Help My Husband Name Our Baby

Remember my husband? He’s the guy who lovingly supports our fiction aspirations, encourages trips to writing conferences, preaches delightfully quaint parenting advice, and gets constant praise on this blog. Well, forget all that good stuff. Now we’re mad at him.

Get this: Bryan has lost faith in my baby naming abilities. MY abilities! Aren’t I the person whose meanderings about baby names got reprinted on BlogHer and Nameberry? No decent person in his right mind would take away what will likely be my last chance to name a new soul.

Bryan (standing here) says I should at least tell you why he’s lost patience with my baby name “issues.” I’ll try to set the scene for you, which took place in June:

ME: I think we should change Elissa’s name.

HIM: Fine. Let’s do it.

ME: Seriously? She’s two.

HIM: You talked me into her name anyway, and you’re always complaining about people spelling and saying it wrong. We can just call her Rachel. [Rachel is her middle name.]

ME: Too matchy-matchy with Rebecca! [We already had the “you can’t have a Rebecca and a Rachel in the same family” argument at the hospital two years earlier.]

HIM: You’re crazy. What else would you change it to?

ME: If we change her name it should at least sound familiar to her. [Much to my dismay, everyone calls her Lissy.]

HIM: Fine. What sounds like Elissa?

ME: Other than Melissa, nothing. But Libby sounds like Lissy and is so much cuter.

HIM: Do whatever you want, but I’m naming the next baby.

ME: You don’t mean that. (He did.)

I went on a baby name bender and stayed up all night Googling how to legally change the name of a minor. I researched any name that sounds like Elissa or Lissy, but had the simplicity of spelling and pronunciation that worked well for Sam and Rebecca. For a good portion of the night I’d settled on Eliza, thinking Eliza & Elissa at least look similar. But then we’d have the “is it E-LEE-za OR E-LIE-za issue.” I decided I loved the name Libby and stayed up all night with excitement.

The next day my friend Jorie and I called Elissa “Libby” throughout a morning play date to see how it felt. It felt weird. And I realized most people would assume her name is Elizabeth. I was done with Libby and the idea of legal name change. Elissa needed a new nickname, that was all. No more Lissy. My friend Nancy S. suggested we call her Ellie. Perfect, I thought. I forced Sam and Rebecca to call her “Ellie” all afternoon. Sam cried. Rebecca requested we change her name to Hula.

And that’s when my baby name bender came to an end. For about a week I tried to get people to say Elissa instead of Lissy. Everyone ignored me. Soon after, not only did I have too much heartburn and back pain to care, but I’d realized our precious little nugget of love is our Elissa and our Lissy (and our Lulu and Lu). I couldn’t imagine calling her anything else.

Now Bryan’s punishing me for terrorizing him and the children on the subject of baby names; he says he won’t listen to my suggestions.

Oddly enough he’ll listen to yours.

People, you have to help me! I want all the names you’ve loved, used, or wished you’d used. Do you like your name? Let’s hear it. Caveat: it must go with Sam, Rebecca, Elissa, and Badzin. And Bryan will never agree to a name without some kind of Jewish/Hebrew undertone. Elissa was a stretch.  And yes, I realize neither Bryan nor Nina are Jewish names. Don’t even try to reason with him. It’s a lost cause.

Oh, and for anyone who’s curious, Rebecca thinks Hula would make the perfect name for a new sister. She’s chosen Wally or Poomba for a boy. Sam doesn’t care what we name the baby as long as he gets a brother. And Elissa, that sweet angel girl, is at the stage when she refers to herself in the third person as “Lissy.” There’s no going back now.


(Photo via Kaylamazing from Photobucket)

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Nina is a columnist at The HerStories Project and a contributing writer at and Her essays have appeared regularly at Brain, Child Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Jewish Daily Forward and have been syndicated in Jewish newspapers across the country. Her short stories have appeared in over a dozen literary magazines, and she loved participating in the 2013 cast of Listen to Your Mother. Nina is a co-founder of The Twin Cities Writing Studio. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and four children.

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109 Responses to Help My Husband Name Our Baby
  1. Nancy S
    July 25, 2011 | 2:46 pm

    Boy: Asher David Badzin
    Girls…Sasha, Maya, Ariella

    • Sandy
      July 25, 2011 | 3:03 pm

      I like Ari for a boy and Maya for a girl! Do you have people to name after or in honor of? You already know my thing about no nick -names! My boy name that we didn’t use was Gabe…but I don’t think that would be good with Badzin? 2 B’s right next to each other…

      • Nina Badzin
        July 25, 2011 | 9:07 pm

        I actually love the name Gabe…the b by Badzin doesn’t big me. But my niece is Gabriella. Too close, I think!

    • Nina Badzin
      July 26, 2011 | 12:20 am

      All good names!!

  2. Sarah Pearson
    July 25, 2011 | 2:53 pm

    The best I can say about my name is that I’m pretty sure Sarah is Hebrew. I’m not in love with it though :(

  3. Robyn
    July 25, 2011 | 2:53 pm

    Just go with Talia. You know its your favorite :)

    • Nina Badzin
      July 25, 2011 | 6:20 pm

      I’ve always loved it, but don’t know if I can deal with the ta-LEE-a mistake people will make in Minnesota!

