I'm having second thoughts...

A while ago we managed to select two possible names for our baby girl, either Avis nn Birdie or Vesper. But the past two or three days, I've begun to have second thoughts concerning them both. I wasn't at all too keen on saint names for our baby, which my partner was pressing for, but now I find myself crushing on Dorothy nn Dot. I honestly don't know anymore which way to go.

It seems as though the more I love names, the harder it is for me to choose, and when I do, I keep thinking, but what about all of the other beautiful names out there?

I really love Avis and Vesper, they're the V names I wanted so much and I think they have a sort of film noir flare that appeals to me. The downside I think is that they've started feeling androgynous, and that's not really my overall style or preference. The other downside is that they are quite difficult for our family members to pronounce or recognize as names. Most female names in Spanish or Italian end with -a.

Have any of you ever felt this way? How were you able to finally decide? And once again, what do you think of each of these names?

A part of me feels like I should keep looking for the perfect name.


January 28, 2016 10:43 PM

I like Avis the best-but I'm sort of drawn to short names that start with A. If you want your family to be able to say it clearer, I think Dorothy. Vesper makes me think of snakes, I don't know why. How about Elvera or verna? Or Ava or Ivy? 

January 28, 2016 11:46 PM

I posted in favor of Avis on your previous list, but I will say that I prefer Dorothy by a large margin.  Then again, my naming style is more traditional than yours, and I love names that seem obscure or underused, but classic.

I think Dorothy, with the nickname Dot, and even with the ocassional nickname Birdie (which strikes me as much more of a "situational" nickname than a "based on the actual name" nickname) works beautifully.  You like it, it is a saint's name (but not an overtly "Catholicy" name like Philomena or Bernadette), and it is traditional enough to please anyone without being common enough for your Dorothy to be lost among many others. 

January 29, 2016 12:16 AM

If I'd had any girls, I would have had a horrible time choosing too! Just too many good ones. Geneva, Dinah, Coralie, Felice, Daisy...

Avis is forever fusty to me (anything ending in -is, I think), and Vesper IS a little androgynous. Dorothy nn Dot is great! The Wizard of Oz character makes it a timelessly youthful name to me.

January 29, 2016 12:24 AM

I've loved Avis since your earlier posts. I'm not loving Vesper (as a PP mentioned, it also reminds me of snakes and scooters as it kind of feels like a mix of viper and Vespa). I don't get the androgynous vibe you mentioned from Avis at all, but I do get that with Vesper for what it's worth.

Dorothy/Dot is great! I really love this choice. If having a name that ends in a is important to you for extended family pronunciation reasons, would you consider Dorothea? There are lots of nicknames options to choose from and family could use a nickname that is easier for them - Dora, Dot, Dottie, Thea, Dea, etc.

If it was me I would be torn between Dorothy/Dorothea and Avis. They are different styles so i can see how it might be hard to decide. Are you comfortable having two names and waiting to see what feels right when she decides?

I don't recall if you've mentioned whether or not there may be a possibility of siblings in the future, but that could be a factor in deciding too. Would you have an easier time finding a suitable sibling for an Avis, a Vesper, or a Dorothy?

January 29, 2016 12:29 AM

I really like Avis & Vesper and I don't think they sound unisex at all.  I'm surprised at the problems with your family, Avis & Vesper both have latin roots, so I would think most Italian or Spanish speakers would get them, even if they weren't personally familiar with either name.

Dorothy is nice, but it does strike me as a huge departure from your usual style.  That's OK, but it should be something to consider if you plan on more kids and prefer for sibling names to coordinate.  Would you feel locked in to using only names that "match" Dorothy?

An alternative might be Dorothea, which feels a little fresher to me.  

January 29, 2016 1:44 AM

My MIL was Dorothy, nn Dot.  She'd be about 115 years old now.  So about on schedule for a revival?

January 29, 2016 10:17 PM

Good point, Dorothy probably is technically for a comeback for most people. I should clarify that my mother's name is Dorothy, nn Dot, so it doesn't feel ready for me.  FWIW, she has always hated her "old lady" name.

January 29, 2016 5:51 AM

I like Avis. Short and sweet. Have you considered Aveza? Its the old Germanic form of Avis. Aveza though possibly means desired and not bird. I don't think you need to worry about the name not meaning Birdie. I think you can use the nickname Birdie with any name.

Dorothy I like for you. It is a saints name which your husband was pushing for but most importantly you like the name. Dorothy makes me think of Dorothea which has the A ending your family seek.

Vesper makes me think of snakes and motorcycles. 

January 29, 2016 11:11 AM

Hmmm, difficult.

I don't find either Avis or Vesper unisex at all. Avis I've always known as female, and Vesper has not only the books I mentioned in the other thread, but also a character in a Bond film. I personally love Vesper and don't love Avis, but I think that's just a personal thing in that I'm not a fan of long-A sounds in names. I do love the meaning and the nickname.

I also like Dorothy though. Perhaps it's a case of seeing what looks right on the baby? I agree with the suggestion of Dorothea, above, both because it sounds more Italiany, and for the literary namesake Dorothea Brooks.

