We are so excited to be expecting a baby girl this coming January, but I thought that naming a girl would come much easier than it has been! I would love your help and insight on our list, and maybe some new, fresh suggestions we haven’t thought of yet.
Our surname is McNeely, and our son’s name is Abel Willis McNeely (the middle name, Willis, is my maiden name that we wanted to honor.) We want this baby’s middle name to be Kathryn, which is a bit more traditional than I am usually drawn to but is the name of my late mother-in-law who passed recently.)
I tend to like shorter, less traditional names. Some of the names that I’ve been drawn to have been a bit quirky, but my husband tends to veto them. He likes more popular names like Olivia, but I’m not necessarily wanting to name her something that is on the “Top 10” list at the moment. Some names on the vetoed list:
Names that we are still considering:
We also really like more traditionally “boy” names for a girl. My husband likes Charlie, but I feel like that might be too popular. I like Drew or Perry.
Something else to consider: Abel is such a traditional biblical name that we would be open to naming her something biblical as well, but it certainly isn’t a must.
I feel like we have a good list, but I’m just not sure the right name is on there yet! We would love your help!
Thanks so much,
So much depends on whether or not you think you might have more children after this one. If you are only naming one girl, any of the names on your list work well with Abel: each gives a different spin to the sibling set, but nothing clashes. (I did notice that Faye McNeely makes the word “fame” when I say it aloud.) I’d recommend my usual techniques for narrowing down a list: having each parent rank the names in order and getting rid of any that are toward the bottom of both lists; trying out each name for a day; going to the mall and picturing each name on an assortment of strangers of various ages; waiting to see if any name rises naturally to the top with time; playing little games where you fool yourself into thinking a name has been chosen/eliminated and seeing what your reaction is; and so on.
If, however, you’re planning more children, I think the first step is to consider how much sibling-name coordination matters to you. Some people don’t care about that at all and can happily have two daughters named Isabella and Blake; some people care about it to the point of matching initials and letters and syllables as well as style; and most of us fall somewhere in between.
If you are planning to have more children AND you like sibling names to coordinate, then I’d like to see if we can get a firmer grip on your preferred style. Reese, Sloane, and Darby are in one style category: they’d make good sister names for each other. Sadie and Faye are in a different style category: they’d make good sister names for each other, but wouldn’t work as well with the names in the first group. Evie and Liv feel to me like a third group, though they’d work well with names in the second group; when I tried to come up with names in their style category below, there was so much overlap with the Sadie/Faye group that I gave up and made it one list. The main difference is that Evie and Liv feel more current/popular right now than Sadie/Faye, because of all the Evelyns and Olivias and Avas.
If you picture your little future flock of ducklings, what names feel most like the names of Your Family? Imagine the kids around the dinner table, or listening to a book, or fighting like mad cats. Do they seem like an Abel, a Reese, and a Darby? Or do they seem more like an Abel, a Sadie, and a Faye? Or do they seem more like an Abel, an Evie, and a Liv? Which group feels like your real actual kids?
I’m looking through the Biblical section of The Baby Name Wizard, and I see a lot of names that go well with Abel (Esther, Miriam, Ruth, Claudia, Lydia), but not very many that seem to fit your style. Let’s see if we can find more options for the other categories.
To go with Reese/Sloane/Darby:
Waverly (repeats ending of surname)
To go with Sadie/Faye/Evie/Liv:
Hazel (repeats ending of Abel)
Polly (repeats ending of surname)