Baby Girl Kale, Sister to Maxwell (Max), Annika (Annie), and Theodore (Theo/Bear)

Kirsten writes:

I hope you can help me with my baby name dilemma!

Baby girl is due in February and, although I know I have a few weeks before she is here, I feel like I have spent an extraordinary amount of time searching for her name – with limited results.
I’m feeling the pressure of time!

I have three children currently.
Maxwell nicknamed Max (7yo), Annika nicknamed Annie (5yo), and Theodore nicknamed Theo (just turned 3yo) (but often called Bear – Theodore to Teddy to Teddy Bear to Bear!)
If this baby were a boy, his name would be Oscar William nicknamed Oz.
And since I had a boy’s name all ready to go, I just knew that kiddo had to be a girl! Ha!

Our last name is pronounced very similar to Kale (like the vegetable!). It is German in origin, obviously fairly harsh, and one syllable.
Because of the short last name, I think a three to four syllable first name sounds best.
Both my husband and I are English/German/Northern European in heritage and would prefer (although it’s not essential) a name that reflects that heritage.
Strongly preferred is a longer formal name with a more down-to-earth/fun nickname.
In our case, because of the short last name and likely longer first name, a good nickname is (almost) as important as the given name.

This is my last child.
I have noticed in my own naming style, I tend to be more conservative in my boy names, while more unusual in my girl names.
I also believe that while a stereotypically feminine name is lovely and to be valued, a girl needs a bit of sass, a little spunk in this world!
I want a name with spark and verve!

I love my daughter’s name, Annika.
It is different, but not crazy or made-up.
It is familiar sounding, but not common.
It has a bit of sass with the ‘ka’ ending.
It has a warm and fun nickname with ‘Annie’.
It is German/Northern European in origin.
I question if I’m ever going to find another girl’s name I like as much!

The leading contender name at this point is Verity nicknamed Vee or Tru (playing on the meaning of the name ‘Truth’).
And I like the name! I do. And my exceedingly difficult-to-please husband very much likes it.
I just question if it is THE name.
I think perhaps it is the ‘ee’ ending that is bothering me. Does it sound to much like a nickname i.e.. Katy/Sandy/Vicky/Etc.?
Does Verity nn Tru sound like we’re ‘trying’ too hard?
How does Maxwell, Annika, Theodore, and Verity work as a sibset? How about Max, Annie, Theo, and Tru? Max, Annie, Bear, and Tru?

Currently, other possible names for this baby girl are (in no particular order) –
Rebekah nn Beks/Bekah (a bit common and unsurprising)
Rosemarie nn Rose/Rosie (too sweet)
Octavia nn Tavi (somewhat heavy)
Alethea nn Allie (a touch frilly)

Names that we’ve seriously considered but since have discarded for various reasons (although several are still floating around in my subconscious) include –
Susannah nn Susie
Katrina or Katrin nn Katie
Calliope nn Alli
Averill nn Avi
Genevieve/Geneva/Genevra nn Jenny
Talia/Thalia nn Tali
Beatrix nn Bea
Honora nn Nora
Roxana nn Roxie

Ah! Names that we have considered and rejected? Just get out a baby name book!
I feel like we’ve been through all the lists!
Elsa, Gretchen, Greta, Ingrid, Sigrid, Selah, Sarah, Caroline, Elizabeth, Eliza, Emily, Astrid, Hazel, Violet, Avril, Katarina, Kristen, Kiersten, Olwen, Johanna, Abigail, Agnes, Allegra, Athena, Aviva, Vivika, Callista, Clarissa, Clara, Tabitha, Leonora, Felicity, Georgia/Georgiana/Georgina, Federica/Fredericka, Winifred, Gwyneth, Gwendolen, Guinevere, Linnea, Margaret, Magnolia, Sonia, Sylvia, Wilhelmina, and so on, and so on….

The middle name will likely be chosen from a selection of family names including Jane, Sara/h, Elizabeth, and Katherine.
If we go with Verity, the full name will likely be Verity Sara-Elizabeth.

I know I’ve written you a book here, but I hope you can help!
If you do choose my question for your blog, please feel free to cut the email as needed.
Again, I do appreciate any help you can give in my baby name quest!



