Dear Duana:

In 2014, I solicited your advice for a middle name for my first daughter. We ended up going with Mira June and we love it. I am due with a second daughter in June. My husband and I have decided to name her Margot. We are having a terrible time with a middle name. I'd really appreciate your advice.

She will get my husband's last name, which sounds like Dowdy. I'd like her middle name to honor me or my family in some way. Ideally, I'd like to honor my grandmother who was named Evangeline Rene (which I love as a name set). Although I really like the name Evangeline, both my husband and I think Margot Evangeline is too long--particularly as compared to Mira June. I am just not a fan of Rene with Margot--it's a bit too French.

I have been thinking about Everly - taking the "Ev" from Evangeline and the "Re" from Rene, but am not really sold. I also have toyed with Linnea, but my husband isn't a fan.Do you have any other ideas about how we can incorporate or reference either of my grandmother's names, but with a name that we actually like with Margot and that works with Mira June? We seem to prefer shorter middle names. Some examples of middles we both kind of like are Faye, Pearl and Juniper (but I think Juniper is obviously too close to June). Your advice is greatly appreciated.




First of all, you have to forgive me for that incredibly cheesy title. But I looked at the article from last time, got all wrapped up in the whole ‘finishing’ and chef metaphor, and created this unfortunate titular situation. You see it, right?

Anyway, thanks so so much for writing in a second time, I so appreciate that you want to come in for a second round! Like I wrote last time, you guys have the name skills, so I’m not worried about you, and the fact that you’re choosing Margot for a second child tells me I’m exactly right. This is a gorgeous name and she’s so lucky to have it.

I want to say, though, that you also were toying with Evangeline last time around, so I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss it, if I were you. Margot Evangeline doesn’t seem too long to me, especially since Margot ‘looks’ longer than it sounds, but I hear you if you don’t want to. What about just Margot Eve, or Margot Eva? In particular, Margot Eve sounds like the names I knew from certain Quebecois friends—Marie-Eve, pronounced “MAH-ree-EV”, or etc. I know you said Margot Renee is too French, but somehow I can’t help suggesting it. Any appeal? Margot Lena? Margot Jean?

I love Linnea too, but I can’t think of a way to convince your husband, since it’s the kind of name you either love or you don’t. Margot Leah? Margot Vera, in a stretch from the ‘v’ of Evangeline to ‘Vera’? Margot Claire, which isn’t as French-seeming even though the roots are the same?

The only thing I’d really convince you against is Everly. I get where you got it from, but I don’t think it’s the same vibe as Margot or, for that matter, as Mira June. It feels modern in a way that you don’t need – on the other hand, Margot Faye seems actually incredibly simple and lovely. Along those same lines, how about Margot Faith (a total no-go for lots of families, I know, but Faith is such a pretty name), Margot Rae, or Margot Elaine, which has a similar rhythm to June without being a sound-alike?

I can’t wait to hear what you come up with, and you will note that I have restrained myself from any further cooking metaphors. Let me know!