Boys name advice & thoughts?

Hi all, I am back for some advice/opinions now that we know we are having a boy (our first boy!).

here are some names that we either both like or one of us does:

  1. Bodhi/Bode: I am not sure which spelling I would use. I worry nobody would pronounce Bode correctly. But it fits in With DH’s heritage better. Also, it is probably more trendy then my typical style. But I love it SO much. So you think it’s too horribly trendy? I don’t want the name to feel like all the Aiden’s/Kaden’s/ Braiden’s etc. 
  2. Lucius: I do like it. My reservation is that it’s a variation of one of our DD’s mns which doesn’t bother DH but bugs me!
  3. Wolf/Wolfgang: For me Wolfgang kind of conjures up an image I’m not sure I like. Mainly because of a character who held this name. But it’s hard for me to get over.  It also is a lot of name. It works well with our heritage. I like the nn Wolf (as a fn Wolf doesnt feel substantial), I just don’t want to seem like I am trying too hard to be different, I also want to be able to get over with the image that character left me with.
  4. Rhett: DH likes this one a lot. I like it too but I am not sure it wows me. Also I have a cousin named Brett which is similar and makes me hesitate to use it.
  5. Bray: it’s a fine name. Strong sounding butnisnt it a sound an animal makes? 
  6. Bear/Baer: I really like this but it’s highly unlikely I would ever use it as a fn. I think it would make a fun and spunky mn.

Some  names that have been brought up but vetoed: Viggo, Rocco, Otto, Cub(this one still makes me roll my eyes), Camilo. Maximus, Anders.


if I could just get your thoughts/feelings/images that the names conjure up etc. anything and everything that you think could help me in weighing these options that would be great. More suggestions very welcome! TIA


November 14, 2017 2:25 AM

Bodhi - its doesnt feel like the Aiden's etc,  sounds very hippy,  or coastal beach.  I wouldnt spell it Bode though.  It's ok

Lucius - not keen on plus I wouldnt want a variation of another name,  Lucas? Luke are nice

Wolf/Wolfgant - sorry I dont like

Rhett - I think is nice,  dont worry about the cousin,  different name altogether

Bray - now your making me think of the sound.  I prefer Brandon or Brayden, Brady

Bear/Baer - no

Rocco is nice,  Nico? 

November 14, 2017 6:36 AM

Hello!  Sounds like you're making great progress in narrowing down your names....

Eliminating ones that either you or your partner reallys seems to dislike leaves you with: Bodhi, Lucius, Rhett, Bray,  Bear.

Just to feed back your comments: I think your concerns re: Bodhi and Lucius are minor quibbles.  This is the first I've heard of Bodhi being trendy (really?), and since middle names aren't used much it doesn't matter that your son's first name is similar to your daughter's middle.  This has little practical consequence, other than perhaps your other daugher mgiht be jealous that there's not a bit of her name in there too.  (hello, middle name!)

Rhett - you come across as ducking the question of "do you LIKE this name" with the fact that your cousin has a similar name.  The first issue is very important, the second is not unless maybe if you see a lot of him.  I would focus on making up your mind about how much you like it.  This is the key issue.

Sorry, just to make this about me - Bray is indeed a donkey sound and he's going to be tormented in gradeschool.  How about Dray or Ray?  Bear is a large dog name to me (I know three!).  If you want to use Bear as a nickname, does Uruslus appeal?  I don't like it at all frankly, but you might.  Latin for Bear.

You seem to like old Latin names.  I vote for Cato or Julius!  :)



November 14, 2017 7:38 AM

I doubt Bodhi will hit Aiden/Braiden popularity levels (not enough sound-alikes for a start), but I do think it reads trendy. There has also been discussion of whether it is cultural appropriation.

It would probably also bug me if my son's name were very similar to my daughter's middle, but lots of families do go this route.

