Ailsa and Maren-- opinions, please!

[name]Afternoon[/name] all,

It’s been awhile since I’ve started a thread, since I’ve had the same names at the top of my list for awhile. But now I’m starting to re-think a couple of things about my favorite girl names, and want the opinions of you savvy Nameberries! My top two are [name]Ailsa[/name] and [name]Maren[/name], with [name]Carys[/name] probably being my third pick. Last name starts with P and is 2 syllables, though I’m not overly concerned with syllable flow. What I want to know is:

1)What do you think of [name]Ailsa[/name] and [name]Maren[/name], both individually and as a sister set?

2)Why do you think Nameberry says, without explanation, that [name]Marin[/name] is the preferred spelling? I think [name]Marin[/name] is more likely to be mispronounced (either as mah-[name]RIN[/name], like the county in [name]CA[/name], or like the word marine), and I think [name]Maren[/name] looks softer and prettier.

3)Which of these [name]Ailsa[/name] combos do you like best? I feel the need for one of the names to have a family connection.

  • [name]Ailsa[/name] [name]Harper[/name]-- [name]Harper[/name] is my maiden name, so of course I think of that before thinking of its recent climb in popularity. I like the idea of passing that name down, but I don’t want to sacrifice the sound/style/feel just for that reason.
  • [name]Ailsa[/name] [name]Caroline[/name]-- [name]Caroline[/name] is my name. At first it seemed weird to pass down my first name, but I really like the sound and balance of this combo.
  • [name]Ailsa[/name] [name]Coraline[/name]-- DH likes this one more than I do. Obviously connected to my name; also, my great grandmother was [name]Cora[/name]. We’re [name]Neil[/name] Gaiman fans, but does this name seem too ‘pop-culture’ after the movie?
  • [name]Ailsa[/name] [name]Jane[/name]-- no family connection, I just like the sound of this

[name]Maren[/name] has the family connection built in because it sounds like a combination of our mothers’ names ([name]Margaret[/name] and [name]Lauren[/name])… though I fell in love with it before noticing that :wink: So if we decided on [name]Maren[/name], she would probably be [name]Maren[/name] [name]Eliza[/name], which we both just love. I’m open to other suggestions, though!

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and opinions, Berries! :smiley:

Hello there. First of all I have to say that my favorite name out of the three on your list is by far [name]Carys[/name], but you seem to be leaning towards [name]Ailsa[/name] and [name]Maren[/name]. Individually, I’m not a big fan of either name, and I can’t really see [name]Ailsa[/name] and [name]Maren[/name] as sisters. They seem stylistically different to me. [name]Ailsa[/name] is really Scottish to me, and [name]Maren[/name] seems like a more random choice. As far as your second question goes, I really prefer the spelling [name]Marin[/name] as well as the pronunciation (like Muh-[name]RIN[/name]) rather than [name]MARE[/name]-in which reminds me of horses. To me the spelling of [name]Marin[/name] would be obvious to pronounce, and I can’t see it getting pronounced like marine. As for the [name]Ailsa[/name] combos, I like [name]Ailsa[/name] [name]Harper[/name] the best. [name]Coraline[/name] is my favorite of your middles but I don’t think it goes with [name]Ailsa[/name], and it’s too close to your name. I wouldn’t use [name]Caroline[/name] because you want your daughter to have her own identity and her very own name, not yours. If you don’t go with [name]Carys[/name], I’d say my favorite is [name]Maren[/name] [name]Eliza[/name] although I think it would be prettier as [name]Marin[/name] [name]Eliza[/name], both on paper and in sound.

When I saw your post, I thought you were having twin girls named [name]Ailsa[/name] and [name]Maren[/name]. This is a good thing because it means I can see these two names as sisters. I believe that it’s best to name children distinct names they can call their own and these two certainly fit the bill. Although they are certainly different, they are not so far apart as some sibling names (eg. two girls named [name]Elizabeth[/name] and [name]Carter[/name]). [name]Ailsa[/name] [name]Caroline[/name] is my fave combination. [name]Maren[/name]'s middle name of [name]Eliza[/name] is lovely and I also like [name]Maren[/name] [name]Grace[/name] which sounds so soft and beautiful. Good luck!

