Hello Swistle!! I’m a long time listener, first time caller!! Excited to seek your help, you are really the best.
I am 7 months into my second pregnancy, with boy/girl twins due late July. My wife and I have a 2 year old daughter called Mila Lou. Our last name is hyphenated and sounds like Lakeman-Foley.
Right now our finalists are Romy and Joaquin. We both love Romy, and are 99% sure our girl will definitely be Romy, but have no clue re MNs for her. Joaquin poses a bit more of a problem. We looove the name, but am unsure about having one child with a name that is more overtly Spanish than the others. I am of Spanish origin (Argentina specifically) and speak Spanish, but my wife does not, and we speak English around the house—though I do speak a little bit of Spanish with Mila, and my parents speak to her exclusively in Spanish. I love the Spanish pronunciation of Joaquin, don’t love the very harsh American “woh-keen” sound. I’d also like to call him Joaqui “hwahh-kee”, but fear it would turn into “walkie” in English. My brother and I both have Spanish names that are pretty in Spanish but eh in English… his name is Santiago nn Santi and he grew up being “Sohn-tee”/”Sohn-tee-oh-go” which I find not nice sounding. Same with me—Clara (Clah-ra) became Claire-uh in English.
It feels somewhat important to me to have slightly bilingual names—I would feel strange having a child called Lauren or Andrew or something really American sounding… I think it would feel like I was erasing my heritage. Mila felt like a really good choice for us because the pronunciation is almost exactly the same in English and Spanish. That would be ideal, but is hard to come by.
I digress. Anyway, at present we have a short list of names we both like, but would love to be introduced to new names and expand that list. The names are—Julian, Julius, Simon, Samson, Rowan, Leo for a boy, and Magdalena/Leni, Francesca/Frances for a girl.
We’d like to find first/middle combinations we like that go well with each other and with Mila Lou. I’m really interested in learning about other names that we may like based on those!! Not exactly sure how to categorize our “naming style” but maybe you will know!
This is the kind of question I just ITCH to answer, but I lack all the important qualifications: I don’t know how names are pronounced in Spanish, or what the common mispronunciations might be, or how those mispronunciations would sound to someone who knew the right way.
However, I do know from past comments sections that we have MANY commenters with experiences in exactly those things, and so I post this for them.
I will vote on a few things before I go:
1. The name Joaquin does stand out to me in that sibling group as being distinctly more Spanish. However, with Mila and Romy I think you may have hit upon a Happy Assortment sibling group: that is, it isn’t that Mila and Romy are the same style and Joaquin is different, it’s that all three are different from each other.
2. I think part of the package deal of the name Joaquin would be the spelling/pronunciation issues. I referred the other day to Joaquin Phoenix (I pronounced it kind of like Hwah-keen) and Paul had no idea who I was talking about until I spelled the first name. When Paul and I were expecting Henry, we considered the name Thijs (pronounced Tice, to rhyme with mice or dice): we’re both of Dutch origin (his grandparents spoke it fluently), and we liked the sound—but we decided we didn’t want the package deal of spelling and pronouncing it all the time, and so we put it on the list of potential middle names. But plenty of other families decide to take on the whole package deal and they make it work.
3. From your list of other candidates, I like both girl options: Magdalena and Francesca are a lot longer/fancier than Mila, but the nicknames make them more compatible (I might go with Frannie or Frankie for Francesca). I also like all the boy options.
4. For the twins, I particularly like the pairing Romy and Leo. Mila, Romy, and Leo seem like a very nice sibling group, and I like how the twins would share the long-O sound. I also like Romy with Julian or Julius.
5. Did you choose the middle name Lou as an honor name, or for sound? Since you don’t mention the former, I will assume the latter. In that case, with Romy I like: Romy Mae, Romy Kay, Romy Fay, Romy Laine, Romy Jane, Romy Joy, Romy Jean. For Leo I like Leo Joaquin best. Mila Lou, Romy Jane, and Leo Joaquin is my top group. I like that the twins’ names have subtle connections: the matching long-O sound of the first names, and then both with the middle initial J.