Hi Duana,
I love your baby name posts - but just haven't seen one that's going to help our clan name our third baby girl!

Our eldest is Haven (and she was born long before the Alba baby - so don't even ask how I feel about that!) and our middle girl is Mairin (pronounce Mah-rin). As you can see, Sarah or Michelle will not fit the bill.

We like Celtic inspired names, as that is our cultural heritage, but it's not a deal breaker. I recently came across the name Solveigh - and I love it but I'm not sure that it matches. Also, I believe it's a Scandinavian name, and we really don't have any link there.

What do you think? Do we just combine the first two names into Maven - since that's likely what I'll be yelling up the stairs in the years to come anyway? :)


Let’s just take your last point first, because I feel as though this is an underreported or under-acknowledged thing that happened. My grandmother had 11 children, and while she did in fact give each of them a distinct name that is so completely 40s/50s, you wouldn’t believe it, the originality train sputtered when it came to middle names, as my 7 uncles have just two middles between them, and there is a lot of use of “Mary” on the girls’ side – even for Irish Catholics. So I don’t think your joke is in jest – in fact, I think it’s all the more reason you should guard against it.

Haven and Mairin both have names that are not only meaningful to you, but can have various interpretations in meaning. That is, I know Marins who were named for the county and Marins whose parents have no idea what that is, parents who chose Haven because of Jessica Alba (or Lisa Whelchel, what up) and those who had no idea this was a name anyone had used before.

So the key here is to find a third name that fits in and stands out in the same way.   Solveigh does…and it doesn’t. I don’t have an issue with it being Scandinavian – all names come from somewhere – and it is as easily pronounceable as the other two.   But, while ending in “n” for three separate daughters might feel a bit cutesy,  the other two have a bit of a “ring” that Solveigh doesn’t. 

Siobhan immediately comes to mind of course, and it does seem to strike that balance between being well-known and kind of unusual (for some, Irish peeps, don’t yell at me how they’re a dime a dozen). Or maybe this is a situation for something that is similar but different – have I pitched for Janine recently? I know there are all these fancified spellings but Word has no problem with the six-letter version, and “J” is so out of sync for girls these days it’s feeling fresh and new.

I don’t mind Solveigh, of course, and it fits with your other girls’ rhythm more easily – but if you’re looking for something else with a bit of its same ethereal nature, how about Seren? Technically labeled a boys’ name but seems like it might fit with your crew. Or Sorcha? Also has the Celtic influence you’re looking for while still being easy to understand.

Let me know, and if we need to do another go-round well, that’s cool too!