VIDEO: Queer Mama for Autostraddle Episode Seven — Help Name Our Baby!

This is Part 7 of a 12 column series. If you’re just joining in, start at the beginning!


Okay dear Autostraddle readers, we need your help! This baby could come in as little as a month, and she doesn’t have a name! Simone and I have been talking about names off and on for years now, but we’ve yet to settle on something. I think maybe my commitment-phobia is rearing its head.

Simone says choosing a name is not unlike choosing a sperm donor. It’s this big, totally subjective decision we have make together for our future child that will be with her for life. Well, or not, as it’s actually not that hard to change your name, whereas changing your sperm donor retroactively is actually biologically impossible.

I think maybe other people don’t find these decisions as hard as we do.

How does a person go about naming someone they’ve never met? What did you do, readers who’ve done it? (Or maybe you just named yourself, tell me about that, too.) We started in the abstract several years ago when we were thinking about baby making, compiling a list of names – boy, girl, and gender neutral – that we thought we liked. We considered all the family names we could think of, but none quite landed. Eventually I bought a couple baby name books and we began looking through those, too.

As, ahem, you’ve probably gathered, Simone and I have very strong opinions about things, and they are not always shared opinions. One of her favorite names is the name of a super shitty ex of a friend of mine, and I have such negative associations with the name that I couldn’t possibly give it to my child. One of my favorite names is the name of her ex-girlfriend’s cat. Damnit. Or there’s the name of that person who was kind of a bully in high school. Or a former lover. Or too similar to the name of someone very close to us.

That’s the thing about names — they carry a lot of subjective weight based on when and how (and if) we’ve encountered them. Or whether they’re suddenly at the forefront of popular culture; Dora and Olivia come to mind. There’s also the more aesthetic qualities. The sound of the name, what imagery it conjures. How delightful it is to say, how easy to spell. Does it jive with our last name?

I think Juniper is an awesome and adorable name, but I’m pretty sure Juniper Jude sounds like a cartoon character, and probably not in a good way. We considered and rejected a fair number of J names because of this. So that’s our first criteria, readers, the name shouldn’t begin with J. I think. Unless you have a really good idea, then give it to me anyway. Oh, also, the baby’s middle name will probably be Everhart, which is the maiden name of my paternal grandmother, so take that into account. __________ Everhart Jude.

June, a name we both like (shocking!!) was also rejected, though not so much because it begins with J, but more because it’s only one syllable. Something about having two one syllable names can make it sound terse, or incomplete. I confirmed this with a friend with two one-syllable names. People often say huh? like they missed something, when he introduces himself, even though his first name is simply John. But now that I think of it Miles Jude has a pretty nice ring to it, though I’d probably want that name more for a boy. So in any case that’s our second criteria, more than one syllable in the name.

Speaking of Miles, that brings us to gender. When Simone and I were first considering names, we thought we should err towards the gender neutral side of the girl-name spectrum. We know a good number of masculine-identifying women and so many trans men who haven’t liked their more feminine given names. But that’s the problem with “gender neutral.” It mostly has just come to mean sort-of masculine. Lover of femininity that I am, was I really willing to write off all the beautiful feminine names because our kid might not be femme?

We decided no, we wouldn’t do that. Our kid can change her name if and when she wants, and in the meantime, we will call her a name we love, even if that’s feminine! In any case, I have friends who’ve later changed their names not because of gender at all, but just because they wanted to be called something else, so there really are no guarantees. After wrapping her mind around it a bit, turns out Simone really loves some of the more feminine names, and we seem to gravitate towards old fashioned elegance or southern flair with our lists these days. Names like Adeline or Eloise or Loretta. Bring on the powerful, feminine names, people!

We also like feminine names with a more andro nickname though, as it seems nice to have that available. Josephine has been on and off our short list for a while, and I like that it is feminine and elegant but has a simple and more boyish nickname (Jo) as well. An androgynous nickname is not an absolute criteria, but it’s an added bonus if available. In general, actually, we prefer names with nicknames, which is sort of funny because neither Simone nor Haley have clear nicknames at all. But nicknames are so cute! We love them! I call Simone Simone-y, and we have approximately 405 nicknames for our dog. Vivian, with so many cute nicknames – Viv, Vivi, simply Vee – is currently a front runner.

Part of thinking about nicknames, and about the gender presentation of the name (is that weird to say, that a name has a gender presentation?) is wanting a name that feels versatile. Which brings up all sorts of feelings. I love frou frou names and once had the thought, “Can a Tallulah be a CEO?” How fucked up is that? Why couldn’t a Tallulah be a CEO? And since when do I hope my daughter will be a CEO anyway?! Clementine Jude could be a badass artist, certainly, but what if she just wants to be boring and mainstream? (Just kidding, darling, I’ll never think you’re boring, do whatever you want in life!)

I tend to think names change, our interpretation of them changes at least, depending on who’s wearing them. I always thought of Simone as quite a feminine name before I met my Simone. She’s quick to point out, though, that’s it’s actually a boy’s name in some parts of the world. Simone thinks names have a strong power, almost as if we are pre-determining a trajectory for our child based on the name we give her. That’s some serious stuff. How can we possibly decide?!

I don’t fully agree with Simone about pre-determining trajectory, but I do think names have power, and I do think it’s quite a decision to make for another person. I kind of want to meet her before we decide. Not that her personality or some essential essence of her will be revealed in the first 24 hours or anything. But I don’t know, maybe something will become clear. The look in her eyes or her tiny face or the way she enters the world giving us some clue into who she is and how we should name her. The next of many honors, little one, letting us choose your name. Well I guess she’s not letting us exactly (Tiny can’t really consent yet!) but it’s something we get to do as parents, something we have to do.

