Friday, March 02, 2012

the name game

I find it particularly adorable (among the many many things that I occasionally find adorable about my kids) that one of the first things Cal did after I told him that his new baby brother was, in fact, going to be a baby sister; was run to his room and get his dictionary.  "So we can look up some girl names for the baby."

I looked at the cover of the Merriam-Webster.  "Well, this is kind of a dictionary for...words, not really names, Cal."

"I know, but we can use it to get ideas."

So far names he has come up with:

GANA ("It's the country where my friend Qadir was born.  Only I think where he was born has a letter 'H' in it too.") 
MISO (No explanation for that one, but if you didn't instantly think "Miso Horny," well, then you and I are very different people.) 
LUSHAN ("Because it sounds a little Chinese") 
MUZIE (He also included an alternate spelling "MUZEE" in his notes--how thoughtful) 
JULIA (The inexplicably normal name in his list--I think we had a little girl neighbor with that name a few moves ago who came over to play Wii bowling with him one time, and Cal was very impressed.)

Anyway, I didn't want to tell him "No way in hell" (at least to the first four) because, you know, I don't want to crush his dreams or anything, but I just said brightly that it was a very nice list to consider, and let's keep adding to it, shall we?

Cal and Mack are named Cal and Mack.  I don't recall thinking that long and hard about their names, they were just names that I'd heard and I liked, and pretty much after we found out we were having boys, I asked, "How about Cal?" and Joe said "Great!" so there we were.

We don't have an elaborate child naming philosophy per se, but if there was any unifying factor, I'd say that Joe and I are drawn to names that are shorter and straightforward--less common but not of the completely made up variety--and seem to convey a sense of laid-back friendliness.  They're both kind of nicknamey names (I have to tell people Cal isn't short for Calvin and Mack isn't short for Mackintosh or whatever, those are just the given names on their birth certificates) and in particular the fact that the names are somewhat less common have invited some less polite people (mostly via the Internet, not in real life thank goodness, at least not to my face) to be all, "Cal and Mack?  The hell?  What's your next kid going to be named?  Zip?  Pop?  Jet?  Nerp?"  I don't think Cal and Mack are the most eccentric names I've ever heard, but I guess, to some people, they are.

I'd say the closest set of names that I've happened upon to match our aesthetic (and I haven't found this website until a few weeks ago, so we certainly didn't go by this list to name our kids) is this list on Nameberry of "relaxed names for boys." I think I had posted this link on my Twitter feed a few weeks ago--I just thought it funny because it proved that, indeed, we had some sort of underlying unifying theme for naming our kids, even if we hadn't thought that hard about it originally.  I also find it somewhat amusing that the names "Joe" and "Moe" are also on that list--Joe is Joe, obvs, and "Mo" happens to be my Chinese nickname from childhood.  We are related!

Anyway, we'd been looking at boy names, and I think in many ways, boys names are easier, because there's just less frill to many of them.  Girls names, however, are more of a challenge.  What's a short, friendly, not overused girl's name that fits with our first two kids?  Joe and I came up with a few after Wednesday, but no easy favorites, and no slam dunks yet.  Obviously, we have time, but we are planners.  Us and Cal with his dictionary.

So internets, I turn to you.  Give us some ideas.  Some facts that may inform your brainstorming:

  • My parents are going to help us choose a Chinese middle name for the kid (Cal's middle name is "Leung-Han" and Mack's middle name is "Wei-Ping," both family names) so we don't know what that's going to be yet, but right now we just need a first name.  
  • The kids take Joe's last name (which you can find here), and we don't hyphenate or do anything funny because my last name ("Au"--pay attention, people!) is just generally awkward for that kind of thing.  
  • Joe's family is mostly Italian (there's some German/British extraction in there on one side too, which is why he looks...not so much Italian), and while we haven't really gone to that well for the boy's names yet, maybe, for a girl, it could be cute.  (By the way, I asked Joe of there were any nice family names for girls on his side that he wanted to entertain, and he said...well, I'll just say he said no, that's polite, right?)

Names!  Girls!  GO!

217 comments:

  1. Mae

    Don't know why...I can just see it.

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  2. Oh lord, do I love talking baby names. My name is Lara, which I think may fall into your category. It's a bit feminine, even on me, and I'm not a very feminine lady. Short girls names I love: Alice, Cora, Nora, Nell, Tess, Elle, Petra, Bea, Wren, Adah, June, Tate, Fern, Calla. Yay names! So excited for you guys.

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  3. Mia, Kate, Tess. I think Mia goes really well with Cal and Mack though. Congrats on the pregnancy and your surprise girl!

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  4. Sofia or Sofie could be thrown into the Italian ring, if you wanted to go that way. And they're definitely classic, AND I can tell you that as someone still in the world of pediatrics, not terribly common at the moment.

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  5. Tess? Lucy? Ellie? Willa? Zoe? Congrats!

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  6. Cam Walrath. (Hi, these are my kids. Cal, Mack, and Cam).

    Mia Walrath. (Trying out: Cal, Mack, and Mia). Sounds a bit unbalanced. M dominates.

    Bea Walrath. (Cal, Mack, and Bea). No good?

