Boys names..... updated shortlist

I posted awhile back with regards to our boy and girl shortlists and got some good feedback and suggestions.

A recap is that we are looking for a name for a sibling for Astr!d El0die. We like uncommon names, but preferably ones with a European/literary/mythological connection. No unique spellings (although International variants are fine). We aren't using any family names or anything that friends/family have used so that rules out a few contenders. Name should preferably by more than 1 syllable as the surname is 1 syllable and similar in sound to Worth.

It turns out we are having a boy this time around. Our girl list was actually looking pretty good, and we are probably in good shape should 'he' turn out to be a she.

I'm less sure about the boys list. Hubby has been over it and we have come up with some we can both agree on, and some that we are still pondering. I'm still interested in any further suggestions though if anyone has them. Otherwise any thoughts and comments welcome.

Our current list (both agree, although some 1 of us might like more than the other):
* August
* Caspian (I prefer Casper but am happy with Caspian)
* Emeric
* Remy
* Soren
* Lysander

Maybes (some of these might get moved up to the 'yes' list others might be middle name only)
* Balendin
* Clement
* Conrad
* Lucian
* Piers
* Otto
* Silas
* Everett
* Corentin
* Bayard
* Tycho
* Odin

Vetoed (by hubby)
* Vaughn
* Cormac
* Magnus
* Leopold
* Theodore

Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.......


July 8, 2013 1:52 PM

My favorites from your list - 

1. August: I adore the sound of Astrid and August. Adore it. This one is by far my favorite. I'm assuming that since it's on your list, you don't mind repeating the same starting letter. If it were me, I'd avoid it because that would then mean that all subsequent kids would need to have A names. Personal compulsion. It drives me nuts that my FIL's family is Melissa, Mary Ann, Mark and Elizabeth. So I just won't do it unless all the kids have different starting letters or they all have the same starting letter.
2. Lysander: Astrid and Lysander.
3. Soren: Astrid and Soren.
4. Everett: Astrid and Everett.
5. Clement: Astrid and Clement.

The other names that I like, but not as much as the 5 above:

I'm not sure what you're thinking in terms of middle names. I know you said you're not using family names, but do you want something with the same kind of feel as Elodie? Since you did say that some of the "maybe" names might get put in the middle name spot, here's a few combo suggestions with my 5 favorites: 

Astrid Elodie & August Piers
Astrid Elodie & August Odin
Astrid Elodie & August Everett

Astrid Elodie & Lysander Otto
Astrid Elodie & Lysander Odin
Astrid Elodie & Lysander Piers
Astrid Elodie & Lysander Ambrose

Astrid Elodie & Soren Ambrose
Astrid Elodie & Soren Octavian
Astrid Elodie & Soren August
Astrid Elodie & Soren Otto
Astrid Elodie & Soren Piers

Astrid Elodie & Everett Silas
Astrid Elodie & Everett August (They'd have inverted first/middle initials)
Astrid Elodie & Everett Remy
Astrid Elodie & Everett Lucian
Astrid Elodie & Everett Piers

Astrid Elodie & Clement Ambrose
Astrid Elodie & Clement Piers
Astrid Elodie & Clement Otto 

July 10, 2013 6:11 AM

I'm really undecided on the matching initials thing. It doesn't bother me per se, I'm just not sure it wouldn't be a hassle with having 3 people in the same family with an A initial (my husband's name also starts with an A).  I like both August and Ambrose enough not to rule them out based on the initials but it is in the back of my mind.  We aren't planning a third child but I think I would definitely avoid an A next time around, should there be one.  I tend to subscribe to the theory that 2 is a coincidence and 3 is a theme.  I also like that August and Astrid don't sound alike, even though they start with the same letter!

As far as middle names, yes we would pick another name off shortlist (or the current maybe list).  Last time around we named after our daughter was a few days old and once we had settled on the first name we just went back to the list and narrowed down the options to find the middle we liked with it the best.

I do like lots of the combos you have listed. I have been running options of first/middles around in my head so it's nice to see someone else coming up with some of the same that seem to work!




By Amy3
July 8, 2013 2:35 PM

Congrats, Chimu! I saw your earlier posts (boy and girl names), but they were already kind of old so I figured I'd wait for your update to comment. So happy to hear your Astrid will have a little brother (or sister, should you have a surprise)!

