At the Editor’s Desk: Name Game

I’ve got eight weeks to go until baby #3 arrives, and we are at a standstill.

This baby needs a name. And while we have a few front-runners, we’re not satisfied just yet with the choices.

And frankly, we can’t agree. For example, we both like the name Elizabeth. But he would want to call her Beth, and I like Eliza.

baby name champaign urbana

We're still eight weeks away, but this baby needs a name. Can you help? Photo by kaatjevervoort on flickr

Tomato, to-mah-to. We called that one off.

It’s so bad that my 5-year-old came over to me with the TV remote today and said, “Look Mommy! Here’s a name for the baby — AV!”

AV.

I could not make that up if I tried. (And yes, we couldn’t stop laughing.)

This baby has been a bonus in more ways than one. When we decided to find out the sex, one reason I wanted to know was because I thought it would cut down on the name drama. If baby had been a boy — well, that would have made things a lot easier. We picked out one of those names oh, six years ago.

Maybe we’ll have a boy dog someday to give that one to.

In the past, we’ve had a little more guidance in the names we choose. We narrowed down the field using the Jewish custom of naming a child to honor the memory of a loved one. We named our eldest after my husband’s late father (first name) and my late grandfather (middle). We named our youngest after (well, I sort of broke the rules on that one) my grandmother.

We have other relatives we could pick from, but none that strike us as meaningful. The field, so to speak, is wide open.

So where to look for inspiration? A site I’ve used quite a bit is nymbler.com. I’ve used celebrity baby blogs for guidance on what *not* to do. (Blue Ivy anyone? Really?) I looked at the top names in the state of Illinois, the latest data available from 2010.

The other day I joked to a friend that I should ask all of you for baby name suggestions, and maybe even make it a sweepstakes. Why not? I’ve already tapped out my network on Twitter.

Then it became not so funny. I mean, we can use all the help we can get, right? Right?

I talked myself into it, and here we are.

Here’s how to enter the contest:

Give us your best name suggestion for my baby. I will pick THREE names I like the best, and then next week, chambanamoms.com readers will vote for their favorite name. Each of the three finalists will receive a chambanamoms.com T-shirt; the “winner” will receive a $25 gift card to — where else? — Babyland.

So please leave your name suggestions in the comments. You can enter as many times as you like. I will pick the top three names on Tuesday, Jan. 17, and the voting will take place the following week.

Hit me up, friends. We’re all ears.

Laura Weisskopf Bleill is the co-founder and editor of chambanamoms.com. You can reach her at laura@chambanamoms(dot)com. She reserves the right to pick another name besides the winner. (I’m crazy, but I’m not *that* crazy.)

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Comments

  1. You didn’t like it on twitter, but perhaps it’ll sound better now that you’re more desperate. Think about Amelia a little more. So pretty, good history, and lots of NN potential (Amy, Lia, Mia, Mellie–something to fit any personality as she grows!).

  2. Caroline. Classy and sophisticated. There have been lots of great Caroline’s in the world and she has the best song to boot!

  3. Piper & Phoebe are two of my favorites that hubby vetoed :) best of luck!

  4. Miranda
    Amanda
    Celia

  5. Clara is at the top of my girl list! I also like Claire.

  6. Gemma
    Rebecca (Becca)
    Elayna

  7. This is way too hard without knowing you better. So if any of these are “yuck” for you, I don’t want to know. :-)

    Emma
    Fiona
    Maren
    Nell

  8. Marie
    Babette
    Miriam

  9. Here’s some names that I’ve encountered lately and instantly liked – it appears I’m on a vowel kick! A little off the beaten path, but not way out there either. Good luck! Its way more fun thinking of names for others than trying to finalize my own children’s names :-P
    Eleanor (Ellie or Nora)
    Adaline
    Adalyn (Addy or Lynn)
    Mia
    Olive
    Edith (Edie)
    Emerson (Emmy)

    • As the mother of two girls named Edythe (called Edie) and Eleanor (mostly called Eleanor and Ellie but also answers to Ella, Elbow, and Nora Jane), I like the way you think Molly!

      Other girl names we’d had near the top of the list:
      Lucy
      Elizabeth (nickname Betsy)
      Charlotte (nickname Lottie)
      Trudie
      Mary Margaret (decided we were Catholic but not that Catholic)

  10. How about Penelope? I really wanted to use it for my second daughter but my hubby unfortunately vetoed it. Personally, I think it’s a beautiful name.

    I also really like Daphne, but I know someone who used it for her daughter so I couldn’t seriously consider using it.

    A good website to check out is nameberry.com. They emphasize interesting, vintage names that are making a comeback.

  11. Lisa Hinchliffe says:

    Just curious – what’s wrong with naming her Elizabeth and you/your husband calling her different variations? I’m not trying to be flip. I’m really wondering. There are many people who get a different version of their name by siblings, why not from parents? It would challenge typical social conventions but so what?

