The Great Baby Name Debate

Annalee (Rhiannon Lee) and Victoria, ages 1 and 3

Now that we know we’re having a girl, it’s a little easier to try to settle on a name. But only a little, because our family is firmly divided on which name to choose.

For years, I had two names picked out for the rare chance that we might ever have a baby again and have a girl.  At the time, they were pretty uncommon names… Isabella and Sophia.

Well, those names are now anything but uncommon!  So my favorite names went out the window.

After much searching, discussing and poring over baby books, we came up with two new girl names that we all could agree on:  Josephine (Josie for short) and Fiona.

Okay, most of us can agree on those.  The boys insist on Sunshine. 😉

Victoria is firmly set on Fiona.

Anna is firmly set on Josie/Josephine.

I like both, although I lean a tiny bit more towards Josie.

Victoria has inundated me with Facebook polls (Fiona is far ahead), less-than-subtle hints and even blog comments from her friends.  🙂  She’s waging an all-out campaign for her pick!

Both names fit our criteria for being associated with someone nifty in history/literature.  Each of our children has a name that he or she shares with someone pretty cool:

Victoria — a queen

Rhiannon (Anna’s real name) — a Welsh goddess (she protected animals)

Jack — a president

Alex — a ruler, a czar

Josephine and Napoleon are a great story from history, and Fiona is a pretty cool modern fairy tale heroine.

I love Josie as a nickname for a little girl, but I am a little worried that it’s going to jump in popularity over the next couple of years.  I’m suddenly hearing of a lot of Josies.  The same could happen with Fiona, which is now not only a fairy tale heroine but it’s also the name of a pretty cool character on Burn Notice.  😉

If we went with Fiona, the kids would all have their own first initials (Anna usually uses R as her initial).  But since our boys and girls have different last names (the girls have mine, the boys have Daryl’s), Josie (JB) would have different initials than Jack (JH) anyway.

One weird element in the mix is that we had a beloved cat named Josie for most of the kids’ lives.  That’s one reason Anna wants to use the name and one reason Victoria doesn’t!  I happened to name a lot of pets names that I liked over the years, especially since I had a decade of miscarriages and didn’t even know if I’d ever get to name a baby back then.  And if we used the name, she wouldn’t be named after the cat, she’d just happen to share a name.  But still…

On yet another hand, I like Josie as a nickname better than Fi or (eek!) Fifi (Victoria says she’ll call her Ifif!).

And I don’t know which name would suit our little girl better.  It’s hard to know when we’re just going by kicks and bounces at this point!

So…. dear readers, what do you think? Do you like one better than the other?  Think it’s wacky to name a child after a pet?  Have any opinions?

And then there’s the whole part about my long-dead mother naming her Emerson….  But she’s out of luck!  😉





16 thoughts on “The Great Baby Name Debate

  1. Oh, fun! Baby-naming! I’ve been looking at baby names lately… even though I’m not pregnant.

    I’ve always loved Josephine. After Jo March from Little Women, of course. 🙂 I had a cool friend in junior high named Josie. The only Josie I’ve heard recently is Duggar #19. So, it’s possible it’ll get more popular… but really, I think that’s unavoidable, don’t you?

    I like Fiona, too, so that’s not very helpful. My cousin just had a baby a few days ago and named her Fiona! They have a Finn, too, so Finn and Fiona — cute, no?

    Congrats, by the way! Somehow I missed that you were pregnant until this week’s post! I’m trying not to be jealous. 🙂


  2. I think both are great names but if I were to pick I would pick Josephine (same reason: Little Women’s Jo). I also think it lends itself to more nicknames – Josie, Jo, Jojo, Joey, etc…

    Maybe wait until she’s born and see which name suits her best?


  3. I like Josephine is it highly uncommon and it is the name of my first daughter we don’t call her a lot of nick names I’m not overly fond of them but I love the Name Josephine.


  4. What a great debate! I love both names, but the reasons for choosing Josephine are pretty compelling. Josephine happens to be my Mum’s name … she is usually called Josie or Jo. She’s the kindest person I know.

    Emerson is good too … Em for short. Or maybe she’ll demand a different name upon arrival. Newborn babies have a way with words!


  5. I like them both. Fiona makes me think of a princess. Josephine is a strong name. I love the nickname Jo(my middle name) or Joey. You could always spell Joey..Joi. I did that with my daughter. Her ‘nickname’ does not have a traditional spelling. Of course, now it is everywhere.

    Good luck!


  6. LOL, Sara, morphing the name choices but that’s another option. Josephine x Fiona = Josefiona… then ya wave your magic wand and there ya have it: JOSEFINA!
    I’m too lazy to google and see if there was ever any historical figure with that name but you never know, not all things were recorded. 😉


  7. I LOVE Josie–it was a name of a relative, and thought I’d use it. Grace got her name for a different reason, so that name is (hopefully?? LOL!) lost to us.

    I remember a doctor once asking us, while I was in labor, if I had a name chose for my baby yet. We didn’t know the genders ahead of time, so I just told her we had “some ideas” for either gender. She accurately responded with, “Want to wait until you see the whites of the eyes first?”. That is EXACTLY it. Even if I knew the genders ahead of time, I couldn’t have named them until I saw them.

    For example, Robert wanted to name Thomas ‘Henry’. But after two red-heads this dark-brown haired baby couldn’t be a “Henry”. However, next came “Henry”–complete with red-hair! I couldn’t argue that name, I guess (however, he was quite large and red-skinned, so that doctor suggested “Thor”)–and he grew into the name I thought I would choke on every time I said it! LOL!! 🙂


  8. my daughter’s middle name is the same as our cat’s – grace. when people find out we named our kid after the cat they’re usually shocked & sometimes disapproving – but then i tell them they don’t know grace! she’s a wonderful cat, the best you could ask for. and my daughter thinks it’s an honor to be named after her. she loves all animals, but especially grace. 🙂

    good luck figuring it out!


  9. I love Josephine.

    I have to say Fiona only makes me think of a green, female ogre. The movie might make it difficult for people to see past the name.


  10. I’m definitely learning towards Fiona, though with the beautiful human princess image version of her in mind. Although you’ve named your pets with names you like, I think they ought to be kept unique so as to avoid confusion, comparisons, and indirect competition. Otherwise Josie is a beautiful name as well.


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