Will I know it when I hear it? Is there a magical name for my baby...
October 7, 2014 10:28 PM   Subscribe

We are about a 10 days away from having our baby girl And I can't help but think the right name will just come to us in some sort of magical, "that's her name!" sort of way. I think I may have exhausted every name search site and we just can't agree....plus now I hate all our top choices

All my life I have made lists of favorite baby names and then when it actually came time to pick out my own, they all went out the window. Right now our two top contenders are Arden and Reeva. Arden is his choice and I was in love with it until someone said, " oh like elizabeth arden." I don't want a brand name baby. And Reeva (which I thought I made up with the combination of two family names) is a recent famous-y murder victim.

Previous choices were Paloma, Everly, Harper, Aurora, Astrid, and if I had my way, every flower name possible. Some names that we like don't go with his last name, which is two syllables and ends in -ley. We like names that are a little different, but not so outlandish that she could never be a consummate professional if she so chooses.

Suddenly this seems like a huge responsibility and every name I loved before just doesn't seem like it could ever fit my baby. Maybe mothers-to-be normally go through this and this is just a response to my weird emotions and stress. Hopefully, we will just know when we finally meet her.

I loved reading all the other baby name suggestion questions on here during the beginning of my pregnancy. I just thought maybe some could flow my way. It is getting down to the wire at this point. Maybe a fresh round of ideas would be helpful....
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (99 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
We had Jane picked out for ages, and lists of names we tried, and then the night before she was born, we said oh Margaret is a nice name (it came up about saints for c-sections) and she is now Maggie and I cannot imagine her not being Maggie. Having Jane as the confirmed middle name made it less stressful. It is absolutely fine to have a baby without a proper name for several weeks because you can't always tell until you see their faces and get a sense of who they are - lots of people do this!
posted by viggorlijah at 10:49 PM on October 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

My kid is 6 and that seemed to be the start of the Harper craze. There are usually at least one in his class every year. So it is a little common if that matters.
posted by k8t at 10:54 PM on October 7, 2014 [4 favorites]

I'm at the age where seemingly everyone around me is making babies. I gotta say, your struggle is totally 100% normal. At this point I'd be shocked if my most-recently-pregnant friend doesn't have this issue in eight months.

Every baby born thus far has been named within a week of showing up, no problem. The hormones will show you the way with their mystical cocktail of feelings and love. It's good to have a few to choose from of course but even my most freaked-out-about-names pregnant cousin settled happily on a family name they'd never considered before and has been super into in for three years running.

That said I've known some excellent people named Dana over the years.
posted by Mizu at 10:55 PM on October 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

My utter favourite (that I was unable to use) was, and continues to be, Constance.
posted by taff at 10:56 PM on October 7, 2014

You will hate the names I suggest, that's ok, maybe it'll help you like your ones more.
Also, Arden is fine, and Reeva... probably won't be memorable in a few years.

I wouldn't normally suggest variant spellings, but it looks like Riva and Reva aren't really any less common than Reeva, but would be less recognisable.

You could turn the syllables around, and have Evra.

If not the Arden forest, then the river Avon?


(P.S. I used to receive mail for Constance Paine. Very goth name!)
posted by Elysum at 10:58 PM on October 7, 2014 [5 favorites]

A friend of my mother's didn't name her baby for at least 2 months.

Don't do that, but, in comparison, a week seems fine.

(My mother flipped a coin, and gave me a teddy bear called Alice, the losing name).
posted by Elysum at 11:00 PM on October 7, 2014 [5 favorites]

Arden is wonderful and I didn't think of the makeup brand at all. It's not Maybelline. :)

Harper is lovely as well. I think with the "ley" ending to his last name, ending in a consonant would sound nice.

If you're really unsure, give her your second choice as a middle name so you (and later, she) have choices without a legal change.
posted by amaire at 11:07 PM on October 7, 2014

My daughter's name is Shoshana, which means rose or lily. So if you want a flower name that's not a flower name, there you go.
posted by amro at 11:08 PM on October 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

When I was pregnant, I had two absolutely fantastic girl names that I loved and a perfectly fine boy name. I had a boy. He has the perfectly fine name. He wears it well. It isn't anything I dreamt of my whole life or something that makes other people say "wow, what a great name!" But it's a solid name and ultimately in the scheme of things that matter about my amazing kid, it just isn't that enormous. Whatever you choose will be fine.
posted by judith at 11:11 PM on October 7, 2014 [6 favorites]

The first thing that comes to mind with Arden isn't Elizabeth, it's the setting for Shakespeare's As You Like It, which seems like a lovely association to have.
posted by MsMolly at 11:12 PM on October 7, 2014 [17 favorites]

I like Arden. I don't think of Elizabeth Arden, I think Shakespeare and As You Like It.

