In a bit of a naming kerfuffle

[name_m]Hi[/name_m] my friends!

Well, my boyfriend and I recently found out we were having a girl. (I’m over the moon!) Anyways, we’re having a bit of trouble settling on her name. There’s quite a backstory to this wordy post I’m about to write so get cozy with a bucket of popcorn and settle in!

When I was younger, maybe 10 or 11, my brother [name_m]Sean[/name_m] and I made a pact that we would name our children after one another. (We were extraordinarily close.) He said his first daughter would be called [name_f]Emily[/name_f], my name, and I said my first son would be called [name_m]Sean[/name_m]. Well, when he was 17 he tragically passed away and the significance of this pact increased tenfold for me.

About two years ago my oldest brother had a son and called him [name_u]Shawn[/name_u]. I said nothing, felling that you can’t claim a name unless you’ve already conceived the child that you want to give that specific name to.

Now comes the tricky part, my boyfriend and I love the name [name_m]Sean[/name_m] for a girl. I’ve consulted my brother about naming my daughter this and he is 100% ok with it. I also had a cousin that bore the same name as me and found it incredibly cool. But, I don’t want to stick my child with the burden of an unusual name as well as the burden of a shared family name.

Any ideas??? :confused:

You could always use [name_m]Sean[/name_m] as a middle name? Are you more worried about the usability of [name_m]Sean[/name_m]/[name_u]Shawn[/name_u] on a girl, the usability of the same name as a cousin, or the combined usability? Really, with either of those dilemmas, I would say that using [name_m]Sean[/name_m] as a middle name solves your issues. (Alternately, if you feel that it is just as much of an honor, you could use something like [name_f]Shawna[/name_f]/[name_f]Shauna[/name_f]/[name_f]Seana[/name_f], etc., or any other variant of [name_m]John[/name_m] (as that’s what [name_m]Sean[/name_m] is)? [name_f]Giovanna[/name_f], [name_f]Jane[/name_f], [name_f]Johanna[/name_f], [name_f]Ioana[/name_f], etc. As either a FN or a MN. Or you could also use his initials to honor him (so if he was [name_m]Sean[/name_m] [name_m]William[/name_m], for example, [name_f]Sofia[/name_f] [name_f]Winifred[/name_f]?). I’ve found that the most meaningful honor names for me are ones that really have no tie to the family member’s name at all. When my one grandmother passed away, they gave out flowers from a bouquet to whoever wanted one, and I received a lily. To this day, [name_f]Lily[/name_f] is one of (if not THE) the most meaningful names I could ever choose and I hope that I get to bestow it on a little girl one day in some fashion! Similarly with [name_m]Sebastian[/name_m]–I played a song by [name_m]Johann[/name_m] [name_m]Sebastian[/name_m] [name_m]Bach[/name_m] (Jesu, [name_f]Joy[/name_f] of [name_m]Man[/name_m]'s Desiring) at my other grandmother’s memorial, and [name_m]Sebastian[/name_m] has come to sort of symbolize my grandmother to me, particularly because I know she LOVED to just stop and listen to me play the piano. In a way, that lily feels like my last gift from my grandmother, and that performance of [name_m]Bach[/name_m]'s song feels like my last gift to my grandma. They’re kind of my last and strongest ties to two incredible, amazing women I love and miss so much every single day.

Sometimes it feels like their actual name is the only way to honor them (and if you feel that way, I totally respect that!), but I think there are many ways to go about honoring someone, and even if you do use [name_m]Sean[/name_m], I think you can use it as a middle if you’re worried about it being too unusual or too much with your other brother’s son.

I personally, if I went this route, would avoid a unisex or strongly-leaning masculine name (like [name_u]Rory[/name_u], [name_u]Elliot[/name_u], [name_u]Harper[/name_u], [name_u]Avery[/name_u], etc.), since [name_m]Sean[/name_m] is generally seen as masculine, but that’s just my preference. I don’t know if it interests you, but I think you could also do a double barrel with [name_m]Sean[/name_m] as the latter half, too. I think some of these would be incredibly cool and fun names to have:

[name_f]Ava[/name_f]-[name_m]Sean[/name_m] (my favorite!)

I also keep coming back to [name_f]Juliet[/name_f] [name_m]Sean[/name_m] and [name_f]Arabella[/name_f] [name_m]Sean[/name_m] and think they would be absolutely gorgeous and meaningful names that any little girl would be SO lucky to have!

Good luck!

Well, I think you should definitely use [name_m]Sean[/name_m] (it’s so great that your brother is okay with it!). It would be easier to give you advice about the unusual name if we knew what it was, just to see how out there it really is. Maybe use a similar name that’s not quite as crazy?

