Well, what a wonderful response! I so appreciate all you chiming in with your thoughts and opinions! Sometimes it's nice to have a complete stranger weigh in on my choices and not just friends and family. I love all the input! It's interesting to see how a name strikes certain people and conjures up images I'd never even considered.
It seems that Matilda is an overall winner, and I'm so glad! There is a reason it is at the very top of my list - I'm so in love with it! My infatuation with this name started with the Roald Dahl story by the same name. And now I love it for many other reasons: that it sounds antique without sounding stuffy, kind of book-ish, sweet but a little spunky and for its excellent nn qualities. This one will remain at the top of my list.
I've come to the conclusion that Pippa, September and Ripley are probably 'guilty pleasure' name that I would not actually use on my child. I still have a love for them though...
I know Pepper received an overwhelming negative response, but I still really love this name. I know it makes people think of salt, or chili peppers or just another 'word' name, but I think if I ever met a really cute little girl with spunky attitude that I would think its the greatest name in the world! But I understand that it has the potential to be a difficult name to wear. I'll put it on the back burner...
Tallulah is still a strong contender for me. I love the galloping sound it makes when you say it (like of like Penelope, which I don't like nearly as much) and it just makes me happy. But because it is kind of a mouthful, I could see people always using a nn (Lulah or Lilou) instead of the full name. My mom said it reminded her of a elderly black woman from the South (in a very wise and matronly way). But again, if I met a cute little blonde girl (which our children are certain to be) with this name, I would think it's adorable.
Felicity, Imogen, Petra and all very pretty in my opinion, but I don't know if they will surpass Matilda for the top spot.
Ottilie is another favorite (which was my childhood friend Gretchen's middle name and the first I had heard it) and I like it pronounced oh-TILL-ia (kinda of like Natalia??). Is that the way it is most commonly pronounced???
For the middle names, I'm definitely open to something a little more 'out there' than anything I would use for a first name (hence Primrose and Sunshine) but I do still want it to "make sense" and sound beautiful. One commenter made a good point about the middle names being read at official ceremonies such as a graduation and that would make Whimsy just sound silly. But I do like the occasional 'word' name and Whimsy just makes me happy. I might have to count that one out though...
And for the boys, I really LIKE all those names I listed, but I don't know if I LOVE any of them. I'm having such a hard time with the boy names. I would really love to have a little boy, but I really want to NAME a little girl!
Asa is still probably my top pick, because of its simplicity and lack of popularity. I like that it is different from most boy names in that it ends with an 'a.' If I had it my way, I would probably pick a more unisex name for my son like Shannon, Ashley or Kelly (not those specifically but something in that category) but my husband doesn't really like that idea. He's very open-minded when it comes to the names I throw out (even Pepper!) so when he says he doesn't like something, I usually try to respect that.
Cormac received mixed reviews but I still kind of like this one. Again, I like the not-so-typical ending and I like how it sounds with our last name. I'm going to have to mull this one over a little more.
Tennyson is another guilty pleasure name, because of the name itself and because of how it would sound with our last name. But a girl can dream...
Kieran and Kellen and still favs - I think because they are a little less masculine than some of the others on my list. I don't usually go for overly masculine names.
I like Wilder, but I might save that for a middle name spot. It's a little 'surname-y,' but I like it nonetheless.
Anyway, thanks again everyone for all the input - much appreciated! I'm still open to boy name suggestions, as I feel I still have a long way to go!
I love Tallulah and am too timid to use it myself!
Havent read any responses (because it's more fun for me to not be influenced by other replies first!). I am not much help for you because I really like a lot of them, sorry! LOL
anyway here goes:
Matilda, nn*Tilly*or*Tilda*(middle name possibilities are*Jane,*Violet,*Valentine...?) Love matilda, and the nn options given. I think matilda valentine might be a little long, but the other two I like. I think matilda jane has a really spunky vibe that I like, but violet gives a similar feel too.
Tallulah, nn*Lilou*(May, which is part of my maiden name)- I like tallulah and think it's a cute name (it's on my long list) but wonder about how well it ages. I've thought Lula would be a nn I'd use for that name. MN choice is lovely.
Felicity, nn*Izzy- very cute, though I like the feeling/sound the full name has more than the nn.
Pepper- too over the top in my opinion. While a cute, unexpected toddler's name, it isn't a grown woman's name. Maybe as a nickname they can grow out of later?
Pippa*(possibility of becoming too popular???)*- I prefer pippa to be short for a more formal name, also for the growing up reason. They're only children for a short portion of their lives, I'd want to give them a more adult-sounding option, too.
Ripley- meh… Kinda like the sound of it, with the -ley ending and I like r names on girls, but I can't shake the 'believe it or not' association
September- lovely unexpected month name, not used to it being a name though. I'd have to think about it some more but I can see myself liking it. Timber is a cute nn.
Imogen, nn*Immy*(sounds like*Emmy)- I'm not wild about the name like many people are here, but I think it's a good option for unexpected, spunky, without being patronizing and childish. Imogen ages very well in my opinion
Cecily- it's ok, but not a name that jumps out at me.