Something we have to do very soon!! So please help us. Send us all your favorite name ideas. More than one syllable, unique but not trendy or too out there (whatever the heck that means!), sounds good with Jude, versatile and pretty and powerful. I know she’s going to be quite the gal, and she needs a name that can match her ferocity or tenderness or whatever it is she turns out to be.

Tell me the story of how you got your name, and if you like it. Have you always liked it? Or do you kinda hate the name your parents gave you? Tell me that too, and why. Write your suggestions in the comments. And if we choose your name, you totally get a prize. We just haven’t decided what that is yet.

Before you go! It takes funding to keep this publication by and for queer women and trans people of all genders running every day. And A+ members keep the majority of our site free for everyone. Still, 99.9% of our readers are not members. A+ membership starts at just $4/month. If you're able to, will you join A+ and keep Autostraddle here and working for everyone?

haley has written 12 articles for us.

396 Comments

  1. Hmmm…I like Charlotte (nickname “charlie”?), Loretta, Helena, and Josephine. :) I have a couple other older girl-names in my head but I might wanna use those… ;)

    I really, really, really love this series. I’m also a femme with a butch partner, and we also want to have kids when we’re in our 20s (with me getting preggers). It’s at least 6 years off, since we’re just out of college, but we still think about and talk about raising a family a lot and how much we want to do that together. These posts have been super helpful and I feel a lot less weird as another young butch-femme couple who wants to reproduce biologically and experience parenthood. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

    • :)

      and thank you!! so glad you are enjoying the series and can envision a future for yourself in it. it’s so rad for simone and I to be finding (and co-creating, with y’all) this queer family community here on autostraddle!

      please stay in touch and keep chiming in! it means so much to hear from readers

  2. I’m biased towards my own name, Maia, as there is cool Greek/Roman mythology on the name, my own star as one of the Pleiades, and the Maiasaura (a large duckbilled dino). Another suggestion would be Evelyn. Best of luck to you and your family!

  3. I think someone mentioned it before: Yael. It’s my sister’s name and I love it. My parents did a very good job naming their daughters I have to say.

    Another suggestion: Yrsa. I’s Icelandic and I encountered it first when I read a crime novel and it was the author’s first name. Also the older Iclandic sensate in the series sense8 was named Yrsa!

    Others I like: Lucia, Marlyn, Simone, Anna, Andrea, Amelie…

  4. I was named Elizabeth after three days of debate. I never asked why it took my parents three days to pick a name for me or what the other candidates were, but now I’m curious. Anyway the story goes, my Nana came to visit me after they named me and when she heard my name, she was so happy because her middle name was Elizabeth. This shocked my mother because somehow she never knew her own mother’s middle name. My Grandmother came and was very excited because that was her mother’s first name which my dad had forgotten about. Long story short, I don’t mind my name. It’s pretty great with nicknames and I’ve had a few through out my life which has made the popularity of it more personal.

  5. Ever since I heard you refer to the baby as a poppyseed I really wanted you to name her Poppy! I know it doesn’t fit the andro requirement though. Poppy Everhart Jude is lovely to me.

    I also really like names of birds and trees at the moment, Wren and Rowan especially.

    Good luck! I didn’t have a name until I was born either so don’t fret. I was Spike for a few days because I had a pretty impressive mohawk, but now I’m Emma :)

  6. Both Vivian and Felicity sound absolutely gorgeous!

    How about:

    Augusta Everhart Jude
    Ottilie Everhart Jude
    Sidonie Everhart Jude (Okay, perhaps this would be misheard as Sydney quite often, but I think Sidonie Jude sounds very fresh without being trendy. Maybe I’m just partial to French names, though.)
    Aquila Everhart Jude – gender neutral, yet despite it being a traditionally masculine name in my mind it has a sort of elegant femininity to it as well?

  7. Okay, I just have to start this out by saying I am absolutely on the Juniper Jude train. She sounds like a person I would instantly want to know and then probably write comic books about.

    But I also like Guinevere, Diana, Artemis, and Clarissa.

    I think it’s such a good idea to have a more original sounding name. My brother and I are Samantha and Nick, and we were sick of knowing so many other people with our names. My sister is Clarissa, and she always got to be the only Clarissa in her class. I was so jealous.

    • Aw! “The Adventures of Juniper Jude”! She’s totally ready for prime time.

      And yes, I can imagine. How come only your sister got an original name?! Clarissa is a great name, and so are your other ideas!

    • We both LOVE the nickname Jazz. Our last pregnancy (a boy) was gonna be Jasper and called Jazz. Jazzy Jude, so cute!

      Ruby and Lily I both really like. and adding your vote to the pro Juniper Jude column :)

  8. Taylor, Spencer, Layla, Devon, Dylan, Amethyst (Amy), Madison, Emerald, Melody, Harmony, Audrey, Ainsley, Aislinn (pronounced “ashlin”), Bailey, Daphne, Fiona, Hadley, Ivy, Lilian, Lorelei, Paisley, Phoebe, Regan, Teagan, Ryleigh, Scarlett, Virginia, Tara, Whitney

  9. As I mentioned upthread somewhere, when my mom was expecting, I was supposed to be a Petra before I was born. But when I was born, I didn’t “look like a Petra”. So I got my name because it’s the Greek term for truth, truthfulness, and sincerity. My parents are both journalists, and Αλήθεια (or Alithia as it’s known there) was the daily Greek-language newspaper in Cyprus, where my parents were living when my father was a foreign correspondent in the Middle East in the 80s. I’m Greek on my father’s side, so my name kind of ties a lot about my “personal backstory” together. I actually do a lot of performance art about my name! It’s very important to me, although I get a lot of mispronunciation.

