Baby Girl or Boy W., Sibling to Atticus and Elm 2

Amy writes:

I’ve thought I had our baby name situation locked down, twice, and now it’s falling apart… again. I wrote to you a few months ago about our 3rd and probably last baby, and you and your readers helped my husband and I pick a lovely girl name we’re both very happy with from your comments. Shortly after, my husband decided Orion was completely off the table so then we had to start looking for boy names. My husband has a very Scottish middle name, his grandmother’s maiden name, but a name we would never use (Craigie). So we started looking for other Scottish or Gaelic names and found Sullivan nn Sully. I liked it, he agreed, and I thought we were set. But it kept nagging at me. I really do like the name Sully but I don’t love it, it doesn’t have a strong connection for us and I don’t think it flows particularly well with Atticus and Elm. I told my husband I want to open up the discussion of boy names again and he agreed he doesn’t want to use a name I feel so lukewarm about.

So! Now here we are with still plenty of time (the baby is due the first week of February) but no boy name. It doesn’t have to be Scottish by any stretch, the only rules are still that it can’t start with W and you have to be able to pronounce it on sight. Other names we have liked besides Orion and Sullivan but that have been nixed along the way for various reasons are August, Callum, Felix, Finnian, and Phoenix.

Any help you and your readers could give to finally stop this madness would be much appreciated!



Name update! Amy writes:

I wrote to you several times this pregnancy (Baby W, sibling to Atticus & Elm) and you & your readers were so helpful. My husband and I read through your reply & all the comments multiple times. We quickly & easily agreed on Ivy Beck W. as our girl name after several people suggested it in the first post. The boy name was trickier & at different points we had settled on Sullivan nn Sully then Hawthorn nn Hawk when two days before the birth we both decided it just didn’t feel right and went back to our original choice, Orion. I think secretly we were both expecting a girl and thought maybe that’s why we’d had so much uncertainty about a boy name. But surprise! It IS a boy and we’re thrilled. Orion Cash W., 2/10/14, 9 lbs 5 oz! (middle name honors my husband’s best friend). He and his name are both perfect- thank you again for all your help!


31 thoughts on “Baby Girl or Boy W., Sibling to Atticus and Elm 2

  1. Hannah

    If a strong connection is important to you (rather than simply the aesthetics of a name), I don’t know if we’ll be much help finding things like significant meanings, honor names, etc… but I’ll throw a few names out that seem like your style!

    Julian or Jules

  2. Valentina

    What about taking the middle name choice (mentioned in the previous post) and using it as a nickname for Beckett or Beckman? Then you can use one of your lukewarm choices for a middle name or perhaps a family name.

    Atticus, Elm, and Beckett.

    Beckett Sullivan W.
    Beckett Craigie W.
    Beckett Orion W.

  3. jen

    Here would be my suggestion: shelve the naming process for a period of time. You have twice thought you were done deciding on a boy name, only to decide you were no longer done. Which is totally valid! But I think sometimes the desire to find something better is a hard one to resist. Also, you have named a boy before, so most likely you are well aware of your options. I think a cooling off period will help a name or names come to the front. We did this with naming our second boy and it was so helpful. After the time was up, we both realized we had been referring to the baby as the same name to ourselves. Maybe we just got lucky but it helped us realize we were ready to stop searching.

    Orion and Sullivan are both great names that go well stylistically with Atticus and Elm. I’d leave those two on the list and maybe find a couple of others and then (try) to stop for a period of time. I like the suggestions of Oscar and Declan.

    1. Eva.G

      This seems like great advice! So many people have a hard time knowing when to stop looking for something even better. I remember wedding dress shopping was like this! : )

  4. Lucy's Mom

    Both your children have names that hold great significance to you. Unfortunately, only you two can pick a name that has such a strong association to your family – are there any significant events surrounding this pregnancy where a potential name could be found?

    Outside of significance, here are a few names I feel work well with your sibset and/or have literary or winter associations…double checked and found some of these listed on winter baby name lists!

    Atticus, Elm, and Holden Beck (Catcher in the Rye)
    Atticus, Elm, and Crispin Beck (Crisp winter air)
    Atticus, Elm, and Vail Beck (Vail, Colorado -skiing)
    Atticus, Elm, and Storm Beck (winter storms)
    Atticus, Elm, and Tannen Beck (means fir tree in German) *my favorite! – love how the boys would have double letter names!
    Atticus, Elm, and Tann Beck (means pine forest in German)
    Atticus, Elm, and Winter Beck (could definitely see this name on a boy or girl, especially with your other children)
    Atticus, Elm, Cassian Beck
    Atticus, Elm, Everett Beck
    Atticus, Elm, Thatcher Beck

    Good luck!

    1. Lindsay A

      LOVE the suggestion of Tannen — how it sounds alone, the uniqueness (yet familiarity because of Tanner), and how it works with the sibling names. LOVE IT!

      I like Thatcher too, but Tannen is over-the-top perfect to my own ear.

      1. hystcklght

        Also agreed with Tannen! And I second the comment above that says “how it sounds alone, the uniqueness (yet familiarity because of Tanner), and how it works with the sibling names.” … Very true!

        Or, I’m not sure this fits as well with the family set, but perhaps some variation of Craig? I think the family connection (with Craigie) could explain away any stylistic-sounding differences. Plus, I like that it means “rock” or “crag” … which ties in well with the Elm.

        Completely random: what about Carlisle? It came up as I was searching for Craig-names, and I think it would fit as a sibset.

  5. Emily

    What about Malcolm? It was on my short list but didn’t match my style. Another option if you want Scottish could be Bruce.

