Name Sage: Naming Kiddo #4
I am great with child, due March 25. My babies have all come early, so we are literally down to the last few weeks!
It has been increasingly difficult to decide on a name with each pregnancy. This is Baby #4. (And no, I don’t know if we’re done yet!) We have Luke Tyler, Sadie Lynn, and Cannon Covey. We tend to fall into the “name them what you’re going to call them” camp. All the middle names are family names, and we plan to use a family name for this little lady too.
My husband leans more toward popular names. I’d prefer something much less popular. Luckily we do agree on quite a few:
Eliza – My husband’s favorite. I love it too, but the “z” bugs me more than it should, having spent my life correcting people misspelling my name. Also, is it too close to Elisabeth? It’s not a deliberate nod to me.
Rose – A recent favorite. Also stuck on a middle.
Millie – Very close to rhyming with our last name. Would she hate us forever?
Betsy – Again, not a deliberate nod to me. I love it and, while a lot of people might disagree, I think it can stand on its own!
Ellis – This is probably my personal favorite, but I think my husband is 90% against it. He wants her to have a feminine name, one that’s not historically male. One other hitch is I do not like the nickname Ellie.
We don’t have a lot of middle name options. We would consider using Lynn again, or Lynne. Belle, Ruby, Pamela, and Lovell are options. I love the idea of Melise in the middle spot – a mash-up of our moms, Pamela and Denise. But my husband is not a fan!
Thank you for taking the time to think about this!
The Name Sage replies:
Let’s start with the good news: your short list is great! It sounds like you’ve got plenty of names that both you and your husband like and would sound great with your older children’s names.
The hitch, of course, is that your list isn’t getting any shorter as your due date approaches!
We’re starting with eight names: Tess, Eliza, Rose, Cosette, Molly, Millie, Betsy, and Ellis. I’m going to suggest that you drop Ellis for two reasons: first, it’s the one that your husband likes least. Second, you’re not wild about the possibility of Ellie as a nickname.
Let’s look at the remaining names:
Tess – Lovely, literary Tess seems like a great choice. It’s less common than many names, but fits your style. Tess Ruby is a possibility, as is Tess Lovell. One other approach: use Tessa instead, and let your daughters share the middle name Lynn – though this violates your name-them-what-you’ll-call-them approach.
Eliza and Betsy – If I met an Elisabeth with a daughter called Eliza or Betsy, might I ask if it’s a family name? Sure. But plenty of people would never notice. While neither name is especially common, Betsy is currently outside of the US Top 1000, while still being a very familiar name. I think that gives Betsy the edge.
Molly and Millie – Molly and Millie are both nickname names that, like Sadie, stand on their own. Since your surname also contains an L sound, there’s a certain amount of repetition – but I don’t think it’s too much. Now, about the canine conundrum: I’ve definitely known pets called Sadie and Molly. But these days, the line between people names and dog names is pretty much gone. It’s absolutely wearable.
Cosette – I agree that Cosy needs a formal name, and both Cosy and CoCo are great nicknames for Cosette. I’m curious, though – does your husband object to Cosette because the name is unusual or because of the nickname/formal name divide? Or is it because it’s more daring than Luke and Sadie? It does make a great sister name for edgy, unexpected Cannon.
My favorite choice for you is Tess. It’s a familiar name, which should please your husband. It can’t be reduced any further, which should please you both. Tessa ranks in the current Top 250, but Tess doesn’t crack the Top 1000.
Now, let’s see if we can talk your husband into Melise.
For your family, it’s a graceful combination of Pamela and Denise. But it can also be a form of Melissa, or Melisende. Melisende is an Old French variant of Millicent. In various forms, the name has been around since at least the sixth century. So it’s definitely not new!
I’m not so sure about Tess with Melise or Elise. It’s a lot of ‘s’ sound. The middle name I most like with Tess with Lovell. It’s on your list because it’s a family surname, but it also sounds exactly right with a shorter first name.
Readers, what would you suggest to Elisabeth and her husband for baby #4?
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on February 10th, 2016 at 1:21 am
I love the mix of modern and classic names in your shortlist. If you are having trouble agreeing on the perfect name, maybe you just haven’t come across “the one” yet. Some names I suggest are:
Eloise- If you can get past the little troublemaker at the plaza hotel, this name has the same sound as Ellis, but with an extra feminine touch.
Theresa- Although Theresa Melise may not be the best combination, Theresa could be an alternative/long version of Tess.
Fiona- Not a derivative of your shortlist, but I think it would be a good choice, also with the middle name Melise or Elise.
Beth- Although this is definitely very close to your name, Beth could be an alternative to Betsy, if you succumb to peer pressure. Although I think Betsy could stand on it’s own, too!