From your current list my favorites are August, Soren, Ambrose, and Lysander. From your maybe list, for possible first names, I like Clement, Conrad, and Otto.

My only concern with Astrid and Soren is that if you had others, would you feel locked into a Scandinavian theme?

I'll throw out Laszlo, my perennial favorite that I'll never use. :)

July 10, 2013 6:18 AM

Thanks Amy3!  You'll be pleased to know that even at just 2 my little Astrid does really like her name and we get lots of positive feedback on it. We travelled through Europe last year and people were stoked to hear of a little Astrid :)

Lots of people do like Astrid and Soren do work well together. Soren gets bandied about on here a lot but where we are I've never even heard it mentioned so it would probably come across as unexpected.  

I don't think we'd have a third but I wouldn't necessarily feel locked into a Scandinavian theme. I am happy with a broader European type feel but it' may make it harder to pick a third that works but isn't too themey.

For example, would the following combos be workable or just out of place?:

Astrid, Soren and Cordelia

Astrid, Soren and Zinnia

Astrid, Soren and Saskia

Astrid, Soren and August

Astrid, Soren and Lysander

Astrid, Soren and August

They kind of feel like they could work for me but interested in opinions.....

Laszlo is a good suggestion! I do remember it being your perennial fave! I am actually liking names ending in -O but other than Otto didn't have any good options. Arlo has been used by a friend and Milo doesn't work here as it's a name of a well known milk drink.



By hyz
July 10, 2013 12:34 PM

I definitely think Saskia and August could work as siblings to Astrid and Soren.  I'd put Zinnia and Lysander on the maybe list as Astrid+Soren siblings because they still have something of a continental feel to me (Zinnias being named after German botanist Johann Gottfried Zinn, and also generally sounding similar to other continental names like Ksenia/Xenia, Zoya, Sonja, etc., and Lysander being rather noticeably Greek--which, while not very similar to the northern Astrid and Soren, is at least a name I could picture on, say, a German person in the same vein as Alexander or Nicholas).  Cordelia would probably feel like the odd one out to me with Astrid and Soren, just because it feels very English next to their Scandinavian-ness. 

July 8, 2013 3:58 PM

I love Astrid and Soren but also wonder if it will force you into a theme. If you don't mind that, that is my favorite! I also like Emeric quite a bit. I've never heard it in real life and think it is so handsome! Of the maybes my absolute favorite is Otto. Something about Astrid and Otto does wonders for my ears!

I'll throw out Bruno, Nello, Armond and Benedict.

July 10, 2013 6:21 AM

Yep I'm undecided if Astrid and Soren are too themey. I'm leaning towards them being OK together.

It's nice to see a vote for Emeric. I don't think it needs a nickname but I'm not keen on Ric/Rick and Em seems a little feminine so that is a drawback for it.

A few people have commented on Astrid and Otto being a good combo and I tend to agree!

I do really like Benedict and have considered it but I worry it would get shortened to the ubiquitous Ben!

By hyz
July 8, 2013 5:51 PM

Congratulations on your little boy on the way!  My own favorite is of course August, and I think it's ok to have the two A names, especially because they don't start with the same sound.  I'm a little wary of it, and I would strongly avoid A names in the event of a third child, but I think two As are ok.  My next favorites from the top list are Soren, Remy, and Ambrose.  Soren matches so well with Astrid, of course, but since you are specifically not going for a Scandinavian theme, that might actually be a negative.  Still, I do think it's quite handsome, unusual enough to be interesting, and with a modern enough sound not to be out of place.  Remy is similar in a way--unusual in my circles anyway, but very accessible, easy to pronounce, friendly-sounding, etc.  I have a baby cousin named Remy (his father is French), and I think it is a cute choice for a baby and a striking choice for a man.  I think it makes a fine pair with Astrid.  Ambrose is great, too, but much... stiffer than my other favorites from your list.  It feels like it needs a friendly nn, but there isn't an obvious one, so although I do love it I fear it could come across as too formal or nerdy or something.  And again, it starts with A--but unlike August has a very similar starting sound to Astrid--I might be talking myself out of this one.  That said, Caspian might be my #4 choice from your list.  It is a tad more adventurous than I'm personally comfortable with, especially since it is not commonly used as a given name, but it is attractive and I really like Cass as a nn.  Loic feels too strongly French and complicated to me with the diaeresis.  Emeric is an interesting one--I'm not generally familiar with it, although when I saw it was a variant of Emmerich that gave me some context for it and made me like it better.  It seems pretty wearable when I say it, but the spelling makes me think of emetic, which is not the best association.  I'll say it's one that could easily grow on me with increased familiarity, but I haven't quite warmed to it yet.  Lysander and Octavian just feel too weighty to me (particularly Octavian).  For some reason, Leander feels very doable for me and rolls off the tongue, but Lysander feesl a bit forced.  Still, Lysander is another one that could grow on me.

