Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I’m Not Pregnant – But Love Names to The Point of Weirdness

So I’m mulling over my name choices if I should ever have another daughter. Mind you I haven’t really run any of these options by Rob.

*** WARNING: I’m a big time name popularity snob. I go out of my way to avoid any name in the top 300. I know I shouldn’t care how popular a name is or could become, but I do. However, rest assured I will never do alternative spellings in order to be "different."

I’ve come to accept that most of my names WILL become popular sooner rather than later – but I’m trying to pick the name that can best withstand popularity, and become the next modern classic (like Allison) rather than the next fad name (like Madison).

I want to use one of these family middle names: Bernadette or Celine

NOTE: Sadly I must eliminate my absolute favorite name Ione (EYE-oh-nee). Rob reacted strongly against it, and Fiona and Ione does seem a cutesy pairing. But I’m morning the loss of Ione Celine. Really, if Rob loved the name like I do, I would overlook the cutesy pairing.

Most Promising First Names: Daphne & Sylvie

  • Both are somewhat nickname proof (don’t consider Daffy for Daphne a legit nn)
  • Either would work with our last name
  • I think these two names will be the most satisfying 30 years from now

Daphne’s advantages over Sylvie

  • If Daphne gets discovered, I think it could withstand popularity without getting trendy
  • Complements Fiona better than Sylvie
  • Would work with either middle name: Daphne Bernadette or Daphne Celine
  • Inspired by Ione, my absolute favorite name; both names are Greek

Daphne’s disadvantages

  • I fear this may be more boring than I initially perceived.
  • There is the illegitimate nn, Daffy

Sylvie’s advantages over Daphne

  • Like how Sylvie Bernadette flows since both names are French
  • While Daphne sounds respectable with our last name, I feel Sylvie harmonizes almost perfectly.
  • Rob is half French so a French name seems appropriate
  • Have to admit, Sylvie just seems to make my heart skip a beat a little more than Daphne
  • May consider Sylvia nn Sylvie as compromise if Rob prefers that, but I don’t feel Sylvia Bernadette flows as well. Call me anal, but I feel the extra syllable makes a difference

Sylvie’s disadvantages

  • I fear Sylvie is more susceptible to trendiness, which is why I may ignore the less-than perfect flow with Bernadette and just go with Sylvia.
  • Because of the similarity to top 10 names Sophia and Olivia, I fear both Sylvia and Sylvie will become big very soon.
  • On the one hand, I think Sylvia might better withstand popularity than Sylvie, on the other, I feel Sylvia will be the name to hit big first, and will rank higher (it already ranks higher - 500’s) than the unranked Sylvie (outside top 1000).

Other First Names:
Calista – inspired by Ione, both are Greek – would consider Callie or Calla for nicknames but really prefer the name in it’s full form.

Camilla – may consider Camille – but prefer Camilla because if she must have a nickname, Milla is preferable to Cammie.

Sylvia (nn Sylvie)


Viola – little concerned about repetitive “io” and "a" ending with Fiona but might not be too bad.

Now I must return to more productive persuits.


Jan said...

Hi, Namer from Swistlebabynames here. We have similar naming tastes so I clicked your profile out of curiosity. And since this post is on names I will continue the swistlebabynames tradition and weigh in. Ha, I kind of want to post my naming dilemma on Swistle but I'm not even pregnant, yet!

Fiona, Viola and Camille (would try for no nn) were all on my list for daughter #1 but vetoed by my husband.

I do think Fiona and Viola are a little too matchy. Also, I think I would stay away from another a ending if I were you. I love Daphne and I don't think you need to worry about Sylvie becoming too popular or trendy. I think the whole y/v thing will prevent it from becoming common. I totally agree that the one letter can make a huge difference (before it became popular Sophie but not Sophia were on my list). So both are great choices. I like Bernadette as your mn.

Hope you don't mind the random comment!

Karen Lew said...

Same as Jan, I'm a swistlebabyname reader who clicked through just out of curiosity. I've even noticed that you and I often cite each other's suggestions, e.g., Malcolm, as likes. And I'll weigh in on your hypothetical daughter's name, too.

Daphne. definitely Daphne. I really love the name and I think it's a wonderful match for Fiona - just a tad off-beat but pretty and recognisable. I'd put Vera and Viola in that category also. Actually, I really like Fiona, too, and I notice that the two names are similar without being matchy. Both have F, N, and EE sounds.

I like Calista but agree with Jan, Viola's too matchy with Fiona. If you name is recognisably French, I think Camille would be nicer than Camilla. Also, I wouldn't worry too much about unwanted nicknames, especially odd ones. Some truncations may be hard to avoid: (Alexander/Alex), but I find people are much more respectful these days and generally don't use nicknames they aren't invited to use.

As for mn's I prefer:
Daphne Celine
Sylvie Bernadette

Like you, I'm thinking of names for a future daughter I may never have. In case you're curious, I have a son, Adam, and daughter Margaret Naomi, who goes by Naomi. Fiona and Daphne with both possible names for Naomi but I don't love them for the sibset with Adam and Naomi. I have a VERY long post about Naomi's name here:


For my future hypothetical daughter, I'd consider giving her Margaret as middle name, since Margaret is a sacred family name (for me.) I'd want everyone to feel entitled to use it for their own children, including Adam who would be honouring both his sisters equally. Future hypothetical son is likely Jonah. My DH really goes for the Old Testament.

I can talk about names all.day.long. Sheesh.