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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Baby Boy ___ John

Kate writes:
Here's my baby name dilemma: I have one child - his name is Greyson James and he just turned 2. Grey is a family name (so is James), and we just lengthened it. I thought it was an "original" name, but now I'm seeing it everywhere! Okay, back to the topic at hand. I'm due to have another baby boy in April (nine weeks away - yikes!). We love using family names and we're considering naming new baby after my recently deceased grandfather - Wesly. To spice it up a bit, we're considering Weston. I thought I was firm with this naming thing, but I've recently been doubting my decision. We've decided the middle name will be John, after my husband's father. I'm not set on Wesly or Weston, nor on using a family name for the first name. I need some ideas - Help! I'm not someone who cares if my boys' names "match" or sound good together. I'm sooooo picky and have a hard time finding ANY name that I even remotely like!! BTW, if it was a girl, we were going with Eliza (love the name!). If you can offer any advice, that would be great. Thanks so much :)

Oh, there are so many interesting issues here! I have to be careful not to get distracted by the mention of the problem of creating an original name and then finding out it is not, because that is a VERY INTERESTING topic to me.

Greyson is a great surname name: it sounds like Jason and Mason, so it's familiar---but it's more modern, and it has the cool nickname Grey. In sound, it's the male version of the popular girl's name Grace. I think Wesley John is terrific with it. (I would spell it the usual Wesley instead of the adverby-looking Wesly.) Not only does it parallel nicely with Greyson James, it has the nickname Wes, which I love. Greyson and Wesley. Grey and Wes.

You've got the same good stuff going on with the name Weston. Greyson and Weston is if anything better-coordinated, and you still get the good nickname Wes, and you avoid the problem of the spelling of Wesley. The doctoring on both family names is roughly equivalent: Grey to Greyson, Wesly to Weston. Furthermore, my friend Mairzy and I noticed that The Baby Name Wizard recommends the name Grayson (she spells it the A way) as a brother name for the name Weston, so apparently we all agree.

Now for some more possibilities. For starters, there are the brother names in The Baby Name Wizard for the name Grayson: Easton, Keaton, Brennan, Dawson, Brody. Any of those strike your fancy? I find "Greyson and Easton" difficult to say. I like Keaton, even though it comes out "Keet'n" when I say it. Greyson and Dawson is maybe a little matchier than you'd like? But I do like it.

Here's what my friend and fellow name aficionado Mairzy thinks:
Greyson is actually a pretty versatile name. It's contemporary along the lines of Riley, but can sit with the dignified crowd such as Harrison. Extra points for being a version of an actual family name. Both Wesly (although I'd spell it Wesley to save headaches) and Weston are good names. They don't call up images of ultra-cool, but speaking as someone who married a geek myself, ultra-cool is overrated.

To get started, I used a very technical baby-naming strategy: I looked at Weston and said, "Hm. That rhymes with Preston. Preston is a good name." And then I went from there.

* Preston John (I have a nephew named Preston, so that's my association. However, it's also a Britney boy's name, isn't it? Which isn't nearly so heartwarming.)
* Coleman John
* Spencer John
* Garrett John
* Sawyer John
* Emmett John

I searched with the assumption that you (the parents) have already considered more ordinary boy names like Matthew, Andrew, Cody, Ryan, etc.

My favorite of the lineup is Spencer, but that may be because it's too flashy to use with my own last name so it seems to glitter more than the rest of them. :)

My favorites from Mairzy's list are Coleman and Sawyer.

Since we seem to be on a roll with surname names, I flipped to the "Last Names First" section of The Baby Name Wizard and wrote down the ones that jumped out at me:


My favorites from there are Keegan, Lawson, and Sullivan.

In my opinion, the best names are the ones you've already thought of: Wesley John or Weston John. Those are solid, cool names with family meaning, and they're great with your first son's name. I think some doubt about the chosen name is common even if the name is perfect, and that you won't regret either of these choices. I think Wesley is better with John, and Weston is better with Greyson, so it's a draw.