(If the issue with Arden is being associated with a cosmetics company then Elysum's suggestion of Avon would probably not work, lovely as it is.)

Avalon might, though, and if she turns out not to like an unusual name she could go by Ava, which is super popular but still really lovely.
posted by lwb at 11:14 PM on October 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I thought Shakespeare with Arden, too.

But honestly, every name out there has baggage of some type or another. Maybe it's a murder victim or perpetrator or reality show star, and the original original names can sound weird and off-putting to a lot of people.

My advice is not to even worry about the externals. You liked Arden. You liked Reeva. Don't not like them because of something out of your control. They're both pretty. You aren't going to win an award for best baby name 2014. You're not going to go to parent jail for worst baby name 2014.

So look at your baby girl after she is born and say out loud "This is my baby girl _____". If it fits, then that's her name.
posted by inturnaround at 11:37 PM on October 7, 2014 [16 favorites]

Arden is fine; you're just going a bit baby crazy. That's normal. As others noted above, if you can say the name aloud -- this is my daughter Arden __ley -- and it sounds good to you, that's really all that matters.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 12:30 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

I like Reeva. You can spell it Riva or Reevah or Revah.
posted by discopolo at 12:41 AM on October 8, 2014

I like Arden and I too didn't think of make-up until you mentioned it. A similar name (and if you like Lord of the Rings) is Arwen.

I am not planning on having children, but that doesn't stop me from considering names I would use if I did. ;) Recent ones that came to mind (for girls) are values:


I'm not religious, so the latter two would be lesser options for me, but maybe not for you.

Btw, my middle name was Stephanie for a week until my mom saw another name she liked better on the license plate of another little girl's bike. She hadn't filled out the birth certificate form, so I got the license plate name. :)
posted by Halo in reverse at 1:24 AM on October 8, 2014

Aven is a possibility - it has the same beginning and ending letters that Arden does, plus the "v" sound in the middle that Reeva has.
posted by pecanpies at 2:06 AM on October 8, 2014 [4 favorites]

My grandmother's name was Arlene. It's an old name that's fallen out of use, but now when I say it to myself, it sounds fresh.
posted by cotterpin at 2:18 AM on October 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

Suddenly this seems like a huge responsibility and every name I loved before just doesn't seem like it could ever fit my baby

You don't have to fit a name to the baby - I think babies don't all look the same but they don't look like their names until 6 months or so. Until then they just look like babies. By that time you're used to the name and you see them gradually change from a baby into a little character, and they kind of "grow into" their name. Like, when my son was a baby, he didn't look like a {name}, but now he's 2, he totally looks like a {name}. This is because I've had 2 years to get used to the name, and in your brain, the name and the kid become merged.

Hope that makes sense, I got about 3 hours cumulative sleep last night (guess why).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:19 AM on October 8, 2014 [3 favorites]

Also you say (whisper/yell/exclaim/sing) the name so much over first couple of years it loses any other meaning you had attached to it and just becomes "the word that refers to your kid".
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:25 AM on October 8, 2014 [10 favorites]

We like names that are a little different,

An aside but one of my good friends is a preschool teacher and the names you mention are likely pretty common these days. She has two kids named Astrid. I know this because she has mentioned they are both nicknamed "squid". We blame spongebob. Apparently old timey names are the new Jennifer.
posted by fshgrl at 2:36 AM on October 8, 2014 [7 favorites]

Names seem to go in and out of fashion, so here is a tool you can use to see if the name you are thinking of is popular now, or is likely to become more so. I'd say find a name you like that is totally out of style, so it's familiar, but unusual.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:02 AM on October 8, 2014 [4 favorites]

Just tried plugging some variables you gave into a baby name generator and it spit out the following:

1. Sage
2. Drew
3. Phoenix
4. Amari
5. Tatiana
6. Naomi

I should add, my experience with baby naming is that no matter what, you will question your choice up to the end and beyond (at times), no matter what you choose, so just choose something you love that you don't think you'll tire of and go with it. Babies look and act like babies and I really don't think meeting her is going to make the difference, and then you'll be under pressure because you'll need to fill out insurance forms and social security forms and who needs any extra stress when you've just given birth?
posted by treehorn+bunny at 3:03 AM on October 8, 2014 [3 favorites]

Arwen might work in the Arden area.
But I'll add myself to the list of people who didn't think of Elizabeth Arden when I first read the name.
posted by sciencegeek at 3:05 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

I thought Shakespeare too, but the fact that that's the overwhelming response may just be a MetaFilter thing. Like everyone else's said, you have time, and eventually whatever name you choose it'll be your child's name, which is in itself special as heck.

