Baby Name Patterns: To Keep Going or Break the Mold?
What do you do when you’ve created a baby name pattern, and now none of the names you love fits? Does your next baby break the mold, or does family unity carry the day?
My due date is September 30 and we are expecting a girl, our fourth child!
I unintentionally started something with the first three children. All three names end in n, are 7 letters long, and the girls both have flower names. The girls also have traditionally male middle names.
I’m finding it hard to pick a name that matches our previous criteria.
The Name Sage replies:
Plenty of parents find themselves in your position. Whether it’s a shared first initial, similar meanings, or a certain number or syllable count, it’s easy to inadvertently create a pattern.
You are under absolutely no obligation to continue any part of this pattern. It wasn’t planned, and honestly? It’s probably not as obvious as you think it is. At least, I didn’t notice the 7-letter connection until you pointed it out.
For families in your position, I think the best approach is always this: try to find a name that satisfies at least some parts of your established pattern. But don’t insist on satisfying every part of the puzzle – that will likely result in a name pleasing only to crossword puzzle enthusiasts.
Let’s start by looking at names that meet your criteria:
Elouise is the only name on your list with 7 letters. It doesn’t end in n, but it feels like a sister for Lillian and Rosewyn. Nickname options abound. I’m partial to Lulu, but Ella works nicely, too. Elouise Noah has some appeal. The only part missing is a botanical reference, but I think the name fits your criteria nicely.
Still, if you were settled on Elouise, I’m not sure you’d be writing! So let’s look at some more options.
Eleanor, Abigail, Cathryn/Kathryn, Beatrix, Frances, Georgia, Clarice, and Colette are all traditionally feminine first names, like Lillian, and exactly 7 letters. The only n-ending name is Cathryn/Kathryn, but the one I like best for your family is Colette. A few combinations:
You might also consider surname names, like Cameron, Ellison, Elliott, Emerson, Forrest, or Collins. The one challenge is that Cameron and Jamison sound more like Lillian and Rosewyn’s brothers than another sister. It’s up to you if that’s a dealbreaker, because there are some potentially great combinations:
Ellison Ivy – Ellison’s seven letters and n-ending tie this name to Lillian and Rosewyn. Nicknames Ella or Lissy work beautifully. And I just thought of another reason to love the name Ivy. Not only is it a nature name, the Roman numerals IV represent the number four – perfect for this baby!
The final category I keep coming back to are the seven-letter floral names. There are more than you might guess, which could lead to combinations like:
Jasmine Reid – I feel like Jasmine must have come up in conversation at some point. After all, it’s seven letters, ends in n, and is a floral name that’s different from Rosewyn and Lillian. It’s possibly you’d rather not repeat an initial, but I don’t think Jamison and Jasmine are too close for sibling names.
Jonquil Blair – Jonquil is instantly recognized as a flower, but it’s seldom heard as a child’s name. It’s seven letters, and while it doesn’t end with n, I think it’s a good style match for your older children’s names.
Jacinta Gray – There are so many great one-syllable middle names, I’m experimenting with ideas along the lines of Cole and Blake! I think Jacinta – the Spanish word for hyacinth – is especially lovely with a trim, tailored middle name.
Now let’s look at a few other ideas that don’t fit the seven letter pattern, but might appeal to you:
Or maybe Noa? While Noah is the top name for boys in the US, Noa is a different name, also used in the Old Testament, but originally feminine. It’s also used as a girl’s name in Japan. It’s While Noa would be very different for a girl in the US, it’s not unheard of – the name ranked in the mid-700s last year.
Overall, I like the idea of sticking to at least some of the pattern for your next child’s name – whether it’s letter count, floral tie-in, or something else. Jasmine Reid is my favorite, probably because it matches so well. I also love Emerson Violet and Colette Koa, and think they’re well-connected to their siblings’ names, without locking you into too narrow a pattern.
Readers, I would love to hear what you think! Are there other names that fit the pattern? Or should they forget the pattern entirely?
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on June 22nd, 2016 at 12:53 am
I can’t help thinking of that old joke that you can’t have things fast, cheap, good — you’ve got to pick two. So maybe you can find a flower name with seven letters….that doesn’t end in an n. Or an n-ending seven letter name….that doesn’t relate to flowers. And does it have to literally end in n or can it end in simply the end sound? Like….Jasmine? Could it simply hint at something in the botanical family, like Quincey?
on June 22nd, 2016 at 3:36 am
This is an excellent example of why it can be good to bring in some fresh eyes. More attentive berries than I will have picked up on this pattern, but it would have taken me awhile, even if I’d been asked to look for it. I cannot see a realistic prospect of anyone picking up on it in day to day life. Name Sage has provided some good choices, and I’m sure that there is a name out there that you will love and that won’t make you feel too much as though you’ve gone against the flow of your style.
on June 22nd, 2016 at 7:40 am
My first thought was Aspen Gable. Not 7 letters, but ends in N. Not a flower, but a tree and I thought it would make a lovely addition. Plus, you could you the nickname Penny, which would nicely tie in with your other daughters.