    Bree Walrath. (Cal, Mack, and Bree). How about that?

    Lea Walrath (Cal, Mack, and Lea) I like this one.

    Amy Walrath (Cal, Mack, and Amy).

    Just throwing some ideas on the table. Hope you like them! :) Congratulation, by the way. I have bought your book and you had me at first chapter. :D

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  7. How about Ava? That's short and to the point, unlike my name, Stephanie, which people automatically shorten.

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  8. Tracie12:08 PM

    Nora? Jane? Alice? Eve? Paige? Lydia? I'm gonna come up with more. This is what my brain does on long road trips. Also, bridesmaid dress colors. Not related, just brain junk food.

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  9. Clem, Izzie, Mae, Mia... :)

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  10. Sophia, Sylvie, and Ava are all older fashioned girls names, though they are all becoming pretty popular... Maybe Callie or Cora?

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  11. pwillow112:11 PM

    Love the names Lucy, Kate, Amy and Amelia. My current fave is Serren/Seren (rhymes with Karen.)

    Girl names! Congratulations!

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  12. Have you seen nymbler.com? I plugged all four of your names in and got Liv, Evie, and Josie among others.

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    Replies
    1. I was playing with Nymbler too! Others I saw that caught my eye were Lucy and Nan.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous12:19 PM

    The first name that came to mind was "Deb," as in Deborah, but I'm not sure if you're willing to "nickname" for a girl. My mother's name was Karen. Bess? (Personally, I associate "Bessy" as a cow name, but you might not!) Ann? Liz?

    My family is Italian, and one common girl's name is "Guiditta," which has mutated in every generation from "Guiditta" to "Judita" to "Judith." "Judy" would fit with Cal and Mack, but (personally) I'd be *very* hesitant to give a girl a diminutive for a name, without the option to use a non-diminutive as an adult. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any one-syllable Italian names.

    BTW, I just found this site and it looks pretty cool for us Wellesley geeky-types: http://www.namepedia.org/en/firstname/Michelle_%286676%29/

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  14. Nell - http://nameberry.com/babyname/Nell

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  15. I love Ava, but it's super popular right now. For short, to the point names, I like Brynn, Elle, Gia, Tess/Tessa, Quinn, Reese, Eve/Eva, and I'm sure about a zillion others. Good luck!

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous7:50 PM

      I like Elle :-) and it derives from your name.

      Em

      Delete
  16. Anonymous12:24 PM

    It's funny, the biggest ferry company here in scotland is called CalMac (short for caledonian macbrayne)... but everyone calls it CalMac. (Maybe you can get your boys an endorsement deal ;) For girls, I would second previous commenters' votes for Bea and Mae, both lovely. Or maybe Iona (a popular name in scotland & also an Island off the west coast. You can get there on the CalMac ferry (ha!). (though, careful when venturing into choosing scottish islands as names... there's also a Muck, Eigg, and Rum...)

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  17. Nickie12:31 PM

    You should check out the interactive baby name graph at http://www.babynamewizard.com/voyager

    There's something strangely addicting about watching the graph shift.

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  18. I just had twin girls so I've given this a lot of thought lately. We named one of our girls June, which I think works well with your namIng criteria. Short, not too common, not too weird, good midcentury vibe. I love it, obvs.

    I also second the suggestion of Mae. I fell in love with Mae, but...twins named Mae & June? I'm not that cruel.

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  19. Emma, Ellen, Jane, Ella... ( I also like shorter names. I feel like you should name a child the name you want to call him/her.)

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  20. EdinburghMS12:42 PM

    Edinburgh MS4 here. I definitely think you should come over to Scotland for a visit and do a CalMac island excursion. How about Bonnie (trad Scottish), Sara, Nora, Ella or Eyla/Eila?

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  21. EdinburghMS12:45 PM

    Adding to the list of Scottish names: Skye. CalMac website: http://www.calmac.co.uk/

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  22. EdinburghMS12:47 PM

    Another short girls' name: Erin.

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  23. Clem is on the list for relaxes names for boys but I'm thinking that would make a great girl name. Cal, Mack and Clem seems to work.

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  24. Liz, Brigid, Cait, Keira, Brynn, Tia, Rowen
    Pardon the Irish influence, I am a bit biased.

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  25. Replies
    1. I love the name April

      Delete
  26. How do you feel about Quinn? I have to wonder if you are secretly saying " that it was a very nice list to consider, and let's keep adding to it, shall we? " to all of us.

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  27. That nymbler site is cool! It gave me the name Lina/Lena. Love that, and I never would have thought of it on my own! I love the baby-name game:)

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  28. I love Mae too! How about Jenna?

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  29. You should check out Nymbler.com
    One woman decided to map cultural linkages between names (think Kevin Bacon) to be able to suggest baby names and the idea eventually became a book and website. Ex. "If you have a son named Cal, perhaps you'll like..." You can enter in your favorite names and it will keep suggesting names, refining the suggestions as you give it feedback (think Pandora).

    My vote is for Tess!

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  30. Elle, Calla, Livia, Sylvie, Luz (too Spanish?), Fleur (too French?), Blaine, Bea, Blair, Ava, Bryn, Bree, Kay, Wynn, Blanca, Blanche, Macie (could be misconstrued for Macy's?), Alma.