I think it’s totally fine if you want to use it and your brother is okay with it too! I think it’s nice on a girl :slight_smile:

I think u have a special circumstance and should most definitely use it. And luckily [name_m]Sean[/name_m] is a very nice name even on a girl :slight_smile:

I think [name_f]Shawna[/name_f]/[name_f]Shauna[/name_f] (as previously suggested) might be a good compromise. (Or [name_f]Sansa[/name_f]? Or Shireen?) It think you could also use [name_m]Sean[/name_m] as a middle name.

Regardless, if it feels right to you and everyone’s on board, I’d say go for it :).

I love the name [name_m]Sean[/name_m] as a girl’s name.

I think in this aituation definitely do it. You can use a more feminine middle, and if it becomes uncomfortable having the cousins sharing a name, or she doesn’t want to go by the more masculine name, she can go by her middle. My mother in law is named [name_f]Judy[/name_f], but always goes by her MN [name_f]Michelle[/name_f]. You would never know [name_f]Michelle[/name_f] wasn’t her legal name, until you saw her drivers license or something. No big deal.

Alright, here is my take. I would use [name_m]Sean[/name_m] for your daughter. There is a TON of history and meaning for you. It’s adorable for a girl. I wouldn’t feel obligated to use a variation or feminized version to appease anyone, either.

My personal take on honor names in general, are that if you are going to honor a family member, use the ACTUAL name, not a spin-off or variation. That’s just me, of course.

Congrats and good luck!

I like the idea of [name_m]Sean[/name_m] as a middle name. You’re still honoring your word and your brother but avoiding any confusion.

I think I’d save the name Seán in case your next child is a boy

Congratulations on your pregnancy, [name_f]Emily[/name_f]! :slight_smile:

I think using [name_m]Sean[/name_m] (or a variant of it) would be a wonderful tribute to your younger brother. If your older brother is okay with you using the name too, go for it. It’ll hopefully be a special connection between your child and his, as well as to your younger brother. I have actually heard of a female [name_m]Sean[/name_m] but it does read quite masculine to me. I would spell it [name_u]Shawn[/name_u], which looks more unisex (there was the gymnast [name_u]Shawn[/name_u] [name_m]Johnson[/name_m], so it’s not completely unfamiliar on a girl), or use [name_f]Shawna[/name_f]/[name_f]Shauna[/name_f]. It still clearly comes from [name_m]Sean[/name_m] and would be an honour. If you don’t feel comfortable with the exact name though, what about [name_f]Sena[/name_f]/[name_f]Senna[/name_f] which are the letters of [name_m]Sean[/name_m] rearranged?

And as @fionnabhair mentioned, you could always save the name for a future son if you plan to have more children. And if you never have a boy, use it on your last girl!

In this circumstance I say use [name_m]Sean[/name_m]! You and your boyfriend both love it so I don’t think there’s a reason to use a feminine version. Personally I would give her a feminine middle name to balance it out. Boy names on girls are becoming more common so I don’t think it’ll be a big deal.

In my part of the world [name_m]Sean[/name_m] is just a boy’s name so I’m having trouble imagining it on a girl. I don’t dislike it though. [name_f]Sian[/name_f] is a girl’s variation - pronounced Sharn. This is a lovely option. I also think [name_f]Shauna[/name_f] is a lovely name.

Personally I would use [name_m]Sean[/name_m] in the middle, or one of the girl variations ([name_f]Sian[/name_f] or [name_f]Shauna[/name_f]) as a first, just because I prefer them for a girl, not because of the cousins. But it’s fine to use [name_m]Sean[/name_m] for a first if you want.

If you are planning to have another child eventually I would save [name_m]Sean[/name_m] in case you have a boy. But if not, I’d say use a variant like [name_f]Shauna[/name_f].

I knew a girl named [name_m]Sean[/name_m] growing up. I think it is very pretty on a girl.

I love [name_m]Sean[/name_m] for any gender! It’s my name, and it’s so weird to me that [name_u]Shawn[/name_u] is considered a more unisex spelling. To me, [name_m]Sean[/name_m] looks much softer and prettier (although it’s equally nice for a boy!) I guess you’re right that it’s not very common for girls, but I don’t think it will be much of a burden. [name_m]Sean[/name_m] is a very familiar name, so people know how to say it. At worst, it will be misheard as [name_f]Shawna[/name_f] on occasion, or spelled as [name_u]Shawn[/name_u]/[name_u]Shaun[/name_u] but you’ll still see that regardless of gender.

Cousins sharing a name does have the potential to be confusing, but it sounds like you’ve been through that yourself with no negative impacts. It also sounds like you have your brother’s support to use [name_m]Sean[/name_m]. I think it’s an excellent choice for you.