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:
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 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?