Name Help is a series at Appellation Mountain. Every week, one reader’s name questions will be discussed.
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!
We are expecting our third baby – a girl! She will have two older brothers, Hudson and Arlo.
We have a short list of names, including Ada and Rumer, but I recently came across the name Adalie and would love your take on it.
Thanks in advance!
Please read on for my response, and leave your thoughtful suggestions in the comments.
Dear Nic –
Congratulations on your new daughter!
Adalie strikes me as a gorgeous name. It fits with so many popular choices, from Emily to Everly. And we’ve been choosing three-syllable, ends with -ie and -y names for girls for ages – just ask Dorothy and Rosalie.
I’ve also seen it spelled with an ‘e’ – like the penguin! The French explorer Jules Dumont d’Urville first spotted the birds in Antarctica in 1840. He named them for his wife, Adelie.
At first glance, it’s underused, well outside of the current US Top 1000. Let’s look at the data:
- 143 girls were named Adalie in 2016.
- An additional 35 were named Adelie.
Or is it?
Because Adalie comes from the same roots as Adeline, cousin to Adaline, Adelyn, Adelaide, and so on. All of those Addie names are wildly popular.
It also brings to mind Natalie, a Top 100 name from the mid-1970s on.
If you were looking for more possibilities, I would suggest:
Amerie – Medieval French and English includes names like Amalric and Amalher. Amerie could be a cousin, or it might be a modern invention, a feminine spin on Emory. Either way, it reminds me of Adalie.
Arden – Tailored and literary, Rumer makes me wonder if Arden might appeal?
Devany – I’m never sure how to spell this name. It’s basically Devon with a -y, and it’s rare – but very wearable.
Elodie – An old French name, Elodie is cousin to Otto – believe it or not! It gets lots of love on baby name sites, but remains outside the current US Top 100.
Georgia – If you hadn’t suggested any names, I’d automatically pick Georgia as a sister for Hudson and Arlo. It has the same modern, but not invented vibe.
Juniper – Rumer makes me think of Juniper. It’s a nature name, and a little more familiar, which takes it closer to Arlo and Hudson.
Mariel – Ariel has fared well in recent years, while Mariel remains overlooked. That could make it the perfect stands out-fits in name choice.
Reverie – Reverie makes for a gorgeous word name possibility. A reverie is a waking dream. And sound-wise? It falls somewhere between Rumer and Adalie.
Overall, though, I still think I’d say go with Adalie. My cautions:
- First, you’ll have to spell it and repeat it quite a bit. That’s not a weakness of Adalie per se; it’s just a fact with any unusual name.
- It will be misheard as Natalie. Again, this is a pitfall of any surprising name. People tend to focus on names they know.
- Lastly, how do you feel about it being shortened to Addie? Obviously, you don’t have to shorten the name. And when your daughter is young, you can insist others use her name in full. But as she gets older, she might have her own ideas. It’s always a good idea to avoid a name if you actively dislike the obvious nickname.
Adalie strikes a nice balance between the highly unusual Rumer and the more vintage Ada. It sounds like a sister for Arlo and Hudson. And, with a little bit of repetition, I think others will respond positively to Adalie, too. After all, the fact that it’s easily confused for other names also points to Adalie’s strength: it sounds right at home for a girl born in 2018.
Readers, what do you think of Adalie? Does it work as a sister for Arlo and Hudson?