Narrowing Down Your Name List
Narrowing down your name list can be the toughest part! Jessie has it down to three final choices. But how do you go from three to one? And if you can’t get there, does it mean that it’s time to broaden your search again?
We’re expecting our second daughter in January, and we need your help! Our first daughter is named Eloise June, a combination that we love and fits her perfectly. We chose Eloise just because we liked it, and June is in honor of both her grandmas, who have June birthdays.
Will I regret not using either of the leftover names? Maybe this means that we haven’t even found the right name? Or is it on our list but I’m just too afraid to go for it?
We’d love to hear your suggestions to let us know if we’re on the right track or if we should change directions entirely!
The Name Sage replies:
Some couples draft a list together on their honeymoon, and confidently use it to name children over a decade.
Other families start fresh with every pregnancy. Runner-up names simply belong to that moment in the past – even if there’s no practical reason that you couldn’t consider them for future children.
It sounds like this describes your feelings. That means it’s time to tuck Ada and Hazel in Eloise’s memory box. Will you regret not using them? Maybe a little. For those of us who love names, there are always some amazing choices that get away.
Let’s get to work on narrowing down your name list:
MARCELINE – This name brings to mind Adventure Time, and, of course, Walt Disney’s hometown, inspiration for the iconic Main Street millions love. It’s also quite rare – in 2019, Eloise ranked #151, Annabelle #170, and Sylvie #874. Marceline doesn’t make the current Top 1000. That’s not a bad thing, necessarily, but it does mean that you’ll probably repeat and spell Marceline more than Eloise.
SYLVIE – Like Eloise, Sylvie leans gently French. It’s less common than Eloise or Annabelle, but still generally familiar. It shares the middle ‘v’ of chart-toppers like Ava and Evelyn, and fits in with favorites like Lucy and Sophie. But Sylvie makes for a distinctive choice, too. I think it hits the sweet spot between Annabelle and Marceline.
JUNIPER – A nature name that echoes Eloise’s middle.
MARGOT – A traditional choice with French roots and that high-energy ‘o’ ending.
SYBIL – A name that shares Hazel’s –l ending, but is far less common.
VIOLET – A Top 100 favorite with a strong, vintage sound.
The question now is whether you agree.
When it comes to narrowing down your name list, logic – and an outside perspective – can help. But every bit as valuable is that gut feeling that the advice might be wrong. Maybe, after reading my case for Sylvie, you’re convinced that Annabelle really is the name for your daughter.
Instead of adding to your list, I’d suggest spending some time with each of your favorites – Annabelle, Marceline, and Sylvie – and thinking about reasons that you appreciate each name. That lightning bolt moment of certainty might not come, but patience, compromise, and effort can help you choose a name that you’ll – ultimately – love.
About the author
View all of 's articles
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
on October 7th, 2020 at 6:03 am
I think Violet Mae, Matilda Mae, Margot Mae or Sylvie Mae would be gorgeous with Eloise June. I also think Beatrix, Willa, Clara, Olive, Thea, Daisy, Aveline, Henrietta, Anouk, Iris, and Ophelia would be lovely.
on October 7th, 2020 at 7:27 am
My favorite is Annabelle Mae. It is great with Eloise June.
on October 7th, 2020 at 8:03 am
Sylvie would be my pick too!
on October 7th, 2020 at 8:58 am
I like Annabelle with Eloise. I like that they both begin with vowel sounds and are both three syllables.
Eloise and Annabelle flows the best when spoken out loud.
In my opinion, Annabelle Mae has the best rhythm and flow compared to the other suggested names.
on October 7th, 2020 at 9:00 am
My vote goes to Georgia!
Eloise June & Georgia Mae, perfection! I love that they’re both spunky yet sweet, but don’t sound too similar at all.
on October 7th, 2020 at 9:44 am
I think all of your choices are wonderful and sound like great sister names for Eloise. My personal favorite is also Sylvie Mae.
I loved my first daughter’s name so much and also had 3 top contenders for my second daughter. I never felt like one of the three was “the one” so I let my husband decide. It took until she was almost 2 years old but now I can’t imagine her being named anything else. I hope whatever name you choose brings you so much joy every time you say it!
on October 7th, 2020 at 10:49 am
Annabelle Mae or Hazel Mae!
on October 7th, 2020 at 11:55 am
I think Sylvie May is a slam dunk. Goes perfectly with Eloise June. I do like the May spelling better though, especially because June is spelled the traditional way. I also think it looks lovely written Sylvie May versus Sylvie Mae.
on October 7th, 2020 at 1:00 pm
I think Sylvie Mae is perfect! Eloise June and Sylvie Mae is a lovely sibset.
A few other possibilities:
on October 7th, 2020 at 3:21 pm
Congrats on #2! It looks like you e got some great options here, both your own list and Abby’s (and, of course, the community’s).
The month connection with the girls’ middle names is a sweet way to help them bond. I did want to raise a small point, though, about sound. The long A sound ending of Mae and the long A sound of the last name might run together when the whole name is said. I’m not sure this even matters, but thought I’d mention it, just in case.
FirstName Mae A – –
I do think the single-syllable middle flows well, and like that it mirrors the single-syllable middle in Eloise’s name.
And I add my vote for Sylvie Mae.
on October 9th, 2020 at 2:35 pm
I love (in this order):
1. Annabelle Mae
2. Georgia Mae
3. Sylvie Mae
All the suggestions were fabulous though. You can’t go wrong here!
on October 10th, 2020 at 10:16 pm
1000% Eloise & Sylvie !
They are on equal footing with one another, like two sister’s names should be! The both lean gently French, have an irrefutable elegance and flare, and both sound confident and clear.
Neither are fussy or frilly, just beautiful elegant names.
Marceline feels a little…overencumbered compared to the lighter, slightly more to the point Eloise.
Annabelle has a similar vintage vibe as Eloise, but feels a bit more frilly.
If not Sylvie, I’d suggest:
I like how the L’s tie them together.
on October 11th, 2020 at 9:16 pm
Eloise June is so lovely! I think the middle name Mae is very sweet alongside June (can vouch for Mae/May as it’s my middle name), and from your list Sylvie would be my top choice- Eloise and Sylvie are amazing together. Some other ideas to consider:
Beatrice/Beatrix – I used to nanny twins named Beatrice and Eloise and I think their names are so precious together. Beatrice if you want something vintage and elegant, Beatrix for something a bit more feisty.
Marlowe – to me Marlowe sounds simultaneously classic and fresh, which is perfect for Eloise’s sister.
on October 17th, 2020 at 3:36 pm
Margot Mae all the way! The m assonance is so cute.
on October 19th, 2020 at 11:13 pm
Before I even read the entire article I thought Sylvie would be the best fit! Eloise June and Sylvie Mae make the perfect sibset.
I think if you did go with Annabelle that I would spell it Annabel instead, just seems less “frilly” that way. But my vote is 100% for Sylvie!
on October 21st, 2020 at 10:36 pm
From your list, I think Annabelle (or, even better IMO, Annabel) or Sylvie are excellent choices with Eloise. I also love Abby’s suggestions of Margot and Sybil.
Lydia, Ivy, Juliet, Phoebe, Beatrice or Greta would also work nicely.
leave a reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.