Help With Fourth Baby


    I am a long time lurker, but it looks like baby number 4 is here to stay, so I need to start seriously considering names. We have three children J@mes, Thom@s (T0mmy), and Gr@ce. As you can probably tell, we tend to like traditional names, preferably with family connections. I am more willing to branch out, but my DH likes "normal"names.

If this baby is a girl, we have decided on Mabel, which is a family name on both sides. We cannot agree on any boys names at the moment.

DH is very close to his uncles Ben and Matt, so it would be great if we could include both, but he does not feel like he can just use one.

Middle name will be a family surname.



September 19, 2015 12:28 AM

Oh, congratulations! I really do like the names of your boys very much - one of them is a middle name in my children, the other a first name with a feminizing ending tacked on. I feel like it should be possible to find another name that appeals equally. Mabel takes your naming style into a bit more of a sweetly vintage direction, so the male names I'd want to suggest  are Henry and George, though with the latter you'd have to decide whether you minded sharing an initial with your daughter and a sound with your eldest son. Perhaps Hugh might appeal, as it's another sleek trim classic?

I think Philip is another choice that seems like it would pair well here (nicknames like Flip or Pip could be fun ways to get creative in a way that would not threaten a parent who prefers more sedate given names). Charles is another one that sees a lot of love, here. I tend to prefer Carl, which might be veering into too-weird category for you, but maybe not if it is a family name somewhere. John and Peter are other names that, like the names of your sons, are more unexpected for small children than one might have guessed based on a survey of other generations.

As for the Ben vs Matt conundrum -- are your other children named for living relatives? I am always very perplexed as to how one might pick particular relatives for honoring without annoying the others who have been passed over, as in my family that would spell draaaama (unless it's a subtle enough nod that the honoree feels honored but the rest of the family doesn't feel slighted by having not been selected because they don't see the reference). I know it certainly does happen so clearly other families make this work. (Also, I think it happened more in days when people had much larger broods, so that they could reasonably be assured of having a number of children born onto which they could hang lal the important family members... especially if those family members were named from a smaller pool of names.)

Anyway, if you are thinking you might quite probably have additional subsequent children, I'd feel comfortable using Ben but not Matt, on the assumption that you might use Ben now with the understanding that your fifth child would be Matt or Matilda. If on the other hand you think this is likely your caboose child, then I'd be tempted either to look further back on the family tree for something entirely different... or else use both of the names, though one would be relgated to relative invisibility in a second middle name slot.

September 19, 2015 7:25 AM

Thanks for the suggestions. I love Henry, and Hugh is a family name, but neither works with my last name. I also am trying not to share initials with my kids because I label practically everything with them, so George and John are not ideal. I love the nickname Pip, but am not as big a fan of Philip. Out of curiosity, are there any other names that would get you the nickname Pip?

     DH's family situation is very complicated (His mom died when he was young and his father became fairly absent among other things). These two uncles stepped up and practically raised him, so I don't think it would create too much drama to honor them. We also certainly don't have to name this child after them, but it may work to convince of more uncommon names, like Mabel, as I explained below. This will most likely be our last as it was hard enough getting pregnant with this one.


September 19, 2015 11:45 AM

Peregrine? It's probably too out there for your hubs But lend itself to Pip. Any other P- name could likely work as well.

September 19, 2015 1:29 PM

I think Pip is like Bud in that it could be a nickname for any given name in the sense that, say, Grandpa on his first sight of his new grandson said "Isn't he a pip of a lad," and the Pip stuck. FWIW Pim is a nickname for William (well, actually Willem).

September 19, 2015 1:10 AM

It's definitely a stretch, but perhaps Tobias could honor both a Ben and a Matt? Tobias comes from Hebrew words meaning 'Jehovah is good', Matt(hew) is from Hebrew 'gift of Jehovah', and Ben is very similar to the Latin word bene 'good, well'.

In a different direction: Bennett starts like Ben and ends like Matt. It's from Benedict, meaning 'blessed', which is similar to 'gift' like in Matthew....

September 19, 2015 7:14 AM

This is the type of thing I was hoping for. He agreed to Mabel because it starts with the first two letters of both their names (MaBel) and was seeing if you name geniuses could come up with something similar for a boy.

September 19, 2015 9:05 AM

Bennett was what I was thinking of too.

Another twist, which goes perfectly with your other kids  IMO, is Andrew Bennett. You get the same endings as both Matt and Matthew to balance the more obvious honor to Ben. (I know a few Matthews with sons named Andrew for a subtle honor.) I really love this one, and I think it holds up to the beautifully classic names you've already used.

You could also do any combinations of M and B names: Bradley Michael, Maxwell Brett, Brent Mitchell, Marshall Barrett, etc.

September 21, 2015 4:13 PM

Oh, I love this idea! It also keeps the "s/soft c" sound at the end of all their names without being obvious!

