We’re relying on thoughtful comments from the community to help expectant parents narrow down their name decisions. Thank you in advance for sharing your insight!
My husband and I are expecting our second child, a girl, in February.
Our daughter is Claire Elizabeth. Elizabeth is my middle name, and my mother’s first name. We both liked Claire.
While I love her name, I sometimes wish that we’d found something a little more different or exciting. She has friends with names like Eirlys, Gwendoline, Micah, and Aspen. It’s not that I like any of those names specifically, but I see that we had more choices than we really thought about.
While my husband is open to lots of names, he doesn’t share my sense that we missed out a little, and he isn’t interested in the names I’ve suggested so far, like Echo and Prairie. He thinks they sound kind of crazy on their own, and especially not with a sister named Claire.
Can you and your readers help us think about names that might be a little more creative, but not super out there?
Our last name sounds like Johnson with a BR.
Please read on for my response and leave your thoughtful suggestions in the comments.
Congratulations on your new daughter!
Claire Elizabeth is a timeless, sophisticated name that will serve your daughter well throughout her life.
Still, I see what you mean. Sometimes our worries about names being too different pushes us to choose names that are safer than we might otherwise wish. That’s not to say that you should’ve named her Dewdrop or Moonbeam or Hephzibah, but I can appreciate the urge to consider a wider list of possibilities this time around.
I think one of the keys is recognizing that there are lots of different directions to go.
- You can choose an equally classic name that’s much less common. Frances, Helen, Marie, Meredith, and Pearl are all traditional, familiar names – just much less popular in this generation than Claire.
- Or consider an equally tailored name that’s a little more modern. Nature names like Wren and surname names like Sloane strike a more contemporary note, but still sound right when said next to Claire.
- Keep the first name classic, but choose a more daring middle. Since Elizabeth is a family name, could there be another, bolder family name – like a surname, nickname, or another unexpected choice?
I’m not sure which direction to suggest, but so let’s try a few different things.
We’re used to women called Kay, and a new generation answers to River and Ocean. So how ’bout Bay? It’s bold, but not so dramatic that it couldn’t be a name for Claire’s sister.
The Italian word for jewel, and a name that brings to mind long-time favorite Emma, while still sounding memorably distinct.
I like Laine with Claire – visually similar, but they sound distinct. Bonus: even though Laine reads like a smooth, modern surname, it also brings to mind the traditional Elaine.
Olivia is the top name in the US, and popular across the English-speaking world. But Liv is a separate, Scandi name meaning “life.” It’s brief, sharp, and just a little bit different.
I wonder if you’d like something sparky and vintage like Mabel? It’s a departure from Claire, but only slightly.
A medieval form of Matilda, Maude and Claire sound like sisters to me – but no one expects to meet a baby named Maude.
This would be all sporty, capable word name. Except, of course, To Kill a Mockingbird makes it literary. And I think they sound great together.
A vintage name with two great meanings – faith and truth – Vera seems like an unexpected match that works nicely.
Overall, I love the look of Claire and Laine, but I’m more drawn to a combination like Claire and Gemma. Bonus points if Gemma’s middle name is a family name that’s a little less traditional. Or maybe even Maude? Claire Elizabeth and Maude Madeline could be perfect.
It really does depend on how you’d like to turn the dial on different.