Baby, baby, the stars are shining for you... name help please!
February 9, 2019 8:25 AM   Subscribe

My wife and I are expecting a baby girl in April. Since the beginning of the pregnancy we've been partial to a combo family name after each of our maternal grandmothers. It isn't feeling like "the name" though so we're going back to the drawing board.

The name we've picked thus far is Lela June. Pronounced "Leela"... One thing is I don't want to have to explain spelling to people over and over. In addition: our last name is a bit tricky to pronounce. It's French so usually you have to correct folks... people go to "ooh" ending when it should be "oh". It's short though.

We've started to tell people this family name and when we say the name it kind of doesn't feel right to us. For one, it has an almost Southern belle quality to it... we live in the intermountain west US. I'm realizing I don't like the middle name as a first name thing.

Here are the names on the shortlist... but I need to generate a few more. I figured that since we still have a couple months why not think this through now? Requirements: Easy to spell, short, nature, flower or vintage, also like a lot of French or Scandinavian names. Also literary names are good.

Clara
Willa
Petal
Hazel
Fern
Daphne
Tulip
Tillie
Sparrow (this one rhymes with our last name)
posted by timpanogos to Grab Bag (41 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
General recommendation: we used an app called Kinder (like Tinder, but for baby names). Parents swipe left or right and are notified for matches. Quick to go through a ton of em, and has the ability to include/exclude names by nationality. Good for surfacing rarer names and alternate spellings that you both might like.
posted by supercres at 8:28 AM on February 9 [5 favorites]


How about bodies of water?

Lake
Brook
River
Mere
Rill
Spring
posted by Autumnheart at 8:32 AM on February 9


From your title, I guess you’ve already thought of Celeste?
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:44 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Violet
Poppy
Rose
Wren
Lark
Larkin
Ivy
Willow
Astrid
Freya
Avril
Cora
Olive
Pearl
Flora

You might also get inspiration by browsing the various category name lists (nature, birds, colors, gems, etc.) at Nameberry.
posted by belladonna at 8:44 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Perhaps...

Lila (or Lily or Lilac or Lilia)
Alba
Rowan
Iris
Wren
posted by guessthis at 8:48 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Anya
Lillie
Rose
April
Fleur
Ivy
Daisy
posted by mermayd at 8:49 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Frida, Noelle, Tessa, Camille, Elodie, Eloise, Robin, Aster, Stella
posted by Rora at 8:54 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Ember
Aspen
Ruby
Sorrel
April
May
Della
Nora
posted by Redstart at 8:58 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Tilia or Linden
posted by sciencegeek at 9:05 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


My Nanas first names were Ruby Rose which I always thought was a lovely combination of first & middle name If I'd had kids that's what I would have named one of them. Though now a days there is an actress with the same name.
posted by wwax at 9:08 AM on February 9


I was just reflecting his week that I don’t know any Emmas that I don’t like, of any generation.

And Molly is a great name.

They’re both two syllables, if you’re considering balance/tempo (which can be argued for or against!!).
posted by wenestvedt at 9:20 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


These were some I liked, including some that we didn’t seriously consider for various reasons

Clara
Della
April
Jane
Alice
Lana
Beatrice
Vera
Alma
Vivian
Louise
Lois
Marianne
Laurel
posted by vunder at 9:25 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Lily June is pretty.
posted by mochapickle at 9:27 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Waverly
Lydia
Azure
posted by Sassyfras at 9:34 AM on February 9


Also:
Iris
Lilian
Frances
Veronica
posted by vunder at 9:38 AM on February 9


Lucia
posted by terooot at 9:48 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Also, two things I did were:

Download some name lists from the social security administration from various years around the time our grandmothers were born (so many ways to spell Betty!) and just review them for names that caught our eyes. I did a little trend analysis on names I liked to see if they had risen precipitously recently.

Walk through a large nearby cemetery. I loved looking at names of people who lived and died near me dating through the ages.

In the end, we went with a family name that we liked from the start, but it was great fun to try on all these other names.
posted by vunder at 9:50 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Meret
Celia
Alma
Tess or Tessa
Estelle
posted by minervous at 10:04 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


The Baby Name Wizard has suggestions for “sibling” names and is fun to page through.
What about switching “June” to “April” in your original choice? That might lose the southern sound.
posted by kerf at 10:12 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Iliana?

recent baby name I heard from a family of Norwegian descent

Lilian, Leah, Lilly, Lottie were various names my late mother in law went by on various documents.

