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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Baby Naming Issue: Allegra

F. writes:
We are expecting our second daughter and my husband and I have a hard time agreeing on girls' names. Our first daughter is Sophia (Sophie.) I knew it was a popular name but it was really the ONLY name we could both agree on... So... as excited as I was to hear that Sophie was getting a sister, I was also very anxious about finding another girl name!

I went through the Baby Name Wizard book and read out every single name I would consider and after my husband's veto, we are down to 7 possibilities (with 3 leading the pack)

Top Picks:

Allegra (Allie)
Allison (Allie)
Lucy


Also Under Consideration:

Sadie
Francesca (Frankie)
Charlotte (Charli)
Delaney (Laney)

Middle name is not set in stone, but will likely be Jane (for MIL) and our last name is two syllables, rhymes with Pagan.

Ideally, we'd like to find a name that sounds sophisticated but has a cute nickname she can use when she's younger. Name meaning is fairly important since the association with "wisdom" played a big role in choosing Sophia.

My husband really likes Allegra, and I do too, but I'm concerned about the allergy medication of the same name. Will this lead to teasing? Are we crazy for considering a name that has been hijacked by a pharmaceutical company? We like the musical connotations, the meaning (cheerful), and the way it sounds with our last name and our daughter's name (Sophia and Allegra, Sophie and Allie,) but I'm still worried.

You're welcome to make additional suggestions, but I've tried so many different names and these are really the only ones my husband likes... I doubt he's going to go for anything new.

Thank you so much for your help!


I love the name Allegra---and every time I want to suggest it, I back away because of the allergy medicine. I'm ANGRY at the company that stole it. Let's have a poll over to the right: Is the name Allegra too associated with allergy medication to be used for a baby? [Poll closed; see below for results.]


Poll results (337 votes total):

Yes: 174 votes, roughly 52%
No: 163 votes, roughly 48%


Name update 11-16-2009! F. writes:
We ended up naming our daughter Lucy. I love her name, but I regret not being gutsy enough to go with Allegra. Personally, I'd encourage anyone considering the name to go for it. No matter what name you choose some people will like it and others will hate it.

Thanks again for your help.

33 comments:

Frazzled Mom said...

You know, I'm probably not the best person to give insight here because I've noticed that sometimes associations bother me and other times they don't. For example, Peanuts has not ruined Linus for me (love it) and Scooby Doo has not ruined Daphne for me (love it too) but the medicine connections with Allegra does sort of bother me. So does the disease connection with Addison, in addition to the fact that I don't like the sound, but I guess that's neither here nor there...

Of your choices, I really do love Lucy. I like Lucy best without a long form but I know you wanted something with a nickname. I take it your husband already vetoed all the long forms of Lucy. I'm still going to suggest Lucinda. It is really quite a lovely name, and my favorite long form of Lucy. And Lucinda Jane, nn Lucy is so darling.

I'm having the same problem with my husband. Just found out I'm expecting #2, but it's still early. I don't want to get too excited until I hit that coveted 12 week mark. He's already nixed my favorites, and I've listed quite a few names. I'm beginning to wonder if we will ever find a name we both like. I’ve decided to take a break from listing names until we find out the gender. Maybe by then he’ll come around.

Frazzled Mom said...

Francesca, nn Frankie is another favorite of mine... You have good choices, and I would probablay like Allegra if not for the allergy medicine...

Bethtastic said...

Use Allegra!

I didn't even remember that there was an allergy medicine named allegra.

But, I immediately thought of the musical connection.

I think it's lovely. I would use it, and not think twice about it.

Virginia Ruth said...

I love all your choices, and I think almost all of them go beautifully with Sophia nn Sophie! Delaney and Allison have quite a different feel to me, they're much newer names, although in themselves they're still great names. Lucy is a favorite of mine, but I also love Sadie and Charlotte and Francesca... yep, pretty much all of them.

As for Allegra, I watch little TV and don't have allergies, so I don't think of the medication unless reminded about it. But one thing to keep in mind is that a lot of drugs and specialty foods have a shortish lifespan. Newer, better meds come out, older ones get discredited. While most grownups will think of the medication, I think there's a sporting chance that your daughter's generation won't be that aware of it.

Hope said...

I love Allegra too, and say use it! As far as pharmaceuticals go, allergie medications are about as un-controversial as you can get. I don't really feel that it's that conducive to teasing. It's not like your naming her Viagra or Monistat.

Someone needs to re-claim this as a beautiful girls name!

Abby@AppMtn said...

LOL at the Monistat comment!

