Baby Boy Wrightmen, Brother to Bennett: An Honor Name Issue

Katie writes:

My husband and I are Katie and Kevin and our last name sounds like Wrightmen. We are due with our second boy this March.

We love our son’s name and it fits him perfectly. Bennett Patrick (after my mom, Patricia, who passed away). Bennett we both came to love due to us each having a student with the name. (We are both teachers which can make naming a child hard!) we feel like it is classic and classy and fits well for a baby as well as a grown man.

Of course, we had our perfect girls’ name all set- Annabelle Joy. After the Ann in my/my mom’s middle name. And we loved Bennett and Belle or Bella. Or even Elle or Ella, or Annabelle or Anna.

The boys name we are deciding between are these options:

William Joseph (after both of our fathers)
Joseph William (“Joey” when a baby Joe or Joseph as he grows up)
Charles William (Charles is my dad’s middle name, and was a contender last time but we couldn’t agree on a nickname. I wanted Charles or Chase, my husband wanted Charlie.

Our number one is William Joseph. I like William Charles better, but it seems like a slight to choose not choose my dad’s first name, especially if it’s only the middle name spot and if we are choosing my father in law’s first name as our son’s first name as well. The reason we don’t mind this is because my father in law only goes by Bill, and I don’t think of him as a William. I have always loved the name because Prince William and I were born on the same day. My husband shot it down the first round, but is open this time.

So, the problems are here:

My husband does not want William to have any nickname, not Will or Liam or anything. He only wants William. He does not want his dad’s family to refer to our baby as “little willy” as they called his dad when he was younger. He especially does not want him to be “little bill”. He does not think his dad deserves that honor, but likes the name William.

We both used to not be close with our fathers due to poor choices they made during their marriages. In time and forgiveness, we have grown very close with each of our fathers and they have grown to be wonderful, involved grandpas who love their grandsons and support us. When I brought up the idea of the name, I said even though they didn’t make good choices years ago, we are teaching our sons forgiveness, the importance of valuing family and honoring the people they are now. And it’s easy to say “you are named after both of your grandfathers” which is cool. I love the names and I think it’s perfect.

So- is there a nice way to say, “we are calling him William, no nicknames please?”

The other thing- my husbands mom and sister still has a hard time with resentment towards his dad, even to the point where they resent how close we are now. We know they may be turned off by the name or think it’s weird we chose to name our son after our fathers. Should I even care about that? Suggestions on how to tell them (it will be after the baby is born) Or do we just say the name and they can get over it?

I feel like William and Joseph are both common enough names that it wouldn’t be a big deal? It’s not like this is the only William they will ever encounter.

Aside from the nickname, and my husband worrying about his family’s opinion, we love the names (individually and their meaning). Although at times he thinks his dad doesn’t “deserve” to have a son named after him.

I feel like Bennett and William couldn’t be cuter together, and we have found ourselves hooked on the double letters and feel like that might be our childrens’ “name connection”. We hope to have Bennett, William (?) and Annabelle one day.

Other choices included:

Reed (which I liked because our last name starts with R as well, but didn’t know if it would be strong or weird, my husband thought he may be called “weed whiteman” instead of reed Wrightmen)

Matthew- love! I just have a cousin named Matthew, will likely use for 3rd boy

Noah (the only non-double letter name we both loved, was just used by a cousin for her boy)

Lillianna or Reese for a girl

1. Suggestions on spreading the no nickname rule
2. Suggestions on sharing the name with people who may not be happy about it
3. Is William Joseph the right name?

Thanks, swistle! I look forward to hearing your views and the comments from your wise readers! You always have smart, clear kind advice. Thank you in advance!


It sounds to me from your letter as if the name William has too much baggage and too many issues to be a good first-name candidate. I think you might be able to avoid nicknames (though he may very well choose one himself later on)—especially Billy and Bill and Willy, which are hardly used at all by this generation of babies. But it depends almost completely on your particular families and the extent to which they go with what you ask them to do, and there’s no nice way to say, “We named him William, but please don’t use nicknames because it might accidentally honor his grandfather who doesn’t deserve that honor.”

