... And Now For The Feedback For The Boys Names!

We will hopefully be finding out the sex in about 3-4 weeks and I'd like to at least float names of either gender past hubby prior to finding out since I know he won't want to discuss the opposite gender if we get a definitive answer on this babies gender.

We had a girl (Astrid) first time around and never really discussed boys names so my list is a bit all over the place with no real husband input.

Some of these names get discussed a lot on here so I have a general feel for issues with them and who loves/loathes them but others are a little more obscure so any feedback is encouraged:

My first tier choices (at this stage)
* Soren
* Magnus

Second tier (most likely middles or if we don't have many agreed first name options I would consider them as firsts)
* Leopold (only 2nd tier because it would get shortened to Leo in the first spot and Leo is very popular here)
* Theodore (again popularish as a first name)
* Otto
* Vaughan

Others I'm on the fence about (I like these names but I'm still pondering them)
* Everett
* Emeric/Emerys ( think both might read female to those unfamiliar with them but I do like them)
* Clement (reads a little religious)
* Remi/Remy (reads a little female)
* Lorcan/Riordan/Roarke ( I like all of these but wonder if they verge on 'sounding' trendy).

I know it's a long list but anything that sticks out to you? What do you love and loathe? Any other suggestions.......


May 1, 2013 8:02 PM

Okay, here goes: (I think I got them all...)


First tier: Cormac, Soren
Second tier: Theodore
Fence: Everett, Emeric (but not so much Emerys)


First tier: August, Silas
Second tier: Loic (but only in the middle because of the accent), Vaughan, Conrad
Fence: Lorcan, Riordan, Roarke


First tier: Casper, Balendin (because I'm not sure how to pronounce it.)
Second tier: Piers


First tier: *Magnus (totally ridiculous, but it makes me think of Magnum, which is ice cream, condoms, and guns. It also sounds a bit... grand for my taste), *Lucian/Lucien (French: Terrible association with a Quebec politician. English: Don't care for the LOOSH sound)
Second tier: *Leopold (but don't really mind it in the middle), *Otto (Again, totally ridiculous, but it evokes the character Otto Titzling, a fictional creater of the bra that I know about from the movie "Beaches".)
Fence: Emerys, Clement (yes, it reads religious to me, too), Remi/Remy (Just doesn't do it for me)

May 2, 2013 5:41 AM

Thanks for the feedback!

Emeric definitely reads more masculine than Emerys so I think it's the better option of the 2.

The reason Loic is probably only ever going to be usable as a middle is the accent. None are recorded on any documents here so that, plus the general unfamiliarity with the name would make it tough to live with. It's a shame though because otherwise I'm quite keen on it.

It's interesting that so many people seem to have trouble with how to pronounce Balendin. I wouldn't have picked it as troubling. Unfamiliar yes, but difficult no. Good to know thoug.

I've had quite a bit of feedback on the Magnus - magnum and/or 'big' issue.  Not something I ever thought of but obviously not an uncommon association.

The Clement reading religious thing is probably going to strike it out as hubby is even more anti-religious naming than I am.

May 2, 2013 8:36 AM

I'll tell you why Balendin makes me pause with regard to pronunciation: It looks like a name from a different language, so I'm not sure where to put the stress, nor how to pronounce the last syllable.

May 4, 2013 6:33 AM

That's useful to know.  I've heard it pronounced with the stress in the middle ba-LEN-din or alternatively on the first syllable BAL-en-din.  I did do a little research on the pronunciation and it seems to be variable.  I suspect depending on regional accent it would differ from place to place.

As for the last syllable, where I am suspect it would end up as 'dn' rather than either 'den' or 'din' so I'm not sure it matters much........

May 4, 2013 12:46 PM

I also considered emphasis on the last syllable, with either a -DEEN (ba-len-DEEN or BA-lən-deen) ending or a French -DINH (so, ba-lehn-DINH).

May 4, 2013 12:56 PM

I think it helps pronouncing it if you know that it's a form of Valentine. So it has the same syllable stress, and the first two syllables are the same other than the b/v. The last syllable just has a short I instead of the long I in Valentine.

May 4, 2013 1:16 PM

You'd think so, but not as much when you consider that Valentin(e) sounds different in different languages. My French guess is exactly how Valentin is said and others were Spanish- and German-inspired. :) I mean, yes, if I think of it as a name that's been converted into an English pronunciation pattern, but many name imports are not, and therein lies my difficulty. When I just saw the name written, it was unfamiliar to me, and so I assumed that it was from another language. Then it was a matter of deciding which language and which stress pattern/vowel sounds to use.

