Girl Baby Names: A Compromise Needed
My husband is stuck on a name I don’t love.
The issue is I don’t love it. I feel like I’m settling.
Also, I don’t love the repeating “L” names for the kids. They’re only a year apart as it is, so it seems matchy-matchy.
The middle name is set – Opal.
I want a name that I love, but nothing is right.
My husband won’t even discuss names at this point. He’s tired of the conversation and set on Lorelei. But if we had loved it I feel we would have used it for our older daughter – it was on her list, too.
The Name Sage replies:
Inevitably, one partner cares a little more about names, right? We’re halfway through our list of two dozen carefully curated options, while the love of our life has tuned out.
I get it. We’ve all been there.
Here’s the thing: you’re increasingly certain that Lorelei – while a gorgeous name – is not meant for your daughter. This means that, no matter how much your husband feels the conversation is over, it simply is not.
Easier said than done, right?
Before you tell your husband that it’s time to talk, let’s see if we can pinpoint what you do want in a name.
Based on your maybe list, and your older children’s names, I’d guess that you prefer:
– Tailored, frills-free names that cannot be easily or automatically shortened.
– Modern names that don’t feel invented, but weren’t heavily used prior to the twentieth century.
– Something that sounds slightly different from your older children’s names and does not repeat the initials J, S, or L.
– A reasonably mainstream name that others will recognize and be able to easily spell and pronounce.
While you’ve considered possibilities like Parker that are more common for boys, I suspect unisex names aren’t quite your style – and maybe not your husband’s, either.
When a couple gets stuck on name choices, sometimes it helps to go back and discuss qualities in a name. If you can identify why Lorelei falls short – and what you’d prefer instead – it can make for an easier conversation. Or at least, it breaks the cycle of you suggest, while he discards.
Eden – Eden always comes to mind when we’re talking about tailored girl names that feel modern, but have plenty of history. Eden works well with Jackson, Scarlett, and Logan, plus Eden Opal makes a great combination.
Everly – The ‘ev’ sound features in Evelyn and Vivienne from your maybe list. Like Lorelei, Everly is a longer, vowel-ending name for a girl. Delaney, Kennedy, and Emery also share this rhythm, but I think Everly might pair best with Jackson, Scarlett, and Logan. It ranks just outside the current Top 100, so it’s more familiar than, say, Honor or maybe even Lorelei.
Hadley – If Everly is almost, but not-quite-right, I wonder if Hadley might appeal? It seems like it could be unisex, but it only ranks in the girls’ Top 1000 – in fact, it sits just outside the current Top 100, right next to Everly. It fits right in with surname names like Harper and Harlow and Henley.
Juniper – Juniper breaks a few of my rules. It shortens to Junie, and it repeats Jackson’s initial. And yet, I can’t shake this one. It’s less common than your other children’s names, but ranks Number 352 in the US, so it’s not truly rare. If your husband is looking for something a little longer, Juniper might work.
Maren – Maren is usually considered a form of Mary, which makes this name both impeccably classic and nicely modern. It’s far rarer than your older kids’ names, but shares the same tailored style. Like Scarlett, it doesn’t feel quite like a surname – which makes Scarlett and Maren sound like sisters.
Marlo, Marlowe – Spelling counts when it comes to this one. Marlo makes for a retro, midcentury pick, while surname Marlowe feels very twenty-first century. I think Marlowe fits better with Jackson, Scarlett, and Logan. It also ends with a vowel sound, just like Lorelei. Maybe that will help bridge the gap between your favorites and his? Marlowe doesn’t quite crack the current US Top 1000, but Harlow and Monroe do.
Rory – If you’ve seen The Gilmore Girls (LINK: https://nameberry.com/blog/gilmore-girls-baby-names), you might know that daughter Rory was the third Lorelai in the family. Mom went by Lorelai; her grandmother answered to Trix. The youngest Lorelei went by Rory. Thanks in part to the series, this traditional Irish boys’ name is now familiar for girls in the US, too. Like sister Scarlett’s name, it means red.
Teagan – File Teagan with Hadley and Marlowe. There’s no reason it couldn’t be used for boys, but it is far more common for girls. Like Jackson, Teagan is clearly a surname – and yet, it’s quite common as a given name.
Before I get to recommendations, I think we should consider one other possibility. I’m assuming your husband thinks Lorelei is fine, and doesn’t want to look through lists (and lists!) of other options.
But perhaps your husband truly loves Lorelei and feels strongly that this is his daughter’s name.
If it’s the first case, then I suspect he’ll come around to revisiting the topic. But if he’s truly in love with the idea of Lorelei for this child, it’s worth considering whether that sways your feelings. What I love about my son’s name is how very important the choice was to my husband – even though I probably wouldn’t have picked it from a list.
