First time poster - help with baby girl name! :)

Hello all, 

My husband and I just found out we are having a sweet baby girl! We are so very excited. Like so many others, we are looking for a name that is both classic and unique; something that will age well, be just as appropriate for a baby as for an adult, and although of course we love the names that are popular right now, hopefully something that is not too popular. 

Here are the names we are considering:

Ava/Avery, Clara/Claire, Reese, Harper, Emilie/Emma, Camille, Reagan, Adeline, Emerson Grace, Molly, Anna, Marleigh, Adelaide, Kennedy, Raleigh, Kinsley, Elodie, Leila, Keira

Obviously we're not straying too far from the norm, but I would love some help and opinions! We had a boy name completely set and ready to go (I was convinced it was a boy) so we are just totally blank on girl names. 

Our last name is Beam :) 

Thank you so much in advance for your help!!!


January 8, 2017 1:16 AM

Clara and Harper are my favorite names from your list! Clara is a very classy name and Harper is unique and pretty. If I were to pick one or the other I would pick Harper, but any name you decide will be beautiful.

January 8, 2017 6:12 AM

I think that Camille or Elodie would be the most unexpected choices on your list, so they would be my picks. I also love Claire and Adelaide (although Claire Beam doesn't sound quite right to me, so that might be a reason to eliminate it).

January 8, 2017 2:05 PM

Thank you so much for your help! This is our first little one so we want the name to be perfect :) 

I'm also very open to other suggestions! If anyone thinks of anything that might fit classic but unique, please let me know!

January 8, 2017 2:06 PM

Oh, I also forgot to mention - my maiden name is very French, so I'm sort of partial to names that have some of that flair

January 8, 2017 3:35 PM

With the surname Beam I would avoid single syllable first names. I just don't think they flow well together.

From your name list I love Elodie and Adelaide. 

Some names you may like... Amabel, Lilah, Colette, Norah, Susannah, Savannah, Renee, Vivienne, Oceane, Juliet, Niamh, Naomi, Phoebe, Annabel, Isabel/Isabelle, Meredith, Madeleine, Amelie, Sophie, Lauren, Leoni, Lois, Daphne, Lorelei, Adele, Elise, Alice, Annemarie, Briony, Cecily, Aurelie, Avis, Eleanor/Elinor, Beverly, Elspeth, Coraline, Tamsin, Tallulah, Caroline, Anneliese, Ariadne, Carys, Celeste.

January 8, 2017 5:15 PM

I love Madeleine (esp that spelling), Elise (our original thought for a girl was Clara Elise or Clara Elisabeth), and Isabelle!

January 8, 2017 4:26 PM

As a little warning, since you like names that aren't too popular, Ava, Avery, and Harper are insanely popular right now. Your daughter will be Ava B. or Harper B. in pretty much every classroom.  Also, I think Leila and Keira will have pronunciation problems - even I don't know if you'd pronounce it like Layla or Leela, or Kee-rah or Kee-air-ah or Kee-ar-ah. Camille and Elodie are my favorites.

January 8, 2017 5:12 PM

Yes, that is definitely what I am trying to avoid! Although I love those names I would like for baby girl not to have to do that her whole life

January 8, 2017 5:15 PM

I'll point out that my daughter's name was ranked 8 the year she was born. She is now in ninth grade and for the first time knows another Sarah. She's never even had another Sarah in her school, much less in the same class.

January 25, 2017 12:16 AM

That's funny cause I'm in my early 30s and feel like half the women I know are named Sarah...but it also goes to show that even the names that are super popular now are not used nearly as much as the popular names of the 70s, 80s, 90s were.

January 8, 2017 5:08 PM

Camille and Elodie are also my favorites.
Maybe you would like Rosalie or Coralie or Leonie?
Camille makes me think of Willa and Delia or Adelia would be closer to Adelaide and Adeline (which I also like but worry they are too popular.)
Maybe Emmeline since you like Emma and Adeline 

January 8, 2017 5:20 PM

Camille continues to grow on me. I looove Rosalie and Coralie but DH does not, sadly. We were also thinking Emilie.

Other thoughts on names that are a little more original are Raleigh or Emerson (Emerson Grace). 

January 8, 2017 7:17 PM

Emmerson makes me think of Kerrington and Sutton (I love both of these)

Raleigh makes me think of Delaney and Tierney (none of theses are really my style)

Raleigh also makes me think of place names like Caroline, Savannah, Charlotte, Georgia

Sylvie is another french name you might like.

January 10, 2017 2:49 PM

I vehemently dislike -son names on girls (except Alison, because that's Alice+on, not Ali+son), so Emerson would not be my taste, but I also want to caution you that neither Raleigh (and its many, many alternative spellings) nor Emerson are actually all that original. My 6-year-old niece has had classmates with both of those names, and both are climbing pretty steeply in popularity.

January 8, 2017 7:19 PM

I have a friend who goes by her (extremely popular) first name and her (pretty rare) middle name, and most of us don't think of her as just one of a million people with that name, but a very unique person with her double-barreled name. This may be an option for you guys. I love Camille off your list, and I also really like Raleigh. I like Emerson Grace, especially spelled Emersyn.

January 8, 2017 8:39 PM

That's definitely a good point, a popular first name + unique middle name would have the same effect if she goes by both. We originally liked Raleigh for a boy, but we like it so much we may just use it for baby girl!

By rooo
January 8, 2017 8:28 PM

My favorites on your list, given you last name and preference for a French flair, are:
Emilie, Adeline, Adelaide, Kennedy, Elodie, Leila

I will also add:
Leonie, Cecile, Everly nn Eva, Natalie, Thalia, Antoinette, Louisa

I also really like Frances for you, but too similar to Frances Bean.

January 8, 2017 8:42 PM

Lol yes, the beam/bean confusion happens enough as it is! I do like Everly and Natalie though :)

January 9, 2017 1:33 AM

All right, feeding some of your own criteria back to you....

You want something timeless, unusual-but-not-wierd, flows with your last name, and ideally a bit Frenchy.

I agree with the others that you want 2 or more syllables, sounds better with Beam.  I also think that names that end with an -ee sound don't flow well into Beam.  I like the name Elodie, but not Elodie Beam.  It's not bad, but other sounds are more compelling.

Some have mentioned that there will be lots of Avas and Harpers in her class at school.  That may not necessarily be the case, but I think these names will eventually be date-stamped as being clearly typical of the decade and will mark her as being of a specific age.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, but not timeless.  These names are 'names of the decade.'  (When I was pregnant and considering a trendy name for my daughter, what killed it was chatting with a friend about a new guy asking her out, and she was thinking he was too old for her.  I asked how old is too old?  She answered "Well, his name is Barry." And my response was "Oh yeah, definitely too old."  And that killed the trendy name on my baby shortlist, at some point it will mark her as 60ish.)

Of your list, I think Camille is perfect.  It's gorgeous, flows well, timeless classic, and French.  And I love it!

Are you planning to have two or more children?  If you adore Raleigh for a boy, then save it for him - or a second girl if it works out that way.

January 10, 2017 2:58 PM

I was thinking Simone would be perfect for you - well-known, in use since the 1950's so can't be date-stamped, French-inspired - but it doesn't work with Beam. Sabine has the same problem. Maybe Noelle, Celeste, or Giselle?

January 13, 2017 2:56 AM

I think Simone Beam sounds fine to me! Sabine Beam, on the other hand, is a no-go for me, as someone who dislikes singsongy names, but that's a subjective call.

January 25, 2017 12:17 AM

I think Simone Bean is great.

January 11, 2017 5:37 PM

Sadly I ran Camille by DH again and he's not on board. He's more into classic names - Emily, Claire/Clara, and Molly. He also likes some names that I see as a little more modern like Kennedy or Kinsley. Basically, our taste is opposite :p He's actually also very into the names Harper, Emma, and despite their popularity. We will figure this out eventually - hopefully before June!!

January 11, 2017 7:53 PM

I want to reinforce Elizabeth T's point upthread: don't worry about rankings. Baby names are so diverse nowadays that random factors far outweigh the everyday effects of popularity. "Top ten" just means "well-liked" -- it doesn't predict anything whatsoever about sharing the name with classmates.