I love both [name]Ailsa[/name] and [name]Maren[/name], especially [name]Maren[/name]! And I think they work well as siblings actually :slight_smile:

I prefer the [name]Maren[/name] spelling myself too and have wondered in the past why nameberry says [name]Marin[/name] is better. Also, coincidentally, one of the reasons I like the name myself is that it is a blend of my mother and my [name]MIL[/name]'s names too! ([name]Karen[/name] and [name]Marilyn[/name])

My favourite combos are [name]Ailsa[/name] [name]Caroline[/name] and [name]Maren[/name] [name]Eliza[/name]. I think these two work particularly well as sisters! And then maybe something like [name]Carys[/name] [name]Susannah[/name], [name]Carys[/name] [name]Sophia[/name], [name]Carys[/name] [name]Matilda[/name], [name]Carys[/name] [name]Louisa[/name], [name]Carys[/name] [name]Josephine[/name], [name]Carys[/name] [name]Victoria[/name], [name]Carys[/name] [name]Fiona[/name] etc as a third sister!

[name]Hope[/name] that helps :slight_smile:

I think both names go together well. My only concern with [name]Ailsa[/name] is that people may confuse it with [name]Elsa[/name]. I love the name [name]Maren[/name] and much prefer that spelling. [name]How[/name] neat that it’s a combination of your mother and m-in-l’s names! [name]Maren[/name] [name]Eliza[/name] is beautiful!

I love [name]Ailsa[/name]! I think it’s such an undiscovered gem. [name]Maren[/name] actually used to be one of my favorite names (years ago) but it doesn’t appeal to me as much anymore. It’s a pretty name, though. Are you pronouncing it mahr-in or mare-in? I like the first one, but hate the second. I don’t know what nameberry is talking about-- [name]Maren[/name] is the correct spelling (as a Danish form of [name]Marina[/name]) while [name]Marin[/name] is (according to Behind the Name) a boy’s name. [name]Ailsa[/name] and [name]Maren[/name] would be great as sisters!

[name]Ailsa[/name] [name]Caroline[/name] is gorgeous! I’m not a fan of [name]Harper[/name] at all, but since it’s your maiden name and in the middle, it gets a pass. [name]Coraline[/name] is too connected to the book for me-- I mean, he basically invented it. Maybe [name]Ailsa[/name] [name]Coralie[/name]? [name]Maren[/name] [name]Eliza[/name] is really pretty. [name]Carys[/name] is nice, but I much prefer both [name]Ailsa[/name] and [name]Maren[/name].

Is it pronounced [name]MAR[/name]-en (as in [name]Margaret[/name]) or [name]Maren[/name] like [name]Karen[/name]? I actually like both, they are both soft and pretty sounding and looking, as you say. I prefer [name]Maren[/name] (like [name]Karen[/name]) [name]Eliza[/name], since I like the soft “air” sound to the “ar” sound as in “ARrrrrrrrgh mateys!” The sound of the word “[name]Mare[/name]” doesn’t bother me, and I think lots of people named [name]Mary[/name] and [name]Meredith[/name] will agree that it is just fine. =p

I like the idea of [name]Ailsa[/name] but I much prefer [name]Eliza[/name] and I find the names to be too similar sounding to use in a sibset. I think a lot of people will think her name is a typo - [name]Alisa[/name]/[name]Ailsa[/name]. I do like the idea of the initials A.C. nn [name]Ace[/name] or [name]Acey[/name] (as my aunt goes by) so if you are set on [name]Ailsa[/name], then my first pick would be [name]Ailsa[/name] [name]Caroline[/name], though close second would be [name]Ailsa[/name] [name]Jane[/name] since it sounds so sweet.

