Baby Name Needed for the Sister of Finlay

A reader named Jennifer has a daughter named Finlay Augustine and is now expecting another baby girl. Here’s what she says:

I would prefer to stay in the Irish or Scottish tradition, but am open. We are considering Evangeline Fae, Raleigh Fiona, and Maevy with either Fae or Fiona as a middle name. But I am open to suggestions. I don’t want a first name that begins with F and I don’t want anything too trendy or that would be difficult for others to spell or pronounce. I’m hoping the perfect name falls out of the sky before the baby comes!

Here are my thoughts on the current contenders:

Evangeline Fae
I like how the combination reminds me of Finlay Augustine in a very subtle way. But the first names on their own are so stylistically different that they might seem mismatched. (Would a nickname be used for Evangeline?)

Raleigh Fiona
Raleigh is a name I rarely see. I think it works well with Finley. The second syllables do sound alike, so there’s a bit of an echo, but that’s my only criticism.

Maevy Fae/Maevy Fiona
I’m so used to seeing Maeve that Maevy caught me off guard. (Not in a good way, to be honest.) And I don’t care for way the v and f sounds are so close together. Maevy would be my last choice of the three.

Here are ten other names I think Jennifer might like. These first 7 are not in the U.S. top 1,000 right now:

*Moira/Maura – Anglicized versions of the Irish form of Mary.

*Keeva – Simplified (and very modern-looking) form of the Irish name Caoimhe, meaning “loveliness.” It’s another v-sound, though, so might not sound terrific next to an f-name.

*Aisling – Irish vocabulary word (meaning “fantasy” or “dream”) that later became a name. The first syllable is pronounced “ash,” so this one will sound trendy (like Ashley, Ashlyn) without technically being trendy.

*Orla – Simplified form of an Irish name that means “golden princess.” Always reminds me of Isla (eye-la), but it’s less popular and easier to pronounce.

*Talulla (nn Lulu?) – Simplified form of an Irish name meaning “abundance princess.” It’s on the long side, like Evangeline, but doesn’t sound as formal.

*Maisie – Diminutive of the Scottish form of Margaret. It’s trendy across the pond, but not over here.

*Darcy – English surname that could mean a few things, including “from Arcy” (in Normandy, France). Was more common during the late ’60s and early ’70s.

And these last 3 are in the top 1,000, but wouldn’t be considered trendy:

*Tara – Irish place name that later became a name. Was trendy in the ’70s and ’80s, but has been decreasing in popularity ever since.

*Caitlin – Irish version of Katherine. Was most popular in the ’80s and ’90s, but has slowly been falling out of favor since then.

*Rory – Form of a (traditionally male) Scottish name derived from the Scottish word for red, ruadh. Has only popped up in the top 1,000 a handful of times.

What are your thoughts on Jennifer’s current favorites? What other names would you suggest for Finlay’s little sister?


14 thoughts on “Baby Name Needed for the Sister of Finlay

  1. She wants a name that’s easy to spell and pronounce, and she’s considering “Raleigh” and “Maevy”? That’s just confounding.

    For the record, the name candidates that best satisfy those criteria are Tara and Orla–but they’re hardly perfect. The R consonant is notoriously difficult for children, and many adults–especially non-native-English speakers–to pronounce. (Remember Baba Wawa?)

  2. Robert Laurence – exactly as feminine as Finlay Augustine. ;)
    Of her three Evangeline is best but Raleigh stylistically best with Finlay. I wouldn’t encourage continuing to err, however. I like most of your suggestions.

  3. My first thought was too combine the three first names and go with Evie Francesca or Evie Finn. Maisie and Maura are other great compromises.

    Other ideas: Millie, Nora, Lila, Anya/Aine, Neave and Nessa.

    Other suggestions for an F middle name are Fianna or Finola.

  4. Usually not so anti, but I’m really anti Maevy. Bleah. I’m a mom of a Maeve and it’s a wonderful name, but Maevyis not. And if she wants a name that will be easy to spell and pronounce, just don’t go there–Maeve gets called Mauve all the time. Mazie or Maisie would be good.

    I’m not a fan of Aisling, either–it became very popular in my parish for some reason and it always makes me think of baby ash trees.

    But Fianna and Finola are good–and Fiona pronounced with an /i/ sound as well as with an /e/ sound are high in my book. And I love the name Evangeline; I just didn’t have the last name to go with it.

  5. I think Orla or Maisie (although being my name, I may be biased) sounds very pretty with Finley, with the middle name either Finola or Fae, although personally, I prefer the spelling Faye.

  6. Of the already suggested names, I really like Raleigh, Talulla, and Moira with Finlay. And, though it’s not Irish/Scottish, I would suggest Terra.

    I’ve got to agree with the others, though, about Maevy- it doesn’t really give me a good feeling, and has this “little girl” look to it that I wouldn’t want to stick on a child for ever. However, I think Finlay Augustine is fine and think it would be just lovely if people didn’t poke fun at this little girl’s name, and would instead give Jennifer the constructive criticism and name suggestions that she asked for.

  7. I have a scottish ancestor called Rhaneigh, pronounced Rah – ny. It goes great with Finlay (also a name in my family). I think Iona would go too, a scottish island.

  8. I think Finley Augustine is a beautiful name.

    What about:

    Devin Fae
    Rowan Fae
    Kennedy Fiona
    Liadan Fae
    Wylie Fae
    Riley Fae
    Shae Fiona
    Casey Fae

  9. I recon that some of those names are harder to spell and pronounce for non English speakers, so don’t kill me for saying this, but I think that Aoife and Finlay sounds cute. BTW, prnounced EE-fa pretty easy to pronounce, just spelled differently. It’s an Irish name and I think that it’s a beafutiul name. Aoife Fae sounds cute too, I think. Hope that I helped.

  10. What about Rylee (feminine spelling)?

    Finlay Augustine & Rylee Evangeline sound nice together.

    Love Evangeline BTW!

    P.S. Finlay/Finley is actually a derivative of Fiona so you probably wouldn’t use both in the same family unless of course you like that sort of thing.

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