I need some convincing - help with our second boy's name

We still have two and a half months until our baby boy (our final child) arrives, but with our older children, Oliver and Annabel, we had names ready when we found out the gender! With this one, we just can't seem to commit. A girl would have been Eliza.

Elliot is our leading contender. It's a name that was a favorite for a long time. As a teacher, I had one who was a bit of a rough ride, but it's been a long time and I think I'm over that. It also sounds congruent with our other children's names. I'm not a big fan of Elijah or the nn Eli. We've thought of Ellis or Leo as a possible nn for Elliot.

However, while I feel Elliot is our best choice so far, I'm not in love with it, the way I was (and am) totally in love with Oliver. I love it every single time I say it. Sometimes I feel like I used my "trophy name" on Oliver and that I can't possibly find another name I adore in this way.  However, I'm sure when I'm looking at my baby, ______, I'll love whatever I've chosen.

I'm also a tiny bit hesitant about the fact that Elliot has become more of a gender neutral name, but it wouldn't ultimately stop me from using the name.  Although I'm not opposed to using some of the same sounds, some names I like quite a bit (Arthur, Alistair, Alden, etc.) have too many shared sounds with Oliver for my comfort.  I guess I'd like my kids to feel like they have their own unique names.  So... what to do?

I spend so much time looking at names that I'm sure I've become desensitized to them. My style seems to be classic/British/old man names, but I'm open to other possibilities.  I also prefer multisyllabic names (though I do like Graham).  I'll list some other names I like and would LOVE any new suggestions you have or thoughts on these names! Thank you so much.

Top tier:

Second tier:

I'm sure there are some I'm forgetting, but you get the idea. Thank you again!


By Guest (not verified)
April 11, 2012 2:03 PM

I hate to say this, but Elliot is a name for a nerd.

Don't get me wrong; I love nerds.  I'm a librarian, for crying out loud.  But Elliot seems like it really locks a kid into a tight stereotype.

From your list, I really love Theodore.  The nickname possibilities are great.  Theodore as a full name is as bookish as Elliot, but Ted sounds like an outgoing salesman (a la Better Off Ted).  And Theo sounds artistic.

Henry's another great name with good nickname possibilites (Hank and Hal). 

Either Henry or Theodore would give your son some space to grow into his own identity while keeping a name you like, and they both go well with Oliver and Annabel.

April 11, 2012 3:02 PM

I dunno, I can see Elliot either way.  Have him watch Leverage if you're worried about it :)  (That Elliot is a hitman.  Though one who doesn't use guns and doesn't kill people and regrets doing bad things, because this is television after all.  Still an awesome character.)

I do like the nickname possibilities of Theodore, though.

By Guest (not verified)
April 11, 2012 4:12 PM

I'm gonna throw my own boy's name out there: Wesley.

I'm not sure if it fits in style, but so many of the names on your list are/were on mine.   My top name for a boy now is Simon, whicha also goes great with Oliver and Annabel.

April 11, 2012 2:05 PM

I love ALL your choices and am having trouble picking what to reccomend so I guess you can't go wrong. As far as Elliott goes, I am firmly in the boy camp on that one. I'll concede Emerson to the girls but Elliott (that spelling) is definitely all boy for me. I do agree that Arthur is a bit close to Oliver in sound so I would narrow down that one.

April 14, 2012 8:35 PM

I think I've decided to recommend Julian now.

By Guest (not verified)
April 11, 2012 2:06 PM

classic/British/old man names to go with Oliver & Annabel, from your lists I like Simon, Julian and Elliot.  Elliot was a contender for one of my sons but the recent trend towards unisex really put me off, so I can understand your concern (we went with George-maybe you'd like that?).   I love Arthur & Alistair, although I agree they are too close in sound to Oliver.  I think Alden could work though, the non "r" ending makes it a little better than the other too.  For you I also like Jasper, Thadeus and Charles.  If you are willing to go a little further afield, Sterling, Rupert & Percival could also work.

April 11, 2012 2:12 PM

I love the name Elias. Arthur is my 2nd favorite from your list.

