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Friday, August 12, 2011

Baby Naming Issues: Avoiding a "Teen Mother"-Sounding Name; Non-Coupled Parents Working Together to Choose a Name [Edited]

Rose writes:
Let's be blunt here, Swistle: I'm eighteen and expecting a baby in late November. It's a girl. 

I know that the least I can do is give my child a name that won't allow people to get that self-satisfied smirk on their faces and think, "your name reflects your upbringing and your parents"; I will not do my child a disservice by heaping a misspelled, infantile, vapid, trendy name upon her, because it's bad enough that I'm barely an adult. And also my tastes run rather droll.

So the entire naming process has been one strung throughout with anxiety. To say the least.


Onto the names. There are HUGE problems with the first, middle AND last names. Huzzah.

FIRST: I had a few first names picked out by myself, because my daughter's father (I refer to him as that because we were not in a romantic relationship when my daughter was conceived, are not in one now, and will not be in one in the future; we’re not even friends) had decided that he wanted no part of it (he's two months younger than me but, may I say, has the maturity of an ten-year-old) and I took it upon myself to find the perfect name (I like vintage, less-common names that exude warmth and intelligence and feminine strength) . I would have been happy naming her any of the following:






But then the father grew up a bit and now wants to play an active part in his daughter's life before and after she actually gets here. Which is absolutely amazing for our daughter, but it's complicating the naming process. He's a very opinionated guy and surprisingly cares quite a lot what her name is.

His taste runs a bit...different than my own. He likes more modern, cutesy names and names with an edgy feel that are "cool". Dillon told me that he likes the following:

Juliet, nickname Jett (Dillon said that this is the most “bad-ass” name ever...)





As I am going to be her primary caregiver and the one who is, honestly, going to be making the most sacrifices, I think that I should have the final say. But because I want to honor his commitment to his daughter, I want him to help pick out his daughter's name. I just don't know if we can find a name that we both love. Please help!

MIDDLE: I want to give my daughter the middle name of Hermione, due to the amazing character and this quote, primarily.

“I’ve got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don’t want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny - a thousand things, before ‘thin’. And frankly, I’d rather they didn’t give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons. Let them never be Stupid Girls.” 
--JK Rowling

I want my daughter to be a Hermione, so badly it almost aches. But therein lies the problem. I realize that the Harry Potter series is universally acknowledged as meant for children, or at least teenagers, and it seems to me like Hermione would be a juvenile choice, therefore going against my naming principle. I don't want my daughter to be ashamed of either of her names, but especially of one that means so much to me. Is it selfish to give her the middle name of Hermione?

And the father does not like Hermione. He is a fan of Harry Potter but thinks that the name is “weird”. I’ve shown him the quote but he doesn’t get it. Should I push for Hermione or find a compromise?

LAST: Originally, I was going to give my daughter my surname, Monroe. But because her father has promised that he’s going to step up, I feel as though it would be wrong not to include him somehow.

I’m not naive. I know that the father has a very good chance at not being a good father or even a father at all, and he might not deserve to have his daughter bear his last name. But his parents are lovely people and his mother will be taking care of the baby when I go back to high school in January since my mother works; they’ll be around and will be playing a huge part in her life even if he is not. I feel as though my daughter should have his last name as SOME part for their sake.

A good option, I suppose, would be a double-barreled last name. But I don’t especially WANT a double-barreled last name; I think they’re clumsy and annoying. And which surname goes first: his or mine?

Another option that I have become aware of is using his surname as a second middle name, or vice-versa. But that seems confusing and bulky as well.

_____ Hermione Monroe
_____ Hermione Parker
_____ Hermione Monroe-Parker
_____ Hermione Parker-Monroe
_____ Hermione Parker Monroe
_____ Hermione Monroe Parker

Or any of the above choices with a different middle name. Or any other ideas.

Which one?

I’ve had a huge interest in names since I was young--and I have enjoyed both of your blogs for awhile--but I never, ever expected that I would actually have to find a name this early, nor that I would be in need of your services. But thank you.

Thanks again. I know I'm asking a lot of you.

Let's start with the surname. This is going to boil down to picking your favorite and the one that makes most sense to you, but if you like I can tell you what my favorite is: your idea of having the father's surname as a second middle name, and your own surname as the surname. If you'll be the primary caregiver and the other parent's involvement level is uncertain at this point, it makes sense for her to have your surname---but it's also nice to include her father's name in her name (I like your idea of thinking of it as the father's FAMILY'S name), and the second-middle-name slot is great for that. But all kinds of name arrangements seem to work out without too much hassle, so again, I say pick your favorite. The name gets long, but I think it's worth it here.

Next, the tricky issue of the middle name. I see your points, and I'm not sure what to advise. I THINK that my feeling on this is that it may cause a little reaction of the sort you describe, but that the people who have that reaction are likely to be the ones who will have a little reaction almost no matter what---and that your strong and enduring feelings about the name outweigh other people's mild and temporary reactions.