I like Wolfgang. If you can't get over the character association (although I'm sure you could once the baby is actually here, and after all there are so many other prominent Wolfgangs throughout history), have you considered Wolfram? I met a young German man by this name and find it sleek, somewhat less screamingly German than Wolfgang, and of course a clear route to the nickname Wolf.

Otherwise, I like Rhett a lot for you and think it would soon seem totally different from your cousins' name.

And Bray, no. Bray is all donkey to me.

November 14, 2017 12:08 PM

Bodhi is a name that makes me uncomfortable on multiple levels: borderline cultural appropriation, reminds me of bodies, doesn't bode well, etc.  Spelling it Bode or Bodie helps with the first, but makes the others worse. As a result I can't really recommend it to anyone who doesn't have a compelling personal/cultural reason to use it. I also do think that it will feel rather dated in another decade, as it has surged out of nowhere on the charts: it was never in the top-1000 in the US until it debuted at #904 in 2010, but by 2016 it was already at #363. That's still a small absolute number of people with the name, but I suspect that it will keep rising for the next several years, then level off for a bit, and then drop just as precipitously, so that virtually all people with that name will have been born in the 2010s. (If it turns out to be a "new classic" I'll regret this super-specific prediction!)

Lucius: If the similarity bothers you or your daughter, that would make it a deal-breaker; otherwise, virtually no one in your son's everyday life is even going to know *his* middle name, let alone his sister's, so it's much less of an issue than having a Christina and then naming your son Christian, say. One caution with this name is to be sure you're OK with both common pronunciations (loo-see-uss and loo-shuss). It's fine if you have one you prefer, but it's almost guaranteed that you'll hear the other one regularly, too, so make sure that won't bug you.

I like both Wolf as a full name and Wolfgang, if you can get past your association. Maybe listen to a bunch of Mozart? I also love the suggestion of Wolfram--it has a slightly sleeker sound, and lots of geek-cred due to Wolfram Alpha (though the Angel Wolfram & Hart association is maybe a wee bit of a drawback). Behind the Name has a list of wolf-related names; some of the more usable-looking include Conor, Conrí, Lowell, Lyall, Ulf, and Zev.

Since your husband really likes Rhett, you might want to make a conscious effort to like it better. If you and your cousin are on good terms, the similarity probably won't be an issue. My daughter's name is a bit of a twist on my cousin's name, thoguh I didn't realize that until after it was chosen, and other than the occasional tongue-slip at family get-togethers it hasn't been an issue at all. It might be different if I didn't get along with her or my aunt, but it's more a sweet, subtle connection than a drawback. Like with Wolfgang, it might help to accumulate some other associations--watch or read Gone with the Wind, look through some of these other Rhetts on Wikipedia, etc. If you go to all this effort and still just don't love it, then you can veto it without regret.

Bray really is just the sound a donkey makes. It might be an OK casual nickname for Braden or Brady, but not as a given name. I almost never say flat-out "don't use it" about a name, but this one crosses a line for me. If you wouldn't name your child Moo or Oink, don't use Bray.

I do like Bear or Baer; if you have a family connection to the surname that would make it more usable in the first name slot, I think, otherwise I agree it would make a fine middle name. Behind the Name also lists bear-related names; I note that Beowulf would actually give you both "bear" and "wolf", since apparently the Old English term for a bear was "bee-wolf" (not sure why--maybe because bears like honey?).

Some other possibilities: Brannoc/Brannock, Bradach/Braddock, Bram or Bramwell, Brennus, Nico, Hugo, Tycho.


November 14, 2017 12:59 PM

My grandfather, born c. 1880, was Wolf. Besides Wolfgang and Wolfram there is also Wolfstan. Names like Randolph and Rudolph are also wolf names.

Beowulf is a kenning, a sort of mini-riddle which is a feature of old Germanic poetry. Other common examples of kennings include mare-hengest, sea stallion, for ship; whale's road for sea; heath-stepper for stag. Bee-wolf solves for bear because of the well known predilection of bears for raiding bee hives (see Winnie-the-Pooh). Apparently for ancient humans the bear was a powerful totemic beast which was referred to by circumlocution lest by using its true name its power be aroused with negative results. So in Russian the bear is the honey-eater (medved--med is cognate with English mead, the honey-based alcohol beverage). Another circumlocution is bruin, the brown one.