My favorites from your Maybes list are Silas, Everett, Piers, and Clement, in that order.  

For combinations, I particularly like the idea of August Caspian W., August Emeric, August Balendin, August Corentin, August Lysander, and August Clement; Soren Emeric, Soren Loic, Soren Everett; Remy Caspian, Remy Ambrose, Remy Octavian, Remy Corentin, Remy Tycho. 

July 10, 2013 6:31 AM

I knew you'd vote for August, hyz!! Of my long time favourites it and Soren are the only ones still in contention (others have been largely husband vetoed or I've gone off) and I still really like it.

I'm also leaning towards the 2 A's being OK but yes I would avoid a third A.  I do think August has the advantage of sounding different to Astrid, Ambrose is more sound-alike.

I also worry about the lack of obvious nicknames for Ambrose. At only 2 syllables I don't think it needs one but it is a downside.  We don't actually nickname Astrid at all so the 2 syllable names do seem OK as is. I think the longer ones like Lysander or Octavian might struggle though without a nickname.

Although Loic is on the list I do think we would likely only use it in the middle as it does seem a little difficult in the first name spot.  

I'm still undecided on Lysander..... I suggested it to hubby and he is keen on it. I like it in theory but I'm not sure whether I like it as much on our child.  I feel it needs and approachable nickname. I have considered the similar Leander before and it just reminds me a little of Leanne which feels dated and feminine. However, I see hubby has now added Léandre to the list......

By Coll
July 9, 2013 3:49 PM

I also love August, Ambrose, and Caspian. I agree with hyz that Leander sounds nicer to my ears than Lysander, but they are both great names. Emeric is unfamilliar but growing on me. I kind of like it paired with Astrid. Soren feels a little too themey. I ADORE Octavian (are you a Rosenkavalier fan?) but it does sount heavier than your other names. However, it has a stregnth to match Astrid's. Loic is unfamiliar and not growing on me. And Remy just feels utterly at odds with the rest of your list-- more Continental playboy (I picture him with a pencil-thin mustache as the "correspondent" in the divorce suit of an early talkies sex farce) than gentleman scholar.

July 10, 2013 6:36 AM

I know we have some cross-over taste in names so I figured you'd like some of the list!

That is funny about Remy, I hadn't thought of it like that before but I can see how people could get tha perception.

I'm also not sure on whether Octavian is too heavy (I have similar feelings about Lysander and Balendin).  I do tend to like quite serious and long names though. Astrid was one of the shorter names from our girl list!

By hyz
July 10, 2013 12:49 PM

I don't know if there are any Remy preconceptions in AU, but I'd be surprised if many people in the US had a strong feeling about it one way or another.  I've known 3 Remys personally--my half French baby cousin as I mentioned, a Haitian boy I knew in elementary school, and a very attractive black sporthorse stallion named after the cognac (Remy Martin).  A varied sample, without any hint of the playboy, unless you count the horse, which might be fair.  I can see the playboy thing only in the way that almost any French male name can sound that way to American ears (did you guys have the Jean-Luc coffee commercials over there?).  I'm sort of surprised by how much I like this name, but it does feel suave and simple and friendly to me at the same time, which is an accomplishment.  The only issue I see might be pronunciation.  All the Remys I've known in the US have been pronounced to rhyme with Emmy, not Amy.  As the proper spelling is Rémy, I assume the long A sound is more correct (and that the emphasis should be on the second syllable--nevermind about the French R), but you might have trouble enforcing that if that is your intent.

