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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!

sweetkitty Sat 13-Jul-13 18:37:21

I'm just cuddling my Bethany my outdated, schemey, meh, boring, twee named girl, she is gorgeous btw and so is her name grin

She is nicknamed Bessie as when she was little she couldn't say her name so called herself Bessie and it stuck, I only know one other Bethany as well.

CPtart Sat 13-Jul-13 18:29:37


SleepyCatOnTheMat Sat 13-Jul-13 18:21:54

P.S. Miriam is nice, NNs Miri, Mitzi, Mamie or even Molly.

soontobeslendergirl Sat 13-Jul-13 16:07:11

Esther is lovely, Bethany is a bit schemey and dated.

other suggestions on the old testament theme:


Biscuitsneeded Sat 13-Jul-13 15:59:19

Esther. It is a great name for a child and a grown up. I find Bethany a bit twee, although I don't mind Beth.

Agree also that you could think again about Rachel. Only one Rachel at my kids' school. Even though I am an atheits I do like all those biblical names!

Naomi? Sarah?

Or names that I somehow think go with Esther - Honor, Thea, Constance?

FreedomOfTheTess Sat 13-Jul-13 15:34:17

I love Esther.

I used to like Bethany, but after hearing it being pronounced as "beff-un-ee" by a family who live near my sister, it is forever ruined for me!

SleepyCatOnTheMat Sat 13-Jul-13 12:38:40

Yes, Rachel is something like #180 in the name charts, so not overly popular now.

Bethany could be shortened to Betty or Betsy (you are right though, its popularity peaked in the 90s).

mewkins Thu 11-Jul-13 21:54:36

I love Esther. I know a really lovely one.
I like Bethany and have an Elizabeth (who dh wanted to call Beth but she is such a dizzie Lizzie at the monent).

I also like Estelle and Estella in a similar vein...

BigW Thu 11-Jul-13 21:38:24

Do you like biblical names or just the sound of Esther? Here are some that like, but could never use for a number of different reasons.


I like Esther, but agree with you on Beth. I had my boy's name for ages but really struggled to find a girl's name I liked. Luckily I had a boy!!

Layl77 Thu 11-Jul-13 21:35:51

Estée or estelle?

rallytog1 Thu 11-Jul-13 21:31:32

Rachel is pretty rare for baby girls these days. 11wo DD is Rachel and everywhere we go people are always commenting on how unusual it is to meet a baby Rachel. None of the MWs in hospital could remember a baby Rachel having been born there in recent years either (we were in hospital a loooong time and met many midwives!)

We know lots of Rachels of other ages (esp in the 25-35 bracket) and there was a spate of baby Rachels when Friends was popular, but it's well outside the top 100 now.

Having said that, I love Esther too - it was on our top five list!

tunnocksteacake Thu 11-Jul-13 21:17:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HeliumHeart Thu 11-Jul-13 21:11:05


heavenstobetsy Thu 11-Jul-13 18:42:21

I really don't like Bethany but love Bethan - we don't live in Wales so mine is more a Beth-n rather than a Beth-ann. And never a Beth - she's a very feisty Bea grin

farmersdaughter Thu 11-Jul-13 18:36:10

Don't know any Rachel's under 20 at all.

What about Laura?

brackengirl Thu 11-Jul-13 18:33:12

My DD2 (11 weeks) is Esther and while it wasn't my suggestion at first I now love it as DD2 totally suits it and she is gorgeous! I have also discovered how good it is for rhyming- "You're the bester, Esther" "Don't pester Esther" "You fester Esther" This gives me endless pleasure during long night feeds!
Bethany was also on our shortlist but I only really liked Beth, along with Leah, Leila, Lydia and Elisabeth. DD1 is Rosanna and I also like Rachel and Jemima

notso Thu 11-Jul-13 10:04:06

There are two little girls called Esther at our Toddler group.
I find it a bit harsh sounding.
I much prefer Bethan to Bethany and love the nn Beth.
I can't recall meeting a Rachel under the age of 20 for years.

smother Thu 11-Jul-13 09:49:00

forgot to add - Rebecca

smother Thu 11-Jul-13 09:48:18

I have a gorgeous niece called Esther. Rantzen associations disappeared almost instantly.

Or what about....


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

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


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?

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'.

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

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


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.

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!

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