Namer's Remorse

Sep 25th 2008

I hear from a lot of parents in the grip of naming dilemmas.  Some of them are just starting their name searches, while others are feeling the pressure as they count down to their due dates.  And yet others -- a surprisingly large number -- are already home with an infant in their arms, but still uneasy about the names they've chosen.

"Namer's remorse" is a complication you really don't need at an already complicated time of life.  It piles on top of the sleeplessness, the endless to-do lists, and the general life upheaval that comes with expanding your family.  Sometimes, in fact, it's a product of those factors.  The high emotional pitch of the first days at home tends to amplify every parenting concern.

Name anxiety can also be a safe place to channel some of the difficult feelings of new parenthood.  It's a big leap from the imaginary baby in your mind to the real baby in your arms.  Sometimes it takes a while to really feel like the mysterious little creature you're holding is your child.  (That's ok, it'll come in time.)  Similarly, the name you chose in advance may not seem like a natural part of your child, or a good "fit."  If that's worrying you, rest assured that babies grow into their names in surprising ways.  By the time she's running around, that name is likely to fit her like a glove.

But for a small percentage of parents, namer's remorse has a more straightforward cause: they simply chose the wrong name.  Heck, it happens.  If both parents are set in unshakeable namer's remorse, dreaming of the name that should have been, what should they do?

I have the answer for you: they should change their baby's name.

That sounds obvious, but there's an unspoken taboo against it.  Most parents treat birth certificates as near-sacred objects, graven and immutable.  In part, that reflects the power names hold on our psyches.  We tend to see names as a core part of a person or thing, an identity not easily overwritten.  Yet when it comes to infants, names are anything but immutable.  Stop and think about it and you'll realize that you're constantly calling your baby Baby, Sweetie, Little Gumdrop, or even (insert your own random family nickname here).  So your baby should handle a gradual shift from Elizabeth to Annabelle easily enough.

Will you handle the change as smoothly? Well, there's the practical annoyance of arranging a legal name change, and maybe a monogrammed baby blanket to finesse.  When it comes right down to it, though, I think the biggest factor holding most parents back from changing infants' names is the same factor that holds us back from a thousand other unconventional behaviors.  It's good old fashioned embarrassment. 

Yep, you already sent out 100 birth announcements.  Yep, friends and relatives may laugh at your indecisiveness.  So what?  The embarrassment will last a couple of days, but a name lasts a lifetime.  If you're trying to whomp up your courage, you can take a lot of the sting out of the embarrassing situation by acknowedging it head-on, with some cheerful self-deprecation.  I recommend a new ritual: a formal birth re-announcement.  Below is my take on one.  Readers, can you offer alternative compositions?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Birth Announcement, Take 2

On August 12th we were blessed with a beautiful baby boy.  Before he was born, we had expected that his name would be Jayden.  Once we met him, we discovered we were mistaken.  Who knew?  He's actually:

Cooper Michael MacDowell
7 lbs, 4 oz.

Stephanie & Mike


By Jane (not verified)
October 1, 2008 2:37 PM

Also love Taking Charge of Your Fertility. Have given it to, like, three or four friends. Works equally well whether you are trying to become pregnant or space your children.

My aunt is French and has siblings named Babette and Francois, which later became pet names in the extended family (a rabit and a small dog). I don't think she was offended, but I was too young to remember. However, my two cents is that Babette is a fantastic rabit name.

By Eo (not verified)
October 1, 2008 3:21 PM

Does anyone think that namer's remorse can be somewhat handled by the parents giving the child a variety of middle names they like, and/or being resourceful (but not outlandish) with nicknames?

Example: "Nicholas Tucker Charles Gennaro"

The parents thought they could handle the overwhelming popularity of Nicholas, or Nick, but found they couldn't, plus they realized both Nicholas and surname Gennaro are three-syllable names, which they like separately but not together.

