American Girl Redux

Jan 21st 2010

In August, I wrote about the names of the American Girl doll series with a focus on their latest historical character, Rebecca Rubin. Her name, I concluded, was a reasonable choice but not really representative of the early-20th Century period. I suggested Sadie as an alternative that would "hit the quadruple-bullseye of Jewish heritage, period feel, informal style and modern appeal."

Fast forward to this week. My eight-year-old daughter just read Meet Rebecca, the doll's accompanying storybook. She eagerly related the highlights, including Rebecca's struggles with her annoying older sisters Sophie and...Sadie.

I tip my cap. You can't put anything over on those American Girl folks. In fact, the book's gallery of Rebecca's family and friends reads like a sibling set from the Baby Name Wizard book. Sophie, Sadie, Leo, Benny and Max sit right at the fashionable intersection of "Antique Charm" and "Guys and Dolls."

For girls, further options abound -- Lillie, Ruby, Lena, Lucy, Ella, Molly, Nell, and on and on. For boys, though, it's slimmer pickings. If you're looking for a dark horse candidate, there's just one more name in the Rebecca gallery: Victor. In America today, Victor is usually heard as a Spanish name. Back in fictional Rebecca Rubin's time, though, it sounded more like Sophie, a multi-ethnic classic with Mitteleuropa gravitas but a twinkle in its eye.


January 25, 2010 10:54 PM

I was just browsing through some NameLady posts I had missed while away. I came across the name Doris. I remember we were talking about -is names recently and wanted to add this to the list. I love Alexis for its spunkiness but Doris has that studious no-nonsense vibe. Plus it feels a bit throwback to me. Also, I went to Hs with a lovely girl by this name. She fit all of the above characteristics. Any takers?

By hyz
January 25, 2010 11:35 PM

My "O" name is Oliver--I know it's gotten fairly trendy/common, but I find it so charming I love it anyway. Orson is also a contender. For girl O names, I might do Opal or Odessa. If I had to go for a U name, that's a little harder, maybe Ulrike (nn Ulla?) or Unity for a girl, and Urban for a boy? Y is challenging too, maybe Ysolde or Yvette for a girl, and Yuriy or Yves for a boy?

By hyz
January 25, 2010 11:38 PM

zoerhenne, due to personal acquaintances, Doris is still very elderly to me, and also slightly annoying. More objectively, though I can see its charms--probably mostly for the hipster set now, but maybe more widespread in 15 or 20 years.

By scuba22 nli (not verified)
January 25, 2010 11:46 PM

daisy_kay--I agree with Rjoy but your story also made me think of how I decided on a college. I was so torn at the time that I flipped a coin. When I got 'heads,' I was disappointed that I didn't get 'tails.' It wasn't until then that I realized I really wanted to go to the 'tails' school--and I did go and loved it. I know that's probably not much help considering your husband already voiced his opinion (and choosing a college is very different from choosing a name for your child), but I thought I'd put in my two cents:) Good luck--they're both great names!

Did anyone see the Baby Name Wizard twitter that Alice is one of the top girl names in Sweden?

By Anna S (not verified)
January 26, 2010 12:04 AM

I thought A- names had always been more numerous than other vowel-names. Not just like right now when vowel-names are trendy but also when they were not?

I like A. (But I'm Anna so maybe I'm biased...). I like the sound - soft but still mature, in contrast to the diminuitive E and I /ee/ sounds. I also like O. But there are just not as many O- names as there are A- names. Odessa is one of my favourites, that's the only one I can think of right now. And then there's Audrey; an A- name with more of an O-sound. U has never really been my thing, for probably not entirely logical reasons I find the sound really dorky?!

January 26, 2010 12:05 AM

suki b- it’s really interesting that you mentioned Eden. I was just thinking about it today. I was rethinking some of the names on our list because I do feel like they're a bit different in style than our sons' names. This led me to Eve because my husband and I really liked that name a while ago but it’s too close to Levi, and Eve led me to think of Eden. I think it actually sounds good, though much less obviously jewish/hebrew than our sons names. It would also be easier for our friends who are not really associated with jewish naming to pronounce/understand which is good. I still have to present all this to dh. My 3 year old has been sick and dh was traveling so it’s been hectic around here. Any feelings on the name Eden? Does it sound good with Judah and Levi? Stylistically is it too different?