    Clearly I have a penchant for names that start with a B. Hope this helps!

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  31. Clara, Stella. Okay, done for real this time.

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  32. Another vote for Jane.

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  33. Mae is my great-grandmother's name so I'm partial to that choice (Her first and middle name is Mae Vern). I also like Dawn.
    If I would of had another girl I wanted to name her Celeste after another great-grandmother...but it didn't happen.

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  34. For an nicknamey, old-fashioned,friendly moniker that's not overused and fits with the one-syllable thing you've got going, my vote is for KATE.

    (And not just because it's my name, too.) I also like Betsy's suggestion of JUNE.

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  35. Biz

    A good friend of mine in high school had this as a nickname for Elizabeth. I love it both that way and by itself.

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  36. I like Rhea (ray-uh) but you seem to gravitate toward one syllable names. I would stay away from names that sound too much like Cal and Mack, so not Cam or Mae (love those names otherwise).

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  37. Anonymous1:35 PM

    I'm due a few days ahead of you and after 3 girls, we're really struggling to come up with a boy's name. Amusingly (too me) I keep coming across girls names I love.
    June
    Dove
    Bess
    Eve
    Nell
    Ruth
    Maeve
    Nan

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  38. Anonymous1:37 PM

    Grace.

    Jane.

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  39. Anonymous1:40 PM

    These may or may not be mentioned already, but I thought I'd toss my two cents into the ring...
    Kate
    Marie
    Brynn
    Jaye
    Maeve
    Elle
    Logan (love this as a girl's name)
    Brooke
    Alice
    Zoey
    Clarice
    Saramae
    Lane
    Camille (Cam or Cami for short)

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  40. Anonymous1:43 PM

    Ruby

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  41. I LOVE IT! And a lot of the names that you guys are suggesting (just off the top of my head: Tess, Mae, Bea, Eva/Ava, etc.) are actually on our list (our real list, not that Cal courtesy list) so we'll see

    Thought you might like to know the names that we had lined up for the boy we thought we were going to have. We were basically down to BEN (not Benjamin, but BEN), which we both liked, and BEAU, which we loved (a little less common, also has a sort of old-timey southern charming feel). Anyway, that's for you boy namers out there.

    I actually have a name in my pocket that I like the best of all that I think meets our criteria but no one has yet mentioned. But I'm still in the process of selling that name to Joe, so we'll see. It may well get supplanted by something you guys suggest instead.

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  42. My son really wanted to name his baby sister so we let him call her whatever he wanted in utero (he chose Violet) but then explained to him that the parents name the kids and the kids can name the pets. Hierarchy, we love you in medicine and in our home.

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  43. Also, there is a book called "Cool Names for Babies" (http://www.amazon.com/Names-Babies-Pamela-Redmond-Satran/dp/031237786X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330715589&sr=8-1) That gives a lot of older names and names based on abbreviations. Besides a slightly obnoxious title it really is good--we choose names for both our kids from it.

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  44. Anonymous2:16 PM

    I found a list of "Short and Strong Baby Girl Names" on the website where you found Cal and Mack's names:
    http://nameberry.com/list/102/Short--Strong-Girls-Names-

    My personal favorite is Jade. It also starts with a "J" like Joe! :)

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  45. Anonymous2:19 PM

    Aww, Beau is such a cute boy's name!! And please let us know what name you like the best of all so far!

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  46. Jordan2:20 PM

    I have a Tabatha who we call Tab and a Taryn - Taryn's name gets the most compliments, not too common, but it's in the baby name book!

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  47. Lynn
    Liz
    Jane
    June
    Rose
    Rue
    Jenn
    Deb
    Dawn
    Beth
    Viv
    Mae or May
    Maeve
    Eve
    Sue
    Ann
    Nan
    Joy
    Sal
    Fran
    Ruth

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  48. Nikki2:28 PM

    I give Cal props for his initiative and he could always end up as a baby namer to the stars! 28 or so years ago I wanted to name my baby sister Lavern - after Lavern and Shirley! That was vetoed by my parents pretty quick. Congrats on the baby girl.

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  49. June! I love that!
    Single syllable keeps the aesthetic going, too, without being too matchy matchy

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  50. How about good old Sam? Not much cuter than a little girl named Sam.

    Rose is also a simple, sweet girl's name!

    Going with the 'bygone' theme: Faye? Pearl? Brooke? Maude? Jill?

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  51. Oh fun! Call me crazy but I have always liked the sound of Sabine and Sabina. I guess old fashioned and pretty uncommon but were I reproductively inclined I think those are the ones I'd choose.

    I agree that April is nice, and June! I went to school with a girl named Autumn and I think that's a beautiful name as well.

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  52. Congrats on your little princess! I like Mia, Belle and Zoe. And shopping for girls clothes? Soooo fun!!

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  53. I love Anne, Tess, Lucy, Kate. Traditional but more uncommon (well, except for kate). I ADORE Beau--I was trying to figure out how to talk my husband into naming our last baby Beau, but I had to stick with our two-syllable first name pattern since it was baby #4. Good luck! Please let us all know when you decide :)

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  54. Katie3:10 PM

    When I think of relaxed, simple girl names, I think of Lex and Liv.

