Baby Boy Luh-MAY, Brother to Matilda and Wilder

We’re expecting our third child, a boy, in early September. Big siblings are Matilda and Wilder, and the surname is French and sounds like luh-MAY. We live in a hipster area of a big city, where it’s normal to hear parents call out: “Otto! Laszlo! Dashiell! Jasper!” Perhaps due to this, I’m really struggling to find anything I like. It’s the common problem of wanting something that feels fresh and different without being too unusual, except those names have all already been taken by my kids’ friends and schoolmates. Add in the fact that I’ve worked at a preschool for the past 5 years, and suddenly all my old favorites feel overused and tired.

My husband doesn’t seem to be afflicted by this problem. Some of the names he likes best are: Atticus, Alden, Barnaby, Emerson, Hawthorn, Nero, and Orion. I would consider Atticus, but don’t love it, am so-so on Hawthorn, and dislike the others.

Names I like (but don’t love) that my husband would be willing to consider:
Cassian (a bit frilly feelng)
Cormac (pronunciation discrepancies, not great flow with surname)
Cyrus, Everett, Theo, Tristan (so popular here)
Leander (same ending as Wilder)

Names I like (but don’t love) that my husband has rejected: Anders, Atlas, Boaz, Bram, Caspian, Dario, Emrys, Etienne, Ivo, Jonas, Lucian, Lysander, Orlando, Roman, Roscoe

The one name we both like but would never use due to spelling: Tadhg

Names we would have considered had this baby been a girl: Adeline, Beatrix, Coraline, Cordelia, Elodie, Lucia, Lyra, Rose, Thisbe, Zora.

Ideally the name would flow well with the surname, not end in -er, and sound distinct from yet compatible with Matilda and Wilder. This will most likely be our last baby, so I’m hopeful there’s something out there we’ll (re)discover and both love, rather than something we can merely compromise on.

I would be very grateful for any suggestions you might have. Many thanks!

-A

 

Just for fun, I started by seeing what the possibilities were for a third name containing “ild”:

Gildardo
Hilder
Tilden

So, hm. How about only the “ld”:

Alden (also seen on your husband’s list)
Aldo
Aldous
Aldric
Aldrich
Colden
Elden
Eldric
Fielding
Fitzgerald
Kelden
Leopold
Maxfield
Oswald
Reginald
Sheldon
Walden (probably too many sounds in common with Wilder)
Whitfield

I particularly like Fielding. Fielding Luhmay; Matilda, Wilder, and Fielding.

Because it’s common for parents to have different naming styles for boys and for girls, I’d lean more toward matching the brother names here. Wilder is a surname name; for some it will have a pleasing connection to the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. It’s also a word name, with connotations of wildness and wilderness—a little bit of a cowboy/ranger feel. In spite of those two old-fashioned/throwback associations, it’s also a cool and modern name: I wouldn’t want to pair it with Harold, for example, even though Harold has an “ld” in it. And although sometimes the way to surprise a hip area is to bring back names such as Douglas and Roger, I don’t think I’d combine those with Wilder either. I think surname names and nature names would go particularly well, but also hip biblical and other names with that old-fashioned/modern mix:

Aidric
August
Clark
Crosby
Everest
Ezekiel
Felix
Flynn
Forrest/Forest
Grant
Heath
Jacoby
Jude
Lawson
Lincoln
Phineas
Quill (we just re-watched Guardians of the Galaxy)
Redford
Reeve
Reuben
Shepard
Sterling
Sullivan
Teague
Tobias

85 thoughts on “Baby Boy Luh-MAY, Brother to Matilda and Wilder

  1. Megan

    ALDEN would be perfect for the Boxcar Children books (keeping it in the theme of Wilder and Laura Ingalls Wilder, childrens books). Also I think Alden, Wilder, and Matlida sound really nice together.

    Reply
  2. Kay W.

    Hmm…you don’t mention any family names. Since there don’t seem to be any boy names you love right now (I live in a similar demographic neighborhood and know the feeling for boy names! so many Dashiells, Arlos, Henrys…), maybe now’s the perfect time to go shake down the family tree? You might find something interesting in there.

