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vintage-cleaningSamantha and Conall are expecting a baby in a couple of months, and if it’s a boy, he will be named Liam, which is a family name. Girls names are still not settled, as each name they like seems to have a few issues, but the middle name will be Patricia, which honours several relatives. Samantha and Connall have a surname starting with L and ending with R eg Lalor.

Their Short List

  • Sadie – Samantha loves this name to bits, but every time she mentions it to someone they bring up the song, Sadie the Cleaning Lady.
  • Eliza – Samantha also loves this name, but worries that Eliza Lalor doesn’t sound right. They are considering the name Elizabeth (a family name), but calling her Eliza.
  • Niamh – Samantha likes this name a lot, but worries that it is too Irish, and wonders whether spelling and pronunciation will prove troublesome.
  • Annie – Samantha thinks this name sounds almost too sweet.

Other Names That Seem Less Usable

  • Amity, Annabelle, April and Bonnie – Conall doesn’t seem so keen on these
  • Rose – a favourite name which has just been used by a close friend

Samantha would like to know what people think of their name list, and if there are any other names they might like they haven’t considered. The name has to fit their surname, suit the middle name Patricia, and not clash with Liam should they have a boy later. In general, Samantha doesn’t really like most of the girls names in the Australian Top 50.

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Your Name List


Sadie is a very hip name at the moment, and you’re probably slightly ahead of the crowd on this one. If it’s any comfort, your daughter’s peers won’t know of the song, so it’s definitely not playground teasing material.


I don’t think Eliza Lalor sounds horrible, but I agree it doesn’t seem quite right.  Elizabeth Lalor is lovely, but if you call her Eliza anyway, I’m not sure it really solves anything. Wouldn’t she still essentially be Eliza Lalor?


This is a really gorgeous Irish name, and I don’t think there would be too many problems with spelling and pronunciation, although you probably would need to explain it sometimes. Niamh is reasonably well known and used in Australia – more than it is in Ireland at present, I believe.


You’re right, Annie is adorably sweet with your surname, although the name Annie is practical and homespun. I really like it, but saying it’s “too sweet” almost seems as if you’re looking for reasons to cross it off.

Other Names You Might Like


This is an option to replace Sadie if you really can’t get over the “cleaning lady” association. Zadie had her heyday in the 19th century, and is probably most familiar from the writer Zadie Smith.


Has something of the sound of Sadie and the feel of Annie. It’s not as hip as Sadie though.


This short form of Elizabeth has a similar retro feel to Sadie and Annie.


If you wanted an Irish name with a fashionable V sound but without the spelling/pronunciation issues, Maeve is generally well known now. Of course, that suggests that Niamh will be better understood in time too.


Has an Irish history, minimal spelling/pronunciation issues, and is hip and retro like Sadie.


This gives you a name that incorporates Elizabeth, but can still have Annie as a nickname. I think it’s pretty, and seems sweet and sophisticated at the same time.


This is a virtue name like Amity with the elegance of Annabelle.


A pretty nature name like Rose that sounds a bit like Sadie and Eliza. Like Rose, this is rising in popularity.

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It seems as if Sadie is easily your first choice. With the other three names on your list, the doubts you have about them are your own doubts – with Sadie, I wonder if your mind would already be made up without comments from other people.

It’s okay to change your mind about a name; it’s not cool to have your mind changed for you (except by your partner). Almost any interesting name is going to have some issue attached to it: if you want a controversy-free baby name that nearly everyone approves of, pick a name that’s in the Top 30 and rising.

For what it’s worth, I think Sadie sounds great with your surname, suits the middle name you have chosen, and would make a cute sibset with Liam. I would think long and hard before you allow outside interference to decide what you name your baby.

Good luck Samantha, and let us know what decision you make when the time comes!

UPDATE: Samantha and Conall had a boy named Liam, but later had a girl named Sadie!

95% of respondents were not troubled by the connection between the name Sadie and the song Sadie the Cleaning Lady

47% of people had never heard of the song
25% were reminded of the song by the name Sadie, but didn’t think it was a big deal
18% did know the song, but didn’t immediately connect the name Sadie with it
6% were only reminded a little bit of the song by the name Sadie
5% of people were reminded of the song by the name Sadie, and thought it was a big problem

There was strong support for Samantha to stick with her favourite name, with 29% of readers saying that Sadie was the name the parents should choose.