Friday, October 21, 2011

Consultation: help name baby S.

That's Anouck Lepere (first photo above) playing Zelda Fitzgerald in the photo shoot named after her husband's novel, This Side of Paradise.  F. Scott is one of our feature's favorite authors, too. And, of course, the last photo is of the lovely Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly, from one of our feature's favorite films (Holly is also the name of a plant associated with her mother's birth month.)  Lots of name awesomeness there! 

UPDATE in comments: They picked the name!!

A. and her husband are welcoming their fourth child, a girl, and they'd like some help with the name! A. loves the smells of Lavender, Musk and Orange blossom. She and husband most enjoy 80's music like The Smiths and The Cure, for example.  They love films Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Sound of Music, Amelie, Star Wars and A Clockwork Orange.

Just imagine Maria in her flowered hills, arms opened wide, spinning in circles, or maybe dancing at the Von Trapp the music of Disintegration.  Now imagine all this through the mind's eye of Holly Golightly and I think we'll have the right feel here to get us started.

** New baby girl will join siblings (they don't wish to repeat first initials with first names):
Raphaelle Elowyn
Jasper Ellis
Ariadne Magnolia

** They have some family names they might be interested in using, but they aren't quite sure how to incorporate them, as the surname starts with S:

** They would love to honor A's mother (born in the month of December) with some sort of botanical name because she was an avid gardener. While she loved any flower that looked pretty in her gardendahlias were her favorite.

**Husband is fond of FlorenceSienaFigline, & Rome to honor the time they spent living in Italy. A. is not super keen on any but Florence, but she worries that Florence is just a touch too ripe for popularity.

**Finally, A. has a degree in English literature, so she'd love to incorporate something from a favorite book, if it's the right name.
Amongst her favorites:
To Kill a Mockingbird
Wuthering Heights
Pride and Prejudice
Tess of the d'Ubervilles
Pillars of the Earth
Jane Eyre
Love in the Time of Cholera
The Great Gatsby
The Beautiful and the Damned

Thank you, A, for reaching out to us here at Marginamia, and congratulations on the coming birth of your daughter!  Your children are beautifully named, and given your interests, I think there are some amazing options that will fit well within your family!

** all of your family names are absolutely stunning! I would pick any of them right up front. This said, I get the feeling you might want something more under the radar, and given your daughters' names, these may not be the best fits for a first name.

** I really think a name that ends with the -s sound is okay flowing right into a surname beginning with S, and Florence is such an amazing name, but you don't seem too keen on hubby's Italy themed names. I suggest that if you want to pursue this, you look to Italian names, like Cosima (correction: Cosima is actually Greek in origin! but is used in Italy a lot.) There's also an Italian place name (and potential faith name) that has really grown on me lately, partially because it sounds like it's always been a name, and it does have a history of usage: Vallombrosa. I could see this working in your family.

 ** From your literary and movie loves, several names appeal to me, some because they are also botanical and some just for the name, even if the characters, themselves, might be less than super essential or have some undesirable traits (don't we all?) Of these names, only a few stand out to me as real contenders for a first name due to cohesion issues with the siblings' names. I'll put a star by ones I think work up front:
Daisy (would be better as a nickname from something longer, more robust and more indulgent)
*Zelda (the "first american flapper,"author, painter, and F. Scott Fiztgerald's wife, which he based a character on....)
*Gloria (said character)
*Zillah (though I'm not super keen on the meaning)
Maud ( I so love it, and I love the one syllable with sibs', but I think there are better fits. It's a great middle name, though, and I'm really, really loving it as a second middle. I think it's totally fine for the forth child to have three names, even if the others don't!)
Eliza (I think this might be more common in your neck of the woods, and I don't think you want that, but it's still lovely, so you might consider it.)
Rosamond (ditto Eliza?)

** I love that you want something botanical to honor your mother. The birth flower for December (her birth month) is the Daffodil, but also associated with December is Holly and Poinsettia. I tell you, though, her favorite flower, Dahlia, is so, so lovely a name, I almost (almost, mind you) wouldn't even need to think of another. You might also consider the birthstones associated with December as  middle name options: Turquoise or Topaz.  Or consider birthstones associated with her astrological sign, Sagittarius: SapphireAmethyst, or Beryl.  This said, I absolutely love the idea of honoring someone by borrowing from the thing they most loved, so I prefer the botanical for this purpose.
 Most of these work better in the middle, given siblings' names, but some are great right up front. Again, I'll star the ones I see as first name options:

