How I Named My Baby: Lucinda Maud

How I Named My Baby: Lucinda Maud

Rachel Ramirez, a museum curator, and Alex Hurtado, a logistics manager, live in Chicago with their two children: Alice Eloise and Lucinda Maud.

Their daughter Lucinda was born on June 4, 2021. Below, we chat with Rachel about how she and Alex named their little girl.

Tell me how you named Lucinda!

It was hard to choose a name this time around because we had spent so much time working on Alice’s name. When we found out we were having another girl, we felt like we had thought of all the names already!

We decided we wanted to pick an L or M name. Alice and Alex are really close to each other, so we didn’t want to use any more A names or anything with a vowel. It needed to sound a little bit different, but we wanted it to fit with Alice — another old-fashioned name.

I remembered seeing Lucinda and thinking that I didn’t know anyone with the name. But we were still kind of unsure, so I was hoping for a sign — something to tell me the right name. We were going up to Wisconsin for a last weekend away before the baby came and stopped at a rest stop. I was washing my hands and by the sink was a copy of Don Quixote that said “Free, please take!”

When I was researching names, I found out that Lucinda was created for Don Quixote. I thought this might be the sign! During that time, the play Don Quixote was showing at the Lyric Opera, and I kept seeing all these ads for it on buses. Then I knew it was the sign — the universe was telling me her name was Lucinda.

How did you choose Maud?

I think Maud is a really nice middle name, but we considered it for her first name. When we were naming Alice, our second-choice name for her was Margaret. My husband wanted to consider Margaret for Lucinda, but I felt like it was already associated with Alice.

We were looking around for M names and we picked Maud because it’s another old-fashioned name and it has a “pow!” to it. Once we decided on Lucinda, we felt like Maud was the perfect middle name.

Lucinda was accidentally born at home. We didn’t make it to the hospital! I was in the ambulance and was holding her in all the madness. The paramedic was like, “What’s her name?” Alex and I looked at each other like, now it the time we have to decide on her name!

I said, “It’s Lucinda Maud!” and he asked, “Oh, like Lucinda Williams?” We like her, but she’s not really named after her.

When we were in the hospital, they came around to have us fill out the paperwork and Alex was actually out. I realized we hadn’t talked about how we were going to spell Maud. I chose Maud and afterwards told Alex, “Our daughter’s middle name is Maud, without the E. I hope that’s okay!”

I later realized it’s very similar to Lucy Maud Montgomery — I love her books. Lucinda’s name has an old-fashioned, literary feel, and I like that.

Did you talk to anyone besides Alex about baby names?

A little bit! We were unsure about the name for so much of my pregnancy, and people would ask if we had a name picked. I would talk to people at work and one of my coworkers was giving me a lot of suggestions that I really liked.

He told me, “I like a three-syllable name. It seems like it would go well with your husband’s last name.” I thought that was a good point. He gave lots of suggestions like Eleanor.

I didn’t expect a middle-aged man to be so invested in what I named my daughter, but I love that he did! After she was born and I shared her name, he said “That’s perfect.”

How did people react to learning her name?

I think people were surprised! We didn’t tell anyone until she was born. People would say, “Wow, I don't know anyone named Lucinda” or “What an old-fashioned name; it’s so charming.” Very complimentary.

One person told me, “I only know one other person named Lucinda, and she goes by Cinda.” It was nice to hear the feedback that it was a unique name. Revealing the name was really fun.

Did you think of boy names at all?

We did a little bit, although we found out we were having a girl pretty early. When we were thinking of names for Alice, we narrowed it down to Henry if she was a boy. I think we would have reused that idea if we had a boy this time around. Alex wanted to call him Hank!

What names did you like when you were younger?

I’ve always been interested in names. I looked at names in books and wrote them out to see if I liked the way they looked. I gravitated toward certain names because I liked writing the letters. I loved making capital As, which may have been why I chose Alice for our first daughter! I also loved making the swoopy cursive Ls.

