I just heard about your website and really need some advice! I am being induced in 24 hours and still haven't decided on a name. My first son is Owen Keats and our last name sounds like this: are-naw-dee. We are thinking about these names:
However, my husband is British and there is a chance we could move to the UK at some point. Apparently, Callum is really popular in the UK and I am worried he will be one of several Callums. (It is #13 overall in the UK and #3 and #5 in Ireland and Scotland respectively). Ironically, it is the opposite problem in the US in that whenever I mention this name people give me funny looks! Alec is a much "safer" choice but because it is less unique I have a harder time getting as excited about it. A friend suggested that we name him Alistair Jack and then call him Alec as a nickname but I wasn't sure if that was a bit of a stretch for a nickname. Also as an American, the name Alistair sounds a little pretentious to me for some reason.
Please help! Thank you---
And it is more than twelve hours since that landed in my inbox last night, so TODAY IS THE DAY. This baby is coming TODAY. We need name opinions, and we need them fast. Here are mine:
1) I like the name Alec a lot. It's been on our boy name list throughout our naming years. I know what you mean about finding it difficult to get excited about, but I think the name would sit well with time. I think Owen and Alec are good together.
2) I think Alec is not a nickname for Alistair. But then, I am a conservative old bag about nicknames. The Baby Name Wizard DOES list it as a nickname, and I defer to the author's expertise.
3) It's too bad that Alistair sounds pretentious in the U.S., because it's a GREAT name. Think of Allison, and then say Alistair. I think it's a great name, and I think everyone would get used to it. And if they didn't get used to it, they'd just say, "Well, the father is British." I don't think it's as good with Owen as your other choices, though. Owen and Alistair.
4) I like the name Callum even better than Alec and Alistair, and I think it's TERRIFIC with Owen: Owen and Callum. I think it WILL get more familiar in the U.S., and for me it would be a selling point that it was popular in the country you might move to some day. "Thirteenth most popular" sounds scary, but the thirteenth most popular boy name in the U.S. for 2000 was Ryan (source: Social Security Administration), and neither my 1999 baby nor my 2001 baby have ever had a single Ryan in any of their preschool/kindergarten/elementary school classes---let alone several. It won't be strictly comparable, of course, but still: thirteenth is okay.
5) The Baby Name Wizard mentions that Callum can be a nickname for Malcolm. I consider this Cheating, but it gives me the idea of the name Malcolm, which I love. Owen and Malcolm.
6) Jack in the middle name position makes the first name sound like an adjective to me: Fightin' Jack, Alligator Jack, Jumpin' Jack.
In short, I think the names you came up with are terrific, and I don't think you're going to go wrong whatever you choose. I lean more toward Callum for the first name; I would change the middle name, but I don't think it would be wrong to leave it the way you've got it. BE SURE TO LET US KNOW WHAT YOU CHOOSE!
Okay, everybody! Time is of the essence here, so
Alec: 20 votes, roughly 24%
Alistair: 10 votes, roughly 12%
Callum: 43 votes, roughly 51%
Malcolm: 11 votes, roughly 13%]
[Edited to add a follow-up from Kate: Thanks for your blog. We decided on the name Callum Jack and really appreciated everyone's feedback. It was such a hard decision. Jack is a family name my husband wanted to use so that is the reaon for it as the middle name. We have had some funny looks from my American friends and family who aren't sure how to pronounce it (so far, a few people saying Column). But hopefully they will get used to it. I still like the name Alec and think it goes great with our last name but just before going to the hospital my husband's assistant weighed in on the decision and she said "you mean, Alex?" and I was worried I would spend a lifetime of having to say "no, it's Alec with a 'c'" Anyway, thanks again!]