What to Name Jill’s Baby?

Readers, it’s time for another act of public service. Fellow Parents.com blogger Jill Cordes of “Of Fi I Sing” is about to pop with baby number two — working name, Leroy.

Here’s her situation:

“My daughter Fia is 23 months old and a spitfire. She was born with reddish hair (not sure how) and Fia means Fiery one as a derivative of Fiamma. Though we’re not Italian.

Being “Jill and Phil” we didn’t want to name her an “ill” name, although I loved Lily, so I made it her middle name. Fia Lily Johnston. However, she is so NOT a Lily. The only other name that could have been as perfect was Olive. But we didn’t want anything too, too popular.


Problem with Fia is I have to spell it out constantly, as people think it’s Thea. Originally when we were pregnant with her, but before we knew it was a girl, we were going to name a boy Finn. So when we found out it was a girl, I was somehow already glued to the “F” names. I think “Phil, Jill, Fi (fee) or Fia” sounds nice. Also, we like something with a nickname.


We don’t want an “F” name for our son. We also want a name that is accessible and not too trendy. Somehow, this time, I’ve fixated on “L’s”…Luke, Lucas, Liam. Problem with Liam (our first choice at moment) is that there is no nickname other than “Lee” and we don’t love that. My husband’s grandmother’s maiden name was McNeil, so we thought perhaps we could name him Liam McNeil Johnston and call him Mac.


Well, I like your thinking, Jill. Mac is a cute name, and it sounds good with Fia. The only problem I see is saddling him with a first name you don’t love. And one that’s getting pretty popular at that — number 30 in the nation in 2010. Why not McNeil Johnston?

OK, if you don’t want to go that path, let’s think about names that start with “L.” I think short is the way to go here — that will help the name fit into your family — so we’ll concentrate on names that are two syllables or less. Here’s what a search of the Parents.com baby name database finds (curated for cuteness):













Okay, that’s a good selection. My favorites: Lex and Leo. Why? They go well with Fia, and like Fia, are short but sweet — lots of personality. They both just sound like cool, not-too-popular names to me.


What do you think? Do you like any of the names from my list? Do any other names jump out at you


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  1. by Jill Cordes

    On January 12, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Hey Paula! Thanks so much for this. Ya know, I like Leo too. And yes, since we spoke, Liam has skyrocked to the top in popularity. We also moved away from only L and like Callum (but not quite as much) and Simon…. what do you think? Nickname Mac or Si.

    I asked my husband about MacNeil Johnston. But he makes a point. When you say it outloud it sounds like a pharmaceutical company. Ack.

    I love Linus but he simply won’t budge. Thinks it’s too silly. So that’s my update. I’m excited to hear what readers think!

  2. by Kathleen O'Hehir-Johnson

    On January 12, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Jill, Why not Finn? It goes with Fia and it is a good strong name. I do really like Liam and I found that if you don’t shorten the name no one else will. To this day everyone calls Thomas by his full name and if they try to shorten it he tells thme his name is Thomas and he has been doing that since he was four. Tane care and you are all in our prayers.

  3. by Cynthia

    On January 12, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Here’s my 2 cents on names: go with the name you love. Even if you can’t think of the perfect nickname now, one will stick when he gets here. Doesn’t matter if it’s super popular now, doesn’t matter if it sounds semi-pharmaceutical-ish (I don’t think it does). No matter what name you choose, it will be better than this:


  4. by Cass

    On January 14, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Linus, Lex or Leo! Don’t name him Lachlan… I heard a mom call her son Lachlan the other day at the park and I thought it sounded too aspirational. It’s a wanna be rich name. That said, if you choose it, it will be adorable! Hey, you asked for opinions. Lark and Lane sound like girl names. I like also Levi. Finn is fine, but I know soooo many Finns here in LA- both boys AND girls.

  5. by Names4Real

    On January 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Too bad about Linus. Fia and Linus are awesome.

    I do like Callum too.

    Other random suggestions that I think will work with Fia.

    Keen or Keane

    Good luck!

  6. by We Have A Name! | Fearless Feisty Mama Blog

    On August 6, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    [...] we got one! And it’s not even close to any of the options I blogged about, or the ones Paula blogged about. We scrapped the whole list and started over once we met [...]

  7. [...] for our babies.We have enlisted the help of yet another Parents Blogger who specializes in names. Here is what she wrote recently for my name [...]