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!
I thought for sure we were having a boy and the name was picked out long before I became pregnant. Now we’re a bit lost. Our original plan was to name our son McPherson and call him Mac – after my grandpa, who I referred to as “Daddy Mac.”
I would really love to find a name where our daughter’s nickname could still be Mac, but I hate all of the obvious choices – McKenzie, McKayla, McKenna, and all their counterparts and alternative spellings.
I’m drawn to neutral or masculine names for girls (some in my family are myself (Jordanne), Mikal, Randi, Andi, Shane), but my husband would prefer a girly name (so maybe a girly name with a nickname of Mac would satisfy us both?).
We would both prefer a name that’s not too common but is still recognizable. Is our dilemma hopeless?
Read on for my response – and please add your helpful thoughts and suggestions in the comments!
Hopeless? Never! But it might require some creative thinking.
You’ve already run into the major stumbling block: there are tons of Mac- and Mc- names for girls, but none of them could be considered “not too common.”
Mackenzie first cracked the US Top 1000 for girls in 1976, and by the 1990s, lots of names with the same sound were catching on. And while there are new possibilities on the rise – Mckinley is rising, even as Makenna falls – I don’t think they quite hit the mark.
But there are a few that might work. How about:
- Michaela or Micaela – On the negative side, Michaela is pronounced the exact same way as the names you’ve already rejected. And your daughter would probably find her name spelled Makayla – a lot! On the plus side, it’s a feminine form of the classic Michael, and the nickname Mac follows logically. So there are good reasons to consider Michaela.
- Mary Claire, Marie Catherine, Mary Clementine – Here’s another approach: give your daughter a double name that combines a classic like Mary with a C middle. On the downside, it buries the Mac, so that might feel too subtle. On the plus side, it gives you a feminine name that is miles away from Mckenna and company, but still leads to Mac. And yet, I’m not sure this is exactly what you’re after.
- Macon – I’ve suggested Macon as an alternative to Mason, but it might make a great girl’s name, too. Macon falls somewhere between southern Savannah and tailored London. Unexpected, easy to wear, fits with the style of names favored in your family, and gets to Mac. Does it get any better?
- Macallister, Maclaren, Maguire – I chose these three out of the galaxy of possible Mac/Mc surnames because each of them has a potential feminine form nested within: Allie, Clare, Maggie. They feel more conventionally masculine, and at least a little bit removed from the mega-popular Mackenzie and company.
- Macaria – Macaria is a rare, but real, name. It’s Spanish, from the Greek macar – happy, blessed. It shortens to Mac, and has that stylish -ia ending, which makes it feminine. I’ve also seen Macara, which seems like it could be an option. But, as with Mary Claire and company, I’m not sure it’s quite your style.
- First McPherson – One last option: keep McPherson as your daughter’s middle name, and call her Mac. The first name could be anything – Ella McPherson, Lucy McPherson, Marley McPherson. As feminine (or not) as you like, as familiar (or not) as you like.
My favorites are Macon – mostly because it seems like it fits with your family’s overall naming style – and the idea of choosing a double name that creates the Mac sound. I’d like to really like Macallister and company, but I suspect those won’t quite satisfy your husband.
I’m curious to hear what you think of these, and also to hear suggestions from the readers. How would you get to Mac for a girl?