Help me choose between two names!!!

Hello! Need some urgent help with the names since the more I read the more I am hitting a wall. 

So I am choosing between two names: 

Elizabeth Diana 

Sophie Diana

Is Elizabeth Diana too traditional or doesn't matter? Maybe I should spice it up with the third name? Elizabeth Diana Sophie might be the right option?


please help, I am stuck. 



September 30, 2017 4:32 AM

Sophie Diana,  both are lovely though.  Elizabeth Diana is good,    Doesnt matter if it is traditional,  obviously a great name and has lasted the test of time

September 30, 2017 4:59 AM

Thanks a lot for you opinion!

September 30, 2017 6:30 AM

I think Sophie Elizabeth Diana is the better option. 

September 30, 2017 6:58 AM

That's also a good idea, thanks! 

September 30, 2017 8:23 AM

My personal preference is Elizabeth, because it ticks so many of my boxes (long, feminine but not frilly, family connections on all sides, long history of use, not nickname-y but has lots of nickname options). Your boxes are likely to be different, though, so I suggest listing everything you like about each name, and picking the one with the longer list.

Laura Wattenberg said it best:

September 30, 2017 3:58 PM

My arguments are actually quite similar. I also want the name to be international. These three names are. Great article, thanks for the link. It's very useful advice in it for me. 

September 30, 2017 9:37 AM

I'm not really sure what you mean by too traditional - too boring? too prim? too common? Knowing what exactly it is you fear about the name would probably help in assessing whether it's actually an issue. I personally love Elizabeth, and Diana adds a wonderfully classical feel to it. It doesn't feel remotely bland to me

My only hesitation with the combination is that it immediately brought to mind the royal family (Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana). Given that middle names are typically rarely used, it probably doesn't really matter, but it's something to be aware of.

Sophie Diana is also quite lovely, although from your post I feel like you prefer Elizabeth.


September 30, 2017 11:09 AM

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, is also a daughter-in-law of Elizabeth II, so any combination of Sophie, Diana and Elizabeth is the queen and two of her daughters-in-law, not that that matters.

September 30, 2017 4:53 PM

yes that's what I was thinking with the 3 names - way too royal

September 30, 2017 4:08 PM

Yep, that's true!!

September 30, 2017 4:09 PM

By traditional I mean too vintage, old-fashioned, something that might look out of date in the 21 century.

Also, you just wrote what I most feared about - connection with the royalty. That's why I am considering the third name as well - so that we can distance somehow ourselves.

That's right, for some reason I prefer a little bit more Elizabeth to Sophie. Probably because of the enormous popularity of Sophie. 

Thanks a lot!

September 30, 2017 9:42 PM

Elizabeth is currently #13 in popularity, so definitely not out of date. Even if it were, though, vintage names are surging tremendously in popularity.

I don't think Sophie really helps with the royalty connection. As someone else pointed out, Sophie is also the name of a daughter in law of Elizabeth, although not quite as famously as Diana. Multiple middle names is also fairly common around royalty. Do keep in mind, though, that most of the time, middle names are not used unless the bearer wants them to be. And both Elizabeth and Diana have a strong history outside of the royal family, as well.

If you love Elizabeth Diana, I say use it! It's an absolutely lovely name with a timeless feel that will wear very well.

October 1, 2017 3:59 PM

Yes, this. Elizabeth Diana is gorgeous! It's timeless and will mature well, and has so many cute nickname options. Don't worry about the royalty thing, they're some of the classiest people around, and do a lot of good in the world. Great role models for a little girl. 

One question: Is there a specific reason why you aren't considering Diana as a first name? It's beautiful, and you seem to really like it.

October 2, 2017 6:59 AM

Thanks for your positive feedback!

You're right, I do really like Diana, just the name Elizabeth seems stronger and more down to earth to me, kind of motivates the bearer to achieve things in life.   

October 1, 2017 2:17 PM

I personally like Elizabeth Diana more. My main reasoning is the popularity of Sophie and the fact that it seems more of a nickname to me for Sophia than a whole, complete name on its own. I do understand that Elizabeth is also "popular" to some extent, but to me it is far more timeless and classic- plus lots of nickname options. Just my two cents!

October 1, 2017 6:48 PM

Sophie is a complete name on its own. It's the French variant. Just so, Marie is not a nickname for Maria, but rather the French version of the base name.

October 2, 2017 7:07 AM

Yep, Sophie is actually a complete name, and for some reason I prefer it to Sophia. 

October 2, 2017 8:15 AM

I prefer Sophie to Sophia too,  it was on our list if we were going to have another girl

October 2, 2017 12:54 PM

I completely understand that it is a complete name... Clearly I know this. My OPINION is that it feels incomplete, which is why I said it seems that way TO ME.  

October 2, 2017 7:05 AM

Thanks for your opinion. Exactly, Sophie is unreasonably popular at the moment, which bothers me most. It's still a very nice name though. Sophie Marceau, Sophia Loren etc. - lots of iconic bearers!

October 1, 2017 5:12 PM

I like all three of these names, but I think all three together read very much as a royal family tribute, not only because all three names are shared by members of the royal family, but also because multiple middles are so common among the British royal family and aristocracy. If you want to use all three, then I think Sophie Elizabeth Diana tempers this effect a bit since Sophie, Countess of Wessex, isn't as well known or as strongly associated with her name as Elizabeth or Diana and middle names are mostly hidden in day-to-day life. If you use just two of the names, then it gives off much less of a royal vibe.

If you're torn between Sophie and Elizabeth for first names, then I think the two main differences in the two names are trendiness versus timelessness and their nickname-ability. Sophie peaked a few years ago and has begun its descent, but still sounds very "of the moment." It's likely to be date-stamped to the current generation in the coming years, which isn't necessarily a horrible thing, but it is something to consider. Elizabeth, on the other hand, is and always has been more popular than Sophie. Since that popularity is so long-lasting, though, it will likely never feel dated or old-fashioned. It's a traditional classic that has never gone out of style. The other thing to think about is rather you would prefer the flexibility of the nearly endless supply of nicknames that come along with Elizabeth, ranging from Eliza to Betsy, Elspeth to Lilibet, and Liesel to Buffy, or the much less likely to be nicknamed Sophie. If you prefer timelessness and flexibility, Elizabeth is clearly the better option, but if you want something that feels current and is less likely to be shortened, Sophie may be your best bet.

October 2, 2017 7:16 AM

Thanks a lot for your feedback. That's true, people tend to give only one middle name to their children nowadays. I came up with the idea of two middle names because I am having difficulties on making one final decision :) Also, it seems like having lots of names gives you more strength and potential in life rather than just one. 

Among multiple nn options of Elizabeth I think I just prefer Liz or the full version. Do you think it is possible to use the full name and ask people to do so as well?  

October 2, 2017 8:33 AM

I know several Elizabeths who go by their full names, and don't have any trouble with it. The one thing you might run into is the possibility of your daughter deciding to go by a nickname as she gets older. If that happened, would it drive you crazy, or would it be not your favorite but okay? That's a risk with any name, but Elizabeth in particular has nickname options that pretty much any personality type could identify with. 

October 2, 2017 9:31 AM

That's interesting, thank you. I think it would be okay if she goes by nickname. My main task now is to choose the first name between the three options: Elizabeth, Diana, Sophie. Probably between two: Elizabeth or Diana.  

October 2, 2017 3:23 PM

I agree with Eowyn. I've known Elizabeths who use their full name all the time and Elizabeths who go by a nickname some or all of the time. I think while your daughter is young you can easily ask people to use the full name if they try to use a nickname instead, but once she's older, your daughter may decide she prefers one of the many nicknames available to her. As long as you're ok with that, I think it's a great name that can fit a variety of personalities.

October 2, 2017 4:36 AM

I think they are both lovely. I'm usually not a fan of Elizabeth, but it does pair nicely with Diana. Sophie is great too; it is very popular at the moment but it's a beautiful name. I have to say my favourite name of the three though is Diana, which is classic but not too popular and unlikely to be there a reason you definitely prefer it in the middle?

While seeing the names here in isolation makes them look quite regal, I don't think this would be an issue in everyday life. Most of the time, your daughter will be just Sophie, or Elizabeth, or Lizzie or whatever, and the middle name will only come up if someone specifically asks her. By the time she's old enough to get asked much, the queen will undoubtedly be dead, and her peers may only have the fuzziest idea of who Diana was. They are good, classic names, held by queens and nobility and commoners down the ages!

October 2, 2017 7:25 AM

Thank you very much! I like Diana and I definitely consider it as well as a first name. Just there are different opinions on that name while Elizabeth gets almost everyone's support... 

My hesitation about Elizabeth is actually when the queen is gone - I fear that name might lose its charm and attractiveness for a while.

October 2, 2017 10:14 AM

When the queen is gone, I'd much rather be named Elizabeth than Philip. 

October 2, 2017 4:34 PM

I should think that the queen dying will be a boost to the name Elizabeth if anything, because the name will be in the news more prominently which will put it in peoples minds while they consider names. 

