Name Sage: We Agree on Nothing!
*(Before we get started with this week’s question, a request. Has your question been featured at the Name Sage? We are dying to know what you chose! Please send a birth announcement email to firstname.lastname@example.org!)
My husband and I are expecting a little girl this winter. She will be our first child and we are both overjoyed! However, finding a name for our little one has proved to be quite the challenge.
I’m that girl who had her children’s names picked when I was ten. My husband has other ideas. Who would ever have thought we could have such different taste!
The only name we can come close to an agreement on would be to use Ann in some way in our daughter’s name.
At this point we are both at a loss and drowning in names that we cannot agree on! Any advice you can grant us would be such a great help!
The Name Sage replies:
This is such a common dilemma! But that doesn’t make it any easier when your due date is rapidly approaching and there’s still no agreement.
Your list reminds me that we don’t love names in neat categories. You’ve been willing to consider modern choices like Addison and Ryan, both of which seem very different from your preferred style. And your husband has been willing to abandon his exotic, unusual names for simple, classic Ann.
It’s a good sign that you’re both willing to compromise, but it’s also true that it won’t necessarily get you to The Name.
So let’s take a look at some approaches that might work:
First, you could use an elaboration of Ann.
Many of these are longer, more feminine choices. If he loves Sierra, Mariana doesn’t seem like such a stretch. And while it is probably much frillier than you would choose, Mariana has plenty of old-fashioned appeal.
Try to find the middle ground between your favorite names.
Focus on popularity.
Look for either a more familiar name that suits his style, or a less familiar name that feels more like your taste.
It seems like the names that you prefer are happily mainstream, while your husband favors something far less familiar. You could compromise by choosing a name that fits his general style, but is much more popular, like Top 100 choices Scarlett and Savannah.
Or perhaps he’d be happy with names that are more your style – if only they weren’t in the Top 100, something like Thea, Celine, or Sylvie. The names have history and tradition, but are relatively unusual today.
I do think that when you’re really stuck, it can be helpful to talk about the qualities you both prefer in names. Nickname-proof or nickname-rich? Long or short? Frilly or tailored? Popular, rare, or somewhere in between? While you won’t necessarily find a name that bridges your styles perfectly, it can be a good way to start creating a list.
From the names you’ve already considered, my top suggestions for you are Vivienne, which seems like your style but with a rhythm and sound he appreciates. Or maybe even Viviana, which incorporates Ann? My second thought is Savannah, a Top 100 staple that brings to mind Sahara and Sierra, but is familiar enough that it seems like it might satisfy you, too.
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on November 10th, 2015 at 11:46 pm
Other middle ground names to me are Josephine (Josie), Lucille, Quintana (Quinn), and June. Ruby has a strong classic Western vibe, and some of his choices like Cheyenne seem modern Western to me. My list is what I think of when I think of other Western names.
on November 11th, 2015 at 12:14 am
Well, I suppose it doesn’t help to say I much prefer your taste in names, nor that I think the woman should dominate in name choices, particularly when she is a nameberry from early childhood on!
I do think the name fanatic thing matters, as it is so important to you. Plus you are actually carrying and birthing the child. Oh well.
I would steer clear of Cheyenne and Sierra, which sound (I am sorry to say) low rent. I know many teachers who cringe when they hear those names.
I agree with Sweetchariot about Ruby sounding somehow western. Shasta sounds western to me — a beautiful mountain in northern California – and I’ve always fancied the combo Ruby Shasta.
Since he likes place names (I do too, just not the three you listed), maybe pouring over an atlas or the list of geographic locations at the back of a good dictionary might turn up a name you both love.
Also since you like Ruby, maybe think of some other jewel names more in line with his preferences. Garnet is lovely (for either gender). I love Carnelian for both too. Other choices could be Opal, Peridot, Pearl, Topaz, Emerald, Sapphira, Beryl, Coral, or Jade.
Going off his liking for Sierra, what about Vienna?
As for the Ann options, what about elegant Anne? Annora? Annetta? Anthea? Anya? Annemarie?
Best of luck!
on November 11th, 2015 at 12:36 am
The suggestions from the Name Sage and above are all wonderful. I particularly like the suggestions of Garnet and Jade.
