Nicole is expecting baby #6 imminently -- a sister for Ethan, Aidan, Julian, Audrey and Silas. She had settled on a name -- Lilah -- but isn't sure it's "the one".
She writes: "I like soft names that feel poetic but also have class and strength. I do not care for nicknames. I like girl names that are distinctly feminine.
Our fall back name is Lilah (lie la), middle name is Belle after family. Last name is [two syllable containing a 'v'] which is harsh in my mind and demands some soft balance from the first name.
I like Adeline and Madeleine pronounced add a line and mad a line but do not like the chance they might become -lynn by others and don't care for Addy and Maddy. We like Lydia. My husband likes Vivian which I find harsh with [surname] and Jacqueline which I don't like at all. We both like Josephine to some degree.
Audrey, to me, is so timeless and classic that it's been hard to beat. Most names that fit the bill have automatic nicknames that I find common and dull."
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I can appreciate how difficult this must be for you. This being baby #6, you are a seasoned namer. Choosing the right name should be easier, but, unfortunately, this is one of the few things in life where it seems to be harder for most parents the more they do it. As the firm favourites that you love get used, you are left with a myriad of potential names that aren't quite so firmly set in your mind as the first favourites.
Lilah is the name you keep coming back to, and perhaps there is a reason for that. Though you have niggles, Lilah stays hanging on.
That said, here are some other suggestions which, I feel, compliment Audrey's elegant and historic vibe:
Lara / Larissa – Similar to Lilah in sound but nowhere near as popular. Lara has an elegant feel which brings to mind the romantic heroine in Doctor Zhivago. The longer form -- Larissa -- is equally romantic: the name of both an ancient city (like Lydia) and a nymph in Greek mythology.
Orla – Like Aidan, Orla is an accessible Gaelic gem with ancient Irish pedigree. Borne by several medieval Irish queens, it comes from the Old Irish ór "gold" and flaith "sovereign", and so is therefore translated as "Golden Princess."
Coraline / Coralie – A less common alternative to Adeline and Madeleine. Thanks to the book and film, Coraline is generally recognised as being pronounced as "line" at the end, and isn't as likely to get mixed up as a "lynn" sound. It means "coral" which gives it a sweet nature link. From the same source is Coralie: a soft and feminine French name which is rare but very accessible.
Adele – Sharing Audrey's early medieval and noble heritage, Adele is the chic French form of of the many many names (Adeline included) which came from the Germanic Adalheidis "noble sort"
Eveline / Evelina / Aveline / Evelyn – Like Audrey, all these sister names have a timeless and classic grace which have endured through millennia.
Victoria – Queenly, elegant, classic and never dated.
Florence / Flora – A sweet floral name which harkens back to the Middle Ages and has plenty of literary pedigree.
Romilly – A French place name which the Victorians started using as a sleek and chic given name.
Rosalie – A feminine floral name which feels ageless. Twilight put the name on the map, but conversely that then put people off using it, worried it would become too popular. Now that the Twilight-hype has well and truly died, Rosalie is able to stand on its own.
Eliana – A stylish Italian and Spanish form of the Latin Aeliana meaning "belonging to the Aelius gens." Aelius was a Roman family name which belonged to the emperor Hadrian. Eliana also has gained the Modern Hebrew meaning of "my God has answered."
Felicity – This 'happy in sound and happy in meaning' name is ageless and elegant with centuries worth of heritage and charm.
Amelie – The French form of royal Amelia -- softer in sound but equally regal.
Gwyneth / Gwen – When I think of Audrey, I think of its chic femininity with a strong backbone and ancient princessly Anglo-Saxon heritage. Both Gwyneth and Gwen fit the same criteria for me, except we can sawp "Anglo-Saxon" for "Welsh".
Livia – An alternative to Lydia is the Italian Livia, a name borne by Roman empresses.
Georgina – While Georgia may be a Southern-Belle, its sister name Georgina has more of a regal ladylike charm. Uncommon, classy, strong and timeless.