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Nina and Hamish welcomed a daughter six weeks ago. They love her dearly, and she is a constant delight to them. However, they still haven’t chosen a name for her, and the registration date is getting alarmingly close.

Nina picked out four names she liked for the baby – Annie, Meg, Peggy, and Georgie. She assumed that when the time came, Hamish would choose one of these names from her list, and that would be the baby’s name. However, while they were actually at the hospital, Hamish brought up for the first time that he would like the baby to be called Sarah after his mother (who always goes by Sally). Nina isn’t keen on the name Sarah.

They have been too busy with a new baby to have the time to sit down together and properly discuss the name, and because it is taking so long to decide, friends and relatives are weighing in with their own opinions, which is slowing the process down further.

Nina and Hamish already have a daughter named Edie, whose name was chosen by Hamish, and a son named Alistair, called “Mac” – Nina chose his name, but Hamish chose the nickname which they use every day.

Nina’s Requirements in a Girl’s Name

  • Cannot be a unisex name, because their surname is a popular name for boys
  • Must be obviously a girl’s name – sometimes Edie’s name is mistakenly read as Eddie
  • Must be short
  • Must be spelled in a conventional way
  • Must be easy to pronounce – especially in regard to the letter R, so no Audrey or Flora for example
  • The name on the birth certificate should be the name that they call her – Nina doesn’t want another Alistair-but-called-Mac situation
  • No name that will be an easy target for teasing

Hamish’s Requirements in a Girl’s Name

  • Would prefer that it be a Scottish name
  • Doesn’t want a name that is highly common or popular
  • Can’t start with the letter E as he doesn’t want two daughters with the same initials
  • Prefers a name that can be shortened into a nickname, for shouting on the sporting field

Names They Have Already Considered

  • Isla – Hamish doesn’t like the silent S, and it doesn’t have a nickname
  • Anna – Doesn’t pass the “shout from the sidelines” test
  • Elizabeth nn Betsy
  • Emma
  • Margaret nn Meg/Peg/Pegs/Peggy – Hamish said he would call her Maggie, but Nina doesn’t want a Mac and a Maggie
  • Rose
  • Tilly
  • Daisy (family name)
  • Martha (family name) – Nina doesn’t like the nickname Marty
  • Helen (family name) – Nina likes the nickname Nell/Nellie, but a friend called Kelly told her to avoid anything rhyming with “smelly”, “belly”, or “jelly” because of the teasing
  • Lydia nn Liddy/Diddy – Nina went off this after she learned Saint Lydia is the patron saint of sexually transmitted diseases; the name also rhymes with chlamydia
  • Annabel
  • Billie – too unisex
  • Kate (family name)
  • Jane (family name)
  • Nancy (family name) – Nina’s mother said this is a word to describe an effeminate man, but it doesn’t put Nina off
  • Kenzy – Hamish absolutely loves this name, but Nina thinks Mac and Kenzy are ridiculous as siblings (just discussing why this name couldn’t be used took up two weeks!)

Nina is rather enjoying the protracted name-choosing experience, but no matter how many names she considers, she keeps coming back to just one name she loves – Annie. She now feels that when Hamish eventually agrees to a name, she will be very disappointed unless he agrees to Annie.

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It sounds as if you’ve been having a lot of fun naming your third child, but registration is due very soon, and although you can get extensions, they’re intended for people who’ve been trapped by floodwater or in a coma. Unless you come up with a name quickly, you will have to pay a fine, and possibly face some annoying extra bureaucratic paperwork.

I think it’s time to put away the name books and name lists, and politely let friends and relatives know that they’ve been great, but their assistance is no longer required. In short, it’s time to stop faffing about and actually pick a name.

The good news is, it sounds as if you’ve already chosen a name – Annie. This appears to be the name you love above all others, fits all your requirements, and in fact, any other name would be a disappointment to you. It sounds as if you went with something else, you would experience serious name regret, and possibly even have to change the name later.

Hamish has already got to choose the names Edie and Mac for your first two children, so I really think it is time that you got your turn picking out a name you really love.

Luckily, Annie fits most of Hamish’s requirements too:

  • Annie is commonly used in Scotland, and there is even a famous Scottish ballad called Annie Laurie
  • Annie isn’t common; it’s only #203 in your state (25 babies named Annie last year)
  • It doesn’t start with E
  • It doesn’t shorten particularly well, but I think Hamish would be able to cope

I think that you need to stop having, “What will we name the baby?” discussions, and start a “I want to name our daughter Annie” conversation. You need to find time so you and Hamish can talk, and explain to him that this may be the last daughter you will ever have, and you really have your heart set on the name Annie. It may not have occurred to Hamish that he’s got to pick all the childrens’ names so far, and that it really would be fair for you to have your turn (yes, you picked Alistair, but that hardly counts when Hamish’s choice of name is what you actually call him).

If you love the name Annie, I would be prepared to dig in and fight for it. I think if you are persistent, and keep explaining how well Annie works for your family (Edie, Mac and Annie sound great together), how much you love it, and how miserable you will be if another name is chosen, Hamish is quite likely to eventually agree with your choice. He hasn’t really come up with a viable alternative to Annie, and there’s nothing about it that he has objected to. Then it’s just a matter of getting to the registration office and putting it down on the dotted line.

Nina, I have never been more interested to know what a couple will decide to name their baby. We absolutely must know what your choice is, whether you end up picking Annie, Sarah, or something else entirely – and whether you get to the registration office in time!

Readers, have you ever persuaded a reluctant partner to accept your favourite baby name? Have you got any tips for Nina?

NAME UPDATE: The baby’s name was Anne!