UPDATE: We loved the idea of Betty! But one of those friends I mentioned named her daughter Elizabeth “Betty” so we just couldn’t do it. Up until the moment I held her in my arms, I was crushing hard on Mabel and Edith/Edie. But then she looked at me and none of the names fit! In the morning, the sun was shining through the windows in my hospital room and even though it was definitely wintery outside, it felt like this baby needed a sunny name. We went back to June, a name I originally ruled out because Junie is close to Julie. But it just clicked, and Josephine made the most sense as her middle name. She’s June “Junie” Josephine and we are in love! Thank you ALL so much for your help.
We have two boys. Franklin “Frankie” James is 7 and Otis Marshall is 3. Our third and last child will be here around Thanksgiving.
I feel like we’ve worked out our boy style pretty well. Down-to-earth names that look right on the name patch of a mechanic’s shirt. But creative, too. Not too weird, not too ordinary.
If this baby was a boy, we were considering Milo, Oscar, and Dean.
But we’re having a girl, and I can’t figure out what goes with our boys’ names.
We don’t want a name that sounds like we’re mad about having a girl, if that makes sense. So no Charlie or Stevie, even though I like them on other peoples’ kids.
Names like Sienna, Alyssa, and Olivia aren’t for us, either.
Some names that we liked when Frankie was born are now taken by friends. (Not that we couldn’t use them if we really loved them, but none of them are that good, at least not to me.)
So far that list is Alice, Luna, Eloise, and Josie, but I have two friends who are also due with girls around the same time, so that worries me, too!
Please read on for my response and leave your thoughtful suggestions in the comments.
Congratulations on your new baby!
The way you describe your boys’ names is so vivid. I love it! I used to walk past this old garage turned brew pub on my way to the library, and it feels like that’s your style – retro, but with updates.
So what’s the equivalent of a name patch on a mechanic’s coveralls?
I think it’s a diner waitress name.
We need a name that’s vintage, but slightly unexpected. It has to feel creative and established, too.
Because you already know a lot of kids, it almost certainly can’t rank in the current Top 100, either.
And we’re avoiding anything too boyish.
What would you think of …
A SISTER FOR FRANKIE and OTIS
Elizabeth is an evergreen classic, but no one is naming their daughters just Betty anymore. Which is crazy, because in the 1920s and 30s, it was the second most popular given name for girls in the US, behind only Mary. I love the idea of Bernadette “Betty” as a sister for Frankie and Otis.
A little more popular than Betty, Bonnie also feels nicely vintage and works well with your boys’ names.
It’s the most popular name on this list, sitting just outside the current US Top 100. And maybe it’s a little more late nineteenth than midcentury. But I think Daisy works as a sister for Frankie and Otis.
CARLA or CARLOTTA
Okay, Carla is famous as the name of Rhea Perlman’s character on long-running sitcom Cheers, which is probably why this name came to mind. Or maybe it’s because I think Carlotta is a great alternative to mega-popular Charlotte. Oh, and because it offers up the nickname Carly (or Lottie for Carlotta) that are Charlie-like, but clearly feminine.
Maybe it’s the whole Spider-Man/Gwen Stacy vibe, but I think Gwen sounds like a sparky sidekick for Frankie and Otis. The character’s full name is Gwendolyne Maxine Stacy. (I probably would’ve added Maxine to the list except for the Charlie/Stevie thing.) Gwendolyn is actually the most common spelling of the long version of the name, but just Gwen has long been given independently, too.
In French, John is Jean. Which makes Jeanne the equivalent of Jane. That’s about as classic as it gets. But it’s all sorts of throwback, too, isn’t it? And Jeannie is darling. It’s instantly familiar and very, very rare.
Strictly speaking, Lula is a nickname for Louise. But it’s not really used that way now. Instead, Lula feels like a Luna-meets-Lola kind of name, the best of both, but far less common.
I’m convinced Martha is about to make a comeback. It’s long read Martha Washington, all eighteenth century antique. But hey, this is the age of Hamilton! Lately Martha feels more like a fresh update for Hannah, a down-to-earth name with a capable vibe.
Or maybe Rose-called-Rosie? It’s the ultimate name on a work shirt for a woman, thanks to the World War II icon Rosie the Riveter. But it also works because Rose is a vintage favorite that mixes elegance and strength.
SALLIE or SALLY
This Sarah nickname hasn’t ranked in the US Top 1000 since 2004. In the nineteenth century, Sallie was the more popular spelling, and that might actually appeal more in our age of Ellie and Millie and Sadie. But either way, it’s a traditional favorite for a daughter with plenty of spirit.
While Gertrude seems stuck in style limbo, Trudy fits right in with Ruby and Lucy.
A name that mean either faith or truth, Vera is a brief, traditional choice that feels at-home in nearly any decade.
I think my favorites are Lula, Jeanne, Sallie, and Betty – all names that feel conventional, but unexpected by 2022 standards.