Claire
Elinor
posted by mermayd at 10:24 AM on February 9


Ooh, Della June. So pretty.
posted by gryphonlover at 10:24 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


As someone with a name that people were awful to me about in childhood, please do not name your kid Tulip. I know that no name is safe, but some are worse than others and Tulip is going to get an endless barrage of two lips on an organ jokes and it's going to be awful for her. So - please, as you're picking things, think about mean kids, rhymes, sound-alike words, and for names that are also common use nouns, what the name will be like for her.
posted by bile and syntax at 10:27 AM on February 9 [7 favorites]


I keep remembering ones I liked:

Yvette
Elena
Helen
posted by vunder at 10:33 AM on February 9


> Petal

This is going to lead to a lot of "peddle" confusion, at least with people who talk like I do.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:33 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Our family origin is French and Norwegian. We have a two syllable French last name. We went with Annika, with the pronunciation “ ah nick a”.
posted by Rapunzel1111 at 10:53 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Aster (Scandinavian, nature, and star-related)
Astrid (scandinavian)
Stella (French, star)
posted by FirstMateKate at 10:55 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


I think Petal will lead to tons of confusion, something that names with your last name might not be great during immature kids-making-fun-of-things years, and that Tillie will guessed as a nickname for Matilda, maybe.

Even though I'm never having kids, for some reason lately I've been thinking that Iris or Ivy would be great kid names. (I named a cat Ivy instead). I also like Astrid and Stella. If you switch from June to May/Mae you can come up with some lovely combinations as well.
posted by TwoStride at 11:32 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Rowan
posted by ZabeLeeZoo at 12:26 PM on February 9


I would pick a 3 syllable 1st name if you want to keep the middle name June (or pick another 1 syllable name)
posted by brujita at 12:57 PM on February 9


Celine, Dahlia, Esme, Chloe

Elin, Charlotte, Rene, Liana

Alaine, Anais, Leone

Lyra, Margot, Amelie

Corinne, Juliet, Estee, Giselle

Pauline, Patrice

Simone, Adela, Etienne

Helene, Lucy
posted by aielen at 1:39 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Linnea. It is a Scandinavian girls’ name, and the name of a flower, and it’s after a scientist (Carolus Linnaeus) , and it’s short, and at least for me personally it has lovely positive associations of the children’s book Linnea’s Almanac.
posted by phoenixy at 2:52 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Yarrow
Mina
Vesper
Viola
Sandrine
Delphine
Artemis
Sage
Cleo
posted by sciencegeek at 4:29 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Claire Elaine
posted by Oyéah at 4:46 PM on February 9


Lina (or Elina)
Berit
Nina
posted by gudrun at 5:54 PM on February 9


Luna means moon and works as a combination of Lela and June... maybe as a middle name honouring both grandmothers?
posted by nouvelle-personne at 6:55 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Ebba, Edda, Lotta, Saga, Moa, Ida, Nova? All Swedish names that to me have a similar vibe to the names in your list.
posted by sometamegazelle at 7:37 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Lela. You love it, she will too. Who cares what anyone we thinks? At least 50 percent of people have to correct the spelling or pronunciation of their name, and what the hey? Think of all the Duchesnes who have to explain it's pronounced dushayne. It just makes it more memorable.
posted by Enid Lareg at 8:24 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


You do you, but the problem with a month name is... explaining that you were not born in that month. Ditto not born on that day / season / birth month associated with that flower or gemstone... you get the drift.
Meanwhile, Leela June is lovely. Use the spelling that resonates with -- you -- rather than the family spelling. This is fine.
The only other problem I can think of is that if you have several daughters, someone might be sad that all the family names are gone. On the other hand, one of my daughters has a family name for her middle name, the other does not, and I've never heard of a problem from either of them.

Seconding vunder about using popular names from previous generations. Here is a listing of top 100 names by year. Here is another from the United States Social Security website.
posted by TrishaU at 9:00 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


I gave birth to just_duckling 2 months ago and we named her Beth (not short for Elizabeth). We were looking for something short, sweet, easy to pronounce and spell, and also classic. My partner and I both have names that are common enough but that we always have to spell out for people, and neither of us love that, so we really wanted a name that no one would have any confusion over. Other names we considered:

-Vera
-Laurel
-Esther (this was my #1 choice but my partner haaaaated it, alas)
-Vivian
-Caroline

Congrats!
posted by just_ducky at 9:39 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


My daughter is Vada. (pronounced Vay-duh, like from the movie "My Girl") but she was almost Mila. I also prefer classic, shorter names for girls as well, but found on occasion some longer ones with common short nicknames.

Other suggestions:
Lola
Vera
Mary
Nova
Stella
Jane
Charlie (long; Charlotte?)
Eileen
Soleil (ex: Soleil Moon Frye)
Lucy
Talitha
Harper
Fiona
Leona
posted by Sara_NOT_Sarah at 1:10 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


- See if you can get a kid to yell the name you're thinking about. It has to be yellable.
- Consider all the bad nicknames that are easily derived from the name because they will be found by other kids. There's a story (probably fiction) that Dweezil Zappa started telling kids at a new school that his name was Rick and they immediately started calling him Rick Dick so he went back to Dweezil.
- Run the names you're thinking about past a preschool teacher or parent of a toddler to see if you're responding to some subliminal trend. We know multiple Rubys, Cocos, Harpers, Pearls, Lolas, etc. There is NOTHING wrong with those names, of course, but you should know that your little unique baby's name could become as common as "Jen" or "Katie" was when I was in grade school.
posted by eve harrington at 12:40 PM on February 17


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