I need advice

So my husband and I have fallen in love with a name for our little girl: Elsie Rae.  But then I was told that it didn't work well with our last name: Leslie.  Is Elsie Leslie too horrible?


October 24, 2012 4:57 PM

Sorry, I have to say I'm not a fan.  It's not awful said out-loud, but written out it is confusing.  My mind had to work out the name because it initially just saw the same name without the first L (Eslie Leslie).  I think it would be improved if you chose another name that could give you the nickname Elsie... like Elizabeth, Elsa, Elisa, Eleanor, etc.  That way she could have a full less-matchy name to go on paperwork, especially when she gets older, and you could still call her Elsie.

I know how you feel, though. One of my favorite girl names is only one letter different from my last name, so I'll never get to use it!

October 24, 2012 6:19 PM

Sadly, yes, Elsie Leslie is just awful.  There's nothing wrong with Elsie as a first name or Leslie as a last name, but they're much too similar to make a usuable name.  It sounds like a tongue twister or a joke.

Some names with a similar feel but different sound:




October 24, 2012 7:20 PM

Sorry, but Elsie Leslie is just too much.  I can only say it right really slowly and it looks confusing when written.  I do think Elsie would be fine (though not ideal) as a nickname.  I really like the suggestion of Elizabeth and will also suggest Ellen & Ella.  For me, something like Elise or Elsa is still problematic.

Some names that have a similar feel to Elsie but without becoming such a tongue twister with the surname-  Maisie, Josie, Sadie, Lucy, Molly, Nell/Nelllie.  I particularly like Sadie for you, Sadie Rae sounds like a fun/spunky girl.  

October 24, 2012 9:38 PM

I think you'd be setting her up for a lifetime of annoyance. Don't you think it would get tiresome to have to talk about how your last name and first name were almost the same every time you met someone new? Lucille, Cecilia, Emilia, or Nancy all give me a similar vibe. Good luck!

By mk
October 24, 2012 10:18 PM

Unfortunately I agree with the others. I think if the names didn't have the same number of syllables it wouldn't be such a problem. But they are much too close.

There are a quite a few names that could end up with a nickname of Elsie, and Rae works well with many names so you could keep it as the middle name. In addition to those mentioned:

Eliza, Anneliese, Eloise, Elsinora

Or what about Iris?


October 25, 2012 9:12 AM

This is my baby girl name and I like it so much. And unfortunately the later one is not compatible for your little one . Try to get some another. There are so many updated lists and directories.

October 25, 2012 9:43 AM

Normally my instinct is to defend names that are a little offbeat or don't have perfect flow but still feel "right" because they are long-time favorites. I want to say, if you really love it, go for it; if you love it enough, the hassles will be worth it. Sadly, I don't think this is the case here. You and, more importantly, your daughter would spend her life constantly fielding comments and jokes about her name, if not teasing. Even if none of it is mean-spirited, it could get tiresome. I'd like to say you could still use Elsie as a nickname for Elisabeth, Elspeth or even Elsa - but I don't think that would actually help much (some, yes, probably not enough though if she actually went by Elsie).

The thing is, there are multiple factors that contribute to making the combination sound cartoonish and cutesy. There's the singsongy rhythm. There are the repeated consonants that bring to mind nursury rhyme patter like "Peter Piper" and "Jack and Jill." There's the fact that the first and last names are almost identical except for switching the order of the first two letters. On top of that Elsie is really a nickname (for Elisabeth or other longer versions of same). If the other issues weren't there, that might not be a problem, although I'd probably still vote for putting the long form on the birth certificate and using Elsie as a nickname. In combination though, it contributes to making the whole name sound childish.

May I suggest an experiment? Try introducing yourself as Elsie Leslie (in places where it doesn't matter that people know and remember your real name, say, at a coffee shop). See what reactions you get and how you feel about them. It's true this isn't a perfect test; I expect people will respond to the name differently on a child than an adult, and of course your daughter's personality and reactions may be different from your own. But at least it will give you a taste of whether living with this name feels manageable or not.

I'm sorry. But there are lots of other names out there, and folks here will be happy to help you brainstorm. And you can keep Rae; that should combine well with many other first names. Remember that lots of us have had to mourn the unusable favorite name, the one that got away, and there are ways to ease the disappointment. For example, you can plan on using all your favorite names that clash with Leslie in other ways: name pets, cars, computer hard drives, fictional characters ... Anyway, you're in good company! But I do think you should let this one go, at least for your child.

October 25, 2012 12:42 PM

I agree with the other posters that Elsie Leslie is not really workable (I had difficulty just typing it correctly because the similarity is somewhat confusing).

If you really love it, why not use Elsie-Rae? Saying all three names breaks up the sing-songiness a bit. Even typing it or reading it on the page becomes less confusing.

April 4, 2013 7:51 AM

for me it does not sound horrible ..it's even cute.. !!

April 22, 2013 9:28 AM

well its not that horrible its just cute and confusing .. lol