Because there’s something about Lorelei that appeals to him, I’d suggest Everly and Juniper. They’re a little longer, but still very compatible with Jackson, Scarlett, and Logan. Either name pairs nicely with Opal, too.
There’s plenty of room for compromise here, and lots of names that you can both love.
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on October 3rd, 2017 at 11:08 pm
My suggestion is for Coraline (or Coralie) with nickname Cora. Cora fits right in with Jackson, Scarlett, and Logan, and Coraline has a very similar sound to Lorelei.
Hannelore nn Hanna(h) would also have that heavy Germanic feel with a modern, springy nickname.
Something like Aurora, Carina, or Serena would fit the bill too, except the repetition of the S with Serena.
on October 3rd, 2017 at 11:16 pm
Maybe…Adelai, Angelie, Clementine, Aibileen, Arolyn, Matilda, Elsabeth, Marilee, Marisol, Ellery, Eloise, Hillary?
on October 3rd, 2017 at 11:17 pm
I can see why you would want each first name to start with a different initial.
And as much as your husband loves the name Lorelei, you don’t, so that would put it off the table for me.
You mentioned Evelyn, Vivienne, Honor, Parker, and Stella, so some thoughts related to or inspired by those:
For Evelyn, I do love Jocelyn and Jessamyn, but again, you already have a J Jackson. What about Eve, Evadne, Evening…
For Vivienne, Viveca or Viridian.
For Stella, Etoile or Estelle.
A name that reminds me of Lorelei, but that I prefer, is Leilani. It may not be modern, but it sounds fresh and new to me.
A color name may well be too much with Scarlett, but Azure, Azul, and Teal pop to mind.
Since Scarlett is feminine and kind of ultra sounding, it’s hard for me to imagine her sister being Hadley or Juniper. That might just be me though.
On the other hand, Jackson, Scarlett, and Logan are very popular names now so anything more unusual might sound the odd person out.
on October 4th, 2017 at 12:14 am
Since the middle name is Opal, I think the following would be lovely & go well with the other sibs:
on October 4th, 2017 at 1:39 am
I suggest Ivy, Hazel, Esme and Josephine.
on October 4th, 2017 at 2:35 am
My first thought was Elodie Opal!
on October 4th, 2017 at 2:54 am
Vivienne Opal Sounds beautiful but a little old lady compared to the more fresh sounding theme you have going on…
on October 4th, 2017 at 5:17 am
I know this isn’t what you want – but I like Lorelei Opal better than the other suggestions. It is a really nice combo.
on October 4th, 2017 at 6:05 am
Scarlett Olivia is such a pretty girly-girl name, as are the other ideas of Vivienne and Stella. I think Scarlett’s sister should have something sweet sounding.
Lorelei has a more spunky feel and I think of Tallulah as an alternative.
Erin Beth Said
on October 4th, 2017 at 6:35 am
A few thoughts that might at least help you pin down what you prefer:
on October 4th, 2017 at 7:24 am
I think Abby’s suggestions were spot on. I especially like Marlo, Maren and Everly for you.
A few additional suggestions:
on October 4th, 2017 at 9:03 am
I think Natalie Opal blends really well with your other children and sort of has a Lorelei vibe to satisfy your husband.
on October 4th, 2017 at 9:08 am
My suggestion: Andrea Opal.
If it weren’t for the letter constraint I would also suggest Laurel.
on October 4th, 2017 at 9:27 am
The pattern I first notice among your children’s names is that they’re all surnames that are familiar as firsts. If you’re interested in continuing that theme, these might work well:
Winslow ( too much “o” with Opal?)
Kinsey / Kinsley
Piper, Reeve and Blair might be a bit unisex (though other names I’ve listed are unisex too, of course), but I suspect they feel more feminine to an American ear than to mine.
Harper, Monroe & Harlow, which Abby mentioned in passing, would also fit (some people might find the “o” in Monroe and Harlow a bit repetitive with Opal, but some enjoy the assonance). I like the suggestion of Hadley, too.
Of course, many people wouldn’t realise that Logan or Scarlett were surnames, and a name that’s not derived from a surname wouldn’t necessarily feel mismatched.
Other names that seem to me to share Scarlett’s spunk (and that to me seem like they might fit well in the USA) include:
Ruby (too red?)
Lola (repeated initial + “o” sound)
Louisa (repeated initial)
Ramona (too much “o” with Opal?)
Willow ( too much “o” with Opal?)
Magnolia (too out there? Too much “o”?)