Name update! Kirsten writes:


I wanted to give you an update on Baby Girl Kale.
My naming dilemma was originally posted on 12/11/13 as “Baby Girl Kale, Sister to Maxwell (Max), Annika (Annie), and Theodore (Theo/Bear)’.

I received so much helpful input from you and your readers!  Thank you so much for that!
In fact, it was the comments from a couple of your readers (Kim C and Emily) who mentioned using a European form of a family name ‘Elizabeth’ which helped set us in a great direction to find Baby Girl Kale’s name.
Looking through our family trees, my husband and I again came across an ancestor named a German variation of Elizabeth = Elsbeth.
This time though, the name clicked.
Baby Girl’s middle name arose from a feminized form of my Maiden name = Mattea.

Baby Girl Kale was born on 2/26/14 at 1522.  8lbs 0oz, 20 1/4in long.
Her name is Elsbeth Mattea with a likely nickname of Betsy (although big sister is making a concerted push for Bets).

My family is now complete.
My children are named –
Maxwell, Annika, Theodore, Elsbeth.
Max, Annie, Theo, Betsy.

Thank you so very much, once again!!

Screen shot 2014-03-07 at 5.34.17 PM

83 thoughts on “Baby Girl Kale, Sister to Maxwell (Max), Annika (Annie), and Theodore (Theo/Bear)

  1. TheFirstA

    I love Verity & I like it with the sibset. But the nickname “Tru” does seem a bit trying too hard. I also wonder if many people would even understand the connection. Seeing as Verity is an uncommon name, I’d be surprised if most people know what it means. Would you feel annoyed having to explain her nickname all the time? I think I lean towards using Vea (rhymes with Bea) as a nickname, though I honest don’t think Verity needs a nickname.

    Of your short list, my favorites are Rosemarie/Rosie (I don’t see Rosie as being sweeter than Annie) and Octavia/Tavi (I don’t think Octavia sounds too heavy). I wonder if you’d also like Rosalind (Roz-a-lind) with the nickname Roz? Perhaps Roz would strike you as more spunky than Rose/Rosie.

    From your longer list, I like Geneva/etc and Thalia the best. I see you have Honora, Norah & Leonora-have you ruled out Eleanor? I think it’d be nice with either Nora or Nell as the nickname.

    I’ll also suggest Cordelia with Cordy, Cora or Delia as nicknames. Fiona/Fi, Lucinda/Lucy, Scarlett/Lettie, Henrietta/Hettie & Josephine with Josey or Fi as nicknames. I also like Gemma for you, though I’m not sure what you’d use as a nickname. Gemmy or just Gem could work, though they may sound too much like Jimmy & Jim.

    1. Magda

      I have a friend called Jemima, and most of her friends and family call her Jimmy, I like it because Jemima is SO feminine and Jimmy is so NOT (but you also have Jem, Mims and Mima).

      Similarly, I know a Rosalind who is Ros (Roz) to most people but Rozzy to very close family.

  2. Sheri

    Verity nn Tru is epically awesome and works really nicely with your sibset, I think! Not trying too hard at all. Another nn option would be Vera (long e, so like her name’s pronounced but without the T, not VEE-ra), but then you’re stuck correcting people a lot…

    Dunno if the double middle name is my favourite (unless you did a double middle for Annika?)

    I love the combo of Verity Jane so much more. It’s spunky, but gives your girl a more buttoned-down option of Jane if she finds that Verity is too out there for say the Law School Review set =)

  3. Janet

    I see many of my own favorites on your list, so I thought I’d pipe in with another favorite I don’t see: Ellery.

    However, I love Verity! I kind of think “Tru” is trying to hard, but if it comes naturally, that’s okay too.

  4. Heidi J

    I love, love, love Verity. I wanted to use it as a first name so badly myself, but my husband didn’t love it, so I used it as a middle name. I also don’t think Verity needs a nickname, but Vee, Very, and Vera could all work. I’m not sure about Tru personally.

    Other options:
    Miriam, nn Miri
    Magdalena, nn Lena or Maggie or Magda
    Marlena, nn Marla or Marley or Laney
    Elaina, nn Lainey
    Alice, nicknamed Allie
    Vivian, nn Vivi
    Matilda, nn Mattie

  5. lacey

    Tavi Gevinson is the youngest-ever super-successful magazine editor (Rookie Magazine) (she’s on the Forbes 30 under 30 list and she’s not out of high school) (awesome) and it doesn’t seem heavy at all. <3 Good luck!

