My husband and I are expecting on February 20th. I’ve got my fingers crossed that we’re having a boy simply because we can’t find a girl’s name that feels right! If we have a boy, we’re going to name him after my grandfather, Frederick.
We’ve come close with a few girls names but we’re not sure that any of them have hit the mark. We want a traditional name that is easy to pronounce. We will likely use the middle name Elizabeth, which is a family name. The name should flow with her last name, Birchall. We’d also like it to have two versions: a shorter softer version for a nickname, and a longer solid version that will be more fitting if she wants to be taken “more seriously” as an adult. So far we’ve come up with Josephine (Josie for short), Gretchen (Greta for short) and Hollis (Holly for short) but we’re still feeling unsure, especially because these names all seem to be already popular or increasing steadily on the naming charts.
It's hard to avoid popular, isn't it? The trouble seems to be that we all pretty much like the same names at the same time, so the only way to choose a name no one else is using is to choose a name that everyone---including you---dislikes.
I was thinking about this just the other day when I was making my list of girl names I like. About a dozen years ago I had a co-worker named Georgia, and I felt SORRY for her because of her name. Also, I went to school with a girl named Ruth, and I thought that was as unspeakably awful as her red hair. And now both names (AND the red hair) look good. These things go in waves, and we are floaties unable to resist.
This is why my policy on names that are popular (or increasing in popularity) is "Good! That means a lot of people will like it!" And then I just cross my fingers that it stays "popular" without getting "trendy," because trendy is a whole different bowl of soup.
Where was I? Oh, yes. Okay, let's look at what you've got so far:
Josephine Elizabeth Birchall (JEB), nickname Josie
Gretchen Elizabeth Birchall (GEB), nickname Greta
Hollis Elizabeth Birchall (HEB), nickname Holly
Because you like the boy's name Frederick (and would/might use it for a future baby, if this one is a girl?), I'd lean toward using Josephine or Gretchen, both of which seem excellent as sibling names for a Frederick. And because "Gretchen Birchall" is a little difficult for me to say, my first choice is Josephine. Here are a few more girl names to consider:
Agatha Elizabeth Birchall (AEB), nickname Aggie
Augusta Elizabeth Birchall (AEB), nickname Gussie
Eleanor Elizabeth Birchall (EEB), nickname Ellie or Nora
Florence Elizabeth Birchall (FEB), nickname Florrie
Georgia Elizabeth Birchall (GEB), nickname Gigi or Georgie
Henrietta Elizabeth Birchall (HEB), nickname Hen or Hennie
Lydia Elizabeth Birchall (LEB), nickname Liddy
Virginia Elizabeth Birchall (VEB), nickname Ginny
Wilhelmina Elizabeth Birchall (WEB), nickname Willa or Mina
Let's vote! I'll put a poll over to the right. [Poll closed; see below.]
Poll results (299 votes total):
Agatha (Aggie): 9 votes, roughly 3%
Augusta (Gussie): 3 votes, roughly 1%
Eleanor (Ellie/Nora): 64 votes, roughly 21%
Florence (Florrie): 5 votes, roughly 2%
Georgia (Gigi or Georgie): 34 votes, roughly 11%
Gretchen (Greta): 17 votes, roughly 6%
Henrietta (Hen, Hennie, Hettie): 6 votes, roughly 2%
Hollis (Holly): 19 votes, roughly 6%
Josephine (Josie): 92 votes, roughly 31%
Lydia (Liddy): 28 votes, roughly 9%
Virginia (Ginny): 14 votes, roughly 5%
Wilhelmina (Willa, Mina): 9 votes, roughly 3%
Name update 03-08-2007! Gillian writes:
Thank you so much for the suggestions and all the help in picking out a girl's name. It turns out we needed it! Our beautiful baby girl arrived on February 26th and we named her Josephine Elizabeth. We've had lots of comments on her name and everyone loves it. Most importantly, so do we! Thanks again.