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Baby name advice from Jennifer Moss, founder & CEO of BabyNames.com

Baby name to go with a complicated last name?

Dear Jennifer,

We are expecting a baby girl in February and still can’t decide on a name! Our last name is Rauchhaupt (pronounced r-owsh-how-pt) so as you can imagine, it’s difficult to choose a baby name to go with it. Our choices are Amelia, Cassandra, Eleanor, and Elizaveta (my grandmother’s name). But they all seem too long to go with our last name. What would you do? LOL.

Thanks,

Sarah R.

Dear Sarah,

Your surname only has two syllables, but it does feel more complicated because of the duplicate sounds (ow) and ending hard consonant. But it has a duplex rhythm (1-2), which matches well with either 2 or 3 syllable first names.

Because your surname starts with R, you’ll want to stay away from first names that end with R, like Eleanor. So you can eliminate that one. Elizaveta Rauchhaupt is complicated because of all the different syllables. There are so many forms of Elizabeth, maybe you can choose an alternative. Eliza would be my choice.

We always recommend you do the “Introduction Test” by saying the potential baby names aloud. Remember, only use the first and last name–not middle–because this is how your child will be saying their name most often. If you try all the names that you’re considering, you’ll notice that the R in Cassandra makes the full name, Cassandra Rauchhaupt, difficult to pronounce.  Say it aloud several times. I love the name Cassandra, but in your case, I’d eliminate it.

So we’re left with Amelia, which is a perfectly fine choice, although it is currently super-popular. If that doesn’t bother you, then go for it! If you want more choices, try looking up some of the names you mentioned on our site and look for the “People who liked this name also like…” section for more suggestions.

You could also go to our open forum, Need Name Advice, and see what our community of babynamers suggest!

Good luck!

Jennifer