Reader Daisy fell in love with a cool name that some of her family members don't quite adore. Here's her plea:
Please help me!!! I am expecting a baby girl due in December and I'm having issues with the name. For the past 4 years I always said if I had a girl her name would be Xiomara. I have always loved that name and my husband as well. As soon as we found out the sex and told everyone our name my sister, mother and friends didn't not like it and expressed their opinions. They said it was too complicated to pronounce in English and people would always get it wrong. Now I am second guessing myself and have been looking at other names but I always go back to that. I want her name to be unique and not something everyone else has. Please give me your opinion.
Xiomara is a beautiful name! It's an Aramaic name that means "joyful deer." Xiomara has broken the top 1000 baby names, thanks in part to its appearance as the name of a contestant on America's Next Top Model, and the name of a principal ballerina with the American Ballet Theater.
I can see why your family may be concerned about pronunciation—I've seen two different ways to pronounce it! (Either soo-oh-mara or see-oh-mara.) But after you or your child pronounces it for their kindergarten teacher or new neighbor, that shouldn't be a problem. If pronunciation does become an issue, your child can choose to go by the easier-to-pronounce nickname, Mara.
If you and your husband both love the name, I see no reason why you shouldn't name your baby Xiomara. You can deal with the naysayers by simply saying, "Thanks for your concern, but this is the baby name we love, and we hope you'll grow to love it." (I think this is why some people these days wait until the name is totally official to let friends and family know—so that they don't have to deal with all the drama around it!) I'm sure once little Xiomara is in their arms, the name will no longer be an issue.
But if all the drama has made Xiomara lose its luster in your eyes, consider a few more popular options that have the same vibe. There's Ximena, a name that entered the top 1000 at the turn of the century, and now sits near the top 200 (thanks in part to popular Mexican pop singer Ximena Sariñana). Or consider Amara (a Greek name that means "lovely forever"), or Samara (which means "under God's rule").