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.