By Anna S (not verified)
January 26, 2010 12:13 AM


Alice is in the Swedish top 10. Crown princess Victoria has Alice as one of her middle names after her grandmother. Alice was also popular around 80 years ago, but mainly in Sweden and not in the other Scandinavian countries. In a way I think it has been sort-of adopted in Sweden as a Swedish name, while that just didn't happen in Denmark and Norway. Therefore it is still a foreign name there and not as popular.

By another Laura (not verified)
January 26, 2010 12:17 AM

I love the name Eden. (I babysat for a little girl named Eden some 15 years ago.) I didn't suggest it to you initially b/c it does have somewhat of a different style vibe than your sons' names. But it's not so different as to make it unworkable. Hope your dh likes it.

January 26, 2010 12:45 AM

I will pass along your suggestions. I may be back for more but it will be almost 2 weeks till she returns stateside...

Thank you :)

By Rjoy (not verified)
January 26, 2010 1:54 AM

Eden is a lovely name. I think it goes well with your son's names. But remember this, it is VERY close to the ever popular name Aidan.

January 26, 2010 10:24 AM

I don't really care one way or another for vowel names, but there are a number of them I'd use.

For girls:

For boys:

I'm sure there's more (I'm on the fence with Augustus) but this is what I'm thinking. There are a few others that straddle the vowel-consonant line like Joaquina that I like, too.

January 26, 2010 11:13 AM

I am also a vowel addict! I love girl E names in particular...Eleanor, Eden, Evelyn, Eloise, Edith, etc.

Oh, and this reminds me of a small challenge I've been meaning to throw out here. My cousin is due about 4 weeks before me, and neither of us are sharing our baby names. I know we're having a girl, they decided to wait and find out, so I emailed her to ask what the first letter of their girl name is, just in case we have the same name picked out, I'll need time to adjust to not using Eleanor!

She replied: It starts with an "O", and it's not Olivia, Olive, or Olga (those are the only 'normal' girl "O" names that are coming to mind. :)

I answered: Olympia? Orly? Opal? Oona? Octavia? Oh wait, Oprah? :)

She said: Good guesses. However, all incorrect. I just found a random graph that showed our "O" name has not made it in the top 1000 baby names for the US since at least 1880. However, outside of the US, it tends to be a bit more common...its peak common year was around 1998...Just thought I'd add to the riddle/mystery a bit.

So all you NEs...any guesses?? Sorry, you'll have to wait till March 28th to find out if you were correct!

January 26, 2010 11:27 AM

Anne with an E:

My first instinct was Ofelia, but I'm going to guess Oksana.

By Bue (not verified)
January 26, 2010 11:40 AM

My first instinct is Ophelia, too.

Oceane? (Super popular in Quebec, so who knows!)

Does she have any specific ethnicities she might be drawing from?

By knp (not verified)
January 26, 2010 12:15 PM

My best guess is Oriana, but also Oda, Orla

January 26, 2010 12:25 PM

I'm guessing Odile or Odette. They're reasonably well-known and used in France.

January 26, 2010 12:27 PM

I also thought Ophelia at first. What about...October? (We know a little girl named October, nn Toby),..Odelia?...Odette?...Onyx? That's a very fun game, I could keep guessing but I should probably fold some laundry!

Also, mentioned Eden to DH this morning and he seemed to like it. He said he'd want to make her hebrew name Chava (Eve in Hebrew) since it's a name he likes though can't be a fn because it sounds bad with our last name and Eve and Eden are clearly related. I was trying some first/middle name combos but haven't come up with any great ones yet...tried Eden Zipporah and Eden Aviva...not loving either though and I might want to save those names if we have another daughter! Decisions, decisions.

January 26, 2010 12:28 PM

Valerie, we clearly think alike! My guess would be for Odelia or Odette.

January 26, 2010 12:53 PM

My instinct was for specifically Ofelia and not Ophelia, because Ofelia is the Spanish cognate. Ophelia, as the English cognate, had more popularity back in the 1900s, so it can't be the name. Ofelia sounded like a better bet, but unfortunately, it cracked the top thousands in the 1930s, so it's not that, either.

Oksana's never been in the American Top 1000, though.

January 26, 2010 1:03 PM

Becky-Eden is a lovely name but for me doesn't match your others. I see it as sort of a Christian/Biblical name while the others I see more main stream or Jewish. Eden doesn't read Jewish to me but maybe it's just me. (as I was proofreading this I noticed I added an A to it once-would Edena/Edina work?)

