My husband and I are expecting our second daughter (due April 9th) and we haven’t finalized her name. Our first daughters name, Addison, stood out to both of us. We knew it was the name immediately and never second guessed our decision.

This time around, it's not as easy. I fear that I will not love our baby girls name as much as we love her older sisters name.

We are not stuck on a name with a certain letter first (like A) or a specific theme. I would like something that sounded nice with Addison and our last name, Leo. I really like the following names: Paige, Kaitlyn, Bridget, Charlotte, Scarlet, Riley, Brooklyn, Kennedy and Syndey. My favorite would be Sydney. However, it is our lovely dogs name, so there is obviously NO way I could use that name.

My husband is very selective and rather good a picking names. He recommended our daughters name - very quickly. The names he has recommended  for baby girl are: Evelyn, Vanessa, Natalie and recently Sienna.

From both lists, we can only agree on Paige and Sienna. I worry that Paige is not as strong of a name as Addison and that Sienna is more unique than Addison. In the end, I do believe we would be happy with either name. However, my fear, as I mentioned earlier, is that I am over thinking the name and now scared to commit or there is another name that I keep overlooking that we would love even more.

Do you have any suggestions on names that we should revisit or advise on how to select the name and feel confident in our decision?


Well okay. Now I am going to tell you some gentle truths.  

The thing about Addison, a name that you love and that suits your daughter, is that it’s irrevocably part of the 2000s. The name barely moves from its #705 chart position in the 1990s and then it ROCKETS up in popularity in 2005. Just one more thing Shonda Rhimes can take credit for.

I think she can take credit for why people like the name, too. The character Addison was supposed to be the other woman – except she was smart and capable and no bullsh*t and Meredith had to respect her and ultimately got her own show. It’s a great strong name. It may have even launched corresponding boys’ names. Grayson, Hudson, etc.

But it means there’s going to be a disconnect between, say, Addison and Natalie. I think you do need to go for something that feels correspondingly newer, that works with Addison. Love the one you’re with. Sienna didn’t actually strike me as off, vintage wise, but I can see how you might think it was sort of more sexy or overtly feminine. Addison and Paige are actually kind of similar in that they both end in unexpected sounds for a female name, and that they have a certain unisex quality to them. Ditto for Addison and Kennedy – I think this works in that they both have a surname quality. But if you’re still unconvinced…

I am not an overly large fan of names like Avery and Harper, but I can see why there might be a similarity there. Bubbling just below the surface of those is Rowan, which is utterly charming on a little girl, even if I have met a few already. If that feels too matchy at the bottom, then how about Addison and Lennox? I love Lennox and I love the way people will use it – “Lenix” is what it comes out as but that’s fine with me, and I think it would be great with Addison.

I can hear you telling me, though, that your husband will want something more traditionally feminine – to him and you I offer Audra, Freja, Piper, Larkspur (yep, I said it), Marigold, or Saskia. Does anything fit the bill?

A note to name-nerd letter writers,

I love getting your letters. In order to give them the best chance of being answered in a timely fashion, could I please trouble you to include the due date in the subject line of your email? Also, please send only one email – duplicates are deleted and may result in your email not being answered. Thanks!