  4. Jen Erickson
    July 25, 2011 | 2:53 pm

    Well. I am not Jewish, but I married an Aaron, named by first son Benjamin, and my daughter’s name is Anna. She’s adopted from Siberia with Tajik heritage, which means her birthparents were more than likely Muslim. Choose a name with a story. Aaron was named for Hank Aaron, his Dad’s favorite baseball player. His parents are total southeast MN Norwegians. Anna was named for three great-grandmothers. One from Poland, one from Norway and one from Rice Lake, Wisconsin. We wanted her name to be deeply rooted in our family tree. My name came from the movie, “Love Story”, it’s what resonated with my mother, who was still in high school when she choose to bring me into this world. Why Ben? It sounded strong. Capable. No story behind his first name, he’ll make his own. His middle name is my maiden name, Lee. A homage to my father, who had three daughters and no male to carry on his family name. As parents, we get to choose the beginning. Our children, whatever they are called, get to write the rest of the story. I am sure whatever this Badzin is named, they will sign their name to this life with flourish.

    • Jen Erickson
      July 25, 2011 | 2:58 pm

      named MY first son Benjamin. Not by. Ugh. Proofread fail.

    • Nina Badzin
      July 25, 2011 | 6:21 pm

      All great names, Jen! And I love hearing the story behind each. Your last sentence is so sweet. Love you!

  5. Anne Greenwood Brown
    July 25, 2011 | 2:57 pm

    I can’t believe we’re still discussing this. ANNE (Annie). Classic, Hebrew base, Cute nickname.

    Also like:

    Joseph – I know it sounds Catholic, but rumor has it Joseph was Jewish. ; ) Joe Badzin also sounds like a Hall of Fame baseball player to me. Or a President.

    • Nina Badzin
      July 25, 2011 | 6:22 pm

      You’re going to be mad . . . I changed my character’s name from Anne to Susan! I will have Annie in the running for the baby (if Bryan agrees!)

  6. Cynthia Robertson
    July 25, 2011 | 3:05 pm

    This is so funny! I’ve heard of kids wanting to change their names, Nina, but never a mommy wanting to change her kid’s name. Elissa’s a perfectly beautiful name, even when shortened to Lissy. So I was grinning like an idiot over your description of your search for another. Too funny.
    I think it’s time to let your Bryan pick a name, for better or worse. :-)

    • Nina Badzin
      July 25, 2011 | 9:09 pm

      Ha! Well, you know Bryan agrees that it’s his turn. It’s definitely a story that doesn’t paint me in the sanest light. 😉

  7. Anne R. Allen
    July 25, 2011 | 3:53 pm

    If you choose a new one, be prepared for her to override you herself. I was named Anne, but called Nancy (old nickname for Anne.) But when I was about three, I found out the name on my birth certificate was Anne, and I refused to answer to Nancy ever again. And I never have. She may have formed the same sort of cosmic bond with the name Elissa (which I think is lovely) so I’d let it be.

    • Nina Badzin
      July 25, 2011 | 9:10 pm

      Oh no—i won’t be changing it now. The call for names is for baby #4–due in the fall!

  8. Lisa Mayers
    July 25, 2011 | 4:08 pm

    I would vote for Ellie for Elissa’s nickname. I do like Lissy, too. :) I think Ellie’s real name should have been Eleanor. Kicking myself still on that one. Sometimes I wish we named her Vivianne– we needed a V name and she sure seems like a Vivianne to me now. Nina, we never think about renaming. Funny…

    But I digress– my favorite names since we won’t be having any more kiddos…
    Girl: Juliet (not Jewish enough but so so pretty), Talia but call her Tali, Orli, Ruby
    Boy: Joshua (enough said), we named one for you, you name one for us, quid pro quo
    Other boy names: Ari, Jonah, Caleb, Gadi

    • Nina Badzin
      July 25, 2011 | 9:12 pm

      See…interesting. Do you feel like Ellie sounds like a nickname? I felt that way re: Libby. Ellie is still so cute though. Hard to beat Nina though! I like some of the names on your list. Love Juliet, Julia, and Juliana. Bry would say no. :(

  9. ramblingsfromtheleft
    July 25, 2011 | 4:08 pm

    I love David and Sarah. Leah Badzin sounds great … that is my half Italian half Algerian Jewish great neice’s name. Loved Elie and Benjamin (those are my great nephews) and my twin grandchildren half Italian half Dominican are Nicholas and Cassandra.

    Good luck … and by the way Elissa is beautiful :)

  10. Jack@TheJackB
    July 25, 2011 | 6:02 pm

    I tried to name one of our kids Rambam but got overruled and then again got the big no with Rashi.

    We voted against Barak because everyone would call him Barak Marak (lightning soup just isn’t cool) and though I fought hard for Dov lost on that one.

    I like Chaya, Tova, Shoshana and Eliana- among others.

    • Nina Badzin
      July 25, 2011 | 9:15 pm

      As I always say, you and Bryan would be the best of pals. 😉

  11. julie gardner
    July 25, 2011 | 6:20 pm

    Oh I LOVE this. My mother almost named me Claudia – but she’d decided my middle name would be Maria after my great-grandmother and thought Claudia Maria was a mouthful. I was born in 1968 (when Julie Christie and Julie Andrews were all the rage) so at the last minute, my parents went with Julie.