July 13, 2013 5:49 AM

How interesting that you know 3 Remy's!  I think we would have a tought time enforcing the correct French pronunciation so would probably be happy with the 'rhymes with Emmy' version.  When we were in Europe Astrids name was pronounced 'correctly' but we tend to use the angliscised version day to day.

July 15, 2013 12:01 PM

I associate Remy with Remy McSwain, protagonist of the delightfully cheesy US TV show The Big Easy (a late 90s show). Remy was very easy on the eyes, so my impression has nothing to do with Coll's (which made me laugh). I've never met anyone named Remy.

By Amy3
July 15, 2013 1:06 PM

And for me, Remy is all the rat protagonist in Ratatouille. He's a great character so it's a positive association.

July 19, 2013 5:52 AM

I've heard the Ratatouille association before, but I agree it's a good association. It's kind of funny because everyone used to mention Astrid being a character in 'How to train your dragon' but in the 2 years since her birth it's only been mentioned about twice and the Fringe character a couple of times!

July 9, 2013 6:01 PM

I love Caspian with Astrid!

August is great too!

From your maybe list, I like Piers, Otto, Silas, Everett.

Caspian Piers

August Everett

July 10, 2013 6:36 AM

I do like both those combos and will add them to my list!

By Coll
July 27, 2013 10:43 PM

A mom's group neighbor of mine just had a Caspian, Chimu. Older brother is Duncan. Seeing the name on an actualy baby, I really like it.

July 28, 2013 6:08 AM

Wow, Duncan and Caspian is not a combo I would have picked! Duncan is a bit of a 'dad name' here, but lovely to hear someone has used Caspian and it works well.

Still so undecided on what we are going to use, really have to get back to thinking about it with only 10 weeks to go :)

July 9, 2013 10:28 PM

I love love love Caspian! 

Other suggestions:

Enzo - Both kids' names would start with vowels.  Plus it has both the punchy "z" and "o-ending" in a sweet little package.

Alastair - You could teach him to speak in a British accent.

Desmond (has his barrow in the marketplace.  And Tutu is a great role model.)

Cyrus (Cool and moving mainstream.  There are 2 in my alumni circle)

Peregrine (I love this one too!  I could have done a bird theme with my daughter Phoenix.)

Solomon (The wise king.  And born on Monday.)

Cosmo (Astrid and Cosmo--too astronomy sounding?)

Willoughby (Maybe too hard to spell -- I had to type this 3 times.)

There are so many good ones!

July 10, 2013 6:43 AM

Good to see you Tirzah!

Another vote for Caspian :)

Your suggestions list is pretty good. I like Enzo, I might ponder that one some more.  Alastair/Alasdair has been a long time favourite but is the name of someone we know otherwise it would be on the list.

Desmond is a name I've always kind of liked too.  Cyrus feels a little Billy Ray to me but it's a good suggestion.

I was actually thinking of Peregrine the other day. I do like it but think it might verge on too hipster (even though Perry is a very good nickname). I could go there for a middle name though.

Solmon is another I"ve considered before, might have to revisit it.

I think Cosmo does sound a little too themey with Astrid.

Willoughby is a name I've always liked but I don't like W names with our surname (it has ruled out Wesley and Wilhelmina for me too ).

Great suggestions :)


By Amy3
July 15, 2013 1:07 PM

Oh, I do love Solomon with Astrid!

July 19, 2013 5:53 AM

I've been pondering Solomon. I do really like it but wonder if it sounds a little religious?

By Amy3
July 20, 2013 7:41 AM

Honestly that would be a concern for me with this name. We're not at all religious and we live in a neighborhood with a significant number of Jews. However, I love how it looks and sounds, it's easy to pronounce, and I think it would travel fairly well. 

July 31, 2013 5:23 PM

I think with a lot of groups, Solomon IS going to sound religious, however, you can get away with one religious name without sounding religious yourself. The trouble is if you choose another name with a deep religious connection. For example, had this bundle been a boy, we were going to use the name Silas. Which is religious, but I just get this Old West type of vision of the name. Like I often do, I started making a list of other boy names I liked for the totally future baby #3 and one of the names was Gideon. I was pretty much all but sold on Gideon has our "next boys' name" when I realized that having boys Lincoln, Silas and Gideon gives the over-all sib set a "religious" feel. Which isn't at all what I wanted. 

