Expecting #3 - Please disregard previous post!

Hi namers, 

I just found out I'm about 6-weeks along with #3.  I know I'm starting early, but with my first two I had a heck of a time deciding.  Both times we narrowed to two names and left the hospital with a name that wasn't a contender going in!  I'm very indecisive. 

With my first two I wanted quirky, classic names that weren't too popular (top 25) and had nickname options.  We ended up with classic names with nickname options.  I think when you are in the hospital feeling pressured, you go with the safer choice.  At least this has been my experience. I don't regret my kids names, and we used a family name in the middle for both.  

Our daughter is Alexandra Rose (goes by Alex) and our son is Henry Thomas.  We want something that fits but that is a little more unique.  Please give any thoughts about the names listed and add any you can think of.  Of course, I feel like I've considered every possible name out there!!  

Girl's middle will most likely be Faye but could be a double with Faye and Denise.  Boy's middle will be Frederick, Donald (blah), or James. 

Thanks in advance!! 


Vanessa- A recent addition.  It goes well with the sibset.

Vivian-  Not my favorite but goes with the others and I like nickname options. 

Romy- My husband's favorite but I don't think it fits with the other two.



Natasha - too obvious with Alexandra?

Gwyneth- I love the name Gwen but my husband doesn't like it on its own, so it's Gwyneth or Gwendolen.  I'm not loving Gwendolen; it's too fairy tale for me.  I know everyone thinks Paltrow with Gwyneth, but she would go by Gwyn mostly.   I love the combo Gwyneth Faye 

Boys: We may have to start from scratch with these. My favorite boy's name is Alec but can't use it because of Alex. 

Miles - husband's favorite

Charles or Charlie








November 22, 2013 3:13 PM

Gywneth Faye is really nice. Charles Frederick is a great name for a boy.

November 22, 2013 4:30 PM

Congratulations!  My favorites of your girl names are Vivian and Gwyneth.  I think both go well with Faye.  And this is probably just me, but with the name Vanessa I can only think of The Cosby Show.  Not necessarily a bad thing (it's a pretty name), but it seems a little more dated than the others.

I like Miles, Charles, or Eli for a boy, and they all sound great with Frederick.

November 22, 2013 5:02 PM

Congratulations, jujube! So exciting! You can never start thinking about names too early in my  opinion ;)

You have some great options! I have always loved Vanessa and think it is classic, pretty, and underused. I knew a girl growing up whose friends called her "Nessa" and I always thought that was cute. Or you could call her "V," it's a cool letter (if letters can be cool) to shorten it to. So that one gets my vote for #1! My second choice is Gwen. I prefer Gwendolen, but don't dislike Gwyneth. I think the "eth" ending makes it sound more formal to me, like I'm listening to a Shakespearean play (just the vibe I get for some unknown reason, that is all). I know a couple who just named their daughter Gwyneth and call her Gwen exclusively and it's super cute. Gwyneth Faye is very enchanting! Actually, I think Alex, Henry and Romy sound cute together! I don't think it's too far off stylistically. It would be if Alex went by Alexandra, but since she goes by Alex it fits in better. Blythe and Margo feel very different to me than your kids' names. Not bad by any means, though.

For the boys, I think I like Miles the best. It seems go best with your kids' names. That or Eli. I'm not a big fan of surnames, so Fletcher, Schroeder and Holden don't really strike me. Though of the three Fletcher is my favorite. I think Jack goes well but my area is oversaturated with little Jacks (though all adorable). Clive is interesting! I like it as a name but not sure if I like it with your kids.

Congratulations again - I can't wait to hear more as your pregnancy progresses!

November 22, 2013 7:57 PM

Thank you all for the feedback!! I see what you mean about Gwyneth and Shakespeare!  When I think of  Gwendolen, I think Merlin! Haha! I wish I could get to Gwen without the associations.  I think Fletcher, Holden, and Schroeder are souring on me too. :). 

I really love Romy.  I'm going to have to seriously consider this.

