Having 2nd thoughts

I thought this baby's name was a no-brainer.  My older kids are Paul, Clare, Mark, Katharine, and James.  We're having a boy this spring and we've settled on Andrew Lawrence as his name.  Our last name is Tys0n and Lawrence (along with Laura) is a family name heavily used on both sides.  Andrew is a long time favorite of my dh though I admit that I have never really loved it.  I see it advantages - classic, easy to spell and pronounce, strong, great saint (that's important to us).  I also like that it's a bit longer as Katharine goes by her full name much of the time (we also call her Kat and occasionally Kitty). Despite all this, it's a bit like talking yourself into marrying Mr. Right.  I don't have much excitement about the name.  We've been calling him Andrew and the kids are fairly attached to it.

Another name I've been considering recently is Elias nn Eli.  Elias is my dad's middle name.  It was also his dad's (my grandfather's) first name as well as the first name of my grandfather's grandfather.  If we use Elias we'd likely use John as the middle name which is my dh's dad's first name and one we like quite a bit but can't use as a first name.

Any thoughts...


February 14, 2014 10:42 AM

I like Elias a lot, both on its own merits, and also because of the history of usage in your family. Elias John is very handsome, and Eli is a great nn.

I think Andrew's a better match with your other kids in terms of style, but we also just realized we just don't care enough for the name we'd basically decided on for our baby due just after you, so I totally understand not wanting to settle for a name you don't love. Would using Andrew Elias be a good compromise? You could still call him Eli if you really wanted to.

Otherwise, I know a few big families who started getting a little crazy with their last few kids' names -- much crazier than Elias, which isn't even that crazy! So consistency in style is only as important as you want it to be to you. Good luck! I'll be interested to see what you decide!

February 14, 2014 4:04 PM

Andrew Elias isn't a great compromise since it just hits a family name from my dad's side.  We haven't really used many family names.  So if we do, it should include either one from both sides or one that's used on both sides (like Lawrence).

I have a small group of friends from my parish that get together regularly and two of the last three babies were Blaise and Immaculata.  Interesting names seem to be in.

February 18, 2014 10:52 AM

Total side note, but I've been super curious as to what name you end up picking.

February 18, 2014 11:07 AM

We haven't totally decided yet -- the name we thought we were set with for a boy was Augustin Francis, mostly to get Gus as the nn (my husband just can't let it go, he loves Gus). You may remember from past posts that Augustin has always been a problem for us in terms of pronunciation and spelling; we recently decided we don't even really like the name Augustin(e) anymore. So we're tossing around some other options -- some old, some new, nothing's sticking yet. I too will be very interested with what we come up with!

February 14, 2014 11:05 AM

Personally, I prefer Andrew over Elias -- I'm not entirely certain how to pronounce the latter in English, but if it's how I think, then the primary stress is on "lie".

It's not really relevant to you, but I'm influenced by a Hungarian nonsense song/nursery rhyme: "Éliás, Tóbiás, egy tál dödölle..." (Elias, Tobias, one dish of potato dumplings / you ate from it / the hens went in the garden / and ate all the seed: http://www.gyerekdal.hu/dal/elias-tobias) It's very much like how the nursery rhyme "Georgie Porgie" can influence people's reactions to the name George.

February 14, 2014 2:12 PM

They are both lovely names IMO. 

While Andrew "fits" better with the sibset, I think Elias has more meaning for you. Have you talked to DH about it yet? 

February 14, 2014 3:15 PM

DH seems fairly charmed by Eli.  (I think as long as I don't start pushing for Henry again he's okay.)  We've been pretty set on Andrew so the kids would have to adjust too.  Katharine told me to name the next baby Eli this one is Andrew.  Her vote is offset though because Paul cheered when he heard I was having 2nd thoughts on Andrew.

Elias does have more meaning for me though using Lawrence would also be meaningful.

Is Elias Tys0n too "s" heavy?


