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about really plain names for girls?

452 replies

MrsBadger · 07/02/2007 09:20

Now I swore I would never start a baby-name thread but I can't hold off any longer.

DH wants to give the impending BadgerCub a name that's been used in our families before. I'm fine with this - we have about 20 generations and 500 names to choose from.

The boy's names are generally fine by me (classics like Edward, John, James, Benjamin etc), but he always leans towards girls' names that I just find a bit... dull.

We have a short surname - think Stone or Rowe - and I can't help feeling that (eg) Mary, Susan and Jane don't sound especially nice with it.

Am I being overly picky or should I hold out for something longer and (oh the shame, never thought I'd say this) 'prettier', eg Eleanor or Susanna?

Come on, beat me with sticks now, I know I deserve it!

OP posts:

Bozza · 07/02/2007 09:23

Couldn't you go for a longer one followed by a shorter one IYSWIM?

Eleanor Mary Stone
Susanna Jane Rowe


Aero · 07/02/2007 09:23

Have you got an Emma, Elizabeth or Catherine in the family list?

Have to say I like Eleanor and Susanna.


MrsBadger · 07/02/2007 09:24

oh yes, that's a given already (even I would hesitate before eg Susanna Elizabeth) - it's the first name we're in trouble over...

OP posts:

itsmeNDP · 07/02/2007 09:25

I didn't even know you were preg ! Congrats

Go for a name you like. It's your baby, if you don't want a short traditional name then hold out for something you DO like


MrsJohnCusack · 07/02/2007 09:25

I'm with you
any pretty names to choose from in the family? it may just be a matter of extended negotiation - am nearly 38 weeks and FINALLY persuaded DH away from the original choice a couple of weeks ago as I can see from the paper here he would be one of hundreds (and would have the same name as the only other boy out of 10 children amongst me and and my siblings/cousins). but it took protracted and clever work to do so


wurlywurly · 07/02/2007 09:26

we was exactly the same choosing boys names for ds2. In the end we both went thru a book of name and wrote down all the names that we liked seperatly and then compared lists after, opting to stick with the 2 names that we had both agreed on.

Honestly, if i was me then i would hold out for a 'prettier' name, this child will have to live with this name all their life. Oh and we have a surname like yours that no name goes with, which is such a pain.


MrsJohnCusack · 07/02/2007 09:28

I love Eleanor
I know two baby Eleanors with short 4 letter surnames and it sounds great


marthamoo · 07/02/2007 09:28

I do think you need a longer surname to balance a short first name. And I speak as someone who has the plainest of the plain first names (the one that goes with plain, in fact) and a one syllable surname which begins with the same letter. It's a bit "bam bam", iyswim


SSShakeTheChi · 07/02/2007 09:28

With a short surname, I wouldn't go for Mary or Jane, possibly Susan. I have to say that since reading these name threads on MN, I've totally gone off fanciful names but those names we got on the traditional names threads were really nice.


marthamoo · 07/02/2007 09:29

I may still beat you with a stick for saying my name's not pretty though


MrsJohnCusack · 07/02/2007 09:30

no I don't, I know one
the other is Evelyn with one of the surnames you mention and also sounds great

sorry that I am typing such nonsense


Bozza · 07/02/2007 09:32

What about a name like Katherine that could be shortened to Kate, or Elizabeth that could be Beth, or you could call an Eleanor Ellie?


gingermonkey · 07/02/2007 09:35

My dd has a short name (just like the scary black singer from the 80s who was in a Bond film)but she has my maiden name as a middle name just in case she wants to use it when she's older hypenated. I have the same, I don't use it but it's nice to know it's there! There are so many fancy frilly girls names knocking about these days it's nice when someone has a good old fashioned plain one!!!!


MrsBadger · 07/02/2007 09:35

marthamoo I love your name and if we had any other surname I'd seriously consider it [contemplates changing surname for this very purpose...]

I think this is all coloured by the fact I had a short, dull and common maiden name and was thrilled I had a three-syllable first name that made it sound a bit less blah.

(NB Eleanor and Susanna are family names, they're just not favoured by DH - the family bit was just to explain why we had a limited list to choose from)

OP posts:

marthamoo · 07/02/2007 09:40

I'll forgive you then

I hated my name as a child - it was so short and plain - and I longed to be something exotic like Vanessa or Cassandra. I had a one syllable maiden name too so no help there. But I really like my name now (it's classic and it hasn't dated like a lot of late 60s/early 70s names: never was particularly in fashion so hasn't gone out of fashion, I suppose) - just don't think it goes particularly well with my married surname.


marthamoo · 07/02/2007 09:41

(you're going to tell me you're called Vanessa or Cassandra now, aren't you?)


serenity · 07/02/2007 09:47

Could you not 'fancy up' one of the plainer names - use a longer version, or maybe double barrel two shorter ones together? So, instead of (for example) Mary or Jane, have Maryjane.


alarkaspree · 07/02/2007 09:47

You are not being unreasonable, of course, you have to choose a name you like. But if I was naming a girl again I would go for something like Sarah or Mary on the grounds that she would almost certainly be the only one in her class - plain names seem to be very unusual at the moment.

I talked dh into a more elaborate version of the fairly plain first name he wanted for dd and now regret it a bit - she is one of about four in her toddler music group. But I do live in quite a ponce-tastic area.


PrincessPeaHead · 07/02/2007 09:47

I don't think you can ever be accused of being overly picky when it comes to naming your child.
I also have a slightly unusual but not wierd 3 syllable first name, and have married a man with the worlds second most boring surname (no, not brown, the other one) and the thought of naming my sweet and lovely dds either mary or susan or jane would make me SO DEPRESSED. I personally really like the names mary and jane (not so keen on susan!) but only if there is an interesting or even just polysyllabic surname. Otherwise it sounds like a slightly downtrodden country maiden who died of consumption at the age of 22 and now has a plain and rather lopsided headstone in the local churchyard.

You are pushing this child out of your fanjo, you don't have to call it ANYTHING that you don't want to. Tell him he is lucky that he even gets consulted


foxtrot · 07/02/2007 09:52

Ok i've had enough of this 'plain' nonsense - I think you mean 'very popular at one time' don't you??? Well?


nailpolish · 07/02/2007 09:54

MrsB firstly congrats on pg

secondly, surely not every single female in your and dh's family has had plain names?!

go back up your family tree and have a dig about, you may find something lovely and pretty


marthamoo · 07/02/2007 09:54

Now that had never occurred to me. Downtrodden country maiden? Cheers, PPH

nailpolish · 07/02/2007 09:55

i dont like susan as a name but i REALLY like susie, you could have that maybe? its prettier than susan imo


MrsBadger · 07/02/2007 09:56

oh dear
by plain I suppose I really mean, well, one syllable. Or Mary. Or Susan.

Have already rejected perfectly good non-retro current names like Clare, Grace and Kate on the same grounds...

OP posts:

bundle · 07/02/2007 09:56

ikwym re: family names. we reached a compromise eg my nana's name was Alice and we called dd1 Amelia Alice. but ummm everyone calls her Mimi

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