Good luck in your search!
on June 22nd, 2016 at 8:06 am
Colette is a great name, but I think it’s too close to Winnie’s middle name for comfort. I suggest Iris Noah or Iris Jacob-enhance the flower theme and keep the boyish middle theme and then “close” the group by weaving letters from the siblings’ names into the new name. You could also borrow syllables and sounds: Camille, Romilly, Jocelyn…
on June 22nd, 2016 at 8:14 am
I see you liked Magdalen and Madeleine, and Madelyn is a similar name that ends in N and is seven letters. Paired with a flower middle, I think it would work wonderfully. Heather, Jasmine, Petunia, are a few other seven letter flower names, although they don’t end with an “n”. Maybe the N sound in Jasmine is enough?
Personally, I didn’t recognize the pattern until it was mentioned. While I do think following it would be nice, I would maybe expand a little or just try to follow a few parts of it. Good luck!
on June 22nd, 2016 at 9:17 am
I feel like few people would even realize the seven letter theme. There are lots of options of girls nature names ending in n or ne.
Ashlynn (7 letters)
Saffron (7 letters)
Jessamine (form of Jasmine)
on June 22nd, 2016 at 11:50 am
I never comment on these things, but I think I may have found a great name for your girl:
What about Elowen?
It has the same nickname potential as Elouise (Ellie, Ella), and these nicknames go with your other children’s nicknames. It also shares the -wen/wyn ending with Rosewyn, which I initially considered a negative, but I like the shared connection between these two sisters since Elowen wouldn’t have a flower name. But if you broaden the flower category to “botanical” names, then Elowen fits. It means “elm.”
Stylistically, I think it goes perfectly with your other children. It’s a little feminine, but not too much – just like Lillian and Rosewyn. And it has a more feminine nickname just like Lilly and Winnie. Ooh, now I’m excited! What do you think? 🙂
on June 22nd, 2016 at 12:18 pm
I probably would’ve never noticed the pattern. I love Abby’s suggestion of Garland. Sounds so nice with her siblings and Lindy would be an adorable nickname.
on June 22nd, 2016 at 12:26 pm
From the suggestions I like Jasmine (or Jasmynn) and Ashlynn best. They both meet the theme, but bend the rule a little with Jasmine ending in e, and Ash being a tree not a flower.
on June 22nd, 2016 at 1:05 pm
I think Magnolia Wade would be absolutely adorable with your sibset. It even comes with cute nickname of Maggie, similar to your other girls’ names.
I also like Lavender Quinn, Amaryllis Paige, Zinnia Ray, and Marigold James (Mary or Goldie).
on June 22nd, 2016 at 1:30 pm
Jasmine is lovely, but I think it’s a little too close to Jameson – they share all but one letter.
It doesn’t have 7 letters, but I would suggest Elowen. It means elm tree. You could use nn Ellie/Ella.
Though I worry about the last syllable being too similar to Rosewyn.
on June 22nd, 2016 at 1:35 pm
I read the title of the post, and so was looking for a pattern when I got to the children’s names, and I still didn’t notice it/couldn’t figure it out without reading what it was. So I doubt very many people in every day life are going to give it that much thought.
I love Noa, and I love the suggestion above of Elowen.
on June 22nd, 2016 at 2:05 pm
I love Ellison Ivy! Garland is also a stunning and unusual choice 🙂
on June 22nd, 2016 at 2:05 pm
I think I found two great contenders!
Magnolia – 8 letters but it’s a flower and she could use the nickname “Noa”. Jamison, Lillian, Rosewyn, & Magnolia… PERFECT!
Florian – this name checks EVERY box! 7 letter, floral, and instead of using a masculine middle name it would be a soft masculine first. Nicknames “Florrie” “Flossie” “Effie” etc.
Personally I think Magnolia or Florian are fantastic with your sibset!
on June 22nd, 2016 at 2:11 pm
I’m not sure it you have a middle name choosen but I find “Magnolia Drew” swoon worthy!
on June 22nd, 2016 at 2:51 pm
Ellison or Elowen (nn Ellie) seem like great choices or Branwen meaning Raven
I like the combination of Elowen Pearl or Elowen Parker the most!
on June 22nd, 2016 at 3:37 pm
I think Madeleine is a great fit, even though it doesn’t technically fit any of the criteria – It doesn’t end on an ‘n’ but it sounds like it does, it doesn’t have 7 syllables but very few people would notice that, and I’m about 99% sure that ‘Madeleine’ is french slang for a willow tree. Maybe Madelyn would be better, seeing as it fits all three of the rules?
on June 22nd, 2016 at 3:47 pm
I like Jacinta Gray best. But in twenty years, is your fourth child going to resent you for choosing a name that does not end in ‘n’? Probably not. This child will have her own life, she won’t be known just as part of an irregularly named sibling set. So do what you want!
on June 22nd, 2016 at 4:57 pm
Jasmine could be easily respelled to get the n at the end – Yasmeen is an authentic spelling!
