Elisa is expecting a baby girl and would like some input on names:
I’m Italian and the dad is Irish, so the last name will be Dillon. As for first name I would like a first pretty Irish name and a middle Italian name (with the Italian spelling), but no matter what I try it never sounds good.
Since I received Elisa’s e-mail, I’ve been experimenting with random combinations of Irish and Italian names…and mostly running into the same problem. I think I’ve found a few pairings that do sound nice, though.
Here’s the (very scientific!) process I ended up using. First I came up with ten distinctly Irish names that I thought sounded nice with Dillon:
Next I brainstormed for ten distinctly Italian names–not worrying about how they’d sound with Dillon or any of the Irish names:
And now, the great match-up! There are 100 possible combinations here…surely something will sound good, right? :)
Aoife [ee-fuh] paired with Francesca becomes a bit of a tongue-twister, and the vowel-sound at the end would blend with one at the start of Alessa, so those two middles won’t work. But I like Aoife Piera and Aoife Ginevra.
Brígh [bree] blends with Alessa, and pairing it with Francesca makes it sound like the word “brief.” But I like the assonance in Brigh Letizia, and I think Brigh Vittoria sounds nice as well.
Ciara [kee-ra; kee-ar-a] probably won’t work with Cinzia because of the confusing hard-C/soft-C thing. The combination Ciara Piera could be confusing as well. If we stick with the pronunciation KEE-ra, I think this one sounds good with Donatella, Francesa and Vincenza.
Grainne [grawn-ya] might not work with Ginevra (hard/soft) or Alessa (blending), but Grainne Rosella and Grainne Piera are nice.
Maeve [mayv] won’t work with F- or V-names. But if the V-sounds are spaced out a bit, as with Maeve Ginevra, I think the consonance sounds good. I also think one-syllable first names sound great with middles that start on a down-beat, as with Maeve Alessa.
Niamh [neev], like Maeve, would blend with F- or V-names. But I like it with Ginevra and Alessa (for the same reasons I like Maeve with Ginevra and Alessa) and with Letizia (for the same reason I like Brigh with Letizia).
Orlagh [or-la] wouldn’t sound right with Alessa, and with Donatella would give rise to the initials ODD. But I like Orlagh Rosella, and the matching or-sounds in Orlagh Vittoria. (That might be too sing-songy for others, though.)
Síle [shee-la] starts with an sh-sound that I think could sound nice near the ch-sounds in Francesca and Vincenza. I also like it with Cinzia and Piera.
Sínead [shi-nayd] I like with Alessa and Francesca. (I almost don’t like it with Dillon, though…nearly left this one off the list for that reason. Those dueling D-sounds could be a problem.)
Siobhan [shi-vawn] ends with some of the same sounds that Vincenza and Donatella begin with…I think that’s too much of an echo, but others might really like the effect. I think Siobhan Alessa and Siobhan Rosella sound good.
So there we have it. I think there are a few dozen good combinations in there–but I’d love to hear what you guys think.
Also, what other names would you throw into the mix?
P.S. I just noticed (about 5 minutes after publishing the post) that some of the combos above produce the initials MAD and SAD. Hm…that might not be so good. Then again…girls named Madison and Madeleine are often called “Mad” and “Maddie” for short, so MAD might not actually be a bad set of initials, depending on how you spin it.
Edit: Scroll down to the last comment to see which name Elisa chose!