I've thought carefully about what I love about those names and it's the image of a fun and feisty little girl. I found two other names I love that I feel share a similar vibe but are less popular: Pepper and Cricket. In other words, I've discovered that what I love are peppy nicknames. I don't want to saddle my daughter with a nickname that might not translate to adulthood on her birth certificate but I can't find any real names that I like as much, much less names that match the nicknames I like!
There are a ton of names that are pretty and all, but I can't work up any enthusiasm for them because they aren't really my style. Please help!
–Looking for Spunk
I love the way you've thought this through. You get a gold star from the Name Lady for zeroing in on the name style that's right for you (which isn’t always easy!) and considering your daughter’s lifelong needs as well.
The problem you're having—you can’t muster much excitement over options other than Pepper or Cricket—is easily explained. Those non-nickname options just don't float your boat because they aren’t nicknames!
I love Frida Kahlo for many reasons, but her gift for being completely unapologetic is what I love most. My daughter will be half Mexican, so I love that this name belongs to one of the most amazing women in history who also happens to be of Mexican descent. The issue is that the names don't follow the syllable rule—which isn't that huge of a deal, but also that all three names end in the "O" sound. I did consider using "Frida" instead of Kahlo, but I just love Kahlo as a name/statement much more.
Let's dispense with the syllable rule first. There's nothing inherently wrong with a 2-2-2 syllable pattern! It's the specific combination of sounds and rhythms that matters. So a name like Anna Marie Kepler sounds perfectly natural. Even a repeated stress pattern, like Anna Morgan Taylor, works fine because the sounds don't repeat or trip the tongue. But Anna Emma Lima is too much of the same.
I can see why you're convinced that this is an established name, even when you haven't found any evidence for it. It has a familiar, fashionable sound, thanks to list-toppers and up-and-comers like Silas, Cyrus, Skyler, and Tyler, or even the Spanish name Pilar (pronounced pee-LAR and used for girls).
Will it work? That depends on what you're trying to achieve. If you simply like the ends-with-I spelling, then using it works for you—no problem.
–Once Upon a Dream
Trusting dream logic to choose your baby's name may sound kooky, but your husband is in good company. Many religious traditions treat dreams as moments of divine inspiration. Psychologists like Freud and Jung claimed our dreams are a direct line to the subconscious. And as every fairy-tale aficionado knows, dreams can also manifest as prophecies, predicting black or golden hair, sorrow or joy, and powerful or important destinies.
I'm so sorry for your loss. I understand your impulse to want to honor your first son, but this isn't the way to do it. Will people judge? Well, yes. Think of it this way. If you met a boy named Elvis, could you imagine that his parents never even considered Elvis Presley when choosing the name? That would be preposterous. So you can't expect people not to think that the name Adolf references Adolf Hitler. Your child will spend his life refuting rumors that he’s a neo-Nazi—or that you are.
–No Hippies Here
This true-blue name does ring a little bit boy, with its –o ending, and a little bit hippie, with its origin in the worlds of color and nature. And yet Indigo has been considered an option for girls ever since the Indigo Girls hit the music scene in the 1990s. The only celebrity baby Indigo in our database is a girl (the daughter of actor Lou Diamond Phillips, born in 2007).
I haven't been considering names starting with M because our last name starts with F and I don't want to give my poor baby initials that will cause teasing. But I'm beginning to wonder if the perfect name that both of us would love is out there in those Ms. Am I being ridiculous or should I keep M names off the list?
You're not being ridiculous, but you are being tempted by forbidden fruit. The letter M just looks special because it's not available. So don't let it distract you. Put it aside, and consider your remaining options.
Lila is a lovely choice that combines some of the sounds and syllables from both your favorite name and your husband's. It might be just the compromise that you need. You may fall in love with it yet, either before or after your little girl is born.
– In the No-Flow Zone
First of all, allow me to congratulate you on your amazing, unexpected pregnancy! Whatever one's religious beliefs, it's impossible to hear a story like yours, with this immense joy coming out of suffering and despair, and not feel grateful. Not only are you pregnant after doubting you ever could be, but you also have a chance to give your daughter the name you've cherished for years, without husbandly vetoes or uncooperative baby genders: a truly rare event!
– Need a Teflon Name
Schoolyard teasing can leave a deep mark on a child's developing sense of self. Understandably, then, future parents expend generous mental energy analyzing potential names from the vantage point of the class bully. Reasonable people don't want their kids to face ridicule and hardship for choices their parents made.