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Girl names with a B
November 4, 2012 8:20 AM   Subscribe

Help me come up with a girl baby name within some very special constraints!

We're expecting! As we're counting down the first trimester and waiting to tell people, we're discussing names. Our boy name is set in stone--both of our traditional family names. But we're struggling a bit with a first name for a girl, since we don't have any great girl names in our families.

Here's our criteria:

Must go with the middle name Leigh.
Must begin with the letter B.
Repurposed boy's names are fair game for consideration.
Our last name begins with an O and has two syllables.
Bonus points for literary connotations.

For example, our current front-runner name is Bridget; we'd call her Bree for short.
posted by House of Leaves of Grass to Grab Bag (77 answers total)
 
Beatrice/Beatrix, Bea for short.
posted by phunniemee at 8:26 AM on November 4, 2012 [11 favorites]


Beatrix/Beatrice
Bianca
Briony
posted by belladonna at 8:26 AM on November 4, 2012


Briony
Bronte
Beatrice
Bianca
Belinda
posted by Defying Gravity at 8:27 AM on November 4, 2012


Bronwyn.
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:27 AM on November 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


Important question: do you have hard or soft sounds in your last name (generally you want the opposite in the first name).
posted by DoubleLune at 8:28 AM on November 4, 2012


Brenda. (Brenda Starr was a fictional character who wrote stuff! Double literary points!)
posted by feral_goldfish at 8:30 AM on November 4, 2012


Brianna
Bethany
Betina
posted by Neekee at 8:32 AM on November 4, 2012


DoubleLune, we have soft sounds in our last name.
posted by House of Leaves of Grass at 8:33 AM on November 4, 2012


Barbara (Barb, Barbie for short)
Bernadette (Bernie, Nettie for short)*
Beryl
Brandy (song reference, plus many alternate spellings)*
Brooke*

*would (probably) work better with your last name

If you wanted to incorporate "leigh" into the first name, you could do an alternate spelling of "Bailey" as "Baileigh," but that's getting into "I hate my name because nobody can every spell it" territory.
posted by DoubleLune at 8:35 AM on November 4, 2012


Briar
Bronya
Basia
Brynna
posted by to recite so charmingly at 8:43 AM on November 4, 2012


Bella
posted by box at 8:43 AM on November 4, 2012


Brittney Leigh sounds pretty cute to me.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 8:43 AM on November 4, 2012


I loooove the suggestions of Bronwen and Bryony and would also submit Briallen and Brigh (which is pronounced "Bree" so wouldn't go with Leigh as a middle name, so I guess it wouldn't really work but anyway.) There's also Betony (pronounced Bet-nee) and Bijou (Bee-shoe)...
posted by cairdeas at 8:44 AM on November 4, 2012


Blake
Bryce
posted by lalex at 8:45 AM on November 4, 2012


Byron. Yes it's a re purposed boy's name but Byron-Leigh sounds pretty to me.
posted by wwax at 8:47 AM on November 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Beech
Birch
Bernicia
Blithe/Blythe
posted by Jehan at 8:52 AM on November 4, 2012


Brisket?
posted by Postroad at 8:52 AM on November 4, 2012 [11 favorites]


Bonnie
Beata (Latin "blessed"; a Polish/German given name, but I associate it with Dante Gabriel Rosetti's ethereal painting "Beata Beatrix")
Birdie
Billie
Berta
Beryl
Brooke
posted by tully_monster at 8:52 AM on November 4, 2012


Bronte
Bess
Belinda
Brigitte
posted by Sal and Richard at 8:52 AM on November 4, 2012


Blythe Leigh O'Something sounds pretty cool to me.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 8:53 AM on November 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Bedilia
Bevin
Brigitta
Blythe
posted by greta simone at 8:53 AM on November 4, 2012


Berit
Birgitte
Brita
posted by Area Man at 8:53 AM on November 4, 2012


First of all: how did you tell him about the pregnancy? Inquiring minds want to know.

I really, REALLY like Beatrice or Beatrix. Bonus points for Beatrix: you can call her Trixie.

Blanche is nicely old-fashioned. Birdie is cute and offbeat. Birdie Leigh sounds kicky, like a girl who would play with the Barbies her grandmother gave her by having them be international spies.

Brienne is nice, if the Game of Thrones allusion isn't a negative.

