Name Sage: A name for a girl Junior’s sister
We are expecting our second daughter on January 11th. I have been obsessed with naming children for as long as I can remember. My best friend even gave me the book Beyond Jennifer and Jason as a present in the sixth grade.
Surprisingly enough, I never imagined it would be this difficult to choose a name for my child. Our first daughter was named a day after we were engaged … it was easy and perfect. She has the same full name as my husband – Morgan Campbell – but we call her Junie, short for Junior. We love it and it fits her just perfectly.
For the second though, we are all over the place. I’m afraid my problem is that I’ve thought TOO much about this over the years. The “rules” I have in place for the perfect name all contradict each other, so no name is perfect. Until, of course, I think I find the perfect name only to have my husband simply say, nope.
We would like the middle name to be Clyn (pronounced like “Klein”, my father-in-law’s first name) or Christopher (my mother-in-law’s first name).
We have considered the following names, but none of them seems quite right: Caroline, Kendall, Halle, Marlowe, Autumn, Isla, Abel, Georgia, Annika, and Bronwen. My husband likes Campbell and Parker, but I don’t. I like Corinne, Korin, Eden, Elin, AJ, EJ, or Eira, but my husband does not.
In general, I’d like something that is different, but not made up; feminine, though I seem to love unisex names. I’d like it to go well with Junie if at all possible, but not too matchy. Except I love most nicknames ending in the ‘ee’ sound.
I’m so afraid it’s going to end up being a last minute decision that’s going to feel like we are settling and would really love to avoid that, if possible.
The Name Sage replies:
How fabulous that you were able to hand your husband’s name down to your daughter, and find a completely unexpected nickname, too! When you get your first child’s name exactly right, it can really turn up the pressure when choosing names for future children.
When it comes to unisex names, it can be tough to figure out what, precisely, that means. There are names like Madison that are unisex in theory, but are far more common for girls. The opposite is true, too – I’ve yet to meet a girl named Dexter. And then there’s everything in between. It seems that you lean towards tailored names, so I’ll try to stick to choices that are a little more streamlined.
Let’s see if we can find another meaningful name with a sparky nickname.
Caroline Clyn, called Cece – Usually I save my favorite choices for last, but this time I can’t resist putting my favorite first. Caroline Christopher also works for the nickname Cece, of course, but you’ve mentioned that your last name is short, and among the most common of English surnames. That makes me think that using a really bold name like Clyn in the middle could be a good choice. Morgan and Caroline are both tailored names, and Junie and Cece sound like sisters.
Hadley – I know you have some hesitations about Halle because it might be mistaken for Hailey. That makes me think of literary Hadley, the name of Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, and the subject of the fictionalized biography The Paris Wife. Hadley is popular – the name ranked just inside the US Top 100 in 2014. But I think it has a distinctive, standout sound that makes it feel different. Morgan and Hadley; Junie and Hadley. I’d say Hadley works with both.
Averell – I know what you mean about Abel. Sometimes any –el ending name feels like it could be feminine. And yet Abel is very different from Morgan or Campbell – it’s a given name exclusively used for men. Instead, what do you think of this surname name? It brings to mind W. Averell Harriman, former governor of New York. Also spelled Averill, the surname could be related to the month of April, or might be a place name.
Matilda – I can imagine a sister for Georgie being called Matilda. And since Georgia is a near miss for you, I wonder if the less common Matilda might appeal? It shortens to Mattie or Tillie, both names that sound exactly right with Junie. I’m particularly drawn to Matilda Christopher, but either combination works. This would also give your daughters the same initials. If you’re hoping for a big family, you might not want to still be dreaming up M.C. combinations with baby number five. But assuming that’s not the case, sharing initials can be a subtle way to link two names.
Marlowe – You’ve mentioned Marlowe, and I think it’s one that you should consider – except I think that the legacy of playwright Christopher Marlowe means that you’d need to favor the middle name Clyn! As with Matilda, you’d have shared initials between your daughters. While Marlowe has been catching on, it’s not currently in the US Top 1000 – it’s trending, but not nearly as popular as Madison, Harper, or Mackenzie.
Louise or Louisa, called Lulu – This is something of a leap, but would you consider the nickname Lulu? Junie and Lulu are sweet together, and Louise could be that tailored but feminine, familiar but not common name that you’re after.
Adelia – Annika and Georgia remind me of Adelia. It’s a rare name from the Adelaide–Adela family, which makes it both on-trend and surprising. There are nicknames galore – Addie, Delia, Della, Dee, Didi, Lia. I do think it could be misheard as Amelia quite often, which might be a concern.
