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You've gotten such great advice from everyone. I just wanted to chime in as a fellow "name remorse" person. We had a hard time choosing a name for one of our kids and even though my husband said I could make the final decision, I eventually chose his favorite name (Mary) and not mine (Abigail). His favorite name isn't a name I ever cared for much, but he has loved it forever. Each daughter we named, he would suggest "Mary?" and I would veto it.
Our daughter is 5 now and for a long time I had twinges of regret. I still love Abigail, it would have fit better with the sibs, it is a name from our family tree. I was worried because it was extremely popular in our area but wouldn't you know it, none of my daughter's classmates so far has been named Abigail or anything close to it.
A few things helped when I start obsessing: 1) I remembered that I would have had name remorse whichever name we chose, because it was so hard to choose! 2) My husband still really really loves the name Mary and that matters, along with all the other reasons to love the name that we talked about when we picked it 3) The older my daughter got, the more her name seems to suit her.
So my advice would be to keep reminding yourself of all the reasons you chose the name Nicholas. You had good reasons and those reasons are still true.
I can see why FIL makes this harder. But even if the worst happens and he never stops calling your son "Mikey," it takes a lot more than one grandpa to make a nickname "stick." Could be your son forgets to answer to that name, or even asks him to stop at some point. Or, it could turn out to be a special thing that only grandpa gets to do that makes the grandpa/grandson bond extra strong, and that could be a good result.
It's not nice of your FIL to go against your clearly stated wishes. :(
Many of these are names I proposed for our youngest daughter. My husband was in love with a very different name, which we decided to use, but I still love these names also.
Personally, I prefer Willow Wilson. The only drawback I can think of is that she will have to e-nun-ci-ate carefully when telling people her name, because the sounds (not just the /w/ but the entire first syllable) blend together. What will her middle initial be? A contrasting middle initial could help if she feels the need later, e.g., Willow Q. Wilson.
Emma is an extremely common name, but it's common because people like it, so you can't go wrong there either. Both names are lovely.
As far as impact on culture, I would vote either for Donald or for Hamilton.
It'll be interesting to see if we have new Donalds in the U.S. post election, given that the previous famous Donald was a Duck. But Donald is still in the news so much that the name doesn't seem very illuminating as a NOTY choice. Maybe it is too tied to a single person, rather than being famous as a name.
Hamilton was also a cultural sensation, is (slightly) less politicized, and imo is more likely to inspire future baby namesakes. (Does anyone remember Hamilton from the kiddie tv show Maggie and the Ferocious Beast? I loved that pig.)
Is there a place where we can see the top 100 for every state?
I agree with Elizabeth T. Anyone who notices will think it's cool. Most people won't notice, and for most of your son's life, no one will even have the chance to notice because no one will know his father's name. In fact, I don't even think this takes Helen off the table, for the same reasons. Plus, Hector is a great name!
I feel so sad for parents who gave their daughters this beautiful name only to see it poisoned by subsequent events. Why can't the U.S. call the group ISIL or DASH or IS rather than a goddess name? Hopefully before too much time has passed, the negative connotations will be just a historical footnote because the terrorist group will have been exterminated.
I knew a Kathryn (my grandma's generation--and I am in my 50s) who was nicknamed "Kit" or sometimes "Kitty." I always thought that Kit was a normal nn for Kathryn/Kathleen for a girl, just as it's a normal nn for boy Christopher.
I think you can reasonably name your daughter "Kit" if that's what you prefer, though, to forestall other nicknames.
My mom named me "just Beth" because she didn't like any of the other nicknames for Elizabeth. Sometimes I minded having no other options, usually I didn't. People occasionally take it upon themselves to "correct" my name to Elizabeth, but that probably would happen less often with Kit.
Hattie is just fine as a nickname for Helen. A nickname is anything you want to call your child. Many nicknames like Boots or Miley or Socky or Easy have nothing to do with the official name. "Hattie" and "Helen" are both alliterative and trochaic (same stress pattern), so they are plenty close enough to "match." If someone asks you why that nickname, you say "Because we like it." End of story.
I liked my name growing up; it was "Beth" and not "Elizabeth." Different, yet easy for people to say. There was a brief period when I was upset that I couldn't creatively respell my name (I rejected my friend Marck's suggestion that I add an extra 'h': 'Behth') and I had a tough moment in French class when I realized that "Beth" pronounced the French way sounded like "beast" (bête). But the dissatisfaction never lasted long.
Now I think my name dates me, but it's not the only thing that does, lol.
I also love the name Myrtle, after a beloved relative, but I think I'm alone in the universe in loving that name.
I have always loved the name Abigail and have three daughters, none of them named Abigail! First daughter, husband preferred another name that I also loved. Second daughter, thinking she was our last, we named after grandmas. Third daughter, and Abigail had become extremely common in our community as well as nationwide. I could have insisted on Abigail anyway and family would have supported me, but I became persuaded that our child would be forced to constantly go by "Abby with a Y" or "Abigail Z" or something, given how many Abigails (variously spelled) live near us. So instead we used a different name that my husband has always loved.
I was hoping the name crush would wear off, but it hasn't. My daughter is nearly 3 and I still find myself wishing we'd named her Abigail. On the other hand, if we had named her Abigail, maybe I'd be wishing we hadn't, for all the reasons above.
Fascinating! No wonder I keep coming back to this site long after my own babies have been named. :)
This is an ingenious name rating system. It reminds me of Allan Metcalf's FUDGE system for predicting the success of new words.
It's pretty common for one's fingers to type the word they are used to typing rather than the word they are supposed to type. The typos don't need to be typical typing errors if the result is a common sequence of keystrokes. I can't tell you how often I type my own name with an "e" on the end because I'm used to "the." Another possibility, depending on how the data were entered, might be OCR errors.
I know of a family with three boys: Haley, Devin, Dorian. Per Name Voyager, Haley is a girl name, and Devin is more popular for girls than boys. Dorian is the only name which shows up entirely blue.
I also know a boy who goes by Fran (different family), yet wishes his name were more masculine. Don't know why his family doesn't call him Frank.
Everyone has given you good advice, and all of your options are good. But I find myself agreeing most with the people who say that you should choose the name that you and your husband like best. Your mother named her own babies; this baby is not hers to name. To me, the talk of "it's only fair" and "our side" sounds juvenile and silly.
I think you should choose the name, announce it after baby is born, and let your mom respond however she chooses. If she chooses to take offense, that is her decision . . . and to the extent that it keeps her from enjoying her new grandchild, it is her loss.
I'm sorry your mom is behaving that way. You certainly don't need this kind of pressure right now!
I found the spelling "Tycen" to be very confusing. I thought you wanted "tie - ken."
I don't have any suggestions for you but I wanted to sympathize. It can be so hard to choose a name, and of course you want to love the name as much as you love your baby!
All of these choices are great! Wolf, Watson, and I actually love the name Walter. A favorite grandfather had that name, and I'd have lobbied hard for Walter if I'd had a son. You could name him Walter and call him Wolf or Watson as a nickname. :)
I'm delighted to learn about both Wolf and Watson as alternatives to Walter because maybe I'll get to suggest names for a grandson in 10 or 15 years.