The Names That Got Away

I wish I’d had a daughter named Margaret, called Daisy or Maisie or Mamie.  But it’s a name I grew to love only after I named my daughter, and then my next two children were boys.

Flora was the name we almost used for our daughter, but then chickened out.  And Eliza has long been my favorite girl’s name, but not one my husband likes.

Our only daughter would have been Henry if she’d been a boy, but then by the time we had a boy, I wanted to name him Joseph after my dad.  And by the time we had a second boy, there were too many Henrys in our neighborhood.

Our next choice names, Edward nn Ned and Harry, were nixed by our kids, so we ended up with Owen.

I’m happy with my children’s names, Rory, Joe, and Owen.

But I still feel like I have other children too, phantom children who exist only by their almost-names: Daisy and Henry, Flora and Ned and Eliza.

What are YOUR children’s names that got away, and why?

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54 Responses to “The Names That Got Away”

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SarahP Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 12:21 am

Everyone thought my son was going to be a girl and he would have been Maisie. We stuck with Maisie with my 2nd & 3rd pregnancies, but they were all boys. The 3rd will likely be our last, so Maisie will not be.
The other boys name we had for my 1st son was Beckett, but my husband decided he didn’t like it on the way to the hospital, so he is Cooper.
My 2nd was always Dexter so there were no lost names there.
My 3rd is due in 2 months & we have NO idea what the name will be. I want Ferris, but it will likely be another name that gets away because my husband hates it.
For my husband it’s John; he always wanted a Jr. but I didn’t like it.

shellezbellez Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 12:51 am

I don’t have kids yet, but when I was with my ex, I had names picked out for girls that I don’t think I could use with anyone else. I’ve actually been really sad about this because I had such a clear vision of who the girls would be and now they will never be. Their names were going to be Evangeline and Vivienne, nn Evie (eh-vee) and Vivi. He was French Canadian and I’m from Louisiana, so they would have been perfect names for our girls.

beckym Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 12:59 am

Probably every “C” name is a favorite, but hubby didn’t want a kardashian clan or anything matchy matchy… but, I definitely push those names on my child bearing sisters and friends…

Natrose Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 1:02 am

This is a hauntingly beautiful topic, and I enjoyed learning Pam’s lost names. When I got married I loved the name Jasper, but husband hated it and said it sounds like whisper. Five years and three kids later, I have no other names that got away (so far) because I’m still holding out hope of getting to use the rest of them!

alexandrasumk1 Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 1:34 am

Clara, Alison, Paige, Dahlia, Rena…the agony!

Saranel Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 1:53 am

Chloe. Oh my dear sweet sweet Chloe. My Elijah would have been Chloe if he had been a girl. Of course then I found out how many little Chloe’s we would run into on a daily basis. Goodbye Chloe. Hello Felicity.

jazz1509 Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 5:26 am

We would have loved to use the name Patrick is we had a boy but after we had 2 girls a family member had a boy and named him Patrick. We are now expecting baby #3 and I’m very disappointed we can’t use Patrick 🙁

upswingbabynames Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 5:55 am

My phantom children are Cecily, Opal, Hugh, and Thaddeus.

Cecily I didn’t consider until I was pregnant with my second child, a boy and my husband nixed it anyway.

Opal I hadn’t considered as a first name until recently, and I don’t plan to have any more children.

Hugh doesn’t go well with my last name and my husband would have never went for it.

Thaddeus doesn’t go well with my last name, and I doubt my husband would like it.

TheFutureMrsB Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 6:04 am

I absolutely love Delilah but my SO, not so much. I could totally picture myself with a little Delilah. Curly brown hair, light blue eyes and a whole lot of personality. But I’ll never have her because of my SO’s dislike of the name.

ninkynonk Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 6:09 am

All of the glorious girls names on my list!

I am expecting my third boy who will be our last child, and while I’m happy with my lot, I am sad I’ll never get to name a girl. Here are some of my favourites:


PinkPenguin87 Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 7:08 am

For me, it’s Shyanne. I pushed so hard for this name when I was expecting my daughter, but my ex had his heart set on Rebecca. I knew if we ended up with a boy that his name would be Elijah no matter what, so I went with Becca. Five years later, my ex is no longer in the picture and my little girl has a name I really don’t care for.

@TheFutureMrsB: I also LOVE the name Delilah, but my super religious family (my Dad is a preacher) flips out everytime I mention it, so its definitely out for me too. 🙁

BritishAmerican Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 7:45 am

I feel the same way about the name Lucy, with the possible longer form Lucinda.

