Give us more boy name ideas!

Please lend me some inspirations, name enthusiasts! We need a lot more potential names for our son due in 8 weeks or so (!!!).

Instead of thinking of these as requirements, we're thinking of ideals or goals. We'd like a potential name to accord to some or a few or at least one of them. Some are mutually exclusive or at least close to, so according with all of them is likely not possible. They're listed in order from most to least important

1) We like names that are as international as possible. Ideally recognizable in Europe, Middle East AND South Asia. We particularly like northern European names that can travel well.

2) We like boys' names that are slightly feminine in some way. Polysyllabic, melodic, botanical, end in an A sound, or at least not aggressively male.

3) I don't like names that strike me as very British. 

4) Celtic names are nice for others but really aren't us.

5) Husband would rather not have an Old Testament or at least not very strongly associated with exclusively Jewish naming culture. This is because he, I, and daughter all have Old Testament names, so we might really sound religious, which we're not, with a fourth OT name. 

6) That said, I don't love New Testament names or at least those that would sound odd on a kid with Askenazi heritage

7) Not too popular and ideally not abiding by the -en name trend.

8) Intelligent/intellectual sounding would be great.

9) Doesn't inadvertently allude to or honor a man who is a jerk (subjective, but we mean no dictators, famous sexual harassers, right-wingers, etc. We're lefties, feminists, pacifists and travel/live abroad a lot, so we worry about names of powerful, oppressive men in other countries too). 


Names we like but can't use:

Elliot (Kinda perfect but taken by close friend)

Asher (I like in theory, but don't like trendiness and pronunciation difference between well-known Hebrew word and American name [i.e. ah-SHAIR vs. ASH-er. Just a pet peeve]).

Lawrence (sounds dignified and intelligent but maybe a bit British and too staid??).

Adrian (nicely international, polysyllabic and close to a girl's name, but a little... normal, especially in the context of the -en trend. Also taken by close friends).

Also, how would you react to a blonde white kid named Omar? It's one that's potentially quite international but may strike some as smacking of cultural appropriation or at least a bad fit.

Please give us names! Even if they only fit some of our goals. Even if you think we won't like them, please, please we need LOTS more ideas.


January 15, 2018 1:36 PM

Merle Haggard, male; Merle Oberon, female

Anton/Anthony not generally used by Jews

January 15, 2018 2:33 PM

Francis does currently feel rather Catholic. This is probably because in modern American subconscious naming culture, it's Very Bad to be mistaken for a girl, so people figure that only Catholics would inflict Francis on a boy. Frank and Franz don't share this "vibe", but this goes hand-in-hand with a less-effeminate sound. (Good luck identifying cause and effect in such a complicated cultural judgement.)

Anthony sounds vaguely Christian, but Anton just sounds international to me.

January 15, 2018 4:21 PM

I think Francis feels especially Catholic right now because of the current pope. Ten years ago I might not have had that impression.

January 15, 2018 4:49 PM

Yes, this. I think of the pope and, well, you can't get much more Catholic than that...

January 15, 2018 8:28 PM

On the other hand, my boss (who is more Catholic than the Pope, trust me on this) is technically named the Hungarian equivalent of Francis, but he uses Frank in English, because when he came to the US in the late 1980's, people told him that Francis sounded like a girl's name, and that made it not-Catholic-enough for my boss.

January 15, 2018 9:37 PM

How about all those Catholic French men named things like Jean-Marie, Pierre-Marie, and François-Marie? At least in Quebec, that format is barely used now, but back in the day, it was used with decent frequency. Guess your boss wouldn't have gone for that either?

January 15, 2018 10:26 PM

Or the Spanish pro golfer Jose Maria Olazabul

January 16, 2018 4:56 AM

I agree the Pope has upped the Catholic ante on Francis a bit, but to me it just reads classic. I knew two men named Francis and a boy named François in an (Anglican church) pantomime.

Oh, too bad about Dev. I was raised atheist myself and would not rule it out for meaning God. If anything it's a bit subversive. ;-) But I see your point!

January 16, 2018 6:05 PM

I thought of you and this post when I met a little Ashley recently. I definitely felt like it is a very strong statement to revive a recent female-megahit in your son's name, and I was surprised by how fresh and exciting the name felt on a little boy. He has a stay-at-home dad, which is just what I'd expect. Ashley and the other examples I can think of *are* unfortunately very British-Isles in feeling for me (Hilary, Evelyn, Kelly, Meredith), but perhaps you can comb Behind the Name for others: Joscelyn has already come up in this thread, I believe, and I like it -- Joss seems like an easy to wear nickname, too.

My son has had a classmate Laurence. I think it didn't feel stuffy to me at all, just one of those soft, gentle names. It could be British feeling, yes, but also could be French. That spelling helps. I think the nickname Laurie also is sweet and very gender neutral. 

January 16, 2018 6:36 PM

And there's Joyce as in Kilmer, even more British.

What about Leslie/Lesley? I had a male colleague named Leslie who went by Les.

One of my Hebrew school classmates was Lawrence who went by Lawrie.

January 17, 2018 2:55 AM

How about Jordan?  Gender-neutral, with a nod to the Middle East.

January 18, 2018 6:20 PM

For some reason Jordan is just too tied to Adedine-Wiener for me. So sad for that kid.

Good idea, though!

January 18, 2018 6:20 PM

Apologies-- I cleared my cookies and forgot my password for a while. Thanks for all the thoughtful replies.

Ashley's pretty great. I love it. But, yes, too British for us.

But I'm loving Laurence. That spelling we do like a bit more than Lawrence. Somehow feels less likely to end up as Larry. Also, Laurie is just plain awesome. Thanks thanks thanks!