If you are looking for other solutions, I wonder if it would work to name her instead for the author of the quote and creator of Hermione's character? J.K. Rowling's first name is Joanne; according to Wikipedia, she says as a child she was only called that when she was in trouble, and that she goes by Jo. Jo is an adorable name, and it can remind you the woman who inspired your fervent hope. (And the quote would make a great framed print for the nursery.) It rhymes with your surname, but you could either use Joanne (and then use the cute nickname "[First name] Jo"), or maybe it doesn't matter, if Parker will be between them.

On to the first name. I like every name on your list. I love Alice best, I think. Alice Joanne Parker Monroe; Alice Monroe; Alice Jo. Lovely. Not a single smirkable name in the bunch.

From the father's list, Lily seems most compatible with your list---though it does give the two of you an inadvertent flower theme (as does Violet from your list; Hazel and Olive are also botanical but seem to me a much less obvious connection). Would it be more to your style if it were the full name Lillian? Lillian Joanne Parker Monroe; Lillian Monroe; Lily Jo.

If you like the name Juliet from his list, it might be an excellent compromise name: you can call her Juliet, and her dad's special name for her can be Jett. This assumes that although Jett isn't your style, you don't hate it (since she might later adopt it as the name she'd like to be called). If you really dislike it, let's take this one off. But otherwise: Juliet Joanne Parker Monroe; Juliet Monroe; Julie Jo.

If the father is looking for cool/edgy, perhaps we can find him an edgy/cool nickname for one of the names on your list. Again, it would need to be one you don't hate. But would it, for example, be okay if he called Alice "Allie," or "Al" or "Ace"? Could he call Olive "Ollie" or "Livvy"? I'm not very tuned in to edgy/cool, but perhaps he can think of more possibilities.

Another option is to have the first and last names be your choices, and the two middle names be his: a name within a name, sort of. So if your favorite were Hazel, and you wanted your own surname, and your favorite name from the father's list was Juliet, the name could be Hazel Juliet Parker Monroe. Hazel Monroe, with her father's choice of Juliet Parker nested inside.

Another option is to let him choose the name from a list of your finalists.

It depends a lot on how strongly he feels about his list, and how favorably he feels toward yours, and how unfavorably you feel about his list, and how much you're willing to work with him on this. One thing that makes this such an interesting set of questions is that it's unfamiliar turf as to how much say each parent should have. And we could land anywhere on the spectrum: with you having the entire say, with him having a little say, with you both having equal say, even with him having more say in order to increase the connection he feels to her. And I don't know what the right way is for your particular case (or for ANY case, for that matter!). It's interesting to think about.

Back to working with Hermione, I think my favorite first name is still Alice. Alice Hermione Parker Monroe. Alice Monroe.

[Edited to add:]
Rose writes:
Hi, Swistle! I just read your reply and it was amazingly helpful. Thank you SO MUCH for that. You are assuaging my worries with her name

But. I showed your reply and the comments to Dillon, the father, and after much discussion we decided that instead of a compromise with our original names, we need a brand new name that appeals to both of us. Could you possibly give us some name suggestions, or ask your readers to help us?

On a better note, reading the comments has given me a really, really good feeling about Hermione and I think I am going to use it as my daughter's middle name. Dillon's surprisingly come around to it and says that he really likes the meaning behind Hermione. So that's one thing down.

As far as the surname goes, I'm thinking that _____ Hermione Parker Monroe or _____ Hermione Parker-Monroe are our best options. Dillon wants the hyphenated last name, obviously, but I'm leaning more towards using Parker as a second middle name. But then I'm worried that his parents will be hurt, and I don't want that. But...gah. This is hard. Any advice?

I've been trying to look through baby name sites, but it's really hard to find a name that suits both of our styles. I suppose we need a name that's vintage but not old-sounding, fresh but not trendy, and feminine but not cutesy. And it has to sound great (or at least good) with Hermione. Please help!

Thanks again, Swistle. I'm sorry I'm being such a bother!

Name update! Rose writes:
Our beautiful daughter Louisa Hermione Parker Monroe arrived right on schedule at 7:12 in the morning yesterday, November 29. We call her Lucy.

Labor was thankfully short (but holy fudge so painful) and Dillon and I were blubbering messes at the end of it when little darling Lucy was placed in my arms. Lucy is unbelievably perfect and gorgeous and we love her so so much.

She was going to be Maeve Hermione--I think we were about 99% sure that that was her name. But then the day before she was born my grandmother Louisa was diagnosed with cancer, and she decided she's not going to undergo treatment. We felt that it was important to honor her because she's a important person in my life, and she made sure herself to give her children names that honored family, so we knew that she'd appreciate us honoring her. And she did--when we told her her great-granddaughter's name she looked so happy and touched and appreciated. We both cried. I now understand why people honor family--it's such a amazingly wonderful gift for both the honoree and the honorer. Then we were thinking of using Maeve Louisa but it sounds way too much like the name of a disease or like "may flew eesa". So we scrapped Maeve and kept Hermione and Louisa Hermione it was. I'm not disappointed with not using Maeve one bit, actually--I adore Lucy to pieces, and Dillon says that he loves it as well, more than Maeve.