What about Briony? or Beulah?
posted by KathrynT at 9:01 AM on November 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Brida
Bethany/Beth
Basia
Billie
posted by pised at 9:02 AM on November 4, 2012


Bara, a diminutive/variation of Barbara
Becka/Beckah, variant of Rebecca
Bethan, Welsh diminutive of Elizabeth
Bianca
posted by gudrun at 9:05 AM on November 4, 2012


Boone
Barlow
posted by Sassyfras at 9:06 AM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Beatrice/Beatrix gets my top vote, I also like Byron and Bethan/Bethany.

How about Bettina? I don't like it as much as the ones I just seconded, but I'm just adding more suggestions!

How about researching names from the origins of your family names? Not literally in the family tree, but for example German names if either if your families have German roots, or Irish or whatever.
posted by Joh at 9:12 AM on November 4, 2012


You probably don't actually want to name your daughter Boadicea/Boudica, but it was one of the first things that popped into my head when I started thinking about my old lit. classes.

Definitely like Beatrice/Beatrix. Also rather love Bronwyn.
posted by divisjm at 9:19 AM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Beatrix/Beatrice is my vote. Someone from another thread said that was a bad choice because there is a Princess Beatrix, but by that logic Elizabeth, Phillip, Charles, William, Harry, Catherine, Kate, etc would all be eliminated. I still vote for Beatrix!!

(And please tell us how you told him)
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 9:29 AM on November 4, 2012


Brigitta
Bonnie
Britta
posted by discopolo at 9:31 AM on November 4, 2012


Blair
Brett
posted by carmicha at 9:44 AM on November 4, 2012


Brenda was the first name that came to mind. I also like Bronwyn. How about Betsy or Betty?

And yes, please tell us how you told him!
posted by SisterHavana at 9:45 AM on November 4, 2012


I agree that Beatrix [Potter!] is awesome. You could also go for Beatrice and call her Beezus a la Ramona.

My husband suggested Beezy as a nickname, too. Beezy Leigh is pretty adorable, but he might be joking.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:46 AM on November 4, 2012


Bart. Brock. Balthazar.

Just kidding.

Bedlam.

Kidding again.

Brody, Brady, Blythe, Bellatrix (literary, heh), Bonita, Bjork.

For a powerful literary reference, Brünnhilde.

Dum DUM da-da DUMMM dummm, DUM da-da DUMMM dummm....
posted by perspicio at 9:49 AM on November 4, 2012


Batman.

Seriously, that would be super awesome. Especially for a girl.
posted by cmoj at 10:06 AM on November 4, 2012 [9 favorites]


Beatrix/Beatrice and Bella are great names, but using them requires you to accept that there'll be lots of other little girls with the same name --- if you're okay with that, I agree that Beatrix (the name of the talented Miss Potter, that British princess, and other assorted royalty) is lovely. Bella, though.... I'm sorry, but that 'Twilight' character is such an idiot, she's ruined it.

Brenda Starr was (might still be?) a cartoon character in a strip of the same name; you might want to look it up to see if you'd want to make that link.

Bryony/Briony
Beryl
Beth
Birch
Bonita
Becky/Becca
Blythe
posted by easily confused at 10:06 AM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Britt
Beta/Betta (the shortened version of Elizabeta in Northern Europe, also used on its own)
Benita
Bryn
Blair
posted by quince at 10:10 AM on November 4, 2012


I also love Beatrice. Fits in well with the current rage for old timey names, but isn't Sophia, Ava, or Olivia, which means she probably won't be Beatrice O. at school.

Do you plan to call her "Bxxxx Leigh", or is Leigh just going to be her middle name, to be used on paperwork and in the occasional fit of parental sternness?

Bryn? I wouldn't recommend if you are planning to go heavy on the Leigh, though, because Brynleigh is ugh.

Bree, but be careful because Brie is a cheese and whenever I meet someone named Bree (however it's spelled) I immediately think the sentence, "Brie is a cheese, not a person."

Becca/Rebecca?

Blake?

Also love the above suggestion of Blythe, but I think it needs a pretty strong last name and also doesn't sound super great with Leigh if you were thinking of using both names together. Blythe O'Neill or sounds great, Blythe-Leigh O'Leary would be awful.

Bridget, though maybe not super good if your last name is O'Something.

