I've never wanted to be out in public discussing my name choices but we now have 1 month left to name the child who will be our last: our 4th girl due at the end of December!! And I am tapped! As an indecisive person, I had trouble naming the first one and by girl 4 I'm just done. My partner is pretty much unreliable since he suggests names like Margery (which I'm sure is lovely for many, but not for me). We already have a Claire, a Naomi and an Adele. My criteria has always been to use names with a bit of gravitas/tradition that don't feel overdone, don't try too hard, and don't sound too frilly/flowery. But as you can see I'm ok with being top 100 or not. We sometimes give my partner's french-canadian background a bit of a shout-out, but this is optional. We feel like at this point, we should just be able to go back to our back ups from the last times, but they don't work for us now. Right now we are/I am, stuck between some clean, "grownup" names with French roots like:

- Simone (I just don't LOVE the -MOAN sound)
- Colette (don't love Coco and it is important to me to have nickname options)
- Louise (or forget the French and go Luisa even though it's not my usual style)

and some shorter, maybe brighter, vowel-heavy names:
- Fia (is this made up?)
- Clio (too out there for me? too nick-namey?)
- Eve (is this a cold person though?)
- Mina (partner doesn't like)
- Mira (maybe from Mireille or Miriam, even though I generally don't love R-heavy names)

I think after staring at these names for the last 8 months (and some for the last 7 years), I'm losing perspective. Please help!!


I needed this.

As I write this article, a package that should have been here on Friday is somehow missing yet again. Even worse, it’s here in Toronto, just not here. I’m not yet at the point where I’m going to blast the company publicly, but if it’s not here – and perfect – by the next time I write this column? Naming and shaming.

‘Perfect’ is hard to come by, too. Especially in something like names, where there are lots of options, and peoples’ needs dictate the ‘product’, or the names that I offer. I do my best, but when I sort through the letters I get, I try to find ones that are urgent, interesting, and not substantially similar to ones I’ve just published. It’s rare that you can find something that is ‘perfect’…

But this letter is it. It has a great dilemma, a lot of places to go, some urgency, and great names to start with…

…and I? I have the perfect solution.

Look, usually I spend some time parsing the names people chose or didn’t choose, but you’ve done this before and you know what you’re doing. The proof? Claire, Naomi, and Adele. Those are perfect! Charming, elegant, known but not common – they have a rhythm when they’re together and they’re stylish on their own.

The choices you’ve listed – particularly the French ones – seem a little more staid than the names you chose for your girls. We talk a lot about Supreme Court Justice names around here, but there is the (less prevalent, but still real) issue of names that are too grown up to participate in the high school car wash that raises money for the band trip to Washington. I might worry that Colette is not frivolous enough to eat mass quantities of sour candy while pretending to count the funds raised, or that Eve – who I do not think is cold, but who is very sophisticated – might be annoyed at the patronising customers at said car wash.

You know who fits in, though? You know who is so ready to be the fourth sister to Adele and Naomi and Claire? Who rounds up all your choices but is fresher than lots of them?


Take a second. At first glance, I know, it’s the only one that ends in ‘a’ and it’s of Irish origin, but it’s easy to spell and pronounce, it shares sounds with the names you love and the ones you’ve already chosen, and it’s got its own initial, and it’s not weighed down with tons of consonants. It’s perfect. Claire, Naomi, Adele, and Fiona. Right?

It is. I know. But sometimes when I have a gorgeous, obviously perfect option like this that the letter writer hasn’t eliminated or mentioned, it’s because of some outside reason. It’s their best friend’s name (hi Lainey’s Fiona!) or it’s taken by a cousin or was an ex-girlfriend or etc. And there’s no denying I was partly spurred to it by Clio, and maybe you got there because you said ‘eh, not Fiona, but maybe Clio…

If that’s the case, my antidotes are:

Iris. Maya. Daphne (French feeling?). Esme. Daria? Una? Giselle, if you’re not afraid of ‘Ella’? I think you really don’t want hard consonants (Margery was a wonderfully evocative name to explain this, by the way) so there are names that would fit that I wouldn’t suggest to you, personally, but if you didn’t have those concerns I’d include Astrid and Ingrid. And it may be a self-imposed restriction on those ‘girly’ endings, but if they loosen up, I’d include Thea. What about Nadine?

No, I hit it right off the top. It’s a beautiful name, it’s not overused, and it’s the fourth your three girls didn’t know they’d been waiting for. I will want to hear the update, whatever you choose – but I don’t mind saying I’m pretty proud of this one.

Let us know!