Jack, Max, Luke

We are expecting a baby boy and narrowed our list down to Jack, Max and Luke. We did not tell the soon to be grandparents these names but for fun we gave them the list of the top 100 baby names and asked them to tick the names they liked. We made it very clear we didn't want to know which names they didn't like. However of course they told us. One set of parents said we couldn't possibly use the name Max for a reason I won't go into to do with our Germanic surname. The other set of parents said they didn't like all the biblical names Noah, Luke and Matthew. So annoyed and really regret asking them! So we are left with Jack which we both like but it would be good to have a couple of other serious contenders too. We could potentially still use Luke but the opinion voiced about Max was so dreadful that it is a no go. Middle name will be Frederick which is a family name. Other names we quite like but decided against are Owen, Hugo, Thomas (Tom). I also like Mason, Charlie and Riley but my husband doesn't like Mason or Riley and Riley and Charlie have become populat girls names and we want a more gender specific male name. Any ideas? It can't start with or end with an S. Thanks!


September 4, 2014 8:02 AM

My first impulse is to try & defend Max and Luke.  It just annoys me that everyone ignored your request not to tell you names they didn't like.  Though, I suppose it was to be expected.

The objection to Luke seems to be one of personal style.  It should be expected that grandparents will have different name styles simply because of generational differences.  Similar names include Lucas & Luca, I realize they are all essentially the same name, but maybe there is just enough of a twist?   Mark or Marcus also come to mind, but the objection to Biblical names would probably also apply.

I'm really curious about the objection to Max.  Unless the combination would give you something offensive in German (and I can't imagine what that could be) I don't understand why the reaction would be so over the top.  Perhaps Mack?  Or a longer version of Max like Maxwell?

Most of the names you mention seem to have a traditional or vintage feel. Mason & Riley do seem like outliers.  I wonder if you'd like Charles with Charlie as a nickname?  Charlie is used as a girl's name (most often a nickname) but it is still very much a boys-name-on-a-girl and not really unisex the way Riley is.  I'll also suggest Milo, Miles, Felix, Jake, Henry, Leo, Theodore (Theo)

By mk
September 4, 2014 1:26 PM

I would not discount biblical names because one set of parents doesn't like any of them. You could use variations or similar sounding names: Luca or Lucas for Luke, Matteo or Matthias for Matthew, Noel or Neo for Noah, Marco for Mark

Other names: Ian, Evan, Ethan, Ryan, William, Liam, Andrew

September 4, 2014 10:02 PM

Lesson learned, I suppose. I feel like, since they ignored your specific request, you can ignore their notes on the names they wouldn't choose. I'm not trying to pretend that the family dynamics aren't complicated, but it's your baby, whom they will love, and whatever you name him, they will come to associate that name with their beloved grandson, not whatever theoretical issue they once had with it.

Choose the name you both like most, and let them deal with it. Personally, I really like Max and Luke, or Maxwell and Lucas, and unless either one sounds just dreadful with the rest of his name, I'd just do your thing...

September 5, 2014 1:39 AM

Here's the deal with thoughtlessly blurted-out grandparent comments. They are forgotten quickly by the speaker, even as they live on forever in your anguished fretting. I tell this story often, so regular readers can tune out, but my mother once said, in response to hearing a name on our not-taken-for-eldest-child list, "That's a STUPID name." I got mad and vowed never to talk names with her again, and two years later we decided to go ahead and use it anyway on our second child. I expected a big fuss or at least a negative reaction when we revealed his name after his birth, but nope, none to be had. She was DELIGHTED by the name. When I reminded her of her earlier comment, she swore up and down that she would never have said anything of the sort. How could she, when it's clearly such a GREAT NAME?

Anyway, I'm very pleased we used the name we liked anyway, even though my mother clearly disliked it strongly at one point.

For what it's worth, our first child's middle name is Max, with a very Germanic surname. We haven't had any problems with the combination.

September 5, 2014 5:40 AM

Thanks for the comments - Luke is back on the list! We are also adding Ryan. The funny thing is, the person who made the comment about biblical names shares his name with quite a famous reindeer so I don't think he is in a good position to be commenting!

September 13, 2014 9:17 PM

((hugs)) We too ended up with a horrifying objection to Max (we weren't even pg at the time) with our fairly German last name starting with an "S". 

We too ended up giving up on it. I'm sorry. 

September 15, 2014 12:08 AM

So what exactly is the problem with Max and a Germanic surname? I am totally mystified, and more than a little curious.

September 26, 2014 2:15 PM

I only know what was said to us. I'll email you privately. 

March 16, 2016 8:24 PM

Hello - sorry to pop on so late to this - I also have a germanic surname and Max is our frontrunner. Could you please let me know what the objection was?

September 26, 2014 5:15 PM

Owen and Hugo are my personal favorites!! But if you really love Max and Luke don't listen to your parents. I understand you value your opinion, but it is your child. Once the baby is born your parents will realize that the name doesn't matter, they have a grandson/daughter!! Go with your heart!