    Or, even better, what about going over the names of close family members to see if there’s one that you’d like to honor, who has a name you like well enough? When you’re not giving up a beloved name in order to use an honor name, I think it becomes very sweet and easy to pick something meaningful over something hip/stylish/unusual in your demographic.

    Different direction– Tadgh made me think of Taliesin, the Welsh poet (and name of Frank Lloyd Wright’s main house). It’s easy to pronounce– TAL-ee-es-in, has the nickname Tal, and I think it flows nicely with Luh-may.

    Good luck! Excited to hear your update!

    Reply
  3. AlexiswithaG

    I don’t know why but I can’t stop thinking Amos- it fits with many names you both like/don’t love but isn’t on the list.
    I’m not a big a fan of mixing obvious heritage names so I’d rule out Celtic options like Cormac and Tadgh.
    I always had a list of outlier names I loved- maybe something like…
    Everest
    Noble
    Meade (mEEd)
    Sayer
    Thayer

    Reply
  4. Priia

    Teague
    Whitman
    Whit
    Elias
    Wrangell
    Hayes
    Barrett
    Riggs
    Tuck
    Remo (ray-mo)
    Langston
    Arlo
    Arrow
    Otto
    Enzo
    Warren
    Arthur
    Beck
    Ford
    Kipling
    Ralph
    Roald
    Truman
    Walt

    Reply
    1. Priia

      Greyling
      Anchor
      Larsen/Larson
      Hughes
      Wells
      Wynn
      Fox
      Prescott
      Walden
      Abernathy
      Pritchett
      Sterling
      Ames
      Grove
      Alpine
      Greeley
      Fleming
      Evans
      Bishop
      Ault
      Boone
      Crowley

      Reply
  5. Nathalia

    With your last name, I think of an incredibly handsome young French student I had a few years ago: Quentin. Popular in France, but not so hot in the US. Also, among all those “trying so hard” hipster names (many of which I love), I sometimes find the names that stand out are the ones hiding in plain sight, like Martin, Thomas, Peter, Stephen, or Timothy. Looking at your family tree for names can also wield surprising results. Most of all, I urge to look for names you like, not ones that just “match” your other kids.

    Reply
  6. Sargjo

    I think you should just go for broke and do Tadhg! My daughter is friends with one, and it took me one day to find out it wasn’t Ty, and one week to find out it wasn’t Taig, and then a month to spell it right in texting. To me, that’s really not the worst learning curve in the world! It is now a completely intuitive name to me. No complaints from his mother or from school that I have heard. :)

    Reply
    1. Sargjo

      When you practice spelling it out loud for people, you find it makes an easy rhymy sequence: Tee-ay-dee-aytch-gee. Fast to spell, repeat and understand :)

      Reply
  7. Jordan

    I really like the suggestions of Teague, Reeve (was thinking Reeves when I read your email), and Fielding.

    Reply
  8. Colleen

    I actually like your husband’s suggestion of Atticus. I think it fits well with Matilda and Wilder. Alden is a good choice as well. Everyone’s suggestions are so great; I’m sure there is something here for you. Good luck!

    Reply
  9. Dances with diapers

    Wilder makes me think of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Matilda makes me think of the Roald Dahl book. Did you intend for them both to have names from children’s literature? If so other ideas: Peter (Pan), Potter (Beatrix), Lyle (crocodile), Robin (Winnie the Pooh), Lewis (C.S.) If not how about Donovan, Sterling, Lennon, Penn? Good luck!

    Reply
    1. Dances with diapers

      To add to the literary list I opted not to put Mercer (as in Mercer Mayer) because I thought the same ending as Wilder and beginning initial as Matilda might be too much. But now I wish I included it because maybe it makes it perfect… also Sheldon (Shel Silverstein).

      Reply
  10. TheFirstA

    I like several of Swistle’s suggestion, particularly August, Everest & Jude. I’d also add Augustus, which seems a slightly better fit to me than August.