    They weren’t the only ones.

    There were always multiple JULIE’s in every single one of my classes. I had to be Julie C. or in some cases Julie Ch. because there was another Julie C. When I worked at Camp Kinneret, there were 15 female counselors and 5 were named Julie. Kid you not. 1/3.

    So when I was going off to college, my mother wanted me to change my name to Claudia. “Now’s your chance for a fresh start,” she begged. I declined.

    When I shared that story with my now-husband, he told me HE liked the name Claudia better, too. So we planned to use it for our first child. Who was a boy. So. By the time our daughter was born, she wasn’t “Claudia” – Jack was Claudia. So we did Karly. But this is not helpful to you at all.

    Therefore, I’ll tell you the names I love (because I, too, am obsessed with names):

    Noah, Levi, Zeke (I have a baby cousin named Eli and it’s adorable, but too close to Elissa) and Joe is cute – stolen from Anne. Joe Badzin? Awesome.)

    Talia is pretty (and Lia is a great nickname) Leah, Elle/Ella, and I saw someone mention Orli above – I had students who were sisters named Orli and Avia and they were wonderful. Loved them and their names.

    Good luck. Can’t WAIT to see what you guys choose!

    • Nina Badzin
      July 25, 2011 | 9:22 pm

      Claudia, I mean Julie, I LOVED that story! It’s hard to think of good names when you were a teacher, isn’t it? And I absolutely get what you’re saying about not using Claudia because you’d been thinking of it the whole time. I’ve almost named every child Talia.

  12. Jaci
    July 25, 2011 | 7:08 pm

    this is my favorite blog post ever! You know I vote for: Jaci Jaci Badzin. which would really be a double wammy bc baby #4 would constantly be called “JC JC Badzin”…. ouch.

    So… if you have a girl and decide to by pass my first name (understandably) I vote for Sarah Faith or Leah Rose. And if its a boy – I vote Benjamin. all the way. (To Bryan: no, its not bc its a family name. say it out loud: Ben Badzin. thats a great name. rockamasachary).

    : )

    • Nina Badzin
      July 25, 2011 | 9:24 pm

      So love that you commented, and such a great comment. We did promise you at least one Jaci Jaci Badzin so maybe we’re done picking! 😉

  13. erikarobuck
    July 25, 2011 | 7:55 pm

    Do you have a Jacob? We have a Jacob and as he’s gotten older he’s become “Jake.” It’s a good guy name. It’s Jewish (even though I’m Catholic :). I know it’s pretty popular, but he doesn’t have any Jacob’s in his class. If it’s a girl, I vote Talia. (And Lissy is adorable.)

    I love your blog. It’s very well rounded: writing advice, Twitter advice, baby name debate.

    • Nina Badzin
      July 25, 2011 | 9:25 pm

      Thanks, Erika! I like keeping a mix on here, though a controlled mix. Jacob is great but our nephew is Jacob, and our cousin too. Talia is always on my list. 😉

  14. Jael
    July 25, 2011 | 8:11 pm

    You know what’s an awesome name with Jewish/Hebrew undertones? Jael, that’s what. She never has to worry about getting confused with other Jaels, she can go by the initials JL if she wants, and there’s a whole story in the Bible where people sing about how great she is. It’s a winner.

    (Some of my other Old Testament favorites: Naomi, Noah, Jonah, Leah. All good with Badzin, I think.)

    • Nina Badzin
      July 26, 2011 | 12:07 am

      Love it Jael! I’m always recommending Nina to people. My tag line is always this: “Feminine, simple. Easy to say and spell. It’s a winner!” I have considered Yael a few times through the years. Every time I write down non-Jews say Yale. Sigh. Do you ever get people who said Jail?

  15. Cym
    July 25, 2011 | 9:23 pm

    Seriously laughing out loud! I told you I’d read this tonight. I love the classic names, shocker I know. The boy name I never got to use… Benjamin Michael. I’m pulling for a boy because I’m partial to Sammy B wanting a baby brother :-)

    • Nina Badzin
      July 26, 2011 | 12:08 am

      Well, you know your kids’ names are among my favs. I like Benjamin a lot. For sure on the list!

  16. Tracy Hahn-Burkett
    July 25, 2011 | 9:43 pm

    I REALLY wanted to name our daughter Juliet. I think it’s such a pretty name, and we even had a “J” to use in the Ashkenazi tradition. But every time I said “Juliet Burkett” out loud, it just sounded so cruel. I couldn’t do it. But “Juliet Badzin”…

    Probably not going to work for Bryan though, huh?

    Talia is beautiful, and hmm, there’s something to that Jael name. :) I also like Kayla (I don’t know how traditional that is, but you can tell Bryan it’s in The New Jewish Baby Book–yes, I got my book out for you!), Juliana, Ella & Sophie.

    For boys, I seem to like “A” names: Ari, Aaron, Alexander (Alex).

    Now, Bryan’s not thinking of an internet poll, is he?

    • Nina Badzin
      July 26, 2011 | 12:10 am

      Yup, Juliet Burkett doesn’t quite work. And Juliet Badzin will never get by Bryan. I know several Orthodox families with a Kayla! I can’t believe it has any Jewish connection. . . it seems like a name where the siblings would be Kelsey and McKenzie, right?

