Anais, Esme or Isobel

(51 Posts)
JojoMags Thu 16-May-13 22:07:34

Mn would be Margaret, which is a family name. Last name rhymes with 'tree'.

SirChenjin Thu 16-May-13 22:10:29

I love Esme, but not sure how it would sound with 'tree'?

Anais also lovely - just have visions of you repeating "no, Ann-i-ees, not Ann-ay", but maybe not.

Isobel - a bit meh

DizzyPurple Thu 16-May-13 22:13:00

Isobel is really popular although pretty.
Anais - pretty but I'm not sure how you'd pronounce it.
Esme - I like it but again more than one pronunciation so see how it works for you..

sleepingbeautiful Thu 16-May-13 22:17:35

Anais. I didn't know how to pronounce it when my friend used it for her now 4 year old, but I only needed to be told once. I think it's lovely.

Snazzynewyear Thu 16-May-13 22:18:09

Isobel. The pronunciation problems with Anais or even Esme (Es-mee or Es-may? there was a recent thread about it) would be annoying. Isobel Margaret is lovely.

bootsycollins Thu 16-May-13 22:19:16


BluddyNora Thu 16-May-13 22:22:48

I love Anais- would've used it but I had a boy

AnaisB Thu 16-May-13 22:23:31

If you call her anais no one will pronounce it right. Some people who know how to pronounce it correctly won't because apparently it makes them sound pretentious.

JojoMags Thu 16-May-13 22:23:46

Ok so now I'm feeling a bit silly blush. I have always thought Anais was pn an-nay-is, or ah-nay-is and went to college with someone who pn it this way. But in response to SirChenjin have just googled it on several baby name sites and come up with 2 other pn that don't match either my own or SirChen's. Hmm, in the light of so much uncertainty maybe best ruled out. But out of interest, any other opinions on how you pn it?

sleepingbeautiful Thu 16-May-13 22:34:26

The friend with the 4yr old Anais says Ann-i-eece. They are French though, so maybe it's different in UK?!

Ficidy Thu 16-May-13 22:56:55

I'm a French teacher and agree with sleepingbeautiful.

Out of your 3 names, I prefer Esmé, spelt like that and pronounced Ez-may, also the French way.

All lovely names though!

littleginger Thu 16-May-13 23:06:44

Isobel Margaret go really nicely but think I prefer Esme out of the three. I would've been one of the idiots to pronounce Anais 'Ann-ay' grin

squoosh Thu 16-May-13 23:40:21

I'd go for Esme (pr. ez-may)

Anais is a tricky one, I think it's pronounced anay-iss but I'm never 100% and people would get it wrong all the time.

Not keen on Isobel.

JennyEnglishTwo Thu 16-May-13 23:44:57

Isobel is the nicest even though it's very popular. I think I'd pick Esme. AnnEYEus is how i'd say it but I heard a woman pronounce it Anus once. Talking about the cacherel scent. I'm NOT kidding you. Anus Anus. I like margaret. I'd pick Margaret Esme!

PhyllisDoris Thu 16-May-13 23:45:26

Esme Tree and Anais Tree don't sound right, though I like both names. Isobel Tree sounds fine though.

Cloverer Thu 16-May-13 23:54:43

I met someone once with a little girl called "An-ay" grin

KansasCityOctopus Thu 16-May-13 23:57:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

snickersnacker Fri 17-May-13 06:53:31

Anaïs is beautiful but please remember that it is spelled with a diaeresis over the 'i', thus: ï. This is what gives the pn 'ann-i-eece'. Without it the French pn would be 'anay'.

Layl77 Fri 17-May-13 08:08:21

I love love Anais, so pretty but doesn't sound as pretty as it looks when pronounced properly an-ay-eece. Unless you take ages to say it, sounds like anayce. Or anus. Put me off ;(

Meringue33 Fri 17-May-13 08:20:32

Love Anais but would worry it would seem inapt for a little one due to Anais Nin.

Isobel lovely but too popular.

Esme is fab. I also love the character in For Esme with Love and Squalor.

Decoy Fri 17-May-13 08:23:46

1. Isobel
2. Anais
3. Esme

SirChenjin Fri 17-May-13 10:19:07

My phonetic spelling wasn't very good - should have had a c in it rather than just the s, Ann-i-eece was what I was trying to say with Ann-i-ees!

starfishmummy Fri 17-May-13 10:34:47

I am reading on my phone and misread it as Anals........


monica77798 Fri 17-May-13 10:56:00

Esme gets my vote. Isobel is a nice name, but a bit too common these days.

CheesyPoofs Fri 17-May-13 11:07:53

Either Esme or Anais

Please not yet another Isobel.

LaRegina Fri 17-May-13 11:14:38

Isobel has become a bit meh as it's way too popular. Esme is lovely and not over-used. Anais is a fine but all the problems with pn would irritate me.

abasicname Fri 17-May-13 13:26:56


ZolaBuddleia Fri 17-May-13 13:57:40

Esme pronounced Ezmay for me. Anais is too near anus, and Isobel is too popular.