People will very likely assume it’s an honor name, and quite a high honor at that, and so family members who would have a problem with that are likely to have a problem with that. You could go to those family members and say, “It’s just because we liked the name—it’s not after Dad,” but I’m imagining how I’d feel if a baby I loved was given the name of my ex-husband who had behaved very badly and left some very bad memories, and it’s not going over well in my imagination. It’s possible it would redeem the name, but that might be a hard road.

If you were crazy about the name William, if your own father and beloved brother were also named William, if it was the only name you both loved and agreed on—in those sorts of situations, you would hear me saying it probably wouldn’t be too bad. The relatives could probably be soothed. Your father-in-law couldn’t be told the name didn’t honor him (especially since it does, and you’d be actively telling your son it does), but perhaps everyone would understand the explanation about forgiveness/redemption. But it sounds to me that although you really like the name William, it’s just one of a number of good options, and your husband has only recently come around to it. It also sounds like you like the symbolism of using it, but your husband’s actual feelings don’t line up with that symbolism: the relationship may have significantly improved, but your husband is still saying his father doesn’t deserve the honor of a namesake. Overall, it looks to me as if the arguments for NOT using it far outweigh the reasons for using it.

If you would like to use both grandfather’s names, I think William is perfect as the middle name. It reduces the impact of the namesake (and doesn’t force your husband’s mother and sister to use it regularly), and eliminates nickname issues. If you are still not in agreement on a nickname for the name Charles, you could either each use your own nickname and see which one pans out as his own favorite (this works if you are both fine with all the possible outcomes of this), or you could use Joseph. I think it’s fine that it isn’t your dad’s first name, and I even like the balance of it: your dad’s MIDDLE name as the FIRST name, and your husband’s dad’s FIRST name as the MIDDLE name. (If you use your father-in-law’s first name as the first name, though, I agree it would be better to use your father’s first name as the middle name.)

If you do use William as the first name, or if you think your husband’s family will object to it even as a middle name, I would tell them very gently and understandingly (and ideally on their own, without your father-in-law present), and I would emphasize your non-father-in-law reasons for liking the name, including the Prince William connection. I would say to them what you said to us about your father-in-law seeming like “Bill”—totally unconnected to William. I’d tell them that your husband had very mixed feelings about honoring his dad, but that the two of you agreed it symbolized your son’s relationship with his grandfather more than your husband’s relationship with his dad.

It would be a little easier, I think, if your husband’s mother and sister had already been honored: as I’m writing all this out it feels a little wrong to be honoring/forgiving the former bad guy before honoring the ones who were good all along (if they indeed were), and increases my feelings that this name has too much baggage to be worth using.

A fun idea just occurred to me. What if you were to name your son George, making a two-generation connection between you and Prince William?



Name update! Katie writes:

I wrote you about whether or not to name our son after both grandfathers (sounds like Wrightmen).  We ultimately decided that William was out as a first name option due to the overwhelming response, and now we can see, he is very much not a William.  We decided to go with the name Matthew with William as the middle name (and can share the middle name with my husband) for the longest time.  Matthew is a name we both love and it would be a male M name to honor my mother in law, Martha.  At the last minute we decided to add my dad’s name as a second middle name, so we could honor all three living grandparents and not leave anyone out.  Thank you for your wonderful input and help making the right decision.

Matthew William Joseph
March 16, 2014


40 thoughts on “Baby Boy Wrightmen, Brother to Bennett: An Honor Name Issue

  1. Patricia

    Right on, Swistle! I laughed out loud when I read: “”We named him William, but please don’t use nicknames because it might accidentally honor his grandfather who doesn’t deserve that honor.” In spite of the mom’s attachment to the name William, it sounds like it would be way too much baggage to put on this baby who would grow up hearing about Grandpa Bill’s misdeeds and would no doubt figure out his dad’s mixed feelings about Bill (given name William,) and be aware of the negative feelings of his grandma and aunt toward the grandpa with the same name as his.

