Finally, a short list that's under control, what do you think of our top few combos?

You all have been invaluable in this process, and I think we’ve finally got together a Short List. [name]Share[/name] your thoughts, offer advice? We’re going for whimsical, fairytale-esque, and fresh yet with mythological history and resonance.

[name]Beatrix[/name] [name]Lucine[/name] or [name]Beatrix[/name] [name]Lilou[/name]
[name]Magdalene[/name] [name]Elspeth[/name] or [name]Magdalene[/name] [name]Elisabeth[/name] (nn [name]Mae[/name], occasional nn [name]Mae[/name] [name]Beth[/name])
[name]Melusine[/name] [name]Felice[/name] (S.O. prefers [name]Melisande[/name], but neither of us can bring ourselves to say it correctly, and we always say mel-uh-sand, instead of mel-uh-sond. Also I like the mythology of this version).
[name]Odelia[/name] [name]Fae[/name]
[name]Calliope[/name] [name]Winifred[/name] (occasional nn [name]Calla[/name]) or [name]Calla[/name] [name]Winifred[/name]
[name]Dorothea[/name] [name]Helene[/name] (nn [name]Thea[/name])

What do you think? Any suggestions? My favourite name, [name]Juniper[/name], was unfortunately nixed, as S.O. brought up it goes really badly with our last name (not sound-wise, but meaning-wise).

Our last name is similar to [name]Smith[/name] or [name]Brown[/name], etc.

I like [name]Beatrix[/name] [name]Lucine[/name]. It’s very pretty.

I love [name]Beatrix[/name] [name]Lilou[/name] and [name]Calliope[/name] [name]Winifred[/name]. I think I’m leaning more toward [name]Calliope[/name]. I love them all its so hard to choose! Beautiful names! I love [name]Winifred[/name] I hope it comes back!!

My favorites are [name]Magdalene[/name] [name]Elisabeth[/name] and [name]Calla[/name] [name]Winifred[/name]!

[name]Beatrix[/name] [name]Lucine[/name] is lovely. [name]Unique[/name] in the right ways, with great meter, flow and meaning. I think [name]Lilou[/name] is a flash-in-the-pan French trend (it’s a baby name for [name]Lily[/name] there that mysteriously caught on as a given name), and since both syllables are equally stressed, its meter is definitely inferior.

From a metrical perspective, [name]Magdalene[/name] [name]Elisabeth[/name] is much better, as you avoid having two stressed syllables adjacent to each other. It’s very pretty and refreshing to see someone considering the original English form of [name]Magdalene[/name], rather than [name]Madeleine[/name].

Re: [name]Melusine[/name] [name]Felice[/name]: you mention you like the mythology, but you know she was a serpent-monster who was the undoing of her beloved, right? Regardless, I don’t think [name]Melusine[/name] pairs well with [name]Felice[/name]-- the two ending syllables nearly rhyme, and since they’re both stressed that’s a lot of prominent “eeee” sounds. If you want to pronounce [name]Melisande[/name] "mel-ih-sand,’ go right ahead. That’s how the medieval English speakers pronounced it before it morphed into [name]Millicent[/name].

[name]Odelia[/name] [name]Fae[/name] leaves me cold, esp given the folksy middle name [name]Fae[/name] (I don’t see it as fairy-like, I see it as country.)

[name]Calla[/name] [name]Winifred[/name] is nice-- sweet, short [name]Calla[/name] is just the thing to make [name]Winifred[/name] wearable. The [name]Calliope[/name] is a funny-sounding instrument at the carnival, not just a mythological nymph, and I think it would be a tough name to have.

Perhaps make [name]Dorothea[/name] a bit more exotic, to stress the [name]Thea[/name]? [name]Dorotea[/name] or something?

Suggestions:

[name]Averill[/name]
[name]Tatiana[/name]
[name]Astraea[/name]
[name]Nereida[/name]
[name]Eleanora[/name]
Euphrosyne

[name]Beatrix[/name] [name]Lucine[/name] is beautiful. I see rabbits leaping in fields of lupin! Agreeing with [name]Blade[/name] about [name]Lilou[/name]. [name]Beatrix[/name] is so playful, and I think [name]Lilou[/name] might take it a bit too far in that direction.