Anna S-You are right there are more A names to choose from in general but 101?!

Anne with an E-Fun challenge. Good guesses so far. My first thought was also Ophelia. My final answer is ...Ondine or Ondrea.

By another Laura (not verified)
January 26, 2010 1:09 PM

The little girl, Eden, whom I knew had a Jewish background.

January 26, 2010 1:27 PM

eden doesn't read jewish to me either, and does strike me as very different from your sons' names, but, as it has been said before, if you disagree and/or don't care, it really doesn't matter what i or anyone else think.
i don't know why eden doesn't sound jewish to me, as it's clearly from genesis. it doesn't sound christian to me either though. to me, it sort of falls into the group of modern noun names. it's the sort of name i'd group with trinity, destiny, and heaven (though i like it better and find it prettier than any of those). maybe i'm just saying this because i'm longing for a zipporah. :]

anne with an e,
fun game! my first instinct was also ophelia, but i think the best suggestions are oksana, odile, and odette. i'm going with odile or odette, probably leaning towards odette. it's very swan-lakey, which is a nice connection. (i'm going with odette over odile because odile was the villain in that story.)

By Amy3
January 26, 2010 2:34 PM

I'll guess Odette. That sounds like a name that would have been popular in the 1880s.

January 26, 2010 4:37 PM

My first thought with Eden is also more Christian than Jewish. Maybe cuz it's such a strong part of Christian tradition. Like it's a key story you hear, maybe not even only in Christianity, but in U.S. culture more broadly, it's a well-known trope. (I'm thinking of how it's referenced in the opening credits of Desperate Housewives, for example.) I wonder, are most of the frequently used Jewish names more strongly Jewish than Christian? How much overlap is there? And how frequently are the overlapping names used by Jews?

And like emilyrae, I also see Eden as similar to names like Trinity. I guess because it seems like a more recent religious name, maybe like part of the place name trend. (Like Canaan maybe?) It might be also because of the accessibility of Eden; I guess this is related to what I said above about it being a well-known trope. That is, you don't have to know much about Christianity/Judaism to know Eden.

Just my two cents.

By Momtoalmost4 (not verified)
January 26, 2010 5:05 PM

Sorry to chime in with a bunch of questions, but I've lurked here a long time and really love all the help you're all willing to give! And this post is full of names I love.

I'm due with baby #4 here any day. We are not set on a name, and I'm getting STRESSED! Here's the problem. We have 2 girls already, both vowels (Ava and Eliza) and this baby is another girl. We're pretty much down to Caroline or Amelia, though I'd say Amelia probably has a leading edge. Here are my questions:

*Are Ava, Eliza and Amelia too much as sibling sets?

*Is Amelia going to take off like Ava did? (It wasn't nearly this popular when we picked it 7 years ago!)

*We like family names as middle names- thus far, Georgia is our only pick. This creates two problems. One, it sounds better with Caroline but reminds me of 2 states back to back when used together. So Amelia would win out, but Amelia Georgia doesn't sound great. So do we do it despite the sound, knowing it has sentimental value?

Also, any suggestions for cute nicknames for Caroline? I don't love the ones I've heard from family so far.

THANKS for any help!

January 26, 2010 5:21 PM

I totally see how Eden doesn't sound as "jewish" as most of the other names on my list. I think it's interesting though as it is seen as "biblical" when it does come from the old testament/ the Torah, and derives from the hebrew עדן which translates to Eden. It is definitely more modern though than most hebrew names that are traditionally used.

Re RobynT: in Judaism we also hear the story of Eden every year as the Torah is read in full each year with one portion each week. We have a holiday called Rosh Hashana where we begin the jewish new year by starting over at the beginning of the torah. it is also believed that on this day G-d creation man which in the Torah is the story of Eden. So the story holds a great deal of importance in Judaism as one of out highest and holiest holidays derives from this story.

There are a ton of names that are jewish that are used by people who are of all religions. I think the best example would be Sarah, wife of Abraham, who is the "mother" of the Jewish people. I know plenty of non-Jewish sarah's even though it is a name of great importance in Judaism. Just looking at the top 20 names from last year many are the names of important jewish figures (i.e Jacob, David, Joseph, Noah, Sarah). Interestingly there are many names that jews choose not to use because they are more associated with christianity and saints, such as James, Christopher/Christian (for obvious reasons) and Nicholas.

FWIW most names we associate with Judaism are English versions of Hebrew names, like Rachel (hebrew is Ra-hel), Rebecca (Riv-ka), Jacob (Yakov). Growing up I went by Rivkey (a nn for Rivka, hebrew version of my name, Rebekah), but now that I am much less religious as an adult I go by Becky or Rebekah.

January 26, 2010 5:36 PM

Re Momtoalmost4: I personally like the sound of Ava, Eliza and Amelia more than Ava, Eliza and Caroline but I think they are both lovely names and either would fit. I have a friend named Caroline and she usually just goes by Caroline but I've heard her called Car and Carrie, and Cara could also be a cute nickname. Amelia Georgia is a bit of a mouthful but one of our sons is named Judah Elias and it tends to be hard to say because of the "ah" and "el" sounds eliding, making it sound like Judahlias, but it's really not an issue and I loved the name Judah and Elias is a family name that we kind of had to use. So I say go for whichever first name makes you the most happy!

January 26, 2010 5:53 PM

momtoalmost4 - I prefer Caroline with your current sibset. While Amelia is a lovely name, 3 'a' endings is too much for me personally. Also where I am (Australia) Amelia is very very popular, more popular than Ava. I'm pretty sure Amelia is going to go top 10 in the US in the next few years. I also think Caroline Georgia sounds great and much better than Amelia Georgia. All the Carolines I know go by there full name.

January 26, 2010 5:58 PM

Anne with an e - fun game. We play this in my family too - except that as the time approaches we get extra clues! Maybe you can get us another clue before the four weeks are up! :) Anyway, my guess is Orla - since it is so pretty and one I've always liked. I like Ophelia too, but it's just too tragic for my taste.

Momtoalmost4 - I don't think Amelia is too much as a sibset though with the all vowel beginnings and @ endings I would probably mix them up. As for popularity, I know several friends with recent Amelias, but none with Carolines so I suppose it depends where you are. According to NameVoyager Amelia and Caroline are almost equally popular but when you look at NameMapper you see the Caroline's are restricted to the SE US where the Amelias are more distributed.

I love family names and think a family connection trumps any worries about sounding like two states. I think Georgia works with either fn. It's my general feeling that mn ending with @ are harder to match up with a fn but that they often go best with fn ending in @. Another nn option - Linny.

By kerry (not verified)
January 26, 2010 6:07 PM

Anne with an E-

My guess would be Ottilie.

It was in the top 1000 in 1880. According to wikipedia (insert disclaimer about taking everything from wikipedia with a grain of salt), that was the height of its popularity in the US but it is a bit more common in German-speaking countries.

By Momtoalmost4 (not verified)
January 26, 2010 6:16 PM

Thanks to all the help thus far. I'm feeling much better about little Amelia Georgia. :)

We usually call Eliza either Liza or Lyzie anyway, and I'm guessing Amelia would end up with her own nickname (Mia? Millie?) so the all vowels and all ending in a is only a worry at times. Ava, Liza and Millie or Ava, Liza and Mia don't seem quite as confusing. I think having 4 kids is going to mix me up all the time anyway. We shall see!

January 26, 2010 6:16 PM

Thanks for playing along with the "O" name game--there are a number of names I hadn't even thought of! Now I just need a sneaky way to get more hints... :)

I honestly have no idea what cultures they might be looking at, except I do know that they went to Uganda last year, not sure if that could influence things? And they themselves both have really common names, probably top 10 for their years of birth, so that makes it harder for me to pinpoint their style.

January 26, 2010 6:25 PM


I prefer Amelia to Caroline, but if you are looking to avoid popular choices, you can add to your list.

Amelia is #68 as of 2008, and has popped up a lot in discussions here lately. It has been on the rise, and may be peaking based on momentum, but the name is also #15 in Vermont in 2008. Vermont tends to be a bellwether state, so I'd expect Amelia to keep rising for now.

If you live in the Southwest/California, Amelia should be safe for now. The name hasn't become as popular there.

Caroline, on the other hand, is #94 and falling. It is most common in the Southeast (as mentioned by maviris) so it will be even less common if you don't live there.

There's a name that combines some of the feel of both Amelia and Caroline, while still avoiding popularity. Coming in at #634, how do you feel about Camilla? Another possibility, not even ranked, is Carmela.

By another Laura (not verified)
January 26, 2010 6:25 PM

maviris- interesting point about finding fn ending in -a to match up with a mn ending in -a. In the past I've considred passing my name (L@ur@) down as a mn, but I have never found a combo where I like the way it sounds in the middle position.

By knp (not verified)
January 26, 2010 6:45 PM

Momtoalmost4: Do you feel like Amelia Georgette would still honor your family member? It has better flow to me. If this doesn't work, go with Georgia--sentimental value wins every time.
Caroline might be less matchy as a sibset, but your nn options show how different the names are. I think you should go with the one you love the most. I do like Amelia better than Caroline, myself.
I assume you have a son (as the 4th child), what is his name? If you are worried about how Amelia and Caroline fit into your expanding sibset, don't forget his name too!

I only see Amelia's popularity going up. It is a perfect fit between Emily, Emma, Olivia, Ella...

As for Caroline nn's, there are a TON of options. Off the top of my head: Clio, Cara, Lina, Carrie... one of my faves Caro, and others. I'll let the nn experts on the board chime in on that.

Re: Eden-- while I do feel like Eden is more like Heaven or Destiny as a name, I do not see it as "Jewish" OR "Christian" just religious in general. But, I like Eden better than Heaven and Destiny. Of course, it is quite similar in sound to Aoibheann (or Eaven), which I like too.

By knp (not verified)
January 26, 2010 6:46 PM

Oh, I forgot. I finally found a reason to appreciate the name Nevaeh (nothing against those that like it)--- I was doing a wordfind puzzle today and was able to find "heaven" easily when it was upside down because my eye caught on nevaeh! :)

By Momtoalmost4 (not verified)
January 26, 2010 6:47 PM

You guys are great. Thanks for all the insight. Yes, our other one is a son, Grant. I don't worry so much about his since he's a boy and has a very straight forward, basic name. So I guess I should mention his, but I feel like he can stand alone being the only boy around here. :)
Thanks again! Lots of things to think about.

January 26, 2010 8:59 PM

Becky-Maybe I shouldn't have said "Christian" as my religious background is nil. I just meant that it seemed to not fit what I recognized in my circle to be a Jewish vs. non-Jewish name. However, as you have pointed out there are many names which are interchangeable and in the long run it probably doesn't matter anyway. emilyrae made a good connection to the other virtue/word names of Heaven, Destiny and Trinity. I would agree.

momtoalmost4-I love both Amelia and Caroline as standalone names but would probably pick Georgia for you for a few reasons. #1)You already love it and dh is on board #2)It's a family name #3)It matches with Grant's name and #4)It doesn't start with a vowel. Upthread we covered how some of us love vowel names. I think Ava, Eliza match but not too much. You need something w/o an L, A, or I stress. Amelia is not it to me. Georgia has an R stress so works better. Caroline works well too but just isn't my first choice. So if it were me I'd choose Georgia Caroline.

Btw, Linnaeus and maviris, I know 2 Caroline's of about age 6 in my area. None listed in my locals for last yr but 2 Cara's, 2 Amelia's, and 1 Georgia.

By AndiK (not verified)
January 26, 2010 9:49 PM

What about Callie as a Caroline nickname?

By hyz
January 26, 2010 11:29 PM

Hey, I like Georgia Caroline! But I think Caroline Georgia is very nice, too. I get what you're saying about the double state thing, but I would focus on which first name you like the best, not which sounds best with the middle name. If it were me, I think both Caroline and Amelia are nice, but I'd pick Caroline because I do personally prefer it to Amelia, and because of what others have noted about the popularity issue, and because I think it goes better with your other kids' names.

By hyz
January 26, 2010 11:37 PM

Re: Eden, FWIW, I have neighbors (husband and wife) named Al3c and Ed3n, which makes me think of Adam and Eve. I seem to remember his name ok, but I'm always accidentally calling her Eve. Oops. Anyway, I think Eden is a lovely name (I loove the amazing imagery of a natural paradise that it immediately calls to mind), but I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people call her Eve throughout her life. Also, my first guess would be that someone named Eden *wasn't* Jewish, but I agree with the reasoning that it's a perfectly appropriate name for a Jewish child, so I'd feel free to use it unless I wanted my kid's name to make her *appear* Jewish.

