In just a 3 short weeks (plus or minus) we'll be welcoming our second baby - a little sister for our son Raymond (Ray).  Because Ray isn't very trendy, and honestly we're not very trendy, we've been struggling with names for his sister that would gel. I've always loved Lyla, love my FNL, but it seems to be the new "it" name where I am from. So we're now almost settled on Stella although my husband - who really was the force behind my son's name - doesn't seem sold. He keeps throwing out random Lydia's and Gianna's at me. I could veto him entirely since he named our son and go with my faves Lucy or Ruby, but he might stop enabling my candy bar addiction. Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!


Here’s the glorious thing about a name like Ray – unusual but not in any particular direction. You can do absolutely anything with it. It lends itself to almost any way the wind blows, in terms of what you feel like doing next. I think this is partly due to country music – it doesn’t even bother me to hear “Ray” and “Juliana” in the same breath. Maybe Hepzibah would be a bridge too far, but that’s about it.

So rather than feel limited, feel like the world is up to you. It sounds like you both want something shortish, with some serious consonants in there.   Lyla. Stella. Gianna. And you said that Lucy and Ruby would be your go-tos (and don’t tell me you’re not trendy, I’m sensing a little rockabilly vibe here). So it seems like something fun, girly, not too frilly is going to fit the bill. Amy? Layla (which is a real name, not just a modification)? How about Vera, even? Ray is so adaptive that it can go anywhere and feel right with its counterpart – and as I write this I’m not sure why it’s so underused. 

I guess the only caveat I would have is if you call him Ray most of the time, your daughter should also have a name that feels shortish. I have a strong inclination to talk to you about Raymond and Veronica – but unless you want to call her Ronnie, it doesn’t work with Ray. However, if the slightest country twang I hear in your choices goes the way I think, maybe you want to think about something slightly Nashvillesque? Lisbeth? Even Alice?

Let me know!

PS. “Random Lydias and Giannas” is going to be the title of my first novel, I’ve just decided. You may not sue for copyright. Stamped it, no erasies.