Jubilee- maybe as a nn, but a bit childish for me
Petra- I think this is a great throwback name. I haven't met one but I do know a Peta from Australia and I like that sound
Verity- a name that I come back to every once in a while. I love the V and 'y' ending, but it kind of makes me think 'veiny'
Ottilie- I really like this name, but I have a weird accent apparently (not southern (us), not quite, I donno what it is) and I have to try really hard for it to sound soft and feminine and not just like 'oddly'
Girls middle names I love:
Primrose- lovely mn
Waverley- this is on my medium-list for fn's, but boyfriend thinks it's a bit too woo-woo (loopy, hippie dippy). I think its romantic!
Whimsy- nice middle name option, W is another initial I like, like V and R
Mazarine- it's ok, depending on the fn choice I'd say.
Darling*- too cutesy
Sunshine- too cutesy
Asa- very nice, strong but not harsh man's name. 'ace' could be an adorable nn for a little kid.
Finnley*(possibly too popular??? I only know one little boy with this name but it seems to be everywhere on this site!)- everywhere on this site, not sure about the real world though! I love Finnley… Might prefer Finley spelling though.
Arlo- have been thinking of this name as well! Gives a similar feeling to me of Oliver and Arthur without being too popular or stuffy, though Arthur is a very cute name that I could imagine using.
Tennyson- a bit pretentious sounding imo, but Ten is a cool nn. Im not wild about -son names without a person having a male ancestor/relative with the root name in their family tree.
Cormac- very nice name, love the irish/welsh/scottish names like that. Mac is a great nn!
Dex*or*Dax- Prefer a longer name to go with it, like Dexter or Declan for Dex, not sure of Dax options.
Kieran, nn*Kier- another nice irishy sounding name (they have a great balance of sounding poetic and not harsh!) Naturally I wanted to make Kier into 'kiers' like piers, and I like that sound.
Orrin- it's ok, doesn't do much for me like the others
Flynn- probably prefer flynn to Finley. Very sweet, but also attractive name and ages well.
Kellen- Like this one very much! But since I nn everything, Kells sounds a bit like Kills for my taste.
Wilder- it's too much of a surname in my mind, but I think it'd be a nice choice for someone who has that name in their family tree. I have some cousins with that name and think the girls should totally use it as a boy's name or middle for either.
I only did the first names.
Matilda, nn Tilly or Tilda - This is a good, solid name. It's not at all tacky. I like Tilly as a nn.
Tallulah, nn Lilou (May, which is part of my maiden name) - Another one I love. It's clunky but cute.
Felicity, nn Izzy - I like it.
Pepper - I love it. No really, I love it. I've been on the fence about this one a lot, but I've slipped into the "totally dig it" side of things. Maybe it would be good to give her a full name and use it as a nn. But I think the right girl could pull off Pepper as a full name.
Pippa - I'm sure it'll become more popular, but I think it's a safe choice right now. This could always be a full name for Pepper if you wanted to give her something more formal.
Ripley - I like it in theory. I think of Ellen Ripley and badassary and strong women. But I think it might be better served as a middle name.
September - I don't mind it. Ember could be a cute nn.
Imogen, nn Immy (sounds like Emmy) - I don't love it, I don't hate it. I've never really taken to this name, despite the fact that I hear about it on here all the time.
Cecily - Eh. It's okay.
Jubilee - It's okay. It might be a little much. There's a Marvel character from the 90s called Jubilee, and I think of her when I hear this name. Her name was actually Jubilation Lee in the comics.
Petra - My first association is the Christian rock band Petra. I actually like the name a lot.
Verity - I like this one. Vera could be a nn.
Ottilie - I like this one a lot, too. It feels like a good balance of playful and real-world-possibilities.
Asa - I like the name, but it feels a little incomplete.
Finnley (possibly too popular??? I only know one little boy with this name but it seems to be everywhere on this site!) - I would suggest Phineas nn Finn instead. Finnley feels so trendy.
Arlo - Love this one. Comfortable, relaxed, and not overused.
Tennyson - I like it in theory, but if you have a "son" ending surname, it might be best cut from the list.
Cormac - This is a handsome name. Familiar but not overused.
Dex or Dax - I like both. They would definitely need longer middles to anchor them.
Kieran, nn Kier - It's a fine name, but it's not my style. I don't know what it is about it that doesn't ping with me.
Orrin - I like this.
Flynn - Love. Dashing and clean.
Kellen - Not a fan. Maybe I just don't like K names.
Wilder - Love. This is like at number 11 on my list. It feels relaxed and friendly.
Your style isn't bad. I like a lot of your names!
September (especially if they are born in that month; could be either sex)
Not my taste.
Ripley (not very pretty)
Imogen (I'm weird and prefer Imogene)
Tallulah (too many L's for me)
Ottilie (not a fan of nn names)
Waverley (seems boyish IMO)
Names I think are a little too out there IMO.
Pepper (always reminds me of Salt and Pepper)