Her Name Won’t Be “Spawnie” Forever

Choosing a baby name is a lot harder than I thought! I thought I had it all figured out and decided if we were having a girl but that all changed when I found out she IS a girl!

I’m sure this is one of many “help me name my baby” posts I’ll have. I’m not sure yet if I’m sharing the name I choose. Some of the names we’ve loved forever don’t seem as appealing to me now and I’ve gone through an entire iPhone app full of baby girl names. Nothing screams “this is it” but I do like about 6 or 7. My husband likes all but one.

I’m looking for something not common, but not too unusual. My husband and I both have common names and we want to give our child something more unique. I would love to find a name that starts with a “J” so we can share the same initials but that’s not a requirement. I also really like names that also have shorter nicknames.

I know some people invent names but I’m not very good at that. Have any suggestions?

Here’s a few names I liked but don’t look like they’re making the cut:


That should give you a little bit of an idea of the type of names we like. For a middle name I’m thinking Lee or Lynn.

So please, help a mama out! Name suggestions? Name book recommendations? Help!

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  1. Choosing a name is the hardest part! We went with “classic” names that weren’t really in vogue now so our kids wouldn’t end up in a class with 3 other kids with the same name.

    My oldest is Victoria and my youngest is Amelia

  2. I’d recommend against Lee or Lynn as as middle since both (along with Ann[e] and Marie) are way over used as a middle name. Personally, I think a middle name should be a name that the kid can use as an alternate name if necessary. Lee and Lynn tend to be “filler names.”

    Did you know you can check the Social Security Admin website to see how uncommon a name is? It’s at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/babynames/index.html

    Another thing to keep in mind is what the name means, though it’s not that big of a deal as long is doesn’t mean anything weird.

    Here are some girl first names that I like. The number is what position they were in the U.S. top 1000 list in 2008. After that I’ve put what the name means.

    Aria (575) Lion or air
    Audrey (44) Noble strength
    Ayla (406) Oak tree or deer
    Briony (n/a) Vine
    Cora (322) heart, maiden
    Eva (114) Life
    Iris (341) Rainbow
    Karis (n/a) Grace
    Lydia (120) From Lydia
    Reyna (676) Queen
    Stella (186) Star
    Tessa (202) Harvester
    Vera (n/a) Faith or Truth
    Verity (n/a) Truth
    Violet (184) Purple/blue flower

  3. You know what we did when we were choosing names? We narrowed it down to our favorite 10 or so, then wrote them on a sheet of paper with the middle name, and hung it on the fridge (or somewhere you go everyday). Every time we opened the fridge, we would pick a name to say out loud a few times to see what we thought. Say it loud, say it soft, say it with your last name, use nickanmes.

    Eventually, we just knew. We gradually crossed off names until we got The Name. Good luck!

  4. Yes. please look at the SSA website. Most first-time parents are not “in-the-know” about what’s in style, and what’s not.

    And I’m sure you can find something cuter than Lyn or Lee for a middle name! Pick something from your family tree. There’s got to be something cool, right?

    I really couldn’t have cared less what my kids’ names meant. I was more interested in what they said about us, since what you pick for your baby’s name is ultimately a statement about you.

    A baby name is the ultimate equalizer. Anybody can pick anything. It’s the one thing that is not dictated by income, nationality, social status, religion or anything else. So when Jennifer Lopez picked Max, I was like “I guess she’s totally boring after all.”

    Also, you don’t have to decide before you leave the hospital. The nurses tell you you have to, but you don’t. So don’t feel pressured into picking something the second the baby is born. Unless you’ve already decided. But I never did.

  5. Oh my girl names are the hardest!! I have 2 boys which were easy peezy! The same as you, we had our girl name until we found out she was actually a girl, then reality set in and none felt right. Im due next month and we just now settled on a name after changing it about a dozen times!

    Good luck and dont settle just to have a name (something I felt like doing), it will come and be perfect!

