Help us with a girl's name?
July 14, 2011 11:47 AM   Subscribe

My husband and I are expecting our first baby, a girl, in less than 3 months. Please help us with the name!

I know there have been many questions over the years on baby names, so I'm sorry for adding another one. But of course every situation is unique, and every parent is looking for something different.

We are expecting a girl in October. In general, we prefer classic names over trendy ones. But I also want to avoid a "girly"-sounding name, as I have always been a tomboy.... so we have been considering more gender-neutral names. We also don't want to pick the most common name in the world, so she isn't one of 5 girls with the same name in her class.

We were about 90% settled on "Riley". But now I'm starting to have second thoughts... do you think that name sounds trashy for a girl? I was searching on the internet and came across a message board where someone said it was a trashy name, like Jasmine or Nevaeh. I am aware that the name is gaining in popularity in some areas, especially in the U.S. But we live in Canada and I have not really heard it as a popular name here (although I could be wrong, since I don't hang out with toddlers much!). We would definitely go with the spelling "Riley", though I know that many people use variations such as "Ryleigh" or "Rylee" - but I find these incredibly irritating.

If you don't like the name Riley, do you have any other suggestions? We also like Zoe a lot, but it seems to be extremely popular lately. The middle name will most likely be Elizabeth, and our last name starts with a W. (As for other popular gender-neutral names like Emerson, Avery, and Mackenzie... those are really not my style.)

Any help is appreciated! It's such a huge responsibility to name a child, and I don't want us to regret our choice in a few years.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (105 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:51 AM on July 14, 2011 [13 favorites]

Alice. Tomboy nickname: Al.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 11:52 AM on July 14, 2011

I think Riley Elizabeth is a nice name.
posted by coolsara at 11:53 AM on July 14, 2011

Yea, it's my name, but Kelly? I have been presumed to be a boy by several people.
posted by kellyblah at 11:56 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Warning, I may be prejudiced in favor of this name quite heavily.
posted by Specklet at 11:56 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

I find these incredibly irritating.

Well, thank god. Whatever originality in doing that is completely overwhelmed by the kid having to spell their name every single time they give it, their entire life.

Also, pay little heed to what someone on a message board thinks is trashy. For all you know they're typing from an apartment decorated in (unironic) velvet Elvises and Precious Moments figurines.
posted by griphus at 11:56 AM on July 14, 2011 [3 favorites]

If you pick something that starts with a D, then her initials become D-E-W, which is kinda lyrical and lovely in a non-gender-specific day. Dew. Conjures to mind mornings and new beginnings.

Dakota? Dallas? Daria? Danica? Darcy? Dusty? Drew?
posted by jbickers at 11:57 AM on July 14, 2011

Callaway is cute, no?
posted by xbeautychicx at 11:57 AM on July 14, 2011

I like Riley.
Alternative with a similar sound: Rory
posted by unlaced at 11:57 AM on July 14, 2011 [6 favorites]

I won't offer my opinions on Riley, but I know (in some cases, several) girls with the following traditionally male names:

posted by phunniemee at 11:58 AM on July 14, 2011

Here's a map of popular names in Europe that might give you some ideas. I like the name Riley but a blogger slightly right of Ghengis Khan used that name for a while a few years back so it's kind of tarnished (in my head).
posted by humph at 11:58 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

LOVE Riley. Love the traditional spelling.
posted by Knowyournuts at 11:59 AM on July 14, 2011

This is a graphic of popular names by country that I thought was neat.
posted by mhoye at 11:59 AM on July 14, 2011

The Baby Name Voyager will show you trends. Riley is on the way up, but the total number of names is still quite small (same with Zoe).
posted by mikepop at 11:59 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Also, regarding the name, how about Ripley?
posted by griphus at 12:00 PM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

Oh, to answer the question: my daughter Zoe has a friend named Riley and I never thought of it as "trashy" - it seems in the same style of other popular names these days.
posted by mikepop at 12:01 PM on July 14, 2011

posted by Horselover Phattie at 12:01 PM on July 14, 2011 [4 favorites]

I would say Riley for a girl is more trendy than classic. See chart here:

If you like it, though, you should use it! Definitely don't throw it out just because some random weirdo on the internet said it's trashy.

Rory is nice, and Romy.
posted by thirteenkiller at 12:01 PM on July 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Disclaimer: it's my name. But it's pretty gender-neutral (though the boys' version is spelled differently), easy to spell, not common, hard to make fun of.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 12:01 PM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

FWIW.. it being the internet, you are likely going to find someone somewhere that says any given name sounds "trashy". (are there any boy names that sound trashy?)