    I also have the weirdest part-time job working for the Government of Canada at a Passport Canada location, which is a doozy. I come across a lot of people with very interesting names. My favourite name for a child during my shift today was Ruby! And I think “Rube” is a pretty andro nickname.

    • I love your name story and that you do performance art about it!! Also just the name itself is gorgeous.

      I do feel we need an origin story for Tiny to tell. Is “we crowdsourced your name on a lesbian magazine site” good enough?!

      and Ruby has come up a fair number of times! It’s a great name, and one we hadn’t considered!

  10. What about Everly Hart Jude. It’s feminine. Your grandma’s name. And gets rid of any extraneous decisions.

    I love baby name boards online. Yesterday someone asked opinions on the name Stokely Chevelle. Whew…you do you, ammirite?

    Our son’s name is Brewer. It’s a family surname, then middle name, now first name. Unique but not weird. And if he grows up to be a dudebro, the nickname Brewski is perfect.

    I’m crossing my fingers for a girl this pregnancy. She’ll be named Langley Jean. We honeymooned in Langley and Jean honors my gma.

  11. I am joining the list of people loving Juniper as a name! My list of names I love are
    Syria
    Clementine (which everytime I say it people find it strange and yet I’ve seen a few other people say it so we must be quite awesome)
    Genevieve
    Charlotte
    Tegan
    Lisbeth

    Also, I just read a book that had a Felicity in it and had the nickname of Fliss, which I loved! Good lucj picking a name, I can’t wait to hear what you pick!

  12. My name is a combo of 3 relatives: my paternal grandmother(my first name) and a combo of my paternal grandfather’s middle name and my aunt’s middle name ,because I have 2 older brothers and my aunt was the only one who thought I’d be a girl: LeeAnn.
    I like the names:
    Lincoln
    Sylvia
    Penelope(Penny, Nell or PJ)
    Laurel
    Antoinette(Annie, Nettie or Toni)

  13. So many great names here. I’ve always loved the name Astrid. But I think Juniper may have just taken over as number one for me! Such a great name.

    My parents had a few names in mind for me. After I was born, they heard the Fleetwood Mac song ‘Rhiannon’ on the radio and decided that was my name! So I guess for some people it’s a matter of planning, but then just seeing what happens when the baby arrives…

    Good luck! I think it’s lovely that you’re both being so thoughtful about the naming process :)

  14. I didn’t like my name (Kay) growing up, nor did I like my legal name, Janet Kathryn. The latter I still don’t like, but the former I’ve come to really love, because it’s quite unusual and not uber femme (even though I am, frequently).

    Unlike my parents, I like plant/flower names and second the above comments of Magnolia, Violet, Iris, and Olive

    Clementine I would like, but it will always remind me of Eternal Sunshine (i.e. bright hair and romantic anguish), but that might not be the case for the next generation. Also that song, Oh My Darling Clementine.

    *** Double second Cadence Jude and Lilith Jude, they sound great ***

    I love thinking about names and sounds, so here goes:

    Mallory Everhart Jude
    Serin Everhart Jude
    Isabel Everhart Jude (Izzy)
    Morgan Everhart Jude
    Darla Everhart Jude
    Frances Everhart Jude (Frankie)
    Matilda Everhart Jude (Mat, Tilly)
    Marion Everhart Jude
    Beatrix Everhart Jude (Trixie or Bee)
    Winifred Everhart Jude (Freddie)
    Haviland Everhart Jude (Hallie, also could go by Hal)

    Also, if you’re interested in when names were popular, I suggest this web gadget: http://www.babynamewizard.com/voyager

    Finally, I also like Louis CK’s short bit on kids names. Profane and funny.

  15. I think a three-syllable name with stress on the first syllable (like Juniper, Emily, Mallory) would go really well with Everhart Jude. (Also, the reason Miles Jude sounds better than most names where the first and last name are both one syllable each is that Miles is actually two syllables, like how “vials” is two syllables. Never let it be said that I’m not using my linguistics degree!)

    • UGH YES!! Thank you for that. duh. also linguistics rule. also you rule. my universe makes so much more sense now.

      and three-syllable names seem to be really resonating with people PLUS we just got the go ahead from the linguistics major?! seems like a done deal.

  16. Marilyn
    Esther (Esther Everhart Jude sounds fantastic and if you don’t use it I will for a character one day)
    Margaret
    Cordelia
    French names are cute!! in high school my french name was Odile. Yvette is one of my faves.

  17. bronwyn?

    tracy?

    polly?

    ella?

    i met this amazing 9 year old recently to introduced herself as “ella, but you can call me EG.” (she’d later lament underrepresentation of women in professional sports in Minnesota and very sweetly say the words, “yeah, I’m tough. I guess you could say I’m tough.”) so i’m inspired.

    what’s your ancestry like? maybe there’s something interesting in there…

  18. I am a fan of Wilhemina – hear me out – it allows the kid to pick between the masculine Billie (as in Piper of Doctor Who) or Minnie (as in this kid I know but now I’m wondering if Ms. Mouse is a Wilhemina) as a nick name so it’s kind of a win win.
    This is coming from someone who, if her father had had his way, would have been called Hephsibar or Grizelda…

  19. Lavender? (or spelled Lavandar)

    that was my first thought after I heard Juniper :)

    Also Rosemary/Rosie or Penelope/Penny are really cute!
    I’ve always been jealous of names that have nicknames with an -ie -y because it sounds cute/friendly somehow?

