Category: Choosing the Right Baby Name

Nickname-Proof Boy Names

nickname proof

Their lists are so close – but agreeing on the right name for their son has proven impossible! Can they find a nickname-proof name with a possible built-in nickname? It sounds crazy, but the answer might be yes …

Angela writes:

When we decided we were ready for kids, we discussed names and knew Stella was our girl name. Our daughter was born in 2014 and we named her Stella Lucille. Lucille was my grandmother’s name. Now we’re expecting our second, a boy due just in time for Thanksgiving!

Unlike with Stella’s name, there is nothing that jumps out and gives me the “This is it! The perfect name!” feeling. Every boy name seems so common to me.

I know Stella is growing in popularity, but to me it sounded fresh yet vintage. I would love something with that same feeling for our son. All of the names I see are just okay.

Our short list includes August, Bennett, Harrison, Hugh, Maxwell, Theodore, and Raymond/Ray. We also like Gus, Luke, Leo, Owen, Evan, and Ryan.

I like Owen August, but my husband doesn’t like it. I also love Bennett. It was my grandmother’s maiden name; however we have a very close friend named Ben, and it comes from the same grandmother that we honored with Stella’s middle name.

My husband’s favorites are Leo, Gus, Ryan, and Evan. He really wants a masculine, normal sounding name.

I would like a name which isn’t too common, but not off the wall. I prefer names without obvious nicknames, but since my husband is William, called Will, he doesn’t mind nicknames.

Any help you can give would be great!

The Name Sage replies:

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Baby Names to Bridge Cultures

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Bridging cultures

Esther writes:

I’m due in September, and am becoming increasingly anxious about choosing just the right name, because we have language issues to consider, as well as cultural issues. And, as a classic Nameberry user, I’m completely name-obsessed.

I’m American and my husband is Croatian, but we live in the UK and plan to stay, so we want a name that works in all three contexts, and, if possible, is recognizable in a few different European languages.

I have a list of firm favorites, but my husband is lukewarm about most of them. He tends to favor Italian-sounding names, which I mostly dislike. I think we both want a “badass princess” sort of name, but just can’t agree on how to get there.

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baby name patterns

What do you do when you’ve created a baby name pattern, and now none of the names you love fits? Does your next baby break the mold, or does family unity carry the day?

Katie writes:

My due date is September 30 and we are expecting a girl, our fourth child!

We are feeling a bit stuck trying to find the perfect name to fit with siblings Jamison, Lillian Blake, and Rosewyn Cole, nicknames Jam, Lilly and Wynnie.

Names we’ve considered but still hesitate on are: Magdalen or Madeleine, Noah, Elouise, Lawson, and even Gable. Noah Madeleine is a favorite right now.

I unintentionally started something with the first three children. All three names end in n, are 7 letters long, and the girls both have flower names. The girls also have traditionally male middle names.

I’m finding it hard to pick a name that matches our previous criteria.

The Name Sage replies:

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Escaping the Top 100

Are there any great girl names that aren’t in the Top 100? The Name Sage assures an expectant mama that there are plenty of gorgeous names that aren’t heard everywhere.

Sydney writes:

I am due this August with boy-girl twins. They already have a big sister named Summer Emilia.

In looking for girl names, I absolutely fell in love with Violet and was utterly heartbroken when I learned Violet is popular. Both my husband and I grew up with common names and are very against naming our children a popular name. Nothing in the top 100!

For our son, we love the name Dawson Gage. Gage is after my grandfather and Dawson is because partly because we love the name and partly because my husband’s name is David and Dawson means “son of David.” Dawson is ranked 239 on the Nameberry top 1000 so it is unique enough for us.

So now we are looking for a name to go with Summer Emilia and Dawson Gage but it seems like every name we like is within the Top 20. Names we love that are too common include: Violet, Harper, Isabella, Charlotte, Scarlett, Madison, Olivia, and Mia.

We are convinced that girls’ names out of the top 100 do not exist anymore! All beautiful names we find end up being wildly popular.

The Name Sage replies:

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following girl name rules

Do too many rules make naming a baby impossible, or is a solid list of must-haves the key to finding a great name for daughter number three?

Kate writes:

We are counting down the days until our fifth child and third daughter arrives at the end of June. We cannot wait to meet her, but I’m growing anxious she will arrive nameless.

Our four older children are sons Damian Joseph and Malachi John, and daughters Clara Sophia and Eve Marian.

My husband and I are picky, and I especially have a lot of naming rules. What do we need to let go of to find something we love?

Meaning – This is more important to me than my husband, though it still matters to him. Our daughters have names that mean precious things to me – Clara Sophia (light and wisdom) and Eve Marian (our mother in nature and our mother in grace). If I love a name and find out it has a negative meaning, it is out!

Originated as a girl’s name – This is my rule only, and eliminates Georgiana, Aurelia, Alexandra, Josephine, Caroline, and the like.

No “or” names – Our two-syllable last name has a strong “or” sound on the second syllable. This rules out Laura, Nora, Eleanor, Aurora, Dorothy, Orla, etc.

Traditional Use – This one is stronger with my husband. I like Solana, Seren, Elodie, Elowen, and Roisin, but he prefers names that are more familiar.

No repeats – We have a large circle of family and friends who are excellent baby namers. Because we see these loved ones often, we can’t use Isabel(la), Genevieve, Evangeline, Lucia, Abigail, Anna, Rose, Sarah, Celine, Gemma, or Miriam.

Popularity – We aren’t extreme about this, but definitely no Top Ten.

We have recently talked about Juniper, but don’t know about a middle, and my husband is unsure. He really likes Elizabeth but I am underwhelmed. We both sort of like Thea, but both want to more than ‘sort of’ like the name.

Any advice is so greatly appreciated!

The Name Sage replies:

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