Hi Duana,

A friend of mine suggested I get your opinion on the name we picked for our daughter because now that it's becoming a reality, I am starting to feel uncertain. I'm not uncertain because I don't like the name, but rather because there are so many beautiful names out there and it is hard to commit to one (this is likely our only child due to infertility issues). Anyway, the name is Lyla Juliet. What do you think?


So on sites that are full-time Name Nerds, like my beloved Nameberry, there are people who play ‘name games’.  Not like “Chuck Chuck Bo-Buck, Banana-Fana Fo F*ck”, but “Okay, say you have six girls and four boys, and three have to start with the same initial…GO”.  And they get dozens of responses each.

I realize this doesn’t necessarily speak to the mental stability – or time management skills – of the aforementioned Name Nerds, but the point is that they play these games because there are few Catholic grandmothers or Duggars among us, and the fact is that most of us, if we name people at all, will get one or two or really, at a crazy outside, four chances to do so, and there are way more names you love than there are reasonable reasons to have another kid.     That is, I’m not saying people have babies just so they can name them. But I mean, it’s not the worst reason, either, right?

Anyway, all of this is to say that Lyla Juliet is a gorgeous name for your daughter, who is potentially your one and only. It’s grown-up and sweet and lyrical and intelligent and doesn’t echo of anything in particular except being your daughter. It’s harder, too, because you feel like you only have one chance to ‘get it right’, but it’s right because you love it and found it, out of all the other names.   

You can dither as much as you want, of course. This is the right of the parent, and I think it’s also something that has likely fallen by the wayside since we now know the sexes of babies. I think there was a lot more room for self-negotiation when you didn’t know what you were going to get.  But don’t torture yourself with Laila vs. Lyla vs. Lola vs. Laurel if you know that this name is truly the one you’re going to call out when she’s lost in the grocery store or deliberately avoiding your calls on whatever space-beacon cellphone she’ll have as a tween.

Let me know!