May 4, 2013 1:48 PM

That makes sense. I don't speak any other languages so I don't have that problem I guess- I'm probably guilty of Americanizing too many pronunciations :)

May 5, 2013 12:13 AM

I can certainly see where the different pronunciation guesses are coming from, and it does seem like any of them would be legitimate should we desire the name to be pronounced that way. I'm not actually sure which way I ultimately prefer, as most of them sound fine to me, just different.  Generally I have one preferred pronunciation of names but it doesn't seem to be the case this time, for now at least.

May 5, 2013 12:43 AM

That's pretty cool, actually. I still think that it's an easier name to have as a middle, but that does mean that you could choose whichever pronunciation/stress combination worked best with the name overall, should you decide to use it in either spot. When making your decision, you'll be going in well-informed and aware of the difficulties and options, and really, that's all you can really hope for :)

May 1, 2013 9:48 PM

First, let me say, this list is AMAZING! I know we've discussed that you and I have similar taste before, but much of this looks like a list I could have written.

My favorites from your top tier:

August- (my #1 choice)- I know you were trying to avoid matching initials with your girls names, but I think this is doable because Astrid and August start with different sounds. Would you use a nn?

Casper- great name as long as you can shake the Friendly Ghost association (do kids still know about him?)

Balendin- I love this because it's a real name that sounds like it could be in LOTR- seriously epic sounding :)

Soren- This is on our list too, but I don't know how I feel about the 2-syllables + -en end. Even though it's an uncommon name, I fear it would blend in with the trends. However, I think it is the best stylistic match with Astrid.

Silas feels a bit more trendy/common than your others, and I just can't get behind Magnus (the "big" meaning is just too obvious).  I'm neutral on Cormac and Lucian.

Second Tier Favorites:

Theodore- I love this as a first name too (but it's not common here)

Leopold- very dignified and handsome

Otto- for some reason this has a fun, carefree feeling for me so I think it's a great middle to add some style

On the Fence:

Everett gets suggested here a lot, so I feel like it's up-and-coming or trendy, but that may just be my impression based on this community (I don't know any in real life). 

Emrys is great (I love the meaning "immortal') but I agree that it comes across as feminine based on all the em- girl names that are popular now. Emeric is a bit more masculine sounding.

Not a big fan of Clement, Remy, or Lorcan/Riordan/Roarke.

Wow, this is the longest post I've ever made here :)


May 2, 2013 6:11 AM

It's good to discuss names with someone with similar taste :)

August is close to the top of my list. I do worry about it getting a bit popular but I'm yet to here of one in my neck of the woods.  We might use a nickname, I'm not opposed to either Augie or Gus but I do like the full August as a stand alone. We don't use any nickname for Astrid, although she calls herself Ast/Asti a bit :)  I am a bit undecided on the matching initials thing. It isn't so much that both kids would be A names, but that my husband also has an A name. They all sound quite different though, so that makes it less annoying.

I don't think the friendly ghost thing is a big deal these days. I don't see it as a negative at any rate. My biggest bug bear with Casper is that it shares some sounds with Astrid. I'm not sure whether that would bother me or not.

Balendin seems quite polarising, people seem to love it or hate it.  I like that it comes across as potentially LOTRs-esque.

Soren being 2 syllables ending in n is the one negative for me. I've never actually come across another Soren so I think it's definitely in the unusual camp around here but I do worry about it blending in with other names. I like that my daughter has a name that doesn't end in A like 75% of the other girls we know!

Silas is a weird one. It is very popular on this board and gets tossed around a lot (and is shooting up the US charts) but again I've never come across one here and I don't see it mentioned on any of the other forums I am a member of (that tend to be more Aus/New Zealand based) so it may stand out here.

Everett does get talked about a lot and has been suggested to me several times which is why I'm starting to consider it.  I would be tempted to use the nickname Rhett, I'm just not sure I like it as much as some of the others on my list.  I'm yet to meet one (or even see it in a birth announcement locally) so I'm wondering if it's not as popular as it seems. I do see the similar Emmett a lot more though......


May 1, 2013 11:18 PM

I think I'll follow Karyn's format; hopefully I won't miss any names.