    1. Kaela

      Second this! Tavi Gevinson is an awesome association for the name. If you are uncertain about Verity, go with Octavia nn Tavi. (I think that would be my choice– Verity/Tru seems much heavier to me than Octavia/Tavi).

  6. sarah

    I love Verity, but not with the nickname Tru. I think Vee would be a fine nickname, Tru seems like you’re trying too hard.
    My daughter’s name is Rosie and I don’t think of it as being too sweet…She is a bit of a tomboy and tougher than her older brother. :) I think it goes great with Annie.
    Rosemary could also give you the nickname Romy, which is adorable.
    You could also consider Rosalie which could give you the nickname Rosie or Lee or Allie.
    How about Arabella, nn Ari or Bell or Bella?
    Lucinda or Lucia, nn Luci?
    I love Susannah/Susie from your list, that is probably my favorite with Annie.
    Good luck!

  7. Katybug

    I have a friend with a little Annika, middle name Hazel. The two names are so lovely together I thought I’d suggest it for your Annika’s sister. I love the suggestions of Rosalind (Lindy would be cute nickname too), Magdalena and Marlena (which you could spell Marlene like Marlene Dietrich if that suits your style better). I also wanted to suggest Saskia (nickname Sassy, Kiki) and Thora (no nickname or possibly Tori), two names that strike me as both feminine and spunky, and with a Northern European feel.

    1. Ginny

      I was going to suggest Saskia as well! It’s a little more out there, but it’s definitely northern European (was the name of Rembrandt’s wife) and I think it goes sooo well with Annika. I worked with a girl named Saskia when I was a teenager and I loved her name so much it’s stuck with me over the years.

      The one drawback I see from your naming style is the lack of obvious nickname… you probably don’t want to use Sassy, and anything else is a bit of a reach. But if you are willing to reach you could go with Kiki, Skye, Essie, or even Sally (which originated as a nickname for Sarah, which makes just about as little sense.)

  8. Emily

    I really like your names!! I do think ”Tru” is trying too hard, however. With your sibset, I really like Augustine, Lillian, Annabelle (probably too similar to Annika), or Ruby or Rudy (Ru, instead of Tru :).

    Good luck. I think you’ll have a winner no matter what direction you go. Did want to second a vote for Rosalind, since Roz reminds me of Oz. less sweet than Rosie!

  9. Jenny

    I love the name Verity! I used it in a novel, so it was off the table for my daughter, but I think it’s an awesome name.

    The nickname, Tru, does seem like it’s “trying to hard” to me. Kind of a hipster thing to do. I’d also be very surprised if it really stuck, but who knows? Anyway, I think Vee is a good nickname. I’ve also heard “Very” used as a nickname for Verity, and that was nice. Although, really, Verity seems like a name you’d just use most of the time.

    If you like Tru, and want to call her that, you could consider just naming her True (I think the spelling “Tru” is a bit silly as a given name). It could work with a longer, more feminine middle name.

    Of your short list, I also like Octavia (called Tavi). If I were Annika’s sister, I’d be disappointed to be named Rebekah or Rosemarie (called Rose) because they’re so common. But I’m sensitive about that.

    Good luck!

    1. British American

      I have a Rose (that’s her full name) and it’s not a very common name. As a middle name it is, but not so much as a first name. We have met a couple of other girls named Rose, over the years, but not so many where I’d call it a common name.

  10. Britni

    Well, it does sound quite like you already sold on Verity (“And I like the name! I do. And my exceedingly difficult-to-please husband very much likes it.”)
    I will say the name Verity is not at all German in origin.. which doesn’t really matter, unless it matters to you.
    I bring it up only because you made a point of stating a need for German/Northern European Ancestry in the name.
    The only other suggestions I would have is:
    Fritzi – nn. zi, rizi, ritz, izi
    Isolde – nn. Izzy, Iso, Sol, Isa, Iz

  11. Julia

    You could simplify one of your names to Aleta. Beautiful name. Could nn her Leti /Lettie or Leta (like LEE – ta) or Alli.

