I’m expecting a girl due in July. We have a son named Jack. His name was easy to choose; I loved it for years. My husband wasn’t always on board but grew to love it. He’s never been “wow”ed by any name I’ve mentioned.
When I was pregnant with my son, I was certain that if he was a girl, her name would be Felicity. But now, I don’t feel that way. I still like the name but keep waiting for something else to wow me! It’s like it’s not enough this time.
I want a name that’s recognizable but not too common. We’ve also considered:
Emilia – But it’s too popular.
Celeste – My husband isn’t sure.
Margot – I worry some people will look puzzled when they hear it.
Sabrina – A favorite, but we had a cat by the name. Still, not an absolute no.
The Name Sage replies:
It often feels like names belong to a particular pregnancy. Had you welcomed a Felicity instead of a Jack, I’ve no doubt you’d love the name – and the child! – every bit as much. But Felicity might not fit your sibset for this time around.
You’ve mentioned that some might not recognize the name, and I get it. But here’s the thing: it’s the flipside of the wow factor. Unless you stick with the most classic, familiar names, some people will mishear your child’s name, at least some of the time. Emma and Elizabeth may not have those problems, but I don’t think that’s quite what you’re after.
So maybe we’re looking for a girl’s name that feels a little closer to those qualities – traditional, yes, but with a twenty-first century sensibility. Would you consider:
Cecile – Cecilia reminds me of Felicity, but the shorter Cecile makes for a slightly more tailored option. Nickname Cece is darling, but there’s no need to shorten this two-syllable name. (Current US popularity: outside of the Top 1000)
Daphne – Like Jack, Daphne’s been around long enough that we all recognize the name. But it has a certain swing to it. With Penelope, Chloe, and Zoe all in the Top 100, Daphne makes a great stands out/fits in choice. (Current US popularity: Number 385)
Greta – Like Margot, Greta comes from Margaret originally. We all recognize it, but it’s rarely heard on children today. Greta Garbo puts it in the same Hollywood legends category as Audrey and Ava. (Current US popularity: Number 632)
Lucy – Maybe Lucy strikes you as a bit too popular – and it has appeared in the US Top 100 since 2010. But then, Jack also ranks in the current Top 100. So maybe spirited Lucy makes the perfect sister name? (Current US popularity: Number 52)
Maren – There’s more than one origin for Maren. It can come from the Latin word mare, meaning sea. But it’s also connected to time-tested choices like Mary, which makes it a great twenty-first century update to a classic. (Current US popularity: Number 633)
Mary – Or … just use Mary! No, really. Countless women answer to the name, but it’s surprising how very rare it is to meet a baby Mary. The long-time chart-topping choice now feels like a fresh and delightful surprise. (Current US popularity: Number 126)
Sadie – Sadie combines the energy of Daphne with the casual appeal of Jack. Again, maybe it’s much too common for you to consider. But if you like Sadie’s style, this list is one to browse. Poppy, Lola, Millie, and Edie could work every bit as well. (Current US popularity: Number 71)
Lastly, I think it’s important to recognize this: sometimes the name only clicks after our child is in our arms. It sounds like your husband feels this way about Jack’s name. Even if it takes a little bit of time, you’ve got some great choices for your daughter.
Yes, it’s exactly right.
No, I don’t think it works.
Maybe, but I prefer