Peter or John

So it turns out that this little one is in fact a boy!  Still a bit startled as an early ultrasound had indicated girl.  But were quite excited to have a 5th son.  While Quentin is a very tempting possibility, I think will be sticking to our New Testament theme.  

As a recap, our last name is Tys0n and our older kids are P@ul, Cl@re, M@rk, K@th@rine nn Kat/Kitty, J@mes nn Jay, and @ndr3w.  

Our current front runners are Peter Gregory and John Elias.  Gregory is a family name on my side and we like how they are both names of important popes.  This is my husband's favorite.  Peter seems to fit in well with our other children's names without sounding too similar to anyone's name.  Having a Paul and a Peter use to seem a bit cheesy to me, but with more than 14 years between them I think the connection is sweet.  The "peter out" phrase has bothered me in the past, but I do see the charm in Peter.  In addition to St. Peter the Apostle, Peter Pan and Peter Rabbit both seem like endearing childhood associations.

We also both really love the idea of a boy named Johnny.  John is my father-in-law's name, but my brother-in-law has already named his only child after him.  This John is 10 years old and currently lives on the other side of the world.  Even when he just lived a mere 1000 miles away we saw him at best every other year or so.  So while it will rarely cause confusion in his life, I still worry about it feeling odd to my husband's family.  My husband thinks this is a non-issue because his dad obviously would be honored by another namesake and the other family members can't really argue against honoring his dad.  We'd likely use Elias as a middle name as it's my father's middle name.  I like the flow of the two names, the initials J.E.T. and the connections between John the Baptist and Eliajah.  (In the past, people have suggested Jonathan to help with the repeating John issues, however, we likely plan on staying with a New Testament name and besides Jonathan is visually very close to my husband's name.)

The baby is due at the end of June, we've already agreed that if he's born on the Solemnity of St. John on June 24 we will name him John and if he's born on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul we will name him Peter.  But, what to do if he's born on any of the other days in June?

I don't think either name sounds perfect with Tys0n, but I would be interested if people find one better than the other as well as general opinions about these two choices.

 

Replies

1
February 22, 2016 12:17 PM

I would personally rule out Peter after using Paul.  The age difference does help, but in addition to the Peter & Paul connection, I don't care for alliteration in sibling names (mostly because I am easily tongue tied).

It sounds like John Elias has more personal meaning.  It has the religious connection that is important to you and includes namesakes for both sides of the family.  I agree with your husband that having 2 cousins named John is not a huge issue, especially since they both have the same claim to the grandfather being honored.  Nicknames would alleviate any confusion issues when you need to disntiguish between the 2, however, with the age difference I don't even see that being a huge issue.  I think people will figure out who you are talking about based oncontext.

Not Catholic, but Wikipedia tells me that June 29th is the date for Sts. Peter & Paul.  Perhaps you could do John if he's born on or before June 24 & do Peter if he's born anytime after the 24th?  I also notice 24 is even & 29 is odd, so he could be John if born on any even numbered date & Peter if he's born on an odd numbered date.

2
February 22, 2016 12:35 PM

Yes, I too am easily tongue-tied.  I ruled out Gabriel our other contender because while "g" is technically a new initial I found Gabriel/Gabe and J@mes/Jay incredibly confusing.  Even in discussing them as possibilities, I ended up with Gay and Jabe.  I feel that I'll confuse Peter and P@ul less so than J@mes and John in part because of the extra syllable and because of the extra age.  Of course I currently mix-up M@rk and J@mes to a ridiculous extent.  So similar sounds aren't the only problem, sometimes it's just a stressed out mommy...

As far as the honor, names go it's not really a huge issue that Peter Gregory only honors one side.  P@ul, Cl@re, and J@mes don't have honor names at all.  My son Mark's middle name honored only my husband's side.  K@th@rine's first name honors my side and her middle name honors my husband's.  @ndr3w's name honors both sides.

