We're expecting our second baby next year, and suspect it's a girl. Of course, we could be wrong, but can't settle on names at all. We found it relatively easy with our first who is Amy. I love, love, love Francesca and wanted it last time round but husband thinks it will be shortened to Fran which he hates. I think we could make it Frankie which we both like though not as much as Francesca but he says we have no control over nicknames in the playground. Personally I can't see it's too much of an issue if we teach her that it's not her name - I think girls use nicknames less than biys anyway - and then when she's old enough she'll hopefully agree with us and not use it! The only other names we both like are Evie, which we have vetoed as there are so many of them around here, and Charlotte, which I love. The problem there is she becomes known as Charlie - which is her elder (male) cousin's name. It would be really weird to have m/f cousins with the same name wouldn't it? Husband hates Lottie as he says it sounds too "jolly hockeysticks" and I can see his point. Only have one boy's name, Jake, which we like but don't love as it's so popular. Husband vetoes nearly all other names as there was a nerd in his class with that name/ a famous player in an opposing football team has it (the rarer names here!) As you can see, we like quite traditional, though not old-fashioned names, that are heard of but not too common. Help!
Well I have a Frances and I chose her name partly because I loved the nn, Fran so not everyone hates it. And, whilst I'm not trying to force Fran on you, my dd is known as this and we are regularly complimented on her name. Personally, I really dislike frankie. I'm not trying to be difficult just saying because you mentioned being worried she'd be called Fran ANC that you had no control over it. Well because dd2 has always been known as Fran then nobody has ever called her frankie so if you refer to your dd as frankie, I'm sure she's unlikely to get Fran iykwim. My dd1 is lizzie for Elizabeth. I was worried she'd get Beth, which I'm not keen on but again, because she's always been lizzie, nobody has ever called her Beth! Good luck, hope some of this makes sense!
I adore both Francesca and Charlotte. To me they are both really feminine and classy sounding, and also afford great nicknames like Frankie and Charlie which are wonderful if she's more of a tomboy. For the most part I've found that people use the nickname they hear you use consistently. I have a Gabriel that we called Little G when he was really young, and now that he's 11, everyone just naturally graduated to using just 'G'.
Francesca & Charlotte were both on our shortlist for dd1. I marginally prefer charlotte & think it goes well with Amy. Pre-determined nn may not be necessary as its only 2 syllables anyway, which is the same as most nns.
What about Lucy, Ruth, Eleanor, Alexandra, Martha or Catherine?
Regina Reggie for short? Genevieve, Evie or Jenny for short? I'd choose Charolotte though, I like that name and like Charilie for a girl a lot. I think it is ok for cousins to have the same names. You could clear it with the cousins parents first to be sure?
I'm a Charlotte and I've never been called anything but Charlotte. Based on my impressions, Charlotte is quite a common name (I've seldom been the only one in work or school or socially). Francesca may be a better choice for you if you're looking for a name that is heard of but not too common.
If you like Charlotte and Francesca, you might also like: Alexandra, Angelica, Angelina, Caroline, Cecilia, Cordelia, Evelina, Felicity, Gabriella, Genevieve, Georgia, Georgina, Helena, Jemima, Jennifer, Jessica Josephine, Juliet, Louisa, Matilda, Miranda, Rosa, Rosalind, Sophia, Susannah, Tabitha, Victoria, Willa.