Baby B., Sibling to Eleanor Margaret

Hi Swistle!

I’m due with our second baby in February and we have basically nothing for a name. We are not finding out the sex, so we need to come up with two names. I have great confidence in your very-similar-to-mine taste and suggestions!

The boy’s name we had picked out last time isn’t on the list any more for a couple of reasons, so we’re starting from absolute scratch.

My daughter’s name is Eleanor Margaret [my last as second middle] [husband’s last as last name]. My last name rhymes with Lackey and his last name is a verb starting with B which also eliminates “C. Montgomery” as an option for a name, if you catch my drift. We haven’t actually discussed last names this time around but it was a painful conversation last time and I haven’t decided if that’s the hill I want to die on yet.

If it’s a girl, I’d like to use Elizabeth as the first middle name. We’re not settled on a middle name if it’s a boy, but I’d like to use a family name. Thomas is an option there, but a lot of the first names I like for boys also end in S and I feel like with a last name that also ends in S, that’s too many s-sounds.

Names I like a lot but am waffling on or can’t use:

Lucy (LOVE this name but it was my childhood cat’s name, can’t decide if that’s too weird, have obsessively read previous letters on your site with this issue and still haven’t reached a conclusion)
Nicholas (unconvinced about the multiple S ending issue)
Caroline (this has been a recent one that’s hanging around when I think about names)
Amelia (too popular?)
Louisa (not sure about that S in the middle with the s-ending last name, since they’re both z-ish sort of Ss.)
James (husband’s name is Jamie)
Benjamin (love this name but don’t love it with his last name)

I like a million names that start with E (Evan, Emmett, Elliot, Evelyn, Eloise, you get the idea) but I much prefer the idea of separate initials for the kids. Many names that I like my husband rejects as “Too British” (despite the fact that I AM BRITISH) so I feel like I’m somewhat limited in my preferred options. He likes pretty classic, easy to pronounce names. No noun names, since that would make a sentence with his last name!

I had Eleanor’s name picked out for like ten years before we had her and I feel bad this kid isn’t going to get such a carefully chosen name! I also kind of regret using up Margaret (my mother’s name) on Eleanor’s middle name, because I really like Maggie as a nickname.




Let’s start with girl names. With Eleanor, my favorite from the Waffle list is Louisa. The mid/ending repeating Z-sound is right up my alley: for me it’s a point in the name’s favor. Eleanor Margaret and Louisa Elizabeth makes me heart-eyed. I don’t even feel motivated to search for more options; I feel motivated to start pressuring you to use my choice. But fine, let’s find some more options:

Claudia Elizabeth; Eleanor and Claudia
Cordelia Elizabeth; Eleanor and Cordelia
Genevieve Elizabeth; Eleanor and Genevieve
Lydia Elizabeth; Eleanor and Lydia
Millicent Elizabeth; Eleanor and Millicent
Rosemary Elizabeth; Eleanor and Rosemary
Sylvia Elizabeth; Eleanor and Sylvia
Winifred Elizabeth; Eleanor and Winifred

I think Caroline is a very good option, too.

But…Louisa! Louisa.

For boys, hmm. I love Evan and Emmett and Elliot from the Prefer Not to Duplicate Initials list (and would add Everett), and I love Nicholas and James and Benjamin from the Waffle list. The s-ending of Nicholas doesn’t bother me with the surname, because the surname is more of a Z-sound; but I too find it non-ideal if the middle name is Thomas. Still, I’d go ahead and use it if it’s your favorite: I LIKE middle names to sound nice with the other names, but it’s one of the first preferences I let go of if there’s a conflict. I have a little more trouble with James B____s: both one-syllable names, and then both ending in the Z-sound. More possibilities:

Albert Thomas; Eleanor and Albert
Calvin Thomas; Eleanor and Calvin
Charles Thomas; Eleanor and Charles
Franklin Thomas; Eleanor and Franklin (too Roosevelt, I suppose, but I still dig it)
Frederick Thomas; Eleanor and Frederick
Henry Thomas; Eleanor and Henry
Louis Thomas; Eleanor and Louis
Nathaniel Thomas; Eleanor and Nathaniel
Paul Thomas; Eleanor and Paul
Simon Thomas; Eleanor and Simon
Wesley Thomas; Eleanor and Wesley

Charles has an ending-Z sound too, but I left it on the list because it bothers me less when the names differ in number of syllables. Also because when I thought “Eleanor and Charles,” my heart started banging harder.