But I agree - Allegra is a lovely name, and while I'm aware of the allergy medication, it isn't my first thought. Allie is a fabulous nickname. It also evens the field in a funny way - Sophie and Allie are quite common, and that helps sidestep the "one sister is Emily, the one is Xanthe" imbalance.

I'd use Allegra Jane - fabulous name.

d e v a n said...

Love Lucy!!
I like Allegra too, but my first thought was of the medication. I would probably not use it because of that association.

Jen said...

I adore the Allegra Jane option. I think Allegra is perfect with Sophia.

Here's the thing. I have allergies and was on Allegra for quite a few summers before we moved from the weeds of Iowa to the city. And I would still use it. It is a beautiful name and as everyone has said...it's just allergies and eventually the patent will expire and it will go generic and no one will remember. It was a name first and isn't one of those made up Rx names (which why didn't they modify it into some weird name?).

janet said...

When I think of allergy meds, I think of Zyrtec. So I think Allegra is safe, and very lovely! Love the nn Allie

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... The name Allegra didn't spark the association with the allergy med for me, but that aside, I just don't really care for it. It is both feminine and strong which is good, but a child who's not so sturdy might seem ill-named, if you can imagine. Sophie is more versatile... as is Allison. I liked someone's suggestion of Lucinda Jane; I would also offer Lydia Jane (nn Liddy is so cute); Josephine w/ Josie as a nn is also nice but not w/ Jane probably. How about Annika Jane? Miranda Jane? Mareika Jane (nn Ricki)? Best wishes to you!

bellaf said...

I had a crush on Lord Byron (yes, the poet) when I was a teenager. He had a daughter named Allegra and that's the association I always make. Allegra will forever be Lord Byron's daughter to me. Granted, I'm not from the US thus not familiar with the medication.

Diane said...

I absolutely love Lucy with Sophia. Perhaps Lucia for a long version? I love the idea of "light" and "knowledge" together.

My second choice is Allegra, allergy medicine connections or not. It's a beautiful name that fits well with Sophia. I say use it!

Melio said...

I say use Allegra. You like the meaning, the sound, the way it goes with your other daughter's name. You're not naming her after allergy medication! I agree with the others, Allegra (the medication) will be replaced by something else in the near future, so I wouldn't worry about it. Also, if you're calling her Allie most the time anyway ... then it's even less of an issue. Congratulations!

StephLove said...

I'd go with Allegra since it seems to be your top choice and it is a lovely name. If the allergy connotation dissuades you, though, Lucy is a great choice, too.

One suggestion. Since you wanted a full name and nn, how about Sarah, nn Sadie. That's the origin of Sadie and Sarah is a pretty name, too.

Catherine said...

I love Allegra and didn't even think of the medicine until it was mentioned, BUT I have always thought of Allegra Kent (the dancer) so my perspective might be a little colored by that.

Anonymous said...

I love the name Allegra, but I wouldn't use it! It is my good friend's name and she actually started going by her middle name because of the allergy medication association.
My pick would be Lucy!
Good luck!

The Schwant Family said...

I'm afraid that Allegra has indeed been stolen by the phamacutical world but I think if you call her Allie all the time and Alegra is just her formal name it wouldn't be a problem. My son is named John but exclusivelly called Jack, he wouldn't even recognize who we were talking to if we called him John so if you think you'd use Allie the same way I think you'd be fine. But if you think you are going to switch between Allegra and Allie lots I'd choose one of your other great options. I LOVE LUCY!!!

The Schwant Family said...

oh and by the time Allegra is no longer a common med she might be ready (age wise) to go by her formal name so you could call her Allie as a baby/little girl and then when she was older she could decide if she wanted to use Allegra.

Anonymous said...

Oh Allegra is gorgeous! I don't think of the medication at all, even though I used to take it. In 5 or 6 years when she goes to kindergarten, is anyone going to remember the med?

Love Allegra Jane.

For a similar feel, there's also Electra (possible nn Ellie).

Erin said...

I just did an office poll. Of the three people polled, two people immediately said "Like the allergy medicine?" I hate that that might affect your choice as Allegra is beautiful, (and as a musician I quite like the musical connotation and the Italian feel with Sophia)but if you are sensitive to it the association, I think both Allison and Lucy are great. I really love the above posters suggestion of Lucia too - fits perfectly with Sophia. If you went with just Lucy, you could always call her Lulu for as a nn.

The Cochran Fam said...

All I can think of when I hear Allegra is the medicine. I like Charlotte (Charli) and thinks it sounds great with your daughter's name - Sophie and Charli - so cute!

Rachael said...