Of Elizabeth and Sophie I would have a hard time choosing, but it sounds like you definitely prefer Elizabeth which is really the question. Between Elizabeth and Diana I would choose Elizabeth in a heartbeat, I don't really like Diana because to me it is too strongly linked to the royal Diana and also feels like a "mom name" (but then I am in the UK and of the same generation as William and Harry).

October 3, 2017 2:03 AM

Thanks for your feedback! The way I was thinking was that right now Elizabeth is associated with longevity and mightiness that's why the name has been so popular, but once she dies it will start to decline. Anyway it's quite difficult to predict. But if Kate names her newborn Elizabeth or Diana there will obviously be a new wave of popularity of those names.   

October 3, 2017 2:17 AM

I also wonder what's the real attitude of the people inside the UK to princess Diana... 

October 3, 2017 4:58 PM

I think there are many different attitudes/opinions. Each person's opinion will depend on a bunch of things (how they feel about the monarchy in general, how old they are, how they feel about the circumstances of her death, etc etc).

I more meant that for me the name Diana is so primarily linked to Diana, Princess of Wales that it would be hard to get past that as the default association, and then I would be worried that every time I introduced her to someone (or she introduced herself) that person would also be thinking of the other Diana. But that is likely to be far far less of a concern for you as you're in a different country, I was just trying to explain my aversion to the name. 

I'd be surprised if Elizabeth declines in any meaningful way when the Queen dies.

October 3, 2017 8:44 PM

Since 2-year-old Princess Charlotte's full name is Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, I highly doubt that William and Catherine will choose one of those names for their next child. Also, Elizabeth enjoyed steady popularity long before Queen Elizabeth was Queen Elizabeth and long before she was even born, so I don't think the name will see a sudden unprecedented plunge when the Queen passes.

October 3, 2017 9:11 PM

The betting is on a girl and Alice. We'll see.

October 4, 2017 4:08 AM

True, I think they will use something modern and girly from top twenty list (but with a long history)

October 2, 2017 10:13 AM

My favourite of the three is also Diana! It feels classic, elegant, and timeless (traits shared with Elizabeth) without feeling ubiquitous (which Elizabeth does). Diana makes me think of the goddess, of the best friend in Anne of Green Gables, and yes, of the princess, and when not paired with Elizabeth, the associations come in that order. 

Of the three, Sophie feels different because it's so tied to the current generation, despite its long history. 

(Diana and Anastasia would be a knockout pair, by the way. Huh... they both have the ana component but really don't come across as matchy, I don't think. Dianastasia. Haha! You'll either love that or despise it! :D)

October 2, 2017 12:15 PM

A thought: I know Dianas who use the pronunciation Dye-ana and others who are Dee-ana. So it's not unambiguous.

October 2, 2017 12:18 PM

True. I associate the dee- pronunciations with languages other than English, but that could be a faulty assumption. 

October 2, 2017 12:42 PM

I think I prefer the dye-pronunciation!

October 3, 2017 9:45 AM

I have known several Dee-annas who spell their names Deeanna or Deanna. Diana is all dye- for me, although I can see what your saying.

October 3, 2017 12:15 PM

As it happens one of my grandson's teachers is Miss Diana, pronounced Deeanna.

A side point: when did teachers start being Miss Firstname? In my day long ago, teachers were Miss/Mrs. Surname. It would have been worth your life to call a teacher by a first name.

October 3, 2017 12:36 PM

In elementary school, my English teachers were either just Firstname without any title or Mrs. Lastname; my French teachers were either Madame Firstname or just Firstname; my Hebrew teachers were Firstname, Moreh/Morah Firstname or Moreh/Morah Lastname; and my Yiddish teachers were Lererin Firstname. I guess it came down to individual preference. My daugher's preschool teachers are all just Firstname (except for her ballet teacher, who is Miss Elaine), but I don't know if preschool ever does it more formally.

By EVie
October 3, 2017 12:50 PM

Karyn, I tend to agree with you. My mother is actually a Diana. Her father was Italian and it was a family name on that side, so they always used the Italian pronunciation (actually DYAH-nah, but to English speakers it probably sounds close to Dee-ana). But she uses dye-ANN-uh outside the family in the U.S., as that's what everyone defaults to (and that's what my American father called her). If the OP is in the U.S., that's what I would consider the standard pronunciation.

I think there's yet another default in the U.K., where the stress is more on the first syllable: DYE-uh-nuh... say it fast enough and it's almost interchangeable with Dinah. 

