HI again! Starting to think names for 2nd baby boy.

Hi everyone! I haven’t been around in probably 2 years but it’s good to see some familiar screen names around here! I’m due with my second (and last) child in May and it’s another boy. My son’s name is Ja5per Th0rne and we had quite a time agreeing on that one. My husband wasn’t really too keen on Ja5per at first but it was the only thing I could imagine calling my son. I offered to let him pick the middle name and he picked Th0rne for Thor (he’s a huge comic book/Marvel nerd :). 


We were really hoping for a girl this time, and of course we’ve been in perfect agreement on a girl’s name since before I was ever pregnant the first time. RIP Ivy Juliet, who I’ve been in love with since I was 16 and who will never exist now.


My husband and I haven’t discussed names much yet this time, but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and I wanted to get your thoughts on my initial list of names. I’d also love some new suggestions because I have reservations with almost all of these. How do you think they go with Ja5per? How do you think they sound with our Armenian last name, which is pronounced sar-KISS-ee-an? What associations or impressions do you have of each of them? Here’s the list, roughly in order of my preference, with my thoughts:


Milo - if I could name this baby right now without my husband’s input and never look back, he would be Milo. My husband isn’t sold, of course. 


Leon - this was my husband’s top pick last time and again this time. I do like it, but I feel like it’s awkward for me to say. I’m also worried it’s too close to our good friends’ son’s name Léandr3 (in her French accent it really does sound similar) but they live over an hour away and we don’t see them that often so probably not a huge deal. Also, when I asked about it here during my last pregnancy, a lot of people said it sounded like “an old Jewish man”. We’re not Jewish, so I’m not sure if that’s problematic. I’ve always tended to avoid making statements about myself or doing anything that could give people the impression that they know something about me. That sounds weird, sorry, I can’t think of a better way to phrase it. But for example, I’ve never put a bumper sticker on my car or ever wanted to get a tattoo. So I guess I’d be uncomfortable with a name that makes a strong statement, especially one that’s untrue. Sorry, I’m having so much trouble expressing my thoughts on this!


Arlo  - I think this is a sweet little name much like Milo. But is it too single-association? We’re not really Arlo Guthrie fans, just pretty neutral, and see above about making statements. Also, does it sound weird with our last name (the repeated “ar” sound)?


Felix - I’m afraid it’s too awkward to say with our last name with the -x S- running together.


Roscoe - I love this name. But I’m worried people just aren’t ready for it yet and won’t get it. I’ve heard a lot of “that’s a dog’s name” comments even here. I also think people would try to call him Ross, which I wouldn’t love. 


Ezra - too biblical? We’re not religious at all and I try to avoid biblical names but I love Ezra. I’m also worried it’s too popular for my taste. 


Leo - in a way I like this better than Leon (husband strongly prefers Leon though) but is it way too popular? 


Edmund - this was our third or fourth choice last time but I think I’m over it. I love it but I don’t love nicknames in general and certainly not any of the ones for this name. And seeing how much my in-laws have already tried to nickname the nearly un-nicknameable Ja5per, I feel like we’d purposely have to choose Teddy or Ned just to avoid the inevitable Eddie. 


Oscar - this was our third or fourth choice last time as well but I could never decide if it really sounded ok with our last name. And now I think Oscar and Ja5per together is too much -er. 


Ira - I’ve always loved this name but I’ve since learned that it’s very strongly used in the Jewish community - see Leon for my (incoherent) thoughts on that. 


I always seem to write a novel but if you made it through I can’t wait to hear your thoughts and ideas!


November 3, 2017 11:46 PM

Just a note: Edmund Tudor was the father of Henry Tudor, later Henry VII, king of England. Edmund's brother was Jasper Tudor, who protected his nephew Henry until he managed to seize the throne. So Jasper and Edmund are certainly a fitting brotherly pair...depending on how you feel about English history. If I met little brothers named Jasper and Edmund, my first assumption would be that mom and dad are history buffs.

November 4, 2017 10:10 AM

Yes, I love that Jasper can have such different feels depending on whether you pair it with Edmund or, say, Roscoe. We probably won’t go with Edmund because of my personal distaste for nicknames (on my own children; I love the idea in theory) but it would make a great pair!

