Duana Names: No Royals, No Repeats

Duana Posted by Duana at July 11, 2013 20:22:23 July 11, 2013 20:22:23

Hi Duana,

My husband is no help so I thought I'd reach out to you. Our daughter Katerine (we call her Katie) is almost two, and we're expecting another girl this summer. I always loved the name Elizabeth, but with Katy Cambridge on the scene now the combination would make it seem like we have some crazy royal fetish. So far Elizabeth is the only name my husband likes, and he's already axed my other two picks: Andrea and Nicole. I'm looking for something traditional and with the potential to be shortened or modified into a standard nickname; nothing too girly or cutesy, and before you suggest it, also not Margot. :)  I really need someone to help me brainstorm since I'm fresh out of ideas!  JJ


Now, why exactly is your husband no help? No critique on him in particular, but I’ve heard this before, and I’m tired of the idea that naming is somehow the province of women. Every single one of us has names and every single one of us uses them and needs them, so dudes,  stop pretending you don’t care and then going “Uh, I don’t know, Andrew”.

Rant over.

So in honour of Her Royal Highness the Duchess apparently having had the bloody show (yes, it’s a disgusting phrase, but it’s used in labor stories AND it sounds hilariously British) and systems all being go, let’s deal with this conundrum.

It’s not the first time I’ve heard this – that choosing two names from the small pool that might be considered “Royal” sets off alarms in people; that you might be critiqued for having delusions of grandeur or something. And I get it, but I also am aware that the chances of you calling your child Eugenie or Zara are slim, and those would be bigger indicators of Royal affection, I think.

Also, if the princess has a girl (as I stall and look up at the CN Tower to see if there’s any word) the pool is going to be small for names yes but also pretty predictable.

So in your situation, the first name that comes to mind is Emily. Perhaps a little matchy, yes, with Katie but she may become Kate some day, and Emily is a great stand-alone name that can be an affectionate “Em” without being a whole nickname.  Then again, I know a Katy and Emily mom-daughter combo, so that may be where I got the idea.  

I have to admit that your other choices, Andrea and Nicole, while pretty, are a little bit passé by today’s standards – certainly 80s. But the widespread love of Nicole and its Frenchness made me start to think of  Yvonne. Your daughter Yvonne, nicknamed Evie? Katie and her sister Evie? If not, how about Meredith?  You can go Mere or Merry or whatever you like, but Meredith stands up to Katherine as a fully-fledged woman’s name.  

Otherwise, if you’re secretly feeling inclined to go with Charlotte but feel like it’s too royal also, stand advised that the Queen would never allow one of her successors to be called “Charlie”. Even Charles isn’t called Charlie. So I think you’re safe on that score.

Oh – and yes, you’ve made it clear that I’m mentioning Margot too much. Noted.

Let me know!

On the “Let Me Know” front – a lot of you ask for updates from me and from the parents. While I assume they’re busy actually parenting the children in question, we have a few and I’m working on a roundup post to let you know about them all!  Hooray for resolution!  

Tags: Name Nerd
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