I think if you just have Astrid and Solomon, it doesn't give it an overall religious feeling. 

August 1, 2013 7:01 AM

I think you are right........ A lot of the names on our boys list have a somewhat Religious feel to some people. Silas has also been considered, along with Clement. I like Gideon too but the bible association is too much for me unfortunately!

Interestingly none of my girls names seem to have a Religious feel.

July 10, 2013 10:31 AM

My favorites are August and Caspian. Both are on my list, although we can't use August due to our last name.  I love the suggestion of August Everett- so handsome! I also love Caspian Everett.

July 13, 2013 5:45 AM

Everett seems to work well as a middle as a middle, I do like both those combos!

July 10, 2013 3:07 PM

Oh--I'm adoring Lysander Piers or Soren Everett or August Balendin.

July 13, 2013 5:46 AM

I like all of those too...... it's so much harder choosing names when you are actually pregnant and have to pick!

July 14, 2013 11:23 AM

It really is! I'm not looking forward to the negotiations next time.

July 10, 2013 3:34 PM

Congratulations on your baby boy!  I love the name Astrid and you have so many wonderful options for her brother.  My favorites from your current list are August, Emeric, Remy, and Lysander (although Remy is not as masculine-sounding as most of the other choices).  From your maybe list my favorite is Otto but I also love Conrad and Everett.  I think Astrid and Otto sounds fantastic and I picture two intelligent, imaginative, and fun-loving kids when I hear this combination.  Great options!  Good luck!

July 13, 2013 5:47 AM

I do like that picture of Astrid and Otto.  That pretty much describes my daughter so hopefully her brother will be similar.

By EVie
July 15, 2013 4:37 PM

Chimu, I'm drooling over your list! I wish my husband were as adventurous as yours. 

Of your yes-list, I would have to say that my favorite  is Caspian. I'm a Casper/Caspar fan, too, but I think I like Caspian even better with Astrid—the differing number of syllables helps to differentiate them a bit better, what with the similar vowel in the first syllable, while still being a great match. I like how they fit together stylistically without being at all themey. A unifying element for me here is children's literature—Astrid Lindgren and Prince Caspian of the Narnia books. 

I think my second choice would be Octavian. If I had been choosing my son's name without input from my husband, this would have been a finalist for the middle slot—I'd LOVE to see someone use it for real. It's a bit much for day-to-day use, but you could totally use Otto as a nickname and thereby work in two of your choices in one. Alternatively, I've known an Octavio who went by Tavo (TAH-vo), which I think is very cool and works fine for Octavian as well, or you could do Tave, modeled on Dave.

Emeric would probably be my next choice—I'm really growing to like the Old English/Germanic names in -ric. I don't think it necessarily needs a nickname—it's three syllables, but when I say it fast the middle one kind of gets eaten (like Katherine or Violet), so it doesn't feel all that long. 

I also like Lysander, though like the others I would slightly prefer Leander. I think Sandy would be the most intuitive nickname, or possibly Andy, but I think those nicknames take the name in a different direction stylistically. I agree that it's a bit big for everyday use. It would be a great middle, though, if you use one of the shorter firsts.

August is great, just a little less exciting to me than your other picks (probably because I feel like I'm seeing it discussed a lot these days). I love Soren, but unless you were deliberately going for a Scandinavian style, I find it a bit too themey with Astrid. I agree that Loïc would probably be difficult in terms of pronunciation and the diaeresis, but I'd love to see it used. Remy reads very young to me, possibly because the one I've known was a childhood friend of my younger sister, but also because it's short and ends in a -y. Ambrose is still very nineteenth-century American Bible-thumper with muttonchops to my ears. 

Of your maybe list, I adore Lucian, Piers, Tycho and Balendin, and I'd love to see any of them moved up to contention for the first name, but they would be great middles, too. Top picks for combos: Caspian Piers, Caspian Tycho, Caspian Loïc; Octavian Piers, Octavian August, Octavian Loïc, Octavian Emeric; Emeric Lysander, Emeric Octavian, Emeric Balendin, Emeric Lucian; Piers Octavian, Piers Lysander. 