    It seems to me that making your son’s name a teaching lesson in forgiveness is, again, too much to put on him. Whatever Bill did or didn’t do (and likewise Joe), they may not be the role models you want for your son when he’s a young man. “Is William Joseph the right name?” It doesn’t sound like it is at all *for your son*.

    Your Prince William connection is cool, and I can see why you like the name William because of that. But I don’t think that can override all the concerns about using the name of Grandpa William “Bill”. I like Swistle’s suggestion of George, William’s son. Could you use a male form or something similar to your husband’s mom’s first or middle name as his middle name, as you did for your first son with your mom’s name, thus not choosing to honor either grandfather? Or maybe name him George Charles, since it appears that there is far less family ‘commotion’ about using your one of your dad’s names, although that would have both sons’ middle names from your side.

    Or how about using Matthew for this baby? Bennett and Matthew work well together. And choosing either an honor name from your husband’s family (male form of mother’s name or grandfather, uncle, or other mentor). Or stick with your Prince William connection and use one of his other middle names as the middle name – (William) Arthur Philip Louis — or his son’s name George:

    Matthew Arthur
    Matthew George

    I’m sure it’s hard to give up William, but parents sometimes have to do that when their favorite name just doesn’t work with the surname or the spouse’s preferences or for some other reason.

  2. Vesna

    I agree that it would be too much baggage to use William – if I were your mother or sister, I couldn’t see myself growing to like it, esp. since they don’t seem to be forgiving of whatever your father did. And it would be too much for your son too – a lesson in forgiveness sounds nice, but the premise is that a mistake was made, and that people were hurt in the process. I would not want that negative connotation on my own name. He’d grow up knowing his grandma and aunt were hurt by someone his grandpa did.. And the conflict doesnt seem to be over for them. I also would find it very awkward if this mistake happened to have been an affair – how to teach a child what this even means? Personally, I’d want a name to be positive, inspiring, empowering – and as important as forgiveness is to learn in life, I feel like it’s just not a good option to exercise it in the form of a name for your son.

  3. Lucy's Mom

    As someone who can relate to a back and forth estranged relationship with their father, I completely agree that William, Joseph and Charles all come with too much baggage. I think you need to walk away from them. It seems from your letter these names will cause too many issues. Plus, if they felt right, you would know! Your son’s name, Bennett Patrick, honors your mother, Patricia, who has passed; Bennett was a non-family name you both fell for. Your future daughter’s name, Annabelle Joy (lovely!) again, honors your mother who has passed. Are there any male relatives who have passed that you would like to honor in the same fashion as Bennett? Non-family name, honor middle, Wrightmen? A grandfather, uncle, etc?

    You say you love the name Matthew…could this be the name?! You are already thinking of using it for a hypothetical 3rd boy, so you both must really like it. I think Bennett and Matthew sound great together, and if you are ever blessed with Annabelle, they will all have double letter names! I understand you have a cousin Matthew, but if your family is like mine, no one would assume you were honoring that cousin, as Matthew is a timeless name. Good luck and send an update!

    Here are other suggestions of double letter names, even though I think Matthew is pretty perfect since you already love the name!

    Bennett and Matthew Wrightmen
    Bennett and Kenneth Wrightmen
    Bennett and Harrison Wrightmen (love! And could totally picture Annabelle in this sibset)
    Bennett and Phillip Wrightmen
    Bennett and Griffin Wrightmen
    Bennett and Reece Wrightmen
    Bennett and Cooper Wrightmen
    Bennett and Jeffrey Wrightmen

  4. Manday

    I agree that there is too many potential issues with William. You shouldn’t have to convince yourselves its OK to honor these people, its impossible to guarentee a NN won’t get used, and most singificantly to me, there is potential that this hesitance or hx of bad relationships and such could come out at some point and really hurt the child if they find out.