If the middle name doesn’t have to be Thomas, I recommend the surprisingly fresh and underused John. Maybe something like John Everett or John Elliot.

Baby Name to Consider: Liesl

Dear Swistle,

First, I must tell you how much I love your blog. I recently had a baby and find myself reading the archives during those middle of the night feedings, sometimes long after baby has fallen back asleep.

I’m writing because I’m curious about a particular name I couldn’t even get my husband to consider for our daughter. I am a huge The Sound of Music fan and have always loved the names, particularly Liesl. My husband thinks it’s atrocious. I think it’s beautiful. I’ve never come across the name on your site and was curious what you and your readers thought. Is everyone with my husband on this one and that’s why we never hear it?

We had such a difficult time naming our daughter, I thought I’d get a head start on the next one, and maybe you could help me convince my husband it’s not such a terrible name. Looking forward to your thoughts!


I started by searching for the name on the blog, and found four posts that mention Liesl:

Baby Names from The Sound of Music
Baby Girl Aronoff
Baby Girl Korph
Baby Girl L_____

I went through the comments quickly, and saw several positive remarks and several negative. The negatives were:

1. sounds like diesel
2. sounds like lethal when said in child’s lispy voice
3. hard to spell
4. husband doesn’t like it

“Sounds like diesel” was the main reason Paul and I crossed it off our list, but we also considered the style to be an outlier for us.

Let’s have a poll to see what everyone else thinks. I always have trouble choosing poll options: no matter what I choose, it doesn’t really cover everything. So let’s use the poll to get a rough distribution of feeling, and then we can use the comments section for more specific opinions.

What do you think of the name Liesl?

Baby Naming Issue: Trying to Get the Nickname Mo

Hi Swistle!

Long time reader, and like many who frequent this website, I never thought I would need your help, but could I use some help from you and your amazing readers.

We are currently about three weeks out from meeting our baby, gender unknown, due the first week of October. We want to go in with two fantastic girl names and two equally fantastic boy names. Our girl’s names are:

Josephine Rose nn Posey (we love this for so many reasons, middle name is after both our grandmothers, first name is a nod to her dad)
Eleanor Patricia nn Nora (I had a dream this was her name, middle name is after my mom, not sure how it sounds with our last name)

And our boy’s names are:

Montgomery Christian nn Mo or Monty (is this too “big” of a name for a little baby? Too many syllables and law-firm sounding?)
Cosmo Christian nn Mo or Cos (Seinfeld connection too strong?)

It’s the boy’s names that are tripping me up the most. My husband and I kind of trapped ourselves into a corner when deciding we wanted his nickname to be Mo, after my sister, who has the nickname of Mo (full name Maureen). We like the namesake, but is it worth it if I don’t love the names as much as I love our girl’s names? We haven’t even made a list of any other names we like outside of the “Mo” realm. My husband loves Cosmo, and some days I like it and others I feel it is too “out there” (get it?). We toyed with Milo for a bit, but it doesn’t feel like it even needs a nickname, plus it seems a bit “trendy” next to other names we like. We do not like Morris, Maurice, Moses, etc. I do like Amos, but husband said absolutely not.

I sometimes even find myself hoping this is a girl SOLELY because I like our girl options better. Eek!

We don’t want anything ending in “n”, as our last name ends in “n” and those particular names sound too rhym-ey to me. We tend to like British names, older names with a history, and surname names.

Which of our two boy’s names sounds better with Josephine Rose nn Posey, as this will most likely be our girl’s name we use down the road? Are there any full names for “Mo” that we are missing? Should his name just be Mo or Moe?

Also, a bigger questions, are we overcomplicating this whole name thing with giving our kiddos nicknames before they are even born?

Thank you SO MUCH, I appreciate any insight from you and your readers, and I can promise an update (with photo), as those are my most favorite thing to read!

xo Kim + Joe Lauren-with-a-D


Here is my first question: Who if anyone has been told about your intention to honor your sister? It does sound to me as if you’ve trapped yourself unnecessarily, and so if no one knows about the idea to use Mo, I suggest releasing yourself from that restriction and see how that feels. Throw out the boy-name list and start over. Perhaps another way can be found to honor your sister, or perhaps a future daughter could have the middle name Maureen, or perhaps Mo/Moe could be used as a boy’s middle name.

