Help with baby number 9...

My husband and I, although we think about names a lot, are fairly conventional namers. Our children are Juliet, John, Charles, James, Patrick, Joshua, Isaac, and William. I'm expecting again, but we don't yet know if the baby is a boy or a girl. Since we've had 7 boys in a row, I have quite a few girl names picked out and waiting in the wings! The problem is finding another boy name.

Names I have considered: 

Fredrick, but I like neither Fred, Fritz, or Rick as nicknames. I would do the full Fredrick, but it seems like one of those names that will inevitably be shortened. 

Christopher with the nickname Kit. I really like this, but am afraid that Kit will be read as a girl name. In a family of 8 boys, it seems unfair for only one of them to have a name that isn't totally clear as to gender. 

Edward. This is my husband's favorite, but I really just detest Ed. I dislike Ted. Ned is slightly better but will perpetually sound like Nancy Drew's boyfriend for me. The full Edward seems too stuffy. 

Boaz. This one I quite like, as well, but am concerned that the final syllable will make for a potential for teasing, and that it is too different from the other names we've chosen. 

Thoughts? Suggestions?



April 4, 2017 5:55 AM

Clearly, like me, you like traditional names!  Here are some boy's names in that vein:

  • Philip
  • Timothy
  • Matthew
  • Michael
  • David
  • Mark
  • Richard
  • Thomas
April 4, 2017 9:49 AM

What lovely names your children have!  My husband and I also have a large family and talk about names constantly despite having very traditional taste in names.

I think Chirstopher nicknamed Kit would work fine since you aren't actually naming him Kit.  For me Kit isn't used enough for boys or girls to be strongly associated with either gender.  

I do find Boaz to be too different from his siblings for my preference.  

Other names that came to mind for you were Thomas, Henry, Timothy, Gregory and Samuel.

By EVie
April 4, 2017 10:16 AM

I love Christopher nn Kit for you, and I don't think the gender ambiguity is a problem at all, as it's just a nickname. Tons of traditionally male nicknames have gone androgynous--Alex, Sam, Danny/Dani, Jules, basically any nickname for names that have both masculine and feminine forms. If anyone ever hesitates, you say, "Short for Christopher," and it's cleared up immediately. 

I really like Frederick as well, though I much prefer that spelling to Fredrick, which looks a little smooshed to me. I've had the same hesitation with using it, though, as I'm also not a huge fan of Fred. There's a good chance that you would be able to stick with the full name, though, as so many little boys are these days (my son is Thomas, not Tom or Tommy--and Frederick/Fredrick is really only 2 or 2.5 syllables even though it seems like a lot of letters). 

Boaz does seem different from your other kids--if you only had Joshua and Isaac, I think it wouldn't be too much of a stretch, but it's very far afield from all those Kings of England names. It's not my personal taste--I don't care for Old Testament revivals in general--so I may not be totally objective here, either.

It sounds like you're really not a big fan of Edward, so unless you owe your husband more naming power for this kid, I would cross that off.

(Were you a regular poster here years ago under a different name? I remember a first daughter named Anne Juliet followed by a lot of boys--it sticks in my memory because Juliet is a frontrunner for me if I ever have a daughter. If so, welcome back! And if not, just welcome ;) )

April 5, 2017 7:21 PM

EVie - Anne Juliet + traditionally named brothers sounded really familiar when I read your post.  A search of the blog revealed that she used to post there as Jane 6 / Jane 7.



Kiki - Frederick, Christopher, and Edward are very natural fits with the siblings' names.  I'm rather partial to Frederick myself, but they're all nice choices.  Boaz sticks out like a sore thumb though.  One of those things is not like the others!


A couple alternative nickname ideas are Kip for Christopher or Red for either of the other two.


To toss out another option, have you considered Benjamin?

April 4, 2017 11:29 AM

My first thought was Nicholas.

I'm on the fense about Christopher nn Kit, though not because of gender ambiguity but because it's so different from the other boys'. That is, unless some of the others have snappy nicknames, too. Not that siblings need to be a perfectly matched set, mind you. And I think that the age span of the kids also makes a difference.

I feel the same way about Fredrick and its nicknames as you do, though I wouldn't use it myself anyway, since my children's surname begins with a K. (My favourite -rick name is Emeric, but even that has quite a different vibe from your other boys' names.)

If you name your child Edward, there is no guarantee that he will not eventually end up an Ed, no matter how much you hate the name. (Just ask Miriam.) If you truly hate it, there are other names out there without nicknames you hate.

Boaz would make me sing the "one of these things is not like the others" song from Sesame Street.

Yeah, I'm going with Nicholas :)

April 4, 2017 12:27 PM

Nicholas is a great suggestion!

April 4, 2017 12:20 PM

A lot of the names you've used were actually on our list at some point, & you've used my oldest's name, so I will throw out my younger son's name, George.

Other names that we considered included August/Augustus/Augustine, Phillip, Albert, Henry, Elliott, Arthur.

