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Have a baby name dilemma?

Ask the Namesage!

Welcome to Nameberry’s newest column, The Name Sage. Every week, Nameberry’s Abby Sandel, will answer one reader’s questions about naming a baby-on-the-way, or general baby name angst. And here’s the best part: we’d love it if you would add your thoughtful suggestions and comments to help expectant parents decide. The world needs more nicely named children, berries! Want to see your question featured? Please email namesage@nameberry.com. Be sure to include your due date.

Girl Names: Tailored but Feminine

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

He says Mary. She says Halston. Where’s the middle ground between those two extremes? The Name Sage sets out to find a compromise for their daughter.

Taylor writes:

My husband and I are expecting a baby girl in mid-June. For boys, we agreed on names like Ronan and Finn, but when it comes to girl names, our styles are completely different.

He likes Abigail, Mary, and Hannah classic/popular names that I do not like at all. My favorites are Hunter and Halston, as I prefer unisex names for girls, and he strongly dislikes them.

Are there any choices that are a happy compromise?

The Name Sage replies:

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Baby Boy Names: Strong Classics

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When you’re facing a challenging pregnancy, choosing a strong name can feel auspicious, maybe even necessary. Let’s help this mom find the right boy name for her little fighter!

Elizabeth writes:

I’ve just found out that I’ll be delivering early due to some complications that have also landed me in the hospital on bed rest.

All this time with nothing to do has me going in circles about the name for our son. Given how tiny he will be, I want a strong name. Middle name will be a family name (probably William but we’ve got a few options if the first name doesn’t work with that).

We had narrowed it to Ezra or Leo, but neither feels quite right to me now. I love Samuel, called Sam, and my husband loves Isaac, called Ike, but we both have some resistance to the others’ choice.

Our older son is Charlie and my husband and I both have very traditional names, so I don’t feel like we can go too far afield, but using the obvious William for a first boy name felt a little too British monarchy-themed for us.

We seem to both like short, strong names (or at least a short, strong nickname). What are we missing?! Given all the bad luck we’ve had lately, I’m feeling due for a strike of brilliance here!

The Name Sage replies:

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Popular Girl Names: Lost in the La-Crowd

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They’ve long loved Lyla for a daughter. But is Lyla too close to all those other lovely, La-la names?

Emily writes:

We are struggling with choosing a name for our baby girl arriving in March.

Our son’s name is Theodore and he goes by Theo.  For years we have liked the name Lyla, and recently considered Daisy for a middle name. But now that we are down to the wire we aren’t sure!

Lyla isn’t super popular, but there are so many close variations – Layla, Lola, Lula, Leela, etc. that I am worried people will always get her name wrong. It’s already happening! People say things like, “What are you naming the baby again, Lola?”

We’ve also considered Daisy as a first name, Meadow, Summer, Vivienne, and Eden. Lyla is still a top choice. We love a good nickname, so while not a dealbreaker, we would like a name that has some nickname options.

Hope you can help!

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Boy Names: Seeking something fresh

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Do you have a mile-long list of girl names, while coming up empty for boys? That’s this family’s predicament! Let’s help them find something fresh and new for Lyra and Hadley’s brother. 

Megan writes:

We are expecting our first boy in May and we cannot decide on a name. There are many girls’ names I love – Scout, Piper, Prue, Rosalie – but no boys’ names that I love.

We have twin daughters, Hadley and Lyra, and we want a name that feels untraditional and uncommon. (Though both are rising in popularity.) Our surname is two syllables, starts with M and ends with –son, which rules out many options.

We’d like to avoid another H or L name, and we plan to use my dad’s name, Donald, as the middle name.

Names we’ve considered include Archie, Barrett, Kit, Nico, and Jonah, but none of them feel quite right, and I’m feeling defeated.

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Baby Naming Advice: Teacher Edition

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If you’re a teacher, every name can already feel taken by a former student! What’s the best approach – choose something truly unusual? Or choose a baby name you love, knowing that it might appear on your class list, too?

Caity writes:  

We are having trouble agreeing on a girls’ name. We have a strong-sounding, single-syllable surname that starts with S and rhymes with deal. I’d like to use Elizabeth for the middle.

My husband likes Quinn; I prefer Sadie or Finley.

But here’s the real problem: I come from a huge family with lots of girls, so many names are already out. And I teach dance, meaning I’ve heard all the common names out there, spelled every which way. I don’t want to name my daughter after any students, especially current ones.

Is there something out there that my husband and I haven’t thought of and isn’t too common? Or am I being too picky?

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