The only other Ann suggestions that I can think of that haven’t already been suggested are Annabel and Anastasia.
on November 11th, 2015 at 12:42 am
I love the names Abby suggested. It seems like Savannah could really work as incorporates both the place, the name Ann, and the mixture of Sahara and Sierra.
on November 11th, 2015 at 2:43 am
I really like the suggestion of Vienna! And of course many others.
Some of these may feel off the wall but something might spark a compromise!
on November 11th, 2015 at 2:46 am
Oh shoot it deleted my suggestions:
on November 11th, 2015 at 7:46 am
Wow, how incredibly rude of the commenter above to say names like Cheyenne and Sierra sound “low rent”. They sound like western place names, which they are. As a teacher, I cringe thinking people are judging children in this way because of what name was special to their parents.
My thoughts on names: if the writer in question is named Sarah, having a daughter named Sahara is quite cute and an interesting way to honor her, as it uses all of the same letters.
Since compromise will be key, perhaps a more traditional/old fashioned first name with a quirky middle (or middles!) will be what does the trick. There’s an Instagram mama with GREAT naming skills for her children who has a daughter named Francesca Fox (France for short). You could also try
Ruby Ann Sahara
Ruby Ann Snow (since she’ll be a winter baby!)
Edie Indiana (one part old fashioned, one part unusual place name, with some Ann in there a bit)
There are also place names that ARE old fashioned names (and relatively simple) like Georgia.
Georgia Ann Winter or Georgia Winter Rose are cute combos to me.
Depending on when you’re due/when she’s born, and how you feel about flower names, Primrose means “first rose,” which could be great for a New Years baby.
I can’t be certain of course, but it seems your husband wants something in a name that will set your child apart from the many other (possibly in her classes!) who will inevitably have it. If that’s okay with you and not him, having some interest and individuality in the middle spot is a wonderful compromise. Since marriage is all about that. 😉
So glad namesage posters will be sending birth announcements!! I want to know what people choose. Good luck!!!
on November 11th, 2015 at 7:57 am
Uh, I think Ruby is the best name! It’s also the only one you mentioned loving. Has your husband completely nixed it? Maybe you could tell him the many merits of Ruby: it’s a nature and color name, it’s classic, easy to spell and pronounce, used in a rock song (Ruby Tuesday). Maybe something will resonate with him ( I convinced mg husband in a similar way). And let him pick the middle.
Otherwise, how about- Annabell, Anniston, Cora/ Coral, Hazel, Georgia, Charlotte, Zara,
on November 11th, 2015 at 9:14 am
Some more names to consider:
Helena, Salina, Odessa, Sydney, Aurora, Adelaide, Sienna, Sylvia, Sylvana, Juniper, Amelia, Isla, Olympia, Sana, Tula, Sandra, Rohana, Audrey, Willa.
Hope these help.
on November 11th, 2015 at 9:58 am
Anyone else notice that her DH likes names that sound similar to DW’s name? Sahara and Sierra are so close to Sarah it kills me that it wasn’t mentioned in this post. He clearly loves his wife and her name and wants something similar for his daughter. So this makes me think something like Clara or Celia might work perfectly. Then again I don’t see why you can’t just use Ruby Cheyenne seeing as Cheyenne has that “ann” ending. Hope this helps!
on November 11th, 2015 at 10:15 am
My husband and I have had similar struggles. I’ve been a baby name addict since early childhood, whereas he never thought much about it until we were actually expecting a baby. The difference is that I’m the one with the preference for the unusual, and he’s the one with very classic, traditional tastes. That being said, we have successfully named 6 children, so it can be done!
As Name Sage mentioned, thinking about *why* we liked certain names helped us quite a bit. For us, narrowing down to Bible, Nature, and Family names gave us focus and clarity in our search. Also, my husband became more comfortable with unusual names that had “normal” sounding nicknames that the child can fall back on if he decides he hates it when he’s 15. For a couple of our children, he was content with a daring first name paired with a more conventional middle name. It’s all about choosing a name that reflects both of you–just like your child will. I hope you find something you both love!
on November 11th, 2015 at 12:31 pm
I like the Suggestion of Savannah Ruby. I also like the name Cheyenne Ruby or Ruby Cheyenne. To me Cheyenne has the Ann sound you both agree on and using your favorite with his favorite makes a beautiful combo.