I love Fredrick, and I don't necassarily think it will have to be shortened.  If people try, just clairfy that he goes by his full name.  Of course, there is always a possibility he'll prefer a short version when he gets older.  If so, I think Fred would likely be the default.  When I named my older son, I assumed he had a name that would end up shortened, but it never happened.  Does your William go by the full name?  Or is he Will/Bill or somesuch?  I did notice that Fredrick & Patrick share the same ending.  In a smaller sibset I think this would bother me as too matchy, but in a larger sibset it seems like less of an issue.  I think Frederick is my favorite from your list.

I like Kit, but Christopher strikes me as quite dated.  I knew a ton of them growing up.  I think my concern with this name is that he'd eventually end up being Chris instead of Kit-and Chris strikes me as even more dated than the full name.

Edward is a family name for me, and we considered it briefly.  My husband and I both detest Ed.  I was OK with Ned or Ted, but husband didn't like them.  He liked Ward, but I detest Ward even more than Ed.  In the end we decided we didn't even care for it enough to use as a middle.  If I had been naming on my own, I likely would have gone with Edmund or perhaps Edwin.  They have just the right kind of musty-but-fresh feeling that I like that is missing with Edward.

Boaz, one of these things is not like the other.  But I don't think that's reason to not use it if you love it.  I had to really think about what you meant by teasing for the last syllable.  Perhaps it's a regional accent thing, but it's just not really an issue to my ear.  I do think the nickname Bo helps make the name more approachable, especially if some of your other boys use nicknames.  I wouldn't blink twice at a set of brothers called something like Chaz, Jamie, Pat, Josh, Ike, Will & Bo.


April 4, 2017 2:17 PM

FWIW, I don't see Christopher as dated at all. Yes, it used to be more popular - it was a top-10 name throughout the 70's - but it's not like it fell completely out of use or anything. Its popularity graph is sort of witch-hat-like, but it's a very wide witch hat with a truncated top.

April 4, 2017 2:54 PM

Yes, I realize my perception of Christopher is likely a bit off.  I seem to have been in a serious Chris-name pocket growing up.  If you combine all of the Christopher/Christa/Christine/e t c. names together, it wasn't uncommon for there to be 3 or Chris's in a class.  I also have a ridiculous number of Chris-names in my life currently,  including a sister, step-brother, SIL, MIL, oldest friend (from high school), boss, neighbor, 2 parents-of-my-kids-friends, and so forth.  So it continues to be a name that seems completely over-saturated to me.  The full Christopher isn't quite so bad, it's really the nickname Chris that I seem to encounter in crazy numbers.

By mk
April 4, 2017 4:38 PM

I like Christopher best, I don't think Kit as a nickname is a problem. Most Christophers I know don't really use a nickname, though, especially the younger ones.

I also like Boaz because it is so different.

April 4, 2017 6:46 PM

Baby number 9! That's more than my grandparents have great-grandchildren!

I join the chorus in recommending you scrap any name with obvious nicknames you actively dislike or detest (Frederick, Edward).

I also join in singing "one of these things is not like the others" for Boaz. This is not necessarily a problem -- if it's the name you love, you can just embrace the style departure.

But all in all, I really like Christopher, nicknamed Kit for you. Kit is uncommon enough for either gender that most people will not have strong preconceptions about it, and the full name is just as gender-unambiguous as the rest of your brood.

April 4, 2017 8:36 PM

From this list, and judging from your comments on each name, I think Boaz would be right for you.

P.S. Congratulations! :) 

April 4, 2017 8:47 PM

I have six boys, and we like traditional names as well. In fact, I wish I had been able to use Charles, James, Patrick, and William! Our boys' names are; Philip Anthony, Thomas Quentin, Stephen Edward, David Joseph, John Francis, and Leo Xavier. I think Philip, Thomas, Stephen, David, and Joseph all fit in nicely with your boys. I think Peter is another great traditional name that is not too common. We don't use any nicknames except for John, who is always called Jack. So you could use Frederick or Edward and always use the full name. But it sounds like you like Christopher best. If you're interested, the Cornish nickname is Kitto. I think Chester would be good too, but it's actually a place name, I cheated and got there through the Scottish diminutive Kester.

April 5, 2017 6:41 PM

I think for Fredrick the deciding issue is how much you dislike the nicknames. I don't at all think it's inevitable that it'll get shortened (you don't mention if any of your older children go by nicknames?) If you introduce him to people by his full name, and only ever use the full version yourself, then it's most likely that is what he will get called when he is little-and if anyone tries to use a short form you can politely correct them. But there is absolutely no way for you to know if he will decide himself once he's older that he wants to use a nickname. Of course even then you can continue to use the full version but you would have to be okay with hearing his friends (and possibly siblings) use the shorter form. I did also pick up on Patrick and Fredrick being very similar but agree that it's not a big deal in a large family with multiple siblings inbetween the two names.

Christopher is a nice name and Kit reads pretty much entirely boy to me (but I am in England which maybe makes a difference. I've only ever heard it as a nickname for Christopher, although I could see how it could be a further shortening of Kitty or something. I suppose what I'm saying is I wouldn't be massively surprised if a girl was introduced to me as Kit, but if I just heard someone calling the name I would assume they were talking to a boy). I think Christopher fits really well with your other children's names, it's my favourite of your list.

