I would love your honest opinion and ideas. My husband and I are naming a potential boy (unknown sex, due in May) James, after his father. I think it is a strong handsome name and am very happy with it. The problem is the middle. I like unique, fun, a little different names-especially in the middle spot. He likes traditional names with meaning for us. I fell in love with the name Atlas but husband really hates it. He says he hates it because of the sad mythology and its in line with naming your kid Adonis, Hercules etc, its too powerful, it just sounds silly-the list goes on. I just like the sound, especially with James and it works for us b/c we love travel and aspire to keep traveling with our kids. He really struggles with picking anything that doesn’t have meaning to us so we have been trying to come up with clever names that have something to do with our love or our lives.
So the question is two part. I’ll give you our small list-none of which either of us are completely jumping at, and then I’d love to hear any suggestions. Our last name is Dixon.
James Webster (Webster is the town where his family cabin resides, many good memories there)
James Oscar (my greatgrandfather- we think he might have been an SOB so we’re pretty sure we want to name our baby after him)
James Forster (my greatgrand mother’s maiden name-a stretch since we didn’t know them or really anything about them, but I like that is reminds me of nature al la forester)
James Stellan (a mix of William & Stevens, two family names. I’ve been told this is too full of the ‘s sound)
I like Archer (but the raunchy cartoon ruined it), Brooks (but his friend named his son that), Fitzgerald (but he thinks it sounds too Irish) He suggests a lot of words in German or French that apply to us but they never sound right and I don’t think he actually likes them anyways. We love travel, nature, hiking/camping, literature, history, music…we’ve also contemplated Hemmings & Walden (for literary reasons), Hugo, Canon (he can’t get on board but I like it!), Amory (This Side of Paradise Character). Other names I like but he thinks are too “out-there” or he doesn’t like them for other reasons: Knox, Gray, Heath, Wilder. Family names from my side that we don’t want to include outright but wouldn’t mind a twist on include: Rudolph, Joseph, Ora, Alan, William, Stevens.
Thats basically it. We are naming a girl Charlotte Auden. We wouldn’t want to use Auden for a boy.
Any suggestions? I realize you don’t know us so matching our loves or lives isn’t easy but I thought i’d ask anyways. We’re getting close to the end (I’m already 36 weeks!) and I’m worried we’re never going to find a perfect fit.
P.S. I realize I left out- this is our first baby and we have a dog named Henry & a cat named Olive.
If both the surname and the first name are from your husband’s side of the family, I would be very inclined to look for a middle name from your side. You have a great-grandfather’s name and a great-grandmother’s maiden name on your list, but do you have any closer connections? Perhaps the name of your father or grandfather, a brother or uncle or cousin, your own family surname?
Looking at your list of names you don’t want to use without changing them, I’d suggest Rudy instead of Rudolph. James Rudy Dixon.
Instead of Joseph, I suggest Jonas: it has a little of the sound of Atlas, too.
Instead of Alan, I wonder if you’d like Nolan. I’m not crazy about the choppy sound of it with the surname, but full names are hardly ever said aloud, and I see from other candidates on your list that this isn’t a sound that bothers you. (This is the same as the issue of “too much S”: if it sounds like too much S to you, then it’s too much S; if it sounds like too much S to someone else but not to you, then it’s not too much S.)
Instead of William, you could use Liam or Wilson or Wills or Wells.
Instead of Stevens, you could use Evans. But to me, all these suggestions feel like they suck the meaning/significance right out of the names. Since meaning/significance is very important to the two of you, it seems better to find something you can use in its original form, if possible.
If Archer is out, I suggest Asher.
If Brooks is out (though with middle names especially, I think duplication is fine if everyone is fine with it), I suggest Hayes and Wells and Felix.
If you like the sound of Atlas, I wonder if you’d like any of these:
Are there any names you considered as a first name but rejected for reasons such as not going well with the surname, or already knowing a baby with that name, or not liking the initials? Names that had to be ruled out as first names can often be salvaged as middle names.
Instead of looking for names that relate to the two of you, I wonder if there are names that include goals you have for him? James Felix could tie in to a desire for him to be happy and lucky; James Sterling could tie in to hopes for his character. More virtue-name possibilities:
While the goal is to find something you’re both happy with, it sounds to me as if your husband could stand to do a little more compromising on this: the first name is thoroughly traditional and meaningful, which are his priorities. It’s also a significant honor name from his side of the family. For the middle name, which is mostly hidden and unused and so is a great place to be more adventurous/whimsical, it seems like he could budge a little toward your preferences: something perhaps a little more fun and different than he’d normally prefer, without going quite as far as Atlas. It might work to have him make a list of names he’d consider a little fun/different, and see if there’s anything on there that appeals to you.