Need some honest opinions of "Echo"

My husband LOVES the name, but I'm bit skeptical...I like it and the tragic mythology doesn't bother me, but I wonder if it is too far out there to be wearable. We live in the Midwest so naming styles tend to skew old testament biblical, top twenty, or modern trendy...So is it too much?


By EVie
November 28, 2013 12:22 AM

I think it's awesome and I'd LOVE to meet a little Echo. I understand feeling a bit nervous about it, though, especially as a lot of people won't know the mythological context and may think it's just a hippie word-name. Only you can decide if you would feel comfortable introducing your daughter as Echo or shouting it across a crowded playground. If you're not sure, you could try the "Starbucks test"—give your name as Echo next time you order coffee, and see if you feel self-conscious or if the barista gives you a funny look or anything.

If you do decide that it's too much for you, though, I would 100% encourage you to consider it as a middle name. I think the middle slot is a great place to play with names that are slightly too bold or unusual for everyday use—you get to bring them out to show off when you feel like it, and you can hide them away behind a middle initial when you want to blend in. 

By jmay
November 28, 2013 12:37 AM

Our daughter's name is Juniper, so I've got a little practice calling out a strange name at the playground :-) I think Juniper isn't quite in the same league of different though, and also comes with the safe in option of June, should she grow up and hate it...Echo is kinda unrelentingly bold in that way. I wish I could use it as a middle, but our first two have family middles...which begs another question, Echo Dorothea? Echo Dorothy sure doesn't work...tricky business naming babies and we aren't even pregnant yet lol...

By EVie
November 29, 2013 12:01 AM

Any chance of using the family name in the first slot? Dorothea seems like a name that's pretty ripe for a comeback, especially with Thea as a nickname. Dorothea Echo could work.

(I don't see any problem with Echo Dorothea as a combo, either, if you decide to go with Echo as a first). 

Juniper is great, and since you already have one kind of offbeat name, it makes Echo seem like less of a stretch. I do agree that Echo is further out there, though. 

November 28, 2013 11:06 AM

So much depends on the kid and her personality, which is something you can't predict. Some girls would revel in having an offbeat name, while others would cringe and feel like they had giant targets painted on them. There is an Echo is my wider social circle (she's about ten now) and she definitely gets comments, to which her mom always replies, "It's a family name." She wears her name well, but I know she has been subjected to comments both to her face and behind her back.

November 28, 2013 12:31 PM

Unlike Juniper or Harmony or other plant- or virtue-based word-names, Echo as a concept has problems being applied to a person: "is there an echo in here?" is not generally a kind thought, and "my echo" implies something inferior to you -- a mere copy, of lesser quality, lower resolution, etc.

If it were simply a revival of a mythical name, and we had some other word for the everyday concept, then I think it could work well as a name. It'd be in the same category as Pandora, discussed on another thread here recently. But we don't have another word for the concept of an echo, so I don't think Echo is really useable as a first name.

December 7, 2013 1:22 PM

I can already hear it "hey echo...echo...echo..." To be avoided in my opinion.

December 21, 2013 9:29 PM

Hang propriety! Echo is one of the most beautiful and inspiring names. It's right up there with Tide, Dusk, Crimson and Windflower on my top five list. I say it is so yours and your husband's opinion that matters, but still Echo is surreal and timeless. Seriously beautiful name and when I hear or see Echo (synesthesia) the imagery is just beautiful. I, for one, love it! Sorry for my fangirling, but Echo is gorgeous.

January 1, 2014 4:09 PM

You said honest, so I'll be very honest. Every awkward 13-year-old girl with an unrequited crush has fallen in love with the name Echo, but after the age of 13, we should all take it off our potential baby name list because it's ridiculous in every way. Not only because of the association with heartbroken teenagers, but also because it's the word echo. The jokes will be never-ending, both in childhood and adulthood, and people will constantly wonder whether that child/adult's parents were either 14 when they had the baby or on drugs.

If you like Greek names, here are some alternatives: 

  • Alena
  • Anastasia
  • Cassandra
  • Cleo
  • Colette
  • Daphne
  • Ione
  • Iris
  • Penelope
  • Phoebe
  • Rhea
  • Sybil
  • Stella
  • Thalia
  • Thea
  • Zoe

Seriously. Don't name your kid Echo (echo, echo, echo), or you'll hear this joke a million times more from scornful friends, family and strangers, and your kid will hear it even more.

January 7, 2014 5:44 PM

I for one LOVE the name Echo. It is out there, but no one can decide for you whether or not you feel comfortable using it. The reactions you're getting here though are likely similar to the ones your daughter would get her entire life, though not to her face. It is true that once there's a baby attached to a name people are more likely to accept it, but unless she's the kind of kid who really steps up and owns her name, people will always hae weird thoughts behind her back. If you could know a baby's personality before it was born, I would totally say go with it, but as it is... I'm heartbroken. It's such a lovely name.

If you like it though, then do some testing. Give it as your name at a restaurant, shout it across a playground (people will assume you really do have a daughter named Echo, especially if you manage to make sure Juniper comes a moment later), whatever little things you can think of, and see how people react. and it could certainly work as a middle name, though I understand wanting to use family names. Two middle names is always an option, though filling out forms could eventually be a problem. I know several kids with two middle names, and one with two first names, and all of them work really well.

January 15, 2014 7:41 PM

I honestly like it, and I like with a sister named Juniper. I even like Echo Dorothea--she could easily decide to go by Dorothea, Dora or Thea later in life if Echo is too much of a problem. The main character on Joss Whedon's show Dollhouse went by Echo (a group of the characters were anmed after the phonetic alphabet) which definitely helped normalize it for me.

I'm more traditional in my own baby-naming style (I'd be more likely to put it in the middle or use it for a pet), but I think Echo could definitely work for your family!

January 27, 2014 4:44 AM

My birth given name is Echo. I have never met another Echo in my life and I am 38. When I was younger through age 18, I was teased for my name. Now that I am older I get mixed reviews on my name, either someone loves it, or they think its my "stripper" name or a fake name. (I assure you I am not a stripper). I would just think very long and hard before you name your child after a Nymph in Greek Mythology (been teased for that too and I am no nymph)..... My name is constantly heard wrong on the phone (Becca, Erika, Ethel), constantly assumed that I am foreign (I am caucasion), constant Echo, Echo, Echo joke. I worked in the emergency room of a hospital for a period of time, think that through and the constant confusion with the name Echo.......I am comfortable with my name now, but was torture growing up.

By jmay
February 1, 2014 12:24 AM

Thanks to everyone for your replies (especially to the real live Echo who weighed in)! This one will definitely be taken off the table :-)