  12. Caroline

    I love Octavia for you! Doesn’t seem heavy at all, but feminine, original, spunky, intelligent…
    The suggestion of Rosalind nn Roz is wonderful as well.
    To me Verity feels like a different style from the other siblings.

  13. Elizabeth

    I like Verity and I think matches nicely with your other children’s names, but I dislike the nickname Tru. It seems like it is trying to hard even though I understand the meaning. Are there any other nicknames you could consider? Just V? Hmm.

    I know this is on your list of discarded names, but maybe you would reconsider Felicity. A virtue name with a cute nickname (Lissie/Lissy) – give it another thought? Felicity Katherine?

  14. Reagan

    I understand your problem with the ee ending in Verity. It makes the name feel less formal than Annika Have you considered Verena (meaning integrity) with the nn Vee or Reny?

    My favorite on your list is Octavia with the nn Tavi. To me it meets your criteria. It is uncommon but familiar and not made up. It has a warm and fun nickname. And it has sass. But if it seems too heavy, have you cconsidered the Scandanavian name Gustava? The nn Tavi would work with it and Gussy is also adorable.

    Each of your childrens names have middle or late letters that jump out at me – Maxwell – X; Annika – K, Theodore – O. That seems like a place to start in thinking about other name possibilities.

    Have you considered and of the following?

    Franziska – it is German, I really like the z in the middle of the name and possible nicknames include Franny or Zee
    Josefina – is Norwegian. the f stands out in the middle and Josie is sassy and adorable. I love Annika and Josefina together.

    1. Katty

      And the German nickname for Franziska would be Franzi, which sounds plenty spunky to me! ;-)

      Also, in a similar vein, there’s the name Felicitas/Felizitas (the Latin version of Felicity, and the one used in German-speaking countries) with the nickname Zita (pronounced ZEE-tuh). Zita was also the name of the wife of Austria’s last emperor…

      1. Laura

        Oh my gosh I just LOVE Franziska nn Franzi! I have a friend of the family who is just awesome with this name so maybe that’s part of the reason I like it so much, but still. Great suggestion. I also thought of Cornelia nn Nellie/Nell or Lia. (Might want to avoid Corny… hehe)

  15. Lauren

    Verity would not be my choice, as to me the “virtue name” aspect really stands out against her siblings’s names, all of which are names in their own right. Your preferred nickname, “Tru,” highlights this. It’s not enough that it would bother me for forever, so if this is your and your husband’s absolute favorite, you should go with it. However, I am familiar with the “this hits all the right tick marks, but something about it doesn’t feel quite right” feeling, so I wanted to hop in with a few other suggestions.

    – I love (love love) the above suggestions of Henrietta and Magdalena. Both of them go so well with Annika, and give plenty of options for nicknames.
    – What about Ida? I realize you prefer longer names, but the long I (how I would pronounce it) of Ida drags the sound of it out, so that it sounds longer than it is.
    – Agatha? Aggie is super cute, though some may feel it’s too close to Annie—and around here in central TX, it’s loaded (Texas A&M haha).
    – Liesl? This thought comes purely from watching the Sound of Music the other night, but it’s a beautiful name—I might spell it Liesel in the US, though. Louisa might be another good option too.
    – Finally, if your single hesitation about Rosemarie is the nickname “Rosie,” I would urge you to reconsider. As someone pointed out above, I don’t think it’s any sweeter than Annie—in fact, where I would class “Rose” as very sweet (less so since I’ve encountered the Doctor Who character), I see “Rosie” as resolutely spunky and sassy (think Rosie the Riveter), and quite modern.

  16. manday

    I absolutely love the name Verity. The nickname Tru is no more out there than Bear, so I guess the question is, do you expect Bear to stick? Will he be introduced at Kindergarten as Bear? Or will it be Theo? I would go ahead with Verity and have the two nicknames Vee/Tru ready to go and see what sticks.