    In our junior English class in high school we did an activity where everyone chose a name for themselves- if they were to name themselves – it was really interesting to think about. I will always remember mine, “Carly Sedona Nicholson”

    Good Luck!!

  20. I like the old fashioned names, Adeline, Adelaide, Maude (oddly? I met a young girl called Maude and it really, really suited her), Beatrice (the nickname is Bea, which is more gender-neutral), Alice, Elizabeth etc.
    If I have (and get to name) kids, the name will almost definitely be along a similar line (provided my partner doesn’t abhor them).

    I get what you mean about childhood bullies/’mean people’ names – it’s also really hard for teachers naming their kids, because they have so many opinions about so many names.

  21. I feel really disappointed that my parents don’t have a meaningful story behind my first name. So if there’s not a big backstory like being named after a beloved family member or historical figure, I would hope for a name with a strong and deep meaning.

    Re: the funky spelling, I would recommend the most common OR phonetic spelling of the name you choose. For example, my first name is Ciera, a variation of Sarah but pronounced like Sierra, so it would’ve been much easier to just go with Sierra or Sarah.

    Happy baby naming! <3

  22. Hey Haley and Simone,

    First up my partner EP and I love your videos, helping us shaping our thinking about baby makin’ in our near future.

    EP is a lot like Simone ( from what we can tell in the videos :)) and I am a big femme princess like you.

    So names for Tiny here we go!!!

    We love;

    Claudia Everhart Jude (nickname can be CJ! which would be awesome!)
    Adeline Everhart Jude (AJ) or Addie (EP loves this one)
    Eleanor Everhart Jude ( i know , i know but I have come to love my old english femme name :))
    Maeve Everhart Jude
    Elliot Everhart Jude ( I know Elliot is normally a masculine name but I think with the second names it is really lovely and your girly could defs carry it off)

    Okay hope that helps :)

    Much Love,

    Eleanor and EP
    ( Canberra, Australia)

  23. I am obsessed that so many people are commenting on this thread. I have also cried watching every episode and I hope some day that your Tiny reads all of this and feels so much love from all of us. That being said, names I love:

    Lorelai Jude (Because Rory is the best nick name)

    Audrey Jude (sounds like she will be a world famous something)

    Elizabeth (Lis or El for short)

    Scout Jude (because something tells me with you two as parents she’s going to be fiesty)

    or…

    Harper Jude (sounds REALLLLY pretty and is pretty gender neutral. Plus Harper Lee)

    Olivia Jude (Liv is a great nickname)

    I would also encourage you to look at French names, many of them sound beautiful/feminine but actually are gender neutral!

  24. Bailey! Did someone say Bailey yet? There are 240 comments, so I don’t know. But, I love Bailey because it’s gender neutral and just really an adorable name in general. I also reeeeeally like the name Henriette because it’s so strong and like A NAME, you know? and also, it can be shortened to Henri and I just imagine a wild free little girl running through fields when I hear that name.

    My name is Alaina and I love it and it fits me and my mom was watching the news one day and an anchor had that name and she loved it and I am thankful to that anchor every day because she contributed to me having an awesome first name. My middle name is LaRae which, A) is also my mom’s middle name, and I love that we have that connection, and B) means the queen, which makes me feel like Beyonce every day.

  25. I will always be kicking myself for not naming my daughter Lucy. Or Lucille, whatever. She is such a Lucy. Kids go through different names left and right though. My daughter has asked to be called Robin hood, Toralei, Lucy, and went through an exceptionally long phase of introducing herself to anybody she encountered as Widget. I’ve already told her that she would be welcome to change her name if that was something she wanted to do. It is so weird to have to name somebody you’ve never met. Good Luck!

  26. I’ve been loving this series so much!
    Vivian (or Vyvyan for a boy) is one of my absolute favourite names, I just really love how it looks and sounds.

    I’m also a big fan of Wendy and Sadie. Courtney could be a good more gender neutral choice? One of my best pals is called Courtney but she’s always known as Court which I always think is v sweet (though she’s so great I’m pretty biased!)

  27. Francesca “Frankie” for short
    Winifred “Fred”

    Carys or Cerys – welsh name meaning beloved. Pronounced Karis or Keris. Could be shortened to Carrie/Kerry or Rhys (pronounced Reese) which is traditionally a more masculine name in Wales.

  28. As one of those people who’s just always always known they wanted to have kids, my baby name list has been undergoing constant revision since I was little. After much contemplation and consultation of books, I named my favorite dolls Sasha Lillian and Adelaide Joy. Sasha Jude or Adelaide Jude? Also I love the name Catalina/Catalena…
    You guys are so so adorable and watching you makes me so happy! And it makes me want to be a Queer Mama! Thanks for making the beauty of your experience so accessible, its inspiring.

  29. I am loving this series! I think I cry every time. I’m going to throw out Laurana as a name (pronounce Lor-ah-nah). It was the name of a co-worker of mine (who was badass and awesome) and I think it’s just so beautiful. Lots of nickname options, familiar enough that people can generally pronounce/spell it but unique enough that nobody else has it. It sounds terrible with my last name, so my kid will never have it, but someone should!