October 3, 2017 4:19 PM

My impression is that it's a sort of compromise between the formality of Mx Lastname and just Firstname; it feels friendlier than the first, but more formal than the latter. In my kids' elementary school all the teachers are still Miss/Ms./Mrs./Mr. Lastname, but I know several would prefer to be Mx Firstname, so I imagine the school might head in that direction eventually. I personally ask my (college) students to use my first name, or Ms. Firstname if they're not comfortable with that.

October 3, 2017 7:45 PM

I always called my students by honorific and surname, and I would never suggest that they call me by my first name. We were all adults, and we were not friends. It makes me nuts when random people I don't know use my given name. I still adhere to the idea that there is such a thing as being on a first name basis and not being on a first name basis.

October 4, 2017 12:13 AM

Yes, the times, they are a'changin'. In Jane Austen's day even most friends (and even spouses!) used honorifics and surname; really close friends might drop the honorific, but only family and BFFs used first names.  (Except for minor and courtesy titles, who went by Title Firstname.) That's part of how you could tell that Isabella Thorpe was "fast": she was too free with her Christian name, in contrast with the much more respectable Miss Tilney. My understanding is that this practice persisted into the twentieth century in some circles; I remember doing Blithe Spirit in high school and being very confused about the relationships because everyone was Mr and Mrs. Think how shocked someone from that era would be that virtually all adults in my town are on a first name basis with one another!

October 4, 2017 7:33 AM

And I hate my surname and would cringe mightily if I had to be called by it on a regular basis. I suppose I'd be used to it if I lived in a different time and required it to be polite. Though if I lived in a different time, my name would have changed upon marriage altogether. 

October 4, 2017 6:31 PM

When I was growing up (late 80s through 90s) my elementary teachers in California were Ms Firstname, but all the reachers in Connecticut were Ms/Miss/Mrs/Mr Surname -- so I think there's a West Coast Casual that's always been in effect relative to the rest of the country. Now, back on the west coast, the norm at all the area preschools is that teachers are "Teacher Firstname". Elementary teachers have been "Ms/Mrs/Mr Surname" -- that is how the school addresses them, anyway. However, this year my eldest has a teacher who introduces herself as "Profe Firstname" (and that firstname is a casual, approachable nickname at that). I took a great deal of Spanish in middle, highschool and college, so it was a surprise to learn something new -- it's in effect a more casual, gender-neutral way of addressing a teacher (I grew up calling my Spanish teachers either Professor/a or Senor/a Surname). The school still refers to her as Mrs Surname in pulldown menus and the directory, but she's clearly a very progressive person in all her teaching philosophies, so it doesn't surprise me that she's comparably cutting edge in what she has the students call her. I'm really pleased with Profe Firstname as a solution -- it's more intimate but still respectful of her position. (The school is primarily English language but they do a lot of instruction concurrently in Spanish as well, and have Spanish-speaking interns in all the classrooms.)

The Spouse and I generally arrived at a Miss (or really Ms) and Mister Firstname method for our kids to use for grownups not in their families. We liked the idea of an honorific, but surnames seemed overly formal and didn't match what the adults were calling each other and were potentially confusing for toddlers.

In scouting, Ms/Mister Firstname or Title-in-group (e.g. "cubmaster") Firstname seems to also have become the norm, too. 

October 4, 2017 7:01 PM

Elliott calls his figure skating coaches Coach Jenny and Coach Krista. He is in Spanish immersion, and his Spanish teachers are Miss Firstname. For adult friends of the family we use the southern style Miss Mary and Mr. Jim, as opposed to the honorary Aunt and Uncle I was taught in my northern childhood. That wouldn't fly in the south because Aunt Jemima and Uncle Mose/Ben.

In this vein we had a little episode when I introduced my son's father's current wife as Miss Sandie. She bridled because she thought she was entitled to some kind of grandmotherly appellation. Not gonna happen!

Re grandmothers: My grandson wondered why I am called Grandma Mimi which he observed was essentially Grandma Grandma. I explained that I have been Mimi since the day I was born, and Mimi as a grandma name is very recent.

October 4, 2017 7:26 PM

As a kid, it always seemed so strange that kids on TV would call their friends' parents Mr. or Mrs. Lastname. I guess my community was just casual about such things, because I call(ed) friends of the family (including two men who are also my doctors) and friends' parents by their first names, just like everyone else did. 

I hadn't realized that the Mimi-as-grandmother-name was so common that he'd know enough to generalize. I don't know a single kid who calls a grandmother Mimi!