SO, they have the option of using the very old nickname for Nicholas, "Colin"-- Colin Gennaro

or, he can go by Tucker Gennaro or even Charles Gennaro.

All are names that the parents liked, obviously, and all are on the birth certificate, with the exception of Colin. But since that is a nickname for Nicholas, for all intents and purposes it is the one used. It can even go on the birth announcement, in the form of "Nicholas "Colin" Tucker Charles Gennaro"-- then few will be able to mistake what the preferred handle is...

By Eo (not verified)
October 1, 2008 3:33 PM

What got me thinking about this even more was, interestingly, all the news about Paul Newman. His three daughters with Joanne Woodward were given quite interesting names for the period in which they were born (which I think was the very late Fifties and early Sixties):

And this is how they were listed in a bio of Joanne Woodward that I read,

Elinor "Nell" Theresa Newman
Melissa "Lissy" Stewart Newman
Claire "Clea" Olivia Newman

As far as I know, they have been referred to in public life as Nell, Lissy and Clea. (Although as a spokesperson for her family during her father's ordeal, Lissy was being identified as Melissa).

So each has had a preferred form of her name used that varies from the "official" first name.
I like that flexibility.

Just as a side note, Paul Newman's earlier children with Jackie Witte seem to have names a bit more representative of their period: Scott, Susan and Stephanie.

By Eo (not verified)
October 1, 2008 3:38 PM

Last post: By the way, Trish, I think "Louis" is an extremely handsome name that will wear well!

By Nicole S. (not verified)
October 1, 2008 3:52 PM

@Catherine - How funny about that email. Love Cooper, and will forever associate it w/ "Twin Peaks."

@Jill C. - You really find Tanner & Brady "boring" - you must come across some interesting names then. Do tell!

By Marjorie (not verified)
October 1, 2008 4:09 PM

A niece of mine was named Robin Lee by her mother but her father (my bro) felt it was a boy name. After a few days they changed the baby's name to Deborah Janet. My sil was disappointed and my niece was told when quite young, and she has been unhappy about it her whole life.

Personally, I think she is more a Deborah than a Robin but I have never told her that.

On the initials discussion, my other brother Don's first wife was Donna. He now has a SO named Daphne.

Initials have always caused confusion in my family.
MLH - My father
MLH - elder son (different fn, same mn)
MRH - me
DWH - younger brother
DMH - my mother

DLH - nephew (Donald, same as my brother)
MCH - nephew's wife

Most of us have ended living on different parts of the farm but served by the same mailman!!

In our fairly large family, some of the cousins don't have regular contact, so one family had a son named Kye Kelsey and another had a German shepherd named Kelsey. One cousin had a son Jesse and another named their dog Jess, without thinking. Not even sure that any of them ever realized the overlap!

By eff (not verified)
October 1, 2008 7:31 PM

Longtime reader, first-time poster. Question for all you NEs: Besides Sara(h), what name could Sally reasonably nick?

By J&H's mom (not verified)
October 1, 2008 7:41 PM

Here's a little blurb on Meg Ryan explaining why she changed her daughter's name from Charlotte to Daisy.

By Tirzah (not verified)
October 1, 2008 7:48 PM

Eff, how about Salome or Salima?

By sushi (not verified)
October 1, 2008 8:34 PM

Sally-not-Sarah... Well, Saluda was a 19c woman's first name in the US South, and there are towns in both North Carolina and South Carolina named Saluda. Other plausible options would include Savilla, Saskia, Selah, Selby, Selina, Selma, Sibylla, Silvana, Silence, Susanna.

By Jill C. (not verified)
October 1, 2008 10:50 PM

Nicole, I had to look up the popularity of Tanner and Brady, and found that both names are about two times more popular where I live than the general US population. So I guess it's not surprising that these names seem "old news" to me. (I should clarify -- I am not at all opposed to "boring" names; I just get a thrill when I see a new and interesting name IRL -- something I'm sure you fellow NEs can understand!)

