HELP for a picky mom-to-be!

Hey there, everyone!

Just found out that my husband and I are expecting in late July, and we are completely stumped with what to do about names! I love names, so this is a huge dilemma...if you could offer any suggestions at all, I would be so grateful! :)

For a boy:

I love the name Liam, and I feel like it would be a good way to honor my FIL, who is named William. However, my husband doesn't like it, and I'm not a fan of how popular it is. I don't want to go with Will, since I'm a teacher I've probably had 10-15 Wills come through my classrom (lol). I also really like Asa and Ezra (both old family names), but my mom and sister are pretty against those and think they sound too antiquated. Any thoughts on more traditional names in that family? 

For a girl:

I'd like to go with a middle name of Elizabeth (my middle name before marriage) or Erin (my sister's name), but I'm extremely picky about girl names. I strongly dislike anything that sounds invented or like a last name (Kaylee, Kylee, Madison). I also love literature and am looking for something different. I really like Alice, but my name is Allyson, so that one's out. 

Oh, and here's another twist...our (unusual) last name starts with a B and oddly enough kind of describes a scenic natural landscape, so I'd like to avoid nature-sounding names so that the child doesn't sound like a place, if that makes sense? 

Thank you SO MUCH for your help...I know this is very picky ;)


November 20, 2015 4:26 PM

I think Asa & Ezra are coming up in popularity. I know Of a 10 yo Asa for sure. Ethan maybe Liam for mn?



November 20, 2015 4:29 PM

Ah, that would make sense-- I teach middle school, so I don't always see the trends until about 10 years too late, haha. 

Thanks, I like Ethan a lot :) 

November 20, 2015 4:57 PM

Grandparents-to-be--and others who do not spend time around young children--are often pretty out-of-step as regards the current naming environment. My mom also objected to names that would have been unusual when she was naming me but are now considered on-trend vintage revivals. (I stopped discussing potential names with her after that first very negative conversation early in my first pregnancy!) 

All this to say, I think Asa and Ezra would be very much at home in a classroom filled with names like Silas, Elijah, and Henry. I personally know two little Ezra's under 5. So, don't let your mom's idea that these names are old dissuade you. 

November 20, 2015 5:02 PM

That's a very good idea, actually-- my mom's a teacher too, but she's familiar with the commonality of names like Emma and Olivia, so anything unsual seems to throw her off. 

Thanks for the advice! I'll try to keep name discussion to a minimum and feign bouts of morning sickness whenever she tries to dissuade me ;) 

November 20, 2015 4:53 PM

I think we'll need a little more information on the names that you do like for girls in order to come up with suggestions.

Now that you've implied what your last name sounds like, I'm only coming up with great joke names. Like Arcadia/Arkadie, Serenity, Parker... 

November 20, 2015 5:02 PM

Here are some names that I like, but I don't really have any that I'm 100% sold on:


LOL, all of those would be hilarious with my last name! 


November 20, 2015 5:14 PM

It's interesting that you think your name automatically rules out Alice for a daughter. Why shouldn't she almost-share your name? They're distinct enough in both sound and spelling to prevent most bureaucratic mess-ups and family confusion. (I speak as a Julia, daughter and granddaughter of Julias, who named her daughter Julianna.)

November 20, 2015 5:18 PM

I just think it would be a little confusing, since I go by Ally, so it's similar if you say it fast. I really like Julianna, though!

November 20, 2015 5:57 PM

As I think has been noted on this site in the past, once your child is born, your name will no longer be Ally, but Mom. Just saying. :)

November 20, 2015 8:07 PM

Asa & Ezra would both be fine.  Both are on the rise and I already know a handful of Ezras.  Similar names include Eli, Elias, Elijah, Amos, Levi.  Oh-and I would suggest not asking family members about the names you are considering.  People tend to have strong opinions when it's a hypothetical name.  However, they generally don't have the same kind of problems when a name is already attached to a wee-one.  

For girls I'll suggest Margo, Amelia, Lucy, Cora, Clare/Clara, Audrey & Fiona.  Instead of Alice, maybe you'd like some names from the Alice family?  Adele, Adelaide or Ada?


November 21, 2015 4:19 AM

I agree with the commenters who have said that Asa and Ezra are good choices. You can talk to your mother and sister about how they're actually getting back in fashion. That said, if you don't decide on them, here are similar boys' names: Asher, Simeon, Simon, Saul, Jonas, and Tobias. 

I also agree with HungarianNameGeek. I don't think you should rule out Alice just because of the similarity to your name. Alice and Allyson fall under different styles, and don't sound that similar, anyway.

Is it me, or am I getting different vibes from your list of girls' names? Overall, they're romantic and soft, but Alice and Cecily, for instance, sound rather British, so how about Amelia, Beatrice, Helena, Camilla, Phoebe, Charlotte, Eleanor/Elinor, Rosalind, and Imogen?

Since you also like names with a romance-language origin and style like Giana, how about Emilia, Lucia, Marina, Bianca, and Elena? Also, here are other -iana names: Adriana, Liliana, Mariana, Luciana, and Iliana?

November 22, 2015 12:28 PM

Ooh, thanks! I adore Marina, actually...hadn't ever considered it! Thanks! 

November 23, 2015 10:12 PM

No problem!

November 21, 2015 10:11 AM

I know an Asa that was just born and two little Ezras... I think those are coming back! I don't think that they will be super popular by any means, but just something to consider if youre really put off by popularity.


I have the same dilemma-- I'm an Allison and love Alice! I understand exactly where you are coming from. Maybe some ideas for you:


Holden (literary!)










November 21, 2015 3:27 PM

Well, sounds like Liam is out if you're husband doesn't like it.

You could do William nn Bill or Billy. That's one that hasn't come back in yet.

As others have said, Ezra and Asa are very much in keeping with current trends. I know of young Ezras.

I don't see a problem with Alice. As another mentioned, you'll be mostly going by, "Mom," or, "Alice's mom," when you're with her. 

Other thoughts: Jude, Jasper, Enzo, Elias, Oliver, Malcolm, Graydon, Eamon, August

Have you given the family tree a thorough shake for other possibilities? 

I agree that your girls' names have a British vibe, with the exception of Alice. I Love Cecily.

Lucia/Lucy, Annabelle, Tessa, Cressida, Molly, Bronte, Brownyn, Willa (This would honor your fil, and it has a literary connection, And it reminds me of the vibe of Alice), Thea, Nora

Do play around with the tools on the site. Lots of fun! 



November 22, 2015 12:32 PM

Jude has always been on my list, so I'm glad it's in the same family! I love Lucia and Thea, those are beautiful!

November 21, 2015 7:25 PM

Audrey, Agatha, Ophelia, Edith, Stella, Daisy, Virginia, Alexandra, or Agnes.

November 22, 2015 4:23 AM


What about?





Marta or Martha














November 22, 2015 12:30 PM

Gabriel and Matteo are beautiful, thanks! And my husband is Matthew, so that would be fitting :) 

By rooo
November 22, 2015 5:06 AM

If you don't like any of the William options for a boy, what about Willhemina, Wilma, etc. for a girl? You may also want to consider these girl names: Helen, Elise, Grace, Lydia, Mary, Joanna, Emily, Leah, Jane, Sybil, Clara, Edna

For boys, I think Ezra is a little more mainstream than Asa but either is nice. I might suggest using William as a middle name if you are set on honoring your FIL. Is there anyone else you would want to honor?

November 24, 2015 4:49 AM

Being a teacher is hard on child-naming!

While Liam as an honor for William is sweet, I think it's more important that both parents love the callname of their child. I'd perhaps consider William in the middle name slot, or second the suggestion of considering whether a daughter named Willa or Wilhelmina or Willemina would be choices that you'd both feel more positively about.

I think if you love literature, the best place to go for name suggestions is your bookshelf! Two of my kids are named after favorite books, and I think that can make a lovely name origin story... and you can easily find names that are a little different from the standard names in classrooms now (or what will be in classrooms in 10 years).


November 24, 2015 5:14 AM


I agree with lucubratrix that maybe William in the mn spot would be a good compromise, if you can find antoher fn that you and your husband both love.  

You have been given lots of great girl names.  I will add a few classic but not common names.  



What are some of your favorite books?  It might help with brainstorming of literature inspired names.