    I also like Kate, Jen/Jenny (short for the italian Giovanna in my family), Len/Lynn, and Mel (Melanie/Melania).

    Ava is nice, but I'm pretty sure it was the #1 or #2 girl's name for last year. It's one of those names that everyone thinks is so unique and pretty....so as a result, it's not so unique anymore.

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    Replies
    1. Katie3:10 PM

      Oh, and I love Sam and Rose!

      Delete
    2. Rachel3:18 AM

      I love the name Liv, but Liv Walrath doesn't quite flow. Also I think for the medically minded, it might sound like LIVer.

      Delete
  55. I like Lynn, and not just because it's close to my name. It's simple and not trendy, which I abhor.

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  56. I know a Beau and a Beaux!

    I always post here as Nelson's Mama - my name is actually Devry...try going through life pronouncing that all the time.

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  57. Alexandra3:24 PM

    Wren! So glad I saw that name on this list. So sweet, a bit unique, and I think sounds fantastic with Cal and Mack!

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  58. Anonymous3:30 PM

    Sally, Sadie, Elsa, Meg! So happy for you! Happy baby naming!

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  59. rachel3:32 PM

    Marlo. Congrats!

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  60. camille3:32 PM

    I'm a Camille and my family tends to call me Cam; I've always liked that. I second all the Mae votes too. Ben not Benjamin is my #1 future baby boy name. I love it!

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  61. Huh. For a month after our baby daughter was born, NO girls' names sounded OK to me. And I'd seen all the names above. Now quite a few of them seem really nice. (We called her "baby" and it was driving my husband nuts. In the end, we named her what we'd thought we would name her before I was pregnant, what he would have called her from the start.)

    My daughter has a classmate named Tess in preschool. It does have a nice sound to it. The teachers do often call her Tessie though. They also call Pavel Pavie, so at least they're not discriminating on the basis of gender.

    Beatrix? I like Alex and Sam for gender neutrality. But if you keep the long version, she can use that when it's helpful not to be ambiguous. Abi? I have a friend called that. Doesn't like it when people assume it's short for Abigail or something.

    Could call her Mo. Around here that's usually short for Maureen, I think.

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  62. Anonymous3:56 PM

    Mae. Or Esme.

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  63. Julia4:06 PM

    I like Fay... Mae is nice too, but it would be nice for her to have her own initial. Tess, June, and Jane are also nice.

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  64. My daughter's name is Fern, and since I don't know you and live on the other side of the country, I would be happy to share it. :) We get tons of compliments on it. My criteria were that it be an actual name, that it would be easy to spell when heard and pronounce when read, and that it not have been popular in the last 50 years.

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  65. How about Devon? x

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  66. Pam
    http://nameberry.com/babyname/Pam

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  67. My daughter is called Skye. Short and sweet, not a diminutive, pretty but not flowery. We have a convoluted surname so wanted something 'easy' and her middle name is pretty and flowery. It is original enough for her to be the only Skye in the school, but there is another girl in our town with the same name so it's not totally nutty. We aren't hippies, we just liked the name and it suits her well.

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  68. Anonymous5:56 PM

    I've always really liked the name 'Lynn'. Short, uncommon and is considered both asian and western depending on how you spell it =)

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  69. Anonymous6:59 PM

    Allison (Alli), Lillian (Lilly), Katherine (Katie)-- I love names that are strong on their own, and then have a cutesy nickname. Congrats on the baby girl!

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  70. Stace7:02 PM

    Bea, Lin, Kim, Pam, Tam, Sam, Jen, Jan, Jean, Kriss, Mal, Kay, Raye, Vick, Wen, Zen.

    I vote: Bea, Jan, Lin or Zen.....I know, Zen is way out there. Lol.

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  71. Anonymous7:03 PM

    Eva or Rose (I know they've already been mentioned, but those were the ones I thought of while I was reading your post.)

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  72. Anonymous7:05 PM

    I'm inclined to suggest KAT. Cal and Mack both have short a's and yes YES baby naming shouldn't be based on phonemics BUT I think it'd work! Cal, Mack, and Kat :)

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  73. Alex, Jac/Jaq, Grace, Su, Diane, Dawn, Lily, Audrey, Joan, Ann, Mel, Ren, Bec, Zoe

    Congrats on your little girl Michelle! :)

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  74. A few more: Gail, Nic, Jamie

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous7:20 PM

      Ella is a nice, simple name

      I used to be a fan of Eva and Ava, actually still am, but they're getting popular these days.

      Delete
  75. Anonymous7:25 PM

    Mira, Mila.. Congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  76. Anonymous7:29 PM

    Belle
    Sally
    Amy
    Meg

    +1 vote for:
    Ruby
    Zoe
    Elle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katie9:52 PM

      Gonna +1 the Meg

      Delete
  77. medrecgal7:34 PM

    Lee, Eve, Faye, Kate, Meg, Rose, Zoe, Jane, Dawn, Anne, Jill, Lynn, Sam, Sue, Lou, Nell...any of these are short & sweet and would work with the boys' names.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Anonymous7:46 PM

    Kit, Nina, Maggie, Darla, Grace, Billie... hmm.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Anonymous7:48 PM

    I like Ada....a little more unusual than Ava, but still as cute, I think.

