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Name Sage: Strong Girl Names Like Margot

Name Sage: Strong Girl Names Like Margot

Holly writes:

We are due in October with our first child, a girl. Names came easy for us – before we even knew we were pregnant, we agreed on Jasper for a boy and Margot for a girl.

Margot checked all the boxes. It’s short, strong, and would be good for an artist or a CEO. I like how it sounds on a baby, a teenager, and a grown woman. And I like that it is traditional, without being the Mary/Anne/Elizabeth kind of obvious.

Except we just heard that my husband’s boss had her baby. It’s a girl. And they named her Margot, with this really special story about why they chose it.

We briefly considered using Margot anyway, but it just feels too weird to us both. They’ve worked together closely for nearly a decade, and even if one of them switched jobs in the future, their field is very small and they’d still know each other. And besides, we’re friends! If things were normal, we’d probably have seen each other at various events and maybe even talked about names.

We both agree that finding a new name is the way to go, but now that we have weeks, not months, we’d love some help coming up with new ideas!

The Name Sage replies:

It’s always tough when plans – any plans – change last minute. But names can be especially jarring, right? It’s not just heading to the Carolina coast because you can’t fly to Greece. It can feel like you’re completely re-thinking who you imagined your child might be.

The good news is that you know exactly what you want for your daughter’s name. We’re not starting with a blank slate; this is more like imagining we’re naming Margot’s sister.

Still, Margot is that rare name that straddles the modern and the traditional effortlessly. Maybe it’s that elusive quality that feels hardest to replicate. But not at all impossible!

Let’s find more strong, stylish, and traditional - but fresh - options for your daughter.

NAMES LIKE MARGOT

ADELAIDE

Plenty of girls answer to Adeline and Adalyn, but Adelaide remains nicely distinctive. If it's a little too long, Ada also hits the same note.

ESME

Like Margot, Esme reads creative. It's been around for ages, but it feels especially current for a daughter right now.

GEMMA

In an age of Emmas, Gemma is a sparkling stand-out. It means jewel, and it has history in Italy dating back to at least the Renaissance.

HELEN

Tailored and spare, it's easy to dismiss Helen as old-fashioned. Except we love a good name from the ancient world. Helen of Troy lends some shimmer to this enduring pick for a daughter.

MAREN

Margot meets Helen in Maren, a name that marries multiple trends. Originally a Scandi take on Mary, Maren falls midway between surnames like Harper and classic picks like Margaret - exactly like Margot.

RUTH

There's no question Ruth is a strong and substantial name for a daughter. Nickname Ruthie makes it every bit as flexible as many of the other names on this list.

THEA

Theodora feels a little elaborate, with all those syllables. But Thea is a brief, complete choice, a successor to Leah, an alternative to Cora.

ZELDA

This feels like a dark horse suggestion, but I can imagine Zelda appealing for all of the same reasons that Margot does. The sound is distinctive, the name has plenty of history, and it bridges the modern and the traditional effortlessly.

While Maren strikes me as the obvious substitute, hewing closely to Margot's sound and category-spanning style, I wonder if Thea isn't the better option? It's spirited and stylish, an old school name that's at-home in 1921 or 2021, and for many years to come.

Please hop over to the forums to discuss possible alternatives to Margot.

About the Author

Abby Sandel

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.