Hi Duana, I am due in late October with #3.  I will not be finding out the sex until he/she is born and I need your help.  I have two sons named Lincoln T and Callen X (unintentional "n" pattern noted after I started reading your "Name Nerd" answers), and I'm not sure where to go from here.  My husband and I have compiled lists for each sex which include (girl-Nola, Leah, Lorelai, Neve, Fiona.  boy-Reid, Marcus, Declan, Elliot), but I don't think I am in love with any of them. That may not be a problem, since we picked the names from a compiled list the first two times after the boys were born, but I did have a slight amount of name regret in the first couple of days.  I love both names now, and think that was just a result of picking names that were out of the norm for our circle.  As a result, I'm feeling pressure this time to pick something I LOVE since this will be our last baby and I want to make sure that I LOVE the name.  He/she will have a hyphenated last name and just an initial for a middle name, which has already been chosen, W.  Since our kids have long last names and we didn't really have a strong need to have a middle name, we picked a single initial which represents how we felt or what we called the baby while I was pregnant.  Thanks, love reading all your answers and especially the updates.


Hi! How are you feeling – still not sure you’re in love? Do you have any gut feelings about what you’re having? I am always looking for a source for that pop science I heard that says a couple has a 50-50 chance of having a boy or girl the first time, but that it’s 60-40 the second time and 80-20 the third time that they’ll have the same sex they did before. Have you heard this and can you find me a source, if so?

All this to say, let’s focus on the boys’ names first. I will say that the names you’ve listed, in particular Declan and Elliot, are in relatively popular usage and don’t sound to me like names that ‘were out of the norm for our circle’, even though I don’t know your circle. Or if they are – if your circle is very much about Thomas and John and Robert – they won’t be out of the norm for the larger class of kids your child’s age. Does that help, more or less? For my money, Reid is the one that sounds the most like the two you’ve chosen before – similarly unisex-positive, kind of modern and chic without a firm association or famous person. Other names in this vein, maybe, are Noel or Wyatt or Bennett or even Enoch, if you want some N in your life. Marcus is beloved around here, obviously, and other names that remind me of it include Samson or Anton or Wesley.

Your girls list is lovely, but I understand it less. Fiona and Lorelai and even Nola are feminine and pretty and decorative (just the names, I don’t mean people called Fiona are decorative and see my Gilmore rant last week re: Lorelai – click here);  Neve is one of those names that is pretty singular, belonging to one actress (unless, given that you also include Fiona, you mean the Irish name Niamh which is really pronounced more like ‘neev’?), and Leah is very popular and not so unusual relative to almost all your other choices. So what gives?

I think the answer is that you’re not sure who this person will be – especially if it’s a girl, when you have two boys already. So I’d say lean into wanting something pretty or flowery, because you seem to. Nola or Fiona or Lorelai or, to capitalize on your Irish vein, Fionnula, or just Nuala? 

Having said that, Neve – which I really don’t think has been used much, just admired – fits beautifully with your older children. Lincoln and Callan and Neve. I really buy it, and I think it would be beautiful, and rare, too, if that’s a plus at this point.

I’m really curious about which way you go, hit me back and let me know!