    I like Jocylyn and also something thats not listed there I really like Gia, maybe do a Jia to do the J…totally different!

  6. My oldest daughter’s name is Jocelyn (like on your list). I like Jana/Janna which I think would go great with Lynn or Lee. And I also think Jacinda is pretty.

  7. Our baby girl is also due in June and we are naming her Jade. Feel free to use it if you like, lol we haven’t copyrighted it.

    Other names we liked but didn’t work in French or with the lastname are:

    – Alexis
    – Alice
    – Amaya
    – Cara
    – Gaïa
    – Grace
    – Jamie
    – Jerrika
    – Mia

  8. One of my friend’s name that I love is Jenelle. But I think Nellie is a cute nickname!

    Maybe it’s too close to your name though. It probably wouldn’t go well with the middle names you want either.

  9. think of older names you like – that way they aren’t in style (thinking of all the Jessicas I went to school with) but aren’t horrible (thinking of Hollywood kid names like Apple)

  10. This is why DH and I pick a firm choice before we decide what it is and set it in stone! lol When we found out Bailey was a girl we had known we wanted her to be Bailey, but everyone had a comment and most said it was too popular (ok, my mom tried EVERYTHING to get us to pick something else!) But we NEVER came up with anything that we both agreed on besides Bailey! About a week before she was born we decided firmly that it was her name and always had been! We have a name chosen for this little bean too but will NOT be telling ANYONE our choices until the baby is born, raised and it cannot be changed LOL

  11. For us naming our kids was something that we put some taught into.

    We wanted our kids name to be a heritage or legacy to them. We are Christian so having a biblical first name was and is very important so that they would learn that they are a gift from God, their middle name is given to them from a relative

    for Example

    – Rebekah Christine (Christine is her Oma’s name)
    – Sarah Elizabeth (Elizabeth is the girls cousin ~ born just a few months before Sarah)

    Baby #3 who we will not be finding out the sex name is already pick out!!!

    If a girl
    -Hannah Sophia (Sophia is the girls next cousin that was born)
    If a boy
    – Andrew Peter (Peter was my Grand father that die this year)

    As you can see all the girls name end by “ah” I kind love it! but will soon run out of biblical “ah” name soon 🙁

    For boys I taught I would stay with biblical name starting with A like Adam, Aaron etc…

    Good luck on choosing your little girl name!

  12. Our girl name (maybe next time) is Charlotte. It’s traditional without being overused. What about Chauntel and then you could call her Shawnie…. kind of like spawnie lol 🙂

  13. My ist born was named after her father. He has a typical ordinary name Brian! So, she’s Briana. I love the name but, it’s a popular one….

    Second born is a boy and Jr. named after dad. Third child name was inspired by names with biblical meanings. So, I went with Jordan. Jordan is a girl!

    My yougest was also inspired by me wanting a name with a biblical meaning so he’s Josiah a.k.a Jo Jo.

    My nickname is Jen and people always assume it’s short for Jenoiffer but, I have a unique name that I’ll have to either email you or DM on twitter.

    Girl names I had chosen for Jo Jo before we found out he was a boy were:
    Jaia pronounced (Jay Ah)
    Jurnee (Journey)
    Jenee pronounced (Jenay)
    Brinae pronounced (Bri nee)

    Can you tell we were only choosing B or J names.
    We’re split even down the middle we have three B’s and three J’s and all our initials match. I’m anal like that. Lol!

    Good Luck!
    You’ll choose the perfect name that fits her, you may not even know until you have her and look into her eyes.

  14. Good luck!!
    I think for my hubby and I –we jsut knew we LOVED it when we saw it in the baby book.
    Amara ( eternally beautiful). We like the uncommon names as well, but did not want it to be a hard name to spell/pronounce.
    We chose Haven as the middle name just cuz we liked how it flowed. Our sons name is Miles Parker— Miles is not common these days and Parker is my maiden name.
    All of the above suggestions on looking for a name are right on!
    Have fun and don’t overthink it!
    Some J names:
    Josephine (Josie)

    Just to name a few!

