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.
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.