’t work is Iris. Also what about Adrienne Magnolia? Lavinia Iris, Lucille Magnolia, I also love Carlotta Iris to be called Lottie.
Juliet is so good! For a totally different middle option, I’d go Annabelle Aster.
Eleanor nn Ella?
Middle name Daisy or Lily would be really cute with Rose and Violet too if you find a name that doesn’t work with Magnolia.
The Mrs. says
How about heavenly Celeste?
Vivienne, Georgia, and Celeste.
Nicknames could be CeCe, Lettie, Celia, Ella, and Leela.
Estelle might suit, too.
Vivienne, Georgia, and Estelle.
Nicknames for her include Stella, Essie, Elle, Etta, and Tess.
I have Alice Marigold! It is so spunky but not crazy. People love it when they hear it. I had three girls in a row and Catherine is my middle. We started out calling her Cate and Kitty but now that she is 7 she prefers her full name or Cate.
I have a Zelda Marigold and yes, people are always wild about Marigold!
Frances, Claire, Emmeline, Helen
Adelaide is a lovely suggestion, and I just wanted to note my favorite nickname for it: Lady 🙂 Adelaide Magnolia sounds perfect in the sibset to me.
I also love the pp suggestion of Marigold, though not with the potential middle, Magnolia.
I also love Marigold. “Goldie”
Harriet Magnolia nn Hattie
Or Ceciliy nn Lily (to go with Rose and Violet)
Acacia is another under-used flower name.
Cecilia or Elodie
Marisa overseas says
I like the suggestions of Annabelle, Daphne, and Francesca.
Kirah C. says
I absolutely adore the suggestion of Florence Magnolia. I think Vivienne, Georgia, and Florence are just stunning!
Thank you all! These thoughtful suggestions give us a new list to ruminate over! Will keep you posted, Abby.
Daphne is lovely! I wouldn’t do Stella because Stella Magnolia seems a little too close to Steel Magnolia on paper. Estelle however would work wonderfully and you have lots of E names on your list which suggests it’s an attractive letter for you. I love Edith but it seems slightly more staid than your style. Edie Magnolia sounds like a gem though and is awfully close to Sylvie in the best ways.
I have a little Adelaide in my extended family — nickname Della.
I love the suggestion of Margo.
Lillian or Lily
C in DC says
These names strike me as Old Hollywood names, which I love. How about Marlaine or Marlaina, Esther or Heddy, Helene, Bettina or Bette, Joan, Magdalena, or any of the -ette names, like Abby’s suggestion of Juliet or Juliette.
If not Charlotte then how about Scarlett?
I think Miranda could work as well.
Love Annabel Magnolia with your sibset as well as Daphne, Juliet, Eliza, Adelaide (nn Ada vs Addie) and Stella. I also think Frances or Margot are lovely (Margot Magnolia, nn Mimi ).
Adele, Cecile, Cecily, Charmian, Coraline, Edwina, Esme, Estelle, Felicity, Flaminia, Flavia, Francesca, Genevieve, Ginevra, Hilary, Ianthe, Ione, Ilaria, Jessamyn, Livia, Lucille, Maeve, Mattea, Millicent, Ottilie, Romilly, Susannah, Tabitha, Tamsin, Therese, Winifred, Xanthe,
Also Alice, Brielle, Elodie, Evangeline, Helena, Isadora, Laurel, Leonie.
My daughters are Rosalie and Vivian, and Georgia was at the top of my list (darn husbands). I came to suggest Rosalie but I see you already have a Rose middle name! Other names we considered include Helena, Margo, Caroline, Cordelia, Claudia, and Matilda. I like the suggestion of Juliet a lot, as well as Sylvie, already on your list.
Vivienne and Georgia are gorgeous! Adelaide and Eliza a sound just right in the sibset. I could also see Harriet, and I think Felicity was a great suggestion, too.
Cecily & Romilly are brilliant suggestions!
Zena Eve says
Vivienne and Georgia is gorgeous!
Daphne seems perfect here! I’d also like to suggest Margaux (since you chose the French spelling of Vivienne.) Margaux Magnolia makes me swoon. How about Simone? I have a Georgia and all of these names are ones we considered.
I was going to suggest Felicity, too, @Jean C.! It was sparked by seeing Calista on the not-quite list.
From Abby’s list, I think Eliza fits in well with the other girls’ names. The A ending with Magnolia, though…
Maybe Eliza Jasmine. Or Eliza Celeste. It’s not a flower, but it’s nature.
Jordan Pace says
I was going to suggest Daphne before i saw it! I have a Daphne and she was almost a Vivienne. If her brother (theo!) had been a girl he would have been Georgia. I get so many compliments on Daphne’s name. Every recognizes it, nobody knows one. It’s the exact note we were hoping to strike.
Jean C. says
Oh do I love your girls’ names! So lovely.
I would like to suggest Evangeline, Felicity and Ophelia.
I do really like Abby’s suggestion of Juliet.