I always liked the name Una but when I went to high school there was a girl named Oona. I liked that spelling even better! I fought really hard to convince Alex to go for it, but he just didn’t like the name.

How do you feel about your own name, and did it influence your choice?

I’m sure it influenced my choice because although I like the name Rachel, it is a very common name. Deep down I wanted my kids to have uncommon names.

I’ve met a lot of Rachels, and I work with some too. There’s another Rachel R. and I always get calls for her.

One thing I didn’t like about my name growing up is that it wasn’t easy to make a nickname, and I always wanted a cute nickname. You can only really do Rach, which I don’t love.

Do you use nicknames for your girls?

Not for Alice. Her name isn’t really that nicknamable, except I started calling her Chickadee when she was a baby. But there are a lot of nicknames for Lucinda. We call her Lucy and Lulu. Lucinda also turned into Lucy Goose, so we call her Goose sometimes.

What are the trendy names in your social circle?

Alice goes to school with a boy named Remy, which I think is adorable. I’ve noticed a lot of girls with old-fashioned names like Vivian and Greta, which are so sweet. A lot of boys have more old-fashioned names as well, like Henry. I like the return to some of these older classics.

What was the most surprising part of the baby name process?

I was surprised that there were so many names that my husband and I couldn’t agree on. It felt harder to choose a name this time, and I feel like it’s because we were overthinking and had too much information. It was also harder to choose a name that went with our other daughter’s name.

Did you have any fears about baby names?

I was worried that I would be in the hospital with my baby, and she wouldn’t have a name! Then I’d panic and pick something and end up not liking it.

You feel like the clock is starting from the second you enter the hospital. You know that the day before you leave, they’re going to ask you to fill out the paperwork.

What advice would you give to someone just starting the baby name process?

Ask other people! They have great ideas. If you’re struggling, tell people in your life to just throw everything at you. Going into it, you may think you know what kind of name you want, but you might surprise yourself. Be open to lots of different ideas.

How would you describe your style beyond baby names?

I have a mostly classic style. My interests are towards older things. Being a history museum curator, I do like old stuff! I also like to have a little bit of a twist on things. Around our house, I’ve branched out a bit.

How did you decorate Lucinda’s nursery?

We went with a dark and moody theme. She has a dark patterned rug with flowers and dark green walls. And a yellow door for a pop of color. Alice is into pink, pink, pink right now, so we wanted something very different for Lucinda.

Did you pass down anything special to Lucinda?

My parents brought over an antique armoire for her to have in her nursery, so Lucinda has her first piece of antique furniture! Maybe it’s from the era when her name was popular.

What was your favorite gift you received for Lucinda?

A baby book with art deco illustrations. I got it from one of my colleagues, who of course has an interest in history as well. It has fun prompts that are outside of the usual baby book prompts.

What are the cool things for parents to do in Chicago?

Because she was born in June, we spent a lot of time taking walks. We’d walk through a nearby nature preserve and see deer and birds and flowers.

Our other favorite thing is to go to some of the family-friendly breweries like Half Acre and Sketchbook to sit outside and have a beer. It’s great that there are so many baby-friendly things to do in Chicago.

Rachel’s (and Lucinda’s) Favorite Things

Burt's Bees baby clothes

They're really soft, and Lucinda is all about comfort.

Stanley Water Bottle

This really got me through the postpartum period!

Crinkle Zebra toy

Skip Hop Baby Play Gym

Baby's Journal

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Thank you so much, Rachel!

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About the Author

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm has been writing for Nameberry since 2015. She has contributed stories on the top 2020s names, Gen Z names, and cottagecore baby names. Sophie is Nameberry’s resident Name Guru to the Stars, where she suggests names for celebrity babies. She also manages the Nameberry Instagram and Pinterest.

Sophie Kihm's articles on names have run on People, Today, The Huffington Post, and more. She has been quoted as a name expert by The Washington Post, People, The Huffington Post, and more. You can follow her personally on Instagram or Pinterest, or contact her at Sophie lives in Chicago.