First baby boy - first name?

I'm expecting my first baby, a son, at the end of November

my partner has a 6 year old named Josiah

 

we're quite set on a middle name, Arthur, as that was my Grandfathers name

I'd love to know your opinions on some of our first name ideas, bearing in mind our sons full name would be (first name) Arthur Flint

1. LeBron 

2. Leif 

3. Phoenix

4. Rowan

 

Replies

1
August 6, 2017 10:55 PM

LeBron is 100% LeBron James to me. If that's what you're going for, then it's okay, although having such an obvious namesake could become a source of frustration to your son eventually, especially if he doesn't end up very tall.

Leif makes me think of Leif Erikson, although it's not as strong a correlation as LeBron. Leif Arthur together have an extremely historical feel that I love, but that you'll have to decide if you like or not. Leif Flint also has the potential of being heard as Lee Flint or Leif Lint on a fairly regular basis.

Phoenix is a fun and daring choice, and popular enough that it doesn't actually have much risk to it. With Flint, it feels almost like a superhero name to me, partially because of the meanings of the names, and partially because of the alliteration. Again, that's something that could be good or bad, depending on what you're going for. My one real concern with this name would be that it could feel like a lot to live up to if your son ends up being a relatively quiet or self conscious kid. 

Rowan leans ever so slightly girl to me - but this is very definitely a personal perspective, because statistically, it's given to more boys than girls. This name isn't quite as exciting as some of your other choices, but for that same reason, it's probably also the safest! 

I love Arthur! It's both a wonderful classic name, and different enough from your first name choices that it gives your son a nice fall back if he ever ends up deciding he doesn't like his first name.

My personal favorite is Leif, mainly because I'm a bit of a history nerd, and Lief Arthur makes me really happy. But Phoenix and Rowan are great names as well, and without Arthur, I think Phoenix would be my favorite, while Rowan would be the name I'd actually choose (Phoenix is slightly guilty pleasure for me). LeBron is just too strong a namesake for my taste, although clearly it's ultimately your call.

 

I don't know if you're looking for additional name suggestions, but in case you are: Griffin, Atlas, Graham, Callum, Rhys, Beau, Bodie, Orion

2
August 7, 2017 2:22 AM

Leif Flint would not be heard as Lee Flint, because Leif is pronounced as Lafe, rhyming with safe.

3
August 7, 2017 9:14 AM

i didn't realize that! I've definitely heard people pronounce it like leaf, though, so that adds in the additional factor of pronunciation for the OP to consider.

4
August 7, 2017 7:09 PM

That's interesting, I actually know a little Leif who pronounces his name 'Life'! Wondering how the OP pronounces it? 

5
August 7, 2017 7:19 PM

As I understand it, that actually is a fairly good approximation of some Scandinavian pronunciations (Danish and Norwegian?) while the rhymes-with-safe pronunciation is closer for others (Swedish, maybe Icelandic). None of the Scandinavian countries say it like the English word leaf, however. Of course, if enough English-speakers name their kids Leif-said-like-leaf eventually that will be the English variant of the name.

6
August 9, 2017 12:57 AM

I have met multiple children named Leif, and encountered both the rhymes-with-safe pronunciation and the "life"-like pronunciation too. I also was under the impression that it was dependent on the particular linguistic heritage of the family, rather than a situation of "right and wrong".

7
August 9, 2017 3:10 AM

What isn't correct is leaf.

9
August 7, 2017 10:44 AM

100% Rowan. I agree that LeBron will NEVER not be associated with LeBron James. Leif is not my personal taste, but the name itself sounds very nature-y- Leif Flint. Phoenix is okay, but also not my style.

10
August 7, 2017 11:30 AM

LeBron is one of those unique names very strongly associated with one person. Even I know who he is, and I have about zero interest in basketball.  Personally, I'd pass.  I don't think I'd want to be named something that well known and strongly associated with a single person.

I agree Leif Flint will be misheard as Lee Flint quite often.  It's not a huge deal, but may require some corrections.  The easiest way to avoid it is to be deliberate in situations where you say his full name, Leif.....Flint.  If doing this or having to constantly correct people will annoy you, it may be reason to pass on Leif.

I typically don't care for alliteration, Also Phoenix Flint is a lot of "F" sound to my ear.  However, some people would find this appealing.  I also notice that it's a double location name, Phoenix & Flint both being the names of cities.  Again, not really a big deal, but it is something that jumped out at me.

Rowan is by far my favorite, and I think it flows nicely with the last name.

11
August 7, 2017 11:46 AM

LeBron - yeah, total sports know-nothing here, and even I immediately think of LeBron James.

