This blog has moved! Please join us over at!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Baby Boy ___ J. Dillier

Jamie writes:
We are expecting our second son in June. Our 2.5 year old is named Alex Richard Dillier. My problem is that my husband is ridiculously picky about names, in fact, he has a whole list of his own naming rules which has effectively vetoed each and every name I've ever suggested. We have managed to find one name we both like, Max James Dillier, but I'd really like to have a few more choices to consider. We'd like to use the middle name James, but also considering John for a middle name as well.

Here are my husband's naming rules:
  1. No presidential names (like Kennedy, Regan or Clinton)
  2. No biblical names
  3. The name has to be "American". Meaning we can't use names that are obviously from a different culture or country (e.g., Paco, Sven, Pierre or Kumar)
  4. The name can't mean anything in English (even with different spelling). Most names mean something in some language somewhere, but he doesn't want our child to be named something like Paige (like a page in a book) or Brooke (as in a stream) or Cole (like a lump of coal)
  5. No cars (Mercedes, Porche, Astin, Cooper or Bentley are all out. Also Harley, even though it's not a car, but a motorcycle)
  6. No names that are also names of a widely known company (Unfortunately, my very favorite name, Avery, is a paper company)
  7. No names that have multiple different spellings. Like my name Jamie or Jaime. This is a problem because there is a trend where people give their children a common name then spell it in a unique way. For example, instead of naming your child Ashley, you name her Ashleigh. Essentially, if John has to ask how we would spell it, it is vetoed.
  8. No geographical names (e.g., Austin, Dakota, Paris...)
  9. No androgynous names. The name has to be distinctly male or female. Unfortunately this vetoes Avery again, also Afton, Peyton and Delaney.
  10. Cannot contract into a common nickname. No Nicholas (Nick), Benjamin (Ben) or Abigail (Abby). We can, however, name our child just the nickname (which is why we have an Alex instead of an Alexander).
  11. The name can't be a common last name. (e.g., Conner, Sullivan, Anderson, etc.)
  12. The initials can not spell a word or common acronym. Like Max Alan Dillier (MAD) or Benjamin James (BJ)
HELP! And, good luck!

HAHA HA HA HAHAHA HA HA HA HAHA HA! *wipes tears* HA HA HA! *gasp* HA HA HAHA HA! Oh, Jamie! This is wonderful! HA HA HA HA HA!

I'm reminded of an old Saturday Night Live skit in which the husband (played by Nicolas Cage) completely vetoes every single name his wife (played by Julia Sweeney) suggests. I wonder in your husband's case if a lifetime of having a name which is a also a slang word for (1) a toilet and (2) a prostitute's client, is the sort of thing that takes its toll on a man?

Well! Let's get started, shall we? We only have until June to sift through all the baby names and see if any slip through that net of rules.

The Baby Name Wizard suggests these brother names for Alex: Jake, Cole, Evan, Drew, Luke. We can eliminate Cole (word name) and Drew (word name) right off the bat, which leaves us with Jake, Evan, and Luke. Considering the huge popularity of the name Jacob (#1 most popular boy name in the U.S. since 1999, according to Social Security Administration), I'd avoid the name Jake. A lot of those Jacobs are already using it.

Evan and Luke are both good candidates. They're both good with Alex, they're both boyish, they're spelled only that way. Neither one is a common brand name, an initials problem, a presidential name, a nickname hazard, etc. One little hitch is that Luke could be considered a biblical name---but it's become so mainstream, I don't think it's any more biblical than Matthew, Mark, or John.

Evan James Dillier (EJD)
Evan John Dillier (EJD)
Luke James Dillier (LJD)
Luke John Dillier (LJD)

A second hitch with Luke is that it's not great with either of your middle name possibilities: too choppy with two 1-syllable names in a row. In fact, let's scrap Luke. But let's keep Evan.

You mention you both like the name Max. The Baby Name Wizard suggests these brother names for Max: Leo, Oliver, Felix, Theo, Sam. And will you look at that: four of those names meet all of your husband's rules. The only one that doesn't fit is Oliver, which would give you the meaningful initials O.D. This time I'm going to try the names only with the middle name James:

Leo James Dillier (LJD)
Felix James Dillier (FJD)
Theo James Dillier (TJD)
Sam James Dillier (SJD)

I continue to prefer the sound of the 2-syllable first names. Here are a few more 2-syllable choices, several of them chosen because they were the "FINALLY! A name we can agree on!" for families I know.

Aaron James Dillier (AJD)
Eric James Dillier (EJD)
Henry James Dillier (HJD)
Jared James Dillier (JJD)
Simon James Dillier (SJD)

Let's see if Mairzy has some more ideas:
This one was like a puzzle. You pick out a name, go through the list, and get a rush of accomplishment if it passes all 12 levels. Not all of my suggestions are that perfect, and some are decidedly odd. I admit that I and my mother (whom I just introduced to The Baby Name Wizard) had fun with this challenge. Bonus if it turns out to be helpful as well.


Note: My mother found the "Porch Sitters" section of TBNW and pointed out how many of them fit the rules: Clem, Cletus, Floyd, Elbert, Elmer, Grover, Homer, Lester, Milton, Waldo. Maybe you could spring these on your husband, and while he's still sputtering objections, slip in one like Wyatt or Kyle. You just might get in past his guard.

I can almost hear your husband saying Casey is androgynous, Sterling and Will are words, and Dexter makes shoes. Are we sure it wouldn't be more efficient to have him make a list of the few names he's willing to consider, and then you get to choose from his list?

