Middle name barbara, first name???

Hi everyone! So excited about the forums!!


We are expecting this fall and don't yet know what we are having. If it's a girl, we'll be using the middle name barbara after my mother. I'd like ideas for names that go with it that are not too popular and not too long (preferably don't have a ton of nicknames).


My top fave names right now are louisa, margot, and vivian. I like older styles of names and want something that is recognizable but something you don't often encounter. Something like a great-grandma name :)


Thoughts on these names? I also have a great grandma Opal, but I'm not sure about it (TOO old?? does it go?).

Thank you!



By Guest (not verified)
April 16, 2012 1:26 AM

Opal Barbara is a bit difficult for me to say, the P and Bs together make me stumble a bit, but that could just be my own issue.  I do like Opal a lot and do not think it sounds too old at all.  I'd be very happy to see some little Opals running around.

I don't care much for Louisa Barbara because they both end in A.  Between Margot and Vivian, Vivian Barbara is OK, and I quite like Margot Barbara.  Some other suggestions that might match your style and I think sound nice with Barbara; Hazel, Lillian (to common?), Alice, Josephine.

April 16, 2012 8:18 AM

To me Vivian Barbara sound the best. Opal is a possibilty in the mn spot as well. Other grandma names:

Dorothy, Ruth, Gertrude nn Gertie, Mabel, Constance

Some that aren't quite grandma names but fall into the old-fashioned feel category:

Ruby, Madeline, Frances, Ophelia, Carol(e), Jean

Of course the only Barbara I know is a Barbara Ann so that's no help.

By Guest (not verified)
April 16, 2012 1:48 PM

Or Gertrude, nicknamed Trudy/Trudie. 

(Gertrude/Trudy might have a popularity bounce due to Mad Men, but I doubt it'll be much - Gertrude is a pretty bold choice.)

April 16, 2012 9:06 PM

Thanks, I don't like louisa because it's so sing-songy with barbara. Opal is a family name, so i'm pondering it...however, i think it is a bit awkward too. i'm torn between family names and something from that generation.


Margo is probably one of my top names but I fear it doesn't go with Barbara. Such a difficult middle name! I'm not worried as much about style/era matching as I am about how the names flow together (although how often do you really say your middle name with your first...?)


Thanks for the suggestions! I've been on Nymbler too to try to get ideas as well.


April 16, 2012 10:09 AM

Pearl Barbara might work, though now that I type it out it sounds a bit like "Pearl Harbor" so never mind. Unless you're in the uk, maybe.






April 16, 2012 1:01 PM

Of your name choices I like Margot Barbara best.  I think there's a bit of a style clash with Louisa or Vivian.  Margot is a preppy, bouncy name and suits the sensible mid-century Barbara well.  Louisa Barbara has that common ending that make it a poor match and Vivian is too frilly for Barbara.  Of the three, Vivian is ranked highest at #207.

Since old-fashioned names with soft syllables are on-trend right now, while they might sound like great-grandma names now they will probably sound on-trend to your daughter.  Almost all the threads I've read on this forum about baby girl names have asked for old-fashioned and not too popular.  That's not to deter you but it is something to fun to think about. 

April 16, 2012 6:27 PM

From your list I also like Margot the best.

Some suggestions--

Meryl, Beryl, Eileen, Ellen, Mavis, Agnes

By mk
April 17, 2012 4:44 PM

Louise (sounds better with Barbara than Louisa)







April 17, 2012 10:11 PM

thanks for all the help! the feedback i've been getting (overwhelmingly!) is BARBARA?! yuck! maybe i should just ignore it stylistically and pick something that works for us since i'm pretty dead-set on it.

i'd love to get one last round of suggestions (although i'll be back!) to give me something to think on. here are thoughts on previous suggestions:

constance (love it but, surprisingly, know TWO (!) so they might think the baby's named after them...)






thanks everyone!

April 18, 2012 1:10 AM

I like Margot Barbara. I don't care for Mabel Barbara - clunky to my ear. 

April 18, 2012 11:18 AM

cindylou-have you thought about choosing a different category of names? You may say eww to them but something ending in an -ee sound might work. The grandma names category contains many that end in consonant sounds Hazel, Mabel, Vivian, Constance, etc. and I think that is throwing off the rhythym. Maybe the 80's set like Hailey, Lindsay, Ashley, etc. would work or some frenchified names like Valerie, Natalie, Stephanie, Felicity, etc. There are also the Greek/Roman names that have been brought up here recently as well things like Cassandra, Penelope, Phoebe, might also work. 

April 18, 2012 10:36 PM

AHHHHHH! as a child of the 80s, I don't think I could do it! I might be willing to go for Phoebe or Daphne or I might just say screw it and pick mismatchy names....


