I have been following your blog since I was pregnant with our first! I have searched on your blog for names we have considered as well as read through previous entries for inspiration. Now I am writing to you for help!
We will be having our second child, another boy, this fall! We have narrowed names down to our “Top Three” however, neither of us can narrow it down any further.
Background: Our son is 2 and his name is Joel Andrew. His first name honors my husbands father and grandfather (JOEseph and Leslie) while still giving him his own name. His middle name is shared with my father. Our last name is Burner with a “T”. Our naming style seems to be traditional, but not old-fashioned. Names we have heard of but aren’t too common. We also prefer names without easy nicknames as none of our names have obvious nicknames. Husband wants names that – if seen can easily be said, and if heard could easily be spelled. We also don’t want the name to be too common. This child will most likely be our last and for some reason coming up with a second boy name seems much harder than the first!
If this child would have been a girl, we each had a favorite and it was down to Eliza and Elise.
Originally my husband wanted to also name this child with a “J” name as he and his brother both also had “J” names. My concern was that three “J” names in our family would be a mouthful. On top of that most “J” names I found/suggested were rejected for a variety of reasons and only one has made it to the ‘final three’. Another train of thought we had was to use an “L” name so we would each have a child with the same first initial. Again, most of the “L” boy names were rejected as being either too popular, or too ‘old fashioned’ and only one made it to the ‘final three’. I have also gone through a looong list of boy names with my husband and all have been rejected except one, so we are left with three.
Jensen is the only “J” name that my husband will consider, even with his desire for a “J” name to be used. I think it fits the criteria (easy to say, spell, no obvious nickname), however my concern is that it doesn’t fit with the rest of our names style wise (Jason, Lydia, Joel) and that Joel and Jensen would be a mouthful.
Lucas is the only “L” name that my husband would consider. However, I know this name IS quite common right now AND I am concerned that Luke would be a go-to nickname. Neither of us dislike Luke, but don’t like it as much as Lucas. I do think Lucas goes ok with Joel and the rest of our names, however since it is common and has easy nickname options I just can’t commit!
Seth is my favorite currently! I think it goes really well with Joel and the rest of our names. It is about the same popularity as Joel. People who see it will know how to say it, and those who hear it will know how to spell it! It was also a top pick for me when pregnant with Joel, but Jason really wanted to name him after his grandpa. Husband is just so-so on it. I think if I pushed he would go for it, but it’s clearly not one of his favorites. I’ve been trying this name out for a couple of weeks and while it’s ok, it isn’t love like I thought it would be! I’m not sure if it’s the fact my husband doesn’t love it too, of if it’s not “the one”.
If we were to each rank these three names, our list would be completely opposite. However, neither of us loves Lucas enough to pick that name, or willing to give up our top pick to settle on one of the others. How would you recommend we settle this? Do you have any other name suggestions we might have missed?
A list of some of the names I liked/suggested that were vetoed: Jude, Caleb, Ethan, Levi, Eli, Jonah, Jules, and many many more! Hopefully that will give you an idea of at least my style. As far as middle names, we aren’t decided might be open to using one of the other ‘top three’, Joseph (after husband’s grandfather and shared with husband’s brother), or Matthew (Husband’s middle name). There really aren’t any other people we feel we need to honor, but the question has been raised if our first child’s whole name is honoring three people, will this child feel slighted if he doesn’t’ have an honor name?
Baby is due in approx. 6 weeks and the fact we haven’t decided on a name is starting to stress me out! Please consider helping.
I rank the names in the same order you do. Seth is my first choice: an excellent style fit with Joel, and I like it a lot with your surname. Lucas is my second choice: very good style fit with Joel, but I see your reservations about popularity and the nickname Luke. Jensen is my third choice by a long distance: it’s a very different style than Joel, and I dislike the idea of you being left out of the J Club. I also dislike the idea of your husband being the one who wants another J name but then only being willing to consider one.
It sounds to me as if it’s time to go back to the drawing board: neither of you much likes the other’s first choice, and you both sound tepid on the one name you agree on. Leave Lucas on the list to see if it grows on you, but then return to the long list to see if your husband likes any of them better the second time through.
It also sounds as if you two are having the classic problem of one of you doing all the work and the other one doing all the vetoing. It would be useful if your husband would make his own list of names for you to consider.
At this point I would leave out these issues: finding a J name, finding an L name, using an honor name. Those sorts of fun preferences work better when parents have a long list of names they love, and they want to narrow the list down. It sounds as if you’re out of honor names, and I don’t see any reason to force that: many families use honor names for the first child and not for subsequent children. I would leave COMPLETELY out of the equation the issue of whether the children’s names go with the style of your name and your husband’s name: your names are a generation removed from theirs and chosen by two entirely different sets of parents, and no one expects them to coordinate.
I would like to make a list of name suggestions, but from the samples you gave, I think you and I are on the same page already and I would just be listing names your husband already rejected. I think the solution here is for him to make his own list for you to consider, and/or for him to go back to your list and really consider every option carefully. If he won’t do either of these things, then I suggest trying your strategy of pushing for Seth: your husband got his way on the first child’s name, so perhaps it can be your turn this time.
I wanted to send an update!
Seth Matthew was born a week early. Matthew is my husband’s middle name. After the difficult birth, he decided to go with my top picks. I appreciated your feedback and reading all the comments! I thought the comment of both boys having old testament first name and New testament middle names was a cute tie!