Long time reader, second time caller. I love your column and had hoped all your advice and wisdom would keep me out of my current predicament.

Baby Girl was born March 21 and remains nameless.

When we first left the hospital with our unnamed girl I felt great relief, and even success - I would have the time to properly try on our short list and choose the one that was “right”. But now I’m feeling lost and like I’m doing this wonderful little person completely wrong.

Baby Girl is the younger sister to Jussi and it’s important to me that they are a compatible sibling set. Her last name is two syllables beginning in a vowel and ending in s. 

Our top name contenders are Ingrid and Fleur. We’ve gone a couple days referring to her out loud as each and something feels off with both. The hard consonant ending of Ingrid stops us short. And Fleur simply doesn’t roll off the tongue the way it delights in writing.

We’ve tossed around Inger, a variant of Ingrid. And we’ve considered Florence as an option. Am I missing something obvious? For context other names on our list are Wynn, August, and Emer.

Have I simply given myself too much time and space? Two concepts which feel turned on their head right now with Covid-19’s presence in the world.

Thanks in advance,


Ohhh man, it's gonna be OK. Welcome to your baby girl! Hope that, present issue aside, you're holding up as best you can! 

Don't give yourself a hard time about where you are right now, and with regard to her name -- there's a LOT going on. The key to peace here is to figure out why your potential names aren't landing now that Jussi’s sister is here, and to get through it by finding some names that feel great.

So the first thing to point out is that a lot of your top names share a quality that you don’t seem to like; you say that the hard consonant sound at the end of Ingrid is causing you problems but… all your other name choices also end in consonants! I get that not all of them are as ‘hard’ as Ingrid, but I can see why August and Florence and Fleur and Emer and even Inger are seeming like they’re all in a similar file and thus not delighting you the way you want. 

I encourage you to add more syllables, so that the consonant endings – which you clearly prefer – have a little more runway before them, know what I mean? For example, maybe it’s Juniper rather than Fleur, Marigold or Millicent or Meredith or Imogen rather than Ingrid; especially since the last name begins with a vowel, you’ll allow yourself a little bit more balance.  

Alternately, if what you really love is the unusual sounds and name origins, I’d suggest you might be happier with names like Brigid or Greta or Geneva or Faustine or Flora – same spirit of the name choices, less brisk in their execution. Freya? Obviously a name-nerd favourite right now, but definitely suits your purposes and goes with Jussi. Agatha? Gets you that hard G sound but has some air on either side. Astrid, even, might give you a little more ‘soft’ runway to get where you want to go? Zelda, for unusual consonant usage? Or Esther, for a consonant ending, but an ‘s’ sound that reminds you of Jussi? 

There’s a lot going on so no worries on feeling anxious about it. Just breathe, and choose a name you really love to say. And above all, let us know!