Cool Name of the Week: Louisa 28210

My daughters start school this week—and while I've loved having them home this summer, I think we're all ready to start a brand new school year. My older daughter is heading into fourth grade, which I remember as a big year for having more "grown-up" work. She's starting to work in pen, for crying out loud!

One of my favorite assignments from fourth grade was choosing a poem to memorize and recite in front of the class. I picked one by one of my all-time favorite authors: Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe, a beautiful poem that he wrote after the early death of his wife Virginia. I can still recite the lines—"I was a child and she was a child in this kingdom by the sea/but we loved with a love that was more than love, I and my Annabel Lee..."

And I do love the name Annabel. It means "loving," and it's been on a big upswing since the beginning of the 21st century—though still outside the top 500. The spelling Annabelle is much more popular, currently sitting at #100—but I prefer Poe's spelling.

It's a name that could lend itself to an array of popular nicknames—Anna, Bella, Belle and Ella, to name a few. And it works beautifully with a number of middle names, including Poe's choice of Lee. I also love June or Juno, Pearl, or Rose.

What do you think of the name Annabel? Does it seem too similar to the popular Isabella? Or is it cool enough to earn a spot on your short list?