Caroline Clyn or maybe Carys Clyn, called Cece, is still my favorite from the list of possibilities. It seems to combine a lot of the qualities that you like in names in general, plus you have other initial names (AJ, EJ) on your list already.
Marlowe Clyn is a close second, because it does seem like the shared initials might be a nice way to coordinate the girls’ names without begin too obviously matched.
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on December 2nd, 2015 at 1:13 am
Caroline Clyn (remember, it’s pronounced “Klein”) makes a grating rhyme. My favorite from Name Sage’s list is Adelia, nn Della. Junie and Della sound so right together!
on December 2nd, 2015 at 5:43 am
Caroline Clyn is too rhymey for me, I also find it to be a bit of a tongue twister, the sounds are just too similar.
I really love Carys Clyn nn CeCe and Matilda Clyn nn Tillie. Either CeCe or Tillie would sound great with Junie.
on December 2nd, 2015 at 7:49 am
Love Carys Clyn, nn CeCe! Abby, good suggestions, as always!
on December 2nd, 2015 at 8:32 am
I love the suggestions here.. maybe also Milan Clyn (nn: Millie) Padget Clyn (nn Peggy or Polly) or Thea Christopher (nn: Teddy)
I also think if you choose something like Carys Christopher she could go by Chrissy which sounds sweet as a sister to Junie.
on December 2nd, 2015 at 9:16 am
Great suggestions from Abby. I also noticed you like Eden. I think Eden Clyn or Eden Christopher, nn Edie, would be lovely.
on December 2nd, 2015 at 12:41 pm
My favorite suggestion is Louisa nn Lulu. I think Ramona would be perfect with Junie. Both are kids literary characters. So Ramona nn Romy, Remy, Minnie, Mona.
on December 2nd, 2015 at 2:00 pm
Constance – nickname Connie
Aubrey – nickname Aub or Bree
Adalee – nickname Ada or Lee
I love the name Adelia from your list
on December 2nd, 2015 at 2:05 pm
I think both standup to Morgan Campbell.
p.s. having named her after her dad is just a rockstar story and I love it!
on December 2nd, 2015 at 2:36 pm
I love the middle name Christopher! With Caroline or Eden that sounds great.
I like the nickname Kit for a Christopher–perhaps that could be an alternative for a Cece or an Edie? Kit and Junie could make a great pair.
on December 2nd, 2015 at 2:36 pm
Angela Clyn nn Angie
on December 2nd, 2015 at 2:41 pm
With regard to girls named Dexter, I knew a girl named Dexee. Her name is cool and unexpected. Very rockstar.
on December 2nd, 2015 at 5:19 pm
I love your oldest daughter’s name! I might suggest more unisex names that can shorten to spunky nicknames ending in the “ee” sound:
Elliot, nickname Ellie
Emerson, nickname Emmy
Evan, nickname Evie
August/Augusta, nickname Augie or Gussy
James, nickname Jamie
With Junie (and Morgan) I also like:
I liked Abby’s recommendations of Hadley and Marlowe as well. Good luck!
on December 2nd, 2015 at 7:36 pm
Caroline Clyn is too rhymey for me. I love Hadley Clyn. Morgan and Hadley, Junie and Hadley.
on December 2nd, 2015 at 9:26 pm
For you guys, I prefer the spelling Marlo. Marlo Clyn. Mary and Junie. Marlo and Morgan. That is my fave of Abby’s list.
My suggestion though is Wren nn Birdie. Wren Clyn looks and sounds so beautiful to me. Morgan and Wren are totally sisters, as are Junie and Birdie. (Renny is another nn option.) Happy naming, and congratulations!
on December 2nd, 2015 at 9:48 pm
So many great suggestions from Abby and posters. I was going to suggest Carys (nn Cary) myself!
Since you like Bronwen and Morgan, some other Welsh gems:
Rhoswen nn Rosie or Winnie
Seren nn Siri
Since you like Marlowe:
Emery/Emory nn Emmie
Since you like Junie:
Lucille nn Lucy
Eloise nn Ellie, Lola, or Lou
Emilia or Amelia nn Millie or Mila
Maxine nn Max or Maxie
Junie and Molly
Junie and Lucy
Junie and Lola
on December 2nd, 2015 at 10:37 pm
The first name that came to mind was Hazel.
on December 2nd, 2015 at 10:57 pm
I love Nicolebaby1’s suggestion of Wren nn Birdie. From Abby’s suggestions I like Carys Clyn nn Cece. My suggestion would be Reese Christopher nn Chrissy.
on December 2nd, 2015 at 11:13 pm
Another nickname for Adelia (I prefer Adela as a given name, though) is Delly! Ends with that ee sound, and I think Junie and Delly go together nicely. I think another option would be to use Christian/Christiane (a nod to MIL Christopher) Clyn. Could still use the nickname Cece, or one of my favorites: Kit! Junie and Kit. I like it. Lastly, I couldn’t resist suggesting another favorite nn of mine: Bea/Bee. Junie and Bea I think can work, although it does kind of make me think of Junie B Jones… Common names to use to get to Bea are Beatrice/Beatrix, but I personally think that any name starting with the letter B can have that nickname.