Other possibilities ticking all three boxes:
Blodwen (white flower)
Gentian (Gentiana) – NN Genny of Ginny
Saffron (Saffron) – NN Savvy or Ronnie
Shoshan (Lily) – NN Susy
Floreen (Flower) – NN Flo or Florry
Maryvon (Yew tree)
on June 22nd, 2016 at 5:40 pm
I would consider Rowen even though it has 5 letters or Rowenna if the 7 letter length feels important. It has a prominent n sound and the nature theme, and I think sounds good with the family. Call her Roe?
I think Adriane called Addie would fit nicely even though it doesn’t fit the nature theme.
Florence has 7 letters and and N sound and fits the nature theme.
on June 22nd, 2016 at 6:37 pm
Also maybe something with “Lis” or “Lys”, as in fleur-de-lis/fleur-de-lys, NN Lizzy?
Lisquin (pronounced “LISS-ken”)
Halcyon (bird) – NN Hallie
on June 22nd, 2016 at 7:25 pm
I feel like Jamison and Jasmine are wayyyy too similar for siblings if they aren’t twins. I think Magnolia would be a cute fit with the sibset.
on June 22nd, 2016 at 9:32 pm
on June 22nd, 2016 at 11:31 pm
I totally agree with SweetChariot’s game plan. Jasmyn seems WAY to close Jamison in my book but I do love the name Garland for your clan.
on June 23rd, 2016 at 8:45 am
I don’t think anyone in day to day life will notice that you broke a pattern. If you feel you might regret not carrying on some of the pattern is suggest pick one of the three (flower, 7 letter, or ends in N).
In my opinion of your list I like Noah and Gable as middle names, carrying on the traditionally masculine middle name pattern. First name I like the best is Madeliene, also as another poster suggested Madelyn to get the ending in N pattern.
Some more suggestions for flower/botanical names:
Camellia (nn Cam, Cammie, Lia)
Evanthe (nn Eve, Evie)
on June 23rd, 2016 at 11:58 am
I agree that Jasmine seems like the perfect fit, and love Name Sage’s suggest of Jasmine Reid. However, from the suggestions I actually thing Ellison Ivy might be the winner. Although Ellison doesn’t have the floral meaning, Ivy does, and Ellison fits the n-ending and 7-letter pattern. Plus, the Ivy/IV realization completely sold that for me as a perfect fit for this family!
on June 23rd, 2016 at 11:59 am
I also just realized they have a 3 syllable pattern, which Ellison also fits. Adding to the many reasons it’s perfect.
on June 23rd, 2016 at 12:03 pm
And now after reading the rest of the comments I retract what I said and think Elowen is perfect. Elowen Ivy is beautiful
on June 23rd, 2016 at 3:35 pm
tbh i think the 7 letters pattern is one you can drop. maybe for a girl I would try to continue the flowery theme. they’re not named lily and rose tho, so that gives you more freedom. the n ending is something i’d try to keep for sake of continuity, but not that important either.
maeghan tho has 7 letters, is a flower (daisy) and ends in n. you could use daisy as a cute nickname, or maggie.
on June 24th, 2016 at 3:41 pm
Also could throw Aveline into the mix means hazelnut tree and has 7 letters and ends in N sound.
on June 25th, 2016 at 8:15 pm
I love Magdalen Sage for you (Sage is masculine AND botanical and Magdalen has the ‘n’ ending)
I also love suggestions of Elowen (similar to Eloise) and Magnolia (similar to Magdalen)… I also add suggestion of Elodie (though it only ticks the botanical box and Delphine (floral/’n’ ending) or you could even spell it Delfina for a seven letter option.
I think keeping some kind of pattern is necessary but you don’t need to hit all three criteria (its almost too cheesy!) The seven letter count in my opinion is the least obvious and important… i would put more emphasis on the syllable count. e.g if you pronounce Jamison and Roselyn with two syllables rather than three then Elowen brings nice balance with three syllable pronunciation along with Lilian. I would ensure that you choose a name with an ‘n’ ending OR a botanical/nature name and I definitely think a masculine or unisex middle is a good idea. I think Sage in the middle is a great option if you decide not to put a botanical name up front
on June 26th, 2016 at 4:25 pm
I like the suggestions of Elowen and Florian. Jasmine and Jamison are too similar as are Collette and Cole. I didn’t notice the 7letters either. Other plant type names you might consider are Poppy, iris, sage, Linnea, Cassia, Cateleya, Juniper. Also consider the scientific names as many sound very feminine. Typically boys names that I think would suit a girl well are drew, isaiah, ezra, elijah, Dylan.
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