In the vein of Shakespearean characters, who tend to have names that present as both pretty and classic, Viola, Cordelia, Rosalind...? but really, trust yourself to be able to make a good decision. Hard choices are hard because all the options are similar portions of good one way or another, so you can't really go wrong. Congratulations!
posted by undue influence at 3:32 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Aha! On the link 5_13_23_42_69_666 added upthread, I found a link to this article - 'Why can't I make a decision?' Maybe that will help a little.
posted by undue influence at 3:34 AM on October 8, 2014

My husband and I had a flip chart that we filled with names for nine months. Actual names, made up names, ridiculous names - it didn't matter. We just wanted to get it out of our system. When I went into labor, we took it to the hospital, stuck it on the wall, and waited for our daughter to show up. When she did, we held her up and started calling out the names to her, and used a marker to rearrange the possible names. I think in a moment of funny delirium, we might have sort of used her a a ouiji board talisman, moving her around the flip chart to see if she reached out to anything. She didn't. She just sort of spit up and slept. But, it all helped to put together a name for her.

In the end, we chose a lovely first and two middle names, two of which were on the list and one that just made sense when we saw her. Sort of an easy to spell first name, a superhero middle name - because I just think every kid needs one, and a special middle name that means 'you are loved'. It absolutely was not the name we were thinking of 9 months ago.

All to say that sometimes you need to be personally introduced to your kid before you can hear and see the name you want to call her. You get a couple days after that to register her name, so give yourself time. Perhaps wait toll you meet her, try out a couple of names and see what feels right then?
posted by anitanita at 3:40 AM on October 8, 2014 [9 favorites]

I have been watching The 100 and loving "Clarke" as a baby name.
posted by emilyw at 4:03 AM on October 8, 2014

My friend's little girl is called Arwen, which is close to your preferred name.
posted by Jubey at 4:04 AM on October 8, 2014

Arden is such a great name. I really think you should go with that.

However , here are some other names to glance at: Berit, Maren, and Brita.
posted by Area Man at 4:06 AM on October 8, 2014

I think this is totally normal for new mothers. My husband and I didn't name our daughter for 24 hours because we weren't sure yet who she was; about two weeks after we settled on a name, I completely changed my mind and regretted it intensely (not her legal name so much as the nickname that was the origin of the longer name) and then one day before I could do anything about it something clicked and I cannot imagine her being anyone else at all. If she decides to use another nickname or her full name later on, I will be a little bit heartbroken, even though that's why we gave her a flexible name to begin with.

With our second baby we haven't even seriously considered picking out a name before birth. We know his middle name (family tradition) and we have been working on a shortlist of possibilities but we know that we won't know until he's here, so I'm not worried about it. You have some time in the hospital before you have to settle on a name, and it's entirely possible that something could pop up that hadn't even been on your radar before.

It is a big responsibility, but I comforted myself with the knowledge that people either get used to their names or change them (legally or otherwise) throughout their lives and everyone manages just fine. I will have plenty of other opportunities to do permanent damage that don't involve names. :)

Suggestions that seem kind of in line with your previous favorites are Nora(h), Aura, Freya, Fiona, Kara/Cara, Madison, Addison, Amelia, Meredith, Hazel, Violet....
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 4:11 AM on October 8, 2014

Elizabeth Arden is not as big in most people's minds as it used to be. Keep it if you like it. Our kiddo has a pretty middle of the road name and it's fine. After a while, you associate the person they are with those sounds, and any other associations drop away.

I was going to use Sylvia if we had a girl, it also is related to forest (sylvan). Feel free to take that one.
posted by emjaybee at 4:19 AM on October 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

My cousin actually deliberately waited until she "met" her daughter to settle on a name. She settled on a few "finalists" before her birth, but then deliberately waited.

I've also heard of a blogger who had a name picked out for her daughter, but then when she was born, she was born with these enormous chubby cheeks and everyone there said "goodness, what rosy cheeks she has!" and she and her husband suddenly thought, "Wait, that's it - Rosie!" and now Rosie she is.

Sometimes you need to just meet your child to realize what their name "is".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:34 AM on October 8, 2014 [4 favorites]

Just wanted to suggest that maybe you're feeling like this is a massive decision because when you're waiting for a baby to be born there's so little else you have control of. There are so, so many unknowns in front of you, and feeling like you have to choose a name the minute your baby arrives can feel like it's just adding to the pressure. Try not to let it!

I love flower names too and wanted to call our Spring baby Daffodil, Snowdrop, Primrose or Bluebell, all of which were deemed too wacky by my husband (we're in the UK where you arguably can't afford to be quite as outlandish). I like tree names too - Aspen and Willow were two of my favourites. Viola was our second-choice middle name - also Shakespearean (and musical). And if I'd had an Autumn baby, like you, I would definitely have called her Autumn.