  30. My name is very common now, but my parents chose the funky spelling from a song they really liked called “Kayleigh” — it’s an awful song and even worse music video but I identify my self with music a lot so it is fitting for me. People comment on my name a lot especially at my first job as a cashier at a grocery store – everyone asked where it came from and about my heritage…
    Anyway, I have very similar specifications for my kids names (if I decide to have them) so I’ve got a list of names you can borrow that would work well with your chosen middle and last name. BTW, I really like literary names if you’re going for a strong, pretty girls name.

    Rosalyn or Roseline (Rosie nickname)
    Frances (Franky nickname)
    Ophelia (Olie nickname)
    Evangeline (Evan nickname)
    Scarlett (scar nickname)
    Denver (Denny nickname)
    Magnolia (Maggie nickname)
    Holden (holly nickname)
    Anais (Annie nickname)
    Florence (Flo nickname)
    Savannah (Vanna nickname)
    Neko
    Iris
    Violet

  31. My grandmother’s full married name was Regina Raquel Tamez-Vigil.

    So I, the firstborn, was named Regina Raquel Vigil.

    I love my name, even my alliteration, though I rarely share my middle name with people. As a femme poet, Regina Vigil suits me fine as it’s very feminine but, meaning queen, also has a lot of strength.

    If I ever have a daughter, I will name her Aurora, after the goddess of the dawn who leads Apollo’s chariot out of darkness. If she’s boyish she can go by Rory. I doubt I’ll have children, but that’s the name I’d choose.

    I also think Carmina, Alexandria, Marina, Fredericka, Imogen, and Jocelyn are nice names.

    Viola is a beautiful name we people stress the i but so many people stress the o.

  32. My full given name is Madeline (MA-de-lyn) Jane, which I hated as a kid because kids are mean and I had red hair just like the book character. My dad called me, alternately, either Maddy or MJ, both of which I’ve gone by. Maddy is what I used more in high school, but once I got to college, MJ seemed to fit a little better. There’s a tradition in my family of giving all the kids in the family middle names that start with J (Madeline Jane, Chloe Joy, Lyla Jaye) also, so feel free to pattern your kids’ names (should you ever want more) without being too afraid of turning into the Duggars.

    I’m also a writer, so I spend a looooot of time on baby naming sites. A few of my favorites are:
    -Like you mentioned before, Adelaide
    -Georgiana (Gia, Ana, and Georgie are some nicknames)
    -Rowan
    -Wilhelmina (Willa, Mina, or Billie for short)
    -Ophelia (Phie for short, ignoring the Hamlet connotations because it’s still a great name)
    -Naomi (Nae).
    -Cora (which you can lengthen into Coraline, Cordelia, etc.)
    -Ryan
    -Rosaline or Rosalind
    -I would say Emilia Everhart, a name that sounded familiar, but I just couldn’t put my finger on, until I asked my girlfriend. Maybe avoid that name. You’d never be able to safely take her on a plane without worrying just a little bit. Sorry, too soon??

    Hope this helps! Good luck!

  33. My names might kinda fall into the “out there” category but since I’m probably never gonna have my own kid to name, here goes:

    – Firenze (feer-ENZ) Everhart Jude (I like it because it’s FIERCE!)

    – Petrichor (PEH-trih-kohr) Everhart Jude (meaning: the smell of rain) or to femme it up a little: Petrichoria Everhart Jude. (Bonus masculine nickname: Petey)

    – Caracal (CARE-uh-kuhl) Everhart Jude (meaning: a species of wild cat)

    By the way, whether you take my suggestions or not, I think you should find a 3-syllable name with an emphasis on the first syllable – that’ll sound best with the short last name. (LA-la-la LA; IS-o-belle JUDE, A-bi-gail JUDE, HAR-mo-ny JUDE, etc.)

  34. I love how much this series both calms me down while simultaneously freaking me out about having a kid. Like oh pregnancy shouldn’t be that bad BUT WHAT WILL I NAME THESE FICTITIOUS CHILDREN I WANT TO HAVE IN FIVE YEARS.

    But anyway, I used to hate my name because I always had my last initial attached to it (Kaly R.) growing up because there were multiple Kaly’s in my class. But then I watched Firefly and there was a Kaylee in that and I began to love the name again. Granted I tell barista’s and such that my name is Kay because otherwise they mishear me 75% of the time.

    I’m getting on the Juniper train, because while definitely she sounds like a heroine in a novel I don’t think that’s bad. I really like the name Summer, although that doesn’t have a nickname really. But my niece, whose name is Malina, is called Monkey by her family which isn’t really a shortening so I don’t think nicknames necessarily have to be super related to the name. I also like Basil, but that could be too hipster for ya’ll.

  35. Was born on St. Genevieve’s feast day and my mom’s religious so there.

    Addy Jude -badass baby
    Soli Jude- peaceful baby
    Lassie Jude- sleepy baby
    Magna Jude- great baby
    Beata Jude- holy baby

    Francelle Everheart Jude is unique and with many possible nicknames.

    I also like the names
    Marcela
    Sylvia
    Vittoria
    Anya
    Enid
    Calliope

    Good luck! :)

  36. I don’t have a suggestion but I have a name story.

    I never identified my first name, so I recently switched to going by my last name. It’s going pretty well so far, though I’m not sure how to ask my family to refer to me, since it’s their name too.

  37. Idina (or Adina) Everhart Jude could be nice, and there are a few nicknames for Idina (Indy would be kinda cute, or Dina).

    I also personally love the name Masha (Maw-sha). It’s feminine and sounds super pretty, in my opinion.