If you like Riley, use Riley. It is a perfectly fine name.
posted by edgeways at 12:01 PM on July 14, 2011

My wife and I found Name Playground helpful when picking a name for our son. It gives you statistics on how popular a name is over time.
posted by fings at 12:02 PM on July 14, 2011

I also like Rory.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 12:02 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you pick something that starts with a D, then her initials become D-E-W, which is kinda lyrical and lovely in a non-gender-specific day.

Until you repeat twice...

How about "Andrea"? It can be both male and female depending on context. (Though in English it will sound feminine.) You could also use the gender-neutral nickname "Andy". It's definitely a classic name (a variant of "Andrew").
posted by Jahaza at 12:02 PM on July 14, 2011

I like Beckett and Bennett (both with either one or two Ts) for masculine-ish girl names.

and congratulations!
posted by Flamingo at 12:05 PM on July 14, 2011

My husband's cousin has a daughter named Riley. I think it's a cute name and not at all trashy.

I love the name Bailey to death, and would totally name my future daughter that, but her last inital will be S...
posted by Safiya at 12:05 PM on July 14, 2011

posted by The Tensor at 12:06 PM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

I'd second Alex as a recommendation. Classic and strong.
posted by fugitivefromchaingang at 12:07 PM on July 14, 2011

I'm a fan of Darby.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:09 PM on July 14, 2011

Do you have any genealogy charts? How about scouring those for some really neat last names that could be used as first names? I love names that have some sort of meaning or story behind them and perhaps a tie into some distant ancestor. If we ever have any more children I'd seriously consider naming a boy Ransom. It was an ancestor's last name that I think would be a kick ass first name. So, check out those ancestry charts! You might find some hidden gems!

Girl name that I'm especially fond of:

Waverly (call her Wavey/Wavy for short!)

As for Riley: my daughter's best friend's name is Riley and she is so not trashy. However, I do feel that the name is really gaining in popularity and everywhere I turn there's an other Riley. But like you said, maybe not so much so in Canada.
posted by Sassyfras at 12:09 PM on July 14, 2011

"Riley" doesn't have the slightest connotatoin of trashiness to me.
posted by BurntHombre at 12:10 PM on July 14, 2011

I like Riley but I love Francis.
posted by shornco at 12:10 PM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

Ricki/Rikki is kinda fun and has a similar sound. That could be short for Erica or Frederica. I think Erica Elizabeth sounds nice and then her initials would be EEW - perfect if she turns out a tomboy :)
posted by jabes at 12:11 PM on July 14, 2011

I think Riley sounds trendy and blah, but not necessarily trashy.

However, it's a unisex name that ends with an -ee sound - which are the two things I utterly LOATHE about my real name. I get "sir"ed on the phone all the time and I am 34 years old with a kid's name.

Also Riley was a jerk in Buffy. :)

But chances are good that your kid is going to hate whatever name you give her, so do what you like best (and maybe save up some money so she can change her name when she's a grown-up).*

Names I like:


* This sounds harsher than I mean it to be, but I really really hate my name and I can't afford the $300 it will cost to legally change it in my state.
posted by elsietheeel at 12:11 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

My son was playing baseball the other night and there were four kids on the field named Alex (two boys, two girls) plus one of the coaches was named Alex. This is neither bad nor good, just an information point. Riley, on the hand - I know one kid named Riley. Neither he nor his family are trashy. They are all rather nice. I like that name.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 12:11 PM on July 14, 2011

Type names you like into Nymbler. You'll find sometihng.
posted by k8t at 12:12 PM on July 14, 2011


I like plant names.
posted by box at 12:13 PM on July 14, 2011

YMMV, but I was just thinking the other day that I liked the name Evelyn because it's actually a unisex name (more commonly in the past), and is feminine without crossing over into girly, at least to my ears.
posted by katyggls at 12:15 PM on July 14, 2011

To me, Riley isn't trashy at all (a little tomboy-ish, which is cute), just very trendy. It definitely doesn't sound classic to me. Maybe this sounds a bit harsh, but my neighbor's pet was named Riley, so I associate it with that, but I'm sure that's my own personal thing.