Well, let's have a vote! Vote in the poll to the right [poll closed; see below], and/or leave your suggestions/choices in the comment section.

[Poll results:
Max: 10 votes, roughly 9%
Evan: 56 votes, roughly 50%
Leo: 2 votes, roughly 2%
Theo: 7 votes, roughly 6%
Aaron: 8 votes, roughly 7%
Eric: 6 votes, roughly 5%
Henry: 16 votes, roughly 14%
Simon: 7 votes, roughly 6%
Kyle: 1 vote, roughly 1%]


Clarabella said...

Gah, this one's hard to vote on because there are so many good choices. Evan and Theo sound SO good with Alex, but then there's Henry. Ahhh, Henry. I just love that name, but it sounds less melodic with Alex. Evan and Alex. Theo and Alex. Henry and Alex. Ok, I'm still glad I voted for Theo. That name is just lovely too.

Saly said...

This might be my favorite naming post yet! I was thinking of that SNL skit too (It's not asswipe, it's AZ WEEP PAY!!)

I like Max but wonder if people would ask "what's it short for??" all the time and irritate the husband.

I think my favorite is Evan James

Mrs. M said...

will Aaron work b/c of the girl form Erin?

All those rules gave me a headache.

Hubs and I don't have that many rules but we both are in agreement that my opinion will trump given the fact that oh IM BIRTHING THE CHILD!

No kids yet though...just a pooch.

Rayne of Terror said...

Woo, good thing he doesn't mind Supreme Court justices because there's a couple of them on those lists. I like Felix very much, but it does bring to mind that cat which I don't know whether it was a brand or just a cartoon. A cartoon that's not also a brand, oh I slay myself. But I don't know about Felix and Alex as siblings - um, probably not.
Kyle and Alex feels like an eighties throwback to me. No Henry James cause then yer getting too literary.

I like Kevin pretty well. Kevin and Alex. Not too matchy.

Carolyn said...

I agree that the 2-syllable first names sound nice with James. I love Toby, which is my cousin's name, but I think it can technically be an androgynous name.
My votes:
Toby James Dillier
Evan James Dillier

-R- said...

I really like the names Evan, Kevin, and Kyle.

I am amazed at how many names you guys found that fit the long list o' rules!

K in the Mirror said...

You know, officially James and John are both biblical. :) But I'm glad they made it through the screening process.

I like Aaron James a lot (although Aaron is biblical too) and it depends on where you live as to whether or not you think Aaron and Erin are the same name. When I lived up north people pronounced them completely differently, and here in Texas they sound like the same name.

And I will say I love Avery and I didn't know it was a paper company.

samantha jo campen said...

I'm partial to Theo since that's what we named our son. Besides, all the other rules and possibilities made my head spin!

Good luck!

fairydogmother said...

I really, really love the name Evan James!

And while the rules made me laugh simply because there are so MANY of them, and they are so specific, I must admit that I also have the rule against initials spelling out a word. My reason? My older sister's initials were MAN.

Thank goodness maiden names don't have to last forever. ;)

Stephanie G said...

My father was one of the hardest people to work with when it came to naming babies, or so my mother has told us all a billion times.

Timothy? "Tiny Tim? Am I going to have to carry him around on my shoulder?"

Hannah? "Hannah is a mid-wife's name". (SERIOUSLY, he said this. First of all, WHAT? Secondly, what's wrong with mid-wives exactly? The man is nuts).

So anyway.... my mother would sympathize with you and your difficult hubby, haha.

I voted for Evan James. Alex & Evan work well together, and I really think Evan passes the test.

Doesn't "Max" count as a word? It might be a short form, but people do say things like, "Max volume" or "to the max!"... etc. LOL.

I'm making things more difficult. LOL.

d e v a n said...

Sheesh, and I thought my husband was picky.
I like Max and Luke and Evan.

Lara said...

Evan James is perfectly adorable. I love it so much!

Semblance said...

Dylan James
Eric James
Ethan James
Ryan James
Brian James
Logan James
Brandon James
Wyatt James

Henry is great; though it is getting quite trendy again. Max is adorable (also getting re-popularized, i.e. JLo and Christina Aguilera.)
Evan is an awesome name, but I have been hearing it used a little more often as a girl's name (Evan Rachel Wood, etc). Also, Aaron is a biblical name and can be confused with a girl's name (when said aloud).

Chez Bacon said...

I can't believe how many good choices you came up with after all those rules! I like Evan a lot, and will also suggest Brendan and Owen into the mix, although of course Brendan would require a new middle name, and I don't know about the OD thing and I think I have to go lie down now. Maybe Davis, Graham, Malcolm?

ZestyJenny said...

Leo. Like Alex, it has an L in it, and I feel like the L prepares my tongue for the last name and makes it all flow nicely. You could apply this to other names with L's, if you don't like Leo.

Bird said...

Since I LOVE Max, but already named my cat that I'll suggest Charlie, which is what I named my son. I think it meets all the criteria unless he thinks it's androgynous. Charlie John or Charlie James would be great and CJ is a good nickname. Or does he hate nicknames?

Felix and Dexter are also nice if you want to keep the X thing going.

Mary said...

Max definitely has a meaning in English. Um, maximum? Max Power?

Paige said...

Ha! This post cracked me up! Those rules are very very well-thought out. I love the name max (although I am too late to officially vote.

My name was in one of the rules! -Paige

aoife said...

Here's a suggestion: Slater. That was my grandfather's name. I think the only nickname he ever had was Slats... but I don't see many ppl picking up on that.