Thank you, thank you, thank you everyone for all of your help with her name. If I hadn't had your help, I wouldn't have dared to use Hermione as the middle name, and who knows what Lucy's last name would have been. Using my surname as her surname and Dillon's surname as a second middle name is definitely the best option. I LOVE her name so much and I'm forever grateful to you, Swistle, and the readers.


Elle said...

I have personally considered using Hermione for precisely the same reasons as you, Rose, for my own potential future children. May I suggest using Hermione's middle name - Jean - as a more subtle, yet still strong, homage to the character?

Alice Jean Parker Monroe. Her dad can call her AJ if he wants to be a bit more edgy. That also works with Swistle's suggestion of Alice Jo (which I think is another great idea).

Rachel said...

I love Swistle's suggestion of Jo as the middle name instead of Hermione.

But I also love her idea of the "name within a name." That way you each get to give your daughter the exact name you want, but she'll be known by the name YOU choose (first and last) since you'll be more actively involved in her life.

I hope we get a name update on this one!

Anonymous said...

I love Hermione as a middle name. It has a long tradition in Greece, and there have been several wonderful literary characters with the name over the years (Including Hermione Granger). I am considerably older than you, and wouldn't flinch if a young mom told me she named her daughter Hermione. She is a wonderful namesake. I wish you the best of luck with everything.

Linda said...

Lily is also a strong name from the Harry Potter series because Lily was his moms name and she was a very strong female character so Lily would make a good compromise for a middle name.

klcalder said...

I adore Hermione and really hope that you stick with it! I think I'm also with Swistle in that Alice is my favorite first name choice and using the father's last name as a second middle would be the way to go. I also think Juliet is a wonderful name that fits so well with Hermione. Good luck and I hope we get an update when your baby girl arrives!

Michelle said...

Came here to say the same thing about Lily - and I think because the entire theme of the HP books is how a mothers love can literally SAVE A LIFE it would be an excellent choice. Then you can go Lily Parker Monroe and not have 4 names - he gets a first name that also honors something you hold important.

I'm just saying, as a divorced mom (now remarried) - give the baby your last name. No offense to him but...yeah.

Anonymous said...

Alice Joanne Parker Monroe is perfect! It sounds like a doctor or a professor. If I'd had to guess the mother's age from just that baby name, I'd have gone with 38, not 18.

Anonymous said...

Hey, just note that Alice Munro is a fairly prominent Canadian (mostly short story) writer, before you settle on Alice Monroe. There's nothing about Alice Munro that would put me off the name, but I would be surprised if you didn't get at least some comments on it.

Sarah said...

I think Swistle offered great advice and feel the name Alice Joanne Parker Monroe to be absolutely beautiful. Nothing juvenile about it!

Another plus of the name? The award winning Canadian author Alice Munro. You may value another connection to a strong woman, or you may think it too literary.

Patti J said...

I absolutely LOVE Michelle's suggestion of Lily Parker Monroe. That's a name that sounds classic and strong, yet retains the Harry Potter connection representing a strong woman... a strong mother. Perfect!

Anonymous said...

We gave our daughters aspirational middle names too (a la virtue names, but latinate versions)so I say go for Hermione. If it's meaningful to you I think it should be used.

Misty said...

I second Elle's suggestion of considering Jean in place of Hermione, if Hermione is not quite right.

Christine said...

I love the suggestion of Lily Parker Monroe. It's a lovely name, and while it gets the father's name in there, I feel like Lily is more in line with your preferred naming style.

I personally like the name Hermione, but if you think it will smack too much of the HP books, I think Joanne works. Plus, if you're going the Parker Monroe route, it makes it a little shorter.

Alice Hermione Parker Monroe is a mouthful. Not bad, or too too long, but pretty close to my tastes.

Best wishes with everything!

Anonymous said...

First of all, go with Hermione as the middle name. The Harry Potter series has had a profound effect on many of today's new generation of adults. Many people having children today (not just young women like you who maybe aren't necessarily ready for kids) grew up with the books, and while it may seem strange or "juvenile" to an older person for you to name your daughter after one of the series' characters, it makes a lot of sense to those of us who learned a lot from Hermione. Jo/Joanne is a nice suggestion, but I think you should use what you really want.

That said, if you DO go with Hermione, I advise against using Lily as a first name, as that is a bit of a Harry Potter overload. I like the idea of using Parker as a second middle name (I don't know anyone who was born as a hyphenate who likes it), and keeping her last name the same as your own.

From yours and the father's lists, I like Hazel and Reese:

Hazel Hermione Parker Monroe
Reese Hermione Parker Monroe

Nicole said...