    And my name, Katja (pronounced Kat-ya) is also pretty feminine and cool sounding, if I do say so myself. It’s typically a nickname for Ekatarina, which is also badass, but works as a standalone name really well (I’m super happy to be named this). It’s also not like you meet Katjas everyday, especially with the J instead of Y spelling.

  38. I am a transitioning trans-masculine person and I’ve recently gone through the process of renaming myself. It was hard as I liked my birth name, but necessary for me. I’d love to throw my birth name into your thought pot, as I think it arches your criteria.
    Angharad
    It is an ancient Welsh name that means precious one. It has three syllabils (Ang-ha-rad) and has myriad nicknames or abbreviations, including: Angus, Angs, Hari, Harry, Raddy…

  39. My partner and I have similar criteria to yours! Our primary focus was more on finding gender-neutral (or at least androgynous) names though.

    Some of these are one syllable, but they (at least to us) don’t sound too terse by themselves and work well in a soft or sing-songy way, but sound scary in a disciplinary tone–

    Sage; Blair; August; Blake; Nadya; Aubrey; Judith (J name but strong!); and Pandora. Best of luck and love to you both!!!!

  40. Goddamn you two continue to be the cutest. I kind of want a Haley & Simone mug, you know, just to drink my coffee from and confuse house guests with.

    My name is too tied to my family for me to share publicly, as it’s an Anglo-sized spelling of a Hungarian name and as far as I can tell, it’s just me, my grandma, and her mom in the whole world! Although I guess there could be many more of us name-twins running around, just not on the internet.
    My partner also has the most beautiful, pronounceable, gender-neutral name in the world that fits your specifications but again, too unique to share publicly!
    What a useless comment.

    I really like Lorelai Everhart Jude. She sounds like she would be a tough old bird right out the gate and probably in a coven.

    • hahah, I love that. Clearly there’s a merch opportunity here somewhere. but how would I ever choose which of the ridiculous faces I make to put on the mug?!

      we love Lorelai/ei but it’s the name of a dear friend of ours and feels too close.

      ALSO NOW I’M DYING TO KNOW YOUR BEAUTIFUL NAMES!!

      but I’ll forgive you because of your super sweet comment :)

  41. I’m growing really attached to the name Wilhelmina, but I think my gf is not super into it. However, I like it, and I think it matches your criteria!

    As a sidenote, I think it’s amazing to read all these names and comments from a non-English speaking perspective. Some of the names considered completely normal seem totally weird to me, and some names considered female/male/neutral fall into completely different categories in my mind. I love what that shows about diversity in culture and associations! An example is that someone further up quoted Siv as a neutral name, which I consider to be an archetypical old ladies’ name :D

    To sum up, I adore all the replies to this post. Names, yay!

  42. I kind of love Juniper Jude, not gonna lie… But here’s a few others that I think are pretty timeless:
    Amelia
    Aria
    Bethany
    Camden
    Cassandra
    Elizabeth (you can get a bunch of nicknames with this one!)
    Emma
    Laurel
    Roxanne
    Sophia
    Susanna
    Good luck naming tiny! We’re all so excited for you guys!!

  43. I really like names that have directly translatable meanings. A few suggestions from the Arab world:

    – Yasmine (jasmine)
    – Leila (night)
    – Noura (light)
    – Aliyah (exalted)
    – Amina (trustworthy)
    – Nejla (someone with large, soulful eyes)
    – Fairouz (turquoise)
    – Maryam (Mary)

    Good luck guys!

  44. I don’t know if either of you have any Irish roots, but I thought I’d throw in some options.

    Fianna
    Fionn Mac Cool’s (he’s a legendary giant) warrior band were known as the Fianna. In early Ireland women had equal rights and while the warriors were usually men there is a strong tradition of Celtic women fighting alongside the men, dating as far back as Roman times.

    Neala, Neila
    PRONOUCE: “nee + la”
    Meaning “female champion”

    Saoirse
    PRONOUCE: “sear + sha”
    Irish word saoirse means “freedom, liberty.”

  45. Hi, this is like the perfect article for me – I was that weird kid in middle school (years 7-10) who had like a list of names I loved, I kinda still do.
    Okay so feminine names that can have more masculine nicknames:
    Regina – Reg, Reggie (bonus it means Queen)
    Persephone – Percy
    Harriet – Harry

    Feminine names without obvious masculine nicknames:
    Saskia – Sassy
    Alianovna – Allie
    Saoirse – bonus – means freedom, liberty
    Charlotte – Char, Lottie
    Dahlia – Lea

    Gender neutral names (and nicknames):
    Artemis – Art
    Theodor(a/e) – Teddy
    Taylor – Tay

    Good Luck!

  46. Trying to find a name that both of you love can be tough. You two seem to have similar taste, which is fantastic.

    My girlfriend is Flemish, so trying to find a name for our hypothetical off-in-the-future baby that works in both languages is challenging, especially names for girls. (Has anyone else noticed that girl names seem to be more heavily subject to trends?)
    I thought I’d found a few that would work, but apparently they’re either “too Dutch” (as opposed to Belgian), or “a little bit nazi”.

    These offensive names are:

    – Annemieke
    – Esme
    – Ingrid
    – Ilse

    Please help yourselves to any of the above. (As a jew, I can assure you that none of them are “a little bit nazi”.)

    But it’s so totally fine to decide at the last minute. When my mum was pregnant with me, she and my dad had decided that I was going to be named Julia. I was Julia for weeks while floating around the womb, but then (or so the story goes), once I’d popped out into the world, Dad took me in his arms and said, “Actually, I think she’s more of an Alice.” I’m thankful for that, largely because one of my best friends is a Giulia, so things would get confusing. I also suspect I’d make a pretty crappy Julia. But anyway, sometimes when you meet your tiny person, you can see who they are, and you choose that name that fits. When you find the right name, you’ll know it.