There have been some great suggestions so I guess I have some more thinking to do!

April 18, 2012 10:54 PM

I think that Mabel, Ruby, and Phoebe have the same problem of a "b" in the final syllable, which makes them a tad awkward when paired with Barbara. When I say those names, the flow is funny and Barbara ends up feeling like a string of syllables instead of a fluid name. (Does that make sense?) And this has already been addressed a few times, but names that don't end in "A" sound much better with Barbara, a very A-heavy name.

Daphne Barbara or Margot Barbara, for example, glide off my tongue much more easily, and the names maintain their separate characters while flowing as a unit.

April 19, 2012 12:03 AM

LOL okay no 80's names! But seriously, as Karyn says, Daphne Barbara flows rather well. I think the -ee ending throws off the rhythm of Barbara in a good way.

By hyz
April 19, 2012 1:02 PM

Cindylou, I generally share your feeling on 80s names (lol), but I do think zoerhenne's -y or -ie ending is a great suggestion for flow with Barbara.  Lucy fits this--I do know a couple young Lucies and a Lucia who goes by Lucy, but if you love it, I think it works, is very nice, and is not crazy popular or anything, at least in my circles.  Ruby is ok, too, but I agree that it's a bit heavy on the Bs, which I would use as a tie-breaker, but not to rule it out if you really love it.  Other ideas... Daphne (aforementioned, but I'll second it), Audrey, Amelie, Molly, Mary, Leonie, Valerie, Holly, Ivy, Sylvie, Lily, Cecily, Dorothy, Penelope, Millie, Tansy, Romily, Rosemary, Elodie, Eloise (doesn't end in -ie, but close, and is like Louise with more spunk and better flow), Sadie, Naomi, Rosalie.... 

p.s. got carried away with my y names and forgot to mention that I think that Margot and Alice work pretty nicely, too.  Other ideas to throw in--Caroline, Clementine, Evangeline, Madeline, Coraline, Adeline, Lorelai, Eleanor, Beatrix, Bernadette (I do think B. B. could work, and even make for a cute nn), Lillian, Meredith--the rhythm of all of these work pretty well with Barbara, I think.  It seems to me that what works best is either something light and pretty and bouncy to counteract the solidity of Barbara (that's generally the first list above) or something long and flowing that will outweigh/outshine Barbara on the front end--the latter list.

April 19, 2012 3:34 PM

Congratulations! I'll add just a few things to add to your other suggestions. Of your top contenders, I think Margot Barbara flows the best; my ear is sensitive to the "r" sound, so I find MARgot BARbaRa a bit "r"-heavy, but that's a personal quirk. I agree with others that Louise Barbara flows better than Louisa. For what it's worth, Vivian is an up-and-coming name with the fashionable "v" sound; other names that some still find have an old-lady vibe and others are encountering frequently in the playground set include Ava, Eva, Evelyn, Genevieve, and Sylvia. Opal is a bit of a tongue-twister with Barbara; Pearl and Olive are similar but more accessible names, but I don't find they flow very well before Barbara. Many though not all names ending in -a or final syllable beginning with "b" seem to have that problem too, as others have pointed out.

How about (sorry for repeats):

Annette, Beatrice, Bernice, Billie, Bronwen, Cheryl,

Doris, Dorothy, Edith, Felice, Gwendolyn,

Harriet, Hazel, Helen, Irene, Jeanette, Judith/Judy,

Lindy, Lucille/Lucy (my grandmother was Barbara Lucille),

Marion/Marion, Marilyn, Marjorie, Mavis, Meryl, Millie, Minnie,

Nadine, Neve, Noreen, Rosemary, Ruthanne,

Sharon, Shirley, Sukie (Suzanne), Virginia, Winifred, Yvette

Hope some of these are on the right track for you!

By Guest (not verified)
April 25, 2012 3:16 PM

These are some great suggestions! I'm going to keep pondering and hope I come up with something good. I really like Beatrice, Harriet and Lindy so I'll add those to the list.


Thank you!

By Coll
April 27, 2012 4:54 PM

Barbara is a mouthful of consonants, which makes picking a name to lead into it challending. I like zoerhenne's suggestion to go with something that ends in an ee sound and I think the first name should be light and full of bright vowels as a nice contrast. Margot is lovely, but too heavy paired with Barbara. Vivian is too complex.