[name]Do[/name] you like [name]Eliza[/name] as a first name option instead of [name]Ailsa[/name]? [name]Maren[/name] and [name]Eliza[/name] sound so great together, they could be sisters, too!

You could go with [name]Maren[/name] [name]Harper[/name] or [name]Maren[/name] [name]Jane[/name], sister to [name]Eliza[/name] [name]Jane[/name] or [name]Eliza[/name] [name]Harper[/name].

I like [name]Carys[/name] but if you are going with [name]Maren[/name], then I would not pick [name]Carys[/name] as a sister name just because [name]Mare[/name]/Care or alternatively [name]Mar[/name]/Car are too rhymey.

Good luck to you!!! =)

Thanks so much for all the thoughtful replies so far, everyone! I have to run for now, but I’ll be back later to comment… :slight_smile:

I just love [name]Ailsa[/name] [name]Caroline[/name] and [name]Maren[/name] [name]Eliza[/name] as sisters!

I love [name]Maren[/name], and it is my first choice right now for our baby girl, but I am thinking of spelling it differently. Also having a difficult time with a middle name, I want to pick a middle name that has familial meaning - but I do think your choice of [name]Eliza[/name] sounds nice!

1)What do you think of [name]Ailsa[/name] and [name]Maren[/name], both individually and as a sister set? I love them both individually and as a sister set. I hope you have three, because [name]Ailsa[/name], [name]Maren[/name] and [name]Carys[/name] really seem perfect together.

2)Why do you think Nameberry says, without explanation, that [name]Marin[/name] is the preferred spelling? I think they prefer [name]Marin[/name] if you are pronouncing it like [name]Marin[/name] County. My [name]MIL[/name] is a preschool teacher and has a [name]Marin[/name] in her class, it’s my favorite name in her whole class, and I’d never even cared about it before. I’m assuming you want it pronounced Muh-rhen? Or something along those lines, right? That is how I would assume [name]Maren[/name] is pronounced. I agree with you that it’s softer than [name]Marin[/name], and I really like the look of it, too.

3)Which of these [name]Ailsa[/name] combos do you like best? I feel the need for one of the names to have a family connection.

  • [name]Ailsa[/name] [name]Harper[/name]-- [name]Love[/name] that it’s your maiden name, and it has a modern/trendy vibe that balances the antique [name]Ailsa[/name] very nicely.
  • [name]Ailsa[/name] [name]Caroline[/name]-- I love when mothers pass their names on to their daughters, not to mention that the flow and style are perfect.
  • [name]Ailsa[/name] [name]Coraline[/name]-- [name]LOVE[/name]!!! Yes, it’s got a pop-culture connection, but the family connection is so much greater. I adore this combo so much.
  • [name]Ailsa[/name] [name]Jane[/name]-- I like the sound of it too, but I like the sound of [name]Caroline[/name] and [name]Coraline[/name] better, plus they have meaning.

[name]Maren[/name] [name]Eliza[/name] is beautiful, but after hearing the meaning behind [name]Coraline[/name], I’m behind [name]Ailsa[/name] [name]Coraline[/name] 100%!

I’m so glad that most people really like at least one of the names, and that they could be seen as sisters. While they may not match per se, I think they share a similar breezy, kinda naturey/earthy, feminine but not frilly sound and feel. I also love the rare, ‘undiscovered gem’ aspect to both of these; they probably wouldn’t have to be [name]Ailsa[/name] P. or [name]Maren[/name] #2, as some of you noted.

I agree with some of your concerns that [name]Ailsa[/name] will get misread (as [name]Alisa[/name]) or mispronounced (as [name]Elsa[/name] or whatever else!) because it’s not familiar to most Americans, but I love it enough that I’m okay with that! At least the pronunciation is very clear from the spelling if you take a second to look at it (though I know people in day-to-day life might not.)