November 4, 2017 10:55 AM

Another little note: my son is Edward, and I absolutely enforced no nickname until he went off to university whereupon he introduced himself as Ed. I will never call him anything but Edward, but at some point children do as they please--about their names and everything else.

November 4, 2017 11:07 AM

I’m afraid I couldn’t enforce no nickname with my in-laws. They keep trying to nickname Jasper. So far it’s mostly been Jas but they’ve also come up with JJ out of nowhere, which I can’t stand. They exclusively call their other grandson by an obvious established nickname for his name (along the lines of Eddie/Edward) so I know that Edmund would just be Eddie to them. 

November 4, 2017 2:19 PM

I didn't have a problem with Edward's grandmother, but I firmly stepped on anyone else who tried Ed/Eddie. I made it clear I just wasn't having it. Of course, it's much easier to put one's foot down when family is not involved.

November 4, 2017 1:04 AM

Milo -  is ok

Leon - I dont see it as Jewish,  if its awkward to say,  I'd hesitate

Arlo  -  is ok and would be nice with Jasper

Felix - is ok

Roscoe - is ok

Ezra - I dont see this as too popular or Biblical

Leo - is nice,  not too popular - that would be my pick

Edmund - is ok,  but different to Jasper

Oscar - is ok

Ira - not sure, I probably wouldnt


 what about Ari, Eli

November 4, 2017 10:11 AM

Thanks for your thoughts! I wonder if anyone but me finds Leon awkward to say?

November 4, 2017 11:14 AM

It depends on how you want to pronounce the name. :)

Leon - Lee-on or Leon - Le - on (e-read like A in apple) 

Leon is lovely unusual name very sweet for a little boy, I like it. 


November 4, 2017 11:33 AM

We say Lee-on but I feel like the on part is awkward, like I have to over-emphasize it. 

November 4, 2017 5:40 PM

I don't find it awkward, but I also don't emphasise the 'on' part; I have the stress on the 'Lee' 

November 4, 2017 7:36 PM

Yes, we stress the Lee part but I don’t know, I just feel awkward saying the -on. I guess it’s just me, haha!

November 4, 2017 11:29 AM

Milo-is a cute name, I can't see any problems pairing it with your son's name or your last name

Leon-this is actually my top boys name, I love it. Again I think it works well with Ja5per and is fine with the last name. It has never occurred to me that it might be seen/come across as Jewish; it doesn't read that way at all to me but I have only encountered it IRL twice, both times on young, non-Jewish boys. My encounters with it in books/tv have also been non-Jewish characters so that is probably colouring my perception. I would not worry about your friend's son but if you find the name hard to say then that is an issue. Otherwise I would say that seeing as you put it second in order of preference and it's your husband's favourite (and given that he let you have your top pick last time even though he wasn't keen on it) that it should be strongly considered as the name. I know you said you are not big on nicknames but what if you named him Leon but you call him Leo most/all of the time as a special nickname? That gives dad his favourite name and avoids the popularity concern you have with Leo as it wouldn't be his given name.

Arlo-I confess I don't really know Arlo Guthrie (had to google him), but if you think that would be a big association where you are I can see the concern. On the other hand the assumptions that Arlo Guthrie had something to do with you choosing the name are more likely to come from your peers/a generation older than from your son's peers, I doubt he would have to be fielding questions about it so really I think it comes down to how much it would bother you to have an occasional question/comment about it. I don't find any problem saying it with your last name (I think because the emphasis in the second name is not on the 'ar').

Felix-for me this does run into the last name a little. I don't think it's so bad as to be unusable if you love the name though.

Roscoe-I actually quite like this one, and I wouldn't have expected to as it's NMS. It is quite a few 's' and 'c' sounds with your last name but it's working for me, and I really like it as a set with Ja5per. I will agree it has a slight dog name feel to it, but honestly that is true of a lot of names now because people seem to name their pets by human names more and more. (Oscar for example is Very Popular for both human boys and dogs where I am, if you hear someone calling Oscar in a park it's almost 50/50 as to whether they're calling a dog or a child!) The Ross thing is a slight issue as I think it's quite a natural shortening. You can probably stop it within the family and your close friends by just never using it yourself and asking others not to, but there is no guarentee that his friends won't use the nickname as he gets older. So really I would consider how much it would bother you if that happens; if you're ok with him being Ross at school/work as long as he's Roscoe at home then I'd bump this one up the list.

