Baby Girl Hoode-with-a-G, Sister to Jackson

Hello Swistle,

I am having the hardest time deciding on a name for our precious baby girl, arriving August 2017. She will be joining her big brother, 2 year old Jackson Wyatt (H)oode with a G.
I know this is my last child and will be my only girl, so I feel so much pressure to give her a name I would want as an adult (and as a child), that is unique but not weird, somewhat Southern but not overly girly, feminine but with an edge, and strong.
I have an aversion to names like Amelia, Olivia, etc. I guess I just am not into the old fashioned, super girly names.
I fell in love with the name Britton when I saw a little girl on the beach with the name monogrammed on her towel. I have tried a couple of Community chat boards and I have been shocked at the horrid people on there and how harshly they criticized it. They hated that it was a boy name for a girl (which I happen to LOVE), and a few of them claimed it was stupid to spell it BRITTON because that is just misspelling the country Britain. I don’t want it to have anything to do with the country, I just love the way it sounds.
So in the same fashion, I am attracted to Leighton and Cameron as well. Cameron seems like a safer bet, but I still really love it. I definitely don’t want something super popular. Jackson was more popular than I thought it would be, but it is my husband’s middle name and a family name for him. My husband’s name is a short name that starts with a B, and my name is Monica Jean (kinda country I know!)

Other names that have been in my list but have recently been eliminated due to how they sound with my simple one syllable last name of Hoode (with a G), are Blake and Beau.
I definitely can’t call a girl Beau Hoode (G) (sounds like No Good) ha!! That would be a terrible self fulfilling prophecy!
I am set in the middle name of Elizabeth, my mother’s mother was Mary Elizabeth, and we have already honored my husband’s side of the family, so I want something for my side.
And, It’s just such a beautiful name!

So as of now my short list includes

Britton Elizabeth

Cameron Elizabeth

Leighton Elizabeth

I have really enjoyed finding your blog and I can’t wait to hear your suggestions!!

Sincerely,

Monica

 

Ah, yes, I am familiar with the name boards. I first encountered them when pregnant with the twins: I joined a more general group for people who were due the same month as me, but my favorite place was the NAME area. People could ask name questions, and other people could weigh in! There was VOTING! It was thrilling!

But you know how this ends: soon I noticed the comments sections of those areas were snake pits. A few people were weighing in thoughtfully and giving careful, kind opinions that showed a full understanding that “not a name I personally am planning to choose” was not even remotely the same as “name that no one should choose”, but a huge percentage of the audience was there to do harm on purpose for fun. Another huge percentage of the audience was there to attack the attackers. Every question devolved into a squall. Wait, not squall. What’s the word I’m thinking of that’s not squall? Never mind, I’ll think of it.

Anyway, I never went back to that part of the internet. And when I started this blog, I had one major goal: no snake pit. And I suggest staying away from snake pits in general: if I remember correctly, and I absolutely do, they harshly criticize LITERALLY EVERY NAME UNDER THE SUN. This is because they are not actually there to discuss names, they are there to rip names apart. Find you an audience who can tell the difference, whether that’s us or whether that’s supportive friends/family. No snakes.

Oh: brawl. Brawl is the word I was trying to think of. Not squall.

So, to start with, Britton is not a misspelling of Britain unless that’s what someone intends it to be. It could be a misspelling or alternate spelling of Briton (someone who comes from Britain), but my guess is that it comes from the accurate spelling of the surname and/or from lengthening the name Britt. There are many names that come into existence through various or uncertain means. And in any case, Britton is a name: in 2015 it was given to 78 new baby girls and 106 new baby boys.

It hits my ear as a fresh snappy update of Brittany, and I love the nickname Britt. It sounds to me like it’s your top choice, and I think it goes very well with what you’re looking for in a name. The “embroidered beach towel” test is a great one: one of the names we ended up using got bumped way up on the candidate list after I saw it written on a drawing in a kindergarten classroom.

If you like Blake but find it too abrupt with the surname, I wonder if you’d like Blakely? Or Lakelyn? Or Lakelyn makes me think of Locklyn.