November 22, 2013 7:05 PM

I love Vanessa, and Vanessa Faye flows nicely.

What about Rosemary, nicknamed Romy? Alexandra, Henry, and Rosemary fit together well while also getting your husband's favorite in there.  (I don't think a Rose middle name for big sister rules out Rosemary for a younger sister's first name.)

For a boy, I like Miles Frederick and Eli James best.

November 22, 2013 8:03 PM

Interesting suggestion because Rosemary is my sister's name!  My daughter got Ztheo name Rose from her and my grandmother.  My sister's name is both of our grandmothers' names combined to get Rosemary.  I did consider Rosamund by my husband didn't love it.  I wonder if there is another name to get to Romy.

November 22, 2013 8:26 PM

What about Ramona nn Romy? 

Other ideas:
Andromeda, Merope, Romily, Romina 

November 22, 2013 9:15 PM

Thanks for the suggestions.  I've never really liked Ramona for some reason.  Romily and Romina are interesting, and I actually love the name Mina on its own.  I'll run them by DH but he is less adventurous than me, so we'll see. Although, Romy is his choice. :)

I wonder if people will understand how to pronounce it and not think it sounds like Rahm-y.  I prounonce it as Roam-y. 

November 23, 2013 8:55 PM

I've only ever heard it said ROAM-y ... there was that movie, Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion (I think that was the title), in which it was pronounced ROAM-y, so that's one cultural reference that might help (it's not the greatest reference -- terrible movie -- but I don't think it's a problem. I believe it has history as a traditional nn for Rosemary, so that's what I would focus on).

November 23, 2013 9:33 PM

Andromeda nicknamed Romy. Genius. I totally love it.

I'm inspired to look a bit further afield for rom names, now, and that makes me remember I also really like Romilda, though I suspect that the consonant cluster is not going to make this a universal favorite!

November 22, 2013 10:23 PM

I personally love the set of Alex, Henry, and Blythe. They sound like sibs about to go on an evening sail to pull up some crab pots.

I think Vivian and Margo also work well; I just don't personally love them as much.

I do like Gwen with Alex, and I think Gwendolyn is very pretty. I can't decide how I feel about Gwyneth. I've probably endorsed it on previous threads...I guess it's one I'm wishy-washy on.

I like the name Vanessa. I think it pairs well with Alexandra but is a shade too soft with Alex.

I do find Natasha on the obvious side. Could I interest you in Natalia or Natalie? Both work well for me and have lovely nn possibilities.

I adore both Jack and Charlie. Our boys are called J@ck and H@enry, and we get an unsolicited compliment on their names as a combo. at least once a month. They are both popular here-ironically in our state Henry has surged past Jack; however, it hasn't been much of a bother yet.

I just love everything about the name Charlie. It's a name full of storybook charm, and I think it pairs terrifically with his sibs.

I'm only lukewarm on the rest. I've always found Miles on the, "Wimpy," side, though I can't say why exactly. Clive is very British for me and a tad fussy. Schroder makes me think of the Peanuts kid.

The others are fine names, and I've known kids with each of them; they're just not ones I love as much as either Jack or Charlie.

Many congratulations on the new addition!


November 22, 2013 10:26 PM

I forgot to comment on Romy.

I think it's o.k. but I don't know that it's one worth going through calisthentics to get to.

Was there a Twilight name that was similar?

I also don't think I'm nuts about repeating the y ending you have with Henry, but if it's the one you both love, I don't think it's a bad choice....I don't think you have a bad choice in the bunch.


November 22, 2013 11:54 PM

Thank you!  Our son was almost a Jack!  We have similar taste in names. :). I have a beloved uncle named John, so I've considered using that name and going with Jack as a nn.  I have a similar response to Miles, and Charlie is growing on me.  I think Blythe is cute and it adds some quirkiness to the set.  I'm still on the fence with Gwyneth. 