    I like the idea of Matthew as a first name. You both like it, it has the double letter, and no baggage. Bennett isn’t a family name, so no need to make the first name a family name this time around.

    For middle, any of the options would be fine. I would really think about who you want to honor the most. I would consider using a male variant of your MILs name to mirror Patrick/Patricia. I would not use William as a middle name unless your DH is 100% OK with it being an honor name, and able to say its an honor name without bitterness or question.

  5. JMV

    There seems to be too much drama to use either William and Joseph, given that you both had rocky relationships with your fathers. At the same time, you seem to want to emphasize the importance of valuing family by giving this child a family name. Since you want more kids and plan to use family names, let’s not have this child be the odd man out. Personally, I would limit it to ONE honor name on this child, just like Bennett. There seem to be a few better options here than William or Joseph.

    You could use a masculine form of one of your mother-in-laws names. Since we don’t know what they are, we can’t be helpful. Perhaps it is as easy as turning Patricia into Patrick. If her name is something more along the lines of “Joy”, then you could use something with a similar meaning like Felix or Asher.

    You could use a name that honors you or your husband. Put Kevin in the middle name spot or use MarVIN or VINcent as a middle name. Kato doesn’t seem to be your style, so that’s likely a no-go, but you get the point.

    You could use a family surname for the middle. Perhaps your surname? Your mother’s maiden name? Your mother-in-law’s maiden name?

    I love the name Annabelle with Bennett, but if you want, you could use a name with an Ann-twist now for your son. There are ways to change/embed Ann into a boy’s name to use as a tribute to your mother. Some ideas are Anthony, G(ann)on, or T(ann)er.

    Some names that go with Bennett and Annabelle and have double letters:
    – Griffin
    – Harrison
    – Conner (cute A, B, C label possibilities here)
    – Marshall
    – Rafferty (may not work with your last name)
    – Emmanuel (may be a tongue twister with Annabelle)
    – Russell (double double letters like the other names)
    – Garrett or Jarrett (double double letters)
    – Sullivan (double letters plus a similar sound to the ending of Kevin)
    – Perry
    – Merrill (double double letters)

    Good luck!

  6. Another Heather

    I’m afraid I have to agree with everyone else on this one. It seems as though using these men’s names, while a lovely sentiment and likely positive for them, does come across as a bit of a slight to the other family in question. It almost seems like TOO much forgiveness. You say you have amended things with them, and that they are doing their part to be wonderful grandparents. I say great! The honor here is that you have forgiven them and want them in your children’s lives. There are lots of way to honor parents, and to teach forgiveness without putting it loud and proud into the name your child will carry with them their whole lives. Putting myself in the jilted party’s shoes, I think this would make associating with my grandson more difficult than it needs to be. It also seems unfair that Bennett should have a name free of any negative emotional baggage. I’d urge you to do what above posters have suggested and find someone else to honor, or otherwise use Matthew. I think Matthew is a wonderful name, and one I rarely hear on babies anymore. It’s among my very favourite classic name and it sounds like it’s been waiting in the wings for you to use it! I think the time might be now! You could use Matthew William and cite your Prince William association to soften the blow if you just can’t picture not using it in some way.
    This is a tough one, because you seem somewhat set on the idea of using both father’s names. My husbands parents are divorced and since my mother in law is alive and would be very much present in her grandkids lives, the thought of forcing her to call her grandson by her ex husband’s name, even the formal version, seems unnecessarily cruel. If you use either Joseph or William at all, I really urge you to put them in the middle.

  7. Jocelyn

    If you did go with William I don’t think you have to tell people not to use nicknames, just tell them that you like using the full name. That that is the sound you love. Our son is William and 99% of the time we call him that and so does everyone else. They just follow our lead. Ours may become Will at some point but so far I’ve only heard a couple random people call him Will. I think when he was born people might have asked us what we planned on calling him and we told them William or maybe Will. No one has tried Bill, Billy, or Willy thankfully. But as the others said, it might be better to do a non family first name. I love some of the suggestions already given.

