Hey guys! Guess what??? We’re having a baby in less than 4 months! And we have a list of names about a million miles long and none of them really stand out for us as favorites.

We need help.

Part of the trouble with choosing a name for our babies is that our families are LARGE. Like- my dad’s side of the family alone? Includes nearly 40 people. He has three siblings, each with up to five kids, and some of THOSE kids are old enough to have kids. And my mom has five brothers and a sister, some with kids. Dan’s side of the family isn’t quite as big, but there are still a lot of people- and a lot of names ‘taken’ that we don’t want to use again or use something similar. (And this is quite a bummer, because some of my favorite names are included in my family already. DANG IT!)

(This has driven our neighbor girl CRAZY, by the way. She kept shouting out names she liked and I kept shooting them down with ‘my cousin’s daughter is named that’ or ‘my aunt is named that’. heh)

The other major issue is our last name: Lyker. The ‘L’ completely throws us off, because a lot of really beautiful girl names have lots of ‘Ls’ in them (Emily, Ella, etc) And we’d like to steer clear of a tongue-twister kind of name.

One thing we’re on the fence about this time is whether or not we want to choose another ‘M’ name. I’m not opposed to it completely, but I’m a little hesitant to do it, just because I’m already confused enough half of the time. Having two kids with the same letter at the start of their name? I’m just not sure I want to do that to myself!

Another thing I’m trying to avoid (HOLY CRAP, I’M GETTING PICKY!) is using a name in the current ‘Top 10’ list for the past year. As much as I absolutely love some of those names (Sophia! Olivia!), I’m a Jennifer. I graduated with 130 people and there were like FIVE other Jennifers in my class. I just… can’t knowingly do that to my daughter. (If it happens by accident, so be it. But not on purpose. The poor kid.)

And the final (not required, but seriously considered) criteria for a name: a specific nickname. I really love that Maggie has an automatic nickname for her actual name (Margaret) so that people can’t as easily take license with her name and make one up for her. So a longer, more ‘formal’ name with a cute, shorter nickname already built-in is a preference. But- not required. There are a couple of non-nickname-type names I’ve found that I like.

All of that being said: our list is at like THIRTY NAMES or something insane. And none of them are front-runners. We’re still very much open to suggestions! SO GO FOR IT in the comments!


  1. tehamy

    June 2, 2010 8:26 pm

    We are finally starting to make some progress on a name. Our probleissas we couldnt find a single name that we both even remotely liked. Now we are down to two names. Once we decide on a first name, then we have to start the hunt for middle names.

    As for girl names, those would have been easy for us. We would have used either Jordan or Zoe. Middle name would have been Margaret.

    Good luck!

  2. Crystal

    June 2, 2010 8:26 pm

    Girl names are HARD. I have one girl name I really like (Kate) and it’s super popular as is. I do not envy this task ahead of you!!!

  3. Laura

    June 2, 2010 8:39 pm

    Hey, if you have a list at all, you’re doing better than me. Like pp said, we have ZERO names. We already have middle names (just like we did with Andrew) but no girl name prospects. No boy name prospects. Sure glad I’m not having a baby in 4 months or even 9 months. It might take me years to come up with something. ARRRRGH.
    .-= Laura’s last blog post: two and a half weeks =-.

  4. Pocklock

    June 2, 2010 8:41 pm

    I’m of no help to you because I am in the SAME EXACT BOAT. And I will be coming back to this post for help. Watch us love the exact same name! Haha!

    • Jen

      June 2, 2010 10:33 pm

      Then our girls can be Name Twins! :)

      Seriously though- my cousin is due with a girl in a few weeks, so I’m also kind of waiting to see what she names her! I’d hate to get my heart set on a name and have her use it. THEN WHAT???!

  5. Gina

    June 2, 2010 8:44 pm

    I like my name because I never met another Gina until college. I love long names though that can be shortened with a nickname. Maybe look at names that were popular a few decades ago that aren’t as common right now? I love my Grandmother’s name, Josephine, you never here names like that anymore :)
    .-= Gina’s last blog post: Broad Street Run: Race Recap =-.

