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Imogen and Charles are expecting their second child later this year, and while they have had no difficulty choosing a boy’s name, they are struggling with girls’ names.

The couple already have a daughter named Allegra, and her name was always such a stand out for them that nothing else ever had a chance. Now they wish they could find that perfect name again: one that is strong, but still feminine, and not in the Top 100. It also has to be something that isn’t overshadowed by Allegra. Allegra has two family names as her middle names, one of which is Claire.

Imogen and Charles’ Short List

  • Iris
  • Clara
  • Margot
  • Greta
  • Greer

Other names they like (as an idea of their tastes):

  • Celine
  • Viola
  • Virginie
  • Sloane
  • Inneka

Charles favours the name Margot, while Imogen prefers Clara, Greta, and Greer. However, they have recently come up with Iris together, and at the moment this is their front runner.

Claire is a middle name which all the women in Imogen’s family carry, and they will use it again, unless they choose Clara as the first name. Their surname begins with H and ends with an -ee sound eg Hillary, Hardesty.

Imogen would love to know what people think of their name list, and if they have suggestions for other names they might like.

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This is such a common problem with a second baby – the name you chose for your first child was so utterly perfect it didn’t need to be thought about, but the name for the second doesn’t come as easily. Of course you want your second daughter to have a name as equally beautiful, distinctive and loved as her elder sister, and it will happen, even if it takes a bit more work to get there.

I went for a walk this morning, and saw a garden where there were some winter-blooming blue irises; I thought what beautiful flowers irises are, and what a lovely name Iris makes. I know Iris is your front-runner at the moment , and it’s probably my favourite on your list too. It does seem both strong and feminine, and I don’t believe it’s overshadowed by Allegra – it has its own style, and a beauty all it own. I also like that it’s a name you both chose together.

This is one of my favourite names, but I’m not sure about it with Allegra. You probably know that Allegra was the daughter of the poet Lord Byron, and her name was actually Clara Allegra – she went by her middle name. To me the two names seem a bit too much as sisters, especially as poor little Clara Allegra didn’t have a long life.

This is interesting, because just a few weeks ago a couple wrote in to the blog considering the name Margot for their second daughter. Margot suddenly feels like a name of the moment! No wonder, as it’s such a beautiful, stylish choice, and a great favourite with the public too, if the poll attached to the earlier post is anything to go by. I do like the way Margot sounds with your surname, and Allegra and Margot are gorgeous together.

Greta is definitely a strong name, and isn’t overshadowed by Allegra. Somehow when I say the two names together, they sound rather alike to me … They both have a strong GR and short e sound in them, and end with an -a sound. Some people really like similar-sounding sibling names like this, but I must admit to preferring them to sound more distinctive.

You seem to really like the GR sound in names! In theory, Greer should be the best match with Allegra as neither of them have ever charted, but to me this has the same issue as Greta, but even more so. Allegra and Greer almost seem to run into each other, as if Greer is the final syllable in Allegra given a little twist.

Other names you might like

  • Beatrice or Beatrix
  • Celia or Cecilia
  • Cora (a little like Clara)
  • Cosima (another Italian name, like Allegra)
  • Dahlia (another flower name like Iris)
  • Genevieve
  • Ingrid or Sigrid (other GR names)
  • Isadora
  • Marguerite (as you seem to like “Margaret” names)
  • Miriam
  • Pearl (literal meaning of Margaret)
  • Saskia
  • Seraphina or Sapphira
  • Theodora or Thea
  • Vivian or Vivienne

To me, all these names are very feminine, but still have strength to them, and they don’t seem mis-matched as sisters to Allegra. None of them are any more popular than the 200s; most are lower than that, and many don’t chart at all or have never charted.

However, I wonder if you have already picked out the perfect name? Good luck with your name search, and do let us know what name you eventually choose.

Readers, what do you think of the names Imogen and Charles are considering, and do you have any suggestions of names they might like?

The baby was a boy, and his name is Fitzpatrick!

People’s favourite choice for a girl’s name to go with Allegra was Iris, with 39% of the vote, and Margot was close behind at 35% of the vote.

(Painting shown is Irises by Vincent Van Gogh, 1889)