    BUT .. just in case… (some of these are on your reject list, but I dont know what nn you thought of…)
    Georgiana – Gigi
    Felicity- Fee, Lissy, Fifi, Joy
    Virginia/Ginevra – Ginny, Gigi
    Roxanna – Roxie (talk about spunk!!!)
    Margriet – Margo, Griet, Greta
    Juniper – Juny/Juno
    Calliope – Lio, Callie
    Tatjana – Tati
    Bernadette/Burdette – Birdie or Ettie
    Clementine – Clem, Tiny, Darling
    Katerina – Kat, Katie
    Viridianna/Viridian – V, Di, Didi, Dia
    Meridian – Meri, Di, Dia, Didi
    Genevieve – Gigi, Geni, Ginny, Evie
    Athena – Attie, Thea

    Your naming style is right up my alley… I love many of these.

  17. fiona

    My vote is for Susannah but with the nickname Sunny! That’s my neighbor’s daughter’s name, and it is just so wonderful on her. Cheerful, spunky, happy name for a sweet but sassy little girl.

    Elodie (Didi, Lola, Ellie/Ella/Elle)
    Juliet (Jetta, Etta, Ettie)
    Nicolette (Coco, Etta, Ettie)
    Adelaide (Lady, Della, Addie)
    Genevieve (Evie, Genna, Vivi, Nevie)

  18. Alexis

    I grew up with an uncommon (for 1978) name and earned a totally unrelated nickname. It was (and is) only used by family, basically anyone who has known me since I was wee high. I love my nn and live that it’s only something a few ppl that know me best will use and I have a unique fn to use publicly.
    My feeling is this- use the name and nn you love. By the time she’s in school, she can go by her full name and use her nn at home. Verity is lovely and Tru is sweet. Go for it!

  19. Rae

    To me, Verity sounds flexible – I can picture a variety of personalities and people in different professions with the name. But, if you are still looking just to be completely sure…what about…

    – Odette (Etta, Ette). Odette Kale.
    Max, Annie, Theo and Etta.

    – Vivienne (Vi, Viv). Vivienne Kale.
    Max, Annie, Theo and Viv.

    – Adalind (Ada) or Adelaide (Adel, Adelle, Elle).
    Max, Annie, Theo and Adel.

    – Temperance (Tempi). Temperance Kale.
    Max, Annie, Theo and Tempi.

    – Constance (Cece). Constance Kale.
    Max, Annie, Theo and Cece.

    – Margaret (Margo). Margaret Kale.
    Max, Annie, Theo and Margo.

    Best of luck! Hope to see an update once you’ve chosen!

  20. Madelyn

    I love the name Verity, but I’m not quite sure if it is the perfect match with your other children. But if it the name you love the most, then I say go for it.

    My favorite from your list is Rosemarie and instead of using the nickname Rosie or Rose (which I love by the way), how about Romy? I think Romy has a lot of sass, and it is the common shortened form of Rosemarie in Germany. Perfect!

    Maxwell, Annika, Theodore, & Rosemarie. Max, Annie, Bear, & Romy.

  21. StephLove

    It sounds like you might be close to picking Verity. I don’t think it sounds too much like a nickname, but I might keep Tru just for home use and introduce her as Verity. I like quite a few of the names on your lists, too many to cite, but here are a few I think go particularly well in the sibling set: Katrina, Thalia, Norah, Ingrid, Violet, Gwendolen, Margaret, Sylvia.

    Here are a couple more that popped into my head: Ainsley and Carmen

  22. Sarah

    I second Louisa! Saw it in another comment and it totally trumps my other suggestions. It checks all your boxes, has awesome literary provenance and the nicknames are also spunky- Lou (hello rhymes with Tru :)), Lulu, Wheezy. And the full name is so elegant!

    Louisa Jane Kale
    Louisa Elizabeth Kale

    Please update us- love your naming style and your advanced naming dilemma.

  23. Vanessa

    A few of your names made me think of Tabitha or Talita. Tabby or Tallie.

    Both very spunky, underused, and I think they go well with the other children’s names. Have fun!

  24. Kelsey D

    I have to say, I’m not totally in love with Verity with the sib set. It has a different feel and style to it then the other three names. I actually find the name kind of harsh, both to look at it and to say out loud. That being said, it is your babe and if you guys both love it then do it!!!

    I personally really like Octavia from your list. It’s quite uncommon but a classic.

