We are having a really hard time naming our now 5-day-old daughter! Pressure from relatives and friends is on! When we had our elder daughter, we spent a lot of time compiling respective lists of names we liked, virtually none of which were to be found on both lists. We agreed on Adele Amelie, which we adore.

This time around has been much tougher. All the names on our lists last time we have largely gone off, due to a combination of time and a feeling of not wanting to set our newest daughter up with a second choice. However, with a toddler in the mix, time and energy to really look into names has eluded us, and we probably used the excuse that you can't settle on a name before they are born in case they don't 'look like' that name.

Now here we are, 5 days in and no closer to finding a name we like and even less energy to think of any or agree. I've read your column for a while now (love it!) and think we've identified some of our stumbling blocks. Hoping you can give  some inspiration, or names we haven't come across or considered.

- we like names that either start with or end in vowel sounds, I think to balance the big consonants found in our surname, which is like Crawthorpe.
- my husband quite likes alliterative names that go with surname but I do not (though could be converted!) 
- the crux of our problem? I want a name that suits her all the way through her life (will they be taken seriously as a professional person) whereas my husband likes names that make someone sound creative and interesting (someone you get chatting to at a party and discover they are in a band).

We had one name that we both liked, Edie, but I got cold feet over the idea of an adult Edie (see above) and neither of us can bring ourselves to use Edith and shorten to Edie due to prejudices we have about Ediths. 

I actually discounted Edie with our elder daughter because it fails another of our (or rather my ex-school teacher mum's) tests - how does it sound being shouted across the playground in the very distinctive regional accent where we live? 
However, from moment I found out I was pregnant, Edie immediately came to mind. My husband liked it too, but as you so often reference in your column, sometimes having a name early on gives you the chance to psych yourself out of it. That’s definitely what happened here. It's been in the mix for over 3 years now though, and not sure that, if we choose something else, it won't [bother us] that she should have been Edie. Just not sure if I (or my husband) can overcome our hangups about it though. 

Names we considered but can't agree on for various reasons include Ellie, esme, ivy, Katie, Ella, Thea, Rhea, Livi, Olivia, Emily, Evie, Charlotte and Phoebe. I definitely veer towards the '90 year old woman' end of the spectrum in my choices and sometimes think 'ie' names read a bit juvenile.

Any help or suggestions you could offer would be very much appreciated indeed!



Ohhhhhkay, my friend. Let’s do this. I have to say, you’re hardly the first to have sent a long letter, and I’ve even been lucky enough to receive notes from people who have unnamed babies already making themselves at home but… this is the longest letter from someone with an unnamed child, and I can only imagine sleepless nights plus your aforementioned toddler have given you time to think, and think, and think…

So we’re here to get you out of your head and into a great name, and the good news is we can do this. First and foremost, let’s deal with your hang-ups about the name you love: Edie. 

Because you do love it. I had to trim a bit for space but… did you know you wrote the name ‘Edie’ seven times? In one paragraph? You’ve given me all these theoretical reasons why it’s not appropriate in theory, but what does it matter how people with your regional accent shout the name if you love using it, and love hearing it? 

You worry that using Edie, and not Edith, which you don’t like, is going to be a bit juvenile. I submit as exhibit A the following names: Marie, Sophie, Leslie, Maggie, Winnie, Natalie, Stephanie, Valerie, Julie, Hattie... they may not all be to your tastes, but they’re all complete names that end in ‘ie’, and judging by how many are or have been at one time certifiable ’90 year old woman’ names, I think you’ll agree they’re not particularly juvenile, right? Any more than the dozens of names for girls and women that end in ‘y’, and thus carry the same sound. 

I think you want to choose Edie and I think you should, but if for some reason it’s a bridge too far, I have another option for you. In fact, I love it so much I considered sandbagging Edie, but I guess I’m just that full of integrity. 

Still, I’m really excited to give you the following:  


It has sounds you like, from your other names above, and it’s technically alliterative in initials, but the sounds are different so you get the best of both worlds. It’s certainly ’90 year old’ and suits both a baby girl and a grown woman. What else do you need to know? I’m preening over here… 

But okay. Let’s say it didn’t suit you for some reason. I’d also suggest names like Felicity (L.M. Montgomery would agree with me, I think), Sylvie, Elodie, Lydia – or even something like Genevieve or Adelaide (those last two in spite of the fact that you’re one of the few people lately who hasn’t stoutly demanded a host of nicknames, so for that, I salute you. 

But if I were betting, or understood what it meant to have, say, 8-to-3 odds, I’d say I can bet which name is going to win, and which probably already has been winning in the short few hours since you sent this letter. 

Can’t wait to find out what you choose – let us know!