February 14, 2014 5:30 PM

I agree Andrew "fits" better with the sibling names, but I don't think Elias doesn't "fit"-perhaps just not as well.  I don't know that I'd personally be too worried about people adusting, the baby isn't here yet.  I'm sure that would all work out.

I do not find Elias Tyson too "s" heavy.  However, I find it to be very "i" heavy.  I think that's one of those pretty subjective things though, some people like repeating sounds more than others.  

February 14, 2014 5:50 PM

I think I'm sensitive to repeating "s" sounds because the repeating "s" worries me a lot and the repeating "i" sound I like.

February 15, 2014 2:11 PM

Did any of your other kids have particular problems with the "s" sound?  Of course, all kids have certain letters that they have issues with saying.  Unless your other kids had speech patterns that were problematic or not age-appropriate, I wouldn't worry too much about it.  Most people understand that very young children will sometimes struggle a bit.  I generally don't get too concerned unless a name is very heavy with a problematic letter (L, S, R, etc).  Elias Tyson only has 2 S's.

I'll add that I say all this as the mother of 2 who both needed speech interventions, so I understand why you might be concerned.  But I think most problems with speech eventually work out.

February 15, 2014 6:34 PM

I'm actually not concerned about the repeating "s" sounds because of speech problems just because of how the name flows in general.  Though both of my older boys are in speech therapy and have struggled with s/z sounds.  Actually one of the biggest struggles for Mark has been that people haven't understood him when he states his own name.  Those "r"s are so tough.  Perhaps Andrew might shy towards Andy over Drew.

February 14, 2014 7:59 PM

Is another baby a possibility?

Maybe time for the Starbucks test? Writing out Christmas cards? Or do the flip the coin thing and see how you feel when it comes up?

I don't think it is too "s" heavy, and I'm fairly sensitive to that. ;-) 

February 14, 2014 8:35 PM

Another baby is a possibility but I'm starting to feel old so it doesn't feel like a given.  Also, we are overdue for a girl =) 

Glad to hear it's not too "s" heavy to your ear.  One time I felt James Tyson was too "s/z" heavy but that was when I picked up his first prescription at the pharmacy so it was a done deal already.

February 15, 2014 11:54 AM

Eli is a real name on its own -- doesn't have to be a nickname, if you're worried bout the "s" issue. Or you could go with Elijah. 

I also like Elliot and find it a better match with the rest of your kids, though "Eli" is a slightly less obvious nickname in that case, I think it could still work if you wanted to use it. There is a LOT of flexibility with nicknames.

Of course, those don't have the family name value.

If your husband really likes Andrew, maybe Alexander shares enough sounds and a similar enough history/popularity to be an option, if you find that more interesting? Alex, Xander, even Andy if you want.



February 15, 2014 6:38 PM

In terms of names Eli is definitely my favorite of the bunch, but I think the family history would be too cool to pass up on.  Also I like that there are several early saints with the name Elias.

Alexander is actually the name of the only nephew on my side.  He actually uses the nickname Anders which is a small strike against Andrew.

February 15, 2014 1:14 PM

I prefer Andrew, personally. Eli is quite trendy in my opinion and Elias seems to be up-and-coming. However, the fact that its a family name triumphs all.

I also think that Andrew flows better with your surname and his siblings' names (which are lovely, by the way!) And I adore Lawrence- it was my grandfather's name :) 

February 15, 2014 10:02 PM

How about using Lawrence as the first name? Longer name to pair with Katharine and used on both sides.

I do prefer Elias over Andrew. Elias Lawrence I like alot. Or even Lawrence Elias is nice if you prefer.

If you really don't like Andrew then scrap it. You need to name your child something you love not just a name you settle for. At least that is my opinion.

I also think Anders even though it is his nickname is to close to Andrew. What you should think about is if it would bother you? Would it cause a lot of confusion for your family? 

Have you considered Jonathan instead of John? It is a longer name again and pairs well with Katharine.

