Baby Boy Heidendahl, Brother to Ruby

Hi Swistle

My husband and I are having a really hard time agreeing on a name for our new baby boy. Baby H as we call him now is due Aug 25, 2017 but I have a feeling he will make an entrance sooner.

Our last name is Heidendahl, so we need to work with that. Baby H has an older sister who will be 2 when he arrives. Her name is Ruby. My husband and I both love the name Ruby – classic, feminine, not overused, and who doesn’t want to be named after a gemstone.

But baby H is so much harder. My husband tends to like classic names. His top two are William (I def don’t want my son to be a Bill) and Austin (after some hockey player). I could live with Austin. But I want to love the name not just settle for it.

My fav names are Grayson or Gray. Hubby hates these options. Hayden is a backup but I just feel like it’s not right.

If we were to have a girl I have a long list of names I love. Poppy is one of my faves, although hubby isn’t keen on that either.

Any suggestions? I really want something unique like Ruby but ideally a classic so that hubby will be on board.

Mandi and Ryan Heidendahl


I am not familiar with usage outside of the U.S., but in the U.S. the current default nickname for William is Will, and the other really common choice is Liam. I think you could force the nickname Bill, but I don’t think it would happen without significant effort. Would that change your mind at all about the name William, or is it still not your thing?

A name like Wilson would be more the style of Grayson, and even less likely to become a Bill. I’m sort of hoping Wilson is the name you choose, because it’s such a fun example of the rare Perfect Compromise name: William + Greyson = Wilson. Wilson Heidendahl; Ruby and Wilson.

Your husband’s choice of Austin is right in line with the style of your choices Grayson and Hayden, so that’s where I’d think we’d be more likely to find agreement—but on the other hand, maybe he only likes it because of the hockey player, and wouldn’t like other names in the same style. I suggest surreptitiously scanning the first names and surnames of all the players on the team(s) he likes, and seeing if there are any names you love; if so, spin them to him as hockey names. (I did this with Paul and scientist names.)

I also suggest at this point saying, “Okay, so you hate Grayson and Hayden, and I’m really not feeling Austin, so let’s take all of those out of the running.” (I would take Hayden off the list anyway, because of the tangle it creates with the surname.) I like your idea of finding a more traditional name, but something more in line with the usage of Ruby rather than the usage of William; and I’ll include some in the style of Austin/Grayson in case he does like that style too:

Jasper (another stone-related name)

28 thoughts on “Baby Boy Heidendahl, Brother to Ruby

  1. liz

    Wilson is awesome. I definitely think NOT Hayden with the last name.

    I was going to suggest Jack, and then I realized why that sounds so familiar. So, no.

    George and Arthur are terrific.

  2. Kate

    Ruby/Grant & Ruby/Clark have to be my favorite combinations here. Both Grant and Clark are classic names that you don’t hear with an overwhelming frequency. Moreover, they roll off the tongue just like Ruby. One syllable. Fresh. Fun.

  3. Vanessa

    I associate Wilson with the neighbour in that old Tim Allen show… but it’s not a bad association, just one I wouldn’t personally want to have.

    Arthur is lovely. What about Malcolm? Ruby and Malcolm. :)

  4. Nan

    Just chiming in to say Ruby is a gorgeous name and I don’t think Gray/Grayson will age nearly as well. Wilson is a great compromise option!! Or Arthur, Malcolm, George. What about Frank? Frank Heidendahl is solid and Frankie is so cute on a little one.

  5. The Mrs.

    Oh, YES to Jasper! The stone connection is fantastic! (And maybe mom could have some jewelry made?)

    Other stones are Jet, Cole (coal), Clay (Clayton), Perry (Peridot), Mica, Stone, Rocky (Rockwell), Carbuncle, and Grant (Granite).

    But back to hockey names… Perhaps you like Wayne? Gretski is a pretty famous hockey player. There’s always Stanley (for the Cup).

