I am desperately seeking some guidance and creativity in naming our second born son, which we are due with on 8/2/17. We haven’t received the most positive feedback on our top contenders (see below) which isn’t a deal breaker if we were truly sold on any of the names but also both me and my husband have a slight suspicion that we maybe haven’t found THE name yet. I also feel like I already ran the well dry on male names we like when we named our first born. For some reason, I feel very inspired by girl names, if we were ever to have one and have ideas in droves but always come up short with another male name.
My name is Maggie and my husband is Brett. Our surname is Knight. We have a son, Graham Townes. We are seeking a boy name with a complimentary feel to our first’s- meaning a classic sounding but not common name that we will then pair with a more unique, less common middle name for some individuality. I like that all three of our names now have different sounds/endings and are heavy on the consonants- we are hoping to continue this with son #2.
A few things we don’t want:
A name that ends in N due to blending of that sound with the beginning of our last name if that makes sense
Anything super common or top 100
A name that tries to sound like a classic name but isn’t (i.e. Grayson, Jayden, Jace, Brinley)
Anything long enough to require a nickname- would rather just use the shorter name that I like. I’m a Maggie and not a Margaret for that reason per my parents :)
A few we do:
Something perhaps more gender neutral
Different initials than we already have (not set in stone, just a general sentiment)
Contenders (feedback appreciated):
Noel (male pronunciation)- love how this sounds but we hear from everyone that he would be constantly confused with the female pronunciation of this name.
Morgan- breaks our “ends in N” rule so might not work?
Female names we love (in case we were to have a girl, a third child is something we will likely try for):
I have only thought of one potential middle name at this rate and it is Madden (my dad’s middle name and his mother’s maiden name). What else is in the same vein as Townes?
Hoping you can help us think of something that hasn’t been brought up yet or validate any of the contenders we have. We would love any ideas and are open to considering! I had a nightmare last night that we brought the baby home and months in were still staring at him wide-eyed with no name. Obviously, those are the hormones talking but am getting desperate to fall in love and it feels like my time is borrowed.
Thanks for any help you can provide! Happy Summer!
xoxo Maggie Knight
Let’s begin with a moment of silence in which we clench our teeth at the way our society loves “boyish”/unisex names for girls but not so much “girlish”/unisex names for boys. Then let’s see what we can do with the reality we’ve got.
Part of the package deals of the names Cary and Noel would be their periodic confusion with the more familiar names Carrie and Noelle. Some parents would mind this very much and for the sake of their blood pressure should not use those names for boys; other parents would be able to do a genuinely casual and friendly “Actually, it’s Cary—like Cary Grant” or “Actually, it’s Noel—the male version of Noelle” or whatever, and move on with their lives without thinking much about it.
Another issue with Noel, I think, is that the number one most popular boy name in the United States right now is Noah; with Noel at #380, people’s ears are sometimes going to hear Noah instead. Again, some parents would be tearing their hair out over this, and others would say “Oh—no, it’s Noel” and it would be zero big deal.
Another tiny issue with Cary is that with Graham I think of Cary Grant. Which is a positive association, and which is very unlikely to come up or be an issue, but I am in the mood to be thorough.
Leland is a fresh one to consider; I sat here with my coffee for several minutes, staring into space. I don’t think I’ve encountered a Leland in real life, so I was visualizing the name on various of my kids’ friends. It sure SHOULD work: the similarity to the very popular Liam and Landon, just for starters. I think you might be able to avoid the nickname Lee, but the child himself might choose to go by it later. I have a little trouble saying Leland with the surname Knight: the d/n transition is tricky.
Fletcher seems good. It feels like a different style than Graham, but a compatible one.
Rudy seems a little casual with Graham, but not startlingly so. It would rule out Trudy for a possible future girl.
Spencer is my favorite from this list: Spencer Tracy gives this name the vintage Hollywood appeal of Cary Grant. And it feels just right with Graham. Spencer is my favorite from the list. Spencer Madden Knight; Graham and Spencer. Yes.
Part of the package deal of the name Morgan is its unisex nature, so let’s take a closer look at that. In 2016, the name Morgan was #643 for boys and #133 for girls; it was used for 407 new baby boys and 2,319 new baby girls. At those usage levels, I would expect the typical person to be aware of the unisex usage but to be more likely to err on the side of guessing girl—though Morgan Freeman helps us out here. I think the combination of Morgan and Knight is fine: I think it would come naturally to leave a tiny pause between the names to keep them from running together. The running-together issue bothers me mostly when it leads to a misunderstanding of what the name is: for example, Nolan Knight could sound like Nola Knight.
My favorites from your list are Spencer, Fletcher, and Rudy. More possibilities to consider:
Alistair. Alistair Knight; Graham and Alistair.
August. August Knight; Graham and August.
Brooks. Brooks Knight; Graham and Brooks.
Ellis. Ellis Knight; Graham and Ellis.
Elliot. Elliot Knight; Graham and Elliot.
Harvey. Harvey Knight; Graham and Harvey.
Jasper. Jasper Knight; Graham and Jasper.
Miles. Miles Knight; Graham and Miles.
Quincy. Quincy Knight; Graham and Quincy.
Reid. Reid Knight; Graham and Reid.
Rhys. Rhys Knight; Graham and Rhys.
Wesley. Wesley Knight; Graham and Wesley.
I am not sure about some of these with the surname; some of them seem a little hard to say.
I searched with unisex names in mind, but I didn’t find many that were the right style. Cary and Noel feel right with Graham; Jaden and Riley don’t have that same fit. Jules, maybe? Jules Knight; Graham and Jules.
I think Madden is a great family middle name. Is Townes also a family name? If so, and if Madden doesn’t work with the chosen first name, I’d look for another family name. If not, I’d browse other similar surname names: Hayes, Ames, Brooks, Bryce, etc. Or, if you decide against Cary/Noel/Jules for the first name, they might work as middle names.
Thanks again for all of your help in naming our son. We read through each comment and the name Clark made its way onto our list. After our son was born, we spent a few hours with him and hacked away slowly at our name list. Clark felt so right for his sweet face and demeanor.
Clark Forrest Knight
Thanks again to you and your readers for helping in our dilemma!