Cosmo-called-Mo and Josephine-Rose-called-Posey feels like a lot of long-O and S-as-Z sounds. Mo and Posey is either adorable or too matchy (particularly with a father named Joe), depending on your own preferences. I think the worst would be to use a name you don’t love just to get an honor nickname, and then find that for you it rules out your favorite girl name.

If your sister has already been told of your intentions and so it would be very difficult to change course at this point, my favorite would be to use Mo/Moe as the middle name. It’s cute, and no one will think it’s odd that you didn’t give a boy the middle name Maureen. You could then either call him Mo(e) or not, as you prefer.

Another way to get the nickname is with the initials M.O.: Malcolm Oliver, nickname Mo; Miles Oliver, nickname Mo. This is getting very reachy, honor-wise (initials spelling the nickname of the honoree), but sometimes what parents need is a way out of the corner.

Or could you instead honor your sister by matching her first two initials? Again, this is a reach, but sometimes we take what we can get.

Or you could name him whatever you want and then call him Mo. People do this all the time. It isn’t an idea that comes to my mind often, but I think of it every time I hear a very reachy explanation for a child’s nickname: “Her name is Louisa but we’re calling her Zoe: the Z-sound in Louisa plus the O of Louisa plus the E from her middle name Elizabeth!” I’d be so much quicker to adjust to “Her given name is Louisa, but we call her Zoe.” Or just “This is Zoe.”

Baby Girl Jendron, Sister to Stella: Do They Have to Use Another S Name, if Both Parents’ Names Start with S?

Dear Swistle,

I have accidentally gotten myself into a bit of a baby name situation. My husband’s legal first name is Daniel (also his father’s name) but he goes by his middle name Scott. He has always really hated that his parents chose to not put his name in the “correct” order. He has even researched changing his name to Scott Daniel but decided it was too much time/money. My name also starts with an S. When my daughter was born we both fell in love with the name Stella Grace, my great grandmother’s name was Estelle and it was nice to honor my side a little in the naming department. I really fought against the name my whole pregnancy because I did not want us all to have first names that start with S. But, we were unable to find a name that we liked better at the time. We found out we are pregnant with another baby girl due in November.

The question is do we name this baby girl a name that also starts with S? I have always hated the idea of having first names that all start with the same letter- I know that many families choose this but I didn’t think I would be one of them. Reading your blog has me re-thinking the whole thing. My husband thinks we should at least consider the idea of having another S name. This will likely be our last child and would she feel left out that her name starts with a different letter? Will our Christmas cards look weird when we list out all our names and they start with S except for the last one? Can I use the loop hole that my husband’s actual first name is Daniel, so technically does not start with an S? Or should i just get over this idea and name her something that starts with an S. Our last name sounds like “Jen-dron” but actually starts with a G. We would like to use the middle name of Rae, because it is my father’s middle name, but we are not completely stuck on it. The other middle name we are considering is Malia, it is my mother in law’s middle name. But I feel that my husband’s side is already represented in the baby’s last name. If we had a boy our top runner would likely have been Miles.

Will you please help me see if I am off base with the S thing? If I am can you help me think of an S baby name that goes with Stella? If you think it okay to name the baby something that starts with another letter any suggestions?

Some names we like:
Alice (love this name but we are not sure how it sounds with the short middle name of Rae)
Allison (love this name too, but it ends in the same last sound “on” as our last name)
Eloise (Love this name but my sister says that she wants to name her future daughter this)
Lillian (like this name but it is a little too popular)
Evelyn (Also too popular)

Names we like but must avoid

Thank you for considering our question!


We get what I would consider a surprising number of questions asking if a child will feel left out if he or she has a different initial than his or her siblings. I’m just going to go ahead and say that in 99%* of cases the answer is “No.” (And in the remaining 1%, there are other things going on besides just an initial.) I do think that if a family made a big deal of it, saying “We’re Team S!!” all the time before the child was born, getting a license plate that said “S FAMILY,” having matching t-shirts with a big S on each one—then the next children without an S name could feel a little weird if they ever gave it any thought at all. But if I picture myself as the second, non-S child, I have more of a “rolling my eyes and letting them thank me for breaking up THAT dorkitude” feeling.

[*Number might be completely made up by Swistle.**] [**But I think it’s a pretty accurate guess.]

