Can you help me chose our first name?

It's me again! 3 months until baby and I'm anxious to narrow things down for our baby girl :)


Which is your favorite first name?


Julianne (originally we were liking Julia, but thought maybe this was a more modern version)

Julia (my only reservation is that it might be outdated and it's not a biblical name)

Josephine (hubby isn't crazy about it, he thinks it's okay, but it was my great grandmothers name and I like it)

Elisabeth (I like that it's biblical, but fear it's too plain)

Michelle (I know it's a bit dated, but it sounds pretty, is actually biblical (a form of Michael), and I like Shell as a NN)

Phoebe (cute, but our last name is Phelps, so we worry it will sound odd, but are not sure)



some middle name possibilities: 







thank you!!!!!!




December 20, 2015 11:19 AM

I'm so sorry- the title of this thread is not correct's about the first name, not the middle name. so sorry

December 20, 2015 12:28 PM

Julia isn't outdated. It had a slight peak a few years ago, but it was a very shallow/flat one, and even at its nadir in the 1970s (when I was named Julia) it never fell below 500 babies per million. In fact, it has never been out of the US top 150. (Lowest ranking ever was 141st, in 1976 and 1977.)

Of the "Julia + Anna" variants (not etymologically, just by sound and popular perception), Julianne is the most timeless in the U.S.; it has been in the top 1000 since about 1920, averaging about 60 babies per million.

Oh, and Julia is Biblical; it's mentioned once in Romans chapter 16, verse 15, as the name of one of several early Christians in Rome.

December 20, 2015 1:02 PM

Personally, I find Julianne much more dated than Julia, which is a lovely name. I would consider Juliana or Juliet to be the most modern.

The nice thing about Elizabeth is that it has a virtually infinite number of nn options. Lizzy, Eliza, Elsa, Beth, Bitsy, Ilse...

Phoebe Phelps is a bit much for me, but there are a lot of people who love alliteration like that, so it's a very subjective issue... 


My personal favorite of your options is Josephine Gretchen

December 20, 2015 2:23 PM

I love the name Julia, and I think it's truly timeless. I know Julias of all ages. 

I also like Julianne very much, as well as Julianna. I have a slight preference for Julia, but not for any particular reason.

The only variant I'd consider dated is Julie, which is date stamped to the 70s for me.

I like the rest of your choices as well, but it sounds like they are all runners-up, so I don't think you need to give them much thought, but just for fun....

I do agree Phoebe Phelps is a bit much; Elisabeth is classic and has tons of nns if you find it too plain; I love Josephine, but I think you have to rule it out if your husband is meh on it; Michelle is dated for me, but it's a pretty name. Michaela is another thought.


December 20, 2015 2:24 PM

I really like Julia, and I know a 1-year-old named Julia so it doesn't sound dated to me at all.

I agree that Phoebe would be a little much with Phelps, but I love the name otherwise!

My favorite of your suggestions is Julia. I would use Julia Frances if it was me :)

December 20, 2015 4:02 PM

I agree with what everyone said about Julia.  The name appears in the Bible but it's not exactly a Biblical character.  Juliana or Juliet is more contemporary but I like Julia the best.  I have a neice named Josephine, called Josie, and she's the cutest toddler with a very sweet and bubbly temperment.  It's been a favorite name of mine for its Regency feel, literary connection (Little Women) and nickname-ability. 

If you're looking for a version of Michael, why not Michaela instead of Michelle?  Michelle feels very 80's to me.

I'm a fan of alliteration, and I think Phoebe Phelps makes for a catchy combo.  I like the more subtle alliteration of Josephine Phelps though.  

December 20, 2015 5:10 PM

I really like them all. I prefer Julia over Julianne but agree with the person who said that the Julie form is the only variation that might sound dated. Michelle might sound a little dated but also may be happily unexpected on a 2016 baby. 

I can go either way on alliteration depending on the name. To me Phoebe Phelps kinda rolls off the tongue. "Who's in that movie?" "Oh, it's Phoebe Phelps. She is said to be an Oscar contender you know."

Sorry to venture into the fantastical, but that's how much that I think the name might be memorable!

December 20, 2015 5:19 PM

I love Julia- not dated at all! It is my favorite of your choices listed by far. I like Elisabeth, but honestly she would ALWAYS be correcting someone who wanted to spell it with a 'z.'  I love Josephine, as well. Michelle is NMS and definitely seems dated. I like Phoebe okay, but agree with it clashing with your last name. I think out of your listed names, I like Josephine Frances the best. I love Elizabeth Sloane together, but again I would not do it with the 's' just due to confusion.

December 20, 2015 6:41 PM

thank you so much for all the advice...

December 20, 2015 7:40 PM

Julianne Renee

Julia Sloane

Michelle might end up as Shelly. 

