I'm not sure how worried I should be, but my husband and I are expecting our first baby (a girl!) in exactly two weeks from today and we don't even have a short list of possible names. Well...I have my list and he has his list but our tastes our so different. It may be unrealistic, but I'm still hopeful that there is a name out there that we'll both love and will feel like is that perfect fit. But since we've completely combed the baby name books to no avail and are now on the two week countdown, I'm thinking it might be time to panic. That's why I had to reach out to you and see if you might be able to help us. Our last name is Roberts.
The names that I like are Hazel, Eloise, Felicity, Cecile, and Isla. I'd love something short and sweet, but also unique. My husband likes Emma, Ella, Grace, Reese, Riley, Sophie or Sophia, and Mercedes. Mercedes is a family name on his side. I thought we could compromise on that one and call her Sadie. But he's not a fan of naming the baby one thing and calling her something else. He said I could call her Sadie, but he would call her Mercedes. I thought that'd just be too confusing for everyone. (Plus, does Sadie even work as a nickname when the spelling is so different from Mercedes?) What do you think, is there any hope for us in bridging our different tastes? Or does one of us just have to give in?
The funny thing is, we had boys name all set to go with no debate whatsoever - Leo.
Thanks so much for your time! And your blog, it's so fun to read!
The overlap in your two lists is that you both like the vintage revival names, but your husband likes the more common ones and you like the more unusual ones. One way to find a name you both like is to look at the two lists and see if you can find a more/less common version. He likes Ella; would you both like Stella? He likes Emma; would you both like Emeline? He likes Sophia; would you both like Josephine or Fiona? You like Isla; would you both like Lila? (Though this would likely rule out using Leo later.)
With a more common surname like Roberts, I'd be inclined toward less common first names. Mercedes seems like an excellent compromise name: it's a family name, it's uncommon, and it has a nickname that suits your joint appreciation for vintage names. I don't think it would be confusing for the child or anyone else if one of you used the full form of her name and the other used her nickname---especially if neither you nor your husband minds if family and friends also go with whichever version they prefer.
I am in general very pursed-lips about non-traditional nicknames---and yet Sadie for Mercedes seems completely reasonable to me, I think because it sounds exactly like it and I can imagine the nickname happening naturally. I even looked it up, thinking it might BE a traditional nickname for it. And although I'd prefer if the spelling matched better, I'm not sure it works to spell it otherwise: Cedie? No. The nickname Mercy could also work.
One issue you might run into is sibling names: if you have another girl later on, will you be able to find a name you like with Mercedes? If not, Mercedes could move to the middle name position and we could go back to finding names that are a mix of your list and his. Maybe a double name, such as Anna Grace or Anna Sophia. Or he likes Ella, and you like short and sweet and unique; would you both like Willa? You like Hazel and Eloise and he likes Ella; would you both like Eliza or Elizabeth?