  6. C @ Kid Things

    June 2, 2010 8:49 pm

    I’m quite partial to the name Madison :). Anna and Maria, simple and classic, were always on my short list, too.
    .-= C @ Kid Things’s last blog post: Zoo: Before it Went South =-.

    • Jen

      June 2, 2010 10:34 pm

      LOVE the name Madison, and Addison- but my cousin’s daughter is Madison (and she also goes to school with Maggie) so both of those are out. SEE WHAT I MEAN WITH THE FAMILY?? gah! haha

      • Adrienne S

        June 3, 2010 4:24 pm

        How about Addylynn? Or is that too similiar to Madison? That is my nieces name and we call her Addy.

        I understand what your going through. I’m 6 months pregnant with my first and we are having a heck of a time, though most of the problems lie with my bf. We’re not finding out the sex, but he’s convinced it’s a boy and says he’d really like to give him a family name. THe two family (his side) names he really likes are Chester (I’m sorry to any Chester’s out there, but I can’t allow my child to be tormented with “Chester the Molester” his whole life) and, get ready for this one, Bronislav!! I have no idea what he’s thinking, but it’s not happening. Good luck to you!

  7. Melissa

    June 2, 2010 9:55 pm

    I can’t give out my favorite few girls’ names, juuuust in case lightning strikes and something happens. ;) But looking at your requirements, all I’m coming up with is Rebecca/Becca. And of course there’s always Victoria/Tori. I also like Hannah, although that doesn’t really have a nickname.

    Whatever you pick will be perfect, just like Maggie’s! It will be so exciting when she and we find out what you choose. :)

  8. Erika

    June 2, 2010 10:33 pm

    Personally, I wouldn’t completely count out names with L’s in them because when I read Emily Lyker, I thought it sounded beautiful. It’s just going to depend on the particular name, I think.

    • Jenn

      June 4, 2010 1:19 am

      I agree…I was thinking that Emily Lyker has a nice ring to it. Ohh, what about Emily Ann? Now if the name ends with an L, that would be a tongue twister!

  9. Katie

    June 2, 2010 10:58 pm

    What about Helena (He-lay-na) nn Layna? What else could people call her? Certainly not Hela! Or Helene and call her Lena (lee-na)? I know, old fashioned, but that’s popular now. And she’ll be the only one in her class with that name!

  10. janet

    June 2, 2010 11:08 pm

    Well of course I have to play…the baby name game is my FAVORITE!

    I agree with Erika that you don’t need to count out all the L names like Emily. Emily Lyker is a great name.

    Onto my suggestions…

    Amelia / Mia (and M name but really an A name?)
    Caroline / Cara
    Alexandra / Alexa
    Katherine / Katie
    Eleanor / Nora

  11. Edie

    June 2, 2010 11:11 pm

    I’ve always liked the name Abigail, Abby for short.

  12. sparkyd

    June 2, 2010 11:47 pm

    Only 4 months to go already? Crazy.

    I don’t have any brilliant ideas because my husband’s native tongue and last name are French so we had to go with French names (or very neutral names) to make it sound right. But we did find kind of “old” names that we liked and that aren’t very common in these parts.

    Did want to say though, that I LOVE the name Mia, as someone suggested. Not Amelia though, just Mia. Plain and simple. I think Mia Lyker sounds lovely. I’ve also always liked the name Kate or Katie. I’m a fan of skipping the “long” name part and just having the “nick name” be the actual name… obviously not a crazy nick name, I mean the kind like those two examples. A little girl in our family was just named Alex. Not Alexandra, just Alex. A little confusing for gender on paper, but I like it anyway. Oh, and we have another little girl in our family named Billie. I like that one too. At least that one has a “girl” spelling.

    Last thing – might want to have a reserve list of boy names… I’ve got a friend that was surprised with a boy after being told they were having a girl.