Even/odd dates would certainly add some excitement to the birthday!  Peter even has an odd number of letters while John is even...

3
February 22, 2016 5:00 PM

I can only repeat my great-grandmother's method for calling the one particular grandchild she wanted: "Eva Juli Marti Jancsi". Note that of those names, 'Jancsi' is a boy, the others are girls.

4
By EVie
February 23, 2016 11:43 AM

My grandmother has on occasion thrown in the dog's name :)

5
February 22, 2016 12:23 PM

I really love Peter. I love the literary associations, the sound, the nn Pete/Petey and I find it to be a perfect fit. Somehow it just doesn't feel like a super common name, whereas John and Jonathan... those are everywhere.

I love the previous poster's idea of choosing the name according to the birthday being an odd or even number. I also don't see why a Peter couldn't have middle names Gregory or Elias.

6
February 22, 2016 12:33 PM

I dislike the initials P.E.T. with Peter Elias.  

I agree that it's nice that Peter is less common than John both in my own family and in the population as a whole.  It's very similar to my older boy's names in that sense while John is more like my younger two boys.

7
February 22, 2016 2:01 PM

I personally prefer John over Peter and LOVE JET! The way you've described the location, age and amount of time spent together with the other John, I don't think it's a big deal. Does that John use a nn? If your husband's family use John for one and Johnny for the other, there shouldn't be any confusion even when it's not clear by context.

Also how regularly do you use nns for your kids? If it's most of the time, then Jay and Johnny aren't terribly confusing to me. Of course, as you mentioned, names can get confused no matter what when your mind is all over the place.

I don't know if you've used any part of your dad's name before, but I do like the fact that the mn covers the other grandfather as well.

Only thing, should your husband communicate with his brother as a courtesy first?

8
February 22, 2016 2:22 PM

Yes I think Jay & Johnny aren't too confusing.  

Peter really only nicks to Pete & I think I'd be more inclined to confuse 2 single syllable names like Pete & Paul.

 

9
February 22, 2016 2:40 PM

I vote for Peter, both because of personal taste (it's one of my favorite boy's names), and for logistical reasons: it'd put a greater age difference between the repeated initials. I agree with you that consecutive (or twin) boys named Peter and Paul would be cheesy, but with five siblings in between, it's more of a fun connection.

While John is a lot less common as a baby name than it used to be, it's still a _very_ common name. There are at least 6 people that a "John" mentioned in our family conversations could refer to, ranging in age from 18 to 70, and that's not including our wider circle of acquaintances. (There are two Peters as well, but one's my cousin's husband, the other is my husband's stepbrother, so they're easier to keep straight.) For me as a name geek, all of the Jacks and Jacksons in the preschool set also add to the "John pool", so it still feels like a super-saturated name to me.

As far as unfortunate word associations go, take your pick: 'diminish', or 'lavatory'? I'll take the first one, personally. :-)

I do like the idea of choosing by odd or even birthday!

10
February 22, 2016 2:48 PM

I agree with liking the larger spacing between the repeated initials.  My P@ul will likely be heading off to college before Peter even learns how to write his name.

Interestingly I have 2 friends (1 who is a fairly good friend) with boys named Peter and none with boys named John.  

11
February 22, 2016 2:41 PM

Peter! Well, I'm biased as it's my son's name. His middle name is Joseph, but I think Gregory works well. Either name is lovely, however, and both fit well with the siblings. Well done!

12
February 22, 2016 2:52 PM

We used Joseph as a middle name already!  

Our other choice for Peter's middle name is Nicholas if we decide to not go with an honor name.

13
February 22, 2016 3:18 PM

As for flow, while both combinations are perfectly respectable and 100% unobjectionable, I do prefer the different endings of Peter Tys0n compared to the repeated -n endings of John Tys0n. 