I think Lucy Jane rolls off the tongue better than Allegra Jane. I also like the mouth-feel of two syllables/two syllables for first name/last name. But that's just me...

That said, I think Allegra is a beautiful name. I have allergies, but honestly, the musical connotation came to my mind, not the medicine. And I love musical names! Everyone's right in that by the time she's older the medicine name won't be an issue. I'm thinking you should really go with the name you really want.

At least it's not Zuma! My husband's favorite computer game. And Gwen Stefani's baby daughter.

R said...

while the medication DID come to mind for me, it wasn't a big deal, and the musical connotation was more of a first thought than the meds... also - I think that I saw a show/movie with someone named Allegra on it and I thought it was very pretty... I think you should use it! My second favorite would probably be Charli (although I could be biased - my sister just had her baby yesterday and her name is Charli Jean - as my mom & sister's middle names are both Jean - but it's not Charlotte, just Charli!) :) Whatever way you go - GOOD LUCK!!

Anonymous said...

My concern with Allegra isn't so much the allery connection as the style. Sophie is a classic, sophisticated name, whereas Allegra seems kind of "hippy" to my ears. A lot of musical names feel that way to me (Harmony, Lyric, etc.). Lucy or Charlotte seem like much better matches with Sophie.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I'd use Allegra personally, because I take the allergy medication Allegra, or at least did before I got pregnant! I just wanted to add that Alice is a name with a nickname of Allie. Since you liked Allegra and Allison, just thought I'd bring it up. Although, I'm guessing since you liked Allegra and Allison, one of you probably already vetoed Alice!

Anonymous said...

Remember the Sex and the City episode where Carrie loses her shoes at a friend's apartment (friend played by Tatum O'Neal)? The friend's kids were named Milo and Allegra, both of which are IMO fabulous. There's another name association for you!

Sam said...

I have to say, I don't even think about the medication. I didn't even remember it was the name of medication until it was brought up in the comments. I say name the sweet girl Allegra if you love it and can't live without it - surely the medication will fade away in a few years. It's SUCH a lovely name!

Allison said...

Oh please, please use Allegra! I LOVE it, it's one of my top baby names (I play the piano and love the musical connotations). As far as I know there isn't an allergy med in Australia called Allegra, but even if there were I would still use it because it is so lovely. There are lots of medications like Diane or Juliet (contraceptive pills) and any time I've met people with this name I've never associated it with the med.

Cookie said...

I would vote for going with Allegra, since that is your first choice and it is a pretty name. I don't think the fact that there is an allergy medication with the same name will be an issue. Plus, what are children going to say to tease, if they do at all? Allegra, Allegra, she's all sneezy? Is that really awful?

However, if the medication connection really bothers you, I like the suggestion of Lucinda, nn Lucy.

brandyk said...

I named my december 08 baby Allegra! Allegra was a name before the medication (it's not like naming your kid Abilify). This name is definitely on the rise and I don't think in a few years people will think it's all that weird. Teasing? doubtful. Kids of the teasing age won't know what the Rx is.


However, there is NO WAY IN $#@$#@ that anyone will call my child Allie. Hate it, hate it, hate it (sorry, F!). Eggroll, Waffle (leggo my eggo), those are all acceptable nicknames (because they aren't names). If I wanted my kid to be called Allie, I would have named her that. And if you're wondering, nobody calls her that. Mostly it's Legra.

Gmaz said...

I named by daughter Allegra Valentina because I think it is so lyrical and beautiful.
Most people were taken aback, including family but once they get to know her, she really is "ALLEGRA". I'm Italian so I only associate it with joy, music and a happy air.
Seriously, are people thinking anything medicinal with this REAL name. It is a name, not a medicine.
Anyone every met a girl named Yasmin who goes by Yaz for short. There is a birth control with that name but come on.... It is still a beautiful name.

Anonymous said...

I say you should have used it. Our daughter was born in 2010 and we named her Allegra and absolutely LOVE it and couldn't think of a more fitting name for her. It means happy and joyful and she is one of the happiest kids you could ever meet.

Cynthia Silva said...

You and I were facing the same decision at roughly the same time! I was expecting my first child, a girl, in 2009. Just as you said my husband and I could not agree on one name that we both absolutely loved except for Allegra! I was worried about the association with the allergy medication and my husband was not at all. In the end I decided that we just loved the name too much to pass it up. Since we are Spanish speakers we decided to change the spelling a bit to simply Alegra which is a Spanish verb that means to give joy. Guess what her middle name is? Lucia! Alegra Lucia= joyful light. I love all your other name choices as well, if I ever have another daughter I'm probably going with Charlotte.