Baby name needed: Girl name for Eli’s sister

A reader named Liz, who already has a son named Eli, is now expecting a baby girl. Here’s her dilemma:

I love Caroline, my husband loves Marley, obviously we have different tastes and can’t seem to meet in the middle. I would like to use Ruth or Ellen for a middle name.

My first thought–and I’m sure Liz and her husband have already considered this: What about names like Madeleine, Marlene, and Marilyn? They have the feel of Caroline, but allow for the nickname Marley. (They don’t quite work with the middle name Ellen, though.)

There’s also the possibility of using Mary (or something similar) as a first name, Ellen as a middle, and Marley as a nickname for the combination.

My second thought: If popularity is an issue, they might want to be wary of Marley. It’s not too popular right now, but it’s steadily climbing the charts…and the movie Marley & Me could be what launches it into “trendy” territory.

Ok, enough thinking…it’s name time! On the left are formal names with fun nicknames; on the right are names that (by themselves) seem to be a good compromise between classic and cute.

Antonia (Toni, Nia)
Beatrix (Bea, Trixie)
Clarissa (Rissa)
Georgina (Gina, Gigi)
Josephine (Josie, Phina)
Matilda (Mattie, Tilda)
Miriam (Miri)*
Paulina (Paula, Lina)
Penelope (Penny, Nelle)
Theresa (Tess/a, Rese/a)
Victoria (Vickie, Tori)

*I know, I know…also a recent movie name. I don’t think Zack and Miri Make a Porno is quite as widely known as Marley & Me, though.

What other ideas would you offer to Liz?

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