Category: Name Problems and Disputes
By Abby Sandel
After ten years, our database is chock full of amazing names. But every parent faces the same challenge: how to whittle those nearly 70,000 choices down to just one single name – plus a middle or two – for your child?
As Nameberry’s resident Name Sage, I help families wrestle with these decisions all the time. Sometimes it’s about reconciling different styles, or thinking up fresh ideas.
But many times, the questions are bigger. What’s most important to our family? Who do we hope our children will become? And how can we find a name that will speak to everything they are, and still leave plenty of room for all of the amazing things that they’ll do in the future?
These are the questions that keep us up at night.
There’s no denying that the “Nameberry style” of baby names is generally a little — or a lot! — more adventurous than that of the general population.
Fabulous names featuring in the Rumi, Astrid and Allegro for girls, and Dante, Magnus and Winston for boys. And it’s not at all unusual to see real rarities like Balthazar and Bellatrix, Warwick and Willodean swimming across the “Names Searched Right Now” banner, or thrown out as suggestions in the .include
I’d really appreciate your help with our name choice. We are in Australia, so name trends are different than in the US.
Harlow (my first pick, husband’s third pick)
Modern name but may be too much of a contrast to the classic tone of our boys’ names. I like this name because it feels fresh (recently cracking the top 100 names in Australia) but still has an Old World feel. However, I worry it will date.
Willow (husband’s first pick, my second)
Quite popular at the moment. I know a number of people with children (and pets) named this so it’s sort of lost its sparkle. But it’s very pretty and I do love nature names. I think this name will stick around for a while and not date quickly.
Cleo (my third pick, husbands second)
Cleo is an older name so fits beautifully with our boys’ names. Plus, it sounds fun and lively. Cleo however doesn’t have any nicknames (we like names with cute nicknames) and I’m not sure where it’s heading popularity wise. Is it on the rise and I’m ahead of the future name predictions? Or is it on the way out?
My biggest fear is name regret! What’s your opinion on what direction we should go? Which name sounds most beautiful, works as a sibset, and will stand the test of time?
The Name Sage replies:
This week’s news includes boys with gemstone names, girls named after a car, sweet British nicknames, and lot of men named Paul.
They chose a name for Lucy’s brother, but now they’re having doubts. Should they reconsider the name that got away?
We both loved Cal, but I wanted a longer name.
Some people pronounce Cal and it sounds like “Cow.” Now I hear it like that everywhere, despite my efforts to specifically enunciate.
We also liked Owen for a really long time, but we know three babies born in the last year with that name, and it lost its allure for me.
My husband recently admitted he doesn’t love the name Callahan. He loves Cal, but cringes a bit when he hears Callahan. However, he is so rooted in identifying this baby as Cal that he feels like picking another name would feel weird, unless we went back to another name we considered.
I vetoed Jack for a number of reasons. It’s a 4-letter name just like Lucy. Is that a pattern for all future children? Also, it’s a J name, and my husband has a J name. I wanted everyone in our family to have their own initial. Lastly, doesn’t Jack Samuel sound a little bit like Jack Daniels?
The Name Sage responds: