Harlow, Cleo, or...

So here we are at 37 weeks with two boys and our first girl on the way! I thought it would be easy, but naming a girl has been a challenge to put it midly. Our boys names are Axel and Rowan and we're looking for a name that corresponds with the boys' names nicely. The names we're currently contemplating are:

   • Cleo

   • Harlow

   • Tallulah (DH hates the name, but I LOVE it for the Lulu, Lula nickname aspect)

So what are your thoughts on our current picks? If you're not a fan, I'm totally open to suggestions as long as they work well with the boys' names.

Many thanks from this desparate momma for your help! 


September 10, 2017 9:01 PM

I'm not keen on Cleo or Harlow but they are ok and go with the boys names


Tallulah is pretty


what about Lucinda, Eloise, Alora, Leora

September 10, 2017 9:03 PM

Working well with the brother names is pretty subjective, especially since I would consider Axel & Rowan to be 2 different styles.  However, I also think finding a name you both like is more important than style issues.

If your DH hates Tallulah, I think you'll need to eliminate it.  If what you really want are the Lulu, Lula nickname options, I'd look at something like Lucinda, Lucia, Louisa, Lucille, etc.  Or perhaps a sound alike would appeal?  Lucy or Luna?  Or for something without Lula/Lulu, but with more the style of Tallulah, I'd suggest Clementine, Serafina, Ariadne, Cosima, Tamsin.

Between Cleo and Harlow, I strongly prefer Cleo.  Harlow strikes me as likely to be very date-stamped one day.  I'm also generally not a fan of surnames as firsts.  

I tried typing Axel & Rowan into the name matchmaker tool.  Have you tried that yet?  Of the suggestions, I really like Lorelei, Lucia and Scarlet for you.

September 11, 2017 10:57 AM

I typed them into Nymbler and it suggested Lorelei too! (and Tasmin, and and a bunch of other names, OP, have you checked that site out?)


I know a couple Axels and Rowans in real life but only one has a sister... (named Zinnia who they call Zinni)...

September 10, 2017 10:59 PM


Of your list, my favorite is Cleo. It's very bubbly and fun, but not overly so. It's also quite unique stats-wise. 

Harlow is very pretty, I tend associate it with the 1920s  (don't know why...). I think it also helps to mix both of your boys' names' styles. 

Tallulah is lovely as well, however, it's not my taste. If you love it, go for it. 

Other suggestions: Britta, Elisa, Elsa, Emlyn, Gwyneth, Haven, Heaven, Isabel, Isla, Jess/Jessa, Laila, Laren, Larkin, Lavinia, Luisa, Mae, Maeve, Maren, Olive, Orchid, Penelope, Quinn, Stella, Tamsin, Vera, Veronie, Willa, Zara, Zoe

September 11, 2017 10:01 AM

Well, Jean Harlow was a movie star in the 1930s. Is she perhaps influencing this mental association? 

September 11, 2017 7:44 PM

Thank you, that must be it! Nevertheless, it's a great name.

September 11, 2017 10:01 AM

Another vote for Cleo.  And yes, if your husband hates Tallulah it's game over there!  There are zillions of other names that can get you to nickname Lula or Lula.  In addition to the ones already suggested, there is the Portuguese name Lusila; Eloise, Luelle also get you there. Hallelujah/Alleluya/etc?  I think that one's too much, but just putting it out there.  You could also get "Lula" from first two letters of a first + middle name.  Something like Lucille Laura.

September 11, 2017 12:24 PM

Since you have a Rowan, I don't suppose it matters to you, but Cleo is also gender-ambiguous. There are more male Cleos, derived from the biblical name Cleophus, than you might think. The first Cleo who pops to my mind is Cleo Fields, a not-so-honest male politician who was frequently in the news when I lived in Louisiana.

By mk
September 11, 2017 12:50 PM

Tallulah is out because your hsuband hates it, though I do like it. I know several people with L names who go by Lulu (Louisa, Lydia, Lucia) so you have plenty of other options.

Of the other two, I like Cleo best.

September 11, 2017 1:16 PM

Of the two Harlow, it evokes sophistication to me.


Marley might be another option with a similar sound.

September 11, 2017 2:14 PM

Thank you for all of the input and suggestions - I really appreciate it! :) 

My Type A personality has been in overdrive on this one - I've checked out almost every name site/list and created a spreadsheet with possible names, including its meaning, origin, and popularity rank. Sound exhausting? It is! ;)

And for a relatively easy-going person, my DH is not making this very easy either. He's only really liked 5 names (Cleo, Harlow, Raven, Nola, and Izzy) of which I think Cleo and Harlow can make the cut.

I'm almost at the point of naming her my 4-year-old son's suggestion: Pumpkin Cupcake. It's definitely unique, right?

September 11, 2017 5:10 PM

I'm assuming that the five names your husband likes were chosen from your spreadsheet of possible names (meaning you essentially pre-approved them)? I'm asking because it sounds like you are maybe not really happy with either option? Like they meet your spreadsheet criteria for popularity/origin etc but you don't feel excited by or love them.

If you do actually like Cleo and Harlow I think those should just be the final two and you'll have to forget about Tallulah as a first, although maybe you could have it in the/a middle spot? That way you could still use the nicknames you love because it's no big deal to have a nickname from a middle name rather than a first. Having said that I also think it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to use Lula as a nickname for Nola.

Out of the two I prefer Cleo, I think it's cute and fun and has a nice bounce/energy to it and I think it "goes" with both your boys names. Of course you could just take both names to the hospital and see which you feel fits once she's born. :)

September 11, 2017 5:29 PM

Have you talked about using Lula as the given name? It has a lot of sounds in common with some of the names your husband likes, and I think it stands alone as a name just fine (in fact, it was a top-50 name in the US in the 1880s and 1890s).

September 12, 2017 12:04 AM

As a nickname for Nola, I would definitely wonder why Lula wasn't the given name, since they've the same length and very similar styles. 

If your husband won't agree to Lula, though, I think Nola Louise/Lucy/Talullah/Pretty-much-any-L-name would work well as a route to the nichname!


I can't hear Harlow without immediately thinking "harlot". That may well just be me, as no one else seems to have mentioned it, but I figure that's the kind of thing it's better to think about before than after, even if you end up deciding it's a non-issue. :)

September 11, 2017 5:41 PM

Isabelle is nice nn Izzy,  sorry dont like Izzy as a full name,  the others are ok though.



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September 12, 2017 9:22 AM

I'm another vote for Cleo! Cleo's got sass & smarts, to me. I'm also not a fan of Harlot-excuse me Harlow. Soory I can't be more positive about that one. Iagree with everyone else that said if your DH hates Tallulah it really should come off the list. Maybe Cleo Tallulah? As a first, middle set it's not nearly so obvious. Or you could just keep it in the back of your head, I have yet to meet a man who'll argue a name after his wife has the baby! 

By mk
September 12, 2017 2:47 PM

I like Nola, and Lula as a first name on it's own is a good option.

Isabel is the obvious choice for Izzy as a nickname, but not the only one. What about Isadora? Other possibilities: Annelise, Eliza