  8. Katie

    I think that using these particular honour names might be too much baggage to put onto a baby or child. It’s great to honour family members but not if it causes widespread resentment or brings up bad feelings. I think its too much to ask of your child to carry around years of complicated family relationships in their name (and thus, their identity). As they grow up you don’t want this name choice to somehow impact the relationships they might have with other family members who aren’t quite as forgiving as you. It’s also a bit of a complicated explanation- “we’re naming you after your grandfathers, but only their behaviour in the last ten years.” There shouldn’t be a qualifier on an honour.

    If you’re set on using an honour name, are there any less controversial family members you could honour? For example, did either of you have an awesome uncle or aunt who made a big impact on your life? There’s also the possibility of using a masculine form of your mother in law’s name (since you already honoured your mother).

    I think you might want to reconsider Matthew. It’s got the double letter connection which was an aspect you liked about William and fits well with the name Bennett. I also like the names Mitchell and Harrison which have the same benefits.

    Good Luck!

    1. Katie

      I was actually thinking about this question a lot today (it resonated with me for whatever reason) and I just wanted to add that I think that it might help to apply the “would I want this name myself” test. When I tried it out, I thought that I would like the name William or Joseph (great names!) but I wouldn’t want any of the baggage that went along with it. So, in the circumstance, I wouldn’t want the name.

  9. TheFirstA

    I think Swistle got it exactly right (as usual). William has too much baggage to use as a first name. I’d move it to the middle position, or pass on it totally.

  10. A

    I agree that you should pass on William, and perhaps Joseph and Charles as well. There is just too much baggage. And no matter your intention, if you use William, It is an honor name no matter if you call him William rather than Bill/Billy/Willy…the only way to avoid giving your husband’s father the honor of a namesake is not to use it.

    Anyway, I think a classic, surname style name would go better with Bennett. Here are a few with double letters: Everett, Cross, Dennison, Mills, Miller, Forrest, Forrester, Brooks

  11. Julie

    Re: nicknames — we have two children who have names that lend themselves very easily to a number of nicknames, but we call them both by the full name. If/when anyone asks about nicknames (or even uses one without asking), we typically smile and cheerfully say, “We name ’em what we call ’em!” Now that they are a bit older, they can each tell people themselves that they prefer to be called _____ instead of a nickname. SO – it’s been fairly easy in our experience to avoid others using unwanted nicknames…I think the method by which we express our preference (lightheartedness goes a long way) helps.

    Best of luck in choosing the right name for your sweet baby!

  12. Emily

    I agree with the above comments….

    You may not have a third boy and you love the name Matthew, so name this one Matthew!

  13. Jemima

    It sounds like Matthew is the right choice for you. I think it’s lovely that you’re trying to honour family, but it does sound like too much baggage with the father issue. What is your husband’s mother’s name or middle name? Perhaps you could use a ‘boy version’ of her name (like Patricia –> Patrick), or find a name with a similar sound or meaning, so that both the boys can have middle names after their grandmothers.
    Best of luck!

  14. Susan S

    i have that ex-husband. My daughter barely knew him until she was an adult; they are still not what I would consider close. I would be hurt (and so would her step-father) if she chose to name her child after him.

  15. Meg

    I love the names William and Matthew, but felt I would offer some name baggage perspective. My middle name is my dad’s grandmother’s name which my mom chose not knowing they did not have a great relationship when my dad was a child. My dad approved the name, but later in life it came out they were not close. My mom had name regret, I cared less for my middle name, and feel uncomfortable looking at infant photos of me and her, though she passed shortly after I was born so I don’t have that benefit your son will. When I was married I legally changed my middle name to my maiden name to “rightfully” (in my mind) honor my father who I love and respect so much. I chose one sister’s name for my daughter’s middle name but will not honor my other sister with whom I do not have a great relationship due to my experience.