    I won’t mind if you name her Amara! 😉

  15. We did not know our daughter was a girl until she was born because she had her legs crossed on all FOUR sonograms. Two of the ultrasounds were done just to try and see if she was a boy or a girl. Anyway, with my daughter her name came to me as soon as I held her. I knew she was a Maranda as soon as I saw her beautiful face. Don’t be surprised if the name you pick now is not necessarily the one you decide on when you see her for the first time. Sometimes I think babies name themselves 🙂 Good Luck!

  16. I like all the names you had in mind, especially Serena.

    For a J name, my vote goes to Juliet. That’s what I wanted to name my first child (who turned out to be a boy).

  17. I was thinking about it.. and one of the names that I really like but my husband did not was Abrielle. He didnt like Abby for short.. but I totally did!


  18. Honestly, and I haven’t read any comments here, so I’m not trying to tick off or offend anyone, or you, but I personally really dislike names that are made up, mashed up or misspelled versions of regular names.

    Sure, doing that teaches kids coping skills right off the bat, and that they’ll never be able to find their name on anything that’s personalized unless they do a special order, but in my opinion it also inspires confusion (in pronunciation or spelling) for the rest of their lives.

    I also really dislike very popular names. So as much as I loved the name Ava as I was growing up, it was tossed out the window as soon as I saw it in the top 10 on the Social Security name list for 2008.

    So, all of that aside, my daughter’s first and middle names are real words, spelled correctly, not very popular and almost impossible to screw up. As my husband had just lost his grandfather, mother and father in the span of 3 years prior to finding out that I was pregnant, we made sure that her name represented our real feelings regarding her arrival. Of course, I say all that because I don’t want to say her name “out loud” online, since it is somewhat unusual. But, I’d be happy to email it to you if you’re curious.

    Naming a child is a HUGE undertaking, and I KNOW that everyone takes it seriously, but my only caution is that when doing so, do what you love, and be prepared for any naysayers if you reveal ahead of time. I generally choose to do what my mama taught me and say nothing if I have nothing nice to say, but lots of people don’t take that advice. That said, I like your list. Your girl would be lucky to have any of those names.

  19. My favorite girl names ever (which I will hopefully get to use one day) are:

    Eliana (would call her Ellie as a nickname)
    Adelaide (would call her Addie as a nickname)

    I also like Cerys (hard C – pronounce Care-iss).

    Hope that’s gets the creative juices flowing!: )

  20. Naming a baby is a very hard task! If I were to choose one from your list, Mya is my favorite. The others seem to “trendy” or “too out there” for my taste.

    I covet the name Charlotte. I want so badly to have another girl and name her that, but the hubs says otherwise. LOL

    Just keep this in mind, every one has their opinions and not everyone will like her name. Too bad for them. It’s your baby and it’s ultimately your (& hubs) decision. Don’t let that influence you…because if you let it get to you, then it will! <3

  21. Congratulations! I have 2 girls myself, Alyssa and Cassandra. I do work in a nursery so I see new names everyday and have a list of what names not to use. First, no name should be a text message. For example, J’Vn. This was pronounced Javion, like Jay Vee enn. Second, if a name is meant to be meaningful, spell it correctly. Like if you were want to name your baby Epiphany, don’t spell it appifine and expect people to know how to say it.Miracle should be spelled as such, instead of, say, Mrcyle. Thirdly, it’s not cool to spell a word backward and call it a name. I understand using heaven/neveah but James/semaj just looks like a body fluid to me.
    J-names that I like are many. How about Jenna or Jalilian. My current favorite girl name is Daveigh (davey).
    good luck

  22. We’ve had our little girl name picked out forever and I don’t think I’ve ever heard any one else called this..its TOP SECRET! but here are a few girl names that I really like in addition to our secret one:


    Good luck!! Finding the right name is so much fun!

