Brother to Eleanor and Clara

We are having our third baby in June and just found out it's a boy. We have two daughters-Eleanor and Clara, and coming up with their names was super easy (I had two names I already liked and my husband liked too). But we've got a dilemma with naming a boy. Here's what we've discussed so far:

James: we both like it, but we just like it fine, doesn't really get either of us excited

Caleb: he likes, but I like a lot of other names better

William: I like, but he likes others better

Other names I like that he's on the fence about: 

Wesley-I really like

Oliver-I really like, but worry about calling him Ollie because we call our oldest Ellie

Owen-ran across it on the forum here and thought, oh that's a nice name.

We'll probably use my maiden name (Brown) as a middle name because it's a family tradition.

Any suggestions?


January 27, 2013 3:17 PM

James is a nice name and a good fit with Eleanor and Clara, though I can see why it might seem a bit "plain" or unexciting.  Since you both like it, I'd keep it on the short, for now at least.

Caleb is also a nice name, but I do think it is a little close to Clara.  What about Ethan, Eli, Noah or Samuel?

William is a great name and also a good fit with Eleanor & Clara.  What does your husband not like about it?  Maybe a discussion of possible nicknames will help.  Or you could consider Liam as a full name.  I think it works well with the girl's names.  

Wesley-seems OK, but I'm not really excited about it with the sister names.  Just feels a little off to me for some reason.

Oliver I like, but I do share your concern about Ellie and Ollie.  If you think you could use it without the nickname it might be one to keep on the list.  If your family nicknames everything, I'd probably scrap it.  Maybe Henry, Leo, Oscar or Jack?  They all have a similar vibe for me.

Owen I really like for you.  If your husband isn't sure then maybe he'd like Ethan, Evan or Ian better?


January 27, 2013 3:34 PM

I like the feel of the existing sibling set a lot: sort of a turn-of-the-century vibe, pick your century. James would be a lovely addition to round out the set, as would William. Caleb and Owen feel a bit too ...dunno, Celtic-y?, while Wesley is too surnamey for me. Oliver has the too-similar-nickname problem, and feels a bit overdone in my area of late, but this may be different where you live.

Boy's names that fit well with Eleanor and Clara for me, roughly in descending order of my preference:


January 27, 2013 8:55 PM

Why would Caleb feel Celtic-y?  It's a Hebrew biblical name and means dog.

January 28, 2013 12:19 AM

Eh, you're right, of course: I have trouble keeping Callum and Caleb straight. In fact, a bunch of boy's names in C- get lumped together in what passes for my brain: Cailean/Callen, Cullen, Callum, Caleb, Colin... Many of them are "Celticoid", so the whole group has that feel to me.

January 28, 2013 10:43 AM

Well, I have a James so I obviously see the appeal in that one.  Since Eleanor and Clara both have a shared "L", William jumps out at me as a handsome choice.  They also have a shared "r" so Oliver would be great except, Ollie and Ellie would be pretty bad.  Another name that comes to mind is Julian.

By kddp
January 28, 2013 2:36 PM

I genuinely like all your choices, though I would probably avoid Oliver because of the "Ollie" thing.  I was going to suggest my son's name, Robert/Robby, but...Bobby Brown might not be the greatest idea.  What about Simon, Oren, Martin, or Samuel?

January 28, 2013 4:46 PM

I will second the suggestion of






I think Owen Brown is a great choice too and flows nicely with your girls' names.  I would just point out that James Brown might make others think you are paying tribute to the musician, instead of your maiden name.

How do you like John?

January 30, 2013 8:10 PM

how do you feel about either Julian, Christian, or Adrian? I should add Grant. it is a favorite of mine that i had planned to use if my last one had been a boy.

January 30, 2013 11:10 PM

When I saw the subject line, I immediately thought James, so am glad to see it on your list.  That would be my first choice.  Other options could be Francis, Henry, Max, Noah, Benjamin, Louis?

February 5, 2013 8:16 AM

We'll still listing and discussing. Thanks for all the suggestions.

I do like the idea of Liam as a nickname for William, especially since my husband doesn't like Will/Willie (nor I'm I all that keen on Willie).

And I think we could do Oliver without doing Ollie. I don't care for Ollie as a nickname for a boy.

I still like Owen, and recently added Gabriel/Gabe to my list.

One funny thing I noticed is that several of the names suggested are because they are already the names of close family members-brothers, uncles, and nephews (ie David, Grant, Andrew, Louis/Lewis, Benjamin, Samuel, Thomas). Guess my family all have similar taste, well mostly we all just like Biblical or very traditional boys names.

My husband and I only have two "rules" when it comes to names. Partially because I was and he is a teacher, and both spent a lot of time substitute teaching during college, we want a teacher to be able to look at a name and know 1-how to say it (i.e. no creative spellings, or "made-up" names) and 2-if the child is a boy or girl. I can't tell you the number of times I messed up a kids name because their parents couldn't spell, or how taxing it can be to have 3 Taylors in a class, 2 girls and 1 boy.

Anyway, thank you again for the good advice.

February 7, 2013 5:25 PM

I like Oliver the best if you use Oliver and no the NN Ollie. I think Gabriel/Gabe are nice.

Here are some others I like that you might like.





August nn Auggy or Gus could work if you like nn

Abraham nn Abe



Elijah nn Eli

Good luck I hope you find something you like. Congrats on the baby boy!

April 30, 2013 8:57 PM

Hi -- I just had to reply because Eleanor and Clara are my favorite girl names, though unused as I've had 3 boys. Have you made a decision yet? I'd be curious to hear. My boys are Benjamin, Nathaniel, and Abraham. I'm a little surprised that no one had yet suggested Nathaniel -- I think it is a great match for Eleanor and Clara. Good luck to you.