And of course the number of kids matters: if you two parents and your first three children all had names starting with S, and then you were having a fourth and definitely last child and wanted to use a name starting with T, I guess I’d advise you not to at that point. (But even then, if you really wanted to use it, I’d be behind you on that and helping you to think of ways to handle reactions: “Ha ha! Oh I know, isn’t it funny? But we just LOVED the name and couldn’t resist it! And it turned out we had exactly three S names we loved, and not a single one more! We really scoured every baby name book, but in the end it seemed better to use a T-name we loved instead of an S-name we disliked!”)

You mentioned this is likely your last child, but I’ll seize on the not-quite-certainty of the word “likely” and add that if you DO have another child, I think you will be very glad if you did not choose an S-name this time. The Duggars say they never meant to have so many J names, but their first three favorites happened to start with J, and then with each additional child they didn’t want that child to feel left out. Imagine if they had J____, J_____, J_____, M______, T______, L______, K_______, T_______, S_______, S________, B_______, and so on: at this point no one would think anything of those first three J names, except perhaps relief that they managed to break out of it. And if you ended up with Stella, L_______, and F______, no one will feel anything about the initials.

I generally don’t consider the parents’ names/initials as if they were part of the sibling group, unless someone draws my attention to it. That is, if someone says “We’re the S team!,” I would think “…?” followed by “Oh, I see: Stephanie, Scott, and Stella. All starting with S. Yes indeed. Cute.” It’s possible that the occasional person will once a year look at your Christmas card signatures and think, “Oh! Three start with S and one doesn’t!” But imagine yourself in that situation, looking at the card: would you draw any unpleasant conclusion from this? Would it linger unpleasantly in your mind, leading to suspicions that the last child wasn’t loved/wanted? Or would you, as I would, go on to the next card without giving it any more thought than the sheer noticing of it? We all know that the parents didn’t choose their own names. At worst, a few people might love the idea of matched family name sets and wish you had loved it too—but that’s not so bad to deal with. Plus, you can spin the appearance of the card a bit: write your two names on one line with your surname, and the kids’ names on a second line:

Happy holidays and a very happy New Year!
Scott and Stephanie Jendron
Stella and Lydia

I would definitely use the loophole that your husband’s actual legal name starts with a D. So if you had a child who in adolescence was looking for reasons to claim you hated her, and she seized upon this initials thing as her pet issue, you could say, “What? Oh, no, that’s not something we even thought of. Dad’s real first name starts with D, and mine starts with S; for you kids, we just chose our favorite names. Stella’s happened to start with S, and yours happens to start with ___.” (If it happens to start with D, that would be quite tidy. Delia, Daphne, Diantha?)

I would in fact use that explanation with anyone who brings it up at all. For example, if someone has noticed the three-S situation and says, “Are you going to go for another S name?” “What? Oh, no, that’s not….” etc. You can add your story about wishing Stella’s name HADN’T started with S, but you just loved it too much to give it up.

Within your family, you can play the Name Similarities Game, to dilute any feeling that the first letter is the only thing that matters. Let’s say you name this child Lydia. “Lydia and Dad both have five letters, if we use the name Dad goes by; if we use Dad’s given name, Stella and Dad both have six letters. Mom and Lydia both have three syllables. Stella and Mom both start with S—and Dad, too, if we use the name he goes by. Dad and Lydia both have D’s in their names, if we use dad’s given name. Stella and Lydia both end with A. Everyone has an A in their name if we use Dad’s given name; otherwise, just the girls in the family have A’s in their names. Mom and Stella both start with Ste-. Stella and Lydia both have L’s, and Dad does too if he uses his given name.” And so on. Dad should be teased for cheating with his two names, and should keep switching what he claims his name is, in order to be included in as many categories as possible.

If you’re narrowing down a list and get to the point where you like everything equally, you could even use the anticipation of the Name Similarities Game to help make decision, choosing something with MORE similarities over something with less. I mean, only if it would be fun to do this, not if it would add to the pressure.

The basic strategy I would advise for choosing this child’s name is the same strategy you used to choose Stella’s: find your favorite. If the name starts with an S, use it and resign yourself to people thinking you were cute on purpose. If the name doesn’t start with an S, use it without fear of psychological damage to the child.

The names on your list look like great choices. With Stella, I particularly like Alice, Hazel, Fiona, Lydia, and Sylvie. I love Ellen, but it seems like it shares too big a chunk of the name Stella. I think Alice does combine a bit with Rae, but that unless you were planning to call her regularly by both names, I’d rank that issue lower than the benefit of using a family name.