    I agree that a nature name would be a nice fit, or perhaps a less common virtue name. Noble, Rowan, Merit, Clement, Blaise. Perhaps also Peregrine? Seems a bit more daring than Wilder & Matilda, but I love the image and the nickname Perry makes it seem more accessible.

    I also really like Leander from your list. I think the repeat “er” ending is fine. The names don’t have a lot of other sounds in common and the difference between 2 syllables and 3 syllables avoids them sound repetitive together. I also noticed Lysander was mentioned. Leander & Lysander together made me think of Lorcan, perhaps you’d also like that? Leonard also seems similar, but perhaps a bit too fusty still?

    Other suggestions: Benedict, George, Percy, Titus, Thaddeus

    Reply
  11. sarabean

    Boy names that have turned my head at the playground recently are Ramsey and Odin. I don’t think those are quite what you are going for, but thought I would share. Thoreau? Atlas? Barrow? Kai? Anais? Orion (my daughter’s pre-school bestie’s middle name, love love love)?

    Reply
    1. sarabean

      Oh boo, just saw Orion on your husband’s list that you don’t like. Nevermind. Orion Luh-may sounds awesome though!

      Reply
  12. JMV

    (1) Go common. In some circles, it is less common. I’ve yet to meet a baby James, but there are multiple nicknames to Finn. I haven’t met a Steven, Daniel, Or Wesley.
    (2) Pick meaning. In what city did you and hubs meet? Where did you get engaged? Activities you like to do? Make it a story, then it becomes your name. George doesn’t seem bland, if hubs and you honeymooned in Georgia. Summit seems like a cool middle, if that was the street address of your first house as a couple.
    (3) Amos and Roland seem like good sibling matches, so I thought I’d toss it out there.

    Reply
    1. Ariana

      Depends on your geographical area… I know several baby Jameses, Daniels, and Wesleys, and one young Stephen.

      Reply
  13. Kelsey D

    Too bad you don’t love Hawthorne. I think it’s fabulous, especially with Wilder.

    I love love love the suggestion of Fitzgerald or Fitzpatrick. Who could pass up using Fitz for a shortened name.

    Fielding is pretty awesome. I also like Whitfield although not sure if you are wanting two “W” names.

    Maguire?
    Roscoe is a good fit too.

    Here is where Swistles love of Harvey could come into play?

    I also love Vaughn and Perry. Hey would about Leroy?

    Reply
  14. Iris

    We have similar taste, based on your list, so here are the top names from my boy lists (had two girls): Guthrie, Booker, Sylvan, Eames.

    Reply
  15. Cece

    What about Hawkins? Matilda, Wilder & Hawkins sound great!

    Other suggestions…
    Edison
    Ramsey
    Burton
    Vance
    Merrick

    Reply
  16. Jane

    With Cassian and Caspian off the table, but still liked, it made me think of a little boy I met recently named Caspen – it was familiar enough through Caspian, Aspen, and Casper, though still entirely unique. I loved using his name just to get a chance to say it!
    Matilda, Wilder, and Caspen sound and feel pleasantly balanced without any repetition.

    I’ll also suggest:
    Rupert
    Apollo
    Magnus
    Hugo
    Percy (from Percival or Perseus)
    Alpheus
    Valo
    Leon (I met a four year-old with this name and it worked SO well; I even like the alliteration with your surname, as the emphasis in the two are on alternate syllables)

    And with the suggestions of Fitz- names, I’ll add: Fritz

    Reply
  17. Brooke

    I love the suggestion of Fielding but I’ll throw Julian into the mix too. I know someone naming her baby Julian due in May and I feel it ticks your boxes. Matilda, Wilder and Julian. Bronson is a personal favorite of mine as well.

    As others suggested, it’s worth a look into the family tree for any British Isles type surnames. One may fit your style and also have a personal connection.

    Reply
  18. Beep

    My son is Emory. Perhaps you’d like that? I also like the previous suggestions of Tilden, Alden, and Quentin.

    I also live in hipster naming world, so I feel you.

    Reply
  19. Marissa

    What about Devin?
    Wilder, Matilda, and Devin (or spelling Devon?)

