Hi Duana,
We are having a baby girl in May. We have our names narrowed down to two, Avery and Charlotte, but they are both a compromise on my husband's part because the one name he really loves is Margaret. I can't get my head around it-- it seems like such a 'grown up' name for a toddler or teenager, one that our daughter will only grow into when she hits 40, or maybe not even until 60!

What is your opinion on Margaret?

We're not telling friends or family our names, so your opinion would be much appreciated!!

Thanks, A


I know it feels like kind of a double-compromise when one of you loves the name and the other hates it but you might find there’s room for you to take another look here.

Like so many names we have going on these days, what was old is so, so spanking new.  Avery and Charlotte are both indicators of this, don’t you think? I remember both from Little House On The Prairie books and, in pop culture, Avery was Murphy Brown’s crotchety mother, remember? Then she was all revolutionary and gave the name to her son.  But, like Margaret, they’re old fashioned and now new.

The big advantage of Margaret – well, there’s two. First of all, it hasn’t hit the playground with the same force, so there’s still time for your girl to be the first, if that’s important to you. But secondly, there are so many things for Margaret to be! Like we talked about the other day with Alexander, you may hate nicknames forever and a day, but it doesn’t mean she won’t want to be Maggie and Meg and Megan and Margo and all the things Margaret can offer her. Can Charlotte do that? Heh.

But seriously. If you hate it you hate it, but I don’t think it sounds old lady at all.   Remember that even if you don’t choose this name for your kid, she’s going to go to school with baby Adelaides and Evelyns.  Everything old comes around again and the most old-fashioned name there is right now is probably Kimberley. Plus, the quintessential book about being 12? Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.

If you hate it, there’s no point. But if you’re worried about it being old? You’re all good again.