I would not pick a name with the assumption that she will go by X nickname or not go by any commonly associated nickname. My brother was born Christopher-who-shall-never-be-known-as-Chris. 23 years later, I have a brother named Chris.
posted by Sara C. at 10:15 AM on November 4, 2012


Congrats!

Branwen
Beckett
Beau
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:26 AM on November 4, 2012


Berry
Bernita
Brose
Byna
Brayden
posted by cat_link at 10:29 AM on November 4, 2012


Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone!

In the end, I came home and told my husband to close his eyes, I had brought him something home from work...and slapped the test into his hand. Even with so little fanfare, it took him two and a half hours to recover! We are planning to use the "and that is how I met your mother/father" with a photo of the positive test in the scrapbook as soon as we've gotten far enough into the pregnancy to feel confident of a happy result.

The plan is Leigh as a middle name, for formal occasions and shouting at misbehaviors only. As far as nicknames go, she'll go by whatever she wants to call herself the minute she can talk, I'm sure.

If it helps, our family name is not O'something, but rather a very common surname that begins with O. My family is German, but I'm not nuts about any of our family German names, and my husband's family appears to be non-traceable.

Is Bree too Sign-of-the-Prancing-Pony obvious?

Cmoj, our dog is already named Bruce Wayne...
posted by House of Leaves of Grass at 10:33 AM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, you can't call her Beatrix/Beatrice when your last name starts with O. It's bad enough that she abbreviates to B.O. as it is, but having the name "Bea O." is just asking for trouble.

I also like Barbara, Brenda, Bethany, and Brooke.
posted by crazycanuck at 10:35 AM on November 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


I second Britta. Britta Leigh O....
I also like Bita (it means unique in Farsi). Bita Leigh O... works nicely.
posted by travelwithcats at 10:35 AM on November 4, 2012


Because you're asking: to my ears Bree and Leigh (sounds like Lee) don't go well together, it's just too matchy-matchy.
posted by travelwithcats at 10:44 AM on November 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


If it helps, our family name is not O'something, but rather a very common surname that begins with O

...

Is Bree too Sign-of-the-Prancing-Pony obvious?


That reminds me of something, whatever you are thinking about, remember to Google the full name. Especially if Bree Olson is going to be a serious contender.
posted by cairdeas at 10:58 AM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bree Leigh is a no-go, sorry. To stick up for Beatrix, the "Bea O." problem only becomes an issue if you call her "Bea;" "Trixie O." is not problematic at all.

(still holding out for Birdie Leigh, though.)
posted by KathrynT at 11:05 AM on November 4, 2012


Benton
Bonnie
Bristol
Bennett
posted by kestrel251 at 11:10 AM on November 4, 2012


My 4-year old daughter is Bronwyn. We're big into the Celtic names in our family, so your mileage my differ.
posted by thanotopsis at 11:12 AM on November 4, 2012


Babette
Bailey
Belen
Bellamy
Bunny
posted by bunji at 11:14 AM on November 4, 2012


Brighton?

I always thought Bruno would be a cute name for a girl, but it might not work with your last name.
posted by southern_sky at 11:16 AM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bethany is perfect.
posted by TestamentToGrace at 11:38 AM on November 4, 2012


Bethany.

Bellamy?

Blair?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:43 AM on November 4, 2012


I second Beckett!

I am also trying to make Bishop happen as a boy's name, so it might be too soon to make it a girl's name, but- Bishop!
posted by Snarl Furillo at 11:49 AM on November 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Beckett!!! Awesome for a girl!! Fav so far..


Also like Blythe and Bronwyn

Congrats!!
posted by pearlybob at 12:00 PM on November 4, 2012


Yeah, Blythe and Bree have similar problems with Leigh: in both cases, what matters is how you pronounce Leigh --- 'lee' or 'lay'?

Blythe Lee Olsen works, but Blythe Lay Olsen is iffy.
Bree Lay Owens is not too bad, but Bree Lee Owens is awful.

(Bronwyn Lee Olsen is better than Bronwyn Lay Owens, for that matter.)
posted by easily confused at 12:20 PM on November 4, 2012


Leigh is a lovely middle name. The pronunciation /ly/ after some first names will sound like an adverb: Blythe Leigh = blithely.