[name]Magdalene[/name] [name]Elspeth[/name] or [name]Magdalene[/name] [name]Elisabeth[/name] (nn [name]Mae[/name], occasional nn [name]Mae[/name] [name]Beth[/name]) - I like both rhythmically. I do think [name]Magdalene[/name] [name]Elisabeth[/name] is a little more congruent. If you were using a condensed form of [name]Magdalene[/name], like [name]Madlyn[/name], I might say [name]Elspeth[/name]. [name]Both[/name] [name]Magdalene[/name] and [name]Elisabeth[/name] are very complete. This may be my favorite of your names, though I prefer [name]Bette[/name] to [name]Mae[/name]… I might reverse them [name]JUST[/name] to get to [name]Bette[/name] (betty) though [name]Magdalene[/name] is the more unusual name. [name]Both[/name] were on my list. [name]Mary[/name] [name]Magdalene[/name] is such an incredible namesake.

[name]Melusine[/name] [name]Felice[/name] - I agree, the imagery of this one feels a little off, and I too prefer [name]Melisande[/name], even pronounced “sand.” [name]Melisande[/name] supposedly means “animal strength” but I think of it as smooth, watery, a little dark. [name]Felice[/name] is so bright and cheerful. I might do:
[name]Melisande[/name] [name]Fawn[/name]
[name]Melisande[/name] [name]Fern[/name]
[name]Melisande[/name] [name]Fleur[/name]
[name]Melisande[/name] [name]Florence[/name]

[name]Odelia[/name] [name]Fae[/name] - I think [name]Odelia[/name] is really cool, eccentric and graceful at the same time. I rather like [name]Odetta[/name] too. Again, prefer [name]Fawn[/name], [name]Fern[/name], even [name]Fleur[/name] to [name]Fae[/name].

[name]Calliope[/name] [name]Winifred[/name] (occasional nn [name]Calla[/name]) or [name]Calla[/name] [name]Winifred[/name] - I like [name]Calliope[/name] nn [name]Calla[/name], though I think [name]Calypso[/name] is even cooler. To me, [name]Winifred[/name] sounds like a big loud aunt with horse teeth. Sorry!

[name]Dorothea[/name] [name]Helene[/name] (nn [name]Thea[/name]) - I prefer [name]Dorothy[/name] and [name]Helena[/name], but the rhythm works better with -thea. I love [name]Blade[/name]'s idea of [name]Dorotea[/name]! Really, any way you use [name]Dorothy[/name], as long as it gets you to [name]DOT[/name], is fine by me.

Too bad about [name]Juniper[/name]. She’s a lot of fun. My last name is quite botanical and it hasn’t stopped me from hanging onto [name]Ginger[/name], but I understand the problem!

Oh, thank you for the excellent feedback! It’s very helpful!

Re: [name]Melusine[/name], I think there are a lot of different myths for her, and she comes off as varying levels of good and bad in each of them. The one I’m thinking of in particular shows her in a fairly strong, spunky light. That said, I’m fond of all mermaids and half human/serpent/marine type creatures, even if they sometimes come with a little bite. Hmm, but if you think there are too many negative associations, that could be bad. Also, we might be pronouncing this differently. I’ve been saying it [name]MEL[/name]-uh-sin, almost like medicine but with an “l” instead of a “d”. But on second thought, your way makes much more sense. Regardless, I’ll put [name]Melisande[/name] back on the table, and have a good long think about this name.

Thank you again for all the suggestions. [name]Averill[/name] is one I love the sound of, but tell me, am I the only one who just associates this with [name]Avril[/name] LaVigne or whatever?

[name]Do[/name] you think [name]Eurydice[/name] is usable? S.O. loves it. I’m less sold on its viability. I thought about Medieval variant “Heurodys” from Sir [name]Orfeo[/name], since it has a happier end, but it doesn’t sound as cute.

Everyone, thank you for all the feedback! I have to run off shortly for my weekly viewing of The Vampire Diaries with a group of friends (I am secretly fourteen years old at heart), but I will be back to respond to everything shortly.

[name]Odelia[/name] [name]Fae[/name] makes me swoon. Absolutely the standout for me from that list.

I don’t think [name]Eurydice[/name] is that usable, and with a son named [name]Ulysses[/name] already, I worry they’re too similar. I have the same issue with [name]Melusine[/name], I know neither of those names is actually similar to [name]Ulysses[/name], I just hear similar sounds in each that bother me.

By the way, [name]Ulysses[/name] and [name]Bishop[/name]? To die for. I love your style.