    Best of luck on the naming escapades – you’ll surely pick something beautiful.

    P.S. Haley, congratulations on not crying this episode!

  47. As many people have suggested their own name, I thought I’d add mine to the list as well: Lillian. It’s feminine as hell, multi-syllabic, and has nicknames including (but not limited to, of course) Lilly, Lil, and a more masculine Ian.

    Enjoy the choosing!

  48. I’ve got six sisters and three brothers and we all have middle names, some of us even have two. So I consider myself some what of a naming expert.

    Now for this _?_ Everhart Jude…

    Adelaide (Adele); Caloundra; Zeara; Cinzana; Christine (Chris is pretty unisex); Riley (v unisex); Billy/Billie (pleeease, it sounds so good, omg); Alena; Arabelle/Arabella (hello Artic Monkeys); Jaime (unisex and even though it begins with a J, it flows nicely, no? And JJ as a nickname is freaking awesome); Maise (ryhmes with hazy, this is pretty femmey and cute);Charlotte/Charlette (Charlie!); Alaine/Elaine; Hermione/Luna/Ginny/Bellatrix (come on, you know you want to immortalise a HP character in your child, don’t lie).

  49. Hi Haley and Simone! I’m so loving these posts and videos from you. My name is Cloe without an “h” because my dad is a professor of computer science and didn’t want his children to “waste time” writing out more than four letters anytime we do things like write our name sat the top of a standardized test or form.

    I have to say though, it’s very possible that I’ve spent more time (over the course of my life) explaining that no, my name is not spelled “Chloe” than I might have otherwise spent simply writing out those five letters.

    However, I have LOVED having a short name. (Sort of a similar style name to Haley.) Here are some similarly short name ideas for you two:

    Tally Everhart Jude
    Archer (nickname “Archie”) Everhart Jude
    Arley Everhart Jude
    Lyla Everhart Jude

    xo
    Cloe

  50. “One of my favorite names is the name of her ex-girlfriend’s cat.” hah!

    my girlfriend also says she would want to meet the baby first before naming it. i mean i guess she has a point since this is an entire human person you’re putting into this world, and even though they’re going to be all squishy and tiny you can still maybe see something of that person when you look them in the face? i don’t know. it’s also driving me crazy because i’ve basically been planning baby names for YEARS! naming is so difficult and a daunting task but also a huge responsibility. by choosing a name that’s meaningful to me and my partner, and was maybe worn by other humans we admire, i feel like i’m connecting this new human to lives lived decades and centuries before it came into being. it reminds me of what a marvelous thing it is to be able to both remember and at the same time inscribe something totally new into this fabric of history.

    my name, laura, was chosen by my parents because it works fairly easily in many languages, and also because they liked the poetry of petrarca (who wrote sonnets to his beloved, laura). i have three first names, which is a tradition in my family. the initials of those are “LSD”, which it turns out my dad knew when they named me and thought was hilarious. so there’s that.

  51. My name is Korinna (cor-ee-na) and I’ve loved it my whole life. I got my name because it was pretty and my parents agreed on it, ha. People misspell it every time and mispronounce it pretty regularly, but even though that’s annoying, I’d never want to change it.

    Aside from all that, my favorite names are Virginia, Flannery, Leonora, and Emmylou.

  52. Frances had risen to the top of my (entirely hypothetical) baby names list recently. It fits everything you’re looking for: old fashioned but not too grandmotherly, multisyllable, and cute unisex nickname.

  53. My cousin and his partner named their daughter Roslyn, which I think is very pretty and quite versatile. You can spell it Rosaline or Rosalind if you want the extra syllable, or shorten it to Ro, Ros or Roz. Plus, it’s the name of one of Shakespeare’s smartest and boldest heroines!

  54. I think Vivian is lovely and fits your criteria better than any other name. So much nicknaming potential! So adorable! So young but also elegant–like, it could be the name of a badass great-aunt who lives in Paris and only wears yellow and used to party with David Bowie.

    Aside from that, most of the names I would consider have already been said:

    Olivia
    Evelyn
    Juniper
    Adelaide
    Devon
    Isabelle (Izzy is probably the cutest nickname ever)
    Poppy
    Claire (my favourite name, but I’m not sure how good it would sound with Jude)
    Lorelai
    Agnes
    Charlotte

    And a weird one that I’ve been fascinated by for years:
    Elspeth

    Otherwise, I actually like my own name a lot–Emilie with “ie” instead of “y”. My parents had the added requirement of choosing a name that would sound as good in English as in French.

    Good luck!

  55. You can share my little girl’s name if you like it. Her name is Verna but we also call her Vera and Vee. She’s still brand new so maybe she’ll choose what she likes best later on. We had pretty much your exact thought process when looking for the right name. No N names, feminine but flexible, old timey, lots of nicknames, not too common. Verna Everheart Jude sounds real hip, IMO.

  56. I just met someone whose niece is named Augusta and is called Gussie for short and I thought it was so cute I needed to tell you.
    No clue if someone has already suggested that because 373 comments are a few too many for me to run through, hehehe.

  57. I have a friend who is a librarian and has two children, Atticus and Persephone. Literary names are always wonderful! Get a couple of classics and flip through to see what you like! Ariadne is always a great name too (and its Shakespearean!) :)

  58. I love the -ine names you’ve included: Clementine, Adeline, and Josephine are all lovely. There’s something about them that flows well with Everhart Jude, to me. Maybe it’s the three syllables? I also like Jacqueline.