I don't usually comment on these things but I feel strongly about this. I say go with Hermione. I don't think of Harry Potter as juvenile, as another reader mentioned, many young adults have grown to love the series as well. I'm 24 and my boyfriend just turned 26. I have friends even older than 26 and we all love Harry Potter. The middle name Hermione is not one you should feel would be associated with a young mom giving her daughter a trendy name. Instead, Hermione is associated with an incredible young woman and I think if you love it, GO FOR IT.

Guinevere said...

I am pretty certain that our next child, if a girl, will be a Hermione, so I am not entirely objective on the matter, but I do think that you should go ahead and use it in the middle name slot. I do agree with Swistle that on a child with a 18-year-old mom it might get a different reception than on a child with a 30-year-old mom, so I totally get your point, but I agree with Swistle's conclusion that the people who react in that way will likely have that reaction anyway, even if the middle name were Elizabeth or Grace or another very standard middle name. Moreover would like to add that middle names are, after the birth announcement, largely pretty much a secret between you and your child and their teachers, unless you happen to use the middle name more regularly by incorporating it into a nickname, say.

If the child's father likes Juliet nicknamed Jett, perhaps he could be sold on Hermione with the nickname Hero? Another very different short form would be Maya. But again, I don't think this would be AT ALL relevant because middle names do not see a lot of use. Thus, Hermione as a middle name is not going to be something your child's father will have to deal with at all, so I don't think it's terribly relevant. I like the idea of giving his surname as a second middle name, so in that way, you are EACH contributing one middle name, which seems very fair.

I do think you should go ahead and use your surname as the last name on the birth certificate. The second middle name option means that your daughter CAN use both names if her father or his family ends up playing a significant role in her life, but she can also not use it much if that turns out not to be the case. When marrying we contemplated hyphenating but it was just too long, and moving to middle gave us the freedom to use both when we wanted to but not the pressure to use it when it would be a hassle. Best of both worlds.

So, I'm strongly lobbying for ______ Hermione Parker Monroe.

As for the first name -- there, I do think it would be appropriate to consider your daughter's father's opinions and wishes as well. I LOVE the Ace nickname for Alice, and think that this might go over very well if he likes Juliet/Jett.

Lily and Zoe strikes me as a bit cutesy, and also not great with Hermione (especially Lily, because of the "too much Harry Potter" reason adding to the too much ending in "ee" sounds). Reese and Blair seem absolutely wildly divergent from your style since they are much more androgynous preppy names. Sophie and Juliet seem more like they could be on a list with your names, although Sophie is a good deal more popular than anything you have... but it gives me hope that you can find some middle ground. I like the Baby Name Wizard book, but in your case the Expert subscription on the website ( might be even more worth it, since you and Dillon could both input various combinations of each others names and try to find similar style names you like.

Best of luck to you, and congratulations!

MelissaInk said...

I like the idea of using your surname as her middle name and that father's as a last name.

I understand your wanting Hermione, but I think the idea there is a "strong" female name. There are lots of Greek/Roman goddess names that might fit the bill and be more pleasing to all - Athena, Diana, Juno, etc. Maybe explore that area and see if something jumps out. Seriously, though, in the middle name spot, I don't think it's a big deal if you stick with Hermione.

For the first name, I think if you give the child his last name, then you especially get final say. Lily doesn't seem like a far stretch from Hazel or Alice - what about Lillian? It's old-fashioned, like you like, but he could still call her Lily.

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of using Hermione as a middle name. I know it's fairly strongly tied to HP, but it's also the name of a character in one of Shakespeare's most awesome plays, A Winter's Tale. So I'd use it! That said, I would stay away from both Juliet Hermione (too Shakespeare themed) and Alice Hermione (Alice is a character in Twilight, so mabye too teen novel themed).

If you like more vintage names, though, you might also like Emilia (nn) Emmy, Millie, Emma, etc), Eleanor (the nn Elle has some of the same kind of spunk as Jett), or Magdalene (nn Maggie is adorable!). Ooh, not really vintage, but Janessa is a great name. Femenine but strong, fresh but familiar, plus I like the sound of Janessa Hermione. Other great strong names are Maren, Isla, and Ada/Adele. I kind of like Ada Hermione and Isla Hermione because the short first name balances the longer middle name and make having four names (if that's what you choose) more managable.

Elizabeth said...

As far as the last name goes, one thing to keep in mind is what is actually the law in your state. When my daughter was born in Virginia and we were filling out the paperwork for the birth certificate, I noticed that I would have to fill out extra paperwork if I wasn't going to give her my husband's last name, and if we hadn't been married, I would have to do extra paperwork if I did want her to have his last name. (We were married nd have the same last name so it wasn't an issue--I'm just interested in names so I noticed it.) I think California has the same thing, or used to, so it just goes by state. It's not a big deal--just an extra form--but it is something to be aware of when the time comes.

And I totally love the name Hermione. I put it on my list both times, even though I knew my husband wouldn't go for it. I'd never seen that quote before, but I love it and I want that to be true for both my daughters as well.

Carolyn said...