Esme is lovely. Classic, pretty but strong. Isobel, although pretty, is very popular and Anais is not to my taste.

TheSecondComing Fri 17-May-13 14:01:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

miffybun73 Fri 17-May-13 18:30:58

Esme (pronounced Ez-may)

thing1andthing2 Fri 17-May-13 18:34:48

Anais (an-eye-eece) was our front runner until a (blunt) friend of mine said "you're going to call your daughter anus?".
So we called her Eva. grin

deleted203 Fri 17-May-13 18:42:24

Anais, unfortunately, I always just think 'Porn'...and a minute or two later, 'Incest'.

I know that's a bit simplistic, but the name was popularised by Anais Nin, so it's just what springs to mind for me.

I like Esme and Isobel, but agree that Isobel is becoming fairly common.

SirChenjin Fri 17-May-13 21:27:49

It just makes think of Anais Anais - we all reeked of the stuff in the 80s, before we discovered Poison and Obsession grin

SirChenjin Fri 17-May-13 21:28:32

(but we pronounced it Anay Anay..)


NowPlayingZone Sat 18-May-13 18:44:25

Anais. Beautiful.
Bored of Isobel & Esme is a bit meh.

Secondme Sat 18-May-13 18:51:10

Is Isobel that popular? I have one and she constantly gets called Isabel and Isabella. I can say that I know only 4 other Isobels. I can't really talk on this one (totally biased to Isobel) but I would have no idea how you say Anais and probably her teachers won't either. Esme that American girl in Malory Tower...

JennyEnglishTwo Sat 18-May-13 18:53:15

I wouldn't ever be certain if I'd heard Isobel or Isabel, so I'd lump them in together to be honest.

Anais is ugly imo. What about Anouk? Anneka? Anya?

DisappointedHorse Sat 18-May-13 18:55:38

I have an Isobel and I still love it. It is popular although we only know one other - her best friend who is an Isabel!

Esme is lovely, I don't like Anais.

JojoMags Sat 18-May-13 19:38:31

Thanks everyone. On the strength of this thread, Anais is out (though I still like the apparent mis-pronounciation of An-ay-iss - totally accept this is wrong grin!) Isobel is not that popular around us, particularly not this spelling. The other option is Margaret Rose (I know, I know - Rose is very common as a mn but DO NOT care), who would be known as Meg or more probably Rosie. So the options are:

Isobel Margaret
Esme Margaret
Margaret Rose

I think Isobel might just have the edge...

KittenofDoom Sat 18-May-13 19:48:31

I read a novel in which a female character was called Ismay, which seems to be a variation of Esme. Does that appeal to you, as it has an element of Isobel? Far less common, and avoids the spelling and pronunciation issues.

JojoMags Sat 18-May-13 20:04:07

Ismay should be perfect! The trouble is it only needs a 'd' to be dismay which is what I see when I look at it. Thanks for the suggestion though.

KittenofDoom Sat 18-May-13 20:17:14

Oh, well you can do that to a lot of names smile We had a dog called Grace who often got called Dis-Grace grin

Snazzywaitingforsummer Sat 18-May-13 21:33:22

Margaret Rose was Princess Margaret's full name, IIRC. It's a nice combo.

girliefriend Sat 18-May-13 21:39:56

Esme is my personal favourite and if I ever had another dd would use it. Always pronounce Es - mee

however with Margaret as a mn I am tempted to say I prefer Isobel and actually think Margaret Rose has a nice ring to it, I like Maggie for a little girl as well smile

Glad you have gone off Anais really don't like that and as someone above said it makes me think anal/anus blush sorry.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Sat 18-May-13 21:44:02

Es-mee is just <cringe> and besides, you would have to go with the far nicer Es-may pronunciation, if your surname rhymes with 'tree'.

I wonder if all the Renées out there feel pretentious, and so (mis)pronounce their name Ren-ee...? hmm

dragonflymama Sat 18-May-13 21:56:32

Anais for me..beautiful name & sure the correct pn will catch once people have heard it once or twice! As for Isobel...we have an Isabella and whilst I love the name, I was disappointed with how popular it became.

TerrysNo2 Sat 18-May-13 22:07:33

I like Esme. prefer Isabelle spelling if going for that

TerrysNo2 Sat 18-May-13 22:12:29

Esme phonetically should be Ez-may imo

JennyEnglishTwo Sun 19-May-13 10:16:35

It's Ezmee not ezmay. Ezmay is a new thing. It's not a french name. It's a female short form of Edmund or Edward and it was first used in scotland. in my opinion Esmé is the version that's cringe. Although at least if there's an accent on it you know how you're expected to pronounce it. so, the one that would annoy me the most would be Esme and the parents getting annoying that you pronounce it Ezmee.

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