  17. Lisa
    July 25, 2011 | 10:12 pm

    I always liked Ari for a boy. I think that would be good with Sam, Rebecca, & Elissa…. Ethan is good too 😉 For girls names we almost used (if we’d had another girl) Anna, Grace, Lindsey. I do like the names Eliana, Talia and Yael for more Jewish names. Good luck. I will say… with Logan, Glenn was against the name for the entire time until I was in labor on the way to the hospital.

    • Nina Badzin
      July 26, 2011 | 12:11 am

      Good ideas, Lisa!! :) I didn’t know that about Glenn re: Logan!

  18. Jess Witkins
    July 25, 2011 | 11:28 pm

    This is the funniest cutest post ever Nina! I can’t believe you wanted to change Elissa’s name. I was imagining her years from now hearing how she grew up as Elissa and then became something else. I’m glad you decided to stick with Elissa and I like Lissy too because that’s a unique nickname.

    I love your pick of Talia. I also like older sounding names like Sophia, Esther, Violet, and Ruth. Ruthie Badzin sounds like the girl that is friends with everybody. I like her.

    For boys I really like Levi, Isaac, and you could shorten Abraham and use Abram.

    • Nina Badzin
      July 26, 2011 | 12:12 am

      Thanks, Jess! Sometimes it’s nice to blog about non-writing stuff to break up all the seriousness around here. :)

  19. Jayme
    July 25, 2011 | 11:33 pm

    First of all, I can’t stop laughing…mostly because I know that is such a typical conversation between you and Bryan and the fact that you are considering changing Elissa’s name. You are going to give the girl an identity crisis! : ) But I get it, seeing as though no one ever gets my name right…I mean it’s even spelled phonetically! But I am willing to share my favorite baby names with you. Keep in mind that I had over 50 faves and Mike only liked 3! Ok, here we go…Girl: Avery, Nev, Tessa, Kaci. Boy: Simon, Justin, Ethan, Ari. Love reading your blog!! You crack me up! : )

    • Nina Badzin
      July 26, 2011 | 12:14 am

      Oh yeah, you know Bryan is dead serious about naming this child. We’re not going to change Elissa’s name now. It was a 24-hour crazy moment last month! As for your list, Bryan would consider Ethan, Ari, and Simon. The girls names are not at all Jewey though!! 😉

  20. Ashley Graham
    July 25, 2011 | 11:48 pm

    Nina, as crazy as this post sounds, it doesn’t strike me at all as completely odd, because I could SO see my hubby and I getting into very similar fights! We already do — over children we’ve yet to conceive! LOL

    I LOVE Ellie as a nickname. As a matter of fact, it’s my MC’s nickname, so it has a special place in my heart. 😉 As for baby #4, not sure what you’ll like, but I’ll share my favorites (the ones I’m keeping on reserve for when I finally have children of my own).

    For a boy, I love Boston, Gavin, and Jensen — my husband hates them all.

    For a girl, I like Harper, Finley, Emerson, and Tinsely — my husband hates all of those, too.

    HE likes Jaxon for a boy. I’m not so impressed with it. I’ve never liked the name.

    Needless to say, I don’t think we’ll ever agree! Good luck with the baby name battle! Can’t wait to hear the one you two actually decide on. 😉

    • Nina Badzin
      July 26, 2011 | 12:17 am

      Ashley! I feel like I haven’t “seen” you in a long time! Ellie is great for a MC. Nice choice! And yeah, you and Bryan would never agree on names, as your list (boy AND girls) is about as far from Jewish names as it gets. 😉 I agree with you on Jaxon–don’t give in. Is that supposed to be Jackson spelled incorrectly?

  21. Ashley Graham
    July 25, 2011 | 11:55 pm

    Oh, yeah. And don’t feel bad for considering changing your daughter’s name once upon a time. I know someone who actually did! She named her daughter Stella, then legally changed the girl’s name to Bella a few months later AND had to get rid of a LOT of monogrammed stuff. :)

  22. marykateleahy
    July 26, 2011 | 12:18 am

    First of all, great names already. For a girl I really like Esther, but it may be too matchy with Elissa, and/or too old school. So I think I would have to go with Sadie, from Funny Girl, (Sadie, married lady, however that song goes. I just know I like it…) AND if you wanted to stick with a musical theme you could start calling Elissa Liza with a Z LOL. …Although is Sadie too matchy if you have a son who has an S name too? Gotta say though Hula is not bad. I kind of like it. Very festive.

    Getting name ideas from movies can have either awesome or horrible consequences. My parents took my name from the Quiet Man because they for some reason wanted a feisty red-head. Careful what you wish for :)

    For a boy I say either Micah (because I like the sound and meaning), Josh, or Simon. (But the Sam and Simon is too close.) This is so much harder than it looks! I’d go with Micah.

    Oh and take these names with a grain of salt because I just realized that four of them are the names of characters in different WIPs I have. :) Good luck with number four!

    • Nina Badzin
      July 26, 2011 | 5:49 pm

      Thanks Mary! I especially like Sadie and Micah. I think all the comments on this post are good for characters’ names too!

  23. Anne R. Allen
    July 26, 2011 | 12:29 am

    Oh, I’m so glad you’re not changing Elissa’s name!