My favorite edgy, current name with surprisingly classic roots is India. The nn Indy makes it cool and tomboyish, but literary characters in Little Women and Gone With the Wind have been named India and it wasn't apparently that unusual. Probably the name took on an aristocratic British feel because of Britain's colonization of India at the time.

I also love Nola, Briony, Katherine nn Kit, and Alexandra nn Alex.

Clarabella said...

You mention you've been searching the internet, so I wonder if you've tried the site I love, Nymbler? It lets you put in up to 6 names & generates suggestions based on those. It might be a good way to discuss a new, compromise name. Even if it doesn't provide the name, it might lead you to it.
Good luck!
(I usually try to stay out of personal matters on these posts, but since you asked...may I lend my two cents on the last name? If you will be her primary caregiver, you should do what you want to. Also, you will have control over her birth certificate, so it IS your decision. That said, while it might sting initially, I'm sure her grandparents will just be glad to have Parker in her name, whether the hyphen is there or not.)

Slim said...

Ellen nn Nell?
Ros(e)anne nn Zan? (I love R. Cash, so am biased)

The Mrs. said...


Classic but not trendy...

Cornelia (nn Nellie)

Best of wishes to you and your daughter! Very curious to hear what you two decide.

StephLove said...

As for last names, I'd go with either yours or hyphenated. My kids have a hyphenated last name and it hasn't been much trouble so far (they're 10 & 5).

It sounds like you've come to an agreement on the middle name, which is great.

I do think his style is more diverse than yours. I think Juliet, Zoe & Lily from his list fall closest to your style. (Though I wouldn't use Lily with Hermione). So some of his names might be worth a second look.

Some suggestions: Caroline, Clementine, Ella, Lucy, Ruth, Theresa (nn Tessa), Ursula.

Leslie said...

I'm so glad you're going to be using Hermione as a middle name! I think it's lovely, and a great story/meaning for your daughter when she's a bit older.

As for surnames, my own inclination would be to use your surname, with his as a second middle name. I suspect it will be much easier if you and your child share the same surname, but this way his name is still included.

New first name suggestions:
Sylvia/Silvia or Sylvie/Silvie

Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

Okay, I never chime in, but here we go.

Is there a 1st name that makes your heart sing? That you absolutely LOVE and that you keep coming back to and that you just can't keep out of your head? You won't be 18 forever, and in a few years nobody's going to know or care whether you're 21 or 26 (or 26 vs 31)- if you act like a mom, nobody will notice or think about the fact that you're younger than them. That has been my experience, anyway. I was self-conscious about it at first but now I feel like I "fit in." what I mean is that your name choice won't represent your youthfulness for long, so I think you should pick a name you adore and screw what anybody else thinks.

I was married when I had my youngest but my marriage was in the crapper and I knew it was almost over. Very near the end of the pregnancy, I decided to go with my dad and grandfather's name instead of the dopey, trendy name my husband was pushing for. I'm so, so glad I did. He's basically out of the picture and I know I'd really regret it if I hadn't used that name and had listened to his suggestion.

Similarly: I wish I could change all of our surnames to my maiden name. His parents are around but I do 99% of the work and I resent that they have that tie to him, as though it makes them his property or something. This may very well be my own baggage/issues, so feel free to disregard.

Hermione: would you believe I haven't read HP? But I love names with meaning and I love that quote, so I think you should use it. Giving her his last name as a 2nd middle name is a great way to recognize him and his family in my opinion, but like I think you've alluded to, it's really you who needs to call the shots since you'll be the one there forever no matter what.

I also wanted to add that I absolutely adore hazel and violet. Really. 2 of my favorite names ever.

Anonymous said...

Here are some ideas:

-Victoria (Tori)
-Josephine (Joey or Josie)
-Rosamond (Rose)
-Emmaline (Emme)
-Cassandra (Cass/Cassie)
-Calista (Callie/Calla)
-Eloise (Elle)

Chantelle said...

Along with most of the other commenters, I think __________ Hermione Parker Monroe works fine. You should definitely use your last name at the very end so you keep her options open if he chooses not to be as involved later on. If you use his, you might grow to resent your daughter having his last name as a constant reminder.

Let us know what you decide!

Barb @ getupandplay said...

First of all, Rose, you seem like a very articulate, intelligent, thoughtful young woman and I wish you all the best in raising this child.

My two cents is for Parker Monroe, not hyphenated. You have a lot of really great suggestions here in the comments, sorry if I repeat!

Eleanor (nn Ellie, Nora, Nell)
Gwenyth/Gwendolyn (nn Gwen)
Tabitha (nn Betsy)
Elizabeth (nn Betsy, Bess, Beth, Ellie, Liza, etc.)
Aurora (nn Rory)
Beatrice (nn Bebe)

Kas said...

I was a mother at 19 and again at 21, my children both have respectable names, but regardless of their names people still treated me like a "young mum", do not even give these people a secound thought you sound like an amazingly respondsible 18 yr old so go with a name you love and who cares what others think!! Saying this i love all your name choices and i think anything you go with from you list will be lovely!! i love Alice the best from your list, i also really love the idea of Juliet which is so pretty and classic!!