But I have to agree, I think Arden is beautiful too. Whatever you choose, good luck!
posted by raspberry-ripple at 4:35 AM on October 8, 2014

PREFACE: I know a baby is different from a cat.

When I went to the SPCA to adopt a cat I had a number of names in mind and was strongly leaning towards naming a kitty Rhetaxis, but when I finally chose and "met" the kitty I wanted to adopt Rhetaxis went flying from my mind and I instantly named her Rhubarb. I knew that was her name.

So maybe just keep a few names in mind and just wait until you meet your baby. You may immediately decide on a name at that point.

ps - Growing up I had a friend named Shayda. Gorgeous name, if you ask me. I have no intention of having a child, and naming a kid the same name as someone you know (especially a unique name like this) would be super weird, but it wouldn't be weird for you, so I suggest Shayda.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 4:41 AM on October 8, 2014

We had a girls's name picked out, with much discussion and research and even some fighting, and no boy's name at all, as we were both 100% certain the baby would be a girl.

As it turned out we were wrong. And when the midwife laid him on my chest, I said to my husband that his name would be "X", just like that without even thinking. I just knew. My husband was a bit sceptical but soon after that he began phoning the family and told them of the birth and mentioned the name. After 5 calls he said to me: it just feels right that he should be "X".
We have never regretted that super spontaneous choice, and it suits him perfectly.

I still think Isabelle is a lovely name though.
posted by 15L06 at 4:41 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Right before Baby Benson was born we were right where you are now. We actually waited a bunch of hours after she was born and got to know her a tiny bit before we saddled her with her name.
posted by elmer benson at 4:42 AM on October 8, 2014

"Right now our two top contenders are Arden and Reeva. Arden is his choice and I was in love with it until someone said, " oh like elizabeth arden." I don't want a brand name baby. And Reeva (which I thought I made up with the combination of two family names) is a recent famous-y murder victim."

There's definitely no such thing as a name you made up and nobody else has used ... there are a lot of English-speakers in the world frantically mashing up sounds for their new babies, someone will have hit on anything you hit on as long as you stick with "syllables that can actually be pronounced." And every name will eventually, hopefully briefly, be a brand or celebrity name. Naming your kid "Lexus" or "Pepsi" is brand-y, but something like "Arden" is a legit name that happens to have a (quite minor, IMO) affiliation. I mean, look, eventually there's going to be an SNL character named "Aurora" who's hilariously memorable for 15 years, or there will be a trendy pomegranite drink called "Paloma" that then crosses over into a signifier for obnoxious drunk sorority girls who use it as a mixer with vodka, or there will be a Disney pop princess named "Astrid" who is as big as Biebs and then has a sex scandal. You cannot avoid it, especially with less-common or modern names (very common, traditional names have so many referents in people's minds that they don't tend to trigger the same association with one point in culture). Choose a name you like and don't worry too much about that sort of thing; it happens to everyone and it's mostly pretty fleeting.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:00 AM on October 8, 2014 [10 favorites]

I think the name Oona is lovely for a mature woman, but also smushable enough for kiddie names like Oonie or Nana.
posted by WeekendJen at 5:18 AM on October 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'm with those who say Arden = Shakespeare.

Feel free to wait until you feel comfortable with the name.

Mazel-Tov on your baby!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:20 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

If Aurora is still in the running, just throwing it out there that it's kind of difficult to pronounce without tripping over the tongue.

Reeva is lovely, and along those lines, Rena and Rita.

How about:

posted by Sal and Richard at 5:23 AM on October 8, 2014

I would not veto a name just for it being part of a current event/news story. You could rule out a name you love and pick a different one, only to see that name in the newspaper the day after you name your baby. There's nothing you can do to prevent your baby's name from gaining new associations throughout their lives (I know several adult Katrinas, for example), so just pick a name you like!
posted by telegraph at 5:36 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

When I was pregnant with my daughter I fell in love with a simple, artistic, easy-to-spell name that was also rare and fresh-sounding. We didn't know anyone with that name. Now, eight years later, we have met about eight little girls with the same name and my daughter even has another kid named the same in her class this year. Luckily it wasn't the rarity of the name that I loved the most when I first picked it, I still feel its artistic aspect is perfect for my creative child.

All kids seem to have unusual names these days - the same way that all kids seemed to have common names when I was growing up.

