Help us choose an "ugly" name for baby #3!

Hey, name enthusiasts!  I'm 7 months pregnant with our third baby, and we don't know if it's a boy or girl.  In the time when liquid and raindrop names with lots of vowels are in fashion, our style leans more towards what The Baby Name Wizard book calls "porch sitters" with a touch of "ladies and gentlemen": consonant-heavy, grandma-esque names that have fallen off the charts since their heyday or were never very popular to begin with.  We love these "ugly" names. :)

Our current children are Hester Eleanor and Northrop Arnold.  For baby #3, our working titles are Sanford Bernard (or possibly Sanford Morris) for a boy and Ardith Dorothy for a girl.  All middle names are family names to honor relatives and aren't really changeable.  If we don't stumble across anything we like better than Sanford or Ardith, those are the names we're going with.

The name advice I'm looking for is this: Before we sign the birth certificate with either of those names, I want to make sure there's nothing we've forgotten or overlooked that we might like even better.  Some other names we pondered but for various reasons didn't make the top slot are:



I'd prefer not to repeat first and last initials (no H, N, or M names -- our last name is German-ish, like "Milz-schmidt"), and we'd like to avoid anything rising in popularity or even in the top 1,000 names the past few years.  Can you think of anything that fits our criteria that we may have overlooked???  THANK YOU!


Note from the mods:

This thread has been locked due to high spam traffic. If you would like to continue the conversation, please start a new thread.


August 8, 2016 12:03 AM

I hardly ever use OMG. But OMG! I love your ugly names. I could die and go to heaven if someone named their daughter Blanche, Myrtle, Edith or Ethylene!

I think you've picked some fine ones. Sanford and Ardith - yay! 

August 8, 2016 6:00 AM

Charming old clunky names!  Too much fun.


Bernadette, Adelheid, Persephone or Penelope, Andromeda, Thelma, Edith, Frances, Doreen, Florianne, Deirdre, Veronica, Cerridwen (hard c like carrot, it's Welsh), Gladys, Joyce, Solveig, Brigid, Mabel, Mechtild, Betsy, Bertha, Martha, Millicent, Gertrude, Ingrid, Marguerite, Zelda, Hilda, Ethel.

Clarence, Fergus, Richard, Walter, Victor, Ambrose, Arthur, Gerald, Jerome, Gerard, Cato, Gareth, Taber, Terrence, Dirk, Hubert, Conrad, Wyatt, Rhett, Sterling, Jenkins, Ryker, Homer, Claude (or Claudio or Claudius), Clint, Gerber, Hector, Brodie, Franklin, Gifford, Milton, Vernon, Albert, Edmund, Raymond, Ferdinand....

August 8, 2016 10:20 AM

Interestingly, your top pick "ugly" names are also names that can appeal to many of those who are not fans of most "ugly" names (present company included). I don't know if that is something that is pleasing to you or disappointing, but personally I think it's a good thing :)

August 8, 2016 12:36 PM

I like these names too, Karyn, even though they're nms. I'd be very pleased to meet a child irl with any of these names (Hester and Northrop included!) even though I wouldn't use most of these myself. *writes down half this list for future character-naming reference*

August 8, 2016 1:10 PM

I really like this style too! I'm wondering if you mind the repeathed sounds in Ardith and Dorothy. I find the combination less melifluous than some of your other options. Although, perhaps melifluous isn't what you're going for. Might I suggest Matilda, Gertrude, Gretchen, Hilda?


August 8, 2016 1:26 PM

I also really like your name choices! The -ith ending is a favorite of mine for girls that I'm excited to see on a baby.

On the "things you may not have noticed" front, I would somewhat prefer Sanford Morris over Sanford Bernard, as the latter sounds to me verrry close to Saint Bernard (possibly helped along by my familiarity with San Bernardino, CA).

August 8, 2016 3:38 PM

Zelda is back in the Top 1000, as of 2015, with a bullet at #647. You can go to the Social Security baby-name site and search by top names from different decade. All of yours are from the 1910s.
I like Opal and Bernice as sister to Esther. Mildred I like for a Millie nn, buts watch out for "mildew." I also knew a woman (who would now be in her mid-40s) who was named Arden, a variant on Ardell, if you prefer.

I doubt this is true for many, but Sanford immediately takes me to that great saxophone melody for "Sanford & Son." I'm expecting an old, cranky, somewhat inappropriate black guy. ;-) So I found you Wolford, where you can get Wolf as a nn (esp nice if brother Northrup ever goes by North) without going to Wolfgang.

August 8, 2016 6:57 PM

I have an older cousin Sanford (older meaning in his eighties), and he is no Redd Foxx.  When he was young he was called Sandy, but after he married he changed to Sy.

Your various "clunky" names are all over my family: Mildred, Eleanor, Leonard, Irving (Sanford's father).  So maybe some other names from my family might suit: Sylvia, Blanche, Sonia, Gertrude, Sidney (male), Olga, Ida, Wolf, Meyer, Goldie, Gussie.

BTW I knew an Ardith in college, and my mother-in-law's name was Dorothy.  My son's mother-in-law is Judith.

August 10, 2016 7:27 PM

Hey, everyone!  Original poster here. Thanks for the help and the replies, and here are some of my thoughts:

I'm glad so many of you like my "ugly" name tastes. :)  I didn't want ugly for ugly's sake, more a shortcut way of saying that my naming style is out-of-date and currently unpopular, and a far cry from "beautiful" in-style names like Mia, Liam, Bella, Lilliana, etc.  Thanks for liking our choices!

As for first name-middle name "flow" or how they pair together, I really agree with this post:  There are very few instances where the two names will be said together (I don't even break out the middle names when I'm speaking sternly to my kids, haha!), and the only time we ever talk about our kids' middle names with them is in reference to who they're named after.  It's more important to me to honor the relative than find sounds that flow nicely, although I hadn't thought of the "Saint Bernard" similarity!  I told my husband it kind of sounds like we were diehard Bernie Sanders fans and just couldn't let it go, hah!

Speaking of associations, when I hear Sanford, I think of Sanford "Sandy" Koufax, the baseball player (even though Sanford and Son is a show I know of and one my husband likes).  I think Sandy would be a nice nickname, too, but I thought the same about North for Northrop or Hettie for Hester, and we almost always just use full names.

Thank you again for all the new suggestions -- some of them I'd already considered (Sterling in particular I pondered for a while).  Sanford and Ardith continue to top the list, but my husband and I still have a few weeks to hit the baby name books and confirm we're 100% on those names!  (We haven't discussed names at ALL this pregnancy, and our top choices are ones we talked about shortly after our last baby was born in a "if we ever have more kids what would we name them" kind of way, so I feel like we need to take a moment to really give it some thought again at this particular moment in time.)

Thank again again again!!!

August 12, 2016 2:50 PM

I haven't checked in on the popularity of these names but the names I am going to offer I have never heard on a living person or are the names of 1 person I have ever met in my lifetime. THey are all fairly old names, thanks to my family's interesting naming scheme in the past.

For guys;
Ernest (like Ernest Hemmingway. Wonderful strong name that is so overlooked and deemed 'ugly' by lots of people)
Penny (My great-great-grandfather's name - nobody really knows how he got this name but he wore it proudly and bravely and it became a real hit and I rarely hear it on girls let alone boys)
Roland(Grandfather's middle name)
Lesley (both a guys and girls name, my middle name too, also masculine and rare and so nice, and the only other person I've ever met with this name is the family member I am named after)
Unger (Cousin's middle name)
Ronald (barely a used name anymore)
Orville (I met a baby with this name many years ago and it was cute as heck)
Oswald (an elderly man who lived on my street growing up who was so jolly and very agile for a 97 year old) 

And for Girls!
Denyse (my mom)
Lesley (my middle name that also works for a girl so it's in here twice)
Hazel (great-grandmother, never met another Hazel)
June (a grandmother who many people laughed at because "June is a month not a name")
(great-aunt Gale, sister to June)
(Nickname for June's middle name, Darling, so some people would call her Darla but also consider Darling because it is also cute AF)
(I recently met a 50 year old named Meredith)
(My childhood best friend's great-grandmother's name was Minerva-Agnes)
(Minerva McGonogal from Harry Potter, also Minerva-Agnes so)
Greta (pronounced like Greet-uh, was my great-great-grandmother on my mom's side and I fell in love with it as a kid but when I first found out I was pregnant I excitedly wanted to name the baby Greta if it was a girl and that didn't work because my husband thinks the name is ugly and old so maybe if I found so much beauty in it you might too?) 

I hope this helps even if it's just a direction you could take with finding names! But also honestly I love the names you suggested!

April 25, 2018 4:00 PM

So I guess non-mods can comment now. Ironically, the first thing to get in was spam.

May 12, 2019 9:02 AM

Sanford is so stunning! How about Staniford or Stanley?

other ugly (spoiler they’re beautiful) names could be 


Monroe (I know m wasn’t a preferred initial but how cute is Mo?) Lawrence, Rigby, Montgomery (monty as nn), Clarence, Murray, Eugene, barnaby, Marty

Goldeheve (not sure if I got the spelling right but little goldie would be so gorgeous!), Edith, mavis, gwen, doreen, maureen, Bernadine (It means little bear - yes please)


May 12, 2019 8:51 PM

Goldeheve is the really old spelling; later on it's found as Goldiva or scribal variations (Goldyva, Goldyua) -- but by later on I mean 13th century instead of 12th. (I'm away from my books, so I can't check how long it stayed in use after that, but other forms and other early English names in Gold- can be seen in this article:

May 13, 2019 11:47 AM

Hi again! Original poster here. Very surprised to see this is still getting replies! An update: We ended up having a girl and naming her Ardith Dorothy. She is 2 years old now and the name fits perfectly. If we have another baby, we still like Sanford for a boy but would have to go back to the drawing board for a girl. :)

May 13, 2019 3:07 PM

Fantastic! What a perfect addition to your set. 

This thread was revived by porn spam--your return announcement might be the only good thing those spammers have ever done! ;)

May 13, 2019 5:09 PM

oh that is great to hear,  Ardith Dorothy sounds lovely

May 13, 2019 5:21 PM

Beautiful! I'm so glad to hear your update (even if we have spam to thank for it).

May 17, 2019 12:34 PM

Ardith is completely fantastic.  If I met a little girl named Ardith I just might swoon.  

I don't love Sanford AS much, but I certainly wouldn't try to talk you out of it.  

There is a lovely paraprofessional at my childrens' school named Opal.  That would probably be my next choice after Ardith.

Cyril is probably what I'd pick from your boy list.

June 15, 2019 12:24 AM

Totally new to this forum.

I LOVE Hester.


If you have another daughter:

...Viola Maude...