My husband and I are expecting, a girl this time. We have a son named Charles George (Charlie), named after both of my grandfathers. Our daughter's middle name will be Anne, my mother's name and his mother's middle name, but her first name is being very hotly debated between the two of us.

My choice is Daisy. It's my favorite flower, what I carried at my wedding, and it started being used as a name because it is the symbol of St. Margaret, Margaret being my given name.

My husband thinks that no one will take a Daisy seriously and that it doesn't match the serious nature of Charlie's full name. His solution is to name her Penelope and call her Poppy. I like the name Penelope but Poppy? Seriously? I disagree that Charles George and Daisy Anne don't match each other.

Help us! We're having a serious problem.


Take a deep breath…

…I agree with him.

He’s right. Look. Think about what Charles can do. It can be as serious as the future King of England, and as rough and tumble as Charlie Sheen. Charles can be Pa Ingalls, it can be Dickens or Bukowski or Charlie Parker or Chaplin or Rose. It can be Chuck or Chas, depending on who you are and what you want. 

Daisy is sweet. It is sweet as pie and a lovely name and yes, a nickname for Margaret.   But that’s the point: it’s a nickname; it’s not that it isn’t a beautiful name, but it can’t do all the gymnastics that Charles can. Or, for that matter, that Margaret can.   

When people talk about whether a name will suit a baby and a kid and a teen and an adult, it’s not that the name isn’t often charming or endearing. I have no doubt that Daisy would be absolutely adorable and fun and smart. But while Charlie is or can be a cute name, it doesn’t have to be. There are many more permutations. Daisy has only one setting. Can Daisy be a hardass in the boardroom? Maybe not.  Can Daisy play bass in a rock band? I don’t know. Maybe these aren’t the visions you have for your Daisy, but doesn’t she deserve the option?

If it were up to me, I’d go ahead and call her Margaret, knowing that Daisy is right there when you need it, but also that she can go ahead and be Meg or Margo or Peggy if she feels like it. If it’s absolutely anathema to you to give her your name,  and you hate Poppy from Penelope (I wouldn’t have thought to connect them, but yeah, why not, I guess) then how about Clover from Caroline? Or Jacinta/Jacinda, which means Hyacinth?

This is a tough one. Take solace in that Anne is once again an almost-unheard of middle for a child your daughter’s age?