    In that case, I’m going to agree with Anne and vote for Anne :-)

  24. Julia
    July 26, 2011 | 5:32 am

    Ok, here are OUR suggestions. My husband likes Nathaniel and Johanna; I like Jessica and Zachary (think Zach Badzin….take it from someone who’s had a son in high school, your son would be known as “the cool double Z” and his senior shirt would say “ZZ” on the back!). We both, for some reason, like Ben and Hannah 😉 Of course, there’s always…. Julia :) (p.s. the main character in one of my WIPs is Annie, love that too!)

    • Nina Badzin
      July 26, 2011 | 5:51 pm

      I love that your husband chimed in! Zach is great, but my nephew! (He spells it Zack) I like ALL of your suggestions!I especially love Julia but Bry won’t go for it.

      • Julia
        July 26, 2011 | 5:57 pm

        That is too bad about Zach… but I really was joking about Julia (I think Bryan is wise not to go for it; I’d probably change my name if I had it to do all over again!!) p.s. my husband and I discuss all baby names, apparently including blog friends’ baby’s names! :)

  25. Erika D.
    July 26, 2011 | 6:58 am

    Well, you’ve already used several of my faves, but here are a few more. I’ve always loved “Sarah.” You could also go with “Noa” for a girl OR “Noah” for a boy. Other names for girls: Hannah, Eva. For boys: Joshua, Jonathan, Ari. Can’t wait to see what Bryan decides. :-)

    • Nina Badzin
      July 26, 2011 | 5:52 pm

      I knew I could count on you for good Jewish names! :)

  26. Leigh Ann Kopans
    July 26, 2011 | 7:09 am

    These days I’m loving flower names: Varda, Shoshana, Dalia. They are Hebrew but not religious, and kind of hippie and cool, but still absolutely feminine and beautiful.

    (We do know it’s a girl, right?)

    • Nina Badzin
      July 26, 2011 | 7:40 am

      We don’t know gender. We never find out!

  27. Debbie W
    July 26, 2011 | 8:26 am

    Loved reading this Nina! Ayelet for a girl (I know you love the author) or Aviva- I also like Asher for a boy!! Not sure why they are all “a’s”

    • Nina Badzin
      July 26, 2011 | 5:57 pm

      Debbie! Thanks for chiming in. I love ‘A’ Hebrew names too. There are so many good ones. I will put all these on the list for Bryan!

  28. Debbie W
    July 26, 2011 | 8:55 am

    by the way- I know a few Talia’s in town and none are “tali’s”!!

  29. Women's Fiction Writer
    July 26, 2011 | 9:08 am

    I’ll offer you my son’s name — Zachary. It’s totally Hebrew, from Zachariah. His sister and I call him Zachary. Everyone else in the world calls him Zach. Zach is a parent-approved nickname and one of the reasons the name was chosen.

    Zach Badzin is a great name.

    Your son is Sam? Sam and Zach sound like awesome brother names.

    My daughter is Chloe, which apparently is French. We chose that in lieu of Zoe because I just couldn’t have a Zachary and a Zoe.

    You know what? I think kids become the names we give them. Just like whatever you name your baby will sound right with the other names because you’ll grow so accustomed to the sound of it.

    If you think that 4 is it, just choose a name you love, love, love because you won’t be doing any more baby naming! :(

    • Nina Badzin
      July 26, 2011 | 5:58 pm

      I know! Zach Badzin would such a cool kid, but my nephew is Zack. You’re right about kids becoming their names. That’s why I got over changing Elissa’s name.

  30. Kari
    July 26, 2011 | 9:32 am

    You know how I feel about Noah and Eli. BUT Eli is too close to Elissa. So Noah Badzin it is. You can even borrow his full name Noah Ethan Badzin. It is perfect and soooo Jewey! Sam, Rebecca, Elissa and Noah. You’re welcome. (I will think of something else if it’s a girl!)

    • Nina Badzin
      July 26, 2011 | 5:59 pm

      It’s a good one, Kari! For a girl, Oprah or Gayle? 😉

  31. Melanie Gray
    July 26, 2011 | 9:39 am

    Boys – can’t really help you there. Noah maybe?

    Girls – Delilah, Gabrielle, Zoe, Avery, Michaela, Lila

    I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be interested in any of the other names on our list. I do love Delilah, but my sister has a Dahlia, so clearly that’s a no go for us. Also have a niece name Lily, hence no Lila.

    We took days to name Sid, but we’re thrilled with it now. It was a good choice for us.

    • Nina Badzin
      July 26, 2011 | 5:59 pm

      Well, I wouldn’t expect you to give me all your names considering you’ll need them!

  32. Laura
    July 26, 2011 | 9:46 am

    Nina- you crack me up! I love your kids names (Elissa included, that was actually our girls name if Jacob were a girl) so I’m sure you and Bryan will make a great choice for #4! I always get complements on our son’s name. Eli Benjamin – but that make be too close to Elissa. I LOVE the names Asher, Benjamin, Max and Noah. Girls names with a Jewish tone I love- Sarah, Eva, Orly, Talia, Sadie, Deena, Dahlia, Tamar, so many great choices! Almost makes me want to have another (-;

    • Nina Badzin
      July 26, 2011 | 6:01 pm

      Thank you, Laura! And you should have another!!!!! I can’t believe Elissa was on your list. So funny!

