Category: Name Problems and Disputes

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

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.

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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 Nameberry Top 100 include 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 Forums.

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

They’ve narrowed their list to three great names for their new daughter: Cleo, Harlow, or Willow. But how do they decide which is best?

PennyMay writes:

I’d really appreciate your help with our name choice. We are in Australia, so name trends are different than in the US.

My husband and I are stuck between three very similar sounding names for our third child, and first daughter. Our sons are Angus and Oscar. For our daughter, we are discussing:

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:

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Who gets to judge your baby’s name?

baby name amber

By Clare Green

This week’s news includes boys with gemstone names, girls named after a car, sweet British nicknames, and lot of men named Paul.

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

They chose a name for Lucy’s brother, but now they’re having doubts. Should they reconsider the name that got away?

Kelsey writes:

We’re due November 24 with a boy. My husband and I decided to name our son Callahan Samuel and call him CalSamuel is a family name, so that part is sticking.

We both loved Cal, but I wanted a longer name.

Calvin, Callen/Callan, Callum, Callix, etc. were all ruled out for various reasons. We settled on Callahan – handsome, rhythmic, great meaning. But recently I’ve started having second thoughts.

Some people pronounce Cal and it sounds like “Cow.” Now I hear it like that everywhere, despite my efforts to specifically enunciate.

Our daughter is Lucy Jane.  I love her full name. Straightforward, flows nicely, didn’t crack the top 50 in popularity at the time.

Callahan Samuel just doesn’t have that same impact. It feels very different. maybe TOO different.

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.

That name is Jack, one of my husband’s favorites. I now find myself thinking about that name a lot.  It feels like a name a kid can grow with, and seems to go hand-in-hand with Lucy.

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?

Regardless, I just can’t stop thinking about the name Jack and questioning Callahan.  I feel so confused right now… Do you have any fresh name suggestions or insights into either side of the debate?

The Name Sage responds:

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