As for a Paul and a Peter, there are so many years and other children between them, I really don't see a problem. It only serves to fully cement that you have a naming style :)

14
February 22, 2016 3:32 PM

I come down slightly in favor of John Elias.  If you want a nickname, what could be better than Jet?  If John Ellis Bush can be Jeb! (not that it got him too far), then your little one can be Jet with no confusion with faraway cousiin or with other kids named John or derivatives thereof.  Coincidentally Elias and Ellis are forms of the same name.  I also support the choice of Elias, since in its several forms it is my big family name (three generations so far that I know of, probably more in the past).  However, you are under no obligation to name your son after my father, son and grandson :-).

15
February 22, 2016 4:36 PM

I'll cast a vote for Peter. I don't think having Peter & Paul in a sibset comes across as cheesy, especially with the huge age gap and other siblings thrown into the mix. James and John seem more problematic to me, since their biblical namesakes were actually brothers, and they are both one syllable, with the shared initial. I still don't think James and John would be problematic enough to throw out John, but I do like Peter better in the set. Also, Peter is one of my very favorite biblcal characters, so that's a plus.

16
February 22, 2016 4:58 PM

Well to get technical Peter and Andrew are New Testament brothers too.  For me it's another sweet connection to the name though. (And to get even more technical we named our James after James the Less brother to Jude not James the Greater brother to John.)

I do agree that the 1-syllable element makes James and John feel more similar than Peter and Paul.  And the difference between 14 years instead of 5 is pretty significant.

17
February 22, 2016 5:45 PM

Oh, you're right about Peter and Andrew! I didn't make the connection because, outside of their initial introduction, they aren't mentioned as a pair much. But since James and John are both part of Jesus' "inner circle," I'm used to hearing them paired together. Still, like I said, not enough of a reason to throw John out. Both names are great.

18
February 22, 2016 6:00 PM

You are right about hearing James and John paired together much more often.  The "sons of thunder" angle.  Actually I just realize that do have a friend with a John (they call him Jack so I forget he's a John) and I believe they are planing on naming their next son James in order to have the "sons of thunder".

19
February 22, 2016 5:18 PM

Looking at them as a set, Peter would make the ratio of monosyllabic (P@ul, Cl@re, M@rk, J@mes) to multisyllabic names (K@th@rine, @ndr3w, Peter) almost balanced :)

20
February 22, 2016 5:26 PM

Yeah I like that too.

21
February 22, 2016 7:44 PM

This entire Peter and P@ul thing has reminded me of the lovable folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary. I honestly love them and my kids love "Puff the Magic Dragon", I've sung it to them at bedtime countless times already.

I actually think that symbolically, brothers Peter and P@ul with such an age gap and several siblings in between, sort of reflects what's going on now with the Church of Rome and the Church of Constantinople (Eastern Orthodox) coming closer again (through Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew), so many centuries after the Great Schism. Maybe in a couple of years we will see the followers of Peter and the followers of P@ul strengthening their ties?

22
February 22, 2016 10:29 PM

I love both Peter & John. Any chance of using them both? Peter John. Has a nice ring to it and honors grandpa without doubling up on first name namesakes.  

23
February 23, 2016 9:08 AM

Peter John is a possibility but so maybe is another boy baby so if I didn't use it for this baby I think I'll hang on to Johhny. 

We also aren't in a dire need to honor either grandpa as my toddler's middle name is L@wr3nce which is the same as my father's first name and coincidently my husband and father-in-law's middle name. 

24
February 23, 2016 12:10 PM

I love Peter, Paul and Mary but Puff the Magic Dragon makes me sob like a baby. I made it all the way through my grandfather's funeral without crying until someone started singing it and then I was inconsolable.

25
By EVie
February 23, 2016 11:52 AM

They're both great names, and I don't think you can go wrong with either one. My personal preference is John, but it sounds like there are a lot of reasons why Peter might be a better fit for your family. Of course, you can always just take both to the hospital and see which one feels right.