Hi Jennifer,

Holly Hobby Doll
Holly Hobby Doll

Long time fan, here! I’ve enjoyed reading your column for years! My husband and I are getting ready to expand our family, and so we are starting to consider names for our future little one. So far, some names I like for a girl have the same vowel sounds as our last name. I’m really enjoying the names Holly and Molly, and our last name is Schmalz. Do you think a name like that would work, or would it sound cartoon-y?

I appreciate your input,
A fellow Jennifer 🙂

Hi Jennifer,

I understand that your concern is that the two names you’ve chosen for a future girl baby would have the same “AHL” syllable as your last name. To answer your question: no, I don’t think the combination makes it sound cartoony. However the names Holly and Molly on their own do seem–what’s the word I want–immature? They sound like names for a child. Now, I know there are thousands of Holly and Molly adults out there. I personally know one Holly who’s in her sixties and a grandmother. But it’s almost incongruent.

The first thing I tell parents is that you’re not only naming a baby, you’re also naming an adult. The name Molly is historically a nickname/child name for the given name Mary. Can you picture Molly commanding the board room, if she had to? Could she run for President? Or does she sound like she should have a lollipop and braids?

Think about this and keep name-storming!



Jennifer Moss (she/her) 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.