    Hoping to Adopt Again

  23. I choose uncommon names for my kidos which are Owen (boy), Avery (girl) and Evan (boy).

    All those names you listed are great names. If you want a ‘J’ name, I love Josie. I fits perfectly with Lynn. ‘Josie Lynn’.

    Remember, when you get upset with your child, everyone knows you call them by their first & middle name..LOL..so make sure it goes together fast..LOL!!

  24. Hmmmm…looking at your ideas so far, my suggestion is: Janessa (rhymes with Vanessa, but begins with a J) It’s super cute, not common, and starts with a J, like you wanted. Oh, and it means “God’s grace.”


  25. I am not a mammy yet but I have to starting talking about names with Hubby, because I really like some but he doesn’t and viceversa.

    But why don’t you consider:
    1. Jamelia
    2. Jelia
    3. Josephine
    4. Jada
    5. Jacqueline (one of my favourites)
    6. Jolanda
    7. Jezabel (another of my favourites)
    8. Jade
    9. Jolene
    10.Justina – Jus-Lee or Jus-Lyn 🙂

    xxx MsBabyPlan

  26. Congrats on the girls-I have three and am due in 10 weeks with gender unknown. We have a boy name picked out and after naming three girls already-we are having a tough time picking a name as well. We just can’t agree. The names that we couldn’t agree on but are unique are:


    And for a J name-I know a girl named Jadys (pronounced Jay-dis) very unusual.

  27. I agree with previous commenters cautioning you against Lynn or Lee. Lynn is dated to me since it’s one of like top 5 80s middle names for girls: Lynn, Marie, Michelle, Jo, Nicole. I can name at least 5 girls with one of these middle names right off the top of my head, including myself, two cousins, my SIL, three out of four of my college roommates…you get the picture.

    Lee is a very masculine name to me. How about Leah to soften it?

    Also, I agree with previous commenters about avoiding “unusual” spellings of popular names. As pointed out in NYT bestselling “Freakonomics,” a non-traditionally spelled name is indicative of the parents’ level of education, or lack there of. The farther the name is from the traditional speller, the less educated the parents were, and vice versa. Parents who chose the traditional spelling were the most educated. An example in the book is Jasmine, a super popular name for a while. You could spell it Jasmyn, Jasmin, Jazmyn, Jazzmen, etc. The authors have a whole list of names and can pinpoint exactly how educated the parents were who chose that name. You don’t want your baby’s name to sound like you didn’t graduate high school!! I would ESPECIALLY take heed of this since it was such a popular book and now so many people will make this assumption, even if it is far from the truth.

    As much fun as it is to name a baby, I’m glad I’m not there yet, there’s just SO much to consider!

  28. Well, I always have to vouch for my name: Celeste. I have always LOVED my name! My sister’s name is Chloe (which I think is pretty)…but, it is so darn popular now! (and, when she was born…man…people thought my parents were CRAZY! LOL!)

    But, for ‘J’ names – I like Jenette (my sister’s middle name)…and, I like the name Genevieve (you could spell it w/ a J: Jenevieve).

    …but, I love Joselynn!

  29. I’m in love with Guinevere. It’s different. Though oddly enough, I don’t think I care for Guin or Gwen too much. It would have to be the whole thing or not at all.

  30. I’m in love with Guinevere. It’s different. Though oddly enough, I don’t think I care for Guin or Gwen too much. It would have to be the whole thing or not at all.

  31. Lots of opinions here. My siblngs and I grew up with very common names (cindi, aaron, and amy). When I named my children (1989, 1991, 1993) I decided to name them something different but not too different. We came up with Molly Elizabeth, Callie Rose, and Levi James. Each of the first names was a name no one else in the family had and the midle name was to honor a family member. Little did I know that I had just chosen names that would become popular in the next 5-10 years! At least in this area. There were lots of names we didn’t choose because they were just a litte too different or someone else we knew had a similarly named baby. I still liked them.
    Hope this helps…congrats on your baby girl!