My husband wanted to name our first Lucy. She was a girl, but I was unsure. It was the name of my Nanna – who was alive at the time. I felt a little strange about picking one grandmother’s name over the other. I liked the longer form Lucinda a lot – but my husband didn’t like it at all. He just wanted Lucy. In the end he let me pick our daughter’s name. I had it down to Lucinda or Rose. I picked Rose as the ‘safer’ option.

Then we had our 2nd child and I was fine with going with Lucy this time. But he was a boy.

Then we had our 3rd child and our first gender surprise child. I’d named our first two kids, so my husband really wanted to name our 3rd. He decided on a boy name and a girl name early on. The girl name was still Lucy. It was now 2010/2011. He’d originally liked the name in 2004/2005. So this new baby was named “Lucy or George”. He turned out to be George. It was slightly strange to not get Lucy – I’d made a boy and a girl blanket and onesies with a G and an L. I bought a boy outfit and a girl one. So this time Lucy had a name and a blanket and shoes and a dress. But she still didn’t arrive. And even weirder at the time, friends had a daughter and named her Lucy, just the week before our baby was born. My kids also knew the names we’d picked and they thought the baby would be a girl. When George arrived, they still asked about Lucy, like we were going to have two babies.

thompssn Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 7:54 am

If my first had been a girl, she would have been Teagan Elizabeth. But, we ended up with a Conor. In the beginning stages of pregnancy #2, I realized that if we had a girl Teagan was still out for me. For some reason it would always belong to my first pregnancy, no matter that it couldn’t be used in the end. The name was picked for that first little fetus and wouldn’t work for another one, if that makes sense. We found out it was twins and now we have added Cormac and Cordelia to our family.

Mego0801 Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 8:10 am

I don’t even have children, but some names that I had my heart set on have already been used by family or close friends. It’s part of what led me to researching and searching out more unusual names! Madalyn was used by a close friend, and Natalie and Zachary were used by family (Zachary is a family name). But that’s all okay, because I love Madalyn, and Natalie, and their names suit them! Zachary is on the way and I can’t wait to meet him! My search for unusual names has turned me into a person that won’t use another favorite name of mine, Avilyn, because it is too similar to other very trendy names. I may not have kiddos but those names are all out of the running now! It’s all fine with me though, because I absolutely love my new names 🙂 I didn’t get my heart set on them until the future father of my children approved of them, so no arguing later on! 🙂

Missmolly Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 8:37 am

I never had girls, but even so Tess and Phoebe wouldn’t have worked with my husband’s surname, which begins with an F and is heavy on sibilants.

klcalder2 Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 9:16 am

Lyra. I desperately wanted to name my daughter Lyra. I tried all throughout the pregnancy to get my husband to agree to it, but nothing ever worked. I even tried again when we were pregnant with my son, but it became a moot point when we found out he was to be a boy. I’ll likely try again if we have a third, but I know he won’t go for it.

The boy’s name that got away was Asher. My husband refused to use it after both his mother and my father made the same negative comment about it on the same day. I’m still holding Dashiell in my back pocket though (another name he vetoed both times).

iheartnames Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 9:43 am

Adair, Carys, Ellery, Quiterie, Tatum, Natalie, Averil, & Waverly…. ( I really super hate it that there will never be baby girl Adair.)

emskyrooney Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 9:46 am

I’ve always wanted an Esther Marie after my two grandmothers but my husband hates Esther. So our new daughter is Eliza which I also love. If she’d been a boy I desperately wanted a Benjamin- our last name is LeBaron and I thought Benjamin LeBaron just sounds so nice. But our older son is Paul after his father (and grandfather, great grandfather, etc.) and there will likely be no more so we’ll never have a little Esther or Benjamin.. boo…

kyemsma Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 10:17 am

My boys’ names that got away:
Jack (too much of a nn, according to DH)
Patrick (Although this is our son’s mn, my DH did not like it for a fn because of nn Pat.)

Girls’ names:
Caroline (my DH said no way)

caty_beth89 Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 10:19 am

I’m expecting a girl right now and can’t use my absolute favorite girl name, Harriet, because of the teasing possibilities in combo with our last name. Oh well. At this point she doesn’t feel like a Harriet. She’s definitely our little Arwen Louisa (NN Ari Lou). I’ll probably always mourn Harriet though and may try to convince Arwen to name her daughter Harriet one day. lol

pam Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 10:20 am

Thompssn, I know what you mean about loving a name for one pregnancy that, if you don’t get to use it, never works again for some reason even if you still love it. I guess we felt that way about Henry. We DID know too many Henrys over time but beyond that, Henry was that phantom first child who never was.