November 24, 2013 12:40 AM

I forgot to respond to the Natalie/Natalia suggestion.  I love Natalie and it was on our list for our first born, who was born on Christmas Eve!  We didn't use it for her, so it seems strange to use it for this one since my other daughter was actually a Christmas baby.  Maybe I'm making a big deal for nothing. :(

November 22, 2013 11:24 PM

Congratulations! Weren't you just saying the other day "if we have a third"? Maybe that was someone else or maybe you were being coy. :)

I know two little girls named Gwenyth. That might be another way to get the Gwen nickname without being accused of using Ms. Paltrow's name.

November 22, 2013 11:53 PM

It probably was me!  I've suspected for the past week but only confirmed today.  As you can see, I wasted no time in posting!!  :). 

I find it interesting that a couple of you have posted that you know little Gwenyths!  I thought this name was completely free of becoming trendy.  Maybe I'm wrong!  My daughter is almost six and I had Stella, Ella, and Sadie on my list; I thought they were obscure choices but now hear them everywhere!

November 23, 2013 5:30 PM

Gwenyth is hardly trendy! In 2004, the year the older of the girls was born, there were 126 Gwenyths and in 2006 there were 128. The name has never been in the top 1000 and is not likely to get there soon.

November 23, 2013 7:31 AM


I love both Gwendolyn and Gwyneth. Gwendolyn is prettier, and Gwyneth is quirkier--both great choices.

Margo goes well with the others, but does make it sound like a royal sibset :)

Blythe is also quite pretty, goes with the others, and maybe its underuse makes it a bit quirky.

The boys list is kind of divided for me. I really like Jack and Charlie (though not so excited about John and Charles) but I don't really like any of the others.

November 23, 2013 12:30 PM

Yes, I can see a royal theme emerging.  :). This post has been helpful; I can see that a few the boys' names are getting much more favorable feedback.  I think now I can eliminate a few, which I'm okay with.  This helps me focus on the direction I need to go. I agree that I like Charlie and a Jack but don't love Charles or John as much.  My husband is very particular about nicknames versus formal names.  So, I think he will insist on the formal.  Strange since he likes a Romy. 

By Coll
November 23, 2013 9:13 AM

I love John (Jack) and Charles (Charlie) and Mies for you. For girls I'm partial on your list to Blythe, Vivian, Margot (I like that spelling) and Gwendolen. Gwyneth is nice but so associated with the actress, whom I find annoying.

November 23, 2013 12:31 PM

I know most people tend to find her annoying.  As much as I love the name, I'm not sure if I want to put up with people asking me if she was named after her!  

November 23, 2013 9:30 PM


Vanessa is nice. Classic, solid. I can't bring myself to be too wildly excited about it, but it's a very lovely choice that hits the uncommon but familiar sweet spot with some good scrabble-points. It has a bit of a mom-name feel to me because I happen to know a few my-age Vanessas, but like other mom-names with stylish sounds (e.g. Valerie), it's fresh and unexpected on a kid. Vivian seems like it's due to have a bit of a current trend, but it's also a very stylish choice.

I like Margo and Blythe a lot more, because they're a bit fresher to me. I love the analysis about the crab pots, which I think is spot on.

I also love Romy, and more to the point, I think if you guys both love Romy, you should use it, whether "it goes" with the other two or not. I think the only real issue is if the two y-endings are problematic for you in that they might get you tongue-tied. Otherwise, I think sometimes we NEs spend a little too much time worrying about whether sibling names coordinate. I think it's a useful exercise to think about whether a name feels like your kid, to say it with the sibling names, but I think if you otherwise like a name, I would not let it stop you.

The Romy I know is Israeli. I have always liked the name, on its own or as a nickname. I particularly think that Romy as a nickname would work especially well coordinating with Alexandra-called-Alex and Henry. I find Rosemary to be a really fabulous choice, but also Romily.

I think there's nothing overly obvious about Natasha at all, and think it's another fun choice. If your Alexandra is always an Alex or Alexa, then you could totally nickname a Natasha Sasha, like the Obamas have done. Or you could refer to your girls in the plural as "the Sashas".