  32. I actually like Vanessa from your list. It’s not completely overused, but it’s not way out there either. Vanessa Lynn or Vanessa Grace sound nice to me. Personally, I dislike the “made up” or cutesy sounding names, the girl names that sound like a boys name, and the weird names that movie stars seem to go for. If you do something like that, at least give her a common middle name to go by later! 🙂
    If you are looking for a “J” name, my daughter’s name is Jennifer but she hates it cause it’s so common — so she goes by Jennai, which is actually kinda cute!

  33. Congrats on the baby girl! I say pick the name/spelling you like, no matter what anyone says. Its a decision to be made by you and the hubby. I have 6 daughters — Crystina Leighanne, Carolyn Veronica Eunice, Caitlyn Renee, Charlotte Alayna, Cheyenne Elyzabeth and courtney Michelle. Yes, I named them with all C’s. Yes, I changed the spelling of some names. My choice. My children are unique and deserve to be treated as such. Our son that is due within the next 5 weeks, is Connor Jamison. if he had been a girl, it would be Cayce Isabelle. I can’t help you on J names, I’ve never had to think of any. I have always liked Jayme Lynn though.

  34. And, as for the names you listed – I had a friend that named her daughter Jaidyn (rather than Jaden). I like Jocelynn. My best friend named her daughter Vanessa. Of course, if you use jocelynn i wouldn’t use Lynn as a middle name. 😉 For the middle name of Lee, for a girl I prefer Leigh.

  35. My name is Jennifer and of course it was a very popular name. I think there was like 8 Jennifers just in my graduating class, yet I do really like my name. I like names that are not super common but also not so uncommon or hard to pronounce that the child is going to have a lifetime of teaching people how to pronounce their name. Naming a child, what a tough but fun task!

  36. We named my daughter Emma, which is very popular, but she was named after my grandma, her great grandma, who is named Emily. I had actually never met anyone named Emma, so it was an original name to us, but I’m sure with her name being the most popular of 2008 (the year she was born) there will be other girls in her class named Emma.

    Lynn and Lee are both good middle names. I’m partial though. My middle name is Lee and my daughter’s middle name is Lynn. Lynn is a family name from my husband’s side.

    We thought when we first found out I was pregnant, we knew the names we wanted, but after we found out we were having a daughter, we ditched the names we picked and went with a name that we thought “fit” our family better.

    Originally, Emma was going to be Brooke Lynn, since she was conceived in New York LOL.

    I think if we have another daughter her name will be Fiona (Fi for short), but that could change. If we were to have a son, we’d probably go with Seth. Seth was at the top of the list of boy names when I was pregant with Emma.

  37. Names are so hard. But thankfully there is time to ponder!!! You could always go Jessica, LOL! I was 1 of 7 Jessica’s in my Kindergarden class so I think you not going the common route is a good thing!!! 🙂 How about Jae? Jae Lynn…there is something about a masculine name that really makes me love it for a girl. I wouldn’t go as far as Steve or George or something like though!

  38. ooo names are my favorite!!! I have been picking my childs name for as long as I can remember! I don’t plan on telling people the name I pick either cause I don’t want anyone important in my life telling me they don’t like it and swaying my opinions…
    Victoria: Tori
    Madison: Maddie
    Sophia: sophie

    I would go more but I think the names I like are more common than you’d want. Good luck picking!

  39. I am not even pregnant yet, but I have already started obsessing over baby names. The names you have chosen are all nice, but out of all I LOVE JADEN. I really like unisex names and Jaden is sooo pretty.
    Good Luck!!!

  40. I always liked the name Jade, and I thought if I ever had a girl I would like to do something as a tribute to my cousin, Jessica Star, who died when we were 16, so I had come up with the name Jadica Star, which would have been awesome with the last name Johns, but I ended up having 2 boys instead!

    Jadica would be pronounced “Jade-ikka” by the way.