December 20, 2015 9:18 PM

My favourite is Elisabeth Renee.

December 20, 2015 9:51 PM

Well, if you are considering Michelle Biblical because of it's connection to Michael, then technically Julia should count as Biblical due to its connection to Julius.   However, the "Anne" part of Julianne does give you a more direct Biblical connection which seems important to you.  Because of this, my vote would go for Julianne over Julia.

Josephine is pretty & one of my favorites.  But I think both parents need to like the name.  If your husband was only OK and there weren't any other names he liked, I'd say go for it.  But with other names you both like, I think Josephine should probably be eliminated from consideration for the first name spot.  It would make a fantastic middle name and the middle position is a nice place to use a family name.  If you plan on more children later, I'll also put in a plug for keeping Josephine in reserve for another girl, or (even better IMO) using Joseph for a future boy.  I have a soft spot for cross-gender namesakes.

Elisabeth is lovely and I don't find it plain at all.  There are a ton of nickname options, so perhaps a spunky nickname would help it feel more exciting to you?

Michelle strikes me as very dated.  I'm really not a huge fan.

Phoebe is fantastic, just not with your last name.  The combination has a cartoon-character vibe for me.  This could be a plus for some, but it's just NMS.

Of your first names, my favorites for you are Julianne & Elisabeth.  If you don't want to save Josephine for later, I think something like Elisabeth Josephine would be fantastic. Julianne Josephine could also work if you don't mind alliteration, but my favoriate with Julianne is Frances.




December 21, 2015 1:04 AM

I know a Julianna, (ah sound in the middle) and it's interesting and uncommon but not unusual. I've always loved Annemarie, Annabeth, and Sarabeth. Biblical but two smashed together--makes them more interesting.

December 21, 2015 1:25 AM

I would recommend Julianna instead of Julianne, if your goal is "a more modern version of Julia."  Julianna will fit in with other on-trend names like Eliana, Lilianna, Ariana.

That said, I don't think there's anything wrong with using Julia.  As HNG noted, it is a biblical name, and it doesn't sound dated.  My favorites from your list would be Julia and Josephine.

Congratulations and good luck!

December 21, 2015 11:01 AM

Maybe I shouldn't have said more modern or trendy necessarily, but more unique or uncommon than Julia, which I hear quite a lot. thank you!

December 21, 2015 11:39 AM

I just want to quickly add Naomi as a possible first name as well. We keep going back and forth about this one. thank you so much!!!

December 21, 2015 12:11 PM

As others have mentioned, I think of Julia as a classic name and not outdated. It is also a biblical name, though only briefly mentioned. If those are your only reservations and you really love this name, I think you should go for it. You've mentioned Naomi in past posts and again in this one. I also love this choice for you. Based on what you've mentioned, Julia or Naomi seem to be better fits than the others. Phoebe is great but not a fit with your last name. Your husband doesn't love Josephine. Michelle is dated. And Elisabeth is beautiful but perhaps more expected than you were hoping for.

If you still aren't sold on Julia or Naomi... Junia is a Biblical name similar to Julia but is more of an unexpected choice. Lydia is also a beautiful Biblical option.

December 21, 2015 12:30 PM

thank you so much! It is so helpful to hear opinions other than my own running around in my head (and my husband of course, but he's not so opinionated)

December 21, 2015 12:48 PM

Once you narrow it down adding in the middle names could help with the final decision.

From your list I like:

Julia Sloane

Naomi Renee

Julia Frances and Naomi Frances are also lovely choices.


December 21, 2015 7:31 PM

I think Naomi Josephine is a lovely combo.

December 22, 2015 12:02 AM

I'm not a fan of Naomi. Makes me think of old ladies. 

December 23, 2015 2:51 AM

So funny because the only Naomis I ever met have been under 10. I guess it's true, all naming is local.

December 23, 2015 1:24 PM

I don't know any Naomis at all!

December 22, 2015 4:34 AM

I'm not much help. Since you first showed up asking for thoughts on Naomi Frances I've just thought that was the perfect name. A lot of the others are nice, but Naomi Frances is still head and shoulders above the rest for me. :) Naomi Josephine is also lovely, if you can talk your husband into it on account of the family connection.

I will say that unlike others, I don't mind Michelle. I disliked it in high school, because it was so popular among my generation, but I think it has nice sounds and would stand out quite a bit on a baby born now.

December 23, 2015 4:31 PM

Personally, I'm a fan of Julianne (Sloane if you're looking for the middle name to go with). My mother was a Julia and people always thought she was Julie for some reason; it has always sounded plain to me. My second choice would be Josephine (again With Sloane) only because I like he nickname Josie :)

December 23, 2015 5:58 PM

I actually really like the name Phoebe Phelps. I can hear it as a person's name. I think I would use it with Renee. 

I also like Josephine as a first or middle name.