A name I quite like right now is Milla (in Serbian it means 'lovable' or 'loved').
posted by Dragonness at 5:39 AM on October 8, 2014

My 1st child's name was a compromise that did not go well. For the second and third, I told their dad, new rule, anything that comes out of my body, I get to name. I named the girls after family. I have Miranda Katherine, who, when she came out, looked just like my Aunt Rosa, so we called her Katie Rose for her first year and now just Katie. And, to pay homage to my mother's cajun french roots, I chose two friends' names that had the french spelling, Marguerite Lynnette. We call her Marguerite or Reet sometimes. Reet and Cat. They love that they are named after people that they know and their namesakes pay special attention to them. Naming your child is a big deal. It should take lots of thought. Be careful with unusual names and spellings, they will not serve your child well in life. Also try to keep names very gender specific. My son's name is good for boys or girls, but, after he was born, was only used for girls, which is embarrassing for him. He goes by his nickname, which I dislike.

On a side note, my parents named me and my brothers so that our initials were the same as my dads, which I loved. My children all have the same first and last initials, while the middle initials are sequential- MJB, MKB, MLB.
posted by myselfasme at 5:40 AM on October 8, 2014

Along with Arden, I know an Ardis, which is also nice. Less common, but definitely a real name.

(For what it's worth, I would also be squicked to name a baby after a recently-famous or even previously famous murder victim.)
posted by juniperesque at 5:59 AM on October 8, 2014

My niece is Helen, after her great-grandmother. I'm partial, of course, but it makes for a nice non-trendy name that maintains some dignity (and has serious history!)
posted by notsnot at 6:02 AM on October 8, 2014 [4 favorites]

Another tally for Arden as Shakespearean. We considered Arden for my daughter who is now sixteen months. We eventually settled on two first-middle combos and waited until she was born to decide. For a few days I wondered if we had made the right choice but now there is no doubt that her name fits.
posted by SeedStitch at 6:07 AM on October 8, 2014

Arden is a male name in my family.

I wouldn't worry about that though since these days it's very popular to give girls traditionally male sounding names.

I like Maeve as well but it's becoming much more popular.
posted by seesom at 6:20 AM on October 8, 2014

posted by rabbitrabbit at 6:25 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

My parents had fallen in love with a name, but say now that when I showed up, they took one look and I didn't "look like" a $X, so they had to go back to the drawing board. You might want to wait until your little one shows up before eliminating any names.

It'll all be ok!
posted by RogueTech at 6:25 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Until relatively recently, babies were mostly named after biblical figures and grandparents, so everyone was John and Mary. With the cultural shift away from this convention comes a whole lot of pressure to find the perfect baby name: unusual but not weird, easy to spell and pronounce, not super trendy but not so out-of-trend that your kid has an incongruous old-lady name, appropriate for a senator, a perfect fit for a child whose personality hasn't grown in yet, and bully-proof and free of negative associations. You'll never fully satisfy all these conditions. The perfect name may end up being the name of an embarrassing personal hygiene product that hasn't yet been invented, or a racist talk show host who's currently in elementary school, or it may just unexpectedly explode in popularity six months from now and your daughter will be one of six Ardens in her first grade class. And sixteen years from now, she may decide Arden is a lame name and insist on being called Nixie or Chevelle or something specifically chosen to irritate you.

You can't control for all factors, and I guarantee you all the parents who seem to have picked out perfect names for their kids have gotten some similarly dippy questions. If you didn't have doubts now, you would at some point down the line. The perfect is the enemy of the good, especially when it comes to parenting.

And babies do grow into their names, and this is a super common thing to worry about, so don't sweat it.

Arden is a lovely name, by the way, and I'm picky about names!
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:47 AM on October 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

I know an Ardele, which I think is a lovely name.
posted by judith at 6:52 AM on October 8, 2014

Arden is great, although right now I would have the same reservations you do about Reeva, to be honest.

There's also Anwen, as an alternative. (I think it's Welsh in origin, not sure.)
I really love Eden, too.

And just to show that you can never cover all associations: a poster above me suggested Astra, and I immediately thought, 'You can't call her that - it's a car!' Which it is: an extremely common model of car, here in Australia, but obviously not in the US. Similarly, I think the name Allegra is amazing, but am aware that it's an allergy med in the US (but not here). So...in a sense, if your kid ends up being an international nomad, you can't win!

(p.s. I know an Aasta, and I think that's lovely.)
posted by Salamander at 6:58 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have an elderly neighbor named Zinnia, another named Elvira- pronounced Elveera because she's Italian. They're both wonderful women with lovely names.

I was very bad at naming my kids, so I let their dad choose, and I had veto power.
posted by mareli at 7:04 AM on October 8, 2014

Sigrid is a Scandinavian given name for women from Old Norse Sigríðr, meaning "victory", "wisdom", and "beautiful". The Sigrid that I know is smart and thoughtful and kind (and gorgeous, for as much as that might matter).