  13. Rebecca

    June 3, 2010 1:15 am

    Since someone already mentioned Rebecca/Becca, and since it’s MY name, I have to second that one. It’s a great name. Rebecca sounds nice and grown-up, and Becky or Becca is a great nickname for a kid. Best of both worlds. But if you have tons of people in your family, chances are there’s already a Rebecca running around.

    I also love the name Miranda. That sort of has a nickname built in (Randy?) but it’s not so obvious and a bit tomboyish.

    I’m sure whatever name you pick will be great!

  14. Rhona

    June 3, 2010 4:56 am

    I agree with Erika and Janet. Emily is an adorable name! You could always go with something crazy and name your kid Rhona haha. I have always thought Lucy was really cute. And Adrienne! Good luck!
    .-= Rhona’s last blog post: Blah. =-.

  15. Ssfb

    June 3, 2010 5:43 am

    I like both Emily and Ella with Lyker. It’s not too tongue twisty, it makes them kind of flow :) I love Abigail but my husband hates it and I think it’s in the top 10.
    .-= Ssfb’s last blog post: Snippets =-.

  16. Becca

    June 3, 2010 7:27 am

    I say don’t rule out Emily/Ella because they both sound fine with Lyker. :)

    I have a huge family too so (sad as it is), we started looking at the dead relatives for future kids’ names… and it worked for us. heh
    .-= Becca’s last blog post: Protected: Birth Control =-.

  17. Kelly

    June 3, 2010 7:45 am

    Oh man I know what you mean! Girl names are HARD! I like some of the L names with your surname. Emily Lyker sounds pretty!

    Other ideas, mostly based on Maggie’s classic name:

    If you like Addison…. what about Adelaide? You get the nickname Addie but it’s not too similar to Madison.

    Elizabeth. Goes well with Margaret. You can call her Beth or Lizzie. I think Lizzie Lyker sounds adorable for a kid.

    Grace. No nickname, really, but Grace Lyker? Beautiful!

    Josephine. NN Josie. TOO CUTE.

    .-= Kelly’s last blog post: Picnic table Painting =-.

  18. jesser

    June 3, 2010 9:07 am

    It is SO hard with a girl. So many choices, and, like you, I didn’t want a top 10 (being a Jessica also gives you that bias!!). And of course my husband and I liked completely different names. He like exotic, slavic sounding names and I like more traditional, English names. The other choice we’d narrowed it down to was Paisley, which I still like, though I’m very very glad we named our daughter what we did. A friend of ours just named her baby Karis, which I thought was pretty and we have a darling little girl who lives behind us named Paige. I’m sure you’ll find the perfect name. Good luck with your search.

  19. Jess

    June 3, 2010 9:23 am

    I’m partial to Nora and Sadie.

  20. Amy

    June 3, 2010 9:25 am

    When you have two kids, it’s not going to matter if they have the same initial. You will still call one by the other’s name ALL the time. It’s been 27 years and I am still regularly called Cassandra (my sister’s name). :)
    .-= Amy’s last blog post: Sunday Stealing (A Little Late) =-.

  21. Jane

    June 3, 2010 9:36 am

    I had a hard time with girl names the first time and then boy names the second… although love the names we ended up with.

    Our girl name this last time was Elsa.

    Also like the name Anna, Sarah, Alice (Allie) or Nora.

    And I agree with Kelly, Lizzie (Elizabeth) Lyker is cute!

    Grace? Annabelle? or Emma. Mallory?

    And my elementary class had 3 Jennifer’s in it. And they all graduated together in a class size of 18!

  22. bluzdude

    June 3, 2010 9:43 am

    If there’s a name you like that’s already used in your family, might you be able to vary the spelling?
    .-= bluzdude’s last blog post: Solid Rock and Holy Rollers =-.

  23. Trinity (MamaPhan)

    June 3, 2010 9:53 am

    We’re having the exact same problem you’re having – nothing’s sticking out as “that’s the name!” the way Deacon’s did.

    I say go with something like Amelia (of course, I reserve the right to retract my suggestion of that name if it turns out we’re having a girl. ;)).