By RobynT (not verified)
October 1, 2008 10:54 PM

What about Sally for Allison? (I usually am not a creative nicknamer... just giving it a shot.)

By Nicole S. (not verified)
October 2, 2008 8:33 AM

@Jill C. - Interesting name pocket you're in - would you (& others, too) mind sharing your relative location and some of the other "old news*" names in your area?

I'll go first. Seattle area.
Old news & popular locally AND nationwide: Max, Sophia, Jack(son), Gabriel, Allison.
Old news & locally popular: Lillian, Laurel, Avery (g), Molly, Carter, Noah.

* My subjective definition of 'old news' is having reached a saturation point where I personally know of multiple local babes age 3 and under with these names. Perhaps 'old news' is too strong a term - or not - suggestions welcome.

By Coll (not verified)
October 2, 2008 10:02 AM

I'm in NYC (Park Slope in Brooklyn, to be exact). I don't have kids, nor do many of my friends, so I'm judging based on slightly older family members and names I hear on the bus and in the park.

Old news nationally popular: Sophia, Jack/Jackson, Isabella

Old news locally popular: Noah, Julia, Sam, Matthew (know so many little boys with this classic name)

Where do most childless, childfree, and past-childrearing NEs get their name stats? I overhear parents and nannies calling their children's names when I'm out and about. But my favorite place to name-watch is at church--they announce the baptisms/marriages/funerals in the bulletin once a month. It's an amazing view of changing name patterns over generations--and how Catholic naming practices are a mix of the current and the surprisingly traditional.

I also love passing through the pre-school's music room on my way to choir practice and seeing the kids' names on the wall.

By lizpenn (not verified)
October 2, 2008 11:28 AM

Sally-not-Sarah: I have a friend named Saleta, which is a place-name in her mother's native country, Spain (it's an unusual first name there too.) She used to go by Sally as a child but now uses the full name. I think it's a really cool option if you're looking for a route to the nn Sally ...

By Cha Cha (not verified)
October 2, 2008 12:24 PM

I just wanted to share this humorous story about my DH's uncle (who is about 60 now). Before he got married in his early 20's, he had to officially change his birth certificate b/c up until then he was Boy Smith (obviously no one called him that).

Apparently there was more flexibility in hospitals where you didn't have to name your baby before you left the hospital. I felt a lot of pressure a few moments after having my c-section in Aug. 2006 - thankfully I had the presence of mind to insist on a name I liked better (even under a significant amount of drugs!).

By Trish (not verified)
October 2, 2008 1:52 PM

My gf didn't name her 2nd son for 5 weeks (and ended up choosing the first name they had discussed!). The hospital didn't hassle her about it (she's in NJ) although I know it was driving ME crazy! lol

By Overly Precious (not verified)
October 2, 2008 5:33 PM

Right--you don't have to name the baby in the hospital in the US, but I think the maternity nurses are anxious to get all the paperwork done, and feel like they're helping by doing so (and they usually are). You do have to name the baby before you claim them as a dependent on a tax form or other benefits (insurance, for example, which is usually a pretty urgent reason itself), and for a passport, obviously.

By bill (not verified)
October 2, 2008 7:32 PM

If I saw Nicholas Tucker Charles Gennaro, I'd assume it was two people: Nicholas Tucker and Charles Gennaro. Tucker sounds discordantly surnamey sandwiched between saints' names and followed by an Italian last name.

Childfree people in medical fields come across names from all cohorts. When I was doing a pediatrics rotation in rural northwest Ohio, I came across a lot of "eye-twisters," average names with bizarre spellings, some of which bend the most basic rules of English (like disregarding c = k before a, o, u and c = s before e, i, y). If I post what I saw I'm sure it'd be a hipaa violation.

By J&H's mom (not verified)
October 2, 2008 7:37 PM

RobynT-I was thinking Allison might work for Sally, too. Or maybe Alisa, or Rosalie?
I adore Sally, but I've only ever liked Sara.
eff-Are we naming a real Sally here?

