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?