    I love the name Malia which is maybe a bit long for you guys, but that goes to the nickname that I like for Malia--Lia or you could go with Leah.

    I like the Cora/Nora names.

    Cal, Mack and Ben/Beau would have made a pretty great sibling set. I'm excited to hear what you name her!!

    ReplyDelete
  80. Anonymous8:15 PM

    i love ivy - beyonce be damned :)

    ReplyDelete
  81. Anonymous8:24 PM

    i love esme - old fashioned, short, uncommon, and a bit of a salinger reference too?
    also like belle/bella (?bit of italian in there), ruby, zoey, ava/eva, mia...

    btw miso in korean means smile, and is considered a very cute name! of course there are other meanings for miso that'd be understandable for you not to use it but ;)

    ReplyDelete
  82. Anonymous8:36 PM

    Annabelle. So much for one syllable. Although I am partial to Cal's list!

    Julia

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  83. Anonymous8:39 PM

    Nina, Sarah, Tess, Mia, Anna, Grace, Lila, Lily, Emma, Ella. I am a Julie but I always liked the name Julia so that gets my vote too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous8:43 PM

      also love Maya and Nell. Girls names are so much fun to pick out!

      Delete
  84. Nerp. Definitely Nerp.

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  85. Zoe! Or just Zo. Leah/Lia/Lea. Ally/Allie. Darby!

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  86. How abour Shea? or Brynn?

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  87. Claire
    Faye
    Kaye
    Eliza

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  88. Liza, Cora, Lana, Noel, Rae, Mae, emma, paige

    ReplyDelete
  89. Bea
    Kai
    Eve
    Lee
    Mae (or May)
    Maya
    Liv
    Letty
    Oona

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, one more I forgot:

      Jo (my mom's name)

      Delete
  90. Lex Walrath (my favorite)

    Sam Walrath

    Bea Walrath

    Lark Walrath

    Elle Walrath

    Lou Walrath

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  91. I haven't got any suggestions for girls' names. I love the names Cal and Mack though. Plus they'll thank you if scantrons still exist when they're older. Boo to rude people.

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  92. Delurking to give my suggestions:

    Liv
    Tess
    Jo (maybe too close to Joe?)
    Beth
    Ella

    ReplyDelete
  93. Cecily11:33 PM

    Geez, I feel like this is a game at a baby shower! :)

    Cal, Mack, and Emma Walrath
    Cal, Mack, and Lucy Walrath
    Cal, Mack, and Wendy Walrath
    Cal, Mack, and Gwen Walrath
    Cal, Mack, and Mel Walrath
    Cal, Mack, and Esther Walrath
    Cal, Mack, and Abby Walrath
    Cal, Mack, and Anne Walrath
    Cal, Mack, and Lee Walrath
    Cal, Mack, and Edie Walrath
    Cal, Mack, and Sam Walrath
    Cal, Mack, and Willa Walrath
    Cal, Mack, and Dora Walrath
    Cal, Mack, and Rose Walrath
    Cal, Mack, and Iris Walrath
    Cal, Mack, and Kris Walrath
    Cal, Mack, and Tina Walrath
    Cal, Mack, and Lena Walrath
    Cal, Mack, and Bess Walrath

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  94. doctor Mom11:51 PM

    How about May or Mae. A nick name will be mae-mae which is the chinese nickname for Little Sister.

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  95. doctor Mom11:57 PM

    How about Mia with a nickname of Mimi goes nicely with walrath.

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  96. Anonymous12:04 AM

    I love Tess, ( I have a grand daughter named Tessa who we call Tess) Reese, Ann, June,....Oh my goodness so many pretty names...I just hope you don't settle on something like Myrtle Clara.

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  97. Anonymous12:59 AM

    I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet, but maybe Emi Walrath?

    -MS2

    ReplyDelete
  98. Yay! Love all this baby name fun! As a 31-year old gravida zero who has been obsessed with names for most of my life (now, sadly, fed by the internet!), I am happy to pass along some fantastic resources that I love but haven't quite made use of yet. :) First and foremost, Swistle Baby Names (http://swistlebabynames.blogspot.com/) is an amazing baby name blog. Swistle is a pretty kick-ass chick, and you can get a lot of ideas from searching for a name on her blog or simply reading a bunch of entries. HER go-to name source, available both in book format and highly mind-boggling website/search engine-ish thing is The Baby Name Wizard (http://www.babynamewizard.com/). The book version (and probably the web subscription) does a much better job than the free site of helping you categorize names/pair sibling name styles/etc. And, finally, the coup de grace: The Social Security Name Site: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/babynames/ Yes, the government has a baby name site, one I consider FANTABULOUS because (for us science nerds), it gives stats! Want to know the top 10, top 100 or top 1000 names last year? Volia! Also, you can see HOW MANY babies and even WHAT PERCENT of babies were given a certain name in a particular year (e.g., 761 BEAUs born in the U.S. last year, or 0.0374% of baby boys!), and you can also see top names for each state (which can make a big difference -- e.g., "Grace" = #21 in New York but #55 in Georgia). Since you like names with a hint of old-fashioned flair, you can also look at the top 10 or top 100 or even top 1000 baby names of any year after 1879. Also, if you look up a name, it'll show ones that are similar in spelling -- e.g., Tess was #810 last year, but Tessa was #221.