    I also like the suggestion of an earlier commenter – James. It seems cool and cowboy paired with Wilder.

    Reply
  20. Mimi

    Harvey is the bees knees in this name set.

    Others I think work:
    Tariq
    Polk
    Thaddeus (nn Tad)
    Hawkins
    Fitz
    Balthazar

    Reply
  21. StephLove

    I like Cormac sounds pretty good with the surname. I also like Cyrus, Everett, & Tristan from your list and I’m charmed by Swistle’s suggestion of Maxfield. Or how about Theodore instead of Theo? I hear Theo a lot these days but rarely the full version.

    How about Cedric?

    Reply
  22. April

    I love the eariler suggestions of Amos and Fielding. If you want a literary the, Atticus would be lovely.

    I know it’s difficult when you’re in the thick of baby naming, but you’ve really got some awesome options and there are so many good suggestions here. I’m really looking forward to your update!

    Reply
  23. Kanah

    I know someone named Talbot, nicknamed Tab, which I thought you might like? Also, Lawson, Maverick, or Atlas. I do love Alden from your list. Good luck!

    Reply
  24. Linda

    From the names you or your husband like, I prefer Atticus.

    Atticus Luh-MAY
    Silas Luh-MAY (love this one)
    Ambrose Luh-MAY
    Tobias Luh-MAY

    Reply
  25. WENDY

    Matilda and Wilder are great names! You have a lot of great suggestions here and your last name seems to flow well with many names. We lived in a hipster enclave too and the name game can be a challenge:-) Here are a bunch more to consider alongside some of my faves that have already been suggested.

    Matilda, Wilder, and Atticus
    Matilda, Wilder, and Amos
    Matilda, Wilder, and Amon
    Matilda, Wilder, and Leland
    Matilda, Wilder, and Ryken–This is my favorite:-) Ryken Luh-MAY
    Matilda, Wilder, and Beckett
    Matilda, Wilder, and Harvey
    Matilda, Wilder, and Sherlock
    Matilda, Wilder, and Gareth
    Matilda, Wilder, and Felix
    Matilda, Wilder, and Emmett
    Matilda, Wilder, and Ronan
    Matilda, Wilder, and Roan
    Matilda, Wilder, and Bartholomew
    Matilda, Wilder, and Bertram
    Matilda, Wilder, and Rafael
    Matilda, Wilder, and Rupert
    Matilda, Wilder, and Frederick
    Matilda, Wilder, and Phineas
    Matilda, Wilder, and Graham
    Matilda, Wilder, and Desmond
    Matilda, Wilder, and Griffin
    Matilda, Wilder, and Holden
    Matilda, Wilder, and Augustus
    Matilda, Wilder, and Auden
    Matilda, Wilder, and Salinger
    Matilda, Wilder, and Neville
    Matilda, Wilder, and Ansel
    Matilda, Wilder, and Sullivan
    Matilda, Wilder, and Theodore
    Matilda, Wilder, and Reuben

    Reply
  26. Dana

    I teach first grade in an area similarly inundated with Lazslos and Zenos and One million Atticuses. I wonder if you would like Dillon or Dylan? I like the way Dillon shares the “Il” with Matilda and Wilder but I think visualy I like Dylan better in the set.

    I also really like Emmett, with your sibset, with your surname, and just in general!

    Does Eamon have too many sounds in common with your last name?

    I’m finding myself gravitating away from names that sound like they’re trying too hard to be cool (Atticus is an awesome name but it feels to me like it’s trying so hard) and towards names that split the difference between Matilda and Wilder by being uncommon but not out-there.

    Is Miles too matchy? Matilda, Wilder, and Miles? What about Tobias/Toby? Matilda, Wilder, and Tobias?

    I think Cillian is a great name but maybe a pronunciation issue.

    Reply
    1. Dana

      I also want to add my name to the list of Amos supporters. Love it with your surname and I think it feels like a great stylistic link between Matilda and Wilder.

      Reply
  27. Reagan

    The name Victor immediately sprung to mind as Victor Luh-MAY sounds so cool but it to doesn’t work that well with Wilder.

