Baby Boy Zong@s, Brother to William and Benjamin

Hi Swistle,

I am expecting my third baby in early April, another boy! This will be our last child. I always joked that I couldn’t have another boy because I couldn’t possibly come up with another boy name, but here I am! My first 2 are: William Elliot and Benjamin Oliver. Our last name is pronounced Zong@s with a silent T on the front. With a difficult to pronounce and spell last name it’s important that first names are relatively straightforward. As you can see we also prefer more timeless names that shorten easily, though William is still always William, Benjamin is often Ben or Benj.

This baby’s middle name will be Patrick. Although we didn’t use honour names with our first 2, I was with my uncle Patrick when he passed away, and hours later I found out I was pregnant again with this baby.

Our front runners are:

Sebastian – our favourite, but not a fan of the nickname options. William, Benjamin & Sebastian sounds great, but Will, Ben and Seb?!? Or Will, Ben and Bash/Bastian?!? I just don’t think those work…

Nathan or Nathaniel – both full name and nickname are good, just not sure it’s the one

Lucas – I love this name, but feel like this doesn’t work well with our last name

Other names we’ve considered:

Theodore – too formal, although a great nickname

Maxwell – don’t love the full name (and other Max starts are too formal), love the nickname



Names we won’t use: Alexander, Samuel, Nicholas, Thomas, Christian, Michael.

If this baby was a girl, her name would have been Cecilia.

Should we just go with Sebastian and not worry about the nickname issue? I’d love your input on the names we’re considering and anything else we should re-consider with a fresh set of eyes!


Sebastian seems about as formal as Theodore to me; that is, I think either of them would be fine in the sibling group but that both are a little dressier than William/Benjamin. Although the nicknames Seb/Sebby don’t come as naturally to me as Will/Ben do, I think this is because I grew up with a couple of boys named Ben and I know a bunch of children named Will and Ben now, but I haven’t yet known a Sebastian. If I practice it a little, it doesn’t take me long to be able to picture saying, “Hey, Seb—time to brush your teeth” or “Hey, Seb, we leave in five minutes, okay?”

Nathan/Nathaniel/Nate seems great to me.

I agree with you that Lucas Zong@s does not quite work. It hits my ear with a comical bouncing near-rhyme. Marcus is similar.

I suggest Jonathan. Jonathan Patrick Zong@s; William, Benjamin, and Jonathan; Will, Ben, and Jon.

Or Daniel. Similar to Nathaniel. Daniel Patrick Zong@s; William, Benjamin, and Daniel. Will, Ben, and Dan.

Or Jacob. Jacob Patrick Zong@s; William, Benjamin, and Jacob; Will, Ben, and Jake.

Or Calvin. Calvin Patrick Zong@s; William, Benjamin, and Calvin; Will, Ben, and Cal.

Or Charles. Charles Patrick Zong@s; William, Benjamin, and Charles; Will, Ben, and Charlie.

Or Gabriel. Gabriel Patrick Zong@s; William, Benjamin, and Gabriel; Will, Ben, and Gabe.

I’d like to suggest Wesley, but I’m not sure about it: possibly the nickname shares too many sounds with the other two nicknames. Wesley Patrick Zong@s; William, Benjamin, and Wesley; Will, Ben, and Wes.

If you decide to give up on the preference for a nickname, I suggest Henry. Henry Patrick Zong@s; William, Benjamin, and Henry. I think Henry’s Y-ending gives it a sound that’s compatible with nicknames, so that even if William eventually goes by Will, I still like the sound of Will, Ben, and Henry. Or you could use Hank or Harry as a nickname.

37 thoughts on “Baby Boy Zong@s, Brother to William and Benjamin

  1. Sargjo

    I have heard both Ian and Ash as nicknames for Sebastian, which is popular (relatively) in my region. I love all of Swistle’s other suggestions as well.

  2. Kay W.

    For what it’s worth I find the nickname Seb a bit hard to say with your surname. Besides that, I agree with Swistle, it is no more formal than your other sons’ names and they all go together quite nicely. It’s a really stylish classic and a great name! And I think Bastian with your surname is fine, as is the full name.

    I agree Lucas is a no-go with your surname. What about Lucian? You could still use Luke as a nickname if that appealed to you.

    I also think Elijah is a tongue-twister with your surname.