That’s not to say that Daisy or Gwen – or Alice or Josie – wouldn’t be great. It’s just that to get the same sort of feel as your boys’ names, I think a girl’s name has to be even less common. So that’s why I’m veering towards the truly underused, as opposed to the just not-too-popular.
I *need* a name update for this post! Please, let us know what you end up deciding, OP!
Jean C. says
Dinah was the first name that came to mine. As has already been mentioned, June, Martha and Dorothy also seem like they would fit the bill. I have a little Gloria (also mentioned) and I think the name has the right feel too. Maybe Judith, Susannah, Ramona, or Marie.
Kate Lehman says
My first thought was Margaret (Daisy). I love that suggestion. Other ideas:
The Mrs. says
Luna + Josie = June
Frankie, Otis, and June
Alice and Eloise bring to mind Cora.
Frankie, Otis, and Cora
But now that I think of it, Blanche ends with a silent ‘e’ like Alice and Eloise. She’s tailored but still clearly feminine.
Frankie, Otis, and Blanche
You have excellent taste. Congratulations on your daughter!
So many good suggestions!
One of the mechanics at my garage is named Maggie Mae, so that’s my suggestion!
Franklin James, Otis Marshall, and Margaret Mae
Frankie, Otis, and Maggie
I’m surprised no one has suggested my favorite pick:
Franklin, Otis, Edith.
Frankie, Otis, Edie.
Even sweeter if you add a one syllable middle name:
Edie Mae or maybe Edith Louise and call her Edie Lou.
Frankie, Otis and Edie Lou. I swoon.
Daisy was the first name that came to my mind, so I second Abby’s suggestion of it.
I also love Josie and think it fits right in with Frankie and Otis – I’d use it as a nn for Josephine, but perhaps it would fit your style better if you used Jocelyn nn Josie.
Jessie also works, I think, maybe as a nn for Jessamine, or perhaps Janie (Jane) or Gracie (Grace).
Eloise or Louise nn Lou would be perfect too. Oh, how about Lucille nn Lucy or Lu?
Such a fun style to work with!
Lorraine is a name I love for this list.
My first thought was Joan too. I really like Joan, even though it it still not lost it’s old lady style. Joni is awesome as a nickname.
From Abby’s list, Betty, Gwen and Rosie seem perfect although the long options don’t work so well. The other suggestions of Dorothy/Dot seem great too.
What great boys names you have! So many great options for a girl! Congrats
Love Betty, Joan, Dorothy!
Josceline (“Jo” or “Lina”)
Henrietta, Harriet, or Hattie, like Franklin the Turtle’s little sister.
Oh, and Dorothy! I have a young Dorothy in my family. Dottie, Dot and Dolly are the cutest nicknames.
My first thought was Sallie, and lo and behold it’s on your list! I don’t suggest Sally very often because it’s one of my favorites and I’m protective of its status as name everyone knows and nobody uses!
Diner waitress is exactly right:
Hazel – a little popular but not when you compare it with the number of women named Jennifer in the 70s or men named Jacob in the 90s??
Joan (how cute would a little Joni be?)
Marjorie (Margie? Jorie?)
Of all the names suggested, I love Betty the most, but I think it is too nicknamey compared to your boys’ names. I would like to suggest Bettina, nn Betty, instead. It’s creative and unique, yet not too weird. Best if all, it fits fabulously with the names selected for your boys: Franklin, Otis, and Bettina. Happy naming!
Esther or Esme
Joyce or Joy
I like the visual of a diner server. To me that means slightly fustier but spunky (surprising!) I like Lula, Martha, Lois and Sybil suggested and was also thinking:
The CLASSIC diner waitress name is Mabel.
Frankie and Otis and Mabel!
I love Josie from your list! Alice feels like the right style but it does sound pretty similar to Otis.
My first thought was Maxine but I’m not sure if it’s what you are looking for since it will most likely shorten to Max
Frankie, Otis, and…
Hallie (rhymes with Sally)
Margaret: Greta, Pearl, Daisy, Etta, Maisie… Nicknames galore with Margaret!
From your list I like Franklin, Otis, and Josephine nn Josie.
IMHO Alice is so great but rhymes with Otis but . Luna is a bit too trendy but Lola is good. Eloise is a bit too flowery with your boys but Lois is good.
From AMs list I like Franklin, Otis, and Rose nn Rosie. Gwen is great too!
Franklin, Otis, Greta
(or Margaret nn Greta)
Franklin, Otis, Jane
Franklin, Otis, Anna
Franklin, Otis, Lucy
Franklin, Otis, Violet
Betty was the first name that came to mind for me! I love that you could tie it to Elizabeth or Bernadette, and I even know a Beatriz called Betty! I love Bonnie for you too. If you want a different sound from Frankie, you could go with Etta or Netta (still Bernadette? or maybe Annette?), Meredith, Ingrid, Gillian, Sybil, or Maeve.