Cool Name of the Week: Louisa 28210

I spent the holidays with two of my favorite ladies in the world—my daughter Maggie and one of my favorite aunts (and Maggie's namesake), Marge. We didn't know it at the time, but it turns out that we chose a perfect name for my daughter. She has the same mischievous, joyful personality that my aunt has. (Maybe it's just something about Margaret?)

Margaret is a Greek name that means pearl, and it's a regal name—it's a common moniker for monarchs, including queens all over Europe. I loved it because it's one of the most versatile names out there. You can go with the formal name, or pick from a whole range of nicknames: Meg, Maggie, Marge, Peggy, Mags, Daisy, Margo and Maisie, just to name a few. It's also a name that simply doesn't fall out of style—it hasn't been out of the top 200 baby names in more than a century.

And that means that there's a whole plethora of famous Margarets out there as name inspiration: Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With the Wind; comedian Margaret Cho; anthropologist Margaret Mead; former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher; and actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, just to name a few. (And that doesn't include fictional Margarets, like Meg March from Little Women.)

A name like Margaret needs a nice, short middle name to go with it. My aunt got the traditional Ann, and we chose Jean for my daughter (which could also lend itself to yet another cute nickname, MJ). While other current middle names, like Rose and Jane, would work beautifully, why not try something a little more offbeat? I'd like Lark, Blue and Rue with it (if I didn't want to honor my husband's mother with the middle name).

What do you think of the name Margaret? Too old-fashioned, or timeless and classic?

Photo: Pregnant woman via Ronald Summers/