September 19, 2015 8:52 AM

love the suggestion of Bennett!  Is the middle decided yet? If not you could do something like Mathias Benson or just Matthew Benjamin too... 

September 19, 2015 12:31 PM

I like Bartholomew as a nod to both Ben (same initial) and Matthew (same ending, many of the same sounds).  With the nickname Bart, it has the same beginning as Ben, and the same ending as Matt.  Barrett is another option. 

Annother possibility is Matthias Benjamin, or Bennett Matthew.  A similar first name to one and the same middle name as the other's first name seems like a similar honor.  I'm assuming Ben and Matt are nicknames?

September 19, 2015 1:43 PM

I liked your idea of Bartholomew, but DH rejected it. He says its too long. Barrett is actually a family name on my side, and while it wasn't lauded, it wasn't rejected immediately. It is officially on the list. My only concern is that I am not sure how well it goes with my other three. I know that shouldn't matter, but I can't help think about it. We had planned on using my middle name (my grandmothers maiden name) as the baby's middle name, but I like using the middle to balance out the two names. We like both Bennett Matthew and Andrew Bennett. I like Matthias, but does it sound to foreign compared to the others?

I just wish I could find a boys name that I love as much as Mabel.

September 19, 2015 3:56 PM

Matthias does sound foreign compared to the others, but not too foreign, at least in my opinion.  Many people are looking for alternatives to common names, and picking those alternatives from other cultures.  So while it is less mainstream than the other names, I think it is even more on trend.  Though others might feel differently than I do.  I also would be unsure of pronunciation (Mat-Tay-us or Mat-Tee-us or Ma-Thi-us).  Is the honor in Andrew/Matthew that they have the same ending? 

September 19, 2015 1:55 PM

It may not sway your husband at all, but I recently ran across the nickname Barto for Bartholomew, which I think is great--unusual but on-trend, and without any eat-my-shorts associations.

September 19, 2015 2:39 PM

I like the suggestions of Bennett & Barrett.  Was Beckett suggested yet?  Too bad about Batholomew.

I don't think Mattias is too foreign.  Mateo is another option that could work as a nod to Matthew.

I tried to think along the lines of MaBel, but wasn't able to come up with much.  BraM, Bartolomeo (probably out since Bartholomew didn't make the cut).  BowMan or BeauMont?  Brant, Brett or Brent, taking the B from Ben & the ending of Matt, but that seems to loose some of the connection to Matt.  Brett perhaps works best since you can use both T's.

Are the middle names of Ben and/or Matt being considered at all?  That might open up some new ideas.  It could also help if you decide you want to honor both with first & middle.  For example, use the middle name of Ben as the first name, with Matthew as the middle for your baby.


September 20, 2015 11:35 AM

Thanks for all your wonderful suggestions.

We have decided to honor the uncles by putting either Barrett or Bennett in the middle spot. Now we are searching for a first name we agree on. We both like Henry and Oliver, but can't use them for various reasons. He really likes Andrew (I can't decide how I feel about it) and John (I have an uncle with the name that I am not too fond of). I like both Peter and Paul, but I worry that it is just because I want to use the nickname Pip. I also like Arthur and Simon, but he is hesitant about those. Can you think of any suggestions for us?

By the way, DH is British, so if there are any names that are popular there, he might go for it, even if they are not as common here.

September 20, 2015 12:58 PM

It sounds like you like traditional names.  Some from my list:
Abraham, Jason, Gregory, Augustus, Douglas, Frederick, Eric, Lewis, Wesley, Theodore, Walter, Martin, Edward, Arnold, and Raphael.

The ones that I think work best with Thomas, Grace, and James (if I am correctly recalling the sibling names) are Douglas,

I especially like Martin Bennett or Martin Barrett as they have M from Matthew and n from Ben in the first then B from Ben and tt from Matthew in the second.  

September 20, 2015 7:39 PM

I immediately noticed that your other children all have A's in their names, so I suggest Harry, William, Charles, Oscar, Alfie, Samuel, Sebastian, Aaron, Elijah, Zechariah, Mason, Cameron and Gabriel. All these names are in the UK top 100, Alot are biblical I know, but I noticed that you have Thomas and Grace, which are very religious names to me, as a lot of my Christian friend's favour these names, the latest boy has been named James too, so I am assuming here, hopefully I am right. Please take it with a pinch of salt though.

I threw in a couple of wild cards, but you never know. Sorry if I have repeated names already suggested.

September 21, 2015 10:58 AM

What about Stephen for the first name? I feel it's similarly classic to your other children, and not overused. Another one I like is Daniel.

Popular names in England and Wales at the moment are Oliver, Harry, Charlie, George, Alfie, a lot of other dimunitives such as Archie and Albie and Freddie, and the rest of the usual classic-name suspects. Including Benjamin and Matthew, which are both in the top 50.