    When surrounded by hipster names, mid 20th century names can stand out. Here are some I like with your last name and sibset:

    Glenn
    Aaron
    Phillip
    Martin
    Jared
    Daryl
    Grant
    Patrick

    Reply
  28. michelle

    I like Swistle’s suggestions of Fielding & August. I also like a commenter’s suggestion of Alden.

    Some others that come to mind:
    * Holleder (The Novogratz family has a boy who goes by this name. They call him Holly and it’s super charming. I realize you said you didn’t want an -ER ending name, but I think Matilda, Wilder, and Holleder has a certain ring to it).
    * Wolfgang
    * I also like Salinger (though, -ER ending again…I can’t help myself!). I think Sal makes such a sweet nickname.

    All the best!

    Reply
  29. Dana

    Okay, last met for the day. A quick jaunt down the list of Shakespeare’s characters inspires this list:

    Abbott
    Angus
    Ely
    Lucian/Lucius
    Carlisle
    Corin
    Grey/Gray
    Lear
    Shepherd

    Especially feeling Grey for style and Ely for sound.

    Reply
  30. sandra

    Vincent luh-May?
    Wilder- Matilda &Vincent

    I think it works…recognisable without being super common and some cute NN.

    Reply
  31. Jd

    Loyal. Loyal Luhmay. Word name, slightly cowboy positive association, completely unique. Wilder, Matilda, Loyal.
    I also think Quill is awesome.

    Reply
    1. beep

      Laura Ingalls Wilder’s brother-in-law was named Royal. For me, that’s too close to Loyal. Probably most people don’t have that fact in their heads, but I do (I loved those books as a child and now my son is obsessed with them).

      Reply
  32. Jamie

    Love many previous suggestions, like Amos, Arlo and Auden and also Swistle’s list, especially August, Fielding, Crosby, Shepherd…
    I wanted to suggest a few I haven’t seen yet: Abel, Griffin, Reid, Beaumont

    Reply
  33. JMV

    A person named Winslow commented on a friend’s fb page and I immediately thought of this swistle question. You had several names you liked, not loved, that ended in an O sound.
    Matilda, Wilder, and Winslow.
    It seems artsy and pioneering to me with the landscape painter and AZ connections. It has The same slightly edgy yet bookish feel of Matilda and Wilder for me.

    Reply
  34. Ash

    I’ve already made a suggestion but out of nowhere I’m recalling a name I’ve seen on an employee at Trader Joe’s grocery store that I’ve never seen anywhere else:

    CAVAN!

    Matilda, Wilder and Cavan L0may!

    Reply
  35. Christi

    Someone above suggested Kipling and I think it would be perfect.
    Matilda, Wilder and Kipling
    Mattie, Wil and Kip
    although it would make people think that you and your husband are very literary people.

    Reply
  36. The Mrs.

    Oxford.

    It’s prestigious, stylish, educated, instantly recognizable, and has ‘Ox’ as a nickname.

    Matilda, Wilder, and Oxford.

    Oxford Lah-MAY.

    Living in the hipster world with names at the grocery store like Kelvin, Hubble, Royce, and Stevenson… there’s a lot of what-sounds-fresh-?.

    You’ve got good taste. Best wishes!

    Reply
  37. Kay W.

    Cassian made me think of Cassius, which is a lot less frilly (as you put it) and has a bit more solid of a history in terms of use. Cassius Luh-may is very nice, and I think it bridges Matilda and Wilder pretty well in style. It also has the easy nickname Cash.

    Reply
  38. Gina

    I kept waiting for Swistle to suggest Holden – I really really love this name!! And I REALLY think it sounds amazing with your other kids’ names. Plus, it’s got the literary tie in, as well.

    Matilda, Wilder, and Holden. Love!

    Reply
  39. Kim C

    What about Rafferty? The nicknames Rafe and Raff/Raffa are great too!

    Matilda, Wilder and Rafferty

    Rufus (Really like this one!)
    Declan
    Hudson
    Fintan
    Conrad
    Calvin
    Ronan
    Jude
    Nolan
    Griffin
    Brody

    I do quite like the name Atticus though, especially with the nickname Ace.