Ezra-I like this one, but for me as a completely non-religious person it's on my list of names that are Too Religious (along with Ezekiel and Eli). I would guess a family using this name to be religious to some degree. I'm not crazy about how it sounds with Ja5per.

Leo-I think the Leon nn Leo is the answer to this one ;) It seems a shame to deprive your husband of the name he loves for the sake of one letter.

Edmund-this is my favourite of the Ed- names, but like with Roscoe I think there's a high possibility of him picking up a nickname at some point, from friends if not family. It's really just how much that will bother you.

Oscar-I agree this is too similar to Ja5per with the 's'+'ar' sounds.

Ira-this does read more Jewish to me, and I also don't love it together with Ja5per. 

November 4, 2017 4:07 PM

Thank you so much for your super thoughtful response! I was particularly glad to read your thoughts on Leon. Can I ask where you’re located? (I noticed you spell favourite with the u.) I’m in the US so not sure how much of a difference there is in associations/usage here. I hadn’t thought of using Leo as a nn for Leon, so that is definitely something to consider!

Thanks again, you’ve given me a lot of food for thought. 

November 4, 2017 6:09 PM

You're welcome! :) I'm in the UK (more specifically South London), and not in a particularly heavily Jewish area so that is almost certainly playing into associations. If you don't mind sharing potential names you could try asking for opinions/associations from parent's of your son's friends/his teachers/your colleagues to see generally how people in your area would view it. The community on here is not huge and is obviously self-selected name enthusiasts/nerds, so the associations people on here have may be stronger than those you'll encounter irl where people pay far less attention to names. Or you may find that the response you got on here last time stands in your area too and people do think 'old Jewish man' when they hear the name. But at least you would know!

I didn't have time to add name suggestions earlier but how about: Lucian, Theo, August, Atticus, Fletcher, Hugh/Hugo, Alfred, Otto

November 4, 2017 8:22 PM

I think it‘s a great idea to see what acquaintances think of Leon; I may go that route. Thanks for the suggestions! I love Lucian and really most of the -ian names (especially Caspian!) but I just can’t go there with our surname also ending in -ian. Theo/Theodore has always been on my list and I love it, but I have a hangup with the meaning/etymology, being a completely nonreligious person. We discussed it here extensively last time I was pregnant and I’m just not sure I can get past it. I would name this kid Hugo in a heartbeat were it not for my husband’s uncle of the same name and an unfortunate family situation there making an honor name inappropriate. Otto is one I love in theory, but we just don’t have the right accent for it, unfortunately; it turns into “Oddo” and just ends up sounding flat and clunky. I like Fletcher, and Archer too, but I definitely want to avoid another -er name. August, Atticus, and Alfred don’t really do it for me but I like them for other people. Great suggestions!

November 4, 2017 6:32 PM

Leon is one of my top ten boys' names at the moment. I think it's classy and flexible. (I also love Lee by itself.) I'm pretty WASPy, and the first(only) Leon in pop culture that comes to mind is the NCIS character, played by a  handsome African American actor. 

I know of one Ezra, who belongs to a not religious family. His sister is P3tra. I think they just like the name as one that is known but not too popular.

Roscoe sounds like a dog name to me too, but the line between pet and human names is thin now, so if you love it, then go for it. He is likely to be Ross sometimes.

Milo sounds like the top runner and is very nice. It would go well with the last name. Why isn't your husband sold? 



November 4, 2017 8:28 PM

Thanks for your thoughts, especially on Leon and Ezra; very helpful! I wish I knew why my husband isn’t sold on Milo. We really need to start talking names again soon. All I remember is that he said he’d probably never want to name an actual kid Milo, so I ended up naming our son’s baby doll Milo haha. However, that definitely will not stop me from using it for our baby if he ever agrees to it!

November 4, 2017 10:33 PM

Welcome back!