    Good luck!!!
    .-= Trinity (MamaPhan)’s last blog post: Witnessing history. =-.

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  25. Nichole

    June 3, 2010 9:55 am

    love the name game!!! (girls names are easier than boys, for us anyway)

    I like: Leah, Autumn, Sarah, Charlotte (Charile, Lottie) Danielle, Meghan, …. any help?? what is on your list already?

    my hard part with names was getting Bill to agree he was so picky!!

  26. Kelly

    June 3, 2010 10:04 am

    I can’t tell you our girl’s name in case we actually get to use it. Sorry! We had 2 girls names picked out before we found out Evan would be a boy and one of them was Maggie Mae after my Aunt Margaret and John’s mother, Arleen May. I change spellings, though. Our second name? I’m sooooooooooooo afraid someone will use it before we get the chance so…. it’s a secret!

    Other cute girl names in our family with nicknames are Cici, short for Cecilia and Nico, short for Nicola. There is also an Aurora, they call her Roe (I suspect the Little Mermaid nixes that one!), Amelia (Millie), Caroline (Cara), and then there about 4 Michelles. Heh. There’s a Savanah, Addison, Gabriella (Gabby), Isabella, Rita, Ruth (our grandmother’s name) and Rorey… egads this family is full of girls!

    I know what you mean about the top name list. I was one of about 15 Kelly/Kelli/Kelleys in my class of 300. And that’s why Evan got John as his middle name not his first.
    .-= Kelly’s last blog post: Running Randemonium =-.

  27. red pen mama

    June 3, 2010 10:14 am

    In the same boat. At least you know you’re having a girl. Dan keeps coming up with very Italian sounding girl names, all of which I’ve shot down, and I keep asking him if we can wait until we at least know if we’re having a boy or a girl (six or so more weeks!)

    I love Nora, but — rhymes with Flora. I love my Kathryn/Kate, but, yes, super popular name. I love the girl name Gabriella, but I don’t want a Gabby or an Ella, so I’m not sure what to do about that. Other girl names I like but can’t use because they rhyme with our last name: Irene, Noreen.

    Some of the other ones here I like: Grace, Elizabeth, Amelia (Millie or Molly as a nickname rather than Mia). And don’t worry about another M name. You will call them each other’s name no matter what.

    When people ask me now, I tell them we’re going to name a boy Aragorn or a girl Arwen. They look kind of horrified, but it’s fun for me!
    .-= red pen mama’s last blog post: Regression =-.

  28. Diane

    June 3, 2010 10:15 am

    It’s so funny, because I was the exact opposite with names … I wanted names that had NO obvious nickname options, so they would be called by their given names. That said, I think your way makes a ton of sense, because what if my girls don’t LIKE their given names? No options!

    Based on your criteria up there, I like:

    Evelyn/Eve or Evie
    Isabelle/Belle or Izzie (a little less popular than its Isabella counterpart)

    They all have an L, but I don’t think they’re super tongue-twisty.

    Good luck! Would love to hear what’s on your list if you decide to share.
    .-= Diane’s last blog post: Girl Talk Thursday – BOOKS! =-.

  29. Meghan

    June 3, 2010 10:25 am

    Well I can’t divulge all of my girls names in case I have to use one of them shortly… but a few that the husband has vetoed that I still love are:
    Ruby, Lucy, Morgan, and Gabriella.
    Good luck!!!!
    .-= Meghan’s last blog post: Pasta wtih Tomato Sauce =-.

  30. andrea

    June 3, 2010 11:25 am

    We went the family name route for both our kids, but I am lucky that my husband comes from a long line of classic names that were great 100 years ago and still work today. We ended up with a Charlie and Lucy (Charles and Lucille) and I felt the same way, I needed a long name but one that could be made into a nickname that we chose, not one others come up with.

    Some others on our list were: Penelope (Penny), Josephine (Josie), Eloise (Ellie). I also really like some shorter names: Janie, Ruby or Aubrey but they don’t fit the nickname requirement so my husband nixed them.

    Can’t wait to hear what you guys come up with.

