Help naming #4

We have three boys:

Isaac Grant

Levi Edward

Ethan Maxwell


We are expecting our 4th, and don't know the sex so we need two names.  We were content with Miriam, and would call her "Miri," but I've recently fallen for Mara.  Do you like Mara Anne with our boys' names?


Still struggling with our boy name.  My four favorites are:






Silas has been a long-time favorite, but we hesitated with naming #3 Silas because we thought it sounded a lot like Isaac.  And then I discovered Cyrus... sounds a lot like Silas, but doesn't sound as much like Isaac?

Our last name is two syllables and starts with "Bo."  I worry Jonas would be called "Joe-Bo."

Middle name would be David or Kenneth... could use Robert too.


Would love any opinions, appreciate it!


January 5, 2015 1:43 AM

I like Mara with your boys' names. They are all 4 syllables and "go" together. I prefer Mara to Miriam but Miri also goes well with your boys' names. I don't think Silas sounds at all like Isaac and I wouldn't worry about Joe-Bo as I don't think it's that likely as a nickname and if people did call him Joe-Bo there's nothing wrong with it, I can think of plenty of much worse nicknames. Joe-Bo is completely harmless (unless I'm missing something). If you go for Abel I would avoid David as the middle but otherwise any of the first/middle combos work IMO. Have you considered Jonah?

January 5, 2015 11:48 AM

All of your boys' names and most of your choices are pretty solidly Old Testament; is that a theme that you want to continue? I think Miriam nn Miri is a little more obviously OT, but Mara still fits. Either is lovely. Of your boy choices, Silas is the only one that doesn't seem to have an OT connection; Abel seems the most clearly OT (to a non-Judeo-Christian), like your other boys' names. Jonah would also fit well, as another poster suggested.

In my accent, neither Silas nor Cyrus sounds much like Isaac--Isaac to my ear is eye-ZIK; Silas is SIGH-luss; and Cyrus is SIGH-russ. So they have rhyming first syllables, and all have stwo syllables, but otherwise have different stress patterns, don't really share any consonants, and don't have the same vowel in the second syllable. If Silas is too close, I think Cyrus would be, too, though I'm not sure either would bother me. Maybe try shouting them out the back door and see if you can tell the difference? I'm sure ymmv depending on local dialect. FWIW, based solely on name, I personally prefer Silas.

I agree that Joe-Bo isn't terrible. Bonus might be kind of a cool mash-up nickname. I'm not sure I'd do Jonas Robert, though, as you might then have Jo-Ro-Bo which might be a bit too much.

Good luck!

January 5, 2015 3:14 PM

I think Mara works fine with your sons' names.  I don't care for it as much with Anne, the flow of the ending A into the starting A isn't ideal for me.  This makes me lean a bit more towards Miriam/Miri.  However, first to middle name flow isn't a deal breaker.  If you love Mara, go for it!

I tend to get tongue tied with names pretty easily, but I haven't gotten tripped up repeating Isaac & Silas.  My only hesitation would be if you use nicknames.  Something like Sy & Ike does trip me up.  So, if you don't already use Ike as a nickname for Isaac, I think you'll be fine.  

I do also like Cyrus;  however, Cyrus doesn't solve my nickname issue.  So unless you like Cyrus better, my vote would be for Silas.

Jonas Bo- being called Joe-Bo seems like a bit of a stretch to me.  I could see perhaps as a nickname among friends, but then only for a certain type of kid.  I do not see Joe-Bo catching on as a regular nickname used by family, teachers, etc.

The only name on your list you don't seem to have hesitations about is Abel.  It is also my favorite for you.  

January 6, 2015 1:36 AM

Thanks for the responses!


I think I have an thing for the "s" sound at the end of a name... hence, liking Cyrus, Jonas, Silas.  I like Jonah, just think Jonas has more spunk.  Sounds like most think Silas and Isaac are not too similar. 


I do like Abel, but I think it would shortened to Abe, and I was hoping to find a name with two syllables that we wouldn't shorten (And I know I can't control what others do.)  But really all of the boy options have an obvious shortened form.


And as I was feeling so confident about Mara... I wondered if it sounds too much like Mariah (a name I'm not fond of!!)... hadn't thought of it like that before... Do you think it's too much like Mariah?