The only downside is that Siri is the default nickname (and has now been destroyed by Apple), but Ziggy is a better nickname anyways, right?.
posted by sparklemotion at 7:19 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

I knew someone with a similar name to Arden and just always thought the Ard- part was like "arduous" or "aardvark." Also rhymes with "Lard."

But most names can be made fun of pretty easily. And it's not like you're naming her Lancôme.
posted by discopolo at 7:24 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Ardan (with two As?)
posted by Falwless at 7:31 AM on October 8, 2014

There is going to always be something with names from someone. But to me it sounds like you are putting too much pressure on yourself to make a decision -- set aside a list, don't look at it, and then revisit it when baby is born. You might just know when you meet your baby or spend time with your baby.

For what it's worth, my husband's last name has an "ee" sound and both of our kids have "ee" sounding ends to their first names and it's fine. It's actually kind of lyrical and both names roll off the tongue easily.

But if I had to choose for you from your list, I would go with Paloma because a good friend of mine has a daughter with that name and she is such an awesome kid. So I'm very biased.

And since you like flower names, here are some I really like (my daughter has a flower name, too, though that's not why we picked it -- even escaped our mind when we settled on it):

Linnea (after a botanist!)
posted by zizzle at 7:43 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Arden is nice. Others I like - Indigo, Twyla, Beatrice.
posted by mgogol at 7:44 AM on October 8, 2014

I think you had it right with Astrid.
posted by ead at 7:45 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

What is your surname (last name)? I would choose something that sounds musical in combination with that, that will make her memorable to people she meets throughout life. Two of my favorite names I've encountered are Lavinia Devilliers and Romania Jones.
posted by mmiddle at 7:45 AM on October 8, 2014

I had a son 3 years ago, and BOOM when the Jackson "Jax" craze. (Thank you, Sons of Anarchy.) He didn't have a name until right before he was born either because my husband was dead set on naming him after his grandfather. That was NOT happening, so that name ended up being his middle name instead. But we went round and around about it.

But the girl name I had picked out was Vada. (Think: My Girl).

I also LOVE the name Everly that you listed as well. I think the name Arden is cool too, but I do think of the makeup brand as well.

My parents didn't name me until I was born either. My mom ended up naming me after her favorite soap opera character!
posted by Sara_NOT_Sarah at 7:46 AM on October 8, 2014

I had a baby 6 months ago. We didn't know the gender till the moment he was born. As soon as they announced "It's a boy!" I just shouted out the name for him. I hadn't planned on doing that, and we hadn't settled on a name. Don't worry too much about this now. Meet your baby. Name will follow.
posted by RingerChopChop at 8:05 AM on October 8, 2014

Arden is lovely and the only association I know is Shakespeare. Really, who is your friend (?) who cited Elizabeth Arden? I'm guessing her cultural milieu isn't typical of what your baby is going to be interacting with.

Now Reeva… yeah, I agree with you, I wouldn't. Even if not everyone followed the Pistorius trial, those who did are always going to be startled by the name and wonder what her mother was thinking.

You will need to meet her to be sure, but Arden is a winner.
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:12 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

We went to the hospital with a short list (5 names). We named our baby almost immediately after her birth. Although I had occasional misgivings in then early weeks, 4 months later I can't tell you what the other names were or imagine her being called anything else. I'm betting it will be the same for you, no matter which name you pick.
posted by Kriesa at 8:30 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Met a little girl on the playground yesterday named Azeli ("ah-zay-lee"). I thought it was beautiful, and it seems to fit your style.
posted by Cygnet at 8:37 AM on October 8, 2014

It took us 3 days for us to name our son after he was born. We were both stubborn - my husband wanted to name him so his initials were "BAD" and I absolutely did not. I had a dream in my first trimester that we'd have a blond boy named Isaac and was dead-set on that, but all my husband could think of was the bartender from The Love Boat when he heard that name. So, after three days of kicking around stuff, I finally just said "How about "X" with the nickname of "x"?" And he said OK. So I filled out all the legal paperwork, sent it in, ordered the birth announcements, and two days later absolutely HATED the name. (Day 5 after birth is a rough one!) So I asked my husband if we should have named him "Y" instead, and my husband said, "Maybe." Did I mention day 5 after birth is a rough one? That was not the answer I wanted to hear! LOL! If it weren't for physical exertion restrictions, there might have been a husband-shaped hole in the back yard.

14 months later, the kid is still named "X" and could only be named "X".

Sounding similar to Astrid is "Esther". I like Cygnet's idea of Azeli which could also be Azalea.

