Category: Name Problems and Disputes

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

They’ve got a long list of maybe-names for their baby girl, but how to narrow it down to just one? Maybe the answer comes from their family tree.

Laura writes:

We’re expecting a little girl in October, our second. We already have a son, Frederick James, called Freddy. It’s the perfect name for us – Frederick is the name of a street that we love, and we both love his nickname. It’s not too popular, but instantly recognizable.

We’ve felt we’ve found THE name for quite a few girls’ names so far. The first we loved was Kennedy, a long time ago. Then we both got sick of it, and my wife decided she hated “presidential” names!

We fell in love with Elliott. Then my sister used it for her dog!

Next up was Annie for a while, and it’s sentimental because my mom, who we both adore, is named Ann. But we have two close friends named Annie, plus other women named Annie that are always going to be in our lives. Too many Annies.

After that, we came to Calla. We worried it was too close to too many popular names (Kayla, Callie, Kylie, Kaylie), so we got sick of it.

Right now, we really like Hazel and ElizaEliza happened after we saw Hamilton! Other names we’ve liked are Francesca called Francie (but I hate Franny), Clancy, and Collins. We like gender neutral names a lot.

The name we choose must sound good with our one-syllable last name starting with a hard C sound, which means two or three syllables. We’d prefer something outside of the Top 100, but still recognizable. We don’t want her to have to spell her name her whole life!

Her middle name will be June, after my wife’s grandmother. We don’t like it as a first name because of our short last name.

Any great names jump out at you? Have we TOTALLY overthought this?

The Name Sage replies:

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After poring over every possible source, narrowing list after list, sharing and getting sage advise on the NB forums, you and your partner have settled on the perfect name for your baby. Which you then proudly announce to your families.

But then there’s that one judgey relative—be it Grandma, big brother, or Mom-in-law– who rolls her eyes, followed by vehemently verbalizing her (more often than not) disapproval. Could be something like…

-I’ve never even heard of that name. How do you spell it anyway?

-Who would ever use a word as a name?

-That name went out with corsets and the Charleston.

Do you really want my grandchild to be laughed at and teased in school?

So: Our Question of the Week is how would you handle this situation?

Would you ponder their point and consider making a change to avoid family friction, maybe switching first and middle choices?

Would you defend your adored favorite and try to make a case for why you love it?

Would you hold your ground and firmly end the conversation?

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BONUS: Here are this week’s Forum Finds from Katinka:

*What a dilemma! Torn between a family favorite, a longtime love, and a coup de coeur. Which would you choose?

*Names that you’d suggest for a celebrity? Perhaps some of these beautiful boho baby girl names would suit, ranging from the quietly quirky to the utterly unique.

*Over to the boys’ side: mythological names may be white-hot right now, but would you name your son after a dragon?

*And most kids daydream about soccer or superheroes, but for a budding name nerd it’s all about the fantasy future family! What was yours?

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Beating the Baby Naming Blahs

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

Where do you start when choosing baby names feels like a chore?

Ashley writes:

I’m not technically looking for name advice (although as you’ll soon see we could probably use help on that front as well), I’m looking for advice on where to start when naming has lost its fun.

With our eldest, we had conversations nearly every day and we had lists galore. This time around … I feel like I’m going to go into labor and then we’ll suddenly realize we have no idea what to name this baby!

We’re over the moon to be having another baby, but every name is just blah. Our daughter’s name is Ivy. It suits her perfectly. We’re Team Green, so we’ll need a name (or two) for each gender.

Basically, I find names that I like and my husband weighs in. He also tends to shoot down every name. Sigh.

So … where do you recommend starting when every name you’ve come across just makes you shrug? Do any of your readers have suggestions on how to get out of this funk?  Had Ivy been a boy, she would’ve been given a name that has since become incredibly popular in our area so it’s really lost its appeal. Are we going to be stuck in a naming rut forever?

The Name Sage replies:

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Name Teasing: How much should you worry?

name teasing

How much do you worry about teasing potential when you consider baby names?

Would you take Astrid off the table, for instance, because you’re concerned about how that first syllable might be spun into a tease? (A discussion about Astrid and name teasing over in the forums sparked this blog.)

Would you or did you rule out a name that’s too unusual or unfamiliar for fear it would lead to teasing? How about a name with teasing potential because of its ethnic or gender identity?

Were you ever teased because of your own name and how did you handle it? Do you think things have changed around name teasing or bullying, with a wider range of names better accepted these days– is teasing largely a thing of the past?

I hope we can all agree that name teasing or bullying should never be tolerated, but does it happen anyway and would it influence your choice of a baby name?


And here are some intriguing posts spotted by Katinka on the forums this week–just follow the links:

— Would you call your daughter “Girl”, even in another language? If Donna and Elle can work… how about this unconventional option?

Royal names like James and Elizabeth are timeless classics, never far from the top of the popularity rankings. But how do you feel about the new wave of royalty-related baby names

— If you love nature names like Rose and River, but want something much rarer, you’ll love these suggestions for totally unique names drawn from the natural world!

— And do you agree with this list of Names No Girl May Be Cool Enough For? Can you see any of these making a comeback?

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Boy Baby Names: Can Remy Be Saved?

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

They have the perfect name for their next child – if they can resolve spelling and pronunciation challenges. Can it be done, or should they move on to another choice?

Marie writes:

My husband’s family has a great name that has been passed down (to boys only so far) for many generations: Remy. I love names that aren’t too common, are familiar, pack a good historical punch (either familial or popular history), and feel nice to say.

The only holdup is that the family pronounces it Ray-mee. My husband’s family has been in the US for many generations, originally from Belgium. My mom’s side of the family is very French. To them, this pronunciation sounds like an Anglicized version of the French original (which it likely is). I’m not French enough to feel comfortable committing to the ‘r’ rolling French pronunciation.

So … is there any way we can salvage this name? I think this name could work for either sex and aside from a bit of confusion, no one in my husband’s family would be insulted by a different take on the name.

I think an obvious solution would be to use the “Rem-mee” pronunciation and maybe use the Remi spelling to signal that it is an ode to Remy but a different name. I need some convincing on this though.

Our older son has a name that has two possible pronunciations. I am constantly correcting people. If possible, it would be a bonus to find a name with a straightforward pronunciation and spelling … which might be challenging with this name!

The Name Sage replies:

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