Long time reader, first time writer! My husband and I recently found out we are due with our first baby this February, although we have been debating baby names for years. We will not be finding out the sex of the baby beforehand. Our surname is Donson but with a J. I would love your help with boy names, as we are in a bit of a pickle.
So my hubby’s great grandfathers name was Axl and he is obsessed. If it were solely up to him, this would be the name of our baby no questions asked. Only problem- I am not a fan. Yes, if we have a super athletic, strong Viking of a boy I can see it, but what if he is more of a gentle soul? I just can’t. The compromise he has proposed is to move Axl to the middle name spot, and basically give me free reign with the first name. I’m leaning towards agreeing, even though I would prefer not to use the name at all. Should I reconsider to make the full name more mutually agreeable? Or should I take this compromise and go wild with the first name?
Names at the top of my list:
Noah (too soft with Axl? Was my all-time favorite for a while)
Calvin (My favorite with Axl, issue with football player?)
Jack (too sharp? Issue with singer?)
Charles (nickname Charlie, which was also the name of my beloved childhood dog, family name)
Names that he loves:
If we are to have a girl, our top names are Penelope, Gabriella and Savannah. We are trying to avoid using names that start with B, V and E.
What do you think of this arrangement? Can you please offer any suggestions for boys?
I promise to update!! Also, do you have an update on the name debate where the husband only wanted Steven?
With so long to go before the due date, my advice is to commit to nothing, but definitely to add this proposed compromise to the list of possibilities. That is, don’t say, “Yes, it’s a deal: if we have a boy, we will use Axl as the middle name and I will have free reign over the first name,” because I think we have all learned an important lesson from the fairly large number of letters from people who made deals they later no longer want to keep. But it’s a great offer, and if I were you I would probably end up taking it—unless you end up both agreeing on the first name, in which case I might want the flexibility to say, “Okay, since we agree on the first name and you get Axl as the middle name, I’d like more say in the next child’s name.”
Here are the reasons it’s a great compromise:
1. For most people, the middle name disappears into The Land of Paperwork shortly after the birth announcements go out. It’s a terrific place for names you theoretically want to use but don’t actually like very much.
2. The first name is the classically most-desirable real estate here. Getting final say on that can be a powerful thing.
3. Your husband, by offering the first name in exchange for his choice of middle name, is showing unusually excellent perspective: he realizes he can’t demand something just because he really wants it, so in exchange for what he fervently wants he is offering to give up something larger.
4. I think you’re very wise to take into account that the child might not be the Axl type—but a far larger percentage of people can carry an unusual middle name. It appeals to me to think of it tucked there secretly: the thin, sensitive little intellectual with the kick-ass middle name.
Even without his offer of the first name, I’d be suggesting you strongly consider it unless you deep-down hate it. An alternative compromise could be that he gets a name from his family for the first boy, and you get a fun family name from your side for the first girl or second baby.
From your list of first names, my own favorites are Calvin, Charles, and Henry. I hesitate over Noah not because of how it sounds with Axl (I have more of an issue with the ack-ax/jackal sound of Jack Axl), but because 2016 was its fourth consecutive year as the most popular boy name in the United States. Normally name-popularity doesn’t bother me much, but with a very common surname it does give me pause.
I wonder if you’d like Nolan? It has a similar sound but is less common.
Or Owen? That’s the same sounds as Noah, but rearranged.
Or Theo? That has the gentle sound of Noah, plus the same long-O sound.
Or Milo? The gentleness and the long-O sound again.
Or Joel? The pleasing alliteration of Jack Johnson, but without the ack-ax sound.
Or I like Jasper with your surname. It is a little challenging to say the full name, but it is so rare to need to do that.
If E weren’t out, I’d suggest Elliot and Everett.
Is this the post you mean about the father who only wanted Steven: Already-Born Baby Boy Papadopoulos? No update yet.