I think [name]Eurydice[/name] is usable. It’s got great history and a nice lyrical sound to it. [name]Calla[/name] is nice but feels less of a name than your other picks. I want to love [name]Calliope[/name] but when it was on my list someone pointed out the “pee” ending and it lost its luster. What about [name]Callista[/name]- so pretty.
I also like [name]Beatrix[/name]. Have you thought about Byrony?
[name]Melusine[/name] is not one I’m familiar with. It reminds me of a name that might confuse people a lot. I have one of those names and it can get annoying.

I wanted to also say I know a lady named [name]Odetta[/name] and Othella and they loved those names.

Of Eu names, my favorite favorite is [name]Eudora[/name]. I wish someone would bring it back! I think it’s right in line with [name]Beatrix[/name], [name]Odelia[/name], and [name]Dorothea[/name]. [name]Eurydice[/name] - I dislike the “rid” sound. I want to make a joke like “Euripides, you buya dese” …but it doesn’t quite work with [name]Eurydice[/name].

[name]Magdalene[/name] [name]Elspeth[/name] is swoon worthy!

I love [name]Calliope[/name] [name]Winifred[/name] and [name]Beatrix[/name] [name]Lucine[/name].
Or [name]Calliope[/name] [name]Helene[/name]

[name]Happy[/name] to help!

I think [name]Melusine[/name] is usually pronounced mel-you-SEEN, the French way. I really vastly prefer [name]Melisande[/name]; I think it has the same fairy tale-like feeling but good deep historical roots (there was a [name]Queen[/name] [name]Melisande[/name] in the 12th century).

[name]Averill[/name] is a wonderful old, old name. It’s pronounced AY-ver-ill. Three syllables. Very different from the French word avril, ah-VREEL. It’s the modern English version of Everild, who was a northern English saint and abbess. It’s kind of posh and old-feeling in the UK.

I don’t think [name]Eurydice[/name] is usable, unfortunately. I wish it were. But I think it will nearly always be pronounced You-rid-[name]IKE[/name] or You-rid-ICE. I really like Euphrosyne, though, both for the meaning “mirth, merriment;” the mythological figure, one of the Charities; the fact that it crossed over into Christendom and was the name of several saints; the lilting pronunciation, you-FRO-sin-ee. The modern Greek form is more phonetic, Efrosyni. Nickname [name]Effie[/name] is awesome.

I love [name]Calliope[/name] and [name]Calla[/name], but not a big fan of [name]Winifred[/name]. [name]Winifred[/name] seems clunky and old to me! What about [name]Calliope[/name] [name]Lucine[/name]? [name]Magdalene[/name] [name]Elspeth[/name] is gorgeous also. However, I think [name]Mae[/name] is not a worthy nickname for such a gorgeous name! I would probably use just [name]Magdalene[/name], no nickname necessary :-).

[name]Beatrix[/name] [name]Lucine[/name] - [name]Beatrix[/name] is as charming as ever, however I’ve never heard of [name]Lucine[/name] and I’m not quite sure if I’m pronouncing it correctly (loo-seen?) While the name does flow nicely, I feel as though there is just something off-the-beat with [name]Lucine[/name]. That’s if I’m pronouncing it correctly.

[name]Beatrix[/name] [name]Lilou[/name] - I much prefer the flow of this than that of [name]Beatrix[/name] [name]Lucine[/name]. I’ve never been a big fan of [name]Lilou[/name] as it sounds much more like a pets name than a baby’s name in my opinion, however it is absolutely stunning with [name]Beatrix[/name].

[name]Magdalene[/name] [name]Elspeth[/name] - [name]Magdalene[/name] is a stunner, I’m happy to see it being considered. [name]Elspeth[/name], while lovely appears quite stuffy to me and I much prefer the option of [name]Magdalene[/name] [name]Elisabeth[/name].

[name]Magdalene[/name] [name]Elisabeth[/name] - Gorgeous! Although I do prefer the [name]Elizabeth[/name] spelling personally, purely because I tend to pronounce [name]Elisabeth[/name] as eh-lease-uh-beth instead of eh-liz-uh-beth. However, if you’re going for the eh-lease-uh-beth pronunciation, then [name]Magdalene[/name] [name]Elisabeth[/name] is equally beautiful.