    I also really really like all the different variations of Rose. Rosalind, Rosalie, Rosemary. Rather than Rose, you could use Roz as a nn which is very similar to Oz that you were planning on using if babe was a boy. Adds a little spunk!

    A few new ones:
    Bridgette. I love this one.
    Maxwell, Theodore, Annika and Brigette. Max, Theo, Annie, and Brig/Brigey/Etta.
    I think this is my favourite. I think totally spunky and different yet still a classic name.

    Instead of Octavia what about Otelia/Otilia/Otillia?? Depending on how you pronounce it you could have nn Tely (tee-ly), or Tillie. I recently came across this name on a 3 year old little girl and I’ve been swooning over it since.

    Another set I love is Henrietta. Tons of super cute and spunky nicknames.

    What about Juliette, nn Jules/Ette/Jette/Etta.

    Ooh… What about Francesca nn Frankie. Super cute and spunky!’

    Good luck and keep us updated!!!

  25. bee

    My first thought before reading any of the comments, was that Rosalyn nicknamed Roz might work for you. It is similar to Rosemarie on your list, but with more spunk. And you get a very similar nickname to Oz for Oscar.

    Rosalyn is similar to the prior suggestions of Rosalind, but without the hard ‘d’ sound at the end. It could get mispronounced as Roe-zah-lin, but might not with the nickname of Roz.

  26. Nicole

    I like Verity, but I think the nn Tru is trying too hard. I really like the nn Tru, so I wonder if you would like the name Truley nn Tru

  27. Gail

    First thought: Sabina, nn’d Bean, or Bee.

    Of your finalists, my favorite is Rebekah, nn’d Beck or Beka. Hardly ever hear this any more, definitely spunky, and certainly won’t be common in her generation.

    Not sure if Verity passes the golden mean test in the same way your other children’s names do. If someone introduced a baby girl to me as Verity, I’d have to ask to have it repeated to make sure I’d heard correctly. And to me, Tru does seem a bit too witty. Same with Octavia–I’d have to ask to hear it again to make sure.

    Good luck and please let us know what you choose, this is fascinating.

  28. Kelsey

    Sorry, but I’m not loving Verity either. It feels like an outlier to your sibset to me. If you do choose it, I agree with another poster who said to spell the nickname True rather than Tru. Tru just doesn’t make sense to me.

    I love Beatrix (Bea), Roxana (Roxie), Margaret (Margot), Susannah (Susie), Bernadette or Henrietta (Etta), Ramona (Romy). Those all seem like great, underused names with fun nicknames.

  29. Nancy

    I know a little baby Annika with an older sister Claudia, so maybe you’d like that too. I feel it meets several of your criteria, except maybe for nicknames. Although Claudia is often called Claudie, which I think is super-cute.

  30. Lucy's Mom

    I like Octavia over Verity – really like the nn of Tavi; however, my vote formyour sibset is for Louisa nn LuLu or Lou.

    Maxwell, Annika, Theodore, and Lousia

    Good luck and send an update!

  31. Guinevere

    I think Verity, nicknamed Tru or True, is a great name, and to me the nickname doesn’t seem trying to hard. It’s a word, and its meaning is pretty obvious. It’s like nicknaming a Ruby or a Rose “Red”. Or nicknaming a Theodore “Bear”. Which, again, I find very charming.

    If you were saying, “Aletheia, nicknamed Tru”, I might think it was trying a little hard, but Verity? No. Anyone who has taken the SAT should know this word.

  32. Sarah

    I know you already rejected it, but I’d love you too reconsider Margaret nicknamed Meg. Oh! What about Harriet nicknamed Hattie? They’re both great such great names with that sibling set!

  33. Elizabeth

    I’ve recently been crushing on Octavia, nn Tavi, but I don’t know if I could ever convince my husband! This is my favorite choice for you; I think the nn Tavi makes it not too heavy, and Octavia is definitely strong and sassy!

    I also like Calliope, nn Alli, but I think Alli and Annie are too close. Calliope, nn Callie, would be really cute though! Beatrix, nn Bea, is also great with your sib set. For Genevieve, would you like the nn Eve or Evie instead of Jenny? Max, Theo, Annie, and Eve/Evie…I like it!

