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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.

Surname Names for Boys: Help wanted!

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

by Abby Sandel

They’re adopting baby number six in just a few weeks. Meaning matters, but so does fitting in with their family. Let’s help them find the right surname name choice for their new son!

Kate writes: 

We just got the call that we have been chosen to adopt a baby boy. We are thrilled but need to pick a name soon.

We have five children: sons Cohen Reid and Adler Josiah, and daughters Kacey Josephine Pearl, Scout Alivia Jordan, and Harper Evangeline Raea.

One of this baby’s middle names will be Ripley.

While we have always talked about the name Fletcher with either the middle name Davis or Rhodes, I’m not convinced we have the right name for this baby.

I’ve recently heard the name Boone and love it but not sure it fits with our short, two-syllable A last name.

Other names we love: Wilder, Booker, Jude, Flynn, Gable, Lennon, Nash.

The meaning of the name is important to us. We love that Fletcher means an arrow maker, a person who hits the target. I love that Boone means blessed as this baby is a gift.

We would like to avoid using the same first initial of any of our other children.

The Name Sage replies:

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Cross-Cultural Names: German American girls

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

Cross-cultural names: Naming across languages means extra challenges – and more choices, too! Let’s help this family find the right cross-cultural name for their German-American daughter.

Anna writes:

My husband and I are at an impasse for deciding on a name for our baby girl due end of November and would welcome advice. My husband is German so the name has to work in both languages. We don’t want anything too popular (at least in the US), bot not too obscure. It can’t start with an S because initials would be SS.

Our son is Oskar, with the German spelling. I like that it is simple, strong and clear without too many options for nicknames. Our favorites are:

  • Clara
  • Lena
  • Louisa
  • Matilda
  • Miriam
  • Nina

I’m slightly concerned about pronunciation of some of these names and wouldn’t want her to be correcting people her whole life. We’d pronounce Clara with a long ‘a’ like Clahra, and Lena to rhyme with Elena.

Thanks for your help!

The Name Sage replies:

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

by Abby Sandel

Let’s solve the riddle of the girl middle name for their due-in-December daughter.

Stephanie writes:

We are expecting our first child, a daughter, in December. We are going with Gracie for her first name (not Grace, but Gracie), but we cannot find a  middle name we love. We’ve thought about Noelle, since she will be a Christmas baby; Rae or Rhea since my husband’s middle name is Ray; more unique options like Wren and classics like Josephine; but nothing has stuck. I do not want to go with my maiden name and our last name starts with “G” so we want to try to stay away from vowels. Help!

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Unique Boy Names

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

They like unique boy names and are thinking of naming their new son Oak. But much as they love the name, there are some challenges that might push them in a different direction.

Chantel writes:

We are team green for baby #3, due in October. We currently have one of each: Elowyn Magnolia and Arthur Jack Ruger. Our girl name is picked out, but we’re having a harder time choosing for a boy.

Our son’s first two names are honor names. Ruger is a fun little add-on.

Right now, we are thinking Oak Garcia Crockett if it’s a boy. I also like Wulfric, Walton, Hendrix, Indigo, Harrison, Floyd, Ruben, Morrison, and Merritt as middle names. And I’m wavering on Oak. We know we won’t use Oaklee or Oakley.

Mostly I’m wondering: is Oak too similar, as we often call our older son Arthur Jack. And should we use a longer middle name, or just stick with two middles again?

I would love a few more suggestions to think about!

The Name Sage replies:

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Traditional Girl Names with a Twist

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

Can Penelope’s sister have a name as short as Alice or Claire? More importantly, does this mom want her to?

Erin writes:

We are expecting our second girl and struggling to agree on a name! Our older daughter is Penelope Reese, and we absolutely love her name.

My husband is leaning towards short and sweet names this time. Alice and Claire are his two favorites. I’m worried those names will seem too boring next to the lengthier Penelope, even though I do like them both. We tend to gravitate toward vintage names and I’d like to find something that isn’t too popular, but isn’t too rare. We are both very open to a variety of middle names.

My top favorites are Colette (but my husband has vetoed), Margot, Isla, and Louise or Louisa.

Do we go short and sweet like my husband suggests, or find something a little bit longer?

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