Duana Names: E-I-E-I-O
Hi Duana. I am having trouble with my baby girl names and wanted to see if you'd weigh in. I thought I had narrowed my names down to Edie, Eleni, and Stella, but I ran the names past my family and they were unimpressed. Middle name will be Elizabeth or Cecille. It's not a total dealbreaker that my family doesn't like the names I've chosen, but it's giving me pause. I still really enjoy these names (in that order). While Edie is my first choice, I do worry that it's not substantial enough, and I don't personally like Edith -but for some reason it's still my number one. Would love to hear your thoughts on these options and hear any alternatives you may have up your sleeves. Thanks!
I hope you won’t be offended by the title of this article – it just seemed to me that the sounds you were looking for in your baby girl’s name have that pattern to them. I don’t blame you. In addition to being sounds that are of-the-moment, each are underused and lovely names.
But your family doesn’t like them.
So to tread on over to Sasha territory for a second, minus the sh-t metaphors (maybe), why does it matter? Because they’re parents, and it’s annoying that they think your daughter should be called something out of the top 5? Or did they point out something in the names that you don’t love yourself?
You do point out that Edie doesn’t seem substantial enough, and I should point out that both it and Stella are actually short-ish forms for Edith and Estelle/a respectively, while Eleni is the Greek version of Helen. So no, these aren’t girls names that would pass the Queen’s requirements for proper nomenclature.
So the question remains, why is it bothering you so much? It seems like the answer is because they’re not “formal”, so I feel as though you have a few solutions. You can choose to do that thing where the first name is Elizabeth or Cecile, and the name the kid is actually called by is one of the E-heavy names you love, but this has always struck me as a weird practice, based in indecision like this, so let’s see if we can find any alternatives that hit you in the good place but have a little more maturity to them.
Where Edie and Eleni are it seems other Greek girl names are sure to follow. What about Anaïs? Pretty, ethereal, and a complete name on its own. Along that tip, though not strictly old-world, how about Geneva? I am not exactly a nickname person but I wouldn’t ever flinch at someone getting the nickname Edie from Geneva if that was your thing (but it would be a waste of a gorgeous name). I feel honour-bound to mention that Daphne fits here too. If you don’t like Edith I’m hardly going to convince you of anything like Evangeline. But if the lilting sound of the light name is what you love, what about Winnie? Thea? Even Gaelic and hard-to-spell Niamh? (Neev)
Your task is to first figure out what it is that’s making you unsettled about the girls’ names you like, and then to figure out whether you can make your favourites accommodate that. I am, of course, here if you need me.