Edward I like but you clearly do not. :) So I think you should just scrap it now; you don't really like the full name and seem to strongly dislike any nickname possibility. In light of that I don't think it merits further consideration even if it is your husband's favourite, I'm assuming you wouldn't pick a name he hated either.

Boaz I confess I have never even heard before (and have no idea how to pronounce). I agree with other comments that it stands out as very different to the rest of the group of names you already have, although I don't think that has to rule it out-especially if you don't mind dealing with a few comments about the change of style from people who know/learn all the names. I would say keep it on the list and see how you feel about it as the pregnancy goes on, you don't sound like you love it at the moment so you might find another name that really grabs you or you might find yourself returning to Boaz and liking it more.

April 6, 2017 1:39 AM

Oh, yay, Jane 7! I'm so pleased you're back and so happy to hear that your 8th child turned out to be a William.

I agree with everyone Boaz is a style departure, but I really don't think that needs to be an obstacle. It sounds like a name you like very much! I actually wasn't sure about pronunciation but upon googling I am finding videos guiding me to BOW-ehz, like hair ornament and the first syllable of Ezra, which seems unteaseworthy to me. I know multiple little kids with Bo/Bow/Bowie/Beau nicknames, and it seems perfectly stylish, as does Ezra.

I also wouldn't be concerned about Kit being read as a girl name. I know people who have specifically used this nickname because of its lack of gender signifiers, but frankly, it's unusual enough that your Kit would likely be the standard for most people he meets. Perhaps I'm particularly unbothered by gender mix up since I experience it a lot (my eldest is to be expected, but I'm pretty surprised that a pretty substantial chunk of people think, upon introduction to a Wilfred, that it must be a little girl's name). So far no one seems to care a bit that two of the kids get misgendered regularly and the other two don't... it's just a thing that we shrug off and move on.

For me Fredrick and Patrick would be too close, even with other kids milling about. I also find Fredrick to be an awkward spelling; I do love Frederick but definitely pronounce it as a 3-syllable name. It does seem like a name that would be more likely to invite nicknames, so I wouldn't pick it if you actively dislike the most obvious nicknames.

Edward seems a little easier to avoid nicknames, and one could push "Ward" as a nickname as well, but again, "really detest" is far too strong for me advice use of a name that courts even a minor chance of the nickname. Given that you don't even like the full name as a freestanding unit that much, I think it's worth looking elsewhere.

April 6, 2017 2:05 AM

Re Kit: the Kits that come to my mind are Kit Marlowe, Kit Carson, and Kit Harrington, all very definitely male.

April 6, 2017 8:02 AM

In my experience with real-life men named Boaz, it's not BOW-ehz because the second syllable isn't actually destressed. In English, it's more or less BOW-ÆZ. (In Hebrew it's a little different, but I expect that the Hebrew pronunciation isn't in play here.)

April 6, 2017 10:15 AM

This is what I would expect, too, based on my familiarity with the surname Boas as in Franz, the famous anthropologist. Plus then it sounds less like feather boas (or the constrictor kind).

April 6, 2017 11:06 AM

Yes, bow like a bow and arrow. Az like As The World Turns. Equally stressed. Bo-As

In non-English languages, it's closer to Bow-Oz or Bow-Oss.

April 6, 2017 11:58 AM

In Hebrew, it's closer to bow-uz than bow-oz, but isn't really that either. It's between ah and uh. 

April 6, 2017 1:46 PM

The one thing that all these pronunciations have in common is that I see nothing teaseworthy about them!

April 6, 2017 2:18 PM

Only if you call it Bow-ass...

April 6, 2017 8:34 PM

HA! The filter allows that ^^ and not e t c! 

April 6, 2017 3:52 PM

Is it overly generous to think that maybe they're mishearing Wilfred as Winnifred? Or that since Winnifred is more familiar, they're assuming that's what they heard?

April 7, 2017 12:04 AM

Sometimes it's mishearing, but other times they say it correctly. so I am guessing they think the -fred ending must be female from Winifred as an example.

April 6, 2017 9:12 AM

Kit is so classic a nickname and so distinctively male for me that I wouldn't bat an eye at it. The name that comes to my mind for your family is Nathaniel.

Juliet, John, Charles, James, Patrick, Joshua, Isaac, William, and...


Christopher Edward, Victor Martin, Lawrence Samuel, Roman Andrew, Matthew Boaz, Paul Richard, Vincent Philip, Thomas Gabriel, Sebastian Paul, Nathaniel Lawrence... the possibilities are endless!

April 7, 2017 10:28 PM

I think Seth, Paul, Peter, Theodore (Theo) and Nathan would be nice options with your crew! :) 

Do you hate Eddie? I think it's cute, but I'm biased because my dad is Edward and I always found it adorable that his mom and aunts called him Eddie. 

April 22, 2017 8:56 AM

I think Frederik, Edward and Christopher fit best


the first name to come to mind was Thomas