January 12, 2017 12:27 PM

Thanks! I know we will find the perfect thing for us. I think ultimately we will probably end up with something popular/classic. After all, it's half his baby! :p But it is very comforting to remember that ultimately the name is just well liked :)

January 12, 2017 12:30 PM

As another side note... the boy name we have already picked out is very classic, so probably for eventual sibling pairings it makes sense (name is William James, family name)

January 12, 2017 2:40 PM

A couple of other girl's names that are in that "popular but classic" group include Charlotte, Natalie, Lillian, Audrey, Eleanor, Naomi, Lydia, Alice, and Madeline (all in the top 100).

I am a little worried about the name Molly, I'm worried it might be getting too associated with the drug. Anna might be on its way out, dropping 10 whole spots last year.


January 12, 2017 4:26 PM

Molly has a long history of slang usage going back at least to the 18th century.  It was used for an underclass woman/prostitute (Moll Flanders, more recently gun moll) and for a gay man (mollie, Miss Mollie, molly-house, cf. the recent use of Nellie).  This historical use of Miss Molly may have been behind Little Richard's alteration of the lyrics of his hit Good Golly Miss Molly; his version is more suggestive than the original form.  So the name Molly has had "off" connotations since the 1700s, which hasn't prevented parents from using it.  I personally don't much care for using nicknames on birth certificates, so I would use Mary as the formal name and Molly (or Polly) as the call name.

January 13, 2017 12:53 AM

In defense of Molly: I absolutely love it!  It was on my top-four list for my daughter's name.  And I know a bunch of women and girls named Molly (including three cousins - yep we're Irish) and none of them have had any awkward implications of their name.

Other long names you could use to get to nickname Molly are Melody and Melanie.  Melanie covers your fondness for French-flavored names.  As does Marietta - gorgeous, but you don't hear it much.

By EVie
January 13, 2017 1:10 PM

I love Molly, too, and one of my top name choices for a potential daughter would be Amalia with Molly as a nickname. If you want the French flavor, you could always do Amalie/Molly. 

January 29, 2017 10:25 AM

I have an Amalia! We had the intention of using Lia as her nickname, but it never stuck. She's usually the full Amalia, and sometimes Molly (though we spell it Mali)

January 14, 2017 5:16 AM

Reagan and Reese feel '80s dated to me.

In addition to the above, I'd cross Kinsley off the list because it's very faddish to this batch of kids. Finley, Kinley, Henly, Everly, Riley, Kiley, it fits right in with the made up -ly names so popular right now. Harper and Wren are also all the vogue. I've met several baby girl Emersons over the last couple years.

Kennedy fits both categories with it's '80s feel and modern popular girl Kin/Ken beginning.

Your names basically look like rich popular girls from the '80s or from today. Except Marleigh, which stands out in an awkward way, Molly which seems pretty lovely and neutral so able to be whomever she wishes, and Camille which seems a little more settled and mature.

My hat is in the ring for Molly or Camille.

With your one-syllable last name, I'd actually be inclined toward a 3- or 4-syllable firsts like Amelia/Emmelia. 

Some that feel like your name choices are: Abigail, Angela, Alicia, Cecelia, Andrea, Carolyn, Elena, Giana, Evelyn, Lydia, Lillian, Emilia, Lucia, Natalie, Tabitha, Susana, Sheridan, Valerie, Vanessa, and Vivian.

Vivian B.eam would be my top pick for you. It evokes that same popular girl in the 80s and today vibe, but in a way you want to like. It's endearing, wears well, flows well, has great nickname possibilities. It fits in with the culture without dating her or duplicating others. She can be herself and yet belong.

January 19, 2017 1:45 PM

I like Clara, Adeline, Molly, Emily, and Leila best from your list.  I don't think you'll have pronunciation problems with Leila.  Also like the suggestion of Evelyn.   

Other suggestions: Amelia/Emilia, Annalise, Marcella (nn Marci), Lucy, Sadie