Readers may feel here as if they’re having deja vu: I used these same suggestions in a recent post. And as long as I’m doing that, let me suggest Delaney: I think it goes very well with what you’re hoping for here, and it has cute nicknames like Del and Laney. And Brinley is nice. Or Kinsley, Everly, Ellery, or Ellison. (Normally I wouldn’t do two posts in a row with similar style, but I got all worked up about the chat boards.) More names to consider:

Finley
Hollis
Linley
Madigan
Peyton
Quincy
Rooney
Teagan

But my vote is for Britton.

41 thoughts on “Baby Girl Hoode-with-a-G, Sister to Jackson

  1. Meg

    How about Arden? It’s feminine but strong and has similar sounds to Britton. I was going to suggest Quinn, but I’m not sure if it flows with your last name well, would Quincy work (with a nn of Quinn)? Maybe Blythe or Berkeley would work, similar to Blake or Beau but maybe better with the last name? There’s also the name Brighton if you’re unsure if people will mispronounce Britton.

    Overall I think Britton is lovely, and you could call her “B” or “bea” as a nickname from the first letter of the name (or BE initials). That makes me think of Beatrix?

    Of all of these, I think my favourite would be Arden, but Britton is oh-so-lovely too!

    Reply
  2. Britni

    From your letter, I think Britton is the name you really want and so you should go for it. No way should community chat boards talk you out of it.
    Britton Elizabeth is beautiful!
    Fwiw, Britton spelled differently is actually on our short list for a boy so I’m a fan!

    Reply
  3. Renee

    I also say go with Britton! Perfect sibset. Love it. Ignore the haters.

    P.S. I’ve always loved Beaudry as a way to lengthen Beau.

    Reply
  4. Stephanie

    Britton is definitely a correct spelling of a surname name. I have friends with this family name.

    We have very different naming styles, but I find nothing wrong with the name Britton on a girl! And it sounds lovely with Elizabeth.

    Other suggestions on the non-frilly side:
    Vera
    Reagan
    Daphne
    Harper
    Jane

    Reply
  5. LBBB

    Long time reader, first time commenter. I couldn’t not post this time.

    We named our first daughter Britton in 2012. We love surnames with familiar nickname potential and this fit the bill ( though we never use a nickname as it turns out). When we told people this name before she was born, reviews were very mixed to the point that I was almost deterred from using it. My husband was steadfast in the choice and I’m so glad her was. I love it more as time goes on, and we get a lot of compliments now.

    And believe it or not, we just had our second daughter in February, and named her…Blake! This name was on my short list the first time around, but I was reluctant because our last name is a one syllable name that started with a hard C sound. As Swistle has often said though, issues in baby naming don’t have to be deal breakers. What seemed like a deal breaker the first time around suddenly didn’t matter much at all.

    My point is, stick with what you love! People tend to have strong opinions on names right up until the actual child is named. Then they don’t care much! I’m so glad I didn’t let them scare me off.

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  6. Colleen

    I actually know of a girl named Britton. Her parents spelled it differently (with an -an, I believe) and as a child, she went exclusively by Brittie. Once she got older, she went by Britt; I never heard her refer to herself as Britton ever. So if you like the name, I would just be sure that you’re cool with Britt (as I think it’s a very probably nickname) and make sure you like the sound and flow of Britt Hoode.

    I think your last name lends itself well to two-syllable names. I really like the previous suggestion of Arden; in fact, I swooned a bit when I read it. Blakeley is a good suggestion as well. I also really like Leighton on your list as well.

    I think you’ve honed in on your style well and you know what you like; the next step is deciding what sounds good to you with your last name. I have a short, one-syllable last name as well, so I feel your pain =)

    Good luck!

    Reply
  7. TheFirstA

    Name boards are the worst.

