Baby name needed: Girl name that goes with Abel

A reader named Bonny writes:

We are already decided on a boys’ name, but just can’t come up with a good girl’s name. Our firstborn is Abel Zachary. We want a girls’ name that doesn’t clash with Abel. So far we like these girls’ names: Evangelina, Arabella, Amethyst, Isabelle, Olivia, River, Violet. We want something uncommon, but not overly weird. We are stumped and just can’t decide on a girl’s name we really love that fits well with Abel.

I like most of the names on Bonny’s shortlist, but I don’t think many of them fit well with Abel.

To me, Abel is simple, unassuming, obviously biblical, and slightly rural/old-fashioned.

Amethyst and River strike me as being exotic and modern (though I’m sure Amethyst was used occasionally during the Victorian era). Both are gender-neutral names, while Abel is definitively masculine. And I’m slightly concerned that an unusual noun-name could make people think of Abel as able the adjective…you never know.

I like Evangelina, Isabelle, Arabelle and Olivia a little more with Abel, but to me they still sound too formal, too cosmopolitan. I’m not fond of the way Isabelle and Arabelle nearly rhyme with Abel. Finally, Olivia and Isabelle can no longer be described as “uncommon” since becoming trendy during the 1990s.

I do think Violet and Abel make a nice pair, though. Other names that I think fit well with Abel include:

Helah (the “e” is long)
Selah (another long “e”)

Which of the names above do you like best with Abel? What other names would you suggest to Bonny?

Update: The baby is here! Scroll down to see what name Bonny chose…

10 thoughts on “Baby name needed: Girl name that goes with Abel

  1. I love Hester. And I love Abel and Hester as siblings, too. Though Esther is probably more fashion-forward.

    Selah seems like another good choice paired with Abel, and meets their criteria – unclashing, uncommon, not weird.

  2. I think Miriam is my favorite from your list as a sister to Abel. Miri is a cute nickname. Ruth works well too.

  3. Like Abby, I love the Abel and Hester/Esther combo, gorgeous and unique.

    Eve has a similar meaning, ‘to breath’, and it also meets their criteria.

    Other ideas:

  4. Just a quick note – the name they said they liked was Arabella, not Arabelle. Maybe I’m biased (because Arabella is my absolute favorite girls’ name!), but to me this makes all the difference. When paired with Abel, I think Arabella fits a lot better, too: the ‘a’ on the end breaks up the similar ending to Abel, and it also changes the flow of the name (“Air-uh-BELL-uh” instead of “AIR-uh-bell”) so that the sibling names don’t both start with the same syllabic emphasis.

    That said, I do agree that there are much better sibling pairs than Arabella or Arabelle. I would go with something old-fashioned, but NOT overly biblical, so that the parents won’t feel trapped into biblical names if they have more children. My favorite suggestions so far have been Violet, Clara, Ruth, Nora, and Iris.

  5. @TweePopACap – Thank you for commenting about the typo! Totally missed that. Must’ve been under the influence of Isabelle. :)

    I’m pretty sure I had Arabella in my mind though when I wrote the post, though. I see what you mean about the differences between Arabelle and Arabella, but (to me) Arabella is still too close to Abel. The lengths/rhythms may be distinct, but I still feel they have too many letters in common.

    That’s a good point about conspicuously biblical names. I hadn’t thought of that. My guess is that Bonny likes biblical names, so it may not be a big deal in her case…but it’s certainly wise to avoid locking oneself into a pattern.

  6. Lol, why would you say that amethyst is gender neutral? That screams girl to me. Coincidentally, my daughters name is Amethyst Ocean

  7. @Ryan – Neither Amethyst nor River has a gender, per se. I’ve seen both names used for girls and for boys. (Same with Aspen, Ocean, River, Lake, Cedar, Willow, Sage, Jade, Jasper, etc.) Just a matter of perspective, I guess.

  8. Ryan, can I ask you if people call your daughter Amethyst or try to shorten it to Amy/Ammi? I love this name for my baby due soon but I don’t want her to be called Amy.

    Amethyst Ocean is beautiful btw.

  9. Just heard from Bonny. Here’s what she says:

    The baby is a boy, so we went with Seth Jeremy (Jeremy is after his dad).


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