[name]Melusine[/name] [name]Felice[/name] - I also prefer [name]Melisande[/name]; however, [name]Melusine[/name] is also nice. I’m interested in how you’re pronouncing [name]Felice[/name]; are you pronouncing it the original Italian way (fa-LEECH-ay?) or the ‘anglicized’ pronunciation fa-[name]LEESE[/name]? [name]Felice[/name], with the latter pronunciation is nice enough, I am always reminded of deer, although I don’t know why. The flow of [name]Melusine[/name] [name]Felice[/name] is nice either way, however I prefer [name]Melusine[/name] [name]Felice[/name] with the fa-LEECH-ay pronunciation.

[name]Odelia[/name] [name]Fae[/name] - [name]Odelia[/name] is absolutely gorgeous! Perhaps my favourite from your list. [name]Fae[/name] is nice enough, but I’ve never been a big fan personally - I prefer [name]Mae[/name]. The flow is lovely however.

[name]Calliope[/name] [name]Winifred[/name] - [name]Ah[/name], my favourite type of name; a quirky name mixed with a somewhat clunky old-fashioned name. [name]Both[/name] [name]Calliope[/name] and [name]Winifred[/name] are rather elegant names and I much prefer the nickname of [name]Calla[/name] than [name]Callie[/name]. [name]Calla[/name] [name]Winifred[/name] is lovely on its own, but I do prefer [name]Calliope[/name] [name]Winifred[/name].

[name]Calla[/name] [name]Winifred[/name] - Spunky.

[name]Dorothea[/name] [name]Helene[/name] - [name]Dorothea[/name] is a beauty, and I’m glad that someone’s considering it! I’ve always preferred [name]Dorothea[/name] to plain [name]Dorothy[/name], most likely for the nickname option of [name]Thea[/name], though I’m not sure. [name]Helene[/name] is stunning and the flow of this name is perfect.

Some suggestions, sorry if they’ve already been suggested/nixed;
[name]Susannah[/name]
[name]Violet[/name]
[name]Alice[/name]
[name]Penelope[/name]
[name]Leanna[/name]
[name]Audrey[/name]
[name]Emmeline[/name]
[name]Renata[/name]
[name]Charlotte[/name]
[name]Lila[/name]
[name]Lucille[/name]
[name]Anna[/name]
[name]Juliet[/name]
[name]Grace[/name]
[name]Clarabel[/name]
[name]Claudette[/name]
[name]Charmaine[/name]
[name]Rose[/name]
[name]Marge[/name]
[name]Genevieve[/name]
[name]Leontine[/name]
[name]Adele[/name]
[name]Sylvie[/name]
[name]Bernadette[/name]
[name]Germaine[/name]
[name]Georgette[/name]
[name]Leonor[/name]
[name]Adeline[/name]
[name]Aurelia[/name]
[name]Alberta[/name]
[name]Marietta[/name]
[name]Reba[/name]
[name]Geneva[/name]
[name]Elvira[/name]
[name]Therese[/name]
[name]Frances[/name]

somewhat simple in comparison, but names that came to mind…good luck!

The most unpredictable, without being over the top, is [name]Magdalene[/name] [name]Elspeth[/name]. [name]Calla[/name] [name]Winifred[/name] is a great choice too, and I’m a [name]Thea[/name] fan. Good luck!

My favourite first name is [name]Beatrix[/name] and my favourite mn is [name]Elisabeth[/name] or [name]Elspeth[/name]. Would you consider [name]Beatrix[/name] [name]Elspeth[/name]? If not, I like [name]Beatrix[/name] [name]Lucine[/name] or [name]Beatrix[/name] [name]Lilou[/name]. :slight_smile:

So many responses, thank you! Thank you for everyone who gave their favourite option. It’s nice to hear the diversity of responses. It’s also lovely to hear your impressions of these names.

@lilysong: As much I love [name]Elisabeth[/name]/[name]Elspeth[/name] as is, I’m only using them combined with [name]Magdalene[/name] to get to the nickname [name]Mae[/name] [name]Beth[/name]. Otherwise, I’m afraid [name]Elisabeth[/name] doesn’t interest me that much in the middle spot (just because it’s so commonly used). But glad to hear that you like [name]Beatrix[/name]. I think it’s such a cool, funky name. I’m genuinely shocked when people don’t like it. Right now, I think I’m leaning toward [name]Beatrix[/name] [name]Lucine[/name]. You don’t think [name]Beatrix[/name] [name]Elspeth[/name] is too much?

@notcinnamon: Unpredictable without being over-the-top is such a hard balance to strike! [name]Glad[/name] to hear [name]Magdalene[/name] [name]Elisabeth[/name] is getting so many positive responses. It’s a little long for my tastes, but nickname [name]Mae[/name] obviously shortens it quite a bit. It’s a gorgeous name, [name]IMO[/name], and like emma said, it’s a great namesake.