But I do think they are all fine names! As a fellow name entusiast, I feel your pain on the names left behind, but short of having about nine daughters (and only daughters!) there's not much help for it! Future pet names? :D

January 29, 2016 4:28 PM

I love Dorothy, but strangely can't come to love Dorothea... It just doesn't seem so lovely, delicate and endearing. Highly subjective, anyway, but still... Thank you for your extra two-cents on Avis and Vesper.

January 29, 2016 4:40 PM

What if I put Angelina which is meant to be baby's middle name in the first spot? My partner loves the idea, but he's more than a bit biased since it's honoring his mother. I do love the name, but I'm a bit insecure in giving my daughter the name Vesper or Avis, since they are a lot more obscure.

Goodness this is difficult!

January 29, 2016 7:30 PM

Honestly, I think "Dorothy Angelina" sounds better than "Angelina Dorothy" or "Angelina Avis" or "Angelina Vesper."

Vesper is odd to me...it makes me think of Vespers, or evening prayers in the Divine Office.  It doesn't read as a name to me at all. 

January 30, 2016 11:13 AM

Oh wow! I know that film! So adorable... Thanks for sharing and reminding me!

By mk
February 1, 2016 5:19 PM

Do you like the idea? I have to say, Angelina is my favorite of the 4 names. Angelina Avis sounds nice to me, as does Dorothy. Vesper is too relgisious for me, personally, but it is also fine with Angelina.

January 29, 2016 8:15 PM

I don't have any secret tricks to settle on a name. It's been harder this time around for our last baby but I feel confident that even if I end up bringing all 9 names to the hospital, I will know by the time I hold my baby. It happened for my son that way when I went in with a name I was uncertain about. We ended up picking a name we had rejected much earlier on. 

Angelina is a lovely name. I also think Avis is very pretty but I think it's important to feel secure in your choice(s).  I do find that if I sit on a name choice for awhile my feelings about the name become clearer with time. I'm not a big fan of Vesper because it makes me think of the Bond girl and I have a hard time seeing in a little girl. Dorothy nickname Dot I love!  I don't see why you have to stop looking for a name either if you don't feel satisfied. Your list isn't unwieldy yet I think! It might be good to settle what style you want though as you have what I see as two different styles...or if you don't care about how sibling names go together, if there will be any others.

January 31, 2016 12:24 AM

My advice might be to focus on whether any of these names feel more right to you than others for this particular baby. These names all have very different feels to me, for lack of a better word. There are a lot of names that I love (really truly love) but they just don't feel right for an actual child of mine... or even just for a particular child. Sometimes they are ON the table and then feeling super and comfortable for a next pregnancy, so it helps to know that it's not a permanent farewell, just that they weren't the right name for that particular gestation. I think the best way to do this is to try on a name for a few days. Try saying the name outloud in contexts that would come up in parenting a child of different ages, try referring to the baby in utero by a particular name, write it out, see how that feels to you. If it's blessed relief and feeling right, then yay - you named your baby! If instead you're feeling pangs of regret that you aren't using one of the other names, that might mean that your heart is really there, instead.

I really like Avis, nicknamed Birdie - to me it seems like a midway point between Vesper (very modern/scifi) and Dorothy/Dot (very contrarian revival with a funky-clunk nickname). Birdie is like Dot, to me, and Avis has a lot of the stylish verve of Vesper, while still being more of an established name.

Does your husband have any input as to which of these feel most right to him? That is also an important consideration. If Dorothy/Dot would enable you both to feel that you got the call name that you had been longing for, then that seems like a great opportunity.

Lastly, I really wouldn't put too much stock in the relative opinions. In my experience, relatives can and do get used to names that are surprising and unfamiliar to them at first, once they are attached to a beloved grandchild/nephew/etc.

Lastly, all the other beautiful names out there can be used by you in other occasions (future siblings but also naming pets, computers, etc) or they can also just be recommended here on this forum after your own baby naming days are over, so that other people can use them on their babies instead. :)

By Eko
January 31, 2016 10:42 AM

I think putting Angelina in the first spot is a lovely idea, it would give the child a very meaningful name and provide some comfort for your husband in this difficult time.

Maybe Angelina Vesper, you could even use Avis as a nickname for little AV!

By mk
February 1, 2016 5:13 PM

I think this is a great suggestion!

January 31, 2016 9:56 PM

I agree with the previous posters who've said that it's best to try it out for a while to see if it "fits," and whether your husband likes Dorothy. I don't have kids, but I differentiate names I'd like to give a hypothetical child from the (many, many) names I like. You can also wait until the baby is born and see which feels right. There's no rule that says you have to make up your mind right away, and some people just aren't comfortable making a choice right away and prefer to keep their options open for as long as possible and only decide when they have to, after they've let their name choices "marinate."

February 2, 2016 6:04 PM

I love Birdie best, as the full given name. Dorothy is much too old and dusty, in my opinion.  But I do like Dot by itself.  I think when the name feels inevitable, not just a name you love, it will be "the one."  That's how I decided on both my boys' names.