  33. Ali
    July 26, 2011 | 10:35 am

    Oh, Nina! You know I would LOVE this post. I can just hear your conversation with Bryan – and even though I heard the story about changing Elissa’s name before, I still giggled aloud while reading it. Here you go… XO – Ali


    Leah (I only think of this spelling as Lee-ah)

    • Nina Badzin
      July 26, 2011 | 6:03 pm

      Nice Ali!!!! Except for Hersh and Meir. 😉 You know, I keep seeing Zoe pop up on people’s comments. Are we considering Zoe a Jewish name now?

  34. Elanna Kaufman
    July 26, 2011 | 12:01 pm

    ok Nina…since I am officially done, I will give you all the names I love and wish i could use…in my head I would use them for a fictional child I’m not going to have…

    boys: Asher (Jonah’s middle name, and the name I wished we used), Ari, Avi, Micah, and Lev…

    girls: Hannah, Charna, Talia, Natalia, Rena, Arielle

    • Nina Badzin
      July 26, 2011 | 6:05 pm

      You are a good resource for Jewish names! Did I tell you a character in my newest book-in-progress is Rayna? (I know yours spells it differently)

  35. Kristy
    July 26, 2011 | 12:51 pm

    Ah this sounds just like us when we were trying to decide on Ruthie’s name. Her boy name was Ed. Other girl options were Adele and Hazel. Other boy names were Arthur and Noah. Not very Jewish, but hey, neither am I. :) My name in Hebrew classes at the U was Carmit. Good luck. I was trying hard to find a name that “matched” the other kids’ names, which I think is funny. It is not like they HAVE to match. They become their own people, after all.

    • Nina Badzin
      July 26, 2011 | 6:06 pm

      I used to love having different names in language classes. My Spanish name was always Natalia and my Italian name was . . . I can’t remember! Shoot! (Hebrew name is Naomi)

  36. Piglet in Portugal
    July 26, 2011 | 6:17 pm


  37. Susan Carter Millner
    July 26, 2011 | 9:44 pm

    This topic could go on forever!!! And no, he should not get to pick…it is the mom’s job!

    I have an Amelia, which is Hebrew, and her Hebrew name is Amalya and I love both. It is pretty and old fashioned and modern all at the same time. And definitely not boring and plain like Susan…although I am so glad you named your character after me!!

    I have loved Ari for a boy since I was a kid. My family used to tease me constantly about it.

    Can’t wait to find out the final answer!

    • Nina Badzin
      July 29, 2011 | 8:20 am

      I’ve always loved your daughter’s name!!!

  38. Rachel
    July 26, 2011 | 10:54 pm

    I love your taste in names! Our tastes are very similar. I especially love Talia! Some other ideas are :

    GIrls: Abigail, Adina, Alana, Amalia, Anna, Arielle, Aviva, Ayelet, Dahlia, Dina, Eve, Gabrielle, Hannah, Ilana, Jordana, Lea, Leora, Liat, Maya, Nava, Orly, Shayna, Shanna, Tamar

    Boys: Aaron, Benjamin, Daniel, Elijah, Ethan, Ezra, Gideon, Isaac, Jonathan, Jordan, Joseph, Joshua, Joel, Jonah, Judah, Micah, Nathan, Noah, Seth

    • Nina Badzin
      July 29, 2011 | 8:22 am

      This is a PERFECT list…many names I like in one place. Thank you!

  39. […] And for a change of pace: Help Nina Badzin’s husband name their baby. (All will become clear when you read the post.) […]

  40. Melissa Crytzer Fry
    July 26, 2011 | 11:10 pm

    Hilarious, Nina. I was laughing so hard at your conundrum of name-changing your 2-year-old. I’m sure THIS name is not Jewish/Hebrew, but I always loved the name Alexis. Alexis Badzin. :-) But then you’ve got the nickname: does Lexi Badzin work?

    Will be fun to see what you guys choose! Hope you’re feeling well (aside from the back pains, heartburn, discomfort, etc.)

  41. Peter Witte
    July 27, 2011 | 8:40 am

    Funny stuff, Nina! I’ve got nothing in the way of names for you, but I enjoyed the post.

  42. tzirelchana
    July 28, 2011 | 4:05 am

    I’m going to give you the advice I give my kids. Name your baby after a deceased relative who was a good fine person. It’s an elevation to their soul and brings protection to your child. I know. I have seven kids and I can testify to the truth of this.

  43. Judy Meyerson
    July 28, 2011 | 11:24 am

    Andy likes Ezekiel or Hezekiah. Zeke Badzin would be cute – and double “z,” though the long form is rather a burden. I liked an earlier post for Leah Rose – that’s lovely. My friend Sue has a Sam and his sisters are Sarah and Ruth (baby Ruth………). Whatever Bryan chooses (w/your approval, right, Bry?) will work. Don’t do what Andy’s aunt did – after his mother gave birth to him, his aunt tried to put “Anthony” on the birth certificate!

  44. Heather Diamond
    July 29, 2011 | 12:05 pm

    This is so hilarious! Loved reading this and thinking about baby names (a great distraction from studying)!

