andHello!I recently found your blog, and love the idea of impartial naming help! My husband (Jeff) and I (Catherine) are expecting our first – a baby girl on July 14. We started discussing baby names before we were even pregnant. The only issue? We had no baby girl names… Baby boy name? Definitely checked off the list – Zeke Myers Whittaker (after my husband’s grandfather), which we still plan to use if we have a little boy at some point.We went through a list of 4,000 girl names from the US Census – and in the end decided on the same two names we liked before going through all those names! Our long list included Clare, Maris, Meryl, Adele, Lucy, and Penelope. My husband really liked Kate (I thought it was too close to my name) and Caroline (I thought it was too popular). I really liked Evelyn (Evie for short) and Hazel, but he vetoed both.In the end, we really just keep going back-and-forth between these two…Alice Marion WhittakerLouise Marion WhittakerMarion is our frontrunner for the middle name, as it was my great grandmother’s name and I love the family significance. But what do you think about the first names? We like them because they’re different and a little quirky without being too unusual. Growing up as a ‘Catherine,’ it’s important to me to give our daughter a name where she won’t end up being one of 10 in her class. I also like that both names still feel classic.Alice means ‘noble one’ and Louise means ‘famous warrior’ (a meaning that I love). I have liked the name Alice for years (and it is my family’s favorite between the two), but recently my husband suggested Louise. I love that we could call her Lou or Lulu (maybe even Louie?) – all adorable nicknames.My main concerns: I’m just not sure if Alice is overplayed? I feel like there has been a lot of buzz around Alice recently, and I don’t know if it has become too popular. For Louise, I’m not sure if it is too quirky? Maybe a little old-lady-ish? (which I originally really liked about it, but have gotten a lukewarm to negative reaction from family about). One of my sisters even told me that Louise sounds like an ugly old lady.We briefly considered Louisa and Eloise as similar sounding but more ‘modern’ versions of Louise – but we both decided that we couldn’t picture ourselves with a daughter named either one of those (maybe they’re just a little too modern/trendy for us?)Lastly, I'm starting to worry that the answer isn't either name? I keep waiting to be totally sure and have that a-ha moment, but I just feel so indecisive about naming her!Any help would be so appreciated! I’d love to get your thoughts. Thanks so much for your help!
Sorry for another email, but we are almost 4 weeks away from our due date – and still without a name! We were pretty settled on Alice, but now know someone who recently (in May) named their baby Alice. It’s definitely not off the table, but it did cause us to reconsider.We have recently revisited Lucy, Penelope (it’s my great grandmother’s name – but we’d call her Penny) and Jane.We’ve also been seriously thinking of Hazel Grace. My maiden name is Hazle****t, so I thought it might be a fun nod to that? Or is that too far removed, since it’s just a part of my maiden name? We’ve been ‘testing out’ Hazel, but I’m just not 100% on it yet. Plus some family members have made it known that they really don’t like the name (although this is not a deal breaker for us, because I think they’ll get over it once she’s born).We’ve also considered naming her Myers – a family name that was our middle name choice, if we were having a boy. My husband feels okay about that one, but he worries that it’s a little too different. We also have a large neighborhood in our city (and the school that she’ll most likely go to) with the name Myers in it.Lastly, we’re no longer sold on a middle name – and considered using the previous middle name contender, Marion, as her first name? We’ve also been thinking of Grace or Elizabeth as possible middle names.I’m starting to get worried about not having a name at all by her arrival – and even more worried about ending up with baby name regret because we couldn’t find one that we loved!Any advice would be so appreciated!!
From your first letter, it sounds as if you had it narrowed down to Alice and Louise, and no amount of research was adding any further serious candidates. Then Alice was taken out of the running for you. So it sounds to me as if this brings you to Louise, but that last-minute jitters are setting in.
I think Louise Marion Whittaker is a wonderful name. It has long roots, it's fun to say, it's great with your chosen boy name, you love the meaning, you love the nicknames, and you've liked it consistently throughout this process. Your sister's reaction tells me only that it's time to stop asking for family input; it sounds like family input so far has made things more difficult for you, and I think you're right they'll come around to what you choose.
Hazel would also work well; it would give you a repeating Z if you had a Zeke later on, which can be a plus or a minus depending on your style. But it sounds like Hazel falls into the category of names you like but that don't make it to the finalist list.
Marion seems like another good choice, if it feels like a finalist to you. But again, I'm getting the impression that this is more like anxious last-minute reshuffling/reconsidering, rather than a candidate.
Myers seems like an outlier name for you: a name you like that is not your usual style. Choosing it would make future name choices significantly more difficult (the other girl names on your lists wouldn't work very well as sister names for a Myers), and may also later make you wish you hadn't ruled out your perfect boy name.
If you weren't particularly close to your great-grandmother (i.e., if you're choosing her name from the family tree but not because you specifically want to honor her), I might like Hazle****t for the middle name instead, or Hazel. Or you could use any of the other considered names: Alice, Penelope, Caroline, etc.
Name update! Catharine writes:
Many belated thanks to you and your readers! Hazel Marion was born on 7/14, weighing 7 lbs and 14 oz.
Your input was incredibly helpful – although, she did end up being almost 12 hours old before she had an official name! We absolutely adore our sweet Hazel and her name – it just took some encouragement for us to tune out others! And, much as you said, our family has come around to loving her name also.
We definitely plan to use Zeke and Louise for future siblings. Thank you again – and hope this Christmas picture makes up for the overdue update!