  16. Anna B

    I also think that, baggage aside, William “Wrightmen” is a little tongue-twisty. Something about the multiple m sounds. Maybe that makes it easier to walk away from William as well?

  17. Reagan

    I would not use a name that would hurt the child’s grandmother. It seems unnecessarily cruel no matter how much you love the name.

    I like the idea of connecting your children’s names with the double letter. You may never have a third son so using Matthew now would be a good idea. Some of my favorites are:


  18. Reagan

    As for your questions about sharing the name William if you are going to use it regardless of the feelings of the woman who raised your husband, then I would tell her before the child is born so she can work through the hurt before meeting her grandson. You don’t want the first time she sees her grandchild to be accompanied by pain and hurt. And it would be beyond cruel for het to hear it from someone else.

  19. StephLove

    I’m with everyone who says Matthew might be the one, since you are already considering using it for another child. And using your mother-in-law’s names for a middle if any of them have masculine versions would be a nice parallel. Her maiden name might also be usable. I also like Reed with Bennett (and maybe someday Annabelle).

  20. Elizabeth

    I think you should use the same formula as with your first child: First name a non-honor name that you like, middle name an honor name. Perhaps there is a family surname from your husband’s side of the family that would work with one of the first names that you just like the sound of. What about your mother-in-law’s maiden name, or the name of her father? You could also use your husband’s name. Matthew Kevin actually sounds quite nice.

  21. Brittany

    Another echo of Swistle and other commenters – the names you are considering are wonderful and you have some compelling reasons to use them, but I think the reasons not to use them are even more compelling, especially when you have Matthew and other names you also like that seem to fit better with the model you used for Bennett – first name you like, middle honor name. I’m so often “the forgiver” in my family, so I understand the position you are in and your wanting to demonstrate forgiveness and use grandfather honor names. I think that an earlier poster put it so well in saying that the honor for the grandfathers is that despite the mistakes they made with you and your husband and in their marriages, you’ve welcomed them back into your lives and the life of their grandson. To honor your deceased mother, you used a middle name cross-gender variation of her name. I don’t see the call to give a much higher and more direct honor to either of the grandfathers, especially when your husband has stated that despite the renewed relationship, he doesn’t think his father deserves it and there is the potential to hurt other family members.

    My vote would be for Matthew (wonderful, classic name, double letters, you both love it, no baggage, same model as your first son) and then a middle name that somehow honors your MIL, your husband, or another man in one of your families. OR, you could go with George in the middle as a connection to you. It’s hard to argue that you “owe” anyone an honor name when the only one you’ve used so far has been in the middle name slot and it was modified to honor your deceased mother, so there should be no hurt feelings if you decide not to specifically honor anyone with the name.

  22. Kelsey D

    I also agree that there seems to be too much baggage with using those family names. You don’t want to constantly be explaining your reasons why you named him what you did and what the name does and doesn’t mean to you guys. You don’t want your other family members to have a negative emotional response when they first hear his name or see him every time.

    My favorites:


    Think they all go well with sibling names (including future names)

    I like Matthew, although I also understand how it is when you like the name but it just doesn’t feel right for this babe. But it is a good option as well, although I think the other three have a similar naming style to Bennett as I feel Matthew is slightly older feeling.

    Good luck

  23. Rita

    Personally, I wouldn’t give my son a name that had such bad associations with half of the close family. That being said, William is a common enough name to differentiate him from the “polemical” grandfather, especially if the latter awlays goes by Bill. I think it’s possible to insist him being called William — anyway, I assume nowadays the intuitive nicknames are Will or Liam. The point is, you can never control the nicknames he will go by throughout his life. Does Bennett ever get called Ben or Benny?

    I vote for Charles William. You still honour the 2 grandfathers, but in a more subtle way. As for the nicknames, I don’t see a problem if he goes by both Chase and Charlie — lots of kids go by different names in different contexts.
    Charles is also more unusual (less popular) than William and Joseph.