Eo-I think your solution is a good one depending on the reason for the parents' remorse. This thread has revealed more wrinkles than I'd have thought of on my own!

Finally, just had to share that we went to the boys' dentist today, and on Henry's "No Cavities," certificate (Hooray!!) the hygenist wrote Henery.
I can only imagine she spelled it how he pronounced it for her!

Oh, and I'll gladly play the "Old News," game, but we know so many gobs of kids, someone may have to define the terms more for me!
For example, we know more Graces than any other single name, but several are post-preschool, so should I count them?

By Cathy (not verified)
October 2, 2008 9:00 PM

The following are perfectly fine names - I certainly have nothing against them, but in response to the question upthread, they have reached the saturation point & beyond in the noted areas (have lived/do live).

Upstate NY - Logan (boy)

NJ - Isabella, Olivia, Gia & Gianna

NJ (and to a lesser extent Philly, PA & northern Delaware) - Ava - seriously the most saturated name I see & hear. The oldest (child) Ava that I know was born in 2002 in the Philly region, and since then, one after another after another, *especially* in NJ.


I noted Logan (boy) because I have friends in the south who have said that it's used more on girls there than boys. I have rarely, if ever, heard of Logan used for a girl in NY/NJ/PA/DE.

By Eo (not verified)
October 2, 2008 10:03 PM

We in this part of upstate New York seem to be in a pocket of "Reilly's", in all its many and varied spelling permutations.

Speaking of which, has anyone noticed that that old favorite, "Ryan", also seem to be moving more and more to the girl's column?

Oh bill, I'm just the opposite. Don't find it discordant at all. I often like names that seem to juxtapose cultures, like "Alvilde Lees-Milne" or the one I always mention as one of my historical all time favorites, "Inigo Jones". Or even "Boris Johnson", but that's not that exciting.

There are other fun examples, but I'm unfortunately too addled by a possible flu bug to think of any...

By Coll (not verified)
October 2, 2008 10:08 PM

Cathy--the one little Ava I know of is in the Philly area.

By Guest (not verified)
October 3, 2008 12:52 AM

i think most people associate goldie with goldfish. sure, anything CAN be a people name, but most people think "pet" with that one. sorry, great aunts of the world. you're fish.

By Boleyn (not verified)
October 3, 2008 3:20 AM

Thanks for the advice on "Taking Charge of Your Fertility."

Extremely popular names for the under 5 crowd in Southern California:

Names that keep popping up -

Any name that can go by the nn Bella, with Isabella being the most popular and Annabella and Arabella following behind. Sophia, Mia, Amelia, Natasha, Max/Maxwell, Will and Henry.

By Zoerhenne (not verified)
October 3, 2008 9:42 AM

Popular names here in PA:
Name I don't want to hear anymore-
Logan: We know boys 10,7,and a few more. It's just old hat for me.
Riley: For girls this is becoming way to popular with the 4-5 yo class.
Caroline: Increasingly popular but still good.
Ryan: Pretty popular among 7-8yo boys less so on the younger crowd but still overdone.

Names I'd love to hear once in a while-
Adam, Beth, Denise, Jeffrey, Sarah, Steven, Timothy, Zoe off the top of my head. Basically the 70's + 80's names. What makes them less good now? Are they not hip? Too plain or old-fashioned?

By sme (not verified)
October 3, 2008 10:02 AM

Cathy- I actually know of a Logan (girl) born this week. I was rather surprised at the name choice because I too have only heard Logan for boys.

By Eo (not verified)
October 3, 2008 10:16 AM

Those names you mention caught my eye, Zoerhenne. Some of them, in their full form, to me transcend 70's and 80's names, and are more in the timeless category-- certainly Elizabeth (Beth), Sarah, Timothy. At least two others are classics, but considered so ONLY in their original spellings-- i.e. "Geoffrey" is classic, "Jeffrey" is not, "Stephen" is classic, "Steven" is not.

