Hi Duana,

The husband and I have very different taste in names.

We are expecting a baby at the end of Summer – gender unknown – and we are having trouble coming to any sort of agreement on a girls name.  Our plan is to have 2 names each per gender and when the kid is born we will decide then what he or she suits. 
I like traditional or simple names, not too popular but not too out-there, middle name will be Jane, James, or Anne (familial names). If it were my decision alone I would name her Lyla (Lila or Lilah), however, my husband grew up with a Lyla he wasn’t too fond of and gives it a hard no so far. I’ve made him watch the first season of Friday Night Lights to try to get him to come around, hoping Lyla Garrity would change his opinion. 
What’s your suggestions for simple or traditional… or both?! Help!!  I need my runner up name!


This is a short and sweet letter with a lot to interpret, and of course I love having a wide open playing field to choose names from, with only Lyla/Lila/h to jump off – but even though there’s a lot to interpret, I know one thing for absolute sure: 

You need two alternate names, because if Lyla is a hard no (so far), then anything you suggest is going to sound better to him, unless you want to stack the deck with names so ridiculous that he’ll want to choose Lyla – but that would be devious, and I’m not suggesting anything of the kind, lol. 

But if you know for 80% sure that he’s not going to go for it, don’t throw away one of your choices! 

The first name that comes to mind is Keira (another name with several accepted spellings, so choose your favourite). It has the same lyrical flavour as Lyla, but is far enough away that it shouldn’t invoke the feelings of long-ago resentment. I mean, I kind of get where he’s coming from, tbh, but that’s because I’m not totally over Lila Fowler from the Sweet Valley books yet – any chance he’s also a fan? 

Along the same lines, you might like something like Julia or Stella – that’s as far as I’d go into names that have a strong L sound, though, since Lily and Ella and even Luna are still very popular right now, but Stella seems classic enough to withstand that trend. Or maybe Juliet, or Eliza? I definitely think your choices for middle names mean you will want something longer and vowel-oriented in the front spot; or, to go a little more fanciful, what about something like Aurora or Lydia? Still very traditional, and simple enough without being plain? 

Without knowing what he likes I’m not sure if I’m venturing into his territory, but I’d also consider something like Lucia (Lucinda?) or Clara, or – and I am aware this name would not have been seen as ‘simple and traditional’ a decade ago, but it’s a new world – what about Beatrice or even Penelope? I know I’m getting ahead, but I promise it’s a different world out there. Even a throwback name we’re not using much lately but that’s still attractive in its own regard… Alicia? 

I should say I’m a massive fan of the name Jane, and it doesn’t get as much play as it should, so if I were in your situation I might put it in the front spot and negotiate for the middle – but if it’s not for you, the other simple and perfect name I always think of is Elena, so maybe I’m not as far from the love of Ls as I thought I might be. 

Definitely let us know!