classic names, famous namesakes, fictional namesakes, honouring, literary names, Nameberry, nicknames, Polish names, popular names, sibset themes, sibsets, surname names, UK name popularity, vintage names
Yael and Tobias live in England, are of Polish and Danish origin respectively, and are expecting a baby next year. They already have two children named Zelda “Zeldie” and Dashiell “Dash” – they named Dashiell with the help of Nameberry, so have already had good results turning to the Internet for baby naming assistance.
Because they are planning on staying in Britain long-term, they want to choose names that will be readily understood by English-speakers, and ideally they would love something that fits in with Zelda and Dashiell, which both have connections to modern literature.
Their Girls List
- Dora (a family name and a character from Irish Murdoch)
- April (a correspondent of Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal)
Their Boys List
- Benedict (Yael loves this name, but wonders if it is usable)
Possible middle names for a girl
- Viola (family name)
- Saskia (family name)
- Romola (family name)
Possible middle names for a boy
- Stefan (family name)
- Mads (family name)
- Gunnar (Yael loves this name)
- Harold (Yael loves this name)
The couple’s last name is a common Danish surname eg Mortensen.
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YOUR NAME LISTS
This is a sweet name, but very popular, and very stereotypically English. To me this seems a bit of a mismatch with Zelda and Dashiell. If this is after Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffanys, I’d almost wonder if her full name, Holiday, might be a quirkier addition.
I actually think is quite a good match with Zelda – I can almost see them together in a spin-off of The Golden Girls (and I mean that in a good way). They both have a kind of “groovy grandma” vibe that I really love.
I would say this is an absolutely perfect match with Zelda and Dashiell; it’s a sibset which seems very artistic and creative. And Iris is a lovely English-style name, gaining in popularity, but not too popular.
I have a real soft spot for Dora, which is an absolute sweetheart of a name, and the family connection makes it even more special. This would make a vintage-style sibset.
Very lovely and dignified name, and although it’s not popular, it is gaining in popularity. I like it a lot with Zelda and Dashiell, especially shortened to Nessa – Zeldie, Dash, and Nessa.
I like this name very much, but to me this doesn’t sound as good with your surname as some of the other choices.
This is another very English-style choice, but it isn’t popular like Holly, and to me it is a much better choice. It’s so fresh and pretty, and just quirky enough to work with Zelda and Dashiell.
I think this might be a Polish name that would be readily understood in England – not so different to familiar Hermione. Minna or Mina could be a cute nickname.
Very fashionable name, and is almost too perfect as a sibset with Zelda and Dashiell. The nitpicky part of me wonders if the theme of American literature might be slightly too obvious? However, it’s handsome and does sound great with Zelda and Dashiell.
Would certainly fit in very well in England, as it is a classic and in the Top 100. To me it seems a little too mainstream for Zelda and Dashiell.
I love this name, it manages to be hip and cuddly at the same time. An Australian living in England did write in to the blog to say that she received negative comments about the name, but it is zipping smartly up the UK charts, so these opinions don’t seem to be stopping people.
Ooh, I think this is a perfect choice – very cool, very literary, very handsome. I think it sounds excellent with Zelda and Dashiell, and Huck would be a cute short form.
To me this isn’t very attractive as a first name, and seems a bit too surnamey. Another issue may be that the obvious short form, Mel, is probably more common as a girl’s nickname in England.
I love this name too, and I think it’s very usable – it’s actually much more common in England than either Zelda or Dashiell, and is currently rising gently in popularity.
You wanted me to suggest other names that might be usable, which I think is very difficult in your situation. It’s hard to suggest literary names, because I don’t know what other books or authors you might like – it’s not enough that the name fit in with the sibset, or be on trend, it has to be an author or a character that you have a connection to. I will mention a few, and hope for the best.
- Anais (Anais Nin)
- Calypso (Calypso Cuthbertson, from The Camomile Lawn)
- Djuna (Djuna Barnes)
- Minta (Minta Doyle, from To the Lighthouse)
- Sally (Sally Bowles – a British Holly Golightly)
- Conrad (Joseph Conrad)
- Holden (Holden Caulfield, from The Catcher in the Rye)
- Ignatius (Ignatius Reilly, from A Confederacy of Dunces)
- Marlowe (Philip Marlowe – seems to tie in with Dashiell)
- Wolfe (Thomas Wolfe)
Out of the names you’ve chosen, my favourites would probably be Iris and Huxley – Iris Saskia and Huxley Harold rather appeal to me. However, I think most of the names you are considering are lovely and suitable.
A third child is always quite challenging to name, I think, and even more so when you are trying to continue a theme. However, you’ve done brilliantly so far, and seem to have plenty of ideas, so I think you are going to do a great job again.
Readers, can you suggest any names from twentieth century literary fiction that would fit in with Zelda and Dashiell? Are there any name combinations that you really like?