We are about 3 weeks out from having our 3rd child, a boy! We think we’ve settled on a first name but we’re really debating on a middle name. I would love to hear the vote of you and your readers. Our last name is is Kirpatrick with another K in there. We are pretty positive this baby’s first name will be Keller. As for middle names, we have 2 front contenders and cannot decide.
Option 1: Jonah. Keller Jonah.
My oldest son just turned 3 and since he found out he was having a little brother has been insistent on naming him Jonah. We have no idea where it came from, we don’t know any Jonahs, we don’t think he’s been exposed to the name Jonah at all. We think it would be pretty cool to honor that request by giving the baby the middle name Jonah.
Pros: It seems cute that the baby was partially named by his older brother.
Cons: Keller Jonah would not have any family significance, which our other two kids do (Our other two kids are named after my husband’s father who passed away and my mother who passed away)
Option 2: Barnett. Keller Barnett
Barnett was my mother’s maiden name and is my brother’s middle name, so there is family significance. I don’t love it, but I like it. My mom was already honored in my daughter’s name, but I guess there can’t be too many honor names? My brother would probably be happy, but he wouldn’t really care in the long run. I can’t decide if I like the look of the double letters in both names.
Pros: Family name like his siblings
Cons: The family name is from my side, which I kind of feel bad about. My daughter is named after my mother and sister. I feel like if we do another family name it should be from my husband’s mom’s side, but I don’t really like any of the names (I’ll list below)
Richard (Husband’s middle name, MIL’s father’s name) -Keller Richard Kirpatrick sounds like a mouthful of Rs.
Powell (MIL’s father’s middle name) Keller Powell Kirpatrick doesn’t flow
Any boy names you can derive from Nancy or Anne? I can’t think of any.
So what do you think? Family name or name arbitrarily created by a 3 year old?
Any and all advice is appreciated!
Thanks so much in advance if you choose to address this question!
Two of my many name-related soft spots are “names chosen by siblings” and “maiden names,” so this is a pretty happy question.
I don’t think it’s crucial that a whole name flows together nicely, but I do prefer a nice flow when all else is equal, so I tried saying both Keller Jonah Kirpatrick and Keller Barnett Kirpatrick aloud. I had a harder time saying the latter, but not a deal-breakingly hard time.
I have a slight preference too for the way the name Jonah keeps the name from being three surname names in a row. But again: slight. Not enough to make the decision.
I have a preference for giving everyone an honor name. But after breaking this preference with my own kids’ names and finding I cared less in the long run than I expected to, I have modified this preference to “everyone gets a similarly-good naming story.” That is, I think if two kids get honor-name stories and one kid has a sibling-chose-the-name story, those are equivalent. Especially when the parents are running out of honor names they want to use.
I also do like Keller Richard Kirpatrick, but I get the impression from the letter that it’s not a strong contender.
I can’t think of a good Nancy/Anne namesake, either. Some people like to match meanings, so that’s a possibility if it appeals. But it feels like less of a pleasing story to me than the other options.
I keep wanting to start a paragraph with “I find myself leaning toward…”—but then I change my mind as soon as I pick one! First I thought I felt more warmly about using Jonah, and then I thought I felt more warmly about using Barnett, and then back to Jonah, and then back to Barnett. If we were in the maternity ward with the new baby and you MADE me choose, RIGHT now…I think I would choose Jonah. But then all the way home I would be thinking, “Wait, was that right? Should I have said Barnett? Maybe I should call her back.”
Well. I had a similar conundrum with Henry’s middle name: three excellent choices and none of them had an extra edge over any of the others. What finally settled my mind was thinking that this meant there probably really WASN’T a “best choice”: we just had to pick one, and we were very unlikely to be sorry about ANY of the three excellent choices.
But what I think we should do here is a POLL! Polls are fun, and also it may sway your feelings—especially if you find you’re hoping the results will come out one way or the other. I had trouble deciding if Richard should go in there or not; I eventually came down on the side of no, but I think commenters should go ahead and say in the comments if they WOULD have voted for that if it had been an option.
I had my baby and wanted to give an update! We wrote to you regarding his middle name. Keller Barnett, Keller Jonah, or something different?
After one commenter pointed out that Keller Barnett sounded like a law form, and another said she still feels sour that her older sister got to name her, we fell out of love with both. Neither felt right.
He went a couple days without a middle name but we ultimately decided on Lee. Keller Lee. Lee was my mother’s middle name, my maternal grandfather’s middle name, and my paternal grandmother’s first name. I initially didn’t like it because it felt like an overused name and because I was afraid it would make Keller sound like an adjective (kellerly?) But anyways, it actually felt perfect once he was here.
Thanks for all your help!