    To add in my $0.02, of the names already mentioned, one of my favorites is Gwen (sooo underused -- not in the top 1000 since 1981!); Tess, Lane, Paige, and Brynn are great with your boys' names and the surname as well. (I would second "Ivy" but probably not for the daughter of 2 docs in the surgical realm. :)
    Not sure if I saw these above, but how about:
    Rae
    Reese
    Sage

    Some two-syllable names that I didn't see above & might fit your sib-set & style:
    Iris
    Daphne
    Gemma (has the British heritage thing going for it!)
    Bridget or Brigid
    Sydney
    Darcy (kind of love this one for you guys -- a good combo of tough and Victorian-era-sounding!)
    Helene
    Adele (love it, and it's #908 -- less popular than the name "Princess" -- but might start skyrocketing with the popularity of the singer)
    Skyler
    Kendra
    Dana
    Hazel
    Heidi
    Isla
    Eden or Edie
    Abby
    Audrey or Audra or Aubrey
    Elyse
    Brielle
    Scarlett
    Rachel
    Selma
    Liza
    Tara
    Sonya/Sonia
    Millie/Milly (if you're OK w/repeating an initial)

    And since you mentioned that it might be cute to do an Italian name for a girl, Gia would be a good one with the boys' names. As for a German name, my pick would be Renata.

    Lots of luck with the naming process! Can't wait to hear what you choose!

    ReplyDelete
  99. Anonymous1:14 AM

    I've always thought the name Riley was a really good girl's name that wasn't overly formal but was feminine and cute. JMHO...

    ReplyDelete
  100. Anonymous1:25 AM

    Aida

    ReplyDelete
  101. Anonymous1:40 AM

    isobel

    ReplyDelete
  102. Anonymous3:29 AM

    Eden

    ... Or Pearl. I've always loved the name Pearl. :)

    ReplyDelete
  103. Anonymous9:00 AM

    How about Kitt? Cal, Mack, and Kitt Walwrath.

    ReplyDelete
  104. Anonymous9:25 AM

    Anastasia
    Elena
    Annalise

    ReplyDelete
  105. Anonymous9:25 AM

    Katerina

    ReplyDelete
  106. I like Nell. Or Ada. But I think Nell will go well with Cal and Mack.

    ReplyDelete
  107. Anonymous12:51 PM

    Mary-Claire. M for Mack, C for Cal, and BAM, you've got yourself a cute girl name that isn't all matchy- matchy or anything, but still fits in.

    ReplyDelete
  108. Has anyone suggested Olive yet? Olive!! Mia is my other favorite of the suggestions so far. Congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  109. Anonymous1:49 PM

    Dr. Au, I love reading your blog--everytime. Thank you for your wonderful gifts to the blogging world! Thuha

    ReplyDelete
  110. Mae! It's short. Somewhat vintage. And not too common.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Anonymous3:55 PM

    Audrey
    Olivia
    Kate or Katie
    Stella
    Lucy
    Grace
    Maya
    Hannah

    ReplyDelete
  112. Anonymous3:58 PM

    First = CONGRATULATIONS!

    Next, ideas:
    Rose, Lily, Ivy, Fern, Heather, Freesia, Jasmine (I have also met a Bluebell)
    Maggie, Emily (Em), Fran, Allie, Faye, Isla, Abbie, Carla, Jess, Maebh, Ruth, Ros, Leah
    Noor (light in Arabic), Sahar (Dawn in Persian), Leila, Almaas (Pearl)

    Good luck in choosing!

    ReplyDelete
  113. Miso = soup

    Good luck with the name.

    ReplyDelete
  114. Anonymous5:24 PM

    Some seriously ugly names being suggested here! Yuck! Just because Michelle has named her boys slightly less common names, it doesn't mean she wants to name her daughter any random string of letters that one can put together! Ew!

    I think that Claire would be a perfect name to go with Mack and Cal. Cal, Mack and Claire. Simple, pretty, old-fashioned, unoffensive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rachel3:24 AM

      I think Claire, with an i, is really quite nice! Claire Walrath.

      Delete
  115. Anonymous5:47 PM

    Ruby would be perfect! Cal, Mack and Ruby :)

    ReplyDelete
  116. How about "Ness"? I saw it recently as a nickname for Vanessa and could not get over how cute it was.

    And 2:24PM Anonymous, chill out!

    ReplyDelete
  117. Grace. I am partial, because it's my name and I really love it. Although it can be sort-of annoying because people automatically assume you're religious.

    I like Mae and Jane too. Those seem like they would fit well with Cal and Mack.

    ReplyDelete
  118. Anonymous7:46 PM

    Yuck yuck yuck! Fern? Ruby? Olive? Blech!

    Keep it simple and pretty! Jane, Mae, Anne, Grace, Claire.

