Boy boy boy girl... BOY

We just found out that our fifth and final child will be a boy. One of the first comments my husband made was that we'll have a hard time finding a name, and it's been true. Our rule for the first four was that I didn't want to repeat and initial letters because I like being able to make things with just D, M, B, T, O, A, but that eliminates a lot of the names left in our style!

Kids names so far: Benjamin Samuel (Ben/Benji), Timothy Daniel (Tim/Timmy), Oliver Nathaniel (Ollie), Amelia Eleanor (Milly).

12 years after we started having kids we've now got dozens of cousins (and two more due earlier in 2018 than we are, though neither really share our naming style) and friends with hundreds of kids worth of names, so I'm not expecting  this kid to get something totally unique, but it is harder to get excited about something when you already have someone in mind when you think that name. Especially when that someone has the same last name as you. (Like there is already a James on my side and my husband's side in this generation... we might have used it for Timmy but it got used 6 weeks before I delivered, with my husband's middle name as the middle name, and our same last name)

I'm a big fan of cutesy family nick names and more traditional given names. Names that I like the given names but not the nicknames: Simon, Vincent... Names that I like the nickname but not the traditional name: Leo (Leonard? Leonardo? Leopold? :/ ) Nico (Nicholas? Nicodemas? :/ ) My husband's favorite name right now is probably Calvin, which I'm not sold on. We both kind of like Elliot/Elliott but it bothers me that society hasn't settled on a single spelling so he'd always have to specify. 


What direction should we be looking in?


February 7, 2018 12:37 PM

Congratulations on your new blessing! Your children have lovely names :) 

My suggestions for your newest baby would be as follows:

Christopher (Chris/Topher)

Gregory (Greg/Rory)

William (Will/Willie/Liam)

Matthew (Matt)

Jackson (Jack)

Quentin (Quinn/Quincy)

Jonathan (John/Johnny)

Harrison (Harry)

Charles (Charlie/Chuck)

Maxwell (Max)

February 8, 2018 1:58 PM

One of my kids suggested Jonathan and we told him no way! It's a lovely name but we have enough confusion with their two uncle Jonathans who live in town!

June 29, 2018 6:08 PM

A winner is you! 

We went to the hospital without a name and ended up with something not even on our shortlist. Decided to look back up this old post to let people know what we decided on and found it had been suggested! 

We named him Maxwell!

July 9, 2018 11:40 AM

That's amazing! It's so wonderful to see one of my name suggestions come to life. Congratulations on baby Maxwell! I wish you all the best :)

February 7, 2018 12:43 PM

Edward (Ed, Ned)


Matthew (Matty, Matt)

Andrew (Andy)

Paul (Pauli)

Peter (Pete)

Raymond (Ray)

February 7, 2018 12:55 PM

I wonder how flexible you are on the "no repeated initial rule" ? If you feel like you really love and/or agree on names that have a repeated initial, I think that it is something to consider since you aren't excited about any of your options right now. For instance, Alexander immediately came to mind for you.

Other ideas: if you like Leo- perhaps Theo with fuller name Theodore? Other ideas: Gabriel (nn Gabe,) Lucas (nn Luke.),  Clayton nn (nn Clay). 

February 7, 2018 1:18 PM

I suggest some flexibility on the repeated initial thing.  I think it would be reasonable to change the rule to no repeated initials among the siblings.  How often do you need to initial parent's things to keep them seperate from the children's things?  I know it's not something that has been a problem for me.  So that'd free up D & M.  Or potentially D & A if you start initialling your daughter's things by her nickname.

Nicknames are another way for some flexibilty on the initials.  Alexander could be A, or X (Xander) or even Z (Zander) depending on the nickname.  

Other ways to get to Leo include Leon, Leonidas, Leonard, Leopold.  Nico could be just Nico.  You could also use a nickname based on first/middle, so something like Niall Cormac could lead to Nico.  

I also think you could be overthinking the whole Elliot/Elliott thing.  Having to specify "Elliot with one T" is really not a big deal.  It's no worse than Catherine/Katherine or Milly/Millie.  If you like the name, pick the spelling that looks most "right" to you & go with it.  FWIW, my name is the least common spelling of an already unusual name-and it really is not a big deal.  I just accept that I have to spell it out when it matters & when it doesn't matter, I don't worry about it.  I also have to spell my last name Every Time & it's a super generic word name with a primary accepted spellng.  It is what it is.  

February 8, 2018 12:34 AM

I've got the German spelling (k instead of c) for a fairly common 80s girls name. I have found it frustrating, though in my mid thirties I've given up on spelling it out when it really doesn't matter, like Starbucks, but it still bugs me seeing it misspelled--to the point of not putting up the Christmas cards on display from those who didn't spell it right. Even close friends occasionally send misspelled emails/texts because autocorrect changes it. I wouldn't want to change my name to the more common one, since It's my name and I like it, but I do wish it was the commonly accepted spelling. 


