Anna, Gabriella, Francesca or Emmeline?

(56 Posts)
Nowutterlyconfused Wed 10-Jul-13 08:23:08

I'd be really grateful for views? Sadly, we have decided to abandon Isabel, our favourite, because there seem to be so, so many of them and, obviously just like all of us on here, I was hoping to find something that was so beautiful that it felt special to us. Now hunting around for a replacement with increasing desperation. Pregnancy insomnia is a terrible thing and you can wind yourself up in complete knots in the early hours, can't you? I just really want to find her something strong and classy and elegant but I do appreciate that the less sleep you have, the less likely this is to come to pass... Please help!

DH loves Anna and I do also like it quite a lot but our surname is Arnold (hoping that is ok to say on here) and not sure whether Anna Arnold is a bit of a mouthful? I also really like Gabriella although initial reactions among family to the potential for a nn of Gabby were a bit mixed and so I was wondering about whether we could call her Ellie instead...

Views are really very much appreciated - thank you in advance for your help!

Yama Wed 10-Jul-13 08:28:27

All lovely names. Francesca was on my shortlist for dd 8 years ago.

I also love Anna. Good, strong name. I love Anya too. I think alliteration is fine.

Gabriella is lovely. I know one and she does get it shortened at all. For some reason I don't see Ella as an obvious nickname for it.

Emmeline is pretty. Emmy for nickname?

So, to summarise - all names are great. smile

Yama Wed 10-Jul-13 08:28:55


whyno Wed 10-Jul-13 08:38:56

Lovely names. Francesca my least favourite but still nice. Know a beautiful Gabriella and emmeline is so lovely.

Snoot Wed 10-Jul-13 08:41:23

Emmy, Fran and Gabby all seem very likely shortenings of these beautiful but long names. Anna will not be shortened smile. I gave DD the shortened name as her real name IYSWIM, she's Beth but has to spend quite a lot of time arguing with new friends and getting me to intervene (sometimes by phone!) when they won't believe she's not really an Elizabeth or a Bethan or similar. I'd go with Anna if I were you, it's a good, straightforward name that is pretty as well. Hope you get some more sleep smile

Justfornowitwilldo Wed 10-Jul-13 12:35:23

Maybe lengthen Anna? Annabelle would sound better with your surname and you could call her Anna?

Nowutterlyconfused Wed 10-Jul-13 14:24:35

I know - I do really like Annabelle but we have some close friends with a fairly new baby Annabelle so it is a little socially tricky...

Summerfever Wed 10-Jul-13 14:25:51

As a mother of an Emmeline I would advise you that people continually hear the name as "Emily" when you say it which does drive me crazy. I would only choose it if you are happy to correct a lot. It also does get mispronounced a fair bit (to rhyme with fine) which is something that also irritates me. It's a lovely name, but I have to say that I may have chosen differently had I known how frustrating I would find it!

Blanketsandpillows Wed 10-Jul-13 14:28:05

I love all of the names you have mentioned-except Gabriella!

mumbaisapphire Wed 10-Jul-13 14:59:44

Gabriella is gorgeous and I had it on my short list. Gabby I think is inevitable but you could go for Ella.

Mrsindecision Wed 10-Jul-13 15:09:21

Just to say that I personally wouldn't abandon a name I loved because of popularity. Isabel is a beautiful and classic name and you may regret using another you like less because of how popular it is. My DS has a very popular name (just as popular as Isabel) and it has never caused a problem for him (in fact he doesn't know many others) and I still love it as much as ever. My DD has a much less common name (well outside the top 500 when we choose it) and I have surprisingly come across a number of others including another one in her year group at school! You just never can tell!

bunnymother Wed 10-Jul-13 15:13:00

One of my DDs is also called Emmeline, and I have the same complaints as Summerfever, except that I would still call her Emmeline if I had my time over. Its a beautiful name, which we shorten to Emme, and the Emmeline Pankhurst association is fantastic.

Snoot Wed 10-Jul-13 17:23:21

Amelia? That's a distinct name on it's own and pretty and long like the others but no so long. Otherwise perhaps alternatives to Annabelle? Annabella, Annalea, Annalise etc, all to be shortened to Anna if shortened at all.

amessageforyouYoni Wed 10-Jul-13 17:24:01

All very nice - Emmeline my personal fave!

CravingOlives Wed 10-Jul-13 17:24:23

I love Emmeline, it's my first choice for a girl this time. I have a lovely friend with the name, nn Emy. I adore it!

BettyBi0 Wed 10-Jul-13 18:41:54

Another vote for Emmeline. I think any names ending in "a" sound a bit weird with Arnold

Anna. Underused and lovely. I think it works rather well with your surname.

LynetteScavo Wed 10-Jul-13 18:55:43

Anna and Gabriela are lovely.

Francesca is nice.

Emmeline is awful. (I am aware I am the only MNetter with this opinion).

PoppyWearer Wed 10-Jul-13 18:59:50

Francesca is lovely but will probably be shortened to Fran, which is not so lovely.