I don't always agree with these judgments, but in these cases I do. Ditto, I do find "Caroline" more timeless than "Carolyn".

Jeffrey and Steven are not to be sniffed at-- they just have their own casual, surfer-guy charm. (I bet the fabulous Steve McQueen was a "v" Steven) But those particular spellings have become a little stale through over-use, perhaps.

I'm old enough to remember (pre-Eighties?, pre-Nineties?) when "Zoe" was a highly original, quirky name choice. These days, to get the effect of "Zoe", you'd have to name your child "Zeta" or "Zora" or something.

By Eo (not verified)
October 3, 2008 10:19 AM

I still love "Zoe" and would like to make a case for its timelessness. Am I wrong in thinking it's less trendy than "Chloe"? Hope so.

By Amy3 (not verified)
October 3, 2008 10:46 AM

I'm in NYC, too (the Bronx). I know lots of school-age Ellas, Graces, and Zoes (sorry, Zoe fans).

By Melanie (not verified)
October 3, 2008 11:57 AM

I don't really run into that wide a base of children I guess, I keep thinking that some names have reach saturation but then I realize that I only know one or maybe two. However, in Colorado I have run into a few Ethans, a couple of Owens and Sophies and quite a few Ellas or Ellies. I have seen many versions of the Aidens, but really most of them are older by now. Thinking of the 2003 Jennifer, I have run into two little Jeremy's now but I think that it is more coincidence. When I heard the one Jeremy's name I thought that it sounded kind of fresh on a baby. Am I right in thinking that it is a little bit of a 70's and 80's name?

New baby names I have heard recently:


By Melanie (not verified)
October 3, 2008 11:57 AM

I don't really run into that wide a base of children I guess, I keep thinking that some names have reach saturation but then I realize that I only know one or maybe two. However, in Colorado I have run into a few Ethans, a couple of Owens and Sophies and quite a few Ellas or Ellies. I have seen many versions of the Aidens, but really most of them are older by now. Thinking of the 2003 Jennifer, I have run into two little Jeremy's now but I think that it is more coincidence. When I heard the one Jeremy's name I thought that it sounded kind of fresh on a baby. Am I right in thinking that it is a little bit of a 70's and 80's name?

New baby names I have heard recently:


By Jessica (not verified)
October 3, 2008 1:18 PM

Bill: regarding Hipaa and names. You have freedon to tell us names you see if you do not tell us how you know them or where they are from. It is just like a list of names from the playground or something.

By Aybee (not verified)
October 3, 2008 1:28 PM

I know a baby girl Logan and a baby boy Logan, fwiw, both in NE. I know this time-stamps me, but wasn't Logan a male character (a boyfriend I believe) in the 80's Babysitter's Club series?

Also, Guest, I've heard them call Goldie Hawn a fox, but never a fish.

By Boleyn (not verified)
October 3, 2008 1:43 PM

I have always found the name Logan better suited as a name for a little girl, even though the only Logan I have ever met was a 7 yr old boy. I think this stems from watching "The Bold & The Beautiful" during college. One of the characters was named Brooke Logan but her love interest often called her by her last name. The actress who played the character was striking. Logan will forever been cemented as a spunky girl's name in my mind.

By Rjoy (not verified)
October 3, 2008 2:18 PM

Hi everyone! Haven't been here in awhile do to a move. I feel terrible I have missed so much!! There is no way I can catch up on it all. bummer

On the little that I have read, I think it is very interesting. It would take a very bold couple to change the name of the baby after it has already been home for awhile.

Does anyone else think it is so obvious when they meet people that are so not NEs? I met a women yesterday who was pregnant with her third girl. Of course I had to ask if she had picked a name yet. Yes, it is Olivia. Sisters to Isabella and Ava. She said she even knew that Ava was popular when she picked it.
It so baffles me how they could pick top ten names for all of them. But, that is what makes the world interesting!

