Category: baby name dilemmas

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Rule-Breaking Baby Names

a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts

They have a well-established formula for naming a son, but this time nothing feels quite right. Is there something they’ve overlooked? Or is it time to break the rules?

Rachel writes:

We are expecting our third child and I am stumped on a name if it’s a boy. Our two oldest are Alexander Adlai, called Xander, and Ezekiel Bryce, called Zeke.

I love classic, multi-syllable first names with an easy nickname and the Z/X/K sound.

We have considered Dominic/Nic, Nikolai/Kole, Malachi/Kai, and Maximilian/Max but none of them seem to be the one.

What have we not thought of or considered?

We also take into account name meaning, so bonus points if it’s more significant.

The Name Sage replies:

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a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts

What to do when your last name rules out nearly every first name you love? An Australian reader turns to the Name Sage to solve the puzzle of a not-too-religious boys’ name that works with Lo.

Ping writes:

I’ve been reading your Name Sage posts keenly, hoping one might help us out. But our problem feels unique, and I’m getting genuinely worried, so I’m plucking up the courage to write in with our dilemma.

We’re pregnant with our third – and final – child, whose sex we’ve decided not to find out. We like the surprise!

We currently have two boys, named Archie and Jesse.

The kicker is, their surname is Lo. Turns out, it’s the HARDEST name to work with! Here’s why:

– Any names starting with B, F, G, or S would sound out as blow, flow, glow and slow!

– Names ending in ‘s’ or ‘x’ also roll into Lo awkwardly, making the sound ‘slow’.

– Names ending in vowels, especially if they contain ‘L’ in them, sound too sing-song.

So many of our favorite names fail these basic tests: Sasha, Leo, Louis, Seb, Benjamin. The only possibilities we have in mind are Roland – but is Rolly Lo too much? – and Reuben.

We have a few girls’ names in mind, but are stuck for boys’ names. Please help!

The Name Sage replies:

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I Love Them Both the Same!

baby names

I can never decide which name I like more, Daisy or Maisie.

I’m equally torn between Otis and Osias, Beatrice and Beatrix, Harry and Henry.

What two pairs of similar names do you love equally?

And why are those the two that inspire the greatest ambivalence?

Are they similar in sound or feel or image?

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Abby Berry Juice profile image

Unusual Baby Names: A search for the unique

a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts

They’re looking for a bold name for baby number two! Can you help brainstorm unusual baby names–word names or vintage gems that are seldom heard in real life – but still sound like names? 

Nikki writes:

My daughter will be 2 years old when this baby is born in late October.

Her name is Arliss Lorraine. I have a great aunt named Arlys but never really met her … that was random! I got the name from the little boy in Old Yeller. I knew that was THE name when I saw the movie as a child. It is unisex and we didn’t find out the sex of the baby so it was perfect. Lorraine is a family name on both sides, but honestly, I just like it – it’s a bonus that people thought it was in honor of them!

Our second child is another delivery surprise.

If it is a boy, I love word names, but my husband has said NO to a lot of them – Thief, Sweep, Season, month names. The middle name for a boy will be David.

For a boy, we’re considering Sterling – but is it too ritzy? We also like Revere, as in Paul Revere. But it doesn’t really roll off the tongue.

Roane is a family name on my side. It’s pronounced row – ane, like Jane or rain. It was my late grandfather’s name, but I think it would work for a boy or a girl.

If it is a girl, we like Maple, Mabel, Ardelle – another family name, but just like Arliss, not really naming her after anyone, and Mora Gene, a Southern double name. (We live in the South.) Another middle name option is Story.

Rudolph is our last name. Yup, like the reindeer.

I’m drawn to A, M, and S names. Marlowe and Sloane were both on the list at one point. I like water names, but I don’t love Lake, and River is too popular.

Having a name that no else has is a big thing for me. I’m not a huge fan of nicknames.

I love that I have a story about naming Arliss, and I’m kind of sad that I don’t have that for this one!

The Name Sage replies:

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Abby Berry Juice profile image

Baby Names: Spelling Counts

a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts

She’s found the perfect name for her Fall 2016 baby. But how to spell it? The Name Sage wades into the data to find the best answer – but wants to hear your opinion, too! 

Lindsey writes:

I’m trying to decide on a name for my little girl and I’m stuck.

The options are either just Calli or a longer version of the name, like Calianna. (You pronounce the –anna like Anna in Frozen.) Or maybe Calli (first name) with Anna (middle name) – except I might merge it into Calianna anyway.

I like short and simple, but I like the longer name, too. But will spelling be a problem? Pronunciation?

My name doesn’t really have nicknames, so it’s always been pretty simple! I’d love some input.

The Name Sage replies:

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