October 26, 2011

A Millie By Any Other Name...

(I have been talking with some of you via Twitter about some possible big changes in our lives soon. Just for the record, this is not what I'm talking about. No baby news here!)

There's something that makes me uncomfortable about sharing the baby names I love. Do I think I'll get made fun of? Or maybe that everyone on earth will suddenly decide to name their babies solely from this blog post, ruining my hopes of using them in the future? I don't really know, but because neither of those are very likely, I'm spilling my favorites today.

Sky and I were watching a movie recently, and he announced, out of the blue, that he really liked the main character's name: Eloise. I decided I loved it too, and in the span of three seconds, decided I could call her El or Lulu, and then that Millie and Lulu sounded sickeningly adorable. This is what I do with nearly every name- I try them on my fictional unborn child, see how it would sound with our last name, and save it in my head under the "great possibilities" list, or the "no way in this world" list (which is much, much longer).

Millie would have been named Caroline or Violet if it had been solely up to me. Caroline is a great aunt's name, and I think it's so beautiful and classy. Turns out, it was good that Sky wasn't completely on board- my cousin had a baby just two weeks after Millie was born, and Caroline was the name she chose. (Honestly, if I had another girl someday, I would still consider the name.) Violet is for no reason at all (although, yes, I did read all The Boxcar Children books, and it also happens to be a character in my favorite movie, It's a Wonderful Life), but I couldn't convince Sky on that one either. Of course, it worked out well in the end- Millie's name suits her perfectly. Just don't be surprised if a Violet or Caroline is added to our family someday!

Boys names have always been tricky for me. Other than a handful that are just okay, I don't really like boys names- loathe most of them, actually. I don't know why they're so uninspiring to me, but Sky seemed to feel the same way. At the time, if Millie would have been a boy, we would have picked the name Ryan Andrew- Ryan for one of Sky's brothers, and Andrew for mine.

I always want to make sure a name could be cute when they're 1 month, but adult and classy when they're 100. I'm also very old fashioned when it comes to names. If it wasn't around for at least 100 years, it usually sounds too new and trendy to me. I like names with history to them. One of my favorite places to pick a name from is the vast genealogy records of my family. I also like girl names that sound decidedly like girl names. Millie is a mixture of Camilla, my mom's middle name, and my Great Aunt Mildred. Her middle name, Kae, is my mother-in-law's middle name. I love that she has meaning to her name- and not just that her names mean "industrious" and "joyful", but that they are attached to our families.

So through that obsessive, picky, over-the-top screening process, the names below made my current favorites list.


*Caroline (my great aunt's name)
*Marianne (both this and Elinor specifically spelled this way- yes, from Sense and Sensibility)
*Anna (very common, but too pretty to leave out)
*Margaret (maybe Maggie for short)
*Cecelia (loved this, but would not have kids named "Amelia" and "Cecelia")
*Alice (my grandma's name)
Middle names: Camilla, Mae (a great grandmother's name)


*Reed (Another recent seen-in-a-movie-and-instantly-loved name that Sky and I actually agree on.)
*Cary (yes, as in Cary Grant. Sky says no way, but give it time.)
*Cecil (my romantic great grandfather's name)
(*Someone I worked with once named their son Lincoln. I love the tribute, and think it's a unique name, but the only nickname I can think of is "Link", and that's horrible.)

What are your favorite baby names? Are they family names, someone you know, or do you just like them for no reason at all?

18 kind comments from you:

Bonnie said...

I love picking out baby names :) We decided to give Noah's name because Zack's name is actually Zachariah and his brother is Matthew. Biblical is what we went with. Zack picked out Noah's first middle name (Karter) and his second middle name is my granddad's middle name (Arthur). Gracie's name is Grace from my dad's mom Lynn from Zack's stepmom's middle name, Olive is my gram's middle name, and Addison is someone's middle name that Zack served in Iraq with in 2007-2008 that basically saved his life. (It's a guy's middle name) ;) And with this baby we've decided on Harrison Everett Glenn (insert last name). We've got nothing for a girl ;)

Mrs. Wookie said...

We're agreeingly those people who want to have a certain genealogy for potential offspring, our choice being English names since it's our main trace of our roots.

But as far as specifics...nope. Not unless my offspring are named Stoli and Ewok. :)

Paulena B. said...

I love picking out baby names. We have a girls name picked out in stone. It was going to be Landen's name if he was a girl.
Sadie Jean
I just like Sadie, it's an old name and it cute as 1 month and classy at 100 yrs old. (I like how you put that by the way)
Jean is for my Grandmother and Aunt (May they rest in peace) Also, I was named after the two of them Jeanelle (my middle name)
As far as boys names.... We have a name picked out-
It is an old name also. I have no idea for the middle name as DH is a 3rd and every other man in the family have some sort of variation of Jessie or Eugene... DH hates his middle name.
Of course I cannot forget my sons name-
Landen Reese
Landen is an old name with a new twist to it. I had to do the new twist so that it had some family heritage. I was named after my dad and grandfather. (Paul and Len)
Landen is Len and Dan put together and mixed up. Reese is an ancestor of my husbands family.

contradistinctive said...

