What should I name my baby girl?

My wife and I have a baby girl on the way. We can’t decide between the following names. Please help us make this life-lasting decision.

I like Eva,

but I like Neva better.

(Are you taking suggestions from the floor?)

sure. but Neva will nevah happen

I like Olive.

Although on second thought, there could be problems. Olive Oyl and Olive the Other Reindeer come to mind.

I don’t think kids nowadays ever heard of Olive Oyl. Besides, I like Olive Oyl.


Your kid will turn out fine regardless of the moniker.

She’d probably get made fun of in school for a name like Olive. Eloise sounds like an old lady’s name and is the name of the local former insane asylum here. Madeline sounds the prettiest to me and can be shortened to something like Maddy.

I don’t know if popularity is something you’re thinking about, but I know half a dozen young Olivias and many more Maddys, so if you choose those your daughter will likely share a name with a couple of classmates. I don’t give a damn, personally, but some people don’t want to be part of a trend.

I voted for Eloise - keeps the old-fashioned feel you seem to be going for with your choices, but it’s still uncommon enough that people will think “pretty name” instead of “Oh great, another Olivia* to keep track of”.

*My baby cousin’s name is Olivia and I love her to death and think it’s a beautiful name. But I like Eloise better.

I like all of those names except Olive, which (at least here in Aus) is regarded as a Very Old Lady’s name.

But my favourite would be Eden. Every second kid here is an Olivia or a Madeline, Eden is unusual enough, but not so weird for your little girl to be the butt of too many jokes.


Ha! Old fashioned! We considered Ethel for about a half a second (my grandmother’s name).

Do you have any other children? If so, what are their names? Are you willing to give us some idea of what your last name is, so we get a sense of how it might go with a first name? I like the name Eva, for example, but it might not go well with the last name Evans.

Popularity rankings from 2009 (most recent US information available), with trends:
Olivia: #3 most common baby girl name in the country. There will be other Olivias in her class.
Olive: #588, but spiking in popularity - hadn’t been in the top thousand since the 1940’s.
Eden: #205, also spiking.
Eloise: #917. Returning to the charts for the first time since the 1960s, although it really peaked in the 1920s.
Eva: #99, rising fast
Madeleine: #271, but Madeline is #56, Madelyn is #59, and Madelynn is #375. 27 girls in 1000 were named one of those four variations in 2009, which makes it pretty common. There will be a ton of other Maddies in her class, all of whom will spell it differently.

I like Eloise, myself, but I tend to avoid popular names. You can use the hyper-popular nicknames Ella or Ellie if you like, but Eloise is a graceful, dignified name that should wear well. It’s distinctive without being weird. Olive sounds sort of clunky to me, even though it was popular in a relatively similar period. Eden seems recently invented and… cheap, although I’m not sure why. I like the sounds of Eva, Olivia, and Madeleine, but I wouldn’t want to use a hyper-popular name for my kid - I’d prefer that she be the only one in her class/office floor/whatever with her name.


Please don’t name your daughter Eden.

It depends on how many other kids you want her to share a name with.

According to the Social Security data base:
Olivia is the 3rd most common baby name in the US for little girls currently
Eden comes in at 205th most common
Eloise is 917th most common
Eva is 99th most common, and has currently gaining popularity this entire decade (probably because it’s similar to 5th ranked Ava)
Madeleine comes in at 331st most popular
I didn’t bother to look up Olive since it’s generally just a nickname

That said, Olive and Eloise sound like little old ladies. Olivia is a nice name, and so is the nickname Livie, so I can’t imagine why they picked “Olive” for Fringe. Of the names on your list, I’d pick Madeleine and give her the middle name Rose.
edit: dammit, Gila’s post wasn’t there when I started looking up the stats! heh

If those are the options, I suggest “Spike.”

Please don’t give your daughter any of those names. Use a common girl’s name, and you can use own of those others for her middle name. You can always call her whatever you want. Madeiline isn’t so bad in that regard, but she will be called Maddy, which I don’t like, but maybe it doesn’t bother others as much.

I notice others are citing Olivia as a common name now, so maybe that isn’t so bad.

TriPolar, what do you think of as a common name? Susan? Jane? Carol? Dorothy? Cheryl? Almost all of the names under consideration (everything but Eloise) is far more common than Susan, and all but Eloise and Olive are far more common than Jane. Carol, Dorothy, and Cheryl don’t even make the top thousand, they’re so rare. Just because it’s familiar to you doesn’t make it a common baby name nowadays.

I also know a zillion Olivias and Maddys. And a few Evas. I’ve only ever known one Eden (my best friend in 4th grade!), but it does have a slight flavor of evangelicalism about it. You might be an evangelical and be happy with that! Just don’t name her Neveah, for the love of heaven.

I think Eden is pretty. I can’t even begin to tell you how many Olivias, Madelines, and Evas I know. There will be at least 3 in every class she’s in. Please look at the lists of most popular names for last year, and stay away from the top ten or twenty trendy names.

Eden sounds like a porn star to me.

I have a niece named Olivia. I think it’s a lovely name, but it’s definitely super-popular.

According to my assistant, whose little sister is named Eva, people always mispronounce it.

I’d probably choose Eloise, though I’m sure people butcher that pronunciation, too.

As I pointed out, if Olivia is becoming popular, that might fit the category. But a look at the ranking of names over a longer period of time may show some are more than just a fad. There’s already a flood of Brittanys entering adulthood, but I don’t see that many of them using the name. To be more specific, I would suggest any parent use a common traditional name for their child’s first name, and be creative with the middle name. They can be known by their middle name or a nickname based on it, yet still use the dull ordinary first name in school or on their business cards. That’s my opinion though. Parents should name their children in the best way they see fit.