We need help naming dd #2!

I had another girl on 6th December, and my husband and I can't agree on a name for her. We are harrassed daily by well meaning family and friends asking what her name is, and its starting to get me down.

Our other daughter is 3 and called Mir@bel. I chose her name in the end, as he wouldn't commit to any 1 name... and he didn't like it much but grew to love it. He can be very indecisive... but i love him!

Here is our list:

Lorelai. My husband was concerned it wasn't 'pretty' like Mir@bel, and then said he prefers the spelling Lorelei. We would pronounce it laurel-eye so is either way fine or is one spelling, ai or ei more likely to get the eye sound we want?  Do you think Lorelai/Lorelei is a pretty name?

Eleanora - but we don't like the nickname Elle/Ellie/Ella etc and dh keeps mocking it by saying Nora is an old lady name. Is it? I thought it was back in vogue?

Aurora - but my husband wasn't warming to this name which i love, yet he then suggested (much to my amazement)...

Aurelia - but this is a 'new' name to my ears, and I'm not sure if its better than Aurora. How can he dislike Aurora but like Aurelia!? It means golden or gold or something like that. We are both dark haired, though our 3 year old is dark blonde, and the new baby looks to be the same, this could change. What else can golden mean? What do you think of this name?

Evangeline - my husband doesn't like 'Angie' names. I said she'd be known as Eve or Evie mostly and it'd be a nice surprise that her full name is Evangeline and not the more popular Evelyn. He isn't convinced.

I don't know what to do! I'm trying to meet him half-way but it feels like its his way or the highway!

Any advice?

On the flip-side, we like nature and place names too (as Mir@bel is also a place name, and a plum fruit, though spelled differently)

We love Willow, but its quite popular/trendy now, and a bit too 'hippy' sounding, so i suggested Laurel, which i love also as a nickname for Lorelai/Lorelei. He said there's too many L's in it, like Lorelei. His name is an L name. I tried selling it based on this, but it was not enough to sway him. 

We like Savannah- but its gotten too trendy! Any suggestions?

Am I just going to have to take charge again and make this decision for the both of us, whilst he sits on the fence poking holes in every name?


Thanks for reading! X



December 18, 2017 10:52 AM

Oh my!  I'm sorry you are so stuck!


Okay, just reading the themes in your post.... it sounds like you BOTH like Aurora and Aurelia but are overthinking it.  It's very stressful to have a new baby (especially AND a toddler).  Do NOT worry about things like Aurelia means gold but your daughter has dark hair.  Seriously, this is a total nothing burger.  And while we're at it, Aurora means dawn so you are off the hair-color hook.  If you love it, and he's come around on that, by all means seize the day!

I also think that this is about choosing a name that you (and your family) love.  It is not a marketing branding excercise.  Who cares that something is "trendy" or "old lady" or whatever.  Maybe if you are choosing between two or three finalists these can be deal-breakers, but this is not about what other people like. It is about what YOU like!  If you love Willow or Savannah or Nora, awesome there you go. Do not shoot down your favorite name because strangers do or do not also like it.  Some will like it, some won't, and that's okay.  The point is whether YOU like it.

Misc. thoughts Eleanora - a name with 4 syllables will indeed get nicknamed.  If you don't like Ellie etc, Nora, Nell, and Leni all work as nicknames.  However if she figures out you hate Ellie then you can bet that's exactly what she'll change her name to when she's 12.  Ha!  Alternatives include Lenora, Leora, even Leoda (an old family name I've never heard of elsewhere).

Evangeline - Again, if you want to call her Evie there are ways to get to that whilst avoiding the "Angie" names he doesn't like.  Evelyn, Eva, Eve.  Can I interest you in Avalon?  Now there is a stunningly beautiful name, rare but familar (Avalon is the fairy realm in the King Arthur legends).  You seem to like liquid names with A and L sounds, so Avalon strikes me as your sweet spot.

PS - I suspect that when your husband gives an excuse like "that's an old lady name" what he means is he just isn't into that name.  If so, it's not helpful to argue whether or not something is old-lady versus vogue.  He simply doesn't like it.  Game over.


