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!
Leigh is due in just about a week! She’s not finding out if the baby is a boy or a girl, so there’s not a lot of time left – and she needs two great names.
My grandfather died very recently and suddenly and was a large part of my life growing up. I would love to name our child after him in some way, but am not sure how to do this. His name was Arnold Edmont. I’m not overly keen on either name and also not sure how to turn either of those into a feminine version without sounding contrived.
He was always known as ‘Pa’ to me so was thinking something that starts with Pa would be more fitting. I absolutely love Parker as a girl’s first name and think it ticks all the boxes, however hubby says no. Two other names we’re considering are Palmer and Paloma.
If the baby is a boy, his first name will be Reeve – named after his two grandfathers, Ross and Steve. I’d like to honour Pa with the middle name.
If the baby is a girl, we would like May in the middle spot – named for her aunt and grandmother. For the first name, I’d like to name her after Pa – though we’ve never been able to agree on a girl’s first name because hubby wants something traditional like Amy or Catherine. I want something less common like Indigo or Fern. I also am very big on nature names.
We’ve both agreed that we don’t want a name from the top 100.
Read on for my response, and please add your thoughtful suggestions in the comments!
Hi Leigh –
Congratulations on your baby-on-the-way!
This is an interesting set of challenges. And can I just say that Reeve, from Steve and Ross, might be the best honor name ever?! Such a great way to incorporate both sides of the family, but still find a name that is fresh and new.
Let’s start with names for a boy first, if only because I think a middle name is slightly easier to find.
- Reeve Edmont – Edmont is a quirky, unusual surname(ish) middle, but it isn’t unwearable – especially in the middle spot. Still, sometimes handing down a middle name isn’t terribly satisfying.
- Reeve Adler – Arnold means eagle, and so does Adler. Adler is the German word for eagle, and it’s a familiar surname name, too.
- Reeve Ari – There are two reasons to consider Ari. First, like Adler, Ari means eagle. This time, the derivation is Old Norse. (There’s more than one possible origin and meaning for Ari – but they all have their appeal – in Hebrew, Ari is lion. In Armenian, it means brave.) But beyond the shared meaning, Ari and Arnold share the same first syllable, which connects them even more.
- Reeve Aaron – I’m not sure if Aaron has as much wow factor as some of the other possibilities, but Aaron does share the same first syllable as Arnold.
- Reeve Arno, Reeve Arnaud – The French form of Arnold is Arnaud, which is pronounced sort of like Arno in English. The Arno river in Tuscany gets its name from another source, but makes me like that spelling even more.
- Reeve Paxton – I think Paxton is a great surname name. It starts with the letters that honor your dear Pa. But it also continues the Latin word pax – peace – which is a pleasing association.
- Reeve Patrick – I wonder if traditional Patrick might please your husband’s more traditional tastes? I kept looking for another Pa- name to put on the list, but I’ll admit – Patrick keeps coming up as the one to beat.
- Aquila May – Aquila is the Latin word for eagle. While it’s more commonly masculine, I think it works well for a girl in 2015. It’s pronounced ah KEE lah, though the more phonetic versions of the name – like Akilah – seem to have separate, Arabic roots.
- Edie May, Eden May – Edmont made me think of Edie and Eden, both great Ed- names. There are other Edie-names, too, but I think Edie and Eden are among the most current. Eden has the bonus association with a garden – not quite a nature name, but close.
- Patton May – Parker is out, but you’ve got Palmer on your short list. Here’s another Pa- possibility. It fits right in with another surname name on the rise: Sutton. Paxton, from the boys’ list, is another though.
- Lake May, Lane May, Elaine May – Well, maybe not with May. I went looking for a name at the intersection of Amy, Catherine, Fern, and Indigo. There’s not much middle ground! But I did think that Lake and Lane might work. They’re not traditional, but neither are they wildly out there. And Lane could possibly be a nickname for Elaine. (Or Elena, Helena, or … you get the idea!) The only problem? None of these names tie back to your grandfather! But if you were willing to trade May in the middle spot, you might have a combination like Lane Paloma, or even Lane Paloma May.
- Nola May – Arnolda is a non-starter, I think. But Nola feels like it could come from Arnolda, and it also seems like a nice compromise between your style and your husband’s style. Also, Nöl is apparently a short form of Arnold in Limburgish. Obscure, but another reason I think it works.
- Ari May, Arla May, Arley May – Starting with the first syllable of Arnold works for girls’ names, too. Ari is gender neutral, and Arla and Arley – choose your spelling – could be possibilities, too. Arlette is often listed as a feminine form of Arnold, but I’m not so sure about Arlette in 2015.
- Arden May – Arden doesn’t come from Arnold, or the word for eagle. Too bad! But it does share Arnold’s first sound, as do Ari and company. It also brings to mind Shakespeare’s famous forest, so that’s another subtle nature name like, in the key of Eden.
From your girls’ list, I adore Paloma. I think it hits all the marks. It’s feminine and traditional, which seems like it would please your husband. The ‘Pa’ honors your grandfather. Plus, Paloma is the Spanish word for dove, so it’s a nature name. And while a dove doesn’t exactly honor your grandfather, staying in the avian family feels right.
Then again, I love Ari – or really any of the Ar- names for a boy or a girl.
Readers, what do you think? How you would you honor grandpa Arnold, and are there any eagle-related or starts-with-Pa names that I’ve overlooked?