Henry's no-name sister is HERE!!! :)

UPDATE! I posted in the Birth Annoucements forum! Thanks again for your help!




I can't believe I've gotten this far into the pregnancy without us deciding on a name. We chose Henry before we were ever married, and though it's gotten insanely popular in the 12 years since he was born, we still love it completely and are quite happy with our choice. I feel guilty -- and fearful! -- that this baby could come at any moment and we haven't settled on her name. I don't want to hold her for the first time without knowing "who" she is, particularly because we "knew" Henry before we knew he was a he!

Having such a huge age gap has complicated this process, for me, at least. DH would be happy to name her Violet or Alice, but the revival of "antique" names in recent years has turned me off to what might be real contenders. We liked that, in 1999, Henry was "common" but not "trendy." Though none of our family or friends approved of the choice back then, we're glad we stuck to our guns and are willing to go back out on that limb to find the perfect name for our girl. And I feel like sticking with the Henry-ish "timeless" names will only yield ones that I veto due to overuse.

Here are some names we've discussed, including some that have already been nixed because I can't get past the popularity issue!:









Viola (though I think this is a nice compromise to Violet, and I love the Shakespeare connection, I'm sure it would be constantly mispronounced)



Some we like but can't use for various reasons: Coraline, Cordelia, Frances, Greta, Louise, Mabel, Martha

If baby was a boy, he'd have been Felix Edward, after my great-grandfather and DH's favorite uncle, respectively.


Thoughts? I don't necessarily mind names that are "on the verge," but I would rather have a few years' delay before her name reached ubiquitousness, as we did with big brother's name. :)

EDITED TO ADD: How do you pronounce Viola? I've always heard it in Twelfth Night as VIE-a-la (somewhere between a "T-less" Violet and Lila). But I know a lot of people say vee-OH-la, vie-OH-la, etc.



April 10, 2012 11:46 PM

My name is Caitlyn, and despite being incredibly common (though that's not the most common spelling) it is CONSTANTLY being mispronounced.  And it really doesn't bother me.  Most people I talk to on a daily basis know my name already, and the occasional nurse or whatever isn't much of a problem.  The same is true for my sister Nyssa, whose name is mispronounced even more consistently.

So don't write off Viola for pronounciation issues.  It's a beautiful name with great roots and associations.

April 11, 2012 10:21 AM

Lady Phlogiston-Not to get off topic here but aren't those names pronounced like Kate-Lynn and Nissa(rhymes with Chris-ah)?


Anyway, to the original poster:

I like all your names too stylistically they all are in the same category. My first thought to go with Henry though is something like Amelia, Bridget, Hazel, or Penelope. Some outliers I could still see as a sibset are things like Georgia, Samantha, Miranda, Esme, or Fiona. Do any of those strike a chord?

April 11, 2012 5:00 AM

I really like all your choices, although my favourites would be Hazel, Ingrid, Josephine, Willa and Agnes. I don't think any of the names on your list are super popular or super trendy.


I think Violet (not viola) and Alice are probably more likely to be popular than any others on your list.


Are you leaning towards any in particular?

April 11, 2012 11:41 AM

Although I LOVE, love, love Esme as mentioned above, I think it might be too matchy-matchy with Henry.  What about Lucinda, Lucille, Florence, Flora, Doris, Velma, Veronica, Vivienne,  and I have to admit that I LOVE Alice with Henry.   Have fun choosing, it is one of the BEST parts of being a mom.  :)


P.S.  I almost suggested Etta but Henry and Etta?  No way!  Cheers

By Guest (not verified)
April 11, 2012 11:58 AM

I have lately started really liking Agnes, but I definitely don't see it becoming popular or trendy anytime soon. I think it makes a great match with Henry. I also think that Josephine and Willa work well also. Good luck!


By hyz
April 11, 2012 12:02 PM

Hmm, lara jane, I don't know where you are, but none of the girls' names you mentioned are at all common in my neck of the woods, except maybe Josephine.  Henry is certainly quite popular, with seemingly one in every class (as is his style buddy, Oliver, which is my son's name), but I've actually never met a young Alice or Violet.  I think the common Henry sisters around here--a sizeable eastern US city, but not a really trend-setting one--would be more like Juliet, Caroline, Josephine, K/Catherine, Lucy, Lily, Mia, Ella, Bella, Quinn, Isabelle, Elise, Claire, maybe Ruby, Fiona, Iris, Isla as outliers....  I do know one baby Estelle, but that's about it off of your list.  The point of this is that unless any of those names on your list are really particularly popular where you are, I don't think any of them sound too tired, and certainly not ubiquitous.  I think you would do fine with any of them, so just go with what you love.  If you are looking for suggestions that have still not regained as much presence, maybe something like Pearl, June, Rosamond, Fern, Wilhelmina (nn Willa, if you want), Lavender (a bit like Violet, but more unexpected), Lavinia (another Shakespearian nod), Francesca (since Frances is a no go), Ada, Anthea or Althea, Margot (a bit like Martha), Virginia, Dahlia (a bit like Viola, but much prettier to my ear), Ruth, Vera, Lena, Opal, Eloise, Rosemary, Esther/Ester, Mathilda, Elsa, Dorothea, Susannah....  Or you could go super traditional and timeless with something like Elizabeth or Margaret, but then make it old school with a nn like Betty, Betsy, Daisy or Maisie.  Anyway, I love the style, and I doubt any name you listed is a future Henry in terms of popularity, so maybe try not to worry about that aspect as much.  Personally, from your list, Hazel is my favorite, but I'd be a little shy of doing two H names, so my next favorite is Violet.  I also love Willa and Ingrid.  Agnes, Beatrice, Estelle, Edith, and Viola still sound mostly like old ladies to me (and not in a good way), although I'm starting to come around on Agnes and Edith.  Celia is nice to me, but not exciting, and Josephine does seem a bit too common, although I might do something like Josepha.  Alice is a bit like Jane for me, nice enough and strikes the right note, but not really exciting/meaningful enough for me to use on my own child--although I'd quite admire it if I saw it on another kid, though.  And Alice really does sound pretty smashing with Henry.        

April 11, 2012 12:16 PM

I see a divide in your list between two styles I'd call "offbeat antique" and "contrarian." Henry, back when you fell in love with it, epitomized "offbeat antique" -- definitely not in the thick of current trends, but a pleasant surprise to most people. The "contrarian" names like Agnes are so determinedly off-trend that they'll turn off quite a few.

From your list, Celia and Beatrice leap out at me as genuinely uncommon but not aggressively contrarian. (Though personally, I wouldn't be too scared by Alice's popularity! There are 13 Isabellas born for every Alice, it's really not too common yet.)


p.s. Everybody, sorry if the reverse chronological order of these replies is confusing! I'll try to get them turned around.  -Laura

By Guest (not verified)
April 11, 2012 12:52 PM

I like Celia out of the names you listed. Henry and Celia sound perfect together.

April 11, 2012 12:58 PM

It must be my hormones, but your responses are making me cry! hahaha!!!!

Thank you for all of the wonderful feedback. I don't know why I have such an issue with (supposed) popularity! Jake (that's DH) and Henry roll their eyes and say, "Who cares?" but I think my name-obsessiveness is the root of the problem. Reading this blog and other NE forums has made me biased, I think, on what is actually popular!

I'm from Northern California and Jake is from Central Arkansas, and we're currently in Podunk Missouri where none of these names would be too common. I do know four new babies (within the last three months!) called Alice/Alyce, which bothers me... too bad, because I think it's a lovely match with Henry. Two young Violets, too. But otherwise, the names on the list are nowhere near as overexposed as I'm making them out to be, at least not in my neck of the woods.

Again, the hormones! I think I need to take a breath and get over myself! Right?

Thank you all for the reality check! I'm going to go over your suggestions with my guys and will update asap with their reactions. I appreciate your help so much!


ETA: I plan on replying to you individually but I'm starving for lunch and will have to come back in a bit! ;)

By Guest (not verified)
April 11, 2012 1:01 PM

I am the mother of a 5 year old Henry, and he has younger siblings named Violet, Annie, and Joseph. I do think Violet is becoming more popular, but we have only met one other in 4 years so I am not sure it is ubiquitous just yet. I wouldn't consider any of the names you mentioned to be popular. Of the choices, my favorite is Josephine. It goes so well with Henry and has the timeless, offbeat, literary, and royal qualities that I love about Henry. I think Agnes is your best bet for a name not gaining popularity, but I do find it unattractive.

I have always been worried about popularity and trendiness but we named one of our 1 year old twins Joseph despite this. I have found that I love the warm comfort famliarity of his name so much more than I thought I would.  

By hyz
April 11, 2012 1:31 PM

I love your kids' names!  I have only met one little Joseph lately, and I loved "the warm familiarity" of it, too.  My grandfather was Joseph, and his mother was Anna--I feel that those are some classic but somehow currently underused names, at least in my area.  Around here, it seems like you are 50 times more likely to meet a little Sam, Ben, Jack, (or Henry or Oliver) rather than Joseph, and same goes for Juliet, Elise, Isabelle, or Claire over Anne/a.