    Because I don’t want to be part of a snake pit, I will politely state that Britton is not my favorite. Seeing it in print, I assume it’s a twist on names like Britt or Brittany. However, hearing it, I do think “Britain” which seems like an odd thing to name a child. I would hope that if I were to meet a Britton IRL, I’d learn to hear the name as more well, “namey.” That said, a lot of place names that are pretty common just don’t feel “namey” to me, so grain of salt & all that. :-)

    I like the previous suggestion of Arden. I’ll also throw out Briar, Briony & Brynn.

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  8. Eli

    If you are in love with Britton (which reminds me mostly of Brittany in France) go with it.

    As for whatever name boards you were on, what jerks! Everyone has many names they do not like for one reason or another, but in the end even Moon Unit Zappa hasn’t bothered to change her name even if many of us wonder about it.

    Reply
  9. Suzanne

    I know a grown up Britton and a child Leighton and in my opinion both names are delightful.

    Also, I know a toddler Blaire (Blaire Elisabeth, in fact!) and it seems like it might be right in your wheelhouse.

    Ooooh!! I also know a toddler named Bevin! That seems to me to tick all the boxes on your list. Bevin Elizabeth.

    A couple of other names that came to mind: Logan and Landon.

    Reply
  10. Another Heather

    For the record, I’m an “Amelia” type, and I actually really enjoy Britton. There’s a crispness to the double t that appeals…I know a Britta, which is an option too, but I think Britton looks more tailored. If you’re secretly in love and looking for that extra push, consider the mostly glowing response here your permission! Britton is lovely.

    Reply
  11. Sargjo

    A variation is Breton, nn Brette if that appeals. But I actually prefer Britton BECAUSE it is not an exact name of a country/nationality/linguistic group. I also love the suggestion of Arden, only because with a girl/boy sibling pair where both are surnames it can be nice to distinguish that one is a slightly more feminine name. But only if you care-no one else will I reckon.

    Reply
  12. Angela

    Britton isn’t my personal style, but I do like it for someone else’s baby! (And I especially love it with Elizabeth.) My first thought was that it was an update of Brittany. I love someone’s suggestion of the nickname “Brittie” too, which reminds me of the nickname “Birdie” which is just sooooo cute.

    Leighton strikes me as more ladylike, less gender neutral. Cameron I would read as boy with a brother named Jackson, but probably because I know only male Camerons. I don’t think of it as super masculine though.

    To Swistle: could you also have been thinking of “squabble”?

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  13. Riley

    I love all of your top picks! I know several people, babies through age 35, and of both sexes, named Cameron, Britton and Leighton! I would only point out that in my New England accent, I say “brit-in” and kind of erase the middle T. IDK if that bugs you, or if you live somewhere else where it may not matter but for that reason I love Cameron or Leighton more.

    Reply
  14. StephLove

    I’m generally an advocate of using the name you love best unless there’s a compelling reason not to and it sounds like Britton is that name for you. That’s a sweet story about the towel.

    An aside for Swistle, what struck me most about this blog when I first started reading it was the civility, because I’d been to those boards, too. Do you have to delete a lot of comments to maintain that tone or are your readers pretty self-selecting?

    Reply
    1. Swistle Post author

      I occasionally have to delete a comment, but it’s pretty rare; it was more common in the beginning. It feels self-perpetuating at this point: when someone new comes here and sees the tone of the comments section, it influences how they express themselves.

      Reply
  15. Kay W.

    Oooh, I know a pair of southern sisters who are Cameron and Carson. Great pair! Maybe you’d like Carson? It’s a quite a bit less common than Cameron, but still well known thanks to McCullers (famous Southern writer! I think her first name was actually Mary, but she never went by it). Carson also has the cute nickname Carsie.

    Britton with your surname is very memorable. Don’t let naysayers dissuade you. Plus, if she decides down the line she wants a more feminine name, she can use Britt or Britta as nicknames—both unmistakably girl.

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  16. Ashley

    I’m in agreement with Swistle and many commenters. Britton Elizabeth is gorgeous. Jackson and Britton. Gives me all the heart eyes.

