Dear Jennifer:

My husband and I are expecting our first child in the spring. We don’t want to find out the sex in advance, so we are trying to choose names for both genders. We both know we’d like to honor loved ones, both living and deceased, and are pretty much set on the name Douglas Matthew (after his uncle and my husband, respectively) for a boy. My husband has his mind set on Gloria Jean (after my and his maternal grandmothers, respectively) for a girl, but I’m struggling with it a bit. I actually think it’s a beautiful name for an adult, but it seems so sophisticated for a baby/child. So, I’d like to get your outside, expert opinion. Here is my two-part question: 1) What do you think of the name Gloria Jean; and 2) Can you recommend any cute nicknames that are less sophisticated for a child?

Thanks so much,
Jennifer

Dear Jennifer (great name!),
Thank you for your kind words. Addressing your concern about the “adult-like” name Gloria, my view is quite the opposite: I don’t like giving diminutive or nicknames to children just because it will be cute when they are young. I believe a name should grow with the child and be sophisticated enough so they can use it as an adult.

The only problem I have with Gloria Jean is that it’s the name of a coffee shop chain–at least here in the West!  If you don’t mind that, I think it’s a fine name.  As for nicknames, Glo is cute, so is Ree, Ria, or Gigi.

Sincerely,

Jennifer

Jennifer Moss is the founder of BabyNames.com, author of The Baby Names Workbook, and Producer of The Baby Names Podcast. Jennifer is widely regarded as the leading expert on popular baby name trends and the naming process, serving as the authoritative source on the subject for national and international media.

Jennifer entered the tech arena in the 80s as a software developer and database architect, and became a pioneer in the Internet industry. In addition to operating BabyNames.com, Jennifer owns a web development agency in central California.