Re: Leon

I'm Jewish; I grew up and live in a predominantly Jewish neighbourhood (in Canada); this neighbourhood has one of the highest proportions of senior citizens in the world. All that to say, I know a LOT of old Jewish men and not one of them is named Leon. I'm sure that there are a few around, but not enough for it to be a name that today is exclusively associated with them. In my neighbourhood, I know of a few middle aged men of Jewish-Moroccan descent, (who, in any case, are typically not the Jews one thinks of with the "old Jewish man" steroetype,) one 30-ish year old, and a couple in their late 40s. 

Plus, you know, quite a few names that used to be very strong indicators of Old Jewish Man are no longer so reliable! Names like Moe and Abe are beginning to be heard -- or at least seen on lists. Leo has had a complete makeover (Uncle Leo from Seinfeld is definitely no longer the prototype!) Bernie, Morty, Sol, and Ira are still decently in that territory, but I know a 1-month-old named Solomon, so everything old is new again -- though he IS Jewish, so that might be a bit different, since the "old" assumption would be wrong, but the Jewish would be correct.

When I think of Leon, I either think of the furniture store (Leon's is a large Canadian chain that was established over 100 years ago) or the characted from a TV show called Casual. That character is a mid-30s black man, and never once did I question that character's name choice.

All that to say, yes, a Leon *could* be Jewish, but I would make zero assumptions upon hearing that a child's name was Leon. If I heard Leon sar-KISS-ee-en, I'd think, "Oh, bet he's Armenian." Of course, if you don't like saying the name that's another story, but I don't want you not to use it because you're afraid of misrepresenting his heritage because you won't be.

November 4, 2017 10:42 PM

Thank you for this! You all are helping me feel better about using the name without getting into cultural appropriation territory or even having to explain over and over that no, we aren’t Jewish, we just liked the name. Now I just have to say it aloud a few hundred times to see if it becomes less awkward (I guess I really am the only one with this problem lol). 

November 4, 2017 11:01 PM

I know a lot of "old Jewish men"--I went to school with them! I know one Leonard (my cousin) and lots of Davids and Michaels and Ronald and Richard and Robert and James and Stephen and Lawrence. By and large the bearers of "old Jewish man" names are either dead or non-Jewish little kids (Eli, Ezra, Isaiah, Isaac, Samuel, Jacob, Noah, and so on). I did have an older colleague named Leon, and he was of English background. So I wouldn't assume that a Leon was Jewish.


November 5, 2017 11:17 AM

I remember the previous discussion! Was it really two years ago?

Leon without context doesn't really evoke any particular ethnicity or religion for me: it's just the Greek original for the name that the Romans turned into Leo, after all. (And it means "lion" either way.) I would be equally unsurprised by it on a black man or a little old Frenchman. With your surname, just about anything will scream Armenian, so I doubt you'd need to do any explaining.

On that note, any interest in Leonardo? It'd certainly address any difficulties in pronouncing the full name together (which I don't share, but can understand: I think the consonant juxtaposition of -on Sa- just doesn't have a certain "flow" that you're longing for).

In general, I agree with a sentiment expressed somewhere above: you got J4sp3r last time, so you should seriously consider giving your spouse his favorite this time. I think it'd grow on you very quickly, as the sounds are very close to other names you like. The more I think about it, the more I like J & L as a sibset: long-established names, but with a clear word-association (the mineral and the critter) that makes them feel modern in a good way.

November 5, 2017 11:56 AM

I don’t believe it was over two years ago either! And yet here I have this amazing, crazy, smart, talkative, wildly energetic two-year-old running me ragged every day haha. Thanks for your thoughts on Leon. I’m sure you all are right and it should probably be our pick this time. I do really like it, and it is my style (much more so than Leonardo; as you can probably tell from my list, I tend to go for short and spunky). And you’re right, they do make a great sibset. I love that they‘re both sort of “hidden in plain view” nature names. And yet still Milo sounds more like my son who I already love, just like Ja5per did. Ugh. Maybe Leon Milo sounds ok?

November 5, 2017 12:06 PM

Congrats on #2! I love Ivy Juliet- sorry you don't get to use it :( But you have some great choices here, so I'll give you some of my thoughts.