November 14, 2017 1:30 PM

Ah, so I was right about the honey! Thanks, Miriam, this was fascinating, as always. I can easily understand the awe and fear of bears; was there an element of propitiation or literally "turning them up sweet" involved in connecting them to honey, do you think?

November 14, 2017 1:56 PM

Well, we only have tantalizing clues to the mindset of our prehistoric ancestors, so it's hard to know. Honey was the only sweetener in the early human diet in the Old World. It took a long time to come up with sugar. So humans competed with bears for the sweet stuff. Bears, especially when they are on two legs, look mighty humanish. So maybe there was an element of identification of early humans with bears, both honey-eaters, albeit bears are hairier and browner (in Europe)--hence the other circumlocution "the brown one."

I should note that the plot of Beowulf falls under the folktale uber-plot category of the Bear's Son.

November 14, 2017 2:12 PM

I'll second the comments already made about Bodhi.  Particularly the Bode spelling-it's basically just the word bode.  Not a great word association and unlikely to be said the way you want.  Have you considered something along the lines of Beau or Brody instead?

Lucius is nice in theory, but I'm not crazy about it already being in play, even if it is only a variation of a middle name.  I'm not sure what the cultural reference to Wolfgang is, but the Lucius Malfoy association is quite strong for me.  It's enough to turn me off the name, even though I'm fine with similar names like Lucy, Lucio, etc.

I like Wolf/Wolfgang.  I'm not sure about the specific character that makes the name problematic for you.  My guess is most people's primary association will be Mozart.  I do think Wolf is perfectly fine as a stand alone name.  I also like the idea of another wolf-related name and then using Wolf as the nickname/call name.

I like Rhett, and don't think I'd be too bothered about a name similar to the name of one of my cousins.  Would perhaps something like Everett with Rhett as the nickname be better for you?  Family members are unlikely to make the immediate connection when the name announcement is made, and you have an option to fall back on to help decrease confusion at family events.  This is all assuming you see your cousin a lot.  If it is someone you rarely if ever encounter, I wouldn't be too worried about it.  If you aren't particularly close, I doubt people will assume it's some kind of honor name or something.

Bray is the noise a donkey makes.  I don't see it working as a "fine name" at all. Perhaps you'd be interested in Brady?  Brady also seems similar to Bodhi.

For some reason, Bear doesn't seem as name like to me as Wolf does.  Maybe just because I've never met a Bear IRL?  The image of Teddy Bear makes the name seem great on a wee one, but perhaps it won't age as well?  Baer is an option, but I personally wouldn't use it unless I had a personal/family connection with the surname.  It seems very Surnamey to me.  It also makes me think of aspirin, even though I know the spelling is not the same.

Of your vetoed names, I'd consider Otto, Maximus, and Anders worth a possible revisit.  Cub is just silly.  :-)


November 14, 2017 2:35 PM

Thank you all for your responses. 


Bodhi (at whatever spl): I know it likely won’t top the charts and that it’s not overly popular, it’s at 363 on the charts currently. I guess I’m more concerned it will seem trendy compared to my girls names. My oldest daughter wasn’t on the charts until 3 years after her birth (she was worn in 2010) but currently her name stands in the upper 300’s. So it was a fast rising Scandinavian name. My younger 2 daughters will likely not ever reach the top 1000 though. One has a Greek name & the other a German. So maybe since the popularity of Bodhi matches up better with my oldest it won’t be so bad?


Lucian: DD wouldn’t care about sharing a name connection. She will be almost 5 when baby is born & she is most excited about this baby so she would think it cool. It’s more of a me being unsure of using essentially matching names for my kids.