The pronunciation issue with [name]Maren[/name] seems a little more tricky! I pronounce it to rhyme with [name]Karen[/name], though I see that some of you hate that pron! :cry: I feel like where I live, the MAHR-in (like the word mar,+in) would sound somewhat unnatural and contrived, and that’s how I feel when I say it that way. The mare/horse thing doesn’t bother me; as Leysin said, it works for [name]Mary[/name] and [name]Meredith[/name]. [name]Do[/name] you think many people will say muh-RINN, or is that mainly those in [name]California[/name] who think of the county? (i’m on the [name]East[/name] Coast)

It’s good to hear that many of you like [name]Ailsa[/name] [name]Caroline[/name]; I’m hoping most people don’t think it’s weird or arrogant for a mom to pass down her fn as her daughter’s middle? I think this is my current favorite. But [name]Lyndsay[/name], I love that you love [name]Ailsa[/name] [name]Coraline[/name] (DH will be so happy!) It’s growing on me; I’ll have to think about it some more :slight_smile:

And I’m glad [name]Maren[/name] [name]Eliza[/name] gets the [name]Berry[/name] stamp of approval. I think [name]Ailsa[/name] [name]Caroline[/name] is my current #1, with [name]Maren[/name] [name]Eliza[/name] coming in next. Thank you all so much for your input!!

Aw thanks, me too! :smiley: Considering the way I say [name]MARE[/name]-in and CARE-iss, do people think those sound too similar to be in a sibset?

LJ, what a funny coincidence! I think [name]Karen[/name] and [name]Marilyn[/name] lead to [name]Maren[/name] so naturally. Thanks for the [name]Carys[/name] suggestions! My favorites are [name]Carys[/name] [name]Josephine[/name], [name]Carys[/name] [name]Fiona[/name], and [name]Carys[/name] [name]Louisa[/name] ([name]Lewis[/name] is a family name I want to pass down, so if I have all girls, maybe I can do it this way?)!

Needless to say, I think it’s a beautiful choice! The Berries are so good at suggesting great middle name options-- do you have any top contenders at this point?

I do love [name]Eliza[/name] as a first name, just not as much as I love [name]Ailsa[/name]! I think it’s [name]Ailsa[/name]'s Scottish connection (DH’s dad is Scottish and we’ve had wonderful trips to [name]Scotland[/name]), and the fact that we don’t hear it around, so it just seems like ‘ours,’ if that makes sense. I see what you mean about [name]Eliza[/name] and [name]Ailsa[/name] being similar, but I don’t think it bothers me since [name]Eliza[/name] would be in the middle.

You make a good point about [name]Carys[/name] and [name]Maren[/name] sounding similar. I’ll have to think more on that!

I love [name]Maren[/name]. It is probably my top pick right now for a mn to honor Grandma [name]Marilyn[/name]. I have no clue why [name]Marin[/name] would be considered the prefered spelling. To me [name]Maren[/name] is a name and [name]Marin[/name] is place. I would only use the [name]Maren[/name] spelling personally. I’l not sue about [name]Ailsa[/name], I like [name]Elsa[/name] and [name]Isa[/name] (one of my favorites) but [name]Ailsa[/name] seems hard to say.

I would pronounce [name]Maren[/name] as rhyming with [name]Karen[/name]. (I used to live in [name]Marin[/name] County, [name]CA[/name], but I don’t think many, if any, people would use that place-name pronunciation. Certainly not with the spelling [name]Maren[/name].)

On the subject of giving your name to your daughter: I love it that my late mother “[name]Mary[/name] [name]Jane[/name]” passed along the middle name [name]Jane[/name] to me. (My first name is after her mother.) I think it is wonderful for you to give your name to your daughter. For me, it came across as an act of love, which I cherish. It never crossed my mind to think of it as self-centered.

I look forward to seeing what names you choose.