Greetings Duana!

My husband and I are expecting #2 (a girl) and are looking for some unbiased insight on some of our ideas.

We both are drawn to more traditional names over limited edition/new age ones. Also I am cautious about anything too popular (although I like many of the top names, I want to avoid them like the plague) so if you predict any of these names taking off, fill me in.

The list has been whittled down to four names: Evelyn (my grandma who I adore), Ruby (my husbands grandma who passed before he met her) and Francis or Elena (no personal history with either, just ones that we like and think would go nicely with my moms middle name -- Ann). Our sons name is Louis and we would like them to compliment each other but not matchy.

And that's all I got. Hit me with it.  


Okay, so here we go! I love a final four and I really love a final countdown. Oh, and while we’re on the topic, I love Louis, so good on you for that one.

Since you wrote this note, you’ve seen the missive that I put up last week about Evelyn, right? Click here for a refresher. Love that it’s your grandma’s name, love that you’re into giving some honour around, just be aware (…very aware) that you are not the only one who loves this name, and loves it right now. I think you would be very, very hard pressed to find a 10 year old Evelyn or even a 6 year old one but they are beginning to abound in the under-2 set so be warned.

The rules are less strict for Ruby. I know of one who’s in her 20s, and I know another who’s five – but I don’t run into them on every corner. I think the embracing of grandma chic names like Clementine and Adelaide and Aggie and etc brought Ruby to the fore, but she never took off, which in your case is a good one, right?  However, I have to say that on a personal level, I’ve always found Ruby to be a bit rockabilly, a bit cultivated country – or, to put it in today’s terms, a bit Pinterest-y. Like I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the name, but can you picture Ruby the dentist? Ruby the tax accountant? If you can, no problem, but if your visions of her include ruby-red tutus and Hallowe’en costumes, make sure you have a name that’s a vision for a whole person.

Next we have Francis, or Frances.  The spelling you sent is traditionally used for men, so I don’t know whether that was intentional or not – like whether you’re trying to honor a male Francis. For what it’s worth, I think it’s a great name, and that the "E" rather than the "I" changes the pronunciation just slightly – FranSIS as opposed to FranSUS – but I do kind of think Frances Ann is a little similar in its sound. Maybe you want to put Ruby in the middle? Or is this one of those situations where a stealth first name calls into play?  Baby Frannie’s birth certificate reads Ann Frances but only you and she and your mother actually know that?

Finally, Elena. I lovvvvve this name, and hearing it on the Vampire Diaries for years did nothing to dissuade me.  I think it’s elegant, stylish, not overused, AND it goes better with Ann (and better with Frances, actually). One thing you should know though is that as the ever-popular Elles and Ellas make room for the next name, people may start to see Elena. As it happens, right now they’re focused on Helen and Helena – but you can see where it’s not very far to make the jump.  

Far be it from me to confuse the final four, but if you want something new, I feel like Elise, Vera, Iris, Celia, and Esther – or even Edith – have that pretty-but-no-nonsense feel you’re looking for. Let me know!