Hi Duana,

My sister learned she is pregnant recently and of course, she's thinking of baby names already. I believe the last time I asked her the names she had picked were Olivia Grace if it's a girl or Austin Bentley if it's a boy. I admit to liking Olivia Grace, but I'm not entirely sure if it's a good thing for a boy to be named after city and a luxury car. Thoughts?


Dear Letter Writer,

Your sister is going to come and yell at you for writing this letter. So are approximately 124 other women who are pregnant who know their sisters read this site and think their baby names were just outed all over the internet. That’s how common the baby names she’s chosen are. I would wager that Olivia Grace is the Jennifer Anne of 2014.

But I’ve mentioned before that I love when this part of my job conflates with Sasha’s – so I have to ask you, what are you doing here? Do you just want confirmation that your niece or nephew’s name is going to be a little played? Were you really hoping for suggestions? I could try, of course, to point out that if she likes car names, I had a friend named Alfa who wore it very well, or that she might want to include one more traditional name with all the modern, like Austin Geoffrey perhaps, or Nathaniel Bentley, but that’s not what we’re here for, is it?

I don’t know a thing about you and your sister except that she trusted you enough to tell you her baby name choices. So if you have opinions, go about them from a really practical point of view. It’s not worth wincing all “don’t you think that’s a little played’ like you’re Penny from Happy Endings, because that’s not going to get through to her. Instead, point out how many people from high school just posted pics of their baby Olivia on Facebook, and, once she realizes there’s a problem, help her to gently find something just a little off-centre that she can choose instead. My money is on Matilda or Alisa, but if it works too well and she wants to go off the deep end, it’s also probably time we brought back Anais, isn’t it?