Compromise Girl Names: A Sister for Luella
They’re excited to expecting another girl, but agreeing on a name? That’s another story! They compromised on Luella for their first daughter. Let’s help them find another name they can both love.
I’m hoping you can help my husband and I get on the same page. When it comes to baby names we are two ships passing in the night!
We have always had a boy name in mind – Harvey – but of course we are having our second girl.
Our first daughter is named Luella. I can’t tell you how long it took to get that name and I am anxious for us to fast track getting this new little lady named.
Help, please … or this baby may be named Harvey-the-girl!
The Name Sage replies:
Oh, no – don’t name your daughter Harvey-the-girl!
You’re feeling stuck right now, but there are plenty of girls’ names that fit with Luella.
I think we’re looking for a name that is:
- Vintage; it has a history of use stretching back a century or more. That rules out Kinsey.
- Slightly offbeat; something that probably won’t be shared by other children. This means Emma probably needs to go, but maybe Delilah, too, since it’s just outside of the current Top 100.
- Compatible with mainstream trends.
I think that last one is the key. The strength of Luella and Harvey is that they are distinctive names that feel familiar. Harvey brings to mind Henry and lots of great boy names with the letter v, like Oliver and Everett. Luella sounds like a mash-up of Top 100 names Lucy and Isabella/Ella.
Let’s take a look at other names that are just slightly different, while staying true to the sounds and styles often heard in naming children today.
Miranda – A literary name thanks to Shaksepeare’s The Tempest, Miranda comes from the Latin word for admirable. The name cracked the US Top 100 in the 1990s, but never became tied to the decade like chart-toppers Jessica or Ashley. Today Miranda ranks in the high 200s, sliding in use, but retaining plenty of style and potential.
Daphne – Zoe, Zoey, and Chloe have been favorites in recent years. This opens the door for more Greek, e-ending names for girls, like Daphne. Daphne is less popular than Delilah, but not nearly as common as Emma. And Luella and Daphne strike me as equally vintage and charming for sisters.
Juniper – Pepper and Sailor are upbeat, modern names, but they seem very different from Luella and Linnea. How about Juniper? It shares the same –r ending as Pepper and Sailor, but feels more mainstream. The name currently ranks Number 429 in the US.
Helena – Linnea always reminds me of Helena, especially if you pronounce it hel-AYN-a. Helena hovers around the 500 mark in terms of popularity, and it’s probably more familiar than Luella. But Helena is still nicely underused, which makes it a good bridge between your preferences.
Coraline – Neil Gaiman often gets credit for inventing Coraline, though the name has history predating the book and movie. I think Coraline has a lot in common with Juniper – not vintage, but not quite modern, either.
Ophelia – Ophelia is yet another literary pick, but it brings to mind current favorites like Sophia and Olivia. That makes me think it seem familiar enough for your husband. But it’s just inside the current US Top 1000, which makes it more unexpected.
Persephone – I’ve saved my favorite for last. The downside to Persephone is that the name is long, and most of the names your lists are not. But Luella and Persephone share that familiar-but-offbeat vibe. We know they’re names, but we hear them rarely. Persephone has never appeared in the US Top 1000, making it slightly more rare than Luella.
Overall, I think there may be more common ground than you realize – if only you’re both willing to throw out your lists and start fresh.
Readers, what would you suggest to Kiara and her husband?
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on October 4th, 2016 at 11:07 pm
I love Luella! I like the suggestions of Daphne, Juniper and Coraline.
My own suggestions are, Luella and …
on October 5th, 2016 at 4:20 am
Luella is a great name! It was on my girl list too (I had a boy). How about
on October 5th, 2016 at 5:25 am
Love Abby’s list it contains my 2 daughter’s names. I like all the names with Luella except Daphne but that’s just my preference. I don’t like the ‘daf’ sound it reminds me of the word ‘daft’.
Maybe if Helena is too mainstream you might like Alayna, Elena or Eleni But only if you shorten Luella to Lu and not Ella. Luella and Alayna is cute…Lu and Layni.
on October 5th, 2016 at 7:22 am
I love Coraline and Juniper of Abby’s picks! I agree with pp that Ramona and Imogen work well, too. Would you consider Clementine or Emmeline? And this may be off the track completely, but Clover for some reason sprang to mind…too odd?
on October 5th, 2016 at 7:23 am
on October 5th, 2016 at 7:31 am
I immediately thought of Emmeline. It is the perfect compromise of dad’s love for mainstream names like Emma and mom’s love for southern flair. Plus, Luella and Emmeline pair so beautifully together.
on October 5th, 2016 at 8:50 am
Ophelia is perfect!
Elisende, Alaia, Delphine, Jemima, Fiora, Everly or Talitha
on October 5th, 2016 at 12:01 pm
Luella and Flannery.
on October 5th, 2016 at 12:09 pm
Luella was my late grandmother’s middle name. How about Mamie, Pearl, Flora, Clara, Mabel?
on October 5th, 2016 at 1:07 pm
Luella and Juniper sound adorable together!
on October 5th, 2016 at 1:32 pm
I think Daphne and Juniper are great suggestions with Luella. A few more:
Yvette (nn Yvie?)
