Help me get excited about boys’ names!

I’m in the very early stages (~8 wks) of being pregnant with my 3rd, and no matter what, I just can’t get exited about boys’ names. My two children are J@c0b and H3l3n@. I’d need a name that works well internationally and does not end in an s-sound (so no -x or -z either), as the baby’s surname will start with an S. If possible, I’d like it to start with a different initial than J or H, but that’s not a dealbreaker.

Names I love but cannot use: Philip, Gabriel, Alexander, Lucas

Nymbler just keeps suggesting Oliver, Benjamin and Noah over and over again, lol. Too bad I’m not interested in any of those (though DH just told me he likes Benjamin). I do like Benedict, but Ben is so ubiquitous where we are that I’m not sure I’d dare to use Benedict.

So far I’ve come up with Simon, but while that name works, I think I’m just okay with it. J@c0b is actually not a name I would have chosen before I met my husband, but it’s a meaningful family name for both of us and it’s perfect for my son (and it’s never been a no. 1 name where we live, so that helps). I do love his middle name, J0@ch!m.


January 11, 2019 6:49 PM

Simon is nice,  what about Simeon

others Eli, Levi, Reuben, Aaron, Daniel, Samuel, David, Micah, Isaac, Isaiah,  Zachary, Seth, Matthew, Nathaniel, Timothy, Luke Christian Caleb Peter Sebastian Christopher Damian Theodore Tobiah Edward William Robert Adam Eliijah Nathan Malachi Ezra Saul Raphael Ezekiel Samson

January 11, 2019 7:45 PM

I know that Simeon is biblical, but I can't get over the simian homonym (I know a Simeon who is about 30 and I've known him since he was a child so I know that exposure hasn't lessened the association).

Simon and Gabriel makes me want to suggest Sebastian.

January 24, 2019 5:38 AM

I have the same issue with Simeon. I also see Capucine mentioned from time to time, and all I can think of is the capuchin monkey.

January 12, 2019 1:54 AM

Simian is my hangup with Simeon as well, otherwise it would be on the short list for sure.

Elijah/Elias/Ellis fits with your set.  Samuel?  Julian, Abraham, Nathaniel, Jonah, Marcus, Owen, Silas, Gideon, Matthias, Zachary, Reuben

January 12, 2019 2:07 AM

I third Sebastian, since it seems to fit with the other names you like. How about Henry? Nicholas? 

January 12, 2019 4:21 PM

I like Simon for you - do you mind the alliteration with the last name? If not, then Stephen or Stefan might also work, and I like the suggestion of Samuel too.


Because you have a J@c0b, I'm thinking of Biblical names for boys (and you've had some good suggestions already), but then you have H3l3na, so maybe you'd go in a different direction? How about Anton, Leon, Marcel, Otto, Leo, Eric, Adrian, Victor, Dean? And these are Biblical but came to my mind: Abel, Paul, and I second Isaac and Reuben.

January 12, 2019 11:23 PM

One thing that helped me get excited the last time around was to throw out all rules whatsoever in the name "collection" stage. We made a big master list of names (a Google doc that my husband and I shared) and any name that remotely appealed or that anyone suggested to us went on the list. We got crazy things like Snatch and Lime from my youngest's friends, names that were so not-our-style (but otherwise perfectly reasonable) from family members and names that were very appealing but way too adventurous or too common on their face. We mostly just added to the list for a few months, sorting through occasionally. It was fun to see what popped on to the list, and how some names started to feel more possible than when we first added them and others sort of lost their savour over time.

January 13, 2019 4:10 PM

We did something similar for our twins. I made a massive list of every name I could conceivably imagine using, and let my husband whittle it down.

In the end I kept coming back to the names I had on my original list with my first two kids. I think seeing them among all those other names helped me realise they were really the names I loved the best, even though I thought I'd become tired of them.

The flipside of doing that was I then had to convince my husband not to use the more fanciful names on the list which he happened to like!

By rfb
January 14, 2019 8:23 AM

Good call on Sebastian! I’d actually use it in a heartbeat, only that it’s DH’s name (or rather a variant thereof). So I guess it belongs in the ’names I love but can’t use’-category.

Samuel is in about the same as Simon, for me. i’d much rather not use another biblical name, it seems too boring and predictable.

I think I can add Jasper to my list (though I regret that it’s another name beginning with JA-), and Julian (though there’s a cousin with a very similar name...)

January 14, 2019 4:07 PM

Here's a few more possibilities?

Anton, Roman, Dominic, Luther, Emmett

Mixing and matching something along these lines leads to Emeric, Robert, Uther, Andrew, Ludwig... 

January 15, 2019 11:10 AM

How about Theodore, Laurence, Stefan, Balthasar, Barnabas (a friend just named her baby this; I was surprised but quite like it now), Felix, Raphael, Robin, Oscar, Julian, Anthony, August, Quentin, Leopold (are you in a Leo pocket?)

January 17, 2019 2:18 AM

Lots of great ideas here! I'll add Bartholomew and Xavier (or Javier) and Emmerich/Emeric. This also generally leads me to the point that I would like to enthuse about all the -ric names (from the more staid Frederick and up-and-coming Alaric to the more exotic Osric or Theodoric): crisp endings that I think would travel well. 

In a world where Alexander is a trusty international favorite, Evander or Lysander or Leander or Evander feel unexpected but still not-weird. Edmund is I think several steps less daring and due for revival (I know several little Edmunds!) but still retains an exciting freshness. I also think sometimes there's a lot of joy to be found in dusting off more daringly old clunky names like Sylvester or Ferdinand or Rudolph -- and sometimes an unexpected nickname allows for a revival to get a fresh shine.

If you're into truly exciting names that might not be usable but confirm that there are exiting names out there still to be found on the boy side of naming, enjoy Philemon or Tarquin. There's also lots of usable legendary names, from Arthur to Roland to Percival. There are scientific inspiration names like Tycho or Erasmus or Aldous, which have reached international familiarity due to their famous bearers even if they are very rare in usage.

By rooo
January 17, 2019 4:29 AM

Some more ideas, some more international than others:

August, Winston, Mayer, Bennett, Charles, Elliott, Luca, Lachlan, Max, Nolan, George, Ezekial, Calvin, Franklin, Arlo, Milo, Theodore

January 24, 2019 5:41 AM

It might be a little too eccentric for your tastes, but I'm going to throw Alonzo out there.