Name Sage: Choosing Names When You Disagree
This week’s dilemma: choosing names when you disagree.
I’m hoping you and your wisdom can help me.
I’m 20 weeks pregnant with my second child (gender unknown).
My daughter was named after five days, when my partner and I were just simply fed up of name conversations. (The midwife found us a names book!) It broke my heart because I love names and had so many that were vetoed in the process. We never really clicked on a name together.
She is called Thea Margot. Not that I don’t love it – I do – I just somehow don’t think that is really her name. When I would raise my concerns in the first few months that I didn’t think it was her name, people would ask “well what is it” and I couldn’t answer – I had no idea what her name should be! Throughout my pregnancy a girl was always going to be called Annie Rose.
I need some names that go with Thea and for this time, for my baby’s name to feel like his/her name. The only stipulation is that it cannot be an H name, which annoys me because I love Helena and Hannah.
I am dreading going through the same doubts and heartache over a name and I want to really enjoy this process!
The Name Sage replies:
If you’re feeling stuck again, it might help to shift the conversation. Instead of talking about names, discuss the qualities you’d both like in a name. Is it important to find something a little bit different? It sounds like maybe you’re trying to avoid nicknames. And I wonder if your partner, especially, has a strong preference for classic choices.
Rejecting a suggested name is so easy. All it takes is a frown or a shake of the head. But really thinking through what you both value in a child’s name? That’s a different kind of process. (If you’re a number-cruncher, you might even plug your answers into this spreadsheet from Nancy’s Baby Names.)
Most importantly, talking about qualities changes the dynamic from you-suggest, your-partner-rejects. Instead, you’re working together to find areas of agreement.
That’s so much more enjoyable than the alternative!
If none of these choices sound quite right, maybe you’d consider:
Rose – Maybe your favorite middle name actually works better as a first?
When it comes to boy names, I think we’re looking for something brief and traditional, but still very current.
My favorite is Jack. Yes, it’s popular. But I never tire of hearing it. And with a great middle name – Jack Xavier, maybe? – it could be traditional enough to satisfy your partner, but with enough excitement to thrill a name lover, too!
Choosing names when you disagree can be a challenge. But I think you’re smart to start early, and to look for something you can both feel good about.
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on June 3rd, 2020 at 6:10 am
Anne Juliet would be wonderful! It goes very well with Thea Margot. Anne Phoebe is lovely too.
Isaac and Max (or Max- names) are my favourite boy names from these suggestions.
on June 3rd, 2020 at 11:45 am
There are a couple things that stand out about your favorites: One is that they tend to be fairly short, two syllables maximum. Another is that many started out as nicknames for formal names, but stand on their own today (Thea, Margot, and Annie). A third is that many have a vintage-but-not-antique feel, and are rising today. I could see a few different paths to a compromise.
Daphne: Reminds me of Phoebe from your list, and Chloe from Abby’s. Daphne is in the same popularity range as Thea, and is widely familiar without being common.
Gemma: Reminds me of Helena and Hannah from your list, but does not start with an “H.” Gemma has always struck me as upbeat and slightly British, like Helena, but is a bit shorter.
Jane: Short, traditional, surprisingly uncommon, and could easily be nicknamed Janie. Reminds me of Rose and Claire from Abby’s suggestions. Another suggestion along these lines is the very similar June, which I might like even more.
Rosalie: A bit longer, but definitely fits with your general style.
Nickname names ending in an -ie/y sound:
Laney/Lainey: A nickname for Helena that can stand alone, and also includes many of the sounds of Annie.
Sadie, Molly, Hattie, Sally, Edie, Evie, Elsie, Maisie
on June 3rd, 2020 at 1:09 pm
How about Anneliese?
To me, Thea is a darling name, and very distinct (while familiar). I’ve only ever met one (who is about 10) and she is so artistic and delightful.
I think Anneliese would be a stronger fit for Thea’s sister. Anneliese Rose is lovely. She could go by Annie/Anne/Anna.
And for boys, I’ll add Silas. 🙂
on June 3rd, 2020 at 1:21 pm
Love Annie Rose! If that doesn’t feel quite right, what about going for a different rose related name like Rosa, Rosalind, or Rosalina?
JK Garrison Said
on June 3rd, 2020 at 4:44 pm
As mentioned, it seems like you have a classic, feminine, 1-2 syllable style. Annie Rose is lovely. Some other first names to consider:
For a boy:
on June 5th, 2020 at 1:58 pm
It sounds to me like you already have a girl’s name picked. Although I do prefer Anne Phoebe to Annie Rose. As for a boy’s name, I’d to throw in Grant Dean.
on June 5th, 2020 at 11:43 pm
Talking about baby names with my husband could be difficult at times too. Another approach i liked to make looking for names fun was to play a baby names book game: pick a random number, find the page, pick your favorite name that appears from the list on that page. Sometimes the answers would make us laugh, or be surprised, and better yet if we both picked the same favourite. It doesn’t help narrow a list but it helps make it fun and you can learn a lot about your partner’s taste.
on June 6th, 2020 at 2:37 am
Zelda Rose perhaps?
I feel like Zelda can fit in nicely with Thea.
In reading the original message, I realize it’s one sided and I’m not entirely sure whose taste runs in what direction; but, Zelda may be one of those sweet spot names that can perhaps be a bridge for different tastes, too.
on June 6th, 2020 at 4:03 pm
Thea is a beautiful name! I think it pairs better with Alma, than with Annie. Something a little less classic.
on June 6th, 2020 at 10:58 pm
Other feminine suggestions:
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