Dear Duana,
My husband and I are expecting our first child. Gender is unknown. We are floating around a couple of girl names and just need to narrow it down between Lilith and Celeste. 

We are stuck coming up with a boy’s name because we’re stuck on one name - one my husband loves and I can’t stand. Rhett. I don’t know why, but my husband has long coveted this name for a son but it has never grown on me. I also don’t like it with what we have picked out for the middle name, Grant, for my grandfather. I’m not in love with a single syllable first name, especially with a single syllable middle name. He hasn’t been wooed by my choices of Owen, Harrison or Ira. (I’m also trying to avoid names that end in -er as our last name ends with –cher.) 

Any suggestions for names that could sway my husband from Rhett? 

Many thanks,


Aside from the surprising joy of yesterday’s Emmy noms, there’s still an overwhelming ton of nonsense going on in the world, in the biggest and smallest senses – and worse, no particular understanding of how to fix any of it. Super.

So I am thrilled to be able to tell you that your problem has a solution – at least, I think so. But I hold out hope that you do too and here’s why: I don’t know why your husband likes Rhett either; I mean, I guess it’s got a good cowboy kind of vibe, and maybe it seems unusual to him in the vastness of Masons and Caydens and Simons that are currently busting out of maternity wards. To be honest, he’d be right. But you’re right that Rhett Grant is really preternaturally short and truncated. 

You could try to talk him into putting Grant first, of course, but I think I have a better suggestion, that is hiding in plain sight ready to be recruited by you guys… 


See what I did there? It’s longer, and it’s got some of the qualities of Rhett and of Harrison/Ira (I hope) but it’s already a different, more palatable mouthful relative to ‘Rhett Grant’. Know what I mean? 
No? This isn’t it? The twin brother is Everett – even more of that ‘Rhett’ sound – or you could go with something like Bennett or Beckett, or even Emmett. I’m not trying to make it seem too easy, but it also kind of is: you’ve got the surname-y, maybe a little bit Anglophile-y angle for you, the hard ‘rett’ sound for him, and it makes Grant into a charming echo of what came before instead of a repeat-y rhyme. Perhaps even August? They also have more than a passing resemblance to Celeste, which makes me think that’s where you guys will wind up on the girl side? 

I’m not trying to make it seem easy, but it kind of feels that way to me – feel free to come back for another round, or else let us know! 

(Lainey: sorry to chime in here, but as I was reading this, I was like… duh…how about GARRETT! And when I sent that to Duana she said, “Five points for Slytherin!”)