I am emailing you after being an avid fan of your blog for years. You’ve taught me how to look at names differently (how they go together, how to choose a name), yet on this go-around I can’t seem to get it right.
We are having our last child due on August 16. Our last name is German and sounds like “mailmen” with some extra letters thrown in there. Our current children are Nathan (Nate) Carter, Clara Eleanor, and Ivy Caroline. I desperately want the names to “go together,” so that is how I began approaching the task of naming our fourth (a boy). I ended up on the name Peter Everett as a top choice, but my husband and I just didn’t feel like it was “the one.” This is pretty common for me. I changed both of our girls’ names very near the end of each of their pregnancies.
The hard part is the constraints of our last name. I feel like I can’t name him with a “B” name (for the initials), can’t end in an “N,” “M,” or “S” (don’t go well with last name), can’t start with an “M” (too many M sounds), can’t be a verb or adjective like “Reid” or “Gray” (sound silly with the last name). Also, the last name is super hard to spell, so I don’t want the first name to be. I don’t like unisex names at all. We like Biblical, timeless, or antique charm names and want our boy names to sound good together. I especially want the baby’s name and Ivy’s name to sound good together, since they are the closest in age (7 year gap between 2nd and 3rd), and I feel like I will be saying “Ivy ‘n’ ___” so much.
Current contenders are:
Jed (husband’s choice)
Middle names are not as hard for me. I like Everett and Theodore and will probably use one of those if they work.
I wanted Ivy to be named Everett if she was a boy, and that is still my favorite name. I put it into the middle name spot for Peter because I really do love it. I just don’t know if Ivy and Everett go well together as first names. Are they too similar? Should we just go with the “safer” choice of Peter even though we don’t love it?
Any advice would be so helpful. His room (and crib) is still occupied by his 3-year-old sister, so we just have nothing done for this little surprise and I’m starting to be so stressed!
I think Ivy and Everett sound great together. They repeat only the V-sound: all their other sounds are different, and they have a different number of syllables. I think it achieves the goal of having the final two names sound particularly compatible. And Everett is your favorite boy name. And it meets all the other requirements. Everett seems like the winner to me.
But Peter is also terrific. Really, I love either Everett or Peter in this group. Nathan, Clara, Ivy, Everett. Nathan, Clara, Ivy, Peter. They’re both charming options. I would THINK I’d prefer the name Everett, but when I look at the two groupings I have trouble letting go of the name Peter.
I don’t see any reason to go with the name Peter if you prefer the name Everett. It doesn’t seem safer to me; they both seem like good solid choices with their own pluses and minuses. Peter has more of a timeless/biblical/traditional feel; Everett is more of a current vintage revival / antique charm.
I wonder if you’d like the name John. It’s timeless/biblical, and it’s a name I think parents’ eyes tend to skip right over in the baby name book: it feels common because it’s been so consistently used over the years, but it’s fairly unusual among current children. Many of the boys named John are going by Jack, or else they’re John IV so they’re going by something else. Nathan, Clara, Ivy, and John.
Or Henry? Nathan, Clara, Ivy, and Henry.
Or Elliot: it’s similar to Everett, but doesn’t repeat the V-sound of Ivy. Nathan, Clara, Ivy, and Elliot. One downside is the spelling: one or two L’s, one or two T’s.
Or maybe David? Definitely timeless/biblical, and easy to spell. I’m trying to think if there are ANY Davids among the kids’ classmates, and I can only think of one. It repeats the V-sound in Ivy, tying it in; but the strong consonants keep it from seeming too similar. And the long-A ties it to his brother’s name. Nathan, Clara, Ivy, and David.
I want to thank everyone who responded to my post while I was struggling to name Baby #4. The post, along with all of the comments, has been printed and will go in the baby book so I can fondly remember the naming process for this little one! I read each comment and appreciated them so much! The first name ended up being a decision between Everett and Peter. I appreciated the feedback that “Ivy and Everett” did not sound too similar when said together. The most helpful advice, though, was from the mothers who actually already had a Peter. Their advice that the name Peter was a well-received name helped put me more at ease to use it. It started to feel like the right name to me, and I’m happy to say that my husband also agreed! Our son, Peter Everett Mailmen, arrived on August 17, 2017. He was 9 lbs. and 21 inches. He was warmly welcomed by siblings Nate (11), Clara (10), and Ivy (3). We love the name, and it suits him very well.