July 19, 2013 6:00 AM

I do love that my hubby is happy to be adventurous with names. We ended up with quite a good girls list last time around too.  He has vetoed a few favourites but we still have lots of good options.

I'm starting to feel more positive about Caspian. DH wasn't that keen on Casper but is good with Caspian and I agree it does avoid some of the issue of it being so matchy sound-wise with Astrid, plus I could always use the nickname Casper so it's win-win.

I had also thought of using Otto as a nickname for Octavian (along with Tahv/Tavi) but DH has suggested Octo which could also work.

I think we wouldn't necessarily nickname an Emmeric so glad to hear you think it can work as a stand-alone.

Andy from Lysander is a problem since my brother is an Andrew/Andy and we don't want to name after family. I also don't care for Sandy, and Lys sounds like Lice to me so no go there...... it is a negative for using it.

I totallya gree on August 'feeling' less exciting. It gets talked about a lot on here but I actually don't know any so it might work better in real life?

July 19, 2013 11:21 AM

What about Ander/Anders for Lysander?

By Tana
July 15, 2013 8:39 PM

I like Caspian, Emeric, or Octavian best of your current list. They all fit well with Astrid to me, in that they're unusual and have a bit of weight to them, but are still easy to pronounce. Octavian might be a bit long for everyday use (although I do know Elizabeths who go by their full name successfully), but EVie had some great suggestions for nicknames.

August and Lysander are alright, but don't quite feel like they fit with Astrid to me. August feels too normal, and Lysander feels too light.

I'd worry about pronounciation with both Loic and Soren. Soren looks easy, but I have a vague memory of being told that I was pronouncing it wrong and not being able to get the correct pronunciation. Loic is much harder, because of the accent mark. Accent marks are very intimidating to me, to the point that I hesitate to even try to pronounce names that include them.

Remy feels very much like a nickname to me. I know that it's not, but I can't get rid of that impression.

I can't comment on Ambrose. I had a friend in high school who used it as a joke name, and I can't get past that association to get a more general sense for the name.

By ozy
July 17, 2013 12:03 AM

Great list - my favorites are Caspian, Soren and Octavian. 

Couldn't you use Remy as a nickname for Emeric? That would be very cute. I like Emeric Odin.

July 17, 2013 1:45 PM

Remy is the French form for the Latin Remigius.  When I was in college a girl in my dorm was dating a Remigius (really!) who went by Reege.

July 19, 2013 6:02 AM

I had wondered about using Remy as a nickname for Emeric. That would solve the problem of finding a nickname for Emeric and Remy sounding too nicknamey on it's own!  Good suggestion, I will ponder that one.

By hyz
July 18, 2013 10:09 AM

I found out yesterday that there's a kid named Emmerich in my daughter's school, a grade ahead of her.  That's all the info I have at the moment, but of course I thought of you and had to come back and report the sighting.  I wonder if the family is German (surname was indeterminate), how they pronounce it, if he has a nn, etc.....  Emeric really could grow on me, I think.

July 19, 2013 6:04 AM

That's really interesting. I do kind of like th Emmerich spelling but with a German surname I did wonder if it's altogether too German, given the German heritage is many generations back!

July 29, 2013 12:12 PM

What about Griffin? I loved Everett and August but was shot down by my hubby for various reasons but we both like Griffin and are considering it. Things I like about it: sharp/snappy name, good nicknames (Griff/Finn), one way to say/spell, not common but people recognize it and I love the mythological connection.


Also from your list, Everett (nn Rhett) and August (nn Gus) are winners for me - they meet my above criteria (minus the mythological connection). Wish I could use them!!

July 29, 2013 1:46 PM

While there is one main way to spell Griffin, there are actually several ways to spell it. My husband is Gryph0n (Celtic spelling--mostly). He constantly gets Griffin, Griffon, Grifin, Gryffen, or Griffen. 


The bonus with his spelling is that we always know who is a telemarketer. :-)

August 1, 2013 7:03 AM

A few years ago Griffin was top of my list, so you are spot-on with what I like.  Unfortunately Finn is so popular around here and Griff (while I love it) sounds hideous with my surname so it hasn't made the short list.  I do still love it though :)