    ReplyDelete
  119. Anonymous9:00 PM

    Delurking to add this silly idea: name her June/July (err, go with Julia if she's born in July) for the month she'll be born in, then call her Meimei! Because that's her Chinese family name and it's a PUN on her English name, get it because it sounds like May May oh man I am so funny. DO IT.

    ReplyDelete
  120. Lilah. June. Jane. Ruth. Sarah. Leah. Lee. Diane.
    FYI, my (Jewish, caucasian) daughter is named Lilah and people always ask me if we meant for it to "sound Asian." Not sure what's up with that really...

    ReplyDelete
  121. Anonymous10:29 PM

    Lexi

    ReplyDelete
  122. Anonymous10:33 PM

    Living in Tokyo and coming in contact with lot of bicultural families, many girls have short names like; Aya, Maya, Emma, May (or Mae), Kate, Iris, Lucy, Ciara, Erin, Sara (Sarah), Ellie, Risa, (Lisa), Aily, Elisa, Erina, Leah, Lara, Ami (Amy), Eve, just to name a few..

    ReplyDelete
  123. Anonymous10:53 PM

    What about Leda? And wow, this must be the most comments I've ever seen for any post you've had. Good luck choosing the name! (I heard it's almost always an even harder decision for parents than deciding on having the baby in the first place!)

    ReplyDelete
  124. Anonymous11:30 PM

    Jill. Simple. One syllable. Not so common anymore. My name is Elida. Don't do that to your daughter!

    ReplyDelete
  125. Anonymous12:26 AM

    NELL

    ReplyDelete
  126. May I suggest? www.nymbler.com
    You can put in inspiration names (in this case, your boys' names), then choose the gender you are searching for and it will bring up names in a similar style. You can add other inspirations, and then click on the red circle/cross thing for the names that are horrible and clearly belong to reality TV stars. You can keep clicking more names at the bottom and it will continue to refine your list. This really helped with my daughter. Try it, seriously.

    ReplyDelete
  127. Anonymous5:46 AM

    Iris
    Kayla
    Mia
    Leah/Lee/Lea
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  128. How about Kalya? Cal, Mack and Kalya? :D

    ReplyDelete
  129. Anonymous6:38 AM

    Jen/Gen

    ReplyDelete
  130. Anonymous10:22 AM

    Charlie. Short for Charlotte.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katie6:11 PM

      I love that!

      Delete
  131. Elle seems like it's really trendy; same with Lily (I have three nieces named Lily). Also, my dog is Stella, and I've sometimes been to the dog park and had three Stellas play together.

    My second might've been Iris if not a boy. Anne seems like it might fit.

    ReplyDelete
  132. So funny, we just adopted a dog and have been obsessing over her name all weekend. I think Jess, Nell and Gwen are the closest to "fitting" your criteria, although I am partial to Jane since that's what I named my daughter! And for you guys I like Lee. Rarely used anymore and simple, elegant and Cal, Mack and Lee Walrath sounds good.

    ReplyDelete
  133. Halle
    Lia
    Hope
    Alice
    Nora
    Molly
    Sylvie
    Tessa

    Congratulations!!

    ReplyDelete
  134. Killerboots12:30 PM

    Anna,
    Berit
    Maisy
    Celia
    Sloane
    Mia
    Greta
    Alex

    ReplyDelete
  135. Congratulations of your Little girl. Those two boys will make great protectors.

    Names:

    Claudia
    Adel
    Elaine

    ReplyDelete
  136. Anonymous4:13 PM

    CLAIRE.

    ReplyDelete
  137. We're naming our girl (due in June) Elle. I've always been attached to it's brevity and (what I perceive to be) elegant-ness. You can totally steal it if you like. I'm not funny like that.

    ReplyDelete
  138. Oh my gosh, i love naming babies. Looks like I'm not the only one either. It seems you like nickname-proof names with an old-time feel. I can't go through all the comments, so sorry if there is repetition. I suggest:
    Elle
    Hattie
    Lena
    Lou (LOVE this for you!)
    Sadie
    Willa
    Zoe
    You can go on the social security website to see how popular names are. For example, Ava and Mia are in the top 10 right now. Cal was not in the top 1000 (unranked) in the last 12 years, and Mack is unranked (well, ranked 979 in 2009), too. Not sure how much this matters to you. Go to: http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames

    ReplyDelete
  139. Anonymous5:45 PM

    Molly. Absolutely has that old fashioned, girl next door quality.

    ReplyDelete
  140. Anonymous6:02 PM

    http://nameberry.com/search/?q=nora

    ReplyDelete
  141. Anonymous6:52 PM

    I think Cal, Mack, and Nell Walrath is the cutest.

    Nell makes me think of an adventurous pioneer girl.

    June is my second vote, but I actually think it's a little TOO midcentury for my taste. I just picture some yawning Betty Draper type.

    ReplyDelete
  142. Jaye, Lill, Rue, Dee

    ReplyDelete
  143. Anonymous8:14 PM

    Eve
    Claire
    Eleanor (nickname Ellie)
    Nola
    Vivenne

    ReplyDelete
  144. Anonymous9:17 PM

    Nan

    ReplyDelete
  145. Layla
    Lucy
    Paige
    Ella
    Fiona

    ReplyDelete
  146. Anonymous3:34 AM

    ??? Ada

    ReplyDelete
  147. Lux...or Cara?

