Sara writes: “We welcomed Sophie Marigold just a few days after her due date, on April 30th! We decided on Sophie pretty soon after reading all the comments. We realized it really was our favorite name. My partner suggested using a middle name with M, so she would have my initials. (And my mom, who is Susan Marie.) I loved that idea, but wasn’t sure about Sophie Mae. Then we happened to hear the song “Marigold.” My partner mentioned always liking it. I don’t really remember it, but I did always like the name from Downton Abbey. Like they say, it just clicked, and she was definitely meant to be Sophie Marigold.”


We are expecting our first child, a daughter, in April. After going through ALL the names, my partner and I agree on two: Sophie or Elodie.

Depending on the day, we think one is our favorite. But then we change our minds. I’m hoping that some outside opinions will help us finally choose.

Here are our (mostly shared) thoughts about both names and other details that might help:

  • SOPHIE was a name I really liked, but I’m worried that she’ll be one of many. (I’m a Sara, used to being in a crowd of Sarahs/Saras.)
  • ELODIE is a name that we kept coming back to when we searched. I like that it’s different, but is it actually very trendy? My partner has a trendy 1990s name with a different spelling, and feels strongly about avoiding anything like that.
  • Our child’s last name will be Arn01d, like the male name.
  • We don’t have any good ideas for middle names, and keep coming back to the obvious ones, like Leigh, Grace, Mae, and Rose. There aren’t any family names we want to use.

So, which first name? And any great idea for middle names? We’re open to suggestions and feel like we’re running out of time.


Congratulations on your new daughter!

The good news: you really can’t go wrong with either name.

Now for the challenging part: I think you’re pretty spot-on with your assessment of both names.

Name your daughter Sophie, and she probably will sometimes be called Sophia, or even find her name misspelled Sofia. The names are similar, and we’re all used to hearing them. Sophia has ranked in the US Top Ten since 2006; Sofia cracked the Top 20 in 2011 and is still there, too.

Elodie, on paper, is far less common. It only entered the US Top 700 in 2022, and was virtually unknown before then. But it does feel like a name on many parents’ shortlists. Millie Bobby Brown just starred in a Netflix movie as an Elodie – a princess who battles a dragon – not a bad role model, actually. And if you shorten her name to Ellie or Ella, well … then it’s a powerfully popular name again.

But here are some other things to consider:

Even a Top Ten name isn’t as common as it used to be. Gone are the days where every third girl is Mary. While I know many adult women named Sarah or Sara, I know relatively few young children with names that repeat. My son’s Top Ten name didn’t repeat in his class until middle school, and even then, not terribly often.

There are trending names, and then there are trendy ones. The difference is subtle, but important. A name like Josephine or Eliza feels traditional. But both have actually trended upward in use dramatically in recent years. Likewise, Elodie has plenty of history. It’s gaining, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great name with history to spare.


So how do you choose? Here are the critical differences I can see between the two names.

  • How do you feel about nicknames? While every name can be shortened, it’s hard to imagine Sophie routinely being called anything other than Sophie. Elodie, on the other hand, lends itself to Ellie and Dee, for starters. If avoiding nicknames matters, that’s one point for Sophie. If embracing them is your style, then one point for Elodie.
  • Do you want your daughter’s name to stand out? While Sophie probably won’t be one in a crowd, her name also won’t surprise most people. Elodie, on the other hand, is the kind of name unusual enough to invite comment. It’s impossible to know how your child will eventually feel about this, but you can think about your feelings.



Because Sophie is a fairly popular name, I’d suggest a bolder middle. Because both the first and last names are two-syllables, something shorter or longer feels right.

  • Sophie Wren
  • Sophie Blythe
  • Sophie Coraline


Conversely, Elodie is a less common name, so something a little more familiar works. Also, I really like a one-syllable middle with three-syllable Elodie and a two-syllable surname.

  • Elodie Jane
  • Elodie Sage/Saige
  • Elodie Vale


I’d spend some time thinking about popularity and nicknames to help make your decision. If you both share strong opinions about one of those issues, then the choice might become obvious.

If you’re still stuck, I like this approach, too: flip a coin. Heads for Sophie, tails for Elodie. Let’s say it lands on heads: Sophie. How do you feel? At peace? Or is your immediate impulse to go for two out of three? If you sit with the results of the coin flip for a few hours – or even days – there’s a good chance you’ll either be grateful to have the decision made or recognize that it’s not the right call. Either way, you’ll have an answer.

No matter what, though, rest in the knowledge that these are both great names for your daughter.

Readers, what do you think: Sophie or Elodie? Middle name ideas welcome, too!

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About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. We named our 3 boys with high ranking names (mostly in the 40s). We have met less than 5 kids with any of their names. Our daughter’s name is ranked much lower than our boys but we have met more children whith her name and even attend church with one that is her age. Ranking matters some but not as much as it used to.

    Sophie would probably meet more Sophie/Sophia/Sofia’s that are 10 years older than her. Does that bother you? My kids love it when they meet someone with their name but as an Emily in a sea of them I didn’t. Also, I alway ask about spelling since there are so many different ways to spell even a common name. You are going to get questions about spelling no matter which name you go with.

    Would it bother you if Elodie had a preschool class with an Elodie, Melody, Eloise and 2 Ellie/Ella’s? Elodie feels very current but I’m not sure if it’s trendy. (It’s not trendy in my circles anyways.)

    Abby’s suggestion of a coin toss sounds like it would work really well in your case. Try it and see how it goes. I hope everything goes well with the birth and that you both love the name that you give to your daughter.

    1. That’s a really good point RE: Elodie/Eloise/Ellie/Melody, etc. Even a name that’s not popular can feel more common if it shares lots of sounds, which is definitely a potential factor with Elodie …

  2. I would pick Elodie. Just as cute as Sophie, but a little less common. And it has some nickname options: Ellie, Edie, Eddie, Loli, Dede…
    If it’s too trendy, what about Melody?
    Almost the same sounds, but instead of another Ellie name, you get a different sound, another meaning and can add Mal to the nickname options.
    A few combos:
    Melody Anne
    Sophie Caroline
    Elodie Marigold
    Elodie April
    Sophie Noelle
    Elodie Tessa
    Sophie Margaret
    Elodie Victoria
    Melody Vivian
    Sophie June