    Boy names I love but we couldn’t use: Jonah (too corny when your last name is Fisch) and Caleb (one of my faves but was worried about Dog-Fisch). Fisch is a hard last name- be thankful for Badzin!

    Other boy names I love but worried it might be weird to have multiple names from the 12 tribes: Asher, Levi and Simon

    Girl names: Lilah/ Leila, Hannah, Avital, Dalia, Abigail

    Good luck and I’m eager to see what you choose :)

    • Nina Badzin
      July 31, 2011 | 10:24 pm

      Heather! Thanks so much for responding. I totally get how you feel about having another tribe name, as I feel that way about foremothers. (bryan does NOT agree)

      Okay, I LOVE Lila and Bryan does not see that as a Jewish name. Thoughts? (So funny re: Jonah Fisch.)

  45. Lissy
    July 29, 2011 | 5:39 pm

    Great post! I’m a friend of a friend who is occasionally pointed to your blog via facebook, and am always happy I followed the link. I’m also obsessed with names ( anyone?) and my name is…Lissy!

    I have mixed feelings about my name. I think it took me until I was 40 to completely own it. But that might say more about me than about my name :)

    Also, I have a 7 year old named Megan who called herself Mimi exclusively between the ages of 18 months and 3 years old. I think her first sentence was “Me no Megan, me Mimi!” But now Mimi has gone the way of milk-y and blank-y and mama, and she has the beautiful big girl name we chose for her. The same might happen for your little Lissy!

    • Nina Badzin
      July 31, 2011 | 10:26 pm

      I’m so happy to hear from a Lissy! And thank you for the compliment re: the blog. I love what you said about the nickname going the way of “blank-y” etc. Is your full name Lissy? (I hope you don’t think I was insulting the name. It’s just not Elissa’s name. Different first letter and everything. It’s also why I object to Becky or Becca for Rebecca, but don’t mind Sam for Samuel. I like sticking to the first letter we chose!)

  46. Rivki @ Life in the Married Lane...
    July 30, 2011 | 10:52 pm

    A friend just introduced me to your blog, and this was the first post I read. It is hysterical! I especially enjoyed Rebecca’s suggestions.

    We named our first son Moshe. No English name, just Moshe. We get a lot of Mosh-EE, and Mosh-Eh (Eh like Canada). So, after all that name mismanagement, we named our second son David Eliezer. We say Duh-vid, but in the non-frum world, we totally say David. Wow, do I like how easy and not confusing it is for people.

    On that note, I would vote for the following names:
    For a girl: Hannah, Deborah, Sarah, Leah, Maya, Eve, Aviva
    For a boy: Benjamin, David, Sam, Aaron, Michael, Nathan, Jonathan

    Looking forward to reading more.

    • Nina Badzin
      July 31, 2011 | 10:29 pm

      Thank you Rivki! I’m so glad you found me. And I found you back on Twitter! :) Thanks so much for your suggestions. Yes–the different pronunciation would be confusing. Bryan’s absolutely loves Leah, for example, but I’m a bit concerned about a lifetime of explaining that it’s said LAY-a, not LEE-a. Sigh.

      • Rivki @ Life in the Married Lane...
        July 31, 2011 | 10:51 pm

        I’m glad, too. :) Thanks for finding me on Twitter! I really enjoyed your Twitter posts. A lot. In addition to the Lay-a/Lee-a problem, there’s also the inherent Star Wars association with Lay-a. One of my friends is constantly explaining to people that no, her parents are not Star Wars fans, it’s just the Hebrew pronunciation.

  47. Deirdra Eden Coppel
    August 1, 2011 | 2:53 pm

    You have a fabulous blog! I want to award you with one of my homemade awards: Beautiful Mommy Writer Blog Award for all the hard work you do!

    Go to and pick up your award.

  48. Sue R.
    August 2, 2011 | 7:26 am

    Nina- before Ella was born, Max thought she should be called Clifford or Yogurt. Both lovely but we settled on Ella.

    I love Maya (that would have been Max’s name had he come out the other way)
    For a boy- Jacob/Jake Badzin sounds nice but is it weird to have a Rebecca and a Jacob? I also love Ezra but that might be too many Z’s Ezzzzra Badzzzin. (Ella was set to be Jacob Ezra had she come out the other way!) Good luck!

    • Nina Badzin
      August 2, 2011 | 11:02 am

      It’s settled–we’re going with Yogurt Badzin. It’s even gender neutral. 😉 As for Jacob, I think it would be weird to have a Jacob and Rachel or a Jacob with a Lead (as he was married to both) but Rebecca . . . well, I guess that was his mother. Anyway, my nephew is Jacob so it’s out. Thanks for visiting the blog, Sue! :)

  49. tzirelchana
    August 3, 2011 | 2:19 am

    dont tell me that you are really going to name your son? Yogurt. He’ll be the laughing stock of his nursery school class?Dannon or Yoplait? Just imagine the jokes. This is your chance to be a prophetess, to elevate the station of deceased souls in the next world and you’re settling for the name of a sour milk pudding? I don’t get it.

    • Nina Badzin
      August 3, 2011 | 7:35 am

      Um, are you serious? No, I am not naming a child yogurt. You must have missed the joke along the way somewhere. My friend was saying that her son wanted to name her 2nd (and a girl) Clifford or Yogurt like my 2nd wants to name the 4th Hula or Wally or Pumba. None are viable options, obviously. Did you read the post?