I was so there with you about feeling so much IMPORTANCE of naming this new living being. And, you know, it really IS important. But the kid can always change it later. The nickname or middle name can always win out, too. We tend to call our kid more by his nickname than his full name, but that's common with many names (Mike versus Michael, Jenny versus Jennifer, etc).

You aren't crazy. You are just reacting to one of the many important things coming up from bringing a child into the world. :)
posted by jillithd at 8:48 AM on October 8, 2014

posted by flabdablet at 8:56 AM on October 8, 2014

One of the reasons people don't tell people beforehand the names they're considering is because you'll always get some well meaning comment like, "Oh, erm, you mean like the serial killer?" that ruins it for you.

I also think it's a good idea to hold off picking a name until your child is born. It's good to have a list of contenders, but I think something will click when you meet them for the first time and the right name will almost "magically" make sense.

My other advice is to give your kids a ton of names. Like as many as you can fit on the form. Attach another sheet of paper even. That way you can mix and match them as they grow into names and nicknames that fit. Plus, when your kid is 15 they won't hate that you named them Arden because they can choose a middle name they like better.

Girls names from my list (alas, we had boys):
Indra ("Indie" is such a cute nickname.)
posted by maniactown at 9:39 AM on October 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

p.s. I know an Aasta, and I think that's lovely.

Sounding similar to Astrid is "Esther"

Asta! Lovely Scandinavian name, if I may say so.
posted by astapasta24 at 9:43 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

2 names I'd want if we had a girl:
posted by Kangaroo at 10:08 AM on October 8, 2014

Reva was the name of one of my grandmother's sisters, born circa 1905. I like it!
posted by hush at 10:18 AM on October 8, 2014

As a slightly-unusually-named person, I wish my parents had chosen something a little easier to understand. I know unusual names are fairly standard now, but I'd still vote for something that's recognizable (and personally, I think recognizably female would be handy too). Astrid is a great name. As are the classic flower names like Rose or Iris. A couple of Japanese options: Hana (flower), Reika (petal). Some things that sound a little like Arden: Arianne, Arina, Arna, Ariane, Ariadne. Since you like Astrid you might check out this list of Norwegian names.

I also have a friend who was named after a few days, because his parents wanted to get to know him first. I don't know how they handled the birth certificate.
posted by three_red_balloons at 10:53 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Also, related to Reeva, you might like Rivka (Hebrew version of Rebecca).
posted by three_red_balloons at 10:57 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

I like Astrid. We almost named our daughter Harriet, so I'll give that my vote.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 11:21 AM on October 8, 2014

My daughter was named on her second day of life; my son on his seventh. In my state at least you have a full week to file the birth certificate. We actually returned it to the hospital on day 4 with one name, and returned on day 7 an hour before closing to change it, and I STILL (to this day) question my final choice. But it's ok.

Needless to say my lack of sleep and baby-hormones were a total wreck at both these points.
posted by celtalitha at 12:04 PM on October 8, 2014

I will bequeath to you our runner-up name:


It's a lovely flower name, slightly old-fashioned, and I think it would suit a strong little girl.
(We wound up with a Lila.)
posted by telepanda at 12:25 PM on October 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

People are idiots. When my BFF was pregnant, she told her first choice name to someone who said, "That sounds like the name of a gay basher." WTF? Stupid people say stupid things. Stop worrying about what other people think (easy, right?).

And just in case you still care what other people think after my sound advice, I love Arden. Beautiful.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:44 PM on October 8, 2014

I'm gonna put in a vote for my flower name. My name is Yasmin, but there are plenty of other variations: Jasmine, Yasmine, Yasaman, Jessamyn/Jessamine, Yasamin and probably some others I'm forgetting.

Also, another possible flower name: Aster. Sounds similar to Astrid, but doesn't seem as potentially common. (Of course, I can think of a lot of potential playground taunts for it, but probably best not to choose a name based on the lowest common denominator of 8 year olds' taunts.)
posted by yasaman at 12:50 PM on October 8, 2014

posted by Ironmouth at 1:47 PM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Arden was my brother's middle name and I loved it. I offer you my own name, "Aldia". The only other Aldia I know of was my grandmother.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 1:57 PM on October 8, 2014

Continuing with the flower theme, I once knew a woman named Fleur (the French word for flower).
posted by barnoley at 2:16 PM on October 8, 2014

I love Arden and would never make that association.

That said, you don't have to name your baby yet! We had a list of names and decided we would pick one once we met the baby. When I was in labor the phrase "his name is [name]" floated through my head. That name wasn't on our list and wasn't one we had considered before, but it was and is perfect for him. So you never know--she might tell you her name herself.
posted by apricot at 2:24 PM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by rabbitrabbit at 2:25 PM on October 8, 2014

Astrid reminds me of the Office, when Jan named the baby Astrid and Michael thought it was "Assturd" and put it on a cake.