Lara Jane, if I actually knew as many little Alices and Violets as you seem to, I might be wary of those, too.  You might just be in a pocket of them--in which case, she may have to go by Alice S. in elementary school, but should probably feel more unique when she gets to college, or whatever.  That may or may not matter to you.  With our son's name, we went in eyes wide open on the popularity, but it was a name that DH and I both loved and pretty instantly agreed on, and it worked with the other various factors we had to consider, and that's not easy to come by, so we went for it.     

April 11, 2012 1:07 PM

You share the same tastes and concerns about names as I did when I was naming my daughter (For what it's worth, Henry has been a favorite of mine forever but I would never use it now for the same trend-avoidance reasons. Josephine I loved so much I actually had it as number one on my list even though it's popular. It's still no Jessica or Jason.) In the end, I ended up finding a name on nymbler that I think is perfect--a perfect stylistic match with all of those trendy or trend-adjacent names, but is itself extremely rare: Adair

I found it because we loved Adele, but I just had a bad feeling about that up-and-coming singer... (good instincts, apparently!) and then I saw Adair and knew it was the one. I love it because it's uncommon but simple to spell and pronouce, sounds old fashioned but with some sass, and has a common nickname (for potential use during those years when fitting in is more important than standing out :)) And now at age nearly 2, we have yet to meet another one and it fits her PERFECTLY.

I'm not suggesting that you should be as in love with that exact name as I am, but maybe try plugging some of your top choices into nymbler (or just hitting the books a bit more) and see if you can't find something that is close to one of your choices but just a little off the beaten track.


April 11, 2012 1:14 PM

I love your options of Edith and Hazel, though with Edith I'd wonder if popularity might become an issue because of Downton Abbey. 

Just a random thought. I see that you would have named a boy Felix Edward and that immediately made the name Edwina come to mind. I'm not sure if that's helpful or a little too uncommon for you. 

April 11, 2012 1:53 PM

Thought of another few-Bianca, and Vivienne

April 11, 2012 2:55 PM

The only names on your list I could see becoming popular relatively soon are Violet and Josephine, and possibly Willa.  I think you'd be perfectly safe with any of the others.  Perhaps you just haven't hit on the right name yet? 

Henry is a name I see working with quite an assortment of names.  Some suggestions I would give are Mavis, Paulette, Millicent, Maxine, Simone, Adelaide, Lucille, Agatha, Marian, Cecile, Theodora, and Genevieve based on the names on your list.

April 11, 2012 3:25 PM

I love Agnes, Beatrice, Edith, Hazel, Ingrid, Josephine and Viola. The others aren't bad names; they just seem either insubstantial or dull to me for some reason.

Agnes may become trendy in certain (very hipsterish) circles, but I think it's safe otherwise. The general population isn't ready for it to make a comeback yet.

Beatrice, Edith and Ingrid seem reasonably safe for now as well. They're not really spiking on the charts.

Hazel and Josephine have the potential to become top 100 names in the next few years in my opinion, so if you're worried about trendiness I'd avoid these two. Especially Hazel, which has the long A sound that seems to be so popular at the moment.

I expect Viola to reappear at the top 1000 at some point due to Violet's popularity, but I don't think it'll be huge, at least not for a few years.

A few suggestions just because:



April 11, 2012 4:31 PM

My favourites from your list:

Viola (I like Violet more though)

My suggestions:

Coralie or Cora (as an alternative to Coraline)

By Guest (not verified)
April 11, 2012 5:14 PM

Another H-name might be too matchy-matchy - do you think? what about Henry & Helen?

Or, what of a medieval spelling of Alice -- Alys?

Here's a list of more ideas...












By Guest (not verified)
April 11, 2012 6:24 PM

Well, we have a Henry, so I'll share my list for you.


First, despite its popularity in our state, we rarely encounter another one.

It's  a city name, I think.

Out here in the 'burbs, it's very much still Aiden territory.

So, you know, you could probably Move and go ahead and use Alice. :)

Here are a few that would be on the list if I was having a girl.




Hattie (Maybe on its own; maybe as a Harriet nn)

Margaret Alice nn Greta or Maisie or Maisy (Oops-I see you can't do Greta)



I have fallen out of love with Charlotte due to its popularity, but my general thought is that no matter how popular a classic gets, it's still a classic! A little black dress never looks ridiculous, even in a room full of them.