Baby Girl or Boy Wolfe, Sibling to Caden and Copeland

Hello! I am in a bit of a bind and would love some input! We have two children.. And boy and a girl. We are about to add our final addition in April! This last pregnancy was a bit of a surprise so now we are having trouble thinking of names! Our little boy is named Caden and his little sister is named Copeland. Now I sort of feel like we have to go with another C name so they won’t be left out. I’ve always loved C names and for me it’s easier to narrow it down to one letter anyways instead of going through the whole alphabet! Our last name is Wolfe if that helps at all.
Here are some of our ideas that either I love or my husband loves.. None so far that we both agree on..

Obviously most are probably boys names.. But we do also like gender neutral names as well. As far as middle names we are at a loss. Lol
Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response.
Alison Wolfe


My guess is that you have been through the C section of the baby name book so many times that the letter C is looking like a weird shape instead of a real letter, so on one hand it’s unlikely I’ll suggest anything you haven’t already thought of. But the last time we did a post like this for a name with another first letter, I was very surprised to see how many great choices came up in the comments section—plenty of names I hadn’t seen in the baby name book. So let’s see if that happens again! (Also, I will link here to the post we did on the name Cohen, in the hopes that it will not have to be rehashed in this comments section: Baby Naming Issue: Cohen)

One thing that makes this a little tricky for me is that the name Caden is so relatively common when all the spellings are combined (and feels even more common because of the prevalence of the Aiden/Braden/Hayden/Jaden names), and the name Copeland is so relatively uncommon. One strategy would be to make it a boy/girl thing: if you have a boy this time, use a more-common C name; if you have a girl this time, use a less-common C name. Another strategy would be to look for a name that bridges the gap a bit: neither common nor uncommon. A third strategy would be to ignore popularity. I think I will use that third strategy, in order to cast the widest net; then if popularity is/becomes an issue, you can use the Social Security website to filter the names further.

Another issue is hard-C versus soft-C. Do you want them to all start with the same hard-C sound, or would Cecily and Cyrus and so forth be options? Again, I will include both, and let you apply a filter if necessary.

Another issue is that the name Copeland feels so unisex. It makes me reluctant to suggest a very girlish name, especially a traditional girlish name: would Caden, Copeland, and Catherine make it seem like the safe guess was that Copeland was a boy? It is hard to know, and hard to know how much this matters in an overall way, and I don’t know whether it matters to you two in particular. But here are some examples of names I left off the list: Camilla, Catherine, Clarissa, Caroline, Cassandra, Cecily, Charlotte, Claudia.

In general I avoided one-syllable names, especially with your distinctive surname: Cale Wolfe, Clay Wolfe, Chase Wolfe, Cash Wolfe.

Cable; Caden, Copeland, and Cable
Calder; Caden, Copeland, and Calder
Calista; Caden, Copeland, and Calista
Callahan; Caden, Copeland, and Callahan
Callan; Caden, Copeland, and Callan
Calliope; Caden, Copeland, and Calliope
Callum; Caden, Copeland, and Callum
Calvin; Caden, Copeland, and Calvin
Cambria: Caden, Copeland, and Cambria
Cameron; Caden, Copeland, and Cameron
Campbell; Caden, Copeland, and Campbell
Carlisle; Caden, Copeland, and Carlisle
Carlson; Caden, Copeland, and Carlson
Carrigan; Caden, Copeland, and Carrigan
Carrington; Caden, Copeland, and Carrington
Carson; Caden, Copeland, and Carson
Carter; Caden, Copeland, and Carter
Casey; Caden, Copeland, and Casey
Chandler; Caden, Copeland, and Chandler
Channing; Caden, Copeland, and Channing
Chapman; Caden, Copeland, and Chapman
Ciaran; Caden, Copeland, and Ciaran
Clarion; Caden, Copeland, and Clarion
Coby; Caden, Copeland, and Coby
Coleman; Caden, Copeland, and Coleman
Collier; Caden, Copeland, and Collier
Connor; Caden, Copeland, and Connor
Conley; Caden, Copeland, and Conley
Conway; Caden, Copeland, and Conway
Corbin; Caden, Copeland, and Corbin
Cormac; Caden, Copeland, and Cormac
Crawford; Caden, Copeland, and Crawford
Crosby; Caden, Copeland, and Crosby
Currier; Caden, Copeland, and Currier

I lean toward the options that don’t repeat too many sounds. For example, I like the name Casey, but it has the same Kay- beginning as Caden, so it’s not one of my top choices; I like Calliope, but that may be too much C and L and P and O with Copeland.