I hope that this helps!
on February 10th, 2016 at 9:00 am
Just a quick thought:
Instead of Ellis, how about Alice? It sounds very similar, but it’s definitely feminine and you don’t have to worry about the nickname Ellie.
on February 10th, 2016 at 11:12 am
Of your short list, I think Tess and Betsy are my favorites, with Tess being a strong #1. I also like maimouse’s suggestion of Alice.
Other ideas: Lucy, Jane/Janie, Daisy, June, Maisie, Ella, Tillie
on February 10th, 2016 at 11:46 am
If you like Molly But are concerned about it being popular for a dog name, what about Holly? Holly Elise would be my suggestion.
on February 10th, 2016 at 1:55 pm
Rose Lovell is perfection, and goes GREAT with sibling names!
on February 10th, 2016 at 2:59 pm
I like Alis as a substitute for Ellis, it’s a medieval spelling of Alice.
And I’d caution against Tess Elizabeth, because Tess Bess is all I can think of when I hear those names together.
Bess by itself sounds like it belongs on your list though!
on February 10th, 2016 at 5:17 pm
What about Delia as a nod to Pamela and Denise… The d and i from Denise and the e l a from Pamela… Of us that too much of a stretch? Tess with Sadie is sweet!
on February 10th, 2016 at 5:18 pm
on February 10th, 2016 at 5:24 pm
Love Tess and Cosette (nn Coco)!
on February 10th, 2016 at 5:39 pm
Fun, fun!!!! I love your style. My two favorites are Tess and Betsy, with Molly coming in as a strong third. As for the middle, I like the Melise smoosh. In fact, my grandmother-in-law named her oldest daughter Thelissa–a mash-up of her two best friends’ names: Melissa and Theresa. Now my SIL is planning on naming one of her daughters Thelissa to keep the unique, but personal, name in the family. It is a great name story and certainly ties the baby to two important people.
on February 10th, 2016 at 9:59 pm
We tend to fall into the “name them what you’re going to call them” camp.
So I think Betsy Lovell is just perfect. I know a Betsy who is not named Elizabeth. She’s in her seventies, not a little kid.
My second suggestion is Thea Melise. I really like your smash-up!! Thea Lovell is also perfect.
Your “name them what you’re going to call them” rule… rules out most of the names on your list.
Sadie and Betsy
Sadie and Thea
on February 10th, 2016 at 11:26 pm
I love Betsy Melise! And think the nod to mom is very sweet, and not overly obvious.
Another suggestion is Molly Elisabeth, or Molly Rose.
on February 12th, 2016 at 4:51 am
I really like Rose Lovell. I think it matches the names of the other children! Tess and Thea are great too!
Other first names that come to my mind: Leah, June and Vera.
I think Delia or Della could work as middle name options.
Or what about Amelise as a middle name? Another smash up of Pamela and Denise. Tess Amelise sounds quite nice too 🙂
Hope you find the perfect name soon!
on February 14th, 2016 at 1:17 am
I think Rose Lovell and Millie Belle are lovely names that match you sibset 🙂
on February 17th, 2016 at 4:41 am
Tessa Elise or Tessa Melise would be my pick! I know you mentioned “name them what you are going to call them” but I think Tessa just sounds more complete and flows better with the Elise or Melise mashup or with Ruby. I think Tess Lovell could work too depending on your last name, but again I just think Tessa gives it that distinction as a fist name.. Tessa Lovell.
My second pick is Cosette. Sadie and Cosy sound really cute together! I personally don’t like the nn Coco as it means poop in Portuguese, but if you have no Brazilian or Portuguese connections, it’s alright. Next would be Rose Lovell. You have to consider if you like Rosie though because she is bound to get called that!
As for Eliza and Ellis, I think both are cute, but if you don’t like the nn Ellie don’t attempt it because it’s bound to come up. Ellie is quite popular. I think Eliza and Elisabeth are a bit too similar. Alyssa is a similar sounding alternative that would also sound nice with her older siblings. Molly is cute but I think it is too doggy. I had a dog named Molly growing up and my aunt had a Sadie. Sadie is sweet for a little girl but I will always think of Molly as a dog name. Maybe you guys will get a dog in the future and can name her Molly? 🙂
Millie is a no if it’s too close to your last name, and I think Millie and Sadie as sisters is a bit too matchy. I like all of your choices except Betsy. To me that’s a cow name or the name of a car (Archies comics – the evil car lol).
Good luck and congrats on number 4! Can’t wait to hear what you pick.
on February 19th, 2016 at 6:50 pm
Number #4’s the charm eh? Here’s a few names I hope you’ll consider:
Hope that helps x
on February 20th, 2016 at 7:18 am
Ruby, Lovell, Tess (or Tessa) and Rose work real well.
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