Milo is a name that kind-of evokes an animal for me, probably just because I know several dogs and cats with this name (and Homeward Bound helps with the association). That being said, I do think it is a nice name and has some associations (Milo Ventimiglia) that will make it perhaps a little more common as a baby name in the upcoming years. I also like Miles.

Leon- to me it is personally not MY style, but I do not read it as any ethnicity or any religion whatsoever. 

Arlo- I have never heard of Arlo Guthrie, but I do know a little boy named Arlo! I think its okay.

Felix- I like it but agree it is a bit much with your last name. I would count this one out just because you have some better options that flow much more smoothly.

Roscoe- Sorry, but I am definitely hearing a dog name for this one.

Ezra- I know quite a few little Ezras and think it is very cute but also still very biblical as well IMO. 

Leo- I love this one and much prefer it over Leon.

Edmund- It is NMS just for personal taste, but nothing really wrong with it. I don't like the nicknames it comes with, either, so I do think you have to consider that strongly if you want to avoid Eddie or any other nickname.

Oscar- Sounds too much with Jasper IMO

Ira- I like this name a lot but also read it as very Jewish. 

November 5, 2017 12:46 PM

Milo Ventimiglia is one thing, but at this particular moment in history, I personally wouldn't want anyone to associate my child with Milo Yiannopoulos. That association would not resonate outside the US, but in the US, well, I wouldn't want anyone to think I was a devotee of Breitbart.

November 5, 2017 1:26 PM

Yuck. I hadn’t heard of him so I just looked him up on Wikipedia. Just yuck. And there‘s Milo Inc. as well? Ugh. 

November 5, 2017 1:28 PM

Thanks for your thoughts! Was there a Milo in Homeward Bound? I’m remembering Shadow, Chance, and Sassy but I can’t think of a Milo. 

November 5, 2017 2:32 PM

OK now I want to watch Homeward Bound, lol! I don't remember a Milo in it either. 

To answer your earlier question I think Leon Milo would work great. 

November 5, 2017 3:47 PM

Turns out I was mixing up animal movies from my childhood. I was thinking of Milo and Otis... Duh lol. No Milo in Homeward Bound! And yes, I had actually also thought of Milo Yiannopoulus... I agree that it is a terrible association, so I'm hoping the popularity of Milo V. will outweigh the association for him.

November 5, 2017 7:08 PM

Awww... I'm sorry you will never get a little Ivy Juliet!

Milo- I really admire how well this fits with Jasp3r without sounding at all alike. I also really love the -o ending with your surname. What exactly are your husband's reservations?

Leon- Admittedly, I don't live around a large Jewish population, elderly or otherwise, but Old Jewish Man would never cross my mind. In fact, Leon doesn't bring any strong images or associations to my mind at all, so I don't think you have to worry about giving people the wrong impression or having people make assumptions based on your name choice.

Arlo- Again, I like the -o ending with your surname. I think this is slightly more "hipster-ish" than most of your other choices, but I don't think it's too tied to Arlo Guthrie. I also think of The Good Dinosaur, and your son's peers are more likely to be exposed to that association than Guthrie.

Felix- I'm afraid it does run together quite a bit when I say it, enough to where I feel the need to take an unnatural pause between the first and last, which is a shame because I really like it.

Roscoe- This is actually a name I find difficult to say. I haven't a clue why, but my mouth keeps wanting to say Roscow (rhyming with Moscow) instead of Roscoe. The few dogs I know have names that are popular for humans right now, (eg. Stella) so I wouldn't worry about that. This does steer more towards hipster territory, too, I think.

Ezra- I haven't met any in real life, so this is pretty much completely the Biblical prophet to me.

Leo- I second the idea of naming him Leon and using Leo as a nickname if you can get past your own distaste for nicknames.

Edmund- This feels more staid and traditional than your others, and if you are strongly opposed to the nicknames for it, then I would avoid it.

Oscar- I think it's too much -s+consonant+er/ar next to Jasp3r and too much s and c/k sounds with your surname.

Ira- I don't know about its use in the Jewish community, but I don't really care for it with your surname. Somehow it feels unsubstantial next to it even though I really like the short -o name choices with your surname very much.

