Complete our sibset!

Liam, Fiona and (boy) 


None of our boys names seem to stick. We already have a Liam and are ttc number 2. We don’t want to find out the gender and Fiona is our girl pick. Help! 


Liam was almost Oliver or Jack. While I still like Jack I’m kinda over Oliver. Callum and Julian are maybes. 


June 20, 2018 12:18 PM

I just ran the name matchmaker with Liam and Fiona. Lots to explore! Here are some I like from the list:

Rhys, Ronan, Duncan, Griffin, Graham, Colin, Connor...all very British Isles-y!

June 20, 2018 12:41 PM

Thanks! I’ll have to try that. Graham is our favorite but sadly we can’t use. I love Rhys and Ronan but my husband doesn’t (he’s the real problem here lol). 

June 20, 2018 1:12 PM

Ah, the Husband Problem. I have one myself! 

By EVie
June 20, 2018 3:19 PM

Since I also have a Problem Husband, I will share my strategy that was very successful with our #2 negotiations, after the debacle of #1 (in which we ended up using the one name he approved, which happened to be my deceased father's name so it worked out, but left me with a really bad taste in my mouth. Him: I just want veto power. Me: If you veto every single name but one, that's not veto power, that's you unilaterally choosing the name). It may not work for everyone, but could be worth a try.

What I did: came up with a list of 15-20 names that I liked and was actually willing to use. Emailed it to him (actually while he was on a business trip, which worked well in that it gave both of us some distance and gave him time to process the list before reacting). Told him in the email that he could veto anything he didn't like, but he couldn't veto the whole list and had to leave at least 3 acceptable names. If he couldn't do that, it was his turn to come up with a list of 15-20 names for ME to veto. I included links to good resources for making lists, including the SSA data,, and some of the tools on this site. It worked like a charm; he did still veto most of the names, but we ended up with 4 acceptable choices, all of which he had vetoed in our discussions for #1.

My logic: presenting names verbally, one at a time, lets a picky namer hold onto the illusion that the *perfect* name might be right around the corner, so they auto-veto names that might be good enough but not *perfect* to move onto the next. Laying out a completed set of options in writing so they can see the whole thing at once eliminates the chance of that elusive perfect name. Some people also process information better visually. And building in some time to let them process the choices means they have more time to become familiar and comfortable, so helps eliminate that knee-jerk rejection. The number is also important--it needs to be big enough that they feel they have real options, but small enough that they don't get overwhelmed by choice. The optimal number might vary from person to person--people with expertise in a subject area can handle bigger choice sets. But I'm guessing most veto-happy husbands don't have much expertise or interest in naming, otherwise they would take a more proactive role in coming up with ideas. 

Rather ironically, my husband happens to be a decision science/behavioral econ researcher, specializing in choice architecture. So I stole some of the strategies from his own research and used them on him. ;) (Laura actually wrote about some of the relevant theories here:

This might not work as well if you have very clear stylistic differences, like one of you likes very stodgy traditional names and the other likes modern inventions that sound like they came from science fiction. But even in that case, making him come up with his own list will illuminate the differences and give us the data we need to help bridge the gap. 

June 20, 2018 5:28 PM

This is an amazing way of handling a picky husband, and I wish I'd known about it six months ago to suggest to my sister when she was dealing with a husband who wanted to veto all her choices. She maintains that they chose their children's names together but really he vetoed all her choices until they were left with his top choice and the name that was about 16th on her list at which point she had two names that she felt "OK" about but didn't love either and so of course was swayed to go with the one he did love. Drove me mad.

By EVie
June 20, 2018 7:15 PM

Ugh, sorry she had to deal with that! It would be interesting to see how it works with someone who has a strong preference of their own. With mine, it was just that nothing was good enough—he wasn't strongly attached to any one name.

I suppose in a situation with two strong-minded parents, they would each end up producing a list and vetoing each other's list down to the three least-objectionable options... at which point they would still have to negotiate a compromise.

My husband does have a favorite of our 4 finalists, while I'm still undecided... but my strategy going forward is basically, take all four to the hospital and decide when we meet the baby... at which point it will be a lot harder for him to say no after watching me give birth to the kid :-D

June 20, 2018 7:12 PM

This is brilliant! And I have actually already done this. The names he didn’t veto were Callum, Julian, Jack, Charles, and Silas. All fine choices, but none of them stand out as the one (although if I had to pick one today i would pick Callum). I really want Finn or Rhys or Max. I think we are both probably too picky which makes It tough to agree. 

June 23, 2018 5:08 PM

This is so genius! Thank you for sharing. I think you're exactly right that offering one name at a time leads to knee-jerk rejections. I am going to try your list suggestion when it's time to get serious. 

June 26, 2018 4:15 AM

I've actully done something similar with my husband every time, given a spreadsheet of options with resources and my positive associations plus any issues I see (no nickname, shared initial, difficult pronunciation etc). Then given him time to look over it and make his own comments.  Both our kids were named well after birth and he went off a few names during the process and others came back into contention.  Some names were revived in subsequent pregnancies as he forgot why he didn't like them.

June 20, 2018 1:12 PM

Declan, Cormac, Malcolm, Henry, Gabriel, Seamus, Patrick

June 20, 2018 7:19 PM

I like Callum


Bryce, Aidan, Declan, Finley, Quinn, Finn, Owen, Ronan, Sean, Riley, Rohan, Rory, Grant, Todd, Dean, Kyle, Rhys, Connor, Oscar, Ryan, Ewan, Evan, Stewart, Vaughn, Gavin, Tristan

June 23, 2018 10:45 AM

So many names I love here. 

Callum (one of our top choices. somedays I think it might be too similar to Liam) 

Finn (my top choice but he doesby agree)

Quinn and riley  (gone to the girls sadly but I do love them)

Owen, Rhys, Ronan, Gavin (all names I love but he doesnt) 

Vaughan (grandma maiden name and likely a top choice for a mn) 

Ewan (the spelling and pronunciation concerns me in the US. I done want people saying ewww-uh). 

Ryan and Sean (love but they are the namea of my husband and his brother!) 

Grant (I’m going to run this name by him again) 

June 23, 2018 4:00 PM

cool,  let us know how dh responds.  what about the spelling Euan rather than Ewan

I think Callum and Liam goes well,  Liam and Grant is great too

June 26, 2018 4:20 AM

Callum and Liam are fine together if not my first choice (simlar sounds but not too close).

I know a few Fin/Finlays and I've always liked it.

I'm in Australia and have not come across either a Quinn or Riley on a girl in real life. I'm sure they exist but I assume boy when I hear them, might be different where you are though.

I love Vaughan. I knew a couple of Ewans and I don't believe any have had problems with pronunciation.  

Grant is another strong choice (I would have suggested Owen if your husband hadn't vetoed it).

Other thoughts - Reuben, Harry, Felix, Edward/Edmund, Rupert, Sebastian

June 24, 2018 4:40 AM

I like Jack and Callum. Either of those names would work lovely in your sibset I think.

Other ideas - 



Isaac (I like the idea of all three children having an I and an A in there names)






July 9, 2018 4:37 PM

Hi! Here are my suggestions:







July 26, 2018 9:18 AM


I was also obsessed with the name Oliver, that name has now been replaced with the name Elliot(t) - which I think could go well with your Liam because of the 'li'  sound - ultimately similar, but not the same.

Also Luke could go quite well with Liam - still quite similar, which I think could go well together too.

Hope your adoption goes well!