Thoughts on Calvin?

So the girl I was SURE I was having, is not a girl at all!!  

We're expecting our fourth child, who will be our 3rd boy.  Our first two sons are Ian and Garrett.  Calvin has always been in the running for us but then I start to get nervous about it and can't go through with it.  In fact during delivery of our second son the nurse asked about names and my husband said probably Calvin and I almost went nuts!  The crazy thing is that I really do like the name.  I just seem to have commitment issues with it!  

Does anyone have naming suggestions that might be similar to Calvin or would fit will with Ian and Garrett?   His middle name will be James.  


And does anyone have thoughts or experience on how to handle NOT naming a child after their grandparent?  My husband was born on his grandfathers birthday and was then named after him (as in II).  As it turns out, our son is due right around my FIL's birthday and my husband and I do not want to pass on his first or middle name, let alone the whole thing!  To make it even stickier, our other two sons have family middle names (my hubby and my father).  We'd prefer to use my husbands grandfather's name as a middle this time and skip his dad completly.   Is there a way redirect any expectations of naming so there aren't hurt feelings after our sons birth?  


August 9, 2014 11:15 PM

I'm not sure what exactly your fear is with Calvin if you keep going back to it. That's a good sign if you ask me! It's not common, but it's certainly not obscure or unheard of. However, it's not my personal style so I can't comment on why I think it's great. I would love to know what you like/don't like about it though to better help you :) As for some alternatives to Calvin that fit with Ian and Garrett (which both have Scottish and/or English routes, I believe), I would suggest Callum or Cullen. You still get the "Cal" with Callum, and the C, L, and N with Cullen. To me, these options are a little more unique sounding but still aren't insanely obscure. Even though neither are modern in origin, they somehow feel fresher to me than Calvin does though.

I can't offer much advice in terms of the naming expectation issue as I've had no personal or second hand experience in that area. I'm sure there are others on here who would know how to get around the problem from their experiences though!

August 9, 2014 11:20 PM

On the family expectations front, first of all, wait until there's an actual, holdable, photographable baby attached, and second, present his naming with a positive spin: tell your family why you _did_ choose these names, rather than why you didn't choose those other ones -- in fact, avoid even mentioning the other possibilities. This will not dispel your family's before-birth expectations, but it'll help manage any disappointment they may feel after the fact.

Names similar to Calvin, if you find you still can't commit to it (although I think you should, it's a great name): Colin, Callum, Kevin. Names that are listed as siblings for both Ian and Garrett on Namipedia: Connor, Gavin, Ryan, Sean. (I wouldn't do both Ian and Sean, but it's apparently popular in some circles to give all your sons the same name.) Others that may fit your tastes: Nicholas (with possible nickname Colin), William, Everett, Evan.

August 11, 2014 4:36 PM

I am neutral on Calvin, so yes, it would help to know what has kept you from pulling the trigger on that one. I think that in the puzzle of the 3rd brother with Ian and Garrett (both great names, btw), Colin is kind of the perfect third.  I am assuming you don't want to repeat first initials, so names like Graham or Gavin are out, as are other versions of John like Sean, as mentioned. Evan sounds a little too close to Ian to me for some reason.

I could also get behind Callum or Colm, Everett, Dylan, Nolan, Owen (might also be too close to Ian, with all those vowels ending in "n"), Declan, (An)Drew, Lachlan, Braden, Duncan, Fletcher, Brody, Ramsey, Quinn, Shaw, Reid/Reed, Alan, Angus, Lennox, Laird, or Magnus.

And totally agree: Whatever you name your baby, don't mention anything until the tiny adorable one is born, and then just focus on why you chose the name, no apologies. No one is entitled to be honored by a baby's name - you get to choose, and there is no shame in that!

August 11, 2014 4:55 PM

You've already gotten some great suggestions.  I especially like Callum & Collin.  I'll add Brennan, Marshall, Mitchell & Brendan.

I don't know that there is a good way to redirect expectations regarding the naming.  Anything you say now will likely result in hurt feelings.  Why prolong the hurt feelings before the birth?  A lot of times, having the actual baby lessens disappointed or hurt feelings regarding the name, so I'd wait until he is born before addressing it.  Even after he's born, I would simply announce the name and then leave it be unless someone specifically mentions it.

August 11, 2014 9:32 PM

I should probably clarify......we would never bring up the idea of expectations of naming but would just kind of leak the name we are thinking of to close family so that there were no suprises.  I didn't know if that would help in the long run or maybe just give people time to get upset?   As my husband said, his father can't be under any illusions that we'd chooose his name...but then you never know what ideas people get!

By EVie
August 12, 2014 12:29 AM

I would really urge you to not even leak the name. Anything you reveal before the baby is actually born just opens the door for argument. Wait until the baby is here, then announce the name as a fact. If relatives bug you about the name, just pretend that nothing is decided yet, and respond to all suggestions with, "That's an interesting idea, we'll have to think about that." I found it helpful to pretend that my husband and I were having trouble coming to an agreement ("We're still working on a compromise"), which tended to shut down discussion pretty well. If people pressed for more details, I would give a partial truth ("Well if I had my way, our kid would end up with a name like Octavian or Percival, but DH is not so adventurous, so we're trying to find something we can agree on.")

August 12, 2014 12:50 AM

I actually love the name Calvin and was hoping to name our next baby boy (due in Oct.) that name. But my name is Callan- which is more of a boy's name than a girl's name, and my husband was concerned that our names would sound too similar. So that's the name I'm offering you instead! Callen, Kalin, or Callan. There are a bunch of ways to spell it but I've always liked it as a name. (I've never met anoter girl named Callan, only boys.) It is also a little different than Colin and Calvin and not nearly as popular. 

August 14, 2014 8:36 PM

Regarding expectations, some people will have them and may even be rude enough to mention them but the best course is to ignore them as much as you can. I will echo the suggestion to wait on announcing or "leaking" the name until there is a cute baby attached to it. Things tend to go more smoothly that way.

As for Calvin, I wouldnt use it myself but Ilike it fine. I think it fits well with your other sons names and the current naming landscape. However, if you can't bring yourself to use it for whatever reason maybe it's time to look at some other options again. Are there other names you've come back to when considering? Or specific qualities you look for in a name?

By Viv
August 16, 2014 2:18 AM

I'd like to suggest Kelvin. I like it much better than Calvin--which, I will add, there is nothing wrong with, and it goes ok with your other boys and James.

October 10, 2014 3:13 PM

Just chiming in to point out that Kelvin is a temperature scale, like Celsius or Fahrenheit. Don't know if you want that implication- the scientists in your life may laugh :)

August 16, 2014 5:04 PM

I love the name Calvin -I have for years. If my husband's family didn't interchange pronunciation of Vs and Ws, I would lobby for that one (his family is Indian). 

October 14, 2014 5:17 PM

Calvin is really handsome! I love the vintage/grandpa charm!

December 5, 2014 3:22 PM

Really like Calvin, another option to get to 'Cal' is Callahan.

December 14, 2014 11:40 AM

I love Calvin, but the meaning turns me off: Bald. Is that your concern?

December 14, 2014 12:09 PM

Calvin may be derived from a word that means bald, but it doesn't necessarily have the same meaning.