  6. Gail

    I love “back to the drawing boards”–so exciting.

    Atticus, Elm and Rupert
    Atticus, Elm and Casper
    Atticus, Elm and Booker
    Atticus, Elm and Larsen
    Atticus, Elm and Calder
    Atticus, Elm and Ronan
    Atticus, Elm and Montague
    Atticus, Elm and Isidor
    Atticus, Elm and Thane
    Atticus, Elm and Shepherd
    Atticus, Elm and Winston
    Atticus, Elm and Solomon
    Atticus, Elm and Galen

    Have fun and now that we’ve helped twice, you’ll have to let us know!

  7. Kelsey D

    So far my top favourites are Tannen, Fergus, and Bruce. With your sib set I actually really like Fergus the best. What about Cormack? Oh, another one I like with the sib set is Tobias.

    Atticus, Elm and Fergus.
    Atticus, Elm and Tobias. Think this one is my favourite for sure. I love the way Atticus and Tobias have similar sounds throughout but are yet their own separate name.

    Eee… These two are by far my favourites and think they both go fabulously with the other kiddos names.

    What girl name did you guys decide on? Just curious as I remember your previous post!!

  8. Kerry

    First name I thought of was Heath. It’s got a Scottish connection, plus a nature name connection like Elm, which might make it more significant than Sullivan was for you.

    My other suggestion would be to do some genealogy work on that grandmother’s side, if you like Scottish names but don’t want to just pull one out of a baby name book, that might be the direction to go in.

  9. Emily

    Atticus, Elm, & Oaks
    Atticus, Elm, & Wilder
    Atticus, Elm, & Graham
    Atticus, Elm, & Ellis
    What about still using Sullivan, but using he nickname “Van” instead of “Sully?”

  10. Nedra

    I like the suggestion of Vernon. The meaning and feel are very similar to Elm, but the style/era is similar to Atticus and all three sound good together, but different.

    1. Katie

      I don’t think Vernon is a good name choice. Most elementary school classes ready Harry Potter in grades 1-3 and the character Vernon Dursley is awful. There’s a lot of teasing potential there. I also think that Harry Potter is such a cultural phenomenon that a lot of people will make the association between the name and the character. The first thing I think of when I hear “Vernon” is Harry Potter’s abusive uncle.

  11. Trudee

    What about the name Monroe? I have family in Scotland who named one of their sons this and I always though it was great. And, strangely, I wanted to suggest Homer. I have no idea why but that just came to me as I re-read your letter. I know the Simpsons are perhaps a cultural issue there, but I feel like it fits.

  12. Amy

    Alright, my first inclination here was to somehow keep the name Craigie in there, since we KNOW that has meaning for you. A quick internet search offered a few options with that in mind.

    The Wikipedia article on Craigie Castle, Scotland has a couple of areas or families associated with the name in some way that all have strong Scottish roots.


    Of these, I like Wallace the best, and it repeats the double consonants in your other son’s name, and that makes me happy.

    You could also, and I’m sure you’ve already thought of it, go with Craig. I actually like that idea, even though Craig doesn’t seem quite your style – it flows nicely with the other children’s names and it tips it’s hat to your husband’s Scottish heritage.

    There’s also Carrick and Carraig, both with Gaelic backgrounds and both sharing the same meaning as Craigie – which seems to be rocky.

  13. Kelsey D

    I just thought of this, what about Jules? I know it isn’t Scottish (rather it is French) but I think it actually quite nice and fits with the other sibling names. Jules Verne was a novelist and playwright, writing quite a few adventure-type novels – could perhaps have a literary meaning for you if you are familiar with his work? My husbands’ family has over 100 years of Jules, either as first or middle names and we actually used it for our sons’ middle name. I really think it goes very well with your other two children names.

    Atticus, Elm and Jules.

    I also read the comment above, and am also agree that Carrick could be a lovely combination as well with the sib set.

    Keep us posted and let us know what girl name you picked out!!!

    1. Kelsey D

      Oh, and my daughters’ favourite book is called Hugtime by Patrick McConnell and the main character is a little kitten whose name is Jules (it’s a boy kitten). Super cute book! I read it to my daughter every night before bed :)

  14. agirlandaboy

    Ah! I’m so sad you’re not using Orion. I thought that was perfection.

    From the suggestions here, I’m loving Heath, Shepherd, Fraser, and Crispin. I can’t wait to see what you choooooose!

  15. Eva.G

    I’ve enjoyed both posts for your baby. I really like your naming style for me as well and am saving these ideas!

    I just thought I’d also throw in Noble for a boy. It seems wintery to me, with the Christmas tree association. It also has a tie-in to Elm, as they’re both trees, but Noble is also a virtue and doesn’t scream Tree Theme to me!

    Atticus, Elm and Noble.

  16. Kelsey D

    Just throwing out another girls’ name (I know you aren’t looking for one, but I read this name tonight and thought of you immediately. Poet.

    Poet. Seems different at first (ok, it is a bit different…but I think in a unique way)…but after a while, you really warm up to it. I think it goes fabulously with Atticus and Elm. Atticus, Elm and Poet.

  17. Kelsey D

    Haha, great… I see I was the last person to leave a comment and I’m about to leave another one. Came across a name a while ago and not sure why I was thinking about it tonight but, once again, thought of you.

    Harlen. It was used for a boy but I think it could go either way depending on how you spelled it. Harlen is more boy-ish or unisex to me while Harlan or Harlyn is more feminine. I like it. Atticus, Elm and Harlen.

    Ok I’m done!! Keep us posted. I think a bunch want to know what you name your babe.


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