Initials were a big deal for me when I named my kids. I loved Elizabeth Anne, but her initials would have been EAR. Your girl's initials would be BLO.
posted by Linnee at 12:25 PM on November 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bailey
posted by sciencegeek at 12:26 PM on November 4, 2012


Bronte? It starts with a B, is literary and sounds good with Leigh. Its not my personal style but it jumped out at me as a possibility based on the list of needs.

Some of my favourite B names not mentioned are Bianca, Belinda (also literary), Beryl and Beata. I also really love Berenice but its a lot of name for most people nowadays.
posted by GilvearSt at 12:29 PM on November 4, 2012


Barrett
Bowie
Bergen

(congratulations!)
posted by argonauta at 12:32 PM on November 4, 2012


An alternate form of Bridget/Brigid/Brighid is Birgitta. I think Birgitta Leigh works. It's certainly one of those names your child would frequently have to spell for people, but it's easy to pronounce.

Briga is another possibility, although it doesn't flow nearly as well with Leigh. Same with Blake - I love the name Blake Owens or Blake Olson/Olsen, but "Blake Leigh" doesn't flow very well. If the middle name will rarely be used, though, it may not matter to you.
posted by pecanpies at 12:33 PM on November 4, 2012


Bridie
Bonnie
Billy
Boston
Basia
Betta
posted by cairnoflore at 12:34 PM on November 4, 2012


My best friend's confirmation name was Beate. But odds are people wouldn't be able to pronounce it. Beata, as mentioned above, is a better bet, but she'd still get called Beeta.

However, I like Beth Leigh X. I'm not a fan of using diminutives as names on their own, but that may not be an issue for you. Having just googled to make sure that Wiki agrees with me that Beth is a diminutive, I'm reminded that Bethan is a name, which I like better with Leigh.
posted by hoyland at 1:45 PM on November 4, 2012


I don't understand why you can't just name her the beautiful name you already have. Leigh is a charming name. If you like it so much to have settled on it already, then kick it up to the first name.
posted by zizzle at 1:49 PM on November 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Beata or Beate (pronounced be-a-tee) sounds nice with Leigh O.. and is not as fashionable as Beatrice, which is also a great name.
posted by mumimor at 1:59 PM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Another vote for Britta.
posted by arcticseal at 2:55 PM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bliss
posted by kimdog at 3:04 PM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bay.
Bay Leigh Olsen.
posted by progosk at 3:14 PM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Brianne
Bentley
Bailey
Brandy (so retro it's cool again?)
Betty
Bergen
Bergitta
Blair
Blythe
Brielle
Bettina
posted by murfed13 at 4:44 PM on November 4, 2012


Brixton.
posted by 23skidoo at 5:42 PM on November 4, 2012


Brigitta! I grew up with a Brigitta Lee and she's an awesome adult.

Yeah, Bree makes me think of the cheese, too. It doesn't work with Leigh.

And I'm curious! Why "B" only?
posted by purenitrous at 6:49 PM on November 4, 2012


I can't speak for OP but it's common for people to honor a dead relative by naming a child with the same first initial. I think this is a Jewish tradition but might be more common than that?
posted by Sara C. at 6:52 PM on November 4, 2012


I don't have any ideas, but maybe the babynamewizard will help? (Also, the NameVoyager is super fun to play with.)
posted by soonertbone at 7:13 PM on November 4, 2012


I like Blythe, but it doesn't really work with Leigh for the reason Linnee stated (ditto Belle, if you say it out loud). I'm also wary of both BO and BLO as initial sets to bestow on a baby girl, but I presume you've already considered that.

Beth is my pick for a literary name. If you were wary of using it as a standalone name you could go with Bethan or Bethany.

Otherwise, if I were going to repurpose a boy's name, I might look at Basil.
posted by lwb at 7:51 PM on November 4, 2012


Brenna
posted by platinum at 8:04 PM on November 4, 2012


Bobbie
Brandon

Her initials will be BLO
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:08 PM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Repurposed boy's names are fair game for consideration.

Barack? Depends on your political leanings I guess.

I'm a fan of Birdie, mentioned above.
posted by mikepop at 6:40 AM on November 5, 2012


Update: After all of these wonderful suggestions--of course, we're having a boy. Thanks everyone, I'll keep these in case a future baby girl needs a name!
posted by House of Leaves of Grass at 5:54 AM on March 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


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