Yvonne (nn Yvie?)
on October 5th, 2016 at 1:33 pm
Wanted to add Mamie, Pearl, Etta, Hattie, Mabel, Zinnia and Cora.
on October 5th, 2016 at 3:30 pm
Luella and Harley
on October 5th, 2016 at 4:43 pm
I love Luella!
I thought of these while reading,
on October 5th, 2016 at 8:29 pm
Love the suggestions of Margo, Pearl, and Mamie. I would add:
I don’t think Luella and Linnea are too similar. If you love it, go for it 🙂
on October 5th, 2016 at 10:13 pm
I love the names Luella & Harvey!
I also love the suggestions Daphne & Persephone! I think I like Daphne slightly more, it fits perfectly with Luella (& Harvey) to me!
Some other suggestions I think would pair great with your taste & Luella are..
Luella & Sylvie– It’s a very familiar name but actually not even on the top 1000. It’s pretty, girly and has it’s own but of southern charm to it like Luella.
Luella & Dory– I think this one really has the spunk you like while still be a name with lots of history. I Know it’s associated with the fish but you could embrace it and have fun Finding Nemo themed birthday parties!
Luella & Sloane– Another name I think is familiar with history that feels less common.
Luella & Matilda– spunky and fun but classic and similar to popular names like Madelyn/ Madison.
Luella & Ginny– Possibly short for Genevieve or Virginia I think it has lots of southern charm while still feeling modern.
Luella & Margo– Probably the most popular name of my suggestions but I think it’s so cute and fits well with her sister’s name!
Luella & Nellie– although it does share the elle sound with Luella it finishes differently and I think they are different enough to work as siblings! Nellie is such a southern grandma name but also is a classic! The fun association with the rapper is kind of cool too.
Luella & Anastasia “Stassie”- I think Stassie is one of he cutest names ever, it’s not very popular but also isn’t fair from names like Sadie or Cassie. (though it is pronounced StAH-C [like the begining of Stop])
on October 6th, 2016 at 4:46 pm
Milena or Marlena
Jolene or Jolena
Leonore or Leonora
on October 7th, 2016 at 1:55 am
Daphne was my first thought when I read the letter! I also love Juniper and the suggestions of Ramona, Jemima, Jolene and Harley. Would like to add:
Delia (if not Abby’s suggestion of Cordelia)
on October 7th, 2016 at 7:05 am
My favourite name is Lavinia and I think it would go perfectly with Luella.
I also like:
Audrey or Adriana
on October 7th, 2016 at 12:10 pm
What about the (now) trendy Harper? It reminds me of the South, and is similar to Sailor! Luella and Harper are adorable together!
Other options I can think of with Southern flair:
Luella and Lindy
Luella and Alma
Luella and Idgie
Luealla and Millicent
Luella and Posey
Luella and Sylvie
Luella and Zadie
on October 7th, 2016 at 1:56 pm
I know a little girl Florence Luella so id say Florence.
Sorry for any repeats in these other suggestions:
on October 7th, 2016 at 9:10 pm
I actually LOVE Luella and Harvey!!
on October 8th, 2016 at 12:58 pm
Luella is great.
Can’t think of much in the way of Southern grandma. Perhaps:
Georgiana (I think the British say GeorgeAYNA)
I don’t think Linnea is that close in sound, and isn’t related by category. It’s a popular and lovely Swedish choice.
on October 9th, 2016 at 11:51 am
I had a neighbor who recently passed away named Louella. (a bit different spelling) She was age 87 and such a sweet person!
Some of her siblings that I had met were, Amelia, Vera, Dolores and Sybil. I know that she had several brothers as well, 2 of them that I met were Edmond and Byron. All very vintage and wonderful names!
Some names that I prefer with Luella
on October 9th, 2016 at 6:29 pm
I think Helena works well with Luella. She could be called Nelly/Nell.
I know a couple that has a Louisa and an Estella, but both names would be too similar to Luella.
Eliza (Lizzie). (My favorite.)
Eleonora/Eleanor (Nell, Nellie)
Marietta (Mamie) (Georgia place name)
Maybe you could search for Southern female contributors to noble causes, and see if you can come up with some vintage names.
on October 9th, 2016 at 6:53 pm
on October 9th, 2016 at 7:02 pm
I believe Eugenia Victoria was the full name of Rhett and Scarlett.
on October 9th, 2016 at 7:04 pm
I meant I believe Eugenia Victoria “Bonnie” was the full name of Rhett and Scarlett’s baby girl.
on January 8th, 2017 at 5:10 pm
I love Luella! I think E & I names would flow beautifully with Luella. What about,
Luella & Evalyn
Luella & Eleanor
Luella & Esme
Luella & Estelle
Luella & Imogen
Luella & Isadora
Luella & Iris
Luella & Isolde
Good luck! 🙂
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