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Category: Choosing the Right Baby Name

a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts
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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a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts
Name Sage

It’s off to the wild blue yonder for this week’s challenge! First-time parent Allison is seeking a boy’s name that feels traditional, but still slightly offbeat, with possible ties to their loved ones’ names and the world of aviation.  

Allison writes:

We are expecting our first little one at the end of September and I want to find the perfect name that will be a definite honor to someone in our life, but will also carry itself in originality.

Our baby’s sex will be a surprise, so we need a couple of girl and boy name options. We have a clear direction with a girl: My husband has always loved Amelia, and whether it’s currently trendy or not, I’m ready to let him have that pick. Also, it aligns with the fact that I was named after an aviation entity, Allison, my dad being a pilot.

My second pick for a girl would be Jonah, since his mother’s name is Joan. My mother is Lisa, so we could use Elisabeth (or something else?) as a middle to honor her.

We’re having the most difficult time, however, with boys. Family names that I am trying to work with: David Carl (his dad) Paul Scott (my dad), Oliver, Douglass. We’re tending to like surnames as first name options: Brooks, Hayes, Abbott, Anderson, etc.

I was hoping to find an offbeat-but-still-classic first name and create a few options for a middle name that aren’t exactly the same name as the inspiration.

The naming process is overwhelming and we are trying to figure out where to start!

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a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts
surname harmony

They love Silas, but their last name sounds like Smith. Try saying that five times fast! How much does first-last name harmony matter? If Silas is off the table, which names should they consider instead?

Shanda writes:

We love the name Silas for our baby coming in June. However, our one-syllable last name begins with an S. So if we were to choose Silas, his full name certainly wouldn’t roll off the tongue.

My husband thinks this doesn’t matter that much as his full name will be reserved for formal situations – or when he’s really in trouble!

We’ve also considered Asher, Alder, Humphrey, Beckett, Remy, and Jonah. My husband loves the idea of Ezekiel, nicknamed Kiel for the German city. I just don’t love Ezekiel. None of these have really stuck.

How much should the appeal of a full name factor?

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Is Any Name Better than Theodore?

a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts
Name Sage Theodore

They’ve always wanted to name a son Theodore, but now a friend has used it first. Should they forge ahead or search for a replacement boys’ name? The Name Sage ponders.

Kate writes:

My husband and I are having our first child, a little boy. We are over the moon! Before we were even married, we spoke about possible baby names. For girls, we love Adeline and Cecelia, but for little boys it’s always just been Theodore Thomas.

We love Theodore for several reasons. It’s an older name, Teddy and Theo are great nicknames, and it goes well with our very common last name – one that at least a dozen famous people or historical figures have! (That rules out a lot of names for us.)

Thomas is a family name. Other family names we might use are James and Patrick.

Here’s the problem: a year ago a friend within our circle had a son and named him Theodore. Although they currently live out of state and we see them once or twice a year, it still is bothersome to me.

My husband and I keep trying to come up with names we love as much but so far nothing compares.

We have discussed Arlo (my husband really likes named that end with o), Everett, Xavier, Harrison, and Truman. (Except our last name is common and a presidential surname already, so this might be too much.)

We both agree that if we cannot come up with something we love as strongly as Theodore, we will go with it. But with that said, do you have any additional suggestions?

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a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts
Girlish name, boyish nickname

Shae writes:

My wife and I are expecting our first daughter in early July and cannot lock in a name.

I love distinctively classic feminine names that have a touch of alternative, like Florence, Clementine, and Estelle.

My wife likes more “tomboy” names like Pippa, Hudson, and Quinn. None of these even come close to something I would choose.

Based on this we are trying to find names that fit my criteria with an appropriate nickname that my wife loves. We have come up with Harriet/Hattie and Madeline/Maddie. But neither name feels right.

We do both absolutely love Clementine, but the nickname is always a bit of troublesome here.

Her middle name will be Ila -it’s a family name. Our surname is short, simple, starts with an M, and lends itself easily to almost every name.

If it were up to me, I would choose Florence Ila. I love the romance, but it’s a bit too much for my wife.

Names we love but have crossed off are Lola (clashes with Ila) and Esme (too repetitive with our surname).

The Name Sage responds:

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