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Baby Name Near Misses

By Madeline Holler |

SFGate’s The Poop blogger Peter Hartlaub is taking me back in time. He’s talking about baby name near misses — those baby names at the top of the short list that you didn’t wind up penning on the birth certificate.

These near misses, in hindsight, are hard to believe were even considered. Hartlaub is especially flummoxed that he and his wife ever entertained the name Atticus for their son Milo. It was one of their top three!

I can relate, though not until I had my third baby.

My husband and I quickly settled on our firstborn’s name, Beatrice, after also entertaining Ruby, Eleanor, and Ruth (husband pushed hard for Ruth. Never would have happened). Had Beatrice been a boy, she would have been named Stanley (kind of a family name on my husband’s side and I thought it was cute. But now? Couldn’t even imagine.)

We chose our second daughter’s name way before I was even pregnant with her. She’s Frances, can’t imagine a single other name for her.

And then came Earl. I bemoaned the struggle to name Earl here, after it was revealed that our first-choice name was underwhelming my husband. For the longest time, we were going to name him Chester, which I still think is cute. But my Earl’s an Earl not a Chester, so no regrets. Which is more than I can say for Seymour’s mom.

What are your near misses? Are you utterly grateful or so sad you changed your mind?

Oh, and here’s some help if your short list is too short. Happy naming!

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Photo: Madeline Holler

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About Madeline Holler


Madeline Holler

Madeline Holler is a writer, journalist, and blogger. She has written for Babble since the site launched in 2006. Her writing has appeared in various other publications both online and in print, including Salon and True/Slant (now Forbes). A native of the Midwest, Madeline lives, writes, and parents in Southern California, where she's raising two daughters and a son. Read bio and latest posts → Read Madeline's latest posts →

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11 thoughts on “Baby Name Near Misses

  1. Crystal H. says:

    I entertained the idea of naming my daughter Ramona Quimby. Was promptly overruled. She’s a Carys anyway.

  2. kittenpie says:

    My near misses mostly involve things that suddenly became really popular just as I was considering them, and with our v common last name, I’m glad to have first names not be too common. So not using Julian, Amelia, and a few others was good!

  3. LaUraLu says:

    I have a Milo, too! Tobias and Jasper were his runners-up, which of course are utterly ridiculous. :)

  4. Ri-chan says:

    My son is named Aaron after his father. I really liked the name Ambrose but it was really important to my Husband that he be named after him.

  5. e says:

    We have a Finley… our near-misses were Emery and Hadley.We went to the hospital with a list of three and spent a whole day with him before we decided. I think his name suits him perfectly, and I’m glad we decided to spend some time with him before choosing it!

  6. Marj says:

    I liked Jasper too, but my husband didn’t. So our boys are Simon & Malcolm. If they were girls they were going to be Emma & Jane, but I’m glad they were boys. Emma is very common, although I wanted it because it was my grandmother’s middle name, and my husband didn’t like her first name, Jeanette.

  7. Snarky Mama says:

    I really wanted my first to be Basil, my second to be Diego or Indigo and my youngest to be Xavier. If they had been girls they would have been Olivia, Ione and Ramona…

  8. Kimber says:

    I wanted Clementine but my Husband was dead set aganst naming our child after a fruit. She’s a Zoe through & through…! I couldnt imagine Her with any other name.

  9. [...] many Isabella’s? Was she on your list of baby name near misses? Here’s all you need to get out from Stephanie Meyer’s [...]

  10. [...] the Internet for baby name suggestions.  Our long lists of possible names become short lists until we’ve narrowed it down to the perfect name.  But while most of us are ultimately satisfied we chose the right one, some of us end up with a [...]

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