Mike and I have both mentioned that we could name a dozen girls, and I think that’s really true. Girls’ names come easily to us, and there were several names that I had that “YES!” moment with (which is why it’s making me crazy that I haven’t had that moment yet with The Acrobat’s name). Lots of you asked what the names on our girls’ list were, so I thought I’d share since we will never using them.

Josephine – This was my favorite, and the name I would have pushed the hardest for if The Acrobat had been a girl. I love literary tie-ins, and Josephine March from Little Women is a strong character. This name was also in contention for the baby I miscarried last year, and the name meant a lot to me because I’d spoken about it to Jackie. Jackie was not comfortable with babies being named after her, so I told her I was going to get around her discomfort by giving my baby a J name and saying it was “in her essence.” She laughed at me and then I told her the J names I was thinking, with Josephine being at the top. She approved.

Schuyler/Skylar – Mike really liked this name, and I did, too, but we couldn’t agree on the spelling. I liked the traditional spelling, but I didn’t want the kid to spend her life spelling her first AND last name over and over. Plus it’s technically a boy’s name, which is fine but just personally isn’t my style. But, I thought this would have been a cool middle name, especially with the first name of Josephine – I totally would have nicknamed that baby JoJo Sky (and everyone would have rolled their eyes at me but whatever).

Colette – No particular reason other than I thought it sounded pretty with Annabel and Madeline.

Eloise – I loooooved the name “Eleanor,” but Eleanor Spohr just wouldn’t do. I thought Eloise was a good alternative because it not only has a strong literary tie, but also has the same nickname as Eleanor, “Ellie,” that I always thought was so cute.

Alexandra – I think this name is beautiful and it comes with a ton of nickname options, but its extreme popularity gave me pause (I’m a Heather who grew up in the 1980s, so this is a sensitive subject for me!).

Louisa – This name was really growing on me in the days before we found out The Acrobat was a boy. It has several strong literary associations, and I thought its meaning “renowned warrior” was kind of awesome.

Claire – We have friends who named their daughter a version of this, so it wouldn’t have been in the running for a first name but it was definitely a top contender for a middle name. I love its beautiful simplicity.

Fiona – I liked that Fiona was invented in a poem by a Scottish writer and poet. My maiden name is Scottish so I thought this would be a nice nod to that.

Julia – It’s so beautiful, but it’s another name that is so popular it lost some of its appeal.

Delaney – One of Mike’s favorites, but I thought Delaney sounded too much like a nickname when said next to Madeline and Annabel.

I seriously have a list with another fifty girls’ names on it. I also (ahem, Mike) have a list of boys’ names with similarly thought-out reasons for choosing them, although the list is much shorter. I hope my list here helps some of you who are struggling to name your girl babies. I love helping people think of names for their daughters. I wish I had the same knack when it came to my son!