    Good luck!

    Reply
  40. Kim C

    Just noticed that someone suggested the name Dominic. Dominic Lah-may sounds fabulous!

    Matilda, Wilder and Dominic

    The nicknames Dom and Nic/Nico!

    Reply
  41. Mandy

    Just a comment that Lawson and Shepherd made me giggle in contrast to Wilder. Pretty funny if little brother is always pulling in the reins on big brother!

    Reply
  42. Laura

    I can’t help but try to push one of my favorites on to you
    How do you feel about Eugene, Malcolm, or Tobias?

    I also like Amos and Duran

    Reply
  43. C

    My oldest is named Fielding… we have yet to meet another, and we love his name! Easy to spell, classy, cute “Field” nickname.

    Reply
  44. hystcklght3

    Am I the only person that thought Gene Wilder before Laura Ingalls? So, it was double Roald Dahl for me. Subtly so, though. Not like James, Charlie, and Matilda ;)

    In that vein, I want to suggest (some repeats, sorry!):
    Augustus
    Bruce
    Beau (or a name that gets to that nickname? although maybe that’s too explicitly french??)
    Quentin (many Dahl books were illustrated by him)
    Clarence
    Wilbur (probably don’t want another W? Also the “er” ending and too close to wilder, but still!)

    These are more of a Roald Dahl stretch, but here are other actors who star in movies (or others related to the his movies) based on his books that caught my eye!–still, the connection would be like a fun secret to their names:
    Rafe/Rafael
    Rylance
    Thorne, Thornton
    Ballard
    Berkeley
    Henderson
    Wilton
    Clement
    Burton
    Alton
    Simon
    Turner
    Cardiff
    Alfred
    Blake
    Jarvis
    Tobias (already mentioned a lot, but love that it fits here!)
    Finley (probably overused?)
    Grant
    Gerald

    … also, not in that theme, I just love these names for you:
    Whitaker (again with the W repeat and the -er though!)
    Tennyson
    Carle
    Clive
    Maurice (too french? just enough?)
    Arnold
    Ronald
    Rainer

    Okay I’m done. I vote Quentin, though! :)

    Reply
  45. Kim C

    Reeve or Reed/Reid?

    Matilda, Wilder and Reeve
    Matilda, Wilder and Reed/Reid

    I think I have a ‘thing’ for ‘R’ names. Ha ha!

    Reply
  46. Ette

    First thought was Linden. Julius or Jules would be nice.

    Matilda, Wilder, and Ferdinand? Ferdinand strikes me as classic, familiar, unexpected. And it has the -and sound you like – Leander, Lysander, Anders, Orlando.

    Reply
  47. L.

    I want to throw my son’s name out – Calvin. It fits your L-in-the-middle pattern. I also find that it bridges nicely between the Arlo/Milo hipster names and the more boring and traditional John & Michael kind of names. It’s easy to spell and pronounce, but not overly common. It fits the ubiquitous 2-syllable ends-in-N pattern for boys this decade, but I think it’s a lot more distinctive and its own name than, say, Cayden/Jadon/Aiden.

    Reply
  48. Grace

    I love your naming style….what came to mind first was Crosby, Harvey, Ryder, Wells, Jack, and Flynn….

    Matlida, Wilder & Crosby
    Matlida, Wilder & Harvey
    Matlida, Wilder & Ryder
    Matlida, Wilder & Wells
    Matlida, Wilder & Jack
    Matlida, Wilder & Flynn

    I think i like Jack best….strong, simple, and pairs well with the sibling set – Matilda, Wilder and Jack Luh-may

    Reply
  49. Lashley

    So many good ideas! My sons are Cyrus and Errol, so I obviously have soft spots for those names. Cedric, Harvey, Raphael (Rapha!), and Hugo also seem like good fits.

    Good luck! Can’t wait for the update.

    Reply
  50. Morgan Christensen

    Love your kids names!
    Here are my two cents:

    Killian
    Leopold (love!)
    Lawson
    Jude
    Shepherd
    Sampson
    Holden

    Good Luck!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *