I am a little ways out still, due in August, but don’t see us getting any closer to a name. It’s not that we are so in love with these top names, but just can commit, or omit any of them for some reason. Desperately looking for another opinion, and still open to adding more to our list. I love reading your suggestions and reasoning for why names work!
This is our first baby, boy. Our last name is Keller. That makes it’s a little difficult, since I want the first name to have a solid ending…and not to end in “ER.”
We are hoping to use a family name for the middle name, and will choose which one based upon how boring/traditional/common or off the wall the first name is. James, Petersen (some form of it; Pete, Peters, Peter), or Baldwin. My husband and I both have longer formal names, and then nicknames and I like that option, but not a must. I really like the trendy traditional names, but I feel like the ones I like are getting overused and aren’t as rare.
We can’t use; Charlie, John, Jack, Luke, Bo or Teddy.
Our current list includes;
William/ Liam: I was excited about a more unique name that comes from a very comfortable and traditional name.
Finnick/Finn: I am worried this is getting a little too popular, and Finley being used now for girls
Thomas: Too safe, and too popular?
Wyatt: Love it, no negatives, other than no nickname can come from it
Crawford/Ford: If he will always go by Ford, silly to have Crawford?
Graham: Too long, with nothing to shorten it to?
Thanks in advance for your help and assistance!
Let’s start with the Social Security Administration rankings. The name Liam is the second most popular boy name in the United States as of 2016, one notch higher than William at #3.
Finn, on the other hand, was the #175th most popular boy name in 2016. You’re right that it’s rising; here are the rankings for the five years before that:
And here are the rest of the name rankings (all for 2016):
Crawford: (not in the Top 1000 for 2016)
This is a pretty big spread, popularity-wise: from Crawford (56 new baby boys given the name in 2016) to Liam (18,138 new baby boys given the name in 2016). I don’t recommend making naming decisions based too strongly on popularity, but I think it’s a factor to take into account. On the other hand, all of the names on your list, despite the popularity spread, are familiar and not difficult to imagine pairing with other names from the list.
And in fact, imagining those pairings can be a good way to narrow things down a bit. I suggest making a list of brother pairs from your list, and seeing which ones stand out to your more or feel more like “your kids.” Do you find you’re more drawn to William and Owen, or more drawn to Ford and Brooks, or more drawn to Graham and Wyatt?
I see what you mean about the difficulty in choosing one or eliminating any: I find as I’m sitting here staring at the list, nothing is leaping out at me as one I’d cross off or as one I want to push you to use. I think it’s that you have a good solid list of names and can’t really go wrong here.
Paul and I had a similar situation when naming Henry: we got it down to 7 names and then we were having trouble cutting it down any further. The method we used was this: we each took the list and we ranked the names—but we could rank as many as we wanted at each ranking. That is not a very clear description; here is the kind of thing we ended up with after doing this exercise:
One parent’s list:
The other parent’s list:
So, comparing those lists, the parents can say to each other, “Well, it looks like Brooks is not going to win out: we love it, but it’s going to lose to other names no matter what” and “Well, we both have Owen and Wyatt as #1, so I think we should consider those more seriously.” Any name where both parents ranked it a #1, or where one parent ranked it a #1 and the other parent ranked it a #2: those should be moved up the list. Any name where both parents ranked it a #3, or where one parent ranked it a #2 and the other parent ranked it a #3: those can probably be safely removed from the list. If the parents’ lists are basically in reverse order from each other, I’d focus on the names that both parents ranked a #2.
I hesitate to add MORE names to your list—but since I’m not doing a good job eliminating any, let’s go the other direction!
You have likely already considered this, but I wondered if you might want to use Petersen as a first name. It’s pretty cute, and Petersen Keller reminds me favorably of the successful combination Anderson Cooper.
John is out so maybe Jonathan is also out—but if it isn’t, I really like it. Jonathan Keller. I would probably use James as the middle name. I find I’m reluctant to use Baldwin: it seems like guys can be a little sensitive about the word “bald”.
Or I wonder if you’d like the name Henry. Henry Petersen Keller is smashing.
Or Daniel? Dan is on my list of favorite nicknames: it feels so warm and friendly and approachable. Daniel James Keller, or Daniel Petersen Keller.
[Edited to add: A commenter who is having commenting problems has asked me to add this:
For what it’s worth, Thomas Keller is a famous chef (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Keller), which to me is a positive association but one I would have wanted to know about before committing. Best wishes!
You may wonder why I am putting it in the post, instead of as a comment. It is because I CAN’T COMMENT EITHER. I can only do it in the behind-the-scenes part of the blog, only as a reply to someone else’s comment. This commenting issue is going to drive me screaming into the sea.]