For a boy, I think my favorites are:


For a girl, I think my favorites are:


Middle Name Challenge: June _________ Mc______; Trying to Honor a Henrietta

Dear Swistle,
Wondering if you could help me… We’re due in 2 weeks with our 2nd child, a girl this time. For a middle name, I would like to honor my only living grandparent, who also happens to be an amazing lady! My problem is her name is Henrietta Mae. We’ve decided on the name June for the first name, so Mae doesn’t work as a middle. The other piece is my mom passed away 8 years ago, and I always thought I’d honor her in some way. Her name was Catherine.

With my grandmother still alive, I’m slightly more interested in honoring her. Problem is I can’t find a good way to use Henrietta. Her mother’s name was Mary, as was my grandfather’s mothers name.
I was thinking June Mary Cate Mc—–. What do you think? Is that too wordy?
Thanks so much Swistle!


The missing piece of the letter is this: What is the reason Henrietta can’t be used as the middle name? It seems great to me: sassy and fun and underused. June Henrietta is terrific, and makes me feel happy to see it and say it.

If I had to guess the reason from context, I’d guess it was that you dislike the name. I would encourage you to consider using it anyway. I greatly disliked my grandfather’s name AND it was the name of my high school boyfriend (a very negative connection at the time). But my grandfather was alive when my son was born, and I knew he’d be so thrilled to have a namesake, so we went ahead and used his first name as my son’s middle name. (I would like to take a minute here to appreciate Paul for being cool with this even with the ex-boyfriend issue.) Every time I tell someone his middle name and every time I fill out a form that requires it, I have a happy warm feeling about using the name. And, to my surprise, 17 years later I realize I have come to really like the name: part of it is that the name is closer and closer to coming back into style, but I think most of it is that the positive association (with my grandfather, with my child, and with the memory of my grandfather’s reaction to having his name used) has worked its charm. My children were asking the other day, do I really LIKE the taste of coffee? And I said I don’t even know anymore: I used to hate it, but now the positive associations with it are so strong, I say “MMMMmmmmmm” with the first sip, and I perceive it as GOOD. This is very similar to the way I feel about my son’s middle name.

And in the case of Henrietta, I love the name to begin with, and wish it were a name in my own family tree. I realize that doesn’t mean YOU will love the name—but I’ve found that other people’s positive or negative reactions to a name can affect how I feel about the name myself. It may work the same for you, if I and a bunch of commenters are all like “HENRIETTA HEART HEART HEART!!!”

Or if it doesn’t, and I’m right that the issue is that you dislike the name, and a bunch of strangers loving it doesn’t help, it may help to think about how infrequently a middle name sees the light of day in most families. Some bring it out on a regular basis, but at my house we only see the middle names when we’re doing paperwork or when I’ve roped someone into a discussion of baby names. If you dislike the name, but you very much want to honor your grandmother, I suggest going ahead and just DOING it: after the birth announcements go out, the name won’t come up very often.

I am a fan of long names and of multiple middle names, so I would also be on board with June Henrietta Catherine Mc_______. (Or if you’re planning more children, I might plan to honor your mother with the next child.)

But if instead you decide on June Mary Cate Mc_____, I don’t think that’s at all too wordy. I think it has a very nice rhythm and sound. MaryCate could even be a single middle name, if you didn’t want two.

Baby Girl Hustling-with-an-R, Sister to Gus and Hugh


I have been a long time reader for inspiration but never thought I would end up writing in for advice! But here I am having a scheduled delivery on 5 September for a baby girl with no name picked out!!

I have two boys already Gus (almost 5) and Hugh (2.5). We didn’t have anywhere near this much trouble naming them. Our last name starts with R and rhymes with hustling. This will be our last baby.

Up until recently we were happy with Audrey but it now seems very common and is popping up everywhere (in my neighborhood at least). My other favorite is Grace which I ruled out due to popularity and was leaning towards Audrey. But if Audrey is getting popular I thought, why not just go with Grace? But I am not sure, I think of Grace as more of her middle name.