Jonathan Elias

Jonathan Lawrence

Elias Jonathan

February 16, 2014 4:40 PM

My dad's full name is Lawrence Elias so he'd be pretty much through the moon if we went with that.  I don't think my hubby is up for that much honoring of my dad =)  Besides, Lawrence has always struck me as a bit formal for daily life. 

Since Anders is 10 and in a different city, I'm not too bothered by how close it is.  I wish we saw them all the time but as it is we only see them a few times a year and our Andrew is very likely to be called Drew much of the time.  I'm sure there will be some confusion but we've survived worse.  My daughter Clare's name ended up being very close to the name my mom and husband use for my dad, Lare (a shortening of Larry his standard nickname).  So far everyone has survived even though we see my parents quite a bit.  We didn't even notice how close it was until Clare was old enough that we'd call for her in the house.

I have considered Jonathan as I'm quite smitten with Johnny.  My FIL is John Lawrence so I'm thinking my husband would find Jonathan Lawrence too close to his dad's name to use.  My husband is Nathan so I think visually Jonathan is strangely close.

February 18, 2014 1:58 PM

We are expecting our fifth in June and it sounds like we have had some similar thoughts, although totally different names.  We have a daughter and three sons and are expecting a girl this time.  For every boy, our girl name was going to be Annelies, and now that we finally have the chance to use it, I started having second thoughts.  Thoughts about spelling, about just being bored with it after all this time, about looking for something more exciting, about biblical connections  and family namesakes.  So, we were deciding between Annelies Kay, a name that honors both our moms and uses variations of Anna and Elizabeth, since a biblical namesake is important to us: and Greta Mae, a name that feels more fresh and fun, means "pearl" which would be her and my birthstone, and would honor my husband's side of the family.....


With all that in mind and with the thought that this may well be our last child, I found it tremendously helpful to decide based on asking myself, "Which name is MORE meaningful?  Which name would I have the most regret not using?"  And for us it was obvious that her name is Annelies Kay.  I still love them both, and have good reasons for both, in fact Greta still feels a little more exciting to me, BUT I KNOW I would always regret not using Annelies.  And if we would be surprised by another girl someday, maybe her name would be Greta :)

You have two great options.  You really can't go wrong with Andrew or Elias.  But, maybe thinking about which would be MORE meaningful would help?

February 19, 2014 2:53 PM

That is a great question, and I was surprised by my answer to it.  It turns out it would be most meaningful to me to use another New Testament name.  That's probably why Andrew rose to the top even though my heart doesn't do somersaults when I hear it.  There are a couple New Testament names that do produce somersaults but they been ruled out for various reasons - mostly due to conflict with our surname or duplicating use in the family.  Maybe I should revisit those with my hubby before baby makes his arrival.

February 19, 2014 9:46 PM

Oh! I love NT boy names! If you need help scouring for possibilities, let me know!

February 20, 2014 8:44 AM

I'm always open to possibilities.  I should state that I used up Stephen, Joseph, and Philip as middle names...oops!  Hubby and I love the handsome Thomas but hubby dislikes the alliteration with our last name.  John and Luke are also out because they are used in the family; I also think we should avoid another 1-syllable name so that Katharine's name doesn't "stick out".

February 20, 2014 9:28 AM

I know my taste skews a little more exotic/unusual than yours, but Nathaniel and Thaddeus are two NT testament names that I love, and would match Katherine's length well. Nathaniel particularly seems a good one for you imo, and the nn Nate is great ... the only potential problem that I can see is that it ends in -L and Lawrence begins with L.

February 20, 2014 10:31 AM

Great suggestion!  Problem being that my husband is Nate although he is a Nathan not a Nathaniel. 