  24. phancymama

    I think the statement “Although at times he thinks his dad doesn’t “deserve” to have a son named after him.” speaks volumes. Naming a child after someone is a huge honor, and it doesn’t quite sound like your husband is on board. Adding to that the potential to hurt the feelings of half of your husband’s family of origin, and you’ve just placed a heavy load on some little shoulders. If the concept of honoring family or forgiveness is the one you want, then finding a name with those meanings might be better. And even though he is “Bill” to you, chances are that your MIL is more familiar with him being “William”–that is probably what was on their marriage license, on their bank accounts, on the divorce paperwork…
    My parents are divorced, and although I sort of wanted to name my daughter after my mother, I knew that naming her my father’s ex-wife’s name would make that relationship tough to develop.
    Matthew does sound perfect, and a middle name honoring you or your husband or your MIL or George would be a great idea, with out all the baggage.

  25. Katie

    Thank you so much for the kind, thoughtful and insightful comments. I had no idea that it would be an overwhelming “no!” to William Joseph. All along I have been feeling that it was the baby’s name! My husband is not “100% on board” but he has no name that he likes better.

    I will really have to rethink this.

    A lot of commenters are suggestion Matthew, which is actually the male name that I would say honors the other grandmother (and I like). The only thing that stopped it from being the top contender last time was that it is my cousin’s name and he is in a little trouble lately. He is not Matt, either, he is Matthew and it would not be that we are naming the baby after him. I kind of wanted the baby to have “his own” name, though obviously William is his grandfathers name.

    Do you really think this baby will be plagued to have both grandfathers’ names? They won’t be around forever, and I worry I painted a much worse picture of them than I meant to. I thought it would be really special to have both grandfathers names (along with the fact that I like the names a lot).

    Is Matthew Charles a better option? That was a top contender last time. When we found out we were expecting again, we immediately chose Noah Matthew (honor to my mother in law with Matthew). A few months later a cousin (lives far away and we rarely see them) named their son Noah Patrick. (Our sons middle name is Patrick, and their other sons middle name is Bennett). Obviously, we have similar taste in names. Is that another one to consider?

    Looks like I am back to the drawing board for baby boy number two!

    Thank you for all of your comments, thoughts and suggestions.

  26. Jemima

    Hmm… what about Bennett and his little brother:
    Everett (too similar?)
    Best of luck! Matthew would still be lovely in the mn spot, if you didn’t want to have the same fn as the cousin.

  27. Katie

    When sharing your thoughts with my husband, he completely agreed with you and admitted he has been feeling uneasy about the name and thinks we need to let it go. He doesn’t want to upset anyone, and thinks it’s just not worth it. We both just like the name.

    A new name that we recently talked about was mentioned a few times by readers in the comments. Connor, we both like the name, it has double letters, the cute ABC initials (Annabelle Bennett and Connor) and I read that the meaning of Connor is “wolf lover”. My mom, who passed away, had a special, endearing nickname of Wolf, silly as it sounds. We were thinking of Connor Matthew, as Matthew would be a male honor to my husbands mother.
    Though I still love it as a first name, just don’t know if I am ready to pull the trigger.

    My question is: does Connor Wrightmen (starts with an R) flow together to make Connor Ightmen? That is my only issue with the name. Am I making something out of nothing? Do Connor, Annabelle and Bennett sound like a good sibling set?

    Names we like but just aren’t sure:
    Christian, Reed, Noah, Michael, Matthew, Charles, and Connor

    Suggestions? Thank you for all of your help and moving us in a different direction sooner rather than later!

  28. Katie

    We like Christian as it is a combination of my brothers’ names (Chris and Andrew) though this is not important. My husband feels like we have honored one parent that is no longer with us and does not feel obligated to pass on any other name (including Matthew , after his mother, Martha). He does like the name Matthew, though.

    Also, I wanted to note that Kevin’s middle name is William, after his dad. I do feel that, even if we eliminate William from any part of this child’s name, we could use it for a future boy’s middle (not first) name and no one would take issue with it. I do think it may be an issue if we choose both of our fathers’ names and chose William as a first name.