Leif - this has two potential problems: pronunciation and spelling. As Miriam will tell you, it's supposed to be pronounced /layf/, but probably 90% of the people you meet will say /leaf/ instead. (Including history teachers, who theoretically ought to know better.) As far as spelling, many people - including some who've replied to this thread - will sometimes misspell it as Lief. In fact, people will blithely spell it two different ways within the same sentence, and never notice the discrepancy. I think the Leif Eriksson association still exists, but it's not a problematic one, if you know what I mean.

Phoenix - the alliteration is a bit much for me, but you might have a different opinion.

Rowan - this is my favorite for you; just be aware that it's somewhat unisex these days. With a clearly masculine middle name like Arthur, it shouldn't be a problem, but it's something to know going in.

12
August 7, 2017 5:11 PM

Lol, Lief was more the result of my typing too fast than anything else - although I will admit that I have to see it in writing before I can remember which spelling is correct.

And I wouldn't be surprised if you got some people even interpreting it as a nature name and spelling it as Leaf.

13
August 7, 2017 5:24 PM

Let's just say, you're not the first person, nor likely the last, to make that typo. :)

14
August 7, 2017 7:44 PM

My first name is Leif without the f, pronounced like Lee. Apparently the "gh" was just too many letters for my mother.

I can tell you I've had every spelling and pronunciation imaginable.

In writing, I'm frequently a lie, in speech, very often a lay! :)

15
August 7, 2017 10:06 PM

If I saw Lei, I would default to lay, like the Hawaiian flower necklace. Getting people to say lee must be a full-time job.

16
August 7, 2017 10:44 PM

I actually used to think that's what my mother had in mind (she died when I was three), but turns out she just wanted to shorten Leigh.

I started answering to almost any L name long ago.

17
August 7, 2017 1:22 PM

Of your names, I like Rowan the best.  I would pronounce Leif as Lafe, but that's just me.  

18
August 7, 2017 1:52 PM

No, it's not just you. That's the correct pronunciation.

19
August 7, 2017 3:02 PM

I adore Arthur! It's a family name for me as well, and I've always thought it was such an underrated classic.

As soon as I read LeBron, I thought James, and I couldn't even tell you how I knew that name. I had to look up who he was. I don't watch basketball, but he was still a very immediate association in my mind. If you intentionally want to choose LeBron with the athlete in mind, then I suppose it's fine. It does seems like an outlier on your list to me.

Leif Flint really runs together, so I have trouble enunciating it. It's also pretty strongly associated with Leif Eriksson. I pronounce it as Miriam described above, rhyming with safe.

I'm with Eowyn- Phoenix Flint sounds like a superhero! That's major points in its favor in my opinion, but it may not be what you're going for. I also really like the contrast between Phoenix and Arthur.

For some reason even though I've known more female Rowans than male Rowans, the name still leans masculine in my mind. As long as you're aware of and okay with its unisex usage, then I think Rowan is a great choice for you, even if it is a bit safe. I really love the sound of Rowan Arthur Flint.

20
August 7, 2017 5:24 PM

My personal favorites are Phoenix and Rowan. Although, Phoenix is my first favorite.

21
August 7, 2017 10:27 PM

I like Rowan Arthur Flint as well. You could even call him Raf, like his initials.

22
August 9, 2017 1:20 PM

LeBron-I did not immediately think of LeBron James but I am not American/living in America and I'm also not a sporty person. As soon as I read the first comment that mentioned him I thought 'oh yeah the basketball player' so even not being in the US I have a vague awareness of who he is (through American TV references I think). Clearly if you live in the USA it will be almost everyone's first thought, and likely a lot of people will comment on it which may become tiresome for you/your son. I think that would be enough to put me off using it which is a shame because I do like it.

Leif-I do think the -f ending is a bit of a problem, for me it just blurs too much into your last name and I have to pause an unnaturally long length of time between saying them to not make it sound like Leif Lint. Again I do like the name so if that issue doesn't bother you (after all if his full name is being called at school/the doctors office/wherever he will know they're calling him and he could just spell it when he has to give his name to people to make sure it's been heard correctly, he would likely be spelling his first name in those situations anyway) I think it's fine. It is also the name on your list that's most likely to have problems with people pronouncing/spelling it so you need to consider if having to correct people is something that would bother you. Personally correcting spelling/pronunciation would not bother me but the blurring into the surname would a little, although I could maybe get over it for a name I loved.

Phoenix-I quite like this for you, both as a standalone name and in combination with the surname, but I am also partial to superhero sounding names so that's giving it bous points for me. I will say that Phoenix feels slightly more girl than boy to me but that's probably because the only Phoenix I ever met irl was a girl, I think I could quickly adjust to it on a boy.

Rowan-This is actually the only name I don't really like from your list, I think that's because I like it so much better as a girls name (although I know it's still more 'boy' in actual use). Objectively speaking there is nothing wrong with it though and I think it is in that nice place where it's not really common but people will be familiar with how to spell and pronounce it.

Overall I would put Phoenix as my first choice and Leif as second. :)