1st tier: August
2nd tier: Leopold, Conrad
Fence: Emeric

1st tier: Cormac, Soren (perhaps a bit too matchy with Astrid?)
2nd tier: Theodore (I like how it almost has the word "adore" in there, but it's pretty popular around here, too)
Fence: Everett, Lorcan

1st tier: Casper, Silas, Magnus
2nd tier: Piers, Otto
Fence: Clement, Remi/Remy

1st: Lucian/Lucien
2nd: Loic (no idea how to say it), Vaughan (the spelling bears so little relationship to the sound that it just bugs me)
Fence: Emerys (unfamiliar, likely to read feminine to most people), Riordan (surname of a local politician, don't like him), Roarke (not sure how to say it; if it's like it's written, it sounds like an animal noise)

Can't figure out how I feel about it:
1st tier: Balendin -- I had to turn to Behind the Name to find out that it's a Basque form of Valentine. (I'd guessed the Valentine part, didn't know it's Basque.) It looks/feels like something straight out of Lord of the Rings, which would be a plus if it were true (I cheered when friends named their long-awaited daughter Arwen), but it's not actually a Tolkien name...

May 2, 2013 6:18 AM

The Soren being too matchy with Astrid thing is a slight concern. We have no Scandanavian background so I don't want to seem to themey. In the unlikely even we had a third I wouldn't feel compelled to go in that direction again so I'm not sure if that is a positive or negative.

Loic is difficult pronunciation wise. I've mostly heard it as lo-eek with emphasis more on the second syllable.  I think it varies with accent though. A definite negative against it.

Emerys is definitely reading female to most people, which is a shame but not unexpected. 

Roarke is Rork, I never picked that one as difficult either so good to know. I don't generally like 1 syllable firsts with our 1 syllable surname so I'm not sure I'm game enough to put it on the list at any rate.

Balendin is so unfamiliar to people that it could be a positive or a negative. It is interesting that even on this forum few people are familiar with it, so it would get a lot of raised eyebrows.

May 2, 2013 4:22 PM

A classmate of mine named his son Loic and pronounced it like you do. His daughter was named Saga--they were adventurous namers! They probably have more children now and I'd love to know what their names are.

Which syllable is stressed in Balendin? BAlendin? BaLENdin? BalenDIN? I have only seen the name on this site and dislike it as it looks like "blend in".

May 4, 2013 6:35 AM

Loic and Saga, that is an awesome sibset!  I also would love to know the names of any additional siblings :)

I have seen 'blend in' in Balendin but it's not something that particularly bothers me.

May 2, 2013 8:28 AM

My favorites: Cormac, Casper, Soren, Piers, Otto (for some reason I'm really liking Astrid and Otto as a sib set!), Conrad and Emeric (I don't think Emeric is feminine at all).

Some other random notes: As a Catholic, I don't think Clement reads too religious, it hadn't occurred to me. I do think Remi sounds female. I really like Silas but I've been hearing a lot of buzz around the name and with the characters on the TV shows Weeds and Duck Dynasty I think it may be getting a bit popular.

You have fantastic taste and I enjoy reading your lists! Can't wait to hear what the gender officially is!


May 4, 2013 6:40 AM

Otto and Astrid do sound kind of cool together, I hadn't actually noticed that before :)

I'm glad most people don't see an issue with Emeric reading female, even though Remi/Remy/Emerys do seem to, but I expected that.

Silas is one of those names that I'm just not sure how popular it actually is. It does seem to be moving up the US charts but I'm yet to hear of a Silas around me (I'm in Australia). Not to say it isn't becoming more popular here but I have no evidence to suggest it is as our stats don't go beyond the top 100 and I haven't really seen it appearing in birth notices or discussed on local baby names forums.

May 2, 2013 6:11 PM

I love most of your first tier names.  The only hesitations I have would be Magnus (just not a name I've ever warmed up to) and Balendin (I also don't feel confident that I'm saying it correctly).

2nd tier names are also very good.  I'd be tempted to move Leopold & Theodore to 1st tier despite the popularity.  I agree with previous comments about Loic.  My only real hesitation would be for Vaughan, which feels a bit trendy to me. It's a name I could see taking off soon.

I also like your fence names.  I agree Emeric feels more masculine tan Emerys.  I can see Riordan sounding a bit trendy or even taking off, but these issues seem like less of a problem for Lorcan & Roarke.

May 4, 2013 6:47 AM

Magnus definitely seems to be lukewarm for most people at best and the consensus with Balendin seems to be that it is unfamiliar and possibly difficult to pronounce. Good things to know when we we discuss what we will keep for the shortlist and whether it will be a first or middle name contender.

Theodore isn't hugely popular but it's certainly more expected than many of our other choices. I find it equivalent to Juliet on my girls list. It's not too popular to discount totally for us but just a little more common than we'd like. Leopold is definitely unexpected but 'just Leo' is pretty trendy around here and I think it would inevitably get shortened.  I am still pondering it as a first name though.