Boy, Robin james (after my husband Robin and his brother James), Liam Mitchell
girl, Piper Joy, Camilla Jean (my mom is camille, my grandma is Jean)
William soemthing

Mommy McD said...

I had girls names nailed each time I was pregnant. Sadly, all I had were boys. (Well, not really sadly, because I LOVE my boys.) So, Hubband and I duked it out until the end over boys names, because you're right, they're hard.

All the women on my mother's side of the family have a name (aside from my sister, poor girl) that ends with an "rah". Had our last been a girl her name would have been "Lyrah Lynne". The Lyrah came to me in a dream (how ridiculous is that?) and Lynne is my mom's middle name.

Ashley said...

What a great blog post idea! I may have to steal it! ;) I love names, and like you I kind of obsess over them! I love old-fashion names as well, hence my daughter's name: Emma. My grandmother's name is Amelia and I actually LOVE that name too, but I wasn't able to get my husband on board. I think Amelia would also be pretty spelled: Emilia, except it kind of takes on a different sound. As for boy names, my husband and I have had our boy name picked out since we were just dating: Jackson (after my husband's grandfather: Jack). We like Daniel for a middle name (that's my father in law's name). I also like Cash for a middle name. I think Jackson Cash has a nice ring to it. I love your baby name list! Thanks for sharing! :)

annoyed army wife said...

I love hearing other people's picks, but we haven't even fantasized with naming a child yet. We've talked about abstracts, but not specifics. Maybe one day...

Alice said...

As mentioned on facebook, it's gonna be Molly and Oliver. But DANG, woman, I like all the names you chose (except Marshall, but we can discuss that). And 'Caroline' is fantastic. Man.

Erinn said...

I totally have a list like this and there are names on it that husband will have none of which does include a few literary character names like Finn based on Finny from a Separate Peace and Lyra from the Golden Compass series. We aren't having kids any time soon but we have such a tough time agreeing on names. We do have one girl's name (Isabella Blake) and one boy's name (Jack Christopher) that aren't based on anything except Christopher is my husband's name. If I had it my way though, every kid we have would have a named that would have some tie into literature or movies. Because I'm cool like that.

keri said...

I love Alice. Its also my grandmothers name. My cousin and I both have Alison as our middle names. Then my niece is Eleanor Alice (call her Ellie) my daughter is Reilly Alison and my cousin's daughter is Allison Reese.

We love my grandmother (nana) so much. Had to put her name on almost every girl!

I also love claire. My other niece is Jillian Claire.

Jillian said...

For some reason I have never planned out baby names. J, on the other hand, already knows he wants to name his future daughter Caroline. I smiled when I saw it was your second choice!

Chantal said...

Your baby names are so similar to mine!! I looooveee talking names.

For this baby, we had one boy name chosen: Thomas Kyle. Thomas, because we liked it, and Kyle, for my husbands middle name. As for other boy names I like, there's Samuel, Isaac, Evan, Elliott... I like boy names :)

Of course, we found out we were having a girl, and still haven't settled on a name. We narrowed it down to a top 5: Victoria, Penelope, Violet, Caroline and Olivia. Then we narrowed it down to a top 2: Victoria Marie or Penelope Ann. That's where we are now!

beka said...

ah, i love your taste in names.
i edge towards the classier ones myself.
i LOVE charlotte.
and violet.
but that would be odd to have two girls ending in T...
i love Jack, for grammy's husband. :) he was a kind, quiet, good, handsome man from what i remember her telling me. *sniff sniff*
...kinda like someone i know....someone i haven't written about....
anyhow. ahem.
love this post!

The New "Normal" said...

Ooh, I love those names! Naming a child is so hard, they are stuck with it for the rest of their lives so it has to be just right!

I had baby names picked out before I had even met my husband. Luckily our son's name was one we could agree on it was set in stone before I was ever pregnant. Our daughter was much harder to choose for. As a teacher, I have a hard time with names because I start to associate names with certain kids I've had. We found girls names to be almost impossible to agree on one, but finally in exasperation my husband said a name and I actually liked it! If we ever had another girl though, we'd be in trouble. Although I do like Hannah Marjorie (for my grandmother). If we ever had another boy we'd pick Noah Michael or Nolan Scott (middle names are family names).

I love this post - so fun to think about! :)

Taylor said...

I too love old-fashioned names that have a straight forward spelling.

Taylor said...

I also, ironically, like feminine names for girls (coming from someone with a gender neutral name after the author Taylor Caldwell)

Michelle said...

It took us forever to come up with names. There is so much pressure. We named Finnegan 4 days after we had him and Tate 2 days after we had her.

____j said...

You're so brave! I am so secretive about my 'list' but I love yours! They all seem so classic and sweet, just like Amelia. I will say when I saw Maribelle, I had to do a double take because Mirabelle is on my list ;)

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