Wolf/Wolfgang & Rhett: excellent tips on trying to find good connections through other sources to see if it makes me feel differntly or stronger about the names. I also have no bad connections with the cousin with a similar name so no issues there. Also thank you Miriam for the details into these (and similar) names. I love learning more about names!

most of the names I asked about were DH suggestions. As basically all of mine were shut down. He just recently started putting real thought into a boy name as he never thought we would actually have a boy. But when he vetos my names he can’t evee give me reasons why, unlike myself who always tells him what about the name bothers me. So I am trying to really think over any suggestions he makes that I don’t hate. The only one he gave me feedback on was Anders and his complain was that ppl might call him “Ders” like off of some dumb comedy Which name escapes me.


i apologize too for any spelling/punctuation errors. I am on my phone with a wiggling toddler on my lap.

November 14, 2017 3:09 PM

Congrats on your baby boy!

Some thoughts:

Bodhi- I missed out on the cultural appropriation conversation, and I'm not sure about the background of the name at all. To me it just reads as a little "hippie." I have never met a Bodhi or Bode, but I do know a Boden, nn Bode (actually pronounced as Bode, not Boh-dee). 

Lucius- I think it depends on your daughter's middle namd and how often you use it as to whether this would be a good option. To me, it just reminds me of Harry Potter, though (Lucius Malfoy).

Wolfgang/Wolf- I don't care for this because it sounds very harsh to me. I don't really see it as a kid-friendly name, if that makes sense. 

Rhett- Very "Gone with the Wind" (a lot of character references today lol). I don't dislike it, but I also feel like you may get that reference a lot if you are in the USA, particularly the South. Just something to consider.

Bray- Definitely the sound a donkey makes, and I would avoid that IMO.

Bear- Very nick-namey but NOT a suitable first name as a full name IMO. 


Some other ideas: Monroe, Foster, Leopold, Otis, Hugh, Arthur, Lewis

November 14, 2017 8:06 PM

I would pick Lucius as the far and away winner, except I really hate it when siblings have the same name.  How about - Cassius, Linus, Magnus, Leander.

November 14, 2017 10:32 PM

All great suggestions except that 3 of them were just recently use d by our close friends! Linus isn’t my personal style. 

November 15, 2017 12:08 AM

Bodhi is OK if you're Buddhist (although I'm not sure Buddhists would use this as a name). Bode looks like it ought to rhyme with 'mode'. (I know there's a skier or some such with this spelling, but it always looks wrong on him, too.) Maybe Bodie as a compromise? All in all, I think you have better options.

A sister with middle name Lucy (or whatever) wouldn't rule out Lucius for me, but Lucius Malfoy might. Any interest in Julius instead?

I love the idea of a Wolfgang (or Wolfram, or Wolf) nicknamed Cub. None of the full names would be out of place in a modern group of children.

I dislike Gone With the Wind, and by extension the names that are distinctly associated with it, such as Scarlett and Rhett. As a nickname for something like Everett, it'd be OK.

Bray is what a donkey does. Please don't inflict this on a child. Heck, don't even inflict it on a pet.

Bear for some reason is a lot less name-y in English than Wolf. (Perhaps it's because it's a homophone of 'bare' as in 'naked'?) It'd make a fun nickname for something like Edward or Theodore, and as you say, it'd be good for a middle name.

November 15, 2017 1:06 PM

There's Bear McCreary who has composed the sound tracks for, among others, Outlander, Battlestar Galactica, and The Walking Dead. BTW his daughter is named Sonatine.

I have read that Ivanka calls her baby Theodore Teddy Bear.

November 15, 2017 3:46 PM

Bodhi does have cultural appropriation issues for me when used by vaguely spiritual white people. Bode, well, bodes poorly for correct pronunciation. Bodie probably has the best of all compromises, but I do think it is a name that's likely to be very datestamped to the teens.

If your daughter's name is Lucy, I too would have reservations about giving your son the name Lucian. It's essentially giving the same name twice. 