Are there any family last names that you could use? (On preview, what Sassyfras said.) I know a little Delaney who is named after her mom's maiden name, and a Larkin named after her grandma's maiden name.
posted by LizzyBee at 12:15 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Coworker suggests Erin or Jordan.
posted by box at 12:16 PM on July 14, 2011

(Also, we had a revelation about gender-neutral names. Most of the time, they start out male and, as parents don't want their boys to be mistaken for girls, move to female. Names like Kelly and Ashley used to be male, then they were kinda neutral, and now they're mostly female. I wouldn't be surprised to see this same thing happen with other gender-neutral names in the future.)
posted by box at 12:18 PM on July 14, 2011

I really like the name Morgan. It's currently in the top 100 names per the Baby Name Voyager, but it's not as novel or trendy sounding as a lot of similar unisex-last-name names, plus most people know how to spell it.

Riley is easily misspelled, since there are a lot of variations on the last name (Reilly, Reiley, etc) as well as the Ryleigh/Rylee spellings. And it does sound a little trendy to my ears - it's the last-naminess plus the "ee" sound, and it rhymes with Kylie and Miley.
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:22 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Lee or Leigh
posted by rinosaur at 12:24 PM on July 14, 2011

Oh, here's another name I like for a girl: Tehra. But I'm a nature-y person and the name is an anagram for earth.

So, another suggestion for trying to find a name: perhaps pick something that says something about you or your family lifestyle. I love nature so I love names that reflect that (Brook, Brooks, Colt - which is my son's name, etc.).
posted by Sassyfras at 12:25 PM on July 14, 2011

LOVE Zoe. Also a +1 for Alex.

Other random gender neutral ideas:
Harriet - Hari!
Samantha - Sam
posted by ninjakins at 12:26 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Riley, to my mind, is the epitome of a tomboyish, yet trendy and clearly also girly, name. I picture a girl named Riley in a baseball hat and overalls with dirt on her face from sliding into third after hitting in two RBIs when the boys told her she wouldn't be a good ball player because she was a girl. Got me as to why I have that picture in my head, but I do.

And for the record, someone will ALWAYS have a comment on your kid's name before the kid is born. My husband and I don't share our potential names with anyone for that reason alone, and we remain open to the possibility of changing our minds once we meet the child, too.

Our son has a name appropriate for both boys and girls but is primarily used for girls in the US. It's been a source of minor confusion or puzzlement for people we meet for the first time, but we shrug it off. It's the name we picked, and we really like it. And kids have a way of really embodying their names to the fullest. If you like the name Riley, go with it. The important thing is not to have regrets about your choice. We don't. It's a pretty awesome name, and we think so far he's happy with it. (Though he is only two.....)
posted by zizzle at 12:26 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Veronica, nickname Roni.
posted by rachums at 12:27 PM on July 14, 2011

posted by unreasonable at 12:27 PM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

I, of course, love the name Riley.
posted by wryly at 12:35 PM on July 14, 2011 [3 favorites]

A lot of nature names are pretty unisex - example: Rowan, River, Sky/e, Wren, Sage, Robin

Robin would be adorable, fyi.
posted by thirteenkiller at 12:43 PM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

I know a young Riley. Never occurred to me that it was trashy at all, but had it been one of those "alternate" spellings I might have felt differently.
posted by chez shoes at 12:44 PM on July 14, 2011

I like Riley. Riley Elizabeth sounds awesome to me. It is a unisex name however; a friend of mine's son's name is Riley.

But seriously, if you like the name, just use it. Any name you give your kid will scar them for life in some way or another. Who cares if some nitwit in a random forum somewhere thinks its trashy? Your the one who is going to be yelling this name for the next 20 years, so go with what you like. If you're trying to get all of the internets to agree on a name, well... good luck with that.
posted by cgg at 12:48 PM on July 14, 2011

I would love to chime in with my name (because it's awesome), but it became SUPER popular after Rachel Green and Ross Geller had unprotected sex. So instead I will recommend Matilda. I know you said you don't want a girly name, but it's classic and I love the nickname Tilly.
posted by Mrs.Spiffy at 12:51 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Just remembered another favorite. (I swear this will be my last interruption)


How awesome is that? Although if it's Jovi Elizabeth W . . .
posted by Sassyfras at 12:51 PM on July 14, 2011

Rae is fairly gender neutral and not hard to spell.
posted by kingfishers catch fire at 12:55 PM on July 14, 2011

I like Riley too! I once met a Bryce Elizabeth - loved her name!
posted by JacksonandFinch at 12:59 PM on July 14, 2011

We named our daughter Lydia. I thought it was classically girly, but tomboyish too. It fits her to the T! We call her Lyds, Liddy, and Lyd or my personal fave: Liddybuggy.
posted by Sweetmag at 1:01 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

I love Riley and don't think it's trashy at all, but I do think it's pretty popular (at least here in PA, USA)! But I wanted to chime in with Ryan - similar sounding and definitely not super girly. It's my son's name so of course I think it's super awesome, but I have heard girls with that name as well and I think it's super awesome for a girl as well.

