A reader named Beth is expecting her second daughter in a few weeks. She writes:
My first is named Lydia and we have a very Polish last name. After what has been an excruciating process, my husband and I have come up with three names we can agree on. He loves Sylvia, as do I, but I wondered if it was too sing-song-y with big sister Lydia. I would probably want to nickname her Sylvie for that reason. We also like Stella, but I think the name is fast becoming the new Ava, Sophia or Ella. Francesca is the wild card-we like it, just not sure if it would fit well enough. What are your thoughts, and if you have any suggestions, they would be welcome!
One thing I noted was Beth’s use of the verbs like and love. She and her husband “like” Stella and Francesca, but they “love” Sylvia. I think that difference is key.
Over and over again I see people return to the name they loved after putting it aside to consider the dozens of names they liked. (As if all the lesser names had to be ruled out before a decision could finally be made.) If Sylvia is the one name Beth and her husband both love, perhaps that fact is more important than anything else…?
But let’s put diction aside for now and look at each name individually.
Is Sylvia too close to Lydia? It has the same length, the same rhythm, the same ending. I think I’d be against the pairing if not for the nickname Sylvie. That knocks off a syllable, alters the rhythm, changes the ending. If Sylvia will be known as Sylvie, well, that might just solve the problem.
I think it’s smart to be wary of Stella. I’m not sure that it has the momentum to become as popular as Sophia or Ava, but you never know.
Ah, Francesca! I’m a big fan of the Fran- names, so I get excited when I learn that someone might be using one. I think Lydia and Francesca fit together quite well. Even better than Lydia and Stella, actually. If this were a beauty contest, I’d probably give Sylvia/Sylvie the tiara, but I’d make Francesca the first runner-up.
I’d hate to make the naming process any more excruciating than it’s already been, but a few name suggestions did come to mind as I was typing:
Do you have an opinion or suggestion you’d like to share with Beth? Please comment below and/or cast a vote in the poll (sidebar).
Update – The baby has arrived! To see the name Beth chose, either scroll down through the comments or just click here.