November 6, 2017 12:02 PM

Thanks for your thoughts! I don’t think my husband has any specific reservations with Milo; I think he just doesn’t LOVE it the way he does Leon. It’s a shame because I absolutely love the -o names too, especially with our last name.

We had taken Felix off the list last time due to the way it sounds with our last name; I guess it’ll have to be taken off again! I just wanted to reconsider all the names I love and make sure we weren’t being too picky. 

I must be the only one who gets more of a jazz-age or hipstery feel from Ezra rather than religious so I guess I’ll be taking that one off the list too. 

Thanks for the commiseration on Ivy too. It really is sad to me that she’ll never exist. We’ve been talking about our future daughter by name for so long as if she was a done deal. 

November 6, 2017 12:09 AM

Casting another vote for Leon nicknamed Leo! It seems like the best compromise. 

November 6, 2017 12:23 AM

Oh, I'm so happy to hear an update, and that J@5per is expecting a little brother! 

Milo was my spouse's favorite name, I think strongly influenced by the Phantom Tollbooth. I vetoed it -- too energy drink, maybe, but mostly just didn't feel like it could be my kid. At some point last year when Mr Yiannopolous started hitting the news in a more major way, she at one point turned to me and said, "you know, I'm really glad we didn't name our kid Milo." That was even before Mr Yiannopoulos was at the center of a shooting at our place of work. We DO have a cat named Milo and it is indeed a very nice name, and I'm sure that your Milo would become the major association for your circle of friends quite quickly, but I thought I'd mention it. It's worth noting that we're in the LGBT community, where this particular Milo looms a bit larger and is probably discussed a bit more, in addition to the incident with the protestor being shot being obviously close to home... so I feel like for straight people in the rest of the country, it is likely to be a much more subdued association.

I love Leon. I know what you mean by the awkwardness of the second syllable, I have a Jo1yon whose last syllable has a similar issue, but I'm happy to say that it becomes less problematic with familiarity, or did for me. I also do not think of Leon as an Old Jewish Man name at all. Leonard, yes, but Leon is really free of any particular associations for me. (It is a fairly popular name in Germany, for what it's worth, which is another data point in the "not a Jewish name" association.) I think using Leo as a nickname is a great have-your-cake-and-his-too solution.

Arlo with your surname isn't too much Ar sound for me, but it does make me think of Mr Guthrie. Oscar is on the other side of too much repetition with your surname, and I think it is a lot of -er with his big brother's name (which isn't an absolute dealbreaker, but nice to avoid if possible).

Felix is a great name but I would not use it with your surname. First names running into surnames is something that I'd chose to avoid if you have other options on the table without that problem... and your surname is unusual enough that I think it really would be parsed as Felix Arkissian regularly in a way that Felix Smith probably wouldn't. If you decided that Felix was THE NAME then I think the graduation announcer pause obviously solves it, but especially with a lengthy surname I would avoid the need for it if you can. 

I like Roscoe! I think it's perfectly usable, and it's the sort of name that's definitely back in the area I live in. I would be less concerned about Ross as a nickname -- it's just two syllables! -- but your child will have determined grandparents, it sounds like. I would try to treat it as a pet name rather than a nickname and just ignore what the grandparents make of the name... I think the rest of the world will be much less determined. Somewhat analogously, we have a Wilfr3d where I think only once or twice have people asked if we're using Will as a nickname... and there I think it's a fusty name with a really on trend nickname. Ross is less on-trend, so I think it'll be even less assumed. The age of assumed nicknames by the general public is an all-time low, so it's been a total non-issue for us... but grandparents are the exception. In our case, we have steered grandparents in search of a nickname towards one we liked better (Wolf), which I think helps (the grandparents who didn't like that option are thus determinedly using the full name). I know a Coe (adult), would that be more palatable to you to present to the grandparents?

Ezra is a name that strikes me as being very Biblical, still. Like, there's an actual BOOK of Ezra, correct? I wouldn't be exactly surprised to find an Ezra in a nonreligious family, as it's a very popular set of sounds, but it's a name that I would not feel entirely comfortable using myself, as someone who is neither Jewish nor Christian. 

