Hi Duana!
I thought I'd get you in on a naming debate my husband and I are having. Our first child is on her way, and I really want to name her Elise. I have loved the name for years-feminine, beautiful, but not too common or fussy. (I admit to liking the name largely because I'm a big Cure fan and I love the song "A Letter To Elise".) My husband has vetoed the name because he says the song is depressing and it will be bad luck to name her after such a sad song. Any suggestions? I love the "L" sound....thanks so much! J


Hi J,

Let me tell you how I’m totally biased in this regard. The story of my first name is boring – they saw it, they liked it – but the story of my middle name is that a couple of weeks before I was born, my parents were somewhere (?) listening to a piano player when my dad started overdramatically gasping, as is his nature. “Oh my God, Oh my God, what is this beautiful piece of music?”

It was Für Elise, which became my middle name, which I’ve always found kind of classy and beautiful and fitting-in-but-standing-out. The end.

So, if you guys want another musical but (arguably) non-depressing link to the name, there you go. Apparently there’s also a PJ Harvey song entitled “A perfect day, Elise” which at least sounds positive.

But if it’s an absolute no-go, and you love the L sounds, then how about Liesl? No, I’m not actually kidding. Considering how it looks, it’s actually quite easy to pronounce, and it’s unusual while still being quite pretty. If you think I’m nuts, and can’t bear the idea, what about Ilaria? Yes, I stole this wholesale from Nia Vardalos’ new book Instant Mom, but it’s gorgeous and underused and would probably fulfill your L quotient.

No? Of course there’s always Eliza, but if we’re getting away from the sounds you love – what about Leonora? Calista? Leilani?

Dying to know on this one, and not just because I’m a narcissist.

(Lainey: my Elise association – Elise Keaton! Come ON!)