    As for worrying about her name being misspelled… that was one of my big concerns as well. My daughter’s name is Ivy. Only three letters. Her name gets misspelled all the time! I will say that when I hear the name Britton, in my mind’s eye I envision it be spelled as you would spell it.

    One name that popped into my head when I read your letter was Briar. Good luck!

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  17. Erin Beth

    I am sorry you had a discouraging experience, but I really think Britton Elizabeth is lovely and you should use it! Of course everyone’s taste is different, but I could only see abandoning a beloved name if others point out a way that it could legitimately make life difficult for the child by subjecting her to teasing, assumptions, etc. Britton in no way falls into that category. It is a more versatile name than many and I can see girls with many different personalities wearing it well.

    Reply
  18. Jean C.

    Britton has cute nickname potential and goes well with Jackson. I believe her initials would spell “BEG” but if that doesn’t bother you, I wouldn’t let it stop me. This is why my husband and I didn’t tell hardly anyone our sweet girl’s name until after she was born–people think they get to have a say when they don’t, but unfortunately it can impact how you feel about the name when you just want everyone to love it as much as you do. Forget the haters and love the name you love!

    Reply
    1. sandra

      I was just going to say the same thing about her initials…some people do worry about initials spelling something and is something I personally would consider .
      I really like Britton. .I only know of one other person with the name and it’s a young boy. I’m not generally a huge fan of “boy names for girls” because I like to know by hearing or seeing the name if it’s attached to a boy or girl. (But I’m over 50 so that might make a difference lol). However in saying that I think Britton is lovely for a wee girl with some really sweet NN potential..Brie,Britt, or Birdie 😍.

      Reply
  19. Lisa

    I think the name Britton is a really great choice for you. I know a little girl Leighton, her mom is Keithlee, her Aunts are Colbie and Blakeley. I also love Hunter for you but, it may not work well with your last name. How about Campbell Elizabeth?

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  20. Kelsey D

    I have a friend with a 4 year old Britton. It’s a great name. Unique but not weird and I definitely don’t see it as a wrong spelling for Britain?? I swear Some people just need to find something negative to say… anyways, I think it’s sweet and charming. If that’s your favourite name then I say go for it!!!

    Britton Elizabeth Hoode – sounds great to me!! Good luck and don’t let a bunch of negative strangers sway you on a name that you clearly love. Keep us posted!!

    Reply
  21. Andrea

    I love the Swistle name site because she acknowledges that names of all styles are valid. There are some really popular name sites, not just chat boards, that can be pretty judgy. My brother named his baby girl Chezney and one very popular baby name site has this under that name: “We don’t care how much you love Kenny: this is going too far.” That was it. Rude. Don’t worry about it–people have a lot of different tastes and rude people are rude.

    Britton is lovely. Go with what you love.

    Reply
  22. Maree

    In this category I think I like Breton and Britta best.

    My favourite boy for girl/ surname name is Dean.

    Reply
  23. Trudee

    It sounds like you want to go with Britton and just need reassurance. I personally don’t love it with your last name because they’re both proper names/words (makes me think “Britain Bad”) but I love the name Britton itself. And there will always be people who don’t like a name you choose. That’s the nature of people. So try to let the name board experience go, recognizing that it’s a toxic environment that feeds negativity.

    Maybe it’s the “Britain” thing, but if you are looking for other options, I thought London had a similar feel (though still a place, I acknowledge).

    Reply
  24. liz

    I love Britton for you, and it’s your favorite, so go for it!

    I also like the suggestions of Brynn (my cousin’s daughter is named that!), Briar, and Delaney. And I mentioned it in the last thread, but I know a little girl named Brooklyn.

    Reply
  25. Beep

    I am not a personal fan of Britton, but I do think it works fine as a name. And I love the nickname Britt, which sounds like an awesome mash-up of an old-school Elizabeth derivative (Bet/Betsy) and the word grit (which I like) without seeming made up. I do also love Arden, as mentioned by several others.

    But enough about my preferences… mostly, I came to say that as a person with nouns for both first and last names, who gave my daughters names that weren’t universally popular in our social circles and for which I’m still occasionally teased, I love my name and am happy that I stuck to my guns on my kids’ names.