  31. AndreAnna

    June 3, 2010 11:29 am

    Holy crow. I don’t have all the time to read your massive comments, but since we’re not having any more kids, I can pass down to you the girls names we had on our list (and my kids are Charlotte and Sawyer so you know we like different but not weird).

    Evangeline – Eva
    Genevieve – This was going to be Sawyer’s name if he were a girl. I wanted to pronounce it the French way – John-VEE-ev. And have people call her “jonni” I mean. HOW CUTE?
    .-= AndreAnna’s last blog post: Cauliflower Pizza Crust =-.

  32. Dina

    June 3, 2010 12:01 pm

    Hmm. Sometimes naming the kids after a family member is an honor. Not from the cousins or their kids, but Grandparents, Great Grandparents etc.
    I like Charlotte~ Charlie
    Samantha~ Sam
    Evelyn~ Ava/Eve

    My daughter and husband named Isabella. I would have rather they picked a less popular name, because it’s the number one baby name right now. but She has a ton of nicknames.
    .-= Dina’s last blog post: Panic =-.

  33. Amanda

    June 3, 2010 12:07 pm

    I’m a pretty big fan of odd names. Which is strange when you consider my daughter’s name is simply Allie. But I really like Lucy,Lydia, Fiona, Shelby, Jenna, Jessa, Annica, Molly. I know a little girl name Marley and it’s really cute, but since Marley & Me, i don’t know?
    .-= Amanda’s last blog post: Mt. Dew =-.

  34. bessie.viola

    June 3, 2010 12:58 pm

    Oooh, I love naming stuff. If all else fails you can always submit the question to Swistle, she’s good at this.

    My thoughts:

    Madeline (Maddie) – though, hello, of course I like this
    Catherine (Kate, Katy)
    Eleanor (Ellie/Ella, Nora)
    Charlotte (Charlie – LOVE this one)
    .-= bessie.viola’s last blog post: we walk by faith. together. =-.

  35. AndreAnna

    June 3, 2010 1:16 pm

    I saw a couple of people recommending Charlotte and using Charlie. That was our intention when naming our daughter Charlotte, but as it turns out, she is NOT a Charlie and refuses to be one. She is a Charlotte, all the way. I think sometimes Nicknames don’t always work out, so if you fall in love with the nickname, just use that, ya know?
    .-= AndreAnna’s last blog post: Cauliflower Pizza Crust =-.

  36. Lisa

    June 3, 2010 2:39 pm

    How about Magdalena, calling her Lena?

  37. samantha jo campen

    June 3, 2010 3:05 pm

    I like Amelia and Mia for short.

    Tessa even though no nickname
    Shelby though no nickname
    SAMANTHA and you could call her Sam! Sammy! Whee! (Seriously, Samantha Lyker sounds kinda cool)

    Between you and Allyson I’m tapped out, yo.
    .-= samantha jo campen’s last blog post: Tidbits of this and that =-.

  38. the ambitious mrs

    June 3, 2010 4:18 pm

    I was just thinking of names for you the other day… I know I’m weird. The one I really like for you is Morgan. Some of the other names we loved but didn’t end up using for our girls are Laurel or Bethany. The middle names of my girls are also big favorites (I would have loved to have used them as first names but I could only get my hubby to agree to use them as middle names) – Hanna and Caroline.
    .-= the ambitious mrs’s last blog post: Swingset!!!! =-.

  39. Maura

    June 3, 2010 10:10 pm

    Oooh, you’re right, the L thing is hard.

    I like Grace. Also, sounds great with Maggie. Samantha. Catherine/Katherine and Katie for short. Meredith? Miranda? Sabrina. Nina.

    Hannah is a name my Mom really liked when she had my youngest sister. (Her name is Audra.)

  40. BethanyWD

    June 3, 2010 10:49 pm

    Girls names were SO hard for us, too. We had the boy name for baby #2 picked out RIGHT AWAY, but, alas, it was a girl!

