Down to 2 names: meaning vs. aesthetic flow? Opinions welcome!

Hello! My husband and I are expecting a baby in the spring; we will not find out the sex and we like to go in with at least 2 names, then name the baby when we meet him/her :slight_smile: We’ve agreed on the following two girl names and I find myself contantly switching the front-runner, so I am here to request some opinions of strangers with lovely taste in names!

  1. [name_f]Mae[/name_f] [name_f]Josephine[/name_f] ([name_f]Mae[/name_f] has an unfortunate meaning [bitter], but I love the way it is short, spunky and unexpected as a first. [name_f]Josephine[/name_f] is after my husband’s middle [Jopseph], which he self-selected at age 18 when legally changing his name as a result of being named directly after a person who turned out to be not so great. I see his renaming as a strong and beautiful representation of his inner strength and determination in life.)

  2. [name_f]Dorothea[/name_f] [name_u]June[/name_u] (We would intend to call her [name_f]Thea[/name_f]. I am obsessed with the meaning of [name_f]Dorothea[/name_f] [gift of God] for many personal reasons and that the name is of Greek origin, as my husband and I conqured our first marathon together in Greece. [name_u]June[/name_u] is after my Godmother and aunt, who was unable to have children of her own, but loves geneology and would truly appreciate her name being passed down in the family.)

Last name is two syllables and ends in -ly. Thank you for reading and for any thoughts you’d like to share.

I prefer [name_f]Mae[/name_f] [name_f]Josephine[/name_f] based on name love alone.

Bitter isn’t always bad. Dark chocolate is bitter, so are cranberries and grapefruit, yet the bitterness is part of the appeal.

They are both beautiful! I don’t think you can go wrong. Both have great significance for you which I think is especially great.
I like that you want to have 2 names too go to the hospital with - I think that’s quite intelligent!
Some comments:
[name_f]Mae[/name_f] - the meaning of [name_f]Mae[/name_f] may be “bitter”, but I wouldn’t have known that if you hadn’t just told me. [name_f]Mae[/name_f] reminds me or [name_f]May[/name_f] (the month) and the words “[name_f]May[/name_f] I?” So it doesn’t seem bitter at all.
[name_f]Josephine[/name_f] - [name_u]Love[/name_u] that it honours your husband.
[name_f]Dorothea[/name_f] [name_u]June[/name_u] - this combo seems to have a lot more significance than [name_f]Mae[/name_f] [name_f]Josephine[/name_f] does. [name_f]Thea[/name_f] is a beautiful name that I adore! And I think the reason for using [name_u]June[/name_u] is wonderful.

I prefer [name_f]Dorothea[/name_f] [name_u]June[/name_u] to [name_f]Mae[/name_f] [name_f]Josephine[/name_f], but they are both soft, gentle and nice.

[name_m]Just[/name_m] looking at them, in each combo you have a weighty name with a lighter, brief name - good combinations, I think.

  1. As to [name_f]Mae[/name_f]'s meaning: almost nobody knows it. I would wager that 99% of English-speakers assume it’s an offshoot of the name of the month of [name_f]May[/name_f]. If the meaning bothers you, you might consider switching to the [name_f]May[/name_f] spelling, which Nameberry attributes to [name_f]Margaret[/name_f] rather than to the [name_f]Mary[/name_f] variants.
    I love using [name_f]Josephine[/name_f] to honour your husband. [name_f]Mae[/name_f] isn’t my style personally, but I appreciate the idea of using it as a first name since it’s so unexpected.

  2. My husband and I went to Greece on our honeymoon and since getting back, I am extra enchanted by the Greek names! [name_f]Dorothea[/name_f] isn’t my favourite - I find it really heavy, but also I live in [name_f]Canada[/name_f], not Greece, and I think the Greek-accented pronunciation of [name_f]Dorothea[/name_f] would be much prettier than what I’d hear here. [name_f]Thea[/name_f] is a lovely nickname to go by. It sounds like it would be very meaningful for you to honour [name_u]June[/name_u]. Are you planning to have more children? If so, I lean strongly toward recommending that you use [name_u]June[/name_u] if this one is a girl, since it isn’t an easy name to adapt for a boy and you could use either [name_m]Joseph[/name_m] or [name_f]Josephine[/name_f] on a second child.

I think it’s wise not to make a final decision before the baby is born - I like the idea of making a short list and seeing who s/he looks like. Best of luck!

[name_f]Dorothea[/name_f] [name_u]June[/name_u] is gorgeous to me.

