We are expected our first child in December and are not finding out the gender.  Francesca is picked out if the baby is a girl. Even if we have a boy now any future girl would still get Francesca. This is family name after an Aunt and she's very, very dear to me. I think the name is beautiful and strong and translates well into English use and is different enough from other girl names ending in "a".  I do love some Italian boy names, but worry about being too Italian or too matchy with Francesca since we live in the States and not Italy. Our last name is a plural noun starting with a K. Top Italian names I like are Salvatore (not liked by husband) and Massimo (could maybe convince him). Other names we both like are Nigel, Owen (too popular?), Rhys and Malcolm. But honestly none of these are really hitting home. We like them for about 2 weeks and then move on to the next possibilities. I think the problem for me might be that I love Francesca so much and it feels familiar to me that none of the boys names are striking the same chord.  We are considering the middle name of Vincent. Thanks for your help. - J


So….what if you never have a girl?

I’m not trying to be cruel or break your heart – I just know what it is to love a name that much and to understand that at best, we’re talking about a 50% chance of getting to use it, unless you’re planning for, like, a nine-person family in which case yeah you better hoard some names like mad.

But – if you love it so much, I just …I hope you get to use it, you know? What if you don’t have a girl – will you be disappointed? Can you see it in you to name your son Francesco? Or would that in turn break your heart if you have a surprise fourth girl after three boys? It’s the worst, isn't it? The unpredictability?

But OK. There are other ways around here. I don’t dislike Salvatore, but if your husband does, you may be out of luck. Additionally, I want to always remind you of the cardinal rule – if you name your child a name that lends itself to nicknames, you have to be cool for each of them. Sal? Sally? You OK with those? Massimo may be a better choice in terms of nickname and he’ll definitely be the only one.  

But. If you’re not into them or you can’t convince him, well, the non-Italian names you’ve suggested couldn’t be further away. Bridge the gap? I’m happy to try. Here are some (mostly) shortish, trendy-esque names that won’t cramp your stylish taste.

What about Luca? Short like the Owens and Rhyses and Malcolms you like, still with Italian influence but not unwearable. There’s also the delicious Federico – easily anglicized if you need a “Freddie” kind of nickname, but also lovely and warm and pretty. Okay, so Federico and Francesca might sound like an upscale clothing line – but Federico Vincent! Come on!  

How about Raoul? Raphael? Arlo? Serge? Elio? Gideon? Arthur? 

Did we get it on the board, at least? Let’s talk about it. Hit me back!