Hi Duana,

I would love your help selecting the perfect name for our baby girl (Due October 2017).

We know the middle name (Frances) and last name, obviously, which is W---t.  This will be our first child and I am really hoping she is born with her dad's gorgeous fiery red hair.

If we are lucky enough to have a red head, I want her name to reflect her "2% of the world's hair colour population" status.  We have been thinking about the name Evelyn, but since it was number 12 in popularity in 2016, I'm a bit resistant. I also really like the name Hailey, but wonder if this name will still work when she is 40+. Fiona also seems like an obvious choice (Princess Fiona from Shrek, and all).

Family member names that we cannot consider are as follows:

You always have such great suggestions and I don't think you've taken on the ginger baby name challenge yet. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.



If this were a different kind of letter, I’d apologize (a little) for the title quote, which is, of course, a modification of a quote from ‘Pretty Woman’ – but since you’re looking for a redhead name, I assume you see the quote the way I do – as a celebration of the Woman herself. This is also an opportune time to tell you that the moment we’ve all been waiting for is arriving this Saturday! (To be read in an Oprah voice:) “JULIA IS FIFTYYYYYYYYY!!!!” 

Is Julia a redhead name? Not particularly, unfortunately. Not just because it doesn’t have a ‘red’ meaning, which I can take or leave, but because a redhead name, like a redheaded person, seems like it begs for a little bit of unusualness. A little ‘oh, hey!’ I think Julia was that type of name, but then of course J.Ro made it famous, and so it became an ‘everyone’ kind of name. A gorgeous name, but not quite synonymous with red hair alone.

The other ‘obvious’ one, of course, is Annie, or Anne – depending on whether you run to the musical or book sides of things – or both. I’d be inclined to wrap any of the ‘Anne’ names in here – Anna, Anneliese – the nod is there for sure, and Annabel Frances or Anna Frances or any of them, are a really nice combination

If this isn’t it, of course, there are a ton of names that literally mean or nod to ‘red’ – Scarlett and Ruby are obvious, but not going to be as rare as you want them to be – so you might be interested in Rory, which means ‘red king’, or Rowan, which literally means ‘little redhead’. It is thus not hard for me to understand why ‘Roan’ shares the same meaning.

I didn’t come across Fiona in my search for red names (technically it means ‘fair’, which I guess is connected to redheads, but not exactly exclusively), which doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it – it’s a great name that seems to sound distinctive on anyone who uses it (and while I’m up, it’s Julia Roberts’ middle name!) …but I did find other F-names that are connected to red, or red hair – Flanna seems kind of self-explanatory, but you could probably just go with Flannery. You could even choose Clancy, which also means red-haired… are we surprised a lot of these names are coming from Ireland?

Sienna came up, as did Phoenix, of course – and those don’t surprise me, but I have to admit that Millicent, which kept showing up in my searches, does. I’m not an etymologist, but still – shouldn’t I be able to figure out how it gets from A to B? Then again, I can’t argue with the idea that Millicent – or Millie – seems like the name of an irrepressible ginger… and then when I saw that a related name is Melisande, as in that red-haired Melisandre (albeit without the R) I thought it was an amazing link.

So it comes down to exactly how much of a nod you want, and how well the name will still work if she turns out not to have fiery hair – luckily for all of us, I think they work really well. But that reminds me of one more I can’t forget – Felicity doesn’t have anything to do with red hair, but it does have to do with luck, and it’s an ‘F’ name, and Felicity Frances really tickles me, and I hope you consider it.

That’s one I’d definitely never been in before – so you have to let us know… and if I forget to tell you later, I had a really great time today.