Good luck! I’m very excited to see what y’all decide on!
on December 3rd, 2015 at 1:55 am
From the others suggestions I really like Wren Christophe nn Birdie and Elliott Clyn or Christopher nn Ellie. Kit is also an amazing combination with Junie ..maybe Christopher Clyn to get there.
You could also do Georgia Clyn nn Georgie. Georgie and Junie sound like they belong together!
on December 3rd, 2015 at 10:37 am
Seems logical that since your daughter was named after your husband, your 2nd could be named after you!
I noticed your name is Andrea, so you could use an “ann ” name like Annabel, Annelise, or Annika. Annie is a great nn! Or perhaps there is someone from your side of the family that has a great name.
I like the suggestions of Eden nn Edie, and Quinn.
on December 3rd, 2015 at 5:53 pm
I really love the suggestion of Caroline Clyn. It’s a great name and sounds really southern with Morgan Campbell. I think it’s gorgeous : )
on December 4th, 2015 at 8:30 am
Like others have said, I think it’s a no to Caroline Clyn (Kelin) – too rhymey! I’m really into Marlowe Clyn, though – Morgan and Marlowe are a great name set. I’m not sure what you’d nickname Marlowe, though. Maybe Mimi, like my mum calls me? (I’m an Amy!) Mimi and Junie are sweet together. Or maybe Lolo and Junie.
on December 4th, 2015 at 4:30 pm
Oh wow… this is fabulous! Thank you so much for all the great suggestions. I definitely feel much more confident that we will find the perfect name. Now I just need to narrow them down!
After writing in, Marlowe became our #1 choice, but we were still having doubts. The fact that it was chosen from our list to reconsider and the great feedback it’s been getting has helped get rid of those doubts. So it is back on the list. (I love the nn Lolo, especially with Junie)
But with all the other suggestions, the list has just gotten longer. I had forgotten I loved Ramona (nn Romy), and do like the suggestion that she should have an An- (or even just A-) name since Junie got my husband’s name. My middle initial is C, so she would share initials with me. I still love Annika and Autumn.
A lot of suggestions I like, but can’t use since they are big rule breakers. I’m a teacher, so am trying to avoid using any of my student’s names, if at all possible (that cuts out Hadley, Caroline and Cece!) and a lot of the others I like are either names friends have used or don’t sound good with our last name (so sad to have to cut out Carys… I love it with Junie and Welsh connection with Morgan)
So thank you everyone! Especially Abby… you have the best job ever!! And are so great at it. Thanks so much for your help.
on December 4th, 2015 at 9:07 pm
It is not Welsh like Morgan, which is a longstanding favorite name of mine, but there is a name I want to suggest, and It is Aideen (AY-deen), which is not a weird misspelling of Aiden. It is a name from Irish Mythology. Aideen is the wife of Oscar, who is the grandson of Finn mac Cumhail. Just thought I would throw it out there.
As for a Welsh name to consider, what about Aeron, which is listed mainly as masculine but I have seen it listed as either on a few websites. Since your name is Andrea, maybe a name like Andraste, who is the Briton goddess of victory could work. I think Andraste Clyn is cool, though I don’t have a nickname suggestion outside of Andi, which is cute but expected. I personally love the sound of Aideen Christopher, as well as Aeron Christopher, though Aideen Clyn and Aeron Clyn are cute too. Deenie or even Deanie would be a cute nickname for Aideen.
Though really I think Autumn Christopher is a winner. I just thought I would throw out a few more ideas to consider.
on January 1st, 2016 at 3:40 pm
I’m Welsh so here are my favourite Welsh names! (My husband being English I think doesn’t want to use them).
Some are unisex, some are girl:
Lois (pronounced ‘loyss’
Deryn (meaning ‘bird’)
Tesni (pronounced ‘Tessnee’)
Hope that helps!
on April 25th, 2016 at 9:44 am
I love the suggestion of Marlowe Clyn and her nn could be Maci/Macy which goes well with Junie. 🙂
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