I also really like Bethany Cheyenne.
on November 11th, 2015 at 3:09 pm
Annaria (ah NAH ree ah) is a pretty and uncommon name and sounds a bit like a mash-up of Ann and Sierra. Also Anthea.
on November 11th, 2015 at 4:58 pm
Great suggestions all around and especially from BCox13 and Titus245. I find it funny that he likes names similar to hers, but overall I just thought southern, very southern names. The one thing they have in common is that I consider all of the names they mentioned to be more southern, and living in Texas, I’ve heard them all. I definitely would not call her style classic, with names like Laura, Addison (for a girl), Ryan (for a girl), and Annabeth on her list, but that’s me. So I think overall finding a common style and why they like those names is great advice.
From the ones mentioned I think some that could fit are:
Lucille, Quinn, Garnet, Topaz, Emerald, Coral, Jade, Vienna, Dahlia, Hazel, Acacia, Poppy, Georgia, Odessa (though being from Texas, I have no idea why people like this name), Adelaide, Tula, and Vivienne.
Ann could go any which way for the middle.
I think the best are Coral, Vienna, Dahlia, Poppy, Georgia, Tula, and Vivienne. GOOD LUCK and let us know what you decide!
on November 11th, 2015 at 4:59 pm
Savannah Ruby sounds very nice.
I really like Annabel, Annabeth & Bethany too.
Savannah Anna sounds cool, but I’m probably the only one that thinks so. xD
on November 11th, 2015 at 6:31 pm
My vote goes to Ruby Cheyenne (or any name with “Ann” sound, even Cheyanne our Shyanne to be closer to an “Ann” sound).
on November 11th, 2015 at 8:52 pm
Wow! Lots of great suggestions. Here are a few more based off of names you mentioned:
Addison – You like traditional and simple. He likes modern and frilly. Madeleine and Adeline seem like common ground. They both shorten to less frilly Maddy, Addy, or Lina.
Laura – Lorelei and Lorraine. Lorelei may sound more fresh but it’s an old name. Laura can still be a nickname.
Annabeth – Maybe Bethany will sound more fresh and feminine to him.
Ruby – Perhaps Gemma will sound more modern, but it was in use hundreds of years ago in Italy.
I love Georgia, and perhaps Georgiana is the perfect blend of place name, tradition, and Anne.
Other more “traditional” place names:
A few others:
Carys (a modern-sounding traditional Welsh name)
on November 11th, 2015 at 9:47 pm
A few previous posters noted that DH seems to like names similar to DW’s name Sarah. On that note, I will suggest Sadie.
Sadie is a nickname/diminutive of Sarah, it’s old fashioned and sweet (and back in style) like Ruby, but it sounds similar to DH’s preferred picks of Cheyenne and Sierra.
Sadie Ann is adorable
on November 12th, 2015 at 10:16 am
I think the suggestions of Vivienne and Adeline are a good idea. Here are some others;
Saranne – if DH likes names based around Sarah and DW likes Ann this could work.
Laurie (I know he’s not a fan of Laura but you never know)
on November 12th, 2015 at 4:02 pm
First names that pop into my head are Opal and Laurel, more a bit modern spunky but also very classic pretty in feel. Or maybe a flower name like Lily or Poppy? Maybe a name that’s long and interesting for him but has potential simple sweet nickname material for you? As long as he’s ok with you actually calling her by it regularly. What about Delilah nn Lilah? or Lucille nn Lucy?
Sylvie/Sylvia might be nice. Sadie or Scarlett both have that slight western vibe to me that could work. I think Josie would be nice, but Quinn when looked at in a western sense feels more masculine to me.
on November 15th, 2015 at 12:23 am
My first suggestion is to wait to name the baby until she is here. After watching me go through the pain of childbirth, my husband allowed me to name my first my choice (which I had chosen years ago but he didn’t like). We went to the hospital with three names–his first choice, my first choice, and a compromise. That way we wouldn’t be totally stuck. When he said that I could use my first name, I gave him complete free reign over the middle, and he chose a name that we hadn’t even discussed. Her name is Felicity Noelle.
I’d also like to second the suggestion of Annika. Our second daughter is Annika and we get compliments on it all the time. We pronounce it on-i-KA.
on November 15th, 2015 at 12:26 am
Also, everyone keeps saying Savannah, but how about Susannah?
on November 15th, 2015 at 6:53 pm
Susannah is old-fashioned sweetness. 🙂 It has the lovely nicknamed Susie and Sanna. If you like Ann you could even use that.
on November 15th, 2015 at 6:54 pm
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