Darci Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 10:43 am

If my daughter had been a boy, she would have been Bennett. Even if I did have another child, I wouldn’t name a son Bennett. That will always be the name of the first child.

littlemissmariss Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 11:00 am

I haven’t yet had children, but theres definitely a few favorites that will never be used because my SO dislikes them or a family member stole them.

I loved Alexander / Alexandria but my aunt named her son Alex so I don’t feel like I can really use it. Maybe as a middle name… maybe.
I absolutely adore William / Liam and Henry, but my SO vito’d them. I entirely imagine having two boys, William and Henry. But I guess that will never be.
Then theres Harriet, Mabel, Olive, etc… mostly Harriet. I want my first daughter named Harriet, and I can call her Hattie. But my SO really disikes old fashioned names.. I love all vintage names really.

Thankfully we’ve managed to find some compromise, there are some old fashioned names I will get to used along with his more modern names. We adore Archer, it feels modern but I can call him Archie. He even agreed on Eloise because he likes Ellie. We’ll have to see when teh time comes 🙂

LadyCap Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 11:22 am

My ex and I both loved the name Salvatore. It was his grandfather’s last name and it went great with his Italian last name. When we went our separate ways, I had to leave the name behind as well.

The other name is Cora. I fell in love with it years ago, but my husband hated it. Recently, he told me that he actually did like it very much now, and within a month two people I know had little girls and named them Cora. Oh well!

dayjoysky2815 Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 11:36 am

My first daughter is Valerie. There were so many name considerations when choosing her name that got shot down. But I’m glad she is now a Valerie…it suits her perfectly.

Names I would have used:
Mara (always wanted a little Mara)

I’m very happy with my little Anevay’s name as well. That was the only name for her when we were going through names.

My son, however…he is Kenneth. I do love his name but…he is only 2 months old and I am already starting to almost regret it..

I always wanted a little Harris or an Alexander. I almost wish he was my little Harris…sigh.

We plan on having 1 more, or 2 more at the very most. If it is a girl, we have so many name choices. I’d still like to use Jessamine but my husband isn’t for it. I think it would be perfect though, because yellow is my favorite color and we moved to SC for our love for the state. It’s perfect! But it likely won’t be used. If it’s a boy, maybe I’ll have my little Harris/Alexander after all…

nlane825 Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 12:50 pm

My lost daughters names are Reagan, Austyn, and Emma. These have always been my favorite three names and I could pictures my sweet little daughters running around… Until my husbands two cousins had kids. One had a Raegan and then an Emma and the other had an Austyn. Seriously what are the chances? They had no clue I loved those 3 names. My husband and I haven’t started having kids yet but I will always picture what Raegan, Austyn, and Emma would have been like. Time to find my next name that I love.

funkmomma Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 12:56 pm

I’m so blessed to be the mommy of 2 little girls, and I said to my mom yesterday, “If I got to name my girls by myself, they would be Eliza and Felicity.” But, I’m also blessed to be the wife of one great guy who nixed my name loves from the start (there is already an Eliza on his side and he hates identical initials, so with a surname that starts with F, Felicity was out). So, little girl number 1 is Elliott (how did we end up there?! lol I do love her name on her though 🙂 And little girl number 2…well, she’ll be here in about a month and her name is still up in the air!

margrocks Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 1:06 pm

for our daughter, i loved Eulalie (still do), but i couldn’t convince my husband. he says it sounds too much like ukelele, which i guess is somewhat true! so, i christened our daughter’s stuffed bunny Eulalie. ( : we ended up going with Remember for our daughter. we love the meaning of the word, and it was the name of a child passenger on the Mayflower, so we like it’s sense of history. if we have another, and it’s a girl, it will likely be Plum. we adore Olive, but that’s getting so much play right now, i’m afraid it’s lost something for us.

if we had a boy, he was going to be Cassius, but i think if we have another and it’s a boy, we’ll go with something else (maybe Dexter “Dex”, a family name) since Cassius seems to be gaining in popularity, and that always ruins things for me.

GrecianErn Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 1:42 pm

My lost name is JACK.
Until I got married I always thought my son would be Jack after a great man who was like a grandfather to me. But then I married a Jones… and “Jack Jones” doesn’t sound right. Though my sister wanted it for us, she thinks it sounds like a 1940s reporter. 🙂
It didn’t help that the DH’s cousin named their son Jack during our infertility crisis either.

I also loved the name Madelaine… with the nn Lainey. the DH hates Madelaine – and can’t tell me why.

Our son was going to be Greyson, nn Grey for me, and Gracie by Daddy if he had been a girl. We weren’t 100%, so it’s a good thing he was a boy since we were 100% for Weston.

