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To C or Not to C?

November 22, 2016 Abby Sandel
To C or not to C?

To C or not to C, that is the question! She loves the idea of choosing a C first name to go with their C last name. He’s not sold, but will consider it if they can find the perfect name.

Mintie writes:

In January, my husband and I are expecting our first baby, a sweet little girl! Unfortunately, we’re kind of at an impasse when it comes to names … and time is ticking!

Our last name starts with a hard C sound, and I really want to give our baby a first name that also starts with a C. I grew up with my first and last name starting with the same letter and it was just so much fun. Double initials come with a built-in nickname of Cece (CC), which is adorable.

My husband is not opposed to this idea if we find the perfect one, but he doesn’t want to do it just for the sake of having a C name.

My top names are Clover, Calluna, Colette, Cosette, Cleo, Cecily, and Cerelia. For non-C names, I like Isla, Tuesday, Harper, and Piper.

His list consists of Dawn, Evelyn, Hazel, Alice, Eden, Lucy, Violet, and Juliet.

Her middle name will be Harlow as it is a family name.

Hoping for some help to find the perfect combination that we both love, or some good non-C alternatives!

The Name Sage replies:

When it comes to alliteration, I’m a huge fan! My daughter’s initials are C.C., and she has a friend called G.G., for her first and last initials. But this is like ice cream flavors and paint colors – if you don’t like coffee ice cream or blue walls in your kitchen, I probably can’t talk you into loving them.

It does sound like there’s some hope for a C.C., though, since your husband is not opposed. Let’s look more closely at the names you both like:

– There’s a strong nature name theme on both of your lists: Clover, Dawn, Hazel, Violet.

– It sounds like you’ve almost ruled out ends-in-a names. The only exceptions are Cerelia and Calluna. Many of these names feel a little more tailored.

– I’d say his list is more conventional, while yours feels rather daring – though the actual sound of names you prefer seems pretty consistent.

A little commercial: you can use our Advanced Search feature to narrow things down, including choosing between popular, familiar, and unusual names, as well as searching every single C name for girls in our database!

After sorting through pages of C names, I think there might be a few you’ve overlooked that feel like good compromises.

CamilleCamille feels a little bit vintage, just like Evelyn and Cecily, but it is also a floral name like Violet. Camila is in the current US Top 100; Camille comes in at Number 246.

Celeste Celeste also has a nature tie-in. It comes from a Late Latin name meaning heavenly, or relating to the sky – think celestial.

Cameron – When actress Cameron Diaz first made her name in Hollywood, this surname name trended unisex for a decade or so. But now it’s unusual for girls and familiar for boys. Still, if Harper and Piper are on your list, and Eden and Evelyn on his, maybe a surname name or an –n ending choice would work.

CarysCarys is rare, but shares the same ending sound as Alice. It also comes with a great meaning: love.

Now let’s look at some non-C names:

Ivy – A nature name that shares the V of Evelyn and Violet, Ivy seems like a potential compromise.

Iris – Another nature name possibility, Iris seems more vintage – a sister for Cecily or Alice.

LouiseLouise is one of those names that everyone recognizes – but no is using. As of last year, Louise failed to make the US Top 1,000! But it’s a great choice, rich with nickname potential that might make up for not having Cece as an option.

January – This might be a longshot, but Juliet and Tuesday made me think of January. It’s every bit as wearable as April, May, or June.

Any of these names might work, but I think the perfect compromise is already on your list: Colette. At Number 531 in the US, it’s a name everyone recognizes but few people are using. That also puts it in the middle of your lists – less popular than your husband’s Lucy and Violet, more familiar than your Calluna and Clover. It shares the –t ending of Violet and Juliet, but gives you your C. Plus, it works nicely with the middle name Harlow.

Let’s have a quick poll – I’d love to know if you’re pro-alliteration, con, or just not so sure.

Update: I just heard from Mintie! They went with Colette. Congrats to the family, and oh – what a great 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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