By hyz
April 11, 2012 3:25 PM

From your lists, my favorites are Simon, Julian, Theodore, and Graham.  I would put Alistair first, but agree that it's too close to Oliver.  I disagree that Elliott is necessarily a nerd name--one strong association I have with it is Elliott Stabler from Law & Order SVU, so it seems fairly flexible to me, and a nice choice.  Other ideas from my lists, since I also have an Oliver--August, Silas, Everett, Jonah, Emmett, Frasier, Orson, Reed (one syllable, but very handsome, I think, like Graham). 

By Coll (not verified)
April 11, 2012 4:15 PM

You have very similar taste to me-- in fact, my son's name (Simon) is on your list and Graham and Arthur are on ours for any future boys (and Alistair would be if my husban would agree). Theodore is also a favorite, and since I can never use it (now that I have a Simon) I'm always trying to push it on people. I suspect if we have another boy I'll feel a little like you do--That I've already sued my absolute favorite, fell-in-love-with-it boys name and nothing else feels as special. But I've heard that names parents are not over the moon about can become their favorites of all after a few years of wear. Just as long as the name feels "right" I think it will be okay.


I like all your selections, but some others in a similar vein are:











By Guest (not verified)
April 11, 2012 5:39 PM

How about Charles?

By Guest (not verified)
April 11, 2012 8:08 PM

Elias sounds like the male ego to your Eliza

April 11, 2012 8:48 PM

I like Elliot with your other kids names and I don't think it's either particularly unisex or wimpish.  If you aren't in love with Elliot though I like Felix, Elias, Simon and Theodore from your list, probably in that order. Leo and Henry work for me too. Alistair and Arthur are too close to oliver for me.

Instead of Milo how about Miles? I think pretty much all the listed names will work.

By Guest (not verified)
April 12, 2012 2:32 PM

Thanks for your insight, everyone. I think Elliot is still at the top, but I come back to Simon quite a bit.  If I think too hard, they're all back in the game again.  Arg!  It was definitely easier with my first two kids. 

April 14, 2012 6:33 PM

If you think you'd likely nickname Elliot to Ellis or Leo, I'd be more inclined to go with Ellis or Leo in the first place - unless you want the flexibility of deciding later which nickname fits best. For what it's worth, I've heard of Ellis being used for a girl as well, though it's uncommon enough in any case that most people probably won't have a gender reference for it. (It could also be misheard as Alice.) Leo seems to be getting more popular, if that matters to you. Elliot certainly fits with Oliver and Annabel, but I almost think it fits a little too well; I would personally look for a name that sounds more distinct - from your list, I'd probably go with Simon, Felix, Theodore or Julian.

Another thing to consider with Elliot is the variety of spellings: Eliot and Elliott are also fairly common. If it would bug you to have to correct people, that's something to be aware of going in.

Other names that might appeal (trying to avoid repeats but I may have forgotten some): Silas, Bennett, Martin, Robin, Miles, August, Nigel, Calvin, Matthias, Frederick, Lawrence, Sebastian, Thaddeus, Garrett/Gareth, Lloyd, Jonas

April 18, 2012 11:04 PM

I will second the spelling issue thing as well.  My nephew is named Elliot, which I think is the most common way to spell it for a first name for a boy, but he has to spell it all the time.  One L?  Two Ls?  One T?  Two Ts?  And then they still spell it wrong ;)

I've never heard of Leo as a nn for Elliot.  Leo is our top boy's name.  Love it.

I kind of associate Elliot with being nerdish too, but that's not a downside for me.  My nephew is definitely not the nerdish type though!  He is all about knights and wars and fighting... the name has definitely not held him back from being a "tough" guy.

April 18, 2012 11:13 PM

The "knights" comment threw me a bit because most of the guys that I know who are into knights are the king-of-the-geeks, live action role playing types... (You know, the guys who make foam swords and shields and stage battles in the woods?)

But as for the name Elliott, of the two that I know, one is highly nerdy and the other is a guy's guy, hockey-playing plumber :)

April 19, 2012 12:09 AM

Celeste-has your Elliot seen Pete's Dragon? It's a older Disney movie. If it means anything also, I prefer Elliott (2 L's + 2 T's).

By Guest (not verified)
April 17, 2012 1:07 PM

I love all your names, and I think they are all a good "fit" with your previous children's names. I don't think you should be too worried about not having the same falling in love reaction. That was your first baby and your first boy! Even though this baby will I'm sure be equally loved, you've felt some of these feeling before, so they aren't necessarily going to be as "New!".