–No Clashing Please
Ah, naming children—the only activity that doesn't get easier with practice! I've helped sib-set stumped parents before and it's abundantly clear that the addition of an extra variable (namely, your existing child) exponentially increases fears of failure.
– Not Afraid of Ghosts
Casper may be one of the most famous pop-culture ghosts around, but he was a friendly ghost! I’m with you in thinking the fear of Casper is a little overblown. Even Oscar gets a lot more baby-name love, and he's best known as a grouchy, ill-mannered monster who makes his home in a trash can.
The irony is that Remy won't come across as religious at all, even though it's a saints name, while Evangeline sounds spectacularly saintly when in fact it comes from a poem (Longfellow's Evangeline: a Tale of Acadie) and isn't a traditional religious name. And yet, style can indeed trump meaning. I don't think any parents of Claudias intended to call their daughters "lame." Nor must boys named Calvin inevitably grow up to be bald.
No, Covie is not traditional as a given name, surname, place name, or any other kind of established name. But is it "really" a name? It will be, if you give it to your daughter! After all, what makes a name a name is use. Writers have been inventing names for centuries, including now-familiar names like Amanda, Evangeline, Jessica, and Wendy. And parents have often chosen surnames and words to become first names, or adapted traditional names with nicknames or variants.
My daughter would like to keep up with the same theme, kind of, and has been thinking about Valentino or maybe even Casanova. Most everyone can't stand those names, and she isn't sure of them either. I have suggested Royce, Rhett, and Ryker—going with "R" names. I even like Lorenzo, keeping up with the "O" at the end. Any input, advice, or name suggestions would be much appreciated!
You've made some smart suggestions, Grandma. Romeo is a tough act to follow! Steering your daughter toward complimentary names that don't fall into the category of "notorious romantic fictional characters" seems wise. And Romeo has much more familiarity, and usage, as a contemporary first name than Casanova does (according to the U.S. Social Security Administration, it's given to fewer than 10 baby boys a year).
–Name Her, Name Her Not
This kind of nicknaming is not only accepted, but classic: think Eldrick "Tiger" Woods, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, or Mary "Sissy" Spacek. But you're right that it’s less common today than it once was. Contemporary parents often favor full names without nicknames: James but not Jimmy, Elizabeth instead of Beth. Or they go straight for the nickname, especially in the U.K., where names like Rosie, Evie, and Lexi are climbing popularity charts.
--'Tis the Season
This has been a cultural change over time, which means that while your view was once the prevailing one, opinion has now shifted toward your friend's position. It used to be that seasonal names were selected based on the season. But today, style trumps meaning, and April and June are farther apart in style than they are on the calendar. June is enjoying the 100-year resurgence that we often see in baby-name style trends (the name peaked in 1910 and has been on its way up again since 2008).
The Name Lady doesn't give opinions on style, since that's in the eye of the beholder. So I'm not going to give a yay-or-nay vote on your pick. But it is my job to share opinions on how the rest of the world might perceive that pick, as an expert, objective observer.
–Not as Picky About Names
Perhaps it will help to know, my not-so picky pal, that you're in good company. Over the years, I've responded to scores of questions from women like you, frustrated that their naming partners seem to be both full of criticisms and utterly short on ideas. I'll suggest some strategies for helping your husband tone down his name-negativity below.
You're not alone in this. Many girls your age and a little older question the names they were given at birth. As you explore your identity, your little-girl name feels like it just doesn't fit. This is a positive move—it's all part of growing up!