Love Gabriella.

Rhubarbgarden Wed 10-Jul-13 19:01:43

I think Anna is beautiful. The others are too long and frilly for me, personally. How about Frances instead of Francesca? Or how about Alice or Connie?

MadameJosephine Wed 10-Jul-13 19:07:38

Definitely Emmeline, love it. It's my second favourite girl's name ever (DD has my favourite)

Wbdn28 Wed 10-Jul-13 19:22:59

Emmeline is lovely. Anna is nice too but agree it doesn't work with your surname, unfortunately. Francesca is OK but I don't like the nicknames Fran or Cheska. Frances would be a nice alternative IMHO. Gabriella is clunky, and gabby is slang for over-talkative.

Mrsindecision Wed 10-Jul-13 19:29:32

I have to say btw that further to my comment above, Isabel Arnold has a very nice ring to it!

PoppyAmex Wed 10-Jul-13 19:32:59

Francesca can be Frankie, which is very cool.

I think you should go with Isabel, it's timeless and as the poster above said, goes really well with your surname.

Besides, I think there are a lot more Isabellas and Bellas than just plain Isabel.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 10-Jul-13 19:36:23

Another mother of an Emmeline here. Everyone will think she is named Emily and whilst Emily is a lovely name, it always makes me think of Emily Bishop.

You and later she, will spend a lot of time correcting people and spelling out her name. Having said that I have a very common and uninspiring name and I always have to spell that.

So please only choose Emmeline if you really love it.

From your other names the alliteration would make me discount Anna, but how about Hannah? Emmeline is my favourite but if you don't totally love it I'd go for Gabriella smile

Floggingmolly Wed 10-Jul-13 19:41:09

Anna. No contest whatsoever.

BikeRunSki Wed 10-Jul-13 19:44:46

Anna is the best name in the world.
Timeless, spellable, pronouncable. Works in Loads of languages. Strong and punchy or short and sweet. Works on all ages. Brilliant.

I don't even have an Anna, but would have dine if a v good friend who lives nearby hadn't beat me to it.

IWantToBeAWomble Wed 10-Jul-13 19:44:52

I have a Gabriella. Some people think it is long, but it is a beautiful name and her's never gets shortened... Yet! (she's now 7)

Jojay Wed 10-Jul-13 19:46:29

Anna Arnold is lovely in my book. Alliterations are great.

CheeseFondueRocks Wed 10-Jul-13 19:47:42

Not Francesca unless you're Mediteranian.

I love Anna.

Tickledyellow Wed 10-Jul-13 19:51:23


Zyn Wed 10-Jul-13 19:57:24

Annabel Arnold sounds nice. It sounds like Annabel Andrews from Freaky Friday but nobody will think that, I just watched it the other day.

Gabriella is lovely but I don't like Gabby. I like it if you can FORCE people to say the whole name. Gabby is rotten sorry.

Francesca, not keen. One of the few Italian names that just isn't very nice.

I like Anna too btw, it's lovely, I think if you are sad letting go of Isabel then Annabel Arnold would be good as it flows better than Anna Arnold.

Emmeline, I like Emma and Emily but Emmeline sounds like you're trying to be different for the sake of it.

Smugfearnleyshittingstool Wed 10-Jul-13 19:58:14

I like all of your choices, and agree isabella is lovely but quite over used in many areas.

Strong and classy, I love claudia ( but am biased;)) also Geraldine, vivienne, jemima, Greta, Arabella, Josephine. My absolute fav is Kate. Simple and elegant, maybe Katherine on BC

Zyn Wed 10-Jul-13 20:00:42

Oh sorry just read that you have friends with an Annabel.

What about Anneliese Arnold? I know Anna short for Anne(liese) is slightly less logical but it would still work. Anneliese is lovely.

Smugfearnleyshittingstool Wed 10-Jul-13 20:01:12

Just throwing a few more in there..... Anna is beautiful though!

Snoot Wed 10-Jul-13 21:07:45

Emma? It's nearly Anna but no alliteration?

Wildwaterfalls Wed 10-Jul-13 21:12:43

Love Anna! Anna Arnold is a great name.

craigslittleangel Wed 10-Jul-13 21:51:06

DD1 is Isobella. Her dad chose the name for a very specific reason. It was only when we went to register her that we began to realise how popular it was. Turns out it was in the top 10 names for that year. There is an Isabella in her nursery class as well. A little annoying, but we love the name, its meaning and the reason why we chose it.

DD2 is Francesca. My choice. It appears, I am one of the few on here that like it! We call her Frankie, Frankle (not after the horse!). If her dad is trying to annoy me, he calls her Fanny.

You should chose a name you are happy with and love. For both of my girls I wanted names that could be shorten into a range of nick names and coupled with their rather expressive middle names, I think we have done well. Others do not.

I love the name Anna by the way. It has a timeless quality. The Alliteration would not bother me.