  12. Sophia
    Olivia
    Lillian
    Charlotte

  13. momof2boys says:

    Carson
    Jori
    Caralynne

  14. Melissa Mackiewicz says:

    I think you should go with your daughter and name the baby Ava.

    If I were to name a daughter after loved ones who have passed it would be Addie Dawn (Addie after my great grandmother and Dawn after my Grandpa Don, her son in law)

    My husband’s favorite girl name is Josephine.

  15. You’ve already half-way vetoed this one, but I think Hannah Elizabeth is beautiful. Or Anna Elizabeth.

  16. Sophia, Ava, Bella, or Caitlin

  17. Violet

  18. Ana Vieira (AV, hahaha) says:

    Hi sweetie,

    Our pick was Julia Ann but we only had boys. Another gorgeous name is Bridget.
    Much love, momma!
    Ana

  19. Ana Vieira (AV, hahaha) says:

    Also, about both spouses calling the baby differently: our Dominick is always Dom or Dominick from me, DJ from my oldest and DomDom from my husband. It works, Hahahaha!

  20. Amy L. Hatch says:

    I’m out of the running for the gift card but you know I love Mathilda!

  21. Flynn (or Flinn)
    Vivian
    (none of my children have these names..somebody needs them!)

  22. Ohh, already like quite a few that have been mentioned. But here’s a couple others. It sounds like you lean towards classic names, so I’ll leave out Apple and Coco.

    – Audrey
    – Eliza
    – Grace
    – Hazel
    – Isabella
    – Lydia
    – Stella

    Good luck!

  23. Sadie
    Josephine
    Hailey

  24. Eden
    Avivia
    Sara

    I also really like Elizabeth but as Elizabeth- no shortage

  25. We have boys, but considered Erika for a girl (with the German spelling).

    A couple of friends of ours have a daughter named Annika — also nice.

  26. It actually isn’t my idea, it’s your five year olds…I heard ‘Avie’, and thought- BRILLIANT! :)
    And, your 5 year old will forever be the ‘namer’ of your baby. :)
    I love ALL names unique, not the norm.

  27. If this one was a girl, these were our top names, so of course I have to suggest them!

    Ruth
    Freida/Frida/Frieda
    Josephine

  28. Penelope (call her penny perhaps)
    lydia
    aria
    viola or violet
    dahlia
    primrose
    cora
    tatum

    These are some of my faves and I have two daughtters with these names. But u see I personally like the softer names and flower names obv. ;) u may have a different taste??

  29. good enough cook says:

    +1 for Ava!

    Vera
    Nora
    Rose

    She died after the birth of our girls, we couldn’t use it for either of them, but my grandmother always went by her middle name: Delyte.

  30. Mary Beth says:

    Lyla
    Victoria
    Julia

  31. Signe. Pronounced “sin-ay”.

    Husband vetoed this one, it’s apparently French. But I love it! We are more geared towards different names that aren’t too weird, if you get what I mean.

  32. Lydia
    Gwendelyn
    Molli
    Katherine
    Abigail
    Alicia
    Elana
    Josilyn (Josie)
    Laynie

  33. Name that were on the list for our little girl:

    Meghan
    Marcella
    Lindsay
    Natalie

    Good luck!

  34. Avital (Ah-vee-tall)…beautiful Jewish name. And call her Avi (Ah-vee)

  35. I love Hannah, it’s a little too close to my own name, so we never used it. My oldest is Emma Catherine and our youngest is Ava Charlotte. Both named for great-grandmothers. Best of Luck!
    Elizabeth IS a lovely name, and you could call her Libby (over the traditional Lizzie or Beth).

  36. Lael

  37. Sylvia

  38. Adrienne
    Adair
    Affery
    Averill
    Justine
    Aliza
    Jillian
    Ellery
    Channing
    Meredith

  39. Louisa
    Lydia
    Helena
    Isla

  40. Elizabeth – call her Libby
    Elaina – call her Lainie
    Cecilia
    Genevieve

  41. Hattie
    Garnet
    Amethyst
    Penelope
    Gwendolyn
    Micheline
    Bronwen
    Winnifred
    Yasmine

  42. Raquel
    Audrey
    Elaine
    Charlotte
    Dawn
    Michelle

  43. Another Elizabeth variation — Eilish.

  44. Abra (pronounced Ah-bra. Ignore potential “bra” jokes, it’s a pretty name.)

  45. I really like unisex names for girls. I just think they sound strong- like a “don’t mess with this girl b/c she’s no sissy” name- LOL

    so I would go with Carson, Cameron, Brice, Adrian or Shelby

  46. Erzsebet, pronounced, Air-zha-bet. I’ve only known one and I thought it was a nice spin off on Elizabeth.

  47. Elena is my new suggestion. Still love Anna. xo

  48. Leah or Lillian both are family names and it would have been tough to pick, luckily we had a boy!

  49. Faith

  50. If my son had been a girl, he would have been named Willa. Also love Amalia.