Sibling for Leonidas Alexander Sanad

We are expecting out second in September - no word yet on the gender, but I'm pretty confident it's a girl. 


We love our sons unique name, but are having a hard time coming up with a name that is equal to it, for either gender. Leonidas is named after the great Spartan King who led an army of 300 against the Persian army of thousands. So, its pretty epic. 

We're not as concerned with an "epic" name for a girl, but we want something that is deep and meaningful. Her middle name would be Carolena (Not sure on the spelling), a name my husbands mom always wanted to name a daughter, but she never had any. Right now we are throwing around

Eowyn (Lord of the Rings),

Briseis (legend of Achilles)

Willow (special place name for us) - nn Lo

Jericho (Biblical place, and we actually traveled there a few months ago) -  nn Echo

I'm comfortable with any of the first three, but Jericho is a struggle. My husband ADORES it, and I love the nn, but it reminds me of an old boyfriend, Jer. 


For boys, we're pretty stuck. We had a list we loved with our first, but none of them seem to match our sons name. His middle name would be Kayne - a combo of my and my husband's father's names. The old list was:

Caspian (Chronicles of Narnia)

Elias (Biblical name)

Bear (two of our favourite people are named Bear)


What do you think? Any suggestions? As you can see, we aren't trendy namers, nothing in the top few hundreds. I have an exceptionally unique name that I love, and wanted to give my child the same experience. My husband has a super common name, and hates it, so we're on the same page on how to name our children. Only exception is Willow - it's a name I've loved for decades, and I know has gained popularity, but she would be called primarily, Lo. 


March 18, 2014 10:47 PM

I have a friend who recently had a son that she and her boyfriend named Leonidas. Very cool, and I commend you for being brave enough to use it.

Out of the choices that you're already considering, I like Eowyn. Another Lord of the Rings based name for a girl would be Inara, which supposedly is a Tolkienian name meaning lover of horses. For a boy, I like another Tolkienian name, Eothain. 

March 19, 2014 11:01 AM

Inara is a name from the Firefly tv show, not from Tolkien.  Eowyn means horse-joy.  Philip/Philippa means lover of horses.  Inara is also a Latvian name.  I went to school with an Inara who was born in Latvia.  Inara is also a goddess of the Hittites, a people mentioned in the Bible.

March 19, 2014 11:15 AM

Where did you find Inara as a supposedly-Tolkienian name? I've only encountered it as the name of a Hittite goddess, used by Joss Whedon for a character in Firefly. Said character is a, um, courtesan -- very discrete, and beautiful, and definitely one of the "good guys/girls", but still, it's a bit of baggage for the name.

(Maybe you were confusing Eowyn's and Inara's meanings and origins? Eowyn is "horse joy", and is definitely from Tolkien.)

I know a little Arwen, and I adore her name. I think Eowyn is also entirely useable.

March 19, 2014 7:14 PM

Yeah, that's right, Firefly. My brain got mixed up for a moment.

March 19, 2014 1:14 PM

Inara is pretty, but the previous posters are correct - it is not a Tolkien name. We are Christians, so we'd like to stay away from names of gods and goddesses. 

I think Eowyn is likely our forerunner for now - any thoughts on a boys name? A few others we have tossed around are Atticus - seems to be gaining popularity though

Rome (or Roman) - we've been here

Octavian - Roman ruler


March 19, 2014 7:04 PM

Hm.  How do you feel about mythological/semi-historical names, then?  I was going to suggest Gilgamesh for you, but he might be too close to a religious figure. 

March 19, 2014 7:15 PM

Marcus is a good Roman name. Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor and thinker. 

March 19, 2014 8:30 PM

Ooh, Octavian sounds perfect for you: it matches Leonidas both in length and in significance. And when the full name seems like too much of a mouthful, there's Tavi as a nickname. (Do you ever shorten Leonidas to Leo or Leon?)

For a girl, I'd want to go with something like Melisende or Sybilla (queens of Jerusalem), Jadwiga (queen of Poland), or Berengaria/Berenguela (queen of Castile). These are all (1) references to powerful historical women, (2) pretty unusual names nowadays (at least in English), and (3) still recognizable as names, not made-up sequences of syllables. Other names in the same vein: Athenais, Berenice, Laodice, Artemisia, Semiramis, Boudicca, Zenobia.

Or, if you'd rather go with a reference you don't have to look up, Eowyn would be lovely. (So would Arwen. Is your child more likely to be blond or brunette? If the former, I'd use Eowyn, if the latter, Arwen. Although the little Arwen my sister and I know is a strawberry blonde with very pale skin, so you can't go wrong either way.)

March 20, 2014 11:16 PM

Hypatia for a girl? (nn Tia, if Leonidas goes by Leo.)

Archimedes for a boy? (nn Archie)

March 21, 2014 11:45 AM

Thanks everyone for all the suggestions there are some really great ones in there. My husband is Egyptian with dark black curly hair and olive skin, and I have dark brown wavy hair and slightly tanned skin, but somehow we ended up with a pale skinned dirty blonde child. So who knows?!

 Leonidas gets both Leo and Nidas from family and friends, but my husband and I still call him primarily Leonidas. But we aren't at all opposed to nn - we figured that he'd get Leo. 

So many names we want to love because of the great people who hold/held them, but I feel like some of them are just unaccessable as modern names... or they sound like bad traits, like "that sounds like an ugly/heavy/mean persons name". 


Anyways, please keep suggestion, you are all on the right track! :)

By nym
March 31, 2014 8:55 PM

For boys

Valerian (NN Valor?)








For girls


Valkyrie (not as sure about this one and the previous one since it is norse/germanic myths, but pretty epic name for a girl)

Nymeria (if you are a big GoT fan)


Marian (kind of a religious meaning, with the added bonus of robin hood legends)

Amare (pronounced ah-mar-re I mostly like this one because it is latin for "to love" alternate could be amari for clearer pronunciation)

April 1, 2014 11:05 AM

"Amari" is the plural of amaro, which is a style of Italian bitter liqueur.  I love amari & keep several in the liquor cabinet in my house, but I would never name a kid that.