    Reply
    1. beep

      Another couple of thoughts…

      How does Linden strike you? To me it has that unique/feminine/strong vibe. I like it as well as Arden.

      Also, just to say, I would not know how to pronounce Leighton from just reading it. My first impulse would be LEE-ton because of Leigh being pronounced LEE when a standalone name or within names like Kimberleigh, but the one Leighton I’ve met pronounces it LAY-ton, which would leave me unsure.

      Reply
  26. Shannon

    Britton is great! I think it works just fine in a world that includes names like Sutton, Leighton, etc. Jackson and Britton go really well together, I think.

    A comment about those snake pits: In addition to everything else that’s been pointed out about their pitfalls (people are there to be nasty, not helpful; individual tastes should not be imposed on other people), I just want to add that I believe part of the disproportionality comes from the fact that there often isn’t a lot of motivation for a commenter to praise a name he or she really loves–which is (1) part of what makes Swistle’s community so rare and special and (2) part of why supporters often get drowned out by naysayers elsewhere!

    (For example, I comment often around here, but I clam up whenever anyone mentions a name that’s on my own short list for superstitious reasons–so if you have ever written in to vet [Shannon’s top boy name] or [Shannon’s top girl name], you missed out on at least one extremely positive comment that you were owed!!!! Sorry…)

    Reply
  27. Cameron

    I feel like I have to comment since my name is Cameron! I was happy to see it’s on your short list because I think it fits what you’re going for well. So you said: “I feel so much pressure to give her a name I would want as an adult (and as a child), that is unique but not weird, somewhat Southern but not overly girly, feminine but with an edge, and strong.”

    Several of the names you’re considering fit the bill nicely, but in case you wanted a first-person account of a girl–>woman named Cameron:
    It has aged well–not weird as a child or as an adult, though I do often go by a nickname
    Is unique but not weird–I almost never meet other people named Cameron, but it passes the Starbucks test with flying colors. Everyone always knows what name I said and usually gets the spelling spot on. I get a lot of compliments on my name.
    I live in the South, looks strong on a resume and is extra feminine with my nice girly middle name (Elizabeth is a great similar choice) for when I want to let on that I’m female.

    I do get some mail addressed to Mr. Cameron ______ but it doesn’t really bother me, and you seem to like unique/gender neutral names anyway so I assume that isn’t a deal breaker.

    Reply
  28. Caro

    I think Britton is that rare name that has a familiar sound (we all know a Brittany) but stands out in a “why didn’t I think of that?” cool kind of way. I knew a little girl named Britton, and the only thing I would mention is that her mom preferred her name to be pronounced with a crisp /t/ (Brit-ton), whereas many of us midwest teachers would say Brit-n…hard to type but it’s similar to the ways some people say moun-tain and others say “mountn”.

    Reply
  29. Jess

    I say go with Britton because you love it. However, if you’re looking for other candidates, something about the name Sloane feels like it fits with your style. I love Sloane for a girl.

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  30. JMV

    I just wanted to counter the snake pit and chime in to say, “Go with Britton!”
    Otherwise, I love Brinn for you.

    Reply
  31. ema

    I wonder if you might like Landry, as well! I also liked the Arden suggestion- I liked Sloane, too, until i realized it would sound like Slow-N-*ood, which I would always think about. (And I like Britt or Britton!)

    Reply
  32. Jd

    I heart Britton. Love Britt as a nickname

    A few other choices just in case:
    Saylor
    Knox
    Greer
    Mercer
    Tierney
    Flannery

    Reply
  33. Jaya

    Britton is a straightforward easily spelled name, or so it seems to me.

    Some ideas in case it doesn’t quite feel right:

    Bryony
    Blair
    Devon
    Camrie
    Cadence

    Reply
  34. Cece

    I’m with the majority; it sounds like Britton is the name for you! To quote the great TSwift, “And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it off”. Britton is a pretty name, you love it, that’s all that matters!

    Reply

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