Duana Names: Used Up Name Karma?

Duana Posted by Duana at May 27, 2014 16:06:30 May 27, 2014 16:06:30

Hi Duana,

I'm due to have a baby girl in 3 weeks. We have an older daughter who is almost 4. My husband and I haven't settled on a name. I think part of the problem is that with our first daughter, we were absolutely 100% certain on what we'd name her: Dagny. This time around, we have some ideas, but are still lukewarm. Even our first choice doesn't really inspire confidence. And no name probably ever will the way Dagny did. We used up our name karma.

Anyway, the current frontrunners that we both agree on are: Nora, Adeline, and Heidi, in that order. We like German and French names. We want a name that is fit for a strong, intelligent woman, but is still pretty. We want it to go with our awkward and harsh sounding last name that begins with a Y. And now that I read your blog, I want it to fit well with Dagny and any other future children we might have.

I'm just not confident on our choices. Can you convince me that one of my choices is good? What kind of impression do our names give you? Do they even fit my own criteria? I don't know. If you're not inspired by any of my choices either, can you come up with some alternatives?  



You know what’s so funny is that when I started to think of names I might suggest, I immediately went to “D” names. Delphine. Damaris. Desdemona.  But Dagny and Desi is too cute by half, and besides, none of those names are French or German. So let’s see what I can do here.

Your list of current names, I can’t figure out what’s wrong with them until I figure out what’s bugging you. Heidi should be a much more popular name than it is, but somehow it never springs to mind when looking for an underused girls’ name. It’s somehow stuck terminally in the 70s, even though there’s nothing and nobody offensive associated with it. Nora has always been a favourite of mine, but it does feel no-nonsense, even as it gets more and more popular. And while Adeline is lovely, Addie, as she will certainly become, whether it’s by your hand or others, is an echo of all the 10-and-12 year old Maddies in her wake. None of this may bother you at all, but you know who’s not having to deal with these problems? Dagny.  

So what I would recommend is something that can compete in all the ways you want it to – strong, intelligent woman that’s still pretty. 

My first thought was Marin. (Lainey: this is what I would call my daughter if I had one, which I will never!) I’ve seen this spelled variously as Maren, and in fact nameberry.com says the French version is Marine. Think about that – Marin and Dagny. Similar sounds, but both fresh and clean and strong. I buy this, I have to tell you, even if it is patting myself on the back. Or what about Olena? It’s Russian, originally, but without so many of the tink-tink sounds that you associate with characters on The Americans – Olena and Dagny is also something I buy.

I realize as I’m writing that I’m trying to marry similar sounds to Dagny, so to hit your German requirement, how about one of my new favourites, Greta?  All style, all strength, no waiting? Are any of these landing for you? 

If not, remember that you can choose a name you love even if it’s slightly more popular than Dagny. I wouldn’t go for #3 on the popularity list or anything, but if Imogen is calling to you, I think those are styles that match well. What about Ines? Also, though it wouldn’t be my personal choice, I feel stylistically compelled to offer you Maude. Come on. Dagny and Maude!

Again, nothing wrong with Nora, Adeline, or Heidi but maybe the fact that they’re not grabbing you means there’s further to look.

Let me know! 

Tags: Name Nerd
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