Garden  is one I would normally suggest (Gloria Garden sounds nice to my ear!) but just say this one out loud with your surname (it ends up sort of smooshing with it and sounding descriptive, so I don't think it will work, unless you use a second middle name behind it!)
*Gardenia (who doesn't love these? I think there are better first names, but it could work if you love it.)
Delphinium (I love this for it's ties to both the botanical and ancient greek worlds. there's also
Delphinia and Delphine.)
Larkspur (another version of Delphinium)
*Hesperis (might be too close to brother Jasper's, though?)
Chrysanthemum (appropriate for this time of year, too.)
Cleome (cle-OHM-ee) (I'd love this as a first name, but the ending sounds too similar to Ariadne's)
Omena (finnish for 'apple'. another time-of-year-appropriate name.)
*Zinnia  (Zinnia Agnes is divine.)
Golden  (the second half of the above name)
Glory or Morning Glory
Tigerlily (Nook of Names profiled this one recently, and I went gaga, thanks Nook!)
*Verbena (an all time favorite of mine)
*Rosalie (this is a repeat initial, but it's with the sibling with the most space between them. I think with this many kids, an initial can repeat.  I think it really brings balance and harmony and closes the sib set so well.)
Julep (the dew on a rose)
*Shoshana (lily)
*Philantha (one who loves flowers.)

** Now, I have additional suggestions, as well, not really based on familial, literary or botanical references, but which I think would be  such good fits for your family. I think these are the best first name options for you, but it just depends on your priorities regarding tributes and how many of them you want to get in there. Let me say right up front that I really indulged in playing with all sorts of middle name combinations (all of them botanical, family, literary or some combination;) it was just too much fun not to. and these are sort of in order of preference. sort of.

These are my top picks for you:

Endellion (Indy or Endi. I love Endellion Viola, Endellion Maude, Endellion Cleome, I also love Endellion Gardenia, but this feels way too similar to big sister's.)

Cleona (I love Cleona Rosalie Maud. I should say that I love even more Cleone pronounced klee-OWN, but sources aren't clear on the history of this name, and several disagree on the pronunciation, so research well and use with caution.)

Cosima (I really love the following:  Cosima Hesperis, Cosima Daisy, Cosima Holly, Cosima Garden Josephine or Cosima Cleome.)

Zelda (I love Zelda Gardenia Maude, Zelda Beatrice Bloom, Zelda Rosalie or Zelda Rosevine )

Concordia (Concordia Constance is super yummy, but may not work with surname. I also like Concordia Bluebell, Concordia Cleome or Concordia Rosalie. Cordi is so cute, too.)

Calypso (Calypso Verbena, Calypso Constance Rosalie, Calypso Dahlia, Calypso Gardenia or Calypso Louise Viola are my picks for this one.)

Theodosia (nicknames Daisy, Dottie and Doe are so fun. I love Theodosia Mockingbird &; Theodosia Bluebell. unless she goes by Daisy, in which case I like Theodosia Agnes or Theodosia Clymene.)

Ursula (Ursula Violet is lovely and I love nn Suli.)

Ondine (Ondine Ursinia is lovely.)

Olympia (Olympia Rosevine, Pia is precious, too.)

Delphine (I love Delphine Dahlia Maude, Delphine Tigerlily, Delphine Cleome or Delphine Saphira. I know this name has floated around in name nerd circles, but I would argue that even in that super small segment of the population, it still isn't being used a lot. I think it tends to be more of a name-I-wish-I'd-used name, or a name-I'd-have-used-if-not-for-husband name. I also think it's lovely within your family.)

Zinnia (Zinnia Agnes all the way! and Zinnie or Zizi are so sweet!)

Josephine (Posy, Effie, Pia, Poe, Fee) (this is another initial repeat, but not if she goes by a nickname. Poesy feels way too popular  for your tastes, but Josephine checks too many boxes not to mention it. It also fits your vibe, I think, the most out of all your family names. I love Josephine Endellion. I wouldn't pick a botanical middle unless you plan not to call her Posey. Say she goes by Effie, Pia, Poe, or Fee, then I like Josephine Rosevine, Josephine Chrysanthemum, or Josephine Saffron Maude. Maude is so perfect as a second middle, that I just can't let it go, and with this last one, she could also go by Saffie.)

Viola (Viola Florence Josephine! Viola Louise or Viola Clymene. Clymene, like Cleome, is another I'd love up front if not for it's ending sound being the same as Ariadne's.)

Malgosia (I like Malgosia Garden Josephine. Yes, there's a famous-ish model with this name, but really, have you heard it much? And models aren't really famous anymore, so... I don't expect this to see much use. It fits with your family, but could be too similar to Magnolia on paper, if not entirely in sound.)

Xanthe (I love Xanthe Gloria Julep,  and Xanthe Gardenia Maude.)

Enid ( I love Enid Tigerlily or Enid Dahlia Josephine...oh man, do I love this!)

Vallombrosa ( Vallombrosa Eglantine has a lovely sound, though it may be too much? Vallombrosa Daisy is nice, too. )

Decima (I love that this ties to mother's birth month.  I like Decima Daisy or Decima Rosalie Maude)

Eglantine (Aggie. I love the sound of Eglantine Agnes or Eglantine Louise.)

Estrella (Estrella Louise, Estrella Bloom,  and Estrella Agnes Cleome are super. I love nickname Estee.)