    My vote is with Sebastian or Lucian! I also love Swistle’s suggestion of Calvin. Excited for your update. :)

  3. Nathalia

    I’ve heard Baz for Sebastian, which seems fun. William, Benji, and Baz? The 2 Bs don’t bother me at all. Seb and Ash and Bastian work great too. All of the names on your list fit just fine with his brothers, so it’s just a matter of what YOU like best and what works with your surname. Would you consider just Mark/Marc? It goes better with the last name and would seem really fresh on a young person today. I particularly love Nathaniel / Nat for you. Swistle’s suggestion of Calvin is also fabulous.

    1. Kay W.

      I agree Mark is a great choice. It was on our short list for our newborn if she’d been a boy, as an honor name for someone in my husband’s family, and I was surprised by how fresh it felt as I got used to it.

  4. Reagan

    Nathan would be choice from your list. My favorite from Swistles list is Daniel.

    With William and Benjamin, I also like:

    Andrew. Will, Ben and Drew

    Joesph. Will, Ben, and Joe

    Peter. Will, Ben, and Pete

    Raymond. Will, Ben, Ray

    Gregory. Will, Ben, and Greg

  5. TheFirstA

    Any chance you’d consider upgrading Patrick to a first name option? William, Benjamin, and Patrick would make a lovely and timeless set.

    If not, I would urge you to not feel too concerned about nicknames for Sebastian. You don’t really use one for William and it sounds like Ben/Benj are only used sometimes. I think it would be perfectly fine to name him Sebastian and not use a nickname. Or perhaps wait and see if a not-name-related nickname happens organically.

    My other favorites from your list are Nathaniel and Theodore, and I do not find Theodore too formal.

    Other suggestions, Simon, Matthew, Andrew, Joseph & Charles.

  6. Chris

    Ok, you and I have eerily similar naming styles, so I’m just going to recommend my kids’ names, are you ready? My kids are Charles Oliver and Theodore William. They go by Charlie and Theo. Strong contenders both times have been Benjamin, Alexander, and Samuel. I was actually crushed when we had another boy because I wanted to use the first name Oliver and my husband wasn’t on board AT ALL for #1 and then had come around by #2, but we had already used it int he middle name slot!

    I think Theo would be PERFECT with your sibset. Our Theo is never Theodore, but when we introduce him and older people have trouble hearing the name, we add in “as in Theodore” and everyone coos and ooohs and aahhhs over the classic name (same with Charlie, which I also totally recommend with your sibset!)

    On Sebastian: It’s definitely not my favorite, and somehow seems a SLIGHTLY different style than William and Benjamin.

    William, Benji, and Theo.
    William, Ben, and Charlie.

    SO CUTE!!

  7. Ashley

    If Sebastian is your favorite, I say go for it! It does seem slightly more “fancy” than William or Benjamin, but not so much so that it is out of place.
    My son is named Sebastian, and I remember when he was a baby an acquaintance told me that she knew a Sebastian that went by Seb and I thought, “Seb? That sounds strange, I can’t imagine calling him Seb.” We just called him Sebastian or silly family nicknames for a long time. But now that he’s 5 it turns out we call him Seb all the time! And it doesn’t feel weird at all. I think Will, Ben, and Seb would be rolling off your tongue no problem!

    Over all, though, I do think Nathaniel and Theodore both fit a little bit better in the sibling set. I definitely don’t think Theodore is more formal than Sebastian–probably less so, actually.

  8. Christi with an I

    I love the idea of Ian as a NN for Sebastian. Will, Ben and Ian. The first name that came to me when I read William and Benjamin was Matthew. Matthew Patrick Will, Ben and Matt – William, Benjamin and Matthew. We have a Richard known as Rick(y) and while everyone knows the name he has never had another Rick or Ricky in any of his classes or activities and he is in the 8th grade. Richard Patrick,
    William Elliot, Benjamin Oliver and Richard Patrick, Will, Ben and Rick I also know a couple of little Nathans but to me it doesn’t seem to have the classic ring of Sebastian, Richard, or Matthew. I also have a great love for the name James nn Jim and the name David nn Dave.

  9. Nicki

    I like the name Sebastion a lot and the two children I know with that name do not have nicknames at all. I think its a great choice!

    I also LOVE Nathaniel/Nate and the suggestions of Charlie and Henry!

    Also Felix, Arthur, Grant?

  10. Colleen

    I am not wild about Sebastian paired with William and Ben. It seems a lot fussier to me than your other boys’ names. As I was reading your letter, the name Daniel immediately came to mind , so I’m with Swistle on that one. I love the idea of moving Patrick to the first name slot (completely understandable if you do not want to do that) as well as the suggestions of Charles and Henry. I think Theodore is a great name as well; it doesn’t seem nearly as “fancy” as Sebastian.