By Aybee (not verified)
October 3, 2008 2:44 PM

Hmm I know I have said this before, (and as a lover of the name Jacob, despite its popularity, I may be a bit biased), but I don't think a names popularity should make it unusable to a NE.

I feel about names like I feel about music-- I am a fan if I like the sound and meaning, and while the impact may dull if the song/name is overplayed, if I really liked it in the first place, I will continue to.

By Nicole S. (not verified)
October 3, 2008 2:59 PM

@Melanie - I agree about Jeremy - great name, ripe for a comeback. DH rejected it immediately due to associations with old classmates. Too bad though.

@Rjoy - Yes, although that "obviousness" you mention goes both ways, you know. As in The mom to Aiden, Alyssa, & Ava = clearly no NE. The mom to Whit, Larkin, & Wren = probably name-obsessed.

By Nicole S. (not verified)
October 3, 2008 3:03 PM

@Aybee - I hear you. Have similar quasi-dilemma with the name Sophie as you do with Jacob. All of those Sophias! Popularity alone isn't enough to make me reject a name, but the more I continue to fret about it, the more I think perhaps another great name might edge out Sophie somehow.

By Nicole S. (not verified)
October 3, 2008 3:08 PM

Wait, I take that back, Rjoy. The mom to Whit, Larkin, & Wren is considering changing her youngest daughter's name because she overlooked the "matchy-matchy bird names" her daughters have, the same way she looks down her nose at the lady in her spin class who named her daughters Lilac & Hyacinth. Such "matchy-matchy floral names." yuk yuk!

By C & C's Mom - and now B! (not verified)
October 3, 2008 3:52 PM

name at a saturation point for me: Kate/Katie/Katherine and all the derivations - I know tons of them here in NC

my namer's remorse: none really, but I do sometimes flirt with the idea that my oldest son (Jacob nn Coby) should have been Jacoby to make the nn more obvious.

same initials: My two oldest children are called by "c" names, even though in neither case does the first name actually start with C. My 3rd is a B name - when you hear their names, it seems that the 3rd one is the odd one out, but he isn't really. The initials of the kids are: JFD, MCD, and BRD To the poster who asked about Lucia and Lorenzo - I say definitely does not lock you into an L theme and if Lorenzo is called Enzo, many people will never even think about the L theme anyway.

By Rjoy (not verified)
October 3, 2008 3:55 PM

@Aybee-Yes, I do agree that a name's popularity shouldn't stop you if you love it. What I meant was that all of her daughter's names together shows that she isn't an NE.

I myself am going to name my next son a name that I even think is too popular ( in the mid 100's) , but having it picked out for eight years I can't turn my back on it.

By yummama (not verified)
October 3, 2008 4:21 PM

This post is super timely for me. I am 40w3d today and we are expecting a surprise (any second now hopefully?!?). I am so afraid that I am going to suffer namers remorse because I don't even have a favorite or even strong first choice for a boy. I just cannot get excited about boy names for some reason. I like Moses, but I'm afraid it's a bit "much". I like Jasper, but I'm afraid it already is trendy or on the brink of trendy. Um, and that's it--nothing seems to fit my need for a unique/classic/cool names.
Girl names are a different story--First I was absolutely sure of Beatrix, then we were both absolutely sure of Clementine, and just a few days ago I fell in love with Ursula. But I am afraid that I will hate Ursula if I use it because so many other people seem to hate it. Ahhh! But Clementine doesn't lend itself to NNs I like and Beatrix is another name I fear is becoming too trendy. Help!

By guest (not verified)
October 3, 2008 4:36 PM

yummama - I would stick with Beatrix or Clementine if it is a girl. Ursula is a name I associate with The Little Mermaid and just seems rather harsh. I like Beatrix a lot and I wouldn't worry about it becoming too trending. It is not even in the top 1,000 so you there is a good chance you will never meet another baby with this name. For a boy, I like Jasper better than Moses. I'm sure you have gone though a zillion boy names but I thought I would throw out a few that come to mind...Oliver, Milo, Theodore, Everett, Emmett.

