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Esther or Bethany, or suggest an alternative?

(44 Posts)
BobandBenway Wed 10-Jul-13 14:46:35

Found out we are having a girl! I was so sure it was a boy, and we had an agreed boy's name, but cannot agree on a girl's name!

The only one I really love, and it seems "the one" to me is Esther, but dp hates it (don't think he can get past Esther Rantzen association!).

He is really pushing for Bethany (Beth), which I'm a bit "meh" about - it seems a bit insipid to me, and a bit dated like a 90s name? Plus I don't really like Beth for short - it reminds me of drippy Beth from Little Women!

I am really struggling to come up with any other girls names. I sort of like Rachel, except it is far too over-used. I also like Ruth, but there are too many family members with this name. Although I like these names, they are not "the one".

Help! I'm starting to panic now as I can't see any name being right! Any suggestions? Don't think I will be able to convince dp of Esther!

SorrelForbes Wed 10-Jul-13 14:50:04


skylerwhite Wed 10-Jul-13 14:52:26


It was a name invented by Jonathan Swift as a pseudonym for his lover Esther Vanhomrigh. Might be a way of keeping the link to Esther, if you really like it.

NorbertDentressangle Wed 10-Jul-13 14:52:44

Eliza ?

NoComet Wed 10-Jul-13 14:55:06

DD2 isn't Esther because my family had that problem angry it would have suited her and been much less common than the name she has.

Bethany is lovely


SugarMouse1 Wed 10-Jul-13 14:57:45


ComtessedeFrouFrou Wed 10-Jul-13 15:00:41

I really like Esther. Have you/he heard of Esther Walker? She's quite a funny writer. Married to Giles Coren (but that might put some people off grin)

How about researching other Esther's to dilute the
Rantzen association?

burberryqueen Wed 10-Jul-13 15:07:04

another Old Testament name perhaps?
please not Esther......

ZolaBuddleia Wed 10-Jul-13 15:13:56

Bethany is very meh, like Megan, Amy, Abigail to me, kind of girly and bland.

Esther is lovely, and means sun.

I like Beth on its own.

MoonHare Wed 10-Jul-13 16:15:39

Esther over Bethany definitely.

8thplace Wed 10-Jul-13 16:43:08

I like Esther...But love Hester/ Hettie

Not keen on Bethany, I agree with your thoughts.

Liking Rachel lots too and don't think its overused at all.

Rhubarbgarden Wed 10-Jul-13 17:53:38

I agree with your comments about Bethany. It's just a bit too Sunday school.

I love Esther, it was on our shortlist. We also liked Margot, Fern, Ingrid, Astrid and Hazel, and in the end went with Audrey, if any of those are any good.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 10-Jul-13 18:25:06

Carmela means 'golden' in Hebrew.
Beulah is another Biblical name.

Of all the names mentioned ^^ I'd opt for Rachel.

Wbdn28 Wed 10-Jul-13 19:28:54

Bethany is a lovely name.


PoppyAmex Wed 10-Jul-13 19:36:16

My mother is Esther and a very elegant, intelligent woman smile

I think it's a beautiful name and very underused in the UK; Bethany is "nice" but a bit bland and uninspiring. <apologies to all the fantastic Bethanys out there>

siluria Wed 10-Jul-13 21:25:18

What about Esther nn Tess?

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 11-Jul-13 00:40:05


skyeskyeskye Thu 11-Jul-13 00:44:54

Elsbeth is a good compromise?

Devora Thu 11-Jul-13 00:47:15

I love Esther. Not so keen on Bethany.

How about Hester? Thea? Lydia? Julia?

Incidentally, I disagree that Rachel is over-used. I LOVE this name, and wanted it for my dd, but was overruled by dp. I know plenty of Rachels my age, but no child Rachels at all. It's a beautiful name.

BobandBenway Thu 11-Jul-13 08:45:15

Thanks everyone (though you haven't really helped as I'm more convinced than ever that it has to be Esther! confused)

PoppyA - this is exactly how I imagine an Esther to be - it's a classic, lovely name, strong, not too girly. I can imagine a little toddler with the name (or nn Essie or Tess), but also a classy woman! There was an Esther at uni with me and she was stunning, cool, v. intelligent. I know a few grown up Esthers and they are all lovely. The problem for dp is that the only Esther he has ever heard of is Esther Rantzen!

Comtesse - I was reading a magazine in the hairdresser the other week and there was an article with Giles talking about how much he loved his wife [sick emoticon!]. Maybe I should google some pics of Esther Williams to show dp as well?!

Aargh!! You know when you have that one name in your head and no other will do? I've tried liking Bethany / Beth - it is a lovely name, but it's not the one for my dd. I agree that it's too girly, bland and uninspiring (no offence to any Bethanys out there!). I'm not keen on using Beth on its own (people will always wonder what it's short for). Maybe Bethan (though it sounds like Beth Anne to me), or if we're going for Biblical places, how about Bethlehem?! (though what if she marries a Mr Steel??! (although I do like the song! wink))

So, forgetting Esther and Bethany, it's probably going to be another old testament/Hebrew name (to go with other siblings - btw, we're not religious, it's just worked out that the names we seem to like are biblical, which irritates my mother no end!!).

I don't like the usual suspects of Rebecca, Hannah, Sarah, Leah, Naomi. I do like Martha, Marion/Miriam/Marianne (if not entirely convinced), but dp doesn't! I love Astrid - it has always been on my lists, but don't think we'd get away with it round here / it doesn't "go" with the others and dp hates it! sad. I do like Rachel, but I can't get past the fact that we know about 90 million Rachels of varying ages!

I just hate that we are both so stubborn on names and we are hoping that the other one cracks, and then we're going to end up with a compromise name that neither of us actually likes! How can I bully convince dp that Esther is the one?! (I'm joking btw - it wouldn't be fair to name the baby something he hates! I'm just sad that she won't be Esther sad. But equally, he has to come up with something other than Bethany - I've tried to like it but I just can't see it!) Maybe we will have to resort to the name my youngest picked - "Daisy Cookie"!!! grin shock

Sorry, this ended up a bit long!

telsa Thu 11-Jul-13 08:47:02

What about Jessamy. Or Estelle. Stella. Celeste. Bethany is very nice and Beth is a lovely nn.

Waswondering Thu 11-Jul-13 08:48:46

There is currently only one Rachel in dd's school.


K80Y Thu 11-Jul-13 08:57:51

If I had the opportunity to choose a girls name it would be 'Ella', easily spelt, not easily shortened but easily yelled !!

The meaning of the name Ella is 'Torch; bright light'.

YoungBritishPissArtist Thu 11-Jul-13 09:02:45

I went to school with two Esthers (I'm 34) one was in the popular crowd, so I don't have the Rantzen association.

Betsy could be a nn for Bethany?

Wbdn28 Thu 11-Jul-13 09:35:43

Elizabeth with Beth for short? She'd also have the options of Eliza/Liz/Lizzie/Liza.


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