My maiden name was also constantly 100% mispronounced/misspelled.  If you don't know someone with that last name I guess it's hard to parse when reading it the fist time and multiple spellings are pronounced exactly the same and even if you spell it out sometimes they'll capitalize in the middle because lots of patronymic names are (but not ours). Combining it with my first name made me never want to name a kid something with an unusual married name is not always pronounced right, but it's not frequent enough to bug me... though this is the first year in extracurriculars that it's gone two steps o.O ... they read my kid's last name, mispronounced it in their head for a couple months and then used their mispronunciation to misspell his last name on the roster for a tournament. (From sounding like Payton to sounding like Patton and doubling the consonant because the used the short vowel in their head)

February 7, 2018 1:20 PM

I think to continue with the 3 syllable names for boys - I think Elliott is nice








February 8, 2018 12:26 AM

Cooper (Coop), Charles (Charlie, Chuck), Elias (Eli), Everett (Ever), Evander (Evan), Eddison or Edmund or Edward (Eddie), Franklin (Franco or Frank), Finnegan (Finn), Grayer (Gray), Jacob (Jake), Johnathan (Jack, John, Jonah), Judah (Jude), Jonas (Jon), Keegan or Keenan (Key), Lachlan (Lock), Nathaniel or Nathan (Nate), Nolan (Noel), Orion (Rion), Qunicy or Quinten (Quinn), Solomon (Saul), Samuel (Sam), Spencer (Spence), Sebastian (Bash), William (Liam or Will), Westly (west), Wesley (Wes), Winston (Winn)

February 8, 2018 12:44 AM

Leo and Nico are both perfectly valid standalone names.  You do NOT need a "full" name unless you want them.  That said.... Lionel is another great way to get to Leo.  There is also the Italian/Spanish name Elio.  As for Nico, there are lots of variants on Nicholas and you might find one you like better.  You could also go flashy with Copernicus or something!  But Nico on its own is great.

If you like Elliott but wnat something with a single spelling: Everett?  Emmett?



February 8, 2018 4:32 AM

My favorite Leo name is Leonidas. It might be a little more gladiator than your naming style, but it's surprisingly well-used. I also like Leander, and think Leo is a perfectly reasonable full name in its own right... but I can see how in this sibling set you would want an elaboration. I also know about four kids with a full name of Nico, albeit with different spellings. Niccolo or Nicola, as in Tesla, are other options, but I'm guessing not what you had in mind. 

If you like Vincent, but don't like the standard Vin/Vinny, could you try something more unexpected as a nickname option? You've got the word cent in there, so you could do Copper, Pen/Penny, Red (as in "red cent"). 

Elliott is a great choice... and potentially gives you Lio/Leo as a nickname, too! I think the "two l, two t" option is easy enough to clarify. 

February 9, 2018 1:50 AM

Finally have time to sit down and come up with some suggestions that might be more your style, with a longer form with a snappy nickname.

I agree that Ned for any of the Ed- names would be a fruitful venue to consider. Edmund is particularly nice, I think, but Edward would also give you Ward as an unexpected nickname option. 

Sebastian is lovely, and nickname options could include Bastian or Baz or Ian?

Henry, nickname Hank, has some of the retro flair of Timothy/Timmy and some of the au currant Brit feel of Oliver/Ollie. I suspect this might be one that's taken already, since the revival is very well underway in some areas.

Nathaniel - in addition to the Nathan/Nate option, there's also Niel/Neil, which a Nathaniel of my acquaintance tried to get established as a thing. Slightly further afield, Raphael/Raph/Rafe/Raffi, Abraham/Bram/Abe?

February 9, 2018 7:29 AM

And Henry nn Hal continues the Brit retro falir of Timmy, Ollie and Milly even more!

February 8, 2018 1:09 PM

My first thought was any of the Ed- names (Edward, Edmund, Edwin, etc) nn Ned/Neddy, so I'll second that. I also like Christopher for you; my favorite nickname for that one is Kit. Other ideas:

  • George (Georgie/Geordie)
  • Griffin (Griff) (maybe too "out there" for you)
  • Jeremy or Jerome (Jem)
  • Julian or Julius (Jules)
  • Lewis (Louie)
  • Peter (Pete/Petey)
  • Philip (Pip)

Robert (Rob/Robbie/Robbo/Robin/Bobby)

If you're open to repeating parental initials, I'd add Martin (Marty) and Maxwell (Max) (or another Max- name like Maxime or Maximilian, if you're feeling more adventurous).

June 29, 2018 6:13 PM

A winner is you! 

We went to the hospital without a name and ended up with something not even on our shortlist. Decided to look back up this old post to let people know what we decided on and found it had been suggested! 

We named him Maxwell!

February 8, 2018 6:26 PM

You've already got a lot of great suggestions/advice, I just wanted to add that the first thing that popped into my head on seeing you don't like Nicholas for Nico was maybe you'd like Dominic more.

February 13, 2018 6:31 PM

I was just about to suggest this! I think Dominic>Nic(o) fits in nicely with the other names, and although it technically repeats the D initial, in practice he'd be an N.