December 18, 2017 12:10 PM

I agree with the above poster- it sounds like you both like Aurora and Savannah. While Savannah may be in the top 100, I don't actually know ANY Savannahs in my area under the age of 25. If you are in a particular pocket where this name is way overused, I can understand not wanting your kid to be one of 5 in her class. However, if this isn't the case, I really don't see any issue with it at all! 

It sounds like you guys are, as the above poster mentioned as well, over-thinking! If you love a name, it doesn't have to measure up to any standards or be "pretty" enough. Your husband came around to your first daughter's name, and whatever you guys choose will be perfect for your daughter. Food for thought: if I asked you to name your favorite/top pick for this baby without any hesitation- just the first name that came to your mind- what would it be?

December 18, 2017 12:46 PM

I think you've got a nice list and that any of them would do, and that probably you just need to choose from under your husband again, though nothing he clearly dislikes.

Just going to chime in to say that even if Aurelia does mean golden, or yellow, I certainly don't think you have to take that literally. Baby names aren't personal descriptors (I say, as someone whose name is said to mean hard-working, as I sit here procrastinating at work). I would probably consider golden to be an aspirational attribute -- perhaps an original luxe lifestyle name. ;-) Anyway, you can always tell her she has a heart of gold!

I also get liking Aurelia whilst not liking Aurora, as I find the repeated rs in Aurora incredibly hard to say. But anyway, the only person you've got to convince one way or another is your husband. Perhaps he needs a deadline? Say, Christmas Eve her stocking needs to be hung -- with a name on it.

December 18, 2017 1:12 PM

I agree with what's already been said about Aurelia--it can easily be about her sunny personality or the gleam in her eyes or what-have-you, rather than her hair. I also find it a bit easier to say than Aurora, though I also think there's more pronunciation ambiguity. I always default to uh-REAL-yuh/aw-REAL-ya, because I grew up near an Aurelius road that was pronounced that way, but I have also heard oh-REE-LEE-uh and even OR-lee-uh. I don't think that ambiguity is a big deal, but you should be sure you're OK with the more likely pronunciations.

I think if your husband really doesn't like Eleanora or Evangeline, you should strike them from your list, even if his reasons aren't particularly logical. You've got several other lovely choices available, so no need to go with something he just dislikes.

Lorelei is the traditional, and much more common spelling of the name (in the US), so I think it is more likely to get you to the pronunciation you want.

If you both love Willow and Savannah, I'd say keep them on the list; Willow, in particular, feels more like a "new classic" to me than trendy, and think how frustrating it might be in future if you continue to love the name when you run across a little Savannah on the playground and wish you had used the name. (Also, you are correct that Nora is popular again; Eleanora itself isn't all that popular, but if you combine Eleanor/Elinor and Nora/Norah and Ellie, you'll see the name "family" is far more popular than either Willow or Savannah).

I don't want to make your life more complicated, but one other name that jumped out at me based on your list is Serena. It combines some of the sounds of several of your names, and has a lovely Latin derivation like your older daughter's name.

A few different techniques for settling on a name:

1. "Narrow UP": List all the things you like about each name (and absolutely do not list negatives). Strike out names with the weakest list of positives.

2. Have a name "bracket": Put your names into a March Madness-style bracket, and decide between them in pairs. You've already got seven names, so pick one more for a nice Elite Eight.

3. Try out each name for a whole day. Both of you should call her by that name, sing personalized lullabyes with the name, practice signing your holiday cards with the name, etc. Keep track of how easily each one flows, and whether you like saying the name and potentially introducing her with it. (Note, however, that often even best-beloved, clear favorite names can take a while to fully settle on a new baby--I had this with my youngest, even though we used a name I had loved for my whole pregnancy.)

4. If you can get your contenders down to two, try flipping a coin. Note well your response to the coin flip: When it comes up Name X instead of Name Y, does it feel like fate? Or does your heart sink?

Good luck!