  41. WOW you have a lot of comments already!!! I love all of the names you mentioned and LOVE the middle names as well (my name is Amanda LEE) 😉 Here are my kids names (and they all have family “honors”)
    ~ Kaytlin Joy
    ~ Olivia LeeAnne
    ~ Logan Ryan

    I say “family honors” b/c we didn’t name our children AFTER family, we named them in honor … like the grandma named Kay turned into Kaytlin. The other grandma named Joyce turned into Joy. My great-grandma named Olive became Olivia, and so on. The girls have nicknames: Kate and Livi or Katie and Liv … it’s never ending haha. I know you said you wanted something that would work for a nickname too … so what about …

    Addison “Addy” “Addie”

    That works with both of your middle names too and isn’t THAT popular … oh and theres also

    Annabelle “Anna” “Ann” “Belle” “Bella”

    Happy naming 🙂 Whatever you choose will be perfect and beautiful : )

  42. If you do decide on a unique name don’t be afraid to use a common middle name (like Lee of Lynn:). I LOVE having an uncommon first name, but it was always fun to discover when someone shared my middle name.

  43. You know, about a year ago, my husband and I agreed on a name for our future daughter, Aurora. Yes, the same name as sleeping beauty, but I thought it would be so fun to name her that and then decorate her room with sleeping beauty stuff. As time has gone on and my family has made fun of the name, I’ve kind of started questioning myself on the name. Mind you, I’m not pregnant even, but I think about this stuff anyway. Here are a few names I’ve found that I thought were unique and cute. Maybe it will help, maybe not.

    -Akira (haha its my cats name but I love it)

    Also I have to say out of the names you listed, I think the names Mya and Vanessa are really cute.

    As for middle names starting with “L” I also agree that Lynn and Lee are WAY OVER DONE, for example, one of my sisters with the most common name ever:

    Meghan Leigh.

    I would go with something like

    -Laneia (my friend named her daughter this, i thought it was precious)


    I have no idea. haha. Just trying to help.

  44. Choosing a name is soooo hard!
    We didn’t have a name until I was 8 months pregnant and then we couldn’t decide on how to spell it!

    I’m sure whatever you decided will be perfect!

  45. oh, thank you for not picking Jaden. Seriously, its such a popular name. That’s actually what I named my first and he is a boy. Its so hard when people use boy names for their daughters. Anyway, I digress.
    Good luck. I am not a fan of the naming game. We always had better luck coming up with girl names and yet I ended up with 3 boys. Go figure!

  46. oh yea, you don’t have to have a name now. We actually had a list of about 5 names with each of our kids, then we waited until they came to see what we thought they looked like. Just a thought.

  47. I just came across your blog! My name is Jennifer also and I’m due with #2 in May. I haven’t read all of your archives…just a couple and it looks like you are LDS too. 🙂

    Anyway…I am horrible at coming up with names. I’m a teacher and we have a LOT of Jaden and Jalen’s for both boys and girls. It has become quite common. The others on your list aren’t quite as common as Jaden…at least with school age children. I have seen some very interesting names too.

  48. you can name her after me… it’s Zanda Jonneatha (pronounced John – Netha (think seth with a n))….you can guarantee no one near you will have it. lol just kidding I don’t think anyone would name their name something that weird then again I named my son Xadrian.

  49. I really like Mya. I chose that name for my daughter and was overruled by my husband. We chose Anna instead. I wanted a name that couldn’t be shortened.

    How do you like Amya? I think it’s cute and a little different.

  50. I know this is a super simple name, but I met a little girl named Jane and I thought it was beautiful. There are few women named Jane now a days, even though its a common name. Whatever you choose, it will be great. Love you girl

  51. i’m a nana and i have lots of opinions! but my favorite names are emeline, elise, catherine (so regal!) jillian, jacqueline, and bronwyn. and unlike an earlier post i think leigh is a very classic middle name…i just like it spelled leigh instead of lee. p.s. two of my granddaughters have one of the above names…maybe that’s why i like them so much!

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