I love the name Gwyneth. I think there's nothing wrong with using it. I'd expect to hear "like Paltrow?" a lot, but on the other hand that clarifies the name for a lot of people... and your daughter might be Gwen much of the time anyway. I find Gwyneth Paltrow to be kind of charming, though I know many people find her annoying, but for me it isn't a negative association.

I really love Clive. I think it casts Alexandra and Henry in a much more British light and it's very distinctive.

Miles, too, and Jack and Charles/Charlie, all go very well. Miles is a softer name than most of your other choices, but still one I like.

Schroeder and Fletcher seem a bigger style departure and are not as much my personal style, but see above about not needing to coordinate children. My issue with Schroeder is whether to pronounce it as a German, or whether to pronounce it as an American. Fletcher just isn't a particularly attractive sound to me, and is more of an occupation than a given name to me. HOWEVER, if you have any kind of personal connection to these names, that would very easily outweigh any objections. Is either a family surname for you? That would make me love them as choices for your child, even though I wouldn't have picked them for the sound alone.

Holden is very Caulfield for me, but I've found the name positive the times I've met it on little children, so I think I'd quickly get over that association if I had regular interactions with a Holden. I'd expect a lot of "like Catcher in the Rye?" comments from this choice, so I'd think about whether this would bother you ahead of time. In this case, the lack of a nickname means that your child might be having that conversation with everyone they meet, and that might wear on some personalities with time.

November 24, 2013 12:39 AM

You guys are all so amazing!  I love this site!  Thanks for the feedback.  

I think I'm going to drop the Schroeder, Fletcher, and Holden options.  Schroeder was on the list due to the Peanuts; my daughter is obsessed with the movies and him.  Holden was for my husband's late grandmother, who loved William Holden.  Fletcher was because my husband and I both love the movie Fletch.  So, as you can see, these are more about meaning than the actual names.  I think I can remove these and maybe one other boy name without much pain.

For the girls, I love the crab reference too!  I live in California, but I am obsessed with  Cape Cod and pretty much the whole East Coast.  I feel like Blythe, Margo, and Romy are more off-beat choices, which I would like this time.   I think Vanessa and Vivian are more safe, classic choices.  Gwyneth and Natasha are just names that I love.  Like many others, I find the girls' names much more challenging.  I don't feel ready to eliminate any of them.  Thanks for the positive comments on the names.  It makes me think I may have the right one in this group!

November 24, 2013 1:11 PM

Aww, those are good reasons for the names! I really like meaning-based names, truly.

I particularly like your reason for Holden. Awww. I just looked up the usage stats and it was given to over 1000 little boys in recent years, so I think "like Catcher in the Rye?" might be a much less frequent occurrence than I had expected - it's surely made it's way into just being a name with useage that high. And, in this case, you can just say, "No, like William Holden, whom his great-grandmother loved." and that is the end of that. (I had no idea who WIlliam Holden was but that would sure settle things for me! Sentimental meaning name! No further questions asked!)

Here are the Holden stats over the past 30 years, which really surprised me:


My son was (unknowingly!) named after a book/tv show adaptation character that my late grandparents were obsessed with, and it's such a sweet thing that I am really pleased worked out that way. (It was unintentional because I fell in love with the same character independently.)

November 24, 2013 1:20 PM

And I think you hit it on the head with the more exotic girl choices being Blythe, Margo, and Gwyneth (and Gwendolen/lyn). I really like them all, and I'd encourage you to be bold and use them. All of them are heard-of. I think the more fairytale Gwen-choice is Guinevere, in its many spellings.

I know a little Gwen short for Gwendolyn and I find the name so completely charming. It's off-limits for us do to extreme awkwardness with the surname, but if our surname were different, there's a very good chance we'd have used it.

November 24, 2013 3:15 PM

There is also Gwenllian, the name of medieval Welsh princesses, among other less aristocratic Welsh women.  In Welsh ll is pronounced hl, which may be difficult for English speakers, but Llewellyn has had its pronunciation Anglicized to just 'l'.