    And finally, names that are great with Ruby:


  6. TheFirstA

    I agree, Bill for William just doesn’t happen anymore. In general, I find that people don’t assume any nickname the way they used to, so I really don’t think you’d have problems with William. I love the suggestion of Wilson. Wilton also comes to mind, though it is very Cake Decorating for me. Not sure if that’d be a strong association for most people.

    Austin was originally a nickname for Augustine, I wonder if you’d like that better? Or August/Augustus?

    With Ruby, I do want to lean more in the direction of your husband’s name style, so I think the best bet would be to find something traditional but a bit more modern in use. Or perhaps something with a nickname. Bennett/Ben, Graham, Leo, Miles, Milo, Everett/Rhett, Anderson, Harrison, Harris.

  7. laura

    I came here to suggest Stone to you, but I see some already beat me to it. I think Swistle’s Wilson suggestion seems good, I also like Graham.
    Would suggest Sydney or Mario (if we are looking at hockey themed options)?
    How do you feel about Alden (Ruby the gemstone, Alden the tree?, nature themed?)

  8. Rachel

    I just met siblings names Ruby and Oliver. Sounds great together, and sort of reminds me of William with less popularity and a cute nickname (Ollie).

  9. Meg

    I love Swistles suggestions of Grant or Clark, they would sound wonderful with Ruby!

    Other suggestions that I think would work well are Anderson (or Anders), or Baxter, or Conrad, or Francis (nn Frank), or Gideon, or Levi, or Simon, or Tobiah (or Tobias), or Watson? I think these all fit the unique but classic feel that Ruby has!

  10. Jean C.

    Ruby is such a great name! I love it. I feel like the suggestion of Grant/Graham is such a great mix of the names you and your husband like individually. Ruby and Graham is my favorite.
    My other favorite is Arthur–less common than William or Oliver, but also has that classic sound. Ruby and Arthur. I also like the way it sounds with your last name.
    Or maybe Walter? Ruby and Walt is lovely.

  11. Kim

    I actually like Hayden with the last name – it’s got some panache to it.
    But in keeping with Ruby’s name, I’d go with Griffin, because who wouldn’t want to be named after a mythical flying lion beast? (Ok, Jasper is my cool name list, too.)

  12. Erin Beth

    Lots of great suggestions here, but my favorite for you is August! It seems to hit your sweet spot as classic but not overused, it relates to the name Austin that your husband likes, and it compliments Ruby beautifully. It is also very nice with the surname. I also like Wilson, Grant, and Clark quite a bit.

  13. Trudee

    I know it’s not unique like Ruby but I really thought James would be a good fit. (I know a boy who goes by James, no nicknames.) Its classic but I don’t think it’s overused. Same with Peter. So familiar but also fresh to my ear. Other than I thought maybe Crosby except that it shares the -by ending with Ruby so maybe too close.

  14. Taylor

    I think Wilson is a great compromise and great name! I just had a friend name her baby Wilson after her maiden name, but I’d never heard it before that. I also love Clark and Clayton (Clay) with Ruby! They just roll off the tongue for me. Good luck!

  15. Kelsey D

    What about Wells? We have a Wells and we absolutely love the name. How we got to this extremely uncommon name was – We loved the name Maxwell but didn’t want a Max, but we loved the nn Wells. We loved Will but not as keen on William (and all the nicknames, such as Bill). So we said, why don’t we just use Wells?? We are sooo glad that we did.

    Ruby and Wells. Ya. That’s pretty great set!

    Good luck!

  16. Sargjo

    Love Wilson. Love Wells from the comments. Came here to add Wes because if your husband is suggesting Austin because of Auston Matthews, Wes could be a nice nod since that his famous NFL playing grandfather. Ruby and Wes is wonderful. You could elaborate to Wesley or Weston. Heck, you could son Weston and call him West which grabs a little bit of the noun idea from Grayson. Have fun!


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