Baby Boy name struggle

We are expecting our third child, a boy, in mid June.  Our existing two kids are named: Brendan William and Marguerite (Maggie) Jewel.  The  new baby's middle name will be Ambrose-- a family name and particularly for my Dad who passed away 18 months ago.  We are oh so stuck on a first name though.  If it helps, our last name starts with an "R"


Some contenders are:









--- Theoretically would prefer it not in in "n" as is so popular here of late with all the little boys, but it just so happens that we seem to like names ending in "n" as well.  Should we be worrying about initials? As most of ours are wacky in this set up (BAR, EAR, WAR, TAR, FAR)--- Sigh, we never decide until the last minute, but with just 9 weeks left it seems time to narrow the list a bit.  Any ideas? We're open to many beyond these as we are so undecided just now. Thanks!


By Guest (not verified)
April 12, 2012 2:39 PM

I think Brendan and Bennett are too similiar for brothers.  Of your list, I like Everett and Ian the best-but none of the names alone are really bad.  If it were me, I'd probably try to avoid WAR initials.  Everett gives you EAR, but that seems pretty neutral as a word.  Ian's initials wouldn't spell anything.  Of all your names, I think Finn seems the most trendy.

April 12, 2012 2:59 PM

I agree with Guest above. Of those choices, Everett seems to "fit" the style of siblings best with Finn and Ian as distant seconds. I would definitely avoid "WAR" for initials.

Other possible suggestions (many from Nymbler):














I personally like Sawyer Ambrose R____ or Prescott Ambrose R_____ to fit in, but like Oliver and Maxwell as names best.

April 12, 2012 7:24 PM

I like Sharalyn's suggestion of Sawyer Ambrose R. I know a sibset of Dawson, Sawyer and Abby so it seems perfect to me to suggest those together. Of your original suggestions I think I agree that Everett is good.

April 23, 2012 1:27 PM

My name is actually "Abbey" so kind of neat to be in the subset with my name!

April 17, 2012 5:01 PM

Maxwell's problematic though - that spells the word "MAR", i.e. to ruin or to deface. That's probably a more negative connotation even than WAR.

April 17, 2012 5:42 PM

Oh, I didn't even think that! I was thinking MAR which is "sea" in Spanish, which could work if you are a nautical type family.


April 12, 2012 9:30 PM

I adore Ambrose, so am pleased to see you using it. From your list Bennett seems too close to Brendan. Everett seems to work and the EAR initials are fine.  I actually really like Finn but if you wanted a longer (non N) name how about Finlay? I know 2 young Finlays. One goes by his full name the other just Finn.

Other suggestions I think work for you are:

Owen Ambrose

Felix Ambrose

August Ambrose

Nathaniel Ambrose


I agree that avoiding WAR initials might be wise but really none of the other combos strike me as problematic.

April 14, 2012 9:34 PM

I actually like Wallace the best with Ambrose of your choices, but the WAR initials would be enough to make me say no too (otherwise I'd throw Wesley/Westley in the ring too). I agree with others that Bennett is a bit close to Brendan (how about Beckett instead?), and actually Everett echoes Marguerite rather closely to my ear as well, though if she goes by Maggie that's less of an issue. I find Ian and Finn both sound rather light next to Ambrose, but I don't know that that really matters since the full name won't be used daily. I like hyz's suggestion of Owen, or perhaps Evan.

I would probably try to find a few more options that don't end in t or n, just to sound a little more distinct from big brother and sister. Here are a few (of a variety of styles that seem compatible with your list) that might appeal:

Archer, Arthur, Andrew, Colby, Cooper,

Darrell, Derrick, Dominic, Eric, Edmund, Grady,

James nn. Jamie, Miles, Nigel, Nicholas,

Oliver, Percy, Roger, Russell,

Silas, Stanley, Theodore, Tobias, Trevor

And, relaxing that restriction, I also think Forrest, Grant and Vaughn sound distinct and would work well.

And you seem to like Celtic names, so here are some others to consider that I like with your other two:

Alasdair/Alistair, Cathal, Callum*, Calvin, Connor, Craig,

Desmond, Donal/Donald, Douglas, Duncan, Fergus,

Gareth (also too close to Marguerite?), Gordon, Kerry, Kirk,

Liam*, Lloyd, Malcolm*, Niall/Neil, Patrick,

Ryan, Rory, Seamus, Sean, Scott

(* = too much m sound with Ambrose?)

Hope this helps!

April 16, 2012 9:27 AM

I actually disagree with the above posters - the WAR initials wouldn't bother me at all.  Initials are rarely noticed anyway, and if it is noticed it's likely to be considered cool by his classmates.  (EAR maybe not so much, but as I said, it's rarely noticed.)  Don't use it if it makes you feel squishy, but I don't think you need to worry about it.

You have lovely taste in names, by the way!

April 16, 2012 5:59 PM

Love Ambrose for a middle name!

From your list, I like Tristan and Bennett, but maybe not with brother Brendan.

Some suggestions (some are also suggested above)--

Quentin, Roderick, Gareth, Grady, Nathaniel, Crispin

April 23, 2012 1:26 PM

Thank you all so much for these ideeas!  We remain torn on the "WAR" issue, mostly because it bothers me, but not my husband who is very in to W names just now. I really do like the celtic names and appreciate the additional suggestions.  We do call her Maggie, not Marguerite so the "t" endings don't bother me much.  Any thoughts on Emmett? I know it is a twighlight name, but not sure it will matter in 5 or 10 years.  I also like Cael, but most people seem stuck on visions of green leafy vegetables. Thank you all again for the suggestions. I will share with my DH.  

April 23, 2012 1:50 PM

Oh, and any thoughts about Bingham for a boy? It is a surname in my family that my mom recently suggested. My sense is that it is too close to Brendan?

April 23, 2012 4:04 PM

Like all your thoughts! Emmett, Cael, Brendan, and Bingham all sound fine. I don't think that Brendan and Bingham are too close.

April 26, 2012 12:34 AM

I like Emmett for you. I don't think it's too twilight.  Especially with older sibs that aren't Twilight names.

I don't think Bingham is too close to Brendan but I'm not sold on it. Mostly because it might get shortened to Bing, which isn't that exciting and reminds me of Chandler Bing from Friends. I wouldn't let that put you off if you love it though.

April 26, 2012 1:33 AM

Oh, that reminded me! Kate Hudson named her second son Bingham, nn Bing. (Not that she's such a huge star these days, but still, it's good to be aware of these things...)


April 30, 2012 12:24 AM

Oh that's right she did too! I knew I'd heard it recently on a baby.

April 26, 2012 11:14 AM

I agree that Bingham is likely to get shortened to Bing, and if you don't like that it may be a tough sell to get others to cooperate; Bing just sounds really cute for a bouncy baby. Other associations are Bing Crosby (a positive), Bing cherries, "Bing-bing-bing! You've got the right answer!" and the search engine Bing (probably neutral, although to me it has a bit of a trying-too-hard-to-be-cool/Google vibe).

I think brothers Bingham (esp. with the nickname Bing) and Brendan are not too close, although it's borderline for me, and in general I prefer different initials for each kid. The repeated "am" in Bingham Ambrose bugs me a little (honestly I'm an ----el Elizabeth and it hasn't caused any problems at all, but I know I'd be annoyed if I noticed the repetition after the fact). Actually the flow sounds pretty good.

It's neat to find an unusual, striking but still approachable surname on one's own family tree! In that scenario I'd be far more likely to go with the family connection than picking someone else's surname, unless I had another connection to it. As with any family name, you'll have to consider how close the connection is, whether any branches of the family are likely to feel slighted by the choice, and whether any of that actually matters. My one other caution would be to consider how the combination sounds with your surname, whether there's likely to be confusion over which is the kid's first vs. last name, and whether you care. If your last name is something like Redenbacher, no problem; if it's something like Rick, it may be worth pondering.

As to your other new options: Emmett also makes me think of Emmett Till (assassinated civil rights activist) and football (though I'm not sure why; there must be a player, but I don't follow football so I don't remember who!). It seems perfectly masculine to me and I don't think of Twilight at all, but I never read/watched those. Worth keeping in mind is that there are a lot of little Emersons (both boy and girl), Emilys and Emmas around, so it blends into the naming soundscape more than Bingham does. Cael is also appealing, but I guess the leafy green vegetable doesn't bother me because it's one of my favorites. You may encounter some spelling and pronunciation confusion, but it is a short enough name that correcting folks wouldn't be a huge chore.

April 26, 2012 11:49 AM

Kalmia, I think you have the charming football player Emmett Smith stuck in the back of your mind. :-)

April 26, 2012 12:49 PM

I tend to agree with most of the Bingham comments and was pleasantly delighted at the response to Emmett. I'm, at the moment, leaning towards the Emmett, Everett options, but husband isn't particularly sold. Our search continues to wander, but all of your comments have been quite helpful.


Oh, and for the person recommending Edmund -- my husband is very much with you in that he wanted to name all of our kids for places we've lived and we currently live in Edmond, if you can believe.


As to the thoughts on "E" names, they are super popular in Oklahoma, where I live, so that is one of our concerns too.  There are so many things to consider.  It may be that we're in an age with too many options and too much information in the naming process as there are just so many things to consider.  I admit I do like the hung though!

April 26, 2012 1:00 PM

I wonder - what about looking for names ending with that "tt" instead of starting with "e" -- does something like Truett work? It sounds fairly different from Brendan & Maggie to me, but not sure... 

April 26, 2012 3:51 PM

Truett has an appealing sound, and I like the association with truth, but it is definitely more out-there than your other kids' names or any of the others on your current list. Many people will never have encountered it even as a surname, let alone as a first name. While it sounds fine with Brendan and Maggie, I'd waffle on whether it's too close to the ending of Marguerite (even though I know she rarely goes by that), and I might not want such a strong stylistic departure. Again, you could also encounter pronunciation and spelling confusion; I can imagine folks emphasizing Tru-ETT, like the -ette ending for girls. It's an interesting find though and definitely growing on me!

Looking for other -tt endings for you:

Wyatt is attracting some attention these days; it has a bit of a cowboy/western vibe, but not too much, and your other kids' names downplay that somewhat. I think it could fit.

Rhett: probably too romantic/Gone with the Wind for you and similar to the end of Marguerite

Elliott, Scott: too familiar?

Also more out-there/probably less promising: Barrett, Bartlett, Bassett, Beckett, Brett, Cassatt, Corbett, (Garnet), Garrett, Hackett, Hammett, Jarrett, Kennett, Merritt, Pickett, (Rocket), Sterrett, Trickett --- To me, most of these either sound too close to your other kids' names or just aren't appealing (Hack it? really?), but maybe the list will help you and others brainstorm.

Of your -tt suggestions though, I find Emmett fits the best, followed by Everett.

I also like Edmund/Edmond, which makes a very handsome combination with Ambrose. Any interest in Edward? For either, you have Ned as a nickname option as well as Ed - or you could even go with Ted, like Senator Kennedy. For other -d endings, I'm coming up with: Arnold, David, Gerald, Harold, Jared, Lloyd, Oswald, Quaide, Reed ... of which I like Jared or Lloyd the best for you.

April 26, 2012 11:35 PM

soonermom-With the post of new ideas and reading the idea of Truett, I find myself going back to your original idea of Tristan. Tristan Ambrose sounds distinguished. I also like the new ideas of Wyatt, and Elliott. I would've suggested Brett a long time ago but I think its too close to Brendan. I also don't find that Everett Ambrose flows as well as I would like personally. I find Garrett also a bit pleasing. How about something not anywhere close to recent suggestions-Frederick? It also sounds distinguished to me but you may totally hate it. I'm sure it will all work out in the end.

April 28, 2012 10:50 AM

Bennett Ambrose is very nice, and i think the first name really solidifies the masculinity of it. i do love the name Everett, but think Bennett really works out better in this case. Bennett is my favorite name on your list and goes well with the siblings.

April 30, 2012 11:29 AM

Thank you all for the additional suggestions.  My husband's name is Brent.  This means my son and his name ar fairly similar and I'd not want anything close (like say Brett).  It leaves me a bit torn on B names generally.  On the one hand, all the guys would have a B name, which could be cool, but on the other the two of their names already get fairly confused.  I think the critique of the "t" endings is fair as  repetative of both my husband and daughter's names, but somehow it bothers me less than ending in "n" for another boys name.  At the moment, I'm leaning slightly towards Emmett, but Tristan and Ian are definitely strong contenders too.  I did like the list of suggestions of other name endings like "d" and will run them past my husband.  He is just starting to get a bit more engaged in the name search, but his initial ideas haven't been that appealing so we shall see. 

May 1, 2012 12:58 AM

Bennett could work (given your husbands name) but the 3 names together might be getting too close in sounds. Emmett or Garrett seem like a good compromise.

Tristan and Ian also work well for you. I think they are all slightly different style wise (from each other) but all seem to work in with your other children.