Readers, you have a lot of names to pick through here. Use the name poll to the right [poll closed; see below], and then weigh in freehand: one of the family names? one of the names Mairzy and I mentioned? a different name entirely?

[Poll results:
Wesley: 43 votes, roughly 52%
Weston: 24 votes, roughly 29%
Spencer: 5 votes, roughly 6%
Coleman: 1 vote, roughly 1%
Sawyer: 4 votes, roughly 5%
Keegan: 1 vote, roughly 1%
Sullivan: 2 votes, roughly 2%
none of these: 2 votes, roughly 2%]

Name update: They chose Weston.


Maggie said...

I like Wesley, and I especially like Wes. I think I like it even more because it is also a family name. My other vote is for Spencer, which I love, the only knock against it being that it is not a family name while the other name I like is.

AndreAnna said...

I like Weston the best; I think it goes well with Greyson without being too "matchy"

Alice said...

i like wesley but i'm biased... it's a family name in my family too, AND my middle name :-)

however, it's got the advantage of being both a) recognizable and b) spell-able for the population at large (especially if modified to weslEy), while c) still being distinct enough not to be a "popular" name.

plus, it's the hero's name from the princess bride! although he spells it "westley." fyi. :-)

Tessie said...

I'm with you...I like Kate's choices. I think she has excellent taste.

My favorite is also Wesley (traditional spelling).

Sabrina said...

I find it so interesting that The Book and you all find Greyson and Weston to be good together!! I personally am very turned off by anything resembling rhyminess within familes.

But I am also turned off by any alliteration within one name, such as John Jones, or even John James Smith. Also against alliteration within the family, so if I had a son named Greyson, then Gregory, Garrett and so on would all be off-limits. Interestingly, though, George would be okay. Apparently my beef is only with phonetic alliteration. Ah, another example of that--daughters Charlotte and Sherry, NO, NO, NO! But Charlotte and Christen, totally okay! Hm, I am also anti-alliterative dates, like I think any date with an 11 or 22 in it is ugly, though as a month 11 is forgiveable. Granted, some dates you can't choose, but for a wedding, I would absolutely refuse any alliteration in the date. But that's a whole other field of absurd interest for me--choosing good dates.

At any rate, my input here: I love Wesley! Agree with all on the more traditional spelling, and I think Grey and Wes are perfectly complementary and just adorable!

So Wesley meets all of my phonetic variation criteria (oh, as long as the last name isn't a W name), and it passes the final name test I learned from someone else:
Does it look cute written on a bug shape on a preschool cubby?
Does it look respectable on an office door with ', Ph.D.' after it?
YES! So go for it!! :)

Mommy Daisy said...

I like Weston a lot. But I have a new addition. The name Coleman made me think of Colson. I've only come across one Colson, but I love the name. It was the first time I'd heard it when my friend used it for her son.

Melissa said...

Wesley John--love it alone & love it with Greyson too!

fairydogmother said...

My favorite is Weston. Kate said she wasn't sold on it though, so the other names at the top of my list are Sawyer (very close second to Weston), followed by Keaton.

Quart said...

I like the name Weston too, but I really think it's too much with Greyson (which I also love and was pitching to my husband before we found out we're having a girl). Wesley John is a great name - I wouldn't mess around with it!

-R- said...

I like Weston and Wesley the best. I am partial to Weston though because it is my grandfather's name, and my parents were going to name me Weston if I were a boy.

may said...

I wholeheartedly endorse Wesley. It's manly, but nice manly. Weston, although also manly, sounds like someone with an accent saying "western."

I also don't like how Weston and Greyson sound together...could make it difficult when you have a third kid and you feel like you have to find another "-on" name (Dawson? Allison? ...I'm sure there are more, but you might not want to get locked in to that small percentage of names), or they could sound left out. "Greyson, Weston, and Bryan." "Greyson, Weston, and Julia." I feel like there are more future sibling possibilities with Wesley.