We know several young Edmunds in our kids friend-circles! It's a great name, and one I long liked, but I also couldn't quite use it either. They all go by Edmund, actually, although one family thought they'd use Ned they never quite got it to stick. 

I really like the name Ira, but that one does have strong Jewish (cultural, not necessarily religious) associations for me. I don't think it needs to be a problem, and I would think it was completely fine for a non-Jewish family to use Ira, as well. 

If you like Theodore but have Theo-root issues, have you thought about Theodoric? Different root, equally fashionable name. I think you'd have to do some schooling on the Thee-OH-dor-ic pronunciation, but I love it.


By EVie
November 6, 2017 12:55 PM

I can't speak for everyone, but I think the Milo Yiannopoulous connection is going to be pretty strong even outside the LGBT community... it's the first thing that pops into my mind now as well, sadly. I would guess that would be a pretty common response for left-leaning people who pay attention to the news.

I love the Theodoric suggestion! It gets around the Greek Theo- root so elegantly. 

I remember the Leon discussions from last time, before you settled on J@sper... in fact, they stuck in my head more vividly and I couldn't remember whether you had eventually picked Leon or something else :) So it seems like a pretty natural choice to me this time. I do prefer Leo, and I understand exactly what you're saying about the -on ending feeling awkward... I think it's because in English we tend to pronounce unstressed syllables as schwas, but for some reason in Leon we pronounce the vowel as written, which feels a little unnatural at first. But I think after you get used to saying and hearing it, it sounds pretty normal (I'm thinking about reading and watching Game of Thrones and all the times they say Theon's name, and I never once thought to myself that it sounded awkward, or felt awkward saying it when discussing with others). 

I do have the old Jewish man association with Leon, but I think that it could be easily shaken off by meeting a cute little kid. I wouldn't let that hold you back if you like the name. 

November 6, 2017 1:15 PM

Hi EVie, good to “see” you!

Well, “left-leaning people who pay attention to the news” just described my whole family, so maybe Milo is a bad idea. 

You’re right about Theon; I don’t remember any perceiving any awkwardness in hearing or saying his name (but then I was never considering using it on my own child so I’m sure I’m nit-picking a lot more with Leon). It does seem promising that I’ll get over it fairly quickly with Leon once I start saying it more. 

November 6, 2017 1:07 PM

Hi lucubratrix, great to “see” you again!

My mom is a member of the LGBT community so she may very well have a strong negative association with the name Milo. I think that would definitely be worth asking her about and not using the name if it’s a strong association. I’m not proud to admit it but I’ve been avoiding the news in the past few years because it all just makes me feel so angry and impotent and hopeless. So I hadn’t heard of Mr. Y. until Miriam brought him up. 

I think Felix and Ezra and Ira are all probably out. 

I don’t think my husband loves Roscoe but I’d definitely prefer Ross over Coe if it came down to it! And speaking of the determined grandparents, it just now occurs to me that Leon would almost inevitably become Lee with them. I guess I will just have to become more zen about it because I’m not sure any name is nickname-proof to them!

I’m glad that someone else understands the awkwardness of the -on syllable in Leon (yay I’m not crazy!) and very glad to hear it gets better with repetition and familiarity. I suspected it would so that’s good to hear. 

Theodoric is great in theory, but it definitely doesn’t seem like something I‘d name my own child. I have lots of names like it on my long lists from before I was having children, when I was more of a name collector, but in practice for my own family I prefer short and snappy, relatively nickname-proof names. 

Sorry if this is all very disjointed or incoherent; it’s hard to formulate one’s thoughts with a 2-year-old interrupting every 30 seconds! But it’s so fun to be back in the name game and back here with you all. 

November 6, 2017 4:27 PM

The irony is that despite his identification with Breitbart and the alt-right, Milo Y. just married a black man. He is so divisive (and not in a good way if there is a good way to be divisive) that I simply would not want a child associated him in any way.

November 6, 2017 5:33 PM

I’ve been doing more reading and I just don’t understand anything about him or his views. I’m just... perplexed. And disgusted. And saddened. He must really have a lot of self-hatred. 