    1. Patricia

      Hearing that your husband’s middle name is William changes the situation entirely for me. I’ve been trying to think of a way/reason you could ‘justify’ using William, which you love so much, and I think that might be it. Apparently your husband was named after his dad, but now the name is *his*, Kevin’s. So easy to say then that “we chose the name William because it’s Kevin’s middle name and I have always loved the name and felt a special tie to it because I was born on the same day as Prince William”. As for the middle name, if you use one of your father’s names, that might make the full name still seem like it IS for both grandfathers. This boy is NOT being named after Grandpa Bill so I don’t think you need to name him after your dad either. I’d balance things out by using a male form of your MIL’s name: how about Martin? That has both boys with a middle name from a grandmother and clears the way to use Annabelle, a second name for your mom, if you have a girl someday.

      William Martin Wrightmen

      You could call him both William and “Wills”, as the young Prince William was. He may someday choose to go by “Will” but he’ll never be “Bill”.

      1. Patricia

        I should have said, a name similar to your MIL’s name Martha. Martin, of course, is not a male form of Martha — totally separate names, but they do sound very similar. And using Martin would leave Matthew for a third son, if you happen to have one.

  29. Megz

    I think Connor Wrightmen flows fine and doesn’t run together, but that could be my accent. And if it did, does “Connor Ightmen” sound like a real name? Does “Conn O’wrightmen” sound like a real name? Not to me.

    I also like Tanner from the comments although that also have the run-together issue. I like the way you’d have Bennett, Tanner and Annabelle with repeated “nn” in each name. Or Bennett, Tanner and Matthew with repeated T’s. Nathan would also give you repeated N’s or T’s. Nathan Wrightmen.

    All the best.

  30. maria

    I just would find it hurtful if all grandparents except his mother are included in honor names. If she was not in his life, fine, but from what it seems she is.

    1. Patricia

      I agree and have been thinking this all along. Whatever first name is chosen for this baby boy, I think it would be really nice to honor the paternal grandma too by using Martin as his middle name. Matthew is a great name, and you may prefer it to Martin, but Martin would be far more clearly after your MIL, just as Patrick is for you mother.

      Bennett Patrick Wrightman (middle name for mother’s mother Patricia)
      __________ Martin Wrightman (middle name for father’s mother Martha)

      And perhaps someday, Annabelle (a name also relating to your mom’s name)

  31. Reagan

    Connor Matthew seems perfect. I don’t think Connor “W”rightman is a problem. Connor William would also work.

    I think Reed Is also a good choice. You could go with Reed Matthew, Reed Connor, or Reed William.

  32. Lashley

    I think it’s hard to know how bad naming your son after grandpa Bill (whether or not you perceive it as such, others likely will) is, since we don’t know the full story, but it does seem like somewhere between “kind of odd” and “hurtful and offensive.” Probably not the way you want to go, but it sounds like you have let that name go regardless.

    Connor sounds like a great choice for you! I don’t think it runs together with your last name in a way that’s confusing at all.

    Perhaps, if you’re looking to honor your husbands mother (via Matthew, Martin, etc), you might ask her if there are any names from her side of the family that are meaningful to her. She might have had an uncle, cousin, grandpa, (or aunt whose maiden name might be appealing) with whom she was close and you could honor her by choosing one of those names.

  33. kristin

    i was considering charles too, after my own dad. i haven’t had the opportunity yet & fear it may have been overused as an honor name at this point by my three sisters for their littles. but during the consideration phase, i came across TWO adorable nicknames i don’t believe you mentioned: cal & arlo! i vote for charles being revisited: )

  34. Patricia

    Congratulations on the birth — and naming –of Matthew William Joseph. You and your husband put a lot of thought into his name and came up with an all-around winner for him and for your family. I hope all the grandparents are happy with the name, and of course he and your husband share a middle name too. Best wishes!


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