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 due with our first child together in August. We waited until we found out the sex to really talk about names. Now we know it’s a girl, but that hasn’t helped at all!
I’m drawn to old-fashioned names such as Prudence and Bernadette. Serious names that sound strong.
He’s not on board. I mean, completely not willing to consider the names that I love best.
To be fair, he has a really unusual family name and goes by his initials instead. He says I have no idea what it’s like to go through life being the kid with the weird name.
I’ve told him that things are different now and that we know lots of kids with “weird” names, including some of our nieces/nephews.
He won’t budge, and I’m getting closer and closer to my due date, and our little one is going to be known as Baby T. because I don’t even know where to begin. Help, please!
Please read on for my response and leave your thoughtful suggestions in the comments.
Congratulations on your new daughter! And I’m so sorry you’re struggling to find a name.
You’ve actually done some good work, though. Thinking and talking about your own names is a great place to start – even though it highlights your differences.
Here’s the thing: your husband isn’t rejecting your favorite names on a whim. He’s basing his preferences on lived experience. And while I agree with you – names have gotten more diverse, and yes, weirder! – it doesn’t change his feelings.
So the trick is to turn the dial on your style enough to address his concerns. I’d call your style delightful antiques. And it sounds like he’d be amenable to a delightful antique with plenty of strength … as long as it seemed more familiar.
Do you think you could love a name that shared many of the qualities of Bernadette and Prudence, but was just a little less uncommon?
There’s a category of names I call Trending Traditionals. They’re not quite classic, but they’ve got history to spare. And they feel stylish by today’s measure, without being wildly popular.
Close to Top Ten Ava, but with a very different vibe, Ada might hit the mark for you both. Ada Lovelace cements this name as intelligent, and the sound is undeniably accessible.
A name everyone knows, but relatively few parents are using. Shorten it to Bea (or Betty or Birdie) or not, because Beatrice requires no nickname. It has all that deliciously complex sound while being more familiar than Prudence or Bernadette.
A former chart-topping favorite, Dorothy has gone from Oz to Miami. But this familiar name remains nicely uncommon in the 2020s.
Spirited and traditional, Josephine shares the classic style of Elizabeth and Katherine. But it’s just a little different, too.
Equally romantic and high-energy, Louisa sounds like a sister for Prudence or Bernadette. But because we love so many Lou- names these days – think Lucy, Luna, and Lucia – Louisa fits right in.
A spare gemstone name, Pearl feels gently antique, but with all the resilience that the stone suggests, too.
A vintage name that signals strength and accomplishment. Bonus: Ruthie is a darling nickname for a little Ruth.
With two solid meanings – truth and faith – Vera marries virtuous meanings with an appealing sound.
From this list, I’d probably put Ruth at the top. But it doesn’t have to be Ruth. That’s just an example of names that share all the qualities you value, but might feel more accessible and familiar to meet your husband’s concerns.
And if you did compromise on something like Ruth for your daughter’s first name, a dramatic and surprising middle might be just the thing. Ruth Bernadette has me swooning.
All of that said, has he suggested any names at all? If he’s thinking, say, Emily or Katherine, then he could probably be persuaded to meet you in the middle with a name like Louisa.
But if he objects to vintage style entirely? Then we’d have to start with a slightly different list! But the approach remains the same – look for the midpoint between his “normal” names and the ones you really love.