Other suggestions:

Abigail (nn Abbi)

Congrats and good luck! looking forward to hearing what you choose x

MsMehitable said...

I agree with not hyphenating the last name, but having dad's last name as the second middle and your last name as the last name.
And I love the quote above--I wrote it down to share with my daughter someday.
For new ideas for first names:


Or you could go with very classic, such as Sarah, Elizabeth, Mary,

Good luck, and I hope you will keep us updated!

Christine said...

I think _______ Hermione Parker Monroe is the way to go. With last names in that order in case down the line whatever else may happen. Because it is a pretty long name as is, maybe you'd like a shorter first name? Classic type names are my favorite too.


are all shorter options. I particularly like Claire with your names. Claire Hermione Parker Monroe. Claire Monroe.

Longer names that I love and maybe you will too.

Sophia (which I know is popular but I still find it so so pretty)

Anonymous said...

I have to say I have never seen or read HP, but I dont totally know how to pronounce Hermione. I still think you should use it if you love it and won't be self conscious about using it. Also, I love the name Lily/Lillian, and it seems a nice mix of your styles. Would you consider Lillian Parker Monroe? He could call her Parks. I also love Alice and Hazel, and really your whole list, but not his. I think Alice has the most "bad ass" nn of the names you love. And honestly, he can call her Jett no matter what her birth certificate says. I will also suggest Julianna/Juliana, Josephine, Jolene? I would give her your last name. Congrats and best of luck! Please give us an update!!

Anonymous said...

I would also like to add that Isabella is the number one name in the USA. I haven't read or seen Twilight, but I have to wonder if it skyrocketed the name? The name Isabella is lovely, and the popularity doesn't turn me off as much as the (assumed?) movie reference.

the post girl in dc said...

I can only speak for cadence here, but Monroe or Parker Monroe for a last name both sound good, classics in an of themselves. I think girls names that end in an "ah" sound work really well with either combination of last names. It will make sense if you say some of these outloud, heh.

Other first name suggestions-
Calla, Calla Monroe, Calla Parker Monroe (bonus points for it being a Lily I reckon!)
Paloma, Paloma Monroe (spanish for dove)
Octavia, along the same lines as the suggestion of Augusta (just saw an actress with that name and loved it). Octavia Monroe, Tavi as a nn?
I went to school with a girl named Neijla (prounounced like the french word for snow- neige, then la). It's an Arabic word and very pretty. Neijla Monroe, love it.
Some random others-
Nicola (pronounced nickel-lah)

Homa said...

Regarding the last name, my daughter went through a similar situation when she had her daughter. We found out that the first name of a hyphenated last name is the one that dictates alphabetical order. She decided to use her last name first and then the father's last name in the second slot so that in the event he was less involved in the baby's life, my daughter and the grandbaby would have the same last name. I would go with Monroe-Parker if you decide to hyphenate.

Joanne said...

Would Parker be acceptable for a first name? Parker Hermione Monroe? I think it might be a little less classic than is your taste, but since it's a family name, I think that adds classic-ness. I also really like Alice, from the original list. I wish you the best of luck - I am having a baby in October and I could literally be your mother, Rose, since I am 43. I am here to tell you that it can be hard and overwhelming and people can be v. judgmental about names and everything else, regardless of your age. So I wish you lots of luck and I for one am jealous of your youth! I hope everything goes great in November for all of you!

kimma said...

I'm so happy to hear that he's come around to Hermione as a middle name. I think this is a wonderful choice for the sentiment it holds and not at all childish.

As for first name suggestions that are classics with modern nicknames...
Mirabel nn Bell or Mira
Jemima nn Jem
Antonia nn Toni
Allegra nn Alli
Georgette nn Jet

On another tangent .. I like Briar. Close to Blair for him, but with the floral/nature connotations that are common in your list.

Tamara said...

I just like to say that I grew up using my mums surname but legally having my fathers surname (until I legally changed it when I was 12 and applying for my first pass port). For me it was 'right' to have the same name as the person whom I lived with.

If you and Dillon both now agree and love Hermione would you consider it for a first name? It is such a great name. I'm 40 and I think HP is for EVERYBODY, not just teens and those in their early 20's. But HP aside it does have ties to Shakespeare and is fab!

Lillian is also fab, but I would steer clear of it as you are using Hermione. I would also steer clear of Jean with the surname Monroe! I have to say I missed the Jean/Hermione connection, was it Hermione Granger's middle name?

Other suggestions that I think are great for you....
Wilamena (Mena)

Violet was my favourite name in my recent last pregnancy, but couldn't get my husband to warm to it, so I LOVE it. We settled on Harriet which I now adore.

looking forward to your update to let us know what you finally call her. Good luck and congratulations!

Anonymous said...

I love Alice Hermione Parker Monroe. I think all the suggestions on nn's are great and the idea of including his last name as a middle name is as well. One thing I have to say is please, do not hyphenate the name. If you decide to, I would have yours first so that-like a previous post said- it will most likely be used more and thats what they will use in school and alphabetical order. I also want to say I think you are a very strong person and you made the right decision 100%. Props, and good luck!!