    My name is also an -ine name and I feel pretty neutral/positive about it. I think Caroline is a fairly common name but where I grew up I was always the only Caroline in school, which was nice. The song “Sweet Caroline” used to be a con as I was teased with it as a kid but now that I’m older I find it fun. There’s no big story behind my name but that doesn’t matter to me so much. It alliterates with my older sister’s name which is cute but means we are often called by the other’s name.

    If you want a name origin story for Tiny, choosing Clementine might work well! Then Tiny could definitely be a nickname and I think it would be very sweet to continue that.

    Also, I wanted to say that Everhart is such a phenomenal middle name! And a huge thank you for this series! I look forward to every post.

  59. My baby names are Lola and Oren. But idk if they’re your taste. I liked Adeline though, it sounds super fancy and classy with the middle name. I also like Melody, Clara, and Rose. Also made-up stuff like Afton and Ashwin (Ash is a cute nickname). Genevieve is really nice too.

    That’s all I can think of. Good luck!

  60. I love this! Wishing you all happiness and fun and love! Here are some of my favorites:

    Ruby
    Charis
    Lorelei
    Rowen
    Ava
    Asa
    Dorothy (how cute is Dot for a nickname?!)
    Alice
    Lilly/Lillian
    Freya

  61. Still really down for Adeline. It shortens to “Addy,” which is terrifically not too common and not too feminine. It sounds more than incredible – “Adeline Everhart Jude.” I like the AE affect, and the initials will be AEJ. Also “Adeline Jude,” the A and J are working together.

    – You had it at the top of your other possible names list, which says something.
    – I babysit a really awesome elementary-aged Adeline.
    – I know a college-aged Addy who is incredibly strong-minded and had diverse interests.
    – Though it’s a old name, there aren’t many icons actually named Adeline, so you get the classiness and recognizability without the common-ness, and it’s like she gets to make her own history.
    – To be fair you should note that the names on here are pretty Eurocentric, you might also start considering other types of names.

    Also, AEvalina is another option that I just thought of! The name of my girlfriend’s roommate. You get the AE affect with just the first and last name.

  62. Everhart is a lovely middle name. I kind of collect names, so here’s a few feminine/more unisex suggestions – hope everything goes well!

    Aubrey
    Selene
    Alyssa
    Matilda/Tilda
    Harriet (Hatty is the cutest nickname)
    Erin

    Sydney
    Ashley
    Elliot
    Sky
    Linden
    Robin/Robyn

    also backing Cassandra.

  63. I really like Josephine and Adeline – all sorts of nicknames are possible and they fit so well with the middle and last name.

    But to add some names to the discussion:
    Alexia – can be shortened to Lexi (my favorite), Lex, or even Al.
    Tobin – not so sure about nicknames here (Tobe or Bin don’t seem appealing) ,but I think it would flow well her Everhart Jude.

    In terms of my name, I like it. It’s not as common as LeAnn/Leanne/Lianne and I like that. It’s rarely spelled or pronounced correctly though — I’ve had people call me Sheila and Thelma after I’ve introduced myself. My parents even call me LeAnn and introduce me that way. I’ve been told that my mother got my name from a smutty romance novel.

    Can’t wait for to see what name you pick!

  64. I think you should name her Amelia! It’s classic and vintage but not too hipster-y, it’s got a ton of nicknames, and it’s got feminist icon Amelia Earhart! … I also like Matilda though …

  65. How about
    – Samira (since Poussey isn’t an option and Sam is an easy, unisex nickname)
    – Vianne (since you like Vivien)
    – Clemence (since you like Clementine)
    – Leona (Leo for short)

    Vivien and Clementine are both really lovely though, and in my opinion flow well with the 2 other names.

    Can’t wait to see what you’re going to choose!

  66. I realize I am really late commenting on this and people have suggested a ton of pretty names, but since you talked about the name Vivian, I wanted to suggest that I have liked the name Livian (or Livianne) for a long time. In my mind it’s basically Vivian and Lillian and Olivia all mashed together or something.

  67. I got my names (Larra and Kyleen) from an uncle and an aunt, respectively. My mother’s godfather, Larry, passed away shortly before my birth and I was named to honour him. Had he not passed, I would have been named Gentry, Genny for short. I hate the name Gentry (sorry to any Gentrys out there), so I’m perversely grateful for my great-uncle’s retrospectively well-timed passing.

    Another factor to consider is, if you plan on having more littles, do you want them all to have quirky or more common names? While I love my unusual name now, as a child I was bitter at my constant lack of personalized school supplies and bike license plates while my sister, name MOLLY, got all of the above.

    Lastly, I so agree about names having power. Though possibly in a different way: having a name that’s a bit of a pickle to both spell and pronounce, I learned to stick up for myself early and in a relatively safe way. I had to be comfortable correcting people if I didn’t want to be called Lara or Laura or Sarah or Kara for the duration of our relationship.

  68. I love unisex names but in your case I’d avoid them. Everhart is a masculine name, so is Jude. Something like Bailey Everhart Jude sounds all boy to me. I love Josephine as well. Other ideas:

    Philippa (Pippa)
    Elizabeth (Elle)
    Avalon (Ava)
    Charlotte (Charlie)
    Leonie (Leo)
    Polly
    Quinn (I know, it doesn’t follow my rules, but I love it)
    Zoe

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!