Wanted: A Girls’ Name That’s NOT Popular
Growing up as one of the Emilys has this mom seeking a stand-out name for her daughter.
My husband and I are expecting our first child and need some name help! We have a boy name, but are struggling to come up with the right girl name.
Growing up as an Emily M., I’d rather our children’s names be less common. A family connection is important, too.
Therese is my favorite. It’s my middle name, and my mom’s name, too. My husband isn’t convinced. We’d use the nickname Tess. My husband is worried that the nickname isn’t intuitive enough with Therese. There’s also some concern that we’d be expected to name future children for family members. If we don’t use it as a first name, we agree it will be used for a middle.
My husband’s choice is Roxy. I like it, and we have a fun story for it. But I worry how other people will react.
We’re also considering:
Our list keeps getting longer, but we’re no closer to selecting the name. We would love some fresh suggestions and your thoughts on the names from our current list.
Thank you for your help!
The Name Sage replies:
Happily, none of the names on your (long) short list seem poised to be the Emily of the 2020s. That doesn’t make it easier to narrow things down, though!
Let’s start with the one name that meets both of your requests. It’s a fresh suggestion and it incorporates a name on your current list.
It comes from Therese, but it sidesteps two concerns. First, Tess and Tessie follow logically from Tessa. More importantly, it’s a spin on Therese, not the exact same name. While it honors family, it gives you plenty of space to choose names you love, too.
As of 2018, Tessa ranks Number 245 in the US. It’s hovered in the 200s for the past decade; if anything, it’s fallen slightly in use over the last few years. Even though the name is broadly familiar, your Tessa probably wouldn’t share her name very often.
Another reason I think Tessa works? It splits the difference between sparky nickname names like Roxy and Maisie, and the more traditional choices, like Louisa and Frances. But it also leaves the door open to use any of those names in the future. Tessa’s sister could be Maisie … or Louisa, or Louisa called Lula.
If I haven’t sold you on Tessa, I’d suggest:
Sylvie – Like Tessa, it feels midway between the most casual and more buttoned-up picks on your list. As a bonus, it’s even less common. Sylvie ranked Number 897 in the US as of 2018. Yes, I think we’ll hear more of it in the coming years … but it’s a long way from Ava or even fast-rising Everly.
Frances – You’re not wild about Frankie, but how about Frannie? Or maybe Zazie? French Zazie comes from the “ces” sound at the end. (It’s used for Isabelle, too.) Zazie might be too non-intuitive for your husband, but if he likes cool, edgy names like Roxy, it’s worth considering.
Speaking of Roxy, I wonder if it might appeal more to you if you had a formal name to fall back on?
The logical suggestions are Roxanne and Roxana. I’ve also heard Roxy suggested for Rose names. Rosalie, Rosanna, or even just Rose or Rosa could work. Something like Rose Alexandra adds an ‘x’ in the middle spot. It’s a compromise that might alleviate your concerns about Roxy. But again, would your husband find it too much of a stretch?
Readers, what would you suggest for Emily’s daughter?
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on February 19th, 2020 at 8:22 am
If they both like Roxy, and it has personal meaning to them, I say go for that! It’s their kid–as long as they’re not naming her something that will bring her ridicule or make her unemployable down the line, who cares what other people think? Roxy Therese is super cute, and if she grows up and doesn’t want to be called Roxy, she can always choose to go by Therese or Tess.
on February 19th, 2020 at 7:55 pm
I think they should go with Frances (I love Frankie but Frannie is another sweet option), Sylvie or Harriet. Frances Tess (or Tessa/Therese), Sylvie Tess (ditto) and Harriet Roxy are all great names! Otherwise I think Tess/a is lovely and a great way to continue the Therese tradition whilst still giving your daughter her own unique name. Tessa Roxy has a lot of spunk!
on February 20th, 2020 at 12:26 am
Roxy seems perfect! They both really like it and it means something to them. It’s unique and so spunky and fun!
on February 20th, 2020 at 10:13 am
I love Roxanna with Roxy as a nickname. I also like Tess, and I know a Tess whose name is Therese. She just introduces herself as Tess, doesn’t seem to be a problem
Pamela Redmond Said
on February 20th, 2020 at 11:50 am
Roxy is great and rare and Roxana in any variation is an underused classic.
on February 20th, 2020 at 6:25 pm
They could call her Roxanne and say it’s after the song, if they think anyone will have a problem with it. If not, then perhaps something similar like Ruby could work? I think Ruby Therese is very cute and seems to tie in with a lot of their other favourites.
on February 26th, 2020 at 12:31 am
I’ve always adored the name Merritt. There’s just something so vintage about but somewhat modern at the same time. I also like Archie, Hyatt, Constantine, and Kohl. I’ve also always liked masculine names for girls. Just a few of my favorites.
on March 16th, 2020 at 9:07 pm
I think Roxy Therese is really pretty!
I also love the suggestion of Tessa, Sylvie & Frances “Zazie”
Zazie is really cute and fun but with a full name like Frances to full back on you have nothing to worry about it’s uniqueness 🙂
Roxana is cute too!
Whatever you pick will be perfect for your little one!
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