Help with baby #3!!

(Siblings: Ronan James and Eliana Sadie)

Any thoughts about the following?  We are struggling to agree on anything except Oliver - which is rather common these days! 

  • Oliver Henry 
  • Oliver Penn
  • Henry Carlton 
  • Jonah Ariyeh
  • Leo Penn 

Ariyeh (Ari) Carlton 



June 19, 2017 5:58 AM

Oliver is nice,  so is Henry that is common too,  Jonah is nice but not too sure with Ronan,  Leo works well,  Ronan and Ari (I wouldnt do Ariyeh,  what about Ronan and Arlo

June 19, 2017 11:36 AM

Would people in your community know how to pronounce Ariyeh? I think that it's a very wearable name in the right context, but could be quite frustrating if most people around you don't know how to say it properly.

(Go for Oliver! Then your kids can have REO Speedwagon as their official band!)

I think that it would be easiest to first decide on a first name, and only then to start looking at the middle name, since the first name is the one that will be used most and all of the combinations are perfectly good. (My preference is for first and middle names to end in different sounds, so Jonah Arieh isn't my favourite, but there isn't anything actually wrong with it -- other than a slight animal identity crisis :D)

Edit: I see that I instinctively spelled it Arieh the second time, which is the way that I usually see it spelled. Is there any reason you especially want the Y in there? 

June 19, 2017 1:15 PM

I agree about the Y in Arieh.  I've come across Arieh before, but it is not a name I am super familiar with and I must admit that the Y completely threw me.  I didn't realize it was another spelling of Arieh until I read Karyn's post.  Also, it seems that the common thinking is that adding a Y to a masculine name is supposed to signal a change to a feminine name.  So, Ariyeh could cause confusion in that regard, especially in a context where a majority of people will be familiar with the Arieh spelling.

I think if you love Oliver, you should use it.  So what if it is popular?   All that means is a lot of people will compliment your name choice.  Not a big deal.

June 19, 2017 3:09 PM

I've seen it transliterated as Aryeh too. In fact, that would be my default transliteration. That said, it's a Hebrew name that hasn't become mainstream. The assumption would be that an Aryeh is Jewish, which your family may or not be. If your family isn't Jewish, there is nothing wrong with using the name as long as you are OK with people's erroneous assumptions.

June 20, 2017 4:51 PM

I was just looking through the lists of graduating seniors in my local magazine insert and remarking on the Aryeh there! I think it's a perfectly nice spelling of a nice name, but I generally don't have a problem with gratuitious internal y usage in male names. (Having a son in that category, I can confirm NAGA's conclusion that it may get read female, but I find that non-problematic.) I do think that the Aryeh spelling is one I'd be more confident in pronouncing than Arieh, which brings to mind Ariel and the attendant vowel flexibility.

June 20, 2017 1:04 AM

Thank you all so much for your helpful responses.  I will re-think Ariyeh - the name and spelling.  I am due in 1.5 weeks so feel very rushed unfortunately! Thank you again! 

June 20, 2017 3:01 AM

As it happens I came across Aryeh (spelled that way) in several articles today. I subscribe to a news aggregator that follows stories from Jewish news publications, and today a number of the articles happened to reference men named Aryeh. Frankly I don't think I have ever seen it transliterated any other way, nor have I ever run across a non-Jewish man with that name.

June 20, 2017 1:21 PM

There was a kid in elementary school a year behind me who spelled it Arieh, so that's my primary example for the name's spelling. (He generally went by Ari.) For what it's worth, Behind the Name lists Arieh as the primary entry and Aryeh as the variant, and a Google or Facebook search turns up examples of both spellings.

June 20, 2017 2:01 PM

In this case I will take the English-language Jewish press over BehiindtheName. For example, this morning I read an article about Aryeh Deri, the Israeli politician. 

June 20, 2017 2:15 PM

This might be a divide between English-speaking people and Hebrew-speaking people making the transliteration. Or not. Either way, both are clearly accepted forms of the name.

June 20, 2017 3:25 PM

Since this has come up I have been keeping track. This name has appeared in a number of articles, different publications referring to different individuals, 100% Aryeh, no variants whatsoever in this admittedly unscientific sample. I would consider Aryeh the default transliteration.

June 20, 2017 3:31 PM

These are a tad more scientific and support your contention that Aryeh is more common -- though Arieh does exist in the wild.


Wolfram Alpha

I guess my experience with the name is anomalous.

June 20, 2017 5:31 PM

Hebrew transliteration is more stable than Arabic (see the zillion spellings of the name of the former leader of Libya), but it still is transliteration and therefore open to variation.

By EVie
June 20, 2017 7:36 PM

The one Aryeh/Arieh I've known had it as a surname, spelled Aryeh. 

June 20, 2017 5:59 PM

I'll second the suggestion of just naming him Ari, if that's what you want to call him. It's a well-established male name from several different naming traditions, each with a different, cool derivation.

Speaking of those different derivations...can I interest you in the name Griffin, possibly nicknamed Ari? It's a Welsh name, but also a mythical creature with the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion. I say possibly nicknamed Ari because two of its derivations are from words for eagle (old Norse) and lion (Hebrew). I also think the name would fit well with your other children's names.

June 20, 2017 2:45 AM

I love Oliver, and i have since childhood.  I can't use it because it's the name of a young second cousin once removed (i know, i know--but that side of the family is pretty close) and of my family dog (a rescue who came with that name, to my little cousin's grandma's dismay), but i'm excited that you can!  My second favorite from your list is Ari...i like it by itself and am not sure about Ariyeh.

June 20, 2017 11:48 AM

My first instinct to pronounce Ariyeh was as Aria - not something I think he'd appreciate. Ari is fine and won't get as many pronunciation errors (I still occasionally pronounce it like airy, but that's not as embarrasing as Aria.)

I'd also lean towards Oliver Henry over Oliver Penn - Oliver Penn seems too much like a full name on its own. I also mistyped it as "Peen" at first, which I don't think he'd much care for either.

June 22, 2017 7:56 PM

I like the suggestion of Griffin as well.  I think it goes well with your names, and it isn't too common.  

June 26, 2017 10:41 AM

Yes, Oliver is common, but common now is practically nothing compared to what it used to be, plus Oliver doesn't have the slew of sound alike names (like Mason, Jason, Grayson, Kason...) that surrounds many popular names. Also, while its current popularity is spiky, it's stayed solidly in the top 500 for over a century. If it's the name you most love, I wouldn't worry about it!

I would go with Henry as a middle name over Penn, unless the latter is a family name. Henry is more name-y, and has better flow.

I really like Henry, Jonah, and Leo as well, but I really do think you should go with Oliver if that's what you both love. Also, Jonah and Ronan will get mixed up when shouted across the house, and probably in other contexts as well. 

Do you like Ariyeh on its own, or are you looking for a full name for Ari? If the latter, I second the suggestion of Arthur!