Oh, and I do adore Willa and Celia. I haven't heard of one of either of those, and we know absolutely gobs of wee ones. Oh, could I interest you in Cecily?



By Guest (not verified)
April 11, 2012 6:24 PM

Instantly Vera came to mind suiting Henry with its solid soft sound. Vera to me is beautiful and familiar as well as different. Miriam or Mara may also fit well with Henry.


By Guest (not verified)
April 17, 2012 10:03 PM

Funny, Vera is the name that keeps coming to my mind for Henry's sister too.  Also, how about Elinor (the sense and sensibility spelling) or Eleanor?

By hwar
April 11, 2012 8:29 PM

Your list is really great.  I'm not sure you can go wrong with any of those names.

I also think Alice would be darling with Henry, though I understand your hesitation if you already know several baby Alices. Another name you might like that I think goes along with the Hazel crowd is Edith.  Edie is a sweet nickname and it's still fairly uncommon compared to some of the other antique revivals.  Another possibility is Sylvia or Sylvie.  I have a deep and abiding love for Leona too, although my husband has totally vetoed it so I will never get to use it..  Matilda is a bit of a clunker but the nicknames (Tilly, my favorite, and Mattie) are young and charming, which strikes a nice balance.

By Guest (not verified)
April 11, 2012 10:59 PM

Of your list, I quite Celia, Edith, and Beatrice. THe little girl next door to us is named Celia and I find it consistantly charming. I don't know any others. Edith was on my list (dh vetoed). I loved the possible nickname Edie... although the downside of that nickname is that there are so many Evas out there now that there might be confusion. Beatrice is just lovely. And goes so well with Henry. Plus, I want to say it isn't even in the top 1,000 is it? If it is, it's really far down the list. 

By Guest (not verified)
April 11, 2012 11:00 PM


April 12, 2012 3:45 PM

Hi Lara!

First off, I hope you come back to us to report what you choose, with your due date so close!  

I love the name henry as well, and I have just recently reached the 'who cares' state about popularity of names (although in my heart of hearts, I still do care a little!) so I know what you are going through.  


What about any of these?












April 15, 2012 10:33 AM

I can't keep track of everything that's already been suggested, so I won't try to add another list!

One suggestion I don't think I saw was Felicia or Felicity - or are you saving Felix in case you have another son?

I'll also note that I know a Henry (~8 years old?) with big sisters Charlotte (~14) and Beatrice (~11), so Beatrice seems like a natural fit to me.

By Guest (not verified)
April 17, 2012 11:05 AM

Hi Lara,

I agree that Alice is lovely, so how about Anne or Anna, they are not currently popular but familiar and not out of place with Henry.  I had a look in my family tree for some 'old fashioned' inspiration:










Good luck!

By Guest (not verified)
April 20, 2012 9:21 AM

Love Ingrid and think it goes beautifully with Henry. Josephine has always been a favourite of mine but is possibly the most easily popular on your list. I think I prefer Estella to Estelle (Dickens' Great Expectations). You shouldn't have any issues with Viola either. Great names all round!

April 20, 2012 11:55 PM

Thanks again for all of the feedback!

I'm very happy to report that "Baby Girl White" is still hanging in there. No progress made from week 38 to week 39, so I did a little happy dance, which amused my midwife. ;)  I'm simply not in any hurry for this baby to be born, I think because I know for sure this is it for us, and the pregnancy came as such an unexpected blessing (SHOCK, if I'm being 100% honest!), I'm trying to savour every moment.

Maybe this is why I'm having such trouble committing to a name? Same reason all of her clothes have yet to be washed and put away? I'm excited to meet her but I don't want to rush it. Of course, there's no real worry of "rushing" anything at this point. I think I need a brisk slap across the face, because I am literally a ticking time bomb!

We're still mulling it over -- including many of your suggestions! -- but we're no closer to deciding than we were a week ago. It does make me slightly panicky, but I suppose if we don't have THE NAME chosen by the time she's born, we'll have to take the list along and see if anything jumps out at as. I really hate this tactic, waiting to meet the baby before settling on his/her name, simply because all babies look like little old men. LOL

By Guest (not verified)
April 25, 2012 8:25 AM

If you aren't planning more children my top top omg please use it pick is Hazel. I think that for two children, especially with that big of an age gap, that is a perfect sibset. Henry and Hazel! OMG I SWOON.


Oh but wait, is your last name really White? Hazel White...hmm. that might be too many colors in one name. HMM. What about Helen?


Um. Otherwise....Edith really is lovely. Or Elsa, Anna, Sophie, Kathryn...

April 30, 2012 8:26 PM

Bump for announcement!