By EVie
December 18, 2017 1:49 PM

I'm just going to second all of this, and add that I've generally heard Aurelia as aw-RAY-lee-uh (with aw-REE-lee-uh in second place, but mostly in a British context), so yes, there's ambiguity there. 

I adore Mirabel, by the way, and it has a gorgeous Latin derivation -- "wonderful, miraculous, glorious." So I really love the pairing of Mirabel with Aurora or Aurelia, as they share a Latin origin, and "dawn" or "golden" strike the same sort of tone. You don't mention having any objection to Aurora, and your husband seems on board with both... is there any reason one of those isn't the answer?

I'm with your husband on Lorelei, and if he's on board with it given that spelling, that's another nice match for Mirabel. 

By mk
December 18, 2017 3:49 PM

Drop all the ones your huband doesn't like: Eleanora, Evangeline, Laurel, Aurora, Lorelei(?)

Left: Aurelia, Willow, Savannah

Which one do you both like best?

Aurelia: meaning doesn't matter, and it is not in reference to hair color anyway. Plenty of dark haired Aurelias

Willow: It doesn't seem all that popular to me, and really, that doesn't matter as much as whether you both like it

Savannah: same as Willow

My personal favorite of the three is Aurelia.

However! Willow is the only one that you state you both love. Seems like that's a winner.

December 19, 2017 2:17 PM

I agree with this; if you both love Willow then use it! Personally I don't find it overly hippieish (maybe if it was in a sib-set with names like River, Summer and Hope but paired with Mir@bel I just find it pretty) and I really wouldn't worry about popularity. 

I will just ask with Eleanora does your husband actually not like Nora or does he just think it will be out of place and seen as old-ladyish by others? Because if it's the latter you can assure him that Nora is definitely poplar again and would not be out of place (in 2016 it was the #36 most popular girl's name in the USA. If you just search the name on here you can see its curve on the name voyager). I do think Eleanora is very likely to get nicknamed so if you dislike the Ellie variants you would need to institute an alternative while she's young and Nora is the most obvious one. 

Lorelai is just as 'pretty' to me as Mir@bel. I would go with the most common spelling where you are.

I can understand preferring Aurelia to Aurora; Aurelia has a prettier, more liquid/flowing sound to me (which seems to be something that matters to your husband) and while I don't dislike Aurora it has the Disney-princess association which I'd consider a negative point. Although in fairness it's probably the least strong association of all the Disney princess names. I agree with everyone that said you needn't worry about the meaning of Aurelia being golden when she will likely have dark hair. Maybe it's just British slang but here you can say something's golden to mean really good/wonderful, and there's also 'heart of gold' or just the fact that gold=precious, there are a lot of meanings that you could get from golden beyond 'blonde hair'. However if you don't really like Aurelia (it sounds like maybe you don't?) then it should also be taken off the list imo.

Good luck choosing!

December 18, 2017 7:07 PM

My vote is for Aurelia. It's a gorgeous name, and pairs well with Mirabel.

December 18, 2017 7:56 PM

Lorelei is lovely and goes well with your daughters name

Eleanora is ok - but you probably get the Ellie nn and Nora is back in vogue

Aurora is ok

Aurelia - sorry dont like the sound of this one

Evangeline - is lovely and most woudnt think of the Angie names - a great alternative to Evelyn


Willow and Savannah - I dont really like and doesnt go with Mirabel, Lorelei is perfect,  2nd choice Evangeline,  Laurel is nice too