Good luck picking!
posted by fresh-rn at 1:11 PM on July 14, 2011

I don't think there's anything wrong with the name Riley. It's a perfectly good name.

My only caveat with Riley is that if you are looking for something uncommon, I don't think it fits the bill. I live in a small Canadian city and there are lots of little girls (and boys, too) named Riley. So...if it's important to you that your daughter isn't one of many Rileys in her age group, you might want to go with something different.

I like the suggestions for "Ripley," actually. Only one letter different, unusual but not bizarre, and Sigourney Weaver did kick ass in that movie.

Congratulations, by the way!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:13 PM on July 14, 2011

"Riley" doesn't have the slightest connotatoin of trashiness to me.

I respectfully disagree. I suggest looking up actresses at the Internet Adult Film Database (SUPER NSFW!!!) to find names that you might want to avoid.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:21 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

But I also want to avoid a "girly"-sounding name, as I have always been a tomboy.... so we have been considering more gender-neutral names.

Caution: the girl may not take after you in this way, and could end up very very "girly", and could resent having a non-girly name.

You can't tell these things ahead of time, though.
posted by marble at 1:37 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's a very strong name. It suits a powerful female, IMHO.
posted by jbenben at 1:52 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

posted by sciencegeek at 2:00 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

I like the name Riley for a girl, but would put it in the "Trendy" not "Classic" category as well.

I like "Robyn Elizabeth Wanonymous" myself. Classic, not often used, and not too girly.
posted by murrey at 2:15 PM on July 14, 2011

Mr. Jenkins and I are expecting in October as well. We thought for sure that we were going to have a girl, but our ultrasound showed us the incontestable penile evidence. Our choice was Matilda; since we can't use it, you can have it if you want! Nice because she could always go with Mattie, if she were a bit more tomboyish, or Tilly, or the ever cool Tilda.

As to Riley being a trashy name, I can see that. It's a gross trend here in the states for trashier people to name their kids after other children who have met with some terrible fate, as a sort of memento mori. Here in Illinois, there was a little girl named Riley who was killed a few years back; the case got a lot of press, at least around here, and the name rose in popularity amongst the IL trailer set. So that's what it makes me think of.
posted by esmerelda_jenkins at 2:34 PM on July 14, 2011

Riley is good. I also know a lovely young woman named Shawn and a delightful little girl named Delaney.
I also like the name Charlotte (Charlie for short) and Elliotte (you can spell that however you want).
posted by MultiFaceted at 2:39 PM on July 14, 2011






(Can you tell I like "J" names? Also, those last three are birds, but I've always thought they sound cool, and I knew of a girl once named Wren.)
posted by DisreputableDog at 2:56 PM on July 14, 2011

Miranda is a good, strong, well-known but uncommon name. She could go by Mandy or Randy, which are on the tomboyish side. And if she does turn out to be a girly girl, she can spell either nickname with an i and dot it with a little heart.
posted by Flannery Culp at 3:28 PM on July 14, 2011


My daughter's name is Toby and every couple of months I'll run into someone who says their mother or female friend is Toby. They are all well over 50, but my Toby is two and a half.
posted by ellenaim at 3:29 PM on July 14, 2011

I agree with those who've said Riley seems a wee bit trendy. I don't know any adults named Riley, but I have encountered several child-Rileys in the last few years.

I submit to you Marin as a suggestion. I have only heard it once, used by one of my former boss's friends. I think it's beautiful and not too girly, all at the same time.

posted by just_ducky at 3:29 PM on July 14, 2011

Riley is pretty trendy sounding, and like a previous poster I've known a pet named Riley so it will always sound like a dog's name to me.

Other not-super-girly names to consider: Morgan, Brynn, Lauren, Kylie, Quinn
posted by waterlily at 3:32 PM on July 14, 2011

Theodora, nn Teddy? And if she turns out to not be tomboyish there are girlier nicknames too (Thea, Dora)
posted by shrieking violet at 3:46 PM on July 14, 2011

I am not going to spawn kiddiebops, but if I did, I would name a girl Corin, both because I think it's a cool unisex name, and because it's a badass namesake/homage.
posted by vivid postcard at 3:50 PM on July 14, 2011

Riley is more trendy than classic, but there's nothing trashy about it.