But I doubt your baby's peers will be familiar with The Office by the time she's school age. It's off the air so I think you're safe.
posted by discopolo at 2:43 PM on October 8, 2014

posted by to recite so charmingly at 3:01 PM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Officially, we had a shortlist of boy names and a shortlist of girl names and a plan to choose once the baby was here. Secretly, though, I had a shortlist of boy names, a list of girl names I liked but wouldn't be happening, and one girl name that was absolutely going to be the one if the baby was a girl.

Well, she was a girl, but from her first few hours of life I knew that she just wasn't an Eilidh, much though I loved (and still love!) the name. So after about a day I went back through the girl list and one leapt right out at me in an "oh, that's who you are" way. My husband wasn't at the hospital at that point, so I was waiting to suggest it to him in person - but before I could he sent a text message saying "I think we should call her [that name]." So we did.

So, yes, sometimes the right name will leap out at you - but it might not do that until after you've met the baby.
posted by Catseye at 3:15 PM on October 8, 2014

Arden is lovely. So is Astrid.
posted by Boogiechild at 3:33 PM on October 8, 2014

in the plant name category: Tilia (latin for linden/basswood/limetree).
posted by sciencegeek at 3:41 PM on October 8, 2014

Mm.. So, I am going to go against the grain, and suggest that old timey, naturalistic, fond granny names (Hazel, Violet, Astrid, Harper) are probably going to sound dated at some point in the next ten to fifteen years. I say this as a Melissa. I don't mind my quintessential eighties name, but, along with the Jessicas and Jennifers and Amandas, I do have a quintessential eighties name, which I think sounded very riveting and exciting to my mother at the time. If you name your child something from the current aesthetic crop of names reminiscent of a tasteful antique shop, your child will have a very lovely name, which will probably be sort of exactly time stamped for 2014 and all our cultural climate of nostalgia for a previous time and aspirations toward innocence.

Anyway, so I am going to name all my children after my favorite people from my life. If I think of awesome people I've known, the actual people made the name awesome and not vice versa. So anyway, name your child what is meaningful to you, but names don't have to be fashion accessories.
posted by mermily at 3:53 PM on October 8, 2014 [6 favorites]

My only name guideline for you would be to NOT name a kid something off that baby popularity name list. PLEASE don't. Yes, all the "old-fashioned" grandma names will be the new Jennifer or Isabella. And it's annoying as hell being "Jennifer who?" "Jennifer NOT YOU", "the second Jennifer X in the class," etc. your whole life.

Other than that, I don't really have an issue with your names, and I'd just make up a list and hold on to it and then see what the kid fits.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:00 PM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by zahava at 7:16 PM on October 8, 2014

How about Rowan? Starts with an R like Reeva, has the "{schwa}n" ending like Arden. Plus it's botanical (tree).
posted by mon-ma-tron at 9:18 PM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

We know a little girl Rowan, lovely.

Arden is wonderful.

Some names from my life with a 2 year old in Seattle:


For some reason the name of a girl I barely knew in high school just popped into my head: Beatta (bee-YAHT-uh).

We waited 8 days to name our kid, BTW, it was fine.
posted by tristeza at 9:29 PM on October 8, 2014

Someone suggested Aven above, which is lovely. It is also a flower!
posted by amanda at 9:34 PM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

A little girl I know is named Arcadia, that seems like it might suit you.

My own daughter's name, Isabela, was decided the day before she was born. I had a very long list of names but my boyfriend was insistent from the moment I fell pregnant that only Isabella would do and eventually I gave in (but chose a different spelling as I was reading Isabel Allende when I went into labour). TBH, at first I wasn't that into it but now, two years later, I love it. Mostly because I love my girl and it's HER name. We call her Bela-boo atm anyway.
posted by Wantok at 10:43 PM on October 8, 2014


Are all names I love for little girls.
posted by SuzySmith at 1:00 AM on October 9, 2014

i've got a Louella and an Ariane
posted by johnny7 at 7:05 AM on October 9, 2014

Arden is lovely, and in the ballpark, I like Rowan as well, they've got a similar cadence.

And the name I coveted but couldn't use for my little one, Violet. So pretty!

For me it took me a while to really think of my kids as their names, rather than "sweet baby" etc. not bc their names aren't good, but bc their personalities can take some time to really show, and names aren't equivilant to personalities.
posted by pennypiper at 2:37 PM on October 15, 2014

Is baby here (and named)? Please drop in and let us know what you've chosen - maybe send an update via one of the mods, since this is anonymous?
posted by pecanpies at 10:18 PM on October 19, 2014 [3 favorites]

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