Good luck!

Sam said...

I think I like Weston best, but I'm biased - I had a sweet boyfriend way back in the fifth grade named Weston. But if Wesley is the choice, then just please, for the love of GOD, use Wesley instead of Wesly. I really have an aversion to wackadoo spellings - I'm sorry, there's no other way to say that. I also really like Spencer and Sawyer, as well.

Marie Green said...

Wesley John. Love it.

Kelsey said...

I really like both Wesley and Weston with John and with Grayson as a brother. From the other suggestions Keegan is my favorite. I love that name.

Pann said...

I feel VERY strongly that Wesley John is absolutely, utterly, utterly PERFECT and she should go with that.
Great nickname 'Wes' and yes, goes nicely with the big bro's name.

desperate housewife said...

I really like Lawson, although it does sound a little "matchy" with Greyson. I also like Larson.
I LOVE Weston too. We strongly considered that name for Eli.

Lis said...

I like Wesley the best. It reminds me of Wesley in Buffy and naming your children after Buffy characters is always a pretty good start.

Jessie said...

Okay, I hate to even throw this in there, because it RUINED the name Wesley for me. I wanted to name my son that and asked a friend her opinon, and she said "Wesley" sounds like a child who can't say their "L"s saying "Leslie" Now everytime I hear Wesley, I think of it. Also..."John Wesley" is the "founder" of the Methodist church. SOOOOOO. sorry to be a damper, I vote for Weston John.

d e v a n said...

I love Weston and the nn Wes. If my last name didn't start with W we might be using it ourselves...

Saly said...

You may recall that you guessed I was pregnant from across the internet as well. Swistle---pregnancy aficionado! She knows who, when, and what to name them!!

I voted for Wesley.

Saly said...

Also-We find out what we're having a week from Thursday--rest assured that if it is a boy, you will be getting an email.

Cass said...

I'm not going to weigh in (much) on the initial question - I have a thing about knowing the last name, too. But I like Wes and Grey together, and I like the concept of the family name in general.

I'd stay away from Sawyer at this point - it's somewhat unique now, but who knows what will happen with "Lost" fans. Could be freakishly common before long.

Karina said...

I like Sullivan, Sawyer & Garrett but DEFINITELY prefer Wesley over Weston. I think the matching ending names are, dare I say, played out? Weston isn't that uncommon anymore anyway, Wesley is classic, strong. And I like its 2 syllables to John's 1, nice balance.

Crystal said...

I like Lawson...but I am biased because that is my own child's name! Family name here...and its actually the FIRST name of my husband's great great grandfather. But we are from the south so that is what it gets chalked up to around here. Lawson Bedford.

As for you...I really like Weston. I have always found it to be a more "grown up" version of a "Wes" name. I like Wesley too, it just seems a little more like a little boys name....but that could be because I have only known little boys with the name...I never kept in touch with them when they grew up!

Though, the mention of Westley from The Princess Bride has me loving that, too. You could add it to the mix?

Kate said...

You guys and Swistle, too, have been super helpful! My husband and I have read and re-read all of your comments and have been following the voting. You're input has definitely influenced our decision to remain with a version of Wes. We've yet to decide whether it'll be Wesley (although, we're changing the spelling because of all the comments) or Weston. Most of my family really dislikes Weston and would prefer a Wesley, but I just think Weston is kind of cool. Anyway, seven more weeks to decide. Thanks so much - it's been a HUGE help. Swistle - what a great idea - love this new blog!!

Ellen Hall said...

I prefer Weston over Wesley. I think that names that end in eeee are overused. Emily, Mary, Katie, Ashley, Kelly, Carly, Carrie, Callie, Ellie, get the picuture. I also think that the names that end with eee can be kind of sissy names for boys.

I realize that I'm against the grain here, just something that I'm going to avoid with my own children. Also, my maiden name is West so we are going to use Weston for a boy. Good luck!