Tuesday, July 05, 2011

A no-name by any other name would, in fact, smell sweeter

First off, I want to thank you guys for your thoughts on the last post, and I specifically want to address Alexicographer's very sensible comment. I hope, fervently and without reserve, that my kids and I share some natural interests, some mutual passions. But if we don't, what then? That's where I feel like I'll need to reach out, go beyond my comfort zone and try my best to embrace and enjoy whatever it is they're embracing and enjoying. I want to stay connected to them as they grow up, stay relevant in their lives; I don't think it's a matter of seeking their respect, exactly, but perhaps there's an element of that as well.

I have been thinking of the example provided by Jeff's family (and wondering why I didn't think to quiz his parents on this topic before they left for the summer). They are an unusually happy and close bunch, with Jeff being the key silk-spinner in the family web. He and his father share an obsessive love of the Giants; he and his mother share a taste in books. He and his brothers bond over dozens of things, and Jeff--ever the elder brother--serves as the central conduit between his brothers and his parents. Those connections even branch out to include me, since our kids form the basis for the strongest mutual interest of all: every member of his family has embraced Josh & Olivia for all they're worth. (Case in point: Even when his brothers were single, they would schedule vacations three or four times a year just to fly out, sit around our house and play with the kids. This has really blown my mind.)

So, no big ideas to share on the subject, just an update to say that I appreciate the comments and that, if every happy family is happy in the same way, I guess I have the template right in front of me.

. . .

And on a completely different topic, I need your help: We need to decide on a name, and we're lost. I'm at 23 weeks and so far we've called him "Baby," "No-Name" and "Nameless," and keep saying to each other that we really should give him a name soon, then proceed to turn on the TV and ignore the question for another week.

We've looked at lists, reviewed family trees, revived discarded options from the four-year-old Joshua pile, considered the names of all the nicest guys we've ever known and...stumped. Totally stumped. We've even asked family members to weigh in--a sure recipe for disaster. ("Harold" was suggested, quite in earnest, so we beat a hasty retreat.)

Ethnically, we are a very boring European mish-mash, with a very boring, short and common Welsh last name. So even slightly exotic names sound a bit pretentious when paired with both our surname and our pigment. Add to that that we already have two children with quite common names, and adding something unusual just doesn't feel like it would be in sync. But for all that, we are being stupidly picky and don't want something completely boring. And of course Jeff isn't keen on the few names that I'm very fond of, and vice-versa.

So here is a challenge for anyone willing to help: What reasonably-traditional-but-not-too-boring boys' names do you love? No restriction on number of syllables, but probably best not to end in an L or an S. Oh, and we need two names--first and middle--so if you have combinations, bring 'em on!


Blogger Wicked Delights said...

Matthew Alexander. :)

7:28 PM  
Anonymous Jen said...

Boy names I like, that might fit your needs:

(I also like Alexander, particularly as a middle name)

Andrew :)

I think my very favorite, though, is Louis.

7:47 PM  
Blogger lemoniepants said...

my boys:
Elliott James
Cade August

my husband's brothers (his mother was ahead of her time:
Ethan James (my husband)

names my husband suggested for our second boy:

i work with a woman who has a very cute boy named Sullivan. they call him Sully.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Kerri said...

Literally for boys names I could go on forever. Now if we were to ever have another girl, we'd be hosed. I literally on the last day in the hospital after the birth of our last daughter finally said "whatever, if you like Emily than so be it". I still don't love her name, but it now suits her. So, some advice, don't go into the hospital hoping you'll decide once you see him...cuz more than likely, one of you is going home unhappy with the choice.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

My little guy is Liam James.

4:36 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hm. No idea what it lists me as unknown :-). I signed in as my google account.


4:36 AM  
Anonymous JLR said...

I always liked Adam. I have a Mark Jared myself - though I'd wanted the Jared as the first name.

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Asher William
Evan Joseph

7:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my own three:
benjamin rueben (mispelled so its like the sandwich!) and we call him benjamin and his 2 year old brother calls him ben. NO benjy. ever.
adam samuel
aaron moshe

friends (yes, these all have three boys too!):
charles joshua
nathan samuel
max (im blanking on his middle)



boys names are SO HARD. these are all biblical/hebrew as were all orthodox jews :-)

8:33 AM  
Blogger Foxxy One said...

Dylan is my personal favorite :)

9:11 AM  
Blogger Tommie said...

If my daughters, who are Alyssa Jean and Olivia Kate, had been boys they would have been, respectively:

Ian William (my maiden name is Williams)
Noah James

For what it's worth. :-)

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love these names:

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


5:52 AM  
Blogger Thalia said...

James (jamie)
Gabriel (apparently Jen and I are the same person, although I am not mad keen on cameron - very american!)

(and the ones I was not allowed and you won't like anyway - horatio, orlando)

8:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Probably you've seen this, but in case not, this tool might help:


We named our son Lachlan, which might fit your needs -- I'm not sure if it is too unusual to go with Olivia and Joshua or not. It's actually very common in many primarily-English-speaking countries, just not the States.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meant to leave this link in my post above -- maybe Swistle could help?


12:59 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Well, my son's name is Nicholas Alexander. My nephews are Austin, Riley, Tate, Evan, Trevor, Max, Mathew David, David Andrew, and Daniel. I also like Nathan- we a friend named Nathan.

10:14 PM  
Blogger DeadBug said...

Thank you, everyone. So many great names. Some alas, have old boyfriend connotations, or have been used by good friends or other family members, but I have added many of your suggestions to "the list" and Jeff has not immediately nixed them. So, Progress! And if you think of new ones, I am all ears.

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Lindsay said...


My word verification is Moncy. That's got an interesting ring to it, yes? :)

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Devin James

6:11 PM  
Blogger Chickenpig said...

My son Nathan Bennett was almost Calvin Stuart. I love Bennett, and Beckett also. I wish that Nate's names were reversed sometimes. Nathan is the most common name we have, being #25 on the popularity list. I am of Scottish descent, some of the names I liked but didn't make the cut were: Graham, Finnegan, Calum, Griffin, and Gabriel. Nate's twin brother is named Donovan Alexander.

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about Sawyer? I also love Beckett...

8:59 PM  

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