I like the idea of taking an existing name in your family and modifying it in some way, but that's just me.
posted by mleigh at 4:08 PM on July 14, 2011

I think you should choose a name you like without any consideration as to how girly or non-girly your child will be. No matter how carefully you plan--gender neutral nursery, no Princess stuff, no glitter no pink no fluffy--she'll turn out the way she wants to be.

Ramona is a traditional, feminine name and yet--Ramona Quimby.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:18 PM on July 14, 2011

Althea, like Alice upthread, goes to Al. Not at ll super common.
posted by oflinkey at 4:20 PM on July 14, 2011

I like Riley, but it is trendy, not classic.

posted by deborah at 4:31 PM on July 14, 2011

We named our daughter Sabine, which I think is a great mix of femininity and uniqueness, without being pretentious or trashy.
posted by holterbarbour at 4:33 PM on July 14, 2011

Disclaimer: I like Riley as a name, but I am biased as I know a woman named Riley. She has to be the fastest barista I have ever seen. When she gets in a groove it is like watching a magic trick, but with some kind of coffee treat at the end instead of the Ace of Diamonds.

The important thing here is to locate the meanest six year olds, ten year olds, and sixteen year olds you know, then ask them to make fun of your name selection. Whatever passes the Gauntlet of Name-Taunting should move up the list. Next up is to ask random people to spell the names. And it has to work with the last name.

I am bringing my own baggage to the answer, but ... a good name is a process of elimination.
posted by adipocere at 5:20 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

I guess a lot of people name their dog Riley, because I know someone who has one, too. That said, I actually really like the name, it's cute! And am going to second Darby that someone mentioned earlier. I have a friend whose daughter is named Darby and it seems tomboy-ish.
posted by echo0720 at 6:06 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Kendall, Lake, Carys
posted by cherrybounce at 6:41 PM on July 14, 2011

Harper is another choice.
posted by cherrybounce at 6:45 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Chase is a lovely name for a girl and seems to fit all of your requirements.
posted by pecanpies at 7:08 PM on July 14, 2011

Raleigh Elizabeth
posted by jaimystery at 7:18 PM on July 14, 2011

I like Annika. Think about it.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 7:29 PM on July 14, 2011

Shay, Alex, Kimball.
posted by cherrybounce at 7:44 PM on July 14, 2011

I agree with those who said Riley sounds trendy but not trashy. Also, I really hope no one named Jasmine or Nevaeh is reading your question, since you insulted their names!
posted by whitelily at 8:30 PM on July 14, 2011

I like Riley, but would agree with those who say it is on the trendy side.

I also really like Morgan and Bailey. I know a very cool young lady named Carson and always thought that was a great name. For obvious reasons, I also like Ainsley . . . which works for a male or female.

Give your daughter a name you love and she will grow into it and the person she is meant to be :)
posted by ainsley at 8:56 PM on July 14, 2011

My husband's cousin's daughter is also named Riley, that this vague family connection has come up twice in this thread is just weird! Riley is trendy, not classic and I do know several pets with that name. Although before we knew is we were having a boy or a girl we called the fetus Riley as the second thing my mil said to us after we told her about the baby was "Dear God, don't call it Riley, that's a dog's name!!" so it became our family joke. This woman is the aunt of the above mentioned Riley BTW.
posted by saradarlin at 9:03 PM on July 14, 2011

Wow, that sounded harsh. Sorry about that. Name your daughter whatever you like, someone will always tell you some stupid story about someone they know with that name, like this stranger on the internets did! All that matters is that the parents like it!
posted by saradarlin at 9:05 PM on July 14, 2011

Riley is a nice name and it was the 38th most popular name for baby girls in the US in 2009 and 40th in 2010. It was just above the top 100th for boys in the US at the same time. So that means that your daughter might be the only Riley in her class, but there's a decent chance she'll have a bunch of other kids in school with the same name. It's not a timeless or classic name (as charming as it is). If uncommon is important, avoid Riley.

Zoe was 31 last year, so same thing there. (And I can't imagine things are all that different in Canada.)

The other important thing with those names is that they are on a sharp increase in popularity--and, in a few years, will start decreasing. (Look at Carol in the Baby Name Voyager to see a name that had a spike a few decades back.)

It's really common for first time parents to name their child a name that turns out to be really popular, but you didn't realize it because you aren't around kids all the time. We are all living in the same cultural moment, and names that sound fresh to us can also sound fresh to lots of other folks as well.