Personally, I wouldn’t let the meaning of the name [name_f]Mae[/name_f] be the deciding factor. I don’t think most people know the meaning anyways. To make your decision, I would look at other names you’ve thought of for future children. Sibling names don’t have to go, but if your drawn to names like [name_m]Peter[/name_m], [name_f]Estella[/name_f], [name_m]Alexander[/name_m], [name_m]Cornelius[/name_m], or [name_f]Theresa[/name_f] names that are a little bit longer and more formal, then I would go with [name_f]Dorothea[/name_f] (even if you plan to call her [name_f]Thea[/name_f]). However, if your taste runs more the [name_f]Daisy[/name_f], [name_m]Jack[/name_m], [name_f]Norah[/name_f], [name_f]Alice[/name_f], [name_m]Leo[/name_m] route then I would go with [name_f]Mae[/name_f].
Best of luck! They’re both nice names.

Oh goodness! Both options are so sweet and special. I think you should pick one and save the other for a sister.

[name_f]Mae[/name_f] [name_f]Josephine[/name_f] is such a great name. If the meaning really bothers you, what about [name_f]Maeve[/name_f] [name_f]Josephine[/name_f] nn [name_f]Mae[/name_f].

Congratulations, @yolandaleh!

Excited for you!

[name_f]Mae[/name_f] [name_f]Josephine[/name_f] would be my personal preference, but [name_f]Dorothea[/name_f] [name_u]June[/name_u] is truly every bit as nice.

Thank you so much for the thoughful comments. It was especially helpful to hear advice not to be deterred by the [name_f]Mae[/name_f]'s meaning. I think I’ve had a picture of “bitter” as used to describe a person and hadn’t considered that it is also used to describe taste. Thank you!

I really like [name_f]Dorothea[/name_f] [name_u]June[/name_u] with the nn [name_f]Thea[/name_f]. [name_f]Thea[/name_f] seems just as spunky and unexpected as [name_f]Mae[/name_f]. The more I say it, the more I like it! Both of your top combos are gorgeous either way though. I love how much thought you have put into their meanings. I don’t think you can go wrong!

The meaning of [name_f]Mae[/name_f] doesn’t bother me at all. I like the reasons you want to use [name_f]Dorothea[/name_f] [name_u]June[/name_u], but [name_f]Mae[/name_f] [name_f]Josephine[/name_f] is a gorgeous name.

I prefer [name_f]Dorothea[/name_f] [name_u]June[/name_u]. I’m almost always in favor of the more meaningful choice.

[name_f]Mae[/name_f] [name_f]Josephine[/name_f] seems choppy to me, and I definitely prefer [name_f]Dorothea[/name_f] [name_u]June[/name_u]. If you want to include [name_f]Josephine[/name_f], why not use [name_f]Dorothea[/name_f] [name_f]Josephine[/name_f]?

[name_m]Just[/name_m] wanted to say that these are two of the prettiest name combinations I’ve ever come across. [name_f]Dorothea[/name_f] [name_u]June[/name_u] would be my personal pick, but they’re both so lovely.

I prefer [name_f]Mae[/name_f] [name_f]Josephine[/name_f] & I think it would be more meaningful to your husband.

I think of the month of [name_f]May[/name_f] when I hear the name aloud, which here in [name_f]Canada[/name_f] is usually our first bright sunny month, when the flowers start to bloom & you can smell the earth anticipating [name_f]Summer[/name_f]. All new growth and excitement & possibility. That is probably why I prefer it more. I think [name_f]Josephine[/name_f] to honour your husband is fantastic & it sounds to me like that is the name that means most to you. PLUS you can use MJ as a nickname if you want, like [name_f]Mary[/name_f]-[name_f]Jane[/name_f] in Spiderman! Geek squee.

I don’t care for [name_f]Dorothea[/name_f], it is too much of a mouthful. I like [name_f]Thea[/name_f] on its own & I do love [name_u]June[/name_u] (for similar reasons as [name_f]Mae[/name_f]/[name_f]May[/name_f]!)

I vote [name_f]Dorothea[/name_f] [name_u]June[/name_u] for the perdonal significance and lovely meaning. :slight_smile:

I love [name_f]Mae[/name_f] [name_f]Josephine[/name_f]! I also adore [name_f]Thea[/name_f], so what about [name_f]Thea[/name_f] [name_f]Josephine[/name_f]? And maybe if your not against two middles, what about [name_f]Thea[/name_f] [name_f]Josephine[/name_f] [name_u]June[/name_u]?

[name_f]Mae[/name_f] [name_f]Josephine[/name_f]

I prefer [name_f]Mae[/name_f] [name_f]Josephine[/name_f]. I love [name_f]Mae[/name_f] as a first name, and I think [name_f]Josephine[/name_f] for your husband is wonderful.

I would save [name_u]June[/name_u] for the next little one.