I am in need of help - I have a baby girl due in August and we are stuck in a rut with names. Everyone keeps writing in that they are all set on girl names, and stumped on boy names - I am the complete opposite. Had this little munchkin been a boy, we had one frontrunner name, totally set to go. But girl names, we can't commit. 

My husband's last name is French, and begins with a P, three syllables. Both he and I have short first names, no nicknames. My family is Swedish, and I'd like for our kiddos to have Nordic names in a tribute to my family heritage. Our shortest list is comprised of Margot and Astrid. I worry that Margot is on the rise and there will be a flood of little Margot's around her age, but it is a family name, and it is adorable. Astrid, however, feels a little punchier and a lot less common. My concern with Astrid is that it is ripe for making fun of on the playground.

The longer list includes Camilla and Louise, although my husband isn't sold on either one. Malin is also a contender, but I worry about pronunciation...

Please, steer me in the right direction!!


You know I’ve made a whole point of saying kids don’t get made fun of on the playground for their names anymore? Like I probably can find 10 or 12 examples of where I’ve said so? Well, you’ve just proven me wrong. 

Because what I meant was that Priyanka or Archibald are as common or uncommon as Blake or Lola, and so there’s no need for teasing because the name is unusual. But I can see a place where yeah, Astrid could be one of those names that’s difficult up front. 

Or maybe not – it’s now in the top 25 in Sweden, and there are enough Astrids that it’s not unheard of, like those urban legends where people name their kid after a body part or other medical term. Also, I’ve run into a significant minority of references and tweeters who pronounce it with a soft ‘s’ – Az-trid or Ahstrid, as opposed to ASST-rid. So it depends on your personal tolerance here, but I’m not sure it’s an automatic no-go the way some names are, and you’re right that its novelty and strength and fun outweigh it. In my mind, anyway – Astrids of the world, chime in!

Still, maybe options are good. I think Margot is one of those names that a lot of people like but don’t actually go with. I have a suspicion it’s not popular with men. I’ve heard of a lot of people who say they almost went with it but didn’t, though your geographical mileage may vary.

If you want further variations, I have to pull out my usual Norse favourites Freya and Annika, and while I regret that I’ve offered them to others before, the fact that they’re in the mainstream may make you feel more confident.

Camille and Louise, while beautiful, always seem a little less finished than Camilla and Louisa. I would say it’s an affliction that affects Camille more. But if you want something that has those double consonants, what about Britta? Can I suggest Agata twice in one month? Janica?

I like Malin too, and I think Malin Akerman has done a lot to raise the visibility (audibility?) of the pronunciation. (Super-sidebar: did you know Djuna, the character Malin plays on ‘The Comeback’, is a made-up name? I did NOT). Similarly, how about Marit?

Are these hitting the spot? Where Astrid is concerned, I’ve even gotten over it through the course of writing the letter. Which name is most like your daughter? Let me know!

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