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…