I'm back with another top five list - this time, to share some of the names I'm in mourning over not being able to use for our soon-to-be baby girl #2.
The first time around, Jason and I spent a few weeks gathering names we liked (using sites like nymbler.com really helped) before we found out if we were having a boy or a girl. Once we knew, we each took the girl list and reflected on it independently - and, about a week later, we wrote down our top two names from that list and shared them with each other. Lorelei appeared on both of our "top twos" so we were set!
This time? Not nearly so easy. We've had a hard time agreeing on names to put on our "master list" in the first place. Part of the problem is that we both have lots of rules about names we will or won't consider. I won't even think about a name that's in the top 150 from the social security list and want a name that sounds pretty but isn't overly frilly. Jason insists on a name that people will easily recognize as a "real name" and won't have anything to do with a name that ends with "a."
Neither of us like it when people name their babies something that sounds cute but won't age well - and we were amused to discover that, when picking our favorite names, we both picture a 20-something grad student in English literature to see if it "fits" her. Unfortunately, we both have different ideas about what works: Jason imagines such a person being named Alice, while that name to me conjures up an overweight 50-something waitress at a greasy spoon diner slinging hash onto your plate and tapping her foot impatiently when you ask for more coffee.
So here are the top five girls' names that Jason will never agree to and why:
1. Celia - I love this name for its simple beauty and literary connections, plus I think it sounds lovely paired with Lorelei as a sister set. Jason once had a close relationship with someone named this and, since it's somewhat unusual, says he'd have a hard time not thinking about that person as a result (as opposed to a name like Emily or Jennifer that a bunch of people you know have).
2. Willa - Same basic reasons as Celia. I was surprised and a little sad when Keri Russell recently chose it for her daughter because I was worried that it would suddenly become popular as a result. But Jason ruled it out immediately because it ends with an "a" and, further, follows the same pattern as our last name: consonant + vowel + double consonant + a, which he felt was too sing-songy.
3. Linnea - a name I've loved since childhood (did you ever read Linnea in Monet's Garden?). Jason's reasoning is basically the same as for Willa.
4. Imogen - I have a soft spot for British names and this one is particularly unusual in this country, which puts it pretty high on my list of favorites. Jason says no one would ever be able to pronounce it properly.
5. Maeve - a beautiful Irish name that we both love, actually. But a new little baby born to an acquaintance of mine is named this, and in our small town it would be too much to have two girls sharing such an unusual name, so we decided we can't use it.
Any of you want to share the names you love but can't use for a child? Or are you holding out hope that you'll someday be able to make use of them?