Pick your favorite classic boy name!

Our little girl is Josephine Anna Carey. We have narrowed down our names for her brother to the following. Would love to know your favorite and why.

Theodore Thomas Carey  'Theo,Teddy’

Maxwell Thomas Carey 'Max’

Alexander Thomas Carey 'Sasha, Xander, Alex’

Luke Thomas Carey 

Thomas James Carey ‘Tommy’

Robert Thomas Carey ‘Bobby’ 


March 6, 2019 6:26 AM

Of those, I like Theodore, Robert and Thomas, in that order.

Theodore has a similar lift and weight to Josephine and sound similarly stylish.

Robert and Thomas are very much classics. Robert would surprise me slightly on a newborn, but in a good way. Although I see that in absolute numbers, there were only slightly fewer Roberts born last year than Theodores. Thomas wouldn't surprise me, but it's a name I'm always happy to see.

My first response to Alexander, Luke and Maxwell was that I am bored of them. I went and plugged all your names into the NameVoyager to see why. All three are used much more heavily in the present and recent past than they were historically. Meanwhile, Robert and Thomas were mid-century classics (peaking slightly earlier in Robert's case). Theodore follows a similar trajectory to Josephine: popular about a century ago, gaining ground again now, although more ground in Theodore's case.

Long-winded way of saying: Theodore is the most similar to Josephine. Other names with a similar trajectory are Jasper and Silas. I think Barnaby could work too.

If being like Josephine doesn't matter to you, all the names on your list are of a sort that will serve someone well their whole life, so you can't really go wrong.

March 6, 2019 3:57 PM

The Roberts surprise me, too... and I have a Rupert, which is basically the same name, but something about Robert comes across as very surprising, even as I live in an area with lots of Walters and Winstons and other fusty names. I wonder how many are III or IV!

March 6, 2019 4:24 PM

I know quite a few Roberts born in the early-to-mid 1980s but no Walters or Winstons. So even though Robert is a classic name, it feels more suprising on a baby than a name that feels like it's been dormant for a while and ready for a revival.

March 7, 2019 7:09 AM

It's true. I forget about the Roberts I grew up with because they were all Rob. And one Bob, which struck me as an odd name for an 80s/90s toddler even when I was seven years old. 

March 7, 2019 4:01 PM

Same! They were all Rob except one who started going by Bobby some time in high school. I thought that it was insane that he'd choose such an outdated nickname!

March 6, 2019 4:50 PM

I pretty much agree completely with Emily. Theodore is my favourite on its own and happily also the one I think matches Josephine best so that would definitely be my first pick. Robert is not a name I love but it is a solid classic, suits your style and the novelty of meeting a baby named it (where I am Theodore is way more popular than Robert) makes it more pleasing and pushes it up the list for me. Thomas is sweet and sounds nice with Josephine, although for me it's only just above Alexander in terms of how bored I am by it/how pleased I'd be to encounter a baby with that name.

I also have to agree with Karyn that Luke Carey really does not flow well at all for me (the K at the end of Luke slurs into the C at the start of Carey to make it sound like Luke-airy) and it would bother me enough that I'd veto that one. 

March 6, 2019 5:14 PM

I end up with Lou Carey :)

March 6, 2019 7:09 AM

all great names - I think I like Alexander then Luke, then Robert then Thomas, but you cant go wrong with any of them.  Alexander is great for all ages or can shorten to Alex, Luke a great strong name, wears well through time too

March 6, 2019 9:43 AM

I like Theodore Thomas the best! I think it has great nn potential and has the same feel as Josephine. My next two favorites are Alexander and Luke - these are fairly common in my area but it's understandable because they're great names. 

March 6, 2019 12:52 PM

Of this list, my personal favorite is Thomas, but the one I think should be Josephine's brother is Theodore. They're both classic names with long histories that nevertheless would never in a million years have occurred as even vague possibilities to our parents and grandparents, but are quite fashionable (=well-liked) today, without being at all overused. (When my daughter was born, our roommates in the hospital were considering Josephine, but I haven't otherwise met any, and I only remember meeting one Theodore in the eight years since.)

March 6, 2019 1:47 PM

Theodore Thomas! I don't know if you're a Little Women fan, but Josephine and Theodore are clearly a match made in heaven. 

March 6, 2019 3:55 PM

The only one that does not work for me at all is Luke -- both because it's the only short/nickname on the list, which feels like a mismatch with Josephine, and because Luke Carey lacks the fluid transition that all the other options have. 

March 6, 2019 4:30 PM

My own favourite, the one I would choose if naming my own child, is probably Luke. I like how it sounds weighty and light at the same time, I like its Biblical roots but the fact it doesn't sound ancient.

The other names are ones that I appreciate for their strength, history and so on, but wouldn't necessarily choose because they are not right for me. But for you, any one would be a great choice.

I do agree that Luke Carey doesn't flow as well as some of the others, but I really like Josie and Luke together. Have you considered Lucas nn Luke?


March 7, 2019 1:13 PM

I think Theodore or Maxwell work best with your daughter's name (which is lovely!) and are really great options. I personally like Alexander and Luke, as well. For my own personal tastes, I don't care for the name Robert (just sounds too old to me, as does the nn Bobby). I love Thomas, but hate the nn Tommy- just seems very juvenile due to a lot of associations in pop culture and in my own personal life. To me, Maxwell Thomas flows the best and would get my vote!

March 7, 2019 7:33 PM

They're all such classic names that you really can't go wrong! I've always loved the name Tommy, so Thomas James gets my vote. I like how it can grow with the kid from Tommy to Tom to even Thomas if he wants. I've never been a huge fan of Maxwell, but I can't put my finger on why (maybe it makes me think of Maxwell House coffee? and I don't like coffee). I really like the name Luke, but would definitely rule it out because it sounds like "Lou Carey".

March 7, 2019 11:33 PM

I like Theodore the best. It's my favorite of the group and I like that it's 3 syllables like Josephine. Have always loved the nickname Theo.

March 8, 2019 4:51 PM

Theodore or Luke are my favourite

March 8, 2019 9:46 PM

I really like Maxwell Thomas.  I have a fantastic association with Theodore; my second son's best friend is Theodore Arthur, called Teddy, and they're all just a great family, so Theodore Thomas makes my heart happy too.  

But those are just MY faves; I really don't think you can go wrong with any of them.  They're all good, solid names.