My husband ruled out Rose years ago but recently said he didn’t mind and I could pick whatever I wanted (as long as he really didn’t dislike it). He came up with both of the boys names although I really liked them anyway.
So Rose, which I have always loved, has made it back in literally 5 days ago. I think the double R is sweet and the boys both have two middle names (to honor family) so it is likely this girl will too – eg Rose Amelia Grace. We aren’t using any family for middle names but I am now used to/quite like having the two middle names.

But I am not sure this is the name? We don’t like anything that is too popular but still seem to pick somewhat popular names (eg I am sure there are plenty of Angus and Hugo’s out there but given they are just different enough to the boys names this doesn’t bother us).

And because we have actually been calling her Audrey I am still a bit attached to this name but I am just not as in love with it anymore.

I definitely want a feminine name and do like names like Sophia, Olivia, Charlotte, Amelia, Edith, Ivy, Eleanor (eg classic or older) but they are either too popular or we can’t use them due to close friends or family using the name – we have alot of female relatives so names ruled out due to family alone are:
Avie, Evie, Edie, Ivy, Ava, Eva (or anything that rhymes with that)
Alice (this would have been a front runner but is definitely out)
Poppy (another top contender but too close to another relatives name).

I don’t think it would be an issue but we do not want to use a name someone in the family has already used.

My husband has ruled out Margaret (Maggie) and Francesca (too close to Frances), Elizabeth and Eliza but these probably aren’t top contenders anyway.

Others I have either ruled out or don’t love are, Isla, Penelope, Daisy, Clementine, Lola, Harriet, Alexandra, Bella/Ella, Elsie, Eloise, Phoebe, Stella, Mia/Mila, Abigail, Adelaide, Isobelle, Harper, Emma and Matilda/Tilly.

I don’t mind if it is a longer name to be shortened or a short name like the boys.

I think a big issue is that so many of my favorite names are already taken by family or now becoming too popular.

I do like Audrey, Rose or Grace but can’t seem to settle on something and wonder if there is something else out there…
I am hoping it will magically come to me when she is delivered but I am getting concerned that this baby won’t have a name!!!

Please help!


I think Audrey and Rose are both lovely choices. I would throw most of my support behind Rose, except I hesitate to combine a word first name with a word surname. If that doesn’t bother you, then Rose would be my top choice. Gus, Hugh, and Rose.

Because your first two children have the initials G and H, I would be tempted by the idea of finding a name starting with the letter I for your third child. It’s not the sort of thing I would allow to dominate the name hunt or take precedence over other preferences, but if it would be FUN, and if you DID love a name starting with that started with that letter ANYway…

Iris (perhaps not with this surname)


More ideas for the first name:

Cecily (maybe too much S-sound with the surname)


If your sons have family middle names, I encourage you to give your daughter a family middle name as well. There is an odd thing in our society about boys’ names versus girls’ names; the most obvious example of it is the way it is not at all uncommon for boys to be named after their fathers but very rare for girls to be named after their mothers. Possibly in this case it’s just that you had some excellent male family members you very much wanted to honor and the family women are all kind of mediocre, or maybe the deal was to use one honor name from your husband’s side and one from your side and now you’re calling it a day to keep things even, or maybe there’s some other reason I wouldn’t be able to guess. But if the only reason is that this is a girl and the other two were boys, I recommend reconsidering—with the understanding that I mean, literally, “consider it again,” as opposed to “and don’t stop considering until you come down on the side of doing it my way.” Perhaps one of this baby’s middle names could be her mother’s middle name or maiden name. Or perhaps you could pick a name from the long list of names you love but can’t use because of family members having them: unless you dislike the family member and don’t WANT to honor them, this seems like a great way to handle a considerable list of love-but-can’t-use names.



Name update:


I emailed recently seeking last minute advice on possible names for a baby sister for my two little boys Gus and Hugh.

Rose Paula Margaret Rusling arrived a little early on father’s day and has been a lovely present for the whole family.

We had not settled on a name prior to her arrival but very quickly agreed she was definitely a Rose.

The advice and feedback from yourself and swistle regulars was invaluable, especially to keep with the tradition of family middle names.

Paula is my mother in laws name and there were/are numerous close relatives with the middle name Maree (or spelling Marie), including Paula, my grandmother and my sister. I love the name Margaret and decided to use that variation instead of Maree to make a new tradition of my own.

Rose is currently 2 days old and is very cute with a (so far!) sweet little nature – the name suits her beautifully.

Thank you again,
Nicolette, David, Gus, Hugh and Rose