  34. Sarah

    Other ideas based on your front-runners…

    Rosalind nn Lindy (Looks like “Rose,” but Ros- here is the German root for ‘horse’)
    Rosamund or Rosemond nn Sam (same German root, ‘horse protection’)
    Julia nn Julie, Annie and Julie (more common, but Roman like Octavia)
    Valeria, potential nns Val or Ria

  35. Kim C

    Love the suggestion of Rosamund nn Sam. Sammy is sooo cute too! Also think Claudia is just about perfect with Annika. Nickname Dee perhaps?

    I’d like to suggest Helena nn Nell, Freya nn Frey, Skylar nn Sky, Natasha nn Tash and Christina nn Kit.

    What about Elisabeth (European spelling) with the nn Birdie or Lisa?

    All the best!

  36. Mary

    Would Philippa, nn Pippa or be too close to Pippi Longstocking & her friend Annika? I kind of like it to be honest – Annie and Pip/Pippa:)

    I think Tru is just strange without the e – True. It makes me think it’s short for Trudy for some reason. I do like Verity, but think the nn could be different, like Vee or Etty. What about Verlene/a, nn Lena?

  37. bff

    I like Verity (nn Vee)

    Annika reminds me of Cordelia (nn Cordi).

    Not so sure about the hard /k/ sound repeating (Cordelia Kale) — I like alliterative, I have two kids with BB initials and I personally grew up with the hard /k/ sound repeating sound repeating with CC initials and liked it — but not everyone does.

  38. hystcklght3

    All of the comments above are great, so I won’t reinvent the wheel … but, I think I agree that something about “Octavia” does sound really …big?… to me, too (still, totally not unusable and makes a great sibset!). So, just wanted to through out Natavia, too, which would still give you the (totally adorable) nickname Tavi :)

  39. Bonnie Jo

    Why don’t you name her Verity Tru Kale and then you get to the nn much more easily. I know that then her name would mean True True but Verity Tru does sound so lovely together.

    You have already considered many of the names I would have suggested but I will suggest them again only because I feel that they would work so well with your sibset.

    Beatrix – this is my favourite and was the first name that came to mind for me and then I saw it on your list of considerations. I think it fits perfectly with your sibset it has spunk, fits in terms of sound and I think it has Germanic roots. Maxwell, Annika, Theodore and Beatrix…Max, Annie, Theo and Bee/Bea or Max, Annie, Theo and Trix/Trixie. Please reconsider Beatrix!

    Elsa – nn Ellie this is the one I like the most out of the following
    Averil – nn Ava or Avie
    Felicity- nn Lissy or Flick
    Gretchen – what about Gretel? I think it’s a little softer than Gretchen with nn Greta.

    I also like Margaret with nn Molly or Meg or Maisie for your sibset

    The only names that I thought of that you didn’t have were Adelaide and Louisa. Both Germanic and have great nicknames like Lady/Laidey, Del, Addie, Aidie or even Sadie for Adelaide and Louie, Lou, Lisa, Lissy and LuLu for Louisa.

    Good luck pick Beatrix!

  40. Bonnie Jo

    I wanted to add that while I like the name Susannah I think it sounds too much like Annika and Annie. I have met a few Susannah’s that go by Zannah which then get you to Zannie which I think is too close in sound to Annika and Annie.

  41. Phancymama

    Verity nicknamed Tru doesn’t seem to quite fit the rest of your kids. Their names are sctual names that rank on the SSA list, and Verity is a word as name that doesn’t rank. Tru would be a decent nickname, but only if it came about more organically. I’m guessing that you didn’t name Theodore with the intent of calling him Bear, but that it evolved over time. That evolution is what eliminates the “trying too hard”.
    I adore Bea, and think it also fits well. What about Bridget or Ingrid? To follow Annie’s pattern, what about Katerina nn Katie or Marguerite nn Daisy or Maisie?

  42. Allyson C

    What about Lavinia? I’ve been loving this name since hearing it on Downton Abbey. You could get the nickname Livy from Lavinia.

  43. rosamonte

    I think that the suggestions/recommendations for Rosemary, Octavia, Lavinia, Tabitha, Rosalind, Louisa, Claudia, Beatrice, Verena, Agatha, Marguerite, Cordelia, Josefina … are all really great, and I think that these names all go with your other children’s names better than Verity does. I’d add Martina, Viola, and Helena.