Jocelyn, Jacqueline, Josephine, Lillian, Penelope, Vivienne, Julianna, Valentina, Adelina, Catalina, Emelia, Liliana, Luciana, Lucinda, Mariana, Carolina, Adeline, Cecilia,Francesca, Helena, Desiree, Estella, Genevieve, Gwendolyn , Guinevere, Esmeralda, Paloma, Valeria, Rosemary,  Valerie, Viviana, Aviana, Cordelia, Cornelia, Evelina, Lavinia, Celestia, Clementine, Druiscilla, Leticia, Louisa, Lucasta, Rosalba, Selena, Serena, Sylvia, Valora, Bellatrix, Benita, Cecily, Celestine, Claudia, Dulcia, Gazella, Nerilla, Priscilla, Ursula, Veronica, Aveline, Cassandra, Seraphina, Calliope, Callista, Adeline, Cecily, Delphine, Emmeline,  Annalise, Avonlea, Briony, Carmelina, Coralie, Raffaela, Rosalinda, Isadora


and congrats on your little girl


December 18, 2017 11:55 PM

Lorelei is the established spelling for the name of the river siren and headland on the Rhine. It is also the most popular spelling in the U.S., although if trends continue, Lorelai may take over the lead in the next decade. (The grandmother of one of the Loreleis I know has commented that it's a name that looks like it's spelled wrong no matter how you write it. She's also the one who was heard to mutter under her breath "they named her after a siren, is it any wonder she sounds like one?"....)

Nora is very much a current and stylish name in the U.S.; it's given to as many babies per million as in circa 1900, and still climbing. Especially if combined with the modern spelling Norah, it'll probably overtake the 1880s numbers (the name's previously recorded peak) in the next few years.

Aurelia is a name from ancient Rome, so not new at all, although it has newly re-entered the top 1000 in the past few years. (Willow is a few years ahead of it, but without the previous history of use.) As others have pointed out, Aurelia has multiple common pronunciations in English, and they're the sorts of differences that you'd have to learn to live with, because people who say -ia as /-ya/ don't realize that they're doing anything differently from people who say it as /ee-ya/.

One suggestion: Willa. It's very similar to Willow, but less hippy-ish, and with a previous history of use. (Its Name Voyager graph looks very similar to Aurelia's.)

All that said, though, I agree with previous comments: don't let other parents' tastes decide your child's name. Trendiness and popularity are much overemphasized: there's too much variety in naming nowadays for the statistics to have any local predictive power whatsoever. (Ryan is on the steep decline side of a witch's hat centered on 1970, but that doesn't stop it from being the most common name in our local elementary school's student directory.)

December 19, 2017 1:27 AM

The three names you BOTH like are: Aurelia, Willow, Savannah.  Great.  All beautiful names.  Now which of these is your favorite, and your husband's favorite?  You will be down to two or one this way.  If it's two, work out the deal-breaker!  If it's one, you've got your name!

December 20, 2017 12:49 PM

Thanks for all the advice and all of the great name suggestions. To the person who put the long list of names, you were right on track with our naming style and we added many of those names to our list! And then we used the bracketing technique as indicated by another poster to narrow down the list. So we eliminated all the ones that we didn't like individually for whatever reason / excuse.

I was most disappointed to lose my Eve names (Eveline/Aveline and Evangeline) but my husband decided that he would be ok with Lorelei (in that spelling) and so that was added to our new short-shortlist as well as the 1 exception to it all, which was Genevieve (thanks for the suggestion!) And it had the Eve option in there too. We're trying out Genevieve today and Lorelei tomorrow, and hoping one name will 'stick'.

I will let you know what we ultimately decide. Thanks again. :-)

December 20, 2017 4:49 PM

oh that's cool,  2 great names

December 20, 2017 5:59 PM

Glad to hear you worked out a couple of names you're both happy with (both good options!), look forward to finding out which one sticks!

By mk
December 21, 2017 3:22 PM

I vote for Genevieve, as it is one of my favorite names!

December 21, 2017 12:56 AM

And do let us know what you decide!  :)  This has been such a fun thread.  (PS I vote for Genevieve.)

March 25, 2018 9:37 PM

Hi. I just wanted to let you know we named her Lorelai. It really suits her bold personality. Thanks for all your advice xx

March 26, 2018 3:53 AM

congrats,  love her name

March 26, 2018 5:28 AM

Thanks for the update and congrats on choosing! Lorelai is a great choice and pairs nicely with your older daughter's name too. 

March 26, 2018 6:55 AM

Congratulations! I think you chose the perfect name to pair with your older daughter's.