    Best of luck!

  11. Elisabeth

    Sebastian doesn’t sound too fancy with William and Benjamin to me. The only one I’ve met went by his full name at school. (I subbed a lot for a couple of his teachers). I prefer Nathaniel, but that’s me. If you love Sebastian best, go with it. I kind of like the Ash nickname. :)

  12. Erin Beth

    Of your choices, my favorite is Nathaniel. I like Jonathan the best of Swistle’s suggestions. I think either would sound great with the brother names and with your surname.

  13. StephLove

    Since you’re not using a nickname for William, I think Sebastian without a nickname would fit in fine. And then one might naturally develop. I like Simon for you as well.

    But if you’d really like a nickname-ready name, how about Nicholas? William, Benjamin, and Nicholas. Will, Ben, and Nick.

  14. Valerie

    Thanks everyone for all the comments! Swistle, you definitely got our naming style, our dog is named Henry! You’ve given us a lot to discuss and consider over the next few months. We particularly like the idea of using Ash as nickname for Sebastian. I will send an update in April!

  15. Liz

    What about George?

    William, Ben, and George.

    George Patrick. It does lack the nickname, though.

    Of your list and Swistle’s, I like Theo, Charlie, and Calvin a lot.

  16. Samantha

    My grandpa was Sebastian and went by Sam his entire life (and I am named after him, as well). William, Ben, and Sam might sound better to you.

  17. Issaro

    I know a couple of Sebastians called Seb and it doesn’t seem weird to me at all. It’s not that different in sound from Seth or Jeb, for example. I’m sure as soon as you actually start calling him Seb it will stop feeling strange. I love the name Sebastian and think you should go for it as you love it! It goes well with William and Benjamin too.

  18. Kas

    I really like the nn Seb for Sebastian, I actually think my favourite thing about the name Sebastian is being able to use the nn Seb! Plus I really like it with your other children’s names and nn’s.

    I also love Patrick as a first name, I went to school with a Patrick who went by Paddy which I always thought was a great nn, Will, Ben & Paddy is cute.

    Some other ideas I like with William and Benjamin – Mitchell, Marshall, Michael or Lachlon.

    Congrats and good luck.

  19. kanah

    I was going to suggest making Patrick the first name, as well. ! think Sebastian works with the sibling set, I would just use Ash or Ian for a NN, probably. If not, Nathan is my favorite from your list. Good luck!

  20. Natalie

    I have never heard or considered Seb as a nickname. Then again, I am not a huge fan of nicknames. That being said, my son is Nathan and we always call him Nathan. But he’s only 5 months and that may change.
    I think if you love Sebastian, go for it. It isn’t like you’re considering Maverick (nothing wrong with it, just a wildly different style from William and Ben). If I met your family I wouldn’t think it was weird :)

  21. liz

    I was coming to suggest George, Robert, and Peter, but others beat me to it.

    Also, John.

    Also also Phillip.

    I love Daniel, Nathaniel, Nathan, Jonathan (my uncle goes by Jono!), and David.

  22. Andrea

    If you have any doubts about Seb as a nickname, rewatch The Man From Snowy River. Jim’s best friend in the highlands is Seb (Sebastian). He’s cute AND loyal AND doesn’t mind too much that he gets his heiny kicked in the name of friendship. Solid choice, my friend, solid choice.

  23. Elizabeth

    I’d just go with Sebastian, especially if you believe he will be your last child. It sounds like you’d be sad not to have used it. It seems to me that nicknames just have a way of working themselves out – who knows, his nickname could be something totally unrelated to his given name, or he could always end up going by his full name. If you love the full name, use it, and let the nickname develop naturally.

    My sister just named her baby a name that is much “fancier” than her first two – and you know what, it’s just fine, even though as a name nerd I originally thought it wouldn’t work.

  24. Karen

    Commenting late to say that Sebastian is a winner! In my part of the world, Sebastian nn Bas (pronounced Bass) is also common (and, I think, a fantastic nickname).

    Good luck!

  25. Rachel

    I like so many of your name ideas and I have a William who we call Will 😃 I love the name Ben too! Nate was one of our choices when I was pregnant with our son, but Nathan didn’t work well with our last name and my husband didn’t love Nathaniel … so that choice is one of my favorites for you. Just wanted to suggest Zachary with the nickname Zack/Zach. Good luck!


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