Alternatives to Audrey?

Audrey has been the frontrunner for this baby girl I'm carrying, thanks in part to some help from this forum, but I am just having trouble considering the matter settled. Can you help me think of some other names as alternatives?

What's giving me pause about Audrey: the current popularity, the similarity to the even more popular Aubrey, and the fact that Laura Wattenberg wrote that Audrey was the successor-name to Ashley and Courtney (which I read today, and is just not a style-goal I had in mind!). Also, the name seems maybe a little plain; I probably won't get lauded for my creativity. What I like about the name: the timeless feel, and that it doesn't seem to be a name that is "trying too hard." I like that it seems to be a name for a female of any age, in any era.

Other names that feel timeless to me are: Catherine, Julia, Elizabeth. But these names also seem a bit plain and ubiquitous. So I guess I actually want opposing things--sigh! Other names we have considered, but also aren't 100% behind: Gwendolen, Lucinda, Alice, Hazel. She'll join brother Silas. 


September 11, 2017 5:17 PM

I think it's lovely and yes it has those qualities you mention which are great and its easy to spell and pronounce

what about Katarina, Juliet and Eliza, Gwyneth, Gwenda, Lucy, Elyse, Leisel

Lucinda is lovely,  Alice, Hazel and Gwendolen are nice too.  Elizabeth, Catherine and Julia are lovely


Bethany  Tabitha  Lydia Priscilla  Magdalena Naomi Esther  Susannah Abigail Hannah Tamara Rebekah Leah Eve Jemima Sarah  Candace   Anna   Chloe  Hannah  Joanna   Kezia  Keren  Keturah  Micaiah   Phoebe   Talitha  Zipporah 

September 11, 2017 6:55 PM

Congrats on your baby!

I get what you're saying about Audrey. It's beautiful, but a little plain. 

I am a HUGE fan of Gwyneth. It seems like it may fit your taste. If so, I totally vouch for it!

Other suggestions: Amory, Arya, Beatrice, Blanche, Calla, Camellia, Camille, Charis, Emery, Greer, Gretchen, Gia, Harlow, Isla, Jessa, Jordan/Jordana/Jordyn, Juliana, June/Junia/Juno, Kharis, Lena, Lennox, Lola, Luna, Maren, Mirren, Rhea, Rowan, Sloane, Vivian

September 11, 2017 7:12 PM

Ashley and Courtney???  What was Laura thinking with that comparison?  That must have been based purely on sound.  Behind the Name has Audrey as a medieval dimunitive of a name I can't even type here because we don't use those letters/characters anymore!  (Something along the lines of Aedelpryd).  Audrey is far classier and more timeless than the other Courtney or Ashley.  Please don't let that comment in Laura's book dissuade you from using a perfectly nice name.


Clara is the one that immediately came to mind as an alternative to Audrey.  I could also see Eliza (Elizabeth) or Margot or Greta (Margaret) for you.  Maybe Imogen?

September 11, 2017 10:05 PM

If Audrey is the name you really love, than that should be her name.  Don't overthink it or fuss about others - this is not a market branding excercise.

September 12, 2017 6:16 PM

Not overthinking things isn't my strong suit! I wish I could just find a "good enough" name and be done with it...instead, I'm here thinking about how this will be my one chance in my lifetime (in eternity?) to name a daughter. I'm making myself miserable, yet I can't help it!

September 12, 2017 6:20 PM

Reading Laura's comparison to "Ashley and Courtney" kind of made me panic, I admit. Your comment makes me feel better. I really like Clara, but it rhymes with our last name. A confession: I've never heard the name Imogen pronounced (only read the name on baby name sites) and am not sure what it should sound like.

September 13, 2017 3:41 PM

Am I correct in remembering you're in Australia? Because I'm in the UK and here it would be said more like Im-oh-jin [im like the first part of imply, oh like, well just a short 'o' and jin like gin, and with a fairly even stress on each syllable] If I say it your way in my accent it sounds like I'm saying imagine weirdly but if I imagine your way said in an Australian accent then it makes sense. ;) 

September 13, 2017 4:51 PM

Hmm, and in my American accent both the last two vowels become more or less schwas, with the middle vowel sounding a lot like "uh" and the last syllable somewhere between jin and jen and jun. I would put primary stress on the first syllable and secondary on the last, probably, so it can't really sound like imagine (primary stress on the second syllable) to me no matter the vowels. Closest near-rhyme I can think of is something like hydrogen or nitrogen, but with a short-i in the first syllable.

September 13, 2017 7:15 PM

That's how I say it as well.

September 14, 2017 6:01 PM

Interesting :) Honestly my middle vowel for it is somewhere between 'oh' and 'uh', but I would consider oh to be the "correct" (received pronunciation) way of saying it and the uh creeping in being the laziness of my regional accent coming through.

September 14, 2017 12:14 AM

You can hear a bunch of people saying Imogen here.

September 12, 2017 3:48 AM

I think Audrey is lovely, not plain, and I would never in a hundred years think it was anything like Ashley or Courtney. It is more like Aubree, but Audrey Hepburn is so famous that I don't think you would meet many people who didn't know it was a different name.

However, just for fun: I like the suggestions of Imogen and Eliza.

Eliza being a character played by Audrey Hepburn had me cruise some of her other character names which gave me Marian and Sabrina.

Other thoughts: Susanna (classic but not overused), Marjorie, Amabel or Mabel, Matilda, Simone, Sybil (I seem to be gravitating to S names for you, but perhaps this is something you wish to avoid with a Silas).

Honestly, I would go with Audrey.

September 12, 2017 4:39 AM

I do associate Audrey with Ashley, but I don't see that as a reason not to use it (I don't see anything wrong with Ashley, either, other than its slight datedness).

That said, maybe Alma, Maude, or Birdie? They have similar sounds to Audrey, and are vintage revivals with some of the sweet, down-to-Earth feel of several names on your list. In the slightly more elaborate mold of Gwendolyn and Lucinda, maybe something like Coretta?

September 12, 2017 9:18 AM

My seven-year-old has a classmate named Ashley. Nowadays, _all_ of the old naming patterns have been thrown out the window, including the concept of datedness.

The only Audrey I know is my age. (Her siblings are Sylvia and George.) We did meet a young Audrey in one of my daughter's early swimming classes, and I remember being thrilled about the name: it's such a lovely, classic choice, with a long history, easy to remember yet distinctive. It's a lot like my name, Julia: people tend to remember it, most people spell it right, nobody ever pronounces it wrong based on the written name (or not in my recollection, anyway), and it's generally a very easy name to live with. (My only gripe with my name is a certain generation that defaults to Julie, which for some reason is Not My Name; this would not apply to Audrey, as I really don't think people would default to the much rarer Audra.)

You don't need alternatives. Audrey is lovely.

September 12, 2017 6:08 PM

I'm sure outliers with the name exist, but Ashley just screams 1980's/1990's to me. I find it hard to imagine there won't continue to be names that sound dated in the future--names like Miley and Tynslee, etc. But who knows!

Everything you listed about your name Julia I find so desirable in a name. So it's nice that you see those qualities in Audrey; it affirms a lot of the reasons I like the name too.

I agree Julie and Julia are totally different names!

September 12, 2017 11:28 AM

I think I responded to your last post very similarly to what I'm about to say, so excuse my repetition :) I love Audrey, think it is absolutely a great name. I do, however, understand your reservations about it being in the top 50, especially if you are looking for something more unique. I don't agree that it is equivalent at ALL to Ashley or Courtney, though. Audrey is much more timeless and classic! 

If you're dead set on looking at something else, the name that immediately sprang to mind for me is Iris. Also timeless but a little "zippier" IMO. Easy to spell and recognize but not as popular. Other ideas: Clementine, Maeve, Della, Leona, Tessa, Lenore, Naomi, Camilla, Ingrid, Francesca, Elisa.

September 12, 2017 5:56 PM

It makes me feel better to hear people say that it isn't the equivalent to Ashley or Courtney. Nothing against those names at all, but as a kid of the 1980's, I think I've just got a lot of fatigue with those names due to their wide use in my generation. I like Iris a lot but feel it may be too close in sound to Silas (also our issue with Alice). Your other suggestions seem to capture the style I tend to like (Quirky Classics?)--thanks!

September 12, 2017 5:58 PM

Ashley and Courtney,  no Audrey isnt the same equivilent,  it's a lovely classic name


Iris and Silas is way too close,  I think Alice and Silas is ok though

September 13, 2017 11:34 AM

Ah yes, I didn't take Silas into account... They definitely are very similar! Any other names that you are thinking of or that are top contenders?

September 12, 2017 12:09 PM

Hi! I just wanted to add my name to the chorus of people saying they like Audrey! I think it's unusual but classic. And if you're worried about it being too much like Aubrey, what about spelling it Audre? Somehow that makes the name seem less alike for me, and also it references the amazing poet Audre Lorde!

By mk
September 12, 2017 2:39 PM

I'm surprised to see Audrey in the top 40, since I have never met anyone with that name. I would not consider it plain, popular, or uncreative. Even if I did, so what? Impressing people with one's creativity is not the goal, so don't overthink it. If Audrey is the name you love best, then that's what matters.

September 12, 2017 5:46 PM

I was only joking about not getting lauded for my creativity, I swear! :) I am not really trying to impress people with my creativity above all else, but in a way, the name kind of fails to impress me, which does seem to matter to me. I guess it's the agony of having to make a choice, but it feels sort of anti-climactic to choose this name over all the names out there. On the other hand, I'm not sure I'd be willing to give my baby a particular name just because it was the coolest name I could think of. I can think of lots of "cool" names that don't seem right to bestow upon a person, just because I find the style intriguing right now. My heart is at odds with my practical brain. I wouldn't say I love this name best (and that's probably why I am finding it hard to commit to it), rather that it fulfills a number of requirements. It feels like something is missing, feelings-wise.

September 13, 2017 3:24 AM

How much do you feel the "fails to impress you" is tied to Audrey's position on the chart? Have you actually come across little Audreys in the context of your son's playgroups, etc.? 

I have an Ivy, which ranks around number 60 in my home country. This did slightly disenchant me with the name at one point, but it has honestly been a non-issue. We don't come across others, and everyone reacts with delight to the name (much the way this forum is reacting with delight to Audrey, despite being much more familiar with the top 100 than your average parent in the park).

I do think that name stress gets worse with final or penultimate children. With the first one the whole world of names is wide open to you, and when you love so many of them, it's hard to know that you are approaching the end of your chance to demonstrate your tastes and preferences through naming children.

Do you have a middle name chosen yet? Perhaps a standout middle could make at least the birth announcement seem jazzy, and if you like it, you could even use a double call name some of the time. Maybe something like Audrey Eloise, smooshed down to Audrey-Lou, Audrey Maeve, Audrey Blythe?

September 21, 2017 8:55 PM

Probably a lot of my hesitation and "disenchantment," as you put it, is tied to its chart position. Since this is very probably our last child, there IS  a sense of pressure from that (that I'm putting on myself). The middle names (two of them, per my husband's family's British-influenced tradition) are pretty much decided upon. They are family names, and they do add a bit more flair ("L@rk!n" and "Jest!n@"). So she'll have options, in any case.

September 13, 2017 12:35 AM

My eldest daughter is Audrey (she's now 5). While her name is slightly more popular than I imagined it would be, I wouldn't let that be a deal breaker. She has one other Audrey in Kindy at her school, and a friend's little sister. It was my grandmother's name, and I'm an Audrey Hepburn fan, so it was a no-brainer for us. We're in Australia, but we didn't come across any little Audreys when we lived in America last year and the year before.

Maybe you might like one of our other daughters' names as an alternative? Josephine or Dorothy. Clara was on our list when Dorothy was on the way too.

Good luck!

September 14, 2017 9:02 PM

I love Audrey and this is a great name. I also really like Audra and Auden, which is a close to the name. Adria and Audriana are other names with similar sounds. Good Luck!

September 15, 2017 2:03 PM

I too like Audrey.  It's the name of my 16 year old niece who was named for her grandmother.  I have overheard a fair number of Audreys and Aubreys in swim lessons, playgrounds, classrooms over the years and I almost certainly noticed them more because of my niece but it certainly isn't ubiquitous.  It does seem a bit more conservative (if that's the right word) than Silas and I wonder if that's where your hesitation lies.  From your list I would have expected Silas's parents to pick Hazel for their daughter.

September 21, 2017 8:47 PM

Yes, "conservative" is a good way to put it. My style isn't what I'd consider to be very conservative, and yet, I feel pulled to go in a more conservative direction with this girl's name. Maybe because traditionally girls were given the more trendy names. Maybe because she is a Capricorn. lol Who knows!

September 25, 2017 1:06 AM