'Normal' name to go with unusual surname


My husband and I are in the early stages of choosing a name. Our surname is Harewood which is quite unusual where we are from (Ireland), so we would like a name that is not too unusual - i.e. one that our child won't have to spell or explain every time he/she says it, as he/she will have a lifetime of spelling his/her surname! On the other hand we don't want something extremely common. Also, no names starting with H.

We have some names in mind but are open to new ideas.

Here is what we have so far:

Amy, Jessica, Isabel, Alice


Daniel, Eoin (Irish for Owen), Evan.

Any suggestions?


January 2, 2013 11:14 AM

I think all  of your names are lovely.  They all seem pretty easy spelling wise, though I could see her needing to spell out Isabel as it is also commonly spelled Isabelle or Isabell.

Some other suggestions-Anna, Amanda, Lucy & Julia.  For boys- Ethan,  Simon & David.

January 2, 2013 12:22 PM

There is no name on Earth that you don't need to spell for people. Really. I can't even count how many times I've had to spell David and Julia. (Our surname is long and Hungarian and has a hyphen in the middle, so I'm doomed to spelling names anyway.)

I went to school with both an Amy and an Aimee.

I've seen Jessica spelled as Jessika.

Isabel is often written Isabell or Isabelle, and then there's Izabel etc.

Alice I've seen as Alys.

Daniel can be written Danyel.

Eoin is Irish. Enough said. (Is it pronounced like Owen?)

Evan could be written Ewan, or misheard as Ivan.

That said, I like almost all of your name choices (except Eoin, because I have no clue how to say it). They're mostly a bit "retro" without feeling "dated". Other suggestions: Julia, Martha, Theresa, Helen*, Mary; Christopher, David, Andrew, John, Simon, Joseph, Henry*.

*Yes, I know you specified no H names, but I kinda like alliteration, especially when it's a soft (low-volume) sound like H.

By mk
January 2, 2013 4:48 PM

Maybe it's because I have a really long name, but your last name seems pretty easy to spell to me!

I agree there is really no name that cannot be misspelled. But some are harder to misspell than others. An Isabel is pretty much guaranteed to have to spell her name due to Isobel and Isabelle, so I would drop that one if easy spelling is important.


Girls: Rose, Mary, Joy, Eva, June

Boys: Ian, Max, Robert, Patrick


By sh13
January 2, 2013 7:56 PM

Thanks for the feedback....some lovely suggestions there. I'm warming to Amanda.

Lots to think about - but we have lots of time :D

January 4, 2013 5:38 PM

Harewood doesn't seem hard to spell to me. Hare-wood. What's so difficult? (I guess it could be spelled Hairwood, Haerwood, etc.)

By sh13
January 6, 2013 6:44 PM

I dont think its difficult to spell either but most people havent heard of it so invariably ask us to repeat it and then spell it.

January 5, 2013 3:22 PM

The name nerd site groups names by spelling for their popularity statistics.  http://www.namenerds.com/uucn/pop.html 

You could look for names with few or no spelling variants.   Paul is one example of a boy name with no variations.  It's my son's name and I don't think we've ever been asked to spell it.  Names like Andrew, James, and David do have a few variants but looking at the numbers there were over 13000 babies with each of those names in 2011 and less than a 100 of each of those names with a variant spelling.

On the girls side I agree that Rose or Mary are good choices as is Grace.

January 5, 2013 7:38 PM

I did not know that site existed. Wow! I opened the file for girls names of 2011, and I got distracted by going down the list and counting how many names have an "-eigh" variant. Then I gave up because it's almost all of them...

January 5, 2013 7:04 PM

I think Grace sounds very pretty with your last name and I don't think that many people will ask if it's spelled G-R-A-C-E or G-R-A-Y-C-E or something else like that. I aslo like Rose and Amy.

January 30, 2013 12:12 AM

Nice names.  Least favorites or Alice and Eoin.  If you live in Ireland then Eoin if fine.  If you live in the U.S. spell it Owen, or he will be constantly spelling it for people and will be hasseled for life.  You said you were from Ireland, but I do not know if you live there or not.  

February 5, 2013 9:24 PM

i love alice for you! i also like amy!  other suggestions Ruth rose Jane ruby Claire or some longer names Jennifer Charlotte Justine Angela


for boys i like evan st and i also  daniel.  other suggestions Jack Joseph James Nichols or William (Liam)