We are expecting our first child any day now and we don’t know the baby’s gender. We have a boy name picked out already. My husband seems to like very feminine names [for girls] that end in “a” (his favorite is Shoshana), and I tend to like more gender neutral names, or names that could have a fun nickname (my favorites are Shiloh and Emerson). I think we have looked at thousands of names and nothing feels right to us. The baby’s middle name will likely be Jane or Jules, or some other simple J name. 

I welcome and appreciate your help!!! 

Thank you!!



Okay! Don’t sweat, we got this – what you need are names that are feminine, yes, but not decorated in frills and lace, so that you still feel like you have a name that kind of defies description and he gets the beautiful lilting feeling he’s looking for, and lucky for you I feel like those names exist in spades… maybe because I’m biased and am about to roll out some of my favourites. 

Interestingly, the first names that came to mind all ended in “e” – Phoebe and Daphne both land in this category and don’t have as many traditionally ‘soft’ consonants as something like Shoshanna. Then I thought about Esmé, which is widely accepted and understood with or without the accent, but has that same lilting feel. Obviously the possibilities here are endless – to my knowledge I don’t yet know anyone who has a Persephone, but it has to be a matter of time, right? That name is everything! 

Then I thought about the fact that a middle name Jane or Jules kind of demands a longer first name (which is where you each were going with Emerson and Shoshanna respectively) so something like Clementine or Seraphine or Genevieve could work in this space as well – definitely still feminine, but ending on that consonant sound just automatically gives them a different feel. 

It’s possible that I’m going too far into the realm of the feminine and you’re craving something a bit more gender neutral; if that’s the case, I would consider something like Delaney or Mallory or Tamsin or Briony – in fact Welsh names can really be a friend to you here, in the ranges of Rhiannon or Bronwen or Cerys. Or in a totally different geographic location, you might also like something like Marisol or Araceli, which is very feminine but that ‘ch’ sound in the middle isn’t one we hear a lot, so it feels fresh. 

Obviously the middle ground for name choices like this often lends itself to names like Willow or Bailey or London, and while I think they accomplish what you want in terms of walking the line between your tastes, I hesitate to include them because I don’t think you’re into noun names that are found elsewhere in the world – my sense is that you want a name name that isn’t used in other contexts. 

But that still leaves you with Cecile or Simone, Harriet or Sybil, Marlowe or Ingrid or Raquel or even something like an Imogen or Blythe (or Blair!) or even Solange, if you’re feeling saucy. 

Really curious about where this one goes – let us know!