Interesting that you think Vaughan might take off. I know of a couple of Vaughans but they are all in the 40-60 crowd so I was afraid it would read more dated.

May 5, 2013 10:19 AM

Vaughan makes me think of actor Vince Vaughn and my brain always wants to lump it in with names like Chase, Dalton, Gage, Burke & Reed.

I checked and found that Vaughan isn't even in the top 1000, though the spelling Vaughn seems to have settled in the 900s (it spiked to 738 in 2008).

May 2, 2013 11:30 PM

Not sure this will matter, since it's just on your "fence," but I thought I'd throw this  out there:  My grandson is named Clemeth.  We have never met another one (except for his birth father, who was named after his grandfather, who was from Ireland).  I'm sure it's a variant of Clement, but it might not sound so religious.

I would love to know that there was another little Clemeth out there somewhere!

May 4, 2013 6:48 AM

I've never heard of Clemeth before. I actually really like it, except our surname ends in 'th' so it sounds pretty terrible with the surname.  A good thought though.

By Coll
May 6, 2013 8:14 AM

Hey Chimu! I've been away for a bit and didn't realize you were pregnant again. Exciting! Congrats to you.

I LOVE August, Casper, Silas, and Theodore from your list--probably for selfish reasons :). August (with the nn Gus) is tops of my list but my husband has cruelly vetoed it. He also dislikes all the ends-in-er names I've proposed (Jasper, Archer, Casper). And Theodore and Silas are out for us because of the way they'd go with our son's name, Simon.

So those are my picks for you! I think August and Theodore sound best with Astrid. Soren isn't a favorite of mine but does sound nice with Astrid. And I also have mild-to-favorable feelings about Conrad, Otto, Leopold, and Piers.

May 6, 2013 7:18 PM

Bugger your husband nixing August!  I can see why Theodore and Silas are out for you too!

I'm interested to see what you pick next time around since I do like Simon (although I know way too many my age to consider using it on a baby!).

By ozy
May 9, 2013 11:11 PM

So many great names on your list. My favorites, roughly in order: Soren, Silas, Casper, Lucian, Clement

I also think Remi is very cute, and seems plenty boyish to me. Similar as Desmond nn Desi, or Rory, all of which are great names.

There is something about Balendin I'm not crazy about. Would you consider Valentine? It has been a secret favorite of mine for a long time, but would take a bold namer to use it. I think it has a very elegant, masculine sound, despite the holiday, and could have the nick name Lenni or Valens.

Other possibilities: Ivan, Linnaeus, Hector

May 24, 2013 8:46 PM

Again you have a list I would love to pilfer! Good taste, woman!

Of course my instinct is to highlight all the fabulous Celtic choices you've got, but the ones that really stand out to me - on thier own and with Astrid - are Soren and Balendin. Soren echoes the scandinavian vibe you have with Astrid (though it does imply a pattern for a third child). Balendin is lovely: exotic but legitimate, and once you make the connection to Valentine, it seems like a quirky twist on a classic. Can I suggest Corentin, in the same vein?


Again, happy thoughts and best wishes on your pregnancy :)

May 26, 2013 6:23 AM

Corentin is a good thought, not something I'd come across before. Hubby seems to not mind Balendin but is not keen on Cormac so it might be a good in between.

Any other Celtic gems you can think of?

May 26, 2013 6:30 AM

It turns out we are definitely having a boy this time...... our girls list was much more settled and the boys much more up in the air. I think we are going to have to revisit the boys list and maybe search further afield.

Hubby has only done a quick look at my initial list (pretty much what I posted in the OP) but it looks like Vaughn, Magnus and Casper are out.  Leopold and Theodore are too popular for him so are gone. Loic is middle name only.

He is unsure about August and Cormac but I might be able to work on those.  Soren and Balendin seemed to get positive feedback and most of the others didn't draw much comment first run through so are probably still in the running.

We need to go back and revisit it in more detail and then come up with a definite short list so any other thoughts please throw them out there! My top 4 were probably Soren, August, Casper and Cormac (not necessarily in that order) and I think that has been well and truly shot down so I'm feeling like I need to come up with some other options to put forward.

All and any thoughts are welcome :)

May 29, 2013 3:42 PM

I absolutely love August. That was the middle name of one of my friends in school, and I always loved his name.

By Coll
May 31, 2013 2:36 PM

Bummer! I hate husband interference! Maybe add some truly odd-ball names along with August and Cormac and see if that sweetens them for him. This strategy has usually worked for me, but my husband is not a very adventurous namer. Unles Roger is adventurous, which it kind of is in this day and age.