November 25, 2013 12:50 AM

I love it, Miriam. I wish I could make that ll sound, but it's lovely, and the Anglicization would be pretty as well. It is still too sing-songy with our surname, so it's not going to enable us to have Gwen on the list for our last child, but if I ever need a superhero name, Gwenllian it is! (Superhero because it's got that superhero alter-ego repetition with our surname.)

November 25, 2013 3:15 AM

Miriam thanks for the suggestion but I'm not sure I would be able to correctly pronounce the name! :). In my family of Johns, Mikes, Toms, Roses, Sarahs, etc... almost any name on my list is going to seem strange to them.  My grandmother still asks where I got Alexandra from,  and there was a huge backlash when we chose Henry!  Especially since we went into the hospital telling family he would probably be a Jack.  I can't even imagine what kind of  pandemonium a choice like Gwenllian would set off!  I'm saying all of this with a touch of humor, but it's absolutely the truth! :)

November 27, 2013 8:46 PM

Ha ha! Pandemonium! From Henry, of all things! That's remarkable to me, since Henry is such a very on-trend name in my neck of the woods; very like Jack. Well, you enjoy being a stylemaker and just remember that the backlash will blow over.

After naming our first son Jo1yon I think we have a great deal of latitude with future kids. I am pretty sure that nothing would shock my parents and inlaws now, not even Gwenllian. I think the biggest stunning revelation was the finding that there were OTHER PEOPLE with the same name as our eldest; my father-in-law nearly fell over when we mentioned another Jo1yon. "You mean it's an ACTUAL NAME? That OTHER PEOPLE have? REALLY?!" Otherwise they have all been very good at biting their tongues.


November 28, 2013 1:46 PM

Families are great!  I hosted a shower for a friend a few years back and her mother-in-law cornered me to ask where I thought my friend had come up with the name Fiona!  I said, well, she's Irish. 

November 25, 2013 3:15 AM

I don't know any little Gwens but I think it is adorable too.  I may be able to convince my DH to go for Gwen on its own. I wonder if that is better than using Gwyneth.  I know a lot of people prefer Gwendolyn, but it doesn't feel right for us.  

November 25, 2013 11:51 AM

There is a twentieth-century 'invention' which is getting some use is Wales and England: Gwenda.  It doesn't have a long history obviously, but I think it's been around long enough that it doesn't seem to be made up out of whole cloth.  But in a family where Henry caused pandemonium, it may still seem uncomfortably exotic.

November 27, 2013 1:08 PM

Gwenda is very pretty but it reminds me of Glenda.  

November 26, 2013 5:27 PM

If you're open to Russian sounding names like "Natasha" you may like some others - Vera (means 'faith' in Russian), Emilia, Valentina, Ekaterina, or Irina.

Otherwise, here are some fun suggestions: Clementine, Beatrix, and Eloise. 

November 27, 2013 1:09 PM

Thanks, I do like Beatrix and Eloise.  

November 26, 2013 6:52 PM

Congratulations! I love the names of both of your children, so here's the best of luck to try to find a name for this baby that is just as lovely. 


My favorites of the options you listed, honestly, are Vivian Faye, Margot Faye (I prefer that spelling), and Gwendolen Faye.

Vivian is a name that I, personally, have been back and forth on considering for a future daughter because I LOVE the nickname "Viv". I feel like the name is contemporary, but with an actual history so it's not made-up sounding. It's familiar without being popular, so you shouldn't have any issues with spelling/pronounciation. It was #141 on the SSA list last year.

Margot is a little more quirky and the only "go to" nickname is Marge/Margie, which is okay, but I think that Margot itself is better. It didn't make the top 1000 last year, so it's incredibly rare nowadays. I think that SOME people may say "mar-got" instead of "mar-go", but the name has history enough that people should be pretty familiar with it. 