I also like the previous posters’ suggestions of Audrey, Willa, Ainsley, Flannery and Waverly. Estelle’s great too, though perhaps a little repetitive with Opal (but I think nameberry folk probably overthink the importance of first and middle names flowing perfectly).
on October 4th, 2017 at 9:34 am
This seems like less a naming issue and more a relationship issue and Swistle has some great advice for that. Abby referenced it when she said “Lorelai is not the name for your duaghter.” Help husband by something like “Lorelai is not the name for THIS baby.” Even if she’s your last one, letting him still love the name or thinking of it as possible but not right for THIS baby RIGHT NOW might help open his mind to compromise.
on October 4th, 2017 at 9:43 am
I think Maren Opal is beautiful. It’s classic and traditional, but just different enough that she probably won’t ever have another Maren in her classes.
on October 4th, 2017 at 10:06 am
With the Sage on Everly! I think Everly would be perfect with your sibset! I also like Vivienne with your sibset.
Some others that fit the bill would be:
on October 4th, 2017 at 10:22 am
Eden Opal FTW! Beautiful alternative to Lorelei although I really really love Lorelei as well.
Amber W Said
on October 4th, 2017 at 10:47 am
I had to smile when I saw Kara suggest Coraline because that was my husband’s pick for our second daughter. He’s much less of a name nerd than I am and it was the only name he liked enough to suggest, so I let him have it this time. It’s still not the most magical name I’ve ever heard and I’d never have picked it but it’s more important to me that he feels like his voice is being heard. And, after a few months of wear, I feel like it suits her pretty well.
on October 4th, 2017 at 11:09 am
My favourites are Hadley and Everly, they check off all the boxes and pair really well with Opal (especially Everly). These are hands down the best two!
on October 4th, 2017 at 11:15 am
I think Hadley and Everly are good suggestions, and I also like Tessa, Avery, Rosalie, Aubrey, and Ainsley from pps. I will also suggest Reese. But Lorelei Opal is gorgeous if you decide on that. Just because you liked Scarlett better for the previous baby doesn’t mean this one doesn’t work for the new baby.
on October 4th, 2017 at 11:16 am
Oops also wanted to suggest Kiera. Good luck!
on October 4th, 2017 at 11:24 am
Oops -I forgot to add Mara, which feels like a spunky surname because of Rooney Mara, and is modern, unfussy, and feminine.
on October 4th, 2017 at 1:11 pm
Hello! Firstly congrats! And second, do you and your husband enjoy comics and such? I mean no offense and I have no clue how the naming process went but when I look at the names of your previous children the first names seem to have a pattern to me. It’s probably just a weird association I have, but there is Logan aka The Wolverine, Scarlett aka Johansson/ Black Widow and Jackson like Peter Jackson the director. Also Orion the New God/ Leaguer. Just something I noticed … so maybe that’s why Lorelei isn’t working cause its missing some context to the name. Be it this or some other linkage.
on October 4th, 2017 at 1:44 pm
My first thought was Lillian Opal!
on October 4th, 2017 at 2:02 pm
I agree that Lorelei isn’t the best choice. It shares the first 2 letters with Logan- Lo. I like the suggestions of Maren and Eden.
Other suggestions, Jackson, Logan, Scarlett, and…. Junia, Cassia, Zinnia, Cora, Corrine, Gemma, Isla, Kiana, Keira, Astrid, Arden, Arabella, Marigold, Magnolia, Marley, Roxy, Felicity, Cecily, Celia, Carys, Anneke, Danica, Daria, Aria, Ariana, Tallulah, Thea, Gwen, Geneva, Fiona, Phoebe, Calla, Haven, Raven, Avalon, Ava, Eva, Avonlea, Adia, Adria, Aubrey, Audrey, Talia, Talla, Nova, Mara, Maisie, Eleni, Aviva, Avia, Piper, Posey, Harper, Ember, Tavia, Vida, Winter, Wren, Emerald, Clancy, Murphy, Flannery, Hart, Maya, Nia, Zora, Cassidy, Abrielle, Ariel, Afton, Asha, Indigo, Cyan, Calliope, Callista, Anya, Azalea, Acacia, Ayla, Aylin, Alara, Elara, Ellis
on October 4th, 2017 at 3:36 pm
This is an interesting dilemma and there seem a few different ways to approach it:
1) how about a name that is similar to Lorelei? The classic Laura, or the popular Lauren, or less heard but still familiar Laurel, or less heard but beautiful Linnea — with Lorelei as a nick name?
2) A name with a similar feel/sound/length to Lorelei but starting with another letter? Aveline, Camille, Celeste, Delilah, Devora, Eleni, Emmeline, Eugenie, Mariel, Magnolia, Melina, Phoebe, Rosalind, Simone, Serena, Sabrina.
3) Something else that you have not considered before?Alice, Hazel, Devon, Gemma, Melody, Violet, Will, Willow.
on October 4th, 2017 at 3:39 pm
*Will should be Willa.