How about naming her Elizabeth Riley and then calling her Bette (like "bet")?

Here are a few less common names that might work (or maybe not!)

Good luck! I'm sure you'll love whatever you choose.
posted by bluedaisy at 10:06 PM on July 14, 2011

Here's another nice androgynous name:
posted by bluedaisy at 10:11 PM on July 14, 2011

Weird coincidence, just a few hours ago a friend of mine was telling me baby girl names she's thinking about, and she said she was really serious about "Riley" until she started meeting and hearing about a ton of other little Rileys.
posted by illenion at 10:58 PM on July 14, 2011

Well i have a Micah and a Sasha...and they're both girls. I like androgynous names. Riley is one i considered but passed on because it felt a little too trendy for me. But as others have said, name your daughter whatever makes you happy.
posted by ramix at 11:40 PM on July 14, 2011

I agree that Riley is trendy, not trashy, and I also know a dog named Riley. But I mainly came in here to drop in the thought that you don't have to name a baby the instant it makes its entrance into the world. After all, you haven't met your baby yet, and you won't know what her personality is until you do. Sometimes it's best to have a few names in your head, and then after she's born, pick the one that seems to fit best.
posted by MexicanYenta at 1:04 AM on July 15, 2011

I don't see anything particularly wrong with the name Riley in itself, but I think you may be surprised by just how popular it is right now. According to government statistics, it's jumped from rank 131 to rank 40 in the last 10 years.
posted by asciident at 1:11 AM on July 15, 2011

I really like the name Griselda, but that might be too girly for you.
posted by Maisie at 1:56 AM on July 15, 2011

posted by raf at 4:28 AM on July 15, 2011

I'm sure we'd all love to know what you ultimately decide on! If you can contact a mod to update the thread, that'd be awesome!

posted by Sassyfras at 7:25 AM on July 15, 2011

I don't have any other suggestions, but Riley does not at all for me fall into the trashy category.
posted by radioamy at 10:39 AM on July 15, 2011

A friend of mine has a three-year-old named Rylee. It is popular, but as a female name, not male (at least in my area).

I knew a boy growing up whose name was Larkin. I thought that was a great name for a child of either gender.

I named my daughter Marit. I wanted something feminine but not cutesy.

Someone mentioned Delaney. I think that is great, as is Greenlee, Oakley and Marilee. I like names that end in the "eeee" sound, but so does my last name.

I think if I have another girl, I would name her Sagan (for Carl Sagan), or Renata.
posted by FergieBelle at 10:42 AM on July 15, 2011

My name is Joy and I don't recommend it for anyone, so I've shortened it to Jo. Jo typically is for Josephine or Joanne/a, Josephine has so many options too, Jo, Joey, Josey.
posted by b33j at 6:00 PM on July 15, 2011

But I mainly came in here to drop in the thought that you don't have to name a baby the instant it makes its entrance into the world. After all, you haven't met your baby yet, and you won't know what her personality is until you do. Sometimes it's best to have a few names in your head, and then after she's born, pick the one that seems to fit best.

I was "Baby Lastname" for three days, possibly more, depending on how dramatic we get with the retelling of Ittle Snarl's Naming. But the result is that my parents are, to this day, deliriously pleased to have named me Snarl. I also get lots of compliments on my name, which I cheerfully respond to with, "Thanks, my mom picked it out for me!"

After messing around on Nymbler, there are options like:

But I have to admit, my first reaction to "Ripley" for a not-too-girly girl's name was OH EM GEE DO IT DO IT DO IT.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 6:27 PM on July 15, 2011

Seconding Harper.
posted by bendy at 2:13 PM on July 16, 2011

posted by timsneezed at 4:56 PM on July 16, 2011

From the OP:
Thanks for all the responses! I know I've been overthinking things, but it's good to hear that most of you don't consider Riley to be a trashy name. I really appreciate all of the suggestions. I should have mentioned in the original question that Alex is my ALL-TIME favourite name, for either a boy or a girl, but it doesn't work with our last name... kind of hard to describe without saying the last name, but it adds an "s" sound to the start of the last name, making it sound like something else.

Anyway, we've decided to go with our original name of Riley Elizabeth W__. There were some fantastic suggestions from you guys, but none that both my husband and I could agree on. I know that Riley is a trendy name, but in the end what matters is that we both like it. And everyone who noted that I should ignore what random people on the internet think are absolutely right. (I know, it's ironic that that advice also comes from random people on the internet....)

Thanks again!
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 6:53 AM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

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