  50. tzirelchana
    August 3, 2011 | 9:56 am

    so give me an F in reading comprehension. As a Mom (I have seven) my best advice is to wait until after the baby is born. You’ll be flooded with inspiration from everything–the time of day, the time of year, the circumstances of the birth, the weekly Torah reading. all of it will lead you to a decision. Anyway good luck and have an easy birth.

    • Nina Badzin
      August 3, 2011 | 9:58 am

      Thanks! Your blog is very cool by the way. We keep kosher too and I loved poking around your site.

  51. marginamia
    August 4, 2011 | 2:30 pm

    I wanted to put this here, too, in case you miss it elsewhere:

    Oh man, Nina, I did the exact same thing very recently! I called Valo June Vallombrosa for two whole days, then Valentina…. and all with the intention to still *call* her Valo June, but to just have a longer, uber feminine name on her birth certificate? wha? I’m nuts. My husband never went for my nonsense, and I decided that, for me, it had less to do with my daughter’s name (which really is beautiful to me) than my insatiable need to name children!

    and here I am plugging my blog for the second day in a row (what are the odds of having my own posts be relevant to the topic here, two days in a row?) but I really think the epic list I just put up at marginamia
    might help (you) your husband. You might walk away with an awfully stylish gem of a name or two, which fit stunningly with your kids names…. and maybe even an adorable hand made doll from the Etsy shop I profiled. Hope it helps!

    Best of luck to you (and me, I’ll be in the exact same boat with number three!)


  52. Lana S
    August 6, 2011 | 10:43 am

    Great blog.

    We always cared about nicknames too! Caleb Harrison is our son’s name – Cal, for short. He is named for Cal Ripkin, his dad’s favorite baseball player (I know, the real given name is Calvin, but I couldn’t go there). Caleb was one of the two scouts who found Hebron on the journey out of Egypt to Israel. If he had been a girl his name would have been Maya Rose, which is short enough that there is no nickname. Now that is my niece’s name! Our second son is Zachary Lennon. We just liked the name Zach. Both middle names come from Beatles. Don’t know what we would’ve done if there’d be a third or fourth child… not loving Starr or McCartney as middle names.

    • Nina Badzin
      August 7, 2011 | 2:19 pm

      OH! That’s clever! I like the middle name thing you did there. And yes, I agree, you may have to come up with a new theme for the next round of babies if you have more. 😉

  53. marykateleahy
    August 6, 2011 | 10:52 am

    I LOVE Lennon as a middle name. That’s fantastic! And Caleb and Zach are also great. Maybe you could branch out to different music? Marley would be a great middle name :) And for a girl Ella Fitzgerald is awesome. Keep up the good work, LOL.

  54. Jamye Shelleby
    August 13, 2011 | 5:39 am

    Hi Nina,
    I came across your blog through Randy Meyers and other Grub connections (I was in Randy’s workshop with Jenna years when it first began but have since moved away). Anyway, you may have already discovered this but The Baby Name Wizard is brilliant. I actually prefer the book to the online version, though the content may be the same.
    Here’s a sort-of review I wrote about it on a blog I contribute to:
    Good luck!

  55. […] Help My Husband Name Our Baby « Nina Badzin's Blog says: July 25, 2011 at 2:28 PM […]

  56. […] wrote this post, I found out I was pregnant with baby #4. In July 2011, I wrote a follow up called “Help My Husband Name Our Baby.” Why on Earth would I give over naming rights to my husband? You’ll have to read the post to […]

  57. […] over time some of the people who found me via my posts on Twitter tips have stayed to find out why I’m letting my husband name our fourth baby and vice […]

  58. Rachel Gall (@GallBR)
    October 14, 2011 | 12:11 pm

    My name is Rachel (obvious Jewish undertones) I knew sisters Rachel & Rebecca. It does seem to be a rather common pairing. How about Noah, Zeke or Zach? My son’s name is Judah. I LOVE the nickname Jude. I would have just gone with Jude, but we didn’t like ‘Jude Gall’. I’m already calling him by his nickname (he’s 9 months) so he will grow up really going by both. Note: Megan & Mallory are also a common sister pairing- I know THREE sets.

  59. Rachel Gall (@GallBR)
    October 14, 2011 | 12:13 pm

    BTW I like Elissa. Both the spelling and sound.

  60. […] “Help My Husband Name Our Baby” (yes, I’m letting him name #4) SHARE THIS:FacebookTwitterStumbleUponEmailPrint Filed Under: Parenthood, Pregnancy Tagged With: Baby, Baby registry, Harvey Karp « How to Blog without Annoying Your Friends and Family […]

  61. Linda at Bar Mitzvahzilla
    November 3, 2011 | 1:59 am

    When I was pregnant I swore by my Jewish baby naming book “Beyond Sarah and Sam.” I also used it to change the names of real people in my memoir and LOVE it because it’s got modern names, baby boomer names, Yiddishe names, Biblical names, Israeli names – really everything, and alphabetized. My children ended up named Daniel Elliot (for his paternal grandparents) and Rachel Kay (for her great aunt and great-grandmother). Good luck!

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