@ebonyeden: Your hesitation about [name]Lucine[/name] mirrors mine! I want to love it, because the meaning is right up my alley, and the flow is nice with [name]Beatrix[/name]. (I’m pronouncing it the same way you are). I liked [name]Beatrix[/name] [name]Helene[/name] better, but S.O. isn’t hugely fond of it (Because of the uncertainty of pronunciation. heh-LEHN, heh-LEEN, or heh-[name]LAYN[/name], everyone we know says it differently). Anyway, thank you for all the commentary. For the record, I’d bee pronouncing [name]Felice[/name], fuh-[name]LEESE[/name], as I’m not fond of the fe-LEECHES SUCKING MY BLOOD-ay pronunciation :stuck_out_tongue:

@ladyhatshepsut: [name]Calliope[/name] [name]Lucine[/name] is a great suggestion, thank you! L-heavy, but fun and spunky! I like full [name]Magdalene[/name], but I think [name]Mae[/name] is great, too. Short and uncommon, and the quirky spelling amuses me. I’d definitely call her both, though! You’re right, [name]Winifred[/name] definitely sounds old, but I though [name]Calliope[/name]/[name]Calla[/name] was maybe cool enough to brighten it up. Maybe I’m wrong!

@blade: Now that I know how [name]Melusine[/name] should be pronounced, I’m definitely leaning toward [name]Melisande[/name]! My biggest issue with it is that it’s so close to [name]George[/name] R. R. [name]Martin[/name]'s invented name ‘[name]Melisandre[/name].’ But the history you’ve described is lovely. [name]Averill[/name] is gorgeous, and I’d love to add it to the list. Is it generally only a boy name?

@emmabobemma: I want do love [name]Eudora[/name], but I associate it too strongly with [name]Eudora[/name] Welty, which is a fine namesake, but it’s like [name]Alanis[/name] to me, there’s really only one. Plus, not super fond of “a” endings, except for [name]Octavia[/name], maybe, hmmmmm, and I guess [name]Dorthea[/name]…and maybe [name]Thora[/name]. Okay, there are a couple. Oh, [name]Odelia[/name]! I adore this name. I don’t know why, since I’m not especially into [name]Amelia[/name], or even [name]Delia[/name]. There’s something unexpected and funky about it to me, and I love the possibility of the diminutive [name]Odette[/name]. [name]Do[/name] you have any other suggestions for middle names to replace [name]Fae[/name]? For various reasons, [name]Fern[/name], [name]Fawn[/name], etc, don’t work. [name]Fleur[/name] is so frilly to me. [name]Odelia[/name] [name]Joy[/name]? I want to love it, but it doesn’t feel fairytaley enough. [name]Odelia[/name] [name]Robin[/name]? Lacking flow? [name]Odelia[/name] [name]Sparrow[/name]? Tooooo much? [name]Odelia[/name] [name]Lilac[/name]? [name]Odelia[/name] [name]Ivy[/name]?

@goodkarmavt: I love [name]Odette[/name] and [name]Odetta[/name]. We decided that since we like both [name]Odelia[/name] and [name]Odette[/name], we should go with [name]Odelia[/name] if we end up using it for a name, as [name]Odette[/name] is a feasible diminutive or nn for [name]Odelia[/name], so we’d get to use both!

@greyer: Thank you so much, re: [name]Ulysses[/name] & [name]Bishop[/name]! Boys are easier to name, in my opinion. I’m so glad you like [name]Odelia[/name] [name]Fae[/name]! It’s so folksy to me. I know what people are saying about it sounding country, though. If our last name wasn’t so…naturey, I’d love to do [name]Odelia[/name] [name]Fern[/name], but I worry it’s too much.

You have a great list, but I think my favorite is [name]Dorothea[/name] [name]Helene[/name]. [name]Dorothea[/name] is absolutely beautiful, and it’s number one on my list. The nickname [name]Thea[/name] is charming and spunky while the full name is strong yet romantic. Pairing it with [name]Helene[/name] is fantastic.
My second choice is [name]Beatrix[/name] [name]Lilou[/name]. [name]Beatrix[/name] is spunky yet sweet, while [name]Lilou[/name] is unusual in a good way! The other names just don’t really do it for me like those two do.
[name]Hope[/name] that helps!