    Since you ASKED…) I would also recommend not going with a second M name – but rather a name that doesn’t clash (if you know what I mean) with Maggie’s name, since you’ll forever be saying, writing, and yelling, “Maggie and XXXXXX.”

    Cameron (Cammy)
    Jane (Janie)
    Bethany (ha, ha, ha!)

  41. Chelsea

    June 3, 2010 10:52 pm

    3 girl names I’m particularly fond of:
    Ellen (Ellie)
    Adelene (Addie)
    Megan (Meg)
    Browsing through these comments I had no idea Amelia was so popular. I really like it, I just had no idea it was such a hit!

  42. Mel

    June 4, 2010 1:50 am

    Don’t automatically dismiss names with L’s in them. Ella sounds wonderful with Lyker. Just, you know, avoid the names that start with L. For example, Lori Lyker. Sounds lame. :)

    I am giving no more names to you! I gave you my top names when you were trying to name Maggie and BOTH her first and middle name came from that list! :D Which isn’t necessarily where you got both of them, but it made me feel a teeny bit special, lol….
    .-= Mel’s last blog post: Discussion: Internet Grammar =-.

  43. Mel

    June 4, 2010 1:54 am

    Found my original list! Sweet. :) (Although the name we have picked out should we someday have a girl actually is not on this list. One is very close, but no dice.)

    1. Elise
    2. Emma
    3. Grace
    4. Karen
    5. Denise
    6. Monica
    7. Catherine
    8. Margaret (this is a family name…)
    9. Clara
    10. Elizabeth
    .-= Mel’s last blog post: Discussion: Internet Grammar =-.

  44. Lea

    June 4, 2010 10:35 am

    We had such a hard time with the name thing this time around. We ended up choosing Ava Claire. Ava is in the top 10 names, which I didn’t know at the time, but I don’t know many Avas myself, so I thought it was safe (or else they just aren’t in my city!). I also love Claire and Clara. Another one we liked was Avery.
    .-= Lea’s last blog post: Keep on Trucking =-.

  45. RA

    June 4, 2010 12:23 pm

    (I apologize in advance for not reading all of the comments before commenting.)

    My favorite girl name is Elizabeth. It’s my middle name and the name my mom wanted to name me before my Dad instituted a “all the girls should have R names” rule. Therefore, I have a weird R name that I have never liked. Elizabeth, on the other hand, has a bevy of lovely nicknames that I would have enjoyed having. So, you know, do it for childhood me, who hated her name, and adult me, who hates spelling it.

    If you DON’T want me to live vicariously through your child (I can’t imagine why), I also love:

    Penelope (Penny)
    Beatrice (Bea)
    Ramona (Mo or Mona)
    Charlotte (Charlie)
    .-= RA’s last blog post: Q and A: Amusement =-.

  46. Jamie

    June 4, 2010 8:33 pm

    I really like Phoebe, Isabelle, Anastasia, Margot, Ruth… and to be honest, I reaaaalllly like the way Emily Lyker sounds ;)
    .-= Jamie’s last blog post: Happy Thursday =-.

  47. LZ

    June 6, 2010 4:03 pm

    My faves are Elizabeth, Chloe and Annabelle. Of course after Madeline and Abigail, which we’ve already used ;-)
    .-= LZ’s last blog post: Hearing trouble (of the parenting kind) =-.

  48. Mandy

    June 6, 2010 8:13 pm

    I love my “real” name, but my family called me Mandy from the first day. I still remember the time my mom informed me of my “other” name Samantha. Even I, starting kindergarten, thought it was weird.

    I am relieved now that I go by Sam. The school/work confusion was always a terror, especially with email. For years I’ve done nothing but explain “Mandy” and tell people I am NOT Amanda.

    So I guess my advice is… don’t do that to her. You’re right to stick with the easy/obvious nickname.

  49. Pocklock

    June 13, 2010 2:49 pm

    Just came back to re-read for some inspiration and a LOT of what being recommended here is on our list too! I just bought a new baby name book. Oh my God it’s so overwhelming. I just want to name her X. LOL.

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