Hi Duana,
We are expecting our third child in a few weeks. Our older children are named Lucie and James, who we always call Jamie. We had lots of name ideas for our daughter but when we were naming our first son James/Jamie was the ONLY name that I liked. 

For this baby (another boy) my husband and I managed to agree on the name Freddie. I really like Freddie but I am concerned that if we use it, all of our children will have names that end in "ie." Also, while Freddie is great on a baby, does it work for an adult? Obviously I like nickname-sounding names, but otherwise, I don't think I have a clear name "taste." 

I know that a lot of letter writers have partners who keep vetoing their suggestions, but I am in the opposite scenario. My husband has a list of favorites, Jesse, Cary, and Charlie. But I am not a fan. And they have the same "ie" sound as Freddie which I still think might be too cutesy across three children. 

Can you please help? Also, we are so helpless on the first name we can't even start to think of a middle name yet.

Thank you in advance,




Okay so I have either good news or bad news, depending on your perspective. I think it’s good, but you may have other ideas. The news is this: I think I reject your premise here. You are not naming them all the same way, or else I’m misunderstanding.

Here’s what I mean. Lucie, which is a full name, ends in the ‘ie’ sound. No question there, and of course, the same would be true if she were Lucy with-a-y. So yes, there’s a definite preference there, agreed and understood. 
But when it comes to little Jamie, things are a bit different. That is, I know a number of adult Jamies, but also a lot of adult Jameses, who were Jamie somewhere in their youth, but left it behind. You’ve done that incredible thing where you’re giving a kid the opportunity to be who he wants to be both as a child and as an adult. 
So the question of whether you should choose Freddie, to me, lies in whether or not you have the fortitude to name him Frederick, and let that name sit on the birth certificate for when he needs it. I suspect this is where the sticking point is. 

I think you’re going to tell me that you only like Freddie and you don’t want anyone to call your kid ‘Fred’ instead and you’re worried some of the charm of the name will be lost, or something – but here’s the thing. 

The difference between Freddie and, say, Jesse or Cary, is that those names are what they are. There’s no changing them if Jesse or Cary feel like they don’t want to ‘match’ with their siblings later on, or if they don’t ‘feel like’ their names. They absolutely and forever end in that sound – much like Lucy. 

Then again, those names are seen as complete full names, whereas Freddie (and Charlie, to a lesser extent) is very obviously going to be seen as a nickname for Frederick, and allows for him to be Fred later on in life, or if he gets really excited about his sort-of namesake, Fred Weasley.

In short, Freddie can be a great choice if you’re willing to give your son the tools and the option to modify it later on – and it might be limiting or overly cutesy without – even though I am staunchly in favour of a grown man named Freddie. (Ask The Fug Girls how much I slobbered over their Freddie character in The Royal We.)
If you can’t bear the thought of Frederick on the birth certificate, I’d steer you to an opportunity I feel like our parents didn’t have – end on O instead. Hugo or Otto or Bruno or Leo, they still have that lilting, fun feeling, but they’re not ‘short for’ anything so won’t feel unnecessarily truncated. 
Or you can choose a name that has that sound, but that isn’t a nickname – Harry, Perry (or Percy, to keep our Hogwarts theme going), Jeremy, Zachary, Grady, Wesley: you still get the sound you love, but you don’t have to worry about unnecessary nickname-itis, plus your children will have three different and distinct names that nonetheless complement each other. Lucie, James, and Perry? Lucie, Jamie, and Harvey? Lucie, James, and Frederick? Lucie, Jamie, and Hugo? I have to admit, that one’s sitting pretty nicely for me right about now…
You get to choose the names you want, and to love the sounds you love – the amazing, dare I say magical, news is that as long as you think about what your child will love, as well as you, you get to have the best of both worlds. 
Let us know!