Greyson doesn’t fit now… I agree, she belongs to that first pregnancy when I was devastated to find out we were having a boy.

The DH loved Keegan for pregnancy #1. I vetoed it in favor of Weston… he still wants it for the next baby. And I can’t seem to get on the band wagon… guess he has a missed list too.

So… Jack, Madelaine, Keegan and Greyson are out. We’ll see what #2 brings.

TaylorBlueSkye Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 2:22 pm

The lost name in our family is Katharina.

My brother would have been Katharina as well as two of my cousins. They turned out to be Dustin, Lukas and Nils.

Since the name has been one of the top names for years (especially in my generation) I won’t even consider it. So that will be the one that got away for my family. I don’t mind 😉

mckibs Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 2:28 pm

My lost name is Penelope. I didn’t think it fit my first daughter, and although I’m pregnant now…a close friend just named her newborn girl Penelope. Maybe it will be a futre dog/cat/fish for us someday! ha

pam Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Ah yes, what becomes of the names that get away — we’re reduced to giving them to our goldfish!!

spotlightstarlit Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 2:58 pm

My lost names are many, and I “lost” them all due to my own metamorphing list, however, I always “picture” the name, and so I too feel like I have many phantom children, possibly too many to count, the most prominent being Elaney, prn. El-uh-nee.

Another lost name is Annabel, due to my mother’s distinct association with Annabel the cow. I check in once every so often, but nearly ten years after I first fell in love and Annabel is still a cow to her.

Isobel is also lost to me, as my beloved grandmother passed away this year and baby girl will be named Elizabeth after her. I felt Isobel was too far from her name, Betty, which she hated, might I add, or I would consider Betty nn Bett, and Elizabeth has always been a favorite of mine. But Isobel, sigh, definitely a phantom child.

Taz Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Ramona- a mouthful w ln
Lake- awful w ln
Nina- ‘stolen’ by in-laws

Oh how I love them!!

claudia_kishi Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Frances is my lost name. It’s been my favorite for 20 years at least, since I first read Franny & Zooey and fell in love with it. Alas it is my husband’s ex and it is not to be (unless he has a last-minute change of heart after the delivery — I still hold out hope!). It’s been weirdly hard letting it go, even now that we finally found a name we both love. Francine, Opal, Helena (Nellie) and Claudine are all names I’d use in a second if my husband hadn’t vetoed those as well. Particularly Claudine — I’m still holding out hope for that one too!

StrixOniro Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Well, I don’t have any kids, but until not long before I was born, had I been a boy I would have been Caleb. But in late 1999 it started to get very popular. I think it’s considerably less popular 13 years later, but my mom had all girls so it never really mattered anyway. I hope Caleb declines in usage a little, because I’d like to use it someday for a son.

Circus85 Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 6:02 pm

We don’t have children yet, but my husband has already enthusiastically veto’ed my favourite girls names! Goodbye Adeline, Imogen, Isobel, Maisie, Louisa, Daisy, Isannah and Maeve. I hold out hope for Imogen though!

amandaberry Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 7:22 pm

We don’t have kids yet but a lot of my favorite girls names have been vetoed such as: Mona and Maeve (my two absolute favorites!). Also, back in the day when an ex and I were still together, I had dreamed of using Miranda b/c it was a combination of both our names.

meganks Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Unfortunately, I have one of these names. When we were naming our Miriam, we didn’t find out the baby’s sex. We were going to name Miri Noam Arturo, and now neither of them are in contention for this baby if it happens to be a boy. Noam is very much our phantom child, and he’s too connected to that little boy that will never be to give to any future sons.

TheDivineMrsM Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 7:57 pm

My husband has vetoed Beauregard “Beau”, an old fashioned names happen to love. Also, Wesley is off the table since I dated one in college. Another name I love, Bradford, has been vetoed by the husband.

Vivienne – a name I dearly love, but my mom said reminds her of some little old lady. I guess I will never have a “Vivie” in my life. My green eyes and strawberry blonde ringlets, and her Daddy’s dimples and apple-cheeks. How depressing! Maybe I will just tell my mom to get over it.

niteowl13 Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 8:21 pm

We don’t have children yet, but I already know that I won’t be having a Catherine (Cat). It’s one of my all time favorites, but our last name is Little. Most word names will sound silly with the last name Little. Especially when written backwards.
Little, Cat haha All of my favorite flower and nature names are out. It’s a shame, really, but I don’t want my child to be teased because of his/her name.

erzulie33 Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 8:32 pm

GIRLS: Anya, Saoirse
BOYS: Elijah, Ash

TheFutureMrsB Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 8:55 pm

@PinkPenguin: the religious aspect doesn’t bother me or my SO. However it will greatly bother my very Catholic family. And my SO’s current top pick is Lilith. He has this thing with the name. He mentioned it months ago and won’t drop it.

anelson100 Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 8:57 pm

I haven’t had children yet, but that name I know will get away (because my husband doesn’t want it for a human) is Clover. We are getting a dog soon, and he wants to name the dog Clover…. that will be the reason we can’t name our kid. Ahhh!

jenziejean Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 9:20 pm

No children, but I have cat names that got away.

