Name Sage: But what will we name a girl?!?

Name Sage: But what will we name a girl?!?

Laura writes:

We are expecting our first child in July, and I do not want to leave the hospital with Baby M!

My husband is a tad on the more traditional side when it comes to names, while I am more open.

Our last name is a German three-syllable beast that starts with “M” and ends with the sound “ck.” That has also proved to be difficult to work with.

I have one non-negotiable: my middle name is Reed, which is a family name, and it will be used in some way.

I think I have my husband convinced of Reed Bear for a boy. Bear is a family name on his side, and we are huge fans of the outdoors, so I just love it all around.

We haven’t approached the subject of girl names yet! Here are the names I like, all with middle name Reed:

Everly – This is my absolute favorite, but I have feeling it’s too “different” for my husband. I like that she can be called Ev, Evie, or even Ever.

Evelyn – Close to Everly, but a little more traditional.

Vivian – Also a strong name that has some good nicknames like Viv and Vivi.

Other names I like are Willa, Bryn, and Wren, but Wren Reed sounds weird, so that’s probably out. I like names just outside of hugely popular but not too out of the box.

I would love some help in finding some other names I can bring to the table for my husband to choose from, and hopefully one we both love!

The Name Sage replies:

Thinking up names we love is easy. Narrowing down all of the possibilities to one that both parents love equally? That’s a challenge!

You’re halfway there with Reed Bear, and I think it’s a good sign that you were able to compromise so quickly.

I’m guessing you’ve already ruled out naming a daughter Reed, or saving Reed for a future son. If not, both possibilities might be worth discussion.

Evelyn might be a little more popular than you like. It’s currently in the US Top 20, and seems likely to climb higher. If you really loved Evelyn, I’d tell you to use it anyhow. But it doesn’t sound like that’s the case, so I’d suggest we keep looking.

It also strikes me that your husband hasn’t said no to Everly yet – so it’s worth running it by him. Everly has soared in popularity over the last few years, making it a mainstream possibility – but still far less common than Evelyn. If your husband is on board, Everly Reed seems like the obvious choice.

Let’s add some more names to your list.

ClaireClaire is the kind of name likely to appeal to a conservative namer – it’s traditional, with a long history of use. It’s currently in the US Top 50, so that might be a smidge too popular. But since you’ve agreed on Reed Bear and you love Wren, I wonder if a short first name might work for a girl, too? If not Claire, there’s also June, Lark, Belle, Rose, and Tess.

IvyIvy feels old-fashioned, and yet it’s more popular now than ever before. The name entered the US Top 200 in 2012, making it (hopefully) mainstream enough to appeal to your husband. Ivy shares the ‘v’ sound of Vivian and Evelyn. Like Bear, it’s a nod to the great outdoors. Other nature name possibilities include Willow, Iris, and Lake.

HazelHazel made our list of EcoVintage names – nature names with a long history of use. Hazel’s ‘z’ reminds me of the equally distinctive ‘v’ in Vivian, Evelyn, and Everly. Another vintage name that might appeal is Mabel.

GemmaEmma is a longtime favorite in the US. Add a ‘g’ and you’ll have Gemma, from the Italian word for precious stone. I think Gemma Reed sounds exactly right together, and Gemma is just a little bit different. Other short, ends-in-a names that come to mind include Vera, Cora, and Ada.

GeorgiaGeorgia doesn’t sound very much like Everly or Vivian. But like Everly and Vivian, the place name has a lot of sweet built-in nicknames, including Georgie and Gigi. Since you’ve listed nicknames as part of the appeal of some longer names, it seems like Georgia might fit.

Genevieve – If you’d love to use the nicknames Evie and Vivi, Genevieve is a logical addition to your list. It was a Top 100 favorite a century ago, and feels very stylish today. Another elaborate option with the same nicknames is Evangeline.

Caroline – I wanted to suggest Charlotte, but I suspect it would be too popular to consider. I wonder if Caroline is a little unexciting for you – but it might be perfect from your husbad’s point-of-view. Caroline is traditional, familiar, but not too common. Two similar possibilities are Josephine and Katherine

LunaLuna is another choice with ties to the natural world, just like Bear. It’s the Latin – and Spanish – word for moon, and a rising favorite with parents today. But it’s also a simple, straightforward name with an on-trend sound.

Overall, I think you should talk to your husband before you rule out Everly. He might surprise you!

From my list, I’m drawn to Georgia. I think the nickname potential most closely mirrors Everly and Vivian. And it has that familiar-but-not-everywhere-yet quality that makes Georgia nicely popular, but far from overheard.

Readers, what would you suggest to Laura for her baby on the way?