Gwendolen can read "fairy tale", but I honestly don't think that most people will read that much into it. My best friend's mother's name is Gwendolen, she goes by Gwen, and she's never once been asked if she were named after the King Arthur legend. In fact, most people assume that Gwen IS her full name. I much prefer Gwendolen to Gwenyth, especially in a sibling set that includes Alexandra and Henry. The issue you're going to come across is the spelling: Gwendolen is the traditional feminine spelling of the name, but it didn't make the top 1000; Gwendolyn did (#514). So you may just have issues with people spelling it with the y instead of the e.

I've never been much of a fan of the name Vanessa. I grew up with a LOT of them and it just doesn't sound fresh to me anymore. I'm also not crazy about it with Alexandra and Henry. Same with Natasha, although I think that Natasha "goes with" the sibset a little better.

I do actually like Romy, but it seems really off to me with Alexandra and Henry.

Just not a fan of Blythe. 


My favorite two are Miles and Charles (both names that were, at one point or another, on my own list). I think that Charles matches the sibset better, plus gives you a built in nickname, but I DOES come off a little "royal". I very much like Miles, but the only nickname you really get is "My". 

Of the others, I do like Clive and Holden (although, I really didn't like Holden until I read your reasoning for liking it), just not as much as the other two.

The others just aren't my style. =)

November 27, 2013 3:19 AM

Thanks for the response.  It seems like most people like Gwen but Gwyneth and Gwendolen both draw strong reactions of love or hate.  If we went with Gwendolen, which is an outside shot, we would most likely use this spelling. I'm open with the spelling on Margot.  I like Viv for Vivian, but I think I like the nn better than the full name.  I think Natasha goes well with the sibset too, but I feel like I want something quirky and less serious this time.

For boys, I love Charlie right now but I agree Charles does make the group very "royal."  My husband won't budge on Charlie on the birth certificate.  I really like Simon too but he isn't going for it, which is surprising because Miles was his contribution.  I think Miles and Simon are similar but he doesn't see it. 

By EVie
November 27, 2013 10:06 AM

I'm with your husband on Charles for the birth certificate, and I don't think a royal-sounding group is a problem at all—Alexandra, Henry and Charles are a distinguished, classic, well-matched sibset. If your husband agrees to Charlie as a daily-use nickname, it sounds like a good compromise to me. Charlie is such a common, familiar nickname for Charles that you certainly shouldn't have trouble getting people to use it. 

November 27, 2013 12:51 PM

Thanks :)  I guess I can live with Charles on the birth certificate and the royal connection.  The names are all classic.  I think I am leaning Charles for a boy, but I still have a long pregnancy ahead of me!

November 27, 2013 10:15 AM

For a girl, what about Veronica? Classic, underused, and gives you a variety of nn options (Vera, V(i), Ronnie, Nicky). Also, is Charlotte too popular for you? Because it was the first name I thought of based on your older children's names. I also like Vivian, Margo, and Blythe. (Romy, too, but you're right about it not quite fitting with the other two. I'd say Rosemary but for your older daughter's mn.)


For boys, you've got some solid names. I love your list, particularly Miles and Holden. Charlie is great but I'd definitely go with Charles on the birth cert. What about Frederick James? (I assume Frederick is a family name, so of course this might not work for you.) You might also consider Calvin or Ezra.

November 27, 2013 1:07 PM

Thanks.  I haven't thought about Veronica; I'll have to think about that.  We did think of Charlotte when I was pregnant last time, and I can't remember why we disguarded it.  Maybe it was the popularity.  My husband makes a bigger deal about popularity than I do.  He really likes Amelia but it has become too popular for him.

For boys' names, I'm glad to see Holden is getting some positive feedback.  Maybe I will keep that one on the list.  Frederick and James are both family names.  Our friends had a baby boy one month after our son was born and named him Frederick.  The wife made a point to tell me that Henry had been on the top of their list but we named our son that so they used Frederick, their next choice.  What was interesting is that Frederick had been on our list too but we chose Henry at the last minute.  They were one of those couples who wouldn't talk about or share their names while pregnant. Which in hindsight was a good thing because if they had mentioned Henry I would have felt weird using it, but we didn't know it was on their list until after our son was born.  So, there is my long answer as to why we can't use Frederick as a first name.