November 7, 2017 1:15 AM

It makes your current strategy of ignoring the news seem like a very sound one, frankly... I am stuck in trainwreck rubbernecking mode myself. 

I feel like I should go ask my spouse what names she would recommend, because I think her naming instincts tent to run towards sleeker, smoother names whereas I tend to feel more comfortable actually bestowing clunkier, ornate behemoths. Cyril, Cecil, Basil? Maybe something like Merle or Bram or Carl, maybe Vern? Those run the gamut from courtly to more homespun, and I fully agree about Jasper sitting at the intersection of those two style groups. It would, I think, be nice to find another name that sort of straddles that boundary: Virgil or Homer, maybe Roland? It's too bad about -x names, otherwise I'd want to recommend Rex - I recently met one, and it was delightful (and not at all overly canine).

Other -o names: might you like Ivo or Tycho? Perhaps Waldo or Vito?

From what's left on your list as contenders, Leon seems like an obvious choice, but I really like Roscoe as well if you're feeling like you can't go in with just one name! 

November 7, 2017 9:30 AM

I do like Bram and Roland! I think they were both dropped from the list early on last time when my husband didn’t star them. I like Cyril, Cecil, and Basil theoretically but not practically. I wish I could find another -o name that I love!

November 7, 2017 10:56 AM

Theo can stand alone as a name, and the derivation isn't unequivocally "God" because of the existence of non-Theodore names that can shorten to it, such as Theodoric and Mattheo. (Although Theodoric technically divides after the D: theod- 'folk' plus -ric 'ruler'.)

Another -o name that I think hasn't been mentioned yet: Odo.

November 7, 2017 11:49 AM

We discussed my hangups with Theo names ad nauseum here last time. In the end I’m not sure I can get past it because of common English words such as theology. It just feels like the derivation of Theo is more obvious and more transparent to the average person than that of any other name. While some rare and wonderful name enthusiasts know of the existence of non-God Theo names, the fact of the matter is that I look at the name and see “God” and I’m not going to name my child after something I simply don’t believe in, no matter how much I like the sound and style of the name. 

November 7, 2017 4:58 PM

most people I know that have used Theo and they are in no way religious.  I'd use it, its a lovely name


other o names/o sounding endings

Harlow  Winslow Woodrow  Munro

Arlo   Jethro  Ricardo  Leonardo

Leo  Shiloh  Antonio Diego Sivio

Cruscoe  Eduardo  Santiago Beau

Pascoe  Arturo  Hugo  Lorenzo

Marlow  Marcello Maximo Orlando

Joe   Rocco  Pedro Roberto Rolando

Ivanhoe  Romeo Sergio Vincenzio

Carlo Franco Matteo Ricardo Nico

November 7, 2017 10:21 PM

Yep, I know it’s just me being pedantic but there it is.

Thanks for the -o list! Arlo and Leo I love of course. I wish I could use Hugo but it’s off limits due to an unfortunate family situation. I’ve been toying with Rocco but I’m not sure if it’s just too much. I like Diego, Carlo, Franco, and Nico but they’re all just too Spanish/Italian next to Jasper. My husband was born in Argentina so we certainly could have gone that route but I like a more cohesive sibset. The 3+ syllable ones and the -ow endings unfortunately don’t do it for me. 

November 7, 2017 12:09 PM

Can't remember if we talked about Rollo last time? It has a pretty kick-ass namesake (a viking! who became the first Duke of Normandy!) but with a slightly softer sound, and the cool -o ending. It's a name I'd love to meet on a child in real life.

November 7, 2017 12:37 PM

One thing about Rollo: by derivation it's a stealth wolf name, Hrothulf-Hrolf-Rollo and Rudolph. Rollo of Normandy was known as Hrolf gangr (Rolf the walker). His legs were supposedly so long they hit the ground when he was mounted. Given the extreme height of some of his descendants, it is conjectured that he had some form of hereditary gigantism. I personally am pro wolf names.

November 7, 2017 12:42 PM

I do like Rollo and am also pro-wolf names. I’m just not sure if it’s too... roly-poly?

November 7, 2017 12:48 PM

Well, the diminutive of Rollo would rhyme with Jolly....