By Kanadiana (not verified)
January 27, 2010 12:52 AM

I think Eden is lovely.

January 27, 2010 4:31 AM

@Anne with an E - I've been thinking about your little challenge and I think that Otillie fits best with the clues. I also happen to love that name! It sounds like you are going have a beautifully named baby cousin soon judging from the clues.

@momtoalmost4 - I like Eden but it is very different to the other names you are considering. I see Eden as more trendy than religious (of any persuasion). I should also point out that another forum I post on has 2 little boy Eden's. I personally see it as a girl name but it does seem to go across gender lines. Something to be wary of! I am personally pulling for Zipporah for you :)

Oh and the conversation about loving vowel names - I have an obsession with A names for both boys and girls. C is also a favourite letter of mine (although obviously not a vowel). I'm fond of E and O names too but there aren't quite as many on my list of those. I passionately dislike U names.....

oh and hyz - I think you just have a thing for the letter 'v'. Ivy, Oliver and Sylvia/Sylvan (these were on your list weren't they?).

By Betsy 2 (not verified)
January 27, 2010 10:20 AM

I feel about Lucy similarly to all of the comments and worries about Ruby... would you all agree? I love Lucy; it is currently out of the top 100 but clearly on the rise; its popular in the UK and other countries; and Laura predicted it in the top of the charts in the next ten years. For all of those who commented on the popularity of Ruby, do you see Lucy as just as much so?

By another Laura (not verified)
January 27, 2010 10:31 AM

I think Lucy and Ruby are definately on the same trajectory.

By Guest (not verified)
January 27, 2010 11:23 AM

I have been an occasional lurker to this blog and felt the need to pipe in on this post. We named our daughter Alice in 2007, before Twilight and (the new) Alice in Wonderland. We just thought it was a lovely, classic, feminine name. We paired it with my grandmother's name as her middle name. She is the only Alice I have met in our circles, and everyone seems to like it. Once I started hearing about the above-mentioned uses of it in popular culture, however, I began fearing that it would inevitably become the next Emma or Ava. Not that there is anything wrong with those names - both are lovely. And I don't mind Alice rising in popularity; given the trends in classic, "English" names, it seems likely. I'd just hate for her to be "Alice #3" in her class (I happen to have one of the top 3 names of the 70s, and have always hated that) or for people to think we named her after a movie. The commenters on here seem to think it WON'T be such a blockbuster. I will be interested to see Laura's post on the name (although I hope no one else reads it!) :)

By hyz
January 27, 2010 11:32 AM

Chimu, lol, yes, I definitely also have a thing for the letter V. In addition to Ivy, Oliver, and Silvan/Silvia (I'm leaning toward the "I" spellings for these now), I really love Averil, Everett, Lavender, Vera, Verena, Verity, and Geneva. And a bunch more, but those are just the ones from my current list. I don't know how it happened, but I seem to be pretty stuck on V. :)

January 27, 2010 12:08 PM

i've been thinking: we may have discussed this name for you before (i'm not sure), but i think june would be fantastic. i think ivy and june are just adorable together. :] in fact, i kind of wish i had a pair of something (dogs, cats, stuffed animals, anything!) so that i could name them june and ivy. :]

By hyz
January 27, 2010 12:35 PM

emilyrae, I think we did discuss June here a few months ago, and I do love it, especially with Ivy. My biggest concern with it is that I do kind of feel like a person named June should be born in June (unlike the August/August situation), or at least have some clear reason why they are called June even though they were born in November, or whatever. I could probably come around on this with enough rationalization (lol), but that's my current feeling, anyway. My other concerns with June were that it may be too short with DH's LN, and that we plan to give a future son (should there be one) a Korean name containing the syllable Joon. On the other hand, I do love June, and it evokes just the right feel for me (sweet but not frilly, vintagey, naturey), and it's my mom's middle name and she'd be sooo thrilled if we used it.

January 27, 2010 1:05 PM

oooh, i do remember this conversation now. i don't feel that way about junes being born in june, as we so often disregard the meanings of names anyway (i actually almost feel the opposite: that calling a april-born child "april" is a bit cheesy). but i see what you're saying. people would be like, "why did you choose june? it makes me think of summer and it's november now." though saying that you're honoring your mother seems like a pretty good excuse to me.

i have friends who are in a similar situation with the very short, curt last name (though they like jane, not june). so many factors to try to juggle!