February 20, 2014 11:32 AM

Ah! I did see that in a previous post but had forgotten. I just looked up NT boy names and liked Matthias, Matthew, and Timothy -- but each of those has potential issues with your last name (Matt Tyson; and Timothy having the same issue as Thomas? Although ... with your husband being Nat3 Tys0n, maybe Matt Tyson doesn't sound so bad? I'm a Kate and I grew up with a T- last name and never minded ... my brother recently named his son Matthew so Matt T___ didn't bother him either).

Maybe Jude? Jude Lawrence? Gabriel is one of my favorites, but I sense that's not in keeping with your taste. Even more offbeat would be a place name -- I've often thought Emmaus would be a cool name for a boy. I've always loved Nicodemus, but I understand it takes a certain something to pull that off. Zechariah and Zacchaeus have both held appeal for me as well. Matthias, Gabriel, Zechariah, and Zacchaeus have a similar feel to me as Elias, so maybe they're not that far from your taste?

February 20, 2014 3:39 PM

We actually would have used Jude Lawrence had Katharine been a boy so it's a strong contender.  It wouldn't take much to convince dh at all.  We considered it for James but at the time my mom's dislike of the name turned me off a bit. 

I like Gabriel well enough and I think it's on both dh and my long list.  Matthew is a great name and I wouldn't mind using it with Tyson.  I hesitate only because I find Mark and Matt a little close.  Although Timothy is a family name, I think if we're going to do a "T" name we'd have to go with Thomas as it's a long time favorite for both my husband and I.

February 20, 2014 5:28 PM

I love Jude!  Thinking of NT boy names reminds me of a family I know whose boys are...Silas, Titus, Justus, Barnabas, and Apollos.  Those seem a little more unusual than what you have been considering, but I thought I'd throw them out there just in case.

February 20, 2014 7:30 PM

That's a great set!

February 20, 2014 8:53 PM

Some other unusual NT names: Gaius, Jairus, Urban.

February 20, 2014 10:06 PM

Ok (hopefully I'm not repeating one you've stated is out for some reason):

Silas, Peter, Rufus, Simeon, Simon, Lucius, Felix, Nicodemus, Zechariah, Linus, Jason (although this duplicates an initial), Alexander (although this is your nephew's name?), Justus (same thing as Jason), Augustus, Levi, Clement, Apollo, Barnabas (Barnaby?), Bartholomew, Nic(h)olas, Matthias, Matthew

I avoided the "T" names despite there being some lovely ones. I think Matthew/Matthias is only an issue with the last name if you nickname them to Matt or (my favorite for Matthias) Ty.

I'm guessing anything ending in "-on" is out because of the last name, which is too bad as I think Simon would be a lovely fit.

Of the rest, I think Peter or Zechariah would fit well, as would Levi or Nic(h)olas. 

February 21, 2014 3:05 PM

I totally agree that Simon would be a lovely fit.  I just haven't been sure of the repeated "on" endings.  It's interesting that you think Levi is a good fit because I really like it but thought it was pretty different.  I also like Peter a lot and we considered it for Paul.  I've questioned using it since then because having a Peter and a Paul seemed a bit much -- not because of the repeating initials just because they are so closely associated with each other.  I've also wondered if Peter Tys0n has a bit of a flow issue because of the two "t"s so close together.

I also like Nicholas a lot but so few people know that it's in the New Testament that it doesn't feel like a Biblical name. 

February 22, 2014 2:33 AM

That just means it's an opportunity to educate. ;-)  And it's definitely a Saint's name! 

February 22, 2014 12:08 PM

I agree! I know a family of boys all with biblical names: S!meon, Jac0b, Al3xander, Zachary, N!cholas, M!cah, and Ethan.

February 18, 2014 2:39 PM

I should also add that Andrew has been on our list for a long time, but I think I feel the same as you.  There's really nothing NOT to like about the name, I'm just not in love with it.  :). Our other boys are Jonathan, Daniel and Noah.  If this baby was a boy, his name was going to be either Samuel or Elijah, nn Eli.  So, I do understand your dilemma.  Either name is a great option, IMO.