Ayla is beautiful. Said "eye-la" it is also a Turkish girl's name meaning "the halo of light around the moon."
Originally Posted by tuitree
Anyway, some other ideas. (Though I like Ayla very much)
Iris - rainbow goddess, a flower that comes in many colours and varieties, some delicate and ethereal and some wild and hardy. Plenty of history as a name yet redolent with legend and magic. I see an Iris as a little more studious and quiet than a Cleo, but in a compatible way. I picture her as having a level of strength and tenacity under a 'good girl' veneer that peels away if she has to defend herself or a friend. This is also the one with no nickname options, putting it on par with Cleo.
Esther- 'star' This is a name I see as brushed metal, grey and shimmering. It is regal but not snobby. I see an Esther having big thoughtful eyes. I see her as strong but she prefers solitary sport to teams - archery and wandering through the woods or swimming alone at the beach, not soccer or softball.
The nickname thing is the killer. I could make a great argument for Susannah as far as history/weight but it is CRAWLING with nicknames. Same for Beatrix, which I love too. (Though I prefer Betty to Trixie)
Phoebe has been suggested a bunch of times already but it's really good, considering the varied facets of Biblical/mythological/bird/astronomy meanings but still having a short, perky, lively feel. And little need for a nickname. A rarer option could be Luna.
I played soccer from 5-21 years old, I met MANY girls during that time and I never met a soccer player named Cleo. But Cleo is definitely a beautiful name.
Maybe your daughter can be the first soccer player named Cleo! That would be cool! :)
Tuitree: Ayla is absolutely gorgeous, and I think it works very well with Cleo. And I love hearing good things about other Cleos- for some reason, that just makes me love the name more. I love the ideas of Maia, Anya, Annika, and Verity! Thanks!
Bluejuniper: I do love Isis sooo much, but I'm worried it could be a tad themey. And I love the idea of another strong woman from history! Zenobia is a total guilty pleasure for me, as is Isabella (oh, why does she have to be so popular?!) but I adore Florence, Mary/Marie, and Rosa! Beautiful sisters for Cleo! Thanks a bunch!
Caty: Phoebe is gorgeous! Thanks! BTW I love your kids' names in your siggy- Arwen and Benton? How sweet!
c@29: Oooh, I never thought of Fiora or Minka! Do you think Fiora might be mistaken for Flora or Fiona, though? And Minka is absolutely gorgeous- definitely going on the list! Thanks!
Jem: I like Clio too, but I think life might be a little easier with the Cleo spelling because that's what most people might automatically think of. And Lyra is perfect- short, sweet and familiar- but I also love Pippa, Lucille (it gives Cleo a retro feel) and Blythe! Thanks so much!
Stripedsocks: I do love Ayla- it's currently my top name on the list, I think... I keep going back and forth! I adore the idea of Iris- you and I have pretty similar imagery for it! And I like the imagery for Esther, but I don't know- there's something about the sound that puts me off... And I do love Susannah and Beatrix so much, but as you said, the nickname thing is a killer. And I love Luna! This was really helpful, thanks so much!
Valerie: Maybe she could :) I picture a really sociable girl who loves team sports, and for some reason, soccer just popped into my head! Cleo is quite beautiful, isn't it? The sound just makes me so happy, for some reason. Thanks!
Thanks so much to all of you! If anyone has other thoughts, I'm always up for suggestions! xoxo
Well, yes. A Fiora will get mistaken for Flora or Fiona, but I'll risk it, I think. I know one Fiora (different spelling, but exact pronunciation) I really like Fiora since I heard her name.
Am loving Minka too, mostly because of its meaning and the novel storyteller by Jodi Picoult. :)
I have to come back with one more suggestion:
What about Xanthe? It's strong, it's definite, it's got no nicknames. It pops. It has plenty of mythological grounding but it doesn't lock you, IMO, into much of a theme. Cleo and Xanthe sound strong and perfect together.
I like a LOT of -e ending Greek names, admittedly, but Phoebe & Zoe are pretty popular compared to Cleo and many of the others I like are long enough they grow nicknames, since they're 3-4 syllables. Xanthe is well-matched and sounds striking with it, I think.
I do like Ione too but Ione sounds wistful and shy and Xanthe sounds fiery and golden to me.
Cleo's very nice, I like your little description very much. I kind of like Isis with Cleo, but then again no because of the whole Cleopatra claiming to be the reincarnation of Isis thing.
Some more suggestions I think would fit as a sister to Cleo:
Alix/Alys (instead of Alice)