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Name Sage: Can Laura Name Her Daughter Cora?

March 8, 2016 Abby Sandel

Laura writes:

My husband loves the name Cora for the baby girl (our first) that we are expecting.

I initially was opposed, but it really has grown on me. I like its simplicity and sort of vintage feel.

The only problem? My name is Laura!

The rhyming factor seems very weird to me. Our last name is one syllable, so I fear rhyming first names would make us sound like a Dr. Seuss family!

But I can’t deny we are both drawn to the name. Help!

The Name Sage replies:

Cora is such a gorgeous name, exactly for the reasons you mention. It’s straightforward, vintage, feminine, and strong. And you and your husband agree on the name? It ought to be an easy decision!

But would going through life as Laura and Cora Seuss get old fast?

My initial answer is yes. Rhyming names do seem potentially awkward. If you were naming twins, or Laura’s younger sister, I would say that it was a dealbreaker.

Except that plenty of families have managed to navigate the senior/junior conflict. If Joe Sr. and Joe Jr. can live under one roof for eighteen-odd years, why not Laura and Cora?

Maura and Nora might be too close, but somehow the hard C sound of Cora makes it easier to distinguish between the two names.

Still, if there were another name that you loved as much as Cora, it would definitely be worth avoiding the problem! So let’s see if we can come up with some alternatives.

Lena – Another short, sophisticated choice for a daughter.

Vera Just as vintage and straightforward as Cora, but without the rhyming factor.

Della Della isn’t often heard now, but it was big in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Clara – The Latinate form of Claire, with a very similar sound to Cora.

Ruby – Word names are modern favorites, but Ruby has a long history of use.

Hattie Hattie is another antique choice that feels ready for revival in 2016.

Sybil Cora is a Downton Abbey name, and so is tailored Sybil.

If your heart is still set on Cora, there’s one other possibility. You might choose a formal name that shortens to Cora. Cordelia, Coraline, Coralie, and Corinne are all options, and there are others, too.

My favorite option would be Laura and Cordelia. Cordelia is a little bit lacier than Cora, but it’s a strong, literary choice thanks to the loyal daughter in Shakespeare’s King Lear. It also offers other nickname options if your daughter prefers a non-rhyming name in the future.

Readers, do you think mother and daughter can share similar names? Please share your opinion in the poll – and add your favorite alternatives to Cora in the comments!

About the author

Abby

Abby Sandel is nameberry's Senior Editor and resident Name Sage. Look for her baby name news round-ups every Monday, and her Name Sage columns on Wednesdays. Abby is the creator of the baby name blog Appellation Mountain and mom to Alex and Clio. For a chance to have your questions answered, contact Abby at namesage@nameberry.com.

View all of Abby's articles

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