    ReplyDelete
  148. Anonymous7:52 AM

    Isa

    ReplyDelete
  149. Anonymous2:34 PM

    Nova

    ReplyDelete
  150. Anonymous9:52 PM

    Tess Walrath

    ReplyDelete
  151. Anonymous8:48 AM

    I know that they are not in style right now, but I've always loved the names Jean and Joan.

    ReplyDelete
  152. Anonymous10:39 AM

    Ghana/Gana isn't necessarily such a bad idea for a name...
    After all, India has long been used as a girl's name in England. And, of course, there is Brooklyn, Paris, Austin... and the multiple Scottish islands that are used as girl's names...
    Do not shun the forward thinking Hipster that Cal is clearly becoming ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  153. Anonymous12:14 PM

    Shay/ Shae Walrath. Maëlle Walrath (umlaut optional if English Canada is anything to go by). Thanks to Olympic snowboarders for making those trend a bit in Canada.

    Neko/Nico is a fave lately here also.

    Anick/Annique/Annika (Ann or Nick/ Nika for short, again, for Nika emph. is on the last syllable) are popular in Quebec and other French regions (Ottawa, New Brunswick). Emphasis there is on the second syllable or even, never on the first, even among Anglos.

    ReplyDelete
  154. Anonymous2:45 PM

    Stel Walrath.

    ReplyDelete
  155. Anonymous9:00 PM

    I like Ella. Old fashioned, easy to pronounce, and lovely without being cutesy.

    ReplyDelete
  156. Anonymous7:13 AM

    I think Leea would be perfect for your little girl. It comes from Lea/Leah which means 'delicate' (I think), but with an extra e that makes it a bit more interesting and unusual but still simple.
    Besides...Cal, Mack and Leea sounds really nice ;)

    Greetings from Slovenia,

    Petra

    ReplyDelete
  157. Ella, Stella, Kate, Liv, Olivia, Kate, Ava, Lauren, Eliza, Lily?

    What an exciting time! Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  158. Leah was the first to pop into my mind.

    ReplyDelete
  159. Maggie9:18 AM

    I suggest Kay.
    Simple, not difficult to pronounce or understand, not exactly common but not too crazy either.
    I also like the sounds of Leigh, or could be Lee (but then maybe when she's 35 she'll start getting letters addressed to Mr. Lee Walrath - and that's no good.)

    ReplyDelete
  160. I think that Scout, Grace, Noah, Kyle, Jill, Elle, and Jess are all cute, unique, and pretty names that fit your criteria. Best of luck! (:

    ReplyDelete
  161. Tricia4:18 PM

    Congrats on your GIRL!!
    Going off the Italian angle, maybe:
    Cara
    Eva
    Elena
    Gemma
    Gina
    Lia
    Lisa
    Luisa

    ReplyDelete
  162. Anonymous1:28 AM

    You're probably sick of all the suggestions by now, but what about Dana/Dayna? I like how it's still a girly name, but according to the internet, can be used for a boy's name too. And since you were originally told that she was 99% a boy, it's kinda cute. But I like Lea too. =)

    ReplyDelete
  163. I like Mae or Tess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cal, Mack, and Tess. I do like that.
      And in alphabetical order, too.

      Delete
  164. Salma2:11 PM

    Aya
    Zayna
    Mais

    ReplyDelete
  165. We're naming our first born daughter (if things work out that way) Cora. And I don't care if you "steal." (Seven- Seinfeld anyone?)

    ReplyDelete
  166. Cal, Mack and Cora. It flows nicely. And Cora is very old fashioned.

    ReplyDelete
  167. Ava, Grace, Quinn, Eve all seem very classic. I like Olive, too. It has a quirkiness to it that goes along with Cal and Mack and the whole turn-of-the-century thing.
    Girl names are hard. I've always loved Bonnie for some reason, so I figure if I ever have a little lady in my life, I will probably call her that.

    ReplyDelete
  168. Anonymous11:57 AM

    Congratulations!

    My fave is Hazel, which was my grandmother's name. She was a flapper, so it's in the right era.

    Others that seem to fit the criteria (short, not too girly, not too modern): Emma, Tess. My daughter is Jo or Josie, and obviously I'm fond of that one too.

    ReplyDelete
  169. How about Bree? I think it goes well with the other two and it's short and simple.

    ReplyDelete
  170. How about Bree? I think it goes well with the other two and it's short and simple.

    ReplyDelete
  171. Not sure if it's been suggested but, how about Zoe? To be pronounced like toe, not Zoe-y. I'm suprised by all the Cora suggestions. It will be the name of our first daughter, should we have one, and I stole it (wild embarassment) from Cat Cora, Disney/celeb chef. I thought it was sooooo original. Still not changing it, but pouting a little. Okay, a lot.

    Love the blog, by the way. Newbie reader, and enjoying it.

    ReplyDelete
  172. Anonymous12:43 AM

    A few short ones I think go nicely w/ the boys name and Walrath (that I don't think have been mentioned yet):

    Rae
    Leigh
    Bea
    Sue

    ReplyDelete
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