Milo & Beatrix could have been Rupert & Petunia

Gwen5 Says:

November 7th, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Before I knew I was having twins, if it were a girl, I was going to name her Barbara. Sadly it was taken. But I’m actually really glad I used Sadiya and Wendy for my daughters.

tk. Says:

November 8th, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Lyra! Oh, how I mourned her. It just wasn’t a name DH and I could agree on, though he was fine with it as a middle. Unfortunately, it would have sounded hideous as a middle for Ivy 🙁 Now I don’t feel like it’s an option for future daughters due to the difference in style from our first daughter, as well as sharing that long “i” sound. Sigh.

CassieCake Says:

November 11th, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Skylar is going to be my Daughters middle name. My mom’s name Is Sky. But my friend just informed me that if her baby is a girl (she’s pregnant) that she will name her Skylar….. Fingers crossed for a boy. 😉
**Sonnet Skylar or Lorelei Skylar**

tifberry Says:

November 21st, 2012 at 1:39 pm

I love the name Shane- but our last name is Lane! Oh Shane I love you! I named a dog we no longer have Piper (her original name was Holly because we got her for Christmas but it didn’t fit) and didn’t realize how much I really liked the name until I named the dog! Oh Piper why didn’t I have the guts to save you for the real baby lol! My son Dylan was going to be Ava Cherish but the boy was born. My step sis knew I loved Ava and got pregnant and used my name- yes to take something from me out of spite because she hates me but she spells it evah. Well 6 yr later I had a girl and it was a journey to find her name, constantly thinking about Ava but it just didn’t fit. Ava seemed to be for that first baby I guess, and I have made peace. Btw we named our girl Eve- because of so many reasons, the top being because it means life and we tried soooo long for another baby. Eve is beautiful and fits her perfectly. Piper wouldn’t have worked for her. Ava yeah but she’s my phantom baby 🙂 My next girls will be Penelope and Greta and boy Luke. Luke Lane isnt the best flow but oh well – I love little Luke 🙂 i may even use Shane anyway lol Dylan was the only name we agreed on at the time. It fits my naming style i think. Glad it’s gotten easier to name kids after that first one.

misskendra Says:

February 5th, 2013 at 5:30 pm

I actually only have one phantom. My youngest is Graham. He was a twin but only he made it. Anyway his twin would have been Grace. The only name my husband vetoed was Jackson but I’m not convinced that his mind can’t be changed

OceaneBreeze Says:

June 2nd, 2013 at 10:37 am

I love the name Zinnia, but everyone else tells me that’s a ridiculous name. “But it starts with a Z! You cant name someone a name that starts with Z! And its to wierd. Why dont you choose a flower name like Daisy or Lily instead?”

2ndtimemommy2014 Says:

December 4th, 2013 at 2:02 pm

I have tons of names that got away because my husband didn’t like them 🙁 With our first daughter, we agreed on Madelynn Marie with no problem at all. Our second daughter is due in March and we are having trouble picking her name because all his suggestions are plain and too common in my opinion and he said no to all my original suggestions. He crossed off all my faves except one so I came up with a long list of names that I’d be ok with, but don’t absolutely love. Then I searched high and low on nameberry and added some new, unique names to my list and last night he narrowed my list down to 7 possibilities! I’m so excited because I was getting worried that I’d have to settle for something I don’t really like much. Anyway, some of my main “names that got away” are Juliette, Elanney, Ariel, Eden, Elliana, Hollis, Elodie, Lily, Everleigh, and Sydney. Also, one name I’ve always loved is Gracelynn, but that’s too similar to our first daughter’s name (Madelynn)

2ndtimemommy2014 Says:

December 4th, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Also, I really love Avalon, but our car is a Toyota Avalon and that would be weird…

megwinslow Says:

December 9th, 2013 at 6:01 pm

I hope this isn’t a repost. I would definitely change the spelling of my own name. Meghyn, to one of the more traditional spellings. I have never considered actually considered what whole other name I would like, but I am going to now. Especially since I am pregnant with my third child (a girl). 🙂

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