  44. Kirsten

    Oh my gosh! You guys are fantastic! I’m loving the incredibly helpful feedback!
    Having a few new sets of eyes looking at our name list is such a gift – thank you!

    And, Arrrgh! I hoped you would be making my list smaller, not adding to it!
    I’m loving Brigitta, Ottilia, Aleta, and Louisa; I’m also finding renewed appreciation for Octavia. I also found the name Aveline the other day, and I’m liking it as well.

    Again, thank you so much for your thoughts and input!
    I’ll be sure to keep you informed about the process and final result – only 10 more weeks! Whew!

    1. Kelsey D

      Eee, still loving Ottilia (like I said it was so lovely and charming when I met that little 3 year old in the park). On our short list if we ever have another girl. Also love Brigitta and Octavia!

      Saw a previous comment about Regina. I live in Regina, Canada. Everyone makes comments about how I’m from the city that rhymes with fun (yuck). Even if the intention is to pronounce (Ree-gine-a or ree-Gina) a lot of people may pronounce (rah-gine-a)… Very similar to (vah… You get the point). Would definitely not put my kiddo in that position ever, kids are to mean these days and would surely be teased.

  45. Angela

    Someone mentioned Geneva from your list. I have friends who named their daughter Geneva and it really is a wonderful, spunky name (nn is Gee rather than Jenny). I also saw the name Alethea and had to add Anathea (nn Thea). I had a teacher with the name once and it hasn’t left my mind. Probably too close to Annie and Theo with nn Ana or nn Thea, but I thought I would mention it. Alethea is beautiful (and you have nn Allie or Thea).

  46. Kim C

    Loving the suggestion of Lavinia! Have also seen it spelled Livinia which makes the nn Liv/Livvy more natural I think. Either way is lovely though!

    Livinia Jane and Livinia Katherine are gorgeous!

    Good luck!

  47. Kirsten

    Just to keep you updated on the decision-making process –
    I’ve found a name to which I’m becoming increasingly attached – Mattea (Muh-tay-uh).
    It is Hebrew in origin and means ‘Gift from God’ which seems apt. Although it is sometimes thought to be Italian, I’ve found in researching the name, it is more Pan-European than associated with one particular region. It is a rare and unusual name with a long history, but has a rather modern sound along with great nicknames such as ‘Mattie’, ‘Mae’, and ‘Tea’ (Taya).
    Most interestingly, it is only 1 letter away from my maiden name which, seems to me, would qualify it as a great honor name for my whole side of the family.
    My darling stubborn husband, however, is still stuck on Verity!
    Suggestions on possible resolutions to the dilemma?
    Opinions on Mattea?

    1. Kelsey D

      I love it and all the possible nicknames it lends itself to. I also love that it is so close to your maiden name, very special! Good luck!

  48. hillary

    I was going to suggest Louisa and I see it has already been mentioned by more than one other person. My dear dear friend is an elderly German woman and her name is Ilse Augusta Louisa. Louisa (nn Lou or Weezie) would be perfection with your other kids. Augusta (Auggie or Gus/Gussie) isn’t bad either! Her first name also makes me think of the name Isla, which makes me think of the name Freya, which makes me think of the name Frederica (Freddie!). And Frederica makes me think of Matilda (Tilly!). Did you know that Matilda means “”strength in battle”? Pretty awesome, right?

    From your frontrunners, I like Verity Jane but NOT called Tru…definitely trying hard and makes me think perhaps you were a fan of the (fantastic but short-lived) tv show Tru Calling?

  49. Erin

    Love the name Elsbeth! Congratulations! She is a beauty! And yay to Swistle readers helping to steer you in the right direction!

  50. Elspeth

    What a great choice! I’m biased, as I’m an Elspeth, which my mum chose when looking to continue the family name Elizabeth, while keeping off the list of popular names. Aside from explaining spelling and pronunciation through my childhood in the he 80’s, I’ve loved the name. Now I’m naming my own child this week, and I’m heading towards “Annika” for the same reason…honouring an Anne (my side) and picking from the Swedish family tree (hubby’s side).

    Welcome baby Elsbeth!!


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