Miriam said...


I came to the comments to suggest Josephine, and now I see it has been mentioned several times! It's a great name and Dillon could call her Jodie, Josie, Joey, JoJo, or any number of other nicknames. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I haven't read everyone else's comments, but want to say that I too, was a teen mom at the age of 17. (sigh, my baby boy will be 19 next month and starts college next week) Anyway, his father and I WERE in a relationship for 4 yrs (2before he was born, 2 after). I DID NOT give my son his father's surname even though we were together at the time of his birth. And I am SO glad I did not as he has not seen him since he was 2. I did however, use his first name as my son's middle name. (Justin_Timothy) I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of using Parker as her middle name. It solves the issue of honoring her father even if things do not work out and he later choses not to participate in her life, which I hope will not be the case. My vote is for Alice Parker Monroe, or Lily Parker Monroe. Good luck to you!

Jennifer said...

Chiming in to suggest Sarah/Sara, nn Sadie. Classic with a sassy nickname. And best wishes to you and her. :)

Anonymous said...

Best to you. Your baby is already blessed to have you as a Mum!

May I suggest Lucia as first name? Lucia Hermione Parker Monroe .. Lucia Monroe ... it's my husband's gorgeous little girl's name. We call her Lucy at times,or Lu, or Lulu - all jiving with Dillon's 'edgy' request in my book! Lulu. :)

Really, my very best to you. You sound terrific!


Nicole J. said...

You have some fantastic suggestions already but in case you're still looking...

These aren't as feminine as your original choices but seemed like good compromises between your desire for a warm, vintage name and his desire for something spunky.

Piper Hermione Parker Monroe.

Darcy Hermione Parker Monroe.

Blythe Hermione Parker Monroe.

Harlow Hermione Parker Monroe.

Magnolia Hermione Parker Monroe (perhaps with the nn "Mags" for her dad?)

Lark Hermione Parker Monroe or Larkin Hermione Parker Monroe (I thought the repeating "ark" would be a nice way to honor the father and his family and might mollify them about the non-hyphenated last name)

Frazzled Mom said...

When I read this, my first thought was that the baby should have your surname, no question.

I know some of these have been suggested, but here are my reasons:

Sylvie - I see a lot of v's the names on your list (Maeve, Violet, Olive), and Sylvie is very close to Sophie on his list.

Cecily - One of my favorites because it has a spunky feel, but as the English form of Cecilia, who was a saint, it still has roots.


Louisa nn-Lulu. The formal name has roots, but the nickname Lulu seems edgy to me.

And using the classic full name / edgy nickname approach made me think of these:

Sarah nn-Sally (I think Sally will be the next Sadie)

Elizabeth nn-Betty or Betsy (I feel Betty and Betsy are ready to break out of the "old-dusty" impression and will be considered appealingly old-fashioned soon.)

Penelope nn-Polly or Poppy

Millicent (or Amelia, Camilla, Camille) nn-Millie (Millie is popular in England, and cutting edge here).

Good luck.

Frazzled Mom said...

Oh, and as far as the surname goes, I wanted to add that there is no reason you cannot use his surname as a second middle-name, and if 5-10 years down the road, if he turns out to be an involved father that you can't changed the surname as a hyphenated one.

The father must earn the privilege of having his surname included is my opinion. If his family is great like you describe, they will agree with me.

Laurel said...

As a woman whose dad was around for the first 2 years and absent the rest....don't use his surname as the babys. I wouldn't even worry about offending his parents either. A name is a BIG deal and there are other ways to show your appreciation. So if you like his surname use it in the middle. But don't saddle your kid with a last name different from yours - you will be the primary caregiver. You will be picking up at daycare 5 years down the road, you will be meeting other parents, kids will refer to you as Ms. "child's last name" yourself the favor and use your own last name!!

Megz said...

As far as edgy, cool, bad-ass nicknames go, what's cool in the high school playground isn't necessarily cool in the pre-school playground. Young kids strive to be good, not bad. Also keep in mind that when your daughter is of the age to want a bad-ass nickname, you and Dillon will be 30-something, and what is cool now might not be cool any more by then.

Having said that, I might suggest my daughter's name, Kathleen. It is vintage but has a cool (I think) nickname, Kat.

Another name that came to mind that would suit your style is Daisy, although I don't know how edgy it is.

I also think Hermione is a great middle name and think it will become much more common in the next 10 years.

Good luck.

Siobhan said...