Philantha (I like Philantha Maude Beatrice, and nickname Pia works great, too, with the meanings of your girls' first names.)

Maude (I think it works beautifully. I love Maude Dahlia Agnes...yes, even with your surname. Agnes seems to fully stop before surname starts, and she's a second middle, so it won't be said often. I'm not sure why I put this last. Maybe because it might be my personal favorite, rather than the best fit for your family?)

What about it, readers? Any more suggestions? Should A. try to squeeze in all three or four tributes by using three names and names that work double duty, or should she go with the name she loves the most up front while using her top-priority tribute in the middle?  Should she go with a second middle? How would you prioritize the particular tributes she'd like to make?


  1. I have a daughter named Calypso. She loves her name at 19. She was a little sketchy on it at 12, but who doesn't want to change their name when they are 12?

    I think it's always best to go with what you really love up front, and then make the middle name work as a tribute. I am iffy on second middle name, but in my case it might be because it tends to feel a little heavy or pretentious with a hyphenated last name.

  2. I think she should stick with one middle name since thats what she did with the other kids.
    Bernice is from F. Scott's "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" which was based on his letters to his younger sister on how to be more attractive to men. His sister was Annabel which would also be lovely.
    Ardita was the name of the heroine in "The Offshore Pirate", another short story.
    Cuthbert is the name of a minor character in "The Pillars of the Earth". I think it would make a nice middle name for a boy.
    I'm really loving Concordia as of late, Concordia Enid is very pretty.

    Other suggestions:

    Belia (What dahlias are called in Hindi.)
    I believe dahlias are also called Georgina Willd's? Georgina would be pretty.
    Pepperberry (Perhaps a bit out-there but I love it. It is a winter blooming flower.)
    Alabama (Heroine of Zelda Fitzgerald's novel and where she was from.)

  3. I like your suggestion of Cosima- I might pair it with Rosemary or Rosaline but they're all 3 syllables. My suggestions are Marguerite Constance nicknamed Daisy and Josephine Dahlia. I also love Primrose but next year's Hunger Games movie should put it in a lot of people's minds so I wouldn't use it for that reason. Good luck to A and her family!

  4. I would ask what A's mother's favorite Dahlia varieties were, as there are so many and some have wonderful names. I adore dahlia's too (second only to roses) -- unfortunately, my favourite is the Bishop of Llandaff, which isn't all that nameworthy...

    Of course, Dahlia itself is a lovely name.

    I could say the same stuff all over re Lavenders too...

    Since A has a degree in English Lit, I doubt she needs reminding of the character names from her favorite books, as such, but I grew up close to Brontë country, and used to walk up by the real "Wuthering Heights" with my dog...

    How about Brontë itself as a name? As well as honoring Emily and Charlotte, it means "thunder" in ancient Greek. The original Irish form of their family name means 'bestower'.

    I think it's a super name.

    That part of Yorkshire is very wild and raw. Lots of smoke-blakened villages of stone and bleak moorland. Heather dominates. I still think Heather makes a lovely name, though it's certainly not "trendy" at the moment. But it's everywhere Wuthering Heights.

    Other moorland plants which I think make great names include varieties of


    But just on the sibling names alone, if I were picking a name... I think these would be on my shortlist:

    Celyn (Welsh for 'holly' -- an established name here in Wales)
    Hebe (also a plant ;))
    Holly (a December baby, and Holly Golightly...)
    Ilex (Latin for holly)

    Pretty random, I know, but they're the ones which are resonating for me :).

  5. These are fabulous names for an addition to this beautiful family. (I'm bookmarking this post! So inspiring!)

    Combining some of these suggestions, I like:

    Rosalind Roma

    Siena Agnes
    OR Seneca Agnes

    Beatrice Bluebell (nn Bebe)

    Flora Josephine
    OR Violet Josephine

    Good luck! And congrats! xo.

  6. Dahlia Josephine S. is great, also (literate and floral) Daisy Roma S. (traditional Italian form of Rome, bit more feminine).

  7. Wow! Thank you all so, so much for your beautiful inputs! I'm inspired.

    I adore Berenice, Marguerite, Roma, Flora, Bebe (by way of Beatrice Bluebell), Ivy, and SUNDEW (oh my gosh, Nook--this one is going in an Ask post tomorrow!),

    UPDATE: They have selected the name-- Cosmina Rosevine! Isn't it beautiful? Mina was her mother's name, so it has her mother's name right in it! Cosmina is a variant of Cosima, with the same meaning. A lot of people in Italy also use it, so it hits most all of her tributes. I think it's just stunning. Congratulations, A!

  8. Love that name, very sweet and has a lovely flow, plus Mina is a great, modern nickname, too - if they ever feel comfortable calling her the same name as her grandmother!

  9. Cosmina is beautiful. I love Cosima too, but Cosmina feels a little more...mysterious. I like that.