Second Child Names

Still waiting to find out if we are having a boy or a girl, but the name game started in my house pretty much the moment we found out my wife was pregnant. 

With our first we more or less decided on a girl name, Brighton, but we ended up having a boy. It took a while but we ultimately settled on Graham. 

 

By unspoken consent, any of the unchosen names for our first son are off the table so my wife and I have been working to come up with other/new boys names that we didn't think of last time - and like last time we have come to a bit of an impasse - she has one name that she really likes and I have two names that I like - please let me know your thoughts.

Boy Names:

Woodrow

Finnigan

Walden

 

Girl Name:

Brighton (note, I am still 100% behind this name - though my wife says she might want to think about it a little more. Thoughts on Brighton (good or bad) would also be welcome)

Replies

1
June 22, 2017 2:02 PM

The first thing I notice is that most of your names feel Very Different than Graham to me.  I'd class Graham as traditional with a British feel.   The rest of your names have a strong contemporary/trendy/surnames-as-first kind of vibe.  I don't think this matters a huge amount, but exploring a different category of names could help you to expand your list.  For brother names that more closely match the style o f Graham, I'd look at names like Trevor, Emmett, Eamon or Rhys.  For sister names, maybe something like Gemma, Maeve, Fiona or Isla.

Woodrow-obviously presidential.  I like the sound/idea of it, but I do get hung up on the "wood" of it.  I think there's a fair to good chance this will get nicknames to Wood or Woody, which could be pretty teasworthy, especially in middle school.  It's my least favorite from your list. Names with a similar vibe:  Winston, Washington, Wilson, Darwin. Or maybe Marlow for a girl?

Finnigan-probably your "safest" choice if the goal is finding a name that will fit in well on the playground.  Pretty trendy, and a nice obvious nickname in Finn.  The downside is that it could fit in too well, because the whole class of Finn names is so very trendy right now.  Not necassarily a reason not to use it, but it might be something to consider.

Walden-my favorite from your list.  I love both the nature and literary associations to the name.  I also love the nickname Wally, which I think helps pull the name closer to the direction of Graham style-wise.

I'm honestly not a fan of Brighton.  For starters, it's just NMS (not generally a fan of firsts-as-last).  It also sounds like a college dormitory to me "Brighton Hall."  Can you provide us with some more information about what appeals to you about the name?  Is the sound? Do you get a particular image when you say it?  Maybe the "bright"ness appeals?  If we had a bit more to go on, it'd help us refine our suggestions.  The regular posters around here are very good about coming up with suggestions. Names that have similar feel/sound for me include Leighton, Peyton, Briar, Briony.

 

2
June 22, 2017 2:17 PM

Thank you for your comments - Really appreciate all of them. 

To answer your question, the name Brighton is the name of the town in which my wife and I bought our first and were married. Unfortunately do to me loosing my job and the relatively small job market we were forced to move and sell our house. We both really loved it there and when one of us suggested it as a name for a girl, it just seemed to strike a cord (I think it was suggested in jest originally).

3
June 22, 2017 2:19 PM

I also have trouble seeing Brighton on a girl because every one of my associations with it is male:

-- Brighton Beach Memoirs (male protagonist; male playwrite)

-- Brighton "Bright" Abbott (character in the old tv series Everwood; first role I saw Chris Pratt in)

-- Brighton Sheffield (son in The Nanny)

I know that all of my references are old and today's kids (and tomorrow's adults) likely won't have those associations, but still if I heard of siblings named Graham and Brighton, I'd be sure that they were both boys. That may not bother you, but I thought I'd pass along my perspective.

(Of course there's also Brighton, England, which is a non-gendered association, but not the first that comes to my mind because of more exposure to the others growing up.)

Is there any reason you're only considering it for a girl?

 

EDIT: I just checked out the numbers and in 2016 there were 100 girls and 121 boys named Brighton, so clearly it's firmly in "rare and unisex" territory these days. Ten years earlier, there were 38 girls and 120 boys, so the tide is moving in your favour.

4
June 22, 2017 2:33 PM

We just like it as a girls name...no real pin pointable reason for not liking it as a boys name

5
June 22, 2017 2:44 PM

Fair enough!

As for your current boy's list, I also like Walden, though I've always had a soft spot for Finnegan. 

Can you give a hint as to what the baby's surname will be? First letter/last syllable/style/rhymes with, etc. That could help narrow down the list.

6
June 22, 2017 4:09 PM

I actually love Woodrow and prefer it to Walden.  We have a family friend named Woody so the nickname doesn't bother me either.  

I too worry about the popularity of the Finn names right now.  I may live in a pocket, but it seems like I encounter little Finns ALL the time.  I also feel like it's not quite a style match with Graham, but as we frequently discuss on the board, sibling style matching is really not that important if you love both names.  

Other boy ideas:  Wallace, Walter, Walton, Colin, Forrest (kind of has the natury Walden vibe), Malcolm, Duncan, Owen, Emmett, Garrett, Wesley, Wilson, Barrett, Miles, Sawyer.  

I know a little girl named Brighton.  Her nickname is Briggy.  It is not my style at all, but it's pretty adorable on a little girl and it's grown on me.  I think it's totally usable if you still love it!  

7
June 22, 2017 4:58 PM

sorry I dont like Brighton at all for boy or girl, not fussed on the boys names,  Finnigan is ok,  prefer Fintan or Finlay

 

Briley   Brinley  Briellen

Bryn  Briohne  Brielle

Brienna  Brienne

Peyton  Kirsten

Kristen

 

 

8
June 23, 2017 3:50 AM

Brighton reminds me of Bristol (as in Palin), so it sounds reasonably like a girls name to me. Suzanne's recommendation of Bryn makes me think that that could be a nickname for Brighton...

I quite like all your boys names. Woodrow to me is more rugged sounding. As a non-American, I'm hazy on the president, so I guess my primary associations are Woody the Toy Story cowboy and actors Woody Harrelson and... whoever the other Woody actor is. It sounds very American to my ears.

Finnegan as a more bouncy, cheerful Irish vibe to me. I can certainly undertand the appeal of Finn.

Walden I like but, like Woodrow, it seems very specific in terms of references. I do like Wally as a nickname though.

What other girls' names did you like before you settled on Brighton last time? If your wife is feeling like she might want to revisit, maybe we can generate ideas. If you don't end up going with Brighton, it can always be a middle name (for either gender) and still there as a nostalgic nod to your own hometown.

9
June 23, 2017 11:51 AM

Brighton couldn't be more "Not My Style" if it tried. Bright, OK, all right, but town? Just doesn't work for me. Any interest in Phaedra, Phoebe, Lucia, Roxana, or Clara instead, as a more subtle (and less she's-a-girl-not-a-place) nod to your hometown?

10
June 23, 2017 12:15 PM

Love the suggestion of looking for names with a "bright" meaning as a more subtle nod to the town.  Knowing the reasoning behind Brighton, I want to like it more, but I just can't.  Place names and surnames aren't generally my thing, but some work better than others IMO.  For me, it helps if there is a name element in there somewhere, so while I don't particularly care for Brooklyn, I can at least wrap my head around it as a mash up of Brook + Lynn & not just the place.  I agree that Brighton is very "bright town" for me, in addition to sounding like a building on a college campus.

11
June 23, 2017 5:35 PM

I like that idea  or Clare or Elena, Helena, Ellen, Brycin, Akira, Roshan, Roshni, Zahra

 

Robert, Rupert 

12
June 24, 2017 9:11 AM

After hearing the names you love, I automatically think about Winston. It may not be your style but I thought I'd suggest it.