Ooh I love using Hermione! I'm 31 and if I was having another baby I would definitely consider using it. You have a personal connection to it and that's what's important. I nearly named my first daughter Buffy because I love what she stood for. You can be beautiful and still be smart and kick some ass. Unfortunately my husband didn't love it as much as I did. We ended up naming her Rose which I was about to suggest because it goes so well with Hermione until I saw it was your name. But I think something close to that, definitely a one syllable name, is what you need. I saw someone suggest Blythe and I think that goes well with the middle and last name(s). And I wouldn't worry about your daughter not liking her name. My first and middle names were both derived from pop culture and even with an unusual first name, unusual in the US at least, I love that they came from something that was important to my mom and nor just pulled out of thin air. All three of my kids have names that were inspired by pop culture without being cutesy or trendy. You've already shown you're an awesome mom by putting so much thought and care into this decision. Good luck deciding and I hope you have a happy and healthy little girl.

monicabenson said...

You're very well spoken for 18. Congratulations on your pregnancy.

I have two more names to throw into the fray:

Genevieve - Really long with Hermione, but when do you use your full name? Genevieve Monroe. Great nn potential, too - Gen, Ginny, Viv, Eve, Evie. Evie Monroe is sweet.

Miriam - been growing on me lately. If you aren't opposed to the alliteration, Miriam Monroe. I think Miriam goes well with Hermione.

Best of luck to you.


Amber said...

If you are starting over with your name list, I'll offer up a few ideas based on the previous Alice-Hazel-Juliet-Lily list (my taste seems to be similar!).

In my opinion (and I also love HP and Hermione) - I would go with Jean or Joanne as the mn, Parker as the 2nd middle and Monroe for her last.

- Adeline. Nn-Addie, Adele, Ellie, AJ. Adeline Jean Parker Monroe.

- Sienna. Sienna Jean Parker Monroe.

- Claire. Nn- Cece. Claire Joanne Parker Monroe.

- Lydia. Lydia Jean Parker Monroe. Nn- LJ.

- Thea. Thea Jean Parker Monroe.

Best of luck! :)

Carmen said...

Is Lex cool & edgy? My daughter's name is Alexa and while most of us call her Lexi, my son calls her Lex. Maybe that would appeal? The same nickname would work for Alexis, Alexandra or the like.

Heidi J said...

"Vintage but not old-sounding, fresh but not trendy, and feminine but not cutesy" possibilities:


Anonymous said...

Parker Hermione Monroe

Why not use the first name Parker? It's strong and edgy

vanessa steck said...

I might very well use Hermione as part of my first daughter's name, for exactly the reasons you list, and I am older than you! Use that.
And I would NOT use a hyphenated name. I do not want to sound like an asshole, but...teen dads are not known for their staying patterns. If he is still around when she is older, she can decide to call herself Parker-Monroe, but in the meantime I'd stick with 2 middles and have one be Hermione and the second Parker.
As for other first names...hmm.
Cora or Coraline
Clementine--very old fashioned but feels fresh and new, although I don't love it with Hermione.
Liza! I really like this. Liza Hermione Parker Monroe. Oh, this is my favorite.
Um..I have to keep thinking on this one...

Meanwhile, I want to say that while it is true that people will judge you, adn it is true that some teen moms are horrid and not at all ready to be parents, being older and "mature" does not automatically equal good parent, either. I know plenty of older parents who are not even good enough, just as I know plenty of young teen moms who are not good enough. Age doesn't always have a ton to do with it, and I think you and your daughter will be just fine. And hey, if you live in DC, I'll babysit!

Anonymous said...

Chiming in to add my opinion to the surname decision: *please* go with your own as the single name. I say this as someone who has her biological father's surname and hated it over the years. He and my mother split when I was 3 and (aside from other considerations) he has played a very small part in my life; he doesn't deserve to have his name carried on in my opinion. Your own daughter's situation may be very different (and I'm basing this on the idea that in a few years her father will be the stereotype), but I know I would have preferred to share my mother's name (and I imagine she got fed up of being called by my father's name because of me!)

I prefer the option of Parker being the middle/second middle, and I can't imagine his parents being upset by this (which really is the fairest option). They should be willing to help with their grandchild regardless of name (would it be reasonable for your mother to refuse to look after your child if she was named Parker? Of course not!)
Someone suggested Sylvie, which I second for the same reasons (sounds like Sophie, is sweet and old-fashioned, has the Vs from Maeve/Violet/Olive). Also suggested was India which flows ok with Hermione. Otherwise since he has come around on the name would you not make Hermione the first name? (I like Hermione Parker Monroe!)

Karen L said...

Oh I'm so happy that it worked out and that you love her name! Congratulations.

Leslie said...

Congratulations! Your daughter's name is absolutely lovely. I'm so happy that you found a solution that you are both happy with, and that has such a wonderful meaning behind it as well. All the best!

klcalder said...

Perfect :). I'm very sorry to hear about your grandmother, but I'm so glad you were able to honor in such a wonderful way. I know your grandmother will enjoy your wonderfully named little bundle of joy in spite of the circumstances. Congratulations on your wonderful little girl!

Guinevere said...

Your story totally made me cry. What a perfect name. Congratulations from everyone in our household who had been following your naming dilemma with interest!

Chataine said...

I've been wondering about this, and reading your update made me so happy! Like, teary-eyed happy. Great name, and what a sweet story!