By Nicole Aube
Sometimes parents can’t help but love names that could prove difficult for a child to wear later in life. Of course, it isn’t easy to find a name that absolutely no one will have a problem with. But don’t give up! Even names that aren’t generally recommended have alternatives you might find to be not only suitable, but lovable!
Here is a list (selected from the past blog post 50+ Names Sure To Make Your Teenager Hate You) of some problematic names along with their more well-behaved relatives.
Babe – if you like the sound, try Bay. Short, sweet, and a double nature name being both a body of water and an herb. If Babe has special meaning for you, then you can try pairing Bay with a middle name that also begins with ‘B’, for a subtle nod, e.g., Bay Beatrice. If you like the idea of calling your girl by a term of endearment, both Honey and Darling are slightly easier to wear.
Beyonce – to honor your favorite artist, what about Sasha, the name she picked for her alter-ego “Sasha Fierce”? It’s simple, strong and a bit exotic. Consider also Bey’s pretty middle name: Giselle. If you simply like the sound of Beyonce, you could try the rare but pretty Benicia, or Bianca.
Bluebell – Bluebell can certainly be used as a middle name. As a first, Blue might make an intriguing, jaunty first name. You could even consider Blue Annabel, Blue Mirabelle, Blue Isabelle. If you’re just wanting a rare, sweet flowery name, consider Blossom, or Rue. Other subtle soundalike options might include Lucille, Sybil, and Arabelle.
Chastity – Virginia, Angelica, Celestia and Christiana are some other names with meanings that lean towards the ideal. There is also Faith, the root of all virtue. Snow is a delightful, surprising name that represents purity. If it’s the sound of Chastity you like, consider Charity, Astrid or Felicity.
Eunice – Eunice has a soft sound, old-fashioned charm and it’s nearly completely unheard of these days. For something equally rare try Eulalie or Eulalia. If that’s too strange, Eugenie/Eugenia might hit your mark. There is always the underrated Berenice. Try keeping Enid in mind, too, if you like “geek chic”.
Fanny – Given its status as one of the sauciest vintage baby names, it’s too bad that Fanny isn’t advisable. Luckily, it can rather easily be replaced by Franny. If that doesn’t appeal to you, what about a combination of Ann and Fay? Annie Fay, Faye Anne. Nancy could also be a suitable stand-in.
Gay – in earlier times, this name was full of life and gentle charm. Joy, which is more acceptable now, has the same positive qualities. Fay, May, or Bay can be used instead if you’re looking for that long ‘A’ sound. Is Gay the name of a family member you love? Trendy Gray, or even Gail, can easily be used to honor her.
Jezebel – I knew a woman who went by the double barreled name Jessie–Belle. Everyone loved her name and so did she. Jessa Belle could work nicely as a first and middle. If it’s the ‘Z’ you like, what about Zoe Belle, Zara Belle, Izabel, or even Yzabel.
Nicole Aube is a piano teacher, musician and writer from Toronto, who loves making lists!