I have a baby Wilfr3d whom we call Wolf as a nickname (not 100% of the time, but it's in regular circulation). Wolf is I think a very wearable name, and Wolfgang is my favorite on your list. If Wolfgang is too much (I don't myself), I think just-Wolf or Wolfram are great alternate suggestions. 

Rhett is very Gone with the Wind, but I imagine you know that. I would not worry about an extended family member named Brett... unless he lived with you in the same household, I don't think that's problematic. If Brett-the-cousin is a regular feature of your lives, you could consider Everett, with Rhett as a nickname, since the longer form in the home would allow for easier disambiguation when Rhett and Brett are in the same room. But still, Brett and Rhett are NOT the same name so I don't see this being much of an issue.


November 19, 2017 3:35 AM

Have you considered Barrett? Which would lead to the nickname Bear, if you felt like it. 

November 20, 2017 11:16 AM

This may sound a little bit harsh - and I honestly don't mean it to, I just wouldn't want you to make a terrible mistake and have to deal with your child wanting to change his name because he hates it or gets bullied because of it. Kids are very very mean these days and will bully someone with the simple name of 'Sonya', it doesn't make sense but it is what this generation is like. 

Bodhi/Bode: You worry people wouldn't be able to pronounce Bode, I have no clue how to pronounce Bodhi either? It is not trendy at all, it is too unique and I have read in other peoples replys that it might be culture appropriation? Which is worrying. Also due to the strange name, kids will bully your son. I'd have to say no because of the uniqueness, pronounciation, bullying and culture appropriation.

Lucius: Hello?! Lucius Malfoy?? An easy thing to pick on, god forbid if he is also blonde. Personally I like it but Harry Potter has ruined it and people will call him 'Lucy'.

Wolfgang: One word: Bullied. 

Rhett: This is a nice one, if your cousin associates it with his own name I'm sure he will be flattered and it will not be an issue. Only issue here would be mispelling.

Bray: I'm not sure about it but other replies have said something about a donkey? So doesn't sound so good.

Bear: This is super cute, I have a friend called Bear and he is a lovely man, makes you seem so nice and cuddly. But also could be tough. This one is definitely a yes from me.

And your vetoes Except maybe Maximus, everyone will just call him Max though.

My opinion is yes keep them unique but don't go so unique like this until it's just plain weird. 

Hope you find your perfect name :)

November 20, 2017 3:19 PM

Sophia, where are you located that you think that today's kids are unusually mean about names? Because my (admittedly fairly limited) experience has been precisely the opposite: kids today are just as likely to tease someone who doesn't fit in as kids were 50 years ago, but said teasing is much less likely to be name-based than it used to be, because today's kids are exposed to a much wider variety of names than previous generations.

(Note that nobody has ever been teased because and only because their name is [fill in the blank]. Instead, what happens is that the bullies/popular kids decide that a particular kid is undesirable, probably for some reason that they can't quite name; and then they find something that they can tease about that kid.)

November 20, 2017 4:27 PM

ˆˆThis. I will add that I was mildly bullied for a couple of years in school, on a range of things including my name, but it had nothing to do with my name. Apart from being pretty inoffensive, there was another girl in my grade with the same name, who was not bullied. As TOH says, kids are bullied, not names.

November 21, 2017 12:07 AM

I agree with this. My son has a little boy in his class named Nimrod. If ever there were a name that would invite teasing, I would have thought it would be Nimrod. Nope. The child is not teased.

November 21, 2017 2:43 PM

I appreciate your feedback as it’s good to take into consideration all angles when naming your child I think. But I have 3 daughters with very unusual names. 2 of them are not in the top 1,000, most people don’t blink an eye. There is such A Wider variety of names now a days! When I was a kid you were sure to have at least 2 of the popular names in each class. That no longer seems to be the case. I think kids are used to unusual names. At least that’s the case in the area I am from.


As far as the comments about Lucius, I will admit I have never read the Harry Potter books so I am not sure why the connection would be unsavory. But it’s something I will look into & consider.