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Jane and Dylan are expecting their second child in less than a fortnight, a sibling for their daughter Lila. They don’t know the sex, and Jane is especially nervous about boys’ names.

They would both like a name that is short, strong, easy to spell and pronounce, not in the Top 30, not made up, not too unusual, with a clean, classic feel that doesn’t seem either too feminine, or too stuffy and pompous. Jane and Dylan’s surname is vaguely similar to Bolter.

For a boy’s name, they are considering Irish or Italian style names as a nod to their respective heritages, but that isn’t essential.

Even though Jane and Dylan are fully in agreement on all these criteria, so far they have only managed to agree on one name: Finn. Jane likes the name Finn, but worries that it’s not classic enough, doesn’t go with Lila, or will become too popular in the future.

Jane loves Ronan, Roy, Angus, Dean, and Leo, but Dylan doesn’t like any of these. He prefers Lachlan, Callum, and Nate, which Jane dislikes.

Both Jane and Dylan love boyish nicknames such as Jack, Tom, and Charlie, but have ruled them out as being too common. They can’t use the names Michael, Dominic, Paul, Mark, Ryan, or Sean.

For girls, Jane loves the names Ruby and Nina, but thinks Ruby is too popular, while Nina seem too similar to Lila. Jane loves the name Alice, but Dylan doesn’t like it. Jane thinks that they have agreed on the name Eve for a girl.

So it’s Finn for a boy and Eve for a girl – or is it? Jane just doesn’t feel 100% confident that these are the right names. She wonders if anyone can reassure them they have made the correct choices, or give them ideas for different names.

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It’s not at all uncommon for parents (perhaps especially mothers) to experience last minute worry about their chosen baby names, so your situation seems very normal, Jane.

You’ve only managed to agree on one name for each gender, and I can see that might feel less comfortable than having a short list to choose from when the baby arrives. However, one name is all you need, and you might have hit on the perfect ones.

For what’s it’s worth, I can’t see a single thing wrong with either Finn or Eve, which seem to tick absolutely every one of your boxes.

Finn isn’t exactly a classic name, but you don’t really want a classic – what you want is something that feels classic. Now that’s very subjective, but I do think that Finn is clean and stylish, and feels like a modern classic in the making.

I think Lila and Finn sound wonderful together – they seem like a great match. I really wouldn’t worry too much about what popularity does in the future, as none of us have crystal balls to tell us what will happen. But I can’t see any immediate reason to panic about Finn.

Its popularity seems to have stabilised in the bottom half of the Top 50, and there are no signs of it going up and up in an alarming way. Similar names such as Flynn, Finlay, and Finnian have probably helped to slow its progress somewhat.

I can’t see any reason to go searching for another name, unless you can agree on something else that you both like more. With less than two weeks to go, that doesn’t seem very likely, but isn’t impossible either.

I’m intrigued that both of you absolutely love boyish nickname names, but have rejected them as too common – even Tom, which isn’t at all common as a full name, although all the uncounted Thomases called Tom would make a difference.

This style of boy’s name is very fashionable at the moment, thanks to British name trends, and there are a number of names like this gaining in popularity. Could you consider something less popular, such as Sam, Will, Billy, Ned, Mac, Alfie, Jimmy, Jake, Alby, Gus, Ted, Teddy, Freddie, Paddy, Johnny, Joe, Tommy, Bobby, or Dan?

Other names that occur to me that seem to fit your criteria are Jude, Miles, Rowan, Arlo, Rory, Ari, Owen, Caleb, Jasper, Toby, Rhys, Wyatt, and Declan.

I know you are much less nervous about girl’s name, but I probably feel a little more nervous about them, as you say you only think you have both agreed on Eve. That doesn’t seem quite definite enough, and I hope by now you have become firmer on it, because Eve also seems to be exactly what you are looking for.

It’s a clean, stylish, short, and simple modern classic which isn’t highly popular, and makes a great match with Lila. It isn’t Irish or Italian, but doesn’t seem out of place either, because Eva is used in both Ireland and Italy (and Eve is a popular name in Ireland).

It’s hard to think of other names you might like, because there appears to be so few names you have considered – Dylan doesn’t seem to have suggested even one girl’s name!

Other simple names I think sound nice with Lila are Violet, Audrey, Maisie, Maeve, Mae, Niamh/Neve, Claire, Daisy, Evelyn, Hope, Tess, Eden, Daphne, Phoebe, Sylvie, and Rose.

Luckily, I think you have chosen two fantastic names that work perfectly for you, so even if you do nothing at all, your baby will still have a name when it arrives.

UPDATE: The baby was a girl, and her name is Eve!

POLL RESULTS: Nearly everyone thought that Finn and Eve were good choices for the baby’s name. 99% of people approved the choice of the name Finn, with more than half saying it was the perfect name which sounded fantastic with Lila. 98% of people approved the choice of the name Eve, with almost 40% saying it was the perfect name which sounded fantastic with Lila.

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