And then for a middle name for Miriam (if we chose Miriam).  We would call her Miri, but don't you think Miriam Anne is just weird?  Would love to use Anne for the middle, as it would honor my grandma, mom, and sister, but Miriam Anne...???

Miriam Grace is pretty... doesn't honor any family, but works.

Frustrated... the first three seemed a lot easier to name!  Thanks for your input!

January 6, 2015 10:31 PM

I love all your boy name choices 0 Cyrus maybe the least? Think I prefer Jonah to Jonas. I also thought of Caleb for you for a boy, unless it's too popular? It's just such a great name, and no nicknames. Also Aaron or Adam. I also like Amos and Micah.

My best friend is named Mara, with the first "a" pronounced like "far" but she is always having to correct people who prounounce it like the "a" in "married." If this bothers you, I'd go with Miriam/Miri. Miriam Anne doesn't completely roll off my tongue, but it is perfectly fine if the most important part of the middle name is to honor your relatives. Anne is such a neutral name, it won't raise any eyebrows as a middle name whatever it is paired with.

January 6, 2015 11:43 PM

Miriam Anne doesn't roll off my tongue as smoothly as Miriam Grace, but Anne still works perfectly fine in my opinion. That said, Anne is said to be derived from Hannah which means "favor" or "grace", so you could actually go with Miriam Grace and still be honoring your family members.

January 7, 2015 1:20 AM

I didn't know that, thank you!

January 7, 2015 9:23 AM

I really like Miriam Anne.  I love honoring famly with middle names so unless it sounds horrendous (which this does not at all), I say go for it.  My kids love to hear the story of how we chose their middle names which honor family. I love the name Anne.  So, I vote "Not at all weird" for Miriam Anne.  As far as style, I think it goes great with your boys' names.  As the one girl too, you have some leeway in my opinion.  Now is she is potential the first girl of other girls, I would think about where you would go from here (i.e. other OT names).  There are many great ones out there.

As for boys, you have some great options.  My favorites are Silas and Jonas.  I actually don't find them easily nicknameable.  But of course if someone is determined to find a nickname they will, but it is not as obvious as Daniel nn Dan or Samuel nn Sam.  To me they both stand alone as solid boys' names, similar in style to your first three.

January 7, 2015 5:06 PM

I have a friend named Miriam and her nickname is "Mim"...called that by everyone (for the longest time I didn't even KNOW what her given name was/is) :) But it's not a 2 syllable nickname, so maybe that won't work for you.


My name is Anne. I love it and have for years. Anne means "Grace" or something similar so if you decided to use Grace as a middle name instead of Anne, due to 'flow' purposes, you would still be honoring the loved ones.

My 2 cents on the boys names...Jonas and Cyrus remind me too much "Hollywood" (isn't there a Jonas teenage heartthrob?) and Cyrus reminds me of Miley and those both deter me a little. I like the name Silas...and if you were trying to go with an OT theme, you could do something like Josiah. Doesn't end in "S" but is still a strong name and still from the OT.

January 7, 2015 9:01 PM

I am a Miriam who has been Mimi all her life, and still am except when I am being a professional grown-up.  That said, Miri is the more recent nickname and the one that is used in Israel.  I don't have a middle name, so I can't give any personal recommendation there.

January 8, 2015 12:25 AM

What about Mira as a nickname for Miriam instead of Miri? Mira is close to Mara and it's a standard nickname for Miriam. You might get away with Mara as a nickname for Miriam, but it's more of a stretch. 

I like Anne as the middle name. 

January 8, 2015 1:27 AM

Thanks for the feedback.  I appreciate it.


I didn't know that Grace (as a middle name) could be a nice substitute for Anne (with similar meaning)...

Do you think it would be bad to have an Isaac Grant and a Miriam Grace?  Grant and Grace are similar... we call them by their first names, so most people wouldn't know what their middles names are.  The more I think about Miriam Anne, the more I like it.  My sister is Melanie Ann... they have a similar flow. 


My husband expressed his preference for Jonas today.  I do like it, and it seems like most people don't cringe at the Joe-Bo nickname.  Jonas David flows nicely, I think.  I appreciate the post about the Jo-Ro-Bo issue if we used Robert for the middle.  I want to like Jonah more, as it is more consistently Biblical with our other names, but I don't... maybe that will change.


Thanks again for your opinions.