Lindy Barbara is my favorite of all you mentioned. It's zippy and breezy and sweet. It makes me think of gingham and picnics in the summertime. And maybe a barbershop quartet. I also like:

Chloe Barbara

Audrey Barbara

Sadie Barbara

Milly Barbara

Lucy Barbara

Lilly Barbara

Hattie Barbara (instead of Harriet)

Mary Barbara

April 27, 2012 7:07 PM

Lindy Barbara does conjur up a little girl in pigtails and a cute gingham dress. Well done! I also like Audrey Barbara, and Chloe Barbara as well.

April 28, 2012 6:32 PM

Yes, Lindy is really growing on me. My only concern is that it might not be as great on business cards...would you take a Lindy as seriously as a Margot? I like Harriet nn Hattie, but Harriet's a bit heavy and then there's that hairy-et connection...

Thoughts? How do fellow namers think of names that can transition from childhood to adulthood?

April 28, 2012 6:39 PM

Hmm, it's not something I really think/thought about when naming my own. Margot seems a little dated to me but I know many of those kinds of names are coming back into fashion. Could Lindy transition to Linda or Melinda or Kalinda etc. as a more formal name?

April 28, 2012 6:48 PM

That's what I'm pondering. All I could come up with are Belinda and Melinda (<- know one of those, and she HATES her name!).


I am so appreciative of you guys humoring me. My husband couldn't care LESS about names, especially for girls!

eta: i was pondering Rosalind but a)it's heavy w/barbara (Rosalind Barbara) and b)not sure about the style (although I do like it...).

April 28, 2012 7:25 PM

Rosalind is a little strong but its what YOU like (and dh). You could also just use a name ending in -lyn rather than -linda. Things like Marilyn, Jocelyn, Evelyn, etc. fit with the style.

By Coll
April 28, 2012 8:11 PM

I like Rosalind Barbara, especially if you call her Lindy. I also like Evelyn Barbara and think Lindy could be nicely extracted from that.

But I think Lindy stands on it's own. It feels much more substantial than Mindy (for example). Maybe because it's not date-stamped like the other -indy names. It has a surname feeling to it.

By Guest (not verified)
April 28, 2012 8:23 PM

I think Lindy is a great name and is fine on an adult.

April 28, 2012 11:01 PM

To me Lindy will always be the wonderful Lindy Boggs. Widow of Hale Boggs, she served 8 very effective terms in the US Congress, and after she retired from Congress, she was the US Ambassador to the Vatican. In New Orleans she is held in the highest esteem--and taken very seriously.  Her birth name was Marie Corinne Morrison Claiborne, but she is always known as Lindy, a name which served her just fine from Congress to the Holy See. One of my colleagues named a daughter Lindy after Ms. Boggs who was a friend of hers. My other associations with the name are the lindy hop and Lindy's cheesecake, but one has to be as old as I am to remember those things. No one in kindergarten will have a clue.

By Guest (not verified)
May 14, 2012 4:52 PM

I think the problem is Barbara makes a much better first name than middle name. Have you thought about switching them around? You don't have to call your child by it's first name. I go by my middle name, as does a sister and my dad. I work with several people who use their middle names. It's not that uncommon.



By Guest (not verified)
May 22, 2012 9:14 PM

Hello all,


We are still pondering possible firsts...my next step will be to a) look through the bnw book and pick out all girls' names i like and b) buy myself a subscription to the 'expert' setting on here so i can REALLY do some exploring.


i'm waiting until next week when we find out what we're having before driving myself completely bonkers with all this, however. I'll definitely update when we find out!

May 26, 2012 9:36 PM

I personally am really liking what I think of as 1930's semi-sporty British names with Barbara - Evelyn Barbara, Jocelyn Barbara.  

As someone who had a nickname endiing in Y growing up, I have to say I was very glad to have a more formal full name to fall back on.  I HATED my diminutive -Y nickname by the time I was in highschool So, I'm biased against using Lindy as the full name because of my experience.  

Just throwing a few more out there - Caroline, Lauren, Vivian, Rachel, Geraldine, Ivy, Jane, Rose, Rosemary, Meredith

Kind of all over the place, I know.  I think it's tricky not only matching the flow of Barbara, but getting the style/flavor right.  It's also tough not knowing how many syllables your last name is (don't know if I missed that).  

Stylistically though, I buy Rosemary Barbara together, for instance.  

June 3, 2012 11:21 AM

SURPRISE! It's a boy!


I guess we're back to the drawing board now...(although it's always good to have girl's name, just IN CASE!).


Thanks for all the great suggestions everyone!

June 3, 2012 11:29 AM

Well, congrats on a boy! 

By hyz
June 4, 2012 10:04 AM

Yes, congratulations!! 

June 3, 2012 11:21 AM

SURPRISE! It's a boy!


I guess we're back to the drawing board now...(although it's always good to have girl's name, just IN CASE!).


Thanks for all the great suggestions everyone!