Duana Names: The Space Between Mom & Dad

January 7, 2014 17:11:23 Posted at January 7, 2014 17:11:23
Duana Posted by Duana
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Hi Duana,

My husband and I are expecting our first baby this fall, and we've decided not to find out if it's a boy or girl. We're set for boys names- have 2 that we both love in case we end up with 2 boys someday (Owen and Gareth), but we cannot agree on girls names.

We're in agreement that it should be easy to spell, as my first name has so many possibilities I'm very empathetic to the plight of those with constantly misspelled names. Also, our last name has a number of possible spellings as well, so a name with few alternate spellings is a must.

So far my husband likes; Stella, Candace, and Claire. I can't stand any of them. I love; Leah, Evelyn, and Evangeline. He can't stand Evelyn and Evangeline, but somewhat likes Leah. We both somewhat like Florence, at least we agree on one but a somewhat like isn't quite good enough. Also, the middle name will likely be Grace, for his mother who passed away.

I'm very excited to see what you will come up with, please help! Thanks!

___

Oh man. Before we begin, a bit of housekeeping. I want to help both those who send in their letters well in advance and have been waiting as well as those whose babies are trying to make their way out onto the upholstery in the car during the frantic drive to the hospital. I’ll try to do both but please put your do-or-die date in your letter so I can adjust the queue as needed!

First of all, how much do I love the name Gareth? Owen is lovely too, but a little more well-used while Gareth is unusual and uncommon and even though it may often be mispronounced “Garrett” and/or bring to mind the original prototype of the unfortunate colleague in The Office (UK), I am enamoured.

So I therefore have to say I don’t think either you or your husband have hit it out of the park with the girl names. But I know we can get there.

Isn’t it funny what a grouping can do? Individually, I like the names in your husband’s selection – well, Stella and Claire, anyway. Together though – especially with Candace – they come off as a bunch of stuck-up teenage cheerleaders, don’t they? I fully expect their fourth friend would be Stacey, if they existed. Meanwhile, Evelyn and Evangeline and Leah – especially in the biblical pronunciation – seem like medieval heroines from a fantasy novel where the two main characters’ households are on opposite sides of a vast chasm of kingdoms – or something.   Individually each is great, but as a group they’re a bit fantastical, and your husband has grabbed onto the “earthiest” one. Similarly, his choices are so firmly rooted in the high school hallway that you just can’t stomach wondering if one of them is going to make fun of you for your highwater pants. (Why do kids make fun of each other for this? People grow! Fast sometimes!)

So Florence is almost right, and so she should be – it’s the key combination of ethereal plus spunky. There’s a nice 40s flavour to it too, and with that in mind, I wonder whether Dorothy is right for you? It hasn’t been on the scene in a while but it’s coming up fast; still, enough annoying dudes are still going to snort “Oh where are Blanche and Rose” that she’ll never be too popular (and if one of those dudes is co-naming this baby, remind him that Sophia is the number one name and she was the oldest of all of them). If she doesn’t quite have enough magic about her name, what about Genevieve or one of my not-so-secret favourites, Geneva? Tip the scale back the other way and Ariel comes to mind – yes, yes I know, the Little Mermaid, but it’s still a name with a decent amount of jeuje and feels fresh.

Anywhere close? Giselle? Marisol?  Clemence? I love this game. Where do we land?  Of course, she has two older brothers to fit in with, too, but since they’re a matched set and she’s on her own, you have a  little more room to make it entirely her own.

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