By Zoerhenne (not verified)
October 3, 2008 4:39 PM

Aybee-Love your comparison of names to music. Never thought about it that way before but I totally agree.

Rjoy-Welcome back. I hope your move went smoothly.

Eo-kinda my point. Why do names have to be so "extravagent or kre8tiv or just plain crazy". Why not go with a classic name that hasn't been used in a while. I would love to see a little Steven/Stephen or Jeffrey/Geoffrey running around these days. I think Zeta and Zora are eww imo but might do Zanzibar. LOL!

P.S. new baby alert:Derek Thomas

By Aybee (not verified)
October 3, 2008 5:03 PM

Zoerhenne- thank you, I'm glad you agree!

Yummama- I second guest's girl suggestions (and agree with the Ursula/Little Mermaid connotation). I prefer Jasper over Moses.
Here are a few other boys names I'd suggest:

Good luck!

By Trish (not verified)
October 3, 2008 5:38 PM

Saturated names for my area of SoCal are pretty standard, I think:
Andrew, Jacob, Nolan, Emily, Sophia, Amy

And for the timeliness portion of my posting, in the small group of preschoolers I'm working with right now, I have 2 Stevens, both just turning 3 yrs old.

Yummama- I adore Beatrix and never hear it here. It's my dd's teddy bear's name (my choice). Love Jasper too, not so much Moses. Good luck!

By Rjoy (not verified)
October 3, 2008 5:43 PM

Yummama-I actually really like Moses and think it is more common in Europe but not completely sure. My brother's girlfriend is from Norway and has a good friend named Moses. When she mentioned it, I was pretty surprised, but she said it is not that uncommon there.

I also know a little baby named Moses in Canada.

By J&H's mom (not verified)
October 3, 2008 6:02 PM

yummama-Laura did a post on Aug 7 of 2007 called, "Uh,'s a ..."
There were a lot of really good boys' names suggested in that thread. You can find it in the archive.
There have also been a lot of good ones tossed out in this thread in response to the request for suggestions for a sib for Roenne and Oliver-any news yet, btw?!
I agree with others that Jasper is pretty great.
Honestly, I read it a lot on this blog, but I've yet to meet one irl.
Others off the top of my head: Sterling, Everett, Forest, August, Thatcher, Thayer, Wade, Titus, Leon, Reuben.....
I like Moses, but I understand your sentiment.
Beatrix and Clementine are both adorable, and again, I've read many discussions of them here, but not irl. If the nn issue is your big concern, I wouldn't let that stop you. The gurus on here could suggest some, but I think that issue tends to resolve itself "organically."

Name Saturation: It's funny, but there are some names I don't grow tired of no matter how often I hear them.
We know more girls named Grace than any other single name, but it just doesn't wear on me for some reason.
I definitely have to second the Enough Sophie plea, however.
We're south of Seattle in a middle/working class suburb.
Oh, and we know gobs of Logans-all boys.
Others we know many of: Maya, Abby, Anna, Haley, Jackson, Max, Kira, Ella, Lily, Hannah, Katelyn....

By Amy3 (not verified)
October 3, 2008 6:09 PM

Yummama -- I love Beatrix and Moses. I agree that while Beatrix could rise in popularity among a small sub-set of parents, it's unlikely that it will zoom up the charts a la Ava and company. Other boy names I'd suggest are Abraham and Solomon (clearly I'm a fan of Old Testament names for boys).

Re: name saturation, I can't believe I didn't think of Emily. Also for girls, Julia, Caroline, and Annie/Ana. For boys, Ethan and names that can all be shortened to Chris/Cris (Christian/Cristian, Cristobal, Christopher).