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Name Sage: A Long, Romantic Name for a Girl?

May 19, 2015 Abby Sandel

Alison writes:

We need the perfect name for our fourth daughter! Our daughters are Ellyanna Jane, Vivienne Renee, and Hannalise Olive.

We’re looking for a long name – three or more syllables, with a similar style to her sisters’ names. But it needs to have a different sound and dominant letters, so we can’t repeat anna/enne/lise/viv/elly.

Our last name starts with a B, so no B names, please! Other family names to avoid: Jennifer, Cheryl, Kristy, Kirsten, Isabel, Amelia, Anna, Skye, Liberty, Pollyanna, Tiffany, and Felicity.

Our current shortlist consists of Olivia, Lydia, Everly, Lavinia, and Rosalie.

The Name Sage says:

I have a weakness for long, romantic names for girls, just like the ones that you’ve chosen for your daughters. And yet, this is quite the challenge, isn’t it? Every time The Perfect Name pops into my head, I realize it repeats sounds from one of your older girls’ names!

It looks like you’ve honed in on two endings –ia and –ley/-lie. I’m tempted to suggest names that end in –ina, even though they’re close to –enne.

Can I add a few ideas to your list?

Adelia, Adalina, Adelaide – Have you considered an Addie name? There are some elaborate possibilities, from the rare Adelia to the regal Adelaide.

Lorelei, Lorelai – In German folklore, the Lorelei is a mermaid-like creature who lures sailors to the rocks. In more recent memory, Lorelai is the name of the mother-daughter duo on popular television series The Gilmore Girls. I think Ellyanna, Vivienne, Hannalise, Lorelei sound like sisters.

Seraphina – Fiery Seraphina is a long name that sounds like it could be a mash-up of Sara and the –phina ending. It isn’t, but I think that’s why it works so well with your older girls’ names.

Lillia, LiliosaLillianna is out, because it’s just too close to Ellyanna. But how about a different Lil– name, either the rare Liliosa or the slightly more familiar Lillia?

Mariette, Mariel, Marielle Marianna wouldn’t work, but there are lots of possible endings that go with Mari. Mariel is a personal favorite, but I wonder if Mariette sounds better with your girls’ names?

Avalina, Evalena, Aveline, Avonlea – With Olivia, Everly, and Lavinia on your shortlist, all of the Ava– and Eva– names seem worth consideration. Avonlea, of course, takes us into Anne of Green Gables territory.

Corisande, Cordelia, Coraline – Here’s another group of names to consider: the Coras. These three possibilities are all long with distinctive sounds. Corisande comes from medieval romance, Cordelia is King Lear’s loyal daughter, and Coraline is best known as a Neil Gaiman character.

Now, let’s take a quick look at your current list. Much as I love stylish Everly, it’s not quite as flowing and feminine as Ellyanna, Vivienne, and Hannalise. Rosalie, on the other hand, feels like a great fit. From your list, I’d say Rosalie is easily my favorite.

I’d probably drop Olivia because it repeats part of Hannalise’s middle name. But Lavinia has the same ‘v’ sounds, so I think that would be my second choice from your list.

Lorelei/Loralei and Avalina – choose your spelling! – seem like strong contenders, too. And it might be a stretch, but can I add again that I love Liliosa with Ellyanna, Vivienne, and Hannalise?

Readers, now it Is your turn: what would you name a sister for Ellyanna, Vivienne, and Hannalise? Great ideas for middles welcome, too.

Want to see your question featured? Please email namesage@nameberry.com. Preference goes to questions submitted with a photo – creative pictures welcome, of you, your older children, or anything that might help narrow down the perfect name.

About the author

Abby

Abby Sandel is nameberry's Senior Editor and resident Name Sage. Look for her baby name news round-ups every Monday, and her Name Sage columns on Wednesdays. Abby is the creator of the baby name blog Appellation Mountain and mom to Alex and Clio. For a chance to have your questions answered, contact Abby at namesage@nameberry.com.

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