I would have a shortlist of names you like and wait till she is here. DD1 was Eleanor in my head (I'd made my OH use all his vitos before she was born), and then when she was born she looked nothing like an Eleanor of an Elle. However she did look like an Isobella. DD2 was going to have a beautiful Irish name. Until I woke up one morning with the name Francesca in my head. When she was born, sure enough it just seemed to fit. Although we waited 2 weeks before announcing the name, just to make sure it suited her or we came up with any other.

mikkii Wed 10-Jul-13 21:58:07

I have a Gabriela (Spanish spelling -not a typo grin ) and we shorten it to Ella. I don't like Gabby much, and if she was anything like me (and she is) there was a risk it could become Gobby Gabby confused.

I like all the names, I agree with the comments about Emmeline, but I like unusual names. I much prefer Francesca to Frances, DD1 has a Francesca in her class.

I agree with our comments on Isabel, but what about Isabella, shortened to Bella?

FetaCheeny Wed 10-Jul-13 23:15:36

I like all these names, I think my order would be
Francesca (love Frankie and Chess/Cesca)

I don't think Anna Arnold is a great combo, the two a's roll together. Isabel goes beautifully with your surname but agree about over popularity. Gabriella Arnold actually has a nice ring to it. The confusion over Emmaline/ly would really annoy me.

craigslittleangel Thu 11-Jul-13 08:11:26

I agree with Feta, the Emmaline/ly confusion would annoy me. My first name is Marie and I have to correct people all the time from calling me Mary. If it was once in a while not a problem, but it can turn into a daily event.

With that said, my mother did used to call DD1 Isobel. That soon changed

Nowutterlyconfused Thu 11-Jul-13 12:34:29

Thank you very much, everyone - I really appreciate it!

Mrsindecision Thu 11-Jul-13 12:36:31

Are you still "utterlyconfused"?

Nowutterlyconfused Thu 11-Jul-13 12:53:52

Actually, taking into account all of the above, and especially what you said, Mrsindecision, about going with what we really love despite popularity, I think it's a close run thing between:

1. Anna Emmeline; and
2.Isabel (just brazening it out because I love it so much) Emmeline.

But I'm grateful for everyone's help in getting that far, because it's a darn sight clearer than it was yesterday morning. Also, DH is delighted because he will no longer be required to discuss it for the majority of his waking hours.

Squooodle Thu 11-Jul-13 13:01:23

I love the name Francesca - esp the nn Frankie and also love Anna and Emmeline.

DD2 was nearly Anna but we knew two baby Annas, and I didn't want to use the same name as my friends. I really love Emmeline too.

sleepywombat Thu 11-Jul-13 14:05:07

I like them all except Emmeline - which to me sounds like an antiseptic cream. I really don't like names ending in 'een' though.

Anna is my favourite - simple, classic, beautiful.

Mrsindecision Thu 11-Jul-13 14:41:11

I genuinely think both names are lovely. I really think you should just choose the one both you and your husband prefer and forget the popularity aspect (It's also worth remembering that names are popular for a reason - i.e because people like them!)
I would also add that I think both Anna and Isabel are timeless classics, and will both stand the test of time.
Anyway, glad to hear that you have have got your thoughts straight! How long have you got left to go?

Serenity6 Thu 11-Jul-13 17:35:39

I love Anna being short for Annabelle and Annalise, both which work with your surname IMO. I also love Emmeline but like the "line" sound over "leen" sound and Emmy and Emily for short.

Wbdn28 Thu 11-Jul-13 17:54:39

Isabel Emmeline would be lovely.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 11-Jul-13 19:47:27

I think Isabel Emmeline is nicer.

But I'm not a big fan of Anna. I do like Anne though <shrug>

youcancallmeEl Thu 11-Jul-13 20:22:49

If you love Isabel above everything else, I would just go with that. Since your surname begins with "A" I wouldn't choose anything ending in an "a" -it doesn't flow well and people will put an "r" sound in between the two names e.g Annar Arnold. Our surname begins with a vowel and we ruled our first names ending in vowels for that reason.

youcancallmeEl Thu 11-Jul-13 20:23:26

ruled out

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 11-Jul-13 20:54:47

Zyn i think your comment on the name Emmeline says a lot more about you than it does me smile

mewkins Thu 11-Jul-13 21:57:07

I too prefer Frances to Francesca (which feels a bit 80s to me for some reason). Emmeline is really nice.

LittleNutTree Thu 11-Jul-13 23:50:55

I have a Gabriella (almost 5) and I've never shortened it, she gets annoyed if anyone tries! Having said that, her little sister found it a bit of a mouthful when she started talking and called her 'Bella' which Gabriella doesn't seem to mind at all. It's really sweet actually as she still calls her this although she can say it properly now smile

mum2bejen Fri 12-Jul-13 21:37:33

Personally I love Francesca from your list!

We had two girls names picked out - Isabel (nn Izzy) and Francesca (nn Frankie). Typically we found out that we are expecting a little boy!

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