Hi all,

So, it appears that Baby Punk (PhD) is most likely a boy. Surprising, because I was utterly convinced "he" would be "she"... While neither "mother's instinct" nor ultrasound technology are an exact science, we're putting most of our money on the tech, and planning a boy's name.

Now, it would not be a PPP post without a dilemma: we have had our boy's name set in stone for years. But of course now that a boy seems imminent, I'm getting cold feet.

The name in question is Callum, middle name Reade, Ruairi, or Bowen.

My issue is twofold: 1. The increasing popularity of Callum in our area and in most of Anglo-western civilization :) 2. The name itself, while perfect "on paper" - for those who don't know the story, it is a kind of portmanteau of our father's names, Calvin and William - it just doesn't feel like fireworks to me. In fact, it feels like a perfectly balanced compromise. Which is maybe what names should be, with equal input from two parents and two families.

It's not that i'm in love with another name (I've actually really struggled with boy's names in general); it's more that I'm comparing this name to my daughter's, and to the girl's name we had chosen this time around.

Any thoughts or suggestions on this situation? IS this predictable cold feet, or do my doubts have merit? Should I go back to the drawing board, or "don't fix it if it ain't broken"?

Thanks, as always,


May 23, 2013 10:55 PM

Congrats on having a boy!

I can kind of relate to your boy name dilemma. I'm far less excited by my boy options than my girl options and I don't want to feel like any boy name is a compromise or 'perfect on paper' so I'm still looking and thinking.

I really like the name Callum but it is quite popular (or at least not unpopular) in my neck of the woods. I agree that it deosn't have the same spark that your girls names have.  I do think it is a lovely name and does fulfil most of your criteria.  I don't think you should abandon it but maybe you should keep looking in case something else out there has that spark you want.

Even if you go into the delivery with the attitude that the baby is 'probably Callum but might still be x or y' and it turns out he is a Callum then you will probably feel satisfied that you selected the right name.  If you don't find any other names that stack up to Callum for you, then again you will probably not regret picking it.

I've never had a predetermined name so I'm not sure on teh cold feet issue but I don't think it is uncommon to feel like you need to explore your options a little more before settling on THE name, even if it's one you have loved for years.


May 24, 2013 12:56 PM

I think Callum is lovely, and I think it's fine to be less excited by the boys names than you are girl names.  I was actually the other way around, much more excited about boy names while girl names left me feeling frustrated.  I'd keep Callum on the list, but would probably continue  to look at other names.  At least that way if you do go with Callum, you'll know you considered all the options and went with the name that seemed right. 

May 24, 2013 1:18 PM

Thanks for this, NotAGuest,

It's somewhat more difficult when there's nothing "worng" with the name - I can't explain why it doesn't feel exactly right. 

May 24, 2013 1:17 PM

Thanks, Chimu - as always very sensible and balanced advice!


My hubby says I'm "worrying about nothing": from his vantage point, we have a name we both like, that has family meaning, and isn't spelled Caoilfhinn ;p 

So even though he isn't being confrontational about it, it seems to be very set in stone for him. I'd have to have an amazing alternative to change his mind.

So I might be resigned to tinkering with the middle name, to counter the familiarity with a bit of "dazzle". But I'm not sure what direction to go in... as usual, my heart takes me to Ireland, but most of my favourite Irish boys' names are a)even more popular b) confusingly spelled (see above) or c) share too many sounds with Sorcha (eg. Lorcan). I like word names and virtue names, names from literature (usually fantasy) and history. That's a wide swathe to cut through!


If anyone is hanging onto a really unusual, historically-loaded, boys' name, please share???

May 24, 2013 9:28 PM

Tarquin, Tycho, Fintan (one Irish name I don't hear everywhere), Njal (Ireland by way of Iceland), Alaric, Bran, Gaius, Oberon, Nestor, Titus, Agrippa, Blaise, Zeno, Aneirin, Aslan, Bayard, Reuel, Wystan, Taliesin

These are all more or less unusual and have literary and/or historical associations. a few with fantasy connections.

May 24, 2013 10:16 PM

What a fabulous list, Miriam! Thank you :)


DH loves Tycho (thanks to a popular webcomic), but declares the rest to be "too out there". Says the man who wanted to name our first born Ichigo (Bleach fan).

I would go with Bran in a heartbeat but unfortunately Bran flakes seems to trump Game of Thrones/ASOIAF and the meaning of "raven" for the majority of those polled. I like all the Finn names, including Fintan, but they are huge here in western Canada. ANYTHING to get to Finn. My MIL suggested Finnegan to us just last weekend. Also, I have a secret wish to name a future daughter Fionavar, and don't want to take it off the table ;p

Speaking of the MIL, she suggested Callahan/Callaghan to us out of the blue - with no knowledge of our current choice. I kind of like it, as I have a dear friend and mentor with this surname. However, with our double-barrelled last name it makes poor babe sound like a law firm.

Maybe I can get away with Taliesin in the middle...

May 25, 2013 11:10 AM

PPPhD, oddly enough, although I have read all five (so far) volumes of GRRM's saga, and seen every episode of GoT, my main association with Bran is Bran the Blessed. I know of two Tychos, one an infant and one an adult from the Netherlands. My daughter-in-law has a (much older) half-brother named Zeno who must like the name well enough because there is a Zeno, jr., and a Zeno III. Reuel is one of J.R.R. Tolkien's names, and interestingly he puns on it in his translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. There are actors named Gaius and Titus, a twentieth-century Welsh political figure named Aneirin, a Hall of Fame umpire named Nestor, a civil rights leader named Bayard, and Wystan is W.H. Auden's name. If Atticus is cool, why not Agrippa? I am personally fond of Tarquin, and it's a way to get to the popular nickname Quinn. So these names are unusual, but not so unheard of as to be completely "out there." Your hubby needs to get with the program :-).

Anyway I know you'll come up with something terrific.

May 26, 2013 6:17 AM

I think tinkering with the middle spot might be a good option, although I wouldn't rule out finding something else you love. Callum is a good strong choice though and I can understand your husband being set on it unless you can dazzle hime with something else.

I do like some of the options on Miriam's list and might look into them further for myself.

I also really like Callahan/Callaghan and I think it works well with your criteria.  The sounding like a law firm thing is always a problem though :(

July 19, 2013 5:25 PM

I don't know if you already had your baby yet, but the name Bran made me think of Bram, like Bram Stoker, the Irish writer.  Short for Abraham.  My difficultly with Callum is I keep wanting to say KAY-lum, instead of CAL-um.