Personally I think it would be okay if the fourth child shared a first letter with one of the other siblings who is not next to her, as in the”S” names I suggested.
on October 4th, 2017 at 5:23 pm
My first thought for some reason is Bella. It’s simple , can’t be shortened , sounds like a sister to Scarlett and sounds good with Opal. I would personally advise against a unisex name for you as Scarlett would be left out. Pippa would be another good option , short springy , girly but not too girly and can’t be shortened. The final name I would recommend is Valerie. It ranks at about #166 and is short , sweet , shares the V sound with Vivian and sounds lovely with Scarlett. Plus Valerie Opal is adorable. The only issue is it can be shortened to Val but I know a Valerie and nobody ever shortens it.
You might also want to consider –
Georgia (ranks lower on the american charts but is more in lines of your kids popularity if you consider other countries)
Zara (same as above)
on October 4th, 2017 at 7:05 pm
My suggestions are Ever or, to repeat Name Sage, Everly
on October 4th, 2017 at 9:02 pm
I like the suggestion of Maren best! I also loved commenter Kara’s suggestion of Cora. Hannelore is also lovely although not totally cohesive with the siblings.
My first thought was Lyra, but I can understand not wanting to repeat initials.
I’ll add these to the mix:
Vera (my favorite option besides Lyra and Maren)
on October 4th, 2017 at 10:45 pm
I tend to agree with @zsazsa00 that there is a bit of an adventure vibe from your names, but I get reminded of Percy Jackson, Scarlet from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, and, well, Logan is always Wolverine. So I think your fourth child still needs a bit of a kick. I think that’s one reason I LOVE @Kara’s suggestion of Coraline! She’s the spunky girl from the movie/book by Neil Gaiman! Besides Cora, you could call her Linney (like the actress Laura Linney). In a totally different vein, Linney made me think of the name Linnea–it’s not quite as popular as the other kids names but it’s a name that’s coming into more use right now. I know it repeats the “L” start, but Scarlett and Linnea feel like sisters to me.
on October 5th, 2017 at 7:40 pm
on October 5th, 2017 at 7:46 pm
I forgot Abra Opal. Abra is a character from Stephen King’s book “Doctor Sleep”, and she’s a great character.
on October 8th, 2017 at 1:02 am
All of your children’s first names rank inside of the top 20 for 2016, so I am keeping my list of suggestions to more popular and familiar names.
As Opal means “gem” and sounds a bit older, I suggest trying to find a first name with a vibrant feel to it. For that reason, all of my following suggestions have a fiery or confident meaning to them.
Emilia- Emilia has the vowel ending that fits with Lorelei that your husband loves, and is slightly longer than suggestions like Rory or Eden. So that might be appealing to him (or you) as well. Emilia ranked just outside of the top 100 in 2016 at #102 and means “rival”.
Allison- Allison is very familiar like Jackson, Scarlett, and Logan so I can see it fitting right in with those three. Allison is also a feminine name like Scarlett. It ranked just inside of the top 50 at #49 and means “noble”.
Octavia- I know you are already set on Opal, but if you happen to decide at the last minute it isn’t for you, or you don’t mind double O’s, Octavia is a lovely name. It is very feminine and elegant like Scarlett Olivia, and still gives you that O name you seem to love. Also, Octavia sounds nice with Opal. The only ranking I can find is from England where it ranked #724 in 2016.
Isla- Isla is shorter than my other suggestions, but it does seem to tick a few of your boxes. It ends in a vowel like Lorelei. It doesn’t make for an easy nickname. It is easy to spell and becoming fairly common. Isla Opal sounds lovely and sounds like a sister to Jackson Owen, Scarlett Olivia, and Logan Orion. Isla ranked just outside of of the top 100 in 2016 at #126 and means “island”.
Gemma- I have to thrown this one in here, I know this might not float your boat but I felt compelled to suggest it. Gemma Opal. It is very cute. Gemma ranks at #247 and means “precious stone”. Since this little girl will be the one to complete your family and you plan to utilize the name Opal, I thought this name was fitting for such a little girl.
Hope that my suggestions helped. Good luck on your naming journey and congratulations!
on October 8th, 2017 at 6:46 am
Congratulations! I hope you and your husband can come to a compromise name that you both feel okay about!
The name that comes to mind for me is Violet.
I feel it fits really nicely with Scarlett but isn’t too matchy matchy. Both end in ‘et’ (both your boys names end in n so there’s a theme there) and both are colour names, but not too in-your-face about it. And she gets her own initial.
Yes Violet is a more vintage style name, but Scarlett has a similar vibe via Scarlett O’Hara. I think Violet has the same punchiness as your other kids names (I think because it brings to mind ultra violet which seems a bit super hero and cool, and the letter V is just an awesome unusual initial).
Jackson, Scarlett, Logan and Violet.
So my vote